You're right, sex and violence sell, but that doesn't make them more important or less important. I think straight capitalism is responsible for
this trend. I would reccomend a more subtle, adaptive model, like capitalistic meritocracy; you earn money based on improving yourself, helping out
those less fortunate, studying and producing art and music, inventing new technology that can help mankind, etc. etc. you get the picture. Then, once
you have the money, you can spend it on any manner of debauchery you can imagine. Two sides of the coin, allowing for human nature, whilst
encouraging positive advancement. Can I get a vote on this? Will the whole human species please stand up?
Iraq was a cornerstone, you are right. There were three other corners in that happy square though, they are Syria, Egypt, and Iran. When held up
side by side they serve as an adequate comparison of Middle Eastern Governments, I think they are highly representative of the whole, don't you?
Iraq was the military government opposed to religion, Syria was the Military government for religion, Egypt was a moderate stab at democracy, and Iran
was a peoples religious movement that took over a military dictatorship. I would even go so far as to suggest, that looking at their respective
histories, you can see a progression in successful governance. Each step of the way brings new hazards, but among the bunch, Egypt was doing the
best, Iran the second best, Iraq the third best, and Syria the worst, in terms of moving away from dogmatic, warlike behavior based on ephemeral
religious ideas and what not. Egypt certainly recognizes the value of religion in the frame of history, and spirituality, but it doesn't go so far
as Iraq in saying no to religion, or as far as Iran and Syria in the other direction. Long story short, given time, the situation in the Middle East
would have evolved into a more efficient, more cohesive region. They could have surmounted their problems, or at least given the chance to do so,
which I think is every citizens right and responsibility. Every citizen is responsible for their country, just as reciprocaly, every government must
be responsible for their citizens. So in the end, whatever Iraq was doing to destabilize the region, its neighbors were evolving ahead of it and
doing better, it would have also, eventually. Or, it would have found itself isolated and ignored. I think these sorts of problems, nation on
nation, especially when religion is involved, can best be resolved by isolation and the passage of time. Common sense leaks into even the most
religious cultures given a long enough time frame.
You're right about patriotism and depravity. There are of course, two sides to everything. Granted, but I maintain that the balance is all
important, and at this very moment unstable. There is too much Yang going around in that region, and our military. Hell of a lot of Yang.
You say none of those countries would have had a chance to break free from their military dictatorship, what about Iran? They desposed of the shah
and punished the government thugs who had tortured so many into compliance. I hear they were fed their genitals actually. I'd say they handled the
situation rather handily.
NO argument from me that Saddam was a strongman, a warlord of impressive stature, and he had a fearsome reputation too. He was a terror to many of
his people, and if he is indeed captured, I think he should be let go, in broad daylight, on the streets of Baghdad. If his people want to 'depose
his regime' they can do it either with trial and incarceration, or a rock to the back of the head while he's running in his US gov. insued skivvies.
Let the Iraqis handle Iraqi problems, they and we will be better for it in the long run. And lets not forget why Saddam was such a strongman, he was
a US military project gone awry, like many others. He had tactics and weapons, and for a while, he even had the backing of the US.
You say that to leave Saddam in power would be to nullify the effectiveness of the war on terror. In my mind, that's like saying you have to remove
a brick from the middle of a wall to stop the wall from falling on top of your head. We create two terrorists for every one we kill, we create
hundreds of terrorists for every innocent we kill, because word of atrocity spreads like carrion smell, how do we ever expect to make headway in this
war? It's a war against a faceless enemy, just like the war on drugs, because faceless enemies never die, and the war can go on forever if you want
it to. That's the idea behind it. Also, by criminalizing resistance to foreign meddling in the affairs of a sovereign state, we set a dangerous
precedent. What's to stop, say, Mexico, from invading the US now that one state is allowed to conduct pre-emptive strikes against another in the
eyes of the world. The Mexicans could claim we have secret biological and chemical weapons, that we have nukes and are doing nuclear research. They
could say we're internationally irresponsible, and lead to insability in the region. It's just a dangerous road to go down, and even though we're
already on it, there's less shame in admitting a mistake and retreating than there is in knowingly continuing against better judgement. I really
worry about those troops in Iraq, because their supply lines get thinner with every mile they move north, and they don't have a competent commander
Rumsfeld is a joke, an armchair general who couldn't even be bothered with studying up on foreign generals like Giap. On a somewhat related note, I
find it strangely ironic that we're losing the battle in Iraq in a manner similar to the way the British lost in America during the Revolutionary
war. Remember how hard the British invasion hit? British generals were waddling from city to city, planting flags and clapping in excitement at the
sound the cannons made. Remember how the Americans scattered to the hills, and learned a thing or two about guerilla warfare, then came back, whooped
the British, and harrassed them all the way back to their ships, with the aid of a small European nation that will go unnamed...
The Taliban were most definitely some twisted little boogers, but I say we should have let them twist. Let them make tons of enemies in the region,
let them make friends too, and stomp all around and make noise, until the citizens of the countries involved get sick of living in a repressed society
engaged in torture and brutality. Then the citizens would take care of the Taliban mess for the benefit of themselves and the world at large.
Everybody feels good about themselves, nobody meddled, and we can all say cheers with a pint.
I am projecting my feelings and emotions on the troops, I admit. I also know however, without a doubt, that there are human beings in uniform right
now who wish they weren't, for all the same reasons we're discussing. And it's not cowardice in all cases! Sometimes it's pragmatism, sometimes
it's idealism, sometimes it's religious conviction, whatever. There are soldiers who disagree with the war just like there are civilians who
disagree with the war. The only difference is, a soldier is duty bound and cannot speak his mind freely without fear of reprisal, and a citizen for
the most part can. That's why I'm here, and you too I imagine. Somebody in essence NEEDS to speak for them, because they are far away, and
fighting because we told them to. I think an uncensored sattelite link from Fallujah would be an excellent way to get the real feelings of the troops
home to Americans. Give fifty marines a video camera and let them roam around, talking to people, sending messages home, that sort of thing. The
American people would be well served to understand what they want and try hard to make it happen. I think overwhelmingly they want to come home.
I don't think eradicating religion is the answer, at least not forcibly. The trick might be to sabotage its spread by encouraging isolationism for a
few centuries. Then radical islam will be on par with the mystery keepers in Tibet, isolated, inefectual and nearly forgotten, but preserved for the
historic record. I appreciate the lively conversation though, and I actually don't mind arguing for the same reason I don't mind Martial Arts, when
the fight is over, honorable men shake hands.
[edit on 4-1-2005 by WyrdeOne]
[edit on 4-1-2005 by WyrdeOne]