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Old 08-17-2005, 01:04 AM   #106
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Originally posted by STING2
If the Communist dictatorship is adopting the same reforms that China has by throwing out their old Communist systems and embracing American capitialism, certainly the standard of living will improve.
China has adopted American-style capitalism? Are you kidding? Tariffs in the region of 10 percent, restrictions on internal migration and trade between provinces, the contribution made by TVEs to economic growth, bailing out SOEs with state-owned banks, the virtual absence of a fully functioning legal system - China is not a capitalist country. Depending on your perspective, China may be converging with western models of capitalism or following a different path entirely, but the fact remains that describing the country today as capitalist is wrong.

And as for your claim about the standard of living improving - in many areas China's standard of living has declined since 1978. In the Maoist era you saw an increase in life expectancy from c. 40 years in 1949 up to c. 69 years in 1976 -- the improvement has stagnated (and by some accounts, actually been reversed) since 1978. Millions of people, particularly in rural areas, no longer have access to healthcare as governments in the reform era have abandoned the policy of providing low-cost healthcare to the masses. Millions of children (particularly girls) no longer receive an education because families cannot afford the school fees introduced in the reform era. Standard of living cannot be determined on the basis of GDP data (or any opulence indicators) alone -- you also need to consider whether a country's increased wealth has been put to good use in terms of improving the population's quality of life.
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Old 08-17-2005, 01:17 AM   #107
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BAH!

Do you think America will ever view whats happening "outside" of their own fence as important as inside?

Do I care that a soldier, who went willingly to Iraq to invade a country, who was trained to withstand warfare, who (along with his family) have at least SOME expectation he could die as he was FIGHTING IN A WAR died "in the line of duty"
Well truth be told not really. I feel for his family, but when you sign up to be a soldier, you are accepting death as a part of your job and for that, your country is thankful.

What i feel sorry for is a country of innocent people who's lives have been SHATTERED beyond compare, in which nearly every inhabidant knows someone who has been killed because of this senseless war, in which the usa "smart bombs" still can land over a km from their target onto a residential part, or a school or something equally as naiive, not realisng that this day would be their last.

All this hoohaa over some woman who lost her soldier son in a war they shouldn't have gone too in the first place. He had a choice, he could have disagreed with it and not going and faced whatever consequences there are. The iraqi's didn't have one.

I wonder what its like, to be sleeping in bed and suddenly you're whole world goes quiet because you've been left deaf from the sounds of explosions raining down around you. Did they know they were going to be invaded, are they happy not having any water, electricity, safety, schools to go to, work to go to, but at least saddam isn't there torturing them anymoe! *rolls eyes*
Its this that keeps me up at night. While everyone fights semantics from their comftoable chairs around a plush boardroom, or from the cosy comfort of their computer room, innocent men women and children are dying at the hands of a clumsy, under trained hard ass militia of scary groups opposed to the invasion and the us army. Who both act exactly the same, giving the people or Iraq no where to turn.

pathetic.
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:13 AM   #108
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Do you have the same ammount of compassion for the hundreds of thousands of innocent people that were killed in Saddams reign of terror?

Compassion is a one way street and all it ends with is a pissing contest of which side can exploit as much grief for their aims.
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:44 AM   #109
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I'm not saying Saddam wasn't guilty of horrendous atrocities, what im saying is that Americans have a very inward view and all this media coverage is on the Cindy woman ans all the republican media is dishing dirt and trying to burn her in flames, and i *think* there are more important issues that are NOt being addressed!

Ok and for all this Saddam stuff, he's been captured! For over a year! Why are innocent people still dying? Because the army thought that they'd swoop in and iraqi's would be on their knees in thanks rather the resiliant to an invading army. Jeez, get a clue.

Ok, i went and found some information. And although i do agree that Saddam was absolutely evil and im glad they have gotten rid of him, i feel the way they went about it was totally wrong and therefore need to accept blame in what is happeneing now, and instead of focussing on stupid little 'omg cindy's getting a divorce i wonder why *gasp*' as i said there is a lot more that i believe matters then this.
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:23 AM   #110
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Well im sure that you will be able to find a shitload of sites that reinforce your view in its entirety, just like SBS and ABC news where it's all bombs and blood.

Some alternative starting points may be Arthur Chrenkoffs blog where he has done roundups of news articles that may get overlooked by more violent headlines ~ he's at www.chrenkoff.blogspot.com

You could also checkout Iraq the Model which although not a representative survey of all Iraqi's (pretty affluent and educated brothers) does give some interesting perspectives and also provide a launching point to other Iraqi blogs some with quite different views about the continued presence of the US. They are at iraqthemodel.blogspot.com

To get an idea of the scale of Saddams crimes the website massgraves.info documents the task of unearthing the victims of Saddam from mass graves (many victims of the international lethargy after the Gulf War that enabled Saddam to really supress the Shiite uprising ~ one damn fine reason that the Shiites have more faith in their own clerics than US promises that have in the past proven worthless).

You will find exactly what you are looking for. I am not saying that the country is peachy, there are significant problems in training the Iraqi army and this is slowing down reconstruction and making the political process a bit more difficult. But it is disengenous to totally ignore the progress that has been made since the wars end as well as the state of Iraq before the war. The infrastructure was not as functional pre-war ~ less electricity was being produced, resources were only allocated to major cities, there was even more death going on than there is post-war (but it was kept out of sight).

As far as your statement about "more than half" feeling that Saddams rule would be better, that is at odds with the consistent polling going back to the fall of Saddam, it has consistently been >80% better off (remember that Shiites and Kurds alone are an easy majority). The differences usually arise on if the country is going on the right track and if the security situation is better or worse before the war. And these can vary according to province ~ some of which (like the Kurdish North) are quite safe.
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Old 08-17-2005, 09:28 AM   #111
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Hey, A_Wanderer: Do you feel compassion for the millions of innocent victims still living under dictators just as bad or even worse than Saddam's, but have not had the benefit of our enlightning troops?

The only reason we chose this particular country for "democratization" (read: colonization) was the oil reserves. Why else are we spending hundereds of billions of dollars we don't have? When has the USA ever volunteered to bankrupt its treasury in pursuit of an ideal? (The American Revolution, Lincoln bankrupting the Federal Treasury to keep the Union together doesn't count. WWII doesn't count either, since we didn't enter that war until we were attacked.)
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Old 08-17-2005, 09:44 AM   #112
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Quote:
Originally posted by Teta040
Hey, A_Wanderer: Do you feel compassion for the millions of innocent victims still living under dictators just as bad or even worse than Saddam's, but have not had the benefit of our enlightning troops?

The only reason we chose this particular country for "democratization" (read: colonization) was the oil reserves. Why else are we spending hundereds of billions of dollars we don't have? When has the USA ever volunteered to bankrupt its treasury in pursuit of an ideal? (The American Revolution, Lincoln bankrupting the Federal Treasury to keep the Union together doesn't count. WWII doesn't count either, since we didn't enter that war until we were attacked.)
I like how you preface your comments by saying such and such an event where the United States did put everything on hold for an ideal doesn't count. That's almost like saying that if Saddam didn't murder those thousands of people, he wouldn't be a bad guy.
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Old 08-17-2005, 10:51 AM   #113
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When I say "doesn't count" I am strictly giving acadmic examples. In the Revolution, we weren't a country yet, just a scattering of loosely held together provinces. We weren't "America" yet. And if you've ever done some serious reading about the Revolution and its aftermath, it was a long, tedious, messy business, with lots of warring factions and the Founding Fathers doubting the whole thing would ever work. We don't like to focus on 1783, it;s far easier to talk about the easy stuff in 1776. Revolutions are alwys exciting, but it's the aftermath that's more important,

No, I am talking about Realpolitik, which is the way nations conduct business. Barring extrordinary circumstances like civil wars or being attacked by foreign powers, the bulk of US policy is done in terms of self-interest. Like other countries. Even the US commitment to Israel would not be such if the State Dept didn't see some practical benfit from the relationship. They don't just see it Biblical terms. I am not naieve enough to believe that. And before you say anything, the "being attacked by foreign powers" argument doesn't work as regards Iraq and 9/11, b/c of course we were NOT attacked by Iraq on 9/11. We were attacked by upper-middle class anti-Royal Family Saudis who are using America to carry on a fued with the current ruling branch of the al-Saud family. Namely, al-Queda.

Has anybody started a "Constitution Watch" type thread in the War area? Shoukd I keep it in the War forum or should I do it here? I'm reading a lot on the American Revolution and its aftermath right now and would like to have a discussion on the birth of democracy vis a vis Iraq. Of course, we are not attempting to start a democracy in Iraq, but a colony; nor do we really want democracy in the ME...but that's for another thread....
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Old 08-17-2005, 01:50 PM   #114
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They are different situations that lack the right convergence of interests and effects. I think that it is a fucking shame that a slave state like North Korea is allowed to exist in the world, but if there was a projection of US force in that situation it would get a lot (im talking millions) of people killed.

Just let me ask you this, if it is all about oil and colonisation why did the US waste money and lives with running an actual vote? why did they even bother staying around? Wouldn't it have been easier to keep the Iraqi army standing then stick Ahmend Chalabi as dictator in cheif life those in the anti-war movement insisted would happen.

I do not want to see US troops in Iraq for more than a few years, I doubt that Bush has an interest in spending a lot of US lives fighting a low level counter-insurgency campaign. It is just getting the Iraqi forces numbers up until they can protect a federal Iraq.

Also note; what were US interests being in Somalia? or going into the Balkans?
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:14 PM   #115
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dazzlingamy...let's be honest. we're humans. who do I want to see killed? my son? or someone in another country who I don't know? that's what I thought. It may not be right and it may not be fair, but that's human nature. Americans, with families in America, coming home in bodybags are more likely to affect how Americans feel about the American government. Go ahead and flame me for that, I don't care.

I'm under the impression that Sheehan re-enlisted after the war began, so while I feel his mother's pain, her argument doesn't hold much water.

If you really see the Americans as cruel invaders, and the terrorists as humble freedom fighters, please explain to me why it's basically only Sunni Iraqis (and foreigners) who are fighting the government. Not seeing much violence from the Shi'a...and the Kurdish area of northern Iraq is totally peaceful and flourishing economically. Both Shi'a and Sunnis live in Bagdhad which bore the brunt of the casualties...why are so few Shi'a going out to avenge their sisters?

I think Iraq was a mess to get into and handled poorly by the Bush administration, but I don't doubt taking Saddam out was a compassionate thing. I love it how some people would like to convince themselves that there was some kind of peaceful status quo until we invaded.

edit: and when I said taking Saddam out was a compassionate thing, please don't believe I meant we did it out of compassion. I can think of very few examples where any country ever has gone into a war out of compassion. I don't think the war was particularly about oil (I may be wrong), more strategic interests, having an ally and a base in the region. However it's never a bad thing when a byproduct of the war happens to be freeing thousands of people from concentration camps, ousting a murderous dictator, etc.
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:20 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally posted by VertigoGal
[B]

I'm under the impression that Sheehan re-enlisted after the war began, so while I feel his mother's pain, her argument doesn't hold much water.
She is claiming that he was lied to by his recruiters. That he wanted to be a chaplin's assistant, WHICH IS CONSIDERED A COMBAT POSITON. But instead was put into a maintenance unit, A NON_COMBAT UNIT.

He served his full four years, and REENLISTED, knowing he would be going to Iraq.

Being in a NON COMBAT UNIT he volunteered to go on a combat mission to help other soldiers that had got into trouble. While on the rescue mission to save lives, he was killed.

Based on my research...and readings of articles about the battle that day.
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Old 08-17-2005, 02:35 PM   #117
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That's sort of odd. In any case, anyone who goes to Iraq in the army or as a contractor, etc, accepts the risk that they might be killed. I get the feeling her son might be saying something different from his mom if he were here, except he's not here.
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Old 08-17-2005, 04:49 PM   #118
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Forgive my ignorance, but are there different kinds of impeachment? I ask because, Andrew Jackson got impeached and was kicked out of office. Richard Nixon would've been impeached but he resigned first in order to leave office under his own terms. Yet Clinton was impeached and wasn't kicked out of office. What's the difference?
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Old 08-17-2005, 05:07 PM   #119
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I know you can be impeached but not kicked out...I think impeachment means that the Congress "charges" you with the crime, however you can still stay in office.

"Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body formally levels charges against a high official of government. Impeachment does not necessarily mean removal from office; it comprises only a formal statement of charges, akin to an indictment in criminal law, and thus is only the first step towards possible removal. Once an individual is impeached, he or she must then face the possibility of conviction via legislative vote, which then entails the removal of the individual from office."

from wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment
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Old 08-17-2005, 06:16 PM   #120
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Forgive my ignorance, but are there different kinds of impeachment? I ask because, Andrew Jackson got impeached and was kicked out of office. Richard Nixon would've been impeached but he resigned first in order to leave office under his own terms. Yet Clinton was impeached and wasn't kicked out of office. What's the difference?
Andrew Jackson did not get kicked out of office, unless my brain is not working, he was impeached, but won as Clinton did during the trial phase.

No President has been removed because of the impeachment process year.

Nixon most likely would have been the first.
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