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Tsunami: Political Issue?

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Balladeer
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75 posted 01-06-2005 01:10 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

You want to go down that route, Brad? OK then...

Over 100,000 people die. Millions are displaced and many are dying of hunger. No one sends aid except for small token amounts. The UN does nothing to stop the tragedy. People continue to suffer. The tsunami? No - Somalia.

450,000 people die. men, women, children. Entire towns are destroyed. No one sends aid. The UN does nothing. The United States is told that if they interfere they will incur the disapproval and rebuke of the UN. Many countries insist that nothing be done to stop the disaster and turn their eyes away as more victims die. The tsunami? No, Hussein's rule in Iraq, including the gassing of Kurds and the tens of thousands placed in mass graves which have since been uncovered.

150,00 people die. Everyone sends aid. The UN calls the United States stingy and insists they do more. Help comes in from almost every country in the world to aid the victims. The tsunami - yes, finally.

I guess there's a big difference between a natural disaster and a man-made one. Sad fact is that, in both, the victims are just as dead.

You call America stingy, Brad, and you bring up some silly percentages to support your claim? You must be joking. Which is the correct percent of giving you require to take a country from stingy to giving? What percent of a hand-out do you feel is deserved to not be called stingy and what right do you have to demand it?

You want absolute figures with regards to red and blue and yet you quote country percentages to refer to AMerica as not giving enough. What is really interesting to me is how the view changes based on politics. You, and many Democrats have expounded on Bush's "tax cuts for the rich", citing the claim that if, let's say for example, 10% is given across the board someone making 30,000.00 gets back 3,000.00 while someone making 100,000 gets back 10,000 therefore it favors the rich. You use "absolute" values there and yet come up with percentages to call the country stingy.

Sorry for the length of the rant but people who makes such remarks about our country's "stinginess" after all we do for the world is really hard to fathom and organizations like the UN who have no problem closing their eyes or staring at the ceiling when mass-murderers kill innocent men, women and children and protest against someone doing something and then complain that we are stingy for not doing enough for natural disasters, even though the aid from the US, including public and private donations will top one billion and even though it is our ships doing all the  transporting and delivery of the supplies and handling the logistics of the entire operation, aided by the support of wonderful countries like Austrailia, Japan and many others.

To hear an American call our country stingy is mind-boggling to me, even coming from you, Brad.
Balladeer
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76 posted 01-06-2005 01:13 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

LOL! Just saw your post, John....guess our minds were headed down the same path...
Huan Yi
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77 posted 01-06-2005 01:41 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Mike,

Aren’t you at times reminded of:

“Hamlet: Why, look you now, how unworthy a thing you make of me! You
would play upon me; you would seem to know my stops; you would pluck
out the heart of my mystery; you would sound me from my lowest note to the
top of my compass; and there is much music, excellent voice, in this little
organ, yet cannot you make it speak. 'Sblood, do you think I am easier to
be play'd on than a pipe? Call me what instrument you will, though you can
fret me, you cannot play upon me.”


(-:
Balladeer
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78 posted 01-06-2005 01:59 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

say it to my girlfriend every night. She only agrees with the "little organ" part
Mistletoe Angel
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79 posted 01-07-2005 01:47 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

I certainly wouldn't say the United States is stingy. I believe the United States is a very generous nation when you consider all the private contributions being made everywhere. Millions of American families chipping in what they can. Sandra Bullock gave a million. Linkin Park even set up their own charity, Music For Relief. And I am satisfied that the administration is now giving $350 million. There's much generosity in this nation.

I believe, rather, it is just how and where our money is being spent that's the problem. Somehow, I actually feel the problem is opposite of stingy. Rather, we spend a lot, and a lot of what is being spent is not strictly devoted to the basic qualities of life, but rather a senseless war that never had to happen.

To have a feeling of exactly how obsessed the administration is with the war and military spending, Bush is about to ask for $80 billion more as "emergency" funding for Iraq, That'll push the total cost of the war above Vietnam. Pentagon’s spending has went up 41 percent in the past four years to $425 billion this year. Discretionary spending has virtually doubled since the Clinton Administration (and let it be known that I too was sharply disappointed with Clinton's role during the Rwandan tragedy.)

I defend my initial remark before the contribution rose to $350 million in that it was a rather disingenuous offering when it is worth less than four hours of war in Iraq. Of course it still startles me that $350 million is barely over a day and a half of war in Iraq, and to see all that money that could have went to funding schools and provide a living wage for a third of Americans below the low income kill and haunt thousands, but I do give the administration credit there. But I still believe that initial $15 million and then the $35 million follow-up was very disappointing.

It saddens me to see the world community in comparison being dissed here as well. After all, look at Australia. They've given $750 million (I think it's approaching a billion now). Germany has given $674 million. Japan has given half a billion. And for those lashing out at the U.N, pledges are around $4 billion now.

And Tim, if you're choosing to go down the road of calling me a murderer of millions of children because I embrace the scientific community, I just find that sad. I absolutely believe there is faulty science out there, I also believe there is much reasonable, sensible results that must be taken seriously. If you're just going to believe everything the Junkman says, who admits himself he does not think anything of the environmentalists or listens to them, that's one heck of a problem. It's about time we hear both sides together and come to terms of what science is unanimously considered rational and what is not, so we know what we can use to find patterns and look for alternatives and solutions in the years ahead. Is that murder if we only listen? I think that's responsible thinking. Apathy is irresponsibility.

While we're on that road, which Huan Yi and Balladeer are also treading, you don't think I don't care about the other atrocities we've witnessed in recent years?

I wasn't born yet during the Khmer Rouge years between 1975-1979, but that doesn't mean I feel grieved for the many slaughtered then.

I hadn't become really opinionated until the year after the time Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana's plane was shot down in 1994 and sparking that mass genocide of hundreds of thousands, particularly Tutsis, when I turned 12, but that doesn't mean I wasn't grieved by the atrocities.

And I certainly have grieved over the fact there are indeed brutal men like Saddam Hussein who would kill his own people by the hundreds of thousands. You think I don't care or feel that?

As far as abortion is concerned...well...it is a very sensitive issue and I don't want to go into it. Personally I've come to believe it is a sensitive issue women should decide the fate of. I believe that issue really isn't any of my business, other than just I have my own little opinion and that I am sympathetic with the opinions of those who oppose abortion.

Anyway, after we talk of all those atrocities, I still can't get over how, nevertheless, anyone can advocate such a senseless war in Iraq, a war which its original claims have already been proven false, that has already killed, if not the estimate of over a hundred thousand, tens of thousands of men, women and children, not to mention has ruined the peace and everyday lives of innocent Iraqi families with life-afflicting injuries and waters poisoned with uranium deposits, which even those in Bush's cabinet admit conditions there will worsen in the months ahead, with not even an exit strategy in sight, thus will likely lead to the deaths of tens of thousands more, which, by the way, is not making the world safer, but is only incitng more terrorist instincts. There are those who are so adamant over such atrocities that happened before yet allow Bush and the administration to mirror and repeat these dark histories through this bloody senseless war. Frankly, I just don't get it, I don't believe it.

How do I respond to all these atrocities, from Khmer Rouge, to the Rwandan genocide, to Saddam's massacre, to Bush's senseless war? Being the pacifist I am, I vow to myself I won't ever pit myself and the grievances I feel from these everyday tragedies to instincts and desires for revenge, etc. For I remember how I felt on September 11th and the weeks following the tragedy. I didn't react in anger, like some did, saying things like "OH MY GOD, WHO DID THIS, WAIT UNTIL I GET MY HANDS AROUND THEIR NECKS AND...". I reacted in sadness and sorrow, knowing that there are troubled souls in the world who even think of harming the innocent.

All the same I knew I had to put myself in the shoes of someone like me in the place where those troubled souls came from. What would he think, what would he say? I believed and still believe with all my heart that if 9/11 taught me something, it was the need for the world to come together, like we did briefly after the tragedy, where I supported Bush during that time, and work to break the mirrors and see to it we set aside our differences and work to see these tragedies don't repeat themselves, through all adversity.

Of course that didn't happen, and Bush and his colleagues thought of the lesson of September 11th differently. And the violence happening right now in Iraq is exactly that mirror I speak of. I feel somehow so many innocent Iraqis down there are experiencing a 9/11 of their own virtually every single day since March 2003.

This brings me back to my post where I asked if the tsunami is a religious issue as well. Melanie Phillips (who leans right by the way) said that the real way to go about approaching the tsunami disaster is "to accept what nature throws at us and then to bring as much aid and comfort to the bereaved and suffering as we can."

I believe Melanie makes a great point there, and though I added it is also necessary to work to understand the science behind the storms, as that isn't an unfaithful gesture, her positive message is exactly what I like to hear. I apply that same philosophy to such tragedies like those mentioned. Rather than duplicate a tragedy, I believe in simply reaching out to comfort those in need and build communities.

In the end, all I can say is, I just don't understand it. I just don't. And I'm going to stop there in case I begin to cry blood.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton


"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20
Alicat
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80 posted 01-07-2005 05:27 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

First the EU critizes the US and other 'rich' countries for being stingy, then the EU critizes Bush for not reacting fast enough, and now the EU is critizing the US for exerting too much influence in the Indian Ocean zone.  Geeze, can't win for losing.
Brad
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81 posted 01-07-2005 05:33 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

It was the UN, wasn't it? The EU is rich.

Alicat
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82 posted 01-07-2005 05:37 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Well Brad, I know the first two were also from the UN.  Heard about the EU gritching during the Big Story on FoxNews with their complaints that the US has too much influence in that region for their delicate tastes.
Brad
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83 posted 01-07-2005 05:55 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
If DDT were allowed to be utilized, millions of lives of young children could be saved from malaria.  Because of political correctness, it cannot be utilized for fear bird's egg shells might weaken.

Millions of children are not dying from the stinginess of Americans, but by the unfounded fears of environmentalists.  (let's hear from Noah now)


If that's what you believe, then stop whining about political correctness and start fighting for its reinstatement.

quote:
The U.N. has a global fund to fight Aids, malaria, tuberculosis.  The U.S. is the largest contributor, the first contributor, the first contributor to make a second pledge, and in 2003 President Bush in the State of the Union requested and the Congress authorized 15 billion dollars.  That does not count bilateral efforts to which the U.S. donates.

As of 2003, the U.S. donated approximately one half of the global fund.


I'm not going to dispute this, but where did the generosity index go? Tell you what, I'll give Mississippi it's due (Oh wait, I already did. ), if you give California and New York theirs (And that includes all the other factors you wish to throw in.)  

quote:
I guess it is all a matter of perspective.


Why? You understand my words. I understand yours. I think foreign aid should be increased, I think military spending should be decreased (that is, reallocated).

What you want is hard to fathom. You want Americans to continue believing that they fork out a lot more foreign aid than they do?

Why? If it's wrong, why would you want that?
Brad
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84 posted 01-07-2005 05:57 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
And yet  the world’s population has gone from three to six billion
in less than one hundred years with another over three billion to be added
in the next fifty, (with roughly two and a half billion of that increase
expected in Africa and Asia).


So we should let people die?


Brad
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85 posted 01-07-2005 05:59 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
I guess you could compare tragedies in other countries to the recent one in the Indian Ocean, but the first is too spread out to garner attention.  Now, if all the hundreds of millions of children who died from abortion were aborted all on the same day or even week, there would be outcry.  If all the AIDS and malaria victims all died from it on the same day or week, there would be outcry.  Not to sound heartless, but they didn't.  Millions were affected by the earthquake, aftershocks, and tsunamis in one day, hence the outcry and action.

Perhaps I'm just too jaded for my own good.


I don't know if it's jaded, but I think you're right, Ali. That's why I posted the Kristof article. Maybe, just maybe, if we stop bouncing around like a pinball, we might actually have to pay less in disaster relief.

Brad
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86 posted 01-07-2005 06:07 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
When the Khmer Rouge exterminated at a minimum one third of  Cambodia’s
population I don’t remember Americans being all that upset,


We were upset when we found out about it.

quote:
no more than when
an estimated 800,000 Rwandans were killed in 100 days.


We were upset.

quote:
That Saddam
Hussein murdered hundreds of thousands and let hundreds of thousands more die
rather than let he and his be inconvenienced by sanctions didn’t and still
doesn’t affect many.  There seems to be a certain discrimination involved
in determining when people get excited.  If a “government?murders or
allows murders of its own, that’s one thing, if a bug or god does it and that
“government?seeks or is open to aid against that unauthorized mayhem it’s
another.


It does matter, but you're confusing a lot of issues here. There are still people who believe that countries should retain their sovereignty inside their own borders (thus, political oppression is allowable on the international scene). Hey wait, that's the conservative view, isn't it? It's also China's and many others. Why do you think that many saw the oppression of Hussein and the Taliban as aceptable?

Because many are against the occupation in Iraq?

You can do both, you know?

quote:
Also please remember abortions are legal.


Get infant mortality rates higher and then we'll talk.


Brad
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87 posted 01-07-2005 07:09 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
The UN calls the United States stingy and insists they do more. Help comes in from almost every country in the world to aid the victims. The tsunami - yes, finally.

I guess there's a big difference between a natural disaster and a man-made one. Sad fact is that, in both, the victims are just as dead.


There is a difference. I'm not saying it's a good thing, and, yes, the victims are just as dead, but national sovereignty is still an issue. That's why we backed out of the International Court, isn't it?

quote:
You call America stingy, Brad, and you bring up some silly percentages to support your claim?


Well, I was just following the article, but I won't distance myself from it. The point is that most Americans do not know what percentage of what they make goes to foreign aid!

quote:
You must be joking. Which is the correct percent of giving you require to take a country from stingy to giving?


How about what they believe they're paying as opposed to what they actually pay?

Okay, that's too much. How about half? a quarter?

quote:
What percent of a hand-out do you feel is deserved to not be called stingy and what right do you have to demand it?


Where have I demanded anything?

quote:
You want absolute figures with regards to red and blue and yet you quote country percentages to refer to AMerica as not giving enough.


Again, what I said was I don't care. I just think it should be consistent before you trumpet your own horn and lambast Massachusettes or Connecticut, not to mention the real powerhouses of the US (California and New York).

quote:
What is really interesting to me is how the view changes based on politics. You, and many Democrats have expounded on Bush's "tax cuts for the rich", citing the claim that if, let's say for example, 10% is given across the board someone making 30,000.00 gets back 3,000.00 while someone making 100,000 gets back 10,000 therefore it favors the rich. You use "absolute" values there and yet come up with percentages to call the country stingy.


*Sigh* You really have no idea what you're talking about here.  I'm not against tax cuts in principle, I'm against tax cuts while you increase spending.

I have the crazy idea that you should pay down the national debt as well.

There's a lot more to say here, but that's another thread.

quote:
Sorry for the length of the rant but people who makes such remarks about our country's "stinginess" after all we do for the world is really hard to fathom


Yeah, I guess it's hard to face facts.

quote:
and organizations like the UN who have no problem closing their eyes or staring at the ceiling when mass-murderers kill innocent men, women and children and protest against someone doing something and then complain that we are stingy for not doing enough for natural disasters, even though the aid from the US, including public and private donations will top one billion and even though it is our ships doing all the  transporting and delivery of the supplies and handling the logistics of the entire operation, aided by the support of wonderful countries like Austrailia, Japan and many others.


Actually, this is the same distinction that Tim and I talked about, disaster relief versus foreign aid. The whole point of the Kristof article is to bring attention to the lack of concern when there isn't a national disaster. I thought it was worth posting. I still do.

quote:
To hear an American call our country stingy is mind-boggling to me, even coming from you, Brad.


Well, sorry. I'm reading Uncle Tom's Cabin right now, and I'm at the chapter where Tom's new master, St. Claire's wife, reaches such depths of self deception that one has to laugh. It's over the edge but I do see a connection.

I want foreign aid should increase. I think it is in our national best interest, and, to be honest, I'm not sure at all what you want.

Balladeer
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88 posted 01-07-2005 07:30 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

And I certainly have grieved over the fact there are indeed brutal men like Saddam Hussein who would kill his own people by the hundreds of thousands.

You grieved, Noah? What does that mean? I'm sure loss of life for any innocents makes you sad but I never saw any entries by you here about the deaths of the thousands of Iraqui children under Hussein's rule, nor did I hear of your group there marching in their defense. So, if grieving means feel bad, with all due respect - big deal. Where was your outrage then? Where was the call for aid? The outrage from you and your groups only came when we went over there to get Hussein, the fellow who was doing the murdering,  out of power. Where is the logic in that?

I think one reason your groups despise Bush so much is he brought to light all of the things everyone knew anyway but did nothing about...the gassings, the tortures, the mass graves, the numbers of children dead from starvation. Not only could could they not ignore it, they had to acknowledge the fact that they did or said nothing about it....they just grieved. There was no call for action, no insistence that countries join together to help the innocents. There was just, "It's such a shame what is happening in Iraq - or Somalia - or Rwanda. Hey honey, wanna catch a movie?" Let Bush bring it to light, though, and they spring into action - against Bush! Go figure....

You don't know what is happening in Iraq, Noah, no more than I do. We are all slaves to the news reports and what we are told, but had one interesting experience. My girl and I went to church for the midnight Christmas service. There was a soldier back from Iraq there, in uniform. After the service I talked to him for a while. He told me he couldn't wait to get back there. When I asked him why he told me it was the most rewarding thing he had ever done. He spoke of the Iraqui citizens taking him in, hugging him, thanking him over and over. He spoke of the children who ran up to him, laughing and giving him kisses. He spoke of nights he sat around with Iraqui families and talked of the situation of the country and how they were so glad we were there. He spoke of a lot of these things and said that almost of the regular Iraqui citizens were in full support of the allied actions taking place, even though so much turmoil was going on right now. I asked him how he felt about what he read in the newspapers and he said a few words that should NEVER be said in church. Let's just say he has less than little respect for the press covering the war.

I certainly got off the beaten path there but just let me say that if decent people showed as much energy and made as many demands for help to the victims of murderers and despots as they do natural disasters, the world would be much better off. Simply "grieving" for the tsunami victims wouldn't accomplish much and the grieving for the victims of Hussein or the warlords of Somalia accomplished the same.

Should we recognize a country's "sovereign right" to commit mass murder against it's citizenry? You tell me....
Balladeer
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89 posted 01-07-2005 07:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yeah, I guess it's hard to face facts.



Yes, you're right, Brad. It's hard to face YOUR facts. Funny how you feel you are the one with the facts and the rest of us just what? Drifting in a realm of misunderstood mutterings? Who knows" But then...who cares?

Ok, then. We're stingy and we don't send enough in foreign aid. We should make countries feel like the people who receive welfare checks. That way they will admire us and thank us for being such good compassionate friends....of course they will.
Huan Yi
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90 posted 01-07-2005 08:18 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


Noah/Brad,

What I find so interesting, (I think I’ve alluded to it
before), is how isolationist you are in the face of despotic horror.
Franklin Roosevelt and his kind, had you been in your maturity
in 1940, would have been your adversaries.

Tim
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91 posted 01-07-2005 10:09 PM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

“If that's what you believe, then stop whining about political correctness and start fighting for its reinstatement.”

Had to chuckle at that response…     I don’t know if it is so much as wanting to believe, just what the facts show…

“I'm not going to dispute this, but where did the generosity index go? Tell you what, I'll give Mississippi it's due (Oh wait, I already did. ), if you give California and New York theirs (And that includes all the other factors you wish to throw in.)

Glad you don’t dispute it.  Nice turn to change the point to something totally unrelated, but in return, I will give California and California their due.


“Why? You understand my words. I understand yours. I think foreign aid should be increased, I think military spending should be decreased (that is, reallocated).

What you want is hard to fathom. You want Americans to continue believing that they fork out a lot more foreign aid than they do?

Why? If it's wrong, why would you want that?”

While I understand your words, I don’t always follow your point and I sometimes wonder if you understand mine, but what the hey…
I don’t recall you saying foreign aid should be increased and military spending should be decreased (that is allocated).  

I suspect it would be hard for you to fathom what I want because I don’t ever recall saying.  Your point as I recall is that utilizing the University Study that 25% of the U.S. population mistakenly believes what the U.S. spends on foreign aid.  I have seen the annual study used many times over the years to make many points and have seen a fairly wide divergence in the percentages on the foreign aid question.  While I might question the methodology, I readily agree the average citizen is uniformed on a number of issues.    Heck, that is poli sci 101.    I think people are generally uniformed politically on any number of issues.  That includes the entirety of the political spectrum.

I do think I said if you want to talk about foreign aid, that would be an interesting thread, but not related to the issue of disaster assistance.

Mistletoe Angel
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92 posted 01-07-2005 10:34 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

You grieved, Noah? What does that mean? I'm sure loss of life for any innocents makes you sad but I never saw any entries by you here about the deaths of the thousands of Iraqui children under Hussein's rule, nor did I hear of your group there marching in their defense. So, if grieving means feel bad, with all due respect - big deal. Where was your outrage then? Where was the call for aid? The outrage from you and your groups only came when we went over there to get Hussein, the fellow who was doing the murdering,  out of power. Where is the logic in that?

Balladeer, you know very well I didn't get involved in politics until Bush declared war in Iraq. I didn't use to be a frequent news watcher. In fact I barely watched any television at all. Just some Discovery Channel and some Cartoon Network cartoons. Most of the news I heard was through conversations with my parents, and I'd look at the newspaper once in a while.

It was basically my junior year in high school I learned about the tragedy in Rwanda, and about the same time I became familiar with Saddam Hussein in a World History class. When I look at the texts and photographs, I can only imagine what the horrors must be from those situations.

Speaking of which, the Portland Peaceful Response Coalition wasn't even founded until summer of 2002.

I know I really can't physically prove I also grieve from those other tragedies I've specified, but I really do feel for those afflicted and condemn those merciless acts. I don't know if you, yourself, ever organized a rally against Saddam Hussein either, but I'm assuming you didn't either. You just shook your head and grieved.

I think one reason your groups despise Bush so much is he brought to light all of the things everyone knew anyway but did nothing about...the gassings, the tortures, the mass graves, the numbers of children dead from starvation. Not only could could they not ignore it, they had to acknowledge the fact that they did or said nothing about it....they just grieved. There was no call for action, no insistence that countries join together to help the innocents. There was just, "It's such a shame what is happening in Iraq - or Somalia - or Rwanda. Hey honey, wanna catch a movie?" Let Bush bring it to light, though, and they spring into action - against Bush! Go figure....

First of all, no one wanted Bush to bring it to light, Bush did that himself. it was on his mind from the beginning. Secondly, once again, I was inactive from all politics until March of 2003, so though there are indeed others who are guilty of doing nothing at all to find alternative solutions to the conflict in Iraq, what could I have done? Finally, it's ridiculous that you believe that's the reason we're against Bush and his policies. We're against him simply because he's an oppressor.

You don't know what is happening in Iraq, Noah, no more than I do. We are all slaves to the news reports and what we are told, but had one interesting experience. My girl and I went to church for the midnight Christmas service. There was a soldier back from Iraq there, in uniform. After the service I talked to him for a while. He told me he couldn't wait to get back there. When I asked him why he told me it was the most rewarding thing he had ever done. He spoke of the Iraqui citizens taking him in, hugging him, thanking him over and over. He spoke of the children who ran up to him, laughing and giving him kisses. He spoke of nights he sat around with Iraqui families and talked of the situation of the country and how they were so glad we were there. He spoke of a lot of these things and said that almost of the regular Iraqui citizens were in full support of the allied actions taking place, even though so much turmoil was going on right now. I asked him how he felt about what he read in the newspapers and he said a few words that should NEVER be said in church. Let's just say he has less than little respect for the press covering the war.

That's where me and him would agree. I would also agree I have less than little respect for the press covering the war as well...not to mention the covering of peace. I'm glad you and your loved one had that great experience at church during the holiday season. Here in Portland I made several volunteering shifts at the rescue mission. They have four homeless veterans there, two who returned from Iraq last year, who told me their views, which are rather the opposite view. One of the soldiers said an Iraqi child ran to the front door in some smaller Iraqi town and tossed hard candy at him, shouting, "We don't want poison, your poison!" (sad sigh) I know there are those who are indeed grateful, but I keep hearing Iraqis say in reports though of course their country is better without Saddam around, life has gotten worse.

I certainly got off the beaten path there but just let me say that if decent people showed as much energy and made as many demands for help to the victims of murderers and despots as they do natural disasters, the world would be much better off. Simply "grieving" for the tsunami victims wouldn't accomplish much and the grieving for the victims of Hussein or the warlords of Somalia accomplished the same.

Couldn't agree more, Balladeer. What divides us is how we "show our energy"

Should we recognize a country's "sovereign right" to commit mass murder against it's citizenry? You tell me....

You know my answer. And it's no. No country should be free to commit a massacre on its own people.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


93 posted 01-07-2005 10:44 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'm an isolationist?

"in the face of despotic horror"?

*Sigh* Left is Right. Up is Down. War is Peace and on and on and on and on.
Mistletoe Angel
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94 posted 01-07-2005 11:00 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Noah/Brad,

What I find so interesting, (I think I’ve alluded to it
before), is how isolationist you are in the face of despotic horror.
Franklin Roosevelt and his kind, had you been in your maturity
in 1940, would have been your adversaries.


I suppose we have different ideas of what "despotic horror" is. What one perceives as "freedom" may seem like torture to someone else. It seems while progressives and Democrats are desperate to give a non-violent alternative foreign diplomacy to work, the administration seems to believe war is the only way, the Orwellian concept that "War is Peace". Well, when the lion gobbles the lamb, wipes his lips and calls it peace, like Abbie Hoffman, I'm not for that peace at all.

The world now agrees that the greatest threat to world peace is the U.S government, not terrorists. That should be an alarming thing to consider.

If I was raised in 1940, you're right, I would have been supportive of FDR. (Just about 100% of the American people were) But 1) that's not the case, and 2) it's laughable Iraq is being compared to World War II. Vietnam is the more appropriate war to compare Iraq to.

Am I really that isolationist? Am I really? Tens of thousands are being killed down in Iraq. The number will be much higher in the months ahead with no exit plan in sight. No, I am actually the contrary. I've been bleeding my heart out in attempting to end this war that's only been creating even more horror in the Middle East. I'm almost convinced now no matter if the total casualties reach 200,000, 400,000, Saddam's number, etc, you're going to defend the war no matter what. And (and I pray it doesn't happen) the war goes on and we wake up one day to hear the official word that the amount killed has matched the rough estimate Saddam killed, what will you say?

I'm working to see to it this despotic horror ends, by not inciting its repercussions and working to pacify communities. Bush's war is simply nothing but another failed listen, another mirror of every other brutal war and massacre where many still failed to listen before.

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Balladeer
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Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


95 posted 01-07-2005 11:31 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

I suppose we have different ideas of what "despotic horror" is. What one perceives as "freedom" may seem like torture to someone else.

Hmmm, well, in the case of Iraq I would say gassing of men, women and children, mass executions, torture chambers, rapes committed by the soldiers and "royal" family, kidnappings, etc, etc, etc...would be my definition of despotic horror. If you can perceive it as a type of freedom, then so be it.

The world now agrees that the greatest threat to world peace is the U.S government

I would appreciate seeing any verifiable proof of that, Noah, if you have any to back that statement up.
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


96 posted 01-08-2005 12:03 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
I don't recall you saying foreign aid should be increased and military spending should be decreased (that is allocated).


Well, I didn't put it like that. But I kept throwing out numbers and suggesting that we scrap SDI.

Still, I suppose a new thread is a good idea. I've been a little sloppy myself. Some of the numbers are a percentage of GDP, some are a percentage of the federal budget, and some are dollar figures. It all gets very confusing. When I can find the time, we can try to sort this out.

But it's not 20% get it wrong. It's 20% get it right with a majority (or plurality, I'll have to check) think that the US spends 20% on foreign aid. And the numbers are dated 2002-3. At least, that's what I'm looking at.

Oh yeah, 60% think we spend too much already.

What're you gonna do?  

Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


97 posted 01-08-2005 12:19 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

There’s seems a sort of:  Yes, there are regrettably

“gassing of men, women and children, mass executions, torture chambers, rapes committed by the soldiers and "royal" family, kidnappings, etc, etc, etc...”

by others, but let’s get back to the real,
really significant, issue which is

“the greatest threat to world peace is the U.S government”

mentality at play here. . .

By the way Noah,

You quoted me:

“Franklin Roosevelt and his kind, had you been in your maturity
in 1940, would have been your adversaries.”

and responded:

“If I was raised in 1940, you're right, I would have been supportive of FDR.”

Please explain.

Further, it no longer surprises me that: knowing full well the “insurrectionists’
have no more ambition than to return a nation’s men, women, and children
to the nightmare they suffered before, ( like as if defeated Nazis were “rebelling”
against American forces in 1946), you never the less ignore that to chastise
the American effort to offer some brighter future as “despotic horror”.  
Tim
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since 06-08-99
Posts 1801


98 posted 01-08-2005 12:25 AM       View Profile for Tim   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tim

if you are going to straighten out the foreign aid figures, (and I readily admit the Mississippi vs. Massachusetts should not be considered as anything but a rough overview) I would think you would have to factor in any number of other figures.

And I do firmly believe you can get figures to say anything.  I believe most of your figures deal with government to government direct aid.

Although I have little use for Mr. Morris as a whole, I do think he gives a general idea of what I am referring to in this article...
http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/37782.htm

as far as military aid or reallocation, yep, an interesting topic.  I suspect if you took a vote in the general populace of the U.S., they would not oppose the U.S. military withdrawing from Korea or Europe.

In fact, I suspect the left and right positions might be a bit muddled during the debate on those issues.

Is the U.S. the most generous people in the world?  Nope.  Are they stingy?  Nope.  Unlike Ayn Rand, I do not think the world is white or black and that there is a whole lot of grey.  Again, it depends on your perspective and interpretation.  
Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


99 posted 01-08-2005 01:36 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

“The rebels have warned of serious consequences if government soldiers are not withdrawn from welfare camps. . .

Similar tensions to those in Sri Lanka are reported in the other worst-hit country, Indonesia.

The Jakarta government and separatist rebels have accused each other of attacks in the devastated Aceh province over the last week, heightening fears it may hamper the much-needed aid effort. “

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4156763.stm

Oh yeah, it’s the United States that’s the evil.   Question, should American soldiers
be put at risk, from hostile rebels, to aid tsunami victims?  

 
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