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serenity blaze
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0 posted 03-29-2011 03:13 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze




I'm posting this here in hopes that everyone will feel more comfortable taking part in the discussion. I'm hoping that we can maintain congeniality, as I do know there are members of Pip who have opinions but are intimidated by the aggression of those who voice their political opinions in the Alley.

So here's the link I'd like to discuss. It's a long read, but for those who have the time, I'd like them to try a little exercise. While reading, keep a separate tab open on the search engine of your choice and look for sites that might have a different point of view.
http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=1019

If your mind isn't totally welded shut, it might help to open it a bit in understanding of how the U.S. has been perceived regarding both actions and inactions on Foreign Affairs.

I've skim read the majority of it, but I'm going back to double check my sources on the impromptu time-line I made of policy decisions in U.S. Government.

And? I miss my brother. I find myself coming across stuff I'd only listened to to placate him. That man knew a LOT of stuff. His name was Keith, btw.

[This message has been edited by serenity blaze (03-29-2011 03:59 PM).]

Uncas
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1 posted 03-29-2011 04:52 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas


Just in case you thought that your post had been missed.

I'm about halfway through the PDF Karen, and so far I haven't found much to disagree with .

There's still time though but I promise not to bite anyone's head off if I do find something.

serenity blaze
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2 posted 03-29-2011 08:42 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

?
Bob K
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3 posted 03-30-2011 06:39 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



Thank you Serenity.
serenity blaze
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4 posted 03-30-2011 02:18 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Well thank you Bob, although I confess there's a little self-interest in my post.

Um, I'm kind of old-school. Anyone who's ever seen my room knows that right above the screen of this handy dandy notepad/research/telephone I'm typing from, is a map of the world. A current one.   There's also stacks and stacks of history books, which, although I can't say I've read them cover to cover, I tend to dive into for reference when I get fixated on something.

I'm so old school that I still write things down; and I found myself getting really confused in the above link, when Israel came into the picture. (Not their fault, it just made for more political maneuvering.)

I just found it interesting how many precedents were set for what is being called an "unprecedented" policy from President Obama.

This stuff has been going on since before I was born. I'm thisclose to fifty, so it's nearly a century of political chess that's been being played out in the sands of lands I once hoped to visit.

I think it's vital to our understanding of world events.

So thank you all, because you all prompted me to want to go have a look-see.

And I'm still reading.   Because I did what I suggested others to do. I googled every policy decision, the birth of every political faction, and I kept links.

I give myself headaches.

Hope you're reading as well, Bob. *hugs*

Ron
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5 posted 03-30-2011 06:30 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Do you remember this old thread, Karen?

http://piptalk.com/pip/Forum6/HTML/001768.html

A bit of the way into that thread I talk about a movie called "Absence of Malice," starring Sally Fields and Paul Newman, and a scene that takes place near the very end. Sally's character is being interviewed by a reporter:

"I need to know how to describe your relationship with Gallagher. Mac said to quote you directly. You can say whatever you want."

"Just . . . say we were involved."

"That's true, isn't it?"

"No. But it's accurate."

The document you're reading, Karen, might indeed be accurate, but I find it highly unlikely it's true. The dates and events seem to reflect real world history, at least insofar as a non-historian like myself can tell, but the whole text is so heavily biased as to be almost unpalatable.

Just as a quick example of what I mean, here's two very quick sentences (around page 15, under the section labeled "The Yom Kippur War, 1973"):

"Israel flew air raids into Egypt and bombed civilians near Cairo. Soviet pilots and missiles participated in the defense of Egypt."

I'm just guessing here, but I think maybe the author of your text is harboring some very non-objective sympathies for one particular side of the conflict?  

I think any history that appears to hold one side of a conflict absolutely blameless is, at best, questionable and, at worst, simple propaganda. I argued in that old thread that there was no such thing as absolute objectivity, that we all necessarily incorporate our biases into everything we write or say. Most of us do it unintentionally.

The author of your text is clearly doing it by design.

Unfortunately, when a writer has an agenda, especially one they're not entirely up front about, it means we as readers have to tread very carefully. It would be nice to believe the writer did no more than color the facts to suit his agenda, but sadly that isn't always the case. Too often, the coloring bleeds into, at best, leaving out facts that don't support the agenda and, at worst, twisting the facts to make them fit.

Maybe it's just me. The entire tone of this document puts me on edge. I simply don't feel I can trust the author.


serenity blaze
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6 posted 03-30-2011 06:58 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I absolutely do remember that thread.

Which is why I'm earmarking other threads to contrast and compare.

Because I totally respect you I'll share a bit of my notes to myself--never intended to post them anywhere, it's just me trying to make sense of ...worldviews:

"One spin is this:
http://www.sixdaywar.co.uk/

Here's another:
http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/six_day_war_1967.htm

(I'll try to learn how to do this stuff neater.)

If anyone can find another source which is just a policy timeline, I'd be happy to look at that one.

Not to worry, Ron. When I say I have trust issues, I mean I have trust issues across the board. Every single thing I hear, read, watch, I ask who is this saying this stuff, what do they want me to feel and why, and mostly--how would they benefit.

I don't think that's Karenoia, either.

It's my response to the demise of responsible journalism. But I do thank you for looking out for me.

Uncas
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7 posted 03-31-2011 05:06 PM       View Profile for Uncas   Email Uncas   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Uncas

I think you're largely correct Ron, the text is undercut with bias but doesn't everything written have a bias of some kind?  Karen's point about not trusting what you read without additional verifiable sources is a good advice but you have to start somewhere and a biased source is as good as any other as long as it contains verifiable facts. Even if the purported facts turn out to be complete twaddle you learn something in the process of finding that out.

Take the two example statements you gave:

""Israel flew air raids into Egypt and bombed civilians near Cairo. Soviet pilots and missiles participated in the defense of Egypt."

Both facts are verifiable and, as it happens, true but while verifying the facts you soon discover that the Israelis bombed civilians by accident while attacking legitimate military targets - 80 killed and 100 injured in one incident alone. The Russian pilots turn out to be there to protect the Russian anti-aircraft missiles, which in turn were there to dissuade the Israeli air raids that were accidentally killing civilians.

The same facts but a different spin (I added my own bias btw)



I have to say that I didn't find the paper unpalatable, ok maybe the conclusion, which was a little hard to swallow, less 'facts with a bias' and more like 'opinion with bias', but as a starting point the main paper supplied enough specific references to be a useful starting point.

.
serenity blaze
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8 posted 03-31-2011 06:07 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Thanks Uncas.

And thank you, Ron.

And I'm kind of grinning--if I still harbor resentment over what I was taught about Columbus from textbooks--you can be assured that I (when I'm on top of my game) look for other points of view.

"Truth" too often turns out to be the repeated lie. And I'm not sure why I'm doing this--but it keeps me from watching crap like Real Housewives of...Baghdad. <--that would be worth my time though.
Bob K
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9 posted 04-01-2011 09:06 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     Almost all of history as we get it is somebody's mythology.  The Colombus stuff is a good example, certainly.  Most of what I got taught in school was a pretty right wing version, also interesting mythology.  One of the reasonas I so loved Kenneth Roberts as a kid was because his mythology was different than the usual one.  His Benedict Arnold was a real hero, for example, and a lot of his American heroes were pretty silly.  Roberts was very right wing indeed, but still wonderful.  There are all sort of versions of history, each one of them seems to generate a political point of view around it.   And there are conflicting narratives constructed around the middle east.  Nobody wants to be the bad guy.

     Yet people's heads seem to be constructed with a built in niche for bad guys and heroes, and we keep trying to construct the stories of our lives and the lives of our peoples to fit with those built in patterns.  It really does a number on us..

     The best antidote that I know of is to crowd out the single story we're so tempted to cling to with as many alternative versions as we can hold without bursting.  Then try to put together some story that allows for the basic truths that thread through them, and talk with our friends.
serenity blaze
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10 posted 04-01-2011 09:29 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

I'm a big fan of Howard Zinn, m'self.

I tend to agree with optimism that some day there will be no need for Black History Month, as the history of all people will be honored and taught in the classroom.

I'm too dangerously close to a soapbox, here, so I'll concede that teaching anything to a group of thirty or forty kids in a mere forty-five minutes a day is a more than a challenge--it's a miracle.

As for my timeline? I'm finding myself charting. *grin* If I don't stop this my room is going to look like a scene from "A Beautiful Mind"--another movie. John Nash, yanno.

But? This is what I do for fun.

So I appreciate the company.

It's just...fascinating.
moonbeam
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11 posted 04-02-2011 04:09 PM       View Profile for moonbeam   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for moonbeam

Not had time to read it yet Karen, but now Ron has said what he said, I can't wait.  

I do however applaud your attempt, if that's what it was   , to involve other PiP members in discussion.  I think it would add, uh, balance.  But then, according to Ron, I'm a rampant elitist, so I guess I should just hush up.  

Also:

"Unfortunately, when a writer has an agenda ..."

You told me in the other thread that every writer has an agenda Ron.  

And you were, of course, right. The devil is in the degree I suppose, and the way in which the reader's agenda reacts with the writer's.  If this were not the case, and if "facts" themselves weren't slippery, there would be an Alley.
 
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