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Author Topic: Hypocrisy? Or maybe I am just not getting it.  (Read 12764 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jennifer
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« Reply #45 on: March 24, 2003, 06:37:02 PM »

Quote
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[quote author=anastasios
Like that makes a difference?  We've made significant progress in the world in the past 20 years.  It doesn't matter that we once supported Saddam.  Or that we overlooked his evil then.  We have "grown up" and recognize that it is wrong to support tyrants just because they are nice to U.S. interests.  Do we still have sticky connections with tyrants? Yes.  On the same level as before? No.  Do we have a commitment to encouraging freedom for all peoples, that we did not have a few decades ago? Yes.

You sound very naive here.  What proof do you have the US has "grown up" and doesn't support nasty regimes like it did before?  Despite our rhetoric, we never had a commitment to "encouraging freedom for all peoples" then or now if it got in the way of our interests.  We helped to crush many democratic regimes in the name of anti-communism.  Our own president wasn't even elected democratically for goodness sakes!  Aside from Iraq, what's going on in Afghanistan is appalling.  We're farming out the dirty work to the Northern Alliance and Pakistan.  Since our troops are officially not allowed to engage in torture to obtain confessions, we hand prisoners over to the Pakistanis and the Northern Alliance (and I think Syria) all well known to us to use torture.  

[quote author=anastasios
As far as El Salvador, you really show your left-wing bias. My many, many friends from El Salvador by and large felt that BOTH sides were to blame, but in general supported the right wingers over the crazy FLMN, especially since the right wing death squads.  Many of my friends were at schools that were attacked by the FLMN when they stole the children and forced them into guerilla slavery.  On top of that, why were the right-wing death squads formed in the first place? As a *reaction* to the FLMN.  And who supported the FLMN? The communists!  So I have to ask,what's your point?  El Salvador and Iraq are totally different situations!

In college, I had a friend from El Salvador who would agree with you that both sides were to blame.  His family left the Catholic Church and "got saved" because they believed the Catholic Church supported the rebels.  However, as a member of the ruling class, he probably was a bit biased.  

BTW, your justification for the war is completely off base.  You claim that we have a "Christian" duty to protect the innocents in Iraq.  But what you fail to understand is that Christians are justified in using force in self defense or to save the life of another only if the threat is imminent.  For example, if a friend was to attack his wife in front of you, you would be justified in using force against him.  Of course the force used has to reasonable.  If your friend used his fist, using a gun would probably not be justified.  But if your friend told you that he planned on killing his wife tomorrow, you are not allowed to use force against him tonight.  In our justice system, that would be murder.  

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« Reply #46 on: March 24, 2003, 07:15:02 PM »

Lived in India two summers, John.  My wife is Slovak and lived her life there.  Most of my friends are from El Salvador.  What's your point?

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« Reply #47 on: March 24, 2003, 07:20:48 PM »

Brian,

What's up with your post?  I said "I don't support what the death squads did."  How dare you say that I support it??  Don't you read the whole thing?  How dare you say I think the priests deserved death?? I DID NOT SAY THAT.

It seems you are not able to look at the issue in a complex manner.  One can say that it is wrong to kill someone and yet still examine WHY someone was killed.  For instance, I think it is wrong that drug dealers kill their opponents.  Yet if I am selling drugs in their territory, while I don't in any way DESERVE death, it should not be surprising.  Likewise, no priest deserves death but *************IF**************** they help rebels, it is CONCEIVABLE that the death squad might come after them.

Stop bearing false witness against your neighbor, please.  Perhaps you misunderstood me due to my poor choice of words or my general ignorance but I don't in any way support murdering innocent people! Please!

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« Reply #48 on: March 24, 2003, 08:06:05 PM »



 I'm sorry, but you do say "What were the Catholic priests who got killed doing??  Were they helping the FMLN?"

    The implication is there for someone to say "oh they were political, then they could be killed.  It was a war after all"

           Whether the priests went to the extent of helping the FMLN or not (and there are precedents in the Jesuit resistance to the suppression of the Indian "reductions" in what is now Paraguay in the 18th Century) this should never be a case of blaming the victims.  There is also the non sequitar "the other priests did not get killed"  Now what is that supposed to mean??  The Salvadoran military got to the point that they were targeting Catholic clergy.
      I'm sorry but to see that quote in your post was shocking.  If I misread it, I am very sorry but I did read the entire post.

                                   Brian
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« Reply #49 on: March 24, 2003, 10:24:02 PM »

>>> I'm sorry, but you do say "What were the Catholic priests who got killed doing??  Were they helping the FMLN?"

    The implication is there for someone to say "oh they were political, then they could be killed.  It was a war after all"<<<

Nope, not at all, and you are wrong for reading that into it.  My implication was exactly what I said when I restated my position, which is why I prefaced my first post with "I do not support what the death squads did."  I don't, for the record, think that those priests deserved to die.  You do know, however, that some of the priests hid those FLMN terrorists in their Churches and let them store weapons in rectories, etc., which while I will reiterate DOES NOT mean they deserve death certainly puts blood on their hands as well.  I did also speak up about the many priests who WERE KILLED FOR THEIR HELPING THE POOR and said that we need to look at that, too.

Really I don't like forming strong opinions on issues like this that I don't have access to lots of information about.  I like to think out loud, express what I think based on the limited evidence I do have, and see what people have to say.  That's why I say things like "perhaps" and "we need to examine" and "I wonder why..." because I sincerely am looking for the answers just like you are.

>>>There is also the non sequitar "the other priests did not get killed"  Now what is that supposed to mean??  The Salvadoran military got to the point that they were targeting Catholic clergy.<<<

What I meant by that was that some priests got killed, some did not.  I would like to see if there WAS random killing of Catholic priests based on their status AS PRIESTS or if there is evidence that the ones killed were the ones aiding and abetting the terrorist guerrillas.  What we should do with that evidence, I make no judgements.  I just would like to know.

As far as blaming the victim, again for the fifth time I will say I don't think any priest or any person for that matter deserves to die.  I do not think that priests should be involved in aiding rebels or the militias of either side, either, though.

>>>I'm sorry but to see that quote in your post was shocking.  If I misread it, I am very sorry but I did read the entire post.<<<

I don't think I think what you think I think  Huh  Have I clarified my thoughts on this or do you think I'm way off base?  I do appreciate yours and others' comments.

Sincerely,

anastasios
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« Reply #50 on: March 24, 2003, 10:26:12 PM »

Like that makes a difference?  We've made significant progress in the world in the past 20 years.
progress? Shocked Huh

Anastasios, with all due respect, you need to spend some time living somewhere other than the USA for a while. I hear Kosovo is beautiful in the Spring, at least it used to be.

John.

I already responded to your post with a quick response but I would like to flush out something you said.  I don't agree with the war in Kosovo, but I do have to say that yes, I still believe we have made great progress.  We still have a long way to go, but we are taking the steps.  More active particpation in the United Nations and less confrontation with countries who disagree with us are the next steps.  Stopping supporting many of the murderous tyrants of the past are steps we have already taken.

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« Reply #51 on: March 24, 2003, 10:52:46 PM »

Jennifer,

You like to call people naive, immature, etc., and have made personal attacks on people on this board several times.  Here you did it again and I have to wonder, what makes you the judge?  You say I am naive, but I think you are naive as well, specifically because of your support of the Jewish terrorist state.  Instead of calling me naive (which makes you come across as cocky) why not try and respond to my points without the commentary.  BTW, do you have a degree in political science?  I do so unless you do I am less inclined to take your political commentary seriously.

>>>We helped to crush many democratic regimes in the name of anti-communism.<<<

Yes, we did, and it was wrong.  Thankfully we are not doing that now.

>>> Our own president wasn't even elected democratically for goodness sakes!<<<

No, he was not elected democratically, which is not the way that the US elects presidents since it is not a democracy but a REPUBLIC.  He was elected constitutionally by the electoral college which is the constitutional way that presidents are elected in this country, and thus he is legitimate.

>>>Aside from Iraq, what's going on in Afghanistan is appalling.  We're farming out the dirty work to the Northern Alliance and Pakistan. <<<

Where is the proof of that?  Last time I saw, the Afghanis are darn glad we went there and things are going well.

>>>Since our troops are officially not allowed to engage in torture to obtain confessions, we hand prisoners over to the Pakistanis and the Northern Alliance (and I think Syria) all well known to us to use torture.<<<

Yeah right, where's your proof?
In college, I had a friend from El Salvador who would agree with you that both sides were to blame.  His family left the Catholic Church and "got saved" because they believed the Catholic Church supported the rebels.  However, as a member of the ruling class, he probably was a bit biased.  

>>>BTW, your justification for the war is completely off base.  You claim that we have a "Christian" duty to protect the innocents in Iraq.  But what you fail to understand is that Christians are justified in using force in self defense or to save the life of another only if the threat is imminent.<<<

Sources please?  Maybe you would like to read the book "Just and Unjust Wars" which debates the morality of preeminent strikes.  Plus, the idea of immenent is vague and cloudy.  I'd rather trust the intelligence ability of the CIA over CNN.

>>> For example, if a friend was to attack his wife in front of you, you would be justified in using force against him.  Of course the force used has to reasonable.  If your friend used his fist, using a gun would probably not be justified.  But if your friend told you that he planned on killing his wife tomorrow, you are not allowed to use force against him tonight.  In our justice system, that would be murder.<<<

Makes no difference, as Saddam is guilty of conspiring to commit terrorist attacks (we just found a chemical plant, and don't forget the Salman Pak terrorist camps).  That's a crime, too.

Why do you support us supporting Israel but are otherwise against intervention??

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« Reply #52 on: March 24, 2003, 11:29:32 PM »

Quote

You do know, however, that some of the priests hid those FLMN terrorists in their Churches and let them store weapons in rectories, etc., which while I will reiterate DOES NOT mean they deserve death certainly puts blood on their hands as well.  I did also speak up about the many priests who WERE KILLED FOR THEIR HELPING THE POOR and said that we need to look at that, too.
   
Anastasios,
              What I'm trying to get here is that both of us were not in those villages that for generations were under great oppression and poverty. I certainly cannot put myself in the place of those priests who saw this situation every day and say "oh you are wrong there for getting involved too politically or even aiding a guerrilla group"  I have lived a pretty middle class existance like many of us.  I don't think I could know what life like or was like in the Salvadoran villages in the 80's and make the judgement of those priests.  Some of them probably crossed the line in some ways but again,  I have not lived with grinding poverty.  Here i am not excusing the human rights violations of the FMLN but Amnesty and Human Rights have said that the propensity of them was very much on the side of the death squads in the 80's.  



Quote
Really I don't like forming strong opinions on issues like this that I don't have access to lots of information about.  I like to think out loud, express what I think based on the limited evidence I do have, and see what people have to say.  That's why I say things like "perhaps" and "we need to examine" and "I wonder why..." because I sincerely am looking for the answers just like you are.


       Well, It just kind of riled me to see those words  of yours (I think directed at Aklie) of "left-wing bias"  Alkie from what I know is a committed and good Christian and happens to be on the left politically.  So am I.  The buzzwords of left and right are thrown around too blithely especially in the talk-show driven debates in the US today.

Quote
What I meant by that was that some priests got killed, some did not.  I would like to see if there WAS random killing of Catholic priests based on their status AS PRIESTS or if there is evidence that the ones killed were the ones aiding and abetting the terrorist guerrillas.


         Again, I think if we are going to use the word terrorist, we do have to use that word for the death squads of the right and to refer to Amnesty and Human Rights watch documents of the period.  Certainly, to be fair, the FMLN were not the same as for example, the Shining Path guerrillas of Peru.  


  What we should do with that evidence, I make no judgements.  I just would like to know.

              and please forgive me, a sinner, for sounding too dogmatic before.

Quote
As far
I do not think that priests should be involved in aiding rebels or the militias of either side, either, though.

         in a perfect world of middle class America, I don't think they should either.  Smiley
   
Quote
I don't think I think what you think I think  Huh  Have I clarified my thoughts on this or do you think I'm way off base?  I do appreciate yours and others' comments.

         Please forgive me for my burst of anger in my previous post.  Thank you for your openness to see other sides.  We might not agree politically but we can discuss things civilly. I need to get that into my thick head at times when passions flare Smiley


Quote
Sincerely,

anastasios
       Peace,
         Brian

I cleaned up the quotes on this post to make it easier to read.  Our board's quotes features are not easy to use!  --anastasios
« Last Edit: March 25, 2003, 08:45:03 AM by anastasios » Logged

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« Reply #53 on: March 24, 2003, 11:51:34 PM »

You like to call people naive, immature, etc., and have made personal attacks on people on this board several times.  Here you did it again and I have to wonder, what makes you the judge?  You say I am naive, but I think you are naive as well, specifically because of your support of the Jewish terrorist state.  Instead of calling me naive (which makes you come across as cocky) why not try and respond to my points without the commentary.

I wrote you "sound very naive" not that you are naive.  Anyone who writes that the US has "grown up" sounds naive in light of recent events.  Your comments about how America has learned its lesson and does not support dictators as much as it did in the past is disproved by what is going on in Afghanistan which I discussed in my post.  

"BTW, do you have a degree in political science?  I do so unless you do I am less inclined to take your political commentary seriously."

This is almost funny in light of your position.  If political science majors are learning about how the US has "grown up" and now supports democracy throughout the world then I can't have much respect for the degree.  

"Thankfully we are not doing that now."

Again, this is just funny.  

"No, he was not elected democratically, which is not the way that the US elects presidents since it is not a democracy but a REPUBLIC.  He was elected constitutionally by the electoral college which is the constitutional way that presidents are elected in this country, and thus he is legitimate."

Uh-huh, even us non-political science majors understand this.  However, there are many legal scholars who have serious reservations about the Supreme Court's decision to hear Bush v. Gore.  In your political science classes, did you read the case?  Are you familiar with the case and controversy requirement in the US Constitution?  As Justice Stevens wrote in his dissent, the Constitution gives responsibility to the states to determine how to select the presidential electors and the Court has usually accepted the opinions of the state's highest courts regarding state law.  The Court never before questioned how a state determines when a vote is legally cast.  One of the dissenting justices wrote that the majority opinion disrupts the republican system of government. The best the defenders of the outcome of Bush v. Gore can do is point to pragmatic concerns, i.e. Judge Posner's (know who he is?) opinion that it averted a "constitutional shipwreck."  FYI, I voted for Bush and I was oblivious to the constitutional delimma posed by Bush v. Gore because I was glad my candidate won and I hated Bill Clinton.  But now I see that Bush is a warmonger and I'm ashamed that I ever supported him.  And now I see how his administration began on shaky constitutional grounds.  

"Where is the proof of that?  Last time I saw, the Afghanis are darn glad we went there and things are going well."

Human Rights Watch disagrees.  

"Yeah right, where's your proof?"

Of course it can't be true because the US has "grown up."  As you say "yeah right."  Check out the Human Rights Watch site.  (www.hrw.org)

"Sources please?  Maybe you would like to read the book "Just and Unjust Wars" which debates the morality of preeminent strikes.  Plus, the idea of immenent is vague and cloudy.  I'd rather trust the intelligence ability of the CIA over CNN."

I could make my naive comment again here.  I frankly don't have much respect for either the so-called intelligence of the CIA or CNN.  As for the "vagueness" of imminence, the criminal justice system manages to muddle through just fine.  As for pre-emptive strikes, the pope has condemned them and I think he knows a lot more about the horrors of war than anyone in the Bush Administration.  

"Makes no difference, as Saddam is guilty of conspiring to commit terrorist attacks (we just found a chemical plant, and don't forget the Salman Pak terrorist camps).  That's a crime, too."

Do you believe everything you see on CNN?  Before the last gulf war they told us the evil Iraqis were taking babies out of incubators and now we know that was a big lie.  Iraq is a bloody regime, like many others, but we do not have the right to unilaterally decide that is it illegitimate.  Who is President Bush to demand that the leader of a country step down and leave the country within 48 hours?  

"Why do you support us supporting Israel but are otherwise against intervention??"

I don't support military intervention in Israel.  As for your accusation that I'm "naive" because I support the state of Israel, I am well aware of the many horrible things Israel has done to the Palestinians.  I'm very conflicted about Zionism.  Regardless I don't think Israel is going away.  There are millions of Jews currently living in Israel.  The only solution is a Palestinian state and a Jewish state, IMHO.  That's a compromise, of course.  And nobody will be made whole.  There's just no making it right, IMHO.  I'm reminded of what the Satmar Rebbe (vehmently opposed to Zionism) said about this.  He refused to have anything to do with the State of Israel which he regarded as a sin.  But on the other hand, he believed that giving Israel back to the Palestinians would result in the deaths of many Jews.  That's why he never went as far as the NK in actively aiding the Palestinian cause.  

BTW, before you throw terms like "Jewish terrorist state" around, you'd better look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that the root cause of zionism is European anti-semitism.  We're both from a people and a culture that has been profoundly anti-semitic for two thousand years.  Oppression breeds more oppression.  Herzl became a zionist after the Dreyfus affair when he realized that Europe would never accept the Jews even if they assimilated.  Most of the zionists of the early days who did all the dirty work for Ben Gurion were from the Pale.  Unfortunately the Palestinians are paying the price of sins of the Europeans.  

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« Reply #54 on: March 25, 2003, 07:51:36 AM »

We have "grown up" and recognize that it is wrong to support tyrants just because they are nice to U.S. interests. Do we still have sticky connections with tyrants? Yes. On the same level as before? No.

anastasios,

I admire your sentiment. It is one that is sympathetic to the interests, welfare and human rights of oppressed people. As I understand it, it is because of these considerations, in addition to your belief that Saddam Hussein represents a real threat to American security, that you support this war (and of course I disagree with your reasoning).

But I must really question this comment that you make. Has America changed in the past 20 years? Yes it has, for better and for worse. Of course America has grown, the American people have. Strides of progress in foreign relations and international cooperation have been made. But all it takes is one, reckless president to destroy all of this progress.

As far as the government ‘growing up’ all I can say is that the very same people that were in power in the 1980’s (George Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Condolleza Rice, etc.) are the VERY SAME people who are in office right now, with the exception that they occupy different positions now than they did then. The Regan-Bush years and the little Bush years represent a continuum of a team of policy makers only slightly disrupted by the Clinton years.  There is no evidence that they have changed anything except as to become more bolder, explicit, and to care less about the international repercussions. This is evidenced by looking at the goals of the organizations they belong to, statements and articles on foreign policy that they have written, as well as analysis of their positions in such journals like Foreign Affairs.  

One example of the hypocrisy that I am referring to and one that is obvious to anyone in the region is the differential treatment of the Kurds by the U.S. government. The Kurdish nation is an oppressed one, no doubt: But most of them live in Turkey, the US ally and NATO member, not in Iraq. Here is some background to the situation in Turkey:  

Quote
Modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal (better known as Atat++rk--"father of the Turks"), enacted a constitution 70 years ago which denied the existence of distinct cultural sub-groups in Turkey. As a result, any expression by the Kurds (as well as other minorities in Turkey) of unique ethnic identity has been harshly repressed. For example, until 1991, the use of the Kurdish language--although widespread--was illegal. To this day, any talk that hints of Kurdish nationalism is deemed separatism, and grounds for imprisonment.

The Turkish government has consistently thwarted attempts by the Kurds to organize politically. Kurdish political parties are shut down one after another, and party members are harassed and imprisoned for "crimes of opinion." Most famously, in 1994 Leyla Zana--who, three years prior, had been the first Kurdish woman elected to the Turkish parliament--was sentenced to 15 years for "separatist speech." Her party was banned. More recently, in June the leaders of the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HADEP) were sentenced to several-year prison terms for allegedly having ties with the outlawed PKK guerillas. The state prosecutors' evidence consisted largely of press releases found in
the HADEP offices from a news agency close to the PKK.

How does the US military command treat the Kurds? From an article on MSNBC: “Already, reports say Green Berets are in Kurdish-controlled areas of the north, encouraging the fractious Kurds to set aside their own disputes and enmity for Turkey and focus on Saddam[/i].”

So forget Turkey, you are only oppressed (as far as we are concerned) by Saddam. That is the only legitimate oppression that concerns our interests, forget Turkey, Turkey is our friend.

My many, many friends from El Salvador by and large felt that BOTH sides were to blame

Of  course both sides committed shameful atrocities, but both sides do not share an equal guilt in the origin and perpetration of the war. The death squads and military committed so many heinous village slaughters and political repression (ALONG WITH ALL THE OTHER LATIN AMERICAN DICTATORSHIPS LIKE GUATEMALA). Nearly 80,000 people were murdered in that conflict. According to human right organizations over 80% of these murders were committed by the death squads.  

And who supported the FLMN? The communists!

I don’t know what you mean by the ‘communists.’ If that is meant to imply that the FMLN were supported by the Communist Party of El Salvador then that is true (the communists were the last and most hesitant faction to join the front even being beaten to that by the Christian Democrats who joined before them). If you are meaning to imply that the Soviet Union, or anyone else, were involved on the ground supporting the rebels then that is simply false and has not held up to historical scrutiny. The only foreigners that were involved on a massive scale in El Salvador were American Army Special Forces and Intelligence operators. Protecting the interests of local landlords and US corporations as usual.

how far the Catholic Church was wrapped up in aiding and abetting the FLMN terrorists err freedom fighters during the heyday of 1970's "liberation theology".

So when the priests support the landlords, the elite, and the military as they did for the centuries of Spanish Conquistadors, colonialism, and brutish native rule: not a problem. When the priests support their landless peasant parishioners, endorse mass movements for land reform and civil rights, etc: we have a problem.  Without endorsing ‘liberation theology’ (which is a gross perversion of the Christian faith) it is understandable that the priests would support their oppressed parishioners in the same way that the African American Protestant Church supported the civil rights movement.

>>>We helped to crush many democratic regimes in the name of anti-communism.<<<

Yes, we did, and it was wrong. Thankfully we are not doing that now.


Wrong my brother, have you been paying attention to Venezuela lately?
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« Reply #55 on: March 25, 2003, 09:09:26 AM »

Dear Jennifer,

My political science degree gave me the tools and practice to examine issues from several points of view.  Some of our professors were realists and believed that morality has nothing to do with international relations since states are not moral entitities (think Henry Kissinger).  Others supported liberalism, and believed that individuals and non-governmental agencies (also coroporations) are major actors in world affairs on the level of states.  Still others believed in neo-realism, etc.  Therefore, please don't attempt to discredit my fine institution of learning, NC State University, over my opinions (of course, I'll admit that they are my opinions).  A political science degree certainly does not free one from emotionalism and bias, which I will freely admit that I have.  

I don't believe it's naive to say the U.S. (a great country!) has progressed, however.  I base my belief on several factors, such as seeing the U.S. go from a very arrogant position in the '70's and '80's to more conciliatory.  I also have seen that we have dropped our support of dictators left and right.  Do we have a long way to go? Yes.  Might Bush destroy the progress we've made? Perhaps.

I simply don't have the energy to address every point you made, but I will say that:

1) As for Israel, thank you for your clarification; you seem to have toned it down a bit.  If you believe that there needs to be an Israeli and a Palestinian State, I can agree with that.

2) As for your statement that you have little respect for the CIA's information, here again I'm biased towards the CIA (due to my family member having been a top-level CIA administrator when Bush Sr. was CIA director), but really if you are right or wrong, you will never really know since the CIA is "top secret"!  Wink  Nor will I for that matter!  What I can know is that the CIA people I have met are generally hard-working folks who take less $$$ than they would make in the private sector in order to help our country.  They might make mistakes, but our intelligence is great.

Sincerely,

anastasios
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« Reply #56 on: March 25, 2003, 09:33:12 AM »

Dear Samer,

Finally I have time to address your post.  Rest assured as well that all are free to post their views on this board and I take no personal offense.  Also, I skipped over a few paragraphs due to time contraints; if I missed anything you wanted me to directly address please repost the paragraph--I simply became exhausted responding to your post!  Tongue

>>>No.  It's not Christian to incinerate Iraqis and destabilize a region,

So it is better to leave a stable madman in power?  And from the war's progress, minimal casualties are being reported.

>>>and rub shoulders with Turks who are looking for a piece of the pie, whom you have already permitted to bomb Kurds in the illegal no fly zones, Kurds you betrayed in the past.  

I agree with you.  We sold out the Kurds last time.  We owe them a state (and the Assyrians one too!)

>>>There are also more ruthless tyrants than this one amongst countless others, who call for your attention. If human rights are America's concern, then Israel is the primary antagonist in that department.

I agree that Israel needs to be dropped from our support.

>>>Maybe Mr. Bush should renege his commitment of friendship and lap-dog service to a bone-fied butcher, who more than likely is clinically insane.

Agreed.  But we're talking about Iraq, not Israel!

>>>Perhaps he should break ties with the fundamentalist nutcases who search Scripture for hidden meanings every time Sharon breaks wind.

LOL! That was good! I agree!

>>>Also, I assure you that living under Saddam would have done me much less harm from a religious angle than the U.S. government's friends the Saudis, who would have me eat shit were I to merely step into Mecca.

Right, agreed from a religious point of view, but if you were not an Arab and were rather Assyrian you would have a different pov.

>>>Who allied themselves with Pol Pot, for God's sake?  Do you think Saddam amounts to anything in comparison to your government's fomer buddy?

I don't think the US knew the extent of craziness that Pol Pot was planning.  And since you make the accusation, could you please explain exactly what you would have had us to do?  I would have been against the unwinnable Vietnam War, btw.

>>>The bizarreness of this entire propaganda blitz is how the spin doctors have so personalized Saddam.  This tone of a global Crusade against an "Evil Man" (a truly insignificant one) is genuinely baffling in the world of realpolitik where we know that interests are at play.  

Insignificant? Nah, especially with the Salman Pak terrorist camps and the money going to terrorists.

>>>Do the bureaucrats in Washington honestly believe the American people are that stupid?  To not suspect that interests are at play?

Such as?  Of course we have other interests.  So does everyone else.  That's natural.  I like running this board free of charge for you all but it is also nice to get all the attention, which is my "other motive" haha  Grin

>>>Anastasios, world peace?GǪerrrGǪ."World Peace"?  I'm sorry, but you're losing me bud.  You're not making sense anymore.  

Hahah I lose myself sometimes.

>>>What are the objectives of this war again?  And how does directly opposing an unnecessary war, death, and mayhem, rather than supporting them, stand in the way of world peace?

Same objectives as in Afghanistan, where it was successful and they are happy we came.

>>>I think the bishops have every right to ask your government to stop sending your country's young men to their deaths, and have it leave us the hell alone.

I see Pan-Arabism at work here.  You are not “us”; you are living in Canada, not Iraq.

>>>Anastasios, welcome to the world my friend.  Hurt and pain exist.  Iraq is a drop in an ocean, if one likes to seek misery and persecution.  Iraq should not be made a showcase just because the media's daily digest of propaganda happens to now focus exclusively on the career of this one man.

I don’t buy the media blame-game, especially when people like Peter Jennings try to make the US look bad as much as possible!

>>>There are places far worse in which to live if one wishes to speak of repression, and some of these are ruled by your allies.  You possess the natural instincts that recoil in hurt and rebellion at the sight of suffering from which you and many folks living in First World countries are spared, but which to us is a natural state of affairs.  That is good, but you are channeling these feelings in the wrong direction frankly, and I believe, allowing your emotions compounded with your inexperience with and lack of knowledge of the complexity of Middle Eastern politics and history to cloud your judgement, especially if

True but we can only take out one bad guy at a time ;-)


>>>you are intent at grasping at straws with this untenable myth that there is a link between Saddam and fundamentalist Islamic militants, a point laughable on its face for us who live there, and one that can only be made tangible in the twilight zone.

Sorry, but you may be just as ignorant as I.  Of course Saddam killed off Islamic fundamentalists when it suited him but we have proof that he supported terrorists, especially at the Salman Pak training camps.  You can pretend that I am believing in a myth but where's the rebuttal of Salman Pak?  You don't have all the intelligence the US gov't has nor do I, for that matter.

>>>The reaction of laughter, of Englishmen to such assertions would be fatal were they sitting on a terrace enjoying tea and eating cucumber sandwiches.  Clinging now to any semblance of this idea is grasping at straws in the wind.  These panic-stricken people are out of their league here in trying to set up any such pro-war argument based on this rediculous premise.  In fact, allow me to direct you to the Kurds for that one, the fundamentalists amongst whom are more likely to have ties with al Qaida types than the mustached menace would  No one who lives in the region I come from can take such a crazy notion seriously, much less the assertion that Saddam has any intentions of actually attacking (!) the U.S.  For someone from the Middle East to even consider this involves, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the suspension of his rational faculties for the duration of the investigation.<<<

What you are doing is trying to take the issue away from facts and play "my ignorance" (which I am ignorant and will admit it) against "the facts" and call me and others "crazy" etc.  You are trying to divert attention away from the way you yourself provide no facts to back up your statements.

As for the article I linked, I heard on the radio that we have the satellite photos to prove it.  Has anyone else heard this?

>>>Bomb the abortion "clinics" then, by that logic.  The unborn get slaughtered in the multitudes daily, and there's more killing of the unborn going on where you live than the people Saddam has ever killed.<<<

I don't see the link.  States can use force, individuals can't.

>>>Some unfortunate Japanese in '45 come to mind, casualties of a despicable Mason**<<<

LOL, you don't actually believe in conspiracy theories like that, do you?  The “Masons”? C’mon, Samer, that’s just too silly for you to believe in.  Up until this point you were making good, solid points, but you lost me with that Mason comment.  BTW I don’t think it was just for us to have nuked Japanese civilians AT ALL!

>>>Read Fr. Seraphim Rose, and note the contrast he would make between your Christian conduct in the matter of an individual case, in adherence to Christ's command to clothe the naked, feed the hungry etc., and the epic-scale statist enterprise of Pax Americana.  He distrusted misguided attempts to "change the world" or fullfill Christ's commandments on the national scale you propose, only implementable through the instrument of the state.<<<

He was not trained in politics or ethics!  And oftentimes he was wrong!  But still, please tell me where he writes of this so that I might digest it myself.


>>>You are free to join or fund local resistance movements, but should refrain from using the State, with its gargantuan capacity for destruction, as your instrument.  Plus it is fueled by stolen loot, otherwise known as tax dollars, for such purposes.  Perhaps the money's rightful owners do not wish their hard-earned labour which produced their wealth to have gone in the service of something they disapprove of as murder.  Build your own treasury of funds and go recruit combatants to join in the Iraqi battlefield.<<<

I am a statist and I will work to get the state to support my views.  I am NOT a libertarian. ;-)

>>>After the hell and misery your sanctions and bombing have put them through and the state to which they have been reduced, you find that surprising?! <<<

Let me clarify that I am against the sanctions that we imposed on the people of Iraq.  The bombing in Iraq didn’t do much damage to civilians; NBC was interviewing an Iraqi that said “in the last gulf war we knew after a day you weren’t going to hurt us so we went up on the roofs every night and watched the fireworks.”  The US this time actually dropped pamphlets saying “please do not watch the explosions from your rooftops!”


>>>Folks are not prone to welcoming liberation via incineration.  

We're not incinerating people. We are blowing up legitimate military targets, just like before.

>>>Second, America (and unfortunately, as is sometimes the case, the people by association, another example of the danger the U.S. government poses to its own civilian populace) is loathed by Iraqis and many Arabs, and propaganda is entirely unnecessary for that when you've seen the carnage caused by American military and economic weapons that I've seen. <<<
Such as?  But I will say when I have read Arab newspapers that publish in English, they usually are wildly biased in the opposite way and in no wise “fair” and “balanced.”

>>> Everyone knows Saddam is a cutthroat, and I doubt you fill find more than a handful of Arabs who will not gladly slit his throat.  Therefore, any commentary on his bad behaviour is a red herring and diversion from the core of the argument: the balkanization that will ensue, and the interests of fundamentalist Islamism and the butcher par extraordinaire, TurkeyGǪ.and Israel!  Keep your eye on Palestine in the coming days ahead.<<<

So what is the solution, then? Leave him alone??

>>>Anastasios, a neocon credo if I ever saw one.  

And that credo is the way things are now.

>>>As one of a libertarian persuasion, I believe in free trade (not exporting "democracy" and New Dealish mixed economies [misnamed "capitalism"] at gunpoint)--though I, along with Austrians (followers of the economics school), see NAFTA to be to free trade what Sharon is to peace, imposters in drag--and cultural interaction and exchange such as what the Arabs engaged in in the past.  We have always been merchants and traders and these commercial activities foster peace and goodwill.<<<

You’re against NAFTA??? Gee wiz!

>>>And I believe this, quite frankly, frightening blueprint that you draw up here of military globalism, imperium Americanum, and the dissolution of national sovereignty, is the antithesis of the aforementioned principles.  As for your plans regarding ethnicity, keep it to your parish, but keep it out of my country.  <<<

Canada?  My ideas regarding ethnicity are basically the same thing that would ensure that Canada would not break up into two countries based on ethnicity.  I don’t support making all peoples “one” or any of that nonsense.

>>>In closing, no harsh remark was at all intended against your person anastasios, but I believe the foregoing had to be said.  I think you have good motives, but your vision and perception of things I will have to disagree with vehemently.  I pray for the lives of soldiers on both sides, and knowing a war veteran, I have respect for soldiers as opposed to their unscrupulous civilian commanders.  But make no mistake; your forces are the enemy from our point of view, and without malice directed at their persons, I hope to see them defeated in combat, though that is an impossibility.  This intention is in effect as of now, since your forces are already attacking as we speak.  <<<

I don’t take offense at your views, but I wonder how you can believe in this Pan-Arab thing.  I don’t support Germany just because I am German (which I am from about 5 generations back).  My wife’s Slovak family doesn’t support Slovakia.  My El Salvadoran friends have a love for El Salvador as a “place” but don’t actually support its government.  You seem to support Saddam because he’s “one of us”.  You’ll admit that he is a murderous tyrant but them resign yourself to say “well there are other evil ones out there, too” as if that makes it suddenly ok to leave him alone.  What would you do with Saddam and Iraq?  I’m curious.

Sincerely,

anastasios
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« Reply #57 on: March 25, 2003, 02:30:10 PM »

I don't believe it's naive to say the U.S. (a great country!) has progressed, however.  I base my belief on several factors, such as seeing the U.S. go from a very arrogant position in the '70's and '80's to more conciliatory.  I also have seen that we have dropped our support of dictators left and right.  Do we have a long way to go? Yes.  Might Bush destroy the progress we've made? Perhaps.

A US president has never before demanded that the legitimate leader of a government leave the country within 48 hours.  I'd say our arrogance has increased.  At least back in the bad old days of the 70's and 80's, we knew we weren't the only superpower.  We knew that we couldn't act unilaterally because it would risk a war with the Soviets.  I get the feeling that Bush thinks he can do whatever he wants because he's the biggest kid on the playground.  So he gets to decide when "regime change" has to occur.  Who is he to decide who can run Iraq?  As for our "conciliatory" behavior, the US has never before acted in flagrant disregard of the United Nations.  

BTW, given your philosophy of intervention, why wouldn't you support the use of nuclear weapons during WWII?  This is a simplistic view of the war, but the Japanese attacked the US so the US was justified in using any means to end the war as soon as possible to reduce American casualties.  My grandfather, a Naval officer, was part of a battalion which spent the entire war training for the attack on Japan.  Our government was predicting extremely heavy American casualties.  Dropping the bomb ended the war and quite possibly saved my grandfather's life.  Probably in hindsight the fire bombing of Dresden was immoral because it did not hasten the end of the war but the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war and therefore saved American and Japanese lives.  Many more Japanese civilians would have died during an invasion of Iraq than were killed in the bombings.  

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« Reply #58 on: March 25, 2003, 02:56:06 PM »

Jennifer,

Saddam isn't the legitimate leader of Iraq in the first place;

I woudln't have supported nukes because a war itself has to be "just" and every action taken during the war has to be just.  Even if more US army personnel would have perished in an invasion of Japan (which by the way they could have nuked a Japanese military base away from a city or a Japanese aircraft carrier, an uninhabited island, etc, first), it is not moral to intentionally target and kill civilians, period.  The ends don't justify the means.

Sincerely,

anastasios
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« Reply #59 on: March 25, 2003, 03:27:29 PM »

Quote
Quote from: Jennifer A US president has never before demanded that the legitimate leader of a government leave the country within 48 hours.
[/quote

Sorry Jen, but calling Hussein a "legitimate leader" is a bit of stretch.  He is a self-established tyrant that came into power during a military coup who keeps perpetuating himself (well, his position) by tyranny force.  I wouldn't exactly call that legitimate.
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« Reply #60 on: March 25, 2003, 07:22:27 PM »

Jennifer,

Saddam isn't the legitimate leader of Iraq in the first place;

Who gets to decide who the "legitimate" leader of a nation is?  Do they have to be democratically elected?  If Saddam isn't "legitimate" then there are very few "legitimate" world leaders and you'd better join the US Army real quick to start overthrowing all the "illegitimate" ones.  

I woudln't have supported nukes because a war itself has to be "just" and every action taken during the war has to be just.  Even if more US army personnel would have perished in an invasion of Japan (which by the way they could have nuked a Japanese military base away from a city or a Japanese aircraft carrier, an uninhabited island, etc, first), it is not moral to intentionally target and kill civilians, period.  The ends don't justify the means.

As of the second minute of the war on Iraq there were actions that were not "just." There are actions in Afghanistan that are not "just" but yet you still enthusiastically support US actions.  I think you have a fantasy about what war really is.  It is not possible for a war to be completely "just."  Even in a totally unprovoked war, country X invades country Y for no reason whatsoever, innocent people will be killed.  Soldiers are largely innocent.  They don't make policy.  The guys in charge don't go to the front lines.  There are always significant economic consequences from any war.  There is not a war in history that has not affected innocent people.  It is actually not possible for any human action to be completely "just."  Is it completely "just" to put to death a murderer who who has been the victim of racism and poverty?  

I suggest that you take your enthusiatic idealism and apply it to the world around you.  There's plenty of injustice next door to you.  Why not try to fix that than going halfway across the world?  BTW, it should be mentioned that you in fact are not going halfway around the world to take up arms against the evil Saddam.  Other guys are doing the fighting and dying for your ideals.  

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« Reply #61 on: March 25, 2003, 07:44:22 PM »

Quote
[quote author=Elisha

Sorry Jen, but calling Hussein a "legitimate leader" is a bit of stretch.  He is a self-established tyrant that came into power during a military coup who keeps perpetuating himself (well, his position) by tyranny force.  I wouldn't exactly call that legitimate.

The current leader of Pakistan overthrew a democratically elected government with a military coup.  Is he also "illegitimate?"  And if so, then why is Pakistan one of our best friends?  And is the leader of Egypt "legitimate?"  What about the Saudi princes?  

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« Reply #62 on: March 25, 2003, 07:46:10 PM »

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« Reply #63 on: March 25, 2003, 07:49:04 PM »

Jennifer,

A legitimate leader would at least abide by the numerous calls to disarm from the United Nations. We now know that Saddam never intended this since his army has used forbidden weapons in the current and, God willing, final conflict.

Also, the soldiers in our military are VOLUNTEERS. They know that they will have to go to war; and the vast majority of them willingly go, supporting the decision of our commander-in-chief, and doing a job that we are proud of.

How can you say that no human action can be completely just? That is absurd and un-Christian. If this is true, then we're all damned to hell, according to you, because we sin with every action, even if we're helping out the poor or whatever, and God just saves us in spite of our sinfulness. Are you a Lutheran?

Just because innocents get killed in war doesn't mean it's unjust. In this regard, I believe the United States has been the most "just" (using your definition), by targeting only military targets with the most advanced, most precise, computer-guided missles; the missles have been 98% successful! You cannot argue with these results. And it's not as if we're intentionally targeting civilians. We have given them advice on how to stay safe, and we have given the Iraqi military (and Saddam) numerous chances to surrender. We have done all we can to spare lives in a cause that we believe is just. Just because it's impossible to ensure that nobody gets killed in military action does not make this an unjust war, especially if our government takes every step possible to save lives and do the job quickly and effectively.

God Bless our troops! Let there be peace in Iraq!

Matt
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« Reply #64 on: March 25, 2003, 09:13:10 PM »

A legitimate leader would at least abide by the numerous calls to disarm from the United Nations. We now know that Saddam never intended this since his army has used forbidden weapons in the current and, God willing, final conflict.

I ask again, how many legitimate leaders are there are in the world?  The US has ignored calls from the UN.  We didn't even pay our dues to the UN for several years.  

Also, the soldiers in our military are VOLUNTEERS. They know that they will have to go to war; and the vast majority of them willingly go, supporting the decision of our commander-in-chief, and doing a job that we are proud of.

They VOLUNTEERED to protect the United States not to change the regime in a country halfway around the world.  I wouldn't dream of joining the military these days.  If I'm going to lay my life on the line, it's going to be for my country not for Iraq or Kosovo or South Korea.  

How can you say that no human action can be completely just? That is absurd and un-Christian. If this is true, then we're all damned to hell, according to you, because we sin with every action, even if we're helping out the poor or whatever, and God just saves us in spite of our sinfulness. Are you a Lutheran?

We don't sin with every action but it's very rare for a person to act without mixed motives.  And that doesn't mean we're damned to hell.  But just an acknowledgement that human beings don't have access to perfect knowledge.  

Just because innocents get killed in war doesn't mean it's unjust. In this regard, I believe the United States has been the most "just" (using your definition), by targeting only military targets with the most advanced, most precise, computer-guided missles; the missles have been 98% successful! You cannot argue with these results. And it's not as if we're intentionally targeting civilians. We have given them advice on how to stay safe, and we have given the Iraqi military (and Saddam) numerous chances to surrender. We have done all we can to spare lives in a cause that we believe is just. Just because it's impossible to ensure that nobody gets killed in military action does not make this an unjust war, especially if our government takes every step possible to save lives and do the job quickly and effectively.

I didn't write that the loss of innocent life makes a war unjust.  Anastosios wrote "a war itself has to be "just" and every action taken during the war has to be just."  I responded by writing that no war is just using this definition because every war has unjust actions.  

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« Reply #65 on: March 26, 2003, 01:38:51 AM »

Jennifer,

I don't have any fantasies about what war is like. We misunderstood one another, again!

What I believe is that a war in a general sense is either just or unjust; I believe personally, for instance, that WWI was unjust but WWII was just.

Then I said individual actions within a war must be just.  Now I did not mean that every action must be just or the war is unjust; no!  That WOULD be a fantasy.  No, I believed WWII was just but the nuking of civilians is unjust.

What I am saying is if a war in and of itself is unjust, it would be sinful for a Christian to even go.  If a war is just, however, that doesn't give a Christian license to kill innocents because s/he's just "following orders."  It would be the moral obligation of a soldier not to follow an unjust command, just as some soldiers did not follow their commander's orders in the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam, even when confronted with threat of death.

That's all I meant.

anastasios
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« Reply #66 on: March 26, 2003, 02:27:48 AM »

Quote
[quote author=Elisha

Sorry Jen, but calling Hussein a "legitimate leader" is a bit of stretch.  He is a self-established tyrant that came into power during a military coup who keeps perpetuating himself (well, his position) by tyranny force.  I wouldn't exactly call that legitimate.

The current leader of Pakistan overthrew a democratically elected government with a military coup.  Is he also "illegitimate?"  And if so, then why is Pakistan one of our best friends?  And is the leader of Egypt "legitimate?"  What about the Saudi princes?  

Yup, I'd say so too.  He doesn't have quite the track record Saddam has though.  The North Koreaan dictator isn't exactly the nicest guy either.
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« Reply #67 on: March 26, 2003, 02:35:17 AM »

The current leader of Pakistan overthrew a democratically elected government with a military coup.  Is he also "illegitimate?"  And if so, then why is Pakistan one of our best friends?

Of course he is illegitimate.  He only became "legitimate" after a nationwide "election" voted him in after the coup ("legitimate" and "election" in quotes because the whole thing was a farce, and remains so).    

As for why Pakistan is one of America's best friends, I can only say it is because of American hypocrisy in dealing with the Subcontinent...an Islamic republic like Pakistan becomes America's cherished ally in the region and has been so since the days of Nixon, while the world's largest democracy gets the shaft and enjoys better relations with Russia, and has since those very same days.  Hypocrisy is the reason America turns a blind eye to the terrorism emanating from Pakistan and occurring in India, to the fact that the Taliban is still strong in the country and even in the government, etc.  In the end, at least on the Subcontinent, America will be whatever America needs to be in order to get what it wants, and I say all this as someone who loves his country...both of them.

People, let's learn how to use the quote feature so I don't have to keep cleaning it up! --  ;)anastasios
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« Reply #68 on: March 26, 2003, 03:54:56 AM »

We sold out the Kurds last time. We owe them a state (and the Assyrians one too!)

So now you are supporting separatism and political secession in the mid-east? I hope that it is consistent, a Kurdish state means one that also separates from Turkey, a US ally that is not going for that. Not to mention Iran as well. Kurds are not some expedient political football to be co-opted and kicked around just to topple Hussein. Their struggle is real and it spans beyond the parameters of US interests.  

I am also confused. I remember in the not so distant past you posted in support of the Russians suppressing Chechnya's struggle for independence. You rationalized and defended Russia’s position. So why is it that you are for separatism in the Mid-East but against it in Orthodox Russia?

You are not “us”; you are living in Canada, not Iraq.

That was a low blow. Obviously Samer is an Arab and has concerns and relations to his ancestral region. Living in Canada does not mean that he is no longer an Arab.

You seem to support Saddam because he’s “one of us”.

Come on now, are we ever going to get beyond that kind of discourse? Where and when did Samer ever say that he ‘supports Saddam?’ It is those type of irritating comments that are the hallmark methods of people like Newt Gingrich and Tom O’Riley. Opposing the war does not = supporting Saddam, it = opposing US intervention, period. Samer’s politics on US foreign intervention are pretty consistent across the board, and is the basic libertarian view. It is not simply because he shares a cultural affinity with Saddam.

we have proof that he supported terrorists, especially at the Salman Pak training camps.

Your statements on Salman Pak are based on the comments (and probably erroneous if history is any guide) of two defectors. What Salman Pak is purportedly for is the training of Iraqi Special Forces, not terrorists. But, if you are interested, there are plenty of terrorist training centers that can be closed down...including the ‘School of the Americas’ which has not a few Latin American death squad leaders as alumni (including the assassins of Bishop Romero).
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« Reply #69 on: March 26, 2003, 07:22:30 AM »

Aklie, yesterday 96% of the Chechens who voted, (80% of the country voted) voted to remain part of Russia. You can read more about it here.
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« Reply #70 on: March 26, 2003, 08:13:54 AM »

Therefore, please don't attempt to discredit my fine institution of learning, NC State University, over my opinions (of course, I'll admit that they are my opinions

Whoa ho ho...noone better be trashing NC State while I'm standing around Smiley

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« Reply #71 on: March 26, 2003, 08:52:46 AM »

Dear Anastasios,

I am tied up with university projects, and cannot afford enough time to fully reply afterwards, but I will leave you with a few points, and again stress that no hostility is intended.

I don't think I have been short on facts in my previous post.  I point out your unfamiliarity with the region as a part of my argument but not as a diversionary tactic (I honestly think you are out of your league in this one), as I think I've peppered my post with a reasonable amount of information.

To make mention of a few things:

The Salman Pak facilities are there, and I have the satellite photos myself.  What they are claimed to be however is at best an ethereal speculation based on sources of dubious veracity, and at worst a crude and contrived fabrication, especially in light of the fact I described before, that the scenario of a fundamentalist/Ba'athist link is rediculous, (this is not a cheap escape; it is a valid point everyone has to address and a context that must be understood, because it is Politics 101 for any Middle Easterner), to quote you, a "conspiracy theory". You ask for proof as a rebuttal, but after the lengthy record of bogus "threats" and "discoveries", and messy and mediocre "intelligence" work by the U.S., not to mention lies, the burden of proof should lie on you, especially when you tout an unsubstantiated conjecture as an established fact, one that people might wish to use as a legitimate pretext to draw sabers.

I will ask the following, and please answer truthfully: When did you first hear of Salman Pak? (I'm wondering why you sent an article dated from back in 2001)  When did it become an episode that hit headlines for a short time?

Do you know what supposed "proof" in these satellite photos is used to back up the claim that these facilities are a terrorist training camp?  Do you know the explanation that was offerred in rebuttal?

Do you know that escorted visits with journalists to this camp have been conducted in the past?  Do you know that Scott Ritter himself has visited it numerous times as an active inspector, and that the site is nothing new or previously undiscovered, but known from before.  Do you know who helped construct it, and are you aware of whether the U.S. knew of this place in the more distant past?  Are you further aware that Chalibi, the "defector" who was making accusations concerning Salman Pak, along with his network of (politically motivated) informants made claims that proved to be bogus, and that eventually the U.S. considered Chalibi enough an unreliable source of information that they no longer made use of him?  And finally, after "shock and awe" Iraqi stories concerning uranium, discovered missiles, and the like were discredited (the chemical plant story is still not confirmed, as other news stories make clear, but you have already jumped on it), and after all I have described in my last post concerning a history of careless propaganda and blatant weaving of false stories, shouldn't we start being a little more skeptical of the government's so-called intelligence?

Lesson to be learned and repeated: Defectors are not reliable.

The logical conclusion to all the above: There is so far no solid evidence whatsoever behind your confident assertion, except flimsy and convenient puzzle pieces, a mangled picture, hardly conclusive evidence of any kind.  This is Rumsfield's "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence" nonsense.  Let me explain it in religious terms.  What we have here in the case of American reactions to these influxes of supposedly incriminating random news stories (some cases entirely false) is a case of interpretations and presuppositions being injected into Bible verses, and subsequently christened and deemed the Word of God.  The modus operandi sounds very familiar.

Bush and his cohorts have been promising clear evidence of Saddam's guilt on many charges, and they have yet to be produced; in fact they had to resort to plagiarism.  And as expected, Salman Pak unsurprisingly was not hailed as the missing link to serve as the nail in Saddam's coffin.

A proper skepticism that followers of news should nurture is illustrated below, this coming from the British Parliament:

Mr. Ancram: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the suspected activities at the Salman Pak training camp in Iraq.
Mr. Bradshaw: The Salman Pak "camp" is a group of facilities close to Baghdad. We are aware of press reports that claim Salman Pak is used as a terrorist training camp. We take these reports seriously, however, there is currently no direct evidence linking al-Qaeda to Salman Pak.

So again, Saddam is no threat to Americans.  Sheesh!  The onus of proving otherwise rests on your shoulders.  It is tiresome to answer (under threat of being attacked if not addressed in every detail) to every contrived charge, no matter how off the wall--that the feds can create like so much useless printed "money".  Of course, to some people, the absurdity of the remarks that for example, Saddam has nuclear weapons, is lost on people not only because they know very little about the context of Middle Eastern matters, but because Goebbels was right: if I repeat something in your face a million times, you'll believe it.

Moving on, I do know of your opinions concerning Israel, sanctions, and WWII etc.  But you failed to grasp my point.  I was speaking of the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy demonstrated by the hubris-filled sanctimonious windbags of the U.S. State, not commenting on a lack of consistency on your part.  If your government takes upon itself the authority to punish "bad states", then "we're improving" (not with this new Bush Doctrine and plans for expansion you ain't) is no exemption from punishment for your state's crimes either, particularly the oft-forgotten crime of propping up Saddam in the first place, which brings us to the question of how someone can be a liberator when the target in question is the very Grendel that he himself propped up?  

Next, an Assyrian is certainly better off in Iraq with this comparatively tolerant Iraqi regime than in Saudi Arabia.  No sale there.

Concerning the comments on my Arab heritage, Aklie speaks for me.  Thank you Aklie.  In case you mistook me for a descendant of immigrants, I was born and bred in the Middle East, and am most certainly of that culture; it remains my native land, and always will remain so.  I fail to see what this has to do with the political ideology of pan-Arabism, the goal of which essentially is to create one Arab state.  I'm an anti-statist, and hence I do not subscribe to this plan for an admittedly much-needed counterforce against American power, but on a certain level, I most certainly have a cultural bond with my fellow Iraqis that comes into play when an outside conquerer or invader engages in an act of aggression against them and threatens the stability of the region.  I do not support Saddam because he is "one of us", as you put it, or for any reason.  I have no love or liking for this fellow.  And neither do I have such for your actions and their consequences—nor for using the word "your" for convenience' sake when speaking to an American about the actions of a state.

On supporting Saddam: Why would I support a killer like Saddam and his state--even were I a statist for that matter?  Because the head of state is an Arab?  That's uncalled for.  Was my expressed distaste for anti-Saddam disclaimers and my explanation for such distaste, actually necessary to post, and also not taken into account, for that matter?  Jeepers.

The remark about the "clinics", I was speaking of bombing by states (believe it or not!).  Send some Apaches to those killing factories, why don't you?--aside from the fact that the state actually supports, condones, and is responsible for this butchery.

On Truman, when I called him a Mason, I wasn't speaking of Masonic plots or conspiracies.
 
Fr. Seraphim: I read this description of his views from a secondary source, but do not recall the primary source in question.  I'm sure Serge knows the title of the book.

Quote
We're not incinerating people. We are blowing up legitimate military targets, just like before.

Need I show you pictures I have?  A kid's blown up head does not convince me, anastasios.  Unfortunately, the media is content with insulating its audience from such disturbing content.  Sadly  we see enough on Jazeerah to cause us to lose our lunch.  I could have posted these, but I don't want to engage in "shock and awe" tactics.

No sir!  I will not give a moral green light to Bush and his cabal of madmen.

My final note:

Quote
Same objectives as in Afghanistan,

Afghanistan: All your alleged goals have failed.  You have failed to capture Bin Ladin, Mr. Omar Esq., and bring said culprits to justice, nor have you entirely neutralized the enemy (yes, they're still scattered, holding positions, harrassing your forces, and playing hide and seek with them; Afghanistan is far from secured by the central power in Kabul), but managed to carpet bomb a good number of peasants.  I don't appreciate the current administration covering their failures with the blood of Iraqis and a Saddam trophy as Clinton thought a few measly Sudanese lives were worth a temporary diversion from his overactive libido.

Quote
where it was successful and they are happy we came.

Successful?

Good Lord, man, are you kidding me?

I confess it worries me when comments like that are made with such certainy.  Have you attempted to follow the progress of this country in the aftermath of the bombing?  It is necessary you play the devil's advocate against yourself once in a while. Serious political analysis cannot give in to taping post-war developments with a "happily ever after" sticker.  I'm afraid you have not done your homework. The fact is there is no stability in the region, tribalism has broken out (as it will in Iraq)—even surfacing up to the regime as evidenced by assasination attempts--brigands are everywhere, opium is flourishing, and repressive rule, this time financed by the United States, still exists.  It's not a rosy picture, and women haven't been quite as liberated from the veil as you think.  In addition, the cauldron of homerastic predators has been tipped over, with warlords free to prey on young boys again.  This was abolished by the Taliban (*no, I am not defending them*), and a reason that helps explain why some columnists who deserve to be locked away inside an iron maiden were arguing for a gay Jihad against Afghanistan (I kid you not!).  Surely you must have some idea of all this.

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« Reply #72 on: March 26, 2003, 08:58:39 AM »

Therefore, please don't attempt to discredit my fine institution of learning, NC State University, over my opinions (of course, I'll admit that they are my opinions

Whoa ho ho...noone better be trashing NC State while I'm standing around Smiley

Bobby

A localist?!  God bless ye, lad!

Say, how are the hurricanes up there?!

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« Reply #73 on: March 26, 2003, 10:15:47 AM »

Frobisher,

Quote
Just because innocents get killed in war doesn't mean it's unjust. In this regard, I believe the United States has been the most "just" (using your definition), by targeting only military targets with the most advanced, most precise, computer-guided missles; the missles have been 98% successful! You cannot argue with these results.

It sounds as if there were remarkable improvements in these bombs from the conflict in Kosovo, where most seemed to destroy schools, hospitals, and 800 year old churches(on Pascha no less!) than military infrastructure.  Or perhaps those were our actual targets after all.  After half of what was reported by our media turned out to be no more than propaganda, I am of course skeptical this time.  I hope you are right and we are not intentionally targeting civillians.  I hope this conflict will take few lives.  

Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Enemies have driven me into Your embrace more than friends have. Friends have bound me to earth, enemies have loosed me from earth and have demolished
all my aspirations in the world.
Enemies have made me a stranger in worldly realms and an extraneous inhabitant of the world. Just as a hunted animal finds safer shelter than an unhunted animal does, so have I, persecuted by enemies, found the safest sanctuary, having ensconced myself beneath Your tabernacle, where neither friends nor enemies can slay my soul. Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
They, rather than I, have confessed my sins before the world.
They have punished me, whenever I have hesitated to punish myself
They have tormented me, whenever I have tried to flee torments.
They have scolded me, whenever I have flattered myself
They have spat upon me, whenever I have filled myself with arrogance.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Whenever I have made myself wise, they have called me foolish.
Whenever I have made myself mighty, they have mocked me as though I were a dwarf.
Whenever I have wanted to lead people, they have shoved me into the background.
Whenever I have rushed to enrich myself, they have prevented me with an iron hand.
Whenever I thought that I would sleep peacefully, they have wakened me from sleep.
Whenever I have tried to build a home for a long and tranquil life, they have demolished it and driven me out.
Truly, enemies have cut me loose from the world and have stretched out my hands to the hem of Your garment.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
Bless them and multiply them; multiply them and make them even more bitterly against me: so that my fleeing to You may have no return;
so that all hope in men may be scattered like cobwebs; so that absolute serenity may begin to reign in my soul;
so that my heart may become the grave of my two evil twins: arrogance and anger;
so that I might amass all my treasure in heaven;
so that I may for once be freed from self-deception, which has entangled me in the dreadful web of illusory life.
Enemies have taught me to know what hardly anyone knows, that a person has no enemies in the world except himself.
One hates his enemies only when he fails to realize that they are not enemies, but cruel friends.
It is truly difficult for me to say who has done me more good and who has done me more evil in the world: friends or enemies.
Therefore bless, O Lord, both my friends and my enemies.
A slave curses enemies, for he does not understand. But a son blesses them, for he understands.
For a son knows that his enemies cannot touch his life. Therefore he freely steps among them and prays to God for them.
Bless my enemies, O Lord. Even I bless them and do not curse them.
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« Reply #74 on: March 26, 2003, 11:46:06 AM »

Canes are rotten this year. Went to the game last night. 3-3. Sad But if you're ever in town give me a buzz and I'll get u tickets Smiley

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« Reply #75 on: March 26, 2003, 01:34:07 PM »

Dear Samer,

Yes, as I wrote in my other post, I am in the doghouse with my wife for spending too much time talking about politics online so I will try to be brief as well.

>>>I don't think I have been short on facts in my previous post.  I point out your unfamiliarity with the region as a part of my argument but not as a diversionary tactic (I honestly think you are out of your league in this one), as I think I've peppered my post with a reasonable amount of information.<<<

Obviously I did not grow up there so I don’t have as much familiarity with the situation.  You probably have studied the situation much more than I did also, with my one meager class in college on the Modern Middle East taught by a Lebanese American.  When I said you have a pan-Arabist bias what I meant by that is more that having grown up in the region and being in that culture might make you bent more easily to anti-war arguments than pro-war arguments based on your shared cultural affinities.  I should not have insinuated that you are in any way supportive of Saddam but what I wondered then and wonder now is, if you agree he is evil, a tyrant, etc., then what do you think should be done about it?

Re: Salman Pak:  your argument seems plausible so I will accept that that is a valid way of explaining it and will drop it as a pretext for war.  I first heard of the terrorist training camps of Iraq some months ago but heard the name “Salman Pak” about three weeks ago and then looked up the articles on the internet, one of which was from a while back.

>>>Lesson to be learned and repeated: Defectors are not reliable.<<<

Some may not be.  Don’t make an equally blanket statement by saying they all are not.

>>>Moving on, I do know of your opinions concerning Israel, sanctions, and WWII etc.  But you failed to grasp my point.  I was speaking of the hypocrisy and moral bankruptcy demonstrated by the hubris-filled sanctimonious windbags of the U.S. State, not commenting on a lack of consistency on your part.  If your government takes upon itself the authority to punish "bad states", then "we're improving" (not with this new Bush Doctrine and plans for expansion you ain't) is no exemption from punishment for your state's crimes either, particularly the oft-forgotten crime of propping up Saddam in the first place, which brings us to the question of how someone can be a liberator when the target in question is the very Grendel that he himself propped up?<<<

You can’t compare our mistakes with Saddam’s consistent genocidal activities. It was stupid of the US gov’t to prop up Saddam when it did but at the time it was trying to keep the Iranians at bay who HAD attacked our civilians.  At the time they thought they were doing what was right.  Saddam knew when he was taking out the Iranian civilians with gas that it was wrong.

>>>Next, an Assyrian is certainly better off in Iraq with this comparatively tolerant Iraqi regime than in Saudi Arabia.  No sale there.<<<

Yes, but are you saying that post-Saddam the Islamic fundamentalists are a shoe-in?

>>>I have no love or liking for this fellow.  And neither do I have such for your actions and their consequences—nor for using the word "your" for convenience' sake when speaking to an American about the actions of a state.<<<

But what are the consequences of leaving him alone?

>>> Was my expressed distaste for anti-Saddam disclaimers and my explanation for such distaste, actually necessary to post, and also not taken into account, for that matter?  Jeepers.<<<

I apologize again for making it sound like you supported Saddam, and yes I do remember your vivid descriptions of what most Arabs would do to him ;-)  What I mean is, however, that you seem to be willing to just let him go, and you seem to rationalize it by saying “there are many other evil leaders out there” and you finish it by pointing out evil U.S. mistakes as if that makes us equal to Saddam.

>>>The remark about the "clinics", I was speaking of bombing by states (believe it or not!).  Send some Apaches to those killing factories, why don't you?--aside from the fact that the state actually supports, condones, and is responsible for this butchery.<<<

I prefer praying in front of the clinics, which has tangible results.

>>>On Truman, when I called him a Mason, I wasn't speaking of Masonic plots or conspiracies.<<<

So why did you mention it in the first place?

>>>Fr. Seraphim: I read this description of his views from a secondary source, but do not recall the primary source in question.  I'm sure Serge knows the title of the book.<<<

Serge?

>>>Need I show you pictures I have?  A kid's blown up head does not convince me, anastasios.  Unfortunately, the media is content with insulating its audience from such disturbing content.  Sadly  we see enough on Jazeerah to cause us to lose our lunch.  I could have posted these, but I don't want to engage in "shock and awe" tactics.<<<

Samer, I know that we have killed some innocents.  But by and large we are not, and you ignore the reports of Iraqis that are ecstatic that we are taking out Saddam, like the one Nik posted where the fellow said he would have killed himself if Saddam had stayed in power.

>>>Afghanistan: All your alleged goals have failed.  You have failed to capture Bin Ladin, Mr. Omar Esq., and bring said culprits to justice, nor have you entirely neutralized the enemy <<<

We took out the Taliban, which was aiding al-Qaida; we captured several senior leaders of al-Qaida and got plans for terrorist attacks on the U.SGǪ. I’d say we did just fine, but there is still work to do.

>>>Successful?

Good Lord, man, are you kidding me?<<<

Nope.  Every time we find another operative from al-Qaida and a terrorist plan is uncovered, I say, great!

>>>It is necessary you play the devil's advocate against yourself once in a while. Serious political analysis cannot give in to taping post-war developments with a "happily ever after" sticker.<<<

Fair enough.

re: Afghanistan: “Surely you must have some idea of all this.”

Yes, I am aware of that.  I view it as bumps on the road.  If it were up to me I would have put back the king ;-)  Then it would be a paradise! (just kidding.)

Sincerely,

anastasios

PS Your persistence has got me thinking about the motives for warGǪ you did a good job arguing your case!  Maybe I will just come out of the closet and be a free neocon! haha
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« Reply #76 on: March 26, 2003, 01:48:31 PM »

An Iraqi vs an Anti-War Protestor: http://komo1000news.com/audio/kvi_aircheck_031003.mp3
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« Reply #77 on: March 26, 2003, 09:36:53 PM »


Statement by Partiarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia


Replyáto:



europaica-noreply@orthodoxeurope.org (Europaica Bulletin)

STATEMENT BY PATRIARCH ALEXY II OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA ON THE BEGINNING OF MILITARY OPERATION AGAINST IRAQ

Early in today's morning, the British-American coalition has launched missile and bombing strikes against Iraqi cities. This happened in defiance to the opinion of the UN Security Council, the majority of the world community members and religious leaders who had opposed a military solution of the problems around Iraq.
The Russian Orthodox Church has exerted herself to establish dialogue with the Iraqi leaders.

It was immediately before the operation that our delegation together with Russia's Muslims visited Baghdad with a peace mission. This visit testified to the solidarity of the Russian faithful with the Iraqi people and showed that the use of force is not to be explained by the confrontation between Christianity and Islam and that this conflict has no religious roots. However, our efforts have proved vain. The military machine has been started up.

The operation has already caused first human victims in Iraq. If the operation continues, they will inevitably grow in number.

Civilians, both Muslims and Christians, will die not only of bombs, but also of deprivations that always accompany military actions.

It is foreseeable that cultural monuments and shrines associated with the biblical history will be damaged. The hearts of the Russian Orthodox faithful are filled with sympathy for the suffering Iraqi nation: children, women, old, sick and infirm people.

On this tragic day, our Church urges the countries neighboring to Iraq: Not refuse aid to refugees, give asylum to victims and comfort them with your sincere affection.

The Russian Orthodox Church once again calls upon the governments of the anti-Iraq coalition member-states: Stop bloodshed! Make your best to prevent military actions form expanding. Resume peace negotiations. Spare thousands of innocent people. I call everyone, who is capable to contribute to the cessation of war, to make his best to put an end to it as soon as possible.

I offer up my prayers to God that He may establish peace in the Middle East. May the Lord grant us wisdom for settling the situation in Iraq and around this country.
March 20, 2003
Moscow
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« Reply #78 on: March 27, 2003, 07:27:10 AM »

Dear Anastastios,

Thanks for the reply and your patience.  I don't doubt we are all used to this necessary atmostphere when debating politics.

Like you, duty calls, so I can't reply for the time being.

I will leave this though for now:

Jubilation turns to hate as aid arrives.

Thanks for a good exchange.

In IC XC
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« Reply #79 on: March 28, 2003, 06:59:51 PM »

I just noticed that the Turkish oriented Kurdish nationalist organization (Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] whose main leader is on death row in Turkey) is on the terrorist list (makes sense since Turkey is a US ally and member of NATO) as number 8 as of 11/02/01 but the Turkish organizations in Iran and Iraq are not considered terrorists even though they have the same aspirations and have the same connections. To the contrary they are getting arms and assistance. How hypocritical.
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