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Originally posted by Q
I do recall Iran's condolences on 9-11. It was surprising, to me at least.
However, there is a big difference between the Iranian people and their government. While we had the sympathies of the people, I'm sure the government officials danced in the halls and fired up stogies.
Personally, I sympathize with the Iranian people's plight, and would wish to help get them out from under the thumb of their government.
(ANY people under ANY theocratic government, really.) Unfortunately, I think that to many people there is no distinction, much like the rest of the world's current opinion of the US. Sad really, on both counts.
Originally posted by Q
Sminkey: lay off the caffene, hoss. You seem a little uptight.
You seem to be under the impression that I have no idea WTF I'm talking about. This would be a mistaken assumption. We all know what happens when we ass-u-me!
I takes no torturous amount of research to figure out the Iranian government hates the US. It's no big secret, and has not been for many years. While I used the analogy of 'firing up stogies and dancing in the halls', this would of course be an exaggeration. In all seriousness, I think that the main reaction of the hard-liners of the Iranian government was disappointment in the fact that they were not directly responsible for 9-11. Believe what you want, the Iranian government hates the US with a passion, has said so publicly, to the point of announcing they're going to destroy us. This is unarguable fact. A pipe dream, but the statement was made nonetheless.
Of course, it is not the entire Iranian government who is so warped, only the stodgy old Mullahs who still haven't figured out that the people of Iran don't want their rule. While the elections were indeed held, most real progress attempted by the moderates is neatly quashed. The Iranian people just want the same things as everyone else: modern conveniences and freedom from being under the thumb of a totalitarian theocratic regime. It's not that they 'want to be like the US', that would be an unrealistically vain and arrogant statement. However, many of the same core wants and needs of any modern civilized society are there. The college students protest, and the Mullahs send in their thugs to bust some heads and quiet them down for awhile.
I/we only heard about the "official" Iranian reaction to 9-11 because we were allowed to, true enough. It was great PR for them, made them look downright humanitarian for a while even-this obviously being the motive behind it.
However, any sympathy from any people was appreciated; even if it was only released as a PR tool for the government, the feelings of the people were there. No, I didn't ask any Iranians about it, but I don't really think the majority of any people wish such a thing to happen to others.
While it's true that the US president is indeed a Christian, and he does let it guide him to an extent, but that is not necessarily unhealthy so long as it is not the deciding factor.
Most world leaders do belong to one faith or another, but do not allow it to dictate the policy of the entire nation. It's not something that gets rammed down everyone's throat--our hulking behemoth of a government doesn't allow for any one faction to impose their will upon the masses. You wouldn't hear such a fuss about 'one nation under god' and having the 15 (uhhh-ten! Ten commandments!) in courtrooms if this were the case. Everyone would just have to suck it up and bear it-there are those here who would have it that way were it possible. Fortunately, cooler heads prevail.
Funny, I don't remember mentioning the UN. But hey, since you threw it out there: The UN is worthless and corrupt. That's right. They do nothing, they are nothing. The UN indeed would not exist without the US. Face facts: they cannot do so much as pay for their own electricity.
If the UN cannot function as the multinational forum it was intended to be at it's inception, then it is as useless as such and the US' support should be summarily discontinued. Really, after oil-for-food and the joke that the UNHRC has become, can you really say you support the UN with a straight face?
As for the 'with us or against us', that's not too unreasonable either. If you're for modern civilization that all of humanity has worked so hard to achieve, then you're with us.
If you're for the likes of people who consider beheading truck drivers and suicide bombing civillians the epitome of political correctness, for the very people who would unflinchingly kill you in an attempt to keep humanity in the stone age, then you're against 'us'.
While the statement was made referring to the US, on a larger scale it is the whole of humanity. If it's that much of a moral conundrum, then there are some bigger issues that need to be dealt with personally.
Honestly, if one places oneself in the 'against' category, then this would seemingly make one a traitor to their own species,
and therefore subject to 'systematic removal, like you would any kind of termite or roach'. If one chooses to be an angry pimple on the very butt-cheek of humanity, it should come as no surprise when one gets 'popped'.
Countless people have met their demise despite being 'not afraid of death'. Fear of death doesn't enter into it, it only makes those not intelligent enough to posess it easier targets. "The voice of the preachers of death ring out everywhere: and the earth is full of people to whom death needs to be preached--or "eternal life": it makes no difference to me--as long as they leave here soon!"
Originally posted by sminkeypinkey - no, I just disagreed with you, that's all.
- Well as I said that may have once been true and it maybe still true of some but the days of the '79 revolutionary regime are long gone.....so, a war with Iran is OK because.....?
- That still doesn't negate the fact that life in Iran is becoming 'freer' and that the religious fundamentalists have less and less of a grip on the people.
......and even if true just because (some of) the Iranian leadership don't like you this makes a new war with them ok because......?
- So you are now not ignoring or dismissing the event just questioning the motive? We can all spend eternity going in circles like that!
- I think (seeing as the topic was the idea of a new war in Iran) that the one thing you can be certain of is that the Iranian people do not wish to be attacked and dragged into a war. Fundamentalist leadership or not.
- Yeah OK, but I find so-called 'Christian fundamentalists' pretty much as scary as Muslim fundamentalists and reports that Bush consults with literal 'Bible believing' 'Christians' is damn worrying to me.
- Here's hoping. But I have to say watching the advance fo the so-called 'Christian right' in the USA since the 70's I am not convinced.
- Ummm, they're meant to be like a cooperative club....'they are the membership' type of thing. If members don't pay their dues (like the USA didn't for years) no wonder 'they' can't pay their bills, hmm?
- If people would operate the UN as intended rather than fear and avoid working with and through it then things might be a damned sight better. One way or another we need greater cooperation not this further splintering that is being encouraged by these attitudes.
- hang on, according to whom? What gives you the 'right' to impose your ideals and version of "modern living" elsewhere? These ideas of imposition are a lot of the problem.
- This is plain nuts. A strawman arguement. I am not supporting beheadings for goodness sake. Get real.
The people that are are indeed very angry people - and yes dangerous - because they have either been starved, used or attacked by the west or the wests' proxies for years. They reject the west and western values whicxh they see as utterly corrupt.....and considering the long sorry history of western involvement in the region who can blame them?
....or are you so blinkered that the causes of this anger are of no consequence to you? That seems pretty stupid to me seeing as it is causing great hurt to your (and my) people.
- Hang on, it wasn't. That speech was made to the whole world and very deliberately so. Get real.
It's stupid, it's counterproductive, it's too small, it's too simplistic and it deliberately chooses to ignore wider realities; so yes I agree, I'd say those are big personal issues to deal with, how come you're looking to everyone else to sort these rather than suggesting the actual jerk responsible?
- yeah very funny, who's suffering too much caffeine now, huh?
To hell with these idiotic limited neo-fascist 'either or' forced options. Start talking sensibly like an adult and not a conceited idiotic adolescent for God's sake.
.....and to return to the original topic; this justifies a new Iranian war, how?
- still on the blinkered fascist fantasy, still cheering on the day of the mono-culture huh? Let us know when you're finished and ready to talk reasonably with your fellow man, eh?
- yeah, ra ra ra hooray for war, very pointless, very boring.
- hmm, so I guess one link proves it all then does it?
- and this proves what beyond great anger?
Originally posted by Q
Other than being called 'an idiotic limited neo-facist', I've enjoyed our discussion.
Times have changed, this is true, and there is much to be hopeful for in these dark times. Were some things different, we could be on a much clearer road in regard to Iran-US relations.
So why did you criticize me when I expressed support for the Iranian people in pursuit of this freedom in my earlier post?
It's not so much a matter of not being liked-that's a matter of opinion and frankly, we really don't care about that. The case in point is not likability, but being publicly threatened with annihilation on a near-daily basis.
The US turned the other cheek for the past 20 years at everyone in the jumping up and down screaming about how they were going to kill us all. As has become painfully obvious, we can no longer afford that luxury.
why the flaming of me when we were essentially in agreement on the matter?
You get 20 'kill all Iranians' posts, yet you pick the one who actually somewhat sided with you to jump on?
Abondoning the "great Satan" bit would be a nice start.
Relentless determination in pursuit of nuclear weapons despite worldwide condemnation doesn't exactly inspire confidence either.
Apparently no-one's informed Khameni that 'you catch more flies with honey than vinegar'.
I'm with you on this. I do still think that there are enough balances in place to prevent such a 'holy roller takeover'.
I don't mean to imply some sort of Pax Americana here, what I'm talking about are basic human freedoms and the pursuit of happiness without having to worry about being beaten if too much hair is sticking out of your burqa, or getting thrown in prison for having a satelite dish, or...
I was merely trying to communicate the seriousness of the depravity of the 'against us' faction. These sort of actions are exactly what TWAT is trying to put a stop to.
Starved...by their own despots?
This is all so much in the past, though! Like you said, it isn't 1979 anymore and we should all be able to move on. Unfortunately, some people just want to stir the sh** just to see how bad it still smells after 25 years.
To my knowledge, I've never done a thing to cause all this anger.
I didn't have anything to do with the Shah, I didn't have anything to do with Afghanistan, I didn't have anything to do with 90% of these so-called "causes" you speak of. Yet, I'm supposed to accept that there's a price on my head, and that of everyone I know because they're so angry?
This is a war being fought to keep all of humanity from being devolved into the same barbaric state that we existed in hundreds of years ago, and the stakes are indeed that far-reaching.
Wider realities...such as?
If we're the aggressor trying to bully everyone else around, how can we be looking to everyone else to sort things out for us at the same time?
On one hand you have the "US is a superpower and should take care of things" viewpoint, on the other hand there is the "US should work with everyone else" viewpoint. No matter which route we choose, we're sure to do wrong in the eyes of one or the other.
By 'the actual jerk'
I assume you're referring to OBL & company.
I'd have to say we've probably already dealt with the jerk in question and are currently rounding up his partners in crime.
Al-Qaeda is a big organization, and their fingers are buried in deep all over.
Point taken. I was trying to underscore the importance of TWAT, in that there must be no quarter given to terrorists.
Now, that was just uncalled for. And we were doing so well!
I personally feel that a war with Iran would benefit no-one
save those brought out from under the yoke of the mullahs and that would come at a terrible price.
I would much rather see either a reformed government, or a revolt from within install a new one. Khatami and his bunch have made some progress, and do seem to try very hard, with the support of the people, to make things better.
Unfortunately, Khameni and his bunch are only tightening their weakening grip on the people in an attempt to stave off the inevitable.
You really like this word, 'blinkered', don't you?
As I said before, I harbor no illusions about Iran becoming a "mono-culture, little America". Duuh--that's not gonna happen. However, I do think there is the potential there to become a much better example of mideast democracy than Iraq can attain at this time.
Also, please understand that the 'systematic removal' I quoted (from a very good song by Tool) was directed toward those who would see us exist as little more than clothed apes, rather than my fellow man.
you seem to key right in on my posts for rambling responses, rather than others who were obviously way farther from your viewpoint, don't you?
Um_Gazz I don't get this idea that people have that if Israel attacks the US would be drawn in no they wont Israel is more than capable by itself why would the Us be drawn in?
Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
- now come on, be fair, I actually said "idiotic limited neo-fascist options, didn't I?
- yes, agreed, here's hoping it's not too late.
- I thought you were painting a picture of the Iranian regime that was unfounded. It is indeed in places repressive but it is undeniably losing it's grip and is nothing like what it once was.
- I suppose here is where we start to differ significantly. I don't accept that 'you' or 'we in the west' truely face annihilation. Attack yes, but horrible as it is to admit......um, welcome to the world the rest of us thave been living in for the last xyz years my friend. Such is modern living at times and in most places. It's risky.....and I'm not saying it's ok but it is the reality.
- No one is going to kill 'all' of anybody. WMD'as require a massive infrastructure at vast expense that only the wealthiest countries can afford.....you don't think 'we' all spent the fortunes we did in the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's etc etc for nothing do you?
.....and even in the unlikely event that some country was to manage (somehow) a single junior version 'event' the inevitable accompanyiong 'calling cards' guarantee the sender has just committed suicide.
Even the Tokyo subway nerve gas attack showed that the most lethal of weapons (in theory) require an understanding private groups do not have and cannot 'just' attain through mere possession of the weapon itself.
- consider it a compliment, why would I want to debate to and fro with 20 obvious war-perv *blinkered* lunatics? :
- actually I don't think we're too far from that now. Iran is building relations with the UK so I don't think it'll be too many years away for the USA.....provided other 'events' don't interrupt.
- but we do have a massive double-standard on this. We seem to just accept if not be actually happy about it that Israel has them, Pakistan now has them, India has them but the ME Arabian countries can't? I'll agree about the confidence issue but since when was that the law? If anything recent events have given an incentive to nations to acquire WMDs asap - and not for any reason other than their national security. Wouldn't you say?
Having said that it also seems that some are determined that Iran's actions are all about weapons acquisition when that is far from clear.
- well I get the principle and obviously I am not going to agree in repression over satellite dishes etc....but you will find, for instance, many Muslim women who believe that in lifes' trade-offs some of the things we see as repressive and unfree are acceptable to them because they believe it gives them freedoms in other spheres of live. Basic human freedom does not go by the one definition. Maybe you agree with the death penalty, I don't. I see that as fundamental, maybe you don't.
Now I'm not a Muslim so I don't know how widespread or true this idea is but I can see that maybe my western ideas aren't necessarily to everyones' taste, culture or teaching and that which seems straight-forward to me might not be in all cases.
- Hmm, again I'll say OK in principle, but I don't believe you can actually have a war against a noun.
I live in Northern Ireland, we had 'terorism' (depending on your point of view) for over 30yrs...
- sometimes, yes. Sometimes starved by their own despots we helped into power and sustained in power... ..just like Saddam, in fact. Sometimes the despot arose as a proxy supported by our cold-war opponents in their cold warring with us.
Never the less we have involved ourselves (especially in the ME) and not always in a positve manner.
- some of that is true enough but after a century of western experience, some British, some French some German recently American one can maybe appreciate that the memories run deep and long.....and new wars don't help.
- me neither personally speaking. But I know my countries' history and I know they have not a lot to feel happy about with my lot and I think it's similar with yours.
- I suppose the point is that we recognise that reality and try and do something to change it. Of course you personally didn't 'do' it just like I didn't either.
- well I'll agree 'that's what it says on the tin'. I can't say I agree that it's true as I have been reading about the plans of the neo-con right and their ME plans. IMO this was a war they were just itching to start if only they could have a sufficiently convenient reason come up.
I don't believe that you or I risk that state of barbarism you say you fear....except for the possibility that it might come about from our own damaging paranoia as we over-react.
- well Israel and the rest of the ME for one.....and possibly more importantly a global economic system that supports the gross over-consumption of the west at the expense of the rest of the world for another.
- because according to some much of politics works on the basis of 'will' and 'direction'. By creating certain conditions it can be believed that despite a unilateral act others may follow the path laid out.
That I believe was the hope of the neo-cons in this but it has not worked out IMO.
which, let's face it, in view of where the US started this in world opinion (ie the vast well of sympathy and good will world-wide) was incredible.
- naaa, I meant Bush by that. He's the idiot that blew all that positive will that was available IMO. How do you go from a world full of allies and support to almost none like he did and get away with it?
- Well, Richard Clark and others would say you blew your chances there by first delaying and then diverting the Afghanistan efforts.
- ok, but seriously Ireland has shown clearly that wherever you are coming from in the 'terrorist' arguement it is all to easy to descend to the barbarian. It happens in every war, hopefully in small scale and it doesn't poison society too deeply but the manner of fighting the war is something to consider seriously too.
Wars have a habit of always making very persuasive arguements in favour of cranking up the ante when the really hard but sensible thing to be considering - or at least never lose sight of - is how to stop them.
- Naaa mate, a rejection of simplistic 'black and white', 'either or' arguements is always a good thing....especially in something so serious.
- Priviledge always fights to protect itself. But I think they have lost and they know it. This IMO is last rear-guard action stuff......unless they get a new lease of life thanks to the 'help' of national unity in the face of an outside aggressor.
- I agree. The pity of it is that this could all have happened years ago if 'we' hadn't made such a hash of things during the time of the Shah.
IMO people the world over just want to be left alone to live their lives and see their folks get on. Religious nutters the world over have similar strident black and white stuff to say but the circumstances in which they say them are the difference IMO.
- awww and I thought I was doing you the courtesy of a series of comments point by point to yours.
Wow long one. Apologies. Hope you find enough in it to be worth it.
Originally posted by Q
Funny, I don't remember mentioning the UN. But hey, since you threw it out there: The UN is worthless and corrupt. That's right. They do nothing, they are nothing. The UN indeed would not exist without the US. Face facts: they cannot do so much as pay for their own electricity.
Originally posted by Q
Fair enough. I misread your intent as a flame on the person, rather than on the idea. (Perfectly understandable mistake on this board!)
Most WMD programs do indeed cost big $$. However, as proven on 9/11, it does not take a weapons program to cause mass destruction--only intent and deviousness to pull it off. Of course, by this logic, every country with a civillian aviation program becomes a suspect, and obviously this can't happen.
If enough money/trade resources are put into play
WMD can also be purchased sans the expense of having your own program.
As we've seen with the Pakistani/N. Korean missles-for-nuke-tech tradeoff, it can no longer be depended on that development in only one area would preclude capability in another. Honestly, if N. Korea would stop slinging ICBM's/ICBM designs at any shady regime with a sackful of wheat to offer, it would help immensely.
Of course, if such an "event" were to occur, there would be swift and deadly retribution on the perpetrators.
However, this has been somewhat effectively countermeasured by the decentralized nature of Al-Qaeda.
You can't well justify razing a city of 2 million just because there's 1,000 terrorists mixed in amongst them.
Savvy enough to make the sarin, but not savvy enough to use it correctly.
For example: were a terrorist group to lay hands on the equivalent of a soda can full of VX, all they'd have to do is find one "martyr" with enough talent to infile without arousing suspicion.
Provided, indeed. That's the real 'bugger' of this situation (hope I used your slang correctly there )
I wouldn't so much call it a double standard as judging each case individually. Israel isn't going to nuke anyone unless they (once again) get ballsy and try to wipe them out.
Noting how long they've had them, and not used them despite several clear temptations will attest to this.
Pak-India posession, while troublesome, isn't that threatening because, at most, they'd just wipe one another out.
That and the rumour that we actually have de facto "control" of the Pak arsenal (whether through official or unofficial means).
Rogue nations with WMD are like sitting in a small room with a monkey who has a loaded revolver in his hand--sure, he may not know what kind of power he's dealing with, but he does have opposable thumbs and the capability to shoot. Add to this a mean temperment, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Take N. Korea for example (a much greater threat than Iran, IMO),
who uses WMD as a tool to extort aid from their neighbors and the whole rest of the world on a continual basis. If everyone had these things, the world would be a cinder by now.
I'm afraid there isn't much doubt there anymore. Their actions in the nuclear area speak for themselves (building heavy water reactor vs. light water, etc.), and they have publicly announced their intent, "challenging" everyone to accept them as a member of the nuke club.
You know, I've read that. Using the burqa as an example, I would say "good if that's your choice".
Being stoned or beaten if it's not is where things go wrong. That's what freedom is about-being able to make the choice for yourself, so long as it doesn't harm anyone.
Not a believer in the death penalty, eh? Heh, we're definitely far apart on that one.
You know, (N. Ireland) was a conflict I never quite understood.
Now the US and Russia (among others) have their hands full dealing with the messes made during.
This is somewhat true, grudges can be hard to let go.
I might point out that you (to my understanding) are of Iranian descent,
I am of American (as it gets!) descent, and the two of us seem to be having a most civil (dare I say, "friendly") discussion on a pretty touchy topic.
Now, we just need some good translator software, and get about a billion or so more people posting on ATS and this whole silly 'war' matter will be resolved...
I don't believe there will be a 'neo-con' world order any more than a 'zionist', or any other faction-dominant conspiratorial takeover. With the possible exception of a PC liberal takeover, which I find truly terrifying. (I'm a centrist! Too much left OR right is not healthy, IMO.)
I'm damn proud of humanity's achievements and would not see them undone.
The people of the ME just need to chill and not take everything so seriously. Lighten up, eh? Of course, it'll never happen.
As for the gross over-consumption of the west... Hey man, I'm here, and I don't see it!
A decent standard of living is categorically not over-consumption.
The problem is that others are less demanding (or in no position to be so) of theirs. I've always said that this is one of, if not THE world's biggest problem(s).
Would a Jihadi be so eager to strap on that explosive belt and take his last waltz into a restaurant if he knew he could just go home, kick back on the couch, pop in a DVD and have a nice dinner with the missus instead? Sounds like a no-brainer to me.
This is of course unrealistic-communism tried to right this inequity, but only ended up with everybody having nothing, which is even worse. Due to the fact that some are more willing to work than others, there will always be haves and have-nots. (Don't misread this, I'm not saying the ME is full of people who won't work--I'm saying this is the human condition everywhere.)
Hee Hee. Boy, was I on the wrong page there! As I said, I doubt the sincerity of the aforementioned "sympathy and good will" on the part of many. Not saying there weren't mistakes made...
Haven't seen 'ol beardy on TV taunting us in quite some time now, have we?
I think the man's "shuffled off his mortal coil and joined the bleedin' choir invisibUle" a good ways back.
I'd have to say that this is probably due to the very nature of a terroristic act being barbarous.
Case in point: the beheadings. You can't respect an enemy who does such things.
The fact that the beheadees are categorically not the threat they're allegedly fighting aside, even if these were military personnel (a "legitimate" target), a simple bullet to the head would accomplish the militaristic goal of killing the enemy all the same.
What sort of mentality prefers the first option? Neutralize the target neatly and efficiently as possible, or with as much pain and mess as can be mustered?
Some may argue that the US' war tactics are equally barbarous, but that's just bunk.
The biggest reason our military runs into problems is because we're trying to be nice to our enemy while defeating them.
Really, how many countries would blow you to smithereens, and then go about spending billions to rebuild you back better than before, at great personal cost?
Bringing a war to it's conclusion in the fastest manner possible is always the goal.
The US could've done this in Iraq-deposed Saddam, wiped out his regime, packed up, and hopped on the first boat home.
Instead, we stay and try to bring the country back to some semblance of normality-thus showing that our goal was not conquest of Iraq or it's people, but only to get him out of there.
Courtesy, and worth it indeed. As I said, I'm rather enjoying our discussion.
Originally posted by sminkeypinkey - That's my point though. IMO in almost every conceivable possible realistic case it's not WMD's in the accepted sense we need to fear. (and there's also the matter of the forgotten about network of detectors for some of this stuff....nuclear in particular)
Why bother with something so difficult and expensive? Use a plane, an 18wheel gas tanker, an ocean-going gas tanker....you play, how many ordinary devices can be twisted into.....you know what I mean?
- well I'm sure a bunch of half-informed guys could in theory launch a scud or pershing style missile with small nuclear tip - I'm not saying that is nothing but it isn't quite as easy, concealable - or when it comes to it the level destruction - the usual notion of a rogue nation with a moden ICBM is.
Anything with serious range (and therefore a serious threat to millions in country and mine) and destructive power just isn't feasible outside of the realms of a country with years of enormous budget and research effort....even China - now - is reckoned to have less than 30 ICBMs.....ie with such an enormous lot to lose. I really can't see it myself.
- I think this is theoretically so but this 'market' is heavily watched, 'stung' and closed that there is more than something of the James Bond myth about it.
As a last resort 'we' got the deepest pockets when it comes to it.
- Unfortunately Nth Korea is another part of the world that was ravaged so cruelly in the not so distant past that their people seem to put up with the current regime if only because it isn't quite so cruel and most of all it isn't done by 'outsiders' anymore. They're a tough one but not impossible IMO.....versus the possibilities we got time and we got money. A nuked Japan just isn't worth it.
- but with an organisation like AQ you are at least back to a lesser scale of possibility rather than the fear that 'they could nuke New York, London, Paris.....and er um, Belfast'.
- No you cannot at all. Something which bugs the hell out of me in times like these is just how casual comments about turning the ME to glass etc etc get tossed about (not to mention the stupidity - even from such a 'redneck' point of view - of closing off the oil reserves of the ME, thanks to the radioactivity etc etc for a few hundred years!.)
We shouldn't be so free with that kind of talk IMO, it should outrage us just as much as someone talking with approval of an attack on 'our' innocents.
- But that's just it. Everyone (not in the know) would have said exactly the same thing about Sarin (tiny amounts, a few cc's could kill millions etc etc). Fortunately it is nothing like as simple. Don't get me wrong, Tokyo could have been worse but - done by amatuers - it was never going to be the mass-murder we fear.
- I hope so, but the constant low-level war is not inspiring much confidence for me. I'm not one to say Israel is always in the wrong but I do think they have 'not exactly helped' at times. This has led to the current horrors - a situation which now has ex-Israeli soldiers protesting it. Hardly your leftist liberal radical element, huh?
- Well my worry is that they are incapable of existing peaceably and comfortably unless they dominate the region....and who - other than Israelis - is ever seriously be happy with that? Could you imagine a situation where the US allowed itself to be dominated, permanently, by a foreign power like that, even for peace?
- Yeah but it isn't just them is it? IMO the whole reason why they were 'allowed' to acquire the weaponary in the first place was a counterweight to China. India and China have a 'history' too.
....and in this casual conversation about a small exchange here or a brief nuclear war there we're all in grave danger of forgetting that these things reall screw up the planet for a long long time. That's what I mean about this falling into easy conversation about things that should outrage us.
- Really? I hadn't heard that one.
- I have trouble with this analogy. I honestly can't believe that any nation is so dumb as to genuinely commit suicide in this way. Even a group as fundamentalist and detached as the Taliban at times attempted engagement with the outside world.
- I agree. But then again what is the nature of the threat? Is 'our' threat not much greater still? I cannot understand why we seem to have lost faith in the proven tactic of containment with positve engagement. Sure it has it's faults but it has worked.
- True. Such are the realities of the situation. They would say that were they to give up their WMD's they would be attacked, invaded and occupied....and they have a point do they not? But there are more ways to skin a cat, no? Situations change and possibilities open up. IMO Korea will settle but not by being pushed too hard too obviously from the outside.
IMO it'll come about through Sth Korea who will find a way for sufficient 'face' to be saved.
- well I don't know about that. I would not be surprised if in the current ME climate it was felt 'politic' to make these claims. They have 'constituency audiences' to be talking to too you know.......and making noises that are known to upset and worry Israel and the US go down well especially at the moment with the US in a war next door and Israel threatening what they see as their sovereignty, something they see as especially hypocritical given Israel's possession of that kind of weapon.
- Naaa, I may be a 'God-less' liberal but I don't believe we should kill each other no matter what except for the personal defense of ones' self and family....that kind of thing.
Stand by for another shock......I don't believe an armed citizenry is a good idea either!
- Then you are in good company. It's taunted many over the years. Hopefully thing are settling down (by historical standards they are).
- LOL. This is one of the things I love about the net. You may assume nothing you just deal with the subject at hand.
Naa mate, I'm a 41yr old guy in Northern Ireland of British, Irish and continental European descent. I have an (my wife would say excessive) interest in current affairs and a big gob (mouth) on me at times.
You may now start to assume things about me becasue of that information but then again you cannot be 100% certain it is true.....maybe I'm really an American in the next street/town/city to you!? Maybe you're really Irish in Ireland?
- We should all be at least able to talk in a civil fashion whether we agree with each other or not.
- Yeah well I'll agree with that....but it dsoesn't stop the buggers trying though!
- Agreed.....and we could do with understanding where the credit belongs for some of those achievements too. Lately we seem to forget that in the scale of these things we owe the ME a lot. Mathematics, writing and medicine for example all have their root there. They are absolutely not to written off as 'never produced nothing but horrific beheading video sand n*******s'. Those kind of attitudes underlie the whole damn problem IMO - whether it be our people historically or their nutters.
I'd say it's very hard to lighten up when you are condemned to a life - like your parents and their parents etc etc - of struggling cruel subsistance knowing you will most probably have children follow on in exactly the same vein.
- Of course we have trouble seeing it, it's our 'normal'.
Nevertheless you can't escape the fact that over 90% of the world's wealth is consumed by less than 10% of it's population. That is unsustainable. Period.
- I'm not saying it is. I am saying that we have lost sight of what 'decent' is and the cost we impose on the rest of humanity in maintaining our 'standards'. Thay have an entitlement to a decent life too, do they not?
- OK, I'll not say there is no truth in that but it still doesn't address the fundamental point. There is only so much wealth in the world and we got almost all of it and they have nearly none (with what there is of it concentrated in the hands of monarch 'we' have a tendancy to keep in power etc etc).
- But that's just it, that kind of normality we have come to expect either doesn't exist at all or only exists for the very few.....in between armed uprisings, wars etc etc. We have no idea is the truth of it.
- I'm not talking about a soviet style communism. I'm talking about a system that will work a man - if the work is available at all - for hours we would not tolerate for a pittance. Even with the skilled men. That is unsustainable. Then we sit around and wonder why they want to come to our countries as illegal immigrants.
The bit that really seems crazy to me is that our leaders will talk about how little can be done and our aid budgets are so tiny (not one western country gives more than 2% of its national budget in aid, tyhe US and UK are under 1%)....yet every so often due to the conflict that arises from these circumstance we are happy to throw tens of billions (in munitions) at the region in periodic wars.
- Hee hee, you were indeed. I think that's a hard view on the situation about the good will though. Maybe among the usual suspects but not in relation to most of the developed world.
- The rumour is he's Bushs' final flourish around late Oct. Who knows. I read a while back he was dead from his kidney disease, then again some seem convinced he's living well in Pakistan.
....you a Python fan?
- Well you're never going to like them that's for sure.
- yes but it doesn't accomplish the secondary goal anything like as well. Namely spreading fear and debilitating your enemies resolve.
- Well all I will say is go and have a look at the effects of certain munitions, they do much the same thing, decapitations, blowing to literal bits etc. If you were a villager whos child had been on the receiving end of a 'stray' 500lb-er, or a Hellfire missile etc etc would you make such distinctions.....or would you see any means of scaring the enemy away as legitimate?
I'm not saying it's ok, it's a disgusting crime to me too but when you get into these things suddenly they stop being quite so straight-forward and so you get pushed to ignore details and take black and white stands despite the gray. I hate that. It's asking that we apply our humanity in oe direction only and I think that's wrong.
- The British Army used to say all that kind of thing too. They saw themselves as hamstrung by having to act within the law. The thing is that how can it ever be otherwise? If our people aren't going to act within the law have they not just become a different version of terorist, 'our' terrorists? IMO you can't have it both ways. We either are or are not like them.....and if we are just like them then we really have little to complain about surely?
- But Q by that reckoning any invasion is ok if the aggressor fronts up the cost (or some of the initial costs) of rebuilding.
- That was never going to be possible.....unless the US had decided that an utterly (permanently?) chaotic ME was desirable. The oil has to be brought west. There's why it never happened like that.
- well in fairness 'shock and awe' like the several operations before it did ruin their infrastructure totally, it only seems fair, hmmm?
- Yeah agreed & for me too. This makes a nice change from some of the 'usual'!
Originally posted by Q
That's my point. Not only are actual WMD's a concern, but anything some deluded nutjob can make into one as well--and this is impossible to make a 'foolproof' defense for.
the 'greenback bomb' is undoubtedly one of the most useful and effective in the 'ol arsenal, to be sure. (I hear it was used to great effect in the run-up to GW2.)
I can go on a tear about 'glorious leader' Kim Jong-Il all day long, but I'll spare you this time.
Hee hee...had to throw in the 'ol hometown there, didn't ya? While they can't get them all, the threat of them being able to get even one is horriffic--doubly so in that they'd love to if they possibly could.
VX is a much more lethal agent. I've spent my entire life within spitting distance of one of the largest stockpiles in the world... It's nothing to play down, believe it!
Your point of 'amateurs' being predispositioned to screw things up is indeed quite valid. God help anyone who gets caught around if they don't.
The 'ol "carrot and stick", eh? Been tried for years with Kim. He just takes the carrot, takes his sweet time eating it, and by the time he's done he's whittled himself a stick big enough to make you think twice...and then tells you he wants another carrot and he'll stop whittling.
S. Korea has pushed their 'sunshine policy' pretty hard, and so far has gotten virtually nothing in return for it than an ever-growing threat.
I suppose that if I'd grown up in your neck of the woods, my views might be different.
I'm glad that things have relatively chilled out for ya over there.
Ever hop across the channel to a little place called Preston?
I hear it's not that great nowadays, but seeing as that's as far back as I can trace my heritage, it's all I can claim. (Dating back to the mid-10th century isn't too shabby anyway, IMO.)
I do try to understand your viewpoints, and I respect them.
I do not argue that there were many advances made...say, 1,000 years ago. What have they done for us lately? Self-imposed cultural and intellectual stagnation are almost a hallmark of the ME.
Not to say that there aren't great minds there--hell, 1/2 of our doctors over here are of ME descent
but the culture doesn't favor progression so much as blind obedience to tradition. It makes it difficult to make advances.
Why do you think this is? Because we are responsible for making that 90%.
Nothing I have, or could reasonably desire to obtain, is really that extravagant at all.
Is the guy in Taiwan paying $4 for a gallon of milk? (That's 3.78L to you, sminkey! )
Does he.....have a mortgage at 14.78% A.P.R. in US $?
the global market does make it anybody's game if the capability is there.
Work does not simply pop into existence.
If there were competition that treated their workers well versus the 'system' you spoke of, wouldn't all the workers want to go there?
You can still make extremely healthy profits in other countries without robbing your employees of human dignity.
Why should we be expected to?
Are we to be the source of welfare for the world?
Is that why 1/3 of my check is gone before I ever see it?
Of course I'm a Python fan. All us 'yanks' aren't entirely devoid of cultural sensibilities, you know!
Congratulations! You are the proud recipient of "Q's Understatement of the Week" award!
I question how debilitating this is to our resolve, however. Just hardens our determination, by and large.
There's of course the minority who immediately cries for complete withdrawl at the first rolling head, but they were saying the same thing before anyway.
Our munitions aren't made to do anything but eliminate the enemy. Not to torture to death, not to inflict pain--to kill, and to do so most efficiently.
it puts a lot of inner turmoil on a soldier to be told 'kill these people' on Monday, then by Friday you're rebuilding the house you just burnt.
A lot of our boys in Iraq are burnt out bad by being expected to function as a humanitarian aid/police force. That's not what armies are designed to do. I agree with your moral trappings, though: how else can it be done?
If the terrorists in Iraq really want us gone, all they gotta do is go sign up for the rebuilding. Boom, pow, the place is rebuilt, the people are happy, and the US is outta there waay sooner than we will at this rate. But noooooo......
Although we've gotta start making shorter posts...I'm losing sleep, here!
Originally posted by sminkeypinkey
- yeah I believe so, and Canada and the USA so is the US to attack Canada and itself!?