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Passions in Poetry

Another Democrat For President?...God Help Us..Especially Kerry

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Denise
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50 posted 06-02-2004 06:26 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I think a more accurate analogy would be that Israel views the PLO the way that we view Al Qaeda. Arafat's actions speak for themselves, as well as does his PLO Charter. That is explanation enough for what I have said of him. The day he changes his mission statement will be the day that I elevate my opinion of him, and consider my current position to have become unrealistic.

People with the modus operandi of intentionally blowing up or otherwise killing innocent civilians to further their political or religious aims are not motivated by the sames things as I am.
LeeJ
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51 posted 06-02-2004 10:11 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

I really really wish, that people would stop voting for a man simply b/c they are democrate or republican.  There seems to be so many people fixated more on the party then voting for the man in nomination...and while I'm wishing, if I could have one more wish, I'd wish that they'd give us more candidates to pick from, why couldn't a blue collared worker run for the presidency?  Perhaps he'd be more honest and do a better job?  Not to be bought by large corporations...or business, but truely lead the country for the people, by the people.  Yes, yes, yes, I know, I'm naieve.  
Sudhir Iyer
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52 posted 06-02-2004 10:45 AM       View Profile for Sudhir Iyer   Email Sudhir Iyer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sudhir Iyer

quote:

Right or wrong can't even be argued until people actually are willing to think again.



Absolutely right... in my opinion...

I would add... "and be really sincere..."

Regards
Sudhir
Ron
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53 posted 06-02-2004 08:00 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I think a more accurate analogy would be that Israel views the PLO the way that we view Al Qaeda.

Do you have a reason for that, Denise? Or would you simply like to avoid any shades of gray?

Still, if you want to go that route, a better analogy might be that Israel views the PLO the way the Colonists viewed the American Indians?

quote:
People with the modus operandi of intentionally blowing up or otherwise killing innocent civilians to further their political or religious aims are not motivated by the sames things as I am.

Were you to understand the opposing viewpoints, Denise, you would realize how meaningless such a statement is to anyone except yourself and others who already think as you do.

The citizens of a democratic republic are responsible for everything that happens in their republic. They vote for the leaders, fund the military, and comprise the vast bulk of the troops who fight. The enlisted mechanic who works on a tank may never fire a shot, but he is far from innocent. How can the family of five who knowingly and willingly paid for the tank be any less guilty? When you send your sons to kill someone, the potential consequences won't always be confined to just the sons. There are no innocent civilians in this war, only soldiers doing vastly different jobs.

We may not like it when someone else insists on defining their own rules of war, and we certainly don't have to agree with them, but painting our enemies in shades of black and white only insures we will never have a shortage of enemies.
Balladeer
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54 posted 06-02-2004 09:29 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

When someone's own rules of war involves training children to strap bombs to themselves, in order to kill themselves along with other women and children, I will certainly paint them in black, Ron, nor will I grant their tactics any respect by labeling them "rules of war".

Let some of their leaders who are training the children to be suicide bombers assume that position themselves so that they may enjoy those fourteen virgins or whatever they preach is waiting for the poor fools they con....that's what I'd like to see - and never will.
Denise
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55 posted 06-02-2004 10:35 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

So the justification in your mind, Ron, is that there really are no innocent civilians, so it really isn't that outrageous when they are blown up, that they somehow deserve it because they are a part of a republic and it is just someone else's "rules of war" that should be understood and seen for what it really is, just varying shades of gray?

I hope to God I have misunderstood you.

Bal, it's 72 virgins. Geesh, why slaughter yourself and others for just 14, especially when they won't remain virgins for very long?! That would hardly seem worth it.
Ron
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56 posted 06-03-2004 12:10 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Mike, the same exact argument holds true in this or any other country. Seen any senators knee-deep in sand and dodging bullets lately? And, no, Bush falling off his bike doesn't count.  

Those who wage wars are rarely the ones who fight them.

Of course, some would argue the only difference between an eight-year-old and an eighteen-year-old is ten years. Neither have the judgment to drink, it would seem, but both can be convinced to die for something someone else believes. Is it really a difference in kind. Or just in degree?

Denise, the justification is not in my mind, which you would have already known if you made the effort to look at both sides instead of only your own. It's standard terrorist rhetoric, and while it certainly has flaws, it also has merit. Or do you really think you should be allowed to feel all safe and comfy while advocating and voting for war?

Last time I checked, guys, only one man had ever walked on water and none have sported horns and cloven hooves. Israel, PLO, Democrat, Republican, Christian, Muslim, straight, gay, Bush, Kerry -- ain't none of them gods or devils. Their mistakes when they make them are mistakes, not evil intentions, and nothing will ever be accomplished by either worshipping or reviling someone we should instead be trying to understand.

When you go down to the local Marathon station and pay $2.17 for a gallon of gas, you are simply exchanging one thing for another. And that's all politics is, too. The exchange of one thing for another. You want lower taxes? The cost will be the loss of services or higher interest rates to pay for a bigger deficit. Politicians simply decide what we will give up in order to pay for what we will get, even if the most important decisions are rarely about products and money. You want freedom? Privacy? Peace? Those all carry costs, too. You don't have to agree that a gallon of gas is worth $2.17, but no one can make an intelligent decision by looking at JUST the gas or JUST the money.

No one can make an intelligent decision by "assuming" an issue is self-evidently wrong and the perpetrator is obviously just plain evil. If you don't look for and address the costs of an issue, you aren't really addressing the issue. If you don't try to understand both sides of an issue, then you really don't understand the issue at all. It's easier, of course, to just not think. It's easier to simply paint the enemy as an inhuman bastard, with no motives or reasons beyond that of a demon.

Funny thing is, it doesn't seem to matter whether the enemy is a Democrat or a terrorist. Black only comes in one shade.
Balladeer
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57 posted 06-03-2004 07:30 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ron, when the courts agree that there is no difference between eight year old and eighteen year olds except for ten years I grant you that point. Frankly I find that statement mind-boggling to suggest that an eight year old can have the same mental capabilities of decision-making and reasoning...

...and as soon as our leaders or generals order just one soldier to deliberately kill himself in order to kill civilians then I grant you the other point. Your point is well-made relating to sending soldiers into battle but has little to do with suicide missions where survival was absolute zero.

It appears to me that you are saying whatever can be painted with a black brush is equally evil, almost as if to say no one has the right to claim the difference between good and evil because one man's good can be another man's evil and who is one to claim the other as evil just because it is different than the accuser's definition as good? That defense has allowed a lot of criminals to walk out of courtrooms and back onto the streets. In such case you would then have to claim that 9/11 would not be a condemnable action since it was just another's way of fighting their own particular brand of war and who are we to criticize just because they were actions we would not use?

Personally I'm going to continue to believe that humans are born and grow with an inner knowledge of right and wrong, of good and evil and decency. Criminals and dictators will go against them by choice but they will know that they are doing so and simply not care. Fine for them but I will not be one to view such actions and not condemn such actions by granting them "understanding". The Emporer's New Clothes would never fly today because certain people (especially lawyers) would scream "Who are you, little kid, to claim he's naked?" Well, sometimes, people ARE naked and sometimes people ARE evil and their actions ARE condemnable by all laws of decency in this little existence of ours and to say 'who are you to judge?' is a weak argument.

Now, as far as there being no difference between Democrats and terrorists....you may finally have hit on something we can agree on!!
Denise
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58 posted 06-03-2004 10:46 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ron, I have looked at both sides of the issue. I have attempted to delve into the minds of those who hate us. I do grant that they may have some justified grievances. Where I part ways with them is with the way in which they choose to handle those grievances.

And I do wish you'd stop assuming that I am not thinking and not making an effort to see both sides of the issue, because it's just not true. The fact that someone may arrive at a different conclusion than another does not mean that one of them is not thinking or not making an effort to understand an issue.

My thoughts on good and evil are like Balladeer's. I believe that there are genuinely evil people in the world. I don't think that eveyone who disagrees with me is evil, but I do believe that they exist. And, unfortunately, I don't think all the world's problems can be solved if we just attempt to 'understand' those who oppose us. Understanding has to be a two-way street for it to be successful.  
hush
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59 posted 06-03-2004 11:48 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

It seems to me what Ron was trying to say with the whole 8/18 year-old thing was that the situations aren't dissimilar in nature. There's no way I'm going to compare the severity of the situations- in one, young children are brainwashed that a 'glorious' suicide death will land them in heaven. In another, older adolescents and young adults are tempted with money for college which is otherwise almost impossible to pay for- believe me, because I don't qualify for federal aid, nor do many of my friends, and we're knee-deep in loan applications and debt- and also with a good, patriotic way out of a dead-end life if they've got nothing else going on.

Now, the biggest difference is that I believe the U.S. military does do some constructive things, although I disagree with a lot of the fundamental foundations of it. Blowing yourself up... well, there's really no furture or productivity to that... it does nothing but destroy. However, when you sign that paper to join the Army, or Marines, or whatever other branch- you have to be willing to enter the destructive realm... you have to be willing to trade life for death- and that's where I think the similarity lies.

Denise- even if you think that truly evil people can't be changed, how can we defeat them without understanding them first? That's like hunitng without knowing the animal's habits.
Toerag
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60 posted 06-03-2004 02:35 PM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

I still believe that if we were to soak our ammunition in pork blood, all around the world...that terrorism would decrease by at least 75%...it's a fact...even if we didn't do it and said we did...it would work...with Palestine, Iraq, and most all terrorism...it worked before, it would work now...and if we stated that all body parts of suicide bombers were going to be buried with pork parts...it would decrease that cowardly act too....This isn't a Kosher site is it?...

[This message has been edited by Toerag (06-03-2004 03:21 PM).]

Sudhir Iyer
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61 posted 06-03-2004 03:03 PM       View Profile for Sudhir Iyer   Email Sudhir Iyer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Sudhir Iyer

"I still believe that if we were to soak or ammunition in pork blood, all around the world...that terrorism would decrease by at least 75%...it's a fact..."

extremely arguable... but I am not arguing...

...

Denise
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62 posted 06-03-2004 04:36 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Hush, what I meant was an understanding that leads to peace. That has to be a two-way street. Both sides have to be willing to live in peace and to cease hostilities. There has to be a genuine meeting of the minds to live in peace with each other despite any differences.
Balladeer
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63 posted 06-03-2004 04:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It seems to me what Ron was trying to say with the whole 8/18 year-old thing was that the situations aren't dissimilar in nature

Hush, they are extremely dissimilar. Being willing or prepared to trade life for death has nothing to do with being told to deliberately kill yourself -  otherwise recruiting policemen, firemen or anyone whose duties involved the possibility of serious injury or death would be on the same keel as suicide bombers, according to your statement. Add the fact that they are children into the mix and it's worse. Please don't think there is a similarity....

[This message has been edited by Balladeer (06-03-2004 05:27 PM).]

Skyfyre
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64 posted 06-03-2004 04:54 PM       View Profile for Skyfyre   Email Skyfyre   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Skyfyre

quote:
really really wish, that people would stop voting for a man simply b/c they are democrate or republican.  There seems to be so many people fixated more on the party then voting for the man in nomination...


No matter what you may believe, in modern politics you are never voting for a candidate; you are voting for his party.  I'm not saying that a President has no power, but honestly he has very little power when he is a candidate and just about anything he says or does is with the permission or at the direction of his party.  This also applies to re-election campaigns, though less so, so in essence the candidate is ALWAYS a candidate unless he is not running again.

quote:
and while I'm wishing, if I could have one more wish, I'd wish that they'd give us more candidates to pick from, why couldn't a blue collared worker run for the presidency?  Perhaps he'd be more honest and do a better job?  Not to be bought by large corporations...or business, but truely lead the country for the people, by the people.  Yes, yes, yes, I know, I'm naieve.  


One word here.  Funding.  You need money to make yourself known, and unless you're Ross Perot or some equivalent, you'll need the backing of a lot of dollars if you want any chance of getting the word out that you even exist.
Toerag
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65 posted 06-03-2004 05:44 PM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

Sudhir...LOL...you're just not an argumentative kinda guy are ya?...That's good!!!
Ron
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66 posted 06-04-2004 06:35 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
And I do wish you'd stop assuming that I am not thinking and not making an effort to see both sides of the issue, because it's just not true. The fact that someone may arrive at a different conclusion than another does not mean that one of them is not thinking or not making an effort to understand an issue.

Denise, my assumptions have to be made on what you've said or failed to say. Show me anything in this thread or any recent thread that indicates any recognition of Arab motive beyond "they're all evil." You keep telling us everyone is wrong, but you've made no effort to tell us WHY you think they're wrong.

Back in high school debate, we were given issues to research but weren't told which side we would argue until we arrived at the meet. It was pretty much the luck of the draw whether your team would be pro or con. Could you do that with these issues? You say you've looked at both sides, so it should be easy. You don't have to believe it, but you should be able to convincingly argue why some have "justified grievances." Care to give it a shot?  

quote:
In another, older adolescents and young adults are tempted with money for college which is otherwise almost impossible to pay for

Statistically, Amy, I suspect you'd find that relatively few people join the military only to help pay for college (especially since the G.I. Bill has been essentially emasculated). While I'm sure there are tons of individual reasons, I think the underlying foundation is often one of respect. Can you name any other decision a kid straight out of high school can make and be guaranteed almost instant respect and support?

quote:
However, when you sign that paper to join the Army, or Marines, or whatever other branch- you have to be willing to enter the destructive realm... you have to be willing to trade life for death- and that's where I think the similarity lies.

The similarity is probably closer than most suspect, Amy. Boot camp is every bit as much about mental conditioning as it is physical conditioning. Watch a Marine raw out of boot, and you can almost see the bullets bounce off his chest as he walks down the street. He is invincible.

quote:
Being willing or prepared to trade life for death has nothing to do with being told to deliberately kill yourself -  otherwise recruiting policemen, firemen or anyone whose duties involved the possibility of serious injury or death would be on the same keel as suicide bombers

You can't easily compare soldiers to policemen or firemen, Mike, because the latter rarely face dangers directly controlled by themselves and they typically only risk their lives for the life of another. Soldiers, on the other hand, face danger because their superiors put them in danger, usually to "gain ground," and almost never to directly save a life. A fireman's risk is strategic, while a soldier's is usually tactical.

The soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy were noble and brave, but none of them were rushing into a burning room to save a trapped three-year-old. Their sacrifice, which was statistical suicide during the earlier waves, was a tactic necessary to accomplish a greater strategy. The fireman can see his goal, while the soldier can only believe in his. In the same sense, I strongly suspect, that suicide bombers believe in theirs.

Being told to deliberately kill yourself is, indeed, harsh. Being sent to your death without being told it is suicide is no less harsh, and any Marine in hard combat for more than a few months has surely seen it happen. Pawns must be sacrificed to control the center squares, and officers are trained to make those sacrifices. At the end of the day, dead is dead, and the only thing that matters is who sits where on the board.

All of war is predicated on the notion that some ideals carry a higher value than does human life. That is as true for our enemies as it is for us.

quote:
It appears to me that you are saying whatever can be painted with a black brush is equally evil, almost as if to say no one has the right to claim the difference between good and evil because one man's good can be another man's evil and who is one to claim the other as evil just because it is different than the accuser's definition as good?

No, Mike, I'm pretty much trying to say exactly the opposite.

Toerags's condemnation of Democrats in this thread, as well as yours and other's in other threads, is very little different than Denise's condemnation of terrorists. And, that just can't be right. Toe maintains he's willing to "do anything" to save an American life, but presumably that won't include any Democrats. 'Cause they're evil. Just as evil as terrorists. That's the inevitable result of black and white thinking.

Black only comes in one shade.

The only way to avoid painting Democrats with the same broad brush as terrorists, is to look beyond the obvious. Does anyone truly believe their U.S. Senator is in league with the devil? Give me a break! Every American leader in every age always believes they are going to do the greater good at the least cost. You may not agree with their reasoning, but to question their motives leads only to gross contradictions. An evil Bill Clinton could not become President unless this country is either evil or stupid. People make mistakes. Mistakes don't mean a person is evil.

Looking beyond the obvious requires actual thinking, but the result of examining motivation is inevitably a shade of gray. Democrats aren't black, Republicans aren't white, each is just a human being doing the best they know how. It is absolutely fine to disagree with what they think will be best. Even vehemently. The result of such disagreement will simply bring a darker shade of gray.

Democrats are now gray and terrorists are black, and doesn't that make much more sense in a world of meaning and reason?

Not really. Because once you are on the path of actually thinking, you should soon find yourself examining the motivations of the terrorists, too. And, yea, you're going to run into some more grays. Darker grays, perhaps, but still grays and not blacks. No matter how much you disagree with someone, it is always possible to imagine something darker. Pure black is as impossible to find in this world as is pure white.

quote:
Personally I'm going to continue to believe that humans are born and grow with an inner knowledge of right and wrong, of good and evil and decency.

I actually agree, Mike. Trouble is, everything I read in these forums seems to suggest they are also born with the innate ability to justify and rationalize anything as right if they try hard enough.

How can hurting "innocent civilians" be inherently wrong when dropping nuclear bombs on Japanese cities was "necessary" to save American lives? Why does our sense of decency seem to twist and turn according to circumstance and need?

I wish the only men in this world I had to face were the evil ones. Because the righteous ones scare the hell out of me.
Toerag
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67 posted 06-04-2004 07:50 AM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

I beg your pardon Ron....I DID do anything to save anyone....including POW's, AND, not just ours...but the Cong....I confiscated knives and implements of torture from my own soldiers....(I may have waited a few minutes to do this if they were doing something to Clinton, or Teddy Kennedy, but that's beside the point...LOL)...Democrats aren't evil...they just tax the hard workig rich and offer no motivation to welfare recipients...and their records throughout history stink)...How dare you say I did what I did for Republicans only...?...I know that Thai stick was really good Ron, but surely you've come down from that by now?

[This message has been edited by Toerag (06-04-2004 09:40 AM).]

Balladeer
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68 posted 06-04-2004 06:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, Ron, I must say I have no idea what you are referring to concerning my linking Democrats and terrorists. To me that would be ridiculous. I can think of nothing I sai in this or any other thread that would indicate that, with the exception of my obvious (I would think) attempt a humor in my previous post. I would be very interested in knowing which statements you are referring to.

As far as Normandy was concerned, there were certainly going to be deaths but it was NOT a suicide mission. I'll grant that I sure would not have liked to have been in one of those landing crafts waiting to jump in the water but soldiers DID survive, more than those who died, and as a result history was changed. How can you paint it as a suicide mission? It was a mission with a low chance of survival, I'll grant you, but there WAS that chance and many did. How many suicide bombers survive when they yank the detonator? Also, the soldiers were indeed fighting for a much nobler cause than blowing up a couple of families sitting at an outdoor cafe. I think even the French would agree to that At a time that world leaders are getting together to celebrate the events of an action that directly led to the defeat of Hitler and restored peace to Europe, I find it odd that you would compare soldiers and children suicide bombers or say something like:
All of war is predicated on the notion that some ideals carry a higher value than does human life. That is as true for our enemies as it is for us.

..as if to say the terrorist regimes have ideals that are equally important as those who fight for freedom.

How can hurting "innocent civilians" be inherently wrong when dropping nuclear bombs on Japanese cities was "necessary" to save American lives? Why does our sense of decency seem to twist and turn according to circumstance and need?

Actually I'm surprised that it has taken so long for someone to bring up bombing Japan but I'm equally surprised it would be you. That's a very interesting slant, that it was a twist and turn of decency that caused that action. Well, who can say? All I know is that, at the time, thousands of Americans and  allies were dying every week. With the advent of the Kamikaze pilot, Truman knew that Japan would never surrender militarily. He foresaw the war as continuing for an indefinite period of time, with tens to hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians dying as it continued. That was his reasoning he outlined for his actions. Was his evaluation wrong? No. Was his action acceptable? Who is to judge? He killed innocent civilians (although I believe you said there are no innocents) to save others. Only God and history can judge that one...and I believe history has ruled fairly.


It's not that I disagree so much with many things you say but it's the comparisons that I find difficult to accept, as if there is equality between soldiers and terrorists, people who fight for freedom as opposed to those to fight to destroy, training men to fight as opposed to talking kids into blowing themselves up. I get the feeling that you believe there is justification to be looked for on both sides and neither should be criticized for whatever means they choose to employ, that noble causes on the side of freedom are no better than the noble causes on the side of terrorists.  If that is the case, we will simply have to agree to disagree because I will NEVER give them that sanction...

Denise
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69 posted 06-06-2004 07:36 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'm sure I could argue the position of either side, if I were so inclined, Ron. But to me, the legitimacy of the position of either side is not the issue. The issue to me is the way in which one side has chosen to handle its grievances through acts of terrorism.

I have a big problem with the PLO's mission statement in their Charter. How can anyone seriously believe that they want to live peacefully with their neighbor when it calls for their neighbor's annihilation, and when their actions attest to that intent? Peace can never happen until they change their intent toward Israel. To me, that's the fundamental issue that needs to be addressed before any other issue can be successfully ironed out. As long as the terrorists continue to attack Israel's citizens, Israel will act in defense of its citizens, and is justified in doing so.
 
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