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War - Huuuh, what is it good for?

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Victory of the Loud Little Handful
by Mark Twain

The loud little handful - as usual - will shout for the war. The pulpit will - warily and cautiously - object... at first. The great, big, dull bulk of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes and try to make out why there should be a war, and will say, earnestly and indignantly, "It is unjust and dishonorable, and there is no necessity for it."

Then the handful will shout louder. A few fair men on the other side will argue and reason against the war with speech and pen, and at first will have a hearing and be applauded, but it will not last long; those others will outshout them, and presently the antiwar audiences will thin out and lose popularity.

Before long, you will see this curious thing: the speakers stoned from the platform, and free speech strangled by hordes of furious men...

Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.

Mark Twain, "The Mysterious Stranger" (1910)

I put the Twain quote out for historical context. While our work in Afganistan is more than just I have yet to see the case for Iraq be made. Lord knows I enjoy an occasional war, if its tastefully done. But even old Guap ain't so sure about this war. I may be stricken from the He Man Liberal Haters Club for this, but maybe we need to slow it down a notch or two in our headlong rush to kill Saddam.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
El Guapo said:
maybe we need to slow it down a notch or two in our headlong rush to kill Saddam.
Why do you think this?

I really think we might as well go in and do the job now, since we have all the boys over there right now. Really, this guy (and his family) has to go. We can wait until he starts invading other countries again.

You might as well accept the fact too, that Dessert Storm II has most likely already begun. We aren't knocking out all those radars and missile defense systems for nothing.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Mike,
I agree he needs to die a painful death. I just see our administration saying he has this and he has that, but in reality we have shit for proof. Where's the beef? If we are going to kill him and those near him because we need too - lets make our case to the world just that simple - "he needs to die because...".

It is like a criminal trial. We have been telling the jury Saddam has the murder weapon. We either need to produce the murder weapon or rethink our approach because the jury is world opinion. It can't be totally dismissed.

I tend to trust Republicans way more than the dems, but I don't see the proof coming out of DC. We have had a many rational reasons to take him out for years. We should have used those. We seem to have lost the argument. The time for debate is still available. It ain't over yet.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
Oh my god Guap saw the light

this is what i have been saying for a few months, im ok with Afganistan, but Iraq is just down right wrong. We are not a nation built on attacking first, of invading someones country with out provocation or cause.

this is why im about to place an upside down american flag on my car (your seeing more and more of that here) i support our troops, i love my country but i think the warmongers across the river are beyond dillusional.

this war is nothing but a way to take folks minds off the economy (that will get much worse when our boys are over there on the ground getting shot at) and a sons desire to hold a grudge for his dad.

If anything we need to worry about N Korea and their much more aggressive and destructive stance toward us. its belived they have 2-3 nukes and can put them in missles capable of reaching the west coast (wash state oregon and maybe san fran)

i plan to march my military brat hinny down and join the anti war march MLK weekend-along side my retired CW3 army dad. (strange family bonding)
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
PlannerGirl said:
Oh my god Guap saw the light...but Iraq is just down right wrong. We are not a nation built on attacking first, of invading someones country with out provocation or cause.
Not quite. I see nothing wrong in taking out the government of Iraq and making that nation our behatch for a decade. That is the price you pay for not policing yourself. The Iraqi people are guilty of letting a tyrant stand. There is a price. They are paying it, have been paying it, and it will be payed for some time to come. But I am saying the administration needs to bring the American people along first, and our allies second, and as much of the world as posible third.

He is on a short list of those that need an ass kicking.

My list:
Iraq
North Korea
France
Lybia
France
Iran
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
Guap i dont disagree at all, i find it very very troubling when we say we are the "good guys" but Bush jr plods right along down his war path with out the support, input or much else from the rest of the world body. i dont always like the UN but it sure helps to have the rest of the world backing us up. I fear it will hurt our efforts to get other nations to help track down and stop terrorits actions if they dont see us playing along.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
I've changed my mind (I was cautiously supportive) and I am not even OK with Afghanistan anymore.

The only purpose was that damn pipeline.

There are dozens of countries where Al Qaeda had influence and camps.

We have not spent a dime on nation-building, our allies are all puppets and vicious thugs and warlords, there is no rule of law outside of a small area around Kabul, "women's rights" are not treated any better (they are simply subject to rape and attack without any protection now), and Al Qaeda is reapidly rebuilding itself, anyway. We are thoroughly hated in the region now (not that I have much truck with the ignorant Arab street, but it still is questionable policy)

So, every time the warmongers babble about "building a nation" in Iraq, I have to admit my skepticism. Its all about oil. Sadaam is no worse than dozens of evil dictators that we trade with or arm (Heck, we armed HIM OURSELVES). I remain profoundly skeptical of this administration. Every "political realist" policy only leads to more bloodshed and disaster in the future.

Sorry, there's my left wing rant of the day.
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
I dont even buy that it wil be good for the economy, that held for WWI and WWII but not now, there would not be a national war effort, no draft (so the poor and minority are killed) a few tech firms will make money and some def contractors but the rest of us will suffer with oil that will shoot through the roof, stocks that will tank worse and inflation

the old addage about war being good for the economy is imho long done
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
PlannerGirl said:
I dont even buy that it wil be good for the economy, that held for WWI and WWII but not now, there would not be a national war effort, no draft (so the poor and minority are killed) a few tech firms will make money and some def contractors but the rest of us will suffer with oil that will shoot through the roof, stocks that will tank worse and inflation

the old addage about war being good for the economy is imho long done
Hence the question mark. More of a discussion point than anything... But, it seems the country did have a good run right after the last conflict with Iraq. The two may be seperate issues, with no nexus whatsoever, but they may not as well.

I'm no economist. I can't even forcast my own finances...
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
The "Poor Iraqui People"

I actually agree with you, Guap, about one thing. You won't find me worrying too much about the "poor Iraqi people." To a certain extent, people DO get the government they deserve (except in largely colonial states where repeated rebellions are crushed). Heck, we deserve George et al.

I don't agree with your ever-expanding list of "countries that deserve an ass-kicking." Who appointed us God? I have a major problem with American exceptionalism. I don't want to live in an empire, especially since I remain unconvinced that our commercial empire is all that much kinder than previous military empires. There are too many cases of brutality around the globe.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Re: The "Poor Iraqui People"

BKM said:


I don't agree with your ever-expanding list of "countries that deserve an ass-kicking."
Me either....France needs to be #1 on that list!
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
Re: The "Poor Iraqui People"

BKM said:
Who appointed us God?
Noone, and that's the problem I have. I hate that as a country we give other countries hundred of millions of dollars to help them. Why not put that to our own deficit, take care of our own first? We don't have to "save" everyone from themselves, especially when it comes across as self-rightous and risks the lives of thousands of men and women.
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
Much of our "aid" somehow conveniently is tied to buying more weapons from American arms manufacturers (as well as other American products). So, you can consider it to be "economic development," not purely altruistic.

Also, as a percentage of GNP/budget, our foreign aid ranks near the bottom for western countries. We are not all that generous (except in military aid).

Otherwise, I agree with you. :)
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
The future wars in order

1.Iraq
Saddam needs to go and you can bet it will take 2 minutes. What is scary, after Saddam is gone, what will happen will probably be worse than the war IMHO.

2. Syria
3. Iran

Never a war with North Korea, because we all know you mess with North Korea, you mess with a couple million China men.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Re: The "Poor Iraqui People"

BKM said:
I don't agree with your ever-expanding list of "countries that deserve an ass-kicking." Who appointed us God?

I don't think it is good policy to go looking for trouble. Trouble came to us 9-11. Now we have cleared out the mess in Afghanistan I believe we are going to "do" Iraq as a "message." Iraq is convenient. It tells other Moslem governments that they might re-consider funding terrorism and start suppressing their own radicals. It shows we can take a punch and when the time is right we can wail on a friend of theirs. I know this will upset the erudite among us, but most of everything you need to know about foreign policy and diplomacy you should have picked up during recess in grade school.

As to “who appointed us God?” well, I guess I did. I sent a memo.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
I see you forgot that you put and armed Saddam in Irak to fight Iran, you put Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to fight Russia.
I'll give you guys credit for at least not putting Kim Jong-il :p
So, what do I see? Is that much like a pattern there? US arms a foreigner to fight for freedom of his country or to fight Comunism, or whatever other US interest... and you get you hand twisted....they turn agaist you.
I see a perfect ending... Stop being big brother of the world.
By attacking Irak or any Arab country you'll create more terrorism, and specially targeted at you.

Violence leads to more violence.

Islam is not evil or bad or violent, just diferent. Islam becomes evil, bad and violent when it gets in hands of extremists and fundamentalists, and that can happen with Catholicism too, and Hinduism, Protestantism, etc.
I see no problem in letting diferent cultures survive in their own space and in their own way.The Earth is big enough for everyone. I belive every culture is smart enough to progress and live well. If they're not smart enough to live, then they'll die off and the culture will disapear.
And if you are worried about terrorism, the best way to fight it is to defend yourselves, inside your own country, not going out to where they hide and kill the terrorists. Terrorists will eventually fall for the bait and get caught. Defensive is better than offensive, because when attacking you always leave the back uncovered. The 9-11 attacks should be taken as a message to get better defense, rather than offense.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
SkeLeton said:
I see you forgot that you put and armed Saddam in Irak to fight Iran, you put Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to fight Russia.
SkeL - right you are! Americans are soooo quick to forget those things. But it's worse -- our former Pres. Bush did most of those set-ups when he was CIA Director!
 

PlannerGirl

Cyburbian Plus
Messages
6,377
Points
29
We put Noraiga in power too-god he was hard to live with. Lets see who else...?

We DO have a problem of cleaning up one "mess" to make another.
 

The Irish One

Member
Messages
2,267
Points
25
"you put Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan to fight Russia"

Did you think we were going to let russia get to the Arabian Sea?
And did you think we would be stupid enough to send our own troops in to fight Russian and Afghan troops? If Russia really wanted to get to the Arabian sea they would have fought a proxy war as well. Having said, this doesn't make anything right.

I generally agree with the idea that the world can manage to shoot its own foot, and less USA military in the world (in my mind) is a good thing.
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
SkeLeton said:
Islam becomes evil, bad and violent when it gets in hands of extremists and fundamentalists, and that can happen with Catholicism too, and Hinduism, Protestantism, etc.
It can happen with any extremist thought, not just religious ones. The problem, however, is that it ISN'T happening with Catholics, Hindus, or Protestants...

Here's a little "pop quiz" from a website:

To ensure we Americans never offend anyone - particularly fanatics intent on killing us - airport screeners will not be allowed to profile people. They will continue random searches of 80-year-old women, little kids, airline pilots with proper identification, Secret Service agents who are members of the President's security detail and 85-year old Congressmen with metal hips. Perhaps the FBI should take the following test:

In 1979, the U.S. embassy in Iran was taken over by:
(a) Norwegians from Ballard; (b) Elvis; (c) A tour bus full of 80-year-old women; or (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

In 1983, the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was blown up by:
(a) A pizza delivery boy; (b) Crazed feminists; (c) Geraldo Rivera making up for a slow news day; or (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
(a) Luca Brazzi, for not being given a part in "Godfather 2;" (b) The Tooth Fairy; (c) Butch and Sundance who had a few sticks of dynamite left over from the train mission, or, (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

In 1998, the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by:
(a) Mr. Rogers; (b) Hillary, to distract attention from Wild Bill's women problems; (c) The World Wrestling Federation to promote its next villain: "Mustapha the Merciless;" or (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

On 9/11/01, four airliners were hijacked and destroyed by:
(a) Bugs Bunny, Wiley E. Coyote, Daffy Duck, and Elmer Fudd. (b) The Supreme Court of Florida trying to outdo their attempted hijacking of the 2000 Presidential election; (c) Mr. Bean, (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.

Hmmm ... nope, ain't no patterns here.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
SkeLeton said:
Stop being big brother of the world.
By attacking Irak or any Arab country you'll create more terrorism, and specially targeted at you...Violence leads to more violence....And if you are worried about terrorism, the best way to fight it is to defend yourselves, inside your own country, not going out to where they hide and kill the terrorists. ..Terrorists will eventually fall for the bait and get caught. Defensive is better than offensive, because when attacking you always leave the back uncovered. The 9-11 attacks should be taken as a message to get better defense, rather than offense.
I'd love it if the rest of the world could police itself. If America retreated to our borders how long would the following people remain free?

China's Targets:
Taipei
Australia
New Zeeland
Japan

North Korea's
South Korea
Japan

Iraq's
Kuwait
The KSA
Jordan

Israel - Jordan - Syria - all targets of each other.

These are just to name a few of the conflicts that will erupt when we decide hide in our shell. America has delivered a mostly prosperous and safe world - you’re welcome! I wish we were not the cop on the beat but we are.

It is sooo easy to sit in a non-significant, way out of the action country and snipe our policies. We do the heavy lifting

As to playing defense, well that don't win football games and wars pal.

How long would your country be free if the US said "we are out of the policing business?"

How many Chileians died as peace keepers on some dangerous DMZ last year? What percent of your population died stopping the Nazi's or Japan? How many of you have a father or son that didn't come home after a training accident while keeping the Russians out of Western Europe?

Now, the natural inclination of some of my friends here on the board is going to give me some grief for messing with our welcome foreign visitor. Go ahead if it pleases you. But I don't plan on going on BET over this one.

You want US on that wall - You NEED us on that wall.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
34
Mastiff said:


It can happen with any extremist thought, not just religious ones. The problem, however, is that it ISN'T happening with Catholics, Hindus, or Protestants...
Just goes to show you.... Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
Mastiff said:


In 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 was bombed by:
(a) Luca Brazzi, for not being given a part in "Godfather 2;" (b) The Tooth Fairy ; (c) Butch and Sundance who had a few sticks of dynamite left over from the train mission, or, (d) Muslim male extremists mostly between the ages of 17 and 40.
(b) I always knew that biatch was evil!
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
You have a point, El Guapo (complaints from the French, for example, are not even worthy of response). Still, for example, given that the vocal minority of the Koreans-and their elected government, don't want us there, can we force them to allow us to remain? North Korea may be scary militarily, but their social-economic system is unsustainable and will collapse of its won weight.

The problem I have is that too often our policies and economic development programs (i.e., weapons sales) do nothing but stir up the very problems you discuss. Our manipulation too often makes things worse. Us "being on the wall" too often means building that wall in cahoots with corrupt local leadership that is hated by the population. Particularly when the main point of that local leadership is taking a cut from nasty multinational corporations (not always American, of course) busy raping and pillaging the local landscape and population. When the eruption comes, it is often worse.

I can't claim to know the answer. I am just tired of the Kissingers of the world portentously babbling about the need for "realpolitic" and helping us become more and more hated.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
BKM - You are right we should leave Korea, Germany, Italy, England, Okinawa, and all the other 50 or so places where we have US troops when the freely elected government there asks us to go. No question about that. We should not go every time a rabble of protestors burns down a neighborhood. We should also tell these counties that their defense is now their own responsibility and all treaties are up for renegotiation. We should be polite guests, as we currently are all over the world.

A Reminder: Countless people are alive and free because of Realpolitik. Far more than would be under communist control.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Well... I guess you're right EG... the US is too much involved in bringing stability to unstable countries. The thing is, you got to respect the dominant culture that is in the country , not just slap in the Mc Donalds and malls and the american dream and all of your culture.

If you like peace and want peace, achieve peace in a peacefull way. (way to many peace in one sentence :p) As Albert Einstein said Peace can not be kept by force, it must be achieved through understanding.

I'll go on a little local history here, let's go back to 1970... here in Chile Salvador Allende was elected (by a miserable 35%, don't worry our new constitution made that now imposible), and since he was a socialist (quite controlled by comunists) on the first years of his mandate he was doing quite well, but problems started apearing late in 1971, the ecomomy went steep down. In october of 1972 there was a huge instability, the transport workers stopped working and you could say the country stoped for like half a month (Venezuela sounds familiar now ,eh?), there were huge waiting lines to get simple objects like 4 pounds of sugar or a roll of toilet paper.
So the inflation was high rise, and we were very poor at the moment, but why was Chile so poor? 'cause Nixon didn't like the Commies (can't blame him) and was methaphorically choking us, until Pinochet(obviously suported bu US) did a coup d' etat and then we just started going uphill again..
BTW the day of the coup d' etat here was on a lovely 9-11-1973... sounds familiar... but just 28 years foward...
The point is... that many still hate Pinochet (all the commies) because he took the country out of starvation and it could have ended in a long civil war, but doing so he killed like 5000 people, in a not so decent way.
So there you have it folks, one guy that was quite empowered by the US but didn't turn against the US (thank god... otherwise we'd be just a pile of dust)

I believe the conflict could have been resolved without violence (specially with out those 5000 or so tortured and killed), but it would have taken a lot of time.

I do understand that world peace is quite utopical... but if we do want to get near enough we got to try hard to solve conflicts in a peacefull and civilized maner.
 

Runner

Cyburbian
Messages
566
Points
17
Mike DeVuono said:
Me either....France needs to be #1 on that list!
Ah, the French..., this reminds me of an e-mail I just received:


From a Marine in Bosnia. Note the signature, but read it last.


A funny thing happened to me yesterday at Camp Bondsteel (Bosnia): A French army officer walked up to me in the PX, and told me he thought we (Americans) were a bunch of cowboys and were going to provoke a war. He said if such a thing happens, we wouldn't be able to count on the support of France.

I told him that it didn't surprise me. Since we had come to France's rescue in World War I, World War II, Vietnam, and the Cold War, their ingratitude and jealousy was due to surface at some point in the near future anyway. That is why France is a third-rate military power with a socialist economy and a bunch of #%$%# for soldiers.

I additionally told him that America, being a nation of deeds and action, not words, would do whatever it had to do, and France's support was only for show anyway. Just like in ALL NATO exercises, the US would shoulder 85% of the burden, as evidenced by the fact that the French officer was shopping in the American PX, and not the other way around.

He began to get belligerent at that point, and I told him if he would like to, I would meet him outside in front of the Burger King and beat his ass in front of the entire Multinational Brigade East, thus demonstrating that even the smallest American had more fight in him than the average Frenchman. He called me a barbarian cowboy and walked away in a huff.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?






Mary Beth Johnson LtCol, USMC

DON'T YOU JUST LOVE A REAL AMERICAN WOMAN!!!!
 

Journeymouse

Cyburbian
Messages
443
Points
13
You might be interested to know that there are jokes about 'friendly fire' currently circulating. The best one is that the British are only joining in because they've realised the safest place to be is in front of the Americans. This is because 49% of USA casualties in the Gulf War were due to friendly fire - or so I've been told. Although the proportion is so big mainly because the Iraqi soldiers didn't join in as wholeheartedly as they should've. And could someone explain to me how going after a secular dictator harms a religious fanatic?

Before we get into it, Hussein does seemed to have borrowed all his policies from the British occupation around 1900-1920. In comparison to Churchill and his gassing campaigns, Hussein looks like a puddy-tat.
 

Jeff

Cyburbian
Messages
4,161
Points
27
Journeymouse said:
You might be interested to know that there are jokes about 'friendly fire' currently circulating. The best one is that the British are only joining in because they've realised the safest place to be is in front of the Americans. This is because 49% of USA casualties in the Gulf War were due to friendly fire - or so I've been told. Although the proportion is so big mainly because the Iraqi soldiers didn't join in as wholeheartedly as they should've. And could someone explain to me how going after a secular dictator harms a religious fanatic?

Unfortunately, friendly fire is a fact of life in war. And while 49% seems like a large percentage, it's only so high because we had so few casualties caused by the Republican Guard.

We blew up a whole APC didn't we?? There sure were some numbers in that mistake alone.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Those statistics are probably just combat losses. I think far more died in traffic accidents than in any form of combat.
 

Tranplanner

maudit anglais
Messages
7,903
Points
35
SkeLeton said:
Well... I guess you're right EG... the US is too much involved in bringing stability to unstable countries. The thing is, you got to respect the dominant culture that is in the country , not just slap in the Mc Donalds and malls and the american dream and all of your culture.
The thing that gets me about statements like this is that it is NOT the American government that is trying to impose it's culture on others. This is capitalism/free-market economy at work - McDonalds and other companies move into these countries because they see a market and opportunity. If McDonalds didn't think they could sell hamburgers in Chile, or any other country, they wouldn't be there.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Good Point TP. If the chain Llama Burger was a world-wide hit would the people of Ecuador say no to imposing their culture on the world?
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Sorry about that....

Well as you see,once again I made a mistake, yes I do know tha Mc Donalds and any US comercial brand isn't related to the US government. Also I now realize that under free market economy, it's the country that should fight to preserve their culture.
But anyways... let's get back to the topic... war... I already gave my opinion... so I won't put it back again, but the important thing is to keep on with the topic.

My apologies for the previous rants... :(

Peace!
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,984
Points
29
Journeymouse said:
You might be interested to know that there are jokes about 'friendly fire' currently circulating. The best one is that the British are only joining in because they've realised the safest place to be is in front of the Americans. This is because 49% of USA casualties in the Gulf War were due to friendly fire - or so I've been told. Although the proportion is so big mainly because the Iraqi soldiers didn't join in as wholeheartedly as they should've. And could someone explain to me how going after a secular dictator harms a religious fanatic?

Before we get into it, Hussein does seemed to have borrowed all his policies from the British occupation around 1900-1920. In comparison to Churchill and his gassing campaigns, Hussein looks like a puddy-tat.
Armies have always joked about their allies. But I can assure you being in front of the US Army is not a safe place to be in the upcoming months. The're really pissed and motivated this time. While we had several regrettable friendly fire incidents, American firepower in the last 15 years has been the best targeted and most accurate in the history of mankind by several orders of magnitude. However when you mix young men, sleep depravation, explosives, guns and chaos accidents will happen. Have toured the battlefield while it was still active in Iraq and Kuwait I can assure you many Iraqis died for no good reason. This time their sons will have the same opportunity. It's a shame.
 

El Feo

Cyburbian
Messages
674
Points
19
SkeLeton said:
Well... I guess you're right EG... the US is too much involved in bringing stability to unstable countries. The thing is, you got to respect the dominant culture that is in the country , not just slap in the Mc Donalds and malls and the american dream and all of your culture.
[rant]

Well, I've been away for awhile, but I just couldn't stay out of this one...

Skel, let me just first of all say I'm sorry, because I know you already backed off a little, and you're going to feel like I'm jumping down your throat, but really I'm not, it's just that I've seen this argument, like, 1,000,000 times over the last year.

But out of all the richness of American culture, the fact that McDonald's, malls, and Starbucks are the things that have caught on in other countries says MUCH more about the rest of the world than it does about America - none of it good, I'm afraid. Hmmm, let's see, Jazz, basketball, the airplane, moon pies, God's sake, my grandparents kicked a depression and three world tyrants' asses, and my parents put a man on the MOON. In my generation we've brought down several brutal regimes, invented the internet, built the Hubble telescope, and sent a new shuttle up scores of times to fiddle with it and other space projects. Those are just off the top of my head, and not especially good examples. I could go on, but for the sake of space and the remnants of my own dignity, I won't.

There's obviously much more to us than fast food and sitcoms. The taste of the masses abroad only for those things we've produced for convenience or entertainment reflects VERY little on us, IMHO. And we'd love to export the American Dream - which really is our contribution to culture - trust me, we really would, because a lot of the world's AND our problems would go away. Trouble is, nobody's interested in it - only in the products of it. So many peoples are good at using what we produce, but so few care to take on the hard work and sacrifices that are demanded to produce it themselves. Again, IMHO that's not evidence of OUR vapidness and fecklessness.

And yeah, we've screwed up, BADLY and REPEATEDLY, but anyone that can look at the breadth of world history since 1776 and deny that men are MORE free, the world over, and better off as a result of American efforts is lying or just isn't paying attention. We've done a hell of a lot of good things, far more than bad, right up to this very day. I think what we're about to do in Iraq is one of them, though I'm clearly in the minority here.

And, unlike almost any other country in the world - including every Western democracy - when we've done wrong we can look at what we've done, be horrifed, and act to fix it. Supported Saddam in the 1980s? Yes. Set bin Laden up to fight a proxy war for us in Afghanistan? Sadly, it's true. The fact that we've done those things doesn't mean we're hypocrites when we move against them - it means we, of all nations, recognize we have an obligation to clean up our messes. (As an aside, do you think Britain and France feel any responsibility for contemporary problems in the Middle East, based on the way they partitioned the remnants of the Ottoman Empire after WWI? I'm guessing they don't, even though they should. They're different that way.) I'm betting you'll see us cleaning up more of our messes in Iran and Saudi Arabia not too far down the road.

Sorry again, hope there aren't any hard feelings about this, and it's my first and last rant for awhile.[/rant]
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,464
Points
29
I do have to agree with one "conservative" argument: The Europeans have absolutely NO ground to lecture anyone on the morality of foreign policy. Even as a self-professed lefty-pacifist, I have difficulty listening to GERMANS, for God's sake, expressing distaste about our policy. Europe pillaged and raped the world for centuries, our "empire" is, as one poster put it (except for a few examples like the Phillipines, which was a fun little holocaust) an exemplar.

As for better off through realpolitic? I'm not sure. There were/are other crimes/forms of oppression in the world (granted that Marxist fundamentalism may have been the most virulent). Was it really a good idea to prop up Mobutu Sese Seko for decades, for example-even if he had a lot of good mineral resources? The vast misery and bloodshed today brings that into question. Kissinger in East Timor is another example. The problem is oppression always eventually leads to an explosion. And, I hate being a bad guy-even if we did it for oh so "necessary" geopolitical reasons.
 

Grassroots

Cyburbian
Messages
90
Points
4
Mastiff said:


It can happen with any extremist thought, not just religious ones. The problem, however, is that it ISN'T happening with Catholics, Hindus, or Protestants...

what about the irish independence movement? also, in america, people like eric rudolph in my stomping ground are bombing abortion clinics in the name of the christian god. his brother is recorded on videotape chainsawing his own hand off for the glory of god. i think we have our problems too. in general, i think organized religions (be it christian, muslim, whatever) are concentrating to the most petty things whose creators would also probably not agree are healthy. in general; i think people are concentraing too much on christ/mohammed/etc. the man instead of what they preached. maybe they need a hug. i don't know. just my opinion.
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
Grassroots said:
Mastiff said:


It can happen with any extremist thought, not just religious ones. The problem, however, is that it ISN'T happening with Catholics, Hindus, or Protestants...

what about the irish independence movement? also, in america, people like eric rudolph in my stomping ground are bombing abortion clinics in the name of the christian god. his brother is recorded on videotape chainsawing his own hand off for the glory of god. i think we have our problems too. in general, i think organized religions (be it christian, muslim, whatever) are concentrating to the most petty things whose creators would also probably not agree are healthy. in general; i think people are concentraing too much on christ/mohammed/etc. the man instead of what they preached. maybe they need a hug. i don't know. just my opinion.
Ireland is divided along religious lines, true... But what we are really looking at is an occupation by another country and/or civil war. It kind of depends upon your point of view. What you DON'T have, is Catholic persons bombing some cathedral in France, simply because there are Protestants there, or Protestants fire-bombing the Vatican.

There are plenty of U.S. homegrown nutcases. Hell, we had a U.S. citizen blow up a federal building! People do become extremists over issues, and this is the case with the abortion bombers and shooters. Those same people aren't shooting hookers or drug dealers in the name of "god"... they have an issue with abortion.

The radical Islamic movement treats our way of life as a threat. All of it. And anyone who feels this way is my enemy... I prefer them dead. Hug them all you want, but then you might want to step aside, because my military intends to protect my way of life, and I'm glad they do.

Be Islamic all you want. Hell, be Islamic in my country, even... But if kill innocent people because they don't believe what you believe, you need to be planted six feet down.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
The thing is that only the Radical or Fundamentalist Islamic people are against other people that don't believe in their beliefs. How to put up with them? By pounding then the US army? Nope!, that'll just create more fundamentalists and create more violence.
The keyword is DEFENSE!
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
SkeLeton said:
The thing is that only the Radical or Fundamentalist Islamic people are against other people that don't believe in their beliefs. How to put up with them? By pounding then the US army? Nope!, that'll just create more fundamentalists and create more violence.
The keyword is DEFENSE!
Defense? Against what? Some deranged asshole hijacking a plane and flying it into a building? Great... Now I can be "defended" with an anal probe before boarding, while some turbaned fellow with a passport waltzes past because he wasn't picked at random. Some defense.

Tell me, how are we defending New Orleans from a barge full of diesel and fertilizer being touched off near the French Quarter at Mardi Gras? Or perhaps a "dirty" nuke coming in through the lightly guarded Texas boarder to set off at the Superbowl?

Defending a free country isn't easy.

There are two ways to deal with the issue. One, you can make them hate you less by staying out of their business. Truthfully, I believe they hate us less for what we stand for, and more for where we stand. If we kept out of the middle east, we'd have quite a bit less trouble.

Second, you can make them never want to mess with you. That is violent, yes... but WWI and WWII were violent, too. And think about it, Hitler never would have quit with England and Russia, he wanted the world. Perhaps being powerful comes with a responsibility....

Personally, I want the people responsible for 9/11 dead. I want all of them to know that we are not afraid, we will not be terrorized, and we will not sit back and take it. I want them to know we are coming to kick thier ass, and every ass that thinks and acts like them.
 

SkeLeton

Cyburbian
Messages
4,853
Points
26
Mastiff said:

Personally, I want the people responsible for 9/11 dead.
Personally I do feel for you guys about the 9-11 attacks. Something I don't like is that if they get the people responsible, they are getting caught by US Troops, which means they will be murdered right on the spot. They are responsible for more than 2000 people dying. And I guess If I were a soldier and caught the ones responsible, I'd kill them too. It's just too much.

Let me put this Quote from Mahatma Gandhi:
" The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an atribute of the strong."
 

Mastiff

Gunfighter
Messages
7,181
Points
30
SkeLeton said:


Personally I do feel for you guys about the 9-11 attacks. Something I don't like is that if they get the people responsible, they are getting caught by US Troops, which means they will be murdered right on the spot. They are responsible for more than 2000 people dying. And I guess If I were a soldier and caught the ones responsible, I'd kill them too. It's just too much.
Wouldn't any rational person feel for the men, women, and children harmed on that day? Yet, didn't people in mideast countries have celebrations?

The people responsible need to die, and the celebrators need to realize that if they get in the way, they will meet the same fate.

SkeLeton said:

Let me put this Quote from Mahatma Gandhi:
" The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an atribute of the strong."
Perhaps the weak can never forgive, but I suggest that is different from "will" never... Also, is it right to forgive people who don't want to be forgiven? I'd say it is not.
 

Grassroots

Cyburbian
Messages
90
Points
4
Mastiff said:


There are two ways to deal with the issue. One, you can make them hate you less by staying out of their business. Truthfully, I believe they hate us less for what we stand for, and more for where we stand. If we kept out of the middle east, we'd have quite a bit less trouble.

staying out of their business? tell that to the oil gluts at exxon who refuse to even glance at alternative transportation and non-oil consuming technology (and, in fact, oftentimes impede their development). we want stay out of the middle east ...good luck as long as everyone continues to drive SUV's. even though i nearly always disagree with organized religion period, i think those stupid ads they are putting up now do have a point. we are supporting this crap with our consumption.

Second, you can make them never want to mess with you. That is violent, yes... but WWI and WWII were violent, too. And think about it, Hitler never would have quit with England and Russia, he wanted the world.

are you saying that you want WWIII? i have always hoped my country has evolved into something more than that. maybe instead of doing what is expected (blowing up thier country), hit them where they don't epected it. see below.

Perhaps being powerful comes with a responsibility....

exactly...but even more so, being an american, to me, means leadership. we continue to put billions into foreign aid promoting foreign competition and competitive ideals. why do we not take a lesson from OURSELVES regarding leadership and competition. instead of going to blow up a country (or a group) that realistically has us by the balls as a result of our consumption habits, why not dump the 200-400 billion dollars that has been projected to be spent on this bullshit, develop fusion power, and then turn around and sell it to the world; thus leaving these guys out of the equation altogether!! do you know how that would wonderfully piss them off more than going to kill the entire country? THAT is leadership and competition. i just wish america would use its brain instead of its might. we have no comprehensive energy policy to date. i can understand defending american ideals being an american, but when those ideals have not even been PLANNED (remember we are planners), i have issues watching my president trying to justify our policy THAT DOESN'T EVEN EXIST OR IS NOT CLEARLY DEFINED! i am at least glad he is starting to look at fusion power, albeit slowly and they are making strides i heard. too bad he and the administration are predicting 2037. hope it is not too late.

sorry for the rant...(i kind of like this forum stuff)

its not whether you win or lose....it's how gooooddd you look--David Lee Roth
 
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Grassroots

Cyburbian
Messages
90
Points
4
Mastiff said:


Personally, I want the people responsible for 9/11 dead. I want all of them to know that we are not afraid, we will not be terrorized, and we will not sit back and take it. I want them to know we are coming to kick thier ass, and every ass that thinks and acts like them.

i hear the army is hiring.
 
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Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Fusion power? Wasn't that already discovered about a decade back?

C'mon, let's get serious now. Look how long it took to get fission power to the point it is today - inexpensive (nearly free), abundant and clean energy for everyone, just as promised - or dead, due to environmental extremism. Wanting something does not mean we can have it overnight. Even if the technology to create fission power existed today, it would still take decades to implement (and likely be held up by extreme environmentalists who would object to the siting of the facilities). Even then, are you proposing that we would all drive around in fission-powered cars?

Let's also get beyond blaming SUV's for every evil in the world. I am not a fan of them, and believe that they are far more vehicle than nearly all of their drivers really need, that the people who have them do not know how to drive them, and that they are a danger to others on the road. Still, their milage is not all that worse than some other "socially acceptable" vehicles. And what is more, we do not use petroleum solely for gas so that we can drive around like the profligate SOB's we Americans are.

Petroleum products are used in countless thousands of other products, from lubricants to chemicals and plastics. Of course, maybe we don't really need more plastic. We can just cut down some more renewable trees instead.

Don't get me wrong. I like a good debate. But black-and-white scenarios and extremist positions hardly merit any consideration.
 

Grassroots

Cyburbian
Messages
90
Points
4
i agree michael!

i hear you on the fission power. i am not trying to sound radical or extremist. fusion was discovered a while back, but there has been little funding to support it...not until 9/11 and mainstream america finally realized it had to deal with an alternative or go to war. it seems that the people chose the latter for the time being. i just read a lot of people's rants on here and i just think people are speaking out of passion..so why not me?
 

Grassroots

Cyburbian
Messages
90
Points
4
a little p.s.

i also heard on bbc this mornig that all the enviro freaks in europe are going ape because great britain has told people they are going to start building new nuclear plants. they are doing this because it is the only clean source of power available to be able to meet the kyoto protocol standards they signed onto. apparently, the enviro's went crazy about this, but britain said that even if you put all the alternative power source you can on the whole island, it would only supply around 15% of the countries needs. the argument seeemed to be either nuclear, or we can't meet the protocols. fission is not dangerous and does not pollute hardly at all. US scientists have managed to light 10Kw worth of lights for about 10 seconds...a big improvement over a decade ago. the trick is getting a sustained 1 million degree centigrade. i think the enviro's won't mind if they know it is clean, produces a lot, and will not meltdown and cause mutations....unless you put it in the alaskan wildlife preserve.
 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
One million degrees Centigrade - won't that contribute to global warming? Is there any guarantee that the reaction can be contained, and that this intense heat won't pose a threat to its surroundings. Even now it is an issue with power plants returning water to streams at warmer temperatures, and the impact it has on fish and other aquatic life.

Harmless, renewable energy sources? Wind turbines make a lot of noise. They are also a threat to birds. What about harnessing rivers? Ask a salmon about that, if you can find one.

We're only deluding ourselves to think that there is a wonderful, wholesome, clean, abundant, affordable source of unlimmited energy out there. We have existing technologies that we can work with. We have future potential energy sources that will have their own set of problems. I applaud GB for restarting their nuclear program.
 
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