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Old 08-11-2014, 02:54 PM   #181
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My point is that we only "help" people when it's in our "interests " to do so.

...

America isn't as noble as it pretends to be.

Has anyone here made the claim that the US only intervenes for noble reasons? It should go without saying that self-interest is far and away the most common motivativing force behind any nation's actions. That doesn't mean that a nation acting in its own self interest cannot therefore be acting in the best interest of other nations and/or the international community at large.

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An old Christian acquaintance in the virtual world invited me here because he thought I'd find it a welcoming place. He knows me, he usually disagrees with me. But he's respectful of my zeal for the truth in all matters, especially as it pertains to the teachings of J.C.
I suppose the confusion and ruffled feathers come from the fact that you're debating modern political events by constantly referring to what is, objectively speaking, a ~2,000 year old book written by multiple authors over hundreds of years that everyone claims to have the correct interpretation for, despite how varying and contradictory those interpretations tend to be.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:56 AM   #182
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I'd go even further and say that self-interest is the main motivation of people's actions as well. True altruism does not exist, since with whatever we do, we all do it to get better, feel satisfied in one way or another or to make ourself happy. So everything people do, all decisions made, it's in their interest.

So is this case, but does that mean we shouldn't help others in need?
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:47 PM   #183
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It's a "You created the mess, now you got to clean it up" kind of situation. Like the economic crisis. You might not have caused it, might not even have wanted it, but now it's there and you gotta deal with it.
The invasion in 2003 was a mistake, but a mistake that happened. Leaving in 2011 was another mistake. Leaving the people in Syria to their own devices the next. Now this all comes together and bites back.

The first mistake happened already in 1991, where a no-fly zone was put in effect (which was great), but the Kurdish were still made to part of Saddam's Iraq. This way, lots of resources couldn't reach them. Through the sanctions imposed on Iraq, the Kurdish also suffered, as they were still treated as part of it. Of course, Saddam took his revenge by allowing even less into the Kurdish region than even reached Iraq. The families of the Barzanis and Talabanis aggravated the situation through their greed, both fighting over what resources were left to the Kurdish, culminating in a civil war in the late 90s. But had Kurdistan been given more autonomy back then, and especially been exempted from the sanctions, a lot would look different today.

After 2003, the Kurdish showed what they were capable of. They formed the most democratic and stable society in the whole region. Despite a number of shortfalls, their economic and political progress is astounding. All this is now at grave risk through ISIS. Their idea of the world is the perversion of Islam like the Taliban and the uncompromising radicalism of the Khmer Rouge. There is little point in brooding over mistakes of the past, when at present we are facing the onset of a genocide.
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:45 PM   #184
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It's a "You created the mess, now you got to clean it up" kind of situation. Like the economic crisis. You might not have caused it, might not even have wanted it, but now it's there and you gotta deal with it.
The invasion in 2003 was a mistake, but a mistake that happened. Leaving in 2011 was another mistake. Leaving the people in Syria to their own devices the next. Now this all comes together and bites back.

The first mistake happened already in 1991, where a no-fly zone was put in effect (which was great), but the Kurdish were still made to part of Saddam's Iraq. This way, lots of resources couldn't reach them. Through the sanctions imposed on Iraq, the Kurdish also suffered, as they were still treated as part of it. Of course, Saddam took his revenge by allowing even less into the Kurdish region than even reached Iraq. The families of the Barzanis and Talabanis aggravated the situation through their greed, both fighting over what resources were left to the Kurdish, culminating in a civil war in the late 90s. But had Kurdistan been given more autonomy back then, and especially been exempted from the sanctions, a lot would look different today.

After 2003, the Kurdish showed what they were capable of. They formed the most democratic and stable society in the whole region. Despite a number of shortfalls, their economic and political progress is astounding. All this is now at grave risk through ISIS. Their idea of the world is the perversion of Islam like the Taliban and the uncompromising radicalism of the Khmer Rouge. There is little point in brooding over mistakes of the past, when at present we are facing the onset of a genocide.
Very good post. Was always against Iraq invasion myself, but I find the "Bushdidit - not our problem" approach of some on the left dreadfully tiresome and self-regarding. We're in f***ing 2014 now, not 2003.
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Old 08-14-2014, 12:29 AM   #185
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Yes, because so many on the left are against intervening in this situation.
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Old 08-18-2014, 03:25 AM   #186
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ISIS Crucifixion Of Children Could Lead To A Christian Holocaust
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:30 PM   #187
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ISIS posted video purportedly beheading an American photojournalist today.
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Old 08-19-2014, 11:13 PM   #188
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ISIS posted video purportedly beheading an American photojournalist today.
Yes - absolutely terrible what is going on there. Thankfully, it seems that Iraqi forces are actually making some strides (with our air support of course, but it's a start).
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Old 08-20-2014, 04:52 AM   #189
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It truly, truly makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with our species. Do things like this happen to other species as well? That they cold blooded kill others within their species for no apparent reason? Or is it a human trait?
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:46 AM   #190
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It truly, truly makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with our species. Do things like this happen to other species as well? That they cold blooded kill others within their species for no apparent reason? Or is it a human trait?
Sapience certainly has its dark side.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:32 AM   #191
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It truly, truly makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with our species. Do things like this happen to other species as well? That they cold blooded kill others within their species for no apparent reason? Or is it a human trait?
I sometimes feel the same way. Especially when something like this happens - sawing the head off another human being. This man was a reporter, probably helping them tell their side of the story back in Syria.

It makes me feel like I did after Sandy Hook (not to the same extent, but the same sense of "what is wrong with our species?")
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:34 AM   #192
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Absolutely a revolting act.

And the other journalist they are holding (they said he'd die next unless the US stopped bombing), you just have to feel awful for him. He lives every minute knowing he's almost certainly not getting out of there alive.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:13 PM   #193
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We have to give President Obama credit for trying on this one

Official: U.S. attempt to rescue Foley failed - CNN.com
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:23 PM   #194
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We have to give President Obama credit for trying on this one

Official: U.S. attempt to rescue Foley failed - CNN.com

I'm not a fan of President Obama and I have many disagreements with him on many issues and the direction he seems to be taking the U.S.

But I agree. His comments on this evil were clear and he seemed to be heartbroken and serious about a response.

I think if he took the lead on this, other countries would help form a coalition
to fight this evil.

Even Saudi Arabia, not a cradle of democracy and individual freedom, issued a strong statement condemning ISIS.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:35 PM   #195
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Even Saudi Arabia, not a cradle of democracy and individual freedom, issued a strong statement condemning ISIS.
It would be nice if this was truly meaningful but the Saudi royal family is terrified of political Islam as it is a direct threat to their autocratic dictatorship (that's exactly what it is), so this is quite self-serving. It's like choosing shit vs. diarrhea, sure one is better but the smell of both makes your stomach turn.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:34 AM   #196
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It would be nice if this was truly meaningful but the Saudi royal family is terrified of political Islam as it is a direct threat to their autocratic dictatorship (that's exactly what it is), so this is quite self-serving. It's like choosing shit vs. diarrhea, sure one is better but the smell of both makes your stomach turn.
I'm sure they wouldn't be totally heartbroken if Sunnis controlled Iraq again, as well.
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Old 08-31-2014, 11:44 AM   #197
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Sen. Feinstein: Obama was 'Too Cautious' on ISIS - NBC News

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Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein said President Obama was “too cautious” when he said the United States hasn’t developed a strategy to combat the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, remarks that were criticized as projecting weakness.
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Old 09-01-2014, 04:54 PM   #198
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Well, truth is, he is right. Winning militarily might even be the smallest problem, though this article gives some interesting perspective on why that might be overt optimism.

The problem is, too many hawkish minded people think that kicking ISIS' butt would solve anything. But the problem lies much deeper and must be addressed by both the West and the Middle Eastern societies: How to fight the fundamentalism and deep divisions within societies that let groups like ISIS thrive? And for that, a strategy indeed seems a long ways ahead.

All the while, the need of the people seeking refuge in the Kurdish areas is still extraordinary. Some 1.5 million people are living there now. In Duhok, the third largest city of Kurdistan, there are now more IDPs and refugees than inhabitant. Most of the people of Sinjar have flocked there. Every free space has turned a refugee location. The schools are all refugee shelters, but summer holidays end on Sep. 12. By November or December, temperatures will drop and snowfall is going to set in in that region.

We (Welcome to the Jiyan Foundation for Human Rights) have now had two distributions of aid, once water and ice to mainly Christian refugees in Erbil, and another time food and hygiene kits to mostly Yezidi families in and around Duhok. We even could deliver two air conditioners to families in the town Chamchamal (itself mainly made up of Kurdish persons who got permanently displaced in the Anfal genocide of the 1980s) which provide some cool air in the extremely hot city, and can provide some heat in the winter. Next step is going to distribute more of this, along with medication and then psychosocial services.

It should nonetheless be forgotten that this is all tied in in the ongoing war in Syria. Back in 2011 already, Assad's regime reportedly released Islamists fighters from its prison, while warning the world that helping the rebels would mean helping jihadists. In other words, it created its own self-fulfilling prophecy. Tellingly, Assad's military hardly ever targeted ISIS in Raqqa, in the east of Syria. This way, ISIS could thrive and carry out more attacks, making itself a name alongside al-Nusra, and thus making people outside the country believe the rebels really are Islamists fighting there, while Assad could concentrate on the moderate rebels, civillians, and ultimately even gas Damascus neighbourhoods and get away with it.

Two days ago, the UN officially counted three million Syrian refugees, plus about 6.5 to 7 million internally displaced, and almost 200,000 people killed. All numbers are rather conservative estimates. This renders the current refugee crisis the largest operation in UNHCR's history. There is an interesting project trying to put this war in perspective, called "If we were Syrian". Since most here come from the US, I thought of taking the US as example of the impact: America | If We Were Syrian
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:30 PM   #199
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More awful news today:

ISIS Beheads American Journalist Steven Sotloff, Monitoring Group Says - NBC News
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Old 09-02-2014, 02:55 PM   #200
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i really don't know what to do.

but i do think that bombing the fuck out of ISIS because they are potentially the worst people on the planet isn't a strategy.
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