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Old 10-17-2001, 12:51 PM   #21
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Melon..Sorry I meant to get your attention that it was my boss who wrote this for me..
Remember how I emailed you once about him and I always discussing politics? Since he always reads your stuff, admires you a great deal as a intellectual, and since you are both from Michigan, he basically wanted to post something under your thread, I am not sure, if I cut and pasted it in the right thread under your name..

P.S. Yep, I always bring your points up at work.
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Old 10-17-2001, 01:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Diemen:


The United States just can't win with some people. We can give more aid per capita to foreign countries than any other nation.[/i]
This is just not true! Denmark gives 1% of their GDP for help to the 3rd world countries, NOrway and Sweden are second, than it's france, Germany, Australia... And US is on the bottom of the list of developed west world countries with 0,1% of their GDP for help to 3rd world countires. Please go to world bank and buy yourself some macroeconomisc books, yearbooks and such stuff and than put up a claim like that one.

The posted article is totaly right - I'm not saying that any american is wrong or unjust, but US government surly is. Everithing in that article is true and right, so why can't you except that? Or are you so ignorant?
Melon hit it right - noone here is talking about the article. You just react like you usualy do - why don't you like americans? Why don't you say what you thing about all the statements said in the article by american journalists? You are full of BS, and you only want to defend yourself by distracting people by diferent subjects.
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Old 10-17-2001, 04:32 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon:
No one here has commented on what the article has to say; just some personal attacks and diversions. Afghanistan, it seems, has overrun this forum completely.
true

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Old 10-17-2001, 07:02 PM   #24
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Marko, thank you for your response. This is what I consider reasonable debate.
Regarding Chechnya, I agree that what the Russians have done there is a war crime. For that matter the U.S. government would likely agree and has criticized Russia in this matter. Here's the problem as I see it:
What can America or any other country do about it at this point? Russia has a vast nuclear and military arsenal at its disposition so we obviouly can't stop them with our military. Nor would we want to at this point because Russia is not only a powerful country it is an unstable one as well which makes it all the more dangerous. As hypocritical as it may sound we need to treat them with "kid gloves." As bad as their current leadership may or may not be it could (and has been) worse. To be honest I am at a loss about what to do in regards to Russia. What do you think would be a reasonable course of action?
As far as the former Yugoslavia goes I am similarly at a loss. As I see it terrible war crimes we occuring there. Crimes against humanity. So what if any action should the U.S. government have taken? For a long time we did nothing (for that matter not a single Western nation interceded in any substantive way) and people continued to die.
Eventually, President Clinton decided that something needed to be done. A lot of Americans disagreed with him and thought that nothing good could come of military action there but we bombed the Serbians and innocent people died. The Chinese embassy was even accidentally hit much to their understandable anger. Some people believe that what America did was a courageous act because we risked our own lives and reputation to help a Muslim minority. For once America acted without any discernable profit to itself something America rarely gets credit for doing. Bono is one person who thinks that way.
Others believe that America didn't solve the problems and just killed more people.
I'm not sure what I think. I think we had something of a moral obligation to act but I'm not convinced any good came of it.
When we tried to help the people of Somalia a lot more people died (including U.S. Marines and we turned tail and ran much to everyone's amusement.) Does that mean we shouldn't have been in Somalia in the first place? I don't think so.
As for Americans who have supported the IRA I would say that it depends upon HOW they supported the IRA. It isn't illegal for an American to support Al-Qaida for instance. Morally reprehensible perhaps, but not illegal. But if an American were to supply arms to the IRA I say that American ought to be tried for crimes against humanity. Fair enough?
Israel and Palestine. The reason we give Palestinians and Jews that "BS" as you put it is because we are trying to act as an intermediary, a role that both Israel AND Yasser Arafat encourage America to take. But if it is "BS" to ask them to refrain from violence wouldn't it be "BS" for you or anyone else to ask America to do the same?

MP
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Old 10-18-2001, 03:39 AM   #25
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Okay, let's talk about the damn article with which some of you are so enamored. I don't think most of us were interested in debating the merits of it because as members of Interference we're far more interested in debating Interferencers about THEIR opinions. Or perhaps I'm giving you too much credit to expect you to be able to argue the merits of your own suppositions with your own words. Must you resort to Sayeed Hasan Kahn and Kurt Jacobsen, whoever they hell they are?

As for Melon's complaint about this thread morphing into a debate about Afghanistan, try and see it from our perspective. An article criticizing American foreign policy in regards to our war with terrorists is posted by someone who is adamantly opposed to our attack on Afhanistan. How can it not be perceived as a continuation of that debate? Honestly.

Anyhow, the article...

Let's see if we can agree on this much to start with:
The basic tenent of the article is that the world of international politics is a murky one with shifting alliances, dishonesty and considerable disinformation. One mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. A shocking revelation for a dumb ole American like me but I'm doing my best to assimilate this stunning revelation. I've never heard the likes of it before!!
SUNUVAGUN!!
The clever authors point out that the Soviet Union once the epitome of evil in American eyes is now an ally. Not sure why they used this example but it's a terrible one. There's a huge difference between the Soviet Union and Russia. If some of you are so profoundly stupid that you need examples as to why this is so please speak up now. No one needs examples? Well that's encouraging at least.
'Nelson Mandela was once imprisoned as a terrorist but look at him now,' the writers point out. Was anyone else offended by this? You weren't? Than what the fuck is wrong with you? If you can't honestly see the difference between the sort of folks who blow up discotheques and fly airliners into skyscrapers and Nelson Mandela then you are so caught in the vice of relativism as to be hopeless. If this is the case please let me know now and I'll desist because I know a pointless debate when I see one.
The authors then go on to point out several examples of the United States' fickle allegiances: Noriega, Saddam Hussein etc.
Gerry Adams they point out was once considered a terrorist but was granted a visa as a statesman and look how well that turned out. "Is there legitimate resistance to oppression which does not deserve the name of terrorism" the aurthors wonder?
And look at Henry Kissinger and American foreign policy in Chile they point out. Can't states be considered terrorists as well?

As it turns out though the authors are only appalled by terror when it is perpetrated by a State or Government. In other words if a member of a Middle Eastern terrorist group were to blow up New York City with a nuclear device which they purchased from a former Soviet Republic it would be an act of "legitimate resistance" of the sort that brave folks like Nelson Mandela have been doing for years. More over it would be America's fault for inventing Nukes in the first place. But if the U.S. were to support a government that killed innocent people that would be a hideous act of terrorism deserving of punishment.
Is it possible that there is such thing as the lesser of two evils?
The authors feel that reasonable people like the government of Syria and the Secretary General of Hizbullah might be the sort of "authorities" the U.S. needs to help it define what terrorism really is. Uh, huh.

As is the case with every one of the articles and threads posted to Interference regarding this subject the authors make several excellent points. They point out examples of American wrongdoing in the world and American hypocrisy but they undermine their arguments with feeble ideas as to what America's response should be. Even these esteemed authors acknowledge (however briefly) that the terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks must be punished. (Along with the American running dogs of course.)

Their solution? Some sort of non-specific consortium, a "coalition capable of responding aptly to any threat by proper combinations of police work, bombs, bread and mediation." Who would be part of this coalition? If the membership were as diverse as the authors would obviously want would it be capable of action? Would any coalition with members from Afhanistan, Iraq, China, North Korea and whose members were part of Hizbullah, Hamas, the PLO, Al-Qyaida etc, EVER rule in favor of action that results in the bombing of Afghanistan? For that matter would the coalition ever rule in favor of "legitimate" terrorist action if its members included Israel, the U.S., Canada, Great Britian, Russia, France etc?
My fantasy for solving this is just as unlikely as theirs. I was hoping God would descend from Heaven and smite the wrondoers and bring peace and harmony to the rest of us.
In the meantime nearly 6,000 people died on 9/11. Biological weapons are being used on Americans. What should America do NOW?

MAP

p.s.- anyone who equates the intentional murder of innocent civilians by masked terrorists with the unintentional deaths of people due to negligence ought to be slapped.
If I run over someone with my car because I want to kill them it's murder. If I run over someone because I'm distraced by the radio it's a crime but it isn't murder.

p.p.s.- Is it possible that the U.S. has to make unsavory alliances in this unsavory world? You can't very well criticize the U.S. for dealing with the Chinese gov't after Tiannemen and also criticize the U.S. for not normalizing relations with Iraq.
I personally know several people who criticized the U.S. for not defending the Muslims in the former Yugoslavia and who then criticized the U.S. for intervening militarily. Sometimes you can't win.
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Old 10-18-2001, 03:58 AM   #26
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MAP: at least you gave us your opinion of the article. In some things I agree with you (mandela) in others I don't. Russia is different than USSR, but what they were doing in Chechnia was pure war crime, and in that aspect they didn't change. I also think that you can't equate victims in WTC and those civilians in a bombing of military targets as a war crime goes - BUT it's your standard, so when you talk about war crimes in former yugoslavia you (again US government not you as a person) equates 6000 dead civilians who were sloughtered by serbs, and 50 civilians who died in a combat when muslims or croats were fighting to take back their land - and ou name it, now look at this stupidity, "overusing the artilery". So what your country sets as standard to other country should also be standard by which you should act. And about punishing those who support terorism - what about all of those people in US who suppoerted IRA with money and arms for 30-40 yrs? I'll use a clishe here: if you talk the talk you should walk the walk and punish ALL of those who support it. Another example of hipocrisy: you say that you have the right to revenge and retaliate, but when 10 palestinians or Jews die, then you give them the BS about how they should stay civilised, and turn to dialog instead of revenge and violence... I got the feeling that you are not very stupid, so you must be blind to some thruths!
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Old 10-18-2001, 11:37 AM   #27
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MAP: what I'm trying to say is that US sometimes iritates me b/c you know to come off as big headed when someone goes on saying that US is all good, that there's nothing wrong done by the hands of the US and in the same time patronize everyone else all over the world.
US is generaly positive, there is no country for which I'll say that is good, so it's positive. But you have a lot of sins and you don't addmit it - you just go on saying that you are almost biger that god, that world would be in hell if you weren't here, and you have done a lot of bad bad things recently (last 50 yrs) not to mention horible things in last 200 yrs - slavery, indians and their land, Japanees "concentration" camps during ww2, not giving civil rights to black people until, what, late 60's? - and still, with all theese things on your consience, you pretend to be nothing short of saints. If you take civil and human (basicaly race) rights in the US in the last 50 yrs all Europe was ahead of you. So that is why people like to throw punches at the US, b/c a lot of times they are right. It just comes off as hipocrisy.
MAP thanks for giving me a decent arguments, and honest opinion. As far as Russia is concerned - I don't know how to deal with it either, but if you want the world to see you as just, than you should stick with your principles and not comunicate or have diplomatic and economic relationship with them, same as Iraq or Cuba - put sanctions on Russia, you don't have to fight them. I wouldn't like you to do that but if you want to be principal... Now yugoslavia - I'm from Croatia so I could just go on and on but I don't want to bore the people here with it again - if it interests you tell me your e-mail and I'll send you a thurough letter about it.
Israel: you they should stick with dialog BUT AGAIN - you ahould do as you preach or stop preaching. You retaliate to terorists without dialog (the way which is right for me), but they should talk and talk and talk? Nobody should ask you to talk with bin laden, but someone can tell you not to shoot civilians.
that's bout it for now,
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Old 10-18-2001, 12:46 PM   #28
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* BV adds to her list of great debaters. Matthew and Marko..*Thanks guys for being so respectable to each other, I do highly respect two people who can disagree, yet hold an intelligent conversation that enables us to read two view points with such peace.

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Old 10-18-2001, 05:42 PM   #29
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From the article:

Quote:
Citizens must try to find out where security measures are really going to help, especially where civil liberties are concerned. Consider the fact that oppressive regimes, including Muslim ones like the one in Algeria, define as terrorists perfectly civilized people who fled to the UK for asylum. So then, is the UK, technically speaking, harbouring terrorists in these cases ? Now the UK is threatening to change the law so that dissidents of any kind are treated as if they were rabid terrorists, particularly if they don't suit the UK's political aims of the moment.

This sort of touches on the root and cause of the problem the US has in the Middle East/Arab world.

Many Arab states are run by corrupt governments, who basically cheat and steal to keep themselves in power and keep themselves at an economic advantage. There is no democracy, there are no real elections, and there most certainly doesn't exist any promotion of social equality.

The issue is that the US government is supportive of such regimes. Saudi Arabia is an excellent example. If you go to the UK, as the article states, and speak with Saudi intellectuals and exiles, they will tell you of the level of corruption which runs rampant there. But, it is not in the "best interest of the US" to displace these governments, because the line of thinking is "they're sobs, but they're our sobs." In that there have been decades of collaborations between the US government and the corrupt Arab regimes (most notably regarding oil), and also because the regimes that are in place are decidedly not what you would term "virtuoso religious" regimes. In plain words, they are not "too Islamic."

This will continue to be a problem because the US government has failed, in its foreign policy, to realize that the people in many of these states are very unhappy with their current political situation. There needs to be an acceptance that, even if a different government is unknown to the US, or even less friendly, its existence is inevitable. You cannot sit in DC, telling people in Mecca that the corrupt royal family must remain in power so that US citizens can buy cheaper gas to drive their SUVs.

I am wholly against terrorism, I don't sympathize with anybody who'd commit these acts. I don't believe the US military is trying to kill Afghan civilians and I don't think every American is ignorant.

But I do believe it would be in the best interest of the average American to take a good, long look at the foreign policy of the US in places outside of North America. And then ask himself: "how far are we rightfully allowed to extend that policy?"

melon, I've somewhat commented on teh article. Can I have my lollipop now?
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Old 10-18-2001, 06:51 PM   #30
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anitram,

If Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are so concerned about the plight of the oppressed peoples of the Arab world, then why are they allied with the Taliban? The Taliban's atrocities against the people of Afghanistan and against foreign visitors are well known. At least in Saudi Arabia one can inherit $350 million from one's family construction business. The terrorists don't care about their own people at all.
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Old 10-18-2001, 09:40 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by speedracer:
anitram,

If Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are so concerned about the plight of the oppressed peoples of the Arab world,

I never said they were. I don't think they are.

My point was more along the lines of what regular, moderate Arabs living in corrupt states feel.

I quite frankly don't devote much of my time analyzing bin Laden and his devotees.
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Old 10-18-2001, 10:29 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram:

I never said they were. I don't think they are.

My point was more along the lines of what regular, moderate Arabs living in corrupt states feel.

I quite frankly don't devote much of my time analyzing bin Laden and his devotees.
Well, my point is that our enemy is not the 1 billion regular, moderate Arabs. Our enemy is ObL, Al-Qaeda, etc., and I believe that they hate the US for reasons that go way beyond specific US actions in the Middle East.

Should the US reconsider some of its foreign policy? Perhaps. Will that satisfy the terrorists? I doubt it.
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Old 10-19-2001, 03:57 AM   #33
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bonovista: my (our) pleasure.

Last few posts in this thread were the first ones that I wrote without any anger and frustration whan it comes to subject on latest war problems in the world, and it's all thanks to the aproach of MAP
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