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Old 07-22-2005, 08:03 AM   #16
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Originally posted by Irvine511
no, i don't find it funny at all.

i don't think most Londoners find it funny either.

i ride the DC Metro every day of the week and there's a noticeably stepped-up police presence. not funny, or fun, at all.
Conditions in Iraq not funny for Iraqis either but people don't like if we discuss that here......

Discussions of whether US policy increases terrorism off limits seemingly.

Meanwhile we can keep a thread on Harry Potter going for 15 pages.

Priorities, hmmm....
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:12 AM   #17
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Originally posted by financeguy


Conditions in Iraq not funny for Iraqis either but people don't like if we discuss that here......

Discussions of whether US policy increases terrorism off limits seemingly.

Meanwhile we can keep a thread on Harry Potter going for 15 pages.

Priorities, hmmm....


oh come on.

simply because people in London, NYC, DC, Paris, etc., are scared is not in any way intended to minimize what's going on in Baghdad. another irony is that large majorities of the US's urban dwellers are significantly more liberal and anti-administration than the rest of the country and didn't support Iraq, yet they are the primary targets for terrorism.

i also think that a discussion on whether or not US policy increases terrorism is rather hard to quantify, and while i disagree with large parts of the GWOT, i also think that a terrorist is going to find any and all excuses to attack symbolic Western targets. this is not to say that the US and allies can't be smarter about their policies, but it is to say that connecting easy dots between Iraq and Underground bombings is facile at best. if not Iraq, then Afghanistan. if not Afghanistan, then US bases in Saudi Arabia. if not that, then our "decadant" and "permissive" culture (did anyone hear that two gay teenagers were just hanged in Iran?).

as for Harry Potter ... well, i'll let the Christianist apologists (or the apologists for the Christianists) answer that one.
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:15 AM   #18
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Originally posted by Irvine511
another irony is that large majorities of the US's urban dwellers are significantly more liberal and anti-administration than the rest of the country and didn't support Iraq, yet they are the primary targets for terrorism.
True, true. It's just that the elected major of London said Iraq was one of the motivators for these terrorists the other day, but when I say the same thing here I get flamed. And I speak as someone of partially English descent and with 6 relatives living in London. But apparently I'm giving comfort to terrorists, an accusation levelled by a number of posters yesterday. Yeah sure, I want my close family members to get killed by terrorists. Of course.
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:16 AM   #19
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The article is called "Armed with Only a Neutral Lipstick," fwiw, but I can't find it online and I'm not paying $3.00 to download it from the Newsweek archives.

By Anna Quindlen, if any of you are feeling more adventurous with Google than I.
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:39 AM   #20
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Originally posted by financeguy


True, true. It's just that the elected major of London said Iraq was one of the motivators for these terrorists the other day, but when I say the same thing here I get flamed. And I speak as someone of partially English descent and with 6 relatives living in London. But apparently I'm giving comfort to terrorists, an accusation levelled by a number of posters yesterday. Yeah sure, I want my close family members to get killed by terrorists. Of course.
Red Ken's credentials are out there for the world to see; his Likud = Hamas statements, going on Arab TV networks to defend the 'man of peace'al-Qaradawi; an open apologist for terrorists, advocate of killing gays and justifier of wife beating. At least he had the sense to wait a fortnight before blaming Bush and Blair outright.

You for your part explicitly advocate removal of Tony Blair from power and removal of coalition forces from Iraq as a response to terrorists attacks. Giving into your enemies demands to stop them from attacking you is what appeasement is, and while it may save a few lives in the short term that threat and danger will keep getting bigger and badder and when it is able it will come back for more.
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:43 AM   #21
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
You for your part explicitly advocate removal of Tony Blair from power and removal of coalition forces from Iraq as a response to terrorists. Giving into your enemies demands to stop them from attacking you is what appeasement is, and while it may save a few lives in the short term that threat and danger will keep getting bigger and badder and when it is able it will come back for more.
No, I did not advocate (immediate) removal of coalition forces from Iraq. As a realist, I accept that is not currently feasible. I did opine that Blair should resign, and I stand by that.

As for 'appeasement' the appeasement I see going on is appeasement of the neo-con agenda to take over the world for US imperialism and steal the Arab oil. That is the real appeasement that is going on today.
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Old 07-22-2005, 08:48 AM   #22
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Red Ken's credentials are out there for the world to see; his Likud = Hamas statements, going on Arab TV networks to defend the 'man of peace'al-Qaradawi; an open apologist for terrorists, advocate of killing gays and justifier of wife beating. At least he had the sense to wait a fortnight before blaming Bush and Blair outright.
The people of London elected him, twice, presumably because they thought he was the best man for the job. This is democracy. Do you have a problem with democracy, A_Wanderer?

Or would you prefer the White House vet all candidates for office?

Perhaps the convicted fraudster Chalabi would have been a better option, he has the seal of approval from Cheney after all.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:06 AM   #23
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Criticism is now anti-democratic!
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:08 AM   #24
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Criticism is now anti-democratic!
It has been for a while...haven't you noticed?

Because, of course, anyone who criticizes Bush or the GWOT is an unpatriotic, America-hating, freedom-hating, terrorist-sympathizing, commie leftist hippie pinko sodomite, duhhhhhhhh.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:11 AM   #25
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Have those arguments been used anywhere? ever?
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:12 AM   #26
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Originally posted by financeguy
As for 'appeasement' the appeasement I see going on is appeasement of the neo-con agenda to take over the world for US imperialism and steal the Arab oil. That is the real appeasement that is going on today.


can't agree with you there. i really balk at the use of the word "imperialism" as what is going on today has little to do with 19th century imperialism. how do you define it?

while oil is always a consideration due to it's centrality to the stability of markets, i really think you've missed the mark if you think it's only about oil, or even centrally about oil, or even partially about oil. a million-and-one different factors go into any and all US (and UK, and any other country) foreign policy decisions, and to reduce a specific action like the invasion of Iraq or Afghanistan to a monocausal (and always very, very vauge) explanation like "oil" or the even more vauge "imperialism" is evidence of really simplistic thinking, imho.

i also think you've misapplied "appeasement" in this context.

i am also a big critic of Iraq, but changing policy as a response to terrorists attacks (which would probably have happened anyway) is not, i don't think, a way to prevent future attacks. and i think that the Left needs to form a more hard-core, focused argument than hysterics about these catch-all phrases like "oil" or "imperialism." surely there are a multitude of reasons why Iraq was a bad idea. let's focus on those instead of the easy slogans.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:12 AM   #27
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Originally posted by pax
It has been for a while...haven't you noticed?

Because, of course, anyone who criticizes Bush or the GWOT is an unpatriotic, America-hating, freedom-hating, terrorist-sympathizing, commie leftist hippie pinko sodomite, duhhhhhhhh.
Exactly!

Except you forgot 'latte-drinking'
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:15 AM   #28
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Originally posted by pax


It has been for a while...haven't you noticed?

Because, of course, anyone who criticizes Bush or the GWOT is an unpatriotic, America-hating, freedom-hating, terrorist-sympathizing, commie leftist hippie pinko sodomite, duhhhhhhhh.
And anyone who supports him is an uncompassionate, war-mongering idiot.
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:15 AM   #29
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i thought this was fascinating reading -- from a blog of An Englishman in New York. it's very honest, and as a left winger trying to respond intelligently to the irrationality of suicide bombings, i found it quite elucidating:



"I have been preoccupied over the past few days with a tangle of questions and thoughts connected by the London bombing. Not thoughts of the why they did it, how they did it, or who did it variety. I have been wondering why and how this has affected me. Selfish, I know. But also, it is the only way I can feel myself a part of this whole, sorry situation.

My thoughts and ideas about the War on Terror, US Foreign Policy, and European Foreign Policy (if it can be called or characterized as such) has been in a state of flux for the past six months or longer. It is no coincidence that the last four books to enter my apartment were Peter Bergen’s Holy War Inc, Christopher Hitchens’ Love, Poverty, and War, Scott Anderson’s The Man Who Tried to Save the World, and Bob Dylan’s Chronicles (Chronicles, the exception, I hope proves the rule).

Warning: there follows a list of gratuitous admissions.

1. I have been on two anti-war/anti-Bush marches in New York (2003/2004)
2. I believed that the September 11 attacks on America were the ghosts of US foreign policy coming back to haunt it.
3. On September 11, 2001, and on July 8 7, 2005, (and on all the bombings in between) I acted as though it had nothing to do with me.

The first admission is no source of shame. I still believe that the way the US invaded Iraq was wrong; the Bush administration falsely linked Saddam and September 11, the UN was brushed aside and terribly weakened, the electorate in the US and the UK was misled on the road to war, and plans for running the country post Saddam were not thought through.

Hussein was a dictator. I support his removal just as I would the removal of Robert Mugabe. But if you have to lie to your electorate in order to go to war, then perhaps you are not going to war for the right reasons in the first place.

On the second admission I confess that I feel woefully uneducated. There is a school of thought which points to “US imperialism” and draws a winding line from the mountains of Afghanistan during the 1980s to the man behind the attacks on September 11. They view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US backed despots in the Middle East and the presence of US troops and oil interests there, as the obvious explanation for these people’s hatred of Western society. Among the second school of thought, writers like Christopher Hitchens point to the rise of Islamofascism over the past 40 years and argue that Islamic terrorists would attack Western Democracies no matter what:

But the bombers of Manhattan represent fascism with an Islamic face, and there’s no point in any euphemism about it. What they abominate about “the West,” to put it in a phrase, is not what Western liberals don’t like and can’t defend about their own system, but what they do like about it and must defend: its emancipated women, its scientific inquiry, its separation of religion from the state.

The contrast between these two world views has been my main preoccupation during the past few days. I spent so long believing in the first school of thought, and the shift that I have made towards the second camp has been so gradual, that I think it has been perceptible to everybody except myself. While not wholeheartedly agreeing with School Number 2, I can no longer agree with School Number 1. I am in the unfortunate position of not knowing anything anymore—of being somewhere in between.

If living in New York has had one major effect during the past year and a half, it is to open my eyes to a different world view. To put it another way. When I immersed myself in Russia for five years between 1995 and 2000, it opened my left eye. Living in America is opening my right eye. And my vision is still pretty much a blur.

The BBC that I used to love for its impartiality, I have “discovered,” is far from impartial. I don’t love it any less for this. And I think that the license fee is the surest way keep the world’s greatest (and I mean this) news/current affairs institution at its best. But I do wish that they would admit that news output is only as impartial as the people who produce it. And I am yet to meet an impartial human being—especially an impartial journalist.

Likewise, the great British Press, the envy of the world, contains a mass of half-truths, deliberate omissions, undeclared interests, and regurgitated press releases. It chases its tail to produce almost a dozen national newspapers that carry the same story, albeit of varying lengths, each and every day. And regional journalism, at least as I knew it, has been reduced to filling space.

The result is not a lie on the scale of Pravda. But it is still a false world view masquerading as the truth.

So, after 12 months of living in New York is it any surprise that Israel starts to look a little less evil? And that Europe starts to look a little more parochial? That the US starts to look a little more like it is trying to solve some of the world’s problems, and that it is doing so despite the sometimes unfair criticism of its allies? If in England it always looked like the US was the playground bully. Then from the US it looks a lot more like an embattled headteacher in a problem school.

So what does any of this have to do with me?

Like many Englanders abroad I received the phone calls and emails last Friday. I reproduce one below:

Paul, heard from your London friends? Hope they are all safe.

So after having been abroad for both the 9/11 attacks as a UK resident, and
today’s London attacks as a New Yorker, do you still feel somewhat distanced
from the reality? I remember you said that you felt indifferent, maybe even
unfazed in 2001.
Indifferent and unfazed are exactly the qualities I expressed throughout Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. I don’t have to express them any more because we are past the point when people will ask. But what bothered me was the fact that while I expressed both qualities to a frustrating degree in front of my wife, I was in fact neither indifferent nor unfazed within.

The reason for this is at the heart of the gradual metamorphosis I have just attempted to explain. On September 11, I thought I knew the reasons why the attacks had taken place. And it was not my fault. Moreover, it was somebody else’s fault – the US’s – and they were reaping what they had sown. But in the past 12 months I have slowly come to understand that the wordview I held was tainted by a media that sees the problems in the world (dictatorship in Iraq, authoritarianism/terrorism in the Middle East, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, global warming) as being the fault of the United States. All of this from a country and a continent that seems to have done little itself to try to redress the balance in a world which it has corrupted/manipulated to a gargantuan degree during the past 100 years.

“We know that,” comes the cry. “But the US has the power to do so much good and yet it chooses to do the opposite.”

Really? Should the US have stayed out of Kosovo? Should it have stayed out of Afghanistan and Iraq? Should it leave North Korea and Iran to their own devices? Is it the US alone that has not done enough to stop the killing in Darfur? Or is Britain, Europe, Africa, just as much to blame? Why are we not rushing headlong into Zimbabwe to get rid of Robert Mugabe? Is it worse to do something? Or is it worse to do nothing?

At this moment, I am proud to be a citizen of a country that has done more than most to help the US get rid of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein. And I think that it would do other Europeans some good to think again about what their countries have achieved, if anything, to try to stem the tide of dictatorships and terrorism around the world. They should wonder whether they are really asking themselves the hard questions. Or whether they are shrugging their shoulders and blaming America because that is what they have been brought up to do.

Would the world be a safer place if the people who bombed Bali, New York, Madrid, and London, were in power in Africa and the Middle East? If not, how do we stop them? If we lived in Israel would we believe that a return to our 1967 borders would mean the chance of a life lived in peace? If not, how can we ensure that for them?

This weekend I took my first trip to Washington DC, where I had to suffer the Smithsonian National Museum of American History’s terrible exhibition The Price of Freedom: Americans at War. If it had been simplified any further it would have just had the words “The Good Guys Won and the Bad Guys Lost. We were the good guys.” under each exhibit. I was further sickened by the prevalence of “Freedom is not free” T-shirts being sported by passers-by on the Mall, and by one woman’s remark at a service station on the freeway who said “It seems like all the coaches in the free world have stopped here at once.”

The sooner Americans detach themselves from the delusion that they are the sole arbiters of freedom and democracy in the world the better. Countless countries could give America a lesson in those two subjects, especially on human rights.

But by the same token, Europe and the rest of the world must accept that far from being playground bullies, Americans are actually do-gooders with very heavy hands. A few decades ago, they would have backed any despotic ruler if it meant they could have their way. Well, they learned their lesson. Nowadays they hope that planting democracy in the Middle East will reap its rewards for generations to come. It’s time they were lent a more willing hand."

http://pdberger.com/?p=394\
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Old 07-22-2005, 09:16 AM   #30
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Originally posted by A_Wanderer
Criticism is now anti-democratic!
Well, criticism is not anti-democratic, it's just if you raise issues from Livingstone's past (incidentally I wouldn't have voted for him myself but that's besides the point), don't be surprised if people bring up dodgy issues from the pasts of people associated with the Bush Administration - be it the aforementioned Mr Chalabi, their anointed candidate for the leadership of Iraq (he didn't last too long in that role), or certain figures working for the administration that have had similarly dodgy pasts, including one or two that actually received Presidential pardons.

That is the point I am making.
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