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Old 11-30-2005, 01:08 PM   #16
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In giving credit to Ronald Reagan for stopping the Cold War, he's conveniently forgetting Mikhail Gorbechev's role, with glastnost and perestroika and then letting the Warwaw Pact countries overthrow their dictators. For that matter you also have to credit Pope John Paul II, Lech Walesa, and Vaclav Havel (I wish like hell he'd won the Nobel this year).
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Old 11-30-2005, 01:30 PM   #17
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Re: One German's Opinion on the Ill Fated and Catastropihic Effects of Appeasement

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Originally posted by diamond
EUROPE - THY NAME IS COWARDICE (Commentary by Mathias Dapfner CEO, Axel Springer, AG)

A few days ago Henry Broder wrote in Welt am Sonntag, "Europe - your family name is appeasement." It's a phrase you can't get out of your head because it's so terribly true.

Appeasement cost millions of Jews and non-Jews their lives as England and France, allies at the time, negotiated and hesitated too long before they noticed that Hitler had to be fought, not bound to toothless agreements.

Appeasement legitimized and stabilized Communism in the Soviet Union, then East Germany, then all the rest of Eastern Europe where for decades, inhuman suppressive, murderous governments were glorified as the ideologically correct alternative to all other possibilities.

Appeasement crippled Europe when genocide ran rampant in Kosovo, and even though we had absolute proof of ongoing mass-murder, we Europeans debated and debated and debated, and were still debating when finally the Americans had to come from halfway around the world, into Europe yet again, and do our work for us.

Rather than protecting democracy in the Middle East, European appeasement, camouflaged behind the fuzzy word "equidistance,"now countenances suicide bombings in Israel by fundamentalist Palestinians.

Appeasement generates a mentality that allows Europe to ignore nearly 500,000 victims of Saddam's torture and murder machinery and, motivated by the self-righteousness of the peace-movement, has the gall to issue bad grades to George Bush... Even as it is uncovered that the loudest critics of the American action in Iraq made illicit billions, no, TENS of billions, in the corrupt U.N. Oil-for-Food program.

And now we are faced with a particularly grotesque form of appeasement. How is Germany reacting to the escalating violence by Islamic fundamentalists in Holland and elsewhere? By suggesting that we really should have a "Muslim Holiday" in Germany?

I wish I were joking, but I am not. A substantial fraction of our (German) Government, and if the polls are to be believed, the German people, actually believe that creating an Official State "Muslim Holiday" will somehow spare us from the wrath of the fanatical Islamists.

One cannot help but recall Britain's Neville Chamberlain waving the laughable treaty signed by Adolph Hitler, and declaring European "Peace in our time".

What else has to happen before the European public and its political leadership get it? There is a sort of crusade underway, an especially perfidious crusade consisting of systematic attacks by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open Western societies, and intent upon Western Civilization's utter destruction.

It is a conflict that will most likely last longer than any of the great military conflicts of the last century - a conflict conducted by an enemy that cannot be tamed by "tolerance" and "accommodation" but is actually spurred on by such gestures, which have proven to be, and will always be taken by the Islamists for signs of weakness.

Only two recent American Presidents had the courage needed for anti-appeasement: Reagan and Bush.

His American critics may quibble over the details, but we Europeans know the truth. We saw it first hand: Ronald Reagan ended the Cold War, freeing half of the German people from nearly 50 years of terror and virtual slavery. And Bush, supported only by the Social Democrat Blair, acting on moral conviction, recognized the danger in the Islamic War against democracy. His place in history will have to be evaluated after a number of years have passed.

In the meantime, Europe sits back with charismatic self-confidence in the multicultural corner, instead of defending liberal society's values and being an attractive center of power on the same playing field as the true great powers, America and China.

On the contrary - we Europeans present ourselves, in contrast to those arrogant Americans", as the World Champions of "tolerance", which even (Germany's Interior Minister) Otto Schily justifiably criticizes.

Why? Because we're so moral? I fear it's more because we're so materialistic so devoid of a moral compass.

For his policies, Bush risks the fall of the dollar, huge amounts of additional national debt, and a massive and persistent burden on the American economy - because unlike almost all of Europe, Bush realizes what is at stake - literally everything

While we criticize the "capitalistic robber barons" of America because they seem too sure of their priorities, we timidly defend our Social Welfare systems. Stay out of it! It could get expensive! We'd rather discuss reducing our 35-hour workweek or our dental coverage, or our 4 weeks of paid vacation... Or listen to TV pastors preach about the need to "reach out to terrorists. To understand and forgive".

These days, Europe reminds me of an old woman who, with shaking hands, frantically hides her last pieces of jewelry when she notices a robber breaking into a neighbor's house.

Appeasement?
Europe, thy name is Cowardice.

while i disagree with the way the war was carried out... while i disagree with bush on many issues... while i detested the way our government handled the tragedy in new orleans, our first big test after 9/11 to see if the new homeland security worked... while i find certain people within the administration to be highly unlikeable people with outside agendas effecting their decision making...

ultimately it is my heart felt belief in almost every single word this man said re: appeasment that made me vote for bush again.... i simply could not and do not trust that a large portion of the democratic party belives a word of this.

and for however much i may disagree with president bush and/or whatever future candidates may be shoverd in our faces... for the near future, my vote will go to whomever i feel stands for exactly what this author wrote.

the united states going back to a time where we react to islamic fundamentalism with a strategicly placed tomahawk missile and a lawsuit chills me to my very core. god help us if we ever return to that way of thought.


and i am very much not a neo-con... i don't like bush. i'm for gay marriage, i don't like abortion but i'm not neccesarily against it... i leave that for god to decide, and i am not some redneck schmuck from a red state who thinks that saddam hussein was behind 9/11... just to make that perfectly clear.
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Old 11-30-2005, 01:56 PM   #18
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Re: Re: One German's Opinion on the Ill Fated and Catastropihic Effects of Appeasement

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Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase



while i disagree with the way the war was carried out... while i disagree with bush on many issues... while i detested the way our government handled the tragedy in new orleans, our first big test after 9/11 to see if the new homeland security worked... while i find certain people within the administration to be highly unlikeable people with outside agendas effecting their decision making...

ultimately it is my heart felt belief in almost every single word this man said re: appeasment that made me vote for bush again.... i simply could not and do not trust that a large portion of the democratic party belives a word of this.

and for however much i may disagree with president bush and/or whatever future candidates may be shoverd in our faces... for the near future, my vote will go to whomever i feel stands for exactly what this author wrote.

the united states going back to a time where we react to islamic fundamentalism with a strategicly placed tomahawk missile and a lawsuit chills me to my very core. god help us if we ever return to that way of thought.


and i am very much not a neo-con... i don't like bush. i'm for gay marriage, i don't like abortion but i'm not neccesarily against it... i leave that for god to decide, and i am not some redneck schmuck from a red state who thinks that saddam hussein was behind 9/11... just to make that perfectly clear.


i respect your opinion very much. this post makes logical sense to me.

what does bother me is that there are elements of the European Left and even the European Center that needs to believe that you're nothing more than a redneck schmuck, that there's no possibility of, say, "rational American interventionalism." that there can only be one way for Europe, and that is the way not taken by the US. such polarized thinking does, in my experience, poison some dialogue in Europe and it's just as destructive (and, bluntly, idiotic) as Bush's "you're either with us or against us."
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Old 11-30-2005, 02:29 PM   #19
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Re: Re: Re: One German's Opinion on the Ill Fated and Catastropihic Effects of Appeasement

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Originally posted by Irvine511


there's no possibility of, say, "rational American interventionalism." that there can only be one way for Europe, and that is the way not taken by the US.
While I also respect Headaches opinion, is the current war really what you would characterize as "rational American interventionalism"?

America - no, not America itself, but American interventions & policies of various administrations - have not proved to be worthy to have the right to intervene. That´s a simple and practical fact, not polarized thinking.
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Old 11-30-2005, 03:20 PM   #20
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Re: Re: Re: Re: One German's Opinion on the Ill Fated and Catastropihic Effects of Appeasement

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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars


While I also respect Headaches opinion, is the current war really what you would characterize as "rational American interventionalism"?

America - no, not America itself, but American interventions & policies of various administrations - have not proved to be worthy to have the right to intervene. That´s a simple and practical fact, not polarized thinking.


i agree with you on the first point.

the second, i do not. that is not fact, that is selective worldview and polarized thinking. rational people can have long, in-depth discussions on what America has done right and what it has done wrong certainly since the end of WW2 (would you not have us intervened in WW2?) and even before that.

for you to present it as obvious is *precisely* what drives me nuts about politican discussions with some Europeans.

how would you feel if i said, "American interventions and policies of various adminsitrations, for all the mistakes made, have always resulted in a better situation than the one that was there before it and the world is a fundamentally better place since the end of WW2 precisely because of American interventionalism"?

because you're giving me the same line of thought, just in reverse.
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Old 11-30-2005, 04:50 PM   #21
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Re:

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One Israli's Opinion on the Ill Fated and Catastropihic Effects of Bush Incompetence


Martin van Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University, is author of "Transformation of War" (Free Press, 1991). He is the only non-American author on the U.S. Army's required reading list for officers.


For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.



Quote:
Costly Withdrawal Is the Price To Be Paid for a Foolish War
By Martin van Creveld
November 25, 2005

The number of American casualties in Iraq is now well more than 2,000, and there is no end in sight. Some two-thirds of Americans, according to the polls, believe the war to have been a mistake. And congressional elections are just around the corner.

What had to come, has come. The question is no longer if American forces will be withdrawn, but how soon — and at what cost. In this respect, as in so many others, the obvious parallel to Iraq is Vietnam.

Confronted by a demoralized army on the battlefield and by growing opposition at home, in 1969 the Nixon administration started withdrawing most of its troops in order to facilitate what it called the "Vietnamization" of the country. The rest of America's forces were pulled out after Secretary of State Henry Kissinger negotiated a "peace settlement" with Hanoi. As the troops withdrew, they left most of their equipment to the Army of the Republic of South Vietnam — which just two years later, after the fall of Saigon, lost all of it to the communists.

Clearly this is not a pleasant model to follow, but no other alternative appears in sight.

Whereas North Vietnam at least had a government with which it was possible to arrange a cease-fire, in Iraq the opponent consists of shadowy groups of terrorists with no central organization or command authority. And whereas in the early 1970s equipment was still relatively plentiful, today's armed forces are the products of a technology-driven revolution in military affairs. Whether that revolution has contributed to anything besides America's national debt is open to debate. What is beyond question, though, is that the new weapons are so few and so expensive that even the world's largest and richest power can afford only to field a relative handful of them.

Therefore, simply abandoning equipment or handing it over to the Iraqis, as was done in Vietnam, is simply not an option. And even if it were, the new Iraqi army is by all accounts much weaker, less skilled, less cohesive and less loyal to its government than even the South Vietnamese army was. For all intents and purposes, Washington might just as well hand over its weapons directly to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

Clearly, then, the thing to do is to forget about face-saving and conduct a classic withdrawal.

Handing over their bases or demolishing them if necessary, American forces will have to fall back on Baghdad. From Baghdad they will have to make their way to the southern port city of Basra, and from there back to Kuwait, where the whole misguided adventure began. When Prime Minister Ehud Barak pulled Israel out of Lebanon in 2000, the military was able to carry out the operation in a single night without incurring any casualties. That, however, is not how things will happen in Iraq.

Not only are American forces perhaps 30 times larger, but so is the country they have to traverse. A withdrawal probably will require several months and incur a sizable number of casualties. As the pullout proceeds, Iraq almost certainly will sink into an all-out civil war from which it will take the country a long time to emerge — if, indeed, it can do so at all. All this is inevitable and will take place whether George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice like it or not.

Having been thoroughly devastated by two wars with the United States and a decade of economic sanctions, decades will pass before Iraq can endanger its neighbors again. Yet a complete American withdrawal is not an option; the region, with its vast oil reserves, is simply too important for that. A continued military presence, made up of air, sea and a moderate number of ground forces, will be needed.

First and foremost, such a presence will be needed to counter Iran, which for two decades now has seen the United States as "the Great Satan." Tehran is certain to emerge as the biggest winner from the war — a winner that in the not too distant future is likely to add nuclear warheads to the missiles it already has. In the past, Tehran has often threatened the Gulf States. Now that Iraq is gone, it is hard to see how anybody except the United States can keep the Gulf States, and their oil, out of the mullahs' clutches.

A continued American military presence will be needed also, because a divided, chaotic, government-less Iraq is very likely to become a hornets' nest. From it, a hundred mini-Zarqawis will spread all over the Middle East, conducting acts of sabotage and seeking to overthrow governments in Allah's name.

The Gulf States apart, the most vulnerable country is Jordan, as evidenced by the recent attacks in Amman. However, Turkey, Egypt and, to a lesser extent, Israel are also likely to feel the impact. Some of these countries, Jordan in particular, are going to require American assistance.

Maintaining an American security presence in the region, not to mention withdrawing forces from Iraq, will involve many complicated problems, military as well as political. Such an endeavor, one would hope, will be handled by a team different from — and more competent than — the one presently in charge of the White House and Pentagon.

For misleading the American people, and launching the most foolish war since Emperor Augustus in 9 B.C sent his legions into Germany and lost them, Bush deserves to be impeached and, once he has been removed from office, put on trial along with the rest of the president's men. If convicted, they'll have plenty of time to mull over their sins.
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Old 11-30-2005, 05:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Headache in a Suitcase
ultimately it is my heart felt belief in almost every single word this man said re: appeasment that made me vote for bush again.... i simply could not and do not trust that a large portion of the democratic party belives a word of this.
I am an independent, not a Democrat, but I really do not understand this line of argument. I have heard it many times, and it doesn't outrage or alarm me or anything of that sort, but I simply do not understand it and am unmoved by it.

If "the war" to be fought is against international Islamist terrorist networks, how are we demonstrating leadership in that struggle by invading a secular dictatorship whose alleged role as sponsor par excellence of global Islamist terrorism has yet to be credibly shown? Why not invade Saudi Arabia instead, or Pakistan (also politically secular, but with far more substantiated links to terrorism)? Merely demonstrating a will to invade predominantly Muslim countries does not constitute leadership; neither does willingness to alienate Muslims indiscriminately, rather than building relations with wisely chosen allies.

In my view, the Republicans, like everyone else, have yet to show that they actually have a well-thought-through, well-supported-by-intelligence, militarily-sustainable, and longterm-viable plan for addressing the threat of global Islamist terrorism. While I find this as frightening as anyone would, I can hardly find it surprising, since Western governments in general have very little experience in dealing with loosely organized, international, underground terrorist networks that are independent of any state, regime or army.

Once they, or anyone else, have something I can recognize as a viable strategy--I am all for it, including military dimensions. But I simply do not see any solid approaches being offered right now, Republican or otherwise.
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:13 PM   #23
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Irvine511: an update on the facts:

just some examples, quoting
William Blum

from http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Bl...ns_WBlumZ.html

The engine of American foreign policy has been fueled not by a devotion to any kind of morality, but rather by the necessity to serve other imperatives, which can be summarized as follows:

* making the world safe for American corporations;
* enhancing the financial statements of defense contractors at home who have contributed generously to members of congress;
* preventing the rise of any society that might serve as a successful example of an alternative to the capitalist model;
* extending political and economic hegemony over as wide an area as possible, as befits a "great power."

This in the name of fighting a supposed moral crusade against what cold warriors convinced themselves, and the American people, was the existence of an evil International Communist Conspiracy, which in fact never existed, evil or not.
The United States carried out extremely serious interventions into more than 70 nations in this period.

China, 1945-49:
Intervened in a civil war, taking the side of Chiang Kai-shek against the Communists, even though the latter had been a much closer ally of the United States in the world war. The U.S. used defeated Japanese soldiers to fight for its side. The Communists forced Chiang to flee to Taiwan in 1949.

Greece, 1947-49:
Intervened in a civil war, taking the side of the neo-fascists against the Greek left which had fought the Nazis courageously. The neo-fascists won and instituted a highly brutal regime, for which the CIA created a new internal security agency, KYP. Before long, KYP was carrying out all the endearing practices of secret police everywhere, including systematic torture.

Philippines, 1945-53:
U.S. military fought against leftist forces (Huks) even while the Huks were still fighting against the Japanese invaders. After the war, the U. S. continued its fight against the Huks, defeating them, and then installing a series of puppets as president, culminating in the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.

Albania, 1949-53:
The U.S. and Britain tried unsuccessfully to overthrow the communist government and install a new one that would have been pro-Western and composed largely of monarchists and collaborators with Italian fascists and Nazis.

Germany, 1950s:
The CIA orchestrated a wide-ranging campaign of sabotage, terrorism, dirty tricks, and psychological warfare against East Germany. This was one of the factors which led to the building of the Berlin Wall.

Iran, 1953:
Prime Minister Mossadegh was overthrown in a joint U.S./British operation. Mossadegh had been elected to his position by a large majority of parliament, but he had made the fateful mistake of spearheading the movement to nationalize a British-owned oil company, the sole oil company operating in Iran. The coup restored the Shah to absolute power and began a period of 25 years of repression and torture, with the oil industry being restored to foreign ownership, as follows: Britain and the U.S., each 40 percent, other nations 20 percent.

Guatemala, 1953-1990s:
A CIA-organized coup overthrew the democratically-elected and progressive government of Jacobo Arbenz, initiating 40 years of death-squads, torture, disappearances, mass executions, and unimaginable cruelty, totaling well over 100,000 victims -indisputably one of the most inhuman chapters of the 20th century. Arbenz had nationalized the U.S. firm, United Fruit Company, which had extremely close ties to the American power elite. As justification for the coup, Washington declared that Guatemala had been on the verge of a Soviet takeover, when in fact the Russians had so little interest in the country that it didn't even maintain diplomatic relations. The real problem in the eyes of Washington, in addition to United Fruit, was the danger of Guatemala's social democracy spreading to other countries in Latin America.

Middle East, 1956-58:
The Eisenhower Doctrine stated that the United States "is prepared to use armed forces to assist" any Middle East country "requesting assistance against armed aggression from any country controlled by international communism." The English translation of this was that no one would be allowed to dominate, or have excessive influence over, the middle east and its oil fields except the United States, and that anyone who tried would be, by definition, "Communist." In keeping with this policy, the United States twice attempted to overthrow the Syrian government, staged several shows-of-force in the Mediterranean to intimidate movements opposed to U.S.-supported governments in Jordan and Lebanon, landed 14,000 troops in Lebanon, and conspired to overthrow or assassinate Nasser of Egypt and his troublesome middle-east nationalism.


British Guyana, 1953-64:
For 11 years, two of the oldest democracies in the world, Great Britain and the United States, went to great lengths to prevent a democratically elected leader from occupying his office. Cheddi Jagan was another Third World leader who tried to remain neutral and independent. He was elected three times. Although a leftist-more so than Sukarno or Arbenz-his policies in office were not revolutionary. Using a wide variety of tactics-from general strikes and disinformation to terrorism and British legalisms, the U. S. and Britain finally forced Jagan out in 1964. John F. Kennedy had given a direct order for his ouster, as, presumably, had Eisenhower.

Vietnam, 1950-73
Cambodia, 1955-73:
Prince Sihanouk was yet another leader who did not fancy being an American client. After many years of hostility towards his regime, including assassination plots and the infamous Nixon/Kissinger secret "carpet bombings" of 1969-70, Washington finally overthrew Sihanouk in a coup in 1970. This was all that was needed to impel Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge forces to enter the fray. Five years later, they took power. But five years of American bombing had caused Cambodia's traditional economy to vanish. The old Cambodia had been destroyed forever.

Incredibly, the Khmer Rouge were to inflict even greater misery on this unhappy land. To add to the irony, the United States supported Pol Pot, militarily and diplomatically, after their subsequent defeat by the Vietnamese.

Congo/Zaire, 1960-65:
In June 1960, Patrice Lumumba became the Congo's first prime minister after independence from Belgium. But Belgium retained its vast mineral wealth in Katanga province, prominent Eisenhower administration officials had financial ties to the same wealth, and Lumumba, at Independence Day ceremonies before a host of foreign dignitaries, called for the nation's economic as well as its political liberation, and recounted a list of injustices against the natives by the white owners of the country. Eleven days later, Katanga province seceded, in September, Lumumba was dismissed by the president at the instigation of the United States, and in January 1961 he was assassinated at the express request of Dwight Eisenhower. There followed several years of civil conflict and chaos and the rise to power of Mobutu Sese Seko, a man not a stranger to the CIA. Mobutu went on to rule the country for more than 30 years, with a level of corruption and cruelty that shocked even his CIA handlers. The Zairian people lived in abject poverty despite the plentiful natural wealth, while Mobutu became a multibillionaire.

Brazil, 1961-64:
President Joao Goulart took an independent stand in foreign policy, resuming relations with socialist countries and opposing sanctions against Cuba; his administration passed a law limiting the amount of profits multinationals could transmit outside the country; a subsidiary of ITT was nationalized; he promoted economic and social reforms. And Attorney-General Robert Kennedy was uneasy about Goulart allowing "communists" to hold positions in government agencies. Yet the man was no radical. He was a millionaire land-owner and a Catholic who wore a medal of the Virgin around his neck.

In 1964, he was overthrown in a military coup which had deep, covert American involvement. The official Washington line was...yes, it's unfortunate that democracy has been overthrown in Brazil...but, still, the country has been saved from communism.
For the next 15 years, all the features of military dictatorship that Latin America has come to know were instituted: Congress was shut down, political opposition was reduced to virtual extinction, habeas corpus for "political crimes" was suspended, criticism of the president was forbidden by law, labor unions were taken over by government interveners, mounting protests were met by police and military firing into crowds, peasants' homes were burned down, priests were brutalized...disappearances, death squads, a remarkable degree and depravity of torture...the government had a name for its program: the "moral rehabilitation" of Brazil.

Washington was very pleased. Brazil broke relations with Cuba and became one of the United States' most reliable allies in Latin America.

Dominican Republic, 1963-66:
In February 1963, Juan Bosch took office as the first democratically elected president of the Dominican Republic since 1924. Here at last was John F. Kennedy's liberal anti-Communist, to counter the charge that the U.S. supported only military dictatorships. Bosch's government was to be the long sought " showcase of democracy " that would put the lie to Fidel Castro. He was given the grand treatment in Washington shortly before he took office.

Bosch was true to his beliefs. He called for land reform, low-rent housing, modest nationalization of business, and foreign investment provided it was not excessively exploitative of the country and other policies making up the program of any liberal Third World leader serious about social change. He was likewise serious about civil liberties: Communists, or those labeled as such, were not to be persecuted unless they actually violated the law.

A number of American officials and congresspeople expressed their discomfort with Bosch's plans, as well as his stance of independence from the United States. Land reform and nationalization are always touchy issues in Washington, the stuff that "creeping socialism" is made of. In several quarters of the U.S. press Bosch was red-baited.

In September, the military boots marched. Bosch was out. The United States, which could discourage a military coup in Latin America with a frown, did nothing. Nineteen months later, a revolt broke out which promised to put the exiled Bosch back into power. The United States sent 23,000 troops to help crush it.

Indonesia, 1965:
A complex series of events, involving a supposed coup attempt, a counter-coup, and perhaps a counter-counter-coup, with American fingerprints apparent at various points, resulted in the ouster from power of Sukarno and his replacement by a military coup led by General Suharto. The massacre that began immediately-of Communists, Communist sympathizers, suspected Communists, suspected Communist sympathizers, and none of the above-was called by the New York Times "one of the most savage mass slayings of modern political history." The estimates of the number killed in the course of a few years begin at half a million and go above a million.

It was later learned that the U.S. embassy had compiled lists of "Communist" operatives, from top echelons down to village cadres, as many as 5,000 names, and turned them over to the army, which then hunted those persons down and killed them. The Americans would then check off the names of those who had been killed or captured. "It really was a big help to the army. They probably killed a lot of people, and I probably have a lot of blood on my hands," said one U.S. diplomat. "But that's not all bad. There's a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment. "

Chile, 1964-73:
Salvador Allende was the worst possible scenario for a Washington imperialist. He could imagine only one thing worse than a Marxist in power-an elected Marxist in power, who honored the constitution, and became increasingly popular. This shook the very foundation stones on which the anti-Communist tower was built: the doctrine, painstakingly cultivated for decades, that communists can take power only through force and deception, that they can retain that power only through terrorizing and brainwashing the population.

After sabotaging Allende's electoral endeavor in 1964, and failing to do so in 1970, despite their best efforts, the CIA and the rest of the American foreign policy machine left no stone unturned in their attempt to destabilize the Allende government over the next three years, paying particular attention to building up military hostility. Finally, in September 1973, the military overthrew the government, Allende dying in the process.

They closed the country to the outside world for a week, while the tanks rolled and the soldiers broke down doors; the stadiums rang with the sounds of execution and the bodies piled up along the streets and floated in the river; the torture centers opened for business; the subversive books were thrown into bonfires;

soldiers slit the trouser legs of women, shouting that "In Chile women wear dresses!"; the poor returned to their natural state; and the men of the world in Washington and in the halls of international finance opened up their check- books. In the end, more than 3,000 had been executed, thousands more tortured or disappeared.

Greece, 1964-74:
The military coup took place in April 1967, just two days before the campaign for national elections was to begin, elections which appeared certain to bring the veteran liberal leader George Papandreou back as prime minister. Papandreou had been elected in February 1964 with the only outright majority in the history of modern Greek elections. The successful machinations to unseat him had begun immediately, a joint effort of the Royal Court, the Greek military, and the American military and CIA stationed in Greece. The 1967 coup was followed immediately by the traditional martial law, censorship, arrests, beatings, torture, and killings, the victims totaling some 8,000 in the first month. This was accompanied by the equally traditional declaration that this was all being done to save the nation from a "Communist takeover." Corrupting and subversive influences in Greek life were to be removed. Among these were miniskirts, long hair, and foreign newspapers; church attendance for the young would be compulsory.

It was torture, however, which most indelibly marked the seven-year Greek nightmare. James Becket, an American attorney sent to Greece by Amnesty International, wrote in December 1969 that "a conservative estimate would place at not less than two thousand" the number of people tortured, usually in the most gruesome of ways, often with equipment supplied by the United States.

George Papandreou was not any kind of radical. He was a liberal anti-Communist type. But his son Andreas, the heir-apparent, while only a little to the left of his father had not disguised his wish to take Greece out of the Cold War, and had questioned remaining in NATO, or at least as a satellite of the United States.

East Timor, 1975 to present:
In December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor, which lies at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago, and which had proclaimed its independence after Portugal had relinquished control of it. The invasion was launched the day after U. S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had left Indonesia after giving Suharto permission to use American arms, which, under U.S. Iaw, could not be used for aggression. Indonesia was Washington's most valuable tool in Southeast Asia.

Amnesty International estimated that by 1989, Indonesian troops, with the aim of forcibly annexing East Timor, had killed 200,000 people out of a population of between 600,000 and 700,000. The United States consistently supported Indonesia's claim to East Timor (unlike the UN and the EU), and downplayed the slaughter to a remarkable degree, at the same time supplying Indonesia with all the military hardware and training it needed to carry out the job.

Nicaragua, 1978-89:
When the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza dictatorship in 1978, it was clear to Washington that they might well be that long-dreaded beast-"another Cuba." Under President Carter, attempts to sabotage the revolution took diplomatic and economic forms. Under Reagan, violence was the method of choice. For eight terribly long years, the people of Nicaragua were under attack by Washington's proxy army, the Contras, formed from Somoza's vicious National Guard and other supporters of the dictator. It was all-out war, aiming to destroy the progressive social and economic programs of the government, burning down schools and medical clinics, raping, torturing, mining harbors, bombing and strafing. These were Ronald Reagan's "freedom fighters."

Grenada, 1979-84:
Maurice Bishop and his followers had taken power in a 1979 coup, and though their actual policies were not as revolutionary as Castro's, Washington was again driven by its fear of "another Cuba," particularly when public appearances by the Grenadian leaders in other countries of the region met with great enthusiasm. U. S. destabilization tactics against the Bishop government began soon after the coup and continued until 1983. The American invasion in October 1983 met minimal resistance, although the U.S. suffered 135 killed or wounded; there were also some 400 Grenadian casualties, and 84 Cubans, mainly construction workers.

At the end of 1984, a questionable election was held which was won by a man supported by the Reagan administration. One year later, the human rights organization, Council on Hemispheric Affairs, reported that Grenada's new U.S.-trained police force and counter-insurgency forces had acquired a reputation for brutality, arbitrary arrest, and abuse of authority, and were eroding civil rights.

In April 1989, the government issued a list of more than 80 books which were prohibited from being imported. Four months later, the prime minister suspended parliament to forestall a threatened no-confidence vote resulting from what his critics called "an increasingly authoritarian style."

Libya, 1981-89:
U.S. planes shot down two Libyan planes in what Libya regarded as its air space. The U. S . also dropped bombs on the country, killing at least 40 people, including Muammar al Qaddafi's daughter. There were other attempts to assassinate the man, operations to overthrow him, etc.

Panama, 1989:
December 1989, a large tenement barrio in Panama City was wiped out, 15,000 people left homeless. Counting several days of ground fighting against Panamanian forces, 500-something dead was the official body count, what the U.S. and the new U.S.-installed Panamanian government admitted to; other sources, with no less evidence, insisted that thousands had died; 3,000-something wounded. Twenty-three Americans dead, 324 wounded.
Question from reporter: "Was it really worth it to send people to their death for this? To get Noriega?"
George Bush: "Every human life is precious, and yet I have to answer, yes, it has been worth it."
Manuel Noriega had been an American ally and informant for years until he outlived his usefulness. But getting him was not the only motive for the attack. Bush wanted to send a clear message to the people of Nicaragua, who had an election scheduled in two months, that this might be their fate if they reelected the Sandinistas. Bush also wanted to flex some military muscle to illustrate to Congress the need for a large combat-ready force even after the very recent dissolution of the "Soviet threat." The official explanation for the American ouster was Noriega's drug trafficking, which Washington had known about for years and had not been at all bothered by.

El Salvador, 1980-92:
El Salvador's dissidents tried to work within the system. But with U.S. support, the government made that impossible, using repeated electoral fraud and murdering hundreds of protesters and strikers. In 1980, the dissidents took to the gun, and civil war.

Officially, the U.S. military presence in El Salvador was limited to an advisory capacity. In actuality, military and CIA personnel played a more active role on a continuous basis. About 20 Americans were killed or wounded in helicopter and plane crashes while flying reconnaissance or other missions over combat areas, and considerable evidence surfaced of a U.S. role in the ground fighting as well. The war came to an official end in 1992; 75,000 civilian deaths and the U.S. Treasury depleted by six billion dollars. Meaningful social change has been largely thwarted. A handful of the wealthy still own the country, the poor remain as ever, and dissidents still have to fear right-wing death squads.

Haiti, 1987-94:
The U.S. supported the Duvalier family dictatorship for 30 years, then opposed the reformist priest, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Meanwhile, the CIA was working intimately with death squads, torturers, and drug traffickers. With this as background, the Clinton White House found itself in the awkward position of having to pretend-because of all their rhetoric about "democracy"-that they supported Aristide's return to power in Haiti after he had been ousted in a 1991 military coup. After delaying his return for more than two years, Washington finally had its military restore Aristide to office, but only after obliging the priest to guarantee that he would not help the poor at the expense of the rich, and that he would stick closely to free-market economics. This meant that Haiti would continue to be the assembly plant of the Western Hemisphere, with its workers receiving literally starvation wages.

Yugoslavia, 1999:
The United States is bombing the country back to a pre-industrial era. It would like the world to believe that its intervention is motivated only by "humanitarian" impulses. Perhaps the above history of U.S. interventions can help one decide how much weight to place on this claim.

Haven´t been mentioning Iraq and Afghanistan (and left out a couple of minor ones compared to the rest),.. just to complete the list.






"for you to present it as obvious is *precisely* what drives me nuts about politican discussions with some Europeans."

-looking at the above, I can´t really help you if that drives you nuts.-
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Old 11-30-2005, 08:03 PM   #24
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Originally posted by whenhiphopdrovethebigcars
A-Wanderer, you will get the same problem with me, if you can´t differ between anti-Islam and anti-terrorist (or anti-Jihad)
And I call bullshit on it because Islam is a religion and it offends me as an atheist to see it protected by means of anti-racism.
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:07 PM   #25
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And I call bullshit on it because Islam is a religion and it offends me as an atheist to see it protected by means of anti-racism.
How do you understand the term "race"? Check the Oxford English Dictionary, or Webster's, or the American Heritage--the genotypic/phenotypic definition I suspect you are limiting it to is merely one legitimate definition of the term; it can also be used as a synonym for what sociologists prefer to call "ethnicity," and ethnicity is, by definition, a socially ascribed identity. While decisions about which groups constitute "ethnic groups" and which do not inevitably bear some arbitrariness, most sociologists would not consider it controversial to say that "Muslim" functions as an ethnic identity in many societies, including ones where Muslims may share phenotypic, linguistic and other features with other "ethnic groups."

Since "racism" is defined as discrimination based on race, it can and in practice often does refer to discrimination based on race-as-ethnicity. Whether we ought to have wholly separate terms for such discrimination, as opposed to discrimination based on "race" understood as genotype/phenotype, is another matter.
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:40 PM   #26
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Originally posted by yolland

How do you understand the term "race"?
Yeah, I'm a little confused as to how A_W is defining as well.
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:52 PM   #27
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Broadly speaking calling Islam a race or even a specific ethnic group is flawed. It could be a part of identity that certain groups identify but taken broadly it encompasses a very large number of human populations with a very large geographic distribution. I would furthur venture that as a religion it is a set of ideas and concepts that relate to how a society should operate and belief in a higher power, ideas that are not dependent on race or ethnicity.

I will put it thus, discimation against immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East on the basis of their ethnicity would be racist, such a position would be discriminatory regardless of their religion, a Muslim Arab would be at as much disadvantage as a Christian Arab. Islam is not as racially exclusive (and I will take a broad view of race as populations with some outwardly defining characteristics, the genetic basis of race is a very touchy subject even when it comes to matters like disease risk factors) as some other religions that are more tightly associated with a single ethnic groups.

Placing Islam itself in the category of race basically puts it off limits from any and all criticism for fear of being labelled racist. Now I find that to be bullshit because somebody who finds religion to be a total fucking scam but at the same time thinks that every individual human being has more or less the same ammount of human potential (independent of economic position or debilitating genetic disease) regardless of ethnic identity would be considered a racist.

I put Islam in the same category as Christianity, both are prosthelyzing religions that are not dependent on race, both are religions that have spread around the globe often times doing great violence and both compell people to suspend the concept of logic. The only difference between the two is that Christianity has been rendered impotent to do damage by secularism, liberalism and scientific method, and the Christian revivalists may try all their might to fuck over and defeat atheistic materialism with creationism and censorship but they can never regain the past position of religion in day to day life of societal adherence to scripture. I would welcome the day when Islamic fundamentalists are protesting outside liquor shops and television stations instead of blowing people up and trying to take over the world.

I can be equally contemptuous towards all religions although the ones that are outwardly intollerent towards the principles I believe in generally get my ire.
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:53 PM   #28
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:56 PM   #29
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer

Placing Islam itself in the category of race basically puts it off limits from any and all criticism for fear of being labelled racist.
Do you think this is equivalent of people who criticize Israel being labelled anti-Semitic? I'm just trying to follow along with your reasoning.
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Old 12-01-2005, 12:02 AM   #30
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Criticising Israel is not anti-semitic, blaming all the worlds ills on some sort of cabal of sinister Jewish overlords or having a good old blood libel would probably cross that line.

Criticising "The Jews" becomes a more interesting proposition because most Jewish populations have through societal pressures been kept part of an ethnic group (Ashkenazi Jews in Europe generally, although there are clear exceptions to this such as the Beta Israel).

Judaism is very closely associated to a specific ethnic group, this is not the case with Islam or Christianity. Therein lies the difference.
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