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Author Topic: Absolutely, totally DISGUSTED!!!  (Read 6193 times) Average Rating: 0
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gphadraig
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« Reply #45 on: August 28, 2004, 11:14:28 AM »

Stretlets,

You have a point in regard to the war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. Neither the British or Americans were at all prepared for the world scale conflict in any sense whatsoever. Both were not the starters of the relevant conflict but once the war was turned from one of a fight for survival to one of offence, planning began in some depth for the aftermath commenced. Indeed one success of the military government there was the resurrection of Volkswagen by a British military officer. Hence I feel I can and will make a contrast between those conflicts and this elective intervention by an administration determined to have its way.  Even President Bush has of yesterday acknowledged there were shortcomings, but his acknowledge is a very qualified one. The intelligence story, analysis and use and misuse of intelligence together with the frightening lack of human intelligence is a tale on its own which others have already reported on elsewhere.

You take Pedro to task and refer to the U.N. This administration used a considerable amount of bullying and armtwisting to get its way. It refused to allow the arms inspectors time to carry out their work which may be both indicated pointers for what was to come and given time to more comprehensively prepare. But no, theirs was one of indecent haste. And here I write as one who is less than a fan of the U.N. Iraq is only one country to fail to comply with U.N. resolutions. One other has a longer list to its discredit and is shielded from any effective consequences by........................... the U.S.

(Sorry, I am unable to access the rest of your most recent post for some reason).

However, I will and do assert I have every right, ability and access to information as other posters here and will do so. My points about U.S. allies boiling their citizens alive while American forces heavily use their countries for its operations are quietly ignored. As to WMD I suggest Iraqi 'expats' who knew the what the U.S. wanted to hear and had deep pockets fed their 'masters' with what they thought they wanted to hear!

Politicians are not merely briefed by conscientious public servants, the public servants depend on the politicians for their budgets, jobs and agencies very existence. I would not be the first informed observer to suggest that in the relationship between politicians and intelligence something was 'rotten in the state of Denmark'. This concern has been variously expressed in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, the three prinicipal Coalition partners.

The greatest power, measured in every sense, took on a third world country suffering from decades of decay under a twisted dictator. It was surprised by the speed of the Iraqi collapse. Why? This speed is the defence for the subsequent muddle, a muddle which has cost countless lives and destruction.

If anyone wants to cite Orthodox social values I am not sure were one could even begin to argue a case in support of the present administration and I am what is regarded as almost a 'fundamentalist' by many. Bullying by the large and powerful is not a characteristic of Orthodox social values, although it might be that of a secular imperialist power, to say nought of the indefensible activities of Guantanamo. But perhaps thats something for another thread.

What is directly contrary to Orthodox social values - whatever they are, are some of the aggressive and abrasive not to say gingoistic posts on this website.  Once again my apologies for not answering more comprehensively, but I am only accessing three lines of your lengthy post as I write.

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« Reply #46 on: August 28, 2004, 12:10:19 PM »

First, to gphadraig,

You have answered some of my post for me!  You did so very well, though, so thank you.  

A quick note...  my comments should not be construed as unequivocal support for any political party or candidate.  I've been sandbagged by others from both sides of the political spectrum for supporting a range of Orthodox social values...

As have I.  Don't worry; you seem to me to be much too intelligent and thoughtful to blindly support one party or person.

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Regarding your first point... were there UN sanctions against Hussein before his invasion of Kuwait?  Isn't the central pillar in the argument against the Iraq war today that there was no UN support for it?

No, and no, which is my point.  As gphadraig said, we were more than happy to be chummy with Saddam before Kuwait, even though he was murdering his people.  There were no UN sanctions before Kuwait precisely because America felt no threat before then; afterwards, however, we went over, did our thing, and the UN cooperated with us (there had been a direct threat to a sovreign nation by another sovreign nation, after all) and issued resolutions which, yes, were ignored.  Yet I maintain that UN resolutions, along with human rights organizations' statements, should have been showered down on Iraq back in the 80s when they were our friends.

Is the primary reason cited by those against the war lack of UN backing?  No, as I said.  It is a reason, as Blix et al found no evidence of weapons in any shape to do any harm.  Yes, there were WMDs.  No one denies that Saddam used them in the past.  The reasoning against going over there was, plainly and simply, becuase doing so before we were attacked by the sovreign nation of Iraq was contrary to our policy of war.  Pre-emptive war before proof positive or direct attack is dangerous and tantamount to facism.  Plus, our reasons for invading changed as we went along!  At first, the American public heard that "Saddam posseses WMDs that pose a direct threat to our national security."  No proof of this, people were uncomfortable, we go to war anyway.  Afterwards, when the WMDs aren't found, we hear, "Well, he was a dictator anyway; he just had to go anyway."

The fact remains that Iraq did not attack us; Al-Q did.  Saddam is not Bin Laden; though there were Al-Q camps in Iraq, there were so many more in Iran, Saudi Arabia (but an invasion of the latter will never happen!), and of course, Afghanistan.  Yet Iraq is the country we invade.

Which is really my beef with being in Iraq in the first place.  We're attacked by Al-Q, so we go to Afgh., where the Al-Q HQ is.  Logical and reasonable, no one has any problem with it.  Then it's almost as though America gets distracted with Iraq!  We were on a good track hunting down Bin Laden, when all of a sudden, we choose to spend the majority of our resources in Iraq (of all places), a place which, as a sovreign nation, had never been the aggressor against us, nor had they threatened us.

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On your second point, the problem is that the N. Koreans now have nuclear weapons.  Again, is the UN, particularly France and Germany, pushing for a war resolution against N. Korea?  Why bring this up now, rather than six or seven years ago when military action would have prevented the current mess on the Korean peninsula?

You misunderstand.  My point is that Bush will not do anything re: N. Korea.  Herein lies the inconsistency.  He goes off and overthrows Iraq, a country that's never threatened us with force, yet doggedly sticks to diplomacy with N. Korea, who has bragged about their ability to reach us with nukes.  That is a country I would love to see us invade, now that they're talking like this!

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What this proves is that if someone buries their weapons, chances of finding them are almost nil.

It also could be that they hurridly dismantled them and sold them for scrap...we don't know either way.

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No one can say objectively that both Iraq wars and the Afghan war were poorly planned military blunders.  It's a joke.  No previous wars were carried out with such speed and low loss of life as these conflicts.

As gphadraig said, these recent campaigns were hardly  contests of equals...which WWI and WWII were not either, strictly speaking, but the forces meeting in the fields during the WWs were on more level ground weapons-wise. Of course there would be more casualties and longer campaigns.

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The only reason we are subjected to the current hysteria is because we're in the middle of an election year.  This will all blow over afterwards.

Wrong.  The protests started in '03.  Concern started in '02.  

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The terrorists are being funded and trained by client states, which can and should be dealt with through symmetrical means, which is what we did in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And which we should (but won't) do to Saudi Arabia.  To go back to my point, though, first you go after the main cells (Afgh.), then you deal with the states, using diplomacy, then force.

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It's mighty dangerous to only look at the war on terrorism as a police problem against criminals, without taking into account the rogue state problem financing it.  It's even more dangerous to reject the use of police measures against the asymmetrical problems, as many civil libertarians advocate.

I agree.  This is complex, involving both sovreign states and international-yet-countryless organizations.

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These are all bogus arguments that essentially refute taking military action under any scenario, as someone is always going to be killed, and many of them poor and innocent.  Every one of these arguments is a excuse for the world to be living under Nazism or Communism today.

I strongly disagree with this!  I am all for increased military action in Afghanistan to (finally) root out Bin Laden.  I would support military survailance of N. Korea's weapons programs.  Nazism stopped because the Axis attacked us, and we were thus justified in taking military action; no pre-emptive stuff here!  Communism stopped (largely) because of Reagan's role in the Cold War; there was a nation threatening to "bury us," so we took the necessary actions.  Again, a justified response to a direct threat made against us by another sovreign nation.

Paz,

Pedro
« Last Edit: August 28, 2004, 12:13:33 PM by Pedro » Logged

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« Reply #47 on: August 28, 2004, 03:38:49 PM »

Thanks for your input, Pedro.  I'm still new around here, but I've enjoyed your posts in the threads I've went back and read Smiley

Stretlets,
This administration used a considerable amount of bullying and armtwisting to get its way.

This administration?  Come now.  Who was bullying whom when we attacked Serbia twice?  When we invaded Haiti?  When we launched missiles against a Sudanese pharmaceutical plant based on faulty intelligence?  Where were the UN sanctions and resolutions authorizing those conflicts?  Please save the partisan talking points, as if we never did battle against other countries before 2001.

Stretlets,It refused to allow the arms inspectors time to carry out their work which may be both indicated pointers for what was to come and given time to more comprehensively prepare. But no, theirs was one of indecent haste.

It's Strelets, by the way.  The US doesn't "allow" arms inspectors to carry out their work.  This was up to Iraq.  The only reason they were let back in was through the credible and impending use of force.  To say that holding Iraq accountable to the peace terms of the 1991 peace treaty, and putting an end to twelve years of blocked arms inspections is indecent haste is a joke.  Perhaps after another twelve years of games and subterfuge, going to war would only be defined as haste, rather than indecent haste.

My points about U.S. allies boiling their citizens alive while American forces heavily use their countries for its operations are quietly ignored. As to WMD I suggest Iraqi 'expats' who knew the what the U.S. wanted to hear and had deep pockets fed their 'masters' with what they thought they wanted to hear!

I take it you believe our military's purpose is to protect the citizens of every country from human rights abuses?  Hussein's torturing of his people was not the primary goal of the war, only a supporting one.  The Iraqi expats had convinced the French, British, and Russian intelligence services, not to mention Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and the UN.  The idea that the current presidential administration was the only one who believed WMD's existed in Iraq has been refuted successfully, which makes the supposed armchair intelligence experts look ridiculous to keep repeating it.

Bullying by the large and powerful is not a characteristic of Orthodox social values, although it might be that of a secular imperialist power, to say nought of the indefensible activities of Guantanamo. But perhaps thats something for another thread.

Defining our action in Iraq and Afghanistan as bullying is the moral equivalency, not to mention intellectual dishonesty, that I and many others criticize.  The folks who say we have bullied Iraq, and our current president is a bigger terrorist than bin Laden, have zippo credibility, especially when assaulting Serbia, Haiti, and Sudan never gets labelled as bullying and the president carrying out those attacks is never called a Nazi.

As far as Orthodox values are concerned, the Fathers didn't regard every military action as bullying, nor were they absolute pacifists.  The writings are a mix of opinions, while many sought to show that circumstances had to be taken into account instead of making sweeping moral judgements.  St. Basil wrote in his first Canonical Letter to Amphilochius that "Our fathers have not, in fact, held the homicides committed in warfare to be murders, thus pardoning, it seems to me, those who have taken up the defence of justice and of religion. However, it would be good to advise them to abstain from communion for three years since their hands are not pure."  St. Athanasius' Epistle to Amun refers to killing in war: "...thus it is not right to commit murder, but to kill enemies in war is lawful and praiseworthy."  St. Ambrose wrote, "And that course which either protects the homeland against barbarians, in war, or defends the weak at home, or saves ones comrades from brigands, is full of righteousness."  About taking orders to kill in battle, St. Clement of Alexandria said, "Has knowledge of God taken hold of you while engaged in military service? Listen to the commander, who orders what is right." (Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. II, p. 200.)  And St. Augustine wrote a letter to a Roman commander (Boniface) who contemplated laying down his command because he was a Christian.  Augustine wrote, "Do not think that no one can please God who serves with arms..." and "yet everyone ... has his own gift from God... Others, therefore, fight against unseen foes by praying for you, and you work for them by fighting against the visible barbarians."

Let's not get into the business of trashing other Orthodox Christians on this board by claiming they aren't Orthodox for supporting the Iraq war, for reasons they believe to have legitimate support from the Fathers, unless you'd like to put under the microscope those who support pro-choice politicians or pro-war politicians of an opposing party (which would include Kerry, who said he would have still sent troops into Iraq even knowing ahead of time the WMD's weren't there, a move even I wouldn't support because its implicit premise is that we should fight wars solely to fix social problems in other countries).
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« Reply #48 on: August 29, 2004, 01:59:22 AM »

Thanks for your input, Pedro.  I'm still new around here, but I've enjoyed your posts in the threads I've went back and read Smiley

Thanks!
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« Reply #49 on: August 29, 2004, 03:33:46 PM »

First, my apologies Strelets, for re-naming. Age related eyesight impairment!

Second, I have visitors and so my duties as host do not premit a leisured response to your post. Forgive me.

Third, I am unhappy on your ready attributing, on little evidence, of partisanship. You make your points and express your view, and I mine. As a point of information, I strenuously protested about previous administrations foreign policy follies, including the attack political, diplomatic and military on Yugoslavia. However this present debacle is the responsibility of Bush, Jr.

And it not just I that accuse the United States of bullying but others including the oldest bishop of the Church of Greece, a man who previously has stood up to the Gestapo in occupied Greece.

You are wrong regarding the arms inspectors. Mr Hussein did ensure the arms inspectors task was made difficult to impossible over a very long period, but he ordered the increase of cooperation in later times. This came, no doubt, as he saw the determination of the present administration and the array of arms bearing down on him. But the plugged was pulled basically by George W Bush. Hans Blix and others have written extensively on this and the matter is one of public record.

Your arguements over the use of force are interesting but again I prefer the view of an old, wise and very strict Orthodox bishop who despite presiding over a remote diocese has a very broad view of the world and those in it, past and present.

No, I do not expect the U.S. military to act as policeman to the world, whether on human rights or on any other matter. The military are an instrument of state policy, they do not set state policy. The American government has not only been complicit by remaining silent and supporting monsters - including the present ruler of Uzbekhistan - but have actively sought to discredit one who did expose them - destroying his own career in the process. They then helped destroy his reputation. This conduct has happened before. U.S. personnel even train these creatures own security forces if such is deemed in the American interest. My accusation, Sir, stands.

I am a pacifist. No, I have in mind that the Gentile who made the greatest impression on Our Saviour during his earthly sojourn was a soldier. No less an officer of the occupying army. I too recall the late Metropolitan Philaret's teaching on this. Being a soldier and servings ones country is an honourable role. My own family have been soldiers for generations with some effect.

You have put forward your views, Strelets, and I and others do not agree. You sight this and that to support the same. There are many, veterans, serving and retired seniours, members of the services and the guard as well as politicians and ordinary men and women who ask the question, why are we there? And they have as much information as you or I.

As to your closing remarks I am totally at a loss. Orthodox people are Orthodox people. Whether they agree on this or that point or attribute an Orthdox viewpoint to something where it doesn't exist has nothing to do with their Orthodoxy. I query the notion some have of Orthodox social values, something you brought up if I recall correctly.

Anyway, I am off for a fortnight. Folks to entertain and all.......
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« Reply #50 on: August 29, 2004, 11:09:53 PM »

gphadraig,

That said, I'll let your final comments rest the debate, at least with me.  Perhaps others will find greater enjoyment in playing tug of war over the rotting carcass of national politics.  As for myself, I'm going on a self-imposed fast from political discussions online.  There are religious values that inform my politics, derived from my growing faith in Orthodoxy, and not vice versa.  My past voting habits are consistent and my leanings toward a candidate in the upcoming election are rapidly solidifying.  Therefore, I don't feel I can argue the Iraq war or other hot topics without my increasing bias creeping in and finding myself writing things of an uncharitable nature towards my Christian brothers and sisters.

I bid you adieu in this discussion, and hopefully we'll meet in another, more hospitable thread.  Forgive me for any offense I may have caused.

Richard.
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« Reply #51 on: August 30, 2004, 12:42:24 AM »

Quote
It's Strelets, by the way.  The US doesn't "allow" arms inspectors to carry out their work.  This was up to Iraq.  The only reason they were let back in was through the credible and impending use of force.  To say that holding Iraq accountable to the peace terms of the 1991 peace treaty, and putting an end to twelve years of blocked arms inspections is indecent haste is a joke.  Perhaps after another twelve years of games and subterfuge, going to war would only be defined as haste, rather than indecent haste.

Stelets, thanks for your common sense approach to this issue.  I am a big supporter of this war due to the merits of why we are there in the first place. It seems everyone in here still doesn't understand that the first gulf war never ended, there was just a cease fire agreement in place as agreed upon with the U.N. & Sadam Hussein that he would cooperate with the resolutions in place, which he kept breaking.  We had the right to go in anytime we wanted to due to the resolutions being broken. We strategically placed thousands of military personal on the Kuwait border for this reason after gulf war 1.  There was no pre - emption on our part, we held up our end of the bargain that we would go in again as the first resolution stated if Sadam did not cooperate.  The President still spent the better part of 1 year working with a broad coalition of nations & giving Sadam plenty of warning ahead of time stating our intentions if he didn't cooperate.

Quote
I take it you believe our military's purpose is to protect the citizens of every country from human rights abuses?  Hussein's torturing of his people was not the primary goal of the war, only a supporting one.  The Iraqi expats had convinced the French, British, and Russian intelligence services, not to mention Bill Clinton, Al Gore, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and the UN.  The idea that the current presidential administration was the only one who believed WMD's existed in Iraq has been refuted successfully, which makes the supposed armchair intelligence experts look ridiculous to keep repeating it.

Good points. Kerry & the others are like monday night quaterbacks. They all made the same claims, but once it didn't go down like they thought it would they came up with some big "nuances" , along with bashing the President for political points.

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Defining our action in Iraq and Afghanistan as bullying is the moral equivalency, not to mention intellectual dishonesty, that I and many others criticize.  The folks who say we have bullied Iraq, and our current president is a bigger terrorist than bin Laden, have zippo credibility, especially when assaulting Serbia, Haiti, and Sudan never gets labelled as bullying and the president carrying out those attacks is never called a Nazi.

Ditto. We are the one's being honest to the letter of the U.N. resolutions that gave us the right to go in due to Sadam's noncompliance.  We were true on our end of the deal via the 17 U.N. resolutions, the rest that were against us are just acting on emotions or thier own interest.



Quote
Let's not get into the business of trashing other Orthodox Christians on this board by claiming they aren't Orthodox for supporting the Iraq war, for reasons they believe to have legitimate support from the Fathers, unless you'd like to put under the microscope those who support pro-choice politicians or pro-war politicians of an opposing party (which would include Kerry, who said he would have still sent troops into Iraq even knowing ahead of time the WMD's weren't there, a move even I wouldn't support because its implicit premise is that we should fight wars solely to fix social problems in other countries).

I agree. I never understood the pro-choice candidate supporters in so many christian churches. Your point about the monday night quaterbacking by those politicians that have flip flopped on the war also rings true.



Quote
Is the primary reason cited by those against the war lack of UN backing?  No, as I said.  It is a reason, as Blix et al found no evidence of weapons in any shape to do any harm.  Yes, there were WMDs.  No one denies that Saddam used them in the past.  The reasoning against going over there was, plainly and simply, becuase doing so before we were attacked   by the sovreign nation of Iraq was contrary to our policy of war.  Pre-emptive war before proof positive or direct attack is dangerous and tantamount to facism.  Plus, our reasons for invading changed as we went along!  At first, the American public heard that "Saddam posseses WMDs that pose a direct threat to our national security."  No proof of this, people were uncomfortable, we go to war anyway.  Afterwards, when the WMDs aren't found, we hear, "Well, he was a dictator anyway; he just had to go anyway."

How hard would it be to put some WMD's in some Diesel trucks & move them across the border to Syria??? Just because we havn't found the weapons he used on numerous occasions against his enemies doesn't mean they now don't exist. There was also no pre - emption on our part. Sadam invaded Kuwait & we responded. The U.N. passed a cease fire agreement in the first resolution stating that Sadam had to cooperate with the international community which he didn't. The resolution gave us the right to go back in & disarm Iraq if he didn't comply. For this reason, we strategically left thousands of troops on the Kuwait border and added to our postions in Saudi Arabia. Bush didn't even have to go back to the U.N. for yet another resolution reinstating the others. After 17 broken resolutions, how much longer were we going to wait & twitle our thumbs???
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« Reply #52 on: August 30, 2004, 04:53:00 PM »

Strelets,

Just dropped in quickly. Thank you for your response. Yes, and John Howard too now faces an election. So politics will be much in the air.

Between us there are fundamental disagreements over the Iraq situation. As you say that does not mean we cannot find other areas were our views are closer. That I look forward to finding. With warm best wishes and my congratulations on your prinicipled stance.

Pedro,

Thank you too, fella. We will meet again on one thread or another but not for ten days or so. Be seeing you...........

Keep the faith both
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