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Old 03-01-2005, 08:33 PM   #31
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Yep complete with the usual "Oh once you criticize Sharon you are an anti-Semite" from the usual suspects. Israel is the one country exempt from criticism in certain quarters - you can criticize practically any government but once you criticize Israel in any way that's it, forget about it you're obviously just anti-Semite.
Yes because calling Sharon's government and by implication Israel fascist isn't taking it too far. There is nothing anti-semitic with genuine criticism of Israel ~ but to throw out something like fascism without providing a shred of evidence and going after the IDF by ignoring the perpetrators of a crime is just wrong and for the record I never said anti-semitic in the post, play the victim card by saying that a certain viewpoint is being silenced instantly with cries of anti-semitism. Well I am asking 1: why is Ariel Sharon a fascist and 2: Why did AIW lie at worst or made a false impression at best about the IDF in Sabra-Shatila by ignoring the tiny fact that it wasn't the Israeli's who were killing civilians.
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Old 03-02-2005, 04:59 AM   #32
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it was a refugee camp. all we know about what happened there is what IDF (who sharon was effectively in charge of at the time) or basicly israel lead us to believe. palestinians tell a completely different story, but sure, who'd believe them.

also, does it really make a lot of difference to kill or to authorize the kill? youre just getting your dirty work done by someone else.

ariel sharon is a fascist because of his past actions (murders from 1953 and on) against the palestinians. his involvement in these events was acknowledged by israeli courts.

they went ahead and elected him. but you never know, something good might come out of it cause he is trying hard to shed his hawk image (he has to). unintended consquences. funny.
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Old 03-02-2005, 01:34 PM   #33
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a political theory advocating an authoritarian hierarchical government (as opposed to democracy or liberalism)
www.cogsci.princeton.edu/cgi-bin/webwn
Being a murderer does not make somebody a fascist! I seriously think that you are using the term fascist even when it is out of context because it is a very powerful statement against the leader of the Jewish state.

He may be crooked as a dog's hind leg but not a fascist he make.
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Old 03-03-2005, 10:30 AM   #34
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To the contrary, I would strongly argue that this would not have occurred without the invasion of Iraq.

You can't prove either side of this argument so I'll leave it at that.
But if more pro democratic events like this keep occurring it will be increasingly difficult to chalk it up to coincidence.
what is driving me crazy is that no matter what happens that is progressive in the Middle East, Republicans and the Bush regime not only claims credit for it, but also claim that the war in Iraq is the reason for the progress.

Libya doing a deal on weapons and Lockerbie so it can back into the international oil market? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq!

Lebanese reacting with revulsion to Hariri's assassination, probably by Syrian agents, and demanding Syria's exit from their country? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq!

Progress in the Palestinian-Israeli peace effort as a result of Arafat's death? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq!

what's also destructive is the tendency to take partisan political credit for anything progressive, and to blame anything bad on political enemies (both foreign and domestic) who "just don't get it." where is the recognition that Bush's international strategy even MIGHT be responsible for the negative radicalization we're seeing in places like Iran, North Korea, and maybe even Venezuela -- not to mention alienating essential partners in nation-building.

further, Bush not only takes credit for everything that is going well, and denies any responsibility for things that are going badly (and, let's be honest, how many people really feel that the world is, on balance, headed in the right direction?)

The result is that the first reaction i'm starting to have to good news in the Middle East (or anywhere else) is to think, "How can Bush be denied political credit for this, since you know he's going to claim it." and this is Bush's own political habits that have created this dynamic, and it started right after 9-11."
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:03 PM   #35
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what is driving me crazy is that no matter what happens that is progressive in the Middle East, Republicans and the Bush regime not only claims credit for it, but also claim that the war in Iraq is the reason for the progress.
Don't forget Afghanistan.
I prefer the term Bush Administration, it's more accurate.
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Libya doing a deal on weapons and Lockerbie so it can back into the international oil market? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq!

Lebanese reacting with revulsion to Hariri's assassination, probably by Syrian agents, and demanding Syria's exit from their country? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq!

Progress in the Palestinian-Israeli peace effort as a result of Arafat's death? Must be because Bush invaded Iraq!
It's not that cut and dry but at some point you have to stop chalking it up to coincidence. I'm not saying we're at that point yet. Who knows, this could all devolve into a nuclear war. History will tell. I hathink we'll know sooner rather than later.

You forgot to mention talk of elections in Egypt and Saudi Arabia (not holding my breath, but the door may be slightly cracked open).

Iran's government may well fall this decade.

To me it's not gloating, it's the vision of the world's most powerful yet most demonized man possibly coming to fruition. He bet his ass (and more importantly, many American lives) on the big idea that freedom brings security and prosperity. He will reap political benefit.

Bush has laid this idea out there speech after speech and you better believe the people of the world hear when any US President speaks. There are many oppressed around the world who hear these words and a seed is planted. People see it happening around them and start to think, yes, it could possibly happen here. They This is powerful.

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what's also destructive is the tendency to take partisan political credit for anything progressive, and to blame anything bad on political enemies (both foreign and domestic) who "just don't get it." where is the recognition that Bush's international strategy even MIGHT be responsible for the negative radicalization we're seeing in places like Iran, North Korea, and maybe even Venezuela -- not to mention alienating essential partners in nation-building.
Leaders lead and pay the political price if they're wrong. They take credit if they turn out right. Just a fact of life. You don't expect a love in with Kerry, Kennedy, Pelosi et al. do you? I do lay blame on many of these leaders who put politics ahead of country. (It's a fine line that I believe was crossed. You don't. Agree to disagree.)

Negative radicalization in Iran & North Korea? not a chance!
Nuclearization? Yes. We can talk about Bill Clinton's role in this if you'd like.

I would argue that Bush has helped propel positive anti- mullah sentiment in Iran with his over the top rhetoric.

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Originally posted by Irvine511


further, Bush not only takes credit for everything that is going well, and denies any responsibility for things that are going badly (and, let's be honest, how many people really feel that the world is, on balance, headed in the right direction?)
One could argue that the world has been going downhill since time began. That's quite a loaded question, but if what is happening in the Middle East is what I think is happening, I have to say, there may be a turning of a corner soon.

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The result is that the first reaction i'm starting to have to good news in the Middle East (or anywhere else) is to think, "How can Bush be denied political credit for this, since you know he's going to claim it." and this is Bush's own political habits that have created this dynamic, and it started right after 9-11."
Then there are many whose first reaction to bad news in Iraq was satisfaction that Bush's ratings would go down.

US presidents make decisions that shape the world and they are ultimately judged by these decisions. Credit will fall eventually where credit is due whether you like it or not.

What I think is a fraud is how campaigning Democrats gave Clinton credit for the early to mid 90s economy yet blamed Bush for the post 9-11 post Enron post bubble recession. Clinton presided over the coming of age of the friggin internet. The false economic bubble followed and burst just in time for Bush.
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Old 03-03-2005, 04:48 PM   #36
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I'll reiterate what I said before. The irony is that I may actually agree more with the Bush Administration's foreign policy these days. I certainly think that "rogue nations" need harsh rhetoric and the invasion of Afghanistan was justified. Iraq? What a mess, really, and I'm interested to see how it turns out yet. I still wish Iraq the best.

However, I don't elect my Presidents on the basis of foreign policy. I think Bush's domestic policy is an absolute disaster, and I disagree with absolutely everything he cooks up domestically. His pandering to the Religious Right is enough to make me gag and be frightened at the same time. His tax policies are a joke. A complete joke. He had a lot of discretion on how he could have applied the business tax cuts, including tying them to hiring more workers and paying them well. But it's clear: his interests are not with the working man, but with corporations.

I'm willing to give the Bush Administration credit where it is due, but I'm also not afraid to rip him a new one when I know he's wrong.

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Old 03-03-2005, 05:02 PM   #37
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Crappy server. Delete me.
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Old 03-03-2005, 05:09 PM   #38
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There are so many variables between a president's policies and actual outcomes, but I'd give the Bush tax cuts credit for the economic rebound. As far as "his interests are not with the working man, but with corporations" I believe his interests are with facilitating a healthy and prosperous US economic machine, which benefits working man and corporations both.
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Old 03-03-2005, 05:33 PM   #39
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There are so many variables between a president's policies and actual outcomes, but I'd give the Bush tax cuts credit for the economic rebound.
Sure, he might have contributed to corporate profits, but economists fairly generally agree that the job market in the U.S. is going to remain indefinitely stagnant. So while corporations profit, thus ending a "recession," labor is left out, as usual. I couldn't give a rat's ass about corporate profits, if they aren't going to add to job growth with them.

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As far as "his interests are not with the working man, but with corporations" I believe his interests are with facilitating a healthy and prosperous US economic machine, which benefits working man and corporations both.
A fancy description of "trickle-down economics." I think it's bullshit.

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Old 03-03-2005, 06:09 PM   #40
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The alternative to "trickle down" economics is instead of letting money trickle down, the government takes it, feeds itself while stunting corporate growth (ensuring it will have less and less to loot in the future), and gives what's left to the bottom, increasing dependence on government thus decreasing freedom.

Either way wealth reaches the bottom.
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Old 03-03-2005, 06:11 PM   #41
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Either way wealth reaches the bottom.
Except that, in "trickle-down economics," it never reaches the bottom. On the contrary, their wages remain stagnant and they have to increase benefits co-pays. And big business has the gall to oppose nationalized health care.

When Reagan repealed the Windfall Profits Tax in 1986, which punished excessive profits with a 25% tax (and thus forced businesses to invest in capital and raise wages to avoid the tax), the only incentive to give anything to "the bottom" ended.

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Old 03-03-2005, 06:26 PM   #42
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The "bottom" is jobs and wages.

Our "bottom" jobs and wage levels are way above most of the world, with the exception of possibly Europe.

How did all this wealth get there? It trickled down.

And you don't need "gall" to oppose national healthcare. Just a strong belief in the value of free market capitalism.

Who is the judge of what consists of "excessive profits"
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Old 03-03-2005, 08:10 PM   #43
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The "bottom" is jobs and wages.

Our "bottom" jobs and wage levels are way above most of the world, with the exception of possibly Europe.
We also have a cost of living higher than most of the world. Comparing us to non-industrialized nations is like comparing apples to oranges.

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How did all this wealth get there? It trickled down.

And you don't need "gall" to oppose national healthcare. Just a strong belief in the value of free market capitalism.

Who is the judge of what consists of "excessive profits"
For the absolute bottom? Minimum wage laws. I'm sure that if business could get away with paying someone $2 an hour, they'd still do it.

"Free market capitalism" has made me without health insurance for seven months now. "Free market capitalism," when I had health insurance, had copays deducted from my salary each pay period. "Free market capitalism" also gave me a high deductible. "Free market capitalism" also makes it cost prohibitive to shop around. "Free market capitalism," when it comes to health care, is a "take it or leave it" approach with no choice. How does "no choice" = "free market capitalism"? Only a "free market capitalist" could openly lie to perpetuate a system that makes high profits for a non-competitive industry like health care. You know what I say to that? Fuck "free market capitalism." I want affordable health care. I don't care if Corporation X can't profit off of nationalized health care.

Who is the judge of "excessive profits"? Well, the system worked well, until the GOP repealed the tax. Yes, there were rich people and rich, multinational corporations who stayed rich even after paying taxes. Why do they need to be even "richer"? Because they can? Well, folks, we have a fucking "war" to pay for, amongst other things. Who's going to pay for all of this?

Oh I guess that's what the 23% national sales tax is for.

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Old 03-04-2005, 07:07 AM   #44
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well, moving back to Lebanon and the ME ... it's interesting in that i kind of agree with Melon -- the part of the bush administration/regime/junta that i disagree with least is their foreign policy. i supported the invasion of Afghanistan, and i do agree that the role of the US should be to strongarm certain nations. however, i protested against the invasion of Iraq less for the idea itself and more for the manner in which the idea was implemented.

i don't think there's any question, however, that the ME is a powderkeg with a bunch of very angry, very young people, and i do believe in the power of idealism, which is, i think, Bush's most effective trait.

stand back ... i'm acually going to say a few nice things about Bush:

from Ukraine to Iraq to Lebanon to Egypt, we are seeing a slow transition to democracy. it is hardly a fait accompli - both Iraq and Lebanon could still descend into sectarian civil war, and Egypt has hardly begun - but it is heartening. i also have to confess that Bush's radical liberalism is very powerful. in fact, in the hands of more competant administrators -- i.e., Donald Fucking Rumsfeld -- this kind of idealism can be transformational, as the people of the Middle East are beginning to understand this. iraq is still a mess and has been shockingly mismanaged from the beginning -- from bullying allies to pissing on the UN to having absolutely NO plan for the post war, it's been an embarassment. and 1500 American lives (plus coalition deaths, plus tens of thousands of Iraqi deaths) is hardly a price i'm willing to pay for the removal of a very bad man.

i can credit Bush's idealism, however poorly applied, for placing the idea of change in the hands of the people of Lebanon.

but, please: let's stand up and cheer for the Ukrainians and the Lebanese, and let's not have the Bush administration (and you, drhark) during this into some sort of victory lap in some sort of competition where you want to point fingers and view everything through a "Bush good, Clinton bad" prism.

and, please, the cause of the Enron debacle was a combination of economic deregulation that started with Regan combined with a new, 1990s spirit of Texas cowboy capitalism that values flaunting the rules and some sort of creepy faith in the righteousness of the "free market." while Clinton didn't do much to stop this, it's hardly as straight and easy a line as you'd like to paint between the two.
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Old 03-04-2005, 12:00 PM   #45
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re-reading ... should say, "i.e., NOT Donald Fucking Rumsfeld."
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