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7773 clicks; posted to Politics » on 06 Feb 2007 at 5:32 PM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite   |  Watch    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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  2007-08-04 11:23:20 PM  
What to do in the ME...

Unfortunately there is no easy answer for that question.

There are some who say we basically need to cut all ties to the ME and let them (basically) destroy themselves. That (again basically) until there is a risk that threatens our boarders we shouldn't care what happens over there.

The problem (that I see) with that line of thinking is that by the time there is some sort of risk at our boarders it is already too late.

There are others who basically say we need to find out why they hate us.

While I am not going to try to argue that we have never made mistakes I think it is somewhat foolish to think that if only we do something different that they will no longer hate us.

No matter what we do, they (or at least some of them) will always hate us.

I think that a huge mistake would be for us to abandon those who have trusted us with their lives.

I think it is extremely important for us to help/support moderate governments in the ME.

No.....

There might not even be one of them that is perfect but I don't think that should prevent us from supporting them.

There are others who say we should turn the entire ME into a glass parking lot......

There are more than just a few problems with that line of thinking.....

I think a mixed approach is called for.....

One size does not fit all when it comes to dealing with the many situations that we face in the ME....

First and Foremost..... We NEED reliable intel about what is going on in the ME.

That is first thing we need before we can make any decisions about what actions we take in the ME.

Now.....

What actions we should take....

In some cases simply supporting moderate governments in the ME should be all that is needed.

In some cases we need to be willing to use military force against threats that we see. Some of these actions might be completely open while other actions might be covert. Hopefully this would be with the support and even cooperation of the local government.

In some cases we will need to be willing to use military force against governments that we see as threats.

I know this isn't a popular stance and hopefully we never get to that point.

No matter what steps we take (or don't take) the ME is not going to become a nice peaceful place any time soon.

Oh and a reminder....

The extremists that are threatening us are not only in the ME.

They are in countries all over the world and at some point we (or someone) will need to deal with them.

I forgot what my line of thinking was in my last comment so I guess I won't be finishing it at this point.....
 
  2007-08-05 03:40:10 PM  
the_deciderer: My current toic is ME, its root causes and how best to limit its lifespan (or not) and therefore the risk it brings to the free world.

Interesting choice of words.

Root causes: You do realize that the political/social problem is circular? Originally, it was this country and Great Britain who originally stirred up the mess with topplings of democratically-elected governments (in the name of oil) and generally fed whatever oppressive government emerged to control the people (with US-backed meddling, including arms sales) and thus making the needed resources a constant commodity.

The core approach against ME is to try to establish free Muslim nations so the people start worrying about how to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Much as Western-style democracy is needed in the ME, it's not up to this country (or any other) to force this concept upon anyone. I think we've more than planted the seeds of the possibility of better lives for people--worldwide.

What we have also done is attack countries, kill innocent people and insist that governments be the way we say they should be "for the better," or else.

So much for the "free world?"

Again, I would stress the need to use the power of the United Nations to inspire democracy in oppressive countries, but it looks like the US wants to keep things the way they are, and use firepower as enforcement.

Hence, military assessments like "how to limit [the Middle East's] lifespan."
 
  2007-08-05 04:44:40 PM  
Root causes: You do realize that the political/social problem is circular? Originally, it was this country and Great Britain who originally stirred up the mess........

If there's one thing that gets me on my soap box is the attempted use of moral relativism to justify premeditated, cold-blooded murder of thousands of innocent men, women and children and blame it on others.

Let me try an analogy to explain why this is very flawed logic. Let's say there are two sets of BAD GUYS (#1 AND #2) and they control certain areas of a city and they've been going back and forth at each other for some time (for so long its impossible to know who started it). BAD GUYS #2 have planned their weekly party crashing where they come into the city and break glass, tip over cars, or whatever miss-deeds they can. BAD GUYS #1, however, have planned something a little different. They decide to capture each of the #2s, slowly cut off their heads with dull swords and then hunt down their families, rape their children in front of their mothers and then kill everyone. Just to polish it off, they put all the bodies on poles and display them in the center square of #2s territory.

whidbey, lets be very clear here. Yes, "the political/social problem is circular" but that is a very dangerous sentence that, if misused can unintentionally justify truly, truly evil people's deeds and YES this is much worse than bad policies that are intended to guarantee the future of a set of free people but in practice turn wrong (even if people are killed in the process).

Have you ever herd of the difference between manslaughter and first-degree murder?

I better go have a run and burn off the rest of my energy.
 
  2007-08-05 06:25:33 PM  
Look, deciderer, I do see both sides of the story. I do not condone terrorist violence, but I do understand that it didn't just spring into being overnight. We've done more than our share of what could be called "terrorism" using our very own definitions.

Our country had a lot to do with that unrest, and military actions won't solve that problem, not without us looking like a bunch of dysfunctional hypocrites.
 
  2007-08-05 07:31:45 PM  
Oh yea you're right. We had some hand in this so we should just but out and not do anything about it. Check Mate!

Should we worry about being hypocrites and therefore not make the right moves going forward? Obviously not. We can't change the past, we can only work on the current and future.

I still say the root cause is, as I stated, opressive regimes who brew hatred through their propaganda which diverts the innocent people's attention from the fact that their, so called, leaders are the ones that are starving them and killing them.

Its you're move, what do you want to do now. What's your next move? Are you still playing checkers?

What I want to do is continue a multi-pronged approach of humanitarian, diplomatic and military actions that work to give these people freedom. Even though someone tried to put these words in my mouth, I did not say this means that we have to impose our version of democracy on them. What it means is to give the people a say in their future, have a free press and human rights. What form is takes can vary.

What is your candidates approach? Its important because they'll likely be in power for 8 years and that's a long time to sit and complain on the forums about what slime buckets they are.
 
  2007-08-05 08:27:47 PM  
the_deciderer: I still say the root cause is, as I stated, opressive regimes who brew hatred through their propaganda which diverts the innocent people's attention from the fact that their, so called, leaders are the ones that are starving them and killing them.

I understand that people living in those countries have no idea what Western-style democracy can do for them. And you very conveniently have omitted the consideration once again that these leaders were installed and are supported by the indirect actions of this country. See, it really isn't so cut and dried.

What I want to do is continue a multi-pronged approach of humanitarian, diplomatic and military actions that work to give these people freedom.

I believe that freedom is ultimately the decision of the people of those countries. We can only act internationally, using the power of the UN to stop actions like genocide, or to help people in countries where they are starving, putting pressure on the international community to act. That's pretty much the only way I feel comfortable doing it. I'm not going to watch this country's resources being exhausted in one half-hearted bumbling foreign policy incident after another, especially in the name of "terror" or "democracy." It's a big big world out there, and there are many other countries besides this one who could be called on do their part in making this world a more peaceful place.

Oh, and that's "my move," BTW....;)

But no, I don't trust this government alone, especially when it acts unilaterally without any accountability, as recent times have proven.

This is why I want to stay away from Presidential candidates who continue to buy into the flawed notion that military action is an acceptable solution. So far, they're scoring "0." I might have to write in C-S for President as reluctantly as he feel about the job...;-p
 
  2007-08-05 08:43:55 PM  
I'm on a public transportation bus in Mexico typing on my Blackberry so pls excuse any errors.

As I said, I admire your idealism but just giving up, at least to me, isn't an option. I assume, despite your frustration, that you'll back the best possible candidate that's closest to your views. If not then there's just no point.

The US is the last superpower (part of the reason they hate us) and it is out moral responsibility to lead this thing. Think 50 or 100 years ahead and that this time will likely be several large chapters in the history books.

Well. my stop is coming..gotta go
 
  2007-08-05 08:58:28 PM  
the_deciderer: As I said, I admire your idealism but just giving up, at least to me, isn't
an option


The only way we're going to solve the problems in
the ME is internationally, with UN consensus.

That isn't giving up, it's realizing the old ways don't work and they are hurting this country.

the_deciderer: I assume, despite your frustration, that you'll back the best possible candidate that's closest to your views. If not then there's just no point.

I really believe a candidate who ran on the platform that he would end the war and work to get this nation's respectability back would win. I don't see that kind of thinking, I only see candidates that lack the courage to admit the kind of problems I've brought up here.

The US is the last superpower (part of the reason they hate us)

Because we've acted most irresponsibly as that superpower in their countries. That hate is understandable. I don't for a minute buy into the crap "they hate our freedoms" they're sick of our world bullying tendencies.

it is out moral responsibility to lead this thing

Then, as I've said, this country needs to get its act together. We need to behave more honestly, with less secrecy about our intentions, we need to curb corporatism worldwide, and we need to stop electing people to office like George Bush. Only then we can ease the decline of this nation.
 
  2007-08-05 09:42:45 PM  
the_deciderer: I'm on a public transportation bus in Mexico typing on my Blackberry so pls excuse any errors.

Collectivo?
 
  2007-08-05 10:59:43 PM  
A couple points....

1. The US did NOT act unilaterally in Iraq. We had several countries (I forget the exact number) that supported our actions.

Interesting how Barack is talking about actually acting unilaterally in Pakistan.

2. I think it is unrealistic to expect the UN to take the actions needed to fix the problems in the ME when many members in the UN don't want to see the problems in the ME fixed.
 
  2007-08-06 01:25:18 AM  
Soup4Bonnie,

No en el autobus.

My Spanish isn't great so I hope I got it right. I'm visiting my wifes family in BC (regular even)

End of personal moment..

To whidbey, I'm still on PDA so can't do it justice but can't wait to respond to '...only way to solve...problems...UN concensus.."

Oh boy!!! :-)
 
  2007-08-06 02:39:03 AM  
Good evening, whidbey. Mind if I come aboard and help paddle? I am in full agreement that we have way too much corporatism running our foreign affairs for anyone outside the US to trust our true intentions. Anyone familiar with the PNAC doctrine, which our gov't. is pursuing now, makes no bones about the US taking, by force, whatever is needed to keep our country 'alpha male'. Very little is mentioned on how to help anyone else, much less our allies, unless it furthers our cause.

From what little I can gather from here, the_deciderer, it sounds like you are all for our meddling even more in ME affairs. That line of thinking hasn't lead to anything positive.

And now for something totally...Is anyone here as worried as I, that, during this recess period Bush cans Gonzales and replaces him with another sycophant? He has to replace the AG; if he leaves Morford in place, he chances an investigation. No, he has to seat someone he can trust to toe the neo-con line.
 
  2007-08-06 04:36:02 PM  
the_deciderer: What I want to do is continue a multi-pronged approach of humanitarian, diplomatic and military actions that work to give these people freedom...

Let's assume this is possible. There is a lot of freedom and democracy that needs to be doled out in this world. Who gets hit first with the ol' freedom bat?

All jokes aside, I don't think we have the right, or even the ability, to "give" any country freedom. How does one do that anyway? That smells like old fashioned Imperialism.

And how does one simultaneously perform a military and humanitarian action? Unless you are using military infrastructure to supply people with food or something, OK fine. But "military" usually equals guns and bombs, which usually also equals killing people, which does not equal "humanitarian."

What exactly is a humanitarian/military mission anyway? Is Iraq?

And who are we to say the ME needs it more than say, Africa? Why does the ME get our help first? Because they have oil? Because certain political realities in the region are a threat to our national security? Aren't we back to square one then, i.e., only looking out for ourselves?

If they want democracy, they're better off without our help, especially if that "help" is the United States military or the CIA. No thanks. Putting aside our awful record of nation building, I think it's safe to say we are not very popular In the ME right now. If the people don't trust you, then you will never get anywhere.

I still say the root cause is, as I stated, oppressive regimes who brew hatred through their propaganda which diverts the innocent people's attention from the fact that their, so called, leaders are the ones that are starving them and killing them.

I think that's one factor out of many. Not all terrorists come from oppressive regimes. Take the recently foiled London bombers. Doctors living in England. Or the Oklahoma city bombing; we all know who did that. Why did they do it?

Also, if what you are trying to say is fostering democratic change in the ME by getting rid of oppressive regimes will help to alleviate terrorism, I can't say I wholeheartedly disagree with you. (Excuse my strawman, but I think that's the gist of your argument?) However, what you were saying earlier about political realities is relevant here because many of our closest allies are oppressive regimes, supported and funded by you and me. Take Saudi Arabia for instance. Is regime change in Saudi Arabia possible? Not unless you want WWIII (or you're Tom Tancredo and just want to nuke Mecca...). Which is unfortunate, because a moderate Saudi Arabia would do wonders for advancing a more moderate and progressive form of Islam.

Which brings me to one of the factors I think plays a role in fostering extremism: The current popular radical form of Islam and the lack of any popular moderate influence. With the example of a moderate Saudi Arabia above, I was getting at the lack of any sort of moderating influence in Islam. There really is no central authority in Islam for one thing, and there really is not a well known or popular moderate Islamic leader right now. Extremists are everywhere and are getting all the exposure. There is no alternative; no one with any clout in the Muslim world is coming out there and saying "this is not what the Koran says. This is not Islam. You guys are all wrong." And if they did they'd probably get killed. (Even writing fiction that casts doubt on the veracity of certain interpretations of the Koran is a death sentence.) Such is the sad state of affairs over there.

The other obvious factor is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It's the proverbial 800 lb. gorilla sitting in the corner. I said it before in here and I'll say it again: It's the axis around which this whole mess really spins. Things like that turn otherwise rational people into irrational psychopaths and they provide a rallying call for extremist leaders in the ME to gain popular support. (Including Israel.) If you don't believe me,
look at the Fark threads on any Israeli/Palestinian article; people in there are willing to kill each other over it and 99% of those farkwits don't even live in either of those places. If that situation can be worked out, then we will truly see some progress. I think that should be fairly obvious.

The US is the last superpower (part of the reason they hate us)...

I never got that. Is it just a matter of exposure? The person who is the most visible will be the subject of the most critique? That just seems flimsy to me; the cousin of "they hate our freedom" gibberish.

...and it is out moral responsibility to lead this thing.

What "thing?" How and why do we have moral responsibility? How have we proven to be morally superior in any way? How have we proven that we are a) capable, or b) trustworthy? Is it because of our democratic government? The same one that only 7 1/2 years ago was the laughingstock of the democratic world? (Because even if the right person won, it was ugly and handled incompetently.)

In sum, I don't think we have the right or the capacity to "spread democracy" to the world. In fact, we should stop trying to spread anything. We have plenty to worry about right here in the "homeland."

I'll be on vacation for a week or so BTW so sorry if I can't get back here for a while. (But I may end up doing so anyway, it's so hard to stay away!)
 
  2007-08-06 09:14:59 PM  
trog69:Very little is mentioned on how to help anyone else, much less our allies, unless it furthers our cause.

You caught us. The United States Government who is elected and sworn to defend the Constitution of the United States and maintain our national security is, once again, acting in its own self interest. I completely forgot that the rest of the countries of the world put the interest of other countries before theirs.

That's the problem is that people here these nice sentences (in their head or maybe on the left-winged blogs, I don't know) and think somehow they can break through all realities of man and just make them happen. Well, close your eyes and tap your ruby slippers 100 times and you'll still be dealing with a world of men who are programmed to take care of themselves and their families first.

Have you ever thought about the fact that if we didn't take care of our selvess first then we wouldn't be able to help anyone else?

I'm sure you're aware that we're currently giving about $19 billion/year in foreign aid and Americans themselves give about $34 billion per year through private and corporate foundations.

If you want to argue that we should give more or that it should be done in a more effective manner, sure, but through our 'selfishness', we grow wealth both here and abroad.
 
  2007-08-06 09:39:52 PM  
All jokes aside, I don't think we have the right, or even the ability, to "give" any country freedom. How does one do that anyway? That smells like old fashioned Imperialism.

Give me a break. Talk about a straw man. We're not colonizing anyone. We didn't occupy Afghanistan and we're NOT occupying Iraq and we will eventually leave and, no, we will NOT own their oil. Its just propaganda that people tend to repeat without real thought.

And how does one simultaneously perform a military and humanitarian action?

You misunderstood me, I'm not saying military and humanitarian at the same time, I'm saying the broad approach with various countries will vary from humanitarian to diplomatic to military.

And who are we to say the ME needs it more than say, Africa? Why does the ME get our help first?

We did go into Africa. We didn't know it at the time but it was the first action in the war on terror. It's called Somalia. I was there, by the way, which is irrelevant except for the fact that I saw the starving children by the thousands and the brutal war lords fat and happy running around in their armed vehicles. And do you remember why we left? Because Bin Laden shot down two of our helicopters and paraded the bodies around the town. Political pressure ruled out and we ran with our tail between our legs. This actually emboldened him and started planning 9/11.

Aren't we back to square one then, i.e., only looking out for ourselves?
According to the link below, the US is not the only country that is being affected by terrorism. I stopped counting at 25. It's a global problem affecting many, many nations.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0884893.html

I think that's one factor out of many. Not all terrorists come from oppressive regimes.

It's a good point and this should scare the holy crap out of you that it has already expanded to this point.

The other obvious factor is the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. It's the proverbial 800 lb. gorilla sitting in the corner.....

You may be partially right. What do you suggest? Not meddling, I assume?
 
  2007-08-06 09:54:25 PM  
whidbey

The only way we're going to solve the problems in
the ME is internationally, with UN consensus.

That isn't giving up, it's realizing the old ways don't work and they are hurting this country.


You have to be kidding right? The UN has been issuing sanctions and angrily worded letters for how long? What is the UN accomplishing or has accomplished? The ME is hands down the toughest issue on the planet and the UN is unable to address issues like Darfur where there is a pretty clear right and wrong. If they can not address that situation what do you think they will ever accomplish in the ME?
 
  2007-08-06 10:28:09 PM  
smert: Thanks for reminding me to get back to that one.

whidbey

The war in Iraq was authorized by UN Security Council then there were a series of SC resolutions aimed at keeping Saddam contained and required him to have weapons inspectors in the country. Several times over, he thumbed his nose at them and either restricted the inspectors or kicked them out all together.

Then along cam SCR #660 and #678 which authorized military action against him if he didn't fully disclose and confirm to previous resolutions. Yes, they now want to split hairs and say it only authorized military action, not regime change but of course we also found out the the "oil for food" program was highly corrupt and high ranking members of the UN were getting rich from it. Not to mention the series of UN corruption cases that have been identified since then.

You're saying you can't trust the US government but you CAN trust the UN leadership?

So we tried to follow the UN process and apparently it wasn't good enough for you. It appears that the process is broken so what are you going to do about that?
 
  2007-08-06 10:32:54 PM  
the_deciderer: smert: Thanks for reminding me to get back to that one.

whidbey

Quick correction. I meant to say the "gulf war"
 
  2007-08-06 11:01:00 PM  
the_deciderer: So we tried to follow the UN process and apparently it wasn't good enough for you. It appears that the process is broken so what are you going to do about that?

The UN needs a good housekeeping, to be sure. But it's really our only hope. The UN could be a very powerful international body. I think the United States is both reluctant and afraid to share that power on a more politically even field. The mentality is that it's easier to take care of business ourselves without thinking of what others might want or need, or how our actions have an impact.

And this government wants to keep it that way. They take advantage of the divisions in policy opinion to allow for whatever "necessary" foray into countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, or just go ahead and pick one. Iran.

Yeah, it's a pain in the ass to try to get 190+ egos to agree on anything, let alone the members of the Security Council. But take a look around, what we're doing isn't working. We can't spread this country's military resources any thinner. We really do need a leader that knows how to persuade as opposed to being led around by a bunch of con men like previous administrations. And no, this isn't "idealism" to be admired, but pretty much our only bet if this country has any hope of surviving with its values intact. I'm not seeing anyone who's honestly willing to take that on in this campaign. I'd like to be able to say "so far."

I feel like I'm stating the Forbidden Truth™ that is absolutely off-limits for candidates to latch onto. I don't understand the whole dumbing down politicians undergo regarding issues and integrity.
 
  2007-08-06 11:15:18 PM  
whidbey: the_deciderer: So we tried to follow the UN process and apparently it wasn't good enough for you. It appears that the process is broken so what are you going to do about that?

The UN needs a good housekeeping, to be sure. But it's really our only hope. The UN could be a very powerful international body. I think the United States is both reluctant and afraid to share that power on a more politically even field. The mentality is that it's easier to take care of business ourselves without thinking of what others might want or need, or how our actions have an impact.

And this government wants to keep it that way. They take advantage of the divisions in policy opinion to allow for whatever "necessary" foray into countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, or just go ahead and pick one. Iran.

Yeah, it's a pain in the ass to try to get 190+ egos to agree on anything, let alone the members of the Security Council. But take a look around, what we're doing isn't working. We can't spread this country's military resources any thinner. We really do need a leader that knows how to persuade as opposed to being led around by a bunch of con men like previous administrations. And no, this isn't "idealism" to be admired, but pretty much our only bet if this country has any hope of surviving with its values intact. I'm not seeing anyone who's honestly willing to take that on in this campaign. I'd like to be able to say "so far."

I feel like I'm stating the Forbidden Truth™ that is absolutely off-limits for candidates to latch onto. I don't understand the whole dumbing down politicians undergo regarding issues and integrity.


Whidbey, WTF man? Do you think that reshaping a region is something that happens in a matter of months? The ME has been at war with itself for well over 1000 years. The UN has been a complete failure in the region since it's inception. So finally we are taking an active role in shaping the region and people like you continually want to toss that bone back to the UN.

You even acknowledge that we have had a role in the region building up leaders like Saddam because at the time he was the enemy of our enemy. For me it's time we cleaned up what our country helped create.

I've said it before, it's time to do the heavy lifting. If we walk out of there it will validate everything that they say about Americans, that we don't have the stomach for war or the attention span to see something through. How you can not grasp the concept that terror bombings which are happening in Iraq daily have the desired effect of, uh, terrorizing people...the US leaving is the desired consequence. If we were to do that from here on out the regimes who wish to push this type of rule will know that America had a timeline of 4 years before they pull out, regardless of why we were there.
 
  2007-08-06 11:36:10 PM  
smert: So finally we are taking an active role in shaping the region and people like you continually want to toss that bone back to the UN.

"An active role" in screwing everything up, is more accurate.

We're incompetent. At least this administration is. It's going to take some kind of emergency international plan to settle it down. Bush certainly isn't man enough to admit his mistakes and call on the United Nations to clean up our mess. But there clearly needs to be some outside consensus because our private little war is a failure, and typical of what we can come to expect in any other military operation under this administration.
 
  2007-08-07 12:44:58 AM  
whidbey: ...It's going to take some kind of emergency international plan to settle it down.....

You know, you may be right, that the international community and surrounding countries may now have to work together to prop up the fledgling government and maintain peace and that is infinitely better than what they were doing before. They just turned their heads while a mad-man gased his own people and killed millions.

Just as smert said, we had to go in and do the heavy lifting. Before too long it will be time for other countries to start pitching in. This is exactly what happened in Afghanistan. Of course, they seem to be having a tough time just keeping the Taliban in check (so much for relying on them).

Once they do, we'll have two fledging democracies in the region with a hope that they will become successful and other countries will start demanding the same of their leaders. Come to think of it, it sounds like the original plan.
 
  2007-08-07 05:03:49 AM  
Not on vacation yet...

the_deciderer: Its just propaganda that people tend to repeat without real thought.

I was merely repeating what you said. "Give people freedom." I believe those were your exact words. My really long post was basically trying to say that "giving people freedom" is a load of bullsh*t.

What about my suggestion to perform regime change in Saudi Arabia? Do you not agree Saudi Arabia is an undemocratic and oppressive regime? As an undemocratic and oppressive regime that breeds terrorists (where did the 9/11 hijackers comes from? Where is Bin Laden from?) are they not the prime target for someone who shares your goals and ideals? I would think they would be the perfect example of a country that needs to be changed with our "help."

Because Bin Laden shot down two of our helicopters and paraded the bodies around the town.

Regardless of whatever proof you think you have of that statement (yes I've seen the indictment), did I ever say that I thought Somalia was a good idea?

Political pressure ruled out and we ran with our tail between our legs.

Would we have accomplished anything more had we stayed? What did we really accomplish? How is Somalia doing right now? Should we have even been there in the first place? Rwanda was happening around that time-- why weren't we there instead?

You may be partially right. What do you suggest? Not meddling, I assume?

What kind of "meddling" do you presume would work? The trail of US presidents that have tried and failed to solve the Israeli Palestinian conflict is almost as long as the trail of presidents that have tried to outlive Castro. Only the Israelis and the Palestinians can solve their conflict-- the best we can do is neutrally arbitrate, which is something we are not doing.


They just turned their heads while a mad-man gased his own people and killed millions.


You know we supported Saddam during the Iran Iraq war (pops), when the many vicious gas attacks on the Kurds occurred don't you?

That link is full of pdfs of actual government documents supporting this fact. I found this part of the link particularly relevant to this discussion:

The U.S., which followed developments in the Iran-Iraq war with extraordinary intensity, had intelligence confirming Iran's accusations, and describing Iraq's "almost daily" use of chemical weapons, concurrent with its policy review and decision to support Iraq in the war [Document 24]. The intelligence indicated that Iraq used chemical weapons against Iranian forces, and, according to a November 1983 memo, against "Kurdish insurgents" as well [Document 25].

If you read the full text of that link it's pretty damning. We basically made sure that we maintained a public veil of concern regarding Iraq's use of chemical weapons, while simultaneously building a relationship with Saddam in order to further our interests in the region. So twenty years ago, when Saddam actually had WMD's and was using them, what were we doing? I'll show you what we were doing:

img405.imageshack.us



Sending Rummy over to shake hands with the devil, thats what. We were also directly responsible for the lack of UN action in regards to responding to the chemical weapons use Saddam was committing throughout the war against Iran, as we specifically lobbied for a dumbed down security council resolution against Geneva convention crimes "generally" in the war, without even mentioning Iraq. All of that really came back to bite us, many different times. 1988 in Halabja was one of those times. Are these the kind of "chess moves" you want to make?

And now we're the ones who are supposed to go spread democracy there? I don't think so.
 
  2007-08-07 08:19:04 AM  
Cleveland-Steamer Yes we supported Saddam back during the Iran Iraq war, at that point he was the lesser of the two evils percieved by the administration. And sending Rummy over to shake hands with Saddam doesn't necessarily mean that we were supporting his decision to gas the Kurds. That's what's called diplomacy. This is where you just can't win with people like you. You state that we should neutrally negotiate in the Palestinian/Isaraeli conflict but if we were to send Condoleeza to speak with the Palestinians and she was to shake one of their hands and it was captured in a photo then years from now if that person turns out to be a terror sponsor then you will be posting that picture. For all you know Rummy was there telling Saddam to cut the gassing etc. and Saddam told him to go get stuffed.

Then you suggest a regime change in Saudi Arabia. Wow. So action like that is unacceptable in Iraq where Saddam invaded Kuwait and was beaten in the first gulf war, sanctioned by the UN and then kicked UN weapons inspectors out of the country every other day. If there was a case for a regime change it was Saddam. He has a decade of not complying with the terms of his surrender during the first Gulf War. Not to mention a regime change in Saudi Arabia would really screw our economy when gas skyrocketed. Is it about oil? Of course it is. When gas was getting close to $3 people were ready to impeach the president because the pressure on their pocketbooks was start to be felt. Like it or not oil is important to people here in the US and increasing the cost of it by a significant factor will affect lives here. I imagine that a nice little depression here wouldn't bother you a little bit. Of course the effects of a depression in the US would be felt across the globe.

Am I overstating what could happen if we went after Saudi Arabia? Perhaps. Another very clear thing is that Saudi Arabia is a recognized friend of the US. What diplomatic signal would it send if we turned on them? The rest of the world would definately have a case that the US is not to be trusted. Iraq was a decade long invasion waiting to happen. Saudi Arabia is not and has not been aggressive to the US. Absolutely amazing that you can even say things like illegal war in Iraq and then say something about Saudi Arabia.
 
  2007-08-07 12:47:14 PM  
Yes, more failed nation building and domino democracy at the cost of thousands of U.S. military and trillions of dollars.

When all else fails (and it has), throw even more money and soldiers at the problem.

Soar, eagle, soar!
 
  2007-08-07 01:54:32 PM  
What I find really funny is that everyone (except smert) are doing nothing but shooting holes in everything we've done, are doing or will do but offering up NO solutions to the problem.

You like diplomacy, but not with Saddam. You want us to try and help in Africa, but not in Somalia. You don't want pre-emption in Iraq but it may be a good idea in Saudi Arabia.

You guys are still playing checkers. The world and the policies that try to work within it are complicated matters and its is a VERY imperfect science. You can try all day long to apply your simplistic, idealistic ideas to the problem as long as its in a blogosphere not in the real world where there are real consequences.

This is liberal way. Say nice things, blame the US and then burry their heads in the sand.

I'll say it again, do not use relative moralism to defend the actions of evile people there IS a difference between failed policies intended to protect ours and our allies best interest and cold blooded murder of thousands and millions of innocent people around the world.

It is spreading and affecting a growing number of countries. You can choose to support a policy of protectionism and bury your head but I choose to attempt to develop a policy to help the world rid itself of this virus. Maybe it will work in 10 years, maybe 50 or 100 or maybe it will still fail and my kids will all be living under Sharia law but we must do something.
 
  2007-08-07 02:43:05 PM  
the_deciderer: You guys are still playing checkers. The world and the policies that try to work within it are complicated matters and its is a VERY imperfect science. You can try all day long to apply your simplistic, idealistic ideas to the problem as long as its in a blogosphere not in the real world where there are real consequences.

No, we reject "the game" altogether. "The game" is allowing this country to slip into a rapid decline.

And the simple fact is if a candidate had the people behind him, the old men who still play "the game" would have to gnash their teeth and take it. Or do their dirtiest work to discredit/assassinate those ideals.

I'll say it again, do not use relative moralism to defend the actions of evile people there IS a difference between failed policies intended to protect ours and our allies best interest and cold blooded murder of thousands and millions of innocent people around the world

Fine. As long as you realize that this country has done enough damage of its own and there are definitely two sides to this story, not just The Bastion of Worldwide Freedom™ fighting The Terrorists™. Once again, you refuse to see that the issues are not cut and dried, and both "sides" have done bad things.

This is liberal way. Say nice things, blame the US and then burry their heads in the sand.

And seriously? Drop that talking point. No one here subscribes to your stereotype. If you want to discuss things with me, you're going to have to listen more and quit relying on your preconceived notions of how progressives think.

The fact of the matter is that the US is far more to blame for these problems we're discussing than a bunch of dictators oppressing poor people. You need to accept that, and please stop bullying us/me to fall in line with the status quo, because we see that it isn't working.

The status quo needs changing, that's the point of all my posts. What we've been doing has only made things worse, and the solution is to stop doing those bad dysfunctional things and learn how to communicate with our community instead of talking at them.

It is spreading and affecting a growing number of countries. You can choose to support a policy of protectionism and bury your head but I choose to attempt to develop a policy to help the world rid itself of this virus

And which virus is that? Radical Islamist extremism, or American Imperialism?

And without understanding the root causes, it is you that are burying your head in the sand, because the problem isn't going to go away by sending in the troops.

And I don't support "protectionism." I support international action with international representation.

Maybe it will work in 10 years, maybe 50 or 100 or maybe it will still fail and my kids will all be living under Sharia law but we must do something.

That's frankly the kind of paranoia that keeps warmongers like Bush in power. That will never ever happen in this country. This government is more of a threat to our rights than some "terrorist" group in the Middle East supposedly plotting to convert the world to fundamentalist Islam.
 
  2007-08-07 02:58:15 PM  
the_deciderer: What I find really funny is that everyone (except smert) are doing nothing but shooting holes in everything we've done, are doing or will do but offering up NO solutions to the problem.

Yes, the old "we broke it, but you're not helping us fix it!"

You like diplomacy, but not with Saddam. You want us to try and help in Africa, but not in Somalia. You don't want pre-emption in Iraq but it may be a good idea in Saudi Arabia.

These aren't my stances at all.

You guys are still playing checkers. The world and the policies that try to work within it are complicated matters and its is a VERY imperfect science. You can try all day long to apply your simplistic, idealistic ideas to the problem as long as its in a blogosphere not in the real world where there are real consequences.

And throwing money and soldiers is your answer to a complicated problem? Because that seems to be the simplest and short-sighted knee-jerk reaction I've ever heard of. Iraq didn't attack us on 9/11, in case you hadn't heard. Iraq didn't have any WMDs. The "real consequences" we're suffering from are because of overly simplistic ideals that this administration created, not because of the "blogosphere".

This is liberal way. Say nice things, blame the US and then burry their heads in the sand.

My only response to this statement: Stuff a sock in your pie-hole. This kind of discourse doesn't help anyone.

I'll say it again, do not use relative moralism to defend the actions of evile people there IS a difference between failed policies intended to protect ours and our allies best interest and cold blooded murder of thousands and millions of innocent people around the world.

Yes, the failed policies of the neocons certainly have resulted in the cold blooded murder of many innocents. They did manage to topple Saddam, though; a man in charge of a secular nation that was absolutly no threat to us or our allies. See "contained" at dictionary.com if you need more help understanding this.

It is spreading and affecting a growing number of countries. You can choose to support a policy of protectionism and bury your head but I choose to attempt to develop a policy to help the world rid itself of this virus. Maybe it will work in 10 years, maybe 50 or 100 or maybe it will still fail and my kids will all be living under Sharia law but we must do something.

Fear mongering and "stay the course" philosophies have put us in this position. You advocate more of the same. I completely disagree with this approach.
 
  2007-08-07 05:08:49 PM  
Once again, no answers, just complaining.

If you want real examples of how a US military action can help a nationl rebuild and what real heroism is please read the two articles (especially the videos):

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/bread-and-a-circus-part-i-of-ii.htm

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/bread-and-a-circus-part-ii-of-ii.htm
 
  2007-08-07 05:38:10 PM  
the_deciderer: Once again, no answers, just complaining.

Are you deliberately being dense? Or does the truth really hurt that much?

I've given nothing but solutions. Tough solutions that require real committment.
 
  2007-08-07 05:42:18 PM  
No, we reject "the game" altogether. "The game" is allowing this country to slip into a rapid decline.

You can't avoid the game. The game I'm referring to is the complicated nature of all things real. The world problems and therefore their solutions are not simple and also are not pretty despite your desire to think otherwise.

Once again, you refuse to see that the issues are not cut and dried, and both "sides" have done bad things.

It is a disgrace to try and make them equivalent. Answer me this, since our miss-deeds justify horrific acts then how come they are limited to a certain sect of radical Islam? How come free countries like France don't just drive car bombs into the White House to teach us a lesson? If you followed my links and watched the videos, you'll see a portion of the Iraq leaders talking very off-the-cuff how crazy and evil Al Qaeda are. They shoot people who drink cold water and they kill herders who refuse to put diapers on their sheep because it's a sin to look at genitalia. You can't be a thinking being and believe that they are the same.

And seriously? Drop that talking point. No one here subscribes to your stereotype. If you want to discuss things with me, you're going to have to listen more and quit relying on your preconceived notions of how progressives think.

It's a fair point and I'll concede. I will however continue to point out your presumed actions based on your writings. You continue to blame the US for everything, not place blame on the evil people who do evil deeds and then not offer up any real solutions other than do nothing (aka, bury your head in the sand). BTW, exactly what country do you hold up as the ideal so we can do a quick comparison?

and please stop bullying us/me to fall in line with the status quo

That's a funny choice of words, "bullying". Why do you characterize my points as bullying? Why do you say its not working but yet ask me to stop doing it? Maybe I'm being more effective than you want to admit!

.......learn how to communicate with our community instead of talking at them.

If you don't wanted to be treated like a stereotype then don't act like one. It doesn't get any more typical liberal than to say its our fault for not understanding and communicating better with Al Qaeda. Again, what is your point of reference for who is doing a better job?


And which virus is that? Radical Islamist extremism, or American Imperialism?

Define "Imperialism" for me and how exactly we're doing that? Afghanistan is now being monitored and defended by the UN and Iraq will eventually be turned over to the Iraqi's and likely the UN as well. Talk about your fear mongering.

That's frankly the kind of paranoia that keeps warmongers like Bush in power. That will never ever happen in this country. This government is more of a threat to our rights than some "terrorist" group in the Middle East supposedly plotting to convert the world to fundamentalist Islam.

Its their goal and should be taken seriously. Yes, you're probably right that as of right now, do to the proactive steps being taken the threat is minimal. If, however, we had leaders with your thought process were in power, they would have far more dominance in the middle east and we'd be sitting around watching it happen. Under those circumstances it becomes far more likely.
 
  2007-08-07 05:53:24 PM  
whidbey: I've given nothing but solutions. Tough solutions that require real commitment.

I'm not talking about philosophical mumbo jumbo, I'm talking about real steps you want to take TODAY given current circumstances. Yes, even since John Lennon wrote his famous lyrics, I too want to "give peace a chance" but as of yet nobody has figured out how to get everyone to buy into it at the same time. I've also watched enough Star Wars and Star Trek to wonder what it would be like to have a world (or Universal) order.

Or maybe I just missed it so if you want, please clarify. We're in Iraq today and the UN is holding off the Taliban in Afghanistan. We're holding talks with Iran about securing Iraq, we're working on a deal with North Korea to end their nuclear program and there's building pressure on Musharraf to do something about Al Qaeda in Pakistan. What EXACTLY do you want to do next?
 
  2007-08-07 06:07:07 PM  
*shakes head*

Dude, it is not mumbo jumbo. If you can't get behind working towards peace instead of talking with our guns ALL THE TIME, then I guess I'm sorry I can't convince you otherwise.

And I've already told you that the ONLY way we're going to clean up Iraq is to call in the UN. We can't do it, we're failing miserably. I'm completely in favor of taking a more active lead in the Security Council instead of ignoring it. That's the first step.

NOW, to answer your previous points:

the_deciderer: You can't avoid the game. The game I'm referring to is the complicated nature of all things real. The world problems and therefore their solutions are not simple and also are not pretty despite your desire to think otherwise.

That kind of thinking keeps "the game" alive. I reject "the game"--"the game" is destroying this country. We need real policy, not "games." And I'm well aware that solutions are complex, thank you very much. That doesn't mean that my suggestions won't work, indeed, we have little choice.

the_deciderer: If you don't wanted to be treated like a stereotype then don't act like one. It doesn't get any more typical liberal than to say its our fault for not understanding and communicating better with Al Qaeda. Again, what is your point of reference for who is doing a better job?

I don't need a "reference." This country should be the one who does the job right. I'm disappointed in this country's capacity to do the right thing.

Sorry you think that such a concern is merely "stereotypical." It's not my problem you can't see past that, quite frankly.

I will however continue to point out your presumed actions based on your writings. You continue to blame the US for everything, not place blame on the evil people who do evil deeds and then not offer up any real solutions other than do nothing (aka, bury your head in the sand).

I said nothing of the kind. My solutions are very much action items, not protectionism.

If you followed my links and watched the videos, you'll see a portion of the Iraq leaders talking very off-the-cuff how crazy and evil Al Qaeda are.

Very interesting links, though I don't have time to watch the video here at work. I am aware that there are real bad evil people out there and over there. My issue is that what we've done to contain them is a failure. When something is a failure, you don't keep doing that same thing to spite people. War doesn't work--it's time to try peace. At least get into the mindset of working for peace. I don't see that in this present administration.

Why do you characterize my points as bullying? Why do you say its not working but yet ask me to stop doing it? Maybe I'm being more effective than you want to admit!

Because you refuse to take my ideas seriously, and you are indeed "bullying" any other point of view other than what fits into your vision of the status quo. "Effective"? No. Stubbornly clinging on to ways that have proven not to work, yes. Yeah, you're taking the attitude that the mililtary is the solution, and anything else is cheap talk.


Define "Imperialism" for me and how exactly we're doing that? Afghanistan is now being monitored and defended by the UN and Iraq will eventually be turned over to the Iraqi's and likely the UN as well. Talk about your fear mongering.

I still can't help but think that the rules are: Do what America says, or else. Not to mention the corporatism that descends upon third world countries and exploits the people with low-paying jobs that make said corporations very rich at their expense. We don't have to colonialize: It's better to set up shop, dictate policy, and even after we've supposedly "left" we still call the shots. I don't call that "furthering democracy," it's imperialism in another packaging.

Its their goal and should be taken seriously

It's Bush administration propaganda, and I do not take it seriously. I very seriously doubt you will find a solid link that would back up the position that Islam is out to take over the world, that's paranoid bullsh*t,

deciderer.the_deciderer: If, however, we had leaders with your thought process were in power, they would have far more dominance in the middle east and we'd be sitting around watching it happen. Under those circumstances it becomes far more likely.

No, this country would be back on the right track and I believe we would be taking the necessary steps to get right with the rest of the world. And if we took an active role in the UN of working to shape these countries instead of conquering them, we wouldn't be "sitting around" at all. We'd be kicking ass.
 
  2007-08-07 06:20:32 PM  
Soup4Bonnie: Yes, the old "we broke it, but you're not helping us fix it!"

That's funny I thought WE were all in the same country? Are you French :-) ?

These aren't my stances at all.

Sorry, I should have been more specific in my comments. It is true they have no reflections on your writings.

And throwing money and soldiers is your answer...........

You're response is, again, an oversimplification of the facts. The reason we invaded Iraq was multi-fold. They violated UN Security Council resolutions and cease fire agreements over and over again so there was no real way of knowing if they were in compliance. Of course nobody ever wants to discuss where the WMDs ended up since there is documented, indisputeable proof that they existed in Iraq (by the UN inspectors) and NO documentation of where they are now). We also wanted to help establish a free nation in the heart of the Middle East as part of a long-term strategy of the war on terror and create a focal point for the war on terror so we can bring them to one place and fight them there.

My only response to this statement: Stuff a sock in your pie-hole. This kind of discourse doesn't help anyone.

Again, a fair point also made by Whidbey. I'll be more specific in my comments to make my points. You guys offer up way too much ammunition for me not to do this anyway.

Yes, the failed policies of the neocons certainly have resulted in the cold blooded murder of many innocents. They did manage to topple Saddam, though; a man in charge of a secular nation that was absolutely no threat to us or our allies. See "contained" at dictionary.com if you need more help understanding this.

Again, this is what I'm talking about being simplistic and idealistic. Instead of analyzing the entire situation as a whole and seeing the move in Iraq as part of a much more complex strategy, you just want to point fingers. Just as I was pointing out to Whidbey, about "give peace a chance", why can't you guys envision, "give freedom a chance in the Middle East"? The US is trying its best to do that and we're getting nothing but grief from people who want to take the simple answer and call it "war for oil" or "US imperialism".

Fear mongering and "stay the course" philosophies have put us in this position. You advocate more of the same. I completely disagree with this approach.

Its always about what you DON'T support and never about what you DO support. I pose the same questions that I pose to Whidbey, considering the current set of circumstances and the current realities, what exactly do you want to do next?
 
  2007-08-07 06:28:17 PM  
the_deciderer: why can't you guys envision, "give freedom a chance in the Middle East"? The US is trying its best to do that and we're getting nothing but grief from people who want to take the simple answer and call it "war for oil" or "US imperialism".

Because we aren't doing our best? We're rather screwing it all up with poor planning and we lacked the foresight to see how the country would fall apart after Saddam was defeated. Or did we ignore it? Remember how Bush I stopped short at taking him out in 1991. I'd say for a good reason.

And of course oil is part of it. The region is rich in oil, we toppled Iran for oil. In 1953. Look it up.

So pardon me if I don't so readily believe that we're in it for the freedom. Oil is getting more and more scarce and it makes sense from a pragmatic stance to make sure that the #2 producer of oil isn't in the hands of a country we can't deal with. At least we can do business with the Saudis.
 
  2007-08-07 06:38:53 PM  
Dude, it is not mumbo jumbo. If you can't get behind working towards peace instead of talking with our guns ALL THE TIME, then I guess I'm sorry I can't convince you otherwise.

We are working for peace. We're trying to find a way to rid the world of radical Islam who is on the move to terrorize and eventually topple nations. You can't just wave a magic wand and have peace, sometimes it actually takes war to have peace. I know you'd like to believe otherwise but it is true. If you look at all my posts you see I rarely refer to military power of the US and instead refer to using all our power to humanitarian, diplomatic and military. Who's stereotyping who?

And I've already told you that the ONLY way we're going to clean up Iraq is to call in the UN. We can't do it, we're failing miserably. I'm completely in favor of taking a more active lead in the Security Council instead of ignoring it. That's the first step.

So we agree. We've approached the UN and they say they wont engage until there is better security. We have a surge in progress to try and bring security and once established it will be a perfect opportunity for the UN to play a role. I sure hope they're up to it.

That kind of thinking keeps "the game" alive. I reject "the game"--"the game" is destroying this country

As I said, the "game" is an analogy for the complexities of the world and its problems. If you reject the "game" then you reject reality (seems that way) and all your ideas (still can't find them) are doomed to fail.

I don't need a "reference." This country should be the one who does the job right. I'm disappointed in this country's capacity to do the right thing.

So the fact that no other country can be pointed to as doing a better job to you still points to a failure on our part? It doesn't have anything at all to do with the fact that there are realities that keep them from being implementable.

Because you refuse to take my ideas seriously, and you are indeed "bullying" any other point of view other than what fits into your vision of the status quo. "Effective"?

And you're falling al over yourself buying into my ideas, right?

So I can't seem to find your plan in your postings, I'll put it up to the FORUM. Can anyone point out to me what whidbey's plan is going forward? Not his ideas or philosophy but what would he do TODAY given the current realities and situation?
 
  2007-08-07 07:44:56 PM  
the_deciderer: your ideas (still can't find them)

I'm not going to repeat them. I made some very detailed posts earlier, and I made it pretty darn clear what I think needs to be done. Maybe you should read them again.
 
  2007-08-07 08:06:54 PM  
President Bush has deliberately driven us into this clusterfark while ignoring all the warning signs and now you'd like to ask what ideas might improve the situation?

Cute.

Here's my suggestion:

Withdraw the troops from Iraq since we never should have been there in the first place. I'm not interested in a 50 year plan to bring peace to the ME because there's nothing to indicate that will ever happen by occupying their country and I don't believe that was ever a goal of this invasion.
 
  2007-08-07 09:05:07 PM  
whidbey: I'm not going to repeat them. I made some very detailed posts earlier, and I made it pretty darn clear what I think needs to be done. Maybe you should read them again.

I read all of them before my last posting. I assume you're mainly referring to this one:


whidbey: - 2007-08-03 07:25:41 PM where you said these things:

I would run on a platform of getting this country's respect back, for one thing. Put out a call to the best minds in America (or even minds in other countries) to create a team of skilled negotiator/diplomats who are willing to listen to the grievances that other countries and individuals are leveling against us.

That's a platform speech (Run on a platform...., Put out a call.....)

Obviously, I would promise tax relief. Give the middle class a break. I think they would appreciate it for once. Give them more purchasing power.

Doesn't address the ME decisions but I'm all for tax relief, so you got me there.

And also make a serious effort at getting a single-payer health care system to be a reality. Something people could pay into and not get hosed.

Can't buy into this but the argument is probably for another post since it doesn't address the ME discussion..

.......would offer the people hope. Peaceful solutions instead of war. The creation of jobs with green results in mind to curb emissions and get us off oil, or at least find a way to reduce consumption so we're not buying so much oil.......Kill the subsidies and tax breaks to oil companies and put that money into research and development.

Offering hope is good.

"Peaceful solutions instead of war". That's nice. I feel warm and fuzzy now.

"....curb emissions and get us off oil..." - Like I said I agree with that one. To be honest, I'm actually routing for Gore in some weir twisted way because of his green platform. Not because I believe it will curb greenhouse emissions but because it will further kick in gear a new development that will not only minimize our dependence on foreign oil but also but the US out in front of this new technology (oooppss, thinking about us first again, sorry :-))

Stick to my guns. Do whatever it takes to convince people that my deeds are sincere. No flip-flopping.

Platform speech.

The focus would be on keeping jobs and industries here at home. Discourage outsourcing. Give businesses a break that stay here in the United States.

Sounds like a policy focused on protecting US interests ahead of others. Shame on you.

But like I said earlier, so much could be accomplished by merely rolling up the sleeves and getting to work on everyday issues, not spreading oneself thin trying to be everything to everybody.

It will be hard work. Will you work weekends?

Making a real effort to bolster our image to atone for past mistakes would be a hell of a good first step. And stop ignoring the UN, actually get in there and USE that resource instead of blocking it and ridiculing it and giving other countries lip service with speeches and half-hearted deeds.

I can't really argue here except that the effort will have to be mutual. They haven't exactly been a beacon of legitimacy up until now. If they're willing to take reform seriously at the same time that we engage then I'm all for it. Right now they have very they can't even solve Darfur. I checked out www.unwatch.org and the things they've done in recent times is "hold a coalition" release a "joint statement" and "host an activist summit" and this is a cut-n-dry case of genocide. How can they handle more complex issues if they can't even do anything about this one? I assume it's the US fault again!

whidbey:Don't take my postings as a personal attack. I feel strongly about my positions and you feel strongly about yours. This forum is doing exactly what its supposed to do which is put these positions out in front of everyone so they can judge them on their merits.

I don't think we are aligned on what I'm talking about when I say be specific. Please let me try to be more clear.

1)What do we do with the troops in Iraq? Do we stop and pull them out before the surge has had a chance? Do you pull them out after that? Do you want to bring them home or reposition them?
2)What do you want to do about Pakistan?
3)What do you want to do about N. Korea?
4)What do you want to do about Iran?
5)What do you want to do about Afghanistan?
 
  2007-08-07 09:16:51 PM  
Soup4Bonnie: President Bush has deliberately driven us into this clusterfark while ignoring all the warning signs and now you'd like to ask what ideas might improve the situation?

Yes that's exactly what I'm asking. I'm not arguing for or against Bush's policies, I'm saying here WE are, what should WE do now.

To be specific, I would continue the surge and continue to hold talks with other countries in the region to establish a longer-term security plan. I would continue to highlight Iran's contributions to the problem with a hope that the international community would, for once, act accordingly and somehow pressure then to stop. I would continue to highlight the problem in Northern Pakistan but be very careful not to do something to topple Musharraf. I would hope that we eventually get the green light to go on even though Musharraf will likely deny his involvement and make us the bad guy but that's ok as long as we get the bad guys. I would continue multi-nation talks with N. Korea and continue to pressure them to give up their nuclear program. I will continue to fund the UN to keep security in Afghanistan so that country to grow and flourish as an example to its neighbors.

Withdraw the troops from Iraq since we never should have been there in the first place. I'm not interested in a 50 year plan to bring peace to the ME because there's nothing to indicate that will ever happen by occupying their country and I don't believe that was ever a goal of this invasion.

Yes and then you'll blame the US for:

-The massive bloodshed that will follow
-The haven for terrorists that it will become
-The further lack of trust we'll have for pulling out and not finishing what we started
-The fact that we'll end up right back there when things get completely out of control and have to start all over from scratch

Good plan. In your math assuming we were wrong to go in, how many wrongs do make a right?
 
  2007-08-07 09:20:29 PM  
Unfortunately I fell behind in the conversation so I am going to try to play a bit of catch-up.

First I find this whole "trust in the UN" stance to be very hard to follow.

For all of the mistakes that the US has made (and I'm not going to argue that we haven't) the UN doesn't exactly have a great record of doing the right thing.

I've posed this question before in other conversations.....

IF we see a major threat to the US, the world, or even just a region and we go to the UN and ask them to 'do the right thing' and they refuse what do we do?

Nothing?

OBL and his followers take over Pakistan...

They now have nukes...

We go to the UN to get them to 'do the right thing'...

They refuse to do anything...

We have several countries in the region who will support us if we took military action...

But the UN says NO....

We do nothing???

Now.....

The we are only interested in OIL stance....

I am not going to try to claim that there is not some truth to that statement.

A more accurate statement would be to say that we don't want to see a terrorist nation in control of massive amounts of oil.

IF OBL or a terrorist group gained control of nation with large oil reserves I don't think anyone would be happy....except maybe for the terrorists....

I know the arguement....

The US needs to cut our dependency on oil...

OK....

Fine....

We cut our dependency on oil...

There are several developing countries that are driving up the demand for oil and for every drop of oil that we don't buy they will....funding the terrorists in control of that oil.

Yes.....

As I've said from the beginning in some cases the best option will be diplomatic/humanitarian actions.

I recall reading an article (wish I could find it now) that pointed out that the opinion of the US that Pakistanians (?) had improved after all of the aid that we sent after that major earthquake few years ago...(what year was that?)

BTW....is there any country that gives more aid than the US???

In some cases military actions would be the best option out there....

And again what would we do if OBL and his supporters gained control of Pakistan and the nukes in that country if the UN refused to take action???
 
  2007-08-07 09:35:27 PM  
the_deciderer: whidbey:Don't take my postings as a personal attack. I feel strongly about my positions and you feel strongly about yours.

I don't. In fact, I am grateful (I guess to the Fark Gods) where we can have discussions like this, and yes, passions fly, but on the whole, we're pretty cool in here, a lot cooler than out ----> :)

. How can the [UN] handle more complex issues if they can't even do anything about this one? I assume it's the US fault again!

I can't help but think that the current paradigm in US policy favors that kind of confusion. All the big ambassador egos can squawk amongst themselves getting nothing done so the US can conveniently use the chaos as an excuse to do its next (nearly) unilateral foray. I just don't believe that leaders like Bush respect other people's opinions. He's not a very good choice for diplomat, and I'm being very kind here...;)

Darfur is what we should have been tending to instead of messing around with Saddam. My big beef is that the US ignored the very organization it set up to a very questionable action.

And I've heard the talk of corruption in the UN, it doesn't surprise me. This is why we get the best minds and put them into our employ to serve as diplomats and advisers.

BTW, I would have taken five years of so-so diplomacy over five years of hot stinking war. But I think, if we had had a sensible President behind the effort, things might have been very different.

What do we do with the troops in Iraq? Do we stop and pull them out before the surge has had a chance? Do you pull them out after that? Do you want to bring them home or reposition them

The Iraqis want us out. We've failed miserably, yes, it's hard to live that one down.

Still, if we did, there'd be even more bloodshed, and the country would even go more to hell than before. So, what to do is to bring the issue to the UN, discuss it, come to a consensus as to what to do to find peace. It's probably going to come down to a coalition focused on restoring the infrastructure, equipping a citizen's police force, and giving the Iraqi people hope by letting them take control of their own oil fields. Do whatever it takes to convince them that violence isn't the answer. Call upon their religious leaders. They're not all zealous iconoclasts.

Pakistan? I would work with the government to address its concerns, and urge international involvement. I would probably ditch the idea of capturing Bin Laden, but I would probably step up the necessary intelligence to find and bring dangerous members of Al Qaeda to justice.

Again, go to the UN regarding the nuclear weapons.

Iran, I would leave alone. They are no threat, if anything, the evidence suggests that if we did leave them alone, their mostly under-30 population would have some ideas of their own about what kind of country they'd like to run, and soon. They could use some breathing room away from us, and from Israel for that matter. Of course, we would monitor their progress like we did in Iraq, but the goal is to let them be their own country, and ignore the loudmouth in office.

North Korea? Urge both China and Russia to come to an agreement that Kim Jong is seriously f*cking his people and come to a consensus as to what to do. I don't believe there's been much communication on this matter, either, although I was almost pleased to see that a diplomatic solution was being sought last time, when Jong shot off those missiles.

Afghanistan, I'm not as sure. Obviously, it is going to sh*t, too. I think the rest of the world expects us to do everything. Again, not to sound like a broken record, it's going to take a bunch of concerned nations to pull together and work to inspire Western-style democracy. We've got our work cut out for us.

But it all starts with electing people who believe in these goals and have to courage to help people find hope that they can change things. No cynical slimeball politico is about that, it takes real, hard-working honest people running for office.
 
  2007-08-07 10:07:27 PM  
I'll try some shorter posts for a change.

whidbey:

You're faith and hope for the UN is good and should always be something we strive for over time but its going to take quite some time to evolve into a useful tool for real problem. I'm all for finding ways to prop it up and help it gain legitimacy but its the ultimate beuracracy so will always have its limitations. They can't even oversee a simple "oil for food" program, not to mention 'peace in the middle east'. I fully back your hope for its future in some capacity (hopefully a big one) but its going to have to be your plan B for a while longer. In the mean time, you'll just have to rely on the evil US and its slimy leaders to carve their way the best they can.
 
  2007-08-07 10:49:32 PM  
Whidbey: "And I've heard the talk of corruption in the UN, it doesn't surprise me. This is why we get the best minds and put them into our employ to serve as diplomats and advisers."

But the diplomats and advisers who we have sent to the UN aren't the cause of the corruption in the UN.

We could have gone back 20 years and YOU could have handpicked each and every diplomat/advisor that the US sent to the UN and there still would have been the corruption.

"BTW, I would have taken five years of so-so diplomacy over five years of hot stinking war. But I think, if we had had a sensible President behind the effort, things might have been very different."

Didn't we have over 10 years of so-so diplomacy when it came to Iraq and what did we get?

A corrupt UN....

Saddam doing everything he could to end the sanctions....

Another 5 years and we would have had what???

Since Saddam clearly wanted WMDs and there were corrupt members of the UN would he actually had WMDs by the end of your 5 years of so-so diplomacy?

Still, if we did, there'd be even more bloodshed, and the country would even go more to hell than before.

That is why there is so many of us who think pulling the troops out of Iraq would be a huge mistake.

So, what to do is to bring the issue to the UN, discuss it, come to a consensus as to what to do to find peace. It's probably going to come down to a coalition focused on restoring the infrastructure, equipping a citizen's police force, and giving the Iraqi people hope by letting them take control of their own oil fields. Do whatever it takes to convince them that violence isn't the answer. Call upon their religious leaders. They're not all zealous iconoclasts.

We've gone to the UN and tried to get them to take steps to help in Iraq. So far nothing.

We are trying to restore the infrastructure...

We are trying to prop up the police force....

And who exactly has control of the oil fields?

Bush????

At least to me it sounds like we are doing what you would have the UN (in a perfect world) do.

Is there any reason to think they would be any better than we are?
 
  2007-08-08 06:10:25 AM  
the_deciderer: Yes that's exactly what I'm asking. I'm not arguing for or against Bush's policies, I'm saying here WE are, what should WE do now.

Yes, I understand what you're asking. The question of "what should WE do now" implies that WE have been part of a collective decision making process up until this point. That's certainly not the case. We have not been driving the bus with little regard to the folks who have been saying WE shouldn't have driven the bus over the cliff in the first place. What are We going to do now is a dilemma for us all, but doesn't excuse the bus driver who led us here.

BTW, he's still in control and nothing you or I say on a website changes that. I'm in the unique position, along with a few million others, of being completely NOT in control of the farking bus driver and just along for the ride. Pardon me if I biatch because he went over the farking cliff and I can see the rocks below.

What do WE do now, you ask? I guess we fall over the farking cliff. That's where the bus driver has taken us. Can you even acknowledge this? The President (honestly, I think it's mostly Cheney) got us here. I'd love to see his plan for getting us out now. Oh, wait.....a year....that's all he has to do is wait another year while the Army and Marines and National Guard continue to loyally bleed for him. I forgot. We're still turning farking corners and still (still!) people talk about a domino democracy and a surge that's uh-uh-uh almost there like a teenager with his first porno film. Puh-lease. Four years and they have nothing to show for it. Now you want me to give you ten or fifty or a hundred? Yeah, but no. Seriuosly, no. Are you smoking something?

If it was going to be that way then they should have spelled it out that way in the beginning. Oh, but what did they tell us? After the smoking gun mushroom cloud we were going to be greeted as liberators. Just take a farking a Man On The Street poll now in Iraq and let me know how many "Liberators" check marks get recorded and then tell me how many "I'd Like Some Electricity, Schools, Hospitals that don't blow-up, Please" check marks there are. Start in Baghdad. Work your way out through the country from there.

To be specific, I would continue the surge...

Stop right there. Your "surge", in my words, isn't a farking surge at all. There were many people, generals and statespeople among them who basically said "IF you're going in, then go in with force that overwhelms them". This piddly-ass addition to secure Baghdad isn't a surge. I love how we're just supposed to keep waiting...keep waiting!...the surge impact will be felt any day now. I guess I haven't given it enough time. When was it announced? When was it implemented? Talk about telegraphing to your enemy. fark. The NYT gets shiat every day just because they supposedly let terrorist know we were looking at their money (duh-dur), yet this well publicized ungh....surge...ungh is going to surprise them? wtf? This administration couldn't surge a farking ice cream truck they heard coming from blocks away under cover of dusk with two weeks allowance money in their hand. (Well, borrowed allowance from their grandchildren, just to keep the analogy on track.)

You know for a fact that we didn't go in with the troop strength that warranted an invasion and occupation. Shock and Awe is now an embarrassing phrase. So, surge this! That's how I feel about your surge and your idea that we should be waiting for it to be realized.

We went in for the wrong reasons and without the proper military backing. WTF we do now is anybody's guess.

My opinion, not that it matters since I'm neither a C&C or even a farking General on a committee of any farking kind, but pull your shiat out. Withdraw. Right farking now.

Every one of them. They are our troops. Our family. We asked them to go in and we can ask them to come out. We control them. We determine if they are put in harms way. Pull out. Iraq should never have been and we aren't farking helping. We're only allowing the bleeding to continue. How many more? Really. Ask yourself that. How many more and for what? I don't see any gains. I see only losses. How many more? Jehosaphat, we can't even keep the lights on in the capitol.

And the tallies...I see KIA but I don't hear a lot reported on WIA. WTF? I didn't die but I lost a leg so I'm not in your stats? 3,000 is the roundabout number I always see on websites. fark that. Give me the whole truth. I'm old enough. I don't need it sugar coated.

You want me to go look it up for you, deciderer? Or do you think you could look it up for yourself? How many eyes have been lost? Legs? Arms? How many more soldiers have to be hurt, killed or maimed before we figure out we shouldn't be there in the first place. I'll let you count just our military alone and not even consider the Iraqis; gross negligence that it is. Yes, our continued occupation is 'misson accomplished freedoming' them by the cemetaries full. One wonders how much more liberating they can stand.

I served. I know what Esprit d'Corps is first hand. I am sick to death of seeing reports of jarheads dying and I can't explain why. You know what's really sad? Watching the Jim Lehrer News Hour and seeing them show pictures of the deceased while reading their names and ranks. Have you seen that? One after another. Young kids brave enough to sign up and now dead.

For farking what? What?! Some idea of a 100 year war? Stuff it. There's no farking immediate danger to the U.S. , never was, and I doubt seriously there's a long term threat except for farkwads who think that sending our bravest to die in a desert for political reasons justifies everything. I'd even wager this war is weakening us. I'd give my life for this country if it was in danger. I almost signed up again at the age of 37 after 9/11. What does that tell you? The people that say that liberals/progressives/Democrats want us to lose sicken me.

Douchnozzle then went hellbent to Iraq for WMDs and now I'm practically a traitor because I don't want to play his desert games. I agreed to defend this country with my life now this jaggoff is playing the worst kind of chess game with my comrades. fark that and anybody who agrees with this insanity. And you can tell them that this former Lance Corporal told them so.

For fark's sake...we don't even control Baghdad. We're 4+ years there with the strongest and bravest military in the F***ing world and we don't even control Baghdad. Go ahead. Surge my ass. I'm sure I won't feel a farking thing in my nethers. Surge?! I got your surge, right here.

What does that tell you about your wild ass hopes for a 10 50 100 year plan? It tells me the administration has screwed the pooch and are too farking full of hubris to admit there was a mistake made.

Do I want to see Bin Laden hanged? You won't get a more resounding "YES!".

WTF are we doing in IRAQ? You can fill stadiums with my silence and my shrugs of "I DON'T farkING KNOW."

What do we do now? Try pulling out of Iraq where we never should have been and quit lying to me and millions world wide about why we're there.

fark. Tell me again about some greater scheme to make it all better a bunch of years from now but how this administration still hasn't found Bin Laden. Remember him? WTC ring any bells? The one who wasn't in the farking spider hole? The one who actually made the plans to attack us and WAS NEVER IN IRAQ? You know, the one who didn't have WMDs and still hurt us? I know it's hard to forget him since he didn't have his own sovereign secular nation that wasn't a threat at all to us, but he's the bad guy. Still is.

Tell me again about your plans to get the chickenshiat dickface that hit us unexpectedly for 3,000 civilians and caused this shiatstorm and don't farking worry me about Iraq anymore.

Tell me about how we should protect ourselves from this threat and don't ever bring up Iraq that had nothing to farking do with it.

Talk about islamic terrorist and how they threaten our shores just don't ever farking obfuscate that threat with Iraq again. I still won't be scared, but go ahead, I'll listen. We got burned twice at the WTC, and I don't want to see it happen anywhere again. I'm willing to listen to protective measures that don't have anything to do with invading countries that had Jack and shiat to do with the event.

Just don't talk to me about Iraq. Bush (and Cheney) deliberately created that war. How we deal with it for the next year is his problem. I hope it sticks in his throat long past '09. For heavenly Mary's holey virginity, they advocate farking torture! What kind of people defend these scum and their policies?
 
  2007-08-08 11:47:52 AM  
smertThen you suggest a regime change in Saudi Arabia. Wow.

Actually no, I didn't. I was pointing out the fallacy of your guys' reasoning; you want "regime change" to "foster democracy" and "eliminate terrorism," and I was pointing out that Saudi Arabia should be the perfect target for neo-cons like you, considering it was the birthplace of the 9/11 hijackers and Osama Bin Laden. I never said I actually thought it was a good idea, I was posing a hypothetical to you guys. If you followed along with my posts, this should have been crystal clear but obviously this flew over you and the deciderer's heads.

If you had been paying attention you would have read this:

me:

Is regime change in Saudi Arabia possible? Not unless you want WWIII (or you're Tom Tancredo and just want to nuke Mecca...).

In the context of my posts it should have been obvious what I was saying. I am not for regime change there or anywhere else.

As for your speculation-backed-with-nothing about Rummy and Saddam, did you read any of that link I posted? Did anything I say register with you or are you just ignoring history for the sake of argument?
 
  2007-08-08 11:57:46 AM  
the deciderer You like diplomacy, but not with Saddam. You want us to try and help in Africa, but not in Somalia. You don't want pre-emption in Iraq but it may be a good idea in Saudi Arabia.


See my post above. Pretty much all the diplomatic options I mention to you are hypotheticals meant to test your neo-conservative foreign policy theories. They are not suggestions for my own policy... it's a socratic method of argument to point out the inconsistencies of your positions. Sorry I'll try and keep things simpler for you guys as obviously you misinterpreted what I said. And you failed to answer any of my questions or provide me with any reasonable answers as to these inconsistencies.
 
  2007-08-08 12:10:05 PM  
Holy blog, Batman!

Anybody know Nutty B's e-mail addy?
 
  2007-08-08 12:33:20 PM  
dottedmint: We go to the UN to get them to 'do the right thing'...
They refuse to do anything...
We have several countries in the region who will support us if we took military action...
But the UN says NO....
We do nothing???


It would depend on the urgency of the matter. I would be working up until the 11th hour to get an agreement. This is why it would be important to have some seriously effective persuasive minds on the team. I believe it's possible. Yes, I know the UN has a reputation for being obstinate. But if we really want to make this world body be effective, we've got to have consensus, if not unanimity. I think if OBL got a bomb, I would at least give the members of the Security Council the benefit of the doubt to make the right decision. You recall there was a positive response with the recent North Korea incident. Both China and Russia showed concern.

At least to me it sounds like we are doing what you would have the UN (in a perfect world) do.

Is there any reason to think they would be any better than we are?


This country needs the oversight. Right now, there isn't any plan, and no, I'm quite skeptical that the Iraqis are going to have control of their own oil. Our presence there guarantees sweet deals with multi-national oil companies. It should be the citizens of Iraq who decide.

And then we screwed up on getting basic utilities up and running like power. Why? With all the billions being poured into Iraq every week, how did this very major screw-up occur?

I don't think this country has a single vote of confidence for how we've handled this policy.

I agree that in the present day and age the UN is not effective. This is why we shift gears and become a bigger part of it, even if that means we get called out more often by our fellow governments.
 
  2007-08-08 03:19:44 PM  
Whidbey: "It would depend on the urgency of the matter. I would be working up until the 11th hour to get an agreement."

UM....

Weren't we basically working "up until the 11th hour" with the UN when it came to Iraq???

Many of us felt (at the time) that there was some urgency when it came to Iraq.

The UN refused to come to an agreement to deal with that urgency and so we did.

"This is why it would be important to have some seriously effective persuasive minds on the team."

Even with the most "persuasive minds" if certain members of the UN do not wish to take action there is nothing that we can do to change their minds.

"This country needs the oversight. Right now, there isn't any plan, and no, I'm quite skeptical that the Iraqis are going to have control of their own oil. Our presence there guarantees sweet deals with multi-national oil companies. It should be the citizens of Iraq who decide."

I'll ask again....

Who has control of the oil in Iraq?

Bush?

Who decides what contracts are made for the oil?


"And then we screwed up on getting basic utilities up and running like power. Why? With all the billions being poured into Iraq every week, how did this very major screw-up occur?"

The problem is that there are terrorists who are blowing up the utilities. It isn't that we screwed up.

"I don't think this country has a single vote of confidence for how we've handled this policy."

I don't think anyone will try to argue that mistakes haven't been made.

In every war that we have ever been in there have been mistakes made in planning.

I don't see any reason to think that the UN would do a better job dealing with everything in Iraq.

They don't exactly have a great track record...

"I agree that in the present day and age the UN is not effective. This is why we shift gears and become a bigger part of it, even if that means we get called out more often by our fellow governments."

It doesn't matter how much bigger a part of it we become. IF certain members of the UN do not want to 'do the right thing' they will not.

And for those who say that we need to pull out of Iraq 'because we never should have been there' I need to ask if they care what happens after we leave?

Worse case: OBL or some other terrorist leader/group gain control of Iraq and the oil that is there.

Second worse: Iraq is taken over by one or more countries. Iran???

In both of these cases the bloodshed would far outweigh the amount of bloodshed that has happened so far.

We hope that when we do eventually leave that the Iraqi government is strong enough to prevent these from happening.

The last thing that we would want is to leave Iraq and then a few years later only have to return and face even more danger.
 
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