GENERAL DISCUSSIONS

The 'Jihad' Rant: Prove Me Wrong (warning: might be offenisve)

POSTED BY: HIROSTONE
UPDATED: Wednesday, February 25, 2004 05:21
SHORT URL:
VIEWED: 13585
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Monday, February 23, 2004 2:57 AM

LOADANDMAKEREADY



Quote:


Well, look what we've accomplished in 200 years. It ain't pretty and there was alot of hardship, but in 200 years, America's come a long way from upstart 13 colonies.

-Hiro





Unfortunately, it has gone in the wrong direction. The average lifespan of the worlds "great" civilizations is about two centuries. They all seem to follow the same progression. They begin in bondage, and go from bondage to spiritual faith, from faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, and from dependence back again into bondage.

In the past two centuries ... heck, in the last century and a half, America has gone from a three percent tax rate to a fifty percent tax rate.

When was in first grade (1953) the Federal budget was 76 Billion dollars. Bush is asking for a budget next year of 2,320 Billion dollars! More than thirty times what the government spent 52 years ago! Does that make Americans more free, or less free? And that's just one small aspect of government in this country.

You think the people of Iraq should have a Constitutional government? Give them ours ... we're not using it!

You boast that in America we have freedom of speech, and then you complain when somebody exercises that right. Well, that's freedom of speech too isn't it.

Somebody made a provocative tee shirt. That tee shirt provoked someone ... which was the whole object of making it in the first place. And the fact that the shirt had the desired effect provokes you. It all sounds rather silly to me.

loadandmakeready




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Monday, February 23, 2004 3:58 AM

HIROSTONE


Quote:

Originally posted by LoadAndMakeReady:


You boast that in America we have freedom of speech, and then you complain when somebody exercises that right. Well, that's freedom of speech too isn't it.

Somebody made a provocative tee shirt. That tee shirt provoked someone ... which was the whole object of making it in the first place. And the fact that the shirt had the desired effect provokes you. It all sounds rather silly to me.

loadandmakeready






Let me say this yet A-GAIN!

This rant came from a deeply personal issue for me. 'Mike' CAN rant and object all he wants!!! He can scream and shout at me until he loses his voice! I support that! I'm not complaining about his opinion, I'm complaining about his issue over a gorram t-shirt! I'm not saying that 'Mike' can't complain. Or that I'm hypocritical for ranting that 'Mike' complains about the shirt; he can do that all he wants.

And I'm glad it provoked 'Mike' and myself. Here we are in this forum having a very interesting discussion about politics, war, faith, history, etc. Discussion and healthy debate are what garners ideas and change.

Plus, I never said Iraq should have a constitutional government. They should have whatever government they so desire as long as they choose and it serves the people and their interests.

Also, alot of things have changed since 1953. It's called progression of history and it's inevitable. We may not like change or that the government takes part of our paycheck each payday, but that is the way it is until someone stands up and says, "Hey! That's not right!" and complains about it.

It must be nice living in the past and dreading the future. If there's nothing to look forward to, what's the point?

From the movie With Honors:

Simon Wilder: You asked the question, sir, now let me answer it. The beauty of the Constitution is that it can always be changed. The beauty of the Constitution is that it makes no set law other than faith in the wisdom of ordinary people to govern themselves.

Profesor Pitkannan: Faith in the wisdom of the people is exactly what makes the Constitution incomplete and crude.

Simon Wilder: Crude? No, sir. Our "founding parents" were pompous, white, middle-aged farmers, but they were also great men. Because they knew one thing that all great men should know: that they didn't know everything. Sure, they'd make mistakes, but they made sure to leave a way to correct them. The president is not an "elected king," no matter how many bombs he can drop. Because the "crude" Constitution doesn't trust him. He's just a bum, okay Mr. Pitkannan? He's just a bum.

-Hiro

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Monday, February 23, 2004 4:04 AM

LIPOSUCTION


Quote:

Power vacuum - USSR pulled out of Afghanistan, we stepped in and set-up our guys. Problem is, our guys weren't much of an improvement over the Ruskies. But eh, c'est la vie.
Not entirely acurate. The only role the USA really played was to arm the current Afghan leaders and resistance. The U.S.S.R. crossed international borders in a hostile manor. The first time they had done so in over 20 years. We were not equipped to deploy the armed forces to the field in any way shape or form, else we probably would have. The US had the intelligence and research to prove that communism was enough of a threat to do so. I, for one, am glad that we did. At the high point of the Soviet Empire, it was harder to get any meat for consumption, than it was under the czar in 1930.

Quote:

And let's not forget our friend Mr. Ashcroft, who in the Reagan era made a trip over to Iraq to let good ol' Hussein know that all our talk about WMD's being bad, after Hussein went on a gassing frenzy - didn't actually apply to him. Let's not forget who put Hussein where he was - the idea was he would keep in check the religious leaders in Iran. Well, who can say? That's a topic for alternate history buffs. Maybe if he hadn't been in Iraq, Iran would have spread out, gained more power, been less internally focused, whatever. Maybe not. My crystal ball is broken.
So what's your point? Hindsight is 20/20 eh? Every leader makes bad judgement calls. Regan was no exception. That doesn't mean that Ashcroft is to blame. Have you seen the news lately? Have you seen what Clinton's mess in Haiti has become? If you have a personal beef with Ashcroft, say so. Otherwise, explain what you mean here.

Quote:

What I've always wanted to know is - what about the Saudi's? Osama's from there, not Iraq or Iran or Afghanistan. The majority of the dudes in the planes were from Saudi. So....I know, let's go after someplace else! I hear GWB 'graduated' with a degree in history. Huh - funny that.
There are lots of people that want this question answered. However, just because Osama was born in Saudi Arabia doesn't mean that S.A. is responsable for Osama's actions after he leaves the country. Do we hold mexico liable for any of the offenses that their former residents commit? Osama had been living in Afghanistan for years and years. Afghanistan and iraq was where he and all of his merry men had been training, and in a 1996 interview with ABC, he stated that the reason he attacked the WTC in 1993 was because the U.S. was soft and would never be able to sustain a long drawn out war with Islam.

Quote:

Oh - and Ghoulman

Quote:
George Dubya is a fool of course... why you Americans voted for ... oh wait.



Yeah - we know.

Like him or not, he's a military pilot. I know of no one on the planet that could be both a fool, and a military pilot. Nice try. If you don't like his philosophy or his ethics that's one thing. If you don't like his public speaking ability, that's another. Hitler wasn't a fool by any stretch of the imagination. Dilusional, yes; but certainly no fool. You should probably give your nemesis more credit than you do. Else how do you ever hope to win an election?

Quote:

At least those of us who pursue foreign press stories know about it. Funny thing is, I'm from Minnesota. The guy who would have won/kept the senate spot (Wellstone), died in a plane crash shortly before the election - a very important election, mind you. The republicans needed the win. A seasoned veteran steps in to take his place (Mondale), all the polls had him winning, yet Coleman's in Washington. Now how do you figure go se like that happens? And somehow, nobody ever connects those dots...And those weren't the only election results which stank, either.
Smoke, mirrors, cloak and daggar eh? I suppose at least you feel smart on the internet. I'd love to see you and Michael Moore come up with some kind of proof that any of this hogwash is true. I suppose Aaliyah's death was politically motivated to? Or could it be that some mechanical transportation actually fails sometimes? Heaven forbid.

Michael Moore truly does live in a ficticious world. One built upon a foundation of untruth; just like your post in this thread.

Good day.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 4:30 AM

AJ


Quote:

Originally posted by liposuction:
At the high point of the Soviet Empire, it was harder to get any meat for consumption, than it was under the czar in 1930.



Quite remarkable, seeing as the last tsar was finished off in 1917.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 5:21 AM

LOADANDMAKEREADY



Quote:


This rant came from a deeply personal issue for me. 'Mike' CAN rant and object all he wants!!! He can scream and shout at me until he loses his voice! I support that! I'm not complaining about his opinion, I'm complaining about his issue over a gorram t-shirt!





Perhaps I just don't understand how a tee shirt can possibly be a "deeply personal issue."



Quote:


Plus, I never said Iraq should have a constitutional government. They should have whatever government they so desire as long as they choose and it serves the people and their interests.





If that were so, then they don't need the US to interfere do they? So then, why is the US government interfering?



Quote:


Also, alot of things have changed since 1953. It's called progression of history and it's inevitable.





The point I was trying to make is that is not a progression, but a regression.

When someone can take the product of your effort away from you without your consent, they are claiming a property right in and ownership of your effort. I don't know what other people call it, but I call it slavery. And by that standard, slavery in this country is increasing.


Quote:


We may not like change or that the government takes part of our paycheck each payday, but that is the way it is until someone stands up and says, "Hey! That's not right!" and complains about it.





People complain about it all the time. Unfortunately, too many people like the idea that they can vote away somebody else's paycheck. That is the reason democracies always destroy themselves.

I would like to point out to those who claim that democracy is "the greatest good for the greatest number," that every coin has two sides. And that the greatest good for the greatest number also means the greatest victimization of the lesser number.




Quote:


It must be nice living in the past and dreading the future. If there's nothing to look forward to, what's the point?





I'm not living in the past Hiro, I was trying to explain that I have seen the past, and if the future is a continuation of what has happened in just the last fifty years then America HAS no future.

Vasily Kluchevsky, that giant of historical scholarship in the last century of Czarist Russia said it best; "The State swells up ... the people diminish."



Quote:


From the movie With Honors:

Simon Wilder: You asked the question, sir, now let me answer it. The beauty of the Constitution is that it can always be changed. The beauty of the Constitution is that it makes no set law other than faith in the wisdom of ordinary people to govern themselves.

Profesor Pitkannan: Faith in the wisdom of the people is exactly what makes the Constitution incomplete and crude.

Simon Wilder: Crude? No, sir. Our "founding parents" were pompous, white, middle-aged farmers, but they were also great men. Because they knew one thing that all great men should know: that they didn't know everything. Sure, they'd make mistakes, but they made sure to leave a way to correct them. The president is not an "elected king," no matter how many bombs he can drop. Because the "crude" Constitution doesn't trust him. He's just a bum, okay Mr. Pitkannan? He's just a bum.

-Hiro





The purpose of the constitution was -- and IS to limit the power of the government. Granted, provision was made to change it, unfortunately, there was no provision made to deal with what happens when the government ignores the Constitution. And that is the problem with the government today. Every elected official in the country is required to swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, and violation of that oath -- by writing, voting for, or enforcing an unconstitutional law -- is perjury. But who is going to enforce that oath? The government?

Too many people want to put all the guns and decision making power into the hands of a "strong" government ... and then say to that government, "limit yourself." These people are deluded.
Government always grows to the maximum level the people can tolerate.

What is your limit?

loadandmakeready


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Monday, February 23, 2004 6:39 AM

MILORADELL


Well, seeing as how I don't know you (liposuction), and making things personal would be - well, a bit on the funny side since I don't know you, I'll just hit the salient bits and leave it at that.

My comments on the change between USSR and Taliban rule in Afghanistan were simplistic. I don't deny that. Point of fact - we helped/encouraged the Taliban. End of that story. As far as there ever being a USSR threat - riiiiiight. Popular opinion at the time was that they would be able to take and hold Afghanistan eventually, simply because they were the USSR. What people seemed to forget is how hard it is to win a guerilla war - see the USA's own experiences with Vietnam, for one. And I always assume - and this could be a mistake on my part - people have the ability to check my data.

Yeah - hindsite is 20/20. But here's a funny thing - history. Extrapolation. Common sense. Now if someone makes a mistake, why can't they just own up to that? How hard is it to say - you know, I was wrong. Let's fix this - what do we do now? Or I guess they - the administration - could just make a unilateral decision, bypass constitutional procedure, and send our kids to war. I guess that works, too.

As far as attacking Saudi Arabia goes, no, it's not something I think sounds like a good idea. But then, attacking Afghanistan and Iraq didn't sound like good ideas to me, either. I was simply following the logic the administration has used, and I apologize if anyone was confused by that. I thought what I was doing was fairly obvious. My mistake.

GWB is a moron. His actions, his declarations, his speaking, his attitudes - they all make him a moron. Do I underestimate him because of that? Nah - we all know stupid people are dangerous. Military pilot, huh? How many hours has he flown? How much time did he actually spend doing that? Ooooookaaaay. Now, I happen to have a driver's license - does that make me any good at it? Is that a testament to my intelligence, or lack-thereof? Given - flying a military plane, or any kind of plane - takes a certain amount of intelligence. You need to be able to read and follow directions.

Smoke and mirrors - maybe. Who's to say? Here's something I've always found interesting - if you state that something's suspicious, and someone else says you're paranoid, people automatically assume the suspicions are unfounded. It's sort of like the god card - say you're doing something in the name of god, and if anyone challenges you, call them a heathen and burn them at the stake. Do I really think Wellstone's plane crash was some sort-of conspiracy? No. I think it was an extremely unfortunate accident. But it set the stage for some interesting voting.

As far as me thinking I'm smart on the internet - nope. I try to be somewhat cogent and informational, but as far as my opinions go...If you think they're stupid, then that's what they are to you. But remember - the road goes both ways.

****
At least I can spell.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 7:09 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


*Sighs*

The two topics that will start arguements the quickest are politics and religion.

I can see why someone, even a relatively new convert to Islam, might take offense at such a shirt. Granted, the extremists responsible for the attacks of 9/11 are in the very small minority of Muslims, many people are distrustful of people from the middle east and Muslims in particular. Distrust leads to fear leads to hatred.

How does it make you feel to see people in foreign countries burning the American flag, or carrying signs or banners w/ anti-American slogans? Do you ask yourself "What have we ever done to them? Why do they hate us?" I know I have, and I am sure they ask themselves the same thing when they see t-shirts like this one.

I do not claim to be an expert on the Qoran, though I do have a close friend who is Muslim. We have talked several times about Islam, but only when I have questions. He has never tried to "convert" me or pushed his religion on me. He is by far the most tolerant and peaceful person I know. I do know that many people confuse the term "jihad", and that there seem to be several interpretations of the Qoran. Of course Muslims do not corner the market on misinterpreting their religious works.

I do not subscribe to the idea that the US went to Iraq this time around for oil. I do not profess to know all the reasons our gov't found it necessary to go to the middle east this time, though they say it is to eliminate a threat, the good that came out of it, the liberation of the Iraqi people and the toppling of a tyrant were definitely good outcomes.

"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."


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Monday, February 23, 2004 7:50 AM

HIROSTONE


Quote:

Originally posted by LoadAndMakeReady:

Quote:


This rant came from a deeply personal issue for me. 'Mike' CAN rant and object all he wants!!! He can scream and shout at me until he loses his voice! I support that! I'm not complaining about his opinion, I'm complaining about his issue over a gorram t-shirt!





Perhaps I just don't understand how a tee shirt can possibly be a "deeply personal issue."



Quote:


Plus, I never said Iraq should have a constitutional government. They should have whatever government they so desire as long as they choose and it serves the people and their interests.





If that were so, then they don't need the US to interfere do they? So then, why is the US government interfering?



Quote:


Also, alot of things have changed since 1953. It's called progression of history and it's inevitable.





The point I was trying to make is that is not a progression, but a regression.

When someone can take the product of your effort away from you without your consent, they are claiming a property right in and ownership of your effort. I don't know what other people call it, but I call it slavery. And by that standard, slavery in this country is increasing.


Quote:


We may not like change or that the government takes part of our paycheck each payday, but that is the way it is until someone stands up and says, "Hey! That's not right!" and complains about it.





People complain about it all the time. Unfortunately, too many people like the idea that they can vote away somebody else's paycheck. That is the reason democracies always destroy themselves.

I would like to point out to those who claim that democracy is "the greatest good for the greatest number," that every coin has two sides. And that the greatest good for the greatest number also means the greatest victimization of the lesser number.




Quote:


It must be nice living in the past and dreading the future. If there's nothing to look forward to, what's the point?





I'm not living in the past Hiro, I was trying to explain that I have seen the past, and if the future is a continuation of what has happened in just the last fifty years then America HAS no future.

Vasily Kluchevsky, that giant of historical scholarship in the last century of Czarist Russia said it best; "The State swells up ... the people diminish."



Quote:


From the movie With Honors:

Simon Wilder: You asked the question, sir, now let me answer it. The beauty of the Constitution is that it can always be changed. The beauty of the Constitution is that it makes no set law other than faith in the wisdom of ordinary people to govern themselves.

Profesor Pitkannan: Faith in the wisdom of the people is exactly what makes the Constitution incomplete and crude.

Simon Wilder: Crude? No, sir. Our "founding parents" were pompous, white, middle-aged farmers, but they were also great men. Because they knew one thing that all great men should know: that they didn't know everything. Sure, they'd make mistakes, but they made sure to leave a way to correct them. The president is not an "elected king," no matter how many bombs he can drop. Because the "crude" Constitution doesn't trust him. He's just a bum, okay Mr. Pitkannan? He's just a bum.

-Hiro





The purpose of the constitution was -- and IS to limit the power of the government. Granted, provision was made to change it, unfortunately, there was no provision made to deal with what happens when the government ignores the Constitution. And that is the problem with the government today. Every elected official in the country is required to swear an oath to uphold the Constitution, and violation of that oath -- by writing, voting for, or enforcing an unconstitutional law -- is perjury. But who is going to enforce that oath? The government?

Too many people want to put all the guns and decision making power into the hands of a "strong" government ... and then say to that government, "limit yourself." These people are deluded.
Government always grows to the maximum level the people can tolerate.

What is your limit?

loadandmakeready





You leave out the bulk and nitpick without context that stands behind it, you’re just not getting it.

A t-shirt can be personal. As I've said BEFORE and will say YET AGAIN, the t-shirt is immaterial as the man’s argument over the context it is used in. I said earlier that a Christian person can be offended by an “Austin 3:16” wrestling shirt, or that an African-American can be offended by a t-shirt with a Confederate flag on it. MY DEEPLY PERSONAL ISSUE THAT HAS BEEN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS POST HAS BEEN ALL ABOUT THE US SOLDIERS OVER IN IRAQ AND HOW SOME PEOPLE’S POLITICAL CORRECTNESS ON A MATTER AS TRIVIAL AS A T-SHIRT SUPERCEDES MEN AND WOMEN DYING TO PROTECT NOT ONLY OUR COUNTRY, BUT HUMAN RIGHTS!!!! If you can’t see that, read my posts on this thread one by one! It’s never been about a t-shirt, just the issue behind it!

Second of all, the US interfere is necessary I think. That’s my opinion. What should the US be, an isolationist state, not caring about the issues of other countries, unless someone attacks us directly? Does the US have to close its boarders off to the world when we were founded by beliefs and ideals of openness and basic human rights? Things aren’t perfect in the US or in the world. But how can things get better if we ignore problems? If we don’t interfere, who will? If we don’t be prepared, what can happen next? Was a preemptive strike necessary? I don’t know. But if there’s a growth in the body, you get rid of the cancer right away, don’t you? Either by surgery or less evasive means, but you suppress it, right?

And if “America HAS no future,” what do you suggest we do? Growth is hard and rarely easy. I might be young, but a pragmatist and an idealist. I have faith in the goodness of people and that someday we’ll all use common sense to solve problems. Not to win popularity contests or put money in pockets. Someday, someone will say, “Hey, let’s do this!” and some people will agree. It’s our little time in our little bit of history. Everyone has to make the most of it. One person can’t change the world overnight, but that doesn’t mean they can’t try to. People have lived, breathed and died for something that they had no reward other than to see better things for their fellow man.

And things DO change! Life is a circle of happenstances as well as controlling of one’s destiny. But just because the US is heading to an inevitability, do we just stand around and wait for it too happen? Are we just so static and apathetic to let it happen? When a car is heading toward you, do you let it hit you? Human beings fight change. And when it does happen, we adapt, we evolve, we become something more than we were in the past.

My limit is bounded. But my faith is strong. If you want to stay the pessimist and say things will never be good or better ever again, then your world won’t change. In my world, I want to believe, I want to evolve, I want things to change; and if I have a chance to pass out flyers, go debate on TV, or cast my vote, I will do everything to make sure things get better. America can change, not with a gun or violence, but with a pen and a ballot. And there are people that want to change it, and it’s apparent that you’re not one of them. Or that you’ve fought and given up. We’ll I’m never going to give up.

Yes, the world isn’t perfect like the US isn’t perfect either. I don’t believe utopia will ever be achieved. But the idealists and those with faith can make things a little bit better. If I don't like it, I want to change it. I get others to help me change it. And the great victimization is people who believe that there's nothing more to it, so why bother. Well, I bother! I rant! I tell people, "let's change the world." Why? Because I want the world to change.

And the future isn’t written in stone. If the past is our prediction, then why do we learn from it? If our imminent collapse is inevitable, why fight it? Because that’s what we do. Our future is of our making. Our past is a guideline of what not and what to do. If anything preordains it, it's those who look into a crystal ball and give up for what they've seen as dystopia coming to pass. I have faith that things will be better and I, and others who have that idealism and faith, will make it happen. If I can't belive that, then why am I alive? My limit? It's bounded only by faith.

If you don’t believe that, if you don’t believe that “America HAS no future”, if you're just waiting for the inevitable conclusion of our country, then you’re already reached your limit, haven’t you?

Kaylee: I love my captain.

-Hiro

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Monday, February 23, 2004 7:50 AM

LODRIL


Quote:

Originally posted by HiroStone:
Okay... let's see... There's war...



Gee. At that level of abstraction, anything relates to anything. Why not go post this kind of senseless stuff on the fan boards for Sherman and Mr. Peabody. At least he can address your problems with the old Wayback machine.

I don't know... all these 'prove me wrong' threads seem to end up childish (maybe not 'childish' per se... adolescent?) rants anyway. I should, at this point, stop looking at them. I think I will. Please continue to label them that way for me. Thanks.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 8:39 AM

MILORADELL


Very true - politics and religion. And in-laws, don't forget them ! We are all only as good as the data we have, when it comes to either. The rest is just opinion - and weaponry, I suppose.


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Monday, February 23, 2004 9:36 AM

HIROSTONE


Quote:

Originally posted by Lodril:
Quote:

Originally posted by HiroStone:
Okay... let's see... There's war...



I don't know... all these 'prove me wrong' threads seem to end up childish (maybe not 'childish' per se... adolescent?) rants anyway. I should, at this point, stop looking at them. I think I will. Please continue to label them that way for me. Thanks.



Believe me, I will. These rants aren't that well thought out anyway. I just write 'em when I have a spare minute or two. For this guy, everything I said in my previous post does amount to the themes in Firefly. You're just too proud to admit it. And just if you think in the abstract thinking everything relates to everything, in physics there is the General Unified Theory, "String Theory" or the Theory of Everything, where everything in the universe, including Kevin Bacon, is related to everything else

And if you want childish? Nyah-nyah-nyah... Nyah-na-na....

And if you want adolescent Stone Cold Salute!

But then again, you're never gonna read this, are you... ass-clown?!?

RIVER: Mal, bad. In the Latin.
Lodril, dumb-@$$. In the English.

-Hiro

PS - I'm still waiting for my gorram explanation....

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Monday, February 23, 2004 9:43 AM

KURUKAMI


Quote:

5. The issue itself was about a t-shirt. And the ‘jihad’ term used was not pointed toward the Muslim people. It was meant to imply the fanatics who caused 9/11...

Though I personally am not religious, I can completely see where a devout or even mildly religious Islam might get irate about this. The word "jihad" has been, rightly or wrongly, tied symbolically to Muslims across the wrong, and tends to summon up just those images that you're speaking about. The word bears strong meaning and emotion for many Muslims, despite the twisted meaning by which it is more commonly recognized.

A similarly offensive t-shirt which might rouse the anger of more Americans might have to include the slogan "Catholics: pedophile-followers or just guilt-junkie torture-worshippers?"

Neither of those titles is true in the strictest, widest sense of the word -- but there have been a significant number of cases of Catholic priests molesting children, the core beliefs of Catholicism are in confessing your "sins" and receiving forgiveness, and the primary icons at the front of churches are some dude bleeding from a tiara of thorns and nailed to a tree.

Yes, I'm intentionally being blunt and not taking things into perspective. No, I don't think Catholics are like that.

Nonetheless, that's the kind of insult that seems to be offered by the t-shirt those radio guys are championing. It's rather a pity that the caller wasn't able to better express his displeasure and outrage.

History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it merely shouts "Weren't you listening the first time?!?" and lets fly with a club.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 9:59 AM

KURUKAMI


Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:
Quote:

Originally posted by Hotpoint:
Just putting things into perspective. Pax Romana and Pax Brittania both fell and the core nations were proportionally stronger in many ways than Pax Americana is today



Well I think there is a very big difference between those two and America. First off, WE DON'T WANT AN EMPIRE!

It took something like 9-11 to drag us kicking and screaming, (and some of us are still screaming) back to the sand box to finally remove Saddam. We want to go back to sleep, complain about pointless stuff, watch celebrities implode on tv and such. Or simply do business, buy and sell stuff with the rest of the world. We don't want to tell anyone anything how to run their lives.


On the whole, when referring to the generally apathetic American citizenry, I'd agree. In specific, when talking about the Bush administration and the Project for the New American Century ( http://www.newamericancentury.org/), I heartily disagree. The invasion of Iraq was in its planning stages long before September 11, 2001, and Bush and his cronies did everything they could to pin both 9/11 and the following anthrax attacks on Hussein. They failed in both regards, for lack of evidence, and then pointed the finger of WMDs at Hussein and succeeded (despite their lack of evidence).

Quote:

But one point that should be noted is that while as a percentage of the whole, the US may be sliding. But in absolute numbers it ain't. Its not that everyone else is getting a bigger slice of the pie. Its that we are all getting more and more pie.

That must explain, in some roundabout fashion, the 2.2 million jobs lost since 2001, most of which have been shipped to India. Yup, we're all getting more pie... none of its being outsourced to offshore workers...

I'm kind of agog at how we got all the way out to this thread from the original t-shirt topic.

History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it merely shouts "Weren't you listening the first time?!?" and lets fly with a club.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 10:06 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


Miloradel wrote:
Quote:

Very true - politics and religion. And in-laws, don't forget them ! We are all only as good as the data we have, when it comes to either. The rest is just opinion - and weaponry, I suppose.


Too true, too ture.

Hiro wrote:
Quote:

And if you want adolescent Stone Cold Salute!

But then again, you're never gonna read this, are you... ass-clown?!?



Name calling? Have we really regressed to that? Very uncool. Too bad these threads are not moderated. This sort of behavior only breeds more of the same. I can understand being upset or very passionate about something, but name calling should be something we never have to resort to here.




"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."


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Monday, February 23, 2004 10:08 AM

KURUKAMI


Quote:

And let's not forget our friend Mr. Ashcroft, who in the Reagan era made a trip over to Iraq to let good ol' Hussein know that all our talk about WMD's being bad, after Hussein went on a gassing frenzy - didn't actually apply to him.

A good example, but I think you mean Donald Rumsfeld. In 1983, when Rumsfeld made his little trip, Ashcroft was:
Quote:

He was Missouri's state auditor from 1973-75, and then became the state's assistant attorney-general in 1975. The following year he moved up to the attorney-general job, where he stayed until 1985.

During that time he was president of the National Association of Attorneys-General, and received the organisation's top award in 1983.

(Example taken from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/americas/1120440.stm )

History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it merely shouts "Weren't you listening the first time?!?" and lets fly with a club.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 10:13 AM

HIROSTONE


Quote:

Originally posted by BrownCoat1:

Hiro wrote:
Quote:

And if you want adolescent Stone Cold Salute!

But then again, you're never gonna read this, are you... ass-clown?!?



Name calling? Have we really regressed to that? Very uncool. Too bad these threads are not moderated. This sort of behavior only breeds more of the same. I can understand being upset or very passionate about something, but name calling should be something we never have to resort to here.




"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."




I was just answering him appropriately. Should I have done it in Chinese?

And besides, he never gave me his explanation.

Book: ...the special Hell...

-Hiro

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Monday, February 23, 2004 10:33 AM

BROWNCOAT1

May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one.


Hiro wrote:

Quote:

I was just answering him appropriately. Should I have done it in Chinese?

And besides, he never gave me his explanation.



I would think you would not find it necessary to resort to name calling at all, and would refrain from it if you felt compelled to call someone names. I don't think Chinese would have been better, only more difficult to translate.

No, he did not give you his explaination, but that is still not an excuse for name calling.


"May have been the losing side. Still not convinced it was the wrong one."


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Monday, February 23, 2004 11:04 AM

MILORADELL


Kurukami, you get the apple! I've been sitting here, rubbing my little evil hands together, wondering if anyone was going to notice that...Not that I would EVER mislead anyone on purpose, just to see if they were paying attention .

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Monday, February 23, 2004 3:13 PM

KURUKAMI


Yay, an apple!

Um... *cautiously pokes it with a knife* It doesn't have a griswald in it, right?

History doesn't always repeat itself. Sometimes it merely shouts "Weren't you listening the first time?!?" and lets fly with a club.

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Monday, February 23, 2004 4:40 PM

NUR


As-salaamu alaikum,

Whew! done reading. Nodded some (honorable mention to Miloradell), shook my head some (dishonorable mention to 'Mike' for leaving his family). Islam expressly warns against cutting the ties of kinship, especially to your parents. Even if it's hard and they don't want to, you are required to try.

People take offence to things, it happens. Let them be offended by what they will, in the end what does it matter anyway? Sadly many Muslims have become very reactionary post September 11th, sometimes its justified and sometimes its not. I've done it myself, but my point is that it happens and then others with opposing views react back just as strongly. All sides just need to DEAL WITH THAT.

The phrase 'I don't know much about Islam but...' can swing both ways on the pendulum if you take my meaning. To everyone who has said that they don't know much about Islam but would honestly like to, I encourage you to. You can be whatever religion you want to be (or none at all), it doesn't matter to me, but in the end this will only be solved when we all understand the REAL reasoning and ideals and beliefs and vocabulary that the other is using. The meaning of jihad as an inner struggle against something inside yourself wasn't even mentioned as far as I saw. And thats only one example.

On a random Firefly note since this is fireflyfans.net: Did everyone catch the woman in the burka in The Train Job? That ROCKED!

Canadian Muslims Love Firefly!

Those who restrain desire, do so because thiers is weak enough to be restrained.
-William Blake

O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous.
-Qur'an 26:83

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Monday, February 23, 2004 4:58 PM

JASONZZZ


Quote:

Originally posted by Nur:
As-salaamu alaikum,

People take offence to things, it happens. Let them be offended by what they will, in the end what does it matter anyway? Sadly many Muslims have become very reactionary post September 11th, sometimes its justified and sometimes its not. I've done it myself, but my point is that it happens and then others with opposing views react back just as strongly. All sides just need to DEAL WITH THAT.

The phrase 'I don't know much about Islam but...' can swing both ways on the pendulum if you take my meaning. To everyone who has said that they don't know much about Islam but would honestly like to, I encourage you to. You can be whatever religion you want to be (or none at all), it doesn't matter to me, but in the end this will only be solved when we all understand the REAL reasoning and ideals and beliefs and vocabulary that the other is using. The meaning of jihad as an inner struggle against something inside yourself wasn't even mentioned as far as I saw. And thats only one example.

On a random Firefly note since this is fireflyfans.net: Did everyone catch the woman in the burka in The Train Job? That ROCKED!

Canadian Muslims Love Firefly!

Those who restrain desire, do so because thiers is weak enough to be restrained.
-William Blake

O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous.
-Qur'an 26:83



And maybe some day, when we all have enough understand about what all the religions are about and why we need them in the first place. We won't need any religions at all.



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Haken needs a new development system. Donate.
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Monday, February 23, 2004 5:38 PM

NUR


Quote:

Originally posted by Jasonzzz:

And maybe some day, when we all have enough understand about what all the religions are about and why we need them in the first place. We won't need any religions at all.





Maybe, maybe. But thats only if you believe that there is nothing beyond religion but the moral codes it teaches.

Those who restrain desire, do so because thiers is weak enough to be restrained.
-William Blake

O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous.
-Qur'an 26:83

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Monday, February 23, 2004 6:17 PM

JASONZZZ




It's more than that, different people get different things from religion. For some, it's their entire lives, it's everything they do. For others, they need to have an explanation on why everything are, why things happen, and what's gonna happen tomorrow. The moral codes, I believe are a community effort to have a standard of conduct and believes, both on how we conduct ourselves and how we work with others. All of these things are needed between the selves and the neighbors (and we can debate it's whether a sense of control needed from the governing body or a need for each of us to "control" each other ).

If we understand why we need these things and accept them without having to resort to a set of supernatural believes...

If you look at the rules for Kosher, it's a codified means to hygiene and nutrition melded into all of those practices. Somehow over the years, all of these rules were just adopted by different sects from things that made good sense into being part of the religion.



Quote:

Originally posted by Nur:
Quote:

Originally posted by Jasonzzz:

And maybe some day, when we all have enough understand about what all the religions are about and why we need them in the first place. We won't need any religions at all.





Maybe, maybe. But thats only if you believe that there is nothing beyond religion but the moral codes it teaches.

Those who restrain desire, do so because thiers is weak enough to be restrained.
-William Blake

O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous.
-Qur'an 26:83



Like Fireflyfans.net?
Haken needs a new development system. Donate.
http://www.fireflyfans.net/thread.asp?b=5&t=3283


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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 2:25 AM

LTNOWIS


Warning: obscenely long post
Quote:

Hirostone responded: A t-shirt can be personal. As I've said BEFORE and will say YET AGAIN, the t-shirt is immaterial as the man’s argument over the context it is used in. I said earlier that a Christian person can be offended by an “Austin 3:16” wrestling shirt, or that an African-American can be offended by a t-shirt with a Confederate flag on it. MY DEEPLY PERSONAL ISSUE THAT HAS BEEN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THIS POST HAS BEEN ALL ABOUT THE US SOLDIERS OVER IN IRAQ AND HOW SOME PEOPLE’S POLITICAL CORRECTNESS ON A MATTER AS TRIVIAL AS A T-SHIRT SUPERCEDES MEN AND WOMEN DYING TO PROTECT NOT ONLY OUR COUNTRY, BUT HUMAN RIGHTS!!!! If you can’t see that, read my posts on this thread one by one! It’s never been about a t-shirt, just the issue behind it!

Second of all, the US interfere is necessary I think. That’s my opinion. What should the US be, an isolationist state, not caring about the issues of other countries, unless someone attacks us directly? Does the US have to close its boarders off to the world when we were founded by beliefs and ideals of openness and basic human rights? Things aren’t perfect in the US or in the world. But how can things get better if we ignore problems? If we don’t interfere, who will? If we don’t be prepared, what can happen next? Was a preemptive strike necessary? I don’t know. But if there’s a growth in the body, you get rid of the cancer right away, don’t you? Either by surgery or less evasive means, but you suppress it, right?



Ok, it really ticks me off whenever people say that we attacked Iraq to free the Iraqi people from Hussein’s brutal regime. Yes, I know he was a bad person, he gassed the Kurds, he tortured hundreds of people, massacred thousands more, etc. But America does not invade a nation to free its people. Vietnam and Korea were to fight Communism, and keep the people from being oppressed. The only time we actually tried freeing people was the Spanish-American War, and I’m kinda fuzzy on that part of history. Maybe it would be good if we invaded every nation that grossly violated Human Rights, but saying we do is simply not true. Yesterday, there was a small article in the center of my newspaper (The Washington Post). Apparently in Uganda there’s a resistance group called The Lord’s Resistance Army (on Bushes “has ties to terrorists list”) which fights the government. Recently they killed 192 people and burned down a refugee camp. They get new members by kidnapping children to be “soldiers, porters, or concubines.” This kind of thing is not isolated in the least. In Nigeria (or was it Niger) there are death camps, where approximately 3 million people have died. There was this other African country where gang-rape by guerillas was such a big problem that the UN needed to send it surgeons to provide relief. There are also child soldiers in Myanmar and Thailand, I think. The latest Parade Magazine (usually a worthless magazine) was titled “10 worst dictators of the world”. 2 of the “dishonorable mentions” are just as bad as they were last year, when they ranked, but have been overtaken in evilness. And of course Columbia has been fighting a civil war for 40 years. Are any of these nations going to be invaded or helped out anytime soon? Does anybody in America even care? Obviously not enough to warrant even pretend help by America, like Liberia got.

Yeah, of course Iraq was a threat to us and definitely should have been stopped. After all, they had 950,000 well fed troops, and had been bragging about their “nuclear deterrent” for quite a long time. Oh wait, that’s North Korea I’m thinking of.

Though I guess Iraq could have given weapons to terrorists. Which brings me to the realm of Tradneister. You may be thinking “that’s not a real country,” and it really isn’t. While they declare their independence, no government in the world recognizes them. They’ve broken off of Moldova, Europe’s poorest nation, and are about as big as Rhode Island. What makes them dangerous is that they own an ex-Soviet weapons stockpile. We’re talking hundreds of boxcars worth of small weapons. Worse, they’re making more weapons much faster than their tiny armed forces could ever use. It’s obvious they’re actively supplying terrorists with weapons to terrorists, across their unguarded border with Moldova. Of course there’s no way Bush will ever invade a quasi-nation with such a long name.

Wow-I sound really bitter. I should be a columnist. Anyways, I didn’t mean to scare anyone, just to point out how ridiculous these arguments sound, as we don't invade nations who deserve it more. I believe that was Wesley Clark's problem with the Iraq war. And I didn’t make any of this stuff up, it was all in The Washington Post. Because obviously newspapers are incapable of lying.


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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 2:56 AM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by Jasonzzz:
Unfortunately, as good as the US's intentions are, I don't think the rest of the world has the same view. The rest of the world not only thinks, but believes very strongly that the US is acting as a big bully, a big expansionist Empire.



Sigh, a lot of this is pure fear and panic at what we *could* do, if so motivated. Part of this is psychological projection, essentially telling us how they would act if they had our military might. And there is really no way to convince them otherwise of even your best intentions, except just go throw life and do what you have to do, and ignoring the nattering nabobs of nihilism.

And you have to admit, some of them don't want us going after Saddam because of what we will learn as to who was breaking sanctions, who was being bribed, etc.

You can tell them till you are blue in the face, and they won't believe it. So they get to sit along in fear and panic, flinching every time America makes a move, and if this nation notices at all, just shrugs it off and keeps going.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 3:06 AM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by Hotpoint:
I got the numbers from the CIA World Factbook which if anything overstates the size of the US Economy

The US has a $10 Trillion economy which was between 20% and 25% of the world total in 2002 depending on which exchange rates you use

The Dollar has crashed over 40% in value against the Euro since then so the USA makes up a smaller proportion of planetary product than it did then



Thanks.
I don't see this as a bad thing. Actually this is probably a good thing for more people.

The dollar crashing also is not totally a bad thing. It makes our exports cheaper, and their imports more expensive, shifting balance of trade more in our favor than it has been.

Besides, we ain't doing worse off. Economics is not a zero sum game. If our share of the global market has shrunk from 40 to 20 percent, it ain't because our piece of the pie is smaller, its more pie for everyone.

So someone else overseas gets richer, and has more products, goods and services available that they can pay for. That sounds like a good thing to me. Not at all sure where the down side is.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 3:13 AM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by liposuction:
Quote:

Power vacuum - USSR pulled out of Afghanistan, we stepped in and set-up our guys. Problem is, our guys weren't much of an improvement over the Ruskies. But eh, c'est la vie.
Not entirely acurate. The only role the USA really played was to arm the current Afghan leaders and resistance. The U.S.S.R. crossed international borders in a hostile manor. The first time they had done so in over 20 years. We were not equipped to deploy the armed forces to the field in any way shape or form, else we probably would have. The US had the intelligence and research to prove that communism was enough of a threat to do so. I, for one, am glad that we did. At the high point of the Soviet Empire, it was harder to get any meat for consumption, than it was under the czar in 1930.



Actually we did not set up the previous government in Afghanistan. And this is the reason why we can't simply hand Iraq any kind of government they want, as some have demanded.

It was the Pakistani government, specifically their security agency the ISI that set up, funded and promoted the Taliban as a solution. We let them have whatever government they wanted, bowed to the wisdoms of the actors in the region, and that did not work out too well.

Another point. I am not sure the bin Ladan was born in Saudi Arabia. But his family, and especially his father is Yeman. A very rich Yeman that made it big in construction under the Saud family, he has built a lot of mosques for the government of SA. But as a Yeman, he was never consider a Saud. Which has created problems.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 3:36 AM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by Kurukami:
On the whole, when referring to the generally apathetic American citizenry, I'd agree. In specific, when talking about the Bush administration and the Project for the New American Century ( http://www.newamericancentury.org/), I heartily disagree. The invasion of Iraq was in its planning stages long before September 11, 2001, and Bush and his cronies did everything they could to pin both 9/11 and the following anthrax attacks on Hussein. They failed in both regards, for lack of evidence, and then pointed the finger of WMDs at Hussein and succeeded (despite their lack of evidence).



This is a lie. A false statement that is so knowingly and obviously false, it is very difficult to dimiss this fallacy as accidental. No one in the administration has ever made any public comments to the effect that Saddam was tied to 9-11. In fact they have come out publically disclaiming evidence that Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intelligence officers, (one in particular who is now in US custody) in Prague. Czech Intelligence agencies are still saying they met, yet our government and our CIA have said they did not.

If anything, the administration has been saying that Saddam was NOT involved, with the possibility of providing some training in Salam Park

As for anthrax, I have heard no administration offical ever make a statement about the anthrax coming from Saddam. Some of the documents Saddam turned over did show he has a large quantity of antrax that could be, and was intended for, use as a weapon. But there has been no public statement or comment linking Saddam to the anthrax attack here, by this administration.

I don't know how many times it has to be said, but if Bush lied about WMDs so did Bill Clinton. So did every member of the UN Security Council. Before the war everyone was certain Saddam had WMDs. Even Hans Blix. Now that they can't be found, only Bush is the one to lie about that subject, despite the fact he said exactly what everyone else was saying.

Besides which, if Bush lied about the WMDs, not finding any does not prove your case. In fact, it proves just the opposite.

When you say he lied, it involves not only making a false statement, but knowing that the statement you are making is false. Simply making a false statement is not lying, its making a mistake.

If Bush lied, that means he knew it was false, that Saddam had none. And he knew that after the war, (was the outcome ever in doubt?) this lie would be exposed. A prudent thing to do would be to ensure that it was not exposed, to plant WMDs in Iraq, and avoid exactly the heat he is taken now for not finding them.

But Bush did not do that. Neither did Cheney, Rumsfield, or the rest of the administration. Nobody planted anything, we know because no WMDs were found. If none were found then not only does that means that Saddam did not have them, but Bush didn't plant any. This is not the actions of a liar.

Constantly repeating a false claim over and over and over again after it has been dealt with, after it has been pointed out just how wrong it is, those are the actions of a liar. One that would make Goebbles proud.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 4:19 AM

MILORADELL


You know, my boss tells me never to assume anything, because it makes an "ass out of u and me." Well, I was assuming again! 'Cause I'm really good at it. I forget that nobody here knows me, or the huge tendency towards assumptions I have! When I speak of setting-up Afghanistan, etc., we supplied arms, materiel that sort-of thing. And I forget that nobody here knows that to me, it's all the same thing. Is it? Technically, probably not. And there's the making for all kinds of trouble right there! Those pesky little technical slip-ups I/we make, forgetting that when typing away on some pretty complicated issue, what I'm going to assume and what someone else is going to are completely different things! Not to mention the little bits of knowledge/information we all just -and here's that word again - assume that everyone knows.

The Guardian says bin Laden was born in Saudi Arabia, and I'm trusting them to be true in this. All I know of his connections to Yemen is that Yemen has an arrest warrant out on him.

Nur - yeah, I caught the burka! It really irks me that the show was yanked so fast - I'd have loved to see how Joss worked the development of different religions. Like shepherds, and some being married - so did the catholics and the protestants mend their fences and blend traditions? And what's the deal with buddhism and companionism? Well, maybe some day!

****
Now Kurukami - you KNOW griswalds cost more !!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 5:11 AM

HOTPOINT


Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:

Besides, we ain't doing worse off. Economics is not a zero sum game. If our share of the global market has shrunk from 40 to 20 percent, it ain't because our piece of the pie is smaller, its more pie for everyone.

Not at all sure where the down side is.



The down side is trying to afford 50% percent of the worlds defence spending on perhaps 25% its wealth

It's called "Imperial Overstretch" and bought down every major power for the last 500 years. The USSR was the last victim of this

A recent product of US Imperial Overstretch is the cancellation of the Comanche Stealth Helicopter program. Prior spending commitments mean that the USA just can't afford it any more despite a huge defence budget

If you want some recommended reading try "The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" by Paul Kennedy



...................................
Hurrah, hurrah, when things are at their worst
With cries of “Death or Glory” comes the mighty Twenty-First

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 10:47 PM

DRAKON


As for setting up Afghanistan, there is a big difference between supplying arms and intel to one side of a war, and then demanding the form of government that side chooses after they win. We have a lot of folks demanding that we not "impose" our "values" on Iraq. We did exactly what they wanted in Afghanistan, and we ended up with the Taliban and UBL.

I will acede to your assertion UBL was born in Saudi Arabia. But his father was still Yeman and that is part of the problem. As a Yeman, he was looked down on, (both him and his father) by the rest of Saud society. He could never be a Saud, and while he could make a lot of money, as far as political power or socail status, he was stuck as a foreigner and a peasant.

This present war has been called the Saudi Civil War, and in a way it is. The Sauds have developed a unique tactic, in that they've had their civil war everywhere but their own nation. Well, until recently.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 11:03 PM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by Hotpoint:
The down side is trying to afford 50% percent of the worlds defence spending on perhaps 25% its wealth



Again we are getting into a problem between relative and absolute numbers. If you owned half the cars in your community, is that because you can afford it? Or because the rest of your town thinks walking is a better idea?[Or both?]

Most of the nations in Europe, have depended on us to protect them from the Soviet Union. Which allowed them to raise their social welfare benefits. And now that we are withdrawing, they find themselves kinda stuck between reducing benefits or increasing their military. For them its a tough call, especially considering the regulatory atmosphere and the detrimental effect that has on wealth creation and economic growth.

You can only spend the money once. And if you have a lot more of it, you can spend a lot more only once.

I have not read up on the cancelation of the Commanche. So I am not sure if this was a good business based decision or not. If the added capabilities of the new chopper were worth the pricetag. Apparently the government did not think so, and that is why it got cancelled. Looking at the strategic picture, and the kinds and nature of combat we are likely to face in the near future, its hard to argue with that possibility.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Tuesday, February 24, 2004 11:59 PM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by LtNOWIS:

Ok, it really ticks me off whenever people say that we attacked Iraq to free the Iraqi people from Hussein’s brutal regime. Yes, I know he was a bad person, he gassed the Kurds, he tortured hundreds of people, massacred thousands more, etc. But America does not invade a nation to free its people.



This is sorta true and sorta not. Yes, it is true we went into Iraq to keep the US safer. But as a means of that goal, we liberated the Iraqi people. And we are trying to get a functioning democratic government in there, one that will respect the rights of their minority populations (one thing that is scaring the, well, scaring the Sunnis right now pretty badly)

By helping create a functioning and free government, this will allow Iraq to succeed as a nation. This will give the Iraqi people something about themselves to feel good about, as well as show in stark contrast all the problems in the other dictatorships in the region. If the Iraqi people can do it, why can't the Syrian, or the Iranians, or the Sauds? MAybe the problem is what other folks are doing to their nations, but what their own governments are doing to their people.

So as a goal, the liberation of the Iraqi people is not it. But as a means of achieving that goal, that is what we did and are doing.

And if you are an Iraqi, does it matter? Isn't having Saddam off your throat not a good thing in and of itself? The intentions of whoever did it is secondary, the effect that removing Saddam will have on the Iraqi people is what matters. Both to them and to us. (Even if it was an accident )

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004 12:02 AM

DRAKON


Or, another way to look at this was rewatch Jaynetown. Did the mudders give a damn whether Jayne dropped that box of money on them by accident or design? No. It helped them and that was all that mattered.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004 12:36 AM

AJ


In many ways, the US can't win in post-war situations like these: do the job and clear out - you're destabilising the country and leaving the indigenous population to sort out the mess you made; stay to fill the power vacuum - you're destabilising the country by imposing an occupying force and dictating the political situation. There are, of course, positive arguments for both these approaches (such as the arguments for each against the other! ), but these tend to get forgotten at the time.

Personally I think staying to sort out the situation is, in principle, the right course of action, having gone in there in the first place.

The approach of insisting on giving most of the re-building contracts to US companies, however, plus the imposition of US control over all import and export (including oil), does suggest the motivation for the war was more than simply WMD and 'war on terrorism'.

There are, of course, claims that the USA SHOULD have the majority of control over these things, being the major player/contributer to the war in the first place, but if the motivation were really altruistic (and GWB has come out and said that they were deliberately freeing the Iraqi people), wouldn't it make more sense for the Iraqi economy to be giving those contracts out locally, or at least in partnership? Or maybe they are, and I'm way off base here. If anyone has further information to disprove my point I am, as always, intrigued.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004 12:38 AM

HOTPOINT


Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:
Again we are getting into a problem between relative and absolute numbers. If you owned half the cars in your community, is that because you can afford it? Or because the rest of your town thinks walking is a better idea?[Or both?]



The drastic increase in the National Debt demonstrates that the United States cannot afford its defence spending. It is borrowing money from the rest of the world which it will have to pay back with interest

To coin a phrase. Voodoo Economics!

Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:
Most of the nations in Europe, have depended on us to protect them from the Soviet Union.



Given that better than 70% of NATO Forces arrayed against the Soviets were European that's not entirely accurate but it is the case that as a % of GNP the WEU (European NATO) did devote less of its wealth to defence. That was as much due to the lack of massive ICBM Forces and Carrier Battle Groups as anything else though. We expected to be fighting on our home turf not overseas

Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:

Which allowed them to raise their social welfare benefits...

...regulatory atmosphere and the detrimental effect that has on wealth creation and economic growth.



It's a trade off. For the most part we'd rather be happy than rich which is why we work shorter hours, take longer holidays and pay more tax to pay for a comprehensive welfare state

Regulations are generally bought in to increase worker rights at the expense of employers. It really doesn't effect things as much as you may think either. The most regulated, statist, "liberal" country in the EU is probably Sweden. It's also the one with the highest standard of living

You pays your money and you takes your choice in deciding whether to spend your wealth on Arms or Free Medicine. However one thing you should not do is fund your spending of any kind with your grandchildrens paychecks and that's what you do when you deficit spend


...................................
Hurrah, hurrah, when things are at their worst
With cries of “Death or Glory” comes the mighty Twenty-First

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004 4:35 AM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by Hotpoint:
The drastic increase in the National Debt demonstrates that the United States cannot afford its defence spending. It is borrowing money from the rest of the world which it will have to pay back with interest

To coin a phrase. Voodoo Economics!



Or there are other things we cannot afford, such as Medicare or Social Security.

The real question is whether we can afford to NOT defend ourselves to the best of our abilities.

I don't think playing up the deficit is going to work well in the long run. The 80's showed us that the deficits did not matter a whole heck of alot, and in fact helped rein in congressional spending.

Quote:


It's a trade off. For the most part we'd rather be happy than rich which is why we work shorter hours, take longer holidays and pay more tax to pay for a comprehensive welfare state

Regulations are generally bought in to increase worker rights at the expense of employers. It really doesn't effect things as much as you may think either. The most regulated, statist, "liberal" country in the EU is probably Sweden. It's also the one with the highest standard of living

You pays your money and you takes your choice in deciding whether to spend your wealth on Arms or Free Medicine. However one thing you should not do is fund your spending of any kind with your grandchildrens paychecks and that's what you do when you deficit spend



First off, there is no such thing as "Free Medicine" Someone picks up the tab. There ain't no free lunch.

Second off, when one of our worse states economically, Mississippi has a higher GDP than Sweden, your argument loses all its effectiveness.

Third, thank you for your advice, but you will understand if we take it with a grain of salt. We'll take care of our own situation, and we find your concern rather troubling for the most part. Your comment about rather being happy than rich, does not strike us as genuine, especially after complaining about how we own too much, or have too much. The previous comment comes across as envy, the latter comment, well seems contradictory.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004 4:41 AM

DRAKON


Quote:

Originally posted by AJ:
The approach of insisting on giving most of the re-building contracts to US companies, however, plus the imposition of US control over all import and export (including oil), does suggest the motivation for the war was more than simply WMD and 'war on terrorism'.



Again, intentions don't matter. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. What matters is if the Iraqis are free from Saddam's tyranny. And also, for selfish bastards like me, whether that helps or hurts our national interests.

The contracts are being paid for with US tax dollars, so I think the guys handing out the money have every right to decide whom they deal with. If they go to American companies, all the better. If they go to foreign companies that can do the job, well, that is less better than going to an American company that can do the job, but as long as the job gets done, that is what really matters.

Funding folks who hate and oppose our national interests is not a smart thing to do. Sorry, if your country backed the wrong horse, there are consequences to that choice. Just as there are consequences to our choice. Complaining about those consequences to us, well, maybe you should have chosen differently.

You can't not support the war, which many here see as in our national interest and for our self defense, and then expect us not to look at you oddly when you got your hand out for the post war reconstruction contracts. I doubt you would act differently if the sitation were reverse, because I doubt you are that much a fool.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004 5:02 AM

AJ


Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:

Second off, when one of our worse states economically, Mississippi has a higher GDP than Sweden, your argument loses all its effectiveness.



That, I would think, depends on the standard of living in Mississippi. After all, that was the point being made.

Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:
Your comment about rather being happy than rich, does not strike us as genuine, especially after complaining about how we own too much, or have too much. The previous comment comes across as envy, the latter comment, well seems contradictory.



I think being happy rather than rich is something aspired to by many people across the world - including America (although many also confuse the two!). From the outside, the Americans who feel this seem to be in a minority, but maybe that's not the case.

I don't recall Hotpoint doing any complaining, merely observing. I shall go back and re-read in case my memory is not serving me well here.

Regarding envy, I think a large proportion of the UK is afraid of Americanisation - that is, not becoming like Americans, as such, but rather living with "Americanism" - where we get the elements of US life that even a large percentage of US residents may not like (e.g. the 'dumbing-down' trend, reality TV, fast food that resembles cardboard, lawsuits for anything, obsessive business-orientation with buzzwords, escalating gun crime etc...) - without any of the positives. Add to this a general inclination by our government to be a nominal "51st state", and you begin to see why envy is perhaps not the best word to use here. From my point of view, I think we do take on board a fair few positives (not least of which being Firefly itself, and some of the more creative/imaginative literature and movies produced by the US), but the negatives of the type listed above are perhaps more apparent to the population as a whole.

I'm assuming the contradictory remark relies on the concept that Hotpoint was actually complaining in the first place, but again maybe I've misread/misremembered this.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004 5:20 AM

HOTPOINT


Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:
Or there are other things we cannot afford, such as Medicare or Social Security.



Hey it's your choice but if you'd rather let the poor and the eldery suffer than build a few less (easily counterable) ABM systems that's your choice. It's not the one we'd make

Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:

The real question is whether we can afford to NOT defend ourselves to the best of our abilities.



You could easily defend yourselves from all forseeable threats by spending your money on more useful things. For example America needs light infantry in Afganistan and Iraq and is building warships and overpriced Fighters

Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:

I don't think playing up the deficit is going to work well in the long run. The 80's showed us that the deficits did not matter a whole heck of alot, and in fact helped rein in congressional spending.



The recession of the early 1990's and the Tax hike introduced by Bush Senior doesn't really fit your hypothesis I'm afraid.

Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:

First off, there is no such thing as "Free Medicine" Someone picks up the tab. There ain't no free lunch.



I meant free at the point of supply as you well know. We pay for our Health Care as taxes

BTW as a percentage of national GDP we only pay half in the UK what you do in the USA on healthcare because our medical system is geared towards treating people not making money

If you adopted our system you could actually have more free spending money in your wallet (even after paying higher taxes) because you wouldn't have to spend it on health insurance!

Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:

Second off, when one of our worse states economically, Mississippi has a higher GDP than Sweden, your argument loses all its effectiveness.



Ever lived in Sweden? And in any case the specific point I was making is that standard of living is not dependent on personal wealth alone

No offence but this was not the first time you misinterpreted what I was trying to say. I don't think it's the way I'm putting things either

Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:

Third, thank you for your advice, but you will understand if we take it with a grain of salt. We'll take care of our own situation, and we find your concern rather troubling for the most part. Your comment about rather being happy than rich, does not strike us as genuine, especially after complaining about how we own too much, or have too much. The previous comment comes across as envy, the latter comment, well seems contradictory.



Don't believe me if you choose, just check the facts before dismissing what I say (I mean all the facts not the one's you like to believe) Also please read the book I recommended. Plus a few books on economics for that matter

When did I say you had "too much" btw?

I'm not envious of the way you live in the USA. I've been there a few times and whilst in some ways I liked your country I prefer it here for numerous reasons

Finally have you travelled around in Europe much because you seem at face value to have a somewhat distorted view of things here?


...................................
Hurrah, hurrah, when things are at their worst
With cries of “Death or Glory” comes the mighty Twenty-First

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Wednesday, February 25, 2004 5:21 AM

AJ


Quote:

Originally posted by Drakon:
Quote:

Originally posted by AJ:
The approach of insisting on giving most of the re-building contracts to US companies, however, plus the imposition of US control over all import and export (including oil), does suggest the motivation for the war was more than simply WMD and 'war on terrorism'.



Again, intentions don't matter. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. What matters is if the Iraqis are free from Saddam's tyranny. And also, for selfish bastards like me, whether that helps or hurts our national interests.

The contracts are being paid for with US tax dollars, so I think the guys handing out the money have every right to decide whom they deal with. If they go to American companies, all the better. If they go to foreign companies that can do the job, well, that is less better than going to an American company that can do the job, but as long as the job gets done, that is what really matters.

Funding folks who hate and oppose our national interests is not a smart thing to do. Sorry, if your country backed the wrong horse, there are consequences to that choice. Just as there are consequences to our choice. Complaining about those consequences to us, well, maybe you should have chosen differently.

You can't not support the war, which many here see as in our national interest and for our self defense, and then expect us not to look at you oddly when you got your hand out for the post war reconstruction contracts. I doubt you would act differently if the sitation were reverse, because I doubt you are that much a fool.

"Wash, where is my damn spaceship?"



I wouldn't say intentions don't matter, personally, but that is a philosophical matter that goes way beyond even what this thread has become. Of course, the obvious consequences of the attack (the removal of Saddam Hussein particularly), must be considered beneficial. I'm just trying to highlight other possible consequences (the real ends, if you like).

Your comments about the contracts are perfectly reasonable, assuming that the UK (the country I am currently in) did not support the war, and that I was suggesting contracts should go to UK companies. As it is, Mr. Blair was one of the very few to support Bush's approach from the start, and I was suggesting that, where possible, maybe contracts could go to capable Iraqi organisations.

Regarding the contracts being paid for by US tax dollars, doesn't it seem ironic that the physical damage in Iraq was funded from the same source?

I'm sorry if my post made you feel defensive in any way - that wasn't my intent.

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