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Whisper
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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 09 July 2005 at 7:56am

Astro, I just go by the “feel” of things.

Your explanation had a genuine credible feel to it. Plus, it does seem to fit in with how political decisions are made in our world. I have a fresh open mind.

I am not stuck with just some solo idea.

 

My friend, I hope you won’t mind if I steer clear of the rest of your post. It’s the usual stuff we get almost every day from the White House and by now even most Americans (just over 57%) have grown just weary of this LP.

 

I may ask you just a few questions:

 

1.                     All regimes format their spins and we can’t assign some angelic role to any single government in our world. So the US do not spin propaganda with a budget, which is six times of the rest of the world put together?

 

2.                     I agree Saddam was a genocidal Communist tyrant. Why did the CIA then put him in power in the first place? Out of charity and the goodness of their heart, I presume?

 

3.                     Not really for American interests at all?

 

4.                     What is Kuwait? How and why was it carved out of Iraq? Would you please just explain how and what right you and your cousins from across the pond hold to disfigure our landscapes and our maps?

 

5.                     How and when did this genocidal Communist tyrant suddenly transform into an Islamo something or the other?

 

6.                     Do you take everything your President says as the word of God?

 

7.                     So, the US is only acting out of justice and charity?

 

8.                     Exactly like they did in Iran (1953) by ejecting a popularly elected government and placing a “king” (run by a certain Col. Roosevelt)? The entire world knows about it. Why don’t you?

 

9.                     The US has never made a single mistake in her entire history?

 

10.                 Is she not governed by mortal men and women but by some divine beings directly imported from some other planet?

 

11.                 AND, anyone (even the natural born Americans) who ever differ with the Republican agenda are sinners, conspirators, lefties and absolutely unpatriotic *****ds?

 

12.                 I am sure the US is doing all of this just for charity and justice. And, they will leave as soon as the Iraqis feel safe? And they are building the 14 largest arsenals in the world just to make the Iraqi people safe?

 

13.                 Of course, you would donate all these bases to the International Red Cross who will turn these into Ball Rooms?

 

14.                 And, the Iraqi boys will roller skate on some of the largest runways in the world.

 

The world will be honky dory!

 

My friend, I must thank you a lot on behalf of all those people who stand ever grateful for your mercy missions, like the Iranians in the 50s, the Vietnamese in the 60s and all other big and small recipients in between.

 

Astro, please, if you don’t mind just try and see that the world is no longer as stupid as you may wish it to be. We are no longer as blind as we were in my grandfather’s day. He had just two persons in his entire court to translate the English Political Agents mutterings and other such messages. None of these two really had any grasp of the English expressions or could decipher what was “in between the lines”.

 

Today, my friend, we have a crop of boys and girls who have been to the Brit and American universities. This lot can understand each single iota of what your admin intends to do not just what they have already done.

 

If you fail to understand our cultures does it mean that we are the ones who are stupid?

 

So, just one single blow of around 2,881 deaths got you turned around?

(Though you have never held any Independent “Whodunnit” enquiry at all).

You have started to feel that way about the Muslims and Islam.

 

Sometimes sit up (or, down) and try and work out

“How should the Muslims feel who have been constantly buggered by your government since they took over from your Brit cousins from across the pond”?

 

Afghanistan had AGREED to hand over UBL to a third party SUBJECT to the Americans providing proof of his involvement in 9/11. BUT the US could not come up with any proof and bombed poor already war shattered Afghanistan just for their domestic consumption.

 

So, have you broken up Al-qaeda or increased it?

 

Democracy is not a religion.

So it’s kosher to spread a “system” by bombing people and occupying them with large armies?

 

Perspective?

I only see wholesale bombings and mass killings and Guantanamo Bay, my friend. Could you please keep your charity and justice for home consumption instead of such mass scale export.

Thank you.
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Quote Astrophysicist Replybullet Posted: 12 July 2005 at 12:39pm

Greetings again, Whisper and other friends:

Sorry it's so long between posts. I come back when I can. Again, I have not the time to go back and reread all threads. So, though I am trying to focus on this thread only, I might at times get threads confused and cite a statement from a different thread.

I remember the second thought that I could not remember when I wrote my last post. I had asked many times "what tangible good has the Islamic world [by which I meant Islamic culture and society] given us recently." It seemed to me that it was giving us only religious bigots and mass murderers. I had thought that I had made it clear that oil did not count, but perhaps I didn't. Anyway, apparently unable to think of anything else -- things like computers or astronomical or medical devices or cancer fighting drugs and all the myraid other wonders brought to the world by Western science (now practiced with miraculous ingenuity in much of the world, especially Asia) -- unable to think of anything else, someone had to mention oil anyway.

Trying to claim "oil" as an achievement of the Islamic world is like the Great Britain trying to claim "tin" as an achievement of English culture. In ancient times, before the arrival of the English, the British Isles were know to Mediterranean cultures as the "Cassiterides" -- cassiterite being the ore from which tin is extracted. Tin was needed to make bronze, of course, so was in great demand during "bronze age," just as oil is today.

But it is a sheer accident of geological history that tin is in the Isles or oil in the Gulf. In fact, were it not for Western scientists discovering the usefulness of oil and its likely whereabouts and the means to get it and refine it and employ it, and without Western businessmen to invest the capital to get the equipment and develop the market, the Arabs would never have known oil was under their feet or what to do with it. So, we would more properly say that oil was given to the Arabs by Western culture -- as much as by a sort of geological lottery.

To date, it seems to me that all that has been done with this oil money is for some Arabs to build vain monuments to themselves and to fund warlords, (for example, Aidid in Somalia) the destruction of the monuments (the twin Buddhas) and places of work of others (embassies, the WTC, and so on).

I do not mean to put down the Arabs as a race or Islamic culture in general. I am merely suggesting that Western culture should not be so despised by so many Muslims. There is much about both cultures that is admirable. Neither do I mean to thump my chest with pride, for I realize that as an individual, I am quite as ordinary as anyone of any race or culture and that I simply won, from my point of view, the cultural lottery.

So, I ask again, what tangible good has the Islamic world – Islamic culture -- brought us recently? (Anything from the past few hundred years will suffice, I guess.)

Originally posted by Whisper

Astro, I just go by the “feel” of things.

Your explanation had a genuine credible feel to it. Plus, it does seem to fit in with how political decisions are made in our world. I have a fresh open mind.

I am not stuck with just some solo idea.

My friend, I hope you won’t mind if I steer clear of the rest of your post. It’s the usual stuff we get almost every day from the White House and by now even most Americans (just over 57%) have grown just weary of this LP.

I must mind if you cannot acknowledge what to me is a clear and obvious truth only because it does not "feel" right to you.

Originally posted by whisper

I may ask you just a few questions:

1.                     All regimes format their spins and we can’t assign some angelic role to any single government in our world.

Why can we never assign angelic roles to any government? I find this exclusion unacceptable. We need to evaluate governments one at a time, as we should people. Has no government ever tried to do good?

Originally posted by whisper

So the US do not spin propaganda with a budget, which is six times of the rest of the world put together?

In the U.S., it's more complicated than that. Any Administration can and will try to spin things, but it has to stay within certain bounds if its statements are to survive the scrutiny of the opposition party (in this case, the Democrats) and a free press (that has been largely hostile to Republicans since the mid-40s).

The budget is the people's money. It is spent in the people's interest, not on "spin." The people of the U.S. have a strong streak of charity and spend lots of money on foreign aid. No country spends more trying to help the poor around the world. We even promote economic policies that export many of our jobs overseas so that other nations can share in the economic benefits of the markets that we have developed.

  

Originally posted by whisper

2.                     I agree Saddam was a genocidal Communist tyrant. Why did the CIA then put him in power in the first place? Out of charity and the goodness of their heart, I presume?

The U.S. had nothing to do with Saddam's rise to power! Who puts these ideas in your head? Read Samir al-Khalil's book "Republic of Fear" (1989, Pantheon Press). Saddam was an assassin of the Ba'athist party, which is essentially a Communist organization. If you check your history, you might find that the U.S. was opposed to the spread of communism. If any outside nation played a role in his rise to power, it was the Soviet Union. They certainly helped him solidify his grip on power once he got it.

Piling on this sort of reinvented pseudo-history is counter-productive. It is chaff that we must waste much time and effort putting aside so that we can get to core issues and truths.

Originally posted by whisper

3.                     Not really for American interests at all?

Saddam was a loose cannon, a hazard to his people and his neighbors. He and his bought-and-paid-for allies like France and the UN (check on the "oil for food scandal") were killing Iraqis by the hundreds of thousands and using a controlled media -- and considerable Arab bigotry, which can never blame an Arab like Saddam or otherwise look inward for responsibility -- to put the blame on the U.S. Was it not in our best interest and everyone else's to put an end to his regime and end the suffering and end the unfair attacks on our national character?

It is in the interest of America and the entire world to have a democracy and free press in as much of the world as possible. Free people who can pursue the economic interests of their families and communities and whose minds are not poisoned by the lies of a controlled media (which can include the rants of narrow-minded and highly prejudiced Imams five times a day) -- free people will not want to send their children on suicide missions to kill their friends and partners in trade – which can include many fine people and merchants who might happen to be Christians or Jews or practitioners of Shinto (an ancient and fascinating Japanese religion – there are many paths to righteousness).

Originally posted by whisper

4.                     What is Kuwait? How and why was it carved out of Iraq? Would you please just explain how and what right you and your cousins from across the pond hold to disfigure our landscapes and our maps?

First, the Americans came into World War I late, fought only against the Germans, and had no real say in what happened in the region. It was the British and French who found themselves in that awkward position.

Only for a short two or three years during the 1800s did the Ottoman Empire extend into what we today call Saudi Arabia, so that border is NOT the doing of the West. The border with Iran, also, is more or less as it was under the Ottomans. So, England and France and their Arab friends and allies inherited these southern and eastern borders to work with.

Also, bear in mind that, for many centuries, Europeans had rightly had a great fear of the vast and powerful Ottoman Empire, which had launched the second of the brutal horrible Islamic invasions of Europe, reaching as far as Vienna, Austria. Fear of it was surely far greater than that of the great and powerful Soviet Union of the 20th Century. So, naturally, the Europeans hoped to see the Ottoman Empire fractured and weakened to the point that it was no longer a threat. The Europeans were not alone in this. Many under Ottoman rule, including the Arabs, wished for the same.

What we today call “Kuwait” and “Iraq” had both been part of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. But nonetheless, Kuwait had for all that time been in a sense independent of the Ottomans: it had a vibrant pearl trade and busy port that put it in direct commercial contact with the entire world. It was a wealthy state unto itself with its own cosmopolitan culture. The Ottomans did not mind as long it was peaceful and its plentiful taxes came in.

So, when the Ottoman Empire fell and was partitioned along cultural and provincial Ottoman lines, it seemed natural that Kuwait should be free and not under the rein of a foreign capital like Baghdad.

The Ottoman Empire was falling apart from the inside before WWI. The war was the catalyst that finished the process. Arab regions within the Empire each had factions and leaders who wanted independence and their own governments. The borders of today are thus, as much as anyone, the work of various Arab leaders, who had either fought alongside the British and French against the Ottoman occupiers or who simply wished to take advantage of the governmental vacuum when Ottoman rule ended.

For their part, after all their sacrifice, the French and British could not simply abandon the region and see the Ottoman power structure re-establish itself. So, they remained for a time, each with its own region to monitor. The French threw Faisal out of Damascus, ending his hope for a pan-Arab state under his authority. So, the British helped him to establish the Arab state of Iraq, which became a free nation in the early 1930s. From that time forward, the ancient Shia and Sunni rivalry reasserted itself and dominated Iraqi history, which became one of assassination and mass murder.

Don’t blame us for all your woes. The various Arab states could have formed a federation any time they liked, as did the states that now make up the U.S.

The problem, as I see it, is that everyone there wants to be Muhammad and so thinks it is okay to force his notions of what he thinks God wants on everyone else.

Catholics and Protestants don’t go about murdering each other like Shia and Sunni. The example and teachings of Jesus forbid it, as do our own interests!

We’ve had wars in modern times, but they have not been about religious beliefs, and we have reason to hope that they are over with.

[quote =whisper]

5.                    How and when did this genocidal Communist tyrant suddenly transform into an Islamo something or the other?

[/quote]

It was not sudden. Read “Republic of Fear” by Samir al-Khalil (an Iraqi himself), please.

Originally posted by whisper

 

6.                    Do you take everything your President says as the word of God?

No. I take it as the word of an honorable man who has high values and says what he means. Perhaps you are too used to dissembling sorts who hide their true intentions. Perhaps you are projecting onto him an expectation that is the fruit of too much of that sort of deception surrounding you in your world.

I take issue with some of Bush’s policies. Not this one.

Originally posted by whisper

7.                    So, the US is only acting out of justice and charity?

Yes. Both are in our interest as well as that of the Iraqi people and the world at large. Are not justice and charity worthy enough causes for you? Will they not the source of blessings for those who do good deeds? What better motive might there be?

Originally posted by whisper

8.                    Exactly like they did in Iran (1953) by ejecting a popularly elected government and placing a “king” (run by a certain Col. Roosevelt)? The entire world knows about it. Why don’t you?

I do know about that, my friend. I have no idea why you would think that I do not. I thought we were talking about Iraq, not or Iran.

One of the hazards – and benefits -- of having a free press, and a democracy to protect it, is that bad deeds usually cannot get buried and hidden. They will out. Only then can the beliefs or practices that led to them be corrected.

Okay, let’s talk about Iran in 1953, then. It is not a subject about which I know all the details, but I know it was wrong of the CIA and American administration to do that.

(That having been said, I believe that most Iranians would rather have the Shah than these Ayatollahs running things today.)

I can only try, with the benefit of some hindsight, to rationalize the actions of the CIA. The bloodiest war in human history had ended in 1945 only to have a new specter – Communism – threaten life, liberty and property of people around the globe.

Side note on the Communists: My Muslim in-laws fled Albania in 1949 because the café-dwelling and plotting Communists wanted the nice house with real plumbing for themselves. They took my father-in-law’s beautiful farm and gave him rocky land to till so that he would not be able to meet his crop quota. That would get put in prison, and then they could make him “disappear” (haul him into the woods and shoot him in the head). Whole families would “disappear” like that. So, one night, when they were supposed to meet some Communist “negotiators” in the woods for “discussions,” my in-laws left the dirty dinner dishes on the table and left and their homes and sneaked through the mountains to Greece, where they lived in refugee camps for three years until they could finally realize the dream that almost all the refugees had, which was to get passage to and become citizens of the U.S.

Okay, back to my embarrassed rationalization: the people running the CIA at that time had learned their craft operating against the brutal NAZI German and Imperial Japanese war machines and their operatives, who would do anything to get an advantage. Now in 1953, with similar tactics, the Communists were expanding in the region. (Stalin was a more of a mass-murderer than Hitler had been!) The Soviets were already making a puppet of Afghanistan. The people at the CIA and White House apparently believed that the U.S. needed a puppet to counter the Soviets.

At the time it might have seemed necessary to them. But it was wrong. I do not deny it.

America today is entirely different from the America of 1953. (Every few years we have revolutions that we call “elections.) The world is entirely different.

And the situation in Iraq is entirely different. Conflating the two (Iraq and Iran) is not productive.

Rather than proceeding from a general prejudice to a selection of certain “facts” that seem to support it, I think it is more helpful to begin with the specifics of a particular thing, using generalities only for guidance, like the stars, which do not determine the landscape but only help us find our way in the darkness sometimes.

Originally posted by whisper

9.                    The US has never made a single mistake in her entire history?

Who hasn’t? The important thing is to learn from one’s mistakes and grow and evolve and improve oneself, isn’t it?

Isn’t that what made early Islamic Culture great, really? That and the willingness to accept and appreciate the great things that other cultures had to offer (for example, the astronomy of the Greek, Ptolemy, or the numeric system of the Hindi Brahmin culture)?

That is what America and much of the West is doing in its own way today. (France and some former Soviet states must excluded, for the present, as they seem to be going backwards).

Originally posted by whisper

10.                Is she not governed by mortal men and women but by some divine beings directly imported from some other planet?

So it is with all people in all parts of the world, is it not?

Originally posted by whisper

11.                AND, anyone (even the natural born Americans) who ever differ with the Republican agenda are sinners, conspirators, lefties and absolutely unpatriotic *****ds?

Why all these extremes: “you’re either in this pigeon-hole on this side or in that one on that side.” (No, Bush’s “you are either with us or against us” statement is not of the same species. He was trying to get committed and just actions from the likes of Jacques Chirac, who was clearly for Saddam and against us and the Iraqi people, and governments like those of the Taliban, or of Syria, which continues to harbor and sponsor terrorists.)

I am not a Republican. I am an Independent and a Moderate. I happen to agree with some major policies advocated by Republicans these days. I have argued (among friends and acquaintances in discussion) for Saddam’s removal since about 1993 or 1994, and my attitude is about Saddam’s ouster by Bush is “better late than never.”

12.                I am sure the US is doing all of this just for charity and justice. And, they will leave as soon as the Iraqis feel safe? And they are building the 14 largest arsenals in the world just to make the Iraqi people safe?

[/quote]

I think you mean “military bases,” right?

WWII ended 60 years ago. Japan and Germany have had free and autonomous democratic governments for most of those years – all but perhaps the first ten years (except that East Germany was a communist puppet regime of the Soviets until 1990). But a token number of American troops are still in both countries. Why? At first, the bases were there to counter communist expansion ambitions. Now they are there because local economies have become dependent on them and the German and Japanese governments do not want the Americans to leave.

For the present, these bases are needed to support the defeat of the misguided foreign fighters who are coming to Iraq in the hope of getting to kill some American kids in uniform and carve the heads off Western medical and food aid workers. God forbid that Westerners should be allowed to do good deeds!

 The Iraqi military will inherit these bases as the U.S. turns total control over to he Iraqi government. Then they can be used for the defense of the Iraqi people and their interests, which include keeping the megalomaniacal Iranian Ayatollahs out of Iraq. (And you – they-- talk about our people thinking they have divine wisdom!  Listen to these Ayatollahs telling us what Allah demands. Such hypocrisy!)

Originally posted by whisper

13.                Of course, you would donate all these bases to the International Red Cross who will turn these into Ball Rooms?

Oh happy day! I especially like the ballroom idea, though I suppose the Red Cross or Red Crescent one is actually preferable.

Originally posted by whisper

14.                And, the Iraqi boys will roller skate on some of the largest runways in the world.

Great idea! Land-sailing also looks like lots of fun.

Yes, when this hard-hearted minority of Muslims take some responsibility for the state of their –our mutual world – when they realize that a true religion of peace cannot be spread by their wars and murders (cleverly hidden in nebulosity and completely out of sight by the charming term “Jihad”) and give up this Holy War against the rest of us, when they learn, again, to have faith in God’s creation (which includes us) and learn again themselves to bring good thoughts and good things into being, we humans going to have a merry planet, indeed!

Lots of work to be done in the medical field, by the way. Let’s get to it!

Originally posted by whisper

The world will be honky dory!

We all try to move the world in that direction, do we not?

Originally posted by whisper

My friend, I must thank you a lot on behalf of all those people who stand ever grateful for your mercy missions, like the Iranians in the 50s, the Vietnamese in the 60s and all other big and small recipients in between.

I hope to address Vietnam in more detail in another post. I am running out of time for the present.

In the meantime, please let me state these facts. The U.S. was bound by treaty to protect the government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese Communists were the aggressors, and they wrought far more death and destruction there that the U.S. did, especially after the U.S. left, and more Communist takeovers followed in that region. Pol Pot was one of the Communist tyrants there. Look into his career.

Note that hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese fled Vietnam when the Communists took over. They understood that the intent of the U.S. was right and good, and they came to the U.S. and became American citizens. They are now among those you would murder.

Even today, the vast majority of Vietnamese people in Vietnam and the Vietnamese government itself have come realize that Communism is not what they thought it would be. Like China, they are moving toward a more capitalistic economy. And they have come to realize that Americans are good people and that the U.S. had noble intent. They want friendly relations with the U.S.

Many American and North Vietnamese soldiers have met in their old battlefields as friends, talked about what they remember, and wept together.

In the Vietnamese and Japanese, you have bring up the histories of people who have nothing to do with you and about which you know much less than you ought before you begin condemning the U.S. Why? It seems to me that you want to know only as much as will justify killing Americans. Were you to know more, you could no longer justify it. Is this limitation one imposed on you by a government or by something inside you, some need to justify your own history, perhaps, and make it appear worthy by disparaging the histories of others?

Originally posted by whisper

Astro, please, if you don’t mind just try and see that the world is no longer as stupid as you may wish it to be. We are no longer as blind as we were in my grandfather’s day.

And you accuse me of being venomous? Whisper, my friend, listen to yourself!

I certainly have accused no one of being stupid. But many people are misinformed (or only selectively informed) and blinded by prejudice. This fate can befall even the most intelligent among us!

Having access to more information via the Internet and time at universities and all does not mean that you have more wisdom. There is more to know than any one person is capable of knowing, and to know only a part of it, and that with a strong prejudice, is worse than knowing nothing! (A know-nothing idiot is probably, at least, a happy idiot!)

Originally posted by whisper

He had just two persons in his entire court to translate the English Political Agents mutterings and other such messages. None of these two really had any grasp of the English expressions or could decipher what was “in between the lines”.

Then how do you know that anything was there between the lines that you or someone else has not imagined?

Interesting family history. I would not want to compromise your identity, if it is important to you to keep it secret, but may I say that I am honored – and intrigued, I admit – that I am in dialogue with you? I would be, regardless of your family history, but it does add depth and interest to know that your grandfather had a court!

Today, my friend, we have a crop of boys and girls who have been to the Brit and American universities. This lot can understand each single iota of what your admin intends to do not just what they have already done.

[/quote]

Or they imagine it only because it is what their prejudice tells them or because it is what they would do….

Originally posted by whisper

If you fail to understand our cultures does it mean that we are the ones who are stupid?

Again, where is this coming from? When did I say you were stupid? You have lost me completely!

Originally posted by whisper

So, just one single blow of around 2,881 deaths got you turned around?

[

Actually, I did say that comments made before 9/11 had already begun to turn me around. I have cited some of them already. 9/11 was a watershed moment for me – an I am not alone in that. I would bet, as a matter of fact, that a silent majority of all the people in the world are with me.

The gleeful reaction of much of the Muslim world helped shape a part of my reaction, too. The 9/11 attacks were orchestrated by no legal body, so there is no specific and legal entity that can or will take responsibility and be dealt with in a civilized and legal manner. The terrorists wear no uniforms, abide by no civilized standards of conduct, hide among women and children, deliberately target civilians, and deliberately inflicted the most horrific suffering in the act of killing them. Yet no Muslim clerics seem willing to condemn them, and few argue that their acts are against the teaching of the Qu’ran. Quite the contrary, in fact.

Originally posted by whisper

(Though you have never held any Independent “Whodunnit” enquiry at all).

Not to evade the issue, but what sort of sanctioned legal proceedings do you or al Queda rely on when you make your accusations against my country and my people (including our Vietnamese, Muslim, and other citizens)?

Hmmm? What was that? What independent court?

The evidence of is overwhelming, not only for the 9/11 attacks but others, as well, including those on American embassies in Africa. We even have a videotape in which bin Laden brags about the success of the 9/11 attacks and shows his pleasure in describing how they were even more of a success than he had hoped.

Now methinks it is you who thinks that we are stupid. (I grant you that some of us are, just not enough of us to let this one slip by!)

Originally posted by whisper

You have started to feel that way about the Muslims and Islam.

As I said before, I know and love many Muslims. It is the weak philosophical foundations of Islam that I now see clearly revealed to me. I am only being honest about my perceptions as of this date. This does not mean that I think that Islam is necessarily bad or doomed. The quality of a religion is determined by the character of the people who practice it. Right now, that character doesn’t look very good to me.

Beginning around 324 A.D., the policies of the Christian Church were controlled by those who had inherited their means of administration from the Roman Empire. Much of that history of the church is fraught with terrible misdeeds. But the church has continued to evolve and is still coming to understand the beautiful wisdom of the philosophy of a fine Jewish rabbi and philosopher named Jesus.

Right now, I see Islam taking a wrong turn based on bad information, which is in turn based on what I see as a deeply flawed and incomplete approach to knowledge.

Originally posted by whisper

]

Sometimes sit up (or, down) and try and work out

I apologize, friend, but I do not understand exactly what you mean.

Originally posted by whisper

“How should the Muslims feel who have been constantly buggered by your government since they took over from your Brit cousins from across the pond”?

How so? What specifically should the U.S. have done differently, and when, and how so? Are the policies of no other nations, like the USSR, of any consequence? Had the Shia and Sunni always been at peace? Have there never before the mid-twentieth century been wars fought along the borders of, say, Iran and Iraq? Please be sure to consider all the downsides of alternative actions, and bear in mind the limited ability of any nation to control events in others, especially in so large a world with so many other concerns.

The really big question: are no Arabs at all responsible for what goes on in their part of the world?

Originally posted by whisper

Afghanistan had AGREED to hand over UBL to a third party SUBJECT to the Americans providing proof of his involvement in 9/11. BUT the US could not come up with any proof and bombed poor already war shattered Afghanistan just for their domestic consumption.

[

First, Afghanistan has been “war-torn” by warring tribes since the beginning of recorded history. But it would never have freed itself from the Soviet puppet regime without the help of the U.S.

Second, the U.S. was not about to disclose its sources of information to the allies of bin Laden, the Taliban. Again, you must think that we are stupid!

What “domestic consumption” are you talking about, please?

Originally posted by whisper

So, have you broken up Al-qaeda or increased it?

Thanks to the sort of propaganda that you seem to be a victim of, probably both. But hey, it is no surprise that war sucks and that bad things will happen. It’s too bad that war is what bin Laden and his buddies wanted, because it’s what they got. He should have sued somebody. He could have gotten just as much publicity, more and better information about who did what, and he would have had a better chance of making real progress on any legitimate grievances he might have had. But I don’t think really helping anyone was what these folks wanted. They have messianic complexes and would rather be adored for seemingly good intentions than real accomplishments.

Originally posted by whisper

Democracy is not a religion.

I am glad that you agree. It is an important point, I think.

Originally posted by whisper

So it’s kosher to spread a “system” by bombing people and occupying them with large armies?

Would you not agree that Saddam was dug into Iraq like a parasite dug deep into its host?

Despite what you might hear or think, most of the Iraqi people want the U.S. military to remain until they have a stable government. I would show you pictures of many of them welcoming U.S. troops and showing their support for them, but some of those who haunt this website would probably hunt them down and kill them. So, I won’t.

The foreign terrorists are a brutal and noisy a minority, but a minority nonetheless.

Perspective?

I only see wholesale bombings and mass killings and Guantanamo Bay, my friend.

[/quote]

Then your perspective is sadly quite narrow.

Please tell me what you think you know about Guantanamo Bay.

Originally posted by whisper

Could you please keep your charity and justice for home consumption instead of such mass scale export.

If your various Imams and governments could stop your culture from producing terrorists, and if you could establish governments that honored their agreements, we would be more than happy to stay at home. I don’t think it proper to deny fair treatment to non-Muslims. I am sure that all Americans of all races and creeds would certainly welcome fair-minded friends and trade partners throughout the Muslim world.

Originally posted by whisper

Thank you.

And I thank you for an interesting and, I hope, at least somewhat productive dialogue!

Be well, Whisper!

Astro



Edited by Astrophysicist
1. We each bring the Universe into being in the act of perceiving it, but perception is not reality.

2. The medium IS the message, so a true religion of peace cannot be spread by threat of war.
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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 15 July 2005 at 2:17am

My friend, I have enjoyed reading your post. I have come to understand that you take it that everyone is a victim of sheer propoganda. We do that often. We take all others to be exactly as we ourselves are. Just a hard fact of human nature.

I also understand the Bushist camp's frustration with France since they refused to bow to his Imperial Highness' illegal war.

I have no idea where you get the notion that just the words of some Imams can produce suicide bombers? My friend, without the US atrocities and their occupations of our lands (since 1953) no amount of Imams could ever produce a single suicide bomber. It;s not a ball game. You come to end your life only when you have been occupied and all hope vanishes.

So, even Palestine is just a creation of propoganda + Imams and there's no reality existing on the ground?

It's not our fault if you fail to see the world as it is - thank goodness, nor it's our weakness. Why not keep such good charity just for home consumption instead of exporting it from 52,000 feet on some poor people?

 

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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 15 July 2005 at 6:15am

Did you just forget (quite conveniently) to talk about the missing Iraqi Billions? Or, shall we say that that is exactly the "charity" to keep the American habit of overconsumption going?

What do you think of this?

Our troops are part of the problem

Heavy-handed occupation is not a solution to the Iraqi insurgency

Robin Cook
Friday July 15, 2005
The Guardian

In the single week since the London bombings there have been 11 suicide attacks in Iraq. One car bomb this week wiped out 30 children, one as young as six, who had gathered to plead for western chocolates from American soldiers.

I do not draw a parallel between London and Baghdad to diminish the pain and horror caused by the crime on our own shores, but because that appalling experience should give us some insight into the violence that is now a daily occurrence in Iraq. And as the occupying force we bear responsibility for its security. There may be room for debate over whether there is a connection between the war in Iraq and the London bombings, but there is no escaping the hard truth that the chaos in that country is a direct result of the decision to invade it, taken in defiance of the intelligence warning that it would heighten the terrorist threat.

And still those who took us into the war are not frank with us. For months those of us who have asked for a timetable for withdrawal from the occupation of Iraq have been told that it would encourage the insurgents to circle that date in the calendar. Yet at the weekend we learned from another leaked minute that the Ministry of Defence has ticked the middle of next year as the target by when it will have reduced the British presence to about a third of its present level.

This has nothing to do with progress against the insurgents, who are growing bolder rather than weaker. It is entirely to do with American domestic politics. As George Bush sinks in popularity back home, his desperation rises to cut his losses in Iraq. The leaked memo confirms that the Bush administration is planning to cut its occupying forces to a third by the first half of 2006, which would make it politically impossible at home for Britain not to do the same.

Apparently there is a row going on between the Pentagon, which wants "a bold reduction", and the US commanders on the ground, who know that they cannot contain the insurgency with their present numbers and do not see how they will be able to do better with fewer. For once I find myself on the side of the Pentagon.

Heavy-handed US occupation is not the solution to the insurgency but a large part of the problem. US army rules of engagement appear to give much greater weight to killing insurgents than to protecting civilian lives. It is alarming testimony to its trigger-happy approach that statistics compiled by the Iraqi health ministry confirm that twice as many civilians have been killed by US military action as by terrorist bombs. The predictable result is that the US occupation breeds new recruits for the insurgency at a faster rate than it kills existing members of it.

Nor is it only the fatalities of US forces that foster resentment. Homes in every neighbourhood have been trashed by US forces in futile searches for insurgents. Every extended family knows of at least one person who has disappeared into the new gulag of detainees. A year after President Bush promised to demolish Abu Ghraib it is being expanded, rather than closed, to accommodate an even larger number than were held there by Saddam.

It is an inexorable law of foreign occupations that the greater the repression, the stronger the resistance. The reduction in US forces may be planned for the wrong reason, but should be welcomed as a step in the right direction. It does though present the coalition governments with a rhetorical problem.

They have repeatedly told us that they would stay in Iraq until the job was done. Patently the job is not done if it is measured by success in getting on top of the insurgency. It has therefore been necessary to redefine what was meant by the job they promised to complete. Last week an imaginative new interpretation surfaced.

Apparently, when Donald Rumsfeld warned that the insurgency could take a decade to contain he did not mean the US troops would stay that long to defeat it but that they would expect the Iraqi forces to do the job for them. In short, completing the job now is not bringing peace to Iraq but equipping the Iraqis to fight their own civil war, possibly for another 10 years. The Iraqi government itself appears to have a shrewd grasp of its need to find other allies, hence its surprising agreement last week to a mutual defence pact with Iran.

It is striking how little events on the ground in Iraq have figured in the key decisions of this sorry episode. The timing of the original invasion was dictated not by the reports on the UN weapons inspections but by the momentum of the US military build-up. Now the timing of the exit from occupation is going to be determined not by progress in restoring security in Iraq but by the date of next year's mid-term congressional elections in the US.



Edited by Whisper
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Quote rocitreal Replybullet Posted: 15 July 2005 at 1:28pm

Originally posted by Whisper

Why hasn't an independent enquiry been held to find out who actually did it? Your admin lied to you and the world on Iraq. It has lied to you also on 9/11.

There has been it was called the 911 Commision.  They wrote an independent report after interviewing many individuals involved and wrote an entire report of there findings.  Indead Bin Laden was the person behind the attacks as he himself has admitted.

Peace, its more than a word its a dream.
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Quote rocitreal Replybullet Posted: 15 July 2005 at 1:41pm
Originally posted by Astrophysicist

For the next twelve years, Saddam cheated and murdered hundreds of thousands, and hundreds of thousands more died while the U.N. "Food for Oil" program was pilfered by Kofi Annan and French, German, and Russian oil and arms dealers.

Hans Blix stated quite clearly that, because of Saddam's unwillingness to comply with UN inspection criteria, that there was "NO WAY TO KNOW THE STATUS OF HIS WEAPONS PROGRAMS UNTIL AMERICAN SOLDIERS had their boots on the ground" in Iraq and inspectors could see for themselves without interference.

First of all, Kofi Annan was found innocent of any wrongdoing with the Food for Oil program.  Secondly, Hans Blix was not a supporter of the Invasion of Iraq he was a supporter of giving the Inspectors who were in the country more time to look for the WMD.  Sadaam was cooperating as Blix stated at the United Nation Security Council prior to the US invasion which demanded the inspectors leave the country.

I was very upset about this previously but have put it behind me to try and face our current difficulties in the security of Iraq as well as the rest of the world in the face of terrorism.  Bush undoubtedly used poor intellegence as a primary source for support for the invasion as shown by former ambassidor Wilson's goverment ordered investigation into the Uranium supposedly purchased from africa which led Rove to tell reporters of his wifes identity leading to the criminal investigation now underway.

Peace, its more than a word its a dream.
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Quote DavidC Replybullet Posted: 15 July 2005 at 3:00pm
Whisper, the US government does not need Iraq or OBL to produce billions
of dollars. All they need do is PRINT IT!

You conspiracy types are way too complicated!
David C.
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Quote Whisper Replybullet Posted: 15 July 2005 at 3:02pm

My friend, you are right. Peace is more than a word, it's a dream. And, this dream never comes true without justice and truthfulness.

I was going to tell Astro exactly the same two things, but I am delighted you have put my thoughts in far better words.

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