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Huan Yi
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25 posted 01-19-2005 07:26 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Aenimal,

If the USSR had, or if China did, attack the United States in an attempt to free us from what they ‘and I”  believed was an oppressive murderous system such as existed in
Hitler’s Germany, Stalin’s Soviet Union, (or Saddam’s Iraq), I would assist them, to win freedom for my society.  I would assist  their occupation until such time my country
was able to defend itself from the return of such an oppressive murderous system.

Kim Jong IL has allowed three million men women and children to starve
to death, while he and his supper on delicacies after which to be “entertained” by
young girls drafted for their youth and beauty from the school system.  As a North
Korean I would welcome an army from Hell to overthrow him.

Balladeer
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26 posted 01-19-2005 07:37 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

If you DO want comparisons, then I offer this..

IF I lived in a country run by a dictatorship and IF hundreds of thousands of children died of starvation annually and IF people would disappear never to be seen again and IF there were mass graves where tens of thousands of bodies lay which everyone knew but no one spoke about and IF the dictator's son ran rampant with rape, murder, and torturing any athlete who did not return with a medal and IF towns who protested against the government were hit with poison gas, killing all men, women and children and IF there were no personal liberties and one lived one's life in constant fear and IF there were a superpower who came to overthrow the dictator and claimed to give citizens the right to freedom of their actions and IF this superpower were to attempt to rebuild the country and hold free elections and allow the citizens to govern themselves - then I would support them. You know what? I think you would, too...
Aenimal
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27 posted 01-19-2005 09:16 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
I have no idea in the world how you can compare life in the United States with life in Iraq


Deer, I wasn't comparing life in Iraq with life in the US. I offered it as a hypothetical question. Iraqi insurgents, whether you chose to see it or not, believe they are occupied and that their way of life is threatened. I offered the hypothetical question not as a comparison, but as a way of understanding how you would react if your way of life was threatened, or perceived that your way of life was threatened.

quote:
..and do you really think the insurgents give a damn about the Geneva convention?


So the west shouldn't hold itself to a higher standard? How do you sell democracy and western ideals when you respond with the same savagery?

quote:
Setting up these types of comparisons makes no logical sense at all unless you are trying to say life in the US and life in Iraq were basically the same


I never set them out as comparisons deer, I was clear to state they were hypothetical questions in order to get an answer from Huan who i felt was deflecting the initial question. I only used the US in the example because it's where Huan is from.

quote:
I would like to know how you can speak for the majority of Iraqis or where you got the information to make such a statement.


I'd like to know how you can speak for the majority of Iraqis or where you got you non-biased information that the majority are glad. I'm sure many are glad that Saddam is gone, but many aren't happy with the occupation and more importantly, how it's being handled. Which is the point I was making earlier concerning geneva convention rules.

quote:
On the contrary, every study indicates just the opposite. On 60 Minutes, for example, they were interviewing a large group of Iraqis who had suffered sice the US invasion, either themselves or by having lost friends in the subsequent fighting.


Every study? Who's conducting and releasing these studies? The large resistance movement against the occupation would seem a good enough argument against that theory. Also the commentary of political analysts and newssources within the Arab world might conflict with that assessment as well.

I like that you include 60 minutes. A CBS program, considering you're recent editorializing of CBS i find it amusing that they're only a reliable enough if corroborating your view.

quote:
Your comment, stated as absolute fact, is in error


I wasn't stating it as absolute fact, perhaps I should have said many. But neither is your view absolute fact.
Aenimal
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28 posted 01-19-2005 09:22 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Again Huan that's not the question and i've been very clear. It's not a comparison of systems, it was a hypothetical question because you refuse to answer the initial question.

If a foreign nation/government, attacked your model of society, let's say a capitalist model, stating that they've come to free you from capitalism, would you view it as freedom or would you disagree and fight it?

Furthermore and this was really the initial point of the question. WOULD YOU USE ALL MEANS NECCESSARY TO FIGHT THAT OCCUPATION, INCLUDING FIGHTING ON THE STREETS AND FIGHTING WITHOUT UNIFORM?
Aenimal
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29 posted 01-19-2005 09:24 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Balladeer I've already stated it wasn't a comparison. The intial question was regarding fighting without a uniform.

Huan stated "Don’t forget in the context of this discussion that you are talking about
people making efforts and using every means, including the deliberate
lack of clear insignia and uniform, to kill
"

And my question was whether or not he would have time or need for a uniform if he were attacked. Deflecting that direct question i had to resort to hypothetical situations.
Balladeer
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30 posted 01-19-2005 10:42 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

And my question was whether or not he would have time or need for a uniform if he were attacked. Deflecting that direct question i had to resort to hypothetical situations.

In you hypothetical questions, you simply reversed the roles of Iraqis and citizens of a free country and, by doing so, you compare.

As far as the uniforms are concerned, do you really believe that they do not wear uniforms because they do not have the "time or need" to do so? These are the people that used hospitals and schools to hide their troops and weapons. These are the people who don't wear uniforms to be able to  blend in with the general populace to avoid detection. These are the people who used women and children as human shields. It has nothing to do with not having time to wear their uniform or enlist.

So the west shouldn't hold itself to a higher standard? How do you sell democracy and western ideals when you respond with the same savagery?

My comment was based on your following statement...

the point was, in such an attack you wouldn't have the time to enlist or worry about wearing uniforms. still i suspect you would hope that geneva convention rules was observed.

By phrasing your comment in that manner you are setting up the comparison..

"you wouldn't have time...  (they didn't)
"you would hope....          (like them)

I simply replied that they have no interest in the geneva convention, which is obvious. I did not say we should feel or act the same way and for you to say " when you respond with the same savagery?" I assume you are referring to "you" as a general term and not personally aimed at me.

Why shouldn't I include the 60 Minutes article? It was taped in the field with the people. It was not an opinion or commentary, it was a film documentary. I would accept it no matter what channel it happened to be on.

Every study? Who's conducting and releasing these studies? The large resistance movement against the occupation would seem a good enough argument against that theory.

That seems to be the crux of the entire thing. This "large resistance movement" you refer to is a microscopic part of the Iraqi people. When reading some of the comments I get the feeling you believe that the insurgents are the largest part and the rest of the Iraqi people are the minority. Undoubtably, the bad eggs get the headlines as is always the case but the "large" movement? It doesn't take an army to put dynamite in a car and blow it up. Every person I have spoken to who has returned from Iraq (which I have discussed before to commentless readers) has talked about the friendliness of the Iraqi people, the hospitality, the gratitude...and, to a man, they all despise the press. THOSE, I believe, are the Iraqi people - the great majority - and the insurgents who do not want democracy or freedom for the people of Iraq are the minority. To portray the insurgents as THE Iraqi people is, to me, a misstatement.

Why don't these friendly Iraqi people stand up and be counted? I believe there are several reasons. First, they may not trust America  completely. They have lived with state-run tv and newspapers and a dictator drilling into their minds that America is evil and, all of a sudden, the Americans are in their country. It would be natural for them to be wary and to have concerns about occupation. So would I. Also, they may not know if we are going to go the course. What if we get fed up and leave? Iraq goes to warlords and a dictator, a country ruled by force again. If they are known as being supportive to the Americans, what would happen to them then? They need to keep a low profile for their own sake.

When the day comes that democracy takes over, when the Iraqi people rule themselves and protect themselves with their armies and police forces and the insurgents are defeated, then I believe you will see this great majority of Iraqi people come forward  and be counted. Until then, they will remain quiet and let the beheaders and murderers fill the headlines. There are certainly enough reporters and news agencies eager to run with headlines like that and ignore all of the good that is happening.

The insurgents are not "freedom fighters". They are brutes who do not want democracy for Iraq and they have no problem murdering fellow Iraqis to achieve their goals. Portray them as heroes if you wish but they are after power and personal gain, not what is good for their country....
Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


31 posted 01-19-2005 11:11 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Aenimal,

If a foreign nation/government, attacked a model of society, let's say a Stalinist model
by which I personally gained power, profit, and pleasure, stating that they've come to free me from my stranglehold on a subject population, would I as murderous leader or
benefiting lackey  view it as freedom or would I disagree and fight it?  

Gee, since you put it that way . . .

I guess any means including the continued murder of men, women, and children,
now under the aegis of “resistance” would be acceptable.

Is that your point?

James_A_Fraser
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since 09-03-2003
Posts 981
Out Making Anticlines


32 posted 01-19-2005 11:33 PM       View Profile for James_A_Fraser   Email James_A_Fraser   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for James_A_Fraser

"wonderful attitude, feed the cycle. and create more enemies in the process. as for no mercy and no rules of engagement, the numerous geneva convention rules being tossed at the window show you may get your wish afterall"

No -- this is a fundamental fallacy. The cycle is fed by weak response, because it lets the attacker know that we have no will to defend ourselves, and in a warrior society the weak responder will be attacked again, as surely as a reef fish with missing scales will be struck by any other fish that comes near. The only response that ends it is one that is strong enough and (I hate to say) remorseless enough that the would-be attacker doesn't dare try it again. Read Friedman's From Beruit To Jerusalem...the chapter named Hama Rules. By the time you're through retching (which is literally possible -- I nearly did) you'll understand a bit about the mentality we're facing here, and I guarantee you'll change your view.



~~J
Huan Yi
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33 posted 01-19-2005 11:46 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi


James,

"Friedman's From Beruit To Jerusalem"

?
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
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34 posted 01-19-2005 11:56 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
In you hypothetical questions, you simply reversed the roles of Iraqis and citizens of a free country and, by doing so, you compare


the intent was not as you state earlier, to compare Saddam Hussein to the United States government, but to guage how Huan would react in a situation where his way of life was under attack. whether you, or I for that matter, believe that to be the case in Iraq is not the issue.

that threat/or perceived threat, however, is the issue with many insurgents. therefore, given a situation in which you perceived your way of life was threatened would you act differently or do everything it takes to defend your view of society.

not a comparison in cultures, but a question of how one would respond.

quote:
Again, you make it sound like the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein with the mass murders, the well-documented terrorist regime of he and his sons was only evil because the US "deemed" it so.


The hypothetical question I posed about a USSR attack has nothing to do with the US attack. You continually miss the point. The question(and i did mention i hate hypothetical questions) was to guage whether Huan would engage in street warfare in civilian clothing to defend his way of life from a threat REAL or PERCEIVED.

The US is not the issue, Huan's response after is.

quote:
I simply replied that they have no interest in the geneva convention, which is obvious. I did not say we should feel or act the same way..


'and do you really think the insurgents give a damn about the Geneva convention?' is a loaded comment. it seems to set up a comparison. 'if they're not, why should we worry'

quote:
It was taped in the field with the people. It was not an opinion or commentary, it was a film documentary.


you stated i was wrong and that evidence and studies show the majority of the people approved. you cited this piece as an example. this piece doesn't question all iraqis and it certainly doesn't question the insurgents or their supporters, so how does it prove your assertion. as for documentaries, there are a number of documentaries i would suggest you watch that counter these and what's being reported out of iraq.

quote:
That seems to be the crux of the entire thing. This "large resistance movement" you refer to is a microscopic part of the Iraqi people


And yet large enough to cause considerable resistance and damages to coalition forces.

quote:
Every person I have spoken to who has returned from Iraq


Doesn't account for all soldiers coming back from iraq, some of whom have fled to canada then to return for another term.

quote:
To portray the insurgents as THE Iraqi people is, to me, a misstatement.


If not the Iraqi people as a whole then a large portion of it. Saddam out of the way the issue has become coalition occupation and coalition methods.

quote:
The insurgents are not "freedom fighters". They are brutes who do not want democracy for Iraq and they have no problem murdering fellow Iraqis to achieve their goals. Portray them as heroes if you wish but they are after power and personal gain, not what is good for their country....


and who are we the west, to determine what is and isn't good for iraqi's. Saddam and dictaroships aside, who are we to determine that a western style democracy is what's best for Iraqi interests?
No Huan my new point is that there is no point in which you won't change the question again.

James read about the various coups, betrayals and devil's deals that created the monsters and you'll get a better understanding of what, and better yet why you're dealing with what youre dealing with. And if speaking of Hamas and monsters created, maybe it would surprise you to know that Hamas was inadvertently created by Ariel Sharon.
http://www.counterpunch.org/hanania01182003.html
Balladeer
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35 posted 01-20-2005 12:14 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Saddam and dictatorships aside ????
Ron
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36 posted 01-20-2005 12:42 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I fail to see why a comparison between Iraq and America is so wholly inconceivable. Just as the similarities between a male and a female are far greater than their differences, I believe that any two cultures are more alike than different. Focus only on the differences and they seem great. Focus instead on our similarities and the differences quickly pale. People are people are people.

It is abhorrent when 10,000 children starve in Iraq. But, is it any less abhorrent when one child starves in America? Certainly not if you happen to be the parent of that child, and arguably, the loss of one in so rich a country is even harder to accept than the loss of so many more elsewhere. Yet, something like forty percent of the homeless population in every major city in America is under twelve years old. Saddam killed enemies of the state without due process, we kill them after due process, and most of the world, including our closest allies, sees relatively little difference between the two. The United States is not a perfect paradise. I can't know, but I strongly suspect Iraq was never a perfect hell.

No, we're not the same. But we're not entirely different, either, and a complete inability to compare is a glaring, and potentially dangerous, weakness. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of another. Seems to me it's one that could perhaps be better cultivated in this country.
Huan Yi
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37 posted 01-20-2005 12:49 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Aenimal,

“If not the Iraqi people as a whole then a large portion of it.”

How many would you say, in numbers?


“The question(and i did mention i hate hypothetical questions) was to guage whether Huan would engage in street warfare in civilian clothing to defend his way of life from a threat REAL or PERCEIVED.”

The problem is that your question mingled in with comments about
Iraq imply an equivalence, so to give you an affirmative answer demands
redefining “his way of life” to provide an equivalent perspective,
(that of a dictator and or criminal intent on regaining dominance of a
population through the practice of terror for his power, profit and
pleasure).  You can cast the “insurgents” in Iraq as Mafia,
but not Minutemen.


Ron,

Your comments are just as appropriate apropos
of Hitler’s Germany and Pol Pot’s Cambodia.
In fact they could be characterized as universal.
“People are people are people”
is so simple and solves everything.
When will we learn.

Midnitesun
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38 posted 01-20-2005 12:53 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun


To reiterate the original focus of my intent, which was to be aware of an Iran-might-be-next scenario:

Tehran Issues Strong Warning to US Over Any Military Action Agencies: (Arab Press)
TEHRAN, 20 January 2005 — Iran accused the United States yesterday of trying to disrupt its nuclear negotiations with the European Union by evoking the threat of a military strike, and strongly warned Washington it would respond to any “unwise measure.”

“With reliance on enormous popular support, diplomatic capacity and full military capability, the Islamic Republic of Iran will firmly respond to any unwise measure or plan,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said in a statement responding to “recent comments by US officials”.

On Monday, US President George W. Bush said he could not rule out a resort to military action if the United States failed to persuade Iran to abandon a nuclear energy program it charges is a cover for developing the bomb. Iran vehemently denies that it is developing nuclear weapons. “I hope we can solve it diplomatically, but I won’t ever take any option off the table,” Bush told US network NBC. US Secretary of State-designate Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday called for world action to keep Iran from building nuclear weapons, and repeated a threat to haul Tehran before the UN Security Council for sanctions.

“We see such moves as a psychological campaign and political pressure,” Asefi said. He said one of the aims of the US administration was “not to help and encourage Europe to peacefully settle some disagreements through diplomacy and talks, but to disrupt the Iran-EU nuclear talks by pretending they are unsuccessful.”

The EU “Big Three” — Britain, France and Germany — have been spearheading diplomatic efforts with Iran and are in the midst of crucial talks aimed at finding a long-term solution that would ease international worries.

The Foreign Ministry statement also followed a report in the New Yorker magazine Monday that US commandos had been operating inside Iran since mid-2004 to search out potential targets for attack — something the magazine said could come as early as mid-2005.

The Pentagon said the report was “riddled with errors.” Iran also dismissed the report, asserting that “American commandos are not able to enter Iran so easily to spy.” “It would simplistic to accept such an idea,” said Ali Agha Mohammadi, a spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. “We know our borders,” he added, also dismissing the report of US covert actions as part of a “psychological campaign” directed against Iran’s clerical regime and “not even worth thinking about”.

Influential former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani also declared late Tuesday that Iran would not be intimidated by “foreign enemies” and cautioned Washington against dreaming of an attack.

“We are not afraid of foreign enemies’ threats and sanctions, since they know well that throughout its Islamic and ancient history, Iran has been no place for adventurism,” Rafsanjani, a possible contender in the June presidential election, told the state news agency IRNA.
*
This, from today's Arab Press. While everyone   seems to want to rehash everything about Iraq, I hope you are paying close attention to what's happening in Iran, as well as the rest of the ME. You can sit here in the comfort of your warm homes and debate all the issues endlessly. Meanwhile, a quick reality check tells me that about half the world is fair game for a US invasion or "assist" if you follow the mindset that we have the right to go anywhere we choose on this planet to get other governments to choose OUR lifestyle and governing methods. What about all the countries that wish to maintain their own form of government?
James, it bothers me greatly that you think we have some God-given INALIENABLE right to do as we please globally, and everyone else be damned if they don't agree with us...
a scary, positively scary approach to world politics.
Iraq is not Iran, is not Israel is not Russia or China, not Canada or Sweden or Korea... definitely not USA. You cannot force the world to buy the American way, yet I think manty people feel its an American RIGHT, or maybe a Christian right? What bothers me is that no matter how many times people in other countries suggest we back off, we seem determined to come charging in, waving our self-righteous flag of FREEDOM, while stomping all over other people's freedom to choose.
I apologize to all for not having sufficient time the past few days to read every comment here. What I am doing, is working with as many people as I can who wish to work for peaceful solutions, and that always takes MORE time than using guns and bombs.
(But who knows if and when the terrorists and insurgents will be ready to listen?)
It seems to me, that too much time and energy is spent on the same old stimulus/response scenario that keeps humans attacking one another, over and over again.
(When will we ever learn? Give Peace a  Chance.)

I hope you will seriously consider reading the likes of Uri Avnery of Gush Shalom as often as you choose to read American media reporters, and also read Al Jazeera and the Arab Press, the BBC or maybe even the Canadian news media?


Huan Yi
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39 posted 01-20-2005 01:06 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Let’s ask a simple question.  Would Iran,
as the fundamentalist theocracy it is,
with nuclear weapons be a threat?

Would Afghanistan under the Taliban
with nuclear weapons have been a threat?


P.S.

“In Iran, a married woman who is raped risks the death penalty for adultery if she cannot prove she was violated.

If she kills her attacker, she may also face the death sentence for murder.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4172551.stm


Balladeer
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40 posted 01-20-2005 01:14 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

If we have a moral right to enter any country at any time, and inflict any and all damage we deem suitable in whatever way we deem suitable . . . then so do they. Essentially, such logic (sic) justifies 9/11 and characterizes it as a moral act.

Saddam killed enemies of the state without due process, we kill them after due process


Ron, for a man who can claim that terrorists who come to the US to murder thousands of civilians are basically as moral as we who hunt them down after the fact, for a man who can claim that mass murder is no different than executing prisoners of capital crimes after due process of law, I can understand how you would not see a difference between the United States and Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

It is abhorrent when 10,000 children starve in Iraq. But, is it any less abhorrent when one child starves in America?

One small point that seems to be overlooked in that statement is that the UN-imposed sanctions created shortages in Iraq and subsidies of billions of dollars were given to Hussein to provide food, medicines and basic supplies to the Iraqi people, which he kept for himself and allowed the children to starve while he built palaces. Somehow that point seems a little important to me. ALso, there is NO reason for a child to die of starvation in America. Every person in America has the right and ability to work to earn enough money to feed his family. For those who can't work there are government subsidies to provide food. If a child starves in America, it is not the government's fault - it is the parent's....period. If I were that parent of the child in your example, it would be MY fault not to see that my child had food enough to live.

Hussein was responsible for the mass starvations in Iraq. Not much difference between the greatest democracy in the world and a country run by a dictator who terrorized and murdered thousands of civilians? I beg to differ.....
Aenimal
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41 posted 01-20-2005 01:18 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Deer

quote:
Saddam and dictatorships aside ???


Yes because it wasn't the issue at hand, and because Saddam deposed, many Iraqis are now focussed on US occupation.

btw Thanks for ignoring the rest of the response where I explained myself for the 3rd time. and thanks for not calling me anti-american, it was a refreshing change of pace.

Huan,

quote:
The problem is that your question mingled in with comments about
Iraq imply an equivalence


No the problem is your deflection of the question no matter HOW it was stated. Any 'implications' or 'comparisons' between Iraq and the US after the 2nd (and 3rd time)I clarified there were none, are faults in your perception.
Aenimal
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42 posted 01-20-2005 01:19 AM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
Hussein was responsible for the mass starvations in Iraq.


And strict sanctions against Iraq played no part in that?
Huan Yi
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43 posted 01-20-2005 02:00 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Aenimal,

I gave you the affirmative answer you were seeking,
simply not in the context you created or implied for it.


“And strict sanctions against Iraq played no part in that?”

Yes, they did, by forcing Saddam to choose between
using the billions he still received for the lavish comfort
and pleasure of himself and his own, or the welfare,
(as those billions were intended), of Iraqis subject
to but not needed, (except as submissive resources),
for the sustaining of his tyranny; I’m sure he anguished
mightily over that choice.  Remember the sanctions
were brought and kept on by his refusal to comply
with UN directives regarding among other issues
his weaponry, both what he was already known
or suspected to have, and what he was suspected
of wanting to if not actually adding.  
But what was a worlds’, (UN), alternative
that would have been acceptable to you?
Ron
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44 posted 01-20-2005 03:51 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, for a man who can claim that terrorists who come to the US to murder thousands of civilians are basically as moral as we who hunt them down ...

First, I never said that, Mike. In case it hasn't been clear, I'm not one of those who believe we, or anyone else, has a right to murder thousands of civilians. Second, I thought we were still talking about Iraq, not Afghanistan as your reference to hunting terrorists would imply?

quote:
... for a man who can claim that mass murder is no different than executing prisoners of capital crimes after due process of law ...

Never said that, either, Mike. What I said was that most of the civilized world believes that capital punishment is just as barbaric as less ritualized forms of murder. When an innocent man dies, it doesn't much matter to him whether he's a victim of a dictator or a flawed system. He's just as unjustly dead in either case.

More importantly, my point was that we are not above criticism on the way we treat our citizens. I doubt any country is. Which is one more similarity to add to the list.

quote:
One small point that seems to be overlooked in that statement is that the UN-imposed sanctions created shortages in Iraq and subsidies of billions of dollars were given to Hussein to provide food, medicines and basic supplies to the Iraqi people, which he kept for himself and allowed the children to starve while he built palaces. Somehow that point seems a little important to me.

Of course it's important, Mike. Unless you happen to be one of those who starved, in which case it's just a lot of finger-pointing rhetoric. The system failed. It failed at MORE than a single point, but a correction made at ANY of those points would have saved lives. You can blame whatever point gives the greatest comfort, but it won't matter a jot to the kids who died.

quote:
ALso, there is NO reason for a child to die of starvation in America. Every person in America has the right and ability to work to earn enough money to feed his family. For those who can't work there are government subsidies to provide food. If a child starves in America, it is not the government's fault - it is the parent's....period. If I were that parent of the child in your example, it would be MY fault not to see that my child had food enough to live.

If that helps you sleep better at night, Mike, then I honestly envy your naiveté. But, hey, maybe you're right. Maybe it's all the parent's fault. So what do you say we invest maybe a tenth of one percent of what we're spending to stop Saddam from killing kids on stopping that parent from killing his? I might even go along with capping the parent, since that seems to be today's solution to social problems. Any one else want to declare open season on the homeless?

quote:
Not much difference between the greatest democracy in the world and a country run by a dictator who terrorized and murdered thousands of civilians?

I could point at any number of conflicts, Mike, where the U.S. has terrorized and killed its share of civilians. I could even point at times when we've terrorized and killed our OWN civilians, mostly because someone didn't like the color of their skin. But I'll let that slide and assume you only want to talk about American behavior in the past few years?

I'm actually much more interested in your criteria for declaring the U.S. the "greatest democracy in the world?" I won't even quibble that we're a Republic, not a democracy as such, but would be interested in hearing your thoughts. Is it wealth that makes us great? Military might? Why, in your mind, are we greater than Canada or Britain or Australia?

It's cool, I think, to be proud. It's not so cool when one lets pride blind them to reality.

The problem with being great, I think, is that it doesn't seem to leave a lot of room for improvement. And, personally, I think there's still a whole lot of room left. I'd sure hate to see us stop improving things out of misplaced pride.

quote:
Your comments are just as appropriate apropos of Hitler’s Germany and Pol Pot’s Cambodia. In fact they could be characterized as universal. “People are people are people” is so simple and solves everything. When will we learn.

John, I know how you love to bring everything back to Nazi Germany, but this time, you're actually not as far from the mark as usual. One of the things that characterized Germany of that era, after all, was its willingness to attack other countries to further its own interests. It got so good at it, and so good at justifying it, that the whole world had to band together to stop them. I'm certainly not suggesting America is becoming another Nazi Germany, because I think there are still some very important, even critical, differences. However, perhaps one shouldn't ignore the similarities, either?


Huan Yi
Member Ascendant
since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


45 posted 01-20-2005 06:58 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Ron,

“One of the things that characterized Germany of that era, after all, was its willingness to attack other countries to further its own interests. It got so good at it, and so good at justifying it, that the whole world had to band together to stop them.”

Where did you get that idea?  The first country it attacked was Poland
which in a matter of days brought declarations of war by France and England.
Territorial expansion prior to that was accomplished with the consent
of those same countries seeking to appease Hitler for the sake of peace
in their time.

As an aside, waiting then to be attacked themselves, during the period known
as “The Phony War”, France and England allowed Germany to conquer
Poland, (with Stalin’s assistance), redeploy it’s forces back to the Western
Front against France and England, (where it was substantially inferior
especially in armor), and then launch an attack which defeated a demoralized
France, (which still had more and better tanks than the Germans), in a
matter or weeks while driving the British without much of their equipment
out to sea.*


*I urge you to purchase, borrow or rent “The World At War”,
( narrated by the late Lawrence Olivier) series.  It’s an excellent
historical narrative of the events with eyewitness accounts
by both major and minor participants.
Aenimal
Member Rara Avis
since 11-18-2002
Posts 7451
the ass-end of space


46 posted 01-20-2005 03:28 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

quote:
simply not in the context you created or implied for it.


lol Huan, if i placed a clearly white chair in a room, asking whether it was black or white. you'd give me a dissertation on why it was grey. there were no implications but your own. you'll excuse me for not clarifying the question a 5th time.
Ron
Administrator
Member Rara Avis
since 05-19-99
Posts 9708
Michigan, US


47 posted 01-20-2005 03:34 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

I don't see any conflict in what I said and you said, John, but more importantly, I don't see any relevance.
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


48 posted 01-20-2005 05:26 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

  


Thanks for ignoring the rest of the response where I explained myself for the 3rd time.

Once again, Raph, you show either an inability or lack of desire to answer without antagonistic or personal innuendos. I see no reason to continue discussions with you and, hopefully, you feel the same way.
Balladeer
Administrator
Member Empyrean
since 06-05-99
Posts 26302
Ft. Lauderdale, Fl USA


49 posted 01-20-2005 06:57 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ron, thank you for your response...

Second, I thought we were still talking about Iraq, not Afghanistan as your reference to hunting terrorists would imply?

We are still talking about Iraq, Ron, unless you believe going into Iraq had nothing to do with terrorism. You may state that Bush cited WMD's (as the entire world believed) but WMD's in the hands of whom? Terrorists. You may come up with a variety of other reasons people have tried to use, such as we want their oil, revenge for daddy Bush, or to make money for Cheney but I don't think you would. I believe the main object was terrorism. Afghanistan had been taken from them as a safe haven. Iraq, with a dictator with WMD's (which was a universal belief) and who hated the United States would be, not only a reasonable, but obvious choice. If I exterminate a house for rats, I don't do one room and claim the job is done. I make sure they are gone from the entire house. Iraq was the next room - and there may be others. Has it worked? We've had no further terroist attacks in the US and the only thing Bin Laden seems to be able to do is make a tape every few months because he is too busy running and having an organization that has been severely damaged by our actions. It's about terrorism...


What I said was that most of the civilized world believes that capital punishment is just as barbaric as less ritualized forms of murder.  

I won't disagree with that, Ron. I am not a big proponent of capital punishment. Having said that, however, I still cannot make a comparison between a criminal being executed and the citizens of a city being gassed or having millions placed in gas chambers and executed.

You can blame whatever point gives the greatest comfort, but it won't matter a jot to the kids who died.

I don't understand that reply at all. I do not blame Hessein because it a comfort. I blame Hussein because it was orchestrated by Hussein.

If that helps you sleep better at night, Mike, then I honestly envy your naiveté. But, hey, maybe you're right. Maybe it's all the parent's fault. So what do you say we invest maybe a tenth of one percent of what we're spending to stop Saddam from killing kids on stopping that parent from killing his? I might even go along with capping the parent, since that seems to be today's solution to social problems. Any one else want to declare open season on the homeless?

I don't say it because it helps me sleep better, Ron. I say it because I believe it and I do enough for charities that you can not even be aware of to sleep very well. Yes, in the case of children, it is the parent's fault. Anyone can work. We have that opportunity and that freedom. We may not get the jobs we want or the salary we want, we may have to take jobs other people don't want to do but anyone willing to do so can make enough to keep a child from starving. Selling pencils on a street corner would do that. As far as the homeless are concerned, there are many reasons people wind up homeless and I symphathize with every one of them...personal tragedy, lack of education, mental illness are a few. We could go a lot farther than we do in helping these people, I agree, We can give the uneducated the opportunity for education. We could provide counciling for those who have been unable to overcome tragedies or trauma. We could also use mental health professionals to get treatment for those who need it. There will still be others, of course, that will remain homeless because they have given up all hope and that's the way they will remain. There is help for them, too. SHould it all boil down to "Why doesn't the government do something?" There are many private organizations that DO do something, many of them financed by the government. The church I frequent has a soup kitchen three days a week in a very poor section of Ft, Lauderdale. Many churches and organizations do this. I give readings at a "half-way" house where homeless are given a place to stay and three meals a day for up to six months, during which they are required to attend classes to give them some training and preparation for getting back on their feet. They don't declare open season on the homeless and neither do I. Homelessness is not a government-created problem. WHy should it have only government-created solutions? But homelessness is still a far cry from parents allowing their children to actually die of starvation....

I'm actually much more interested in your criteria for declaring the U.S. the "greatest democracy in the world?"

Well, Ron, to tell you the truth, I knew as I typed those words in, I was leaving myself wide open and I will concede that there is certainly a degree of national pride in that comment, as well as Podunk University holding up their fingers and screaming "We're number one!!' at a football game. I have the greatest respect for Canada, Britan, AUstrailia, and all democratic (or republic) countries and my comment was not to demean them. What I meant to say was that we have the greatest economy in the world. We pay less personal taxes than other countries (I believe Canada and Britain will agree!) In Miami, our stores are filled with foreigners to come here to buy goods, such as clothing, furniture, etc to take home because of the prices. I don't see them going to Canada or Britain for the same reason. We have the majority of the greatest universities in the world. Look how many countries send their people to the United States to be educated.How many doctors all over the world came to America for their education?  We have a reputation of being one of the most giving countries in the world. In this past tsunami tragedy there was a picture of a young Indian girl holding up a sign reading "Help us, America".  There were no signs reading "help us, UN" or help us (any other country in the world). Why? Because that is our reputation. We are the hope for people everywhere who want freedom. For these reasons and others, yes, I beat my chest and made my comment. We certainly have our flaws and I agree that we must work on them or they will be our undoing. Our children continually score low grades when compared with other countries. A large part of our population knows absolutely nothing about the rest of the world. You say Spain, they say "bullfight". You say England, they say "The Beatles". You say France, they say "whine - er, wine". Only a small part of the population is bilingual. In Europe most people speak several languages, they know all  about other countries. Ask the average American which country borders Spain and they will not be able to tell you. Ask any European and they will be able to tell you. It's a question of geography....Americans are too much into themselves and not part of the world simply because they don't have to be and that is a mistake. Our legal system needs major work. I could go on and on but suffice to say I accept that we have many roads to travel to become better. My pride does not blind me, Ron. I am in complete agreement that there is a lot of room for improvement...
 
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