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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Pinto, Sep 8, 2003.
Didn't someone post this already? Or did I read it somewhere else?
i posted it the other day. but it bears repeating.
I wonder where the people are always telling us that these are made up facts???
This US administration did more damage to the international community than any other before in history. I hope they have to stand trial one day for their actions...
I sure am glad the WTC towers are standing, and that we haven't had any embassies bombed or anything. I'm glad the mullahs in the madrassahs don't teach jihad, but rather peace and brotherly love. No kidnappings nor bombs set off by any radical Islamics...
Bad U.S.! Evil, nasty people! Never did anything good for anybody, anywhere! Yuck!
Now, Meacher's article says none of the above. It is worth reading to understand the agenda of some in the administration. By the way, good to see you back, 'Rat, even if you got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Haven't seen anything by you lately.
Rat, you'll have to do better than that!
In this forum we're used to the rabid right-wingers accusing anyone opposed to the war of being an apologist for Saddam and generally a supporter of all terrorists and their acts.
Once and for all,the two things don't equate! It is an entirely reasonable position to abhor terrorist acts but at the same time oppose the recent Iraq war, for many, many reasons outlined at great length in this forum over the last few months!
Of course they were not arrested; it would be considered racial profiling and a hate crime.
Observation would have done the job...
Hokay. My overall reasoning is a bit lengthy, so bear with me.
We're stuck with maintaining influence in the middle east due to petroleum. I see no way world supplies can be maintained without somebody playing RoboCop there, and I guess we're stuck with it.
Think of it as a great big chess game.
I've said before that the WMD issue was a poor choice to drum up support to go into Iraq. However, I can see a bunch of reasons to have gotten rid of Saddam's regime; humanitarianism is a major part, given his history of genocidal efforts and brutality in general.
IMO, we're as justified about Iraq, if not moreso, than for messing around in the Balkans. Remember Serbia?
So: If we can indeed help the Iraqis create some sort of non-religious Iraqi government, I see that as a Good Thing. Next step, just our having done so sends a message to those area regimes that we're competent and have will. Those folks don't respect mouth-music without muscle and resolve. It's a cultural thing. Our diplomatic clout will be enhanced.
Next, we get some sort of agreement such as we had during the Cold War to have military base(s) in western Iraq where there are relatively few Iraqis. We pull a lot of our people out of such places as Saudi Arabia, hopefully improving stability there. We won't be "profaning sacred ground". Regime awareness of our strike potential, coupled with the awareness that we would use force as necessary, dramatically reduces official support via money and rhetoric of the various hostile elements such as Al Qaida.
None of the above view means I'm all warm and runny inside as to how things are being done, or who gets whatever contract to "rebuild Iraq" or whatever. Were I the Big Stick, I'd probably have tried to sell my own view of the chess game--and probably failed...Anyhow, I'm in general support of this overall picture.
My support is due to my view of our society, and those of Europe and Asia: We have societies which are going to remain dependent on fossil fuels for at least another couple of decades. The orderly development and apportioning of the remaining supplies is important to overall world peace (!; ?) and to the quality of life in developed and developing countries.
Sure, we gotta get weaned off of our dependence on fossil fuels, but it won't happen this year or next. The mideast has become more volatile since the Gulf War--for many reasons other than US policies--and it seems to me to be absolutely necessary for somebody to somehow improve the general stability. (Somebody oughta look up the increasing demand for oil on the part of China.)
I've said before that I don't like the idea of our being GloboRoboCop, but right now I don't see a viable alternative. The UN? Duh? China needs mideast stability as much as we, but they can't project the power. Europe has mostly paid some form of Danegeld to the various terrorist groups, and has shunned any global responsibilities.
The issue is the orderly flow of mideast oil to the whole world, not just the U.S. We can't back up to a pre-Shah Iran; we can't back up to a pre-Saddam Iraq. We can't go back and say, "The Hell with it." and leave Saddam in Kuwait. We are where we are, and the problem now is how to create this "New Mideast Order" that seems to be the Bushies' goal.
It just seems to me that a lot of the fussing, here, has been short-sighted, tunnel-visioned and lacking a really big-picture view of the realpolitik of what's going on. What I haven't seen is evidence of understanding of the Bushies' apparent goals, nor real ideas about "What I'd do."
Separately: I just did a quick 3,000 miles. It ain't cool to jump on the phone to your 93-year-old mother and say, "Hey, guess what? I got colon cancer." I start rad/chem tomorrow for 5.5 weeks. Surgery around early December. Don't need sympathy; it's isolated and the docs are real optimistic it will be a done deal and no further problem. Just a hassle, and--dammit--it messes up hunting season... I guess you could say it's truly a PITA. But, the BossLady and I are seriously looking toward Christmas in Terlingua. Hell, if I can stand, I can ride in her SUV.
Well, gotta go unload a truck. CUL...
Sorry to hear that 'Rat. Hope things go well.
A couple things though. You complain about a lack of big picture focus here, but I have to say I worry that's what Bush has done. I worry that people like Rove are looking at Iraq in terms of getting Bush re-elected next year, and how the occupation can benefit America, not how it can better get oil to flow to the rest of the world.
We were quite sure we were doing the right thing in Afghanistan in the '80's, in Iran in the late '70's, and we never thought anyone would get too seriously offended of we parked our military in Saudi Arabia. Yet all of these things have contributed to the situation we find ourselves in now.
I'd like to think my opposition to the way we did things in Iraq IS a big picture view of the world rather than a narrow view of what is best for those of us fortunate enough to live in the US.
The British were the ones to draw the lines in the sand (defining countries) and to convince the nomadic tribes that they had something of such great value.
Not that America hasn't followed suit.
There are many alternatives to buying oil from the Arabian states:
Politics of course get in the way.
Guess we need this:
3. USE AN ALTERNATIVE FUEL / LUBRICATION SOURCE
As to your comment regarding "non-religious geverment" for Iraq; what?! We (USA) don't have a non-religious government! If you don't believe me, read the Pledge of Allegiance, and then look at what every piece of money the US mints/prints.
"IN GOD WE TRUST"
I don't happen to believe there is a god, yet I can not escape the influence religion has on my government that believes in "seperation of church and state." What a disgrace, not to mention a lie.
If there was no religion, the conflicts of the world would all but be eliminated. No more blind faith Catholics with blinders on, no more militant Palestinians or Jews, no more ignorant Christians, etc etc etc.
Religion started as a form of population control, and now it can't even do that.
Well Said, iPC. Blair's repeated reason for the war in Iraq was his "personal passionate belief" that he was doing the right thing. In other words, his stated Christian moral code was instrumental in dictating UK government policy.
I, for one, find that truly frightening and a wholly inappropriate way for a world leader with enormous influence to behave. He seems to be turning the clock back a few centuries to the pre-reformation days!
I missed the President's address the other day, but I have read quite a bit about it, and one of the things I read just this morning was that he'd managed to work some permutation of the word "terror" into the speech more then two dozen times. This, in a speech only 15 minutes in length? This is little more then another crass and shameless manipulation of the passions of the electorate through a campaign of fear-mongering and misinformation. It a clear attempt at reinforcing the erroneous notion, already held by half of the American people, that Saddam was in some way responsible for 9-11.
world supplies can be maintained w/o us there. but the price will go up. i say: let the price go up. our demand will go down once we adjust (more efficient cars, alternative fuels). we'll save a ****load of $$ by not having to deploy the military as we do. save a ****load of lives, too.
yes, but a near-impossible thing. as was pointed out, we can't even achieve that in the US lately.
in the mideast, we are fighting entropy. we will lose.
agreed. but in the large, we keep putting it off. what we need is a big kick in the ass, vis a vis skyrocketing oil prices, before we start the weaning. if we'd pledged $73 billion plus $87 billion on alternative fuels -- THAT's some serious cash and progress.
i wish you good health and a speedy recovery.
I freely admit I don't have any "The Answer" in all this.
I'd agree there seems to be some confusion in the upper echelons of the Administration. I've wondered about Ms. Rice's clout; she's impressed me as having had a clearer view of the big picture, without as great a tie to a lot of the Giant Corporations as, say, Cheney. And her background education in history strikes me as a serious plus.
I guess where I'd be in the "sorta disagree" with you, zim, is in your comment, "world supplies can be maintained w/o us there. but the price will go up." Without our support of the (ugh) House of Saud, I could see where the zealots might well sabotage the whole oil system there.
Without some sort of improvement in political stability in Afghanistan, I'm dubious about the possibility of the proposed cross-country pipeline there. (IMO, the main reason we're in the Balkans is that it's a primary pipeline route from the underbelly of the old USSR into central Europe. There was a Clintonoil as well as there is any Bushoil.)
So I'd worry about the possibility of a major upward movement in the cost of oil.
It's all well and good to focus on SUVs and all that, and call for change. Problem is, oil and gas are raw materials for the plastic in your electric wiring and your computers and hundreds of other consumer products. We're talking jobs and food and house payments on a worldwide basis.
A huge chunk of our present economy depends on things like the geriatrics in their Winnebagos, for instance. All those folks who now work at RV parks, and the mechanics who service them--not to mention the folks who make and/or sell them. $5/gallon for gasoline means a helluva lot of unemployment checks--including burger flippers, and folks who work the stop-n-robs.
Never believe that that sort of spectre hasn't occurred to a whole bunch of folks inside the Beltway, whether or not they say anything in public.
that's an excellent point. and i think that oil _should_ be reserved for those purposes for the long haul.
so, it's important to find alternatives for oil currently being used for:
1. automotive fuel
2. heating fuel
concentrating on alternative energy sources/solutions for that may take the pressure off the world's oil supplies.
So it's ok to lie, invade countries, murder people, because otherwise the cost of oil MIGHT go up. Oil in the US is incredibly cheap anyway. The rest of the world seems to manage despite high oil costs (thanks to taxation).
Why is the US required for middle eastern countries to export oil??
Iran is part of the Axis of evil, yet it manages to export oil. Stop making lame excuses.
I took a job as a line cook for a few months this year out of desperation after I lost my manufacturing work and was on unemployment for about four months.
Unemployment paid better.
Welcome Back 'Rat (and a speedy recovery)
If your posted view is correct, i still dont see the reason why this war was a good thing. At least i dont see a reason why the unilateralism. Would the UN (yeah, i know, conservatives tend to hate the UN) "do" the "Iraqi Liberation" the attrition war would have been a lot lower. Why? There are quite a lot of Muslimic states (unfortunatly, Iraq was in it too... seems the UN doesnt belive in expelling states that dont comply with it *hint*) in the UN, and most of the troops they could have mustered would have done a better job "securing and pacifying" Postwar Iraq.
Of course, the War would have been cheaper for the US, and thats a good reason to wait, isnt it?
Desertrat has one massive fundamental error in his world view.
The world's oil is not held in the middle east. Middle eastern oil is held in the middleeast. They own it and they can sell it, leave or just burn it if they wish.
We can't excuse our actions on the grounds that we need what they have. And it is fundamentally dishonest to refer to the black stuff as "the world's oil'.
In a TV interview in the early 80's, Ayn Rand claimed that primitive societies like the middle east had no right to their own resources because we owned the technology to exploit it and they did not. That was was just a shallow justification for theft.
Pinto, "okay" is irrelevant. You're wanting to put morals into what is perceived by the Administration as a fight for national or societal survival. On a smaller scale, it's just a variation on what we did in Serbia--which truly set the precedent...
pseudobrit, I don't doubt you at all as to the "pay" of unemployment, but that's not true for all states nor is there an unlimited time period for receiving it. Given what I see as an ongoing economic downturn (a whole 'nother argument), I wouldn't be surprised to see laws requiring some sort of work for the city/county in order to receive unemployment benefits. Most states have budget shortfalls; California is merely the most notable.
Inu, my view of the UN is mostly a lack of respect. When countries like Libya and the Sudan (or is it Chad?) are on the UN's human rights commission, it's hard to take that organization seriously. And, IMO, too many of its upper-echelon bureaucrats want a one-world government--which is one of the more foolish ideas to come down the pike. Few nations, now, can effectively govern themselves; are these bureaucrats, then, somehow wiser?
As one looks at past wars, this Iraqi war has had the least amount of civilian and "our side" casualties of any I know of. The modern technology of combat and destruction is incredibly precise compared to just a couple of decades back, much less WW II, Korea or Vietnam.
I'm not sure what you mean by "better job" in the pacifying. Now, if bringing in Blue Helmets means a lesser level of hostility from the leftover Saddamites, sure, that's a good thing. However, the Al Qaida types sneaking into Iraq aren't really selective as to whom they kill.
The Iraq situation, now, is quite simple: If Al Qaida breaks our will to stay for the long haul, our international credibility is gone. They win. (Credibility has to do with belief in our will and word, not with love/like/affection.) If they win, I'm afraid there will indeed be a New World Order, but it won't be very orderly. If Al Qaida breaks our will, or can keep us from success in creating an orderly Iraq, it will become the dominant political entity in the middle east--and possibly the entire Moslem world. This would most likely lead to all-out war, maybe nukes and all...
Oil and water: The two things most required for Life As We Know It--and we're all in trouble on both counts.
What exactly did we do in Serbia then?
You are right about our international cred being gone if we walk away from Iraq. GW Bush has bet the farm on our ability to pacify them, a very risky bet IMHO. We are now in the position of having to pour money into a foreign country rather than our own - where it is sorely needed right now.
Since Bush took office, he has shown a penchant for "betting it all" and he has come away smelling like a rose each time - until Iraq. Now that he has gambled and lost, he still talks like someone on a roll.
We aren't asking our allies for help, the language from the administration has been that they "expect our allies to do their duty in Iraq." Now how do you think that will go over? If he actually showed the humility he talked so much about we might get a better reaction from the people who we rolled over on our way to war. The French and others have absolutely no incentive to help us in a timely manner. In fact they have quite a bit of incentive to sit back and watch the US twist in the breeze for a while before they give in.
So what can we do? Well we could actually start acting in the best interests of the Iraqis instead of the US. We could politely ask for foreign aid, and bend a little about the terms we are willing to accept. It seems kind of silly to insist that we give up control over Iraq to the UN when we don't even have control over it now. We could stop backing Iraqi exiles like Chalabi, who has been indicted for fraud among other things. We could talk about ways to finance this war, including repealing many of the tax cuts Bush passed. Most importantly, we could stop swaggering around the world like we are the biggest, baddest nation on earth. Even if we are, it doesn't help to rub it in everyone's collective face.