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2nd Presidential Debate

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Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
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75 posted 10-16-2004 02:32 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
I've just learned that in any situation there are usually two sides to an issue and that it can lead one to come to a wrong conclusion if you only hear one side of an issue.


I agree, and I'm glad you think that way because it would be wrong to ignore the other side. For example one might listen to swiftboaters who never served with Kerry while ignoring say, those who did, including the man who's life Kerry saved.

As for the articles you'll see that Cheney was asked. He denied any knowledge but admitted making sales to Axis of Evil nations like Iran and Libya. Isn't this disturbing or damning enough to seriously question Cheney or the continued contracting to Halliburton?

At best he can say he was unaware of that particular sale to Iraq, but that doesn't change that Halliburton made the deal. So even if we leave Cheney out of it, it opens up questions as to why his administration would reward new contracts to a company without little respect for US law.

If being the president of or contracting to a corporation that constantly dealt with and empowered Iraq, Iran and Libya is something that doesn't bother you in administration officials then by all means...

Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


76 posted 10-16-2004 07:15 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Am I being true to form or running from the issue to argue that sovereignty isn't as simple as people think?

http://chronicle.com/free/v51/i03/03b01101.htm

Ron
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77 posted 10-17-2004 01:27 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Sovereign doesn't mean strongest or best, Ron. It means independent. Strongest or best, "might makes right" is a misunderstanding of the concept of sovereignty. We're talking about two differnt things.

No, Denise, we're not.

The kind of absolute sovereignty you propose cannot exist in the absence of absolute strength. Anything less is simply forbearance, not sovereignty. You pretty much said it yourself, after all: "You either fight to maintain it, or you relinquish it."

quote:
That the federal government has abused the limited powers enumerated to it by the states, to provide for the common defense, and to promote the general welfare, says more, I think, about the misuse of that entrustment, and how easily it can occur, than it does about the possibility of a successful voluntary alliance among sovereign entities, as envisioned by the founders.

Your own words, Denise, not only belie the existence of a Federal government as a contradiction of each state's absolute sovereignty, but also predict the very history you choose to condemn. "You can't have degrees of sovereignty," you said. "You either have it or you don't."

The individual states don't have the sovereignty you advocate, and even more importantly, no one in their right mind would ever want them to be so wholly independent of each other. Do you really think Pennsylvania would be better off if it completely controlled its own destiny? Do you really believe "mutual regard and respect for the sovereign rights of others" would have resulted in the same Pennsylvania you live in today? I think you have to ask yourself if Pennsylvania is better or worse for having been a part of a greater whole. You ready to secede from the Union?

The erosion of state rights was a natural and predictable consequence of a quest for the common good. We might well argue over what IS in the common good, and it's not at all surprising that Pennsylvania would have a different take than Texas (another state that would kick your butts royally, by the way), but that's a very different argument than whether the common good should be sought.

Your own arguments, Denise, put you in the position of either advocating the abolishment of the U.S. government in favor of state sovereignty or the establishment of a corresponding World government to the inevitable detriment of national sovereignty. You can't logically have it both ways.

If we look a little deeper, of course, we'll discover a greater truth.

You really don't like the fact that California, with its very different culture, can and often does shape the destiny of Pennsylvania through Federal influence. Understandable, to be sure. In spite of your discomfort, however, you accept that it's in your long-term best interest to cooperate with, and sometimes bend to the will of, other states under a strong Federal government. California is different, with different best interests, but you realize they're less different than they are the same. Yea for you.

What you don't seem to accept is that what is true of California is equally true of France, Germany, and even Iran. The differences are surely greater, but the commonalities still vastly outweigh those differences. People are people.

Sovereignty, when all is said and done, is just a word to describe a fear of differences.

quote:
As to your example of Pennsylvania and New York, I would think it follows suit that as in the case of individuals, one's rights legitimately end at the other fellow's nose, and vice-versa, and that any disagreements concerning conflicting interests should be worked out among the representatives, empowered by the people of those states, in an attempt to resolve any conflicting interests.

You mean like we did with Iraq?

quote:
He was an illegitimate leader, as he neither represented nor defended anyone's rights or interests but his own personal tyrannical interests, and was not only a threat to the welfare of his own people but also to every other nation's welfare as well.

Careful with your pronouns there, Denise. For a minute, I thought you were talking about Bush.  

Surely, you have to realize that your exact words can be used by many to describe the current U.S. administration? You don't have to agree with them, of course, but it won't matter because you just opened the door to a justifiable invasion of your own country. You just defined sovereignty as something based on opinion.

quote:
Am I being true to form or running from the issue to argue that sovereignty isn't as simple as people think?

Good article, Brad. Of course sovereignty isn't simple, though I might argue that it should be simple.

Like the tooth fairy or the boogeyman, sovereignty is a mechanism to explain real-world phenomena in the simplest possible way. That doesn't necessarily mean that baby teeth or fear of the dark are simple, of course.

And, of course, like the tooth fairy and the boogeyman, sovereignty is a myth that can exist only in the superlative and only in the transitive.
Denise
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78 posted 10-17-2004 02:41 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
The kind of absolute sovereignty you propose cannot exist in the absence of absolute strength. Anything less is simply forbearance, not sovereignty. You pretty much said it yourself, after all: "You either fight to maintain it, or you relinquish it."


I see a distinction, Ron. The fact that sovereignty has to be protected or else relinquished does not change its definition. Liberty also has to be fought for sometimes. Does that redefine its meaning or value or qualify it for abolishment for the cause of the "greater good"? Is freedom also a myth?

quote:
Your own arguments, Denise, put you in the position of either advocating the abolishment of the U.S. government in favor of state sovereignty or the establishment of a corresponding World government to the inevitable detriment of national sovereignty. You can't logically have it both ways.


No, what I would advocate is a return to the limited role of the U.S. government, as was originally intended, not its abolishment.


quote:
Surely, you have to realize that your exact words can be used by many to describe the current U.S. administration? You don't have to agree with them, of course, but it won't matter because you just opened the door to a justifiable invasion of your own country. You just defined sovereignty as something based on opinion.



The day that it is discovered that Bush has fed people through meat grinders alive is the day that anyone could justifiably compare him to Saddam.

I think I said that you can't compare Saddam in the same breath with other legitimate leaders of other sovereign nations, as he was a tyrant, and his removal was justified for that reason. Now Iraq has a new leader. And it has its sovereignty.
Ron
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79 posted 10-17-2004 08:31 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Liberty also has to be fought for sometimes.

Apples and oranges, Denise. Liberty is never absolute, which is what you've been advocating in the case of sovereignty. Because, yea, absolute freedom, otherwise known as anarchy, cannot long exist.

quote:
No, what I would advocate is a return to the limited role of the U.S. government, as was originally intended, not its abolishment.

Then you don't really believe in state sovereignty? Cool, now we're getting somewhere.

The next step is for you to realize that a limited World government is just as necessary for mutual benefit as is a limited Federal government.

quote:
The day that it is discovered that Bush has fed people through meat grinders alive is the day that anyone could justifiably compare him to Saddam.

What if someone just pushed people into farm combines, Denise? Is that a fair comparison? At what point in the spectrum does killing people become horrific enough? At what point can we kill people humanely?

quote:
Now Iraq has a new leader. And it has its sovereignty.

Do you really think living in an occupied country is a good example of "has its sovereignty," Denise? That doesn't exactly seem to conform to your earlier definition. When the last uninvited soldier's foot has left Iraqi soil ... they still won't have real sovereignty. They'll just have forbearance.

As, ultimately, do we all.
Denise
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80 posted 10-17-2004 04:04 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Saying that a limited World government is mutually beneficial isn't proving that it would be. What criteria would be used to define beneficial? Who would determine that?

You've got to admit, we have anything but a limited federal government anymore. Are we to assume that the same abuses that happened against the enumeration of limited power here wouldn't also happen under a World system? Or are we to expect that it will be abused and that it should just be accepted as a natural progession for the good of all? And again, who defines that?

What sort of recourse would be available to citizens under a World system if they disagreed with a decree? Would we have some sort of vote to elect the folks who make these determinations? Would there be some sort of checks and balances system to curtail tyranny?

I personally see it as an ideology that is completely and directly opposed to the principles of our Constitution.

Do you see the Constitution, with its guarantees of the protection of our God-given rights as something that should be subservient to some sort of World Constitution that may or may not even recognize the existence of God, let alone offer protection of those rights? Would whatever rights we had be considered World Government-given or God-given? Don't rights that are considered God-given, and therefore immutable, offer a bit more protection from tyranny than government given rights that can be given or taken at the whim of the government?

I think that there are too many questions that have to be answered before anyone even considers signing our name on the dotted line making us subject to such a system.

On the one hand we have a John Kerry who has already stated that he will sign us up, no discussion about it, no vote by the citizens, despite all the unanswered questions and legitimate concerns, to be subject to the International Law of the World Court. On the other, we have a George Bush who adamantly refuses to diminish our rights and protections by signing such an agreement. I have to go with the guy who values and respects our Constitution.


Denise
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81 posted 10-17-2004 05:42 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Raph, from what I can gather from all the articles that I've read, Cheney did not have control over the activities of the two Halliburton subsidiaries who sold goods to Baghdad through their French affiliates due to the governing structure of the subsidiaries, and once he learned of their actions he began the process of divesting them. I think he acted honorably. I think the worst that can be said is that he didn't do enough homework on the complexities of the company before accepting the CEO position.
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
Posts 7451
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82 posted 10-17-2004 06:19 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

frightening. I'd say unbelievable but then I knew a spin was on the way. But honourable? Even if you justify/ignore the deals with Iraq, which you have, there are still deals skirting sanctions with Iran and Libya that Cheney admitted to. Shrugs

Take care
Denise
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83 posted 10-17-2004 06:38 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

How am I ignoring or justifying it, Raph, I read the articles and that is the conclusion that I arrived at. Cheney made it known that it was his policy that he wanted Halliburton to operate within the confines of all U.S. law. Is there something thatI missed?

the
spacebar
on
my
computer
just
stopped
working.

I
knew
it
was
on
its
way
out
but
this
is
just
too
funny!



Guess
I
have
to
go
buy
a
new
one.

See
you
in
a
couple
of
days!
Alicat
Member Elite
since 05-23-99
Posts 4277
Coastal Texas


84 posted 10-17-2004 10:05 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

My main concern with the EU backed International Court system deals with their lack of actual laws or policies (which they're still wrangling over), and the proposed method of judiciary cycles.  At the onset, the majority were anti-Israel, and I fear that rampant anti-semitism would once again raise its ugly head.  Not to mention the countries out there who would seize upon political power and persecute those in the U.S. or U.S. military to protest U.S. foreign/domestic policy, if for nothing else than for the political spin in that prosecuting country.

True, there are some judges in this country that do that same thing: handle cases in the hopes of a political windfall and national spotlight.  And there are still some with racial motivations.  Picture either sitting on an International bench, and convince me it's all good.
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
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85 posted 10-17-2004 10:37 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

You've taken articles highly critical of Cheney and Halliburton and somehow spun a positive. Even going as far as to use the word honourable where clearly actions were anything but.

First of all, executives at both Halliburton and their subsidiaries state there was no official policy against trading with Iraq.

Secondly, the subsidiaries in question also state that there were NEVER any objections from Cheney or any other Halliburton officials when dealing with Iraq. Nothing mentions or even points to Cheney divesting Halliburton interests 'once he learned of their actions'.

To say that Cheney was unaware of deals for two years is absurd, what kind of CEO and Chairman would be some completely out of the loop?

Furthermore you also ignore the admitted deals with Iran/Libya through Halliburton or questions as to why Halliburton is being coninually rewarded with new contracts after dealing with the 'axis of evil'. Where is their honour in that?

By all means, save your new keyboard and ignore this post unless you really feel the need. I've posted my last on this election and it's candidates from hell.

Ron
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86 posted 10-18-2004 12:22 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Saying that a limited World government is mutually beneficial isn't proving that it would be. What criteria would be used to define beneficial?

Gee, I don't know, Denise. How about we define one human being NOT killing another human being as being beneficial to ALL human beings? Seems to me that would be a good start, at least. Have you noticed how few people from New York you've killed recently? (Even though I would be the first to admit New Yorkers sometimes seem to go out of their way to tempt us.)

quote:
You've got to admit, we have anything but a limited federal government anymore. Are we to assume that the same abuses that happened against the enumeration of limited power here wouldn't also happen under a World system? Or are we to expect that it will be abused and that it should just be accepted as a natural progession for the good of all? And again, who defines that?

At least you've stopped arguing for a mythical sovereignty.  

You agree that the existence of a Federal government is more beneficial than fifty completely autonomous states? Cool. Now we're just arguing implementation.  

It might surprise you, Denise, to hear that I largely agree and would likely go even farther than you. I believe power should always be concentrated at the lowest possible level, starting first and foremost at the individual. Unfortunately, people always seem to be willing to give up just about anything in the name of personal safety.

We willingly sacrificed most state rights with the passage of the Sixteenth Amendment, necessary because the Constitution you keep mentioning specifically declared that any direct taxes must be apportioned amongst the states according to the census (Article I, Section 8-9). With the nation's purse strings firmly in hand, the dominance of the Federal over the State was inevitable. Today, the Federal government can't legislate national speed laws, but they can and do threaten to withhold highway funds from any state that doesn't comply with its recommendations.

The Federal government's power, today, is a direct result of people's fear. Every milestone in the history of Federal taxation, pretty much without exception, can be directly attributed to a time of war. We seem to be all too quick, as a people, to give up our political protections for a little more physical protection. Nor has that changed in recent years. What our grandparents started with the income tax, we have taken even farther with the Patriot Act.

It's all in the implementation, Denise. I believe the key is the same one I've advocated again and again. Short-term best interests need to be set aside in favor of long-term best interests. And it will always be in our best long-term interests to insure that the interests of everyone are addressed, not just the short-term best interests of some. Even when those "some" happen to be ourselves.

quote:
Do you see the Constitution, with its guarantees of the protection of our God-given rights as something that should be subservient to some sort of World Constitution that may or may not even recognize the existence of God, let alone offer protection of those rights? Would whatever rights we had be considered World Government-given or God-given? Don't rights that are considered God-given, and therefore immutable, offer a bit more protection from tyranny than government given rights that can be given or taken at the whim of the government?

Which God? It's clear to me, Denise, that you and I don't worship the same deity. Yet, in spite of that, we both exist under, and benefit from, the same set of human laws. You want a theocracy, instead? I hope you're willing to live under MY theocracy, because I sure won't ever agree to live under yours.

quote:
I have to go with the guy who values and respects our Constitution.

I would, too, Denise, if one was running. The Patriot Act pretty much narrowed that field, though.

quote:
I think the worst that can be said is that he (Cheney) didn't do enough homework on the complexities of the company before accepting the CEO position.

Well, let's all hope he does his homework a little better, then, should it come time for him to run our country.
Denise
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87 posted 10-18-2004 11:44 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
"Halliburton and Ingersoll-Rand, as far as I know, had no official policy about that, other than we would be in compliance with applicable U.S. and international laws," said Cleive Dumas, who oversaw Ingersoll Dresser Pump's business in the Middle East, including Iraq.

Halliburton's primary concern, added Ingersoll-Rand's former chairman, James E. Perrella, "was that if we did business with [the Iraqi regime], that it be allowed by the United States government. If it wasn't allowed, we wouldn't do it."

"I had a firm policy that we wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal," he said. "We've not done any business in Iraq since U.N. sanctions were imposed on Iraq in 1990, and I had a standing policy that I wouldn't do that."

Cheney modified his response in an interview on the same program three weeks later, after he was informed that a Halliburton spokesman had acknowledged that Dresser Rand and Ingersoll Dresser Pump traded with Iraq.

He said he was unaware that the subsidiaries were doing business with the Iraqi regime when Halliburton purchased Dresser Industries in September 1998.

"We inherited two joint ventures with Ingersoll-Rand that were selling some parts into Iraq," Cheney explained, "but we divested ourselves of those interests."

If he "was ever in a conversation or meeting where there was a question of pursuing a project with someone in Iraq, he said, 'No,' " Mary Matalin, Cheney's counselor, said.

"In a joint venture, he would not have reviewed all their existing contracts," Matalin told the Post. "The nature of those joint ventures was that they had a separate governing structure, so he had no control over them."


Raph, did you not read these statements found in the articles? I think the portions that I underlined clearly state Cheney's policy...to be in compliance with applicable U.S. law.

I really don't understand the obsession you seem to have with Halliburton. If there is a scandal here at all, I'd say that on the scandal scale it ranks far and away below the recently uncovered activities of France, Russia and China. Are you at all angry with them?

U.N. Security Council Members accepted bribes (in the millions) from Saddam to work in the U.N. to attempt to weaken and eventually remove sanctions and later to vote against the U.S. led invasion to enable him to remain in power and reconstitute his weapons programs (that Duelfer reports that he did destroy for the most part, but kept that fact a secret so as not to appear weak, hence his "games" with the inspectors, and probably one reason for the erroneous Intelligence reports) and to enable them to continue their illegal (against their own sanctions) business dealings with him.

Additionally they were involved in a kick-back scheme to enable him to enrich himself from the Oil for Food Program. And their merchandise to Saddam was not merely oil pipe parts, as was Halliburton's. It was missiles, tanks, pontoon bridges, arms, munitions, rocket launchers, mobile weapons labs, probably some of the stuff now being used against U.S. and coaliton troops.

Have you read the entire Duelfer report? Aren't you outraged at such blatant graft and corruption and the facilition of a tyrant's regime, working directly against the sanctions of the U.N.? At the treacherous double-dealing behind the back of the U.S., all the while presenting themselves as allies, selling Saddam weapons to use against the U.S.?  Where is your outrage over this, Raph? Where is your outrage over their violating the trust of their positions on the U.N. Security Council for their own personal enrichment that facilitated Saddam remaining in power longer and allowing him to kill and torture longer?

Ron, our Constitution does not set up a theocracy, you know that. So please, just tell me what happens to our God-given, immutable rights (no matter how we understand God) under a World System? Are these the short term interests that we should be willing to give up in the name of some long term "good of all" down the road type of interests, assuming of course that whatever "powers-that-be" will actually respect anyone's best interests?  

Aenimal
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88 posted 10-19-2004 02:23 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

everytime i try to leave..they pull me back in


quote:
"Halliburton and Ingersoll-Rand, as far as I know, had no official policy about that, other than we would be in compliance with applicable U.S. and international laws," said Cleive Dumas, who oversaw Ingersoll Dresser Pump's business in the Middle East, including Iraq.

Halliburton's primary concern, added Ingersoll-Rand's former chairman, James E. Perrella, "was that if we did business with [the Iraqi regime], that it be allowed by the United States government. If it wasn't allowed, we wouldn't do it."


This still seriously conflicts with Cheney's remarks "I had a firm policy that we wouldn't do anything in Iraq, even arrangements that were supposedly legal," he said. "We've not done any business in Iraq since U.N. sanctions were imposed on Iraq in 1990, and I had a standing policy that I wouldn't do that." . Even legal arrangements he says.

quote:
"We inherited two joint ventures with Ingersoll-Rand that were selling some parts into Iraq," Cheney explained, "but we divested ourselves of those interests."


There's still nothing here to support you're claim that Cheney divested them BECAUSE of said deals. Seeing as Cheney claims he was 'unaware' of the deals in his second interview, long AFTER his tenure at Halliburton, doesn't this conflict with your "once he learned of their actions he began the process of divesting them." If he didn't learn of their actions until now, how could he have made the decision to divest interests because of them?

After Halliburton/sub execs acknowledged the deal Cheney pleaded ignorance, what else was he going to do on the campaign trail? A politician pleading ignorance doesn't prove innocence Denise.

The fact remains that he said he had a standing policy against dealing with Iraq even legally but execs say there was no such policy.

Second the deals took place, it's absolutely naive to believe Cheney was unaware of Ingersoll's deals. The fact is they held on to Ingersoll for two years while the deals were made.

Again Iran and Libya are known enemies, why are you defending companies whose subsidiaries help build and finance axis of evil countries?

Am I angry with those nations? Yes, absolutely. It just proves how unethical governments and companies are on this planet. But while I'm disgusted and recognize the hypocrisy of All nations you're too busy pointing fingers at everyone but your own beloved administration.

Two wrongs do not make a right. Rather than looking inward and hoping for change from both ends you're combatting Anti-American sentiment with an Anti-Global sentiment. Let's just keep the wheels of hate,xenophobia and hypocrisy turning. A textbook example of the dangers of patriotism and nationalism when exploited by a ruthless administration.

Denise
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89 posted 10-19-2004 11:56 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'm not defending the companies if they did somthing wrong, Raph. As I said, I've not investigated the Halliburton issue, I just read the links that you provided.

I guess I misinterpreted the reason for the divesting of those firms, because he couldn't have done it because he found out they were dealing with Iraq if he didn't know that they were at the time, and he wasn't quoted as saying that was the reason.

I think he probably found out about the dealings of the affiliates of the subsidiaries after signing on with Halliburton, and while the parent company had a policy of not dealing with Iraq, they didn't have a say over what the affiliates of the subsidiaries did due to the separate governing structures.

Was Cheney less than honest in the interview by mentioning only Halliburton's policy and not mentioning the policies and activities of the affiliates of the subsidiaries? It would seem so. I wouldn't rank it as the scandal of the century, though. We'll see how the investigation plays out.

And I still see a huge difference between selling oil pipe parts and selling arms and munitions for the empowerment of a dictator and for use against a supposed ally. Which would you say is more egregious?

You should have let your disgust for the shortcomings of other nations be known here as well, Raph, it would have presented more of a fair and balanced perspective. How would anyone have ever known. This is the first time I've ever heard that from you. Your criticism here has always been soley against the administration of the U.S., unless I've missed something.

I've never said my country was perfect and I've never said this administration was perfect, but if the "anti" clubs are swung my way, chances are I'm gonna swing back. And I think that has more to do with human nature than partriotism or nationalism.

And I don't think we need to destroy the concept of nationalism to aim for some sort of utopian world harmony, which we'll never have anyway, as long as human beings are involved. I think pride in one's country and patriotism can be a good thing. I think we just need to improve our manner in communicating with each other and learn to better respect and appreciate our similarities and differences. And I think the U.N. needs a complete overhaul to facilitate that.

Aenimal
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90 posted 10-20-2004 12:38 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
This is the first time I've ever heard that from you. Your criticism here has always been soley against the administration of the U.S., unless I've missed something.


Because the context of our discussions has been the actions of the current administration. If i've mentioned actions of past US policy its to underscore the flaws of the Bush administration in making the same mistakes again. I've also made points in retaliation to attacks on other nations, stated incidences where the US has made the same mistakes.(Arming Saddam in the first place including equipment while they gassed the Kurds).

If it were in the context of another political disussion then i'd give equal time to the failings of other nations. My replies have been directed at the shortcomings of the current administration and those who have looked elsewhere without realizing their own governments involment and fueling of the problems at hand.

I'm not naive, I don't believe in a Utopian paradise but I do believe in accountability. This administration should be held accountable for it's actions regarding the war on Iraq and blatant misleading of Americans and the world.

And you maybe you should swing that club a little harder at the current administration and past american military policy. There's a history of manipulation, backdoor deals(arms too) and outright fabrications. The point of my replies is that there are patterns being repeated rather than being learned from.

quote:
I think pride in one's country and patriotism can be a good thing. I think we just need to improve our manner in communicating with each other and learn to better respect and appreciate our similarities and differences. And I think the U.N. needs a complete overhaul to facilitate that.


Undoubtedly, but there's also a dark side to patriotism and nationalism. We've seen cd burnings, rampant finger pointing and paranoia in the wake of Iraq. The further you distance the rest of the world from yourself the more dangerous nationalism becomes. Ask the Germans and Russians.

Now, that said if you think i'm biased, by all means we can have a conversation on what I think of the Liberal government in Canada and the damage they've done. I can't stress it enough, I'm not partisan, anti conservative and as my friends here know not anti-american. I'm anti BS. Bring in McCain, but 4 more years of this administration and Bush? There's just no way in hell anybody should suffer through that.
Denise
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91 posted 10-22-2004 12:58 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Well we have a few things in common, it seems, Raph (I like it when that happens ). I also don't believe in a Utopian paradise, I believe there is a dark side to patriotism and nationalism and I don't believe in distancing ourselves from other nations. And I'm also anti BS, like the Kerry campaign declaring that Bush will reinstate the draft, that he has a "January Surprise" for the privitization of Social Security, and other such deliberate lies that he has been speaking the past couple of days.

Where I differ from you is that I don't believe that the administration misled us regarding Iraq. We may not have found stockpiles (we did find small amounts and we did find materials) but whether that means that Saddam did destroy them all and just wanted to keep that a secret, or whether he still had some hidden and some transported to Syria for safekeeping, maybe we'll never know for sure, but that was not the only reason that we went to war, although it was the primary one.

I personally believe that Saddam should have been dealt with long before he was, and not just for region or American safety and stability but for the horrific acts that he perpetrated against his own people.

When does it become a moral imperative, if it is within one's power, to come to the rescue of people who are being tortured and killed by a dictator? How many lives were lost in the interceding 12 years as the U.N. ineffectively dealt with the problem of Saddam, and then just when sanctions were beginning to bankrupt Saddam, France, Russia and China came to his aid, enabling him to enrich himself through kickbacks, as they also enabled him to weaken the sanctions by accepting his bribes to work towards the end of sanctions and to pit them against the U.S. in the Security Council? Diplomacy and sanctions were not working and never would. Not with the cast of characters involved.

Twelve years was a long time to give Saddam a chance to redeem himself and come into compliance. How many more years should we have given him, ten, twenty, thirty? And how many more lives should we have allowed to be lost before someone took action? I think it is to our shame that we didn't act sooner to help those people. I think it is immoral to allow such conditions to continue if it is within our power to help. If diplomacy, world pressure, and sanctions work, that's the route to go, absolutely. If not, we have to act militarily, in my opinion.

How many lives would have been saved if we had pre-emtively dealt with Hilter back in 1933? How many lives were lost because the world powers, who could have done something much sooner, sat on their collective hands and did nothing as he gained strength and momentum and spread his reign of terror and murder across Europe?

When we talk about the lives lost because of going to war, why do we not also consider the lives lost when we sit back and do nothing when it has become clear that peaceful diplomacy and sanctions are not working in situations where people are being slaughtered by their leaders?

I hate war as much as the next person and I wish there were no tyrants and dictators that sometimes make it necessary. And God knows the list is long. Let's hope diplomacy, world pressure, and sanctions work better in the other hot spots around the world than they did with Saddam.

My heart breaks for all those who die in war and it also breaks for all those who die at the hands of ruthless leaders as the world sits by and does nothing.


Ron, our Constitution does not set up a theocracy, you know that. So please, just tell me what happens to our God-given, immutable rights (no matter how we understand God) under a World System? Are these the short term interests that we should be willing to give up in the name of some long term "good of all" down the road type of interests, assuming of course that whatever "powers-that-be" will actually respect anyone's best interests?  

Ron
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92 posted 10-22-2004 09:20 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Ron, our Constitution does not set up a theocracy, you know that. So please, just tell me what happens to our God-given, immutable rights (no matter how we understand God) under a World System?

There are no God-given, immutable rights, Denise. Never have been. Unless, of course, you believe some men are more powerful than God?

God gave you free will and a path to salvation, neither of which can be granted by men, and neither of which can be rescinded by men. If God had granted you the right to bear arms and assemble peacefully, we wouldn't have needed men like Jefferson. We wouldn't need a Constitution.

quote:
When does it become a moral imperative, if it is within one's power, to come to the rescue of people who are being tortured and killed by a dictator?

At what point do you burst into a man's house and shoot him dead because of the way he's treating his wife and children? Is there ever a point where you're justified in spraying the room with an automatic, endangering the wife and kids you had hoped to save?

What you're essentially suggesting, Denise, is that once you've reported such a despicable man to the authorities, you become free to act outside the law if the authorities don't react to your liking. That may be the expedient answer, but it's rarely the right one. When you elevate yourself to free agent you automatically elevate everyone else to the same, including the man you're trying to stop. Anarchy ensues.

Whether the authority is your local precinct or the United Nations, the correct answer is to become a leader, not a vigilante. Fight for change, not destruction. Ghandi didn't accomplish miracles because he had bigger guns, but rather because he was overwhelmingly respected as a man of character. Whether you can or can't lead your local precinct to change enough to protect the wives and children of your community will depend both on being right AND on being respected within that community. How many will listen to you if you're dealing drugs on the side or prostituting your own kids? Respect isn't just something to make us feel good. It's the cornerstone of leadership.

When you argue the inefficacy of the UN, Denise, you're really arguing the inefficacy of American leadership.
Aenimal
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93 posted 10-23-2004 03:35 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
When does it become a moral imperative, if it is within one's power, to come to the rescue of people who are being tortured and killed by a dictator?


Can we stop this Orwellian rewriting history? This wasn't why Iraq was attacked. Let's stop ignoring that the initial reasons, the reasons given to the american public, the reasons the senate approved the attack, have been discredited and exhausted. This was NOT a mercy mission and it's absolutely naive and distasteful to paint it as such.


quote:
How many lives were lost in the interceding 12 years as the U.N. ineffectively dealt with the problem of Saddam, and then just when sanctions were beginning to bankrupt Saddam, France, Russia and China came to his aid, enabling him to enrich himself through kickbacks, as they also enabled him to weaken the sanctions by accepting his bribes to work towards the end of sanctions and to pit them against the U.S. in the Security Council? Diplomacy and sanctions were not working and never would. Not with the cast of characters involved


Again the finger points elsewhere. Saddam needed money to bribe, and money for weapons, so where did it come from? While one cannot defend the countries you mentioned, it's important to note that THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION CITED THAT A REVIVED OIL INDUSTRY ALLOWED SADDAM TO EXPLOIT THE OIL FOR FOOD PROGRAM TO FUND HIS WEAPON'S PROGRAMS. So according to the adminstration itself, it wasn't simply the involvment of those nations that helped finance Hussein, but the revival of oil production facilities and repair of pipelines.

How was oil production revived? As I said earlier deals, legal or not, between Cheney run, US company Halliburton. Worked around sanctions with subsidiaries supplying parts vital to the rebuilding of facilities and pipelines which in turn allowed Saddam to exploit the oil for food program.

Denise
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94 posted 10-23-2004 04:02 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed...

Declaration of Independence


The above is my philosophy of governance, Ron, and I would not willingly submit myself or my country to any so-called "authority" that doesn't equally value its principles. The true greater good of all can never be accomplished apart from these basic principles. How many countries represented by the U.N., in powerful positions, share these principles?

Helping those who can't help themselves can be done without breaking the law, of course. Safe-haven can be offered to women and children who are being abused, taking them out of the situation, if the local authorities don't remove the abuser from the home. Of course that's not possible when you take that to the level of countries and dictators. In this situation, if the self-appointed world authority, the U.N., refuses to act on behalf of the abused by removing the tyrant, I don't consider it breaking the law when someone acts outside the U.N. to accomplish their rescue.
quote:
When you argue the inefficacy of the UN, Denise, you're really arguing the inefficacy of American leadership.


No, I would place the blame for the inefficacy of the UN where it belongs, on its own internal corruption. Sadly, with the cast of characters involved, effective American leadership would have to mean America offering bigger bribes to various U.N. members than the tyrants do.
Denise
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95 posted 10-23-2004 04:09 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Raph, I said it was to our shame that we didn't act sooner in Iraq, instead of acting only when we thought Iraq represented a threat to us. I'm not rewriting history. We should have gone in, with or without U.N. approval long ago, simply as a mission of mercy, in my opinion.
Aenimal
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96 posted 10-23-2004 04:17 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Or shouldn't have place him in power and supported him in the first place or afterwards.
Brad
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since 08-20-99
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Jejudo, South Korea


97 posted 10-23-2004 04:19 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

The major power players at the UN are the US, the UK, China, France, and Russia, the five permanent members of the Security Council.

Of those, three subscribe to the same philosophy of liberalism that is enbedded in our consitution and the Declaration.

I don't quite know what to say when it comes to 'self apointed'. It's almost as if you've forgotten that we started the UN, international stability is in our national self-interest and the UN is one vehicle to promote that.

But it has no real power.
Denise
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98 posted 10-23-2004 03:31 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

He put himself in power, Raph, but yeah, perhaps in hindsight, knowing what we know now that he would turn out to be one of the most brutal dictators in history, we shouldn't have supported him, but then there was that Iran problem going on around that time too, if I remember correctly?

Who else, Brad, besides the U.S. and the other two? The Security Council is only one of many.

By "self-appointed" world authority I was referring to the type of power that they desire to have, absolute, not the kind that they actually do have.
Aenimal
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99 posted 10-23-2004 03:51 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
we shouldn't have supported him, but then there was that Iran problem going on around that time too, if I remember correctly?


Ah, so therefore two wrongs do make a right? The ends justify the means as long as Iran was dealt with?

Let's see if I remember this correctly, the right thing to do was to deal with one of the largest terrorist threats to the US in the 80's. Support and supply their new dictator with military intelligence, weaponry, equipment and biological materials.

Then as he gasses the Kurds, drawing outrage and condemnation from the international community, keep mum on the topic and continue supplying said materials to the regime of an obvious maniac. Once Iran has been dealt with condemn and cripple his tyrannic regime but leave him in power.

Yeah I remember.
 
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