PDA

View Full Version : Bush compares Iraq to WW II / Himself to Roosevelt



WMR
08-31-2005, 12:37 AM
Bush Compares Iraq War to WW II / Himself to Roosevelt
President Marks 60th Anniversary of Earlier Conflict

By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP

CORONADO, Calif. (Aug. 30) - President Bush on Tuesday answered growing anti-war protests with a fresh reason for American troops to continue fighting in Iraq: protection of the country's vast oil fields that he said would otherwise fall under the control of terrorist extremists.

The president's speech Tuesday was his third address about Iraq or the war on terrorism in less than two weeks.

The president, standing against a backdrop of the imposing USS Ronald Reagan, the newest aircraft carrier in the Navy's fleet, said terrorists would be denied their goal of making Iraq a base from which to recruit followers, train them and finance new attacks.

"We will defeat the terrorists," Bush said. "We will build a free Iraq that will fight terrorists instead of giving them aid and sanctuary."

Appearing at the Naval Air Station North Island to commemorate the anniversary of the Allies' World War II victory over Japan, Bush compared his resolve now to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's in the 1940s and said America's mission in Iraq is to turn it into a democratic ally just as the U.S. did with Japan after its 1945 surrender.

But Democrats said Bush's leadership falls far short of Roosevelt's.

"Democratic Presidents Roosevelt and Truman led America to victory in World War II because they laid out a clear plan for success to the American people, America's allies and America's troops," said Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean. "President Bush has failed to put together a plan, so despite the bravery and sacrifice of our troops, we are not making the progress that we should be in Iraq. The troops, our allies and the American people deserve better leadership from our commander in chief."

The speech was Bush's third in just over a week defending his Iraq policies, as the White House scrambles to counter growing public concern about the war. But the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast drew attention away, as the White House announced during the president's remarks that he was cutting his August vacation short to return to Washington to personally oversee the federal response effort.

After the speech, Bush hurried back to Texas ahead of schedule to prepare to fly back to the nation's capital Wednesday. He originally was to return to the White House on Friday, after spending more than four weeks operating from his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

Bush's August break has been marked by problems in Iraq.

It has been an especially deadly month there for U.S. troops, with the number of those who have died since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 now nearing 1,900.

The growing death toll has become a regular feature of the slightly larger protests that Bush now encounters everywhere he goes - a movement that has been given new life by a vigil set up in a field down the road from the president's ranch by a mother grieving the loss of her soldier son in Iraq.

Cindy Sheehan arrived in Crawford, Texas, only days after Bush did, asking for a meeting so he could explain why her son and others are dying in Iraq. The White House refused, and Sheehan's camp turned into a hub of activity for hundreds of activists around the country demanding that troops be brought home.

Nationwide, Bush's approval rating on his handling of Iraq has fallen below 40 percent.

This week, the administration also had to defend the proposed constitution produced in Iraq at U.S. urging. Critics fear the impact of its rejection by many Sunnis and say it fails to protect religious freedom and women's rights.

At the naval base, Bush declared, "We will not rest until victory is America's and our freedom is secure" from al-Qaida and its forces in Iraq led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

"If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks," Bush said. "They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition."

Hoping to invoke the powerful feelings of national pride in World War II, Bush said the mission in Iraq must succeed in order to honor the sacrifice of that conflict's soldiers.

"We will never let the new enemies of a new century destroy with cowardice what these Americans built with courage," Bush said to an audience that including some WWII veterans.

Bush's V-J Day ceremony did not fall on the actual anniversary. Japan announced its surrender on Aug. 15, 1945 - Aug. 14 in the United States because of the time difference. Sept. 2, 1945, is the day the surrender was signed aboard the USS Missouri.

Tuesday, the day the president spoke, was the 60th anniversary of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's arrival in Japan to direct the U.S. occupation and reconstruction of the vanquished foe.


08-30-05 15:40 EDT

In an attached AOL Poll, they asked whether or not you felt that Bush's comparison of Iraq to WW II was a valid comparison. At the time that I participated in the poll, 88% said NO (12% said YES).

It went on to ask whether or not you felt that the comparison to Vietnam was accurate. 79% said YES (21% said NO).

That's pretty telling, IMO.

cincinnati chili
08-31-2005, 12:42 AM
I thought I read somewhere that 90%+ of Americans favored the U.S. participation in WWII from Pearl Harbor to the end.

Can anyone corroborate this?

There was a small anti-war sentiment, but I think you were talking some hardcore pacificsts.

WMR
08-31-2005, 12:44 AM
I thought I read somewhere that 90%+ of Americans favored the U.S. participation in WWII from Pearl Harbor to the end.

Can anyone corroborate this?

There was a small anti-war sentiment, but I think you were talking some hardcore pacificsts.

I think you're right on that, Chili. Protesting against WWII just wasn't done.

dman
08-31-2005, 12:48 AM
No Comparison; None: Zilch; Zip; Nada. Has he had a relapse of his John Barley Brown days with this one. There is absolutely not one ounce of comparison to that generation and mine. As a matter of fact, I myself am not worthy to be compared to that generation of Americans, though I feel that I have served my country admirably. I like Bush, though I deeply question many of his policies/doctrines.

And, Bush's leadership does fall woefully short of FDR's. When you look at gas prices, jobless rates, the national debt, etc., I tend to think "man, what I wouldn't give to have someone in the likeness of FDR running the show right now.

Reading history books and biographies, what I can say with some certainty, is that if FDR had to choose between listening to the advice of Colin Powell or Don Rumsfeld/Karl Rove before going to war in Iraq, I'm certain he would have chosen a battle proven leader such as Powell.

pedro
08-31-2005, 01:08 AM
I'd like to read a full transcript to see exactly waht he said.

redsrule2500
08-31-2005, 02:43 AM
In an attached AOL Poll, they asked whether or not you felt that Bush's comparison of Iraq to WW II was a valid comparison. At the time that I participated in the poll, 88% said NO (12% said YES).

It went on to ask whether or not you felt that the comparison to Vietnam was accurate. 79% said YES (21% said NO).

That's pretty telling, IMO.

They are using AOL - they have to be pretty stupid.

WMR
08-31-2005, 08:47 AM
They are using AOL - they have to be pretty stupid.

Wow... what an intelligent, informed response. Maybe we could set-up a similar poll question on this board and see how different things turned out?

WMR
08-31-2005, 08:49 AM
Yeah, anybody who can't see the parallels between Iraq and WWII must be pretty stupid... or maybe they just actually possess a pair of eyes and a pulse?

RedFanAlways1966
08-31-2005, 09:06 AM
I'd like to read a full transcript to see exactly waht he said.

Exactly. The headline is completely MISLEADING. The only comparison I read in that story was about attempting to turn Iraq into a democratic society. This is comparable to what happened to Japan.

The president was talking at a function relative to WWII. We are fighting a war in Iraq. For him to state that they are trying to make Iraq into a democracy like Japan after their defeat in WWII is understandable. People can Howard Dean it to death and make comments putting down the leader of our country. That is the right of American citizens. That was not the right of Iraqi citizens during the Saddam years. A Howard Dean type in Saddam-Iraq would have been buried in the Iraqi desert with a bullet in his brain.

WilyMoRocks... I think you completely missed the point. You obviously do not like the president. That is your right. But try not to put words into the mouths of others.... incl. the president. Because you might make yourself look stupid in the process. Give us the full transcript of what the president said. Then tell us how many parallels were drawn between the two. To say that Japan was not turned into a democracy after WWII is not correct. I hope you understand that. We are trying to turn Iraq into a democracy. To say that is not true is not correct.

KittyDuran
08-31-2005, 09:07 AM
They are using AOL - they have to be pretty stupid.Oh boy, now I have to go and tell my Dad he's pretty stupid... :rolleyes: Of course, considering the topic it might be hard since my Dad is a WWII vet who spent 3.5 years as a Japanese POW - then stayed in the Navy (20 years total) and then served 20 years as a police officer.

smith288
08-31-2005, 09:33 AM
No comparison to WWII and no comparison to Vietnam... both comparisons are stupid.

WMR
08-31-2005, 09:36 AM
Exactly. The headline is completely MISLEADING. The only comparison I read in that story was about attempting to turn Iraq into a democratic society. This is comparable to what happened to Japan.

The president was talking at a function relative to WWII. We are fighting a war in Iraq. For him to state that they are trying to make Iraq into a democracy like Japan after their defeat in WWII is understandable. People can Howard Dean it to death and make comments putting down the leader of our country. That is the right of American citizens. That was not the right of Iraqi citizens during the Saddam years. A Howard Dean type in Saddam-Iraq would have been buried in the Iraqi desert with a bullet in his brain.

WilyMoRocks... I think you completely missed the point. You obviously do not like the president. That is your right. But try not to put words into the mouths of others.... incl. the president. Because you might make yourself look stupid in the process. Give us the full transcript of what the president said. Then tell us how many parallels were drawn between the two. To say that Japan was not turned into a democracy after WWII is not correct. I hope you understand that. We are trying to turn Iraq into a democracy. To say that is not true is not correct.

I didn't write the article. I don't *think* I said anything that could be construed as trying to put words into the mouth of anyone else?I made my statement about Iraq and WWII, but that was not coming from the article, just my own observations, combined with the poll. When you've got 90% of a polled populace answering a certain way, even if the respondees are "stupid AOL users," I think staggering numbers like that make quite a statement. It isn't saying anything about Bush,,, just the comparison of Iraq and WWII. I don't need to see the full transcript of Bush's speech to reach that decision; I can do that on my own.

As far as my statement saying that Iraq is nothing like WWII, I make that assertion not from having read this article but from my collegiate double-major in American Studies & History wherein I focused primarily on Military History and the history of America.

GAC
08-31-2005, 09:46 AM
Bush compared his resolve now to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's in the 1940s and said America's mission in Iraq is to turn it into a democratic ally just as the U.S. did with Japan after its 1945 surrender.

I think that is about as far as any comparison went. He wasn't comparing the wars per say IMO.

But I'd have to say his resolve is facing a far greater test then FDR's, seeing how the Iraq war has had it's opposition.

RBA
08-31-2005, 09:52 AM
There's a fine line between being a briliant genius and a fool. FDR falls in the Brilliant category.

smith288
08-31-2005, 09:58 AM
Getting sucker punched in the gut as a nation just doesnt get you as far as it used to anymore.

RBA
08-31-2005, 10:02 AM
Getting sucker punched in the gut as a nation just doesnt get you as far as it used to anymore.

Wow, another attempted link of 9/11 to Iraq. Sorry, but that dog don't hunt.

traderumor
08-31-2005, 10:13 AM
Which came first, misleading newspaper headlines to elicit a hostile response, or RZ thread titles designed to do the same?

Johnny Footstool
08-31-2005, 10:29 AM
"If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks," Bush said. "They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition."

Gosh, it sounds like we should go after this "bin Laden" character. :rolleyes:

As for "creating a training ground for future terrorist attack," what could be a better training ground than a country without a real government, police force, or military of its own? What better place to recruit terrorists than a country occupied by a foreign army?

Sham
08-31-2005, 10:33 AM
I disagree with people who say Bush will go down as the "Rush to war" President. I think he will go down as the "On vacation during war" President.

GAC
08-31-2005, 11:35 AM
Gosh, it sounds like we should go after this "bin Laden" character.

He's in them thar hills! ;)

registerthis
08-31-2005, 12:01 PM
I read the article, and I didn't get the impression that Bush is comparing the two wars . One could argue if it is wise for Bush to boast about having the same resolve as Roosevelt did, considering the significant differences between the two wars...but I don't think he was comparing them. Even HE isn't checked-out enough to do that.

Steve4192
08-31-2005, 12:02 PM
"If Zarqawi and bin Laden gain control of Iraq, they would create a new training ground for future terrorist attacks," Bush said. "They'd seize oil fields to fund their ambitions. They could recruit more terrorists by claiming a historic victory over the United States and our coalition."
I actually voted for and support the Prez, but this is just plain stupid. One sure-fire way to keep Zarqawi and bin Laden from gaining control of Iraq would have been ... leaving Hussein in power. I have no problem with the war in Iraq, I think it needed to be done, but please don't try and sell me this bill of goods.

registerthis
08-31-2005, 12:16 PM
I actually voted for and support the Prez, but this is just plain stupid. One sure-fire way to keep Zarqawi and bin Laden from gaining control of Iraq would have been ... leaving Hussein in power. I have no problem with the war in Iraq, I think it needed to be done, but please don't try and sell me this bill of goods.I must say, this post confuses me.

On the one hand, you're arguing (correctly, I might add) that the best way to ensure that Iraq DIDN'T fall into the hands of people such as Zarqawi and Bin Laden was to leave Saddam in power. On the other hand, you're saying that you have "no problem with the war" and that it "needed to be done."

You have no problems with a war that was instigated for one reason (finding WMDs in Iraq) and is currently being fought for an entirely different reason (democritization of Iraq.) You have no problems with a war that created the most fertile terrorist breeding ground in the Middle East? You have no problems with a war that has cost thousands of lives--American, allied, Iraqi--for no perceivable gain?

I'm sorry, this just doesn't add up.

GAC
08-31-2005, 01:05 PM
I don't understand how one can say that Iraq has become the most fertile terrorist breeding ground? People seem to have the impression that the entire country is the victim of terrorism, when in reality, approximately 80% of all attacks occur in Sunni-dominated central Iraq. The Kurdish north and Shia south remain relatively calm.

There is some level of cooperation that's taking place at very high levels, and yes, there is foreign influences. But the most dangerous enemy at the present time are the former regime loyalists operating in central Iraq. The resistance enjoys backing in the Sunni provinces of Baghdad, Babel, Salahuddin, Diyala, Nineveh and Tamim. The greatest obstacles to stability are the native insurgents that predominate in the Sunni triangle.

The goal of the enemy is not to defeat us militarily, because they don't have the wherewithal to defeat us militarily. The goal of the enemy is to break the will of the United States of America. It's clear, it's simple, it's straightforward. Break our will, make us leave before Iraq is ready to come out and be a member of the responsible community of nations.

You gain the trust and show commitment to the Sunni leaders, and insure them that they are not gonna be allowed to become victims of Shi ite and Kurd retirbution; but be inclusive in the new constitution, forming of the government, and I think that will go a long way in curbing this insurgency. Right now, a golden opportunity presents itself to the Iraqi coalition to bargain in good faith with the Sunnis, and bring them to the table. I admit that the other two groups have had to be pushed to the concession table by the U.S. to deal with the Sunnis - and they have made some concessions- but they must be persuaded that the only way there is gonna be a chance for peace/democracy to take root in this country is be inclusice of all.

Foreign fighters are there; but I really don't think that guys like Zarqawi and bin Laden are having the greater influence that some think they are. Is Zarqawi even in Iraq now?

There are gonna be terrorists in Iraq even after stability is brought. Why? Because there are, and have been, terrorist cells operating in every Middle Eastern nation since before we went in. It's rooted in a radical form of Islam that attracts young men who are in dire economic standing. If some expect, including Bush, that they are gonna completely eliminate terrorism (and I don't think he has ever said that), then they are just nuts! Ain't gonna happen. But that doesn't mean that one ignores it, and does not confront it.

And I have never believed that we are gonna establish a "perfect" form of democracy there. At least not in the mold of ours. And Bush has never said that either. It's about giving the Iraqi people the freedom and choice, for once in their lives, to decide. I'm sure that Islam will have it's influence in the structure of their government. And if that is what the people of Iraq want, then so be it IMO. I just don't want to see a nation that is fermenting and exporting terrorism to not only the rest of the Middle East, but around the world.

And that only way that is gonna be accomplished is by keeping the diplomatic doors open, but also exerting the pressure on rogue states like Iran and Syria, while also working for reforms in places such as Saudia Arabia. And while theis adminstration has made some progress in putting that pressure on some of these countries, they have nor done enough. And that includes bulding a coalition that doesn't run and hide when terrorists strike, but joins together and confronts it. And that is what pees me off about Europe as a whole, and the UN. Diplomacy is nice to a point; but does little good to those with evil intent.

But I still maintain my optimism that their future, while not perfect, will be brighter then what they had under Saddam.

Johnny Footstool
08-31-2005, 01:24 PM
There are gonna be terrorists in Iraq even after stability is brought. Why? Because there are, and have been, terrorist cells operating in every Middle Eastern nation since before we went in. It's rooted in a radical form of Islam that attracts young men who are in dire economic standing.

What kind of conditions exist now in Iraq? War, economic chaos, a foreign power calling the shots. Don't you think those are the kinds of conditions that drive young people to terrorism? Especially terrorism against the invading country?

Contrary to the Bush Admin's oft-repeated idea that "they hate us for our freedom," American imperialism (or at least the perception of it) is the real impetus for the growth of anti-US terrorism. IMO, it's foolish to promote that perception like we're doing in Iraq.


I just don't want to see a nation that is fermenting and exporting terrorism to not only the rest of the Middle East, but around the world.

Me either. But I think an ill-advised invasion and a prolonged occupation are having that exact effect on Iraq.

traderumor
08-31-2005, 01:40 PM
Johnny,

I'm not sure how our presence in Iraq adds to a perception of imperialism by the US for anyone but those who will perceive us that way regardless of its truth. In other words, because we are the unrivaled #1 world power, we are Goliath and anyone with a thirst for power will try to play the role of David. Are we gonna let a slingshot and rocks topple us over?

GAC
08-31-2005, 01:48 PM
What kind of conditions exist now in Iraq? War, economic chaos, a foreign power calling the shots. Don't you think those are the kinds of conditions that drive young people to terrorism? Especially terrorism against the invading country?

And who is promoting those conditions? Are you saying we are? Who is trying to destroy the countries infrastructure and economic viability, and keep it in an unstable state? - and for what goal? And whether you want to acknowledge or not, there has been a slow and gradual turn-over of power to the Iraqis. No- there is still much to be done; but the Iraqis are gradually and incrementally taking hold.

Tell them to quit shooting at us, lay down their arms, and we'll come home. But if we come home tommorrow, do you think the terrorists are gonna stop what they are doing in Iraq, and to their own citizenry?

Johnny Footstool
08-31-2005, 01:49 PM
In other words, because we are the unrivaled #1 world power, we are Goliath and anyone with a thirst for power will try to play the role of David. Are we gonna let a slingshot and rocks topple us over?

First of all, to address your analogy, did Iraq threaten us? Were we in any danger of Iraq "toppling us over" with WMDs or even the slingshots and rocks you mention? The answer virtually everyone (including members of the Bush Administration) agrees upon is "no."

Secondly, when we invade another country -- especially one that doesn't pose a threat to us -- don't you think that adds to the perception of US imperialism? Isn't that the very *definition* of imperialism?

registerthis
08-31-2005, 01:56 PM
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0805074007/qid=1125507426/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1/104-3096046-0862302?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Good book on this topic.

Johnny Footstool
08-31-2005, 02:00 PM
And who is promoting those conditions? Are you saying we are? Who is trying to destroy the countries infrastructure and economic viability, and keep it in an unstable state? - and for what goal?

The US invasion of Iraq was undeniably the catalyst for the insurgents causing the current instability. I don't think anyone would have great luck explaining it differently to the young men and women whose country we're currently occupying. The easy answer for them is "US = evil."

The thesis statement of your previous post was:
I don't understand how one can say that Iraq has become the most fertile terrorist breeding ground?"

I'm merely explaing why we say that.

Falls City Beer
08-31-2005, 02:04 PM
Johnny,

I'm not sure how our presence in Iraq adds to a perception of imperialism by the US for anyone but those who will perceive us that way regardless of its truth. In other words, because we are the unrivaled #1 world power, we are Goliath and anyone with a thirst for power will try to play the role of David. Are we gonna let a slingshot and rocks topple us over?

I'm not so sure that's the best metaphor to be using: remember, David was the good guy. :)

registerthis
08-31-2005, 02:13 PM
Secondly, when we invade another country -- especially one that doesn't pose a threat to us -- don't you think that adds to the perception of US imperialism? Isn't that the very *definition* of imperialism?

Imperialism: The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.

<climbs on soap box>
America has been driven by an imperialistic doctrine virtually since we drafted the charter that declared our independence. The American government is concerned, first and foremost, with asserting American dominance culturally, economically and militarily throughout the world. It was the driving force behind the wars in Korea and Vietnam, it drove the Cold War, it drove the economic policies in the 80s and 90s, it drove our military actions in south and central America, and it largely fuels our foreign policy today.

Unfortunately, our stated ideals (freedom, liberty, democracy, etc.) tend to get left at the table when they are viewed in contradiction to our continued dominance in a particular country or region. Does an elected leader threaten us economically? We'll plot a coup and stage an overthrow of the government. Does an elected leader refuse to "play ball" by our terms? We'll forcibly remove him, or make him politcially impotent. Is the leader a dictator who opresses his people and commits greivous acts against the citizenry? So long as he helps keep the American geo-political machine moving, we'll turn out heads.

It's nothing new, it's been going on for years. When politicians stand behind the podium and accuse others throughout the world of "hating our values", they're half right. It's not the values of freedom, liberty and democracy they hate--only the fringe dictators and hardened fundamentalists oppose those values. Rather, it's our continued hypocrisy on the international stage. We CLAIM that we support those noble goals throughout the world, but our actions speak differently.

Sooner or later, we'll come to the realization that we need to be part of the international community, and sometimes that means making decisions and partaking in actions that don't completely serve our immediate good. However, the benefits it will gain us in the long term will be far greater than any immediate loss. This will only happen once government becomes separated from corporations with global ties and special interest groups. Pipe dream? Likely, but an enviable one nonetheless.

<steps off soap box now.>

traderumor
08-31-2005, 02:24 PM
First of all, to address your analogy, did Iraq threaten us? Were we in any danger of Iraq "toppling us over" with WMDs or even the slingshots and rocks you mention? The answer virtually everyone (including members of the Bush Administration) agrees upon is "no."

Secondly, when we invade another country -- especially one that doesn't pose a threat to us -- don't you think that adds to the perception of US imperialism? Isn't that the very *definition* of imperialism?The threat Iraq posed has been much debated, so I see no need to rehash that issue. As for the issue of imperialism, post war occupation is quite a far cry from colonization. Again, I think those who do not make that distinction already consider the US imperialist, regardless of our dealings with Iraq. Besides, the authority who assumes such a role for the greater good, which I believe is the basic moral principal that the justness of this invasion and subsequent occupation rises and falls on, does so without primary regard to perceptions and/or reputation for such actions.

FCB, the metaphor is strong giant vs. weak and small, not good vs. evil.

GAC
08-31-2005, 02:31 PM
The US invasion of Iraq was undeniably the catalyst for the insurgents causing the current instability. I don't think anyone would have great luck explaining it differently to the young men and women whose country we're currently occupying. The easy answer for them is "US = evil."

I wonder if there are any polling numbers that show what the Iraqi's think of our being there? I've never seen any.

Now I agree that the minority Sunni population, which comprises an overwhelming majority of that insurgency would refer to us as evil. But then, what were they guilty of while Saddam was in power? So we're suppose to take their word on it? ;)

And I think that insurgency's goal has been to do far more destruction then our military has been doing.

traderumor
08-31-2005, 02:35 PM
<climbs on soap box>
America has been driven by an imperialistic doctrine virtually since we drafted the charter that declared our independence. The American government is concerned, first and foremost, with asserting American dominance culturally, economically and militarily throughout the world. It was the driving force behind the wars in Korea and Vietnam, it drove the Cold War, it drove the economic policies in the 80s and 90s, it drove our military actions in south and central America, and it largely fuels our foreign policy today.

Unfortunately, our stated ideals (freedom, liberty, democracy, etc.) tend to get left at the table when they are viewed in contradiction to our continued dominance in a particular country or region. Does an elected leader threaten us economically? We'll plot a coup and stage an overthrow of the government. Does an elected leader refuse to "play ball" by our terms? We'll forcibly remove him, or make him politcially impotent. Is the leader a dictator who opresses his people and commits greivous acts against the citizenry? So long as he helps keep the American geo-political machine moving, we'll turn out heads.

It's nothing new, it's been going on for years. When politicians stand behind the podium and accuse others throughout the world of "hating our values", they're half right. It's not the values of freedom, liberty and democracy they hate--only the fringe dictators and hardened fundamentalists oppose those values. Rather, it's our continued hypocrisy on the international stage. We CLAIM that we support those noble goals throughout the world, but our actions speak differently.

Sooner or later, we'll come to the realization that we need to be part of the international community, and sometimes that means making decisions and partaking in actions that don't completely serve our immediate good. However, the benefits it will gain us in the long term will be far greater than any immediate loss. This will only happen once government becomes separated from corporations with global ties and special interest groups. Pipe dream? Likely, but an enviable one nonetheless.

<steps off soap box now.>

But have we shoved it down others' throats historically, or has it been introduced at the request of the nations? I think a little bit of both, and frankly I believe that the US' primary concern is that they help establish self-governance with a leaning toward democratic processes. The US was founded in opposition to tyranny, so being the young country that we are who still have a sense of freedom from tyranny, we seem to have a soft spot to free a people who are being run by a dictatorial tyrant. Sometimes that results in accusations of imperialism.

westofyou
08-31-2005, 02:38 PM
But have we shoved it down others' throats historically, or has it been introduced at the request of the nations?

Spanish American War?

pedro
08-31-2005, 02:40 PM
Spanish American War?

Hawaii

Mexico

pedro
08-31-2005, 02:42 PM
The US was founded in opposition to tyranny, so being the young country that we are who still have a sense of freedom from tyranny, we seem to have a soft spot to free a people who are being run by a dictatorial tyrant. Sometimes that results in accusations of imperialism.

Yeah they make great employees for United Fruit.

We've been great spreaders of "democracy" in central america. :rolleyes:

The US is interested in free markets. that's about it.

traderumor
08-31-2005, 02:48 PM
Spanish American War?Imperialism or freeing the Carribean colonies from oppressive Spanish rule seems to be the debate there.

pedro
08-31-2005, 02:49 PM
Imperialism or freeing the Carribean colonies from oppressive Spanish rule seems to be the debate there.

you've got to be kidding me. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Rojo
08-31-2005, 02:49 PM
But have we shoved it down others' throats historically, or has it been introduced at the request of the nations? I think a little bit of both, and frankly I believe that the US' primary concern is that they help establish self-governance with a leaning toward democratic processes. The US was founded in opposition to tyranny, so being the young country that we are who still have a sense of freedom from tyranny, we seem to have a soft spot to free a people who are being run by a dictatorial tyrant. Sometimes that results in accusations of imperialism.

Most imperialists have used similar justifications: England, Soviet Union, Napoleanic France. I'm not saying some people don't legitimately believe it but, almost universally, it proves to be folly.

traderumor
08-31-2005, 02:50 PM
Yeah they make great employees for United Fruit.

We've been great spreaders of "democracy" in central america. :rolleyes:

The US is interested in free markets. that's about it.

So free markets are not good things?

pedro
08-31-2005, 02:54 PM
So free markets are not good things?

Free markets are fine but they don't necessarily equate to Democracy.

from wikipedia.

The United States Navy had recently grown considerably, but it was still untested, and many old war dogs were eager to test and use their new tools. The Navy had drawn up plans for attacking the Spanish in the Philippines over a year before hostilities broke out. The end of western expansion and of large-scale conflict with Native Americans also left the Army with little to do, and army leadership hoped that some new task would come. From an early date, many in the United States had felt that Cuba was "rightly" theirs. The so-called theory of manifest destiny made the island just off the coast of Florida seem an attractive candidate for American "expansion". Much of the island's economy was already in American hands, and most of its trade, much of which was black market, was with the U.S. Some business leaders pushed for conflict as well. In the words of Senator John M. Thurston of Nebraska: "War with Spain would increase the business and earnings of every American railroad, it would increase the output of every American factory, it would stimulate every branch of industry and domestic commerce."

traderumor
08-31-2005, 02:54 PM
you've got to be kidding me. :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:I'm not stating those arguments with the benefit of hindsight of over 100 years, I am speaking to the debate of the day, you know, when folks were actually making the political decisions rather than having the pundits critique the decisions from afar.

Falls City Beer
08-31-2005, 02:54 PM
FCB, the metaphor is strong giant vs. weak and small, not good vs. evil.

I was partially kidding, hence the smiley.

pedro
08-31-2005, 02:56 PM
So free markets are not good things?

here's an excerpt on United Fruit.

History in Central America

The United Fruit Company owned vast tracts of land in the Caribbean lowlands. It also dominated regional transportation networks and owned a major railroad corporation called International Railways of Central America. In addition, UFCO branched out in 1913 by creating the Tropical Radio and Telegraph Company. By the end of the decade there would be virtually no aspect of the economic infrastructure of Latin American banana production untouched by the UFCO. The UFCO was so large that at the time of World War I it had no serious challengers or competiton for control of the banana trade. The huge number of ships that it used for transportation were referred to as the "great white fleet".

One of the company's primary tactics for maintaining market dominance was to control the distribution of banana lands. UFCO claimed that hurricanes, blight and other natural threats required them to hold extra land or reserve land. But in practice what this meant was that UFCO was able to prevent the government from distributing banana lands to peasants who wanted a share of the banana trade.

The fact that the UFCO relied so heavily on manipulation of land use rights in order to maintain their market dominance had a number of long term consequences for the region. For the company to maintain its unequal land holdings it had to have government concessions. And this in turn meant that the company had to be politically involved in the region even though it was an American company.

If a particular government or a particular leader disagreed with UFCO tactics and refused to give them what they wanted, UFCO usually took steps to have the government undermined, discredited, or removed altogether. As a result, the UFCO became a political force opposing democratic social and political reform whenever and wherever it developed in order to preserve its dominant place in the banana trade.

The Company several times overthrew governments which they considered insufficiently compliant to Company will. For example, in 1910 a group of armed toughs were sent from New Orleans to Honduras to install a new president by force when the incumbent failed to grant the Fruit Company tax breaks. The newly installed Honduran president granted the Company a waiver from paying any taxes for 25 years.

The Company had a mixed record of encouraging and discouraging development in the nations it was involved in. For example, in Guatemala the Company built schools for the people who lived and worked on Company land, while at the same time for many years prevented the Guatemalan government from building highways, because this would lessen the profitable transportation monopoly of the railroads, which were owned by United Fruit.

The Guatemalan government of Colonel Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán was toppled by covert action by the United States government in 1954 at the behest of United Fruit because of Arbenz Guzman's plans to redistribute uncultivated land owned by the United Fruit Company among Native American peasants. The UFC and the bankers that supported it convinced the CIA and President Dwight Eisenhower that this was the first sign of a Communist takeover in Central America. The American Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles, was an avowed opponent of Communism whose law firm had represented United Fruit. His brother Allen Dulles was the director of the CIA. The brother of the Assistant Secretary of State for InterAmerican Affairs, John Moors Cabot, had once been president of United Fruit. Guzman's government was overthrown by Guatemalan army officers invading from Honduras. As many as 100,000 people may have died in the ensuing civil war.

link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Fruit)

traderumor
08-31-2005, 02:56 PM
Free markets are fine but they don't necessarily equate to Democracy.

Did I claim somewhere that they did?

westofyou
08-31-2005, 02:57 PM
Imperialism or freeing the Carribean colonies from oppressive Spanish rule seems to be the debate there.

That played great in Manila

pedro
08-31-2005, 02:58 PM
Did I claim somewhere that they did?

yes, you seem to be implying that the US went to war with Spain to "free" the people of the Caribbean from oppression.

traderumor
08-31-2005, 03:03 PM
yes, you seem to be implying that the US went to war with Spain to "free" the people of the Caribbean from oppression.No, I think you misunderstand that I wasn't really taking a position, but from a quick fly over, those seemed to be the primary debatables. In other words, if one was looking for a masters' thesis topic, I would see those as the points of departure for one direction or another.

pedro
08-31-2005, 03:10 PM
No, I think you misunderstand that I wasn't really taking a position, but from a quick fly over, those seemed to be the primary debatables. In other words, if one was looking for a masters' thesis topic, I would see those as the points of departure for one direction or another.

fair enough.

registerthis
08-31-2005, 03:15 PM
Hawaii

MexicoNicauragua, Panama, Guam

traderumor
08-31-2005, 03:20 PM
For those referring to the US as Imperialists, do you consider Isolationism the correct position on the issue?

pedro
08-31-2005, 03:35 PM
For those referring to the US as Imperialists, do you consider Isolationism the correct position on the issue?

The US can be non isolationist w/out being imperialist. They are not two sides of the same coin.


i·so·la·tion·ism
A national policy of abstaining from political or economic relations with other countries.

im·pe·ri·al·ism

The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.

he·gem·o·ny
The predominant influence, as of a state, region, or group, over another or others.

Johnny Footstool
08-31-2005, 04:09 PM
I wonder if there are any polling numbers that show what the Iraqi's think of our being there? I've never seen any.

They tried to take a poll, but someone blew up the polling station.

traderumor
08-31-2005, 04:26 PM
The US can be non isolationist w/out being imperialist. They are not two sides of the same coin.


i·so·la·tion·ism
A national policy of abstaining from political or economic relations with other countries.

im·pe·ri·al·ism

The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.

he·gem·o·ny
The predominant influence, as of a state, region, or group, over another or others.So do you agree with johnny that the US is imperialist in its pursuit of establishing self-governance in Iraq? If so, how, according to the definition you just provided for imperialism?

BTW, you did not answer my question with your answer above.

Rojo
08-31-2005, 04:32 PM
So do you agree with johnny that the US is imperialist in its pursuit of establishing self-governance in Iraq? If so, how, according to the definition you just provided for imperialism?

Let's not forget, this wasn't the original reason for going to war.

Rojo
08-31-2005, 04:33 PM
I think Kosova is a good example of an action that was neither imperialist or isolationist.

registerthis
08-31-2005, 04:36 PM
For those referring to the US as Imperialists, do you consider Isolationism the correct position on the issue?I believe the U.S. can be a driving force for good in the world. Our plentiful resources, the people that live here, our standing as the world's sole superpower--all of these things could be a catalyst for positive change in the world. Yes, I do believe that. So, to answer your question, I don't believe isolationism is a better alternative than what we currently have. There's no inherent glory in standing by while despots and dictators wreck havoc with their nations and citizenry.

But, as pedro wrote, the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can be a productive, involved member of the international community without adopting an isolationist doctrine.

M2
08-31-2005, 04:37 PM
The president, standing against a backdrop of the imposing USS Ronald Reagan, the newest aircraft carrier in the Navy's fleet, said terrorists would be denied their goal of making Iraq a base from which to recruit followers, train them and finance new attacks.

"We will defeat the terrorists," Bush said. "We will build a free Iraq that will fight terrorists instead of giving them aid and sanctuary."

On the first above bolded part, that's exactly what's been created in Iraq - a gigantic terrorist training and recruitment center. Islamic extremists have been given the perfect lab in which to hone the craft of terrorism and update their tactics against a top-of-the-line military.

On the second above bolded part, well there's the arrogance that got us into this mess in the first place. It's not our country and we can't build squat in Iraq if the Iraqis aren't down with the program.

Also, the nominal leadership in Iraq at the moment consists of shi'ites with close ties to Iran. These are the exact kind of people who will give terrorists aid and sanctuary. It's part and parcel of Iranian foreign policy to give terrorists aid and sanctuary. Hezbollah is a foreign policy instrument of the Iranian mullahs. And now we put their buddies in charge of Iraq?

The longer this mess goes on, the more amazed I am at the gross ineptitude of the people in charge. I'm really beginning to wonder if the gross mistakes and failures of this administration will haunt this nation for the rest of my life.

registerthis
08-31-2005, 04:39 PM
"We will defeat the terrorists," Bush said. "We will build a free Iraq that will fight terrorists instead of giving them aid and sanctuary." It's interesting that Iraq wasn't a significant source of funding, nor a haven, for terrorists until the U.S. deposed the Hussein regime.

traderumor
08-31-2005, 04:45 PM
I believe the U.S. can be a driving force for good in the world. Our plentiful resources, the people that live here, our standing as the world's sole superpower--all of these things could be a catalyst for positive change in the world. Yes, I do believe that. So, to answer your question, I don't believe isolationism is a better alternative than what we currently have. There's no inherent glory in standing by while despots and dictators wreck havoc with their nations and citizenry.

But, as pedro wrote, the two ideas are not mutually exclusive. You can be a productive, involved member of the international community without adopting an isolationist doctrine.It seems that is exactly what the intention has always been with Iraq, dating back to Bush Sr. Selfish motives seem assigned according to, primarily, one's voting preference.

traderumor
08-31-2005, 04:47 PM
It's interesting that Iraq wasn't a significant source of funding, nor a haven, for terrorists until the U.S. deposed the Hussein regime.Or there was an oppressive dictator in charge who always played a really mean shell game.

pedro
08-31-2005, 04:48 PM
So do you agree with johnny that the US is imperialist in its pursuit of establishing self-governance in Iraq? If so, how, according to the definition you just provided for imperialism?

BTW, you did not answer my question with your answer above.

While I'm not ready to say the US Govt motives were imperialist in Iraq, I do agree with JF that our actions are percieved that way by most of the rest of the world.

As for whether I think the US should have taken an "isolationist" stance with Iraq the answer is no. But the world does not operate in absolutes and there were a myriad of options available to the US rather than starting a war.

M2
08-31-2005, 05:01 PM
Or there was an oppressive dictator in charge who always played a really mean shell game.

Hussein was plenty oppressive, but his only real talent was ruling his nation with an iron fist. He lacked skill in pretty much every other area. He didn't play a mean anything game. He was a thug with a pecadillo for wearing bogus medals and a lover of the high life. We tried to graft a terrorist label on him and, ironically, instead sewed it into the fabric of his country. Not since the War on Drugs when hardcore narcotics use skyrocketed in the midst of the "war" has there been such a boneheaded execution of policy in this nation.

registerthis
08-31-2005, 05:03 PM
It seems that is exactly what the intention has always been with Iraq, dating back to Bush Sr. Selfish motives seem assigned according to, primarily, one's voting preference.Absolutely wrong.

Bush Sr.'s STATED intentions in the first gulf war were to proect our oil interests there--he didn't even try to hide it. "Humanitarian" had nothing to do with it.

With Bush Jr., he decided to take the "threat to world security" route in order to get us into the country. Never mind that Iraq WASN'T a threat to world security...oh well, we're there now, let's turn it into a war to liberate the Iraqis.

As I have said many, many, MANY times before, if Bush wants to adopt a strictly humanitarian policy on global issues, there's no shortage of places for him to start: Sudan, Djibouti, Haiti, Somalia, ivory Coast, uzebekistan, etc.

I can't think of a time in recent memory--MAYBE Kosovo, though that is an arguable point--where our military actions have been for a pure humanitarian cause. I don't need to provide the laundry list of dictators the U.S. has supported to promote our own self-interests, do I? I'll warn you, it's rather lengthy.

Johnny Footstool
08-31-2005, 05:09 PM
So do you agree with johnny that the US is imperialist in its pursuit of establishing self-governance in Iraq?

Whether the Bush Administration had imperialistic intentions towards Iraq or not is hard to determine, but our actions there certainly reinforce the stereotype.

RedFanAlways1966
08-31-2005, 05:57 PM
Whether the Bush Administration had imperialistic intentions towards Iraq or not is hard to determine, but our actions there certainly reinforce the stereotype.

I understand the point that is trying to be made (what the world thinks). Has anyone asked the Kurds or Shiites (those who make up the majority of the Iraqi citizens) what they think? I do not mean a two-bit poll that questions 250 people. Is the U.S. being imperialistic relative to Iraq? The only answer that truly matters is those of the Iraqis themselves. I frankly do not care what people think who listen to and believe everything that some nutty cleric says. I frankly do not care what people think who believe Osama bin Laden is a great man. I frankly do not care what American people who obviously dislike our president think. There opinions are slanted.... all of them.

Ask a Shiite. Ask a Kurd. Even ask a Sunni. Ask ALL Iraqis. That is what really matters. Perhaps even the opinion of a Kuwaiti matters since their country was maimed, raped and ravaged by Saddam's forces 15 years ago. For what reason? Saddam claimed they were a part of his country and therefore he had every right to kill and rape their people. As well as burn their villages and wells. When you had the world's 4th largest military force, you could steamroll neighbors of your choice for whatever reason. Like to pay back debts from a long war against another neighbor called Iran.

Johnny Footstool
08-31-2005, 06:12 PM
I frankly do not care what people think who listen to and believe everything that some nutty cleric says. I frankly do not care what people think who believe Osama bin Laden is a great man.

You *should* care what those people think, because they're the ones flying planes into buildings and blowing up subways.

registerthis
08-31-2005, 06:25 PM
You *should* care what those people think, because they're the ones flying planes into buildings and blowing up subways.Sadly, it's that type of thinking that allows the U.S. to behave the way that it does.

It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the way others operate. There are significant numbers of people for whom the word of the clerics is of utmost reverance. Because of that, we absolutely SHOULD care what the "nutty clerics" think because they are the ones dictating policy in that region.

dsmith421
08-31-2005, 06:29 PM
I frankly do not care what people think who listen to and believe everything that some nutty cleric says.

One of George W. Bush's spiritual advisors is Pat Robertson. They apparently converse regularly. Do you listen to George W. Bush?

Rojo
08-31-2005, 07:17 PM
There opinions are slanted.... all of them.

Had to pull this chestnut out of the fire.

RedsBaron
08-31-2005, 08:50 PM
One of George W. Bush's spiritual advisors is Pat Robertson. They apparently converse regularly. Do you listen to George W. Bush?
Source please. I have never read that Robertson is a spirtual adviser to Bush.

traderumor
08-31-2005, 09:09 PM
Sadly, it's that type of thinking that allows the U.S. to behave the way that it does.

It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the way others operate. There are significant numbers of people for whom the word of the clerics is of utmost reverance. Because of that, we absolutely SHOULD care what the "nutty clerics" think because they are the ones dictating policy in that region.That's letting the inmates run the asylum.

RedFanAlways1966
08-31-2005, 09:28 PM
Sadly, it's that type of thinking that allows the U.S. to behave the way that it does.

It shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the way others operate. There are significant numbers of people for whom the word of the clerics is of utmost reverance. Because of that, we absolutely SHOULD care what the "nutty clerics" think because they are the ones dictating policy in that region.

Yep... you are right. I do not understand people who want you, me and our families dead. People who strap their followers with bombs and make false promises. People who give their kids guns and instruct them to kill in the name of Allah.

Do not be coy. There are many good clerics who get the utmost respect from the U.S.. You think we should understand the ones who teach to kill Americans. People who kill their own. Amazing.

Saddam? UN sanctions violated and ignored. Mass murderer of his own people. Not a good friend to anyone (Kuwait? Iran? Israel?). Do these insurgents fight for Saddam? You tell me. Why does Osama hate us? Because we had the nerve to put our troops in Saudi Arabia (at their inviting) to drive Saddam's murderers out of Kuwait. I am supposed understand that? No, I do not. I do not understand those who hijack planes and fly them into buildings. I do not understand why Saddam is not a threat to many people.

So who are these nutty clerics that you mean? It scares me to think Americans think these extreme Islamics (those we fight) are just misunderstood. Amazing. Astonishing. Scary.

RedFanAlways1966
08-31-2005, 09:37 PM
Had to pull this chestnut out of the fire.

Nice one-liner. Do not bother to discuss the issue. Take one statement and twist and turn as you will. Read the rest of the paragraph that precedes it (novel concept). This is a tactic that Michael Moore likes to employ. Context. I'd guess that you are an avid supporter of Mr. Moore.

Do you have an opinion on the murders of Shiites & Kurds? Do you care about their opinion? Are their opnions less important than insurgent-types (extreme Islamics... most who are not Iraqi)?

paintmered
08-31-2005, 09:39 PM
Nice one-liner. Do not bother to discuss the issue. Take one statement and twist and turn as you will. Read the whole rest of the paragraph that precedes it (novel concept). This is a tactic that Michael Moore likes to employ. Context. I'd guess that you are an avid supporter of Mr. Moore.

Do you have an opinion on the murders of Shiites & Kurds? Do you care about their opinion? Are their opnions less important than insurgent-types (extreme Islamics... most who are not Iraqi)?

The first paragraph could have been just as effective in a PM. That way, I wouldn't have to read it and have to ask you to take a deep breath before you type yourself onto thin ice.

I could have done without Rojo's comment too.

RedFanAlways1966
08-31-2005, 09:42 PM
No problem. I will step-aside. :)

dsmith421
08-31-2005, 11:54 PM
Source please. I have never read that Robertson is a spirtual adviser to Bush.

I recall seeing on MSNBC that they spoke regularly during the campaign, including one famous line about Bush predicting no casualties in Iraq. It was in the Washington Post, I'm sure you can find it easily. (Edit: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49088-2004Oct20.html) The point of the comment was more tongue in cheek than anything.

The larger point was, we've got our share of "nutty clerics" and there are a lot of people in this country who listen to them. Let's not pretend this is a problem restricted to Muslims.

GAC
09-01-2005, 12:04 AM
Isn't that S. America and Caribbean we see today the result of European imperialism?

Our nation was formed/founded on Imperialism.

Most of of this world was formed on imperialism.

dsmith421
09-01-2005, 12:05 AM
That's letting the inmates run the asylum.

Nobody's saying we should believe them or legitimize them, but understanding their ideology and motives is a crucial (and I would argue essential) element in defeating them.

Know thy enemy.

Johnny Footstool
09-01-2005, 12:23 AM
Our nation was formed/founded on Imperialism.


Our nation was founded on a rejection of British imperialism. Then we went out and started creating an empire of our own. I thought our culture had matured to the point where we don't do that anymore. We certainly preach against tyranny and "those who hate freedom" enough.

Rojo
09-01-2005, 01:33 AM
Do you have an opinion on the murders of Shiites & Kurds? Do you care about their opinion? Are their opnions less important than insurgent-types (extreme Islamics... most who are not Iraqi)?

My point is that all opinions are slanted. You seem to think only the ones with which you disagree are.

Mutaman
09-01-2005, 01:43 AM
One difference between FDR and George Bush is that FDR's kids fought in the war.

RedsBaron
09-01-2005, 07:57 AM
One difference between FDR and George Bush is that FDR's kids fought in the war.
If Jenna was sent to Iraq I assume that Red Leader would quickly volunteer for service. ;)

Jaycint
09-01-2005, 08:21 AM
If Jenna was sent to Iraq I assume that Red Leader would quickly volunteer for service. ;)

If they send her sis count me in. :thumbup:

registerthis
09-01-2005, 11:06 AM
Nobody's saying we should believe them or legitimize them, but understanding their ideology and motives is a crucial (and I would argue essential) element in defeating them.

Know thy enemy.
http://www.pitchforkmedia.com/record-reviews/images/m/manic-street-preachers/know-your-enemy.gif

M2
09-01-2005, 11:06 AM
That's letting the inmates run the asylum.

And we made the choice to put those inmates in charge of the Iraqi asylum. When we removed Saddam Hussein from power we created a power vacuum and the only people in the country with power and constituency were clerics. Since the majority of Iraqis are shi'ite, those are the clerics wielding the most power (through political puppets). It just so happens that they're virulently anti-American and pro-Iranian.

Anyway, if the U.S. wants to salvage a secular democracy out of this mess, it's time to chop Iraq into three pieces. You'd get a friendly Kurdish democracy in the north. They'd probably even let the U.S. establish a military base there. You might even get a secular government out of the sunni middle. That way you limit the scope of the danger posed by the real threat in the south.

M2
09-01-2005, 11:07 AM
Nobody's saying we should believe them or legitimize them, but understanding their ideology and motives is a crucial (and I would argue essential) element in defeating them.

Know thy enemy.

Bingo.

registerthis
09-01-2005, 11:14 AM
Yep... you are right. I do not understand people who want you, me and our families dead. People who strap their followers with bombs and make false promises. People who give their kids guns and instruct them to kill in the name of Allah.And people wonder why our policies in the Middle east are so skewed. RFA1966 just provided a perfect summary.

Let's start with a fundamental question here, buddy: Why? WHY are they willing to kill themselves for their cause? What drives them to do it?

Perhaps they are brainwashed by radical fundamentalists, perhaps they are desperate, perhaps they are sick of seeing the U.S. prop up and support corrupt regimes that maintain impoverished conditions and suppress human rights. We won't know until we ask the question.

Then, we ask, is there anything we can do which could mitigate these feelings? I'm not talking about capitulation to the terrorists--obviously that shouldn't happen. But if tens of thousands of Arabs are taking to the streets to protest American involvement in their region, well, obviously they AREN'T all terrorists and their message SHOULD be listened to.

It's the easy way--the Bush way--to sit back and dismiss them as "haters of freedom" and "haters of America". Whatever--it barely scratches the surface. And until we come to the realization that we'll never win the "war on terrorism" until we discover what, exactly, we're fighting against. It's a battle of ideaologies, not guns. The sooner we figure that out, the better off we'll be.

RedFanAlways1966
09-01-2005, 11:32 AM
Sorry, registerthis, but your opinions are so far out there that I will cease to argue this point with you. You want to negotiate and understand suicide murderers and those who instruct them?

Yep, I misunderstand them. And I misunderstand you.

registerthis
09-01-2005, 11:43 AM
Sorry, registerthis, but your opinions are so far out there that I will cease to argue this point with you. You want to negotiate and understand suicide murderers and those who instruct them?

Yep, I misunderstand them. And I misunderstand you. That's a very nice way to avoid having to discuss the issue--express shock at the opinion presented and claim that it's too far out there to even argue.

Just crawl back into your hole and pretend that all of the anti-Americanism rampant in the Middle east is a result of a bunch of people who just hate freedom and hate America. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and picture all of them as crazy, intolerant and lacking any motivation other than their own (unwarranted) hatred of our values.

Hopefully, there are people in positions of power who can rise above this juvenile line of thinking. I've stated it a thousand times, and I'll state it again: we will never defeat an enemy we don't understand. It's why we lost Vietnam, it's why we lost in Somalia, and it's why this so-called War on Terror has been nothing more than a waste of money and a waste of life, complete with plenty of empty platitutdes spouted by people in the Administration.

But if it let's you sleep at night, go on believing that their hatred is baseless and worth ignoring. That doesn't make me feel better though, because it's a lie.

registerthis
09-01-2005, 11:46 AM
Our National Dialogue on Terrorism:


Why do they hate us?

They hate us because they are evil.

That’s it, huh? That’s the entire story?

Yes. They’re evil and they hate us because of our freedoms.

I know they’re evil. I was just thinking that maybe if we understood what specifically seemed to trigger the–

Why are you apologizing for the terrorists?

I’m not. They’re evil. You have no quarrel there. It’s just that maybe if we understoo–

Why are you on the terrorists’ side?

I’m not! I hate the terrorists. I was just saying that we might be able to prevent the next–

Three thousand Americans are dead. How can you defend al Qaeda?

Believe me, I was not defending them. What they did was horrific and inexcusable. They’re evil. I was just–

Then why are you apologizing for them?

I’m not. I’m trying to say that maybe there are lessons we can–

Why do you hate America?

traderumor
09-01-2005, 11:56 AM
Nobody's saying we should believe them or legitimize them, but understanding their ideology and motives is a crucial (and I would argue essential) element in defeating them.

Know thy enemy.I don't think you have followed where the line of reasoning has gotten us to this point. Johnny was advancing the idea that the perception of the US as imperialist with respect to Iraq was of major importance. Reg was dovetailing from that idea, saying that this perception needs to be accomodated in forming our policy in the Middle East. I say that you are letting these thugs, hiding behind their religion to gain power, dictate how you form your policy if you are overly concerned with their perception of the US. I also submit that is a losing battle because they have been indoctrinated to hate the US and their perception is not formed by current actions. Perhaps the US should hire an ad agency and do a big image changing campaign to improve our perception with these people since that seems to be what is of utmost importance.

traderumor
09-01-2005, 12:00 PM
That's a very nice way to avoid having to discuss the issue--express shock at the opinion presented and claim that it's too far out there to even argue.

Just crawl back into your hole and pretend that all of the anti-Americanism rampant in the Middle east is a result of a bunch of people who just hate freedom and hate America. If it makes you feel better, go ahead and picture all of them as crazy, intolerant and lacking any motivation other than their own (unwarranted) hatred of our values.

Hopefully, there are people in positions of power who can rise above this juvenile line of thinking. I've stated it a thousand times, and I'll state it again: we will never defeat an enemy we don't understand. It's why we lost Vietnam, it's why we lost in Somalia, and it's why this so-called War on Terror has been nothing more than a waste of money and a waste of life, complete with plenty of empty platitutdes spouted by people in the Administration.

But if it let's you sleep at night, go on believing that their hatred is baseless and worth ignoring. That doesn't make me feel better though, because it's a lie.So, say we have a list of reasons why we are considered the enemy by the jihaders. Then what?

westofyou
09-01-2005, 12:00 PM
I say that you are letting these thugs, hiding behind their religion to gain power, dictate how you form your policy
Hmmmm... I've heard that tune somewhere.

RedFanAlways1966
09-01-2005, 12:21 PM
But if it let's you sleep at night, go on believing that their hatred is baseless and worth ignoring. That doesn't make me feel better though, because it's a lie.

Perhaps you'd sleep netter at night if you moved in with these people who you seem to understand. Learn suicide bombing techniques, teach kids how to shoot AK-47s, how to plant roadside bombs and how to blow up their own people. So glad you understand this way of thinking.

Dont' let the red, white & blue door hit ya in the buttocks on the way out. That is something I understand. And do not expect apologies for loving my country and despising and wishing death upon people who UNDERSTAND one thing... killing all of those who do not believe in their religion (oh, religion... do we dare discuss religion with our "religious experts" on the board?). Your true understanding is Bush bad, anything to put Bush down good. You'll never admit it. Just by defending the insurgents shows that.

Have a nice day, insurgent understander.

registerthis
09-01-2005, 12:24 PM
So, say we have a list of reasons why we are considered the enemy by the jihaders. Then what?Well, you can discount the militant jihadists who simply want to establish an Islamic state throughtout the world--obviously that is not a goal worth pursuing and shouldn't be seriously considered.

However, suppose you come to understand that the vast majority of people in the Middle East--not the findamentalist jihadists, but the people who harbor anti-American attitudes or resentment for various reasons--resent us primarily for our foreign policy in the region. Suppose they view the current regimes running their countries as corrupt and oppressive, and they view the U.S. as helping to support these regimes. Would it not, then, make sense to re-evaluate our foreign policy in that region? Would it not make sense to reconsider how we view and deal with that area of the world, to make our presence and our actions less inflammatory to the population?

The ultimate goal is to deprive individuals in that region for having a reason to turn to fundamentalist terrorism. People who are well-off--people with ample opportunities for education, people with a sustainable, diverse economy, people with a free and relatively open government--aren't likely to feel compelled to strap on a bomb and blow up a subway. Changing our perceptions of that region and it speople are fundamental in "winning" this war. Mindlessly believing that they simply hate our freedoms and values, and can somehow be bombed into submission, will not yield a positive result.

registerthis
09-01-2005, 12:30 PM
Perhaps you'd sleep netter at night if you moved in with these people who you seem to understand. Learn suicide bombing techniques, teach kids how to shoot AK-47s, how to plant roadside bombs and how to blow up their own people. So glad you understand this way of thinking.

Dont' let the red, white & blue door hit ya in the buttocks on the way out. That is something I understand. And do not expect apologies for loving my country and despising and wishing death upon people who UNDERSTAND one thing... killing all of those who do not believe in their religion (oh, religion... do we dare discuss religion with our "religious experts" on the board?). Your true understanding is Bush bad, anything to put Bush down good. You'll never admit it. Just by defending the insurgents shows that.

Have a nice day, insurgent understander.Much like the thread on Bush's guard service, you have nothing of substance to add to the conversation. I've laid out a very reasonable stance on this issue, you simply choose to ignore and respond with--well, I'm not even sure how I would qualify this.

I read things like this and simply shake my head, lest I forget the reason why we're in the mess we're in. I suppose I should at least thank you for reminding me.

Johnny Footstool
09-01-2005, 12:33 PM
Perhaps the US should hire an ad agency and do a big image changing campaign to improve our perception with these people since that seems to be what is of utmost importance.

Well, going in with guns a-blazin' sure isn't getting the job done.

If our ultimate goal is to create democracy, we aren't going to get it done with bombs and bullets. We need to show them that democracy is a better alternative to military totalitarianism.


Have a nice day, insurgent understander.

See if you can understand this:

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

Sun Tzu, The Art of War

traderumor
09-01-2005, 12:37 PM
Well, you can discount the militant jihadists who simply want to establish an Islamic state throughtout the world--obviously that is not a goal worth pursuing and shouldn't be seriously considered.

However, suppose you come to understand that the vast majority of people in the Middle East--not the findamentalist jihadists, but the people who harbor anti-American attitudes or resentment for various reasons--resent us primarily for our foreign policy in the region. Suppose they view the current regimes running their countries as corrupt and oppressive, and they view the U.S. as helping to support these regimes. Would it not, then, make sense to re-evaluate our foreign policy in that region? Would it not make sense to reconsider how we view and deal with that area of the world, to make our presence and our actions less inflammatory to the population?

The ultimate goal is to deprive individuals in that region for having a reason to turn to fundamentalist terrorism. People who are well-off--people with ample opportunities for education, people with a sustainable, diverse economy, people with a free and relatively open government--aren't likely to feel compelled to strap on a bomb and blow up a subway. Changing our perceptions of that region and it speople are fundamental in "winning" this war. Mindlessly believing that they simply hate our freedoms and values, and can somehow be bombed into submission, will not yield a positive result.In essence, it seems that you are saying the US gov't is responsible for terrorists choosing that line of work. If they simply liked us, they wouldn't be terrorists. Is that your proposed solution? And I'm being told "know thy enemy?"

Also, you never submitted how perceptions could be changed, even though I think that is folly. Better marketing is not the answer to peace with our neighbors. That "better image in the world" didn't fly too well in the Kerry campaign, either.

Johnny Footstool
09-01-2005, 12:38 PM
Also, you never submitted how perceptions could be changed, even though I think that is folly. Better marketing is not the answer to peace with our neighbors.

Kill 'em all; let God sort it out.

traderumor
09-01-2005, 12:41 PM
Kill 'em all; let God sort it out.I'm just asking for the complainers to offer solutions. Otherwise, it's just complaining.

traderumor
09-01-2005, 12:58 PM
Well, going in with guns a-blazin' sure isn't getting the job done.

If our ultimate goal is to create democracy, we aren't going to get it done with bombs and bullets. We need to show them that democracy is a better alternative to military totalitarianism.



See if you can understand this:

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle."

Sun Tzu, The Art of WarWith all due respect, you are not talking about knowing the enemy, you are talking about improving the US' image to reduce terrorism. I would imagine that would involve the "increased diplomacy" policy, whatever that means. Again, I think America voted on what they thought of that idea and kept that idea in the Senate rather than in the White House.

Also, how do you propose that we "show them that democracy is a better alternative to military totalitarianism" when the military totaliarianist was entrenched?

pedro
09-01-2005, 01:06 PM
Sorry, registerthis, but your opinions are so far out there that I will cease to argue this point with you. You want to negotiate and understand suicide murderers and those who instruct them?



You couldn't be more wrong.

Never has registerthis said he wants the US to negotiate with terrorists. All he is suggesting, rightly so IMO, is that the terrorist movements are often offspring off ill feelings for the US based on the policies of the US in the middle east, and that perhaps it might be more advantageous for the US to change some of those policies as a method of keeping arabs from getting so pissed off at us. I honestly don't know why that is so hard for you to understand. I guess it's just easier to say "they hate us because we're free".

registerthis
09-01-2005, 01:12 PM
You couldn't be more wrong.

Never has registerthis said he wants the US to negotiate with terrorists. All he is suggesting, rightly so IMO, is that the terrorist movements are often offspring off ill feelings for the US based on the policies of the US in the middle east, and that perhaps it might be more advantageous for the US to change some of those policies as a method of keeping arabs from getting so pissed off at us. I honestly don't know why that is so hard for you to understand. I guess it's just easier to say "they hate us because we're free".That is EXACTLY what I'm saying, thank you.

Falls City Beer
09-01-2005, 01:18 PM
I'm just asking for the complainers to offer solutions. Otherwise, it's just complaining.

The Clinton policy: containment. It worked. It kept Saddam castrated and WMD-free.

Next.

Oh wait, you wanted to talk about terrorism. Oh I thought you were talking about Iraq (they're different).

Terrorism: beef up recruitment of Arabic-speaking manpower in the U.S. Intelligence community. Raise taxes to do so. Increase manpower in our ports, roads, nuclear facilities. Put the screws to Israel, snap their wrists if they don't take down their wall.

Invest in the Middle East--try our damnedest to grow free markets in the region, not monopolies and backdoor deals. Work to create a middle class in the Middle East, and improve education in order to change the thinking of those made subservient and close-minded by religion. I could go on....

See, the left has all kinds of ideas. America wanted no part of the solution, so they voted for Bush. Oops. It isn't the first time Americans have screwed up. It won't be the last.

Johnny Footstool
09-01-2005, 01:21 PM
With all due respect, you are not talking about knowing the enemy, you are talking about improving the US' image to reduce terrorism.

I was addressing two different arguments in that particular post. One was the so-called "image" issue, and the other was RFA66's dismissal of the concept of "understanding your enemy." Sorry, I should have split them up into two separate posts.


I would imagine that would involve the "increased diplomacy" policy, whatever that means. Again, I think America voted on what they thought of that idea and kept that idea in the Senate rather than in the White House.

Just because 51% of the people in this country voted for Bush nearly two years ago, you can't assume they are opposed to diplomacy. Especially now, as the war continues to drag on with no end in sight.

registerthis
09-01-2005, 01:23 PM
In essence, it seems that you are saying the US gov't is responsible for terrorists choosing that line of work. If they simply liked us, they wouldn't be terrorists. Is that your proposed solution? And I'm being told "know thy enemy?"The U.S. government DOES bear some responsiblity, yes. They don't hand the guns and bombs to the terrorists (well, Reagan did, but that's another story), but they DO contribute to an ongoing situation that finds people in increasing anger and desperation. I NEVER said that the people in the Middle East need to like us--I don't care much personally one way or the other. What I did say (go re-read my post if this isn't clear enough) is that we need to lessen the factors that drive people to extremism in the first place--poverty, lack of education, lack of human rights, etc. The jihadist recruiter would have substantially less success getting new recruits for his organization if the potential recruits don't have a reason to join.


Also, you never submitted how perceptions could be changed, even though I think that is folly. Better marketing is not the answer to peace with our neighbors. That "better image in the world" didn't fly too well in the Kerry campaign, either.Again, you're just ignoring my post and arguing something completely out in left field. I did indeed offer solutions...although I am not a diplomat or a foreign policy analyst, so I can't offer SPECIFIC actionable items. I did say that we could put an end to our support of corrupt regimes, we could focus more on pushing for human rights from the governments of Middle Eastern nations, we could spearhead efforts to invest in infrastructure beyond the oil market, we could work closely with Middle Eastern organizatios and governments to improve education and overall quality of life for the people there. We could do all of those things, and all of those things would go a long way towards lessening the threat of terrorism.

You may think it's folly, but you're simply burrowing your head in the sand if you think they just hate our freedoms and should be bombed into submission. But I guess we're just going to have to keep learning the hard way. :(

Falls City Beer
09-01-2005, 01:27 PM
The U.S. government DOES bear some responsiblity, yes. They don't hand the guns and bombs to the terrorists (well, Reagan did, but that's another story), but they DO contribute to an ongoing situation that finds people in increasing anger and desperation. I NEVER said that the people in the Middle East need to like us--I don't care much personally one way or the other. What I did say (go re-read my post if this isn't clear enough) is that we need to lessen the factors that drive people to extremism in the first place--poverty, lack of education, lack of human rights, etc. The jihadist recruiter would have substantially less success getting new recruits for his organization if the potential recruits don't have a reason to join.

Again, you're just ignoring my post and arguing something completely out in left field. I did indeed offer solutions...although I am not a diplomat or a foreign policy analyst, so I can't offer SPECIFIC actionable items. I did say that we could put an end to our support of corrupt regimes, we could focus more on pushing for human rights from the governments of Middle Eastern nations, we could spearhead efforts to invest in infrastructure beyond the oil market, we could work closely with Middle Eastern organizatios and governments to improve education and overall quality of life for the people there. We could do all of those things, and all of those things would go a long way towards lessening the threat of terrorism.

You may think it's folly, but you're simply burrowing your head in the sand if you think they just hate our freedoms and should be bombed into submission. But I guess we're just going to have to keep learning the hard way. :(

I would only add that traderumor's consistent argument ad populum--"hey, America voted for Bush, that MUST make his position right"--neglects the fact that only 40-45% of Americans support what Bush is doing. So, I'm saying, if we're going to play the fallacious argument game, let's go whole hog. ;)

GAC
09-01-2005, 01:28 PM
Our nation was founded on a rejection of British imperialism.

Sure. But British imperialism is what got us to these shores to begin with. It's also how the French and Spanish moved into this hemisphere.


Then we went out and started creating an empire of our own.


I thought our culture had matured to the point where we don't do that anymore. We certainly preach against tyranny and "those who hate freedom" enough.

I'm assuming you are referring to the expansion of these United States westward into the North American continent? Because I really don't see the US practicing a policy of extending it's authority by territorial acquisition (via war), like say a Germany, Russia, China, and yes, even Great Britain and others have done when they invaded/defeated those countries/regions.

One could sight examples of American imperialism (I guess), such as Spain ceding us the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam to the United States in 1898, while also relinquishing all claim of sovereignty over Cuba. But what is the situation of these countries now?

When we had possession of these territories, did we exercise tryranny and suppression of freedom over them?

Did we occupy and stay in Germany and Japan? How about Korea or Viet Nam? Who sacrificed tens of thousands of lives to fight back impreialism in the 20th century in WW1 and WW2? Did we, after defeating these nations, not invest heavily into re-building their countries, re-establish diplomatic relations/ties, and allow them to re-establish their own sovereignity as a nation? Have then been subjected to us economically?

If you're trying to imply that the Iraq war is nothing more then tyrannical American imperialism (not sure what you're saying), then I wholeheartedly disagree with that assessment.

pedro
09-01-2005, 01:29 PM
Just because 51% of the people in this country voted for Bush nearly two years ago, you can't assume they are opposed to diplomacy. Especially now, as the war continues to drag on with no end in sight.

Johnny, I hate to remind you because I know it seems this latest Bush nightmare has been going on forever, but the last election was 11 months ago.

Rojo
09-01-2005, 01:32 PM
Perhaps you'd sleep netter at night if you moved in with these people who you seem to understand. Learn suicide bombing techniques, teach kids how to shoot AK-47s, how to plant roadside bombs and how to blow up their own people. So glad you understand this way of thinking.

Dont' let the red, white & blue door hit ya in the buttocks on the way out. That is something I understand. And do not expect apologies for loving my country and despising and wishing death upon people who UNDERSTAND one thing... killing all of those who do not believe in their religion (oh, religion... do we dare discuss religion with our "religious experts" on the board?). Your true understanding is Bush bad, anything to put Bush down good. You'll never admit it. Just by defending the insurgents shows that.

Have a nice day, insurgent understander.

All that (ahem) stuff aside. Your way isn't working. Sorry to break it to you kiddo.

traderumor
09-01-2005, 01:42 PM
The U.S. government DOES bear some responsiblity, yes. They don't hand the guns and bombs to the terrorists (well, Reagan did, but that's another story), but they DO contribute to an ongoing situation that finds people in increasing anger and desperation. I NEVER said that the people in the Middle East need to like us--I don't care much personally one way or the other. What I did say (go re-read my post if this isn't clear enough) is that we need to lessen the factors that drive people to extremism in the first place--poverty, lack of education, lack of human rights, etc. The jihadist recruiter would have substantially less success getting new recruits for his organization if the potential recruits don't have a reason to join.

Again, you're just ignoring my post and arguing something completely out in left field. I did indeed offer solutions...although I am not a diplomat or a foreign policy analyst, so I can't offer SPECIFIC actionable items. I did say that we could put an end to our support of corrupt regimes, we could focus more on pushing for human rights from the governments of Middle Eastern nations, we could spearhead efforts to invest in infrastructure beyond the oil market, we could work closely with Middle Eastern organizatios and governments to improve education and overall quality of life for the people there. We could do all of those things, and all of those things would go a long way towards lessening the threat of terrorism.

You may think it's folly, but you're simply burrowing your head in the sand if you think they just hate our freedoms and should be bombed into submission. But I guess we're just going to have to keep learning the hard way. :(Not once have I argued as simplistically as "they just hate our freedom," but then you seem to have a habit of presuming how one thinks based on their religious and political leanings, sort of like the press.

RedFanAlways1966
09-01-2005, 01:44 PM
Not once have I argued as simplistically as "they just hate our freedom," but then you seem to have a habit of presuming how one thinks based on their religious and political leanings, sort of like the press.

Amen, brother. :)

RedFanAlways1966
09-01-2005, 01:47 PM
All that (ahem) stuff aside. Your way isn't working. Sorry to break it to you kiddo.

You worry about your way. 2 failed elections, remember?

I assume (since you love to thrill us w/ 1-liners) that you mean we are losing to the Islamic extremists. We know that "your way" likes to give us the number of dead Americnas. Tell us the number of dead insurgents, kiddo. Please.... it should take no more than 1-line.

traderumor
09-01-2005, 01:50 PM
I would only add that traderumor's consistent argument ad populum--"hey, America voted for Bush, that MUST make his position right"--neglects the fact that only 40-45% of Americans support what Bush is doing. So, I'm saying, if we're going to play the fallacious argument game, let's go whole hog. ;)Sometimes I think you just like to use the word "fallacious" in a sentence.

The two methods to the madness of world politics was front and center when our last president was chosen. As is a part of the process, the "more diplomacy, give peace a chance" segment of our population was summarily defeated. Of course, I understand that does not necessarily extend to the way that every American thinks on the subject, but then acknowledging that wouldn't allow you to type "fallacious." And I sure wouldn't want to take your fun away.

registerthis
09-01-2005, 01:52 PM
Not once have I argued as simplistically as "they just hate our freedom," but then you seem to have a habit of presuming how one thinks based on their religious and political leanings, sort of like the press.Well, you have been awfully quiet on the "solutions" front, you've simply been throwing out the "well the U.S. spoke on what they thought of the diplomacy idea last fall." If you DON'T support the diplomacy effort, and you DO support the war (which I know that you do), then it's not a great inference to assume that you believe the same way that Bush does regarding the Middle East--that the terrorists are nothing but America-loathing freedo-haters who need no further study.

If that is not the case, I'm going to ask you to state your position on this issue. How do you view the current Mid-East situation? And what are your solutions to solve it?

registerthis
09-01-2005, 01:54 PM
You worry about your way. 2 failed elections, remember?

I assume (since you love to thrill us w/ 1-liners) that you mean we are losing to the Islamic extremists. We know that "your way" likes to give us the number of dead Americnas. Tell us the number of dead insurgents, kiddo. Please.... it should take no more than 1-line.So we're just comparing body counts?

Tell me, who lost the Vietnam war? And what was their body count compared to the victorious party?

if you count "victory" as merely there being more dead insurgents than Americans, you have a very bizarre concept of "victory".

Rojo
09-01-2005, 02:06 PM
I assume (since you love to thrill us w/ 1-liners) that you mean we are losing to the Islamic extremists.

Yes, that's what I mean. If the war was a cakewalk, do you think Israel would be pulling out of Gaza? Do you think that Iran would be beating its chest about nuclear weapons. And where's Osama? We're waaaay off course.

traderumor
09-01-2005, 02:20 PM
Well, you have been awfully quiet on the "solutions" front, you've simply been throwing out the "well the U.S. spoke on what they thought of the diplomacy idea last fall." If you DON'T support the diplomacy effort, and you DO support the war (which I know that you do), then it's not a great inference to assume that you believe the same way that Bush does regarding the Middle East--that the terrorists are nothing but America-loathing freedo-haters who need no further study.

If that is not the case, I'm going to ask you to state your position on this issue. How do you view the current Mid-East situation? And what are your solutions to solve it?First of all, I don't think Bush's concept of the enemy is as simplistic as you characterize it, either. However, the opposition in Iraq wants to rule tyranically. The aim of jihadist terrorism is tyranny. So, I am not distancing myself from that opinion, I'm simply saying that is not the only opinion that those who support the current direction in our dealings with the Middle East holds. I tire of the one dimensional thought process attributed to folks who are conservative both in their politics and their religion. Thinking people do arrive at conclusions other than those derived by the liberal mindset.

As for solutions, like you, I am by no means an expert on Middle Eastern politics. If I may stick to Iraq, I consider our presence there to still be a necessity, even if some of the assumptions that put us there in the first place indeed prove not to be valid. I still consider the removal of Sadaam Hussein a necessity. While it may be causing short term discomfort, I think the long-term effects will be beneficial, especially if we can get a legitimate government in place permanently. If we walk away now, or before a legitimate government representing the Iraqi people, and not any particular party, group , or faction, aren't we just inviting the same thing that happened in Afghanistan after the Soviets withdrew with their tanks between their legs?
How long do we stay? Until the above stated goal is accomplished.

GAC
09-01-2005, 02:21 PM
So - I am getting the impression that the reason that a segment of these people have turned to terrorism, and also the reason why so many within the Arab world/Middle East express anti-American sentiment (would like to see some hard numbers to back up that sentiment), is because we are propping up repressive regimes that, from an social economic standpoint, are driving their citizenry to these extremes/attitudes.

So therefore - We, the Americans, are the real culprits, the terrorists, the tyrannical imperialists.

I don't deny that the U.S., over the last century, has made some blunders, and formed some alliances with Middle Eastern regimes that have not proven beneficial, and have hurt us.

To me, it's being very short-sighted by simply say that it's America's fault, while not going back farther and deeper, and examining the effect the breakup of the Ottoman Empire had, and Great Britain's ill advised treaties, and poor planning/thinking which divided up the lands and set the boundaries that formed alot of the Middle east nations we see today.

This is, and has been a complex problem, that is not simply/solely the fault of American foreign policy.

Has being "friends" with the Shah of Iran, the Saudi royal family, and yes, even Saddam, came back to bite us? Sure.

But we didn't put these people in power. But due to the volatility of the Middle East and the world's dependence (not just the US) on it's oil, most countries (including the US) tried to make the best/most of those situations post WW2 without having to go in and militarily take them over. Every industrialized nation was looking the other way, and via diplomacy, trying to gain the upper hand with these Middle eastern nations over their resources.

Look what was happening with the Oil For Food Program! Initiated by the US and England to help alleviate some of the suffering caused by economic sanctions - what "allies" were violating it and helping prop up Saddam?

The fact is - this problem in the Middle East was looked the other way at, and allowed to explode for decades. The developing nations did what little they had to do - showed little involvement as possible - just enough to keep the oil flowing.

As I stated - I don't deny that the U.S., over the last century, has made some blunders, and formed some alliances with Middle Eastern regimes that have not proven beneficial, and have hurt us.

But even if we cut ties with the Saudis and any other Middle Eastern nation that we felt was oppressing human rights, it still wouldn't help the situation IMO. Because those regimes/leaders would only use it to turn it back on us. And also convince, and in a sense, unify their masses that it's those evil Americans and their foreign policy/sanctions (not them).

And #2 - there is that alliance with the Great Satan of Israel.

The fundamental cause of terrorism, the rise of these radical Islamic groups, and the anti-American sentiment they fuel, is not about the social-economic trials/oppression in these Middle Eastern lands - because it would still exist, and even to a greater degree if these terrorists took over (see Iran).

It's fueled and rooted in their warped religious philisophy that teaches if you're not Muslim, then you are an infidel - and Israel is the worst of them all.

So I guess if we really want to get on the good side of the Muslims, and these terrorists - NUKE Israel. And then, after Israel is gone, these terrorists/radical Islamic fundamentalists can move on to the next infidel on the list, and we can find some other way to appease them.

pedro
09-01-2005, 02:23 PM
GAC, we sure as hell put the Shah in power.

pedro
09-01-2005, 02:25 PM
The fundamental cause of terrorism, the rise of these radical Islamic groups, and the anti-American sentiment they fuel, is not about the social-economic trials/oppression in these Middle Eastern lands - because it would still exist, and even to a greater degree if these terrorists took over (see Iran).

It's fueled and rooted in their warped religious philisophy that teaches if you're not Muslim, then you are an infidel - and Israel is the worst of them all.

.

What you're failing to realize is that religious fundamentalism is is attractive to these people because of the social-economic trials/oppression in these Middle Eastern lands. IMO if they didn't feel oppressed they wouldn't be looking for solutions that included fundamentalism & terrorism.

RedFanAlways1966
09-01-2005, 02:30 PM
Yes, that's what I mean. If the war was a cakewalk, do you think Israel would be pulling out of Gaza? Do you think that Iran would be beating its chest about nuclear weapons. And where's Osama? We're waaaay off course.

Good lord. That is why I just have to step-aside sometimes. You cannot discuss these things w/ people who are blinded with loyalty to be anti-Bush.

You think Israel is bowing down to terrorists? You need to learn more anout the Israelis. Perhaps they are trying to keep the peace with Palestineans, not the Hamas group (way-way-way diff. than what you imply).

You think we are losing the war. Gee, is that why a constituiton is being hammered out. Sure there are some difficulties with getting it done, but it sure as hell is not a sign of a losing effort. And keep in mind that we are not fighting the Iraqi army (very important to remember). We are fighting a group who wants all infidels dead. Why? Because we will not bow down to their God. Because, according to Osama, we put our human feet on Saudi soil (b/c their royalty was csared that Saddm would steamroll them next partly). Now that is rationale and understandable.

Hate to break it to ya.... we are not losing. God Bless America.

Falls City Beer
09-01-2005, 02:41 PM
Sometimes I think you just like to use the word "fallacious" in a sentence.

The two methods to the madness of world politics was front and center when our last president was chosen. As is a part of the process, the "more diplomacy, give peace a chance" segment of our population was summarily defeated. Of course, I understand that does not necessarily extend to the way that every American thinks on the subject, but then acknowledging that wouldn't allow you to type "fallacious." And I sure wouldn't want to take your fun away.

Brilliant sidestep. Way to deal with my argument. Your argument is: Bush won, so he must be right. That's false reasoning. Bush winning has nothing to do with whether he was right or wrong. But you cravenly dismiss my contention about fallacies because you either don't understand them (and hey, I'm willing to teach anyone who wishes to come to the fold ;) ) or you do understand but have no counterargument. I'll take the latter.

Sham
09-01-2005, 02:44 PM
Hate to break it to ya.... we are not losing.

Wait, on 9/11/01 the US gets attacked by Osama, and on 9/1/05 he is still living.

That is losing, and every American should be upset about it.

No excuses, W, you dropped the ball.

traderumor
09-01-2005, 02:58 PM
Brilliant sidestep. Way to deal with my argument. Your argument is: Bush won, so he must be right. That's false reasoning. Bush winning has nothing to do with whether he was right or wrong. But you cravenly dismiss my contention about fallacies because you either don't understand them (and hey, I'm willing to teach anyone who wishes to come to the fold ;) ) or you do understand but have no counterargument. I'll take the latter.


The two methods to the madness of world politics was front and center when our last president was chosen. As is a part of the process, the "more diplomacy, give peace a chance" segment of our population was summarily defeated. Of course, I understand that does not necessarily extend to the way that every American thinks on the subject, but then acknowledging that wouldn't allow you to type "fallacious."Repeated for your convenience.

I also reviewed my other posts in this thread, and I fail to see where I said "Bush won, therefore he is right," either literally or implied. I stated that Kerry ran on the diplomacy plank, Bush ran on continued force with respect to Iraq, the people elected the war monger ;) . Does that not give an indication of the direction the people wanted our country to go with respect to that issue, regardless of what is the right course of action? By saying that, where does that reflect my personal opinion on the matter or make a statement about the proper course of action?

westofyou
09-01-2005, 03:23 PM
GAC, we sure as hell put the Shah in power.

Ferdinand Marcos.

Johnny Footstool
09-01-2005, 03:25 PM
Johnny, I hate to remind you because I know it seems this latest Bush nightmare has been going on forever, but the last election was 11 months ago.

You're right. My mistake.

ochre
09-01-2005, 03:30 PM
Seriously. I posted a link to Operation Ajax a couple of pages back. If you want to understand the foundational reasons for anti-American attitudes in the Middle East start there. Prior to that America was viewed largely well within the region. The blind support of Isreal through the years has contributed, but the intervention of the CIA to reestablish the Shah as an effort to protect western oil interests (the oil industry was nationalized by those that overthrew the Shah) is really what started it all. Up until then it was the old school colonizers that were despised, not the US.

As a condition of restoring the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company the U.S. was able to dictate that the AIOC's oil monopoly should lapse. Five major U.S. oil companies, plus Royal Dutch Shell and French Compagnie Française des Pétroles were given licences to operate in the country alongside AIOC.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_ajax

ochre
09-01-2005, 03:35 PM
Everything I have read about Bush indicates he operates largely on gut feelings. I haven't seen many of those hunches pan out, including going back to his business career.

The only realistic explanation I have seen that seemed to explain the pathological desire to 'get' Hussein was the revenge for trying to kill his Daddy line.

registerthis
09-01-2005, 03:53 PM
Good lord. That is why I just have to step-aside sometimes. You cannot discuss these things w/ people who are blinded with loyalty to be anti-Bush. Surely you're joking. The only people exhibitng blind loyalty here are those who offer their unwavering defense of Bush, no matter how wrong or misguided his policies may be.


You think Israel is bowing down to terrorists? You need to learn more anout the Israelis. Perhaps they are trying to keep the peace with Palestineans, not the Hamas group (way-way-way diff. than what you imply). Israel faces a very stark reality: they are losing, with increasing speed, the population race with the Palestinian Arabs. They're faced with a decision--continue to operate as they are now, and face an increasing burden to maintain a seperation between themselves and the Palestinians (and all the while push more and more closely towards a segregated apartheid state), or craft a responsible two-state solution whereby both parties are granted autonomy with the expressed Right to Exist. Israel's dismantling of the settlements, no matter how they may spin it, is a concession to the Palestinians that it is more difficult and costly for Israel to retain control of those terrotories than to simply abandon them and consolidate to a smaller area. It is, most likely, the first in what will be a number of similar steps in the coming years. Sharon, no doubt, understands this, and is balanced between a precarious position whereby he must pacify the more fundamentalist Jews in Israel with the reality that Israel is currently facing.


You think we are losing the war. Gee, is that why a constituiton is being hammered out. Sure there are some difficulties with getting it done, but it sure as hell is not a sign of a losing effort.Well, let's look at this Constitution...in fact, I'll do you one better--let's look a nation that already drafted a Constitution and is supposedly operating independently: Afghanistan. How do you think things are in Afghanistan? Well, in Kabul, they're relatively stable, all things considered. Outside of Kabul, eh, not so much. To say that the Karzai government "controls" Afghanistan is a tremendous misstatement. Afghanistan remains bitterly divided along tribal lines and is still largely run by warlords who, when they're not fighting each other, operate corrupt provincial governments that ensure that economic prosperity and fundamental rights remain a dream for many Afghanis.

Now, over to Iraq, where the situation is actually bleaker: There is NO part of the country, even Baghdad, that can claim to be under secure control of the interim government (I'm ignoring the Kurdish area, since they are functioning fairly well, though for entirely different reasons.) Just two days ago, the fear of an impending suicide attack led over 900 Iraqis to be killed in a vicious stampede. The Shiites and Sunnis are threatening war with each other over the Constitution, the insurgency shows no signs whatsoever of letting up, and Bush hasn't even come close to formulating a workable exit strategy from a Iraq. Sure, we may have toppled Saddam's government within a matter of days, but that was the easy part. Our gross miscalculation of the cost and efforts it woul dtake to rebuild the country's infrastructure and establish a functioning government which could provide security and stability has resulted in the deaths of untold thousands of Americans, Iraqis, and other coalition troops. By no accounts can this be considered 'victory".



And keep in mind that we are not fighting the Iraqi army (very important to remember). We are fighting a group who wants all infidels dead. Why? Because we will not bow down to their God. Because, according to Osama, we put our human feet on Saudi soil (b/c their royalty was csared that Saddm would steamroll them next partly). Now that is rationale and understandable. This shows the lack of even a basic understanding of the insurgency. You honestly believe the insurgency is comprised of people who want us to "bow down to their God"? It's almost laughable, and would be, were it not for the fact that this type of htinking is what got us embroiled int his mess to begin with. Here is some reading material, if you're interested, discussing what comprises the Iraqi insurgency:

From the Council on Foreign Relations (http://www.cfr.org/publication.html?id=8117)

USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2005-01-23-insurgency-lessons-gns_x.htm)

CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/10/22/iraq.main/)

Jaycint
09-01-2005, 04:12 PM
Israel faces a very stark reality: they are losing, with increasing speed, the population race with the Palestinian Arabs. They're faced with a decision--continue to operate as they are now, and face an increasing burden to maintain a seperation between themselves and the Palestinians (and all the while push more and more closely towards a segregated apartheid state), or craft a responsible two-state solution whereby both parties are granted autonomy with the expressed Right to Exist. Israel's dismantling of the settlements, no matter how they may spin it, is a concession to the Palestinians that it is more difficult and costly for Israel to retain control of those terrotories than to simply abandon them and consolidate to a smaller area. It is, most likely, the first in what will be a number of similar steps in the coming years. Sharon, no doubt, understands this, and is balanced between a precarious position whereby he must pacify the more fundamentalist Jews in Israel with the reality that Israel is currently facing.

Reg, I agree with you for the most part here, the problem is there are plenty on the Palestinian side who will never accept Israel's "Right to Exist". Many have stated that regardless of the concessions Israel makes they will continue to fight until the Israelis are eradicated period. They don't want to co-exist, they want to kill Jews.

I think the Israelis have shown great patience in the last 10 years or so where the Arab/Palestinian issue is concerned. Let's not act like they couldn't have pulled a 1967 style a$$ whipping if they wanted to.

I think they simply want some level of peace, whether it's called a concession or something else is really immaterial if the end result is the same. To not have to worry about your son or daughter or grandmother or father getting blown to pieces when they get on the bus to go to work in the morning is well worth it regardless of how it is viewed.

traderumor
09-01-2005, 04:15 PM
Reading through the info from the Council on Foreign Relations, what strikes me is that, regardless of one's opinion on the invasion, I do not see where leaving anytime soon is an option, if one is concerned with the long-term effects and not just the here-and-now. The insurgents understand collectively that first the US must leave before there are any hopes of the factions taking control. If that were accomplished, it looks like civil war would start immediately. You would have to figure that neighboring countries would fund whatever side benefits them the most. Exit Strategy? Winning? I would say those issues are far ahead and will probably drag out to become an issue in the next presidential election. I just don't see how we can pull out any time soon in good conscience.

I guess the burning question ought to be in everyone's mind on either side of the aisle at this point seems to be
1) what is accomplished if we outlast the efforts of the insurgents?
2) is that goal worth the cost?

ochre
09-01-2005, 04:23 PM
Reg, I agree with you for the most part here, the problem is there are plenty on the Palestinian side who will never accept Israel's "Right to Exist". Many have stated that regardless of the concessions Israel makes they will continue to fight until the Israelis are eradicated period. They don't want to co-exist, they want to kill Jews.

I think the Israelis have shown great patience in the last 10 years or so where the Arab/Palestinian issue is concerned. Let's not act like they couldn't have pulled a 1967 style a$$ whipping if they wanted to.

I think they simply want some level of peace, whether it's called a concession or something else is really immaterial if the end result is the same. To not have to worry about your son or daughter or grandmother or father getting blown to pieces when they get on the bus to go to work in the morning is well worth it regardless of how it is viewed.
I know its a loose, sloppy analogy, but in trying to understand the Palestinian perspective I have considered how modern Americans would react if the land treaties (which weren't even valid internationally recognizable agreements to begin with) with the indigenous peoples of this region were reimposed by the UN. I think there would be plenty of people that only wanted to eradicate the 'Indians' after they were forced off the properties their families had maintained for 100's of years. Ask the residents of Maine how they feel about the recently recovered treaty deeding half of their state to the 'Indians' (its only signed by George Washington).

Its nice to mention the whole 1967 fiasco, but in fact the more recent Yom Kippur encounter was much less one sided. They can't afford another war with their neighbors. What patience have they shown exactly, by the way? Illegally settling territories that don't belong to them? Attempting to blow up the Dome of the Rock in 2002? Of course that was attempted by Jewish extremists, so it shouldn't count, right?

registerthis
09-01-2005, 04:24 PM
Reading through the info from the Council on Foreign Relations, what strikes me is that, regardless of one's opinion on the invasion, I do not see where leaving anytime soon is an option, if one is concerned with the long-term effects and not just the here-and-now. The insurgents understand collectively that first the US must leave before there are any hopes of the factions taking control. If that were accomplished, it looks like civil war would start immediately. You would have to figure that neighboring countries would fund whatever side benefits them the most. Exit Strategy? Winning? I would say those issues are far ahead and will probably drag out to become an issue in the next presidential election. I just don't see how we can pull out any time soon in good conscience.

I guess the burning question ought to be in everyone's mind on either side of the aisle at this point seems to be
1) what is accomplished if we outlast the efforts of the insurgents?
2) is that goal worth the cost?These are good points, TR, and you're asking the right questions. Honestly, I don't know the answer. That's why I think the Administration's immediate goal should be formulating an exit strategy. By 'exit strategy" I don't mean simply leaving as soon as possible, I mean a strategy that gets us out of Iraq in the qucikest possible time while allowing an opportunity for stability in the country. Right now, we seem to be fighting a defensive and reactionary war--there doesn't appear to be a collective, proactive strategy to deal with the insurgency or to implement widespread security measures throughout the country.

EDIT: By the way, the COuncil on Foreign Relations as well as Foreign Affairs (www.foreignaffairs.org) are a virtual treasure trove of information on foreign policy issues and analysis. I read both sites frequently, and can't really recommend them enough.

ochre
09-01-2005, 04:30 PM
I was never critical of Bush senior's decision not to go after Hussein. This is largely why. This type of thing has to occur internally if it is to succeed. My arab language instructors (from various middle eastern countries, including Egypt, Lebanon and Syria) at the Defence School of Languages, Royal Army Education Centre, Beaconsfield, UK pretty much explained it dead on before the (first gulf) war was even over. The US wants stability/predictability in the region. Hussein was a lot of evil things, but he stabalized that area. The Primary US fear has long been the Shia' sect. I am starting to think that is somewhat misguided. The Sunni are more stable governors, but their fundamentalism when they don't have that sovereign control is much more dangerous (outward) than the Shia' which tend to be more focused on internal issues.

Jaycint
09-01-2005, 04:35 PM
Its nice to mention the whole 1967 fiasco, but in fact the more recent Yom Kippur encounter was much less one sided. They can't afford another war with their neighbors. What patience have they shown exactly, by the way? Illegally settling territories that don't belong to them? Attempting to blow up the Dome of the Rock in 2002? Of course that was attempted by Jewish extremists, so it shouldn't count, right?

I'm not saying that there is never an instance of a fundamentalist Jew with a screw loose that attacks Palestinians. That said I don't think we want to compare the statistics do we?

They have shown the patience to not absolutely massacre every living breathing soul in the Palestinian territories. Far more than I can say for their adversaries. While not always successful they have at least made an effort to pinpoint terrorist leadership and not civilians when their army carries out an assassination. Are you really arguing that Israel has shown no restraint in their dealings with the Palestinians?

As for getting into a war, I agree with you that Israel probably doesn't really want to but I totally disagree that the results would be much different than they have been in the past. In my opinion Israel is light years ahead of it's Arab neighbors in military technology as well as intelligence.

ochre
09-01-2005, 04:49 PM
You can't paint all Palestinians with the "terrorist" brush any more than I can paint the Isreali's with that brush for the Dome of the Rock incident (it wasn't an individual 'screw loose Jew'). That was the point.

The fact that the Israeli's use tanks and modern firearms for their terrorism should make it no less appalling than the activities of the palestinians.

by the way I think I was mistaken on the year the Dome of the Rock incident occurred though as I was reading it from an article that was discussing another attempted bombing by a participant in the Dome of the Rock issue:

Terror attack outside school thwarted
On April 29, police officers on routine patrol stopped a vehicle in A-Tur on the Mount of Olives at three in the morning. Just outside the Arab Mukassed Hospital and a nearby Muslim girl's school, two men were seen unhitching a trailer from the vehicle, which belonged to the security detail of a Jewish religious settlement.

The officers did not believe the stammered explanations by the two of their having a flat tire and decided to search the vehicle. The trailer was found to contain a powerful bomb, made of military-issue explosives, containers of oil and propane cooking-gas cylinders. According to Israel's domestic intelligence service, a clock attached to the detonator was set for 7:35 in the morning, when students would be arriving at school.

The two suspects, Shlomo Dvir, 26, and Yarden Morag, 25, both from the settlement of Bat Ayin southwest of Bethlehem, quickly admitted to their role in the foiled terror attack. Dvir, a yeshiva student, had previously been convicted of plotting to bomb the Dome of the Rock, a Muslim shrine on top of Jerusalem's Temple Mount.

Following their arrest, police detained four additional suspects involved in planning the attack. Among them were Ofer Gamliel, 43, a carpenter and former military bomb disposal expert who now lives in Bat Ayin, and Yosef Ben-Baruch, 22, a shepherd from the Maon Farm settlement in the Hebron area, who allegedly helped prepare the bomb.

Also arrested was Noam Federman, a former spokesman of the outlawed Kach movement. Police say that Federman knew of the planned attack and did nothing to stop it. The General Security Service, however, believes that he may have been the mastermind behind the attack, according to a report on Israel Radio. Federman is also suspected of possessing and dealing in explosives and ammunition.

A sixth detainee, Menashe Levinger, the son of Hebron Rabbi Moshe Levinger, was also arrested on suspicion of involvement in the case but was conditionally released when it became clear he was only peripherally involved.

Falls City Beer
09-01-2005, 04:59 PM
The fact that the Israeli's use tanks and modern firearms for their terrorism should make it no less appalling than the activities of the palestinians.[/

Yep. Fanaticism rooted in religion and fed on greed. As "secular" and modern Israel thinks it is, its policies toward Palestinians, economically and philosophically, are akin to a medieval fiefdom. Eventually Palestinians will be enfranchised, either through their own autonomy or the cooperation of the Jews. It's going to happen. Better to accommodate and change than try to gaslight and ghettoize--otherwise, some very educated, well-armed, and united Palestinians will come for out and out war and it will be ugly.

Jaycint
09-01-2005, 05:10 PM
You can't paint all Palestinians with the "terrorist" brush any more than I can paint the Isreali's with that brush for the Dome of the Rock incident (it wasn't an individual 'screw loose Jew'). That was the point.

The fact that the Israeli's use tanks and modern firearms for their terrorism should make it no less appalling than the activities of the palestinians.

by the way I think I was mistaken on the year the Dome of the Rock incident occurred though as I was reading it from an article that was discussing another attempted bombing by a participant in the Dome of the Rock issue:

But see I didn't paint all Palestinians with the terrorist brush. I simply said Israel showed restraint (as they should have) in not just going in and massacring innocent Palestinians when they went after the true Palestinian terrorists. Did they kill some innocent Pals anyways? Sure, but it wasn't an intentional effort to hurt innocent civilians like what Hamas tries to do.

By the way, is it terrorism when you retaliate for an attack on your civilian population? By that logic did the U.S. terrorize Afghanistan after 9/11? Or was it an attempt to target specific individuals responsible for the attack on civilians. People are very fond of throwing out the Israelis are terrorists too card, I frankly just don't see it that way. Please explain to me why you think the Israelis retaliatory attacks on terrorist organizations are terrorist-like. Maybe you can sway me.

GAC
09-01-2005, 05:20 PM
GAC, we sure as hell put the Shah in power.

You're right pedro. I'll give you that. And when you take a look at the 20th century history of this region called Iran since the break up of the Ottoman Empire, this nation knew nothing but upheaval and revolt. In fact, when I've studied the history of the Middle East in the 19th and 20th centuries, and these very medieval and tribal people, it seems that is what they lived by.

The Shah was a despot for sure. But who replaced him, and what did they end up with? - even worse IMO. Now there are grumblings in Iran again against the religious order and its restrictive theological regime.

That's what I am trying to say - it never seems to end when one looks at this region. Nothing but inner fighting and bloodshed - upheaval and revolt.

I hate to say it - but it almost seems like it takes despots like the Shah, Saddam, Ayatollahs, and Saudi Royal families, and their oppressive methods, to hold these warring people in check and from the various tribes/Arabic cultures from killing each other - separating the Sunnis from the Shi ites -the Shi ites from the Kurds - the Kurds from the Sunnis - Wahhabism from Iranian Shi-ism - it goes on and on, and never seems to end.

It seems the only way there can, or ever has been, some resemblance of peace in this region (if that is what you want to call it) is by despots who keep them under check.

IMO - the rise of this radical Islamic fundamentalism that leads to violence and terrorism is not so much the fault of US foreign policy in the region - it's more simply because these people have a history of ingrained violence toward each other and just can't get along PERIOD - they hate each others guts. ;)

I thought this was an excellent article....

http://www.ashbrook.org/publicat/oped/forte/03/faith.html

Faith, Ideology, and Politics
Editorial
August 2003

by: David Forte


Many in the West think, or used to think, that the problem of violence in the Middle East lay within Islam itself. Jihad and Islam were, and are, seen as the same thing. There is no doubt that there is a strain of violence within Muslim culture, as there was a strain of violence within medieval culture, and within many tribal cultures. And my studies convince me that some elements of the legal tradition in Islam held by some particular writers can work to validate atavistic violence: the death penalty for apostasy, the prohibitions against blasphemy, the (otherwise normally appropriate) constraints on certain sexual activities, the approval of slavery, and the sometime legal degradation of religious minorities.

But what the recent bombing attacks in Israel and Baghdad show is that the enemy in the Middle East is not Islam, or at least the mainline tradition of Islam, but Fascism. The Baathists are overt Fascists, but so are Hamas and Hezbollah. Sometimes this brutal strain of Fascism wears an Islamic mask, but it is still in its essence the same kind of Fascist totalitarianism that ruined Europe, the same kind of Fascist/Communist totalitarianism that ruined Russia and China, and wounded Africa and Latin America. It is the Fascism that made the Holocaust in Europe and would do so again in the Middle East if it could.

The mask it wears, however, is important. In Germany, Fascism wore the mask of maintaining a rich cultural tradition, and seemed more valid because generations of intellectuals had accepted Social Darwinism. In Russia, Communism wore the mask of humanitarian concern for the worker and the poor, and it seemed more valid because generations of intellectuals had accepted the class dichotomies of Fabian Socialism and Progressivism. In the Middle East, Fascist terrorism tries to wear the mask of Islam, and it seems more valid to many because of its surface connection to a deeply held faith.

In Germany, the mask was a lie. Fascism destroyed the German cultural tradition. In Russia, the mask was a lie. Communism demeaned the worker and annihilated the poor. In the Middle East, the mask is a lie. The radicals and the Jihadists have killed hundreds of thousands of Muslims, and would destroy millions if they ever gained the kind of power Hitler and Stalin achieved.

The mask may be a lie, but it can attract millions to its false representation. That is why, today, every Muslim must decide whether his religion is a faith or an ideology.

Some elements within Islamic culture have chosen to make their religion an ideology. They include the Taliban, al-Qaeda, Wahhabism, Iranian Shi-ism, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Sudan. Their policies range from rank intolerance (at best) to overt genocide (at worst). The vast majority of Muslims live outside of the Middle East. The vast majority of them see their religion as a faith and not an ideology. To these Muslims, elements of the Islamic legal tradition are guides to personal devotion, not a program for political action. In the Middle East, however, where the Muslim terrorists are waging a brutal war to gain political and military control, the question of faith or ideology becomes the central question for each Muslim.

It is the same question we must ask ourselves. In this country, every Christian must decide whether his religion is a faith or an ideology.

Our sense of our own humanity and the structure of our political institutions hang upon the answer.

Those whose beliefs are ideological worship politics, and it is through their god of politics that they seek to change man, usually coercively. Those whose beliefs are faith-centered look towards the spiritual transformation of the individual person, and only then through spiritually aware individuals can politics be changed for the better.

The route from religion to politics to man sees man as an object, dependent on politics and the regime. The route from religion to man to politics sees man as a subject, the ruler of politics. Only subjects possess rights. Objects do not. Ideologies turn people into objects. That is why those who use religion as a means to gain political power inevitably create the most horrendous human rights violations. True religion recognizes people as subjects. That is why a religion turned ideology is a perversion of itself.

In this country, there is an easy litmus test. Does your pastor, does your denomination, spend more time (and words) seeking to transform politics? Or does your pastor and denomination seek more to transform souls? Many imams in the Middle East fail that test. Friday sermons in Iran, Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, Egypt, and Iraq are often political, filled with hate, intolerance, and thereby instigate violence.

Our policy should be two-fold. First, we should have an “equal application of the law” policy towards all forms of terror. Whether your Fascism is Baathist, a form of national liberation, Shi-ite, or Sunni, it is all equally our enemy and the enemy of all humanity. We make no distinctions. Second, as our Founding Fathers understood, the flourishing of all religions as faiths is to our interests. They champion the person as subject, as a bearer of rights, as one capable of doing great good. True religion is a school of virtue. Those faith-centered elements of Islam should be validated, encouraged, supported, and given legitimacy. We shall know them by their fruits.

The common cause between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is not that we all worship the same God. It is that we worship the same God who made all of us free individual subjects, responsible for our actions, and entitled to live in a free society.

David Forte is a Professor of Law at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in Cleveland, Ohio and the author of Islamic Studies: Classical and Contemporary Applications. He is an Adjunct Fellow of the John M. Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio.

Rojo
09-01-2005, 05:26 PM
We are fighting a group who wants all infidels dead. Why? Because we will not bow down to their God. Because, according to Osama, we put our human feet on Saudi soil (b/c their royalty was csared that Saddm would steamroll them next partly). Now that is rationale and understandable.

Hate to break it to ya.... we are not losing. God Bless America.

Actually, the Sunni triangle dead-enders aren't particularly religious -- its nationalist resistence. The kind you and I might fight if the US were invaded.

And by moving our military from Saudi Arabia to Iraq, didn't we succumb to at least one of Osama's goals?

RE: "God Bless America". I guess this is a clumsy attempt to recast your logical contortions as a defense of our great nation and not a defense of a failed leader and an ill-conceived, poorly-executed invasion. Personally I'd rather you just call me a name than drag my country through the mud.

GAC
09-01-2005, 05:28 PM
What you're failing to realize is that religious fundamentalism is is attractive to these people because of the social-economic trials/oppression in these Middle Eastern lands. IMO if they didn't feel oppressed they wouldn't be looking for solutions that included fundamentalism & terrorism.

I see it and realize it. What I am saying is that that oppression has been there, and a part of the culture/existence for how long? Until US foreign policy became involved? Not hardly.

Rojo
09-01-2005, 05:29 PM
I hate to say it - but it almost seems like it takes despots like the Shah, Saddam, Ayatollahs, and Saudi Royal families, and their oppressive methods, to hold these warring people in check and from the various tribes/Arabic cultures from killing each other

Holy Cow! I wish someone had made that point before we invaded. :rolleyes:

ochre
09-01-2005, 05:34 PM
But see I didn't paint all Palestinians with the terrorist brush. I simply said Israel showed restraint (as they should have) in not just going in and massacring innocent Palestinians when they went after the true Palestinian terrorists. Did they kill some innocent Pals anyways? Sure, but it wasn't an intentional effort to hurt innocent civilians like what Hamas tries to do.

By the way, is it terrorism when you retaliate for an attack on your civilian population? By that logic did the U.S. terrorize Afghanistan after 9/11? Or was it an attempt to target specific individuals responsible for the attack on civilians. People are very fond of throwing out the Israelis are terrorists too card, I frankly just don't see it that way. Please explain to me why you think the Israelis retaliatory attacks on terrorist organizations are terrorist-like. Maybe you can sway me.
Occupying territories that do not belong to you, while then using inordinately excessive force to maintain those illegally seized territories seems terroristic enough to me. Its a modern manifestation of the same mentality that led to the near annihilation of the indigenous North American tribes. The prospective "settlers" marginalize the current inhabitants of the region. They ignore their customs and traditions and impose their own standards (European Land Ownership laws seem to work well).

I don't entirely buy the "retalitory" strikes line, as I have a difficult time deciding who really started it.

Jaycint
09-01-2005, 05:47 PM
Occupying territories that do not belong to you,

Well I suppose this point is one that could be debated ad infinitum. We can go back thousands of years to find out whose land it rightly is.

Jewish Claim to Israel (http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/History/The_Jewish_Claim_To_The_Land_Of_Israel.html)

GAC
09-01-2005, 05:53 PM
Occupying territories that do not belong to you, while then using inordinately excessive force to maintain those illegally seized territories seems terroristic enough to me. Its a modern manifestation of the same mentality that led to the near annihilation of the indigenous North American tribes. The prospective "settlers" marginalize the current inhabitants of the region. They ignore their customs and traditions and impose their own standards (European Land Ownership laws seem to work well).

I don't entirely buy the "retalitory" strikes line, as I have a difficult time deciding who really started it.

But were they illegally seized? Or was it the result of war and being attacked. I can understand the Israelis wanting to hold onto some of that land (Golan Heights) simply for its defensive/strategic functions to discourage any further attacks.

Even giving Palestinian autonomy in the Gaza Strip and West Bank (which I am not opposed to) is not got solve the problem. Good faith effort on Israel's part?- Yes. But it's not gonna lead to peaceful co-existence between these peoples. The main issue is Jerusalem - and Israel (Jews) are never gonna concede that.

land for peace is a noble ideology/concept - but it could lead to further aggression, and spell even more bloodshed for Israel IMO.

ochre
09-01-2005, 05:55 PM
That brings up an old pet peeve of mine. The term anti-semitism. Those palestinians are semites as well. Ethnically, genetically and possibly culturally they are probably more similar to the Jewish people that lived there 1000s of years ago. I guess I don't believe a religious group has any inherent title to a particular tract of real estate. The whole "settled" line is the same one the English (and later the US) used to justify pushing the hunter gatherer natives of North America from their land. The fact remains that even accepting the mid 20th century international agreement granting them rights to land in palestine, they have occupied and continue to occupy lands beyond that, in opposition to the international law they claim as support of their title.

M2
09-01-2005, 05:59 PM
Reading through the info from the Council on Foreign Relations, what strikes me is that, regardless of one's opinion on the invasion, I do not see where leaving anytime soon is an option, if one is concerned with the long-term effects and not just the here-and-now. The insurgents understand collectively that first the US must leave before there are any hopes of the factions taking control. If that were accomplished, it looks like civil war would start immediately. You would have to figure that neighboring countries would fund whatever side benefits them the most. Exit Strategy? Winning? I would say those issues are far ahead and will probably drag out to become an issue in the next presidential election. I just don't see how we can pull out any time soon in good conscience.

I guess the burning question ought to be in everyone's mind on either side of the aisle at this point seems to be
1) what is accomplished if we outlast the efforts of the insurgents?
2) is that goal worth the cost?

IMO, you've got it exactly backwards there. First off, the "insurgents" live there. We can't outlast them. And it isn't like there's a single front to the resistance. It's a disparate collection of people with different agendas.

Civil war will start immediately whenever we leave unless we split in the country into piece. It might erupt into civil war even after that, but Iraq has always been held in one piece by force. It's beyond dewy-eyed optimism to think we'll be changing that.

Also, the longer we stay, the more enemies we make. More than 100,000 Iraqis have died since the invasion. Even when it's not us who's killed those people directly, it becomes our fault because we were the catalyst for the situation. Our list of friends and sympathizers grows smaller on a daily basis. It's a fundamental rule of occupation.

And then there's the far graver concern, IMO, that we're allowing Islamic extremists to test new techniques and update the terror manual in urban settings occupied by a modern military. The longer we stay, the better they get. The lethal know-how we're allowing certain elements to acquire is going to be getting innocent people killed for decades. This is EXACTLY what happened with the Russians in Afghanistan.

In good conscience, seeing how the situation refuses to gain any form of stability after two-and-a-half, how the body count only continues to rise, how our presence becomes increasingly unwanted while our enemies gain crucial knowledge of how better to attack us, I don't see how we can stay.

If we had managed to create a safe and stable Iraq, I'd buy into the notion that we ought to stick around to see it through to the end, but this is FUBAR. We're mired in a violent, chaotic mess that we can't control and haven't been able to predict at any level. IMO, the cleanest way out is to admit that you can't get an agreement on a constitution together at the moment (at least the kind that would lead to a functional nation), break the country into three autonomous zones, offer the Kurds whatever support they want and/or need and get out of dodge.

We're not helping matters over there. I know our intention was to help, but all we've done is hot swap one version of hell on earth for another.

GAC
09-01-2005, 05:59 PM
You're right ochre. I can understand them wanting to hold onto the lands though, from a strategic standpoint, and knowing you're a "dot" in the midst of a lot of enemies who would love to see you annihilation. ;)

Falls City Beer
09-01-2005, 06:01 PM
I don't entirely buy the "retalitory" strikes line, as I have a difficult time deciding who really started it.

Right. How many times has England invaded, destroyed, and ghettoized Ireland? Really the number's too high to count. But all of a sudden when, in the twentieth century, the Troubles begin, and the Irish gain some autonomy and role in governing their own country, then the Irish become "terrorists" against the Protestants and the British. I know everyone wants the situations to be different ("yeah, but the Irish, they're like folks" "yeah, but the Irish, they're not dark-skinned") but it's not. It's fundamentally the same situation. One group with all the power and all the money and all the enfranchisement marginalizes one group; the first group gets mad when the second group gets their s*** together enough to launch a counteroffensive and calls the second group "terrorists" to make themselves feel superior and above it all. Bull.

Falls City Beer
09-01-2005, 06:04 PM
That brings up an old pet peeve of mine. The term anti-semitism. Those palestinians are semites as well. Ethnically, genetically and possibly culturally they are probably more similar to the Jewish people that lived there 1000s of years ago. I guess I don't believe a religious group has any inherent title to a particular tract of real estate. The whole "settled" line is the same one the English (and later the US) used to justify pushing the hunter gatherer natives of North America from their land. The fact remains that even accepting the mid 20th century international agreement granting them rights to land in palestine, they have occupied and continue to occupy lands beyond that, in opposition to the international law they claim as support of their title.

Dude, I'm Jewish. And anti-Zionist. We're out there, tons of us.

pedro
09-01-2005, 06:14 PM
I want everyone to know that I negged RedFanAlways1966 for some of his comments on this thread and not because of his views but because I think his posting style is hostile and nasty and I am sick of it.

Perhaps I should have just come out and said it rather than negging him but I did what I did. I thought that was the easiest way to get my point across. In retrospect maybe I should have sent him a PM.

Falls City Beer
09-01-2005, 06:15 PM
I want everyone to know that I negged RedFanAlways1966 for some of his comments on this thread and not because of his views but because I think his posting style hostile and nasty and I am sick of it.

Thanks. Lord knows the mods won't do anything about it. (But I'm sure I'll be banned for this post.)

Fact is, I've tried the PM route with the moderators, but nothing doing.

registerthis
09-01-2005, 06:19 PM
I want everyone to know that I negged RedFanAlways1966 for some of his comments on this thread and not because of his views but because I think his posting style is hostile and nasty and I am sick of it.

Perhaps I should have just come out and said it rather than negging him but I did what I did. I thought that was the easiest way to get my point across. In retrospect maybe I should have sent him a PM.Thanks Pedro. I considered doing it myself, but I have only negged one person in my time here, and that was for a particularly offensive comment.

ochre
09-01-2005, 06:22 PM
Dude, I'm Jewish. And anti-Zionist. We're out there, tons of us.
http://www.chomsky.info/chomsky.jpg
I know, So's this guy :).

Jaycint
09-01-2005, 07:31 PM
I think his posting style is hostile and nasty and I am sick of it.



Honestly, without naming names, a LOT of posters on both sides of the fence are guilty of this every single time the topic turns to religion or politics. I've never seen a bigger bunch of condescending, elitist, hypocritical, holier than thou people in my life.

That said, I love you all. Well, most of you. :)

traderumor
09-01-2005, 07:52 PM
RFA is primarily guilty of disagreeing. I also see some goading of certain people as well. Should I neg folks for that? Remember, snide remarks often beget snide remarks. I speak from experience ;) .

paintmered
09-01-2005, 07:58 PM
Perhaps I should have just come out and said it rather than negging him but I did what I did. I thought that was the easiest way to get my point across. In retrospect maybe I should have sent him a PM.


PM would have been the better option.

pedro
09-01-2005, 08:00 PM
RFA is primarily guilty of disagreeing. I also see some goading of certain people as well. Should I neg folks for that? Remember, snide remarks often beget snide remarks. I speak from experience ;) .

I think if a poster is continously overtly nasty there is nothing wrong with negging them. it doesn't have to do with the message but the method.

Likewise, I've given positive points to those I disagree with if I thought they were being thoughtful and articluate in their posts, despite my disagreeing with their POV.

that's what the system is for.

Falls City Beer
09-01-2005, 08:02 PM
PM would have been the better option.

Maybe. But it's frustrating that guys like RFA get away with offensive behavior.

Falls City Beer
09-01-2005, 08:03 PM
Honestly, without naming names, a LOT of posters on both sides of the fence are guilty of this every single time the topic turns to religion or politics. I've never seen a bigger bunch of condescending, elitist, hypocritical, holier than thou people in my life.

That said, I love you all. Well, most of you. :)

Yeah, nice sideswipe. I know you're talking about me. And I get banned all the time, if it makes you feel any better.

paintmered
09-01-2005, 08:04 PM
I think if a poster is continously overtly nasty there is nothing wrong with negging them. it doesn't have to do with the message but the method.

Likewise, I've given positive points to those I disagree with if I thought they were being thoughtful and articluate in their posts, despite my disagreeing with their POV.

that's what the system is for.


I don't want to turn this into a rep system discussion, because that is to be avoided (per RZ rules), but I agree with that sentiment Pedro. That is what the system is for.

paintmered
09-01-2005, 08:05 PM
Maybe. But it's frustrating that guys like RFA get away with offensive behavior.


Did I not admonish him yesterday for making a comment? Because I certainly remembering doing so.

Jaycint
09-01-2005, 08:33 PM
Yeah, nice sideswipe. I know you're talking about me. And I get banned all the time, if it makes you feel any better.

I'm talking about you? My how big some of our egos are. Rest assured if I have something to say to you I will FCB, via PM.

paintmered
09-01-2005, 08:38 PM
I'm talking about you? My how big some of our egos are. Rest assured if I have something to say to you I will FCB, via PM.


Just let it go. Getting yourself in trouble over this is not worth it.

Jaycint
09-01-2005, 08:44 PM
Just let it go. Getting yourself in trouble over this is not worth it.

Agreed. My apologies to the rest of the board.

traderumor
09-01-2005, 08:50 PM
I think if a poster is continously overtly nasty there is nothing wrong with negging them. it doesn't have to do with the message but the method.

Likewise, I've given positive points to those I disagree with if I thought they were being thoughtful and articluate in their posts, despite my disagreeing with their POV.

that's what the system is for.Fair enough. Honestly, I've seen nothing from RFA that is any more "nasty" than anyone else, but then I don't follow around all his posts. And, according to the advice given by the mod who piped in, I'll let it go at that.

Falls City Beer
09-01-2005, 08:54 PM
I'm talking about you? My how big some of our egos are. Rest assured if I have something to say to you I will FCB, via PM.

Not exclusively of course, but you were obviously including me among those you disagree with. It was textbook passive aggressiveness.

GAC
09-02-2005, 08:15 AM
It's only logical that because of the deep and ingrained ideological divisions in this country, where there is alot of hatred/mistrust, that it would spill over onto an internet talk forum.

Wouldn't bother me none if the mods entertained banning all political threads on here just for the sake of peace.

But then what would we all do to entertain ourselves. :p:

I don't know who is hated worse on here? Bush or John Allen. :lol:

RedsBaron
09-02-2005, 10:07 AM
Wouldn't bother me none if the mods entertained banning all political threads on here just for the sake of peace.


Before I read the above post, I had already sent GAC a PM saying basically the same thing. It'd probably be impossible to enforce, though. I used to think I'd miss the political discussions here, but I'm no longer so sure of that.

RBA
09-02-2005, 10:19 AM
Can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Yeah, let's ban political thread since we can't blame it on Clinton, John Kerry, or Al Gore anymore. At least you still can, but it ain't working.

RedsBaron
09-02-2005, 10:20 AM
I'd prefer more light and less heat, more analysis and less venom, but that's just me. Enjoy yourself.

RBA
09-02-2005, 10:24 AM
I'd prefer more light and less heat, more analysis and less venom, but that's just me. Enjoy yourself.

Just give them the truth, and they'll think it's hell. That's all. You have been given analysis, but you and others thinks it's venom.

Johnny Footstool
09-02-2005, 10:24 AM
The vitriol can get pretty thick on political threads, but I'd hate to see them banned. We are all capable of handling ourselves like adults. If things get too nasty, we don't have to participate.

WMR
09-02-2005, 10:25 AM
I'd prefer more light and less heat, more analysis and less venom, but that's just me. Enjoy yourself.

You are so right, RedsBaron. Things get so nasty around here so quick... I wish everybody could keep from getting so nasty, but that seems to be the same approach that a lot of our national political leaders prefer to take, so I guess it is to be expected.

Jaycint
09-02-2005, 10:27 AM
You have been given analysis, but you and others thinks it's venom.

Absolutely incorrect. Sure some on here give great analysis and there are a lot of bright people with good ideas but some choose to word their opinions in an intentionally derogatory and hateful manner which totally undercuts the good ideas they may have. And yes, anybody that reads this and thinks I'm referring to you then I probably am, just so there isn't any confusion.

RBA
09-02-2005, 10:30 AM
Absolutely incorrect. Sure some on here give great analysis and there are a lot of bright people with good ideas but some choose to word their opinions in an intentionally derogatory and hateful manner. And yes, anybody that reads this and thinks I'm referring to you then I probably am.


I'm not suprise, you and others can spew your hatred at those on the left, but it's "analysis"? But when we call you out, it's "derogatory and hateful."


Makes sense too me.

Jaycint
09-02-2005, 10:36 AM
I'm not suprise, you and others can spew your hatred at those on the left, but it's "analysis"? But when we call you out, it's "derogatory and hateful."


Makes sense too me.

Go back and link me to some threads where I spewed what you would consider hatred. Go back and find me a thread where I blasted a Democratic politician. I dare ya. By the way, I beat up on the right just as much as the left so please don't lump me in with the "hatred of the left" crowd. Any thread you can find me bashing a left view I can probably go find you two where I bashed the right.

RBA
09-02-2005, 10:38 AM
Go back and link me to some threads where I spewed what you would consider hatred. Go back and find me a thread where I blasted a Democratic politician. I dare ya. By the way, I beat up on the right just as much as the left so please don't lump me in with the "hatred of the left" crowd. Any thread you can find me bashing a left view I can probably go find you two where I bashed the right.

I'm not going to play your games. We know how you "pretend" to be fair and balance. Just like Fox News. Bill O'Reilly calls himself an indepedent also. Good day.

Jaycint
09-02-2005, 10:39 AM
You know what's comical to me? How absolutely nobody on this board can ever just admit when their party might be wrong on an issue. I mean, God forbid a Democrat or a Republican may get something right and the other party have to admit it. I guess that's asking too much on here.

Chip R
09-02-2005, 10:40 AM
Well, I think this thread has run its course.