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Old 01-20-2005, 10:55 PM   #16
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Guess I knew the answer, I just didn't know that was the answer. In return, I'm obviously more comfortable with the mainstream protesters, even if some of their protests get out of hand. Still, it amplifies the idea that you don't exactly have to be anti-violence to be anti-war. I don't exactly glorify protesters, but I have to respect their freedom to publically proclaim their views. I especially respect those on the left like HipHop for example, who may have a fair share of liberal principles, but realizes that comparing the president to mass murderers is going to far. That sounds pretty reasonable to me.
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Old 01-20-2005, 11:05 PM   #17
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I dont think that HipHop ever has any trouble calling the president a mass murderer the problem is that it comes of as too harsh.
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Old 01-21-2005, 05:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
I especially respect those on the left like HipHop for example, who may have a fair share of liberal principles, but realizes that comparing the president to mass murderers is going to far. That sounds pretty reasonable to me.
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
I dont think that HipHop ever has any trouble calling the president a mass murderer the problem is that it comes of as too harsh.
I appreciate being interpreted.

Thank you both *charming smile for the crowd*

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Old 01-21-2005, 08:45 AM   #19
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wearing homemade aluminum hats
I guess it protects them from the CIA's mind controlling rays as authorized under the Patriot Act....
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Old 01-21-2005, 10:35 AM   #20
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The article I posted was mellow compared to the link A_Wanderer gave. Again, it isn't the mainstream democrats that protest rationally and peacefully, it's the extremists that present scary ideas and interpret conspiracy theories as facts.

However, the outrageously radical left propaganda is out there, and they are nasty even with liberal democrats who support a mainstream presidential candidate such as John Kerry. They drill for ways to promote hatred to a capitalist society, they call for revolutions, and degrade those who fought for fulfilling lives.

I know someone at work who is a self-declared communist, and doesn't shut up about his "revolution" he wants. What good would that do? The government is a good thing, but they aren't responsible for washing your hands after every piss you take.
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Old 01-21-2005, 10:39 AM   #21
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I'm not a Bush supporter but some of this stuff pissed me off. Some people who went to the Inauguration got spit on! The accusation that Bush is exterminating the Muslim race is excessive, to say the least. If this were true, the Muslim countries would shut down their U.S. embassies and kick all of the Americans out of their countries. All many protesters did was turn their backs on Bush. They didn't have signs, weren't screaming or anything, didn't screw up anyone's day, just said their piece and left.
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Old 01-21-2005, 10:58 AM   #22
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Very understandable, Verte. It seems the radicals get their news from Baghdad Bob, and want us to fail miserably in Iraq to further their twisted agendas that are filled with falsehoods and conspiracy theories.

I'd like to ask you, honestly, have you ever seen this kind of stuff go on at a protest you've been involved in?

I'm just curious, I've never been involved in a protest in my life, I question the rationality and effectiveness of it, but I see from a number of your posts that you've been involved with them.
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Old 01-21-2005, 05:22 PM   #23
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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe
Very understandable, Verte. It seems the radicals get their news from Baghdad Bob, and want us to fail miserably in Iraq to further their twisted agendas that are filled with falsehoods and conspiracy theories.

I'd like to ask you, honestly, have you ever seen this kind of stuff go on at a protest you've been involved in?

I'm just curious, I've never been involved in a protest in my life, I question the rationality and effectiveness of it, but I see from a number of your posts that you've been involved with them.
Oh, yes, I've seen all sorts of kooks at protests. I've gotten some truly bizarre publications thrown in my face, too, with all sorts of crazy headlines, etc, etc. I've seen the craziest signs, too. There are some real nutjobs out there. For me, protesting is basically self-expression, me exercising my right to free speech. I don't know how much impact I'm having, I really don't think of it that way. It's me saying what I believe and that's that.
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Old 01-21-2005, 11:58 PM   #24
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Great if it works for you, perhaps you are getting something off your chest. Me, I occasionally discuss issues that I am concerned about, and hope to see both sides of the spectrum for what they are, rather than how they are promoted, with the most rational people I can find. I find it a little more uplifting, and less tense than watching a large crowd point fingers, and one sign doesn't seem to explain why you believe in what you believe in so strongly.

Of course I am from Ohio, I live maybe 20 minutes away from Kent State University, where radicals made it in the history books for the Kent State Shootings. Four dead, lives gone to waste, in the name of protesting. On a personal note, by dad witnessed some of the protesting, he was a KSU student at the time. He didn't witness the shootings. Somehow, I get jiggles all over when this seems very familiar to some of the protests that are going on now.

I will bring up another note, I seemed to take a jab at the left radicals, but some of the ultra-"conservative" sites I have visited sound very familiar to those who call for revolutions. When people claim to represent decency and yet they don't have any objection to torture, it's inconsistent, and more importantly, WRONG. I understand some prisoners may have commited vile crimes, but the prisoner abuses make us comparable them, and breed hatred among Islamic nations. To them, the EXtreme is MAINstream.

Here, a conservative writer talks tough with the hard right, but it makes plenty of sense.

Quote:
http://redeemernews.collegepublisher.com/news/2003/03/05/Opinion/Conservative.Writer.Takes.On.The.HardRight-391619.shtml

To every bigot, sexist, religious zealot, homophobe, and hater: get out of the Republican Party. You're the worst part of our society and a virus upon every good-hearted idea that your perverse mind chooses to support. This is an extreme minority in the party, and they have almost no influence anymore, but it's embarrassing. The hard-right thinks in terms of "the more conservative the better" regardless of the repercussions their position may have on other peoples' lives.

They hate the left more than they support the right and it always shows. They see the left as the enemy, but they are, unknowingly to them, the left's biggest ally. Liberals love these guys. All they have to do is give one of those morons a forum, point a finger their way, and tell every impressionable person they see "Look at what republicans stand for." Repeat it enough times and people will start to believe it.

Now, I'm still fairly young, and therefore I've had the pleasure of missing Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond in their prime when their hard-right views made their way into the Republican mainstream. I watched the last two campaign seasons closely and I was proud to see that their platform has died out leaving them no legacy. Compassionate conservative is now the mainstream of the party. Cooler minds have prevailed.
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Old 02-03-2005, 11:04 AM   #25
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"Open Letter to President Bush," Tariq Ramadan

The Muslim International Newsletter
-- from Dr. Amir Ali -- amirali@ilaam.net


Open letter to President George W. Bush
From an "expelled" Muslim to an elected American
Tariq Ramadan





Mr. President,
By a strange twist of fate, this year's calendar puts your inauguration on the same day as the most important religious day of the year for Muslims. Is it a historical irony that links these two celebrations together? As you are inaugurated for your second term, I, a European Muslim, want to share with you a few thoughts.
Mr. President, I was banished from the United States by your administration. My visa was revoked, as I was about to assume my position as a Professor at Notre Dame University. To this day, I have not been told the reasons behind this action.
I do know, as does Homeland Security and the State Department, that my file is empty. The Patriot Act was put forward as an excuse and I was asked to reapply. Since then, there has been total silence. Why was this decision taken? What are you afraid of? Is it perhaps that academic freedom of _expression has become a danger for you? Or is it perhaps the fact that it would have fortified criticism against you, no matter how constructive, especially coming from a Muslim intellectual?

What are you doing to your country, Mr. President?

Along with the majority of Muslims around the world, I condemned the September 11 attacks. I shared and sympathized with the American people's pain. We understood their fears and the depth of their doubts. To transcend that traumatic experience, two things were crucial.

First, Muslims had to firmly and clearly denounce terrorism and extremism, which they did, even if at times it was done timidly.

Second, the American government should have shed light on the facts: how were such odious acts possible? Who was responsible for the multiple and repeated information failures? The people of the United States, like the rest of the world, needed explanations, transparency and truth.

However, since September 11th, 2001 your administration has continued to accumulate shadowy dealings. Boards of inquiry were delayed or strangely constituted; state secrets and sinister silences mushroomed. In the name of the "war against terrorism", the ultimate reason for legitimacy, did you permit your officials to make decisions and to act illegitimately, without a hint of accountability?

Under your watch, laws eradicating civil liberties have been enacted which put into question the rights of citizens. Discrimination against Arabs and Muslims has been institutionalized and legalized. There is limitless scrutiny, individuals are arrested, and lying in the name of the State has become the norm.

Whatever the tone of your generous speeches, facts do not lie: this is not a good time to be a Muslim in the United States. The consequences of the Patriot Act has been exactly what its' most virulent detractors had predicted - an infringement of citizens' rights and legalized discrimination that is reminiscent of the McCarthy era.

Your commitment on the international stage is no less alarming. Your intervention in Afghanistan killed thousands of civilians who had nothing to do with the attacks of September 11th. The situation is unresolved. Bin Laden is still a fugitive and tortures exerted by those under your administration are a daily happening as confirmed by Human Rights Watch.

Inhumane treatment inflicted on the Guantanamo prisoners in a declared "no rights" area is scandalous. Your intervention in Iraq only confirmed these practices, characterized by lies, systematic manipulation and in the end, the death of tens of thousands of Iraqis and Americans.

The horrors of Abu Ghuraib prison, which appeared as revelations of torture were in fact institutionalized, from Afghanistan to Guantanamo. The American soldiers in Iraq are not primarily responsible: someone at the head of your administration had undoubtedly given the green light. Mr. Bush, would it be that you are in favour of torture exerted against Arabs and Muslims? Is this the message that one must understand from these actions?

For the last three years, your policy has consisted in victimizing the American super power to such an extent that in return, it has had total disrespect for basic human rights. Instead of calming spirits with more truth and dialogue, you have spread fear by keeping Americans in the dark and lying to them. It was expected that you would assist in surpassing the trauma of September 11th, not sustain it dangerously.

You have won the elections by feeding the fears of your citizens and presenting yourself as their only guarantor of security. You won by playing on emotions, not intelligence.
Mr. President, I have visited the United States more than twenty times in the past three years. I know that your country abounds with people of critical intelligence and honesty. Many of your citizens are not easily deceived. They are not only ashamed of the image you give of your country but, more deeply, of the way in which you are transforming it into a citadel besieged by fear and arrogance.

As a European Muslim, frightened by your unilateralism and the serious excesses of your policies, it is towards worthy and critical American citizens that I invite Muslims to turn to and to bring together their hopes. If the Muslims are right in not trusting you, they should not confuse the American people with the increasingly blunt spirits that surround you.

It's been a couple of weeks that you have made your support for the victims of the Tsunami disaster public in order to show Muslims that you were capable of compassion and that you respected them. At the heart of this natural disaster, aware of the desolation and deaths, know Mr. President, that these Muslims remain lucid. You will not gain their trust through emotions.

Your second mandate begins January 20th. You presented yourself to the American people as the solution but you are in fact the problem. You have not ceased to deepen the gap between the United States and the rest of the world - not only the Muslim world but also Europe.

As a European Muslim, I had the hope that by relocating to your country, I would have been able to bring a critical and constructive contribution. Your administration preferred to exclude me, like so many other Muslim intellectuals, in order to protect itself from debate and dialogue.

I finally decided not to try settling in your country anymore. I am not sure what, during this second mandate, could rid you of this Manichean view and dangerous interpretation of the world. I do not know what could persuade you to use less lies and more truths.

I know simply that the Muslims celebrate on this 20th of January, a faith, which they consider stronger than your capriciousness. If with strength of conscience and intelligence, they succeed in distinguishing between your administration and the American people and continue to dialogue with those of your fellow-citizens who have not been blinded, then hope remains.

That is the only hope, unless you are touched by grace and that you understand that it is urgent, for the good of our planet, that you change your policies.

By Tariq Ramadan

www.tariqramadan.com
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Old 02-03-2005, 11:16 AM   #26
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"Mistrust of U.S. Muslims"

http://www.csmonitor.com/2005/0131/p09s02-coop.html

from the January 31, 2005 edition

A FOCUS ON FACTS OUGHT TO DISPEL MISTRUST OF U.S. MUSLIMS
By JOHN TIRMAN

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. – One of the mysteries surrounding the 9/11 attacks and the frequent terrorist alerts ever since is the role played, if any, by American Muslims in supporting Al Qaeda operations.

The US government acts as if there is a support base of some kind. White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card told a CNN reporter during the Republican convention, "We know there are Al Qaeda cells" operating inside the country.

During the early August scare about terrorists targeting financial institutions, newspaper reports often alluded to, but did not identify or describe, a support network or individuals living in the US.

The antiterror campaign has shaken the 5 million or so Muslims in the US, a large majority of whom are American citizens. Law enforcement agents have interviewed nearly 200,000 Muslims and others from predominantly Islamic countries; hundreds have been deported or detained for long periods; thousands were subject to a "special registration," and now hundreds have been indicted in widely publicized "terrorist" prosecutions. Charities and other social institutions have been shut down or disabled, and surveillance in these communities is now a given.

But the cardinal question of whether domestic Muslim populations actually pose a security threat remains unanswered - indeed, unarticulated - in public discourse and official pronouncements.

The question is neither impolite nor unimportant. We know that most politically violent groups require a "social base" - knowing supporters who don't participate directly in militant operations. Such a base is likely to exist where such groups carry out attacks. Diasporas often support such groups with money, communications, and political access.

None of this is particularly new, but before 9/11 the violence was always somewhere else - Northern Ireland, Palestine, South Africa, and the like. Now the nexus of threat is here, and the rules of the game are altered.

There is no territorial struggle, and the numbers of ethnic and national populations involved number two dozen or more. International migration has created enormous flows of people. Muslims, like many immigrants before them, tend to gravitate toward one another into neighborhoods where mosques, common language, social networks, and opportunities exist.

It is these communities in Brooklyn, Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, and elsewhere that have attracted law enforcement attention.

Are radical imams preaching violence against America? Are Koranic schools training future terrorists? Are charities really supporting Al Qaeda, Hamas, or Chechen murderers? Most Americans would probably consider these as legitimate concerns in the wake of 9/11.

The evidence thus far, however, indicates that Muslims living in America haven't constituted a social base for Al Qaeda.

It is striking, in fact, that so little illegality has been uncovered in a population so thoroughly investigated.

Prosecutions of alleged terrorist-related activities, which should represent the most definitive picture of the internal threat, have established very little - if any - evidence of domestic Al Qaeda cells.

Nothing else in the public record of this massive law enforcement and intelligence effort suggests that a conspiracy exists - a remarkably clean bill for these communities.

Notably, the 9/11 commission itself found no evidence of a domestic social base knowingly aiding the hijackers prior to their attack. Some of the 19 conspirators received minor assistance from an individual or two, but those individuals haven't been identified, described, or prosecuted; if they existed, they were very likely not rooted in local communities, and indeed the hijackers stayed clear of such attachments as well.

If Al Qaeda didn't have such a support base in the US prior to the attacks, it's even less likely they have one now. That doesn't mean there are no operatives here; they could, like the 9/11 cabal, sneak into the country and keep to themselves. Yet the supposition of many in the US government is that American Muslim communities are likely to harbor, support, or perhaps even initiate terrorism.

This suspicion is rocking those communities in ways that not only challenge their civil liberties but also seem counterproductive.

One of the first victims of the post-9/11 climate of fear in Muslim and Arab-American communities is charitable giving.

Support for both Palestinians and victims of the US occupation of Iraq is now considered precarious.

Donating to charities is especially hazardous because so many of these institutions have been targeted by law enforcement as terrorist-related.

Speech is constrained - self-censored, but also restricted by Washington's actions.

The denial last fall of a work visa for Muslim philosopher Tariq Ramadan, an inspirational professor who was to teach at Notre Dame, signals that moderate voices will be excluded.

In surveys, interviews, and meetings Muslims and Arab-Americans describe strong feelings of isolation and alienation from the American mainstream, disrespect for their views on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Palestinian question, and a sense of hopelessness about finding a place for Islam in American society.

At a gathering of national and local leaders of Muslim and Arab-American communities at the Social Science Research Council in Washington this fall, a few voiced concern about internment should another act of terrorism befall America.

So it can scarcely come as a surprise that in surveys in the Muslim world, even in friendly places like Turkey and Jordan, the US is viewed as a menace, at war with Islam.

The great danger here is that with years of suspicion, innuendo, and harassment, buttressed by a new culture of internal security, Muslims in America will feel increasing isolation and hostility, beyond even what they sense today. This could even result in a strain of radicalism among their youth.

Thus, for this new national security state, a new security dilemma - its creation of the forces it fears, certainly abroad and possibly now even at home, where no such force existed. But even the less alarming consequences, the palpable sense of fear and exclusion from American society, are a travesty of justice and fair play.

We need in all our institutions - law enforcement, news media, education, businesses, and others - a commitment to holding innocent what is not proven guilty and welcoming these communities as a growing part of America's dreamland of rich diversity.

• John Tirman is executive director of the Center for International
Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is coauthor and
editor of the book 'The Maze of Fear: Security and Migration After 9/11.'
This article is excerpted from a longer commentary that ran in the
National Catholic Reporter.
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:27 PM   #27
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Re: Protesters Accuse Bush of 'Exterminating the Muslim Race'

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Originally posted by Macfistowannabe



Molly from Massachusetts slammed capitalism: "This is a perpetuation of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. We are dividing the country into two classes, and that is disgusting; and there are starving people all over the world and they are having this absurd, excessive party," Molly said.

Gee Molly, the rich have been getting richer and the poor have been getting poorer for quite some time now. It's amazing there's still a middle class left to subsidize your spoiled sorry ass.

Unfortunately this is one of the more popular kookisms that's widely accepted, partly because it makes a good song lyric (John Lydon you big buffoon)
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Old 02-04-2005, 10:40 PM   #28
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The phrase "the rich get richer" is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You will always need more and more money to be considered "rich"
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Old 02-10-2005, 09:52 AM   #29
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There are some who feel that every election is about tax cuts. This election was about safety and principles. While many disliked the decision to go into Iraq, it seems many others felt their country was safer under Bush.
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Old 02-11-2005, 03:15 PM   #30
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There are some who feel that every election is about tax cuts. This election was about safety and principles. While many disliked the decision to go into Iraq, it seems many others felt their country was safer under Bush.
This election was about fear and pseudo morals.
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