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To be a target of terror (ramblings)(58 posts)

To be a target of terror (ramblings)Kristin
Oct 15, 2002 9:21 AM
I was reading...its amazing how much time one has to read when the remote is not at hand. One particular article, about a militant muslim faction in Indonesia, captured my attention. Its leader specifically targets Christians and has strong anti-American sentiments. He's responsbile for the deaths of many Indonesian missionaries already; but since the war on terrorism, he's changed his tune to a more peaceful melody. He's closed the combat training camps and is focused on is followers studying the koran. But has his mind changed? I doubt it very much.

It suddenly occurs to me...I'm a prime terrorist target. In stark reality, this is true. If a muslim group specifically targetting Christians and America were to strike, where would the consider doing so? In two more years we complete a 70 million dollar building expansion that has been widely misunderstood by people from all manner of backgrounds and beliefs. To muslim militants living in caves, it is an example of gross western excess at the hands of false worshippers (that's how they view Christians, no?).

I sat in the safety of my home on 9/11 and watched the horrors play out. I wept, but I never realized myself at risk. Now I see it. Though I've never heard it mentioned by my leaders, I'm sure they must realize it too. And then I supose they are being careful in what they say. It took my breath away. And then my resolve was strengthened.

My first inclination was to pray for safety. Christians ask for this so often, yet there is very little biblical support for doing so. The example of the apostles in Acts comes to mind. When they were imprisioned and flogged by the sanhedren, their request to God was for more resolve and more boldness. So this is what I decided to ask for.

I will not stop attending my church. I believe that God has brought me there specifically. I've experienced a freshness at Willow Creek that is rejuvinating. I can be weak there. I can hurt and can be messy. I can wrestle and can even disagree. And I am still accepted. I believe in what this little church is about--even if its often misunderstood and judged from a distance. Sure we make mistakes, but we're real and honest for the most part.

Its hard for me to understand sometimes how the apostles walked away from being flogged by the political sanhedren not only to claim Jesus' name more boldly. But the account in Acts says it all started with a prayer for resolve--for boldness. This is beginning to hit home somewhat, and I ask myself how I might respond if my little group is threatened. If my prayers are answered, I'll stand and be loud. Time may perhaps tell.
as much as we dont want to admit it...ClydeTri
Oct 15, 2002 9:49 AM
This is a religious war. It is a war of Muslims against non-Muslims. It is UN-PC to say so, but, that is reality.
almostDougSloan
Oct 15, 2002 10:37 AM
Some Muslims are very peaceful. It's as wrong to lump them in with the terrorists as lumping the Pope in with Timothy McVeigh.

It's a war of a particular radical Muslim group against everyone else, but particularly anyone who has offended them in the past. Their hatred seems to be most stirred by offending their sense of territory (sacred ground) or opposing their extremist values. They really hold a grudge, and never forgive or forget. Those concepts apparently do not exist in their beliefs.

They hate us, primarily Christians in the U.S., but apparently do not mind killing anyone else along with us. They kill purely for vengeance, not for any particular strategic plan.

They value martyrdom, which makes it difficult to battle them or predict their moves. We tend to think in terms of aggressors at least attempting to avoid being killed in the process of attacking. They don't. We just don't think that way.

What was scary was seeing teenage girls on some show, I think 60 Minutes, a few months ago, and they all said they would be willing to die while bombing a U.S. military base. What was chiling was that these girls had been born and raised in the United States. Someone has made them think that not only is killing ok, and killing yourself in the process is ok, but also that killing is good, and you should do it. What the hell (literally) sort of religion teaches that? [I don't mean what religious texts might have references to killing 4,000 years ago -- I mean what religion teaches you should kill people present day? I know of no others.]

Yes, while I'm sure the vast majority of Muslims are very peaceful, moral, people, there are sufficient numbers of extremists who want to kill others that we need to be concerned. The fact that we value religious tolerance, and we should do so, is misplaced though. When any group, be it some Muslims, the KKK, or militia, is raising children to hate and be willing to kill others, we have a problem, and must do something.

Doug
Its only OK for Americans to kill and die for American beliefs?czardonic
Oct 15, 2002 10:54 AM
I agree that it is disturbing to hear teenage girls talk about killing themselves for a cause. But how many times have you heard a young American talk about going to war to "defend freedom" and thought, "what the hell sort of country teaches that?" Of course, many do. And on top of that, there are many murderous extremists out there who are not Muslim.
But, look...ClydeTri
Oct 15, 2002 11:05 AM
Look at the countries where Islam is the official religion of the country, meaning the vast majority of the middle east. No freedom of religion, no free press, hardly none of the freedoms we have, and, they in vast majority treat women as sub-human.
not a fair comparisonDougSloan
Oct 15, 2002 11:08 AM
Killing precise military targets to defend our country or another is one thing. The arbitrary murder of innocent civilians out of a generalized desire for vengeance and hate is completely different. Do you really not see that?

Doug
Still a double standard.czardonic
Oct 15, 2002 11:36 AM
First, I was responding to your specific example if girls who said "they would be willing to die while bombing a U.S. military base". This sounds pretty precise and military to me. Does that mean that you now concede the legitmacy of such an attack? I doubt it.

Face it, the mere fact that they are tageting interests that you sympathize with is where you draw the line. Moreover, I suspect it matters little how many innocent civilians the US kills in "defense" of its interests, you will never brand it as terrorism. Do you really not see that?
A simple misunderstanding then.Sintesi
Oct 15, 2002 12:42 PM
Doug is a little slow sometimes and when he talks to people smarter than him he gets confused. Between you and me he's a bit of a rube, if you catch my drift. Your clarifications czardonic are EXTREMELY HELPFUL.

Doug you really ought to read closer next time. He was responding to YOUR "SPECIFIC EXAMPLE."

All well and good.

Thanks for all the good you do.
wellDougSloan
Oct 15, 2002 1:54 PM
Most of the people here have the intelligence and decency not to lower themselves to immature name calling and personal attacks. Maybe you can join them some day?

Doug
I'm czardonic's cheerleader.Sintesi
Oct 16, 2002 5:13 AM
I like to say what he implies. I'm gay for him. ; )
Its only OK for Americans to kill and die for American beliefs?BikeViking
Oct 15, 2002 11:29 AM
It is absolutely amazing that you cannot (or will not) make the distinction between a 19 year old Palestinian girl who murders coffee shop patrons (and herself)and the 19 year old US Army sergeant MP who is searching Afghan women because the Taliban is USING them as "mules" to carry weapons and further their fight against freedom. Freedom meaning CHOOSING where to live how to live. The Taliban and others took that freedom away from the Afghans. They harbored those that killed 3000 people on 9/11. Now the Afghans and the US have a common goal for different reasons; eliminate the Taliban.

Is that REALLY what you meant?
We're not talking about coffee shop patrons. See above. (nm)czardonic
Oct 15, 2002 11:37 AM
We're not talking about coffee shop patrons. See above. (nm)BikeViking
Oct 15, 2002 12:14 PM
"But how many times have you heard a young American talk about going to war to "defend freedom" and thought, "what the hell sort of country teaches that?" Of course, many do. And on top of that, there are many murderous extremists out there who are not Muslim."

I take your above excerpt to put the suicide bombers and their beliefs on the same moral level as an American who believes in freedom for all.

Am I wrong?
Freedom.czardonic
Oct 15, 2002 12:49 PM
While Americans may believe in "freedom for all", that is rarely (not never, but rarely) why they wage war. They fight to protect their economic and strategic intertests and wrap the effort in the banner of freedom. We fought to "free" Kuwait from Saddam Hussein. Now Kuwait is one of our allies. But it is not a "free" country. It is merely "free" to serve the US as an oil exporter and launch pad for military activity.

I don't think that fighting and dying for a corrupt doctrine, regardless of how "moral" the purported motivation, whether it is "liberating" people or "resisting imperialism", is defensible. There are misled Muslims who beleive that America stands for capitalist, materialistic cultural imperialism. There are also misled Americans who beleive that Islam stands for repression of women and killing infidels. Neither is more right than the other.
wrong!ClydeTri
Oct 15, 2002 12:57 PM
Look at all the countries in the middle east where Islam is the predominate religion. How many of them repress women and treat them like non-humans? They have no rights and exist merely to care for their man.
AgreedCaptain Morgan
Oct 15, 2002 1:17 PM
The Taliban came to power under the guise of a holy, pure government. However, many in the Taliban used this power to rape the women/girls. It was all a ruse by them to gain personal power.
Actually, you seem to be disagreeing. . .czardonic
Oct 15, 2002 1:21 PM
. . .insofar as you recognize that these rapists and murderers are simply using Islam as a guise to mask their personal ambition.

ClydeTri beleives that they are rapists and murderers because they are Muslim.
Freedom.BikeViking
Oct 16, 2002 6:22 AM
Right now, there is a perception (based on fact) that "Islam stands for repression of women and killing infidels".

There are no Islamic countries that I am aware of (except Turkey) where the masses enjoy freedom found in most Western nations.

There are nothing but rogues and dictators running these countries right now.

What to do about it is the area of disagreement...
are there any?DougSloan
Oct 16, 2002 6:53 AM
Are there any predominately Islamic nations that have *any* of the basic human rights enjoyed by most of the western world, such as:

*free elections
*speech
*religious choice
*due process (civil and criminal)
*association
*redress of grievances
*women's and minorities' rights

Doug
There seem to beczardonic
Oct 16, 2002 9:50 AM
Turkey, for example. Then again, there are plenty of non-Islamic nations that do not live up to the standards of the western world. As such, I don't think that you can blame the lack of rights on Islam. Such conditions are typical of the developing world.

Islamic beliif clearly advocates moderation and restraint in war.

It also teaches religious intolerance:
"There is no compulsion in religion. Truth stands out clearly from falsehood: whoever rejects evil and believes in God has grasped the strongest rope that never breaks. And God is All-Hearing and All-Knowing." (Qur'an 2:256)

It also teaches equality:
"O mankind! We created you from a single soul, male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes, so that you may come to know one another. Truly, the most honored of you in God's sight is the greatest of you in piety. God is All-Knowing, All-Aware." -Qur'an 49:13

The idea that Islam should be blamed for the acts of despots and fanatics is as valid as blaming Christianity for Hitler and abortion clinic bombers.
so you agree?DougSloan
Oct 16, 2002 10:29 AM
The quotes you cite are a bit less than convincing for me, especially in light of the multiple passages listed by jromack in the Falwell thread. It almost seems like you are really stretching things in a determined effort to rebut anything positive anyone says about the U.S. or negative about Islamic nations. What you cite is far, far from "clearly" proving your point.

To make the point, I simply asked if there are any Islamic nations that enjoy (any of) the basic civil rights listed. While you imply that there are none, and avoid really answering the question, I'll assume that there are none of which you are aware.

That being the case, the next question is "why?" Is it due to their economic status, the religion, or simply the despots ruling those countries (or a combination)?

My view seems to be that it is all of them, but the single greatest common denominator among these countries is the religion, at least the interpretation of the religion utilizied to oppress the people there. Sure, other non-Islamic countries might have similar denials of rights, but that's another issue.

Also, Hitler was a nut, and one of a kind. I can't recall that he based his claim of power on religion, but rather was an opportunistic rascist. On the other hand, every single Islamic nation on the planet has similar traits of draconian laws and horrific records on human rights. Slave owners in the U.S. in the 1800's were kinder to their slaves than present day Islamic men are to their wives in these countries. Plus, their claim of right to power and how they treat people is indeed based upon their religion, however warped that may be.

I'm not saying Islam is to be blamed. What I'm saying is that there are scary numbers of people on the planet who practice a form of Islam in a way that is inherently degrading to human beings, if not outright dangerous. This is not the work of a few rogue zealots, but of vast numbers of people, including the leadership of many coutries. To attempt to link them with Hitler and clinic bombers is a stretch, and avoids acknowledgement of obvious differences and their magnitudes.

Doug
Certainly not.czardonic
Oct 16, 2002 11:11 AM
Turkey was the example that I gave. Not being and expert on the country, I am assuming that the CIA World Factbook description of it as a "republican parliamentary democracy" is correct. Yemen (again, taking the CIA World Factbook at its word) is also a republic with a legal system based on both Islamic and English Common Law. There are surely others (Egypt, Morocco) that include at least some of the features you listed. As such, the question of why Islamic nations are all run by fundamentalist despots is moot. They are not.

There are many contradictions in the Qu'ran. There are many in the Bible too.

I don't see how the denial of rights in other countries is another issue. It speaks to the fact that denials of rights occur in non-Islamic countries. Does that not suggest that repression is neither exclusive to Islam, nor a result of the faith? My point is that if you go anywhere in the world where society is in a similar state of development (Europe (Balkans), Africa, Asia, S. America) you will find the same abuses that you blame on Islam.

Of course Hitler was a nut. So is Bin Laden. But what about the royalty and clergy that conducted the Spanish Inquisition? What about Christian settlers who massacred native peoples all over the globe? You're right. To compare magnitutdes is a stretch due the orders of magnitude by which people murdered or subjugated in the name of Christ exceeds those repressed under Islam.

Not to be too much of a wise-a$$, but I think the way that you glossed over my example of Turkey is emblematic of too many people's view of Islam and the Middle East. They are simply blind to any evidence that does not support the notions of Western/Christian superiority and innate Islamic depravity.
Distict differences between themCaptain Morgan
Oct 16, 2002 11:58 AM
Of the countries you mention (Europe (Balkans), Africa, Asia, S. America), none of them go to the extent of limiting women's rights like a number of the Islamic states. The Taliban wouldn't even allow their females educated past elementary school! Additionally, I can think of no other countries where they have leaders that say "it is out duty to kill all Americans."
Nonsense.czardonic
Oct 16, 2002 12:17 PM
It makes no difference if you are "allowed" to get a post-elementary education if there are no schools, or if you are forced to marry as soon as you reach puberty. On the other hand, in many other parts of the world women and girls are allowed to work as prostitutes and sweat shop laborers. Very progressive. How much education do you think they get?

How many Islamic leaders really say "it is ou(r) duty to kill all Americans"? You'd better have a long list because we're talking about 1.2 billion people here. How many of those 1.2 billion even listen to these crackpots? How many Christians listen to people like Falwell, or Coulter who advocates taking over the Middle East and converting all Muslims to Christianity?
Long list?Captain Morgan
Oct 16, 2002 12:48 PM
Who said anything about a "long" list? You are exaggerating in order to further your points. I am talking about the QUALITY of leaders threatening us, not QUANTITY. Want examples? How about the Vice President of Indonesia? How about the leader of Iraq? How about thousands of Muslim clerics throughout the entire region, who incense millions of Muslim children? You are naive if you think the problem is a minor one.
Talk is cheap.czardonic
Oct 16, 2002 1:01 PM
My point was that unless there was a huge number of these leaders (literally millions), you'd be hard pressed to call them a major influence. And if you want to talk about quality instead of quantity, you'll have to demonstrate that the realative handful of leaders you can point to hold sway over a significant portion of the Muslim population. Whether or not they prefer their ways to ours, the fact is that save for an infintesimally small minority, Muslims would rather live their lives without violence or hate.

You seem to think that anyone who dislikes the US Governemnt or American culture is automatically a murderous zealot. There is a big difference between beleiving propdanda and picking up a weapon. If what you say about their rhetoric and its effectivness were true, there would be hundreds of millions of terrorists.
Sure is.Sintesi
Oct 17, 2002 4:37 AM
Maybe you should call yourself Sophist master. nmSintesi
Oct 16, 2002 12:10 PM
almostBikeViking
Oct 15, 2002 11:19 AM
The peace loving Muslim communities have to start cleaning house. To tolerate such evil within your midst creates the impression the WHOLE community is as ruthless and coldblooded.

Not a lot we "infidels" can do about this problem until the Muslim leadership starts isolating and eliminating this insanity from within their respective organizations.
almostSintesi
Oct 15, 2002 11:20 AM
The system of government in most Islamic states (if not all) is clearly antithetical to freedom loving(not necessarily peace loving) countries. They, for the most part, don't understand the concept of tolerance and individual freedoms. The only reason the US deals with these nations exensively is oil, wealthy Arab monies and their value in fighting or fending off perceived threats. We use 'em. When the value runs out we'll drop 'em and that'll be that. I think these countries with their oligarchies, theocracies and totalitarian regimes will suffer incredibly in the coming decades when their governments ultimately fail and they haven't developed stable peaceful relationships with the West. It's pathetic and ultimately sad; not for us but for them.

If someone developed a viable solar powered or electrically powered auto that would be the beginning of the end for the middle-east.
That's half the story.czardonic
Oct 15, 2002 11:47 AM
The US and other "freedom loving" countries prop-up these repressive regimes. We give them the means to subjugate their people and to quell popular uprisings. Then we turn around and blame the average citizen for not having the guts to challenge "their" leaders. What is pathetic and sad is the hypocracy and ignorance that guides the average American's attitude towards the rest of the world.

Ever wonder why there still is no viable electric car? It is because corporations and their henchmen in the US Goverment are determined to squeeze every last nickel out of the oil trade before they take innovation seriously.
Now we have the whole story.Sintesi
Oct 15, 2002 12:14 PM
The US is one of the root causes of major evil in the world. Or at least it seems like it. Cause everywhere you look you can see the puppet strings plain as day. If more people only WOKE UP!! or read a BOOK!!and heard the TRUTH!! I just wish we had more people like you and me to help clean it all up. You are a shining point of light.

Damn those nickel sqeezing lackies and henchmen TO HELL!!!

No more cold pricklies, only warm fuzzies for you and me from now on. I love you. I'm gay for you.
Damned if we do, damned if we don'tCaptain Morgan
Oct 15, 2002 1:05 PM
The US is in a catch-22 situation. We are blamed when we "prop-up repressive regimes" (i.e. we at one time supported Hussein, Castro, etc.) we are blamed when we stay on the sideline (Palestine, Bosnia, etc.), and we are blamed when we want to change regimes (Iraq). The world will be jealous and hate America no matter what we do.

The religious leaders involved in the "jihad" are using religion to gain poor, guideless supporters in order to build their own individual power. The role of UBL is NOT to kick America and everyone else out of the Islamic lands, but to place all of Islam under ONE rule: his.
We don't help ourselves. . .czardonic
Oct 15, 2002 1:25 PM
. . .by sponsoring either freedom r repression wherever it serves our interests. If we are a freedom loving nation, we should be fighting for freedom regardless of the political, stratigic or economic reprecussions. Doesn't our ideology assume that where freedom thrives, so does peace and abundance?

Unfortunately, we love freedom, but not as much as we love cheap gasoline etc. The hypocracy is evident to the entire world, and that is why we are simply seen as imperialist demagogues.
What about Bosnia, Somalia, Korea, Vietnam?Captain Morgan
Oct 15, 2002 3:31 PM
What about these countries? What interests other than freedom that we were trying to serve?

Unfortunately we have limited resources. We would not have the capacity to police the entire world even if we wanted to. Therefore, we have to prioritize. On what basis would you base your decision then? Of course the logical decision would be to give priority to those issues that are vital to our (and the world's) interests.

In my view, the world is hypocritical by wanting (and in many cases asking us) us to protect the peace worldwide, yet chastizing us for being imperialists. Again, it is a catch-22.
What about Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc.?czardonic
Oct 15, 2002 3:44 PM
The point is not that we never do good. Nor is it that we fail to do good beyond our means. The point is that we do good or evil (by defending freedom or defending repression) depending on our own selfish interests.

America isn't chastized as imperialist where we fight for democracy. We are chastized as imperialists where we install or prop-up repressive puppet regimes designed to further our agenda at the expense of the people who suffer under them.

We can't have it both ways and maintain the moral high ground. At best, we are fair weather friends of democracy, defending it where it suits us, and rejecting it where it hinders our interests.
Pakistan??Captain Morgan
Oct 15, 2002 4:19 PM
Are you serious about Pakistan? Up until shortly after 9/11 we had significant restrictions on them (as well as India) for their nuclear testing. And we were not appreciative of Musharref's military coup in the first place.

Of course we do things in our interests, as do you. Saying we serve our "selfish" interests is akin to saying that you buy your bicycle to serve your "selfish interests." You do not do it to help the bike manufacturer or your LBS. "Selfish" is not the appropriate word.

I view the jihad as a serious threat. Their goal is to consolidate the middle east into one ruling government. I believe the problem is a severe one. I always grew up thinking that a nuclear war would only come about via the U.S. and Russia, or maybe China. Now I believe the threat of the extremists getting ahold of one, and using it, is significant. The amount of material necessary to construct a bomb of the intensity of the Hiroshima bomb is only the size of a softball.

Also, we are not just talking about a small cult of extremists here. There are probably a few million in Pakistan alone. The problem over there is pervasive.
Yeah, Pakistan.czardonic
Oct 15, 2002 5:04 PM
And your summary of our recent flip-flop with regards to them is a perfect example of how we go from defending freedom to defending despotism as it suits our needs.

Neither do I hurt the LBS or the manufacturer when I buy that bike. Therin lies the distinction. The US persues it prerogatives without regards to the consequences to others. Selfish is inappropriate to my spending habits, but completely appropriate to our support for totalitarian regimes such as that of Pakistan.

Your fear of jihad and paranoia about nuclear attacks does not justify the suspension of the principle of fostering freedom and democracy either here or abroad. The world has always been a dangerous place, and safety will always be a mirage.

Softball size is small when you are talking about sports equipment, but large when you are talking about nuclear material. There is a reason only a handfull of nations have the bomb.

In a country of 140 million, "a few million" is hardly pervasive.
Freedom and democracyCaptain Morgan
Oct 15, 2002 6:47 PM
1. And just how would we have gotten to Afghanistan without going through Pakistan? It was a strategic move we had to make in order to get to UBL and the Taliban in response to what they did to us on 9/11. Are you suggesting that the U.S. must be static in its relations with other countries?

2. You talk about "the suspension of the principle of fostering freedom and democracy either here or abroad." Sitting idle did not work for the U.S. with regards to Germany before WWII, it did not work for Carter before their extremists took over our embassy and held our officials as hostages in Iran, and it did not work for Clinton and Bush prior to 9/11. In two of those instances we were peaceful, yet it cost us thousands of lives in both instances. Now we are dealing with an enemy that is even more vocal about their zeal to kill all Americans. What is your suggestion for dealing with such an enemy?
Freedom and democracyczardonic
Oct 16, 2002 10:02 AM
1. Given that most of the bad guys in Afghanistan quickly moced into Pakistan, maybe we should have taken out both. Pakistan is a military dictatorship, training ground for terrorists, supporter of the Taliban and posessor of nuclear weapons. The US should not be static, but neither should it be complicit with the likes of Musharaff.

2. Where did I suggest that we sit idle? I said that we should not be supporting despots.
Got to walk before you can runCaptain Morgan
Oct 16, 2002 11:41 AM
I believe that we have to attack the problems that are most easily solved first. If you have a to-do list of five things, four of which would take 30 minutes and one that would take all day, would it not be logical (all things being equal) to handle the shorter tasks first?

Anyway, I do not believe Pakistan is our ultimate goal. Musharraf would prefer to get rid of the fundamentalists himself. IRAN, on the other hand, is one of the birthplaces of fundamentalism and has this ideology extending throughout their government. With Afghanistan on one side, and Iraq on the other, it would provide a strategic base from which we can tackle that area. It may not take military action, but we could certainly provide assistance for the anti-government factions in Iran.

Back to your arguments, you criticize the U.S. for not playing their entire hand at once. The U.S. is a no-win situation. Although perhaps you post anti-U.S. comments just to irk the conservatives.
Actually, that would not make sense.czardonic
Oct 16, 2002 12:36 PM
Assuming you had to do them all, what difference does it make what order you follow?

Nevertheless, I don't completely disagree with the principle you suggest. Keep in mind that I never said the US shoud take on the entire world at once. I don't seem to be making this clear. I said that the US should not be installing and supporting puppet despots for economic or ideological purposes. It backfires. It back-fired in Afghanistan, it back-fired in Cambodia, and it back-fired in Saudi Arabia.

I think you are genuinely confusing the "freedom and democracy" rhetoric with the realpolitik ideology that really guides the US Government. We are not going to Iraq to liberate Iraqis or Kurds or to put pressure on Iran. We are going there to liberate oil supplies. We were happy to let Iraq brutalize the Kurds and make war with Iran until Saddam invaded Kuwait and made it clear he wanted to control the oil trade. Then we rushed in to "save" Kuwait from Saddams tyranny, and left them in the care of their own tyrants.

If the US is in a no-win situation it is because it allows its economic interests to dilute its principles. You can not have a free and democratic Middle East and have cheap oil. The US has chosen cheap oil, and in doing so has become complicit in the denial of the rights and freedoms we claim to stand for.
Hey, Morgan I think my main man just insulted you...Sintesi
Oct 18, 2002 4:33 AM
on a personal level. Wheee. My master likes to insinuate how stupid everyone is. He's sardonical. WHee.

Good US policy. You do not find the US ideologically appealing or clean enough for you. You would be happier if the US was ideologically pure and zealous. Your missing something about human nature and a free society. The US isn't a monolith. The inconsistencies you point out aren't winning your point since they would be present in all human endeavors regardless of idealogy. Too bad master. The scenario will not play out as you envision but the US will prevail once again. You're bound for disappointment for the rest of your life. Please master, please feel better.
I have given upCaptain Morgan
Oct 18, 2002 11:51 AM
You can't argue with someone like that. The glass is always half empty. The world is imperfect, so I guess there is no use in trying to better the world, because we will fail at all attempts. If I mow my lawn, I will get criticized because it is only going to get long again. We are all bound for failure. Whoa is me.
That's the problem.czardonic
Oct 18, 2002 12:27 PM
You have given up on principles.

What I object to in your argument is not that it does not solve every problem. It is that you seem to suggest that because the world will never be perfect, there is no point in having principles. Thus, since there will always be tyrants somewhere, we may as well befriend them when it is convenient. In addition to being unethical, this type of stance has burned us throughout history.

So, to borrow your analogy, I will only criticize you if you mow your lawn and then park your car on it. It's self defeating if what you are looking for is a nice lawn. If you want a place to park your car, build a driveway.

And unless you are Keanu Reeves, I think the phrase you are looking for is "Woe is me."
Here's the problem.Captain Morgan
Oct 18, 2002 1:15 PM
When my daughter becomes friends with someone, sometimes I am not very fond of the parents. However, I try to be as cordial as possible. Sometimes you have to do that in life. It is even more so in politics, when you have to deal with hundreds of countries and billions of people who may not share the same principles you do. The world is not black and white in my eyes.

And regrading the driveway, perhaps I do not want to build a driveway because it would upset my neighbor. Therefore, I am stuck between sticking with my principles and my desire to maintain harmony with my neighbor as best I can. Again, catch-22.

I am sure we can continue in future threads.

P.S. Perhaps my use of the word "whoa" was just me doing my Arthur Fonzarelli imitation. I am a perfectionist; I am just not very good at it.
Fair enough.czardonic
Oct 18, 2002 1:50 PM
When you get down to brass tacks, I agree with most of what you say.

Perhaps, it would help if I named specific examples:

While I am not fond of such countries as Saudi Arabia, I agree that maintaining a favorable relationship with them is in our best interests. Same with China.

Though I see the current utility of Pakistan, I think that it is a much closer call. They are playing both sides of the fence, and the chances of us getting burned are significant. They were once under sanctions for their nuclear program. Thanks to their proximity to Afghanistan they are now off the hook, and it is now reported that Pakistan is helping Korea develop nuclear arms. They were also the primary sponsorers of the Taliban.

But what I truly mean when I refer to allying with tyrants is policy such as what we pursued in Cambodia, where we initally supported the genocidal Khmer Rouge, or in Guatemala where we trained and armed anti-communist death squads. At the time, beating back Communism was a priority. But in hindsight, this type of deviation from our principles did little for us strategically, and left a lasting stain on our record.

I doubt many Americans support that sort of action. But I also doubt that many Americans put much thought into them these days, and I think that this is a problem. America has done wrong in the past to further its ideological and strategic interests. I think it is in everyones interest if we conciously avoid starting down that path in other parts of the world.

What with all this moralizing, maybe I am just playing Richie Cunningham to your Fonz.
What about Pakistan, Saudi Arabia etc.?BikeViking
Oct 16, 2002 5:20 AM
Name one country that does not act in its own interests. Are we willing to spend NUMEROUS American lives to free the "repressive puppet regimes" of the world? I am not. The world is a pretty unsavory place and sometimes a nation is forced to choose between bad (Musharraf, for example) or worse (radical Islamism).
That's what I was saying.Sintesi
Oct 16, 2002 5:11 AM
America is so uncaring that it causes almost, not all of the worlds evils. We don't care a wit, not one wit about freedom. Empty words, right my man? How dare america work for its own narrrow interests? HOW DARE THEY?!!

BUNCH OF GAS HOG IMPERIALIST HYPOCRITS!!! PATHETIC.

I don't even want to be a part of this nation anymore because no one reads history books and yet still screw over the world with machiavellian precision.
another conspiracy?DougSloan
Oct 15, 2002 2:03 PM
Now you are linking US Government and corporations to not having an electric car?

Hmm. You have to wonder why there aren't thousands of electric cars pouring out of Japan, or any other technically advanced foreign country, for that matter, where oil is scarce? Is the conspiracy universal?

There are plenty of global free markets in which an electric car could be developed and sold. I'm not aware of any law against them. Even if you assume that the U.S. government helps to keep oil prices artifically low here, which discourages electric car development, why aren't the cars available elsewhere (and then for import here), where gasoline prices for the consumers are much higher?

Doug
Faulty reasoning?czardonic
Oct 15, 2002 3:20 PM
My only reference is the foot dragging and temper-tantrum throwing that comes from US automakers that occurs whenever there is an attempt to introduce alternative fuel automobiles or require greater fuel efficiency while viable alternatives are developed.

Meanwhile, you'd be hard pressed to travel in Japan or Europe without tripping over (and possibly seriously damaging :Þ) a tiny, fuel efficient or electric car. Even in America, you have the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius. The only American equivalent, the EV1, is currently being pulled off the roads in favor of those dorky golf-carts (and you can't tell me that those aren't a blatant attempt to disuade Americans from believing that electric cars are a practical alternative.)

So, as the rest of the world moves towards efficient use of fuel and adoption of alternatives, the US market is flooded with gas-guzzlers and their manufacturers are abetted by loop-holes and subsidies.

But I could just be way off base.
Faulty reasoning?Sintesi
Oct 16, 2002 9:23 AM
Sneaky master, I was upstairs when you were downstairs putting the screws to the FAULTY REASONING Doug.

Yes, Yesss, the US oil barons and Auto magnates and their awful henchmen and lackies, yes lackiesss are squeezing nickelss and dimesess. Puppet masterss ssss. Many electric carsesess in JAPAN!!!! America greedy, evil, no obey market forcesssess. Nefariousnessesssssss.

GOLLUM!!!
You make an eccentric point. (nm)Captain Morgan
Oct 16, 2002 12:52 PM
Only for czardonical.Sintesi
Oct 17, 2002 9:21 AM
re: To be a target of terror (ramblings)MasonJ
Oct 15, 2002 10:55 AM
Yeah, so what's your point?
Doug makes an irrefutable point...Jon Billheimer
Oct 15, 2002 11:13 AM
in that Muslim extremism is somewhat (though not totally) unique in its advocacy of suicidal, terrorist acts. This, however, is not what Islam from a theological perspective is about. The concept of Jihad has two aspects. The spiritual one is about conquering one's own moral or character defects. The second, is about waging war in self-defense. Regardless of how one wants to get into the ramifications of what self-defense consists of, suicidal, terrorist acts against non-combatants is not included. As well, there is a strong prohibition in Islamic thought against suicide.

Although my views are not researched or authoritative, they do come from listening to interviews of Islamic scholars, notably the head of the Italian Muslim organization, who is a professor of Islamic studies in Italy and holds a Ph.D. in the subject and Salmon Rushdie, noted Islamic writer and novelist.

From the Islamic fundamentalist viewpoint, this is a war of Islam against the secular West. However, their theological underpinnings are about as valid as Jerry Falwell's.
That's why it says ramblingsKristin
Oct 15, 2002 11:15 AM
There really wasn't a point. Are you irritated?
Oh Kristin, now look what you've done!!!!!!TREKY
Oct 15, 2002 5:09 PM