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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 09:44 AM   #41
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Re: The Liberals' War

This isn't about Iraq only ... that is the point of the thread.
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 09:48 AM   #42
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Re: The Liberals' War

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline

Al-Azhar condemns suicide attacks
Grand Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi of the Al-Azhar mosque of Cairo - which is seen as the highest authority in Sunni Islam - said groups which carried out suicide bombings were the enemies of Islam. *Speaking at the conference in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, Sheikh Tantawi said extremist Islamic groups had appropriated Islam and its notion of jihad, or holy struggle, for their own ends.
BBC News, 11 July, 2003

Well, Caroline, it's certainly nice to see that some voices are raised to condemn the daily atrocities being committed and encouraged on behalf of the Muslim faith. *I too wish these voices were given wider attention in the media. *But perhaps the reason they are not is because the picture you paint is not the whole story. *Taking Grand Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi *as just one example, he is also quoted as saying:


Quote:
Grand Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, the top Islamic cleric in Egypt, praised Palestinian suicide bombers, saying: "One who blows himself up among those (Israeli) aggressors is a martyr, martyr, martyr, and whoever says otherwise is a ... liar." * *
Associated Press April 13, 2002

Often times Muslim Clerics mix condemnation of terrorist attacks with justification for those attacks as in:


Quote:
Lebanon's leading Shiite cleric, Mohamed Hussein Fadlallah, condemned the Sharm el-Sheikh and other terrorist attacks in the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper on July 25, yet went on to say: "But we should admit also that the arrogant injustice of those who are confiscating people's liberties, leading them to poverty, blocking their progress and ruling with dictatorial regimes are responsible for what is occurring."

It is hard to take people seriously when they condemn an action but then blame people other than the perpetrators of those actions.
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 09:57 AM   #43
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Re: The Liberals' War

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles
This isn't about Iraq only ... that is the point of the thread.
Charles, you opened the thread. Tell us what you think we should do. Many of us "liberals" have argued that we are fighting on the wrong front. JClarsnakes, an avowed conservative, has stated that we have messed up Iraq for a decade or more and should declare victory, head back to Afganistan, and get after Ossama and friends. I tend to lean that way myself although I don't think there is any victory to declare - only a horrible self inflicted setback.

What do you think we should do?
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 10:35 AM   #44
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Re: The Liberals' War

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...It appears that Osama has quite a few friends here on these forums. You all need to get a clue. No matter how much you like Osama he hates you for your liberal ideals just as much as he hates Texas Proud and I for our strong opinions. If he gets the chance he will kill us.
We're in violent agreement here, guy.* The last place in the WORLD I'd want to find myself is anywhere near this guy or his adherents.* As Putin said, "We are as dust to them."

That said, and even supposing that the way to get rid of him is through military force, I don't believe that the way it's being handled now is effective or likely to end in success.

And at some point there IS a moral factor here. We've been told that we "fight terrorists there, so we don't fight them at home."* What this REALLY ends up meaning is that we choose to fight OUR enemy on a battlefield filled with other, innocent men, women, and children who happen to be Muslims.*

And the only way to justify turning their country into a war zone is to lump them all together into one faceles, inhuman mass.

Quote:
I too wish these voices were given wider attention in the media.* But perhaps the reason they are not is because the picture you paint is not the whole story.
You make my only point in all of this, 3 Yrs to Go. That point being that these people we are hating and killing are unique individuals.* Some hate us, some love us, some ARE us.*

We dehumanize them by lumping them by together and ascribing one hateful attitude to all of them, and that makes it too easy to kill them and their children and their elders without guilt or shame.





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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 11:16 AM   #45
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Re: The Liberals' War

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Originally Posted by Caroline
You make my only point in all of this, 3 Yrs to Go. That point being that these people we are hating and killing are unique individuals.* Some hate us, some love us, some ARE us.*
But my point wasn't that I hate "them" - meaning Muslims as a whole.* Or that anyone here is justified in hating "them".* My point here was only that the world Muslim community takes great offense at any perceived slight or criticism of Islam.* One sentence in a long speech by the Pope, or cartoons in Danish newspapers, spark mass uprisings and sometimes death.* But when Muslim Clerics and others take to the airwaves saying that killing non-Muslims is not only right but is rewarded by God, the silence is deafening.* I can only conclude from their silence that those so readily brought to anger by any perceived slight to their religion, no mater how trivial, do not see these radical interpretations as degrading to Islam.* I find that very troubling.
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 11:43 AM   #46
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Re: The Liberals' War

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And at some point there IS a moral factor here. We've been told that we "fight terrorists there, so we don't fight them at home." *What this REALLY ends up meaning is that we choose to fight OUR enemy on a battlefield filled with other, innocent men, women, and children who happen to be Muslims.
Caroline

Yes, of course, agreed. *Again, history is helpful. *There were plenty of innocent Japanese, German and Italian men, women and children who were killed during WWII. *A tragedy. *But, their governments had become militaristic machines bent on killing vast numbers of other innocents, and war had to be waged against them. *War is hell, and a last resort ... but it is a critical resort when dealing with barbarians who have murder in mind. *Better to kill as many radical Islamists overseas, than in the town square or pizza parlor down the street from your house or mine. *Do you not see this?

Quote:
Charles, you opened the thread. *Tell us what you think we should do.
*donheff

Fair question.

Quote:
It is not an "either/or" thing. *We can take a hard line against the extemists while working with moderates and use Madison Ave to win the bigger struggle.
*samclem

This is closest to my position, well stated.

I believe our own policies have indeed contributed to the radical Islam we face ... we've made plenty of mistakes under both Democrat and Republican administrations. *We have helped create the hatred that we face.

However, I believe radical Islamists would hate us regardless, because they hate our society, our religions, our economy and our values, and they believe in using brutal violence to attain their objectives.

If I were making policy, and based upon what I know from the general media, I would focus on:
  • Communicate to Americans regularly so they understand this is a war against radical Islam. *We either face and defeat this threat, or it will surely come to a theater near you.
  • Regarding Iraq, not announce a time (a blatantly suicidal strategic concept) for complete withdrawal from Iraq, but continue to help Iraqis build a government and military to help them defend themselves. *Withdraw as quickly as feasible, and redeploy forces to meet the threat as it moves. *Recognize the "Viet Nam" comparisons are wildly overblown ... obvious to any student of history.
  • Encourage wise energy policy with tax incentives to speed reducing our dependence on foreign oil, with the vigor of a "man on the moon" project
  • Remove U.S. troops from any country where we do not need them to face a terrorist threat. *Reduce our world policeman role, and decrease our appearance as a militaristic bully.
  • Cooperate with moderate Islamic nations and leaders to beam moderate Islamic messages (radio, print, internet ...) to the vast majority of Muslims who want peace. *Assist moderate Muslim intellectuals and clerics who recognize this debasement and exploitation of their religion. *Encourage them to help stop this war by turning on the radicals. *Radical Islamists have, ironically, killed many more Muslims than Christians or Jews. *We cannot practically defeat radical Islam without the support of moderate Muslims.
  • Help our partisan political leaders to become leaders, and reject the current, dangerous political football some wish to play with these issues. *This is a matter of life and death. *Politics will always be present, but the current partisan debate appears like fiddling while democratic counties, including the U.S., are under attack. *The 1930's prelude to WWII comes to mind, along with the dissension in the U.S.
  • Through truly free trade, be a friendly face to the world ... frankly, China's approach in the last decade is instructive. *While we may have considerably different societies, they have been surprisingly successful in their diplomacy. *America can do the same.
  • Work with our best minds, business and military leaders and corporations to continue developing best in class security IT ... other countries (like Japan with their current liquid detection devices in airports) are sometimes ahead of us. *Detection of weapons, nuclear material, and IT for tracking terrorist activity. *Constantly challenged by a balance with a Bill of Rights under attack.

Those are a few thoughts, and obviously now subject to attack, since the written, internet word is always open to black and white interpretation ... and, libertarian philosophy is missing from a number of these points. *A temporary casualty of war, to my mind.

I travel a great deal in my work. *Last evening we came in very late, and our bags were delayed ... turns out our flight from O'Hare also contained the remains of a serviceman, and there was a ceremony while his coffin was removed from our aircraft.

This is serious business. *And my interest in posting this thread has very, very little to do with Iraq. *That is but a chapter in a much larger book. *This is about the U.S. facing a deadly threat, our citizens being foolishly divided, and especially those citizens who believe we can simply be pleasant, and that will change our enemies. *If too many of our citizens accept appeasement and pacifism in the face of this deadly threat, then I have sincere concerns that many more innocent Americans, as well as innocent Muslims and others will die.

And, from a retirement standpoint, I don't think retirement will be too pleasant if our economy is trashed, the world is engaged in a much larger war, and we and our loved ones are injured and killed as we simply engage in life.

Let's put the silly Bush, Clinton, etc. rhetoric behind us, and think logically here.
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 12:26 PM   #47
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Re: The Liberals' War

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Originally Posted by astromeria
His biggest friend is the Bush administration, which stopped hunting for him and declared him unimportant. Now if they did that to throw him off his guard, that's one thing. But Bush doesn;t believe in nuance, so I don't buy that reason (for now).
We've stopped looking for him? Wow, that will come as a surprise to a lot of folks deployed in some very nasty places. It will come as a huge relief to Pakistan's President Mushareff--by most accounts, the US has placed immense pressure on him to capture bin Laden, pressure which has caused him to undertake some immensely unpopular actions at home--his government is in constant threat of coup, he's been the target of many assasination attempts for these policies. Wow--"Hey, Parvez--we really don't care about bin Laden after all. Sorry to put you through all that!"

Will more US trops in Afghanistan find UBL? Only if he is there. I think people arguing that we should look harder in Afghanistan are like the story of the drunk looking for his keys one night under a lightpost. The passserby asks "Did you drop them here?" "Nope, I dropped them over in the parking lot, but the light is better here."

Astromeria, I think your idea that bin Laden is being de-emphasized deliberately is spot on. Every time the US singles him out publicly as "the problem" it increases his stature and it makes Mushareff's job at home tougher. Is it too much to believe that maybe some folks in DC realize this and have decided to depict bin Laden as a marginalized has-been while efforts to find him continue?


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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 01:58 PM   #48
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Re: The Liberals' War

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
Is it too much to believe that maybe some folks in DC realize this and have decided to depict bin Laden as a marginalized has-been while efforts to find him continue?
I like the conspiracy theory that the Bush administration has Bin Laden on ice as an "October surprise" for the mid-term congressional elections... because how else could Bin Laden have been captured if not for the efforts of a Republican congress?

Thank goodness for the 22nd amendment...
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 05:00 PM   #49
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Re: The Liberals' War

Charles' recommendations sound sensible to me. I just don't trust the neo-cons to implement any of them. They have demonstrated that they are guided purely by ideology and not by reality. And they have adopted policies (like torture, anti-civil liberties) that are anathema to any true, red-blooded American. So, Charles vote in anyone but the current crew and their designated heirs that you believe will take the steps you espouse. While you are at it make sure whoever you vote for has good liberal cultural policy creds
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 06:10 PM   #50
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Re: The Liberals' War

When I look at the choice that lie ahead of us it seems pretty clear to me. As I see it the choice is whether or not to take the reins from the likes of:

Bush / Cheney / Rumsfield / McCain / Hastert / Frist / Allen /Warner / Santorum / Cornyn / and company

and give them to:

Clinton(s) / Gore / Pelosi / Reid / Ted Kennedy / Rangel / Conyers / Boxer / Durbin / Feinstein / and company

Seems like a NO BRAINER to me!
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 07:20 PM   #51
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Re: The Liberals' War

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Originally Posted by Arc
When I look at the choice that lie ahead of us it seems pretty clear to me. As I see it the choice is whether or not to take the reins from the likes of:

Bush / Cheney / Rumsfield / McCain / Hastert / Frist / Allen /Warner / Santorum / Cornyn / and company

and give them to:

Clinton(s) / Gore / Pelosi / Reid / Ted Kennedy / Rangel / Conyers / Boxer / Durbin / Feinstein / and company

Seems like a NO BRAINER to me!
Hmm.. lets see.. throw out Bush / Cheney / Rumsfield / Coryn (from my state... I think he is WAY to conservative).. then maybe I will go for it...

Throw out Clinton/ Pelosi / Kennedy / Rangel / Boxer... then maybe.. but I do not know some of the others... but there is not way I am goning to vote for them..... I will 'vote' by staying home for the first time in... lets see 30 years...
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 07:58 PM   #52
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Re: The Liberals' War

Its funny to see all the re-hashing of party line BS that has gone on in this thread. How's this: slogans don't solve problems. Anyone retreating into some sort of ideological construct or sound bite concept has pretty much come out and admitted they don't have a clue.

We don't need to antagonize the Muslim world by doing stupid things (like the Iraq invasion, many idiotic comments made by the administration, the Pope making heartfelt but easily misinterpreted comments, etc.). The problem is obvious and simple: there is a large population of poor, desparate and easily manipulated people who are easy prey for extremist nonsense that seems to blame someone for their plight. The solution is something that will take time, money, effort, and goodwill (which is why it might never happen in my lifetime): we need to raise the standard of living in the third world. Wealthy countries cannot afford to simply keep getting wealthier and let everyone else hang. We have to actually do something to help poor countries up the development curve. Otherwise we will end up with the global equivalent of the people who live in the gated community with security guards roaming around who can't leave without taking heavy precautions against being mobbed by the miserable.
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 08:41 PM   #53
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Re: The Liberals' War

Those are some excellent ideas Charles. I like the way you think.
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 09:23 PM   #54
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Re: The Liberals' War

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We have to actually do something to help poor countries up the development curve.*
There is a very high correlation between national poverty and countries with unrepresentative dictatorial governments that lack free market economies the rule of law and property rights. As much as you won't want to admit it, the Iraq war was supposed to change that in one small corner of the Middle East . . . too bad its not going according to plan.
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 09:43 PM   #55
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Re: The Liberals' War

The Saudis sure are rich and Saudi Arabia is the source of many terrorists.
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 09:49 PM   #56
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Re: The Liberals' War

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Originally Posted by Martha
The Saudis sure are rich and Saudi Arabia is the source of many terrorists.
The Saudi Royal family and their factota are rich. Most of the rest in Arabia are very poor. Saudi Arabia is a bomb about to go off.

One more reason why complacency about US oil supply is misplaced.

HA
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 09:50 PM   #57
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Re: The Liberals' War

Yeah, what Charles said!

I don't know if Islam is any more inherently peaceful or violent than Christianity. The religious texts of both religions contain messages exhorting their followers to act peacefuly, and other passages approving of all manner of things that are now entirely rejected by Western culture.

Is Iran ready for their own Ataturk? Is Saudi Arabia? Probably not for a long time, but that's where we should be heading.

It's worth noting that different types of national wealth can be expected to have different effects in leading to a pluralistic and possibly secular society. If wealth is owned by the government or a few individuals (as Arab/Persian oil wealth tends to be) then we shouldn't expect the growth of a burgeoning middle class demanding cultural reforms--the people will stay under the thumb of centralized authority. If people build their own wealth individualy, they'll defend it more jealously and be more likely to demand cultural reforms.

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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 10:03 PM   #58
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Re: The Liberals' War

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Originally Posted by HaHa
The Saudi Royal family and their factota are rich. Most of the rest in Arabia are very poor. Saudi Arabia is a bomb about to go off.

One more reason why complacency about US oil supply is misplaced.

HA
Oh I agree. I made the point to show that the poverty problem is not likely to be solved by the west opening their pocket books. I can't hardly imagine us giving our money to poor arabs in Saudi Arabia given the resources of the Saudis. I am bothered by the apparent influence the Saudis have on United States policy. We give them a pass. Not that I am saying we should invade anyone.
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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 10:10 PM   #59
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Re: The Liberals' War

I just want to make a comment about the article in the OP. *It seems to me you can summarize it this way:

1) The author believes that what the Bush administration is doing is fighting a war on terror.

2) The author believes that the Bush administration approach is the best and only way to fight a war on terror.

3) Therefore anyone who opposes any part of what the Bush administration is doing is a liberal who is in favor of terror or is stupid.


I think a more accurate portrayal of the liberal perspective is this:

1)They believe the Bush administration has created a civil war in Iraq that has nothing to do with ending terrorism.

2) They believe that radical terrorist thinking is not diminished by bombing Baghdad, torturing prisoners, eavesdropping on Americans, etc. *In fact, many believe that these actions weaken America and erode our laws and constitution.

3) Therefore, anyone who supports the Bush administration approach is a neo-con who is naively supporting terrorism or is stupid.



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Re: The Liberals' War
Old 09-16-2006, 10:20 PM   #60
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Re: The Liberals' War

Ooops, we were making progress. Time to insert President Bush into the discussion.

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