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What will be left of America after all this?(61 posts)

What will be left of America after all this?PdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 1:26 PM
Widespread but garbled acceptance of preventive war as a notional policy is disturbing enough. Garbled in that so many war supporters list freedom for Iraqis, security for neighbors, the sanctity of UN resolutions (a personal favorite), and Saddam's evilness as reasons for the war, rather than GWB's stated reason of preventing Iraqi bio-chem weapons from being used against the US in some conceptually possible attack. Oh well, maybe it's just that the real reason can't be stated in just 2 short words.

And nevermind that the last major power to launch a preventive war was the Japanese in their attack of the US. Apparently, preventive war for the sake of American security is Holy and justified, despite international norms of behavior and anything that the UN Charter says.

What is disturbing me more is the degree of hate expressed by war supporters, usually Republicans/conservatives, against people who disagree with this war. The "America, love it or leave it" mantra is the ready retort that alot of angry Republicans snarl for lack of any reasonable ability to defend their positions. I've been invited on this Board to leave for questioning the reasons for this war. It's apparently unAmerican to think that the United States should not stoop to the military policies of Imperial Japan. God Bless America.

Don't Republicas/conservatives get just how un-American they are being when they want to scour the nation of dissenting opinion? The irony would be wonderful, if it weren't for the dire seriousness of the issue.

In NY, a guy quietly eating his lunch with an anti-war T-shirt is evicted by the police. Here in Oregon, a Republican legislator is proposing legislation to impose 25 yr to life terms on protesters who commit acts of "terrorism" during a protest, such as by throwing a rock at a window or burning a flag (intentional acts of violence are given a frighteningly broad definition).

What do these Republicans/conservatives think America is about? Their hate for foreign despots waxes and wanes with the tide of invective spewed by their Leaders, but their hate for non-conservatives is constant and deep. And it goes beyond the war... it's seeped into every level of political discussion by Republicans/conservatives. Well, not moderate Republicans, but there are few of those left - especially so here in Oregon.

So, these flag-waving Republican/conservatives, hatefully attacking anyone who fails to follow the Party line, don't seem to get that they are attacking the foundations of the country they so ardently love. Do they even understand what it means to be American?
The same America that has always been.czardonic
Mar 25, 2003 1:47 PM
That is, the same America of Manifest Destiny, Manzanar, Joseph McCarthy, Jim Crow and USAPATRIOT. The founding principles of this country has always been under attack from within by the ignorant, intolerant and frightened. In the end they never win, for they remain the ignorant, intolerant and frightened.
I wish I shared your optimism...PdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 2:05 PM
maybe I just need to keep that in mind... It's ironic that those being attacked as unAmerican are the ones defending the basic American values...
The same America that has always been.Jon Billheimer
Mar 25, 2003 4:00 PM

I hope you're right. But there's an awfully strong streak of authoritarian intolerance and willful ignorance of the rest of the world in American culture. If the American experiment fails it will not be because of the likes of Al Qaeda, Communists, or whatever the external threat of the day is. It will be because the democratic ideal will be betrayed by the fearful, the intolerant, and the ignorant.
Call me naive, simplistic and dim,sn69
Mar 25, 2003 6:08 PM
but I've got to believe in the sanctity of the Constitution and the marketplace of ideas. By and large, I think we'll make the right choices and elect the right people.

I should warn you, however, that I'm all for invading British Columbia and Baja. Manifest destiny and really great vacations and whatnot.....
Manifest Recreational Destiny - THAT I can support...PdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 6:19 PM
BC would be a STEAL!!! Haven't been to Baja...but I hear the sea kayaking is great.
Fish's all about the fish tacos.sn69
Mar 25, 2003 6:22 PM
Of course, that's spoken like a typical crybaby SoCalian. I yam what I yam and dats all dat I yam....

Where's Banf? If that's one state/province over from DC, then we need to take that too.
Western Alberta ... to get Banff & Lake Louise... nmPdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 6:30 PM
I'm in...when do we launch?! nmsn69
Mar 25, 2003 6:44 PM
I'm in...when do we launch?! nmJon Billheimer
Mar 25, 2003 8:19 PM
B.C. would definitely resist such American imperialism by flogging captured American prisoners of war with marijuana plants, aka hemp! However, Alberta would welcome you with open arms and an official declaration of support and obeisance from our Premier and the legislature. The premier has already sent off a supportive and apologetic letter to Paul Celucci. He thinks/wishes either Alberta was the 51st state or better, a separate country and full member in OPEC!!
Could we take just Whistler, Vancouver & the coast? nmPdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 8:25 PM
Only if you promise to reduce the cost of lift tickets! nmJon Billheimer
Mar 26, 2003 8:22 AM
Lift tickets are a deal in US$, we'll give you some of those nmPdxMark
Mar 26, 2003 10:16 AM
To PdxJon Billheimer
Mar 26, 2003 2:24 PM
Here's some secret Canadian intelligence that not even Scott and his friends have access to:)- For the world's best skiing deal, go to Whitewater in Nelson, B.C. Cdn$35.00 lift tickets, steeps and powder to die for. No lineups. Only two double chairs with no safety bars. Traverse or hike into most of the terrain there. How do you know you're in real ski country? Answ: all the best skiers are old guys on telemark skis wearing avalanche transceivers. You'll NEVER go to plastic Wal-Mart ski resorts again!!! And this is probably the ultimate reason why the Canadian way of life is far, far, far superior to the "American dream.):)- The American dream was finally, irrevocably lost when Alta went commercial.
Aside from global domination,sn69
Mar 26, 2003 3:16 PM
a Spectrum 25th Anniversary, a bottle of 125 year old Macallum and a Yaqui Carbo, I aspire more than anything to learn tele-skiing. It's all about free heels, methinks. I've watched them at Mammoth and Tahoe with wonder as the carve gracefull s-curves in the powder...and then I look at my parabolics with disgust.

Regarding Mammoth, at least Intrawest's Borg-esque takeover has been forestalled by the failure of the airport to clear CAT 1 ILS approval by the FAA. In English, that means that the big airliners can't go in there. That's good.

PS--A crack team of SEALs and the 10th Mountain Division are currently en-route to Whitewater. It shall be ours, and Halliburton will run it. Tee hee.
Aside from global domination,Jon Billheimer
Mar 27, 2003 9:25 AM
A favourite quote from a friend of mine regarding telemarking: "Release your heel and free your mind." Hmmm, wonder if that would work for Wolfowitz and Perle:)-

P.S. The best deep powder skiers I've ever seen are telemarkers.
Aside from global domination,sn69
Mar 27, 2003 4:48 PM
I've been staring at my Mountain Gear catalogs for the past two years in New Orleans with more drool than I normally produce for CC or Excel. So many toys, so little time.....

Have you ever ice climbed? Before we moved to this festering dump of a city (my TRUE reason for hating the French), my wife and I were avid sport climbers and I had just started alpine climbing. Ice was on the short list...and then we got transfered. Fortunately, we headed back to California in a couple months...just in time to hit the mid-summer ski/alpine/snowboard sales.
Aside from global domination,Jon Billheimer
Mar 27, 2003 9:13 PM
Sadly my horizons have not been THAT broadened. That is though one of the sports of choice around Canmore and Banff. If you want to get out of your self-imposed hell hole down there, come join the Cdn. Air Force! That way you can enjoy the vastness of the arctic tundra at Cold Lake, test cruise missiles to your heart's content, cross-country ski...and hang out at Banff on your long weekends:)-
No thankssn69
Mar 28, 2003 5:23 AM
As enticing as the outdoor activities are, they'd make me learn French to promote above the rank of Major. We had one of your exchange officers flying in my first training squadron. He was enraged when he got promoted and was given a deadline to learn French. His comment was that he was Canadian, not French.
I'm in...when do we launch?! nmsn69
Mar 26, 2003 9:18 AM
My next door neighbor is Cannuckian and I tease her relentlessly that it's cute that we allow Canada to have their own currency. Of course, she responds by suggesting I cool my jets by drinking the urine we pass off for beer.

Suffice it to say, however, that the New Orleans summer doesn't work well for her.....

Keep that hemp thing quiet or else you'll end up with Woody Harrelson applying for citizenship.
I'm in...when do we launch?! nmJon Billheimer
Mar 26, 2003 10:07 AM
Hockey and beer are our SOLE claims to superiority over you culturally deprived Yanks!
Well...those two and Celine Dion. You can keep her.sn69
Mar 26, 2003 10:09 AM
I will, however, willingly and humbly concede Rush and Triumph.

Well...those two and Celine Dion. You can keep her.Jon Billheimer
Mar 26, 2003 2:15 PM
We'll keep Celine even though she's got no butt and too big a head:)- Isn't it interesting how well a French Canadian can sing the U.S. national anthem?!
Well...those two and Celine Dion. You can keep her.Jon Billheimer
Mar 26, 2003 2:16 PM
Youch...cringing in pain! ;-)~sn69
Mar 26, 2003 3:11 PM
I'm in...when do we launch?! nmPdxMark
Mar 26, 2003 10:15 AM
Well, yes, mass-produced American beer is swill... whatever that is... But from the land of microbrews, we can give you a run for your money. You also have those nice red government docks, which are nice for dropping into small towns on sailing trips.
Ummm excuse my thought here...butChiFlyer
Mar 25, 2003 1:51 PM
I will be the first one to say that I don't agree with everything the Republican party does, stands for, or the way they view things. Just as I don't agree with everything the Democrats do, stand for, or the way they view things.

Your post smacks of partisanship...and while it would be so easy, let's not look at the Democrats as "the saving grace". Believe me, they are not without their faults.

Oh by the way...just as a historical point. The Japanese attacked the United States primarily because we cut off the sale of many of the raw materials they needed for their war machine. True, they viewed us as a threat, however up to that point, the majority of Americans did not want to get involved with either the Pacific or European wars, and the government was attempting to remain out of the entire conflict insofar as active roles were concerned.
Ummm excuse my thought here...butPdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 2:02 PM
Well, ok, I include in my diatribe any Democrats who likewise wish to squelch any dissenting opinion in the United States. Though, for all their faults, this doesn't seem like on of the Demos usual one.

As for Japan, I'm not clear on your point. Were we threatening them militarily, or were we a power that stood (idly) in the way of their war plans. My understaning is that we made no threat of attack. Cutting of oil sales was not the reason for the attack, either. Attacking us would no resolve the oil issue. no Japan attacked us to prevent us from stopping them. It was not preemptive war on the part of Japan. There was no threat of imminent attack by the US. It was not self-defense on the part of the US. It was a war to prevent us from posing problems later. The very same reasons given for this war.
Ummm excuse my thought here...butChiFlyer
Mar 25, 2003 2:22 PM
Actually we made no threats...only diplomatic and economic sanctions. They were however VERY concerned about what would happen if we did get involved... Here is a bit of a quote from some historical sites...

"The attack on Pearl Harbor was the culmination of a decade of deteriorating relations between Japan and the United States over the status of China and the security of Southeast Asia. The breakdown began in 1931 when Japanese army extremists, in defiance of government policy, invaded and overran the northern-most Chinese province of Manchuria. Japan ignored American protests, and in the summer of 1937 launched a full-scale attack on the rest of China. Although alarmed by this action, neither the United States nor any other nation with interests in the Far East was willing to use military force to halt Japanese expansion.

Over the next three years, war broke out in Europe and Japan joined Nazi Germany in the Axis Alliance. The United States applied both diplomatic and economic pressures to try to resolve the Sino-Japanese conflict. The Japanese government viewed these measures, especially an embargo on oil, as threats to their nation's security. By the summer of 1941, both countries had taken positions from which they could not retreat without a serious loss of national prestige. Although both governments continued to negotiate their differences, Japan had already decided on war.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was part of a grand strategy of conquest in the Western Pacific. The objective was to immobilize the Pacific Fleet so that the United States could not interfere with these invasion plans. The principal architect of the attack was admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet. Though personally opposed to war with America, Yamamoto knew that Japan's only hope of success in such a war was to achieve quick and decisive victory. America's superior economic and industrial might would tip the scales in her favor during a prolonged conflict."

Now, I don't know that I am in favor of this war, but I think this, along with 9-11 establish some sort of precedent, if nothing else, there are MANY country's who feel the United States is a threat, or simply suffer envy of our standard of living. I don't know that I favor the policy of "get them before they get us" but on the other hand, I wouldn't want to be like France was before WWII and sit by demanding "more proof" and discovering the truth when it came marching into Paris under a Nazi flag.

Some where in all this is the fine line we need to walk...between hawk and dove...and only time and trials will show us where that line is.
I think your info supports the notion that....PdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 2:36 PM
Japans attack was "preventive war." One quote says "neither the United States nor any other nation with interests in the Far East was willing to use military force to halt Japanese expansion." Another quote says the "objective was to immobilize the Pacific Fleet so that the United States could not interfere with these invasion plans." Japan wanted to prevent the US from stopping/opposing Japan.

In the presnt case, GWB said we wanted to prevent Iraqi WMDs from being used against the US. It's not a preemptive war, becuase there was no piblicy acknowledged imminent threat of such an attack occurring. It's not self-defense, because Iraq never attacked us. That leaves either preventive or a war of aggression. I think it's not the latter.

So, the philosophical basis for this war is the same as for Japan's attack against the US. This is actually my biggest problem with the war...
As I said...a fine lineChiFlyer
Mar 25, 2003 2:54 PM
First, the world is an ENTIRELY different place than it was 60 years ago...I am a bit apathetic about comparisons of political motivations of then versus now.

As I said...our least in my humble opinion, should not be one of hawk or dove...but more like owl. Silent and watchful, but able to strike if the justification and reason merit it.

As a bit of FYI, I am a military, and combat veteran. If you had to pin me down and make a decision in this one...I would have to say I support. Saddam is right on par with Hitler, Stalin (who is by the way Saddam's idol) and some of the other more wonderful humans of the 20th century. Don't get me wrong...I think we need to adopt a fair policy. I for one am at the limit of tolerance with Israel. There constant colonization of land surrounding their borders is causing more problems in the middle east than we are ridding them of a ruthless and cruel regime. But again...just my viewpoint.

As I time I think we will probably learn where the fine line is if we are going to play "policeman". I hope we find it soon...and even hope more that we can be truly impartial if we are going to hold that sort of a position in this world.

I watched a really old movie this weekend called "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Very old...but the message is probably more meaningful now then it was when it was made.
Good points nmPdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 2:58 PM
Remember: I'd like to buy the world a Coke?Me Dot Org
Mar 25, 2003 1:52 PM
It's now "I'd like to the world to buy a Coke."
Physically here, but a less lovely Dream. nmOldEdScott
Mar 25, 2003 1:59 PM
Get real53T
Mar 25, 2003 2:08 PM
It will still be the best nation in the world by far. The only nation that would embed Al Jazera reporters in our front line units in Iraq.

You doves can go on all you want to about GWB's evil war, but I'm not buying it. I can still taste the concrete dust, and that's something I don't want to do again. If it means preemptive strikes against countries or associations that openly call for the death of America while building weapon systems, then I'm all for it.
Amen brother. I keep the post 9/11 vigor with me. nmNo_sprint
Mar 25, 2003 2:10 PM
Those are some pretty low standards.czardonic
Mar 25, 2003 2:17 PM
One could aim a lot higher than merely being the "best nation" in this world. Certainly one could aspire to higher principles than endorsing a perpetual siege on the rest of the world in the name of one's own self preservation.

Thankfully, the Founding Fathers did not resort to that kind of cowardice.
So are preventative strikes by them ok too?PdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 2:28 PM
We should be able to accept the moral and philosophical standards that we set. If we can attack on our terms, why can't Iraq, Al Qaeda, North Korea, Hammas, etc. attack us on those "rationales?" If not, why not? Are you proposing a universal standard of behavior, or just an arbitrary American standard of behavior.

"Open calls" for "death of America" is the new standard for American war? That's all it takes? Are you serious? Wow... Wow, you are thin-skinned.

As for being the best country, we are certainly the strongest, at least by an order of magnitude, maybe two in conventional terms. But what about the fundamental basis of America? Freedom of political discussion... Does defense of America include attacking dissent? If not, fine. If so, what America are you seeking to defend?
Have you ever...53T
Mar 25, 2003 5:25 PM
ever, ever in your life ever picked up a book on international relations and read a page?

I am not asking for a universal standard of behavior, nor am I asking for world government, or compliance with international law (a concept I regard as fiction), nor compliance with any religious doctrine.

We can attack on our own terms because we are the most powerful nation. Is the anarchic space of international relations, it is the responsibility of the lesser states to band together and balance the power of the US, or be subject to US hegemony for a prolonged period.

Worse things could happen to the world than to be subject to American ideals, like democracy, free expression, free press. Bombing office buildings with airplanes is not an example of free expression, it is murder.

How many countries allow the nazi party to operate in the open? About two, and we are one of them. There is no greater bastion of free expression in the world than the US. Does the American ideal include premptive measures to safeguard American intrests? It does now, and it's about time. Hell, the American standard involved preemtory action in Haiti in the 80s, Cuba in the 60s, Spanish America at the turn of the 20th century, Canada during the French-Indian war, and in Lexington, Ma in 1775.

We can play by the rules of the Constitution here at home, but to conduct international relations, or in the extreem, War, by these rules is suicidal. Such national suicide would surely eliminate the only place on earth where the American ideals are practiced: America.

International relations are not an idealistic persuit. The UN is not your government, your God, or your mother. Libery still comes at the end of a bayonet, just like it always has. Wake up.
I have... and I thought that American policy...PdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 5:56 PM
had moved beyond 19th century commercial wars of opportunity. But I see I'm wrong, by your thinking. Might does make right. It's our World to do with as we please until someone else can put us in our place. And then they'll be Right. I'm glad your proud to be such an American.

Proud moments all, that you cite, the Bay of Pigs (cold war domino game), the Spanish-American War (a grab for empire based on contrived rationale). I don't know about the French-Indian War.

In Haiti (I think you mean 1994 - not sure what happened in 1980s), we responded to a coup that toppled the first democratically elected government in Haiti's history, and to settle the chaos and immigration nightmare the coup created. In July 1994, the United Nations Security Council authorized the United States to lead a multinational invasion of Haiti to drive out its military rulers. So what's your point about Haiti? That a legal war to defend a legal government justifies a legally dubious war of our arbitrary choosing? I guess I'm just not smart enough top follow your rationale.

I think you're saying that in the anarchic mess of international relations we are free to arbitrarily attack whoever we want, regardless of norms of international law or behavior, for whatever reason wee chose. Practically speaking, you're right. We can. No-one can stop us. But that does not make our actions the paradigm of civilized natioanl behavior, it makes us a hegemonic loose cannon.
If we can't live by our ideals, aren't we the same as any past global tyrant willing to arbitrarily impose it's will?
Whos ideals?53T
Mar 26, 2003 10:15 AM
Why do you think international relations have changed since the 19th century? I didn't get that memo.

We can live by our ideals, but we are a pluralistic society and do not share a full set of common ideals. Your ideals and my ideals are not universally the same. You equate US hegemony with a losse cannon. I see US hegemony as the next step in world history (after all the guys who use hospitals as infantry staging areas are rounded up). I don't know how long this period will last. For reference, the Concert of Eurpoe lasted about 70 years, Pax Britaninca about 50 years. The cold War, about 40 years. I do predict a good long period of expanding democracy, particularly in the middle east, the Balkan states, the former soviet states and Cuba. This may take anywhere from 30 to 80 years. Only then will there be a rise of regonalism and/or multi-lateral international relations.

You concede that practically speeking we can invade whomever we want. My central point is that "practical" realities are all that exist in international relations. There is no international law. There is no monopoly on the legitamate use of force on the world stage.

Are we the same as any past global tyrant? In many ways, we are. Hitler, Cromwell, Ho Chi Min, Washington (terrorists all, in their day) all played by the same rules of international engagement (i.e. there are no rules because there is no enforcing authority). They had different ideals, however, and expressed those ideals in their civil societies, after hostilities ended.

I am proud to be an American, by the way.
You've given me something to think about...PdxMark
Mar 26, 2003 10:23 AM
this is interesting... I have to get some work done... So I'll mull this a bit.... thanks for your thoughts...

I'm proud to be an American too.
No worries, many more problems after civil war. nm.No_sprint
Mar 25, 2003 2:05 PM
How do you KNOW what the problems were afterOldEdScott
Mar 25, 2003 2:15 PM
the civil war? Rag writers? Enquirer type articles? Have you seen videotapes? Prove it to me. I don't choose to believe you know anything at all about the civil war, except for what rag writer Enquirer type rags say.
I'm not trying to change your opinion about anythingNo_sprint
Mar 25, 2003 2:27 PM
Believe whatever you'd like.

Perhaps the weighing of credibility is not something you're completely familiar with. One example of this comes to play in the legal world. During stages of trial some clear distinctions come to play, heresay is generally not allowed as admissable, thus, you'll not find a lot of editorialism in the courtroom. Another clear distinction can be made of the "expert testimony". For someone to be admitted as an expert and give testimony, certain requirements proving the expertise of said person must be made, then, that testimony can be weighted to be more credible than than of a non-expert.

The documenting of history and literary works are much the same. The books I've studied that have complete academic bibliographies citing reference material dating back to and including those people documenting their experiences during and in the civil war obviously get a better credibility grade than any editorialist starting a website. Really an entirely different world of credibility. I happen to be in the academic industry where we hold reference and research material and proof in the highest regard.

Editorialism is absolutely the bottom rung of the ladder.
History and lterary works? BAH! Random house and Simon andOldEdScott
Mar 25, 2003 2:34 PM
Schuster are just rag publishers like the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, full of conspiracy theories and Enquirer rag-type stories. I'm not going to believe a damn 'historian'. Historians are the lowest of the low. Historians didn't even see the things they write about. They didn't see any videotape. Their rag books are just part of a conspiracy to tell us there was a civil war. I never saw the civil war. I think Enquier-type rag newspapers made it up to sell copies.
who is on crack now? nmmohair_chair
Mar 25, 2003 2:40 PM
LOL! nmNo_sprint
Mar 25, 2003 2:43 PM
LMAO!! nmOldEdScott
Mar 25, 2003 2:44 PM
what threats were there to civil liberties after civil war? nmPdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 2:30 PM
what threats were there to civil liberties after civil war? nmNo_sprint
Mar 25, 2003 2:41 PM
I will not give you a history lesson. It's pretty damn obvious.
Yeah, man, read some rag historian for the true gen! nmOldEdScott
Mar 25, 2003 2:45 PM
I guess you mean in the south... but in the north too? nmPdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 2:50 PM
that "hate" term gets thrown around far too easilyDougSloan
Mar 25, 2003 2:37 PM
Some seem far too eager to label what their political opponents say as "hate." I guess that makes it easy to justify the opposition.

From what I've seen, both sides of this issue have been very zealous in expressing their views. In fact, I'd say the anti-war folks have been far MORE zealous, call it "hateful" if you will.

Free speech should of course be protected, no matter the content. Committing crimes while doing so is something else, though.

I think America stands for Freedom, above all else. Do you really understand what that means? Is the freedom we enjoy and stand for confined to our borders?

Zealous and hateful are different...PdxMark
Mar 25, 2003 2:48 PM
The protesters certainly are zealous, and some zealously express reasons that I disagree with, and some are hateful of GWB, but I seldom get the sense from the protestors of hatefulness toward the people one the other side of the political spectrum. In contrast, letters to the editor, comments on this board, Oregon state legislators, regularly make comments that suggest either hate, rage, or a deep anger at "liberals," rather than the opinions they hold.

Rush Limbaugh-types, a local paper editor, some Republican members of Congress, regularly attack the worth as Americas of political opponents. The tone is one of rage and disgust. So maybe it's not hate, maybe it's just contrived posturing, but it sounds like hate.

Zealousness sounds very different.
Freedoms that we stand for are indeed confined to our borders. . .czardonic
Mar 25, 2003 2:59 PM
"Earlier this month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held that more than 600 detainees in U.S. military custody at Guantánamo Bay have no right to challenge their confinement in U.S. courts. So long as the detainees are noncitizens who were captured outside the United States during some sort of military operation and are now being held outside the United States, the courts of the United States "are not open to them." Although the Guantánamo Bay Naval Base where the detainees are being held is inarguably controlled by the U.S. military, the court held that it was outside the reach of the federal courts because the United States merely leases the land from Cuba.

In the open-ended war on terror -- with its infinitely flexible definitions of "enemy" and "field of battle" -- the decision puts incredible power in the hands of the U.S military. Under the ruling, U.S. Special Forces could secretly kidnap, say, a British editorial writer who opposes the war on Iraq. And so long as they took him to someplace like Guantánamo -- rather than to a military prison in the United States itself -- they could keep him there forever if they wished. A U.S. court could do absolutely nothing about it."

[ Not sure if this is available w/o subscription. Apologies if not]
defining freedomStarliner
Mar 25, 2003 3:11 PM
What does freedom mean you ask, and thinking about it I'm not sure I have the answer to your very good question. In fact one of the principal points that bother me about the war rhetoric coming from the Bush administration is the use of the word "freedom" in their justification for war. Because I don't think there is a clear-cut answer to what the meaning of freedom is. Further to that, when the smoke clears if it ever will, I seriously doubt that Bush will allow the Iraqis the freedom to fully experience what I think his idea of freedom is (self-determination of govt, free press, free speech). If they choose to handle the concepts in ways that will not be to Bush's liking, I don't think he'll sit back and permit it. And without permission, freedom is just an empty word.
Iraq will enjoy the same freedoms. . .czardonic
Mar 25, 2003 3:13 PM
. . .that the rest of the world has been granted by the Bush Doctrine. They will be free to support us from a subordinate position. Or, they will be free to be crushed.
are Afghan women better off today than 2 years ago? nmDougSloan
Mar 25, 2003 3:56 PM
Sure they are. But here's a question:OldEdScott
Mar 25, 2003 4:07 PM
If there had been no 9/11, or if Al Qaeda had not been using Afghanistan for training -- if it weren't for a clear connection with past and certain future terrorism -- would you have supported invading Afghanistan last year to help free Afghan women from the Taliban? Were you calling for us to intervene there before 9/11, to bring 'freedom?'
Only Liberals cared a whit about Afghan wormen before 9/11.czardonic
Mar 25, 2003 4:29 PM
Their so called liberators were busy propping up the Taliban while they tried to nail down pipeline contracts.

Incidentally, those same prescient Liberals are worried once again about the stalled progress in Afghanistan. Of course, the same Conservatives who pooh-poohed these concerns pre 9/11 are once again satisfied with things as they are.