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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-08-2006, 06:26 PM   #21
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny

How many would Hussein have killed in the same time period?

Bet however many it would have been, they'd have been a bit less 'innocent'.
6000 to 7000 Iraqi children were dying each month before the war due to economic conditions under Saddam (Source Dennis Halliday, former United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator, (New York Times 1/3/99). Iraq was permittted to sell more than enough oil to alleviate this suffering, but by now everyone should be very familiar with where that money went--and it wasn't for food.

At that rate, 228,000 children would have died in the 38 months since Iraqi Freedom began. Now, that's just children--lots of adults were starving, too as Saddam used the oil-for-food money to build castles and bribe corrupt UN officials. I can't swear to Halliday's number, and I can't say if it would have gone up or down if we hadn't invaded--but it's as good a number as any, and it is a lot bigger than the 150,000 (which must include every Iraqi who died from any cause--old age, traffic accidents, Sunni carbombs, Shia carbombs, old grudges being settled, etc).

Now, that's just from starvation. How many would Saddam have killed and tortured? He didn't try especially hard to avoid casualties among the innocents--ask the Kurds. Ask the Marsh Arabs. A real sweetheart he was.

I believe the targets during all phases of the war have been chosen judiciously. There's no firm line in these things, of course--a power station that serves an army division's barracks and headquarters may also serve the local community. The bridge that an Iraqi mech division is going to use to cross a river and threaten US forces may also be the bridge that a city uses to receive their food. There's no magic here, and civilians have been injured and killed. But to imply, as some have, that Iraqi civilians are worse off today than they were under Saddam, just doesn't seem, to me, to be supported by the facts.

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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-08-2006, 09:44 PM   #22
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

I think that nobody here knows any relevant facts, or actually has any idea whether the average person in Iraq is better off or not.

But the posturing sure is fun!
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-08-2006, 10:15 PM   #23
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

Clearly, if Joe Biden were in charge, Saddam's misdeeds would have ended with no casualities to either side.*
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-08-2006, 10:42 PM   #24
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
I think that nobody here knows any relevant facts, or actually has any idea whether the average person in Iraq is better off or not.

But the posturing sure is fun!
Oh, so now we have to use relevant facts!! The bar keeps going up!! What next--real inductive reasoning? You're puting me out of business
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-08-2006, 11:21 PM   #25
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

Somebody (CFB, I think -- or Nords?) recently compared investing to walking your dog to the park. You can't predict which steps he'll turn right at and which he'll turn left at, or which fire hydrants he'll piss on, and it's ludicrous even to try, but you know pretty damn well that he'll end up at the park, one way or another.

I think you can view the Iraq war in pretty much the same light. Who knows exactly how many Iraqis are happier now than a month or two years ago, or whether the GDP per capita will be higher on Tuesday or on Friday. You can't predict that, but who doubts that if you let Saddam run the country for thirty decades, it would look like North Korea, and if we stay the course it will look like South Korea. A lot of the "discussion" about Iraq is wankery (or, as CFB called it, posturing), because you're talking about things that can't be predicted worth a damn, any more than you can predict where the Nasdaq average will be next week -- but in both cases, it's comparatively clear what things will look like in ten or fifteen years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
Bet however many it would have been, they'd have been a bit less 'innocent'.
Good lord, does this mean what I think it means? I haven't follwed the whole conversation closely, but if looks aren't deceiving, that's one messed up sentence!
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-09-2006, 12:09 AM   #26
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

I don't know how Iraq will end up, but it won't be like South Korea. Many countries in the middle east are f'ed up because when they used to be British colonies the political lines were drawn purposely to divide up ethnic groups. You've got a country with three groups of people who distrust each other at best and call for the blood of each other at worst. If you really, REALLY, want long term stability in Iraq, turn the northern part into Kurdistan, give the western part to Syria (Sunni's of similar political persuasion) and give the central, eastern and southern part to Iran. But we wouldn't give Iran that much oil, so double the size of Kuwait and say payback's a mother.

All of the above was said knowing full well it ain't gonna happen.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-09-2006, 06:13 AM   #27
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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I don't know how Iraq will end up, but it won't be like South Korea. Many countries in the middle east are f'ed up because when they used to be British colonies the political lines were drawn purposely to divide up ethnic groups. You've got a country with three groups of people who distrust each other at best and call for the blood of each other at worst. If you really, REALLY, want long term stability in Iraq, turn the northern part into Kurdistan, give the western part to Syria (Sunni's of similar political persuasion) and give the central, eastern and southern part to Iran. But we wouldn't give Iran that much oil, so double the size of Kuwait and say payback's a mother.

All of the above was said knowing full well it ain't gonna happen.
Wow, sometimes derailed threads hop backon the track! We started (25 posts ago) talking about Senator Biden. As it turns out, he's a primary Senate backer of ths idea to partition Iraq. Right--it ain't gonna happen for a lot of reasons. Ask Turkey (a country that has proven secularism can work in a country wth a Muslim majority) what they think of an independent Kurdistan. And, giving Iran effective control of both sides of the Staits of Hormuz--nt good. And, leaving te central portion of the country )Sunni) with virtually no oil resources isa recipe for failure. I think the idea sounds better (at first) than it would work in practice.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-09-2006, 10:22 AM   #28
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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Originally Posted by Cool Dood
Good lord, does this mean what I think it means? I haven't follwed the whole conversation closely, but if looks aren't deceiving, that's one messed up sentence!
Sure, I wrote it on sub-one-coffee-brain. Same as this. So my apologies in advance. And wow, are we off the beaten topic...

I'm going to deconstruct this a little bit, in part to explain the sentence you quoted and in part to provide some opinion that I think is pretty well backed up by at least strong anecdotal evidence if not actual fact...not that the lack of the latter stops us.

- Hussein takes power in a country where its almost impossible to impose a firm government on the collection of yahoos and religious nuts. His strong arm tactics prove effective. We're now learning that roses and chocolate do not keep the radical elements in line. Oh yeah, and half the population are radical elements.

- Up to the 1970's, we oppose Hussein because he's a soviet puppet and we've got our "man" the Shah set up in Iran to help keep the oil moving.

- We "lose" our man in Iran and they hold our people hostage, so we're not their pals anymore. Religious nutjobs run amok. By the way, go look up what our pal "the shah" did to his people in Iran. Real nice stuff.

- Religious nutjobs and the soviet puppet get into a couple of conflicts, and we support the puppet. He figures out we pay better than the soviets. We figure out that he's the only non religious nutjob in the region and the buffer between the islamic fundamentalists and Israel, and those other saudi arabian guys we sort of like but not because of their oil.

- Our new buddy supposedly asks the CIA if its ok if he can invade kuwait and gets a green light. After all, who gives a crap about 'kuwait'.

- All of a sudden, we care a lot about poor little kuwait and its pile of rich oil billionaires. Go back and look at the genealogy of who cared first and how they got everyone else to care. Largely friends of the rich oil billionaires from kuwait.

- We tell Saddam to back off, he's already committed, the american population has already been amped up to see this as a hostile situation with victims.

- We kick Saddams ass. But we cant take him out, because we know if we do, Iraq will fall to the same nutjobs running Iran and we'll have a near superpower sitting on the borders of Israel and SA. Cant have that. Anyone even wonder why we got all the way to Baghdad and didnt grab him or why we played that ten year "no fly zone" game? Didnt want him out, didnt want him to get a full force back, but wanted his buffered-ness and to have some of our guys in the area just in case Iran incited a border incident.

- After reducing his military to nearly nil, we incite several large groups of unhappy people, like the Kurds, to revolt. We tell them we'll help them. Then when they do revolt, we do a little "down low...too slow!" to them just like we did to the nice folks in Cuba forty years ago. Hussein, having no practical army or air force and not being particularly interested in being dead, is forced to use gas on the revolting troops (no offense to the troops). After warning them I believe three times that he was going to do it.

- Saddam goes back to doing what he always did. Rule the country with an iron fist. Basically, its "knock yourself out and try causing some trouble, I'll torture and kill your whole family and anyone that even looks like you". Crude, but effective.

- Ten years later, it becomes clear the guy isnt going to hang on much longer. He's pretending he has WMD's so his neighbors will think twice about invading. The UN institutes a corrupt oil-for-food program that provides no food while a bunch of guys get rich. We cant have a natural evolution here where Hussein dies or gets too weak to hold on and the nutjobs take over the country. Too much oil there, too much potential political instability. Its too easy to nip this in the bud and try to put "our guy" in charge and keep a US military presence around, with the other option to wait 5 years and then fight world war three in the region when the new fundamentalist crew decides to push israel into the ocean and 'convert' SA to the "true believers" they should be.

- So we paint him as a mass murderer who uses WMD's on his own people and will shortly use them on us. We fan the flames of fear and imply that he's connected with 9/11. He's Satan on earth and we've gotta stop him.

- We bomb the country, killing as many as 150,000 civilians and then proceed to a ground war and occupation, during which between 40,000 and 150,000 civilians are killed. Lotsa luck getting a correct number. The pentagon has admitted that they have a body count, and they're not going to say what it is. Which means its pretty bad.

So in summary, we've meddled in this region to suit our own interests for decades. We've put people up to suicide missions and then acted horrified at the results. We put the country of Iraq at the mercy of a corrupt united nations and then decried the starvation deaths. We then bombed the crap out of the country and turned it upside down so that we could put our own people in place who are largely devolving to the same style of "keeping the peace" as Hussein did.

Or you can go with the Fox News summary version that Hussein was a nutjob that randomly gassed and raped/murdered innocent people for no strong legitimate reason other than he was a nutjob, and we were the good guys that went in with our special bombs that dont kill innocent people (or that we expected to keep the innocent death to an "acceptably small" number, and that we'll bring a healthy, loving democracy to the country and eventually the region. Which surely tastes much better and has a happy ending.

In fact, it conjures up so much good feeling that you can forget that we're the only country on earth to have used nukes on enemy civilian targets, that we've flushed out enemies with flamethrowers, defoliants and napalm, and that not that long ago we used poison gas on our own people during the civil war and on our enemies in the world wars. It sure doesnt help that a lot of those folks were far more civilized than the ones Hussein had to deal with.

This is one of those cases where I'm proud to be an american, but knowing all the pieces of this evolution, cant feel too proud of what we've done.

So as far as the people we've killed being "more innocent", i'm betting the majority of people Hussein killed were trying to disrupt his government. The people we killed were sitting in their houses or walking down the street.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-09-2006, 10:40 AM   #29
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny

So as far as the people we've killed being "more innocent", i'm betting the majority of people Hussein killed were trying to disrupt his government.*
So, for example, when we were busy protesting the debacle in Viet Nam in the 60's, we were less innocent than the fools sitting at home allowing it to go on.* Emmmm........* I don't think so.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-09-2006, 11:18 AM   #30
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

Absolutely not what I said or even implied.

There is an implication that Hussein and his merry men wandered the countryside murdering and raping people who were minding their own business. Which may in fact have happened on occasion. The image created in the average americans mind is one of a sadist that killed randomly and at will. My implication is that he very well may have killed people who intentionally put themselves in harms way, knowing their lives and the lives of their families were at risk.

In the US, we allow protesting, although lately its only to a degree and where we allow you to protest, preferrably miles away where you'll largely go unnoticed. And usually you dont have to worry about the consequences of your protesting, except recently...

I suppose its tough to arb the difference in innocence between a guy and his family making dinner when a bomb goes off 10' from their front door and a guy who wanted to shoot Hussein in the face because he killed a relative in some border skirmish.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-09-2006, 12:39 PM   #31
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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I suppose its tough to arb the difference in innocence between a guy and his family making dinner when a bomb goes off 10' from their front door and a guy who wanted to shoot Hussein in the face because he killed a relative in some border skirmish.
Bad example CFB.

How about the difference in innocence between a guy and his family making dinner when a bomb goes off 10' from their front door and a young lady being seized, raped and tortured for visiting a government office to object to the government policy of no/limited education for women?
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-09-2006, 12:59 PM   #32
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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In the US, we allow protesting, although lately its only to a degree and where we allow you to protest, preferrably miles away where you'll largely go unnoticed.* And usually you dont have to worry about the consequences of your protesting, except recently...
I can tell you weren't there in the 60's........* You didn't stand in Grant Park, outside the Democratic National Convention, with a line of government thugs following jeep-mounted rolls of barbed wire coming at you..........

It's just happening recently.......* yeah sure.....* If your point of view is historically shortened to your own lifespan.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-09-2006, 05:56 PM   #33
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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Wow, sometimes derailed threads hop backon the track! We started (25 posts ago) talking about Senator Biden. As it turns out, he's a primary Senate backer of ths idea to partition Iraq. Right--it ain't gonna happen for a lot of reasons. Ask Turkey (a country that has proven secularism can work in a country wth a Muslim majority) what they think of an independent Kurdistan. And, giving Iran effective control of both sides of the Staits of Hormuz--nt good. And, leaving te central portion of the country )Sunni) with virtually no oil resources isa recipe for failure. I think the idea sounds better (at first) than it would work in practice.
No easy answers, that's for sure. But I don't believe we should line up to hug Turkey either. Their talley is about a million dead Armenians and dead Kurds in the six figures. International politics makes strange bedfellows, indeed.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-09-2006, 09:57 PM   #34
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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Bad example CFB.

How about the difference in innocence between a guy and his family making dinner when a bomb goes off 10' from their front door and a young lady being seized, raped and tortured for visiting a government office to object to the government policy of no/limited education for women?
Really? Clearly I'm not condoning anything, but in your second example did the woman have an expectation that she would be able to lodge her protest without concern or did she do so with the understanding that what happened to her could happen.

I guess I could hop on the liberal bandwagon and suggest that if we're trying to save and improve lives, Iraq was a pretty crappy place to start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by youbet
I can tell you weren't there in the 60's........ You didn't stand in Grant Park, outside the Democratic National Convention, with a line of government thugs following jeep-mounted rolls of barbed wire coming at you..........

It's just happening recently....... yeah sure..... If your point of view is historically shortened to your own lifespan.
Yep I was there, but I was five. Did you or anyone else seriously feel like you could be killed, seized and held without charges, held without legal counsel, or really anything else bad happen other than perhaps a token arrest and release later that day?

I guess my original point that led to this wandering off is that there are a lot of people involved in the current situation...the US, Hussein and his guys, the various resistance factions (who hussein fought), the various terrorist elements (who hussein wouldnt allow to operate in his country), the Iraqi people...in all of those who do you think is the "most innocent"?

Which scenario do you think appeals most to the majority of Iraqi people.

1) Live your life, mind your own business, feed your family, live under the rule of a guy you dont like but you dont knock on your door, he doesnt knock on yours, rinse and repeat.

2) Have the living crap bombed out of your country, have some of your friends or family members killed as collateral damage, have soldiers from another country come and throw the bad ruler and his thugs out, subsequent lawlessness for a period of time, marshall law, and the light at the end of the tunnel is supposed to be democratic rule among the 50 different bunches of people that havent been able to work under that form of government for a couple of millenia, even when it was stuffed down their throats by invading armies.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-09-2006, 10:53 PM   #35
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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Really?* Clearly I'm not condoning anything
Really?* Actually, it sounds as though you are clearly condoning the actions you describe.

This does not seem like the way Joe Biden would handle things.* We should check the FAQ section of his web site before proceeding.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-10-2006, 12:18 AM   #36
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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* Did you or anyone else seriously feel like you could be killed, seized and held without charges, held without legal counsel, or really anything else bad happen other than perhaps a token arrest and release later that day?
CFB, I hesitated to answer this at first since the question is so ridiculous, I assumed you must be kidding.* But after considering the fact that you might indeed be asking this without any knowledge of those times, I will answer.

The answer to your question is YES.* A very definite YES.

Here's some chronology I picked up from another site:

"August 22, Thursday: Dean Johnson, a seventeen-year-old Sioux Indian from South Dakota, is shot dead by Chicago police on Wells Street. Police say he pulled a gun. A memorial march is held later in the day.

August 23, Friday: At the Civic Center plaza (located in the Loop and now known as the Daley Center) the Yippies nominate their presidential contender—Pigasus the pig. Seven Yippies and the pig are arrested.

Almost 6,000 National Guardsman are mobilized and practice riot-control drills. Special police platoons do the same.

August 24, Saturday: MOBE's marshal training sessions continue in Lincoln Park. Karate, snake dancing, and crowd protection techniques are practiced. Women Strike for Peace holds a women-only picket at the Hilton Hotel, where many delegates are staying. At the 11 PM curfew, poet Allan Ginsberg, chanting, and musician Ed Sanders lead people out of the park.

August 25, Sunday: MOBE's "Meet the Delegates" march gathers 800 protesters in Grant Park across from the Hilton Hotel. The Festival of Life, in Lincoln Park, opens with music. 5,000 hear the MC-5 and local bands play. Police refuse to allow a flatbed truck to be brought in as a stage. A fracas breaks out in which several are arrested and others are clubbed. Police reinforcements arrive.

At the 11 PM curfew, most of the crowd, now numbering around 2,000, leave the park ahead of a police sweep and congregate between Stockton Drive and Clark Street. The police line then moves into the crowd, pushing it into the street. Many are clubbed, reporters and photographers included. The crowd disperses into the Old Town area, where the battles continue.

August 26, Monday: In the early morning, Tom Hayden is among those arrested. 1,000 protesters march towards police headquarters at 11th and State. Dozens of officers surround the building. The march turns north to Grant Park, swarming the General Logan statue. Police react by clearing the hill and the statue.

At the Amphitheatre, Mayor Daley formally opens the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

As the curfew approaches, some in Lincoln Park build a barricade against the police line to the east. About 1,000 remain in the park after 11 PM. A police car noses into the barricade and is pelted by rocks. Police move in with tear gas. Like Sunday night, street violence ensues. But it is worse. Some area residents are pulled off their porches and clubbed. More reporters are attacked this night than at any other time during the week. "


We do have some tough times going on now with our rights of privacy and freedom of speech being challenged .* But don't be so shallow as to think today is the only time we've had to step up and speak out.

I think you know what Joe Biden would tell you to do with a question like that!

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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-10-2006, 09:37 AM   #37
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

You missed the question and I'm sorry that resulted in doing a lot of work.

I'm well aware that a number of things happened.

The question was "DID YOU FEEL YOU HAD A CHANCE OF IT HAPPENING TO YOU?" Was there real fear.

Basing that back to my point that dissidents in Iraq had an absolute expectation that being a dissident would very plausibly lead to torture and death. I really and truly doubt very many non paranoid americans ever felt they could expect the same when protesting.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-10-2006, 10:35 AM   #38
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

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The question was "DID YOU FEEL YOU HAD A CHANCE OF IT HAPPENING TO YOU?"* Was there real fear.
As I answered previously, YES.
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-10-2006, 01:45 PM   #39
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

So your point is that you feel that protesters of the vietnam war felt like and in fact were in as much danger from the US government as Iraqis who protested against Hussein?

Do you REALLY believe that?

Does ANYONE else?
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail
Old 07-10-2006, 02:00 PM   #40
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Re: Joe Biden--proud moment on the campaign trail

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cute Fuzzy Bunny
So your point is that you feel that protesters of the vietnam war felt like and in fact were in as much danger from the US government as Iraqis who protested against Hussein?

Do you REALLY believe that?

Does ANYONE else?
I don't think that was Youbet's point.

Though I bet there was a large number of students at Kent State who were aftraid for their lives the day four were killed and nine injured.

But to compare how people feel in Iraq with how people feel in the US doesn't seem very productive.

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