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Author Topic: Hillary for President??  (Read 27537 times)

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Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #250 on: February 18, 2008, 11:46:57 AM »

Offline VandalSavage

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #251 on: February 18, 2008, 12:20:12 PM »
I'm glad you still have the clarity of vision to see the world as made up of either "good" governments or "evil" ones.  It makes me wonder, however, if removing "evil" dictators is so beneficial, why is it that there are some we tolerate, and some we are hell-bent on toppling?

As this is a forum in no small part devoted to the exploration of themes related to BDSM, I feel moved - despite this digression being skewed from the thread topic - to address the matter of "taking out evil regimes," for at the core of that crackling euphemism is the fundamental instinct shared by all dictators and "Masters":  That they know best, and what violence they employ is justified.

It leads to extreme examples, to be sure.  The classic line from an officer in Vietnam - though hardly particular to that conflict - that he "had to destroy the village to save it."  The massacres of Jews in the Roman-occupied Holy Land for the sake of civilizing them so that they could enjoy Roman pantheism, liberalism and commerce.  And, of course - my thanks to Zakharra for mentioning it - the mighty World War Two, wherein our Army Air Corps eagerly targetted not just civilian centers but, specifically, civilian populations, killing over one million civilians in their homes because we were "fighting for freedom."

But at the core of any military relationship is the resolve that you are inflicting violence or terror or bondage on another people "for their own good."  We may attempt to force them to adopt values we believe engender lasting comity, such as liberal democracy, and we may give them treats - like money, health care, and all the other things Masters on threads like these and to the dawn of the world have enticed their subjects with - but ultimately, we are compelling them to accept these things with violence or threat of violence, which is, in a way, a violence in and of itself.

I note this to bring a sense of perspective to the conversation.  We "toppled Saddam's regime" and we "took Saddam out," and those are clean terms, and most likely we did them, on the whole of the body politic, with generous intentions for the Iraqi people in general.  But what that entailed was murdering someone's son without warning.  We shattered a family, forever.  And we did it again.  And again.  And again.  Until they obeyed.

But what we found is that they did not, ultimately, obey.  Many did not like our policies, and decided that they knew best - that they were going to bring about a happier, more peaceful Iraq by terrifying people with bullets, bondage, violence that could strike and demolish a family with grief, pain, poverty at any moment so long as people resisted them.  It is the same principle.  

That there is any argument that replacing a vicious dictator like Saddam was not "right" is because the USA severely bungled its enterprise by forgetting a cardinal rule of benevolent Masters:  Your slaves need order.  They need rules.  And you need the tools to pound that order into place, to correct the disobedient and to allow that first shock of disorientation and violence to settle into an embrace of peace.  

People like Wolfowitz and Perle and Kristol apparently thought the Iraqis just all would snap to.  They were inept at best, though I would venture the view of men who would command violence simply dismissing the role of violence in maintaining civil order post-conflict borders on the insane.  And so in the end, it is hard to judge whether we did, as Zakharra put it, the right thing.

On one level, empirical data suggests we butchered far more Iraqis than Saddam in order to establish a failed state run by corrupt oligarchs and tribal militias.

On another level, more fundamental to political exercises and BDSM, we failed to give people what they want - rules.  People flee Iraq because unlike under the storied "brutal dictator," there are no rules you can obey to stay safe and prosperous.  Before, it was "don't talk out against Saddam," "don't go near where Uday and Qusay are doing their rape room thing" and otherwise obey the laws Americans adhere to and you could have reasonable confidence in living a safe life.

But we traded the apocryphal, isolated randomness of the rape room for the horror of the random explosion.  Saddam killed children because their mother opposed him.  Our actions have led to an Iraq where children die because they go to the market, go into the street, go to sleep unlucky.  They die because they are in Iraq.  

We left out the most important thing about inflicting benevolent violence - the order, the rules, the peace to come.  I am not refuting that there are some, even many, Iraqis who enjoy their expansion of civil liberties.  But do not presume that we were other than a Master seizing a slave from another Master by murdering tens of thousands of people - someone's child, someone's father or mother - and demanding they adopt our values while denying them security.  And take a hard look at what has happened since before you claim we did the "right thing".
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 12:29:41 PM by VandalSavage »

Offline VandalSavage

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #252 on: February 18, 2008, 12:24:13 PM »
Wow, talk about being influenced by another's prose.

http://bigheaddc.com/2008/02/17/obama-caught-plagiarizing-2006-deval-patrick-speech/

That's underhanded trash from the desperate Clintons.

Quote
The Obama campaign has issued a statement from Gov. Patrick: “Sen. Obama and I are long-time friends and allies. We often share ideas about politics, policy and language. The argument in question, on the value of words in the public square, is one about which he and I have spoken frequently before. Given the recent attacks from Sen. Clinton, I applaud him responding in just the way he did.”

Jeff Zeleny, our friend and former Chicago Tribune reporter who's now at the New York Times, wrote this after an interview with Patrick.


In a telephone interview on Sunday, Mr. Patrick said that he and Mr. Obama first talked about the attacks from their respective rivals last summer, when Mrs. Clinton was raising questions about Mr. Obama’s experience, and that they discussed them again last week.

Both men had anticipated that Mr. Obama’s rhetorical strength would provide a point of criticism. Mr. Patrick said he told Mr. Obama that he should respond to the criticism, and he shared language from his campaign with Mr. Obama’s speechwriters.

Mr. Patrick said he did not believe Mr. Obama should give him credit.

“Who knows who I am? The point is more important than whose argument it is,” said Mr. Patrick, who telephoned The New York Times at the request of the Obama campaign. “It’s a transcendent argument.”

David Axelrod, the chief strategist for Mr. Obama who also advised Mr. Patrick, said Sunday that Mr. Obama adapted the words from Mr. Patrick. Mr. Axelrod said that he did not write the words for either candidate.

“They often riff off one another. They share a world view,” Mr. Axelrod said. “Both of them are effective speakers whose words tend to get requoted and arguments tend to be embraced widely.”

The similarities from a passage of Mr. Obama’s speech on Saturday and in remarks that Mr. Patrick delivered on Oct. 15, 2006, were highlighted by a rival campaign that did not want to be identified. Clips of both speeches are archived on the Web site YouTube.com.

Obama was ad-libbing.  Patrick himself admits it, and turns the censure where it's truly due - the slanted, ad hominem-attacking, fear mongering, poor policied and pathetic Clinton camp.

Perhaps it is just the President's Day patriotism talking, but people who reduce the vetting process for our highest office to such a level as to make such stupid and venomous accusations are scum.

Offline rainshadow

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Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #253 on: February 18, 2008, 01:16:08 PM »
I'm glad you still have the clarity of vision to see the world as made up of either "good" governments or "evil" ones.  It makes me wonder, however, if removing "evil" dictators is so beneficial, why is it that there are some we tolerate, and some we are hell-bent on toppling?

President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, the House of Saud, Pinochet of Chile until 1990, the Shah of Iran, Mubarak of Egypt, the royal line of Nepal, Col. Banzer of Bolivia, Mobutu of Zaire...oh yes, and Saddam Hussein of Iraq.  To paraphrase John Kerry, "We were for Saddam before we were against him."  Clearly, the administration is operating on a paradigm that goes beyond mere consideration of whether a regime is good or evil in shaping our foreign policy.

I think we can move beyond simplistic discussions of good and evil in international relations.  The US has recognized a tangible benefit in propping up the regimes of brutal, oppressive dictators.  In terms of cost benefits, how has the trillions of dollars spent, the thousands of lives lost, and the incalculable value of international cooperation and goodwill in the time following September 11th are all figures that go in the minus column of the equation.  What's in the positive?
Well, I only listed one of the consequences. It just so happens in my mind it is a big one and one of the few good things to have come out of the war in Iraq.

I stated earlier in the thread that I for the most part I agree that we are accomplishing nothing as long as the war continues. It is a war that is unwinnable, and therefore so long as it continues the costs will only continue to pile up. However, I have also stated previously that I feel we were morally obligated to make a move on Saddam's regime. The problem is that once we took Saddam out, we were left with a huge mess that we are now obligated to try to clean up.

This case is the epitome of "damned if we do, damned if we don't."

Offline VandalSavage

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #254 on: February 18, 2008, 01:26:30 PM »
However, I have also stated previously that I feel we were morally obligated to make a move on Saddam's regime.

Not to antagonize, but rather to clarify, on what grounds were we morally obligated?

Offline rainshadow

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Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #255 on: February 18, 2008, 01:36:42 PM »
Not to antagonize, but rather to clarify, on what grounds were we morally obligated?

Well, we did put him there, for one.

Perhaps a flawed reasoning (I never proclaimed myself to be perfect), but we sat on the sidelines for far too long after essentially helping him to get into the position where he could do the things he did. What makes me even more sick is that we had a President who for 8 years sat back and did nothing on the matter only to bomb the bastard trying to take headlines from an impeachment. I don't know, the whole Iraq situation was all messed up a long time before even the first Bush was in office. And it was our own fault for getting into it in the first place. You really want to blame someone, we really have to go back to our actions in trying to use our global position to put others into power that would strengthen our own stance.

I give you Fidel Castro as another prime example.

We fucked up, and we just keep on fucking up don't we?

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #256 on: February 18, 2008, 01:50:26 PM »
Well, we did put him there, for one.

What? While the CIA did covertly aid the Baathist party in Iraq because it was seen as anti-communist, we didn't put Saddam in power. He seized power in 1979 by forcing the then president to resign, though really, by that point Hussein had already been the defacto leader of Iraq for several years.

Yes we did screw up by allowing Hussein to acquire chemical weapons during the 80s because we didn't want to see Iraq overrun by Iran and we were so focused on the stupid cold war with Russia we ignored human rights and basic morality in foreign affairs for too long. We ourselves helped generate so much of the anti-american feeling felt throughout many parts of the world because we did support brutal regiemes that terrorized their people. And as those operations come to light, it makes America look foolish and continues to build resentment over our manipulation of second and third world countries since the start of the cold war.


Offline VandalSavage

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #257 on: February 18, 2008, 01:51:25 PM »
We fucked up, and we just keep on fucking up don't we?

We have a tendency to take on a great deal of responsibility while not properly allocating the necessary force of blood, will and treasure.

This was not always the case, and I often reflect on what changed.  Our wars of the 19th century - with the exception of 1812 - were really very successful.  Up until Korea, we always did our math right.

It may boil down to trying to balance liberal values with the expansionist interests that keep us in beer, pop tarts, modern medicine, air conditioned housing and cheap printers.  

For on one hand, they motivate us to look at the evil in the world and want to fix it by force - like in the successful examples of Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti and, arguably Grenada.  And there is a lot of evil out there, and it would be very, very expensive to correct it.

And on the other hand, using the proper force to build a grateful occupied nation like Japan or Germany - a huge aim, as my point directly above, but attainable - would often be unacceptable to the liberal values that motivated us to intervene.  One can hardly imagine Air Force General Peter Pace, like Curtis LeMay did, telling the public with a straight face that to truly beat al-Qaeda, the Taliban and warlords in Pakistan's tribal areas, we would need to kill about 600,000 Pakistani civilians until their will to fight broke and their machines were destroyed, as we did the Japanese.  

Somehow, those who do feel an obligation to extend the prosperity and privileges of their liberal - and by this I mean "liberal democratic" - values to the rest of the world are going to have to find a balance in policy.  And that will be an even more difficult balance than the simple economics of war, which are, of course, hard enough.

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #258 on: February 18, 2008, 04:53:28 PM »
Quote
Somehow, those who do feel an obligation to extend the prosperity and privileges of their liberal - and by this I mean "liberal democratic" - values to the rest of the world are going to have to find a balance in policy.

Could you please clarify your use of the term 'liberal democratic' in that sentence?

Offline VandalSavage

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #259 on: February 18, 2008, 05:03:02 PM »
Could you please clarify your use of the term 'liberal democratic' in that sentence?

Sure.

Plain old "democracy" is just the rule of the many.  Minority rights need not apply.  Think of ancient Athens as a good example.

"Liberal democracy" is a form of democracy that incorporates essential - such as constitutional - rights that protect the powers of the minority.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 06:02:55 PM by VandalSavage »

Offline Moondazed

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Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #260 on: February 18, 2008, 05:12:20 PM »
Thank you :)

Offline rainshadow

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Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #261 on: February 18, 2008, 09:00:26 PM »
What? While the CIA did covertly aid the Baathist party in Iraq because it was seen as anti-communist, we didn't put Saddam in power. He seized power in 1979 by forcing the then president to resign, though really, by that point Hussein had already been the defacto leader of Iraq for several years.

Yes we did screw up by allowing Hussein to acquire chemical weapons during the 80s because we didn't want to see Iraq overrun by Iran and we were so focused on the stupid cold war with Russia we ignored human rights and basic morality in foreign affairs for too long. We ourselves helped generate so much of the anti-american feeling felt throughout many parts of the world because we did support brutal regiemes that terrorized their people. And as those operations come to light, it makes America look foolish and continues to build resentment over our manipulation of second and third world countries since the start of the cold war.

If that's the case, my reasoning for my moral obligation comment was indeed flawed. ;)

It happens on occasion.

But the second part of your post is a key reason why I get so frustrated with the whole situation. We send our kids oversea and let them die for a bunch of people who would rather we just up and die. It's insane. Unfortunately, I still think it is a war of necessity, and at the same time a war with unattainable goals. A horrible paradox that we simply can't shake, because once we back off, it's going to bite us in the ass.

Offline Schwarzepard

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #262 on: February 19, 2008, 11:45:24 PM »
An interesting chart from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute which has bearing on how the US created Saddam.


Offline RubySlippers

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #263 on: February 20, 2008, 12:44:31 AM »
US military is composed of volunteers.  Some of them are kids, but most of them aren't.  What's more is that to be a soldier isn't about being a nonfunctional ornament, it's about fighting and possibly dying in the nation's wars.  They're not dying for foreigners who hate them.  They're dying for their nation's military and political objectives which they voluntarily swore to risk their lives for.  Cuddling some countries and destroying others is all part of that.  Most polities do it.  Some have less vile motives than others.  Most of the countries in the world are dictatorships or other forms of government hostile to human beings as individuals.  Serbia did ethnic cleansing, so Clinton deployed the US military to kick the shit out of it. leading to an occupation.  No one complained.  If war and occupation is morally wrong, then it's wrong in all cases.  Since there was no outcry about Bosnia, Kosovo and Somalia, I guess war and occupation is not morally wrong.  It seems war and all that is only wrong to Americans when the going is tough.

Saddam was a shitbag, and out and out shitbag.  His sons were shitbags.  Anyone who was high ranking had to take part in Saddam's shitbaggery.  He was also a shitbag who was willing and able to attack America.  After 9-11, waiting until after the fact to respond was suddenly unacceptable to the officials who's job it was to protect the country and its people.  They had evidence of particularly dangerous shitbaggery though it was not anywhere nearly an open and shut case.  Much of the evidence was anecdotal but they were not willing to risk thousands dead in another terrorist attack that might come from a plot they didn't discover with a weapon made by Saddam, whose governance of Iraq was horrible anyway.  They chose to attack and destroy Saddam and his powerbase.  They didn't expect that every group in the country would suddenly fight each other for domination.  That's what the US gets for having it's previous experiences with occupation be Germany and Japan, two nations with disciplined populations.

Some shitbags have to be tolerated because they have allies, they're militarily powerful, or the US needs them to do something.  Other shitbags don't have to be tolerated.  Saddam no longer had to be tolerated so the US destroyed his government and got him hanged, as he well deserved.

I see people with bumper stickers that say Save Darfur and Free Tibet.  How do they think that's going to be accomplished except for another bloody war?

In Serbia it was a UN sanction and regionally supported by the EU and even Russia to intervene in that region. The French sent their famed Foreign Legion, we sent troops so did other nations in a recognized overall effort there. Clinton was acting in accord with the international community.

Bush Sr. also had a broad coalition including Muslim nations to out Iraq from Kuwait. It was that moron that did the famed you rise up we be with you line. The Iraqi Kurds and Shiites did rise up and got massacred on the honor of our president we would be there to back them up. Again we dropped the ball all we and to do was provide air cover and armor and we would have had him then and a rather supportive Shiite and Kurdish community in charge or at worst two nations.

So he was evil, so he killed his own people when is it suddenly the job of the United States to foist our views of democracy on everyone at gunpoint? We cannot be the worlds police we are a debter nation with a huge national debt, problems of our own and unless you can show to me where he was a real threat to anyone we have a treaty obligation with or us we had no reason to invade Iraq. Lets see he had no WMD's, he was not supportive of Al Queda, he was surrounded and contained by nations he would never dare act against and he was never studpid enough to give WMD tech to terrorists. He was a brutal dictator by not the only one the Chinese leader is just as bad in his own way yet we don't invade China to free them.

I agree in this with Ron Paul and Libertarians downsize our military to a quarter it is now, protect our borders and territories and let the rest of the world manage itself. The EU can cover Europe, Russia its region, China and other powers the Far East and the like. I point out this fact who the fuck would attack us to the point of destroying our way of life that means invade us in force such as was a risk in WWII. We have a massive nuclear arsenal any nation or group of nations would be crushed in our nuclear response. As for terrorist actions we have over 300 million people, 9/11 killed only under 4000 people directly so unless they get more than even a tactical nuke (this is one area every major nation works to stop) we are not in any danger save some minor acts. A car bomb, a suicide bomber a plane maybe shot down with a portable SAM none of those matter. Stop being so afraid the odds of you dying in such a minor attack is so remote its crazy. And for all the money we blew away on Iraq we could have significant improvements in our border security by now to protect ourselves.

I say less money ,a good deal less like a quarter what we waste on it now, to our military and more to our economic might if you want to scare the world free up our businesses and let them make war with trade and industrial might, like we used to be feared for. The government layers of regulation has done more harm than dozens of 9/11's and crushed our economy. Then pay off our national debts and then we can turn around and show China what an industrial and money driven nation can fucking do. And we won't be a slave to our creditors abroad that is the real threat to our nation not terrorism. They are just petty thugs with hate and frankly no real capacity to harm us. China owns a huge chunk of our debt and what is a bigger security concern that or a car bomb- I argue the former.

Will Hillary pay off the debt and make the sacrifices necessary to free up our economic might- no. Neither will Obama or any other major party. I want far less FEDERAL government spending and Republicans or Democrat they don't have the will to really do that.


Offline Zakharra

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #264 on: February 20, 2008, 01:51:21 AM »

Quote
I agree in this with Ron Paul and Libertarians downsize our military to a quarter it is now, protect our borders and territories and let the rest of the world manage itself. The EU can cover Europe, Russia its region, China and other powers the Far East and the like. I point out this fact who the fuck would attack us to the point of destroying our way of life that means invade us in force such as was a risk in WWII. We have a massive nuclear arsenal any nation or group of nations would be crushed in our nuclear response. As for terrorist actions we have over 300 million people, 9/11 killed only under 4000 people directly so unless they get more than even a tactical nuke (this is one area every major nation works to stop) we are not in any danger save some minor acts. A car bomb, a suicide bomber a plane maybe shot down with a portable SAM none of those matter. Stop being so afraid the odds of you dying in such a minor attack is so remote its crazy. And for all the money we blew away on Iraq we could have significant improvements in our border security by now to protect ourselves.

 Ron Paul in his foreign policy is an idiot. The world is a global community. No matter what some people might think, and the US has to stay involved in the world or it will fall. The military is part of what keeps the US a superpower. We are at best a fairly benevolent one. especially compared to some of the other proto superpowers like Russia and China. Those are not nice or pleasant nations.

 Only under 4000? Did you notice what impact that had on the US? Two buildings were dropped, the economic impact was devastating to our economy, and the mental impact was staggering. The terrorists turned commercial planes into bombs. Those 'minor' acts DO matter. They cannot just be cast aside.

 The border could be secured within 2 weeks if the damned federal government and some state governments stopped pandering to the illegal aliens and Mexico. Without much more in funding.


Quote
I say less money ,a good deal less like a quarter what we waste on it now, to our military and more to our economic might if you want to scare the world free up our businesses and let them make war with trade and industrial might, like we used to be feared for. The government layers of regulation has done more harm than dozens of 9/11's and crushed our economy. Then pay off our national debts and then we can turn around and show China what an industrial and money driven nation can fucking do. And we won't be a slave to our creditors abroad that is the real threat to our nation not terrorism. They are just petty thugs with hate and frankly no real capacity to harm us. China owns a huge chunk of our debt and what is a bigger security concern that or a car bomb- I argue the former.

 Do you know what percentage of the federal budget goes to the military? Not a very large part. Over 60% of the US Federal budget is to entitlement programs. Soc. sec, medicade, medicare and payment/money transfers of a similar nature.

 I agree on the regulations. They are onerous to businesses. They need to be reduced. Unfortunately, businesses are now more international than before and unless you force companies, by laws and legislation, you cannot force them to make products in the US/ There is a reason they have moved some of their businesses, or all of it, overseas. Because it is cheaper material wise and labor wise to make it there than here.

 If China called in the debt it owns, it would ruin their economy as well. The US is one of the main parts of the global economy and if ours tanks into a depression, we will take the world with us.

Offline Rydia

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Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #265 on: February 20, 2008, 06:13:05 AM »
Do you know what percentage of the federal budget goes to the military? Not a very large part. Over 60% of the US Federal budget is to entitlement programs. Soc. sec, medicade, medicare and payment/money transfers of a similar nature.

That's absolutely the wrong way to look at the immense federal budget.  Of discretionary spending, the Defense Department makes up over half of every tax dollar spent, and by far more than any other federal agency, including the Department of Education, State Department...

The Defense Department's budget includes such give-aways to Boeing and Lockheed as $100 billion dollar plane system contracts that our own Pentagon says it neither needs nor wants.

If you're going to talk about balancing the federal budget this is where we need to start; with Ike's good ole military-industrial complex.  It's ridiculous to think how much money is thrown at these defense contractors for wasted projects, and then we hear crap about how we can't afford a $10 billion dollar expansion to provide health insurance to millions of poor children.

Offline Dingo

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #266 on: February 20, 2008, 07:47:28 AM »
I do not normally flame easilly, especially not on such a picky subject as this.

But the United States have been running on a war economy ever since WWII. And now all the serious opponents who wanted to play that game with you are gone, your economy is slowly grinding to hell.

The United States are the schoolyard bully to the children and teachers. They try to enforce democracy on nations, and while democracy might (in theory) be pretty good, enforced democracy will never ever work. In my opinion the next president of the United States should look at his own country, stay as friendly as he can with the rest of the world, but most of all, stick to his own.

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Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #267 on: February 20, 2008, 12:03:08 PM »
I do not normally flame easilly, especially not on such a picky subject as this.

But the United States have been running on a war economy ever since WWII. And now all the serious opponents who wanted to play that game with you are gone, your economy is slowly grinding to hell.

The United States are the schoolyard bully to the children and teachers. They try to enforce democracy on nations, and while democracy might (in theory) be pretty good, enforced democracy will never ever work. In my opinion the next president of the United States should look at his own country, stay as friendly as he can with the rest of the world, but most of all, stick to his own.

I kind of wish for the same thing. Even though it's a global community, we should spend a bit more time focusing on things like securing our border, ending entitlement spending, trimming ear marks from federal spending, updating our military here at home for more of a defense role, and definitely reducing the amount of funding we send abroad, especially in the form of funding the UN and handouts to other nations, in order to work on the problems here. I think if we could do that, we could balance our budget, reduce wasteful spending and solve some problems here at home. I think that would be wonderful.

Of course, I have rose-colored glasses on at the moment.

Offline Schwarzepard

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #268 on: February 20, 2008, 01:18:04 PM »
It all depends on how you define a war economy.  The major opponents who forced the US to respond to their aggression slunk back into the shadows after the USSR fell apart. 

In WW1 the US helped the Allies despite massive isolationist protests and public sentiment that urged the US to leave the Allies to their fates.
After, the US demobilized.

In WW2 the US helped the Allies against a worse aggressor despite significant isolationist sentiment which was again content to leave the Allies to their fates.  The isolationists finally shut up when the US was directly attacked.  The US military was pathetically understrength, ill-equipped, and inexperienced due to the post WW1 demobilization.  This cost many American lives in the North Africa, Europe and Pacific campaigns.
After, the US demobilized.

Communist North Korea invaded South Korea.  The US responded again with poorly trained, poorly disciplined and underequipped troops.  With the help of other countries, South Korea was defended against communist aggression.  Good thing America didn't leave them to their fate.  Look how well fed North Korea is now.

In Vietnam, communist aggression again forced the US to respond.  This time the US leadership fucks it up.  After the war the communist Vietnamese leadership admits that it did not defeat the US militarily in Vietnam but politically in the US itself.  Ask the Hmongs just how cool communist Vietnam was.  The US abandons the Vietnamese to their fate then demobilizes.  The demobilization was to a lesser extent than before but it was still a demobilization.  The USSR used a mycotoxin (Yellow Rain) on the Hmongs.  No one cared enough to do anything besides invent a ridiculous story about how it was bee shit.

Pol Pot killed a million people in Cambodia.  The US and everyone else left them to their fate.

The Cold War dragged on.  The world from East Germany to Vietnam was under communist control.  Tens of millions of people died while communist aligned terrorist organizations destroyed things and killed people in Europe.  China invaded Vietnam and got its ass handed to it.  China and the USSR's actions and rhetoric strongly suggested further military expansion if the opportunity arose.  This was taken very seriously, especially after the Cuban Missile Crisis.  In 1979, the USSR invaded Afghanistan.  The people who protested US involvement in Vietnam didn't protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.  This time the US didn't leave them to their fate.  Too bad those assholes have no sense of gratitude.

Iraq conducted the Anfal extermination campaign against the Kurds.  The US and everyone else left them to their fate.

The USSR collapsed and the Cold War ended.  The US demobilized 60%.

Iraq invaded Kuwait.  The US and other countries responded to Saddam's aggression.  Kuwait was liberated.  The US decided not to attack Saddam in Iraq because it would exceed the UN mandate and anger the other Arab nations.  The US is then blamed for abandoning the Shiites.  No promise was made to the Shiites.  "You should kick the bastard out" doesn't sound the same as "The US will invade to help you kick the bastard out."  The Shiites jumped to conclusions on that one.

The US enforces a no-fly zone for years to protect the Kurds from Saddam's murderous aggression.  US planes were shot at repeatedly when even one attempt to shoot down a US plane was a violation of the UN resolution supporting the no-fly zone and cause for war.

Terrorist assholes controlling Afghanistan attacked New York, killing more people than Peal Harbor.  The US gives the Taliban the opportunity to turn over those responsible.  They refuse and the US works in conjunction with the Northern Alliance to throw them out of power.

Saddam kept being a murderous asshole and kept pursuing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons (however ineptly) while doing everything he could to frustrate weapons inspectors and support anti-US terrorism.  Finally the US crushed his vile ass instead of leaving more thousands of Iraqis and Kurds to their fates.

What's more heartless, a war to remove someone like Saddam or just leaving his victims to their fate?



The point of this historical recap is No, the US has not been on a war economy since WW2 and No it wasn't a game and No it sure as hell wasn't a game that the US wanted to play.  The US mobilizes and demobilizes according to wars usually started by others.  It gets involved in other people's wars because letting the people who are getting victimized be consumed by the aggressor is generally worse than spending blood and resources to stop it.

Speaking of resources, there sure as hell wasn't any oil in France when the US saved it.  Twice.  Or Korea.  Or Afghanistan.  The US economy now is a hell of a lot better than in the 70s and 80s.  Grinding to hell?  Nope. 

Calling the US a bully reminds me of an incident at the university I went to.  A girl in the dorm had a physically abusive asshole for a boyfriend.  She left him but he kept coming after her.  After the first couple times he happened to show up while her new boyfriend was there.  The new boyfriend beat his ass and he never came back.  The other girls living on the floor gave the new boyfriend a hard time for fighting the guy.  He asked them if he should have just let his girlfriend be beaten  by her asshole ex-boyfriend and they said, "We don't want blood on our hall."  They were perfectly content to leave the girl to her fate and when someone had the guts to put some pain on the real bully, they got all mad at him after not having the guts to call the police or to face the asshole themselves.

A friend's wife once told me, "The US is acting like a bully... and you know what happens to bullies..."
I thought to myself, "Yeah, they get laid a lot and grow up to be police officers."

US military spending was 19% of the budget in 2007.  Social Security was 20%, Medicare was 14% and Welfare/Unemployment was 13%.  So much for the military industrial complex sucking up all the money.

And by the way, there was no way the US was going to get UN approval for attacking Iraq no matter what the case since Russia, China and France were all against it.  See the chart I posted earlier about arms sales to Saddam for clarification.  The UN sanctions were corrupt to the point of mockery.  There is no requirement for the US or any other country to have international approval before it does anything.  It is a good idea?  Of course.  It is necessary or a legal requirement?  No.


Here's some links:

An enlightening article about a leading Human Rights Watch activist and Iraq.
http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200503/langewiesche

On the ground with Iraqi police.
http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001522.html
http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2007/12/02/2007-12-02_what_i_see_every_day_in_iraq_locals_turn.html?print=1&page=all

How cool Saddam was and the fate of thousands of Kurds.
http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/001068.html




 

Offline Apple of Eris

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #269 on: February 20, 2008, 02:06:54 PM »
In Vietnam, communist aggression again forced the US to respond.  This time the US leadership fucks it up.  After the war the communist Vietnamese leadership admits that it did not defeat the US militarily in Vietnam but politically in the US itself.  Ask the Hmongs just how cool communist Vietnam was.  The US abandons the Vietnamese to their fate then demobilizes.  The demobilization was to a lesser extent than before but it was still a demobilization.  The USSR used a mycotoxin (Yellow Rain) on the Hmongs.  No one cared enough to do anything besides invent a ridiculous story about how it was bee shit. 

No, the US responded after the South Vienamese govenment with US backing refused to participate in the UN backed national elections which were agreed to during the Geneva Conference. Ngo Dinh Diem then with US backing became dictator of South Vietnam and began a series of appalling human rights abuses, but he was anti-communist, so that was okay.

After 1956 communist sympathizers in the South started (with northern backing) a low level insurgency of basically kidnappings and terrorist attacks, in an attempt to unify the country, that eventually began to escalate into open war.

Offline VandalSavage

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #270 on: February 20, 2008, 04:12:50 PM »
HeretiKat's account of history is factually incorrect on a number of counts, and it behooves me to indicate where, for the sake of posterity.

I do not mean this as a refutation of the central argument of HeretiKat - that the United States or other nations have an obligation to intervene on moral grounds.  Still, a few matters need to be put in perspective.

In WW1 the US helped the Allies despite massive isolationist protests and public sentiment that urged the US to leave the Allies to their fates.
After, the US demobilized.

In WW2 the US helped the Allies against a worse aggressor despite significant isolationist sentiment which was again content to leave the Allies to their fates.  The isolationists finally shut up when the US was directly attacked.  The US military was pathetically understrength, ill-equipped, and inexperienced due to the post WW1 demobilization.  This cost many American lives in the North Africa, Europe and Pacific campaigns.
After, the US demobilized.

First, the claim that the US "demobilized" after World War I is not entirely forthright.  The US did, indeed, demobilize, but it then instituted the first peace time conscription - a military draft during a time when the nation was not at war - in September 1940, over a year before Pearl Harbor.

Consequently, the US military dwarfed the size of ours today, and consumed much more of the Gross Domestic Product, proportionally, before World War II than ours does now.

Secondly, the US military explicitly did not demobilize after World War II.  Feeling it was now a superpower, with attendant global security responsibilities - namely, opposing Soviet Russia - the United States explicitly created the Department of Defense in order to keep itself in a state of war time readiness even in a time of peace.  This was under the National Security Act of 1947, which also created the CIA and the Air Force, among other organizations.

As this chart shows, the percentage of GDP did decrease, yet not to the pre-war levels.

Communist North Korea invaded South Korea.  The US responded again with poorly trained, poorly disciplined and underequipped troops.  With the help of other countries, South Korea was defended against communist aggression.  Good thing America didn't leave them to their fate.  Look how well fed North Korea is now.

I think that the veteran 24th Infantry Division, 1st Marine Division and 7th Infantry Division would object to being called "poorly trained, poorly disciplined."  All were regular units that had been active since 1941, at least.  While they were poorly equipped, they had been kept in place overseas in order to be ready to fight a war - something that was unheard of prior to World War II. 

In short, these were well disciplined, active units who lacked in supply and in mission-specific training but did not lack in experience.  And they had been kept abroad, like thousands of other troops, in order for America to have military assets in place in order to guard its sphere of influence - not just its borders - at any time.

In Vietnam, communist aggression again forced the US to respond.  This time the US leadership fucks it up.  After the war the communist Vietnamese leadership admits that it did not defeat the US militarily in Vietnam but politically in the US itself.  Ask the Hmongs just how cool communist Vietnam was.  The US abandons the Vietnamese to their fate then demobilizes.  The demobilization was to a lesser extent than before but it was still a demobilization.  The USSR used a mycotoxin (Yellow Rain) on the Hmongs.  No one cared enough to do anything besides invent a ridiculous story about how it was bee shit.

The reasons behind the Vietnam conflict are far too nuanced to attribute to "communist aggression."  We should bear in mind that we worked along with Ho Chi Minh in the late days of World War II against the Japanese - even going so far as to save his life from malaria.  It was not until we set ourselves up as the bane of all things remotely Socialist that our ideology was at odds with what we had theretofore considered an independence movement.

I would argue that we inherited the Vietnam war from the French, who were opposed to the national independence movement purely on grounds of preserving their economic interests in the region.  We fought the Viet Minh in order to protect the same rubber barons and exporters that the French did.  It was, in essence, because the French were our allies - not the Viet Minh our enemies - that we fought that war. 

Things then became a matter of maintaining strategic credibility in order to make our military power manifest in the world.  Put plainly, we didn't want to lose the battle of wills.  So, as appleoferis noted, we supported one brutal, oppressive regime after the next in their fight against the brutal, oppressive Viet Minh.

Pol Pot killed a million people in Cambodia.  The US and everyone else left them to their fate.

The Cold War dragged on.  The world from East Germany to Vietnam was under communist control.  Tens of millions of people died while communist aligned terrorist organizations destroyed things and killed people in Europe.  China invaded Vietnam and got its ass handed to it.  China and the USSR's actions and rhetoric strongly suggested further military expansion if the opportunity arose.

With the exception of the last sentence, there is very little truth to this sequence of statements.  I will do it by the numbers.

First, the Cambodian genocide.  The rise of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rogue was almost certainly due to the illegal American bombing of Cambodia - in the same way that the escape of pet rats into the walls of a house is due to smashing open their cages and infecting them with rabies. 

The regime of the Khmer Rogue, propelled to popularity as a party that would defy the country carpet bombing Cambodia - the US - and exploiting the chaos caused by pro/anti-US tensions, went on to kill some estimated 1.7 million directly and indirectly.  But the guilty secret of the killing fields is that it was far more the fault of the United States than the Communists of North Vietnam.  If we had let the NVA move through Cambodia without attempting to interdict them, the acrimony of the Cambodians would have been at them.  As it was, we carpet bombed with very little success at interdiction, and caused a country to collapse so that murderous maniacs who had no political platform beyond being anti-US could take power.

Not to mention that it was North Vietnam who invaded Cambodia to stop the genocide and depose the Khmer Rogue.

Now, the world between East Germany and Vietnam being under Communist control.  It was not.  India and Pakistan were having quite a lot of fun killing one another over non-Communist ideologies, as was Indonesia and its civil conflicts such as in East Timor, and Burma with its fascists, and all that tons of fun in the Middle East and Africa.

Where "tens of millions" comes from, I have no clue.  The Chinese Communists were dropping like flies, that is true - their Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution killed around 14 million and 500,000 respectively.  Is that what was meant?

Whatever the intention, I think this is best viewed with a bit broader perspective.  While there is no doubt the Communist empires were up to no good in places like Czechoslovakia and Tibet, America was no boy scout either in its backyard and in Africa.

We supported the ghastly dictator Mobutu Sese Seko's rise to power in Zaire.  We trained, financed and supplied intelligence to death squads in Guatemala, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Panama and the Contras in Nicaragua.  We overthrew the government of Chile and the government of Iran, and truly did train the torture squads that kept the Iranian Shah's regime in power.

Both sides in the Cold War had a lot of blood on their hands.  Our excuse was, if we did not intervene to influence these nations, the Communists would.

Guess what the Communists' excuse was?

This was taken very seriously, especially after the Cuban Missile Crisis.  In 1979, the USSR invaded Afghanistan.  The people who protested US involvement in Vietnam didn't protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.  This time the US didn't leave them to their fate.  Too bad those assholes have no sense of gratitude.

No, the Afghans do not have any gratitude - they just want to be left to kill one another over tribal differences, as they have done since the times of the lapis wars of the 4th Milennium BCE.

Iraq conducted the Anfal extermination campaign against the Kurds.  The US and everyone else left them to their fate.

Anfal was part of Iraq's desperate war against Iran - a war we were supporting both sides in, in order to weaken two rogue regimes in a critical region.  What were we supposed to do?  Everything was going rather according to plan for us.

The USSR collapsed and the Cold War ended.  The US demobilized 60%.

Not sure where the "60%" comes from.  The draft had been gone since the 70s, and regular combat battalions were being reduced since then, even during Reagan, who spiked military spending in the technology sector.  We still had large active forces, but they began to be dismantled under Bush, in a plan continued through Clinton and accelerated - and worsened - despite the advice of Clinton and Bush's generals under the reign of Rumsfeld.

But, as the chart above shows, the US military had been shrinking in the size of manpower not in fits and starts, but in a continuous, smooth decrease since Nixon came to power.

Iraq invaded Kuwait.  The US and other countries responded to Saddam's aggression.  Kuwait was liberated.  The US decided not to attack Saddam in Iraq because it would exceed the UN mandate and anger the other Arab nations.  The US is then blamed for abandoning the Shiites.  No promise was made to the Shiites.  "You should kick the bastard out" doesn't sound the same as "The US will invade to help you kick the bastard out."  The Shiites jumped to conclusions on that one.

They did not "jump to conclusions."  The President of the United States went on to Voice of America radio, and broadcast to the Shiites on February 2, 1991 that they should rise up.  That's not, "ooops, I meant you should get out of bed!  You thought I meant 'rebel'?"  That means, "rise up."

The US enforces a no-fly zone for years to protect the Kurds from Saddam's murderous aggression.  US planes were shot at repeatedly when even one attempt to shoot down a US plane was a violation of the UN resolution supporting the no-fly zone and cause for war.

Terrorist assholes controlling Afghanistan attacked New York, killing more people than Peal Harbor.  The US gives the Taliban the opportunity to turn over those responsible.  They refuse and the US works in conjunction with the Northern Alliance to throw them out of power.

Not exactly true.  The Taliban did not attack New York.  In fact, they expressed sympathy for America after the attacks and condemned them.

They then said they would hand bin Ladin over or try him in Afghanistan if the United States presented any evidence.  For some reason, the United States did not present any evidence.  They invaded.

Saddam kept being a murderous asshole and kept pursuing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons (however ineptly) while doing everything he could to frustrate weapons inspectors and support anti-US terrorism.  Finally the US crushed his vile ass instead of leaving more thousands of Iraqis and Kurds to their fates.

What's more heartless, a war to remove someone like Saddam or just leaving his victims to their fate?

To the final question, I would pose this:  What is more heartless, a war to remove Stalin or just leaving his victims to their fate? 

Considering how World War II turned out in Russia, I think it shows that the intentions of removing a dictator does not redeem a war effort.  You could be invading for the best of reasons, but if you botch the job, it does not matter.  You still killed, impoverished, cast into chaos.

The point of this historical recap is No, the US has not been on a war economy since WW2 and No it wasn't a game and No it sure as hell wasn't a game that the US wanted to play.  The US mobilizes and demobilizes according to wars usually started by others.  It gets involved in other people's wars because letting the people who are getting victimized be consumed by the aggressor is generally worse than spending blood and resources to stop it.

Speaking of resources, there sure as hell wasn't any oil in France when the US saved it.  Twice.  Or Korea.  Or Afghanistan.  The US economy now is a hell of a lot better than in the 70s and 80s.  Grinding to hell?  Nope.

Discussions on whether we are a war economy or not will come later.

P.S. We are, and need to shift in order to maintain global strategic dominance.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 04:22:21 PM by VandalSavage »

Offline Schwarzepard

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #271 on: February 20, 2008, 04:26:37 PM »
The communists had already been fighting the French who gave up after Dien Bien Phu in 1954.  Diem's government refused to hold the elections you mentioned in 1956 and the communists, who expected to gain from the elections, just kept fighting, this time against other Vietnamese.   Besides military advisers and Special Forces types, the US troops showed up in 1961.  Of course Diem was backed by the US and of course it was because he was anti-communist.  He was the lesser of two evils.  The Vietnamese communists had already been fighting other Vietnamese for 5 years.   

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Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #272 on: February 20, 2008, 07:40:45 PM »
I kind of wish for the same thing. Even though it's a global community, we should spend a bit more time focusing on things like securing our border, ending entitlement spending, trimming ear marks from federal spending, updating our military here at home for more of a defense role, and definitely reducing the amount of funding we send abroad, especially in the form of funding the UN and handouts to other nations, in order to work on the problems here. I think if we could do that, we could balance our budget, reduce wasteful spending and solve some problems here at home. I think that would be wonderful.

Of course, I have rose-colored glasses on at the moment.

I agree with everything except what's bolded.  Why do they come here?  To earn money.  Enforce the laws that are in place and they won't be able to get jobs... it's much simpler than the politicians like to make out, mainly because their business interests would be hurt by the lack of free, disposable labor.

/end hijack

Offline Schwarzepard

Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #273 on: February 20, 2008, 08:56:44 PM »
HeretiKat's account of history is factually incorrect on a number of counts, and it behooves me to indicate where, for the sake of posterity.

I do not mean this as a refutation of the central argument of HeretiKat - that the United States or other nations have an obligation to intervene on moral grounds.  Still, a few matters need to be put in perspective.

My point was that the US is not a bully nation on a permanent war economy, but instead usually responds to wars started by other countries to protect the victims both for its own interest and on moral grounds.  In recent decades the US has abandoned a lot of people to their fates at the hands of dictators that it should have done something to stop.  There is no moral obligation to intervene, but it is in fact moral to intervene to stop such acts.

Quote
First, the claim that the US "demobilized" after World War I is not entirely forthright.  The US did, indeed, demobilize, but it then instituted the first peace time conscription - a military draft during a time when the nation was not at war - in September 1940, over a year before Pearl Harbor.

The US demobilized from 3.2 million troops in 1918 down to 250,000 9 months later.  The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 was passed in response to Japanese aggression since 1931 and German aggression a few years later.  That's 22 years of forthright demobilization before the US government took decisive action to prepare for a new war with aggressors that were directly threatening US allies.

http://www.history.army.mil/books/amh/amh-19.htm

The US had 1.2 million troops in 1941.  Today it has slightly more than 1 million.  While 20% larger, it didn't dwarf the US military of today. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army
 (the first section).


Quote
Secondly, the US military explicitly did not demobilize after World War II.  Feeling it was now a superpower, with attendant global security responsibilities - namely, opposing Soviet Russia - the United States explicitly created the Department of Defense in order to keep itself in a state of war time readiness even in a time of peace.  This was under the National Security Act of 1947, which also created the CIA and the Air Force, among other organizations.

As this chart shows, the percentage of GDP did decrease, yet not to the pre-war levels.


By 1945 the US Army had 8 million troops.  4 million were demobilized by the end of 1945 and a further 2 million were demobilized by 1946, a very large demobilization.  By 1947 the US Army had 1 million troops.  The National Security Act of 1947 was not a mobilization or even an expansion.  It was a reorganization, that's all.  By 1950, the US Army was down to 600,000 troops.

The US did in fact largely demobilize after WW2. 

The chart you linked to clearly shows American demobilization and reduction in GDP spent on the military after each war.

http://www.history.army.mil/books/amh/AMH-24.htm

Quote
I think that the veteran 24th Infantry Division, 1st Marine Division and 7th Infantry Division would object to being called "poorly trained, poorly disciplined."  All were regular units that had been active since 1941, at least.  While they were poorly equipped, they had been kept in place overseas in order to be ready to fight a war - something that was unheard of prior to World War II. 

In short, these were well disciplined, active units who lacked in supply and in mission-specific training but did not lack in experience.  And they had been kept abroad, like thousands of other troops, in order for America to have military assets in place in order to guard its sphere of influence - not just its borders - at any time.

The great majority of those WW2 units had been demobilized and the disciplined experience of the units were lost with them.  Many senior sergeants and officers were WW2 veterans, but many of the new soldiers were hastily trained and undisciplined.  It was to the point where US soldiers abandoned their heavy weapons and told their officers to go to hell in the face of the North Korean advance.  The US forces didn't get pushed back to Pusan because they were ready for a war.  They were defeated and in retreat because they weren't ready.




Quote
The reasons behind the Vietnam conflict are far too nuanced to attribute to "communist aggression."  We should bear in mind that we worked along with Ho Chi Minh in the late days of World War II against the Japanese - even going so far as to save his life from malaria.  It was not until we set ourselves up as the bane of all things remotely Socialist that our ideology was at odds with what we had theretofore considered an independence movement.

Perhaps Ho Chi Min was one of those lesser of two evils that the US supported.  The fall of China to an aggressive uncompromising brand of communism probably had a lot to do with the US' change of policy towards Ho Chi Min and his communists.  The causes of the Vietnam war are very complicated to attribute only to communist aggression, however the Vietnamese communists were determined to take over all of Vietnam and they fought a war to do it.

Quote
I would argue that we inherited the Vietnam war from the French
Most definitely.  The Vietnamese had had enough of colonialism, Western or Asian.

Quote
who were opposed to the national independence movement purely on grounds of preserving their economic interests in the region.  We fought the Viet Minh in order to protect the same rubber barons and exporters that the French did.  It was, in essence, because the French were our allies - not the Viet Minh our enemies - that we fought that war.

I don't believe the rubber barons part but yes, the US supported the French because the French were nominally US allies.


Quote
First, the Cambodian genocide.  The rise of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rogue was almost certainly due to the illegal American bombing of Cambodia - in the same way that the escape of pet rats into the walls of a house is due to smashing open their cages and infecting them with rabies.

Your post states that the paragraph I posted has very little truth:

I stated Pol Pot killed a million people and US left them to their fate.  You didn't say this was false but instead stated that Pol Pot killed 1.7 million.  I stated that the US left them to their fate.  You assigned blame for the genocide to the US, but didn't say that the US did NOT leave them to their fate.  Your post didn't address my statement. 

I stated that the world from East Germany to Vietnam was under communist control.  You stated that it wasn't, possibly because I was vague.  From the GDR east to the Vladivostok, from Siberia south to China then to Vietnam was under communist control.  Despite being a founder of the Non-Aligned Movement, India enjoyed a warm relationship with the USSR.  I didn't include Africa, but I was vague.
 
Next you stated you didn't know where I got the idea that tens of millions died under communism:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism
http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE4.HTM
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_Soviet_Union

Your responses didn't show that there is very little truth in that part of my post.


Quote
They did not "jump to conclusions."  The President of the United States went on to Voice of America radio, and broadcast to the Shiites on February 2, 1991 that they should rise up.  That's not, "ooops, I meant you should get out of bed!  You thought I meant 'rebel'?"  That means, "rise up."

They jumped to conclusions.  They thought that Bush telling them they should rebel meant the US was going to help.  Though with US forces poised a few miles away after crushing Saddam's army, it was a pretty reasonable conclusion.  The US still left them to their fate.  The link I posted about the Human Rights Watch article addresses this.


Quote
Not exactly true.  The Taliban did not attack New York.  In fact, they expressed sympathy for America after the attacks and condemned them.

The Taliban was entwined with Al Qaeda.  The Taliban statements in your link state the following:

Taliban's  Ambassador to Pakistan, Mullah Abul Salam Zaeef, said "It is premature to level allegations against a person who is not in a position to carry out such attacks, it was a well-organized plan and Osama has no such facilities."

Taliban official Mutawakel tells journalists in Pakistan "where is the evidence" against Osama bin Laden.

Neither of these statements convey sympathy or condemn the attacks.

Quote
They then said they would hand bin Ladin over or try him in Afghanistan if the United States presented any evidence.  For some reason, the United States did not present any evidence.  They invaded.

They'd been making excuses about evidence for years.  They were never going to hand over bin Laden. 

Quote
To the final question, I would pose this:  What is more heartless, a war to remove Stalin or just leaving his victims to their fate? 

Leaving the victims to their fate.  If something is done about it, it stops.  If the attempt to do something about it fails, it's a disaster but at least people tried rather than just looking the other way or saying 'sucks to be them'.  That is truly heartless.

Quote
Considering how World War II turned out in Russia, I think it shows that the intentions of removing a dictator does not redeem a war effort.  You could be invading for the best of reasons, but if you botch the job, it does not matter.  You still killed, impoverished, cast into chaos.

Considering how WW2 turned out in Germany and Japan, intentions of removing a dictator redeemed the war effort despite the killing, chaos and impoverishment.  There is a special hatred by victims for those who knew and did nothing, as the link you posted about Shi'ite resentment of the US shows.

The definition of a war economy is very vague.  I'm interested to hear your take on it.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2008, 09:04:38 PM by HeretiKat »

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Re: Hillary for President??
« Reply #274 on: February 21, 2008, 10:01:48 AM »
I agree with everything except what's bolded.  Why do they come here?  To earn money.  Enforce the laws that are in place and they won't be able to get jobs... it's much simpler than the politicians like to make out, mainly because their business interests would be hurt by the lack of free, disposable labor.

/end hijack

By securing our border, I am taking the enforcing of the current laws as part of that equation. However, I think a  secure border, with several access points, would be much better than wasting our monetary and manpower resources as we currently are along the border. It all plays together, the laws, the secure border, the heightened security, etc. I really wish that the employers would be held liable, but it's a two way street. People need to be told that they need to go through the legal process, and employers have to stop hiring them. If the IRS were put in charge of ferreting out employers who hired illegals, it would make a difference!