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Thread: News article about USA vs. Iraq

  1. #1

    News article about USA vs. Iraq

    Just thought that cyburbia might find this article interesting. Although I would like to point out 2 things.
    :army This is about the American Government, not the actual people.
    :rolleyes The Guardian is a very middle-to-left wing paper popular with students and other 'socialists'

    Personally, I do think the American Government tends to take liberties with international law, but that doesn't stop the Americans I know and have met being some of the nicest people in the world.
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    Caution, potential rant:

    Mr. Mouse: Thanks for riling me up on this fine Tuesday morning. First, lets be honest about the source: saying The Guardian is "middle to left wing" is a huge understatement.

    Mr. Monbiot, the author, is in fact a radical left winger. He is blatently anti-American in almost all of his editorials and writings.

    As a conservative American I find him wrong on essentially every point and attribute his positions to good old fashioned European Elitest Inferiority Compex.

    My initial reaction to his premise, go ahead and don't cooperate. The U.S. has been going it alone for some time now, I think we will be ok. Sure, do I want to participate in a whole world hug? Why not!

    Unfortunately, times have changed. There are bad people out there actually killing Americans.

    Oh this might be a cheap shot: There are a ton of good and valid reasons the US has not signed on to some of the conventions the autors notes. But I note here that the Brits continue to use the pound and not the Euro. Well, thats not very "international" now is it.

    I am going to stop here as I may get myself into trouble. Call it arrogance, call it what you will, but this world would be a whole worse off if the US was not on the job.

  3. #3
    Originally posted by gkmo62u
    ...Mr. Mouse...
    That's MISS Mouse to you, buster :p

    Okay.

    The socialist flavour of the articles in the Guardian depend on the subject and the author.

    It was meant to start discussion. Actually, I wanted to know how the Americans felt about the US Government going after Iraq/darlin' old Saddam without at least giving diplomacy a chance. With respect to terrorists out there attacking Americans, I think it's finally time for Americans to realise they're not the only people that ever get attacked, 'kay? If the government was really so anti-terrorist, they would have waded into the Northern Ireland and Israel/Palestine debacles long ago. Mind you, so would the UN, Europe, etc. On top of which, what gives the US government the right to decide who should be in power in which countries? Not very democratic. It doesn't stop the americans I know being intelligent and thoughtful, it's just their Government acting as a rather stupid, spoilt five year old as governments are want to do.

    And personally, I'm pro-Europe. The UK likes to have it's cake and eat it, so it's trying to be the US lapdog, the leader of the Commonwealth and a big cheese in the EU all in one. All the electors get is bombast and smell.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Unfortunately, I was unable to get into the site to read this article. Can someone post it (or the key elements)?

  5. #5
    Member Glomer's avatar
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    Can't get into the article either..........Being a conservative american I will probably agree with gkmo62u.

    Someone please post the article in a different manner.

    Peace!

  6. #6

    The Logic of Empire by George Monbiot

    There is something almost comical about the prospect of George Bush waging war on another nation because that nation has defied international law. Since Bush came to office, the United States government has torn up more international treaties and disregarded more UN conventions than the rest of the world has in 20 years. It has scuppered the biological weapons convention while experimenting, illegally, with biological weapons of its own. It has refused to grant chemical weapons inspectors full access to its laboratories, and has destroyed attempts to launch chemical inspections in Iraq. It has ripped up the anti-ballistic missile treaty, and appears to be ready to violate the nuclear test ban treaty. It has permitted CIA hit squads to recommence covert operations of the kind that included, in the past, the assassination of foreign heads of state. It has sabotaged the small arms treaty, undermined the international criminal court, refused to sign the climate change protocol and, last month, sought to immobilise the UN convention against torture so that it could keep foreign observers out of its prison camp in Guantanamo Bay. Even its preparedness to go to war with Iraq without a mandate from the UN security council is a defiance of international law far graver than Saddam Hussein's non-compliance with UN weapons inspectors.

    But the US government's declaration of impending war has, in truth, nothing to do with weapons inspections. On Saturday John Bolton, the US official charged, hilariously, with "arms control", told the Today programme that "our policy ... insists on regime change in Baghdad and that policy will not be altered, whether inspectors go in or not". The US government's justification for whupping Saddam has now changed twice. At first, Iraq was named as a potential target because it was "assisting al-Qaida". This turned out to be untrue. Then the US government claimed that Iraq had to be attacked because it could be developing weapons of mass destruction, and was refusing to allow the weapons inspectors to find out if this were so. Now, as the promised evidence has failed to materialise, the weapons issue has been dropped. The new reason for war is Saddam Hussein's very existence. This, at least, has the advantage of being verifiable. It should surely be obvious by now that the decision to wage war on Iraq came first, and the justification later.

    Other than the age-old issue of oil supply, this is a war without strategic purpose. The US government is not afraid of Saddam Hussein, however hard it tries to scare its own people. There is no evidence that Iraq is sponsoring terrorism against America. Saddam is well aware that if he attacks another nation with weapons of mass destruction, he can expect to be nuked. He presents no more of a threat to the world now than he has done for the past 10 years.

    But the US government has several pressing domestic reasons for going to war. The first is that attacking Iraq gives the impression that the flagging "war on terror" is going somewhere. The second is that the people of all super-dominant nations love war. As Bush found in Afghanistan, whacking foreigners wins votes. Allied to this concern is the need to distract attention from the financial scandals in which both the president and vice-president are enmeshed. Already, in this respect, the impending war seems to be working rather well.

    The United States also possesses a vast military-industrial complex that is in constant need of conflict in order to justify its staggeringly expensive existence. Perhaps more importantly than any of these factors, the hawks who control the White House perceive that perpetual war results in the perpetual demand for their services. And there is scarcely a better formula for perpetual war, with both terrorists and other Arab nations, than the invasion of Iraq. The hawks know that they will win, whoever loses. In other words, if the US were not preparing to attack Iraq, it would be preparing to attack another nation. The US will go to war with that country because it needs a country with which to go to war.

    Tony Blair also has several pressing reasons for supporting an invasion. By appeasing George Bush, he placates Britain's rightwing press. Standing on Bush's shoulders, he can assert a claim to global leadership more credible than that of other European leaders, while defending Britain's anomalous position as a permanent member of the UN security council. Within Europe, his relationship with the president grants him the eminent role of broker and interpreter of power.

    By invoking the "special relationship", Blair also avoids the greatest challenge any prime minister has faced since the second world war. This challenge is to recognise and act upon the conclusion of any objective analysis of global power: namely that the greatest threat to world peace is not Saddam Hussein, but George Bush. The nation that in the past has been our firmest friend is becoming instead our foremost enemy.

    As the US government discovers that it can threaten and attack other nations with impunity, it will surely soon begin to threaten countries that have numbered among its allies. As its insatiable demand for resources prompts ever bolder colonial adventures, it will come to interfere directly with the strategic interests of other quasi-imperial states. As it refuses to take responsibility for the consequences of the use of those resources, it threatens the rest of the world with environmental disaster. It has become openly contemptuous of other governments and prepared to dispose of any treaty or agreement that impedes its strategic objectives. It is starting to construct a new generation of nuclear weapons, and appears to be ready to use them pre-emptively. It could be about to ignite an inferno in the Middle East, into which the rest of the world would be sucked.

    The United States, in other words, behaves like any other imperial power. Imperial powers expand their empires until they meet with overwhelming resistance.

    For Britain to abandon the special relationship would be to accept that this is happening. To accept that the US presents a danger to the rest of the world would be to acknowledge the need to resist it. Resisting the United States would be the most daring reversal of policy a British government has undertaken for over 60 years.

    We can resist the US neither by military nor economic means, but we can resist it diplomatically. The only safe and sensible response to American power is a policy of non-cooperation. Britain and the rest of Europe should impede, at the diplomatic level, all US attempts to act unilaterally. We should launch independent efforts to resolve the Iraq crisis and the conflict between Israel and Palestine. And we should cross our fingers and hope that a combination of economic mismanagement, gangster capitalism and excessive military spending will reduce America's power to the extent that it ceases to use the rest of the world as its doormat. Only when the US can accept its role as a nation whose interests must be balanced with those of all other nations can we resume a friendship that was once, if briefly, founded upon the principles of justice.
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  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    My apoligies, Ma'am.

    I will admit only that the Bush administration and the US government has not made a complete public case for an invasion of Iraq.

    That said. If a case is made that Saddam has continued to develop weapons of mass destruction (nukes, chem/bio etc...) that is reason enough to ensure that he cannot terrorize, threaten, kill, any one. And face it, there is no other country who can effectively Stop him.

    You missed the entire point. The fact that American's are targeted does not imply any one is ignoring past or present ignomies.

    Though since you asked, I do not consider the Irish terrorists at all. The Brits should have been gone long ago.

    And don't suggest at all that the US has not been involved or supported diplomatic solutions. We have been engage in your Irish trouble for some time and infact critical in recent successes with George Mitchel's involvement.

    It was President Carter who in fact was able to bring about the camp David Accord with Mssr. Begin and Sadat.

    And you suggestion that "diplomacy" need time with Saddam is indeed naive. The UN has tried with no success.

  8. #8
    Originally posted by gkmo62u
    My apoligies, Ma'am.
    Accepted. Think I may have to change my avatar...

    I will admit only that the Bush administration and the US government has not made a complete public case for an invasion of Iraq.
    Heh, no kidding. I agree Saddam's pretty messed up. He should have been got rid of, but during the actual war would have been a better time. Most Western governments are guilty of the same sort of decision making, though. I would feel a hell of a lot better about some of the UK government's activities if I thought they were as altruistic as they pretend to be (fat chance).

    The Brits should have been gone long ago.
    Agreed. Actually, I'm told 'we' did leave (Michael Collins and all that). Gave them complete autonomy. Unfortunately, 'we' forgot about the protestant, descendants-of-scottish-soldiers-brought-in-to-keep-the-peace that 'we' left in Ulster. They called 'us' back. Also, England has been using Ireland for the large scale dumping of angry landed gentry since shortly after the Normans arrived, which adds to the issue, so I'm told.

    And don't suggest at all that the US has not been involved or supported diplomatic solutions.
    I stand corrected and apologise.

    And you suggestion that "diplomacy" need time with Saddam is indeed naive. The UN has tried with no success.
    I don't consider warfare a valid option. If the people in charge are so in love with fighting, let them do their own dirty work. Alternatively, hold a rugby match. More injuries, but less casualties.
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Do you consider war an option ever? Or just in this circumstance?

  10. #10
    Pretty much ever. I'm not a complete pacifist (after all, i do martial arts), but I tend to have a problem with the number of innocents who seem to get caught in the crossfire. I don't particularly appreciate that soldiers have to die, either, but at least they signed up to die for their country (and hopefully realised it).
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Waaaaa

    Got a bit of Neville Chamberlain appeasement going again over the Atlantic? According to the article it's fine for the terrorist nuke to go off in the USA - after all we deserve it right? But what happens if it goes off in London? Well then, we should have been more pro active. The fact is the man is a nut job who wants a nuke and needs to die before he can throw a mushroom cloud at the Great Satan.

    I didn't see anything in the article that really surprised me except for the fact that it wasn't written in German. Because if the US and the USSR had followed that idiots suggestions of noninterference in the 1940's most of Europe would in fact be speaking that language. I’m sure the Germans would have be a kindly landlord.

    Why doesn’t the UK and France surrender and get off of the possible target list now.

    PS War is always an option. And Violence solves many problems quite well. Often it is the right tool for the right job.

  12. #12

    Re: Waaaaa

    No, the States doesn't deserve it. But the impression we tend to get over here is that you (as in the country as a whole) whine about it like you're the only people in the world who've ever been threatened. I would like to point out that, as far as we know, Iraq has no connections with Al-Quaida (but nor did Afghanistan - we were lucky that they didturn out to be there - unless it's a cover-up :alien) and they are unlikely to commit to a nuclear attack anyone who is also a nuclear state unless their prepared for armeggedon. Yes, Saddam is pretty evil. But look how much damage we did to the civilians last time we (USA, UK and everyone else) all barged in.

    Originally posted by El Guapo
    PS War is always an option. And Violence solves many problems quite well. Often it is the right tool for the right job.
    Yup. Violence solves stuff. When aimed at politicians, lawyers and journalists. Which is the point. These people spend a lot of time getting the public all fired up and baying for blood but will not actuallt go and do their own dirty work. Maybe if Dubble-yuh faced-off against Saddam/bin-Laden personally then I'd have a little more respect for the guy.
    <mental image of Jackie Chan-style slapstick fight between suited Bush and berobed bin Laden with silly sound effects and everything>
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  13. #13
    Member Glomer's avatar
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    If you haven't noticed, and it appears the writer of this article as well as most (we are all victims....liberals), things have changed a bit, thank God, since sept. 11th. America is no longer taking a back seat, fire when fire upon, approach. If Sept. 11th and the events on the news every day since isn't enough to show these people that we need to take a proactive approach then nothing will. We need to go in and hit Sadam with everything we have before he does it first. This violence is not an answer approach....lets wait until we get nuked before we do anything.....NEEDS TO STOP!!!!! Don't you see that Armagedan isn't a deterrent anymore. There are people in the world who really don't give a shit. There are people in the world who will die for their beliefs and take millions down with them if they have to. It is people like this that you need to take out NOW.

    What really makes me sick is that these liberals can sit on their high ground and bad mouth america for taking a proactive approach and keeping them safe. They can rant about how terrible we are..........and the fact is, the only way they are going to look bad, or admit their constant bickering was wrong, is if we are nuked first..........and then it won't matter, will it.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    I can't recall, perhaps you could remind me of all the great British leaders that said "Excuse me Mr. Napoleon couldn't we just settle this like gentlemen." To even suggest that it could be solved by the leaders duking it out personally is juvenile and a fantasy.

    W is our leader whether you like it or not. Your first post tried to separate the government from the people - in our country the government is the elected and installed representative of the people. If I was the collective conscious of a now weak country that once ruled the world I’d probably have a case of the ass also. So all is forgiven. Just not forgotten.

    Right now we are busy keeping the world safe. So please either lead, follow or get the hell out of the way!

    We are in agreement that many journalists deserve violence.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Runner's avatar
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    I'm not going to waste too much typing on this topic, but one of the many nieve points screams for a response:

    they signed up to die for their country
    A truly offensive statement! No normal person joins the military to die; you must be confusing our fine military members with another group's suicide bomber swine!

    The bottom line here is that Randolph Bourne made a good point: A person who is not an idealist at age 20 has no heart, but if they are still an idealist at age 30 they have no brain.

    The US response will be more understandable after passing the age of 30... At that time the real world will welcome you...
    Cheers,
    UrbanRunner
    :)
    _____________________________
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    "What Would Jane Jacobs Do?"

  16. #16
    I didn't mean that members of the military necessarily die, only that I would expect them to except the fact that as military it's part of their job description to fight and possibly die for their country.

    I never said 'our' past behaviour was perfect or even good. Only that I wish it was now.

    The thing about elected officials is that once they're elected, they don't really ask for the electors opinion on everything. They are after all intended to make the decisions. Incidentally, in the case of Tony Blair, he's decided that Britain will support the USA and not wait for the UN, without recalling parliment for a full discussion despite the calls from the public and several petitions to do so. In the UK, the objection is more about not following proper process nor allowing a few extra months for Saddam to deny entrance to the investigators (I've got to admit that it's unlikely he'll allow them in) and parliament to reopen. This same objection is extended to W because a) there are few people outside the USA who even remotely understand the governmental process or frankly even care seeing as it's another country, and b) we assume that there has been the same lack of protocol.

    You're all very defensive on this issue and, to continue the american stereotype, presumably so about anything that threatens your belief in America. I respect you for believing in something so strongly but I'm afraid I cannot respect anyone who sees belittling me as an adequate defence of their ideals (in the sense of a worthy principle). I'm also afraid that I may have stooped to the same level, in which case I apologise.

    And quite frankly, if by the phrase 'real world' you mean death, violence, illness and corruption of both men and Earth, I thank you for your invitation, but I'm to busy being part of the cleanup crew.
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian El Feo's avatar
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    "He was a conservative in the sense that he believed civilization to be something laboriously achieved which was only precariously defended. He wanted to see the defences fully manned and he hated the liberals because he thought them gullible and feeble, believing in the easy perfectibility of man and ready to abandon the work of centuries for sentimental qualms." – Evelyn Waugh on Rudyard Kipling

    Now that's an Englishman I could have related to.

    The real world is "death, violence, illness and corruption of both men and Earth." The fact of the matter is that, our own individual eschatological wishes notwithstanding, a cursory glance at history teaches us that it's so. All men of goodwill strive to do good - and while it's nice to pretend the cleanup crew can ever make the ultimate difference, that's just playing King Canute. Neither a shaky pan-European confederation, the U.N., legions of "can't-we-all-just-get-alongers," nor hundreds of thousands of well-meaning would-be totalitarian radical editorialists at countless Guardians will perfect man.

    A trip to the beaches of Normandy and the Cotenin peninsula will suffice to give us a glimpse of what waiting another eleven years for diplomacy to work with Iraq will lead to.

    Therefore, once again, bidden or unbidden, America will have to do the world's dirty work. We're not happy about it, but neither are we willing to fiddle while we wait for New York, Paris, London, Tokyo, Canberra, Moscow, or Rome to burn. And if that means we are viewed as "arrogant" by a blissfully, willfully ignorant world, then we'll roll up our sleeves and do it anyway.
    "The fanatical Muslims despise America because it's all lapdancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it's all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it's controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too Godless, America is also too isolationist, except when it's too imperialist." -- Mark Steyn

  18. #18
    Cyburbian
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    Ms. Mouse (standing corrected)...don't take complete offense to most of the responses, you should be applauded for raising the discussion.

    Perhaps you have hit it spot on: the American Stereotype which you may see as a negative, the overwhelming number of us see it as a positive.

    We are very defensive on this issue, because, it is perfectly American to defend what is right.

  19. #19
    Originally posted by El Feo
    A trip to the beaches of Normandy and the Cotenin peninsula will suffice to give us a glimpse of what waiting another eleven years for diplomacy to work with Iraq will lead to.
    It also shows you what happens when you take away a nation's dignity and leave them to fester for twenty years. Try showing the nation in question, if not it's leader, a little respect.
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  20. #20
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Eurocapitulation

    Originally posted by Journeymouse

    You're all very defensive on this issue and, to continue the american stereotype, presumably so about anything that threatens your belief in America.
    I am a member of an unbroken line of men, the fifth generation of my family, to have served the USA in combat. Thus, we must see something we admire in this great experiment worthy of risking our lives. If it is a stereotype that we reflexively jump to defend this nation then perhaps you might learn a thing or two about what separates us in our ideologies. We have convictions, you have the UN, diplomacy, and a long history of staying where you weren’t wanted.

    Here is a quote from an Englishman you might do well to recall - War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

    JOHN STUART MILL
    English philosopher and political economist (1806 - 1873)

    Love,
    El Guapo
    He helped keep socialist Western Europe free from Communist Eastern Europe 1986-1991while you kicked the shit out of Argentina.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian
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    mouse. you just lost all credibility with that comment.

    end the thread.

  22. #22
    Out of curiousity, which bit? The bit about taking away Germany's dignity with the Treaty of Versaille or the respect?

    Before anyone gets completely the wrong idea, I would point out that I don't agree with Saddam Hussein or the late Adolf Hitler. In fact, the world could have been saved a lot of bother if the former had been sniped in the Gulf War. But I don't think that justifies 'accidents' like the wedding in Afghanistan.
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  23. #23
    Cyburbian el Guapo's avatar
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    Originally posted by Journeymouse

    It also shows you what happens when you take away a nation's dignity and leave them to fester for twenty years. Try showing the nation in question, if not it's leader, a little respect.
    We should only show respect where it is due. The Arab world needs to grow up and figure out if they want to live among the nations of the world or be dictatorships, oligarchies and fundamentalist kingdoms that offer nothing to the populace and all the benefits to the rulers. The Arab world is in a state of disarray of it its own making – with some help from the British Cartographers and Diplomats Union. The world is better off keeping up a quarantine line than showing respect. Like and unruly child, when their room is clean they can come down for dinner with the rest of us.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian El Feo's avatar
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    Originally posted by Journeymouse

    It also shows you what happens when you take away a nation's dignity and leave them to fester for twenty years. Try showing the nation in question, if not it's leader, a little respect.
    I would note that the prime movers behind the Treaty of Versailles were the Eurpoean powers, particularly France and Great Britain, NOT the United States.

    I would also note that the United States has not been at war with Japan and Germany - now thriving democracies (thank you, Uncle Sam), since 1945. We've demonstrated that we learned from the mistakes of Versailles. Has Europe? (Say hello to my U.S. Army friends in the Balkans, there to help restore dignity to European muslims.)

    Nice if we could get around Saddam to give the Iraqi people a great big ol' bear hug and let them know we recognize they have their pride, too. Maybe they could pause long enough between being gassed and starved by him to be appreciative.

    Toppling Saddam will be about the best demonstration of our respect for the people of Iraq that there could possibly be.
    "The fanatical Muslims despise America because it's all lapdancing and gay porn; the secular Europeans despise America because it's all born-again Christians hung up on abortion; the anti-Semites despise America because it's controlled by Jews. Too Jewish, too Christian, too Godless, America is also too isolationist, except when it's too imperialist." -- Mark Steyn

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I'm certainly no pacifist. I was in Saudi/Kuwait and saw what Saddam and his soldiers did. I agree that we should have removed him at the time. Without the support of our allies, particularly in the Middle East, I do not think we should do it now, especially through a "war." Such an action would ignore the effect it would have on the Arab population, creating more of the anti-American sentiment that leads to terrorism, not to mention hurting far too many innocents in the process.

    At the same time, the article's author needs a dose of reality. America is not so bad, and we are not alone in opposition to many of the treaties, etc., that he accuses us of breaking. Even when, as a nation, we do not concur with the rest of the world, there are Americans who protest - a freedom not enjoyed world over.

    Consider, too, that there may be more than one way to address a problem. I fondly remember the Nuclear Freeze movement of the 1980's. Reagan refused to listen. His idea was not to freeze, but to reduce the number of nuclear arms we had. How quickly the Freeze was forgotten when he succeeded.

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