Reading Current Events

May 14, 2004 18:23 # 22388

mclaincausey *** rants...

Iraq: A rant

87% | 5

A rant written by a friend of a friend:

Well, it has been a while, no?

A cartoon in today's newsday shows Saddam Hussein reading a newspaper whose headline concerns the torture revelations at the Abu Ghraib prison. The caption has him saying" News of torture and degradation in Baghdad make me sick... Homesick."

Forget, for a minute, the moral high ground, the Al Qeada recruitment poster, the mess in Iraq or the absolutely unimaginable travesty of using private "contractors" -- i.e. mercenaries -- to conduct interrogations of Iraqis we have captured (Remember, however, that right after 9-11 our wonderful, freedom-loving administration stated a policy of turning certain suspects over for interrogation by allied governments who could engage in methods of "questioning" that the United States was (at least theoretically) precluded from undertaking, and the idea of using private contractors to conduct torture and thereby give the chickenhawks in Washington "plausible deniability" is not so far-fetched.)

Forget all that for a second -- these guys running our government were suppossed tobe, if nothing else, "competent". They ran as the gorwn-ups to clean up the world left messy by the kids in the Clinton administration. Instead, it seems they have no competence at all. They werer wrong about the WMD. They were wrong to listen to that convicted fraud Chalabi about the welcome our "liberators" would receive (CNN reported yesterday that over 70% of Iraqis view the Americans as occupiers while only 19% view us as liberators). Cheney even said recently that he was surprised by how much residual anger was left over from our abandonment of the anti-Saddam iraqis after daddy's gulf war. OK, so thay ain't competent, They are stupid, ideologically-driven, factually bereft, dumb-ass motherfuckers. O,K, granted. But this is beyond even that...

How tone deaf do you have to be to use the very prison where Saddam tortured his people -- where the rape rooms our president keeps talking about used to be -- as the location where we detain iraqis and interrogate them? How incredibly incompetent, stupid and, lets face it, blind, do you have to be not see that as a mistake -- a grievous symbolic error of the greatest magnitude in our battle for "hearts and minds" (something this country is so damned good at, right? just look at all the love we get from the vietnamese -- the last folks whose hearts and minds we sought to win over with ordnance)? I mean, impressions matter. Even without the torture, how dumb is using that building? What message does that send out to the folks in iraq -- especially the ones with family members detained, tortured and humiliated therein?

Was this about saving money? 100 billion dollars and counting in Iraq and we're too cheap to build a new prison, torture chamber and rape room? Hell, Hallliburton owes the government a few million bucks in refunds for "overcharges" (yeah -- like Enron overcharged California. When my clients engage in similar behavior on a far lesser scale, it has a different name. And they don't just get to pay back the money. And Halliburton doesn't even have to cough up the interest it earned on the millions it stole. And Cheney got over 170,000 in pay from Halliburton last year!!!) Let them build a state of the art torture chamber.

Imagine the outrage, BTW, in the Muslim world to have these men stripped naked and interrogated -- and touched!!! -- by a smiling, heathen woman. Remember, these guys aren't even suppossed to shake hands with a woman outside their family. And now some dumb American bimbo is playing with one of their genitals. What's next, pork rinds and ham steaks for dinner? with a beer chaser? How stupid are we?

As to the pretense that this was an isolated incident from some disobedient soldiers (and notice how the one to take the hit was the woman, reservist general -- clearly not part of the good old boy pentagon network): A soldier who tortures a prisoner in his care is unlikely to take photographs of himself or herself doing so unless he or she clarly beleived that this conduct was sanctioned by the powers that be. In general (and I must say, I have had clients who disprove this rule), when one commits a crime, one does not simultaneously make a recording of same to be used as evidence at a later proceeding. These soldiers in these pictures were smiling as if they were at Disneyland, and taking photos to send home to mom. Clearly they were not concerned about ramifications if someone discovered they had engaged in the conduct in question.

And, like Lt. Calley 40 years ago (ring a bell, youngsters and cousins? If not, e-mail me and I'll fill in the historical blanks left out of the average american education), these soldiers, who deserve to be punished, are now going to be the fall guys. And the true perps, and the full extent of the conduct, will never be revealed.

(In this respect, check out Amnesty Internation, as cited by move-on.org., regarding widespread reports of torture abuse and even murder at that prison. A headline in today's paper viewed in passing also alluded to at least two deaths of prisoners at the abughraib center.)

I ranted about this before, in connection with Halliburton and the lack of adequate water and supplies for our troops in the field, but now that news of "contractors" seems to be permiating the media, its time to again touch on the subject: YOU DO NOT PRIVATIZE WAR!!!! WAR IS A GOVERNMENT FUNCTION!!! THERE SHOULD BE NO PROFIT MOTIVE IN A WAR!!!

I understand that this administration has a belief -- as based in fact as its conclusions regarding nukes in Iraq, WMD, Chalabi, etc. -- that the private sector is inevitably better than government at just about everything. Personally, I don't see how building a profit into something makes it somehow cheaper or more efficient to run. But it seems beyond dispute that there are certain things that can NOT be privatized -- and the army and war has to be number one on the list. Law enforcement and prisons should be number two, but we have private companies running jails all over this country. (And given that they make a profit, it seems clear that the onyl way for them to be cheaper is for them to cut bakc on security, on food and activities for the inmates and salaries and training for the staff)
WAR IS PUBLIC BUSINESS, and we should not be in the business of hiring mercenaries to do what our soldiers should be doing.
(Not to say there aren't times when it behooves any government to go "off the shelf". But the occupation of a country we invaded is clearly not that sort of circumstance)

We have become Alice on the other side of the looking glass:

The guy who took five deferments and avoided VietNam, famously declaraing that he had other priorities at the time (I bet those 700 dead soldiers in Iraq, not to mention the tens of thousands of dead iraqis, [robably had other priorities, too) is able to impugn the patriotism and integrity of the guy who went and fought, and was wounded three times, and got medals for bravery and valor.

Now the right wing attack machine is impugning Kerry, claiming he didn't deserve one of the purple hearts he got -- saying the injury wasn't that severe or that Kerry shot a mortar at a rock and took shrapnel.
GOOD MORNING. YOU DO NOT ASK FOR A PURPLE HEART. The Navy, in Kerry's case, gives it to you if it thinks you earned it. (It's true that in times of failed warfare, like Nam was, the military tends to try to award a whole lot of medals for PR purposes, but that is not really relevant to this discussion.) Whether or not that medal was earned, IT WAS AWARDED TO HIM. So, all those guys who are trying to dis Kerry regarding his Purple Heart are actually IMPUGNING THE NAVY WHICH AWARDED SAME!!!!!!!
And that, of course, is the question that should be asked of these people at every occasion: Are you saying that the Navy wrobngfully awarded this medal to Lt. Kerry?
Are you doubting the honesty and competence of our armed forces?

(Can you imagine the brouhaha if some left-wing politician questioned some military honor or medal awarded to his republican opponent?)

Finally, is the president allowed to merely divery nearly three quarters of a billion dollars which had been allocated by Congress for a specific purpose, to one of his pet projects, without even informing Congress?

That's enough.

Peace,
Danny

Ewige Blumenkraft!

This post was edited by mclaincausey on May 14, 2004.

May 14, 2004 19:58 # 22390

MrVicious *** rants...

Re: Iraq: A rant

98% | 3

Nice rant. Seems a bit one sided though, especially in reference to the interrogation of Iraqi POWs. When they capture us, the men get a car battery hooked to their genitals, or a quart of castor oil down their throats. The women get beaten and raped by the same men who aren't supposed to even shake hands with women outside their families.

We pull fraternity pranks. Yeah, shame on us.

And in retaliation for our interrogation methods, what happens? Some guy from Pennsylvania, who for some ungodly reason is in the middle east, gets beheaded by some terrorists. And it's not a guillotine they use or anything. It's not one quick chop with a good sized axe or sword. It's sawed off for about 20 long seconds while he screams in agony.

If it were up to me, I'd castrate any high rank POW and leave them to bleed do death in a cold concrete cell.

I'm really very fed up with that whole part of the world and how some people in our country feel sorry for them. I'm not usually one to say things like this, because I do acknowledge that there are good people that live there. Innocent people. But I say nuke them all and have a nice big campfire where they used to be. If they want to do this back-and-forth shit trying to top each other, let's just go straight to the end, because that IS the end. You can't retaliate to a 400 megaton blast when you're blind and your skin is melting off.

Ask em how that Nuclear Genocide tastes with a side of Rot in Hell.

I'm sure I'll mellow out later, but it just pisses me off when people feel sorry for the poor Iraqi soldiers. Why don't you ask that one female soldier (can't remember her name, wish I hadn't even heard the story) who was captured what she think's of the Iraqi soldiers. You know, the ones that shot her, stabbed her, and raped her. Think she'll feel the same way you do?

(Yeah, I know it's a friend of a friend. Maybe show him this for me.)

"What you don't understand you can make mean anything." - Misty Wilmot

May 14, 2004 20:13 # 22391

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

93% | 2

If it were up to me, I'd castrate any high rank POW and leave them to bleed do death in a cold concrete cell.

That makes you no better than a terrorist.

We can no longer pretend to hold the moral high ground when our soldiers act like terrorists. All does is make the terrorists right. They can now say "See? I told you so. The Americans are evil."

By the way, having a German Sheperd rip out your innards is beyond "fraternity pranks."

As for "feeling sorry" for people, you are completely missing the point. America is turning its back on basic ideals of the supposedly civilized West. Ideals that at least on the surface for SOME people make it seem OK for us to invade sovereign nations, the "barbarian hordes" of the east and south. Ideals that might make us appear to be liberators instead of conquerors to some people, most importantly the Iraqis. When those ideals are proven to be false, the entire operation is compromised. Our soldiers and Iraqi civilians are in more jeopardy, and the entire region is destabilized yet further.

Saddam might have been a bad man, but the world was a better place with him in power than it is now. The occupying power has destabilized the country and apparently is engaging in similar treatment of their captors: what has changed for the better? I heard a civilian put it poignantly: "If this is fre3edom, I'll take Saddam."

Ewige Blumenkraft!

This post was edited by mclaincausey on May 14, 2004.

May 14, 2004 21:53 # 22396

MrVicious *** shakes his head...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

That makes you no better than a terrorist.

I disagree. Although it's on the same level of violence they use, motivation is what seperates me from them. They would kill me because I'm American. I would kill them because they've killed innocent people and won't stop killing innocent people until they themselves are dead.

I have no problem with dispensing pain and agony to the ones who are deserving. I'm sure you could say that they think the same thing, and that they have their own "reasons" but if their reasons are just as good as mine, then join em. I'm sure after you explained that you understand their anger, they'd happily let you live.

Or they'd drag you through the street, bludgeon you to shit, and set you on fire like they did American workers. (I believe the beheaded gentleman had a job raising cell phone towers, and he wasn't the first with that kind of job there to be executed.)

I didn't hear about the German Shepard, and if you could confirm that information, I'd be grateful, but do you honestly think that our soldiers would do things like that (or be permitted to for that matter) if the enemies they were fighting weren't so barbaric to begin with?

Fuck high moral ground. They rape and torture, we grin and bare it? If it were your sister? Your wife? Your brother? They're making this as personal as possible. I say we get personal.

"It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our
hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover
impotence." - Mahatma Gandhi

"What you don't understand you can make mean anything." - Misty Wilmot

May 15, 2004 01:25 # 22410

Bunk *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

93% | 2

Although it's on the same level of violence they use, motivation is what seperates me from them. They would kill me because I'm American. I would kill them because they've killed innocent people and won't stop killing innocent people until they themselves are dead.

I'm assuming you're ignoring all the innocent people the americans have bombed to pieces in Afghanistan and Iraq because those were "accidents". Sorry, but the people on the receiving end don't make that distinction.

In your previous post you mention the idea of nuking Iraq. Well all those cold war leftovers gotta find a use somewhere I guess. But how about this: just leave. Abandon Iraq, pull out of Afghanistan, forget about the whole Middle East Interference thing altogether. It really hasn't gone all that well, for no lack of trying over the last 50 years. Like you say, they're caught up in that back-and-forth thing, so lets let them finish it on their own, and save ourselves a bunch of trouble.

the beheaded gentleman had a job raising cell phone towers

This set me along to wondering why someone would be setting up cell phone towers in Iraq. Then the obvious answer dawned on me: So the average Iraqi can finally call someone about where all their relatives, or at least their relatives bodies, are, and why they still don't have clean water, food, power, and once that shell hits, a place to live.

The towers are, of course, for the Americans in Iraq. I think that military communications are a little more secure than your average cell phone, so it was probably for the American civilians, who are in Iraq; contractors and such. They are there to gain econmically from the occupation. So, if they chose to enter a war zone, unwanted, for entirely their own purposes, knowing the risks, and proceed without military protection, it seems a little, well, thick.

The point is, the reason that Americans keep going back to the middle east is not for world peace, or to bring freedom, but it is primarily for the purposes of profit, corporate agendas, and economic dominence. Are these justifications for occupation of a nation, and the escalating loss of life?

But I can't find no place or nothin', where thrills are cheap, and love is divine

This post was edited by Bunk on May 15, 2004.

May 17, 2004 02:12 # 22490

MrVicious *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

75% | 2

I'm assuming you're ignoring all the innocent people the americans have bombed to pieces in Afghanistan and Iraq because those were "accidents". Sorry, but the people on the receiving end don't make that distinction.

I'm not ignoring it. I thought it was idiotic. Surgical bombing my ass. Notice the fact that I was speaking on a very personal level with my statement that you quoted. I wasn't the one who bombed those people, and if it were my decision, I WOULDN'T have bombed those people.

Believe it or not, I DO feel for the Iraqi civilians. When it comes to being delicate with the Iraqi people, the Bush Administration(s) suck(s).

"What you don't understand you can make mean anything." - Misty Wilmot

May 15, 2004 01:45 # 22412

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

78% | 4

I would kill them because they've killed innocent people and won't stop killing innocent people until they themselves are dead.

Lame and easily shot down argument. What makes a society civilized in the legal realm is due process and the principle of innocence until proven guilt. As long as the suspects are incarcerated, they are no danger to anyone, and if they have killed "innocent people" (as opposed to people whom they view as unwelcome conquerors) then they should be treated as suspected murderers. Are suspected murderers humiliated and tortured in our prison system? Not systematically, though I'm sure it happens, because we are, supposedly, an advanced, ethically sound society.

I have no problem with dispensing pain and agony to the ones who are deserving.

Well, unfortunately for you, that isn't your place, nor is it the place of our soldiers. International law, our own military statutes, and domestic law, as well as the teachings of almost every world religion (including Islam), forbid such beavior.

I didn't hear about the German Shepard, and if you could confirm that information, I'd be grateful, but do you honestly think that our soldiers would do things like that (or be permitted to for that matter) if the enemies they were fighting weren't so barbaric to begin with?

This is a matter of public record, you can look it up yourself. It is in General Taguba's report among other places. I'm actually not sure it's a German Shepherd, but I know it did happen and that the military has admitted to having photographs of the incident, which they do not want to release.

It doesn't matter how barbaric the rebels may be. Repaying them in kind is stupid for a number of reasons: for one thing, it undermines the battle for Iraqi hearts and minds, which is the most important battle of all. (We cannot afford to keep a standing army in Iraq indefinitely, nor can we annihilate the population and let Halliburton move in). For another, it lends momoentum to the resistance and gives them another cause to rally around. The third and most important problem with it in my view is that it undermines this country's legitimacy in the eyes of the world and damages its image irreparably. It makes us an even bigger target for terrorism than we already were and it convinces the whole world that we are a hypocritical, dishonest, and morally bankrupt nation. Any Islamic people who were on the fence as to whether the US is "the Great Satan" now likely believe that we are.

Fuck high moral ground. They rape and torture, we grin and bare it? If it were your sister? Your wife? Your brother? They're making this as personal as possible. I say we get personal.

We don't "grin and bear it," we attempt to find and either kill in combat or prosecute in trial the people responsible for these acts.

The US used to be viewed by much of the world as a beacon of freedom, opportunity, and civility. If this country is going to continue foreign interventions, it is important to maintain that image. In one presidential term, that image has been tarnished beyond repair. It severely undermines our effectiveness as the world's sole superpower. It impinges upon our country's ability to do good in the world (though anyone who has read many of my posts knows how skeptically I regard our forgeign interventions anyway!)

Moral high ground is what separates humans from beasts. I am a human and I want the people who represent me to behave like humans, no matter what kinds of beasts they are pitted against in battle. Moral rectitude isn't a matter of convenience, and revenge should never compromise one's ideals.

Taking the moral high road is more difficult than sinking into the morass of evil. That's what makes it the high road: it's harder, but it's a sacrifice that a good person is willing to make. That's what makes him/her a good person.

Being a good person means operating under the restraint of a moral code in all circumstances, no matter how difficult it may be to do so. This is called integrity, and we as a people should insist that our law enforcement personnel, our judges, our leaders, and our soldiers operate with integrity at all times. In these times of moral decay, integrity is becoming a lost attribute. But of all places, one would hope to find it in our military.

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 15, 2004 05:23 # 22424

eljefe *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

93% | 2

Lame and easily shot down argument. What makes a society civilized in the legal realm is due process and the principle of innocence until proven guilt. As long as the suspects are incarcerated, they are no danger to anyone, and if they have killed "innocent people" (as opposed to people whom they view as unwelcome conquerors) then they should be treated as suspected murderers. Are suspected murderers humiliated and tortured in our prison system? Not systematically, though I'm sure it happens, because we are, supposedly, an advanced, ethically sound society.

And who are we, according to your argument, to define a society as "Civilized" in our "supposedly ethically sound society"? By doing such a thing, we turn into the old colonial British, convinced of total superiority. You want to know what mankinds impediment that makes "ethically sound societys" a fantasy? Itself. As long as we are human and not gods, there will be no "ethically sound society". There will be the lesser of evils. You can name a moral high ground, that much is common throughout the world, but beginning to use civlized and it's opposite, barbaric, that begins to make some problems.

We don't "grin and bear it," we attempt to find and either kill in combat or prosecute in trial the people responsible for these acts.

Oh, right, sooooo... where's the concluding news story about the US femal POW and her rapers brought to justice... oh wait, we forgot about her. What about the man who had his throat slit? Havn't heard anything on the drivel box (its late, I just came up with a word :D I'm talking about the TV for those with poor context-reading abilities), sorry.

In one presidential term, that image has been tarnished beyond repair.

No, the image was lost before it could be tarnished, thanks to U.S. Grant (the most corrupt president) and Richard Nixon (who is not a crook :P).

Being a good person means operating under the restraint of a moral code in all circumstances, no matter how difficult it may be to do so. This is called integrity, and we as a people should insist that our law enforcement personnel, our judges, our leaders, and our soldiers operate with integrity at all times. In these times of moral decay, integrity is becoming a lost attribute. But of all places, one would hope to find it in our military.

And yet integrity is found in the military, unfortunately, nitpicking the military provides better headlines for CNN.

Moral high ground is what separates humans from beasts. I am a human and I want the people who represent me to behave like humans, no matter what kinds of beasts they are pitted against in battle. Moral rectitude isn't a matter of convenience, and revenge should never compromise one's ideals.

All sarcasm and such away, I couldn't have said this better myself (and I'm serious).

Poor mclaincausey, I don't think your opponent is making much of a challenge for you. I must retreat to being bitter and thinking "Gee, thanks Mom, Dad, and all you baby boomers, for tossing this pile of shit into my future. Great graduation present."

Pistol Grip Pump In My Lap At All Times

May 17, 2004 02:07 # 22489

MrVicious *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

Sorry, I'd have replied more but I was gone for the weekend with no computer (Aaaahhhhh).

(This part is about Iraq)

Do I think we should've gone to Iraq in the first place? Nope, I'm all for us minding our own business unless it's absolutely necessary to do otherwise. Do I think it's a bad thing that Saddam is out of power? Hah, no. Things are bad there now? No shit. It takes time to rebuild a government. As in years, not months.

The Iraqi military has been ignoring any kind of humanity in their interrogations for years. The punishment should fit the crime. You gonna feed them and keep em comfy while you go investigate and see who exactly stuck electrodes and knives into our people AND their people, sometimes for no other reason than they could?

Now as for the rest of Iraq, you think we should just leave them like that? I don't think we should keep our army just sitting there, but we have to set SOMETHING up in Saddam's place. And not something half-assed, but something with a solid foundation.

Oh yeah, Newsflash:

We never had moral highground. We never will. But neither will they. All we have going for us is that we're generally less evil, and we can (though we sometimes don't) rebuild a country after we bomb the fuck out of it.

(This part is about Terrorists)

Leaving Iraq isn't going to stop the batshit insane Muslims (Yes, I know the difference between good Muslims and batshit insane Muslims, so NO I'm not calling all Muslims batshit insane!!) from trying to kill us as much as humanly possible. Y'know since we're so evil with our Satellite TV and our Microwave ovens and our Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movies. (... ok so that last part is evil, but still.)

It's my theory most of them hate us because we're not stuck in the 17th Century like they are. Well that's fine, hate us. But they better try a helluva lot harder to hate us a little more quietly and above ALL ELSE non-violently or sooner or later we're gonna get fed up and turn their sand trap into a fucking crater.

(This part is about our Morality)

Moral rectitude isn't a matter of convenience, and revenge should never compromise one's ideals.

I don't claim to be a good person, I doubt you could quote me as saying I am. I'm just venting my feelings on this particular subject. Who knows what I would actually do if someone made it my choice what would happen to the POWs? For all I know, I'd get a sudden wave of compassion and wait for all that due process shit. I doubt it, but it could happen.

At least I'm more honest about it than some of the people in our government. I absolutely agree that one shouldn't let revenge compromise one's ideals. Sorry, but revenge IS one of my ideals, so that isn't really helping your arguement. You can keep morality when it comes to things like this. I'll gladly take the low road.

Don't get me wrong though, I'm glad that you have your opinion. If there were more people talking like me, I'd probably be talking more like you. I suppose you could say I try to keep a balance.

"What you don't understand you can make mean anything." - Misty Wilmot

May 17, 2004 03:02 # 22497

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

95% | 2

(This part is about Iraq)

Do I think we should've gone to Iraq in the first place? Nope, I'm all for us minding our own business unless it's absolutely necessary to do otherwise. Do I think it's a bad thing that Saddam is out of power? Hah, no. Things are bad there now? No shit. It takes time to rebuild a government. As in years, not months.

Saddam wasn't a good person, but the situation was contained and there was no evidence he pas harboring or abetting terrorists. In fact, Saddam really wasn't a fan of terrorists outside his own secret police and military.

So in some respects it IS a bad thing that Saddam has been overthrown, and I'm sure a large number of Iraqis would prefer his iron fisted rule to the chaos engulfing the country now.

If Saddam were to be ousted by Western forces, the time to do it was over a decade ago when Bush I stood up the rebels at the altar. The die was already cast at that time and the US was a little more trusted in the Arab world.

Or, of course, we could have gone multilaterally with it and had the rest of the world help bear this huge burden. But then we wouldn't be able to give all those no-bid contracts to friends in high places.

The Iraqi military has been ignoring any kind of humanity in their interrogations for years. The punishment should fit the crime. You gonna feed them and keep em comfy while you go investigate and see who exactly stuck electrodes and knives into our people AND their people, sometimes for no other reason than they could?

So? That's what makes the Iraqi military a lawless bunch of barbarous thugs. I don't want our military to be a lawless bunch of barbarous thugs. No one with any sense does.

You don't have to keep them comfortable, but you are not permitted to torture, humiliate, and debase them by basic human decency (not to mention international treaty), regardless of what their military has done. You are suggesting paying avenging the actions of the Iraqi military by taking it out on these prisoners, who likely weren't even involved in those interrogations. Even if they were, it is a basic tenet of our legal system that revenge has nothing to do with prosecution and punishment.

When someone gets caught shoplifting, we don't cut off their hands: We don't live by Hammurabi's Code.

If these moral tenets become flexible in the prosecution of our enemies, then they become meaningless to all those they were written to protect, including us.

Now as for the rest of Iraq, you think we should just leave them like that? I don't think we should keep our army just sitting there, but we have to set SOMETHING up in Saddam's place. And not something half-assed, but something with a solid foundation.

Why?

We never had moral highground. We never will. But neither will they. All we have going for us is that we're generally less evil, and we can (though we sometimes don't) rebuild a country after we bomb the fuck out of it.

I agree that we don't have moral high grounds in many regards, and I've written at length about this in other forums on NaO so I won't revisit that here. That makes it all the MORE important that we maintain high standards in those areas where we DO have more advanced principles guiding us, and one of those areas is and has always been in the way we try and treat suspicted criminals.

But by saying we're "generally less evil" you undermine your claim that we don't have the moral high ground. It's difficult for me to debate you if you shoot yourself down.

As for the "rebuild a country" part, you sound as though you think we do that out of some sense of altruism. We don't. We do that strictly for our own interests, which include the construction of buildings and infrastructure and the high interest loans to secure those lucrative contracts. It also involves us building facilities and infrastructure to let US firms more efficiently rape those countries for resources.

So believe me, I know how morally bankrupt our country is. That's why it's all the more important that we protect ourselves and the rest of the world from our immorality, and that's why we should stick to the laws in place that facilitate this protection.

Leaving Iraq isn't going to stop the batshit insane Muslims

It's my theory most of them hate us because we're not stuck in the 17th Century like they are. Well that's fine, hate us. But they better try a helluva lot harder to hate us a little more quietly and above ALL ELSE non-violently or sooner or later we're gonna get fed up and turn their sand trap into a fucking crater.

The reason that the Muslim world hates us is that they believe we are mortal sinners, moral degenerates, and irredeemably evil conquerors. They see us bomb countries in retribution for terrorist attacks, and then they see us aiding and abetting Israel when they engage in terrorist activities against Palestinians. They think that we want to wipe Islam off the face of the earth, and it one can see why this appears so to them: The US is the only reason Israel, a grievous human rights abuser, continues to exist in the Middle East.

Also, the Arab world sees the economic conquest that the United States is perpetually engaged in and they suffer as a result. They see the population of Iraq starved to death and her children denied medical supplies just because we don't like their dictator, though we didn't dislike him enough to help his people remove him when we had the chance.

In summary, the Arab people see a greedy, hypocritical culture that exploits the third world and appears to have an anti-Islam agenda. They see a state that perpetrates terror on a much larger level than al-Qaeda ever could, against much more people. A lot of what you see as anti-US action is in fact anti-US RE-action. They're tired of people whom they view as debased heathens stealing from them.

someone made it my choice what would happen to the POWs? For all I know, I'd get a sudden wave of compassion and wait for all that due process shit. I doubt it, but it could happen.

You still don't get it. This isn't about mercy or compassion. This is about acting civilized. This is about abiding by guiding principles, some of the few left, seemingly, that dictate who we are as people. The reason we can't relate to people who saw some contractors head off is because of principles like these. If we start turning our back on them, then we become nothing more than hairless apes. It's a slippery slope into the barbarism of the Inquisition and ancient Rome. I believe we've made some progess since those times, and there's no reason to return to them.

At least I'm more honest about it than some of the people in our government. I absolutely agree that one shouldn't let revenge compromise one's ideals. Sorry, but revenge IS one of my ideals, so that isn't really helping your arguement. You can keep morality when it comes to things like this. I'll gladly take the low road.

Of course it helps my argument, what difference does it make what your moral standards are? You aren't the military, or the legal system. I don't care if you let revenge and hatred guide you. I just hope that if our government ever starts adopting those same base principles that you never find yourself on the wrong side of a jury.

If you look at the pictures, the smiling soldiers don't look angry, which would be typical of people seeking revenge. They look happy.

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 17, 2004 04:25 # 22499

MrVicious *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

95% | 2

But by saying we're "generally less evil" you undermine your claim that we don't have the moral high ground. It's difficult for me to debate you if you shoot yourself down.

I didn't undermine my claim. Being less evil doesn't make you good. Having more of your body out of the muck than the other person doesn't mean you have the high ground.

The US is the only reason Israel, a grievous human rights abuser, continues to exist in the Middle East.

Because Palestine is better? They practically invented modern terrorism. I'm not well versed on why we backed Israel, but I'm sure the reasons were selfish.

As for the "rebuild a country" part, you sound as though you think we do that out of some sense of altruism. We don't. We do that strictly for our own interests, which include the construction of buildings and infrastructure and the high interest loans to secure those lucrative contracts. It also involves us building facilities and infrastructure to let US firms more efficiently rape those countries for resources.

Didn't mean to sound like I thought rebuilding countries was some kind of selfless act. I know it's for our own purposes, but you don't hear Japan complaining, do you? Germany?

Of course it helps my argument, what difference does it make what your moral standards are?

My personal view is what I was posting about here. I think that's the main reason we're debating back and forth. You're taking a political stance (and taking it very well I might add) and I'm taking a more personal stance.

I don't care if you let revenge and hatred guide you.

I don't let it guide me all the time, but when anger (I think hatred is a bit strong, hatred is generally blind deaf and dumb) comes up as a natural emotion to things like this, I'd rather focus the anger on something/someone deserving of it or vent it (hurray for messageboards!).

"What you don't understand you can make mean anything." - Misty Wilmot

May 17, 2004 16:52 # 22508

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

95% | 2

. Being less evil doesn't make you good. Having more of your body out of the muck than the other person doesn't mean you have the high ground.

That is in fact the definition of higher ground.

And just because you're flawed doesn't mean you abandon all your ideals. Ideals by definition are impossible to live by, but one must try.

Because Palestine is better? They practically invented modern terrorism. I'm not well versed on why we backed Israel, but I'm sure the reasons were selfish.

Terrorism is a RESPONSE, as I already explained. It's a desperate response by a people so militarily and economically outmatched that they feel they have no other means to effectively rebel. I'm not excusing it, but in order to understand what terrorism is and where it comes from, we need to closely examine our own role in inspiring it. These people feel that their land, which they consider holy, was stolen from them. If someone came and took your land, you too would be up in arms. And if there were no way to meet them in battle, you would start considering other means of disestablishing them.

Unfortunately, such a situation is a tinderbox and Islam is fuel.

Didn't mean to sound like I thought rebuilding countries was some kind of selfless act. I know it's for our own purposes, but you don't hear Japan complaining, do you? Germany?

So you think that the US was responsible for these countries' success? Let's look at it historically. Germany went from being ravaged in WWI and suffering through the Great Depression to being the most technologically advanced and one of the most economically robust states in the world, on the brink of world domination, in a few short years. The Japanese, a tiny island, had managed before and during WWII to take over a massive chunk of the Pacific and Asia.

If history is any guide, both of these countries are composed of very strong, capable, and willful people. THAT is what rebuilt them. Consider what the US did in Dresden, Nagasaki, and Hiroshima... That speaks more of our foreign policy and our disregard for civilian life than does the postwar resurgence of these remarkable states.

Now if we look to other examples of US benevolence, like Nicaragua, Haiti, and even rich but nondemoratic states like Saudi Arabia, we see another story entirely. The usual outcome is quite different.

I understand that I am debating in part from a stance informed by political science, economics, and philosophy, but this also comes from the heart, just as does your outrage. It strengthens my beliefs when my visceral reaction is the same as my considered reflection.

The puppet was killed in a car bomb explosion, and a sarin shell exploded today.

We do not belong there.

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 17, 2004 04:50 # 22501

eljefe *** throws in his two cents...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

In summary, the Arab people see a greedy, hypocritical culture that exploits the third world and appears to have an anti-Islam agenda. They see a state that perpetrates terror on a much larger level than al-Qaeda ever could, against much more people. A lot of what you see as anti-US action is in fact anti-US RE-action. They're tired of people whom they view as debased heathens stealing from them.

I'm sorry, I must but in and just say that Iraq is not a good country either. They are so full of psycopaths twisting the islamic religion into one of mindless sacrifice and eternal warfare and full of warring factions. Iraq was not even a place of peace when Saddam was in power. Granted we are hypocritical (and I'd love to find those Americans who make us look bad and slap them around a couple times) but you must also take into account they are no bed of roses either, but I'm sure you knew this.

Why?

Because if we left now with it in it's current state, all the anti-war/pro-Iraq....let alone... people are going to snap at the government for "leaving too early" and "leaving chaos in that poor country. why didn't you stabilize it?"

I know your first reaction is "well, no we won't." Well,think. Most of the reasons behind much of the bickering are foremost political agendas and runner up, humanitarians, whom oppose for reasons like starting chaos, killing innocents, essentially your arguments plus some other places you don't/havn't gone into. Ignoring the political section, which attacks everything that isn't it, lets think about the humanitarians. They focus their argument on, as I said above, how we came in and stirred up this ruckus. We leave now, some will be satisfied, but the media, always looking for a good story, will stay and show the increasing chaos and imploding, and then the humanitarians will pick up their pickett signs and start screaming at the government that we caused Iraq to be like this because we left too early and the government will say "wtf? You said pull out, we pulled out, why are you not satisfied" and we will all revolve around this catch-22.

Should we stay in Iraq, the humanitarians will complain until we setup, then when we leave Iraq as a stable country with a capable police force (and, i'm willing to bet, a contingent of the army to make sure another saddam doesn't take power), the humanitarians will shout "finally" and the media won't stay because something moneymaking... I mean historic... is going to happen in North Korea or China or Russia or Cuba or Rockville, Maryland (a city in which I've never been... cheesy lewis black reference). Naturally, the political agenda will say "the government is republican/democratic and that isn't right."

Thats why we should stay and clean up our mess... and watch as McDonalds sprouts up everywhere in Fallujah and Baghdad.

But that question wasn't for me was it?

If you look at the pictures, the smiling soldiers don't look angry, which would be typical of people seeking revenge. They look happy.

When was the last time you dished out revenge? Apperantly, as your topics have stated, too long to remember. I can assure you, when one is dishing out revenge, they are happy. The thought pattern is essentially "yeah baby, how do you like it now? huh? Guess you shouldn't have [insert action here]?" I'm betting if you ask any psycologist, they would tell you when someone was executing revenge, near the end/after, one is typically happy/elated/or more applicable word, pleased.

Pistol Grip Pump In My Lap At All Times

May 17, 2004 05:05 # 22502

MrVicious *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

When was the last time you dished out revenge? Apperantly, as your topics have stated, too long to remember. I can assure you, when one is dishing out revenge, they are happy.

Especially when, from your point of view, you're in your full rights to do so. I wouldn't be surprised if they were given permission.

I'm sure if the Iraqis were paying attention to those spiffy little treaties having to do with banning torture, our soldiers would be less inclined to reciprocate those acts.

What goes around comes around, even if you have to give it a little push.

"What you don't understand you can make mean anything." - Misty Wilmot

May 17, 2004 17:15 # 22510

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

I'm sorry, I must but in and just say that Iraq is not a good country either. They are so full of psycopaths twisting the islamic religion into one of mindless sacrifice and eternal warfare and full of warring factions. Iraq was not even a place of peace when Saddam was in power. Granted we are hypocritical (and I'd love to find those Americans who make us look bad and slap them around a couple times) but you must also take into account they are no bed of roses either, but I'm sure you knew this.

Iraq wasn't peaceful, but then again that region hasn't had peace for 3,000 years, so it's hubris to think we can somehow change that.

I never said Iraqis were better than us, they are people with their good ones and their bad ones, like any other assortment of humans.

I never said that Iraq was some sort of Eden before we got there, but it was stable. Now the entire Arab world is on the brink of utter chaos. The world is a much more dangerous place, for both westerners and Arabs.

Because if we left now with it in it's current state, all the anti-war/pro-Iraq....let alone... people are going to snap at the government for "leaving too early" and "leaving chaos in that poor country. why didn't you stabilize it?"

We CAN'T stabilize this country. It is IMPOSSIBLE. People have tried for MILLENNIA. It AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN.

The REAL reason we are there, as anyone with a half a brain could tell, is the oil. We have oil people running our country, and they want to make several more billion dollars, and they don't care if they bring the world to the brink of annihilation to do it.

I know your first reaction is "well, no we won't." Well,think. Most of the reasons behind much of the bickering are foremost political agendas and runner up, humanitarians, whom oppose for reasons like starting chaos, killing innocents, essentially your arguments plus some other places you don't/havn't gone into. Ignoring the political section, which attacks everything that isn't it, lets think about the humanitarians. They focus their argument on, as I said above, how we came in and stirred up this ruckus. We leave now, some will be satisfied, but the media, always looking for a good story, will stay and show the increasing chaos and imploding, and then the humanitarians will pick up their pickett signs and start screaming at the government that we caused Iraq to be like this because we left too early and the government will say "wtf? You said pull out, we pulled out, why are you not satisfied" and we will all revolve around this catch-22.

I don't give a rat's ass about cleaning the country up. It couldn't possibly become more lawless and dangerous than it already is.

It's an impossible task. If we get out, then the country will eventually stabilize and they will employ the help of countries they trust a little more like France and Russia. The reason we WON'T pull out is because WE want that money.

Should we stay in Iraq, the humanitarians will complain until we setup, then when we leave Iraq as a stable country with a capable police force (and, i'm willing to bet, a contingent of the army to make sure another saddam doesn't take power), the humanitarians will shout "finally" and the media won't stay because something moneymaking... I mean historic... is going to happen in North Korea or China or Russia or Cuba or Rockville, Maryland (a city in which I've never been... cheesy lewis black reference). Naturally, the political agenda will say "the government is republican/democratic and that isn't right."

The US doesn't want democracy in the Middle East. That's a bald-faced lie. The US has undermined democratic regimes in almost every one of her third world client states throughout history. Democracy gives way to dangerous ideas, like "why do we export all of our wealth to the US?" None of the US's "friends" in the Middle East are truly democratic regimes. If they were, none of those countries would be our friends, because most of their citizens HATE us.

Thats why we should stay and clean up our mess... and watch as McDonalds sprouts up everywhere in Fallujah and Baghdad.

It won't happen. We'll be there until the end of time or until all our draft-age gentlemen have been killed.

When was the last time you dished out revenge? Apperantly, as your topics have stated, too long to remember. I can assure you, when one is dishing out revenge, they are happy. The thought pattern is essentially "yeah baby, how do you like it now? huh? Guess you shouldn't have [insert action here]?" I'm betting if you ask any psycologist, they would tell you when someone was executing revenge, near the end/after, one is typically happy/elated/or more applicable word, pleased.

Usually in the aftermath, not the act... This isn't revenge for your girlfriend cheating on you, this is revenge for someone trying to kill you. I've experienced that and it's entirely different.

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 17, 2004 21:57 # 22517

eljefe *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

I never said Iraqis were better than us, they are people with their good ones and their bad ones, like any other assortment of humans.

I never said that Iraq was some sort of Eden before we got there, but it was stable. Now the entire Arab world is on the brink of utter chaos. The world is a much more dangerous place, for both westerners and Arabs.

I wasn't saying that you said, just bringing it up.

We CAN'T stabilize this country. It is IMPOSSIBLE. People have tried for MILLENNIA. It AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN.

The REAL reason we are there, as anyone with a half a brain could tell, is the oil. We have oil people running our country, and they want to make several more billion dollars, and they don't care if they bring the world to the brink of annihilation to do it.

You know that, I know that, but much of the anti-war opposition doesn't know that. Even then, like anyside would, they would ignore that fact because Iraq in chaos makes a good thing to punch with. I'm not saying we should stabalize it to the point of no serious terrorist acts, as in U.S.A. stabilized, I'm saying stabilizing it to Saddam-Era stabilized, minus the sadistic dictator and his sadistic little minions and sons.

Yes, the oil had a play in it, but if it was truly the oil we were after, why didn't we go after the rest of the middle east? Or when we were in Afganistan, why didn't we just take the oil there? We were getting our oil semi-peacefully from the Middle East, and frankly, invading it is the one way to piss off OPEC, which could pull another embargo and bring us back to the 1970's. Personally, I think the general reason for war was the (elusive) WMD (in the beginning) and vendetta for not getting it right in the Persian Gulf War.

Also:

The United States normally gets 8 percent of its imported supply of crude oil from Iraq.
www.metimes.com

Not to mention, our own oil companies slashed purchases from Iraq by up to 90% due to "Iraq demanding kickbacks and cumbersome UN purchasing procedures (same source as above)".

If our companies (our consumerist economy, nope, not capitalist, but consumerist, makes this a very serious thing) slash the imports from that country by such an amount, oil there can't be that critical enough to warrant throwing billions of dollars down a sinkhole. If we wanted oil so bad, we would have just beefed up friendly relations with Russia (well, former USSR... I bet that accounts for all the former satellite states etc.), which happens to be the 2nd largest oil producing country (http://www.gravmag.com/oil.html which also backs up the previous 8% figure). Or we would have invaded Iran, which is the 4th largest producer, compared to Iraq which is 10th.

Yes oil may have been a part of it, but I extremely doubt, unless our current politicians have the IQ of a cumquat, the primary reason was oil. The figures make it unreasonable, for just increasing relations with Russia would get us all the oil we needed at a much higher cost.

As much as one ridicules Bush, he does have some smart people around him in his cabinet (whether you like them or not).

It's an impossible task. If we get out, then the country will eventually stabilize and they will employ the help of countries they trust a little more like France and Russia. The reason we WON'T pull out is because WE want that money.

I wouldn't trust France with a piece of paper. They have proved in history to be unreliable, and that is completely ignoring this Iraqi conflict. Not to mention, France continues to make moves to take control of the Holy Belgian Empire... I mean the European Union. Not only is the EU pretty oppressive (read the provisions... I found a good site with good stuff on the EU and it's workings... I'll get the link when I find it) but having the publicly racist French dominating the banking (which is what it is currently moving for/moved to) and then the rest of the EU. France isn't concerned about the welfare of others. France is much like the US imperialistic wise, only much worse and with less of a budget. Not to mention, France wants their money out of Iraq just as bad as we do. Their history proves they aren't good at rebuilding countries (I allude to post WWI, which France took hold of the reparations, as soon as we left *cough* Naoplean-complex *cough*, from Germany, they squeezed them like no body's business, providing the perfect opertunity for Hitler to take a step up and say "Okay, no more of this shit").

Russia... the might could help out, but remember, the middle easterns don't like the Russians due to the conflicts in the 70's/80's (which is when we funded Osama and Saddam).

The problem with your argument of packing our bags and just jumping ship in Iraq is your whole moral high ground theory. Would it not pull on your consience if you go into a friends house, tear it up, and just leave him by his lonesome?

The US doesn't want democracy in the Middle East. That's a bald-faced lie. The US has undermined democratic regimes in almost every one of her third world client states throughout history. Democracy gives way to dangerous ideas, like "why do we export all of our wealth to the US?" None of the US's "friends" in the Middle East are truly democratic regimes. If they were, none of those countries would be our friends, because most of their citizens HATE us.

Uh, hello. We setup a quasi-democracy in Japan, and their borders aren't open to us! We have a nasty imbalence of trade, biggest place being Japan and China, which doesn't count for this argument because it's Communist. Plus, why should we not set up a democracy? Every way you look at it, a US-setup democracy is the safest for us because frankly, war-waging powers would be limited. We can't just set up a dictator or some other form, some psycopath will just take it every easily.

Yes, many of our decisions as a country are made economically, but frankly, defense comes first. If you look at it no other way, a Democracy is the safest bet for us. It gives the people the feeling that they can (and they can, by coup or by election) put who they want in there (whilst the first will be US trained) rather than us setting up a dictatorship (or any other form) inwhich he whom we placed in power is there indefinitely, spurring a perfect oppertunity for a coup.

Pistol Grip Pump In My Lap At All Times

May 17, 2004 23:11 # 22521

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

Yes oil may have been a part of it, but I extremely doubt, unless our current politicians have the IQ of a cumquat, the primary reason was oil. The figures make it unreasonable, for just increasing relations with Russia would get us all the oil we needed at a much higher cost.

The primary reason IS oil. Period. It has been an official, documented part of US foreign policy since 1945 that world power is determined by who controls the Persian Gulf. Since we couldn't just take over Saudi Arabia, we went after the second largest reserve.

Oil powers the world economy. Whoever has easy access to oil has control over the world. Not to mention the construction and infrastructure contracts awarded to the construction industry. Another angle for the construction companies in this region is the privatization of water, which is a booming and morally bankrupt industry. Basically, they can give the people of the region two options: thirst to death or risk cholera, or pay our inflated prices for the most precious of resources, one that is supposed to be a basic human right according to UN doctrine.

A gallon of oil costs us less here in the US than a gallon of water drinking water. Consider for a moment the costs to extract crude, transport it, refine it, and transport it again. We've been getting away with rock bottom prices for a long time, and as the oil supply dwindles, we can expect prices to spiral upwards.

A place like Russia won't sell us oil as cheap as a place we just steal it from. Besides, defense contractors, arms manufacturers, and companies like Halliburton that provide support for the military are all making a fortune off this war, and are all very close to this administration.
[a]
http://www.fpif.org/cgaa/talkingpoints/0209oil.html[/a]

You sound like you trust Russia, which is basically run by the Russian mafia, more than France. It isn't even a matter of trust to me. Let them fight over the restructuring contracts.

The problem with your argument of packing our bags and just jumping ship in Iraq is your whole moral high ground theory. Would it not pull on your consience if you go into a friends house, tear it up, and just leave him by his lonesome?

I don't see a conflict. Leave them in peace. It's immoral to continue an occupation where we aren't wanted. It's typical Western hubris to think we're capable of helping these people. Send food and medical supplies, and get the hell out.

Uh, hello. We setup a quasi-democracy in Japan, and

Japan is a constitutional monarcy with parliament.

their borders aren't open to us! We have a nasty imbalence of trade, biggest place being Japan and China, which doesn't count for this argument because it's Communist. Plus, why should we not set up a democracy? Every way you look at it, a US-setup democracy is the safest for us because frankly, war-waging powers would be limited. We can't just set up a dictator or some other form, some psycopath will just take it every easily.

We don't want to set up a democracy because if the will of the people were written into law in these countries that REALLY hate us, they would enact some VERY unfriendly policies towards us.

Yes, many of our decisions as a country are made economically, but frankly, defense comes first.

Then why are we more unsafe the more we intervene in the affairs of foreign states?

Profit has always come first.

If you look at it no other way, a Democracy is the safest bet for us.

Then why does the CIA have a record of topping nearly every democratic regime that ever pops up in the Third World?

It gives the people the feeling that they can (and they can, by coup or by election) put who they want in there (whilst the first will be US trained) rather than us setting up a dictatorship (or any other form) inwhich he whom we placed in power is there indefinitely, spurring a perfect oppertunity for a coup.

A democracy can become a dictatorship more easily than a dictatorship can be overthrown.

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 18, 2004 01:49 # 22526

eljefe *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

A democracy can become a dictatorship more easily than a dictatorship can be overthrown.

Proof?

Also, so you would rather put in a dictator or support one rather than leave in a democracy? Even though, historically, every dictator we ever supported (Saddam being the prime example) has turned on us? A dictator will just as quicly turn around and bite us in the ass as supposedly a democracy can become a dictatorship.

A place like Russia won't sell us oil as cheap as a place we just steal it from. Besides, defense contractors, arms manufacturers, and companies like Halliburton that provide support for the military are all making a fortune off this war, and are all very close to this administration.

You sound like you trust Russia, which is basically run by the Russian mafia, more than France. It isn't even a matter of trust to me. Let them fight over the restructuring contracts.

Yes, I do trust Russia more than I trust France because of where they've been. How many people in Russia want to return to the past? I'm not saying I put a massive amount trust in Russia, but moreso than in France. That's just personal opinon.

I wasn't suggesting we get rock bottom prices for our oil, but just import more quantities from them to make up for the oil shortage we are in right now.

And of course defense contractors are making lots of money off of this war. That should go without saying. Thats like saying PC Manufactures made lots of money off the relatively cheap parts and the technology boom. Defense contractors are tied to the military, hence the name. When the military spurs up, it's only natural they are going to spur up too.

Japan is a constitutional monarcy with parliament.

Which is in essence a democracy, only power among the branches is divided differently.

Then why are we more unsafe the more we intervene in the affairs of foreign states?

Profit has always come first.

Right, so profit came first when we entered the war against Japan. It came first with the Zimmerman Note, and it came first when the south seceeded. Even though entry to WWII was reactionary primarily spurred by Pearl Harbor, entry to WWI was us getting tired of our boats being bombed by U-Boats, and entry to the Civil War was to keep the union whole (which Lincoln has said and written). Naturally someone is going to profit. No matter what happens anywhere, some persons are going to reap rewards. So, they of course are going to push for what benifits them whether it be economic, social, or political.

So the jist of what you say leads me to believe you think the contractors and other companies/people who profit from the war should stay out, right? So, to keep away from hipocracy that you and I both hate, the anti-war protestors (especially those who's political parties and/or companies who sell peacetime products that people have not time to spend their money on) should not be allowed to have a say in it. Frankly, the reason why people make arguments or feel passionately is to PROFIT. Whether it be monetary, politically, or ethically, it's all profit.

I don't see a conflict. Leave them in peace. It's immoral to continue an occupation where we aren't wanted. It's typical Western hubris to think we're capable of helping these people. Send food and medical supplies, and get the hell out.

Leave them to what peace? Please, point to me what we can leave with so if anything we can go to sleep at night. It's immoral to occupy a country, but it is a much greater travesty to go in, stir things up, and leave. If anything we should bring the activity down to where Saddam had it. You speak of not sacrificing morality for purposes, yet you would sacrifice morality so that we can oppease the world?

Pistol Grip Pump In My Lap At All Times

May 20, 2004 04:32 # 22594

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

Proof?

It took the US military to topple Saddam.

It took a CIA agent to depose the PM of Iran and put the Shah in power.

Also, so you would rather put in a dictator or support one rather than leave in a democracy? Even though, historically, every dictator we ever supported (Saddam being the prime example) has turned on us? A dictator will just as quicly turn around and bite us in the ass as supposedly a democracy can become a dictatorship.

No, when I said "we" I meant the US. I'm a populist. I would like direct democracy to rule every country in the world. Unfortunately, the Arab world is dominated by Islam, a theocratic religion.

When I say we have a rich historical record of undermining democracy, I can list a few to get us started:
In Chile we supported a brutal right wing dictator's coup of a democratically elected leader (1973)

In Iran we placed the Shah in power and supported his brutal regime, as mentioned

We overthrew democracy in Guatemala and replaced it with a dictatorship (1954)

Same thing, Dominican Republic, with help from dictators of Brazil, Paraguay, Honduras, and Nicaragua (1963)

In Panama, Iraq, and Afghanistan in the 1980s we supported brutal dictatorships

In 2002, supported coup of democratically elected leader of Venezuela, coup failed

...many more...

A list of dictator friends of the US with bio's...
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/US_ThirdWorld/dictators.html

Yes, I do trust Russia more than I trust France because of where they've been. How many people in Russia want to return to the past? I'm not saying I put a massive amount trust in Russia, but moreso than in France. That's just personal opinon.

Don't take this the wrong way, but your head must be up your ass. Putin and his fellow jackbooted thugs have totally undermined democracy in that country and elections there are a sham. They perpetrate genocide on a daily basis in Chechnya, a country they invaded based on terrorist bombings that were likely executed by their own secret service, according to mounting evidence. This same secret service used a deadly nerve gas in a theater which terrorists took hostage, killing almost 130 civilians along with terrorists. Over 50% of high ranking positions in Russia (including the premiership itself) are occupied by former KGB operatives. The KGB aren't nice people. The Russian Mafiya is mainly KGB agents. Russia is basically a criminal state. The criminal justice system is a farce and dissidents "disappear" all the time.

Again, you have GOT to be kidding me. Russia makes France look like Canada. It's an VERY scary country, and you can bet they have sold nukes to terrorists. They have a much bigger arsenal than France and much less control over it. Russia poses one of the gravest threats to the United States on many levels.

And of course defense contractors are making lots of money off of this war. That should go without saying. Thats like saying PC Manufactures made lots of money off the relatively cheap parts and the technology boom. Defense contractors are tied to the military, hence the name. When the military spurs up, it's only natural they are going to spur up too.

But when defense contractors are close to policymakers and the only way to serve their agenda is to wage a war, don't you see a conflict of interest?

Which is in essence a democracy, only power among the branches is divided differently.

Japan's is a thoroughly corrupt political system. They are no closer to democracy than the US. Japan's government doesn't function well and has never functioned as originally designed.

Right, so profit came first when we entered the war against Japan. It came first with the Zimmerman Note, and it came first when the south seceeded.

Yep. By the way, profit coming first doesn't make it the only factor.

The manufacturers of the North needed cotton. Cotton was analogous to oil today: cotton was that era's oil. England occupied states like Egypt and India and the US as a colonial power based mainly on their ability to produce cotton for English manufacturers. Same dynamic with the North and South.

Even though entry to WWII was reactionary primarily spurred by Pearl Harbor, entry to WWI was us getting tired of our boats being bombed by U-Boats,

We were gearing up for a war against Japan well before Pearl Harbor was bombed.

The Lusitania (a British ship by the way) was probably secretly loaded with munitions being sent from the US to England: we had already picked a side.
"We must educate the public gradually draw it along to the point where it will be willing to go into the war." --Robert Lansign, then-secretary of state, before the Lusitania was sunk.

It is thought by some that the sinking of the Lusitania might have been an intentinal ploy by the British goernment to involve the US in the war.

and entry to the Civil War was to keep the union whole (which Lincoln has said and written).

Who cares what Lincoln wrote? He also wrote that Africans were inferior. Do you accept at face value whatever someone tells you?

Naturally someone is going to profit. No matter what happens anywhere, some persons are going to reap rewards. So, they of course are going to push for what benifits them whether it be economic, social, or political.

I agree.

So the jist of what you say leads me to believe you think the contractors and other companies/people who profit from the war should stay out, right? So, to keep away from hipocracy that you and I both hate, the anti-war protestors (especially those who's political parties and/or companies who sell peacetime products that people have not time to spend their money on) should not be allowed to have a say in it. Frankly, the reason why people make arguments or feel passionately is to PROFIT. Whether it be monetary, politically, or ethically, it's all profit.

Nope.
It's much simpler than that. I don't think the interests of corporations should overpower and detriment the interests of the people under any circumstances.

The interests of corporations usually involve exploitation, and that is unacceptable. If those interests served the greater good of the many instead of the immediate good of a few, I would be all for it: but I would still want their voices to be heard alongside ours instead of completely squelching them out.

Leave them to what peace? Please, point to me what we can leave with so if anything we can go to sleep at night. It's immoral to occupy a country, but it is a much greater travesty to go in, stir things up, and leave. If anything we should bring the activity down to where Saddam had it. You speak of not sacrificing morality for purposes, yet you would sacrifice morality so that we can oppease the world?

Leave them to the peace of not having to attend wedding parties in a state of terror. Until you prove to me that our presence there is constructive and better than the alternative, you can't convince me that our occupation is the lesser of two evils.

Ewige Blumenkraft!

This post was edited by mclaincausey on May 20, 2004.

May 20, 2004 15:49 # 22601

Atheist_Uprising *** wants to note...

Re: Iraq: A rant

100% | 4

Leave them to the peace of not having to attend wedding parties in a state of terror

Don't jump the gun on this one. No pun intended.

It may or may not be accurate. I think it's too early to say. Granted all the evidence leaning towards the fact that it was a wedding Massacre is from Arabs, and all the evidence it wasn't is from the U.S. It's a tough call, and a very conceivable accident. Especially seeing how it happened at 3am in Iraq. It's hard to see at 3am from a Helicopter (apache or blackhawk I'm assuming).

It's also conceivable that there was an attack on a Syrian smugglers or related terrorist in a desolate region and that the 3am wedding party is a coverup.

Although the the U.S says it the only firefight involving an aircraft at that time was from a AC-130 warship, not a Helicopter. Then again who gets married at 3am on a Wednesday.
Not to jump the gun myself, and I searched for it but I COULDN'T locate it- I hear Iraqi's have weddings on thursdays. The day before there Holy day.

Like I said, could go either way. If it is true that we attacked a Wedding- it's just another accident of war. Sad, though indeed.

"Boredom is the Ultimate Gateway Drug"- Atheist_Uprising

May 21, 2004 02:16 # 22616

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

Yeah, you're right.

Who knows for sure. But there were an awful lot of kids killed.

The bombings were at 2:45 AM according to the military, but the survivors claim they cut the party short and went to bed at 9PM when they heard warplanes.

Regardless, atrocities have been committed against civilians in Iraq, even if this particular incident wasn't one of them.

And we still tacitly support genocide in Israel... sorry , off-topic there.

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 21, 2004 02:25 # 22620

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

Interesting article detailing intelligence linking the Soviets to bin Laden.

http://www.geocities.com/graymada/SRJ/rbl.html

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 18, 2004 07:11 # 22531

null *** throws in his two cents...

Re: Iraq: A rant

96% | 3

Yes oil may have been a part of it, but I extremely doubt, unless our current politicians have the IQ of a cumquat, the primary reason was oil.

I'm not saying that oil was the only reason, but there's this funny story I like to tell:
Before the actual war started, I publicly offered a bet basically saying that if there's a war, and if the USA take control over Iraq, one of the first 'reconstruction' actions will be a pipeline (preferably built by Halliburton) to tap the Iraqi oil resources. Funny enough, even the most avid Bush defenders chose to ignore the bet. In fact I haven't yet found anybody who would accept the bet.
(And look what the Halliburton guys are working on just now while I'm writing this.)

"*sigh* Some men are really hard to manipulate!" - Orchid

This post was edited by null on May 18, 2004.

May 18, 2004 21:13 # 22556

eljefe *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

That is pretty funny

Pistol Grip Pump In My Lap At All Times

May 17, 2004 22:00 # 22518

Atheist_Uprising *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

77% | 2

Saddam wasn't a good person, but the situation was contained and there was no evidence he pas harboring or abetting terrorists. In fact, Saddam really wasn't a fan of terrorists outside his own secret police and military.

I think there is sufficient evidence to support the fact that Saddam was in cahoots with terrorists. The reports vary on the Iraq- Al Qaeda connection but here is one of them ONE OF THEMI don't know the credibility of this online newspaper, I found it in a search but there are other links... Another one.

Another point I'd like to point, besides any connection between Saddam and Terrorists there is a well known Terrorist organization in Iraq called the PKK/Kadek

Is it bad to ask for ratings? I want to write more- if i'm that bad shoot me down.

"Boredom is the Ultimate Gateway Drug"- Atheist_Uprising

May 17, 2004 23:14 # 22522

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

72% | 2

Given the way this administration has manipulated intelligence and ouright lied to her citizens, I take this memo with a big grain of salt. If this were known, it should have been presented prior to the war. But it more than likely was assembled as an ex post facto defense for US imperialism.

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3540586/

Ewige Blumenkraft!

This post was edited by mclaincausey on May 17, 2004.

May 17, 2004 04:09 # 22498

Bunk *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

MrVicious, you seem a lot more reasonable/thoughtful now, and you've changed my mind about a couple things (oh no!!). But...

Now as for the rest of Iraq, you think we should just leave them like that? I don't think we should keep our army just sitting there, but we have to set SOMETHING up in Saddam's place. And not something half-assed, but something with a solid foundation.

While I now agree in principle, leaving anything of meaningful value that the Iraqi people would trust at this point would be a tough, if not impossible, task. And patience does not seem to be Bush's strong suit.

It's my theory most of them hate us because we're not stuck in the 17th Century like they are.

I've heard this before... and once again, though it's impossible to know for certain, I find it this explanation quite implausible. They MIGHT be a touch annoyed that Americans have the latest toys (weapons, I mean) while they are stuck with soviet hand-me-downs. Perhaps they resent their deplorable living conditions. But just plain envy? There are far more glaring reasons (bombing, invasion, occupation, manipulation, religious sacriledge), viable or not, for them to hate America(ns), and other nations.

But I can't find no place or nothin', where thrills are cheap, and love is divine

May 16, 2004 05:22 # 22447

broken * replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

That makes you no better than a terrorist.

Well, sometimes, when horrible things appear and need to be delt with, that's how far you have to go.

All I will say is this.. when we, as humans, need to obtain information, such as interrogating the prisoners about whatever, might end up beating the living shit out of the prisoner to get it. It's just the way it is. I mean, you can't expect a captured, suspected terrorist to spill his guts over a cup of tea and sandwiches. But pulling a naked man around on a dog leash might not be good, either. I just don't see how the painful beheading of an innocent man justifies a ridiculous action performed by one ignorant solider (and the photographer). It just happens.

Nonetheless, good rant. Good rant.

"It is remarkable how similar the pattern of love is to the pattern of insanity."

May 17, 2004 02:26 # 22492

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

I just don't see how the painful beheading of an innocent man justifies a ridiculous action performed by one ignorant solider (and the photographer). It just happens.

Who said it does?

btw, it was more than one soldier doing these things.

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 15, 2004 13:06 # 22430

wizz *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

95% | 2

I'm really very fed up with that whole part of the world and how some people in our country feel sorry for them. I'm not usually one to say things like this, because I do acknowledge that there are good people that live there. Innocent people. But I say nuke them all and have a nice big campfire where they used to be. If they want to do this back-and-forth shit trying to top each other, let's just go straight to the end, because that IS the end.

I am not only appalled I keep hearing this in a serious context (or am I mistaken?), I also completely fail to see the logic.

Why was and is this war fought, in your opinion?
I think we have established, it was not for the weapons of mass destruction and we shall ignore the oil for a moment, too. Then, was it fought to liberate Iraqis from Saddam? It does not seem to me as you were caring for them a lot.

What I am getting at:
I have the impression you feel as if America somehow had to start this war to react to something, to retaliate, to fight terrorism or similar. But what is this "back-and-forth shit" you were talking about? Do you refer to what is happening in Iraq now (a "reaction" to the American attack) or to a broader context?

If the latter, I wanted to point out that the connection occasionally drawn between Iraq and terrorism is a very dubious one. Saddam was for all we know not involved in 9/11, there is no known link to Al-Quaida. America did not need to defend itself.

Nuking Iraq would irrevocably give America the role of the aggressor.

'Repent, Harlequin!' said the Ticktockman. 'Get stuffed!' the Harlequin replied, sneering.

May 17, 2004 02:31 # 22494

MrVicious *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

Nuking Iraq would irrevocably give America the role of the aggressor.

I agree. I see now where I may have confused some of you. I jumped back and forth between Iraq and actual terrorist cells and whatnot in my rant. It was a hasty rant.

When I say Nuke, I'd much rather nuke Saudi Arabia or some other country we have more intelligence on when it comes to supplying/encouraging terrorists. (Of course we won't, can't go blowing up our oil or anything.) And in reality, I know nukes aren't the answer. They're just really fucking tempting at this point.

I don't think we had much reason to go to war with Iraq again, but Bush had to get his approval rating up y'know. When he starts off his appointed administration with a recession, he sure isn't going to do it with "Str-Strategery" so he does it like his daddy did. He tries to blow up Saddam.

"What you don't understand you can make mean anything." - Misty Wilmot

May 17, 2004 22:59 # 22520

Atheist_Uprising *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

You may have to nuke them to decontaminate the area with all that Sarin floating around- and I'm not being serious.
The war was and is being faught for many reasons. One reasons was because of WMD's. Not just because they thought they were there but because of Saddam's not complying fully with the weapons inspectors/agreement. There document showed that they had destroyed or gotten rid of WMD but they refused to say how (has this been updated? I'm not sure) I don't think this was the main reason, but it was the main push the U.S used to get the U.N's approval. Which we all know didn't happen because of Frances veto power and there connection with Saddam and Greed for oil once (and a big IF) sanctions were lifted. Which is funny because that's what alot of people like to accuse Bush of going to War for-Oil. Ironic? Just a little. So the U.S went in at it alone. Which was fine by me in the beginning, "To many chefs spoil the pot", now the pot is spoiling itself in some cases.
Another reason was to liberate the Iraqi people from Saddams evil rule. I know there is alot of talk about polls showing that Iraqi's do not want the U.S there- but then again Saddam was re-elected by a narrow 100% margin. So can you believe polls? These people are wishy washy, and for good reasons. If a Sadr was standing by when they were asked that question they could have been fearing death. Just a point.

Saddam was for all we know not involved in 9/11, there is no known link to Al-Quaida. America did not need to defend itself

Just re-itterating what I said in another post on this point. There was an Al-Qaeda Saddam connection. Maybe not 9/11-Saddam but Al-Qaeda nonetheless.

They say once the Iraqi Governing council is in full affect on the 30th of July they an ask the U.S to leave. If that's what the Iraqi people want right, maybe they'll get it. Of course the new governing council won't last a week and the U.S will be back there cleaning up an even bigger mess.

"Boredom is the Ultimate Gateway Drug"- Atheist_Uprising

May 18, 2004 07:31 # 22536

null *** tells about...

Re: Iraq: A rant

93% | 2

One reasons was because of WMD's. Not just because they thought they were there but because of Saddam's not complying fully with the weapons inspectors/agreement.

Well, the last thing I've heard before the war was that the inspectors had unrestricted access to every part of the country. Back then the Bush government was attacked for claiming to have proof for WMDs but refusing to give the slightest hint as to what or where they were.

The problem is another one, tho: does anybody have the exact number of times the Bush government changed their reason for war? These are the 'reasons' I know of (in chronological order):

  • Saddam is suspected to have 'nucular' weapons (whatever a 'nucular' weapon may be)

  • There is proof that Saddam has the facilities to build 'nucular' weapons

  • There is proof that Saddam is attempting to buy material needed for building 'nucular' weapons (the proof later turned out to be a dilettantish forgery)

  • There is proof that Saddam has WMD's

  • There is proof that Saddam has the facilities to produce WMD's

  • Saddam is affiliated with Al Qaeda (bullshit)

  • Saddam is a threat to our security. (At the same time that N. Korea openly stated that they now had nukes and were willing to use them))

After Saddam was ousted and nothing even resembling a WMD could be found, let alone a link to Osama:

  • "We'll find them." (Bush about WMDs)

  • "Well, the most important thing is that we've gotten rid of a dangerous dictator."

  • "Ridding the world of a dangerous dictator was our reason to go in all the time."

"*sigh* Some men are really hard to manipulate!" - Orchid

May 18, 2004 14:08 # 22542

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

You forgot
"We know where they are".
-D. Rumsfeld

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 18, 2004 15:38 # 22544

Atheist_Uprising *** has all the information you need...

Re: Iraq: A rant

"BAGHDAD, Iraq, May 17 American commanders said Monday that they discovered an Iraqi artillery shell last week containing sarin, one of the deadly nerve agents that Saddam Hussein said he had destroyed before the war began last year."-By DEXTER FILKINS, New york Times.

"after the defection in 1995 of Mr. Hussein's son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, that Iraqi officials admitted that they had produced sarin"

Only a small amount but time will tell.

or

I'll tout some Anti-Americianism for a brief second and say..."obviously the Bush administration planted it there because of the declining election polls in President Bushs' favor"

"Boredom is the Ultimate Gateway Drug"- Atheist_Uprising

May 18, 2004 17:48 # 22550

null *** has all the information you need...

Re: Iraq: A rant

that they discovered an Iraqi artillery shell last week containing sarin

Let me quote orf.at, an Austrian news source (only short because the original is of course in German).
"The grenade contained a tiny amount of sarin. [...] It is likely that the attackers didn't even know that the grenade contained the poisonous gas. Experts assume that the sarin grenades were mistakenly taken for normal ones and thus escaped deconstruction."

And besides that, nobody wants to tell me Bush waged the war because of a bunch of low-grade poison grenades.

"*sigh* Some men are really hard to manipulate!" - Orchid

May 18, 2004 17:59 # 22552

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

They found a sarin shell that was rigged for explosion, it was an improvised munition. It could have come from anywhere.

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 18, 2004 17:49 # 22551

null *** agrees...

Re: Iraq: A rant

"We know where they are".
-D. Rumsfeld

Exactly. Wasn't it part of their 'proof' that they know exactly where everything was. What with air photographs and the such.

"*sigh* Some men are really hard to manipulate!" - Orchid

May 15, 2004 00:49 # 22404

MadMaks *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

Which reminds me. How many of you know the story of General Blackjack Pershing?
He was a a General during WWI for the United States. Even back then on the phillipine islands there were Muslim terrorists. These terrorists took some prisoners and then killed them. So General Pershing had these Muslim terrorists caught (I forget the number, under 10). Then he killed everyone one of them, minus one, and buried them in pig blood thus blocking them from there Heaven.
The one he kept alive he let go to tell his friends. There wasn't a terrorist related incident there untill, I believe, the '90's.

Sounds like an Idea, but seeing how these Islamic extremists don't really believe in there religion but just use it as an excuse to kill I don't think it'd have the same effect. It's worth a shot though.

May 15, 2004 01:00 # 22407

Magnifico *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

95% | 2

Yeah, I agree. Nothing like commiting a religious/humanitarian atrocity to settle things in a powderkeg like Iraq.

This comes with a warning: I swear, I try, with all my heart and soul, to maintain civil, even at the worst of times, when it comes to political debate. Some of the people who were around when I first started posting here (a little more regularly, especially in political stuff) know that I try to be mellow.

Having said that, are you fucking insane? If we killed nine of their terrorists before intentionally fucking with their religion and left the last to go tell people, the arab world would fucking beshit itself with furor. I guarantee you that the incidence of violence against Americans in the arab world would explode.

Thbbbbt

May 15, 2004 02:00 # 22414

mclaincausey *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

95% | 2

Got news for ya genius, World War I didn't have a Pacific theater.

Got more news for ya, that story is a rumor and has never been substantiated.

If you want to talk about the US's track record in the Phillipines, and promulgate those dark years as the high point of Western Civilization, I won't stop you. There is a rich historical record of the most horrifying abuses that our military perpetrated against civilians during that conflict. What you are suggesting reminds me of Josesph Conrad's Heart of Darkness: complete moral bankruptcy and barbarism, mass murder with a government stamp of approval. I won't stand for it, nor will the majority of the world.

That isn't how our country should operate under any circumstances.

I don't believe Pershing did those things. From all accounts, he tried (unlike his predecessors in the islands) to stem the flow of blood and kill as few people as possible to attain his goals. THAT is the way the US military should act.

The US military is the strongest one in the world. And like a big strong child has to be extra careful when roughhousing in order not to inadvertently injure one of his pals, the US should operate with restraint and dignity in all her military operations.

Ewige Blumenkraft!

May 15, 2004 02:09 # 22415

Magnifico *** replies...

Re: Iraq: A rant

?% | 1

Just a point of clarification: Pershing was a general in WWI, but he's referring to when we took over the Philippines during the Spanish-American War. We mismanaged the Philippines pretty bad, as well; I believe childeoftheblood mentioned this before somewhere.

Thbbbbt

May 15, 2004 03:04 # 22419

Jen * agrees...

Re: Iraq: A rant

69% | 5

I get so embarassed that my countrymen are so ignorant to what is happening around them. It's nice to know that their are people out there who are educated and aware of the short comings of our government structure. thank you for sharing your thoughts.

"Smile, what's the use of crying? You'll find that life is still worthwhile If you'll just smile."


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