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U.S. as a Vessel of God’s Goodness

Printed From: IslamiCity.com
Category: Politics
Forum Name: Current Events
Forum Discription: Current Events
URL: http://www.IslamiCity.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=1283
Printed Date: 23 July 2014 at 11:40pm


Topic: U.S. as a Vessel of God’s Goodness
Posted By: Astrophysicist
Subject: U.S. as a Vessel of God’s Goodness
Date Posted: 24 June 2005 at 5:34am

Dear Perception:

Peace be with you, as well.

Please forgive me for forgetting to respond to you before leaving this thread. I have a lot to do and my mind gets pulled away.

As suggested by you and Brother Ali, I will leave this thread (General Discussion, “I’m New”) and continue the discussion in the Current events section under the new topic “U.S. as a Vessel of God’s Goodness”

Originally posted by Perception



Brother Ali Zaki has already mentioned US support for Iraq since the 1980s. This is supported by facts.

I responded to Brother Ali on this point, but maybe a bit more detail would be helpful. The U.S. was but a minor supplier to Saddam (about 2% of his armament purchases for the time period in question). The principle sponsor of Saddam was the Soviet Union. The Soviets were seeking to expand the communit sphere of influence. (Ba'athism is an Islamic/Pan-Arabic interpretation of communism.)

The U.S. could not allow the Soviets to have a monopoly on Saddam's military armaments. As a supplier of a weapons system, however, minor, the U.S. got some diplomatic traction with Saddam: he could not get spare parts if the U.S. did not like what he did with his military. Again, the U.S. role here was minor. Saddam’s tyranny was already well established and his control over Iraqis was not strengthened by the U.S.

The U.S. was involved in a sort of chess game with the Soviet Union at time. The U.S. military is about one twelve-thousandth of the world's population. We can't go around using it all the time and, to avoid major conflicts like WWI and WWII, must try to get things moving in a positive direction by other means, namely, diplomatic and economic. The Soviet Union had a much larger military than we did at the time. As the principle sponsor of Saddam, they also had a lot of clout in the region that they were using to get things going in – form our perspective – the wrong direction.

Originally posted by Perception



The illegal nature of the Iraq war under the guise of the regime's stocks of weapons of mass destruction or its associations with Al-Qaeda both of which were not true is supported by facts.

Everyone believed Saddam had these weapons, from the UN inspectors to every intelligence service in the world! The evidence indicates that even Saddam believed he had them.

We have found in Iraq all the means of producing WMD.

But the main point is that, for the sake of the Iraqi people, at the very least, Saddam had to be removed. He made it impossible to lift the sanctions. The only issue that the Bush Administration could bring before the UN – a den of tyrants and thieves -- that would have any hope of getting it to take action was the WMD issue. The UN had a stake in seeing its sanctions honored, and other tyrants in the region should  have at least been fearful for their own nations should he have acquired them.

But again, it was easier to just blame all the problems on the U.S. and use that hatred to distract people from the true source of their oppression and jinn up their passions for nationalistic purposes.

Originally posted by Perception



The torture, sexual assault and humiliation of Iraqi prisons (many of whom are held without charge) in US-run prisons is supported by facts (the claims that Saddam tortured his prisoners also is inappropriate – we want a better Iraq!).

Minor isolated cases might have occurred, and that is regrettable. Please bear in mind that U.S. soldiers are human beings who, like all human beings, can feel anger. The tactics used by the “insurgents” (terrorists) are about as vile and low and dishonorable as any in history. They hide among women and children, bomb civilians, wear civilian clothes, pretend to be wounded so they can blow up those who come to give them first aid, and so on. American soldiers -– who wear uniforms and try to avoid civilian casualties – quite rightly despise such an enemy, and they don’t like to see their friends blown to bits while giving first aid or seeing their bodies burned and cut apart and hung from bridges. They don’t like seeing drivers of trucks – trucks that carry food and medical supplies to Iraqis –- helplessly bound have their heads slowly carved off with knives. So, yes, some few American soldiers might get angry and sometimes do things that are regrettable. But these “tortures” in no way compare to what the likes of Saddam or Zarqawi do. And most of the reports of such abuse by Americans have been shown to be unsubstantiated and false: al Quaeda’s training manual instructs its terrorists to make such claims.

Originally posted by Perception



The very poor compensation offered to innocent Iraqi families who lost loved ones as a result of US bombs is supported by facts.

That I do not know much about. This attempt to help the Iraqis out of the mess created by other nations (and some Iraqis themselves) is costing Americans hundreds of billions of dollars each year. It would be nice if other nations – especially those mostly responsible, like France and Russia, would help out a bit.

Originally posted by Perception



The pathetic amount of planning by the US to deal with the aftermath of Iraq is supported by facts.

I think that perhaps you are falling for some rhetorical spin started by Bush’s political opponents here in the U.S. Some critics will say we should have done this or that thing while one of that critics cohorts will say we should have done the opposite. The purpose of such arguments is to muddy the waters and position someone in the opposing party to be able to say that the administration was wrong and that he or she was right.

A wise commander does not overcommit but maintains a flexible and adaptable posture. That’s what we did. The planning was about as good as it could have been. A guy named Churchill once said, “War is a strange sea, and once you have entered upon it, there is no telling where it may take you.” Hindsight is often 20/20. But there are so many things that could have happened, so many ways things might have turned out. No one could have known just what the aftermath would require or what steps could have been taken to make it different until the aftermath was present.

Peace.

Astro



-------------
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.



Replies:
Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 24 June 2005 at 8:57am

For those interested in this discussion, I thought I might save time and effort by extracting from other dialogues passages that show my line of thinking -- and that lead to requests that I start a new discussion along these lines elsewhere!

 

Hi, all:

*   *   *   *

Perception, Bush had to oust Saddam. Saddam had become the quasi-colonialist puppet of French, Russian, and German oil barons and arms merchants. 5,000 Iraqi children were dying every month of the UN sanctions as Saddam refused to spend money on basic needs like water and sewage facilities. Instead, he bribed UN officials and those aforementioned European governments, built palaces, bought arms. Saddam also had hundreds of thousands of other people murdered.

On sites like this, every Iraqi child's death was blamed on the U.S. It was convenient and easy to blame us. People of the Muslim world thought the U.S. controlled the U.N.

When the U.N. failed to take action against Saddam despite the pleading of the Bush administration, Bush proved that the U.S. does not control the U.N. The half-million or more Iraqi children who died died because Saddam and his Sunni cohorts' evil alliance with the French and other quasi-colonialists.

Today, the murders and brutality in Iraq ore the work of Muslims: covetous Ba'athist communists, spiteful Sunni and Shia rivals, murderous and shameless al Queda criminals, deluded Iranian special forces operatives.

My assertions above are not disputable if you know your facts.

In hopes of peace and understanding,

Astrophysicist

 

 Hi, Imam Ali:

Thank you for your kind note and suggestion.

I was simply responding to a perception that "Perception" had stated in this thread:

Iraq is but one of the places where innocent Muslims have been killed, tortured, sexually assaulted or humiliated. This has resulted in a lot of anti-American feelings, especially in the Middle East, and sadly, in some cases has resulted in violence against foreign workers (not troops) in places like Iraq, which is for sure not allowed by the Islamic teachings. The problem, as I see it, is that some members from both sides (ie. Muslim and non-Muslim) are unfortunately painting all the members of the other side with the same brush due to the actions of only a select group and most of the time this is because of ignorance. As you rightly said, many Americans want troops out of Iraq and 55 million Americans (49%) voted against Mr Bush at the American elections. This is why I was thanking you at the beginning of my post, because when human beings talk to each other we actually realize that all we really want (regardless of our race or beliefs) is peace to prevail in the world and not violence. Unfortunately many governments are corrupt and do not project the true kindness of their people to other nations.

So, it was Perception who opened Iraq to discussion here. It seemed to me that I should attempt to correct his widespread misperceptions. How could I let it stand when it is responsible for so much death and destruction? The "corrupt" governements were clearly Saddam's murderous regime and those that opposed his ouster -- France, Kofi Annan's UN, etc. Check out the truth of the "oil for food" scandal! Annan's memo shows he was in it up to his eyeballs! How else could this cruel travesty of justice be stopped but by Bush's military intervention?

I guess one point I could be making here is that, as a predominantly non-Muslim nation, America will will be hated by much of the Muslim world no matter what we do. Let Saddam stay, and we get blamed for all the deaths caused by the sanctions. Remove him, and we get accused of brutal imperialism.

I guess it ain't easy being a superhero . People will always try to find excuses and ways to try to bring you down .

Oh, well. You've just got to do what you believe is right and necessary and let things come out as they will.

 

Ali Zaki wrote:

Hi Astro  (sorry, spelling it all is just too much, no disrespect intended).

No disrespect taken. I like it.

Ali Zaki wrote:

... Imam (which is a special title in Arabic) ...

I know! A good friend of our family is an Imam. I read so many of you folks saying that we Americans are ignorant about Islam. Some people are, yes, but many of us are much better educated than you seem to think!

I get so sick of this "you are ignorant" and "you are horrible" kind of chatter that we read in some posts. We ALL have a lot to learn.

Ali Zaki wrote:

This is the last thing I will say about Iraq in this thread.

If you say so...

Ali Zaki wrote:

Our government is not doing the world (and especially the Iraqi people) and favor by removing Sadam. Please don't misunderstand me, I'm very glad he's gone (and anxiously anticipating his public execution), however, he was trained and supported by our government from 1980 (see: War with Iran) until the begining of the Gulf War (more than 10 years). There would have been no Sadam to begin with if it wasn't for our government supporting him and his brutal and Satanic government. The best thing that could be said about the U.S. is that they are removing the cancer which they grew (and it's still not fully removed).

That is not true, Ali. Saddam got no help from the U.S. until he was well established as a military dictator (with a lot of help from the Soviet Union). In the 80s, Reagan sold him some anti-aircraft missles, but American weapon sales to him were only around 2% of his arsenal purchases for those years in question. His weapons and other financial support was mostly Russian: Ba'athist policy is a Muslim version of Communism. The U.S. sold this equipment so merely as a way of getting some diplomatic traction: Saddam could not get spare parts if the U.S. did not like what Saddam did with his military.

Saddam came to power as a Ba'athist assassin in the wake of the turmoil that seems endemic in that region in the absence of tyranny. After the Ottoman Empire was defeated by the English and Arab allies, and the Arab regions were free to establish governments, the French refused to honor their agreement to create a pan-Arab state and threw Faisal out of Damascus to the English. The English compensated Faisal by creating a state for him with Baghdad  as its capital. In the early 1930s, after about a decade, during which the British helped protect this new state from being taken over by the discontent remnants of the Ottoman power structure, Iraq became a free state. During the next few decades, internal Iraqi elements, including communist Ba'athists supported by the USSR, fought to wrest control from this government.

You cannot pin Saddam on the U.S., Ali. It is historically inaccurate and grossly unfair to do so. This is just the sort of thing that distracts people from the real causes and problems, and that's why nothing ever seems to get better over there.

Ali Zaki wrote:

Before the reign of King George II, polls conducted in the Middle East consistently showed that most (over 50%) Muslims and/or Arabs had a generally (although not completely) favorable view of America and Americans. It was only after the arrogant and unilateral hawks (such as P.Wolfowitz and D.Cheny) took control of the whitehouse that the current trend began where the vast majority of Muslims (and non-Muslims) around the world had an unfavorable view of America.

Anti-American propaganda serves the nefarious purposes that I previously stated, and it has been very effective in parts of the world where there is no free press to give alternative views. And it has been fed by foolish leftests in the U.S. who believe that they need to undermine American policy and get people killed needlessly in order to regain control of the U.S. goverment

Peace!

Astro

 

In hopes of promoting understanding, let me bring the perspective of an American Christian to the table.

Most of us Americans do not hate the Qu'ran. Nor do we hate Muslims. I know personally many American Muslims, and some of them are my favorite people and closest friends.

They are Albanian Muslims. Their families were somewhat forcibly converted to Islam during the Turkish invasions of Europe some 500 years ago. (The first Islamic invasions of Europe came long before that, four hundred years before the "Crusades” that so many of you cite. Those first invasions reached the gates of Paris.) Before becoming Muslims, these Albanian families were among the oldest Christian societies in the world. They had been Christians some 1400 years. So, they bring the best of both traditions to the table. (But frankly, in my view, there in nothing good in Islam that does not already exist in Christianity, and -– in my view -- there are evils in Islam that do not exist in Christianity.)

As much as I love these Albanian Muslims, I cannot say that I hate the Arab al Queda sorts. In our Christian heritage, we are taught to "love our enemies as ourselves."  It is better to try to understand than to hate, is it not? I wish it were possible to talk rationally to the al Queda sort. I think they are ignorant and blind and pitiable.

The Qu'ran has many wonderful passages, but from my point of view, is not perfect. There are many ways to come to know God, whom you call Allah. Islam is one such path, but it seems to me to be the among the most dangerous, with many ways to fall into damnation. In brief, from the Christian point of view, Islam seems to have embedded in it a quasi-religious mandate and formula for imperialism based on Muhammad’s inherited tradition of the razzia.

But this is not a condemnation of Islam. There is much good in it, also, and if it works for you, that is wonderful. I wish only to tell you why it is not my choice as a guide to living a good and righteous life and why so many of us non-Muslims could never allow Islam to be forced upon us or our children.

First, let me ask that you please don't believe everything you have been told about us Americans. From what I have read in various posts, it appears that those of you who hate America -- or who think that we hate you -- know little about us. And much of what you think you "know" is just plain wrong. If you learn the whole of the history of the U.S., you will see a nation very conscious of itself that is learning and growing and correcting its mistakes and flaws.

In addition, many aspects of American history that you think you "know" have been taken out of context.

(Were you aware that during the 1930s, the Japanese, who believed themselves racially superior to the rest of the world, were murdering millions of Chinese, Korean, Manchurian, and other Asian civilians at gunpoint in occupied cites? See The Rape of Nanking for one example. The U.S. tried to use sanctions to stop the brutal and rapacious Japanese war machine, which was bent on total conquest and empire. The Japanese response to these sanctions was the attack on Pearl Harbor. Today, however, the Japanese have great respect and affection for the U.S., and we for them. They see us as a most honorable and good nation: though the Japanese had surrendered unconditionally, we sought no territorial concessions and even poured money into the country to help it back on its feet. We sought only to help Japan establish a democracy. Democracies do not go to war with one another.)

In order to achieve political ends, your educators have framed the stories of our history without their true first causes. Those who manipulate you believe that, if you hate America and blame us for your political and economic problems, you won’t focus on the real causes, which are your own countrymen among you who are in positions of power and influence.

(Were you aware that Muslim Arabs brought the African slave trade to Europe? That, Muslim Moors took more Europeans into slavery than Europeans took Africans? That the Spaniards initiated the mistreatment of American Indians by imitating the practices of the Muslims who had occupied their country and enslaved them for seven hundred years? That it was France that betrayed Faisal at the end of World War I?)

Now back to the central issue here, the Qu’ran.

Many of us non-Muslims believe that God, whom you call Allah, is too great to be fully understood by anyone. Our Holy Bible is often called “the Word of God,” but most of us understand that it is a record and compendium of literary work written and kept by human beings who witnessed important aspects of God over the millenia. Only by the arduous reading and rereading and study and discussion of this record was the some notion of some part of the Will of God able to be understood by its students. And thus has our understanding of God grown and evolved, and so will it continue to grow and evolve.

The Will of God is too great in space and time and diversity and complexity to be summed up in words, in one book or even a series of books. The most we can hope for is to have some gist of it and hope that we correctly interpret that inner voice through which God might speak to us, and even then, we are usually humble enough to take the counsel of others in this interpretation. We Christians are guided also by the example of Jesus, who allowed himself to be crucified rather than try to force his own notion of God on anyone. He forgave those who wished to be his enemies and left the truth of his words to stand as a point from which to evolve in a new direction.

And so we are not so quick to say that we have some knowledge of the Will of God that you of other faiths do not have, knowledge that you must accept from us. To assert this would be foolish and too bold, and we might well then deserve to be punished by having our cities torn by murderous rivalries and our citizens starved and massacred under the rule of tyrants.

For this reason and others that I will perhaps go into at some point, I cannot accept that the Qu'ran is what you believe it to be. But you are welcome to your beliefs! That is, I do not care what you choose to believe so long as your beliefs do not include the forcing of your beliefs on anyone. (Sura Nine, in verse five and elsewhere, seems to suggest otherwise, however.)

If you can accept my right to my own beliefs and can persuade the likes of bin Laden that they have no right to force their religion on us, we can live together in peace.

I don’t know if they can be persuaded.

Suffice it to say that we will not pay any jizya in support of an Islamic state. To us, that would be sacrilege! I hope that you can understand this.

With hopes for peace and understanding,

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.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 26 June 2005 at 4:10pm

Your post is riddled by half truths.

I live in Spain and know Spanish history well. The Moors didn't rule Spain as tyrants. It was a progressive Muslim, Christian Jewish venture. History and local Andalucian records prove that.

Do you own the Distorted History Press?

Everyone believed Saddam had these weapons, from the UN inspectors to every intelligence service in the world! The evidence indicates that even Saddam believed he had them.

Did the UN weapons inspectors really believe that? Do you want me to produce Hans Blix's testimony before and after the God's (or is it Gaad's) Goodness Army's invasion?

Somewhere you also mention 9/11. Why were those planes allowed to go off their "flight paths" for a whole 58 minutes when US natwork can deal with any stray plane withing 8 minutes?

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.

Do you keep posting half-truth trash taking it for granted that the rest of the world is as ill informed as the American public? Do you do it everyday or is it because of some particulra health crisis?

However divine your country may be right now it has just one choice - to get out of Eyerak and Afghanistan. Either you get out yourself or we send you back in bodybags.

Just wish you had spent all those billions rubbished by your Neo-Cons to provide Health Cover to your own 40% without any health cover. Or, on those poor one in five kids who go to sleep on an empty stomach and in cold!!

But thanks you have opened our eyes. Now we can see through your agenda very clearly. Not all the world is fed on spin as you seem to imply in your posts. But then we always think that everyone else is only like us.



Posted By: kim!
Date Posted: 26 June 2005 at 7:25pm
If Saddam was known as a dreadful tyrant and the US only sold him 2% of his weapons, WHY did they help him fight off Iran when Iran fought back after Saddam's invasion of their country?

Yes, it's true that the US sold Iran weapons as well, but only because (as far as I am aware), some of Reagan's men got him to sign a few forms while he was till only semi-conscious after a major operation. And since many of us have the experience of being able to remember NOTHING for the first little while after coming out from general anasthetic, even if one _appears_ to be concious, this explains why Dear Ol' Ronnie could remember NOTHING about signing those forms and hence his confusion about why the US sold weapons to Iran.

Great way to govern, I must say. (NOT!)

Kim...


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 27 June 2005 at 2:15am

The Mediterranean coast can get quite windy on summer nights.

Last night was one of those nights. And, I laughed in the winds all night for finding such a gifted post after such a longggg time.

 

Firs of all, I laughed at the need for this “White Wash House” Neo-Con Bulletin being posted here when we have all heard it at least 220 times in these past few years of the US carnage (which the US admin has promised to be “without an end”)?

 

Secondly, I laughed with wisdom, which says “anyone who has all the answers for everything on this planet is either some god from the constellation of the Zion or a mere third rate street conman and someone who takes all to be mere fools”.

(but then we always take others to be exactly like us. No?)

 

But, may I ask just one simple question if your Imperial US Highness may permit? Has the U S ever been at fault in her entire history?

Sorry. In fact I am extremely sorry and totally ashamed of myself.

How could I ever be so rude to the God (or, is it Gaad?) of our planet?

Sir, please ask the Gitmo hunters to get busy doing something else while I rephrase my question. I promise you, upon my scout’s honour, I will rephrase it as soon as I find my breath. You well know your post has “taken my breath away” . . as in that song!

 

God bless you.

Just float in that illusion and you shall drown exactly like the Romans.

He promises us, by the way in all scriptures, “I perish those who pretend to be Me”.

 

And that’s the world’s saving grace.

 

And, I hear the bells now toll for the US funeral.



Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 27 June 2005 at 5:21am

Greetings, Whisper and Kim:

Still this all you have to offer? Labels (e.g., "Neo-Con") and insults (e.g., "windy," which by the way is a good description of a "whisper")? (No, I don't mean to throw the insult back at you, only to ask you to consider the possibility of projection : "judge not that you be not judged....")

You know nothing of my views on other issues, by the way, Kim. I am not a "Neo-Con." But I also understand that this is one of those labels some of you leftists like to throw around in place of well-founded and well-reasoned arguments.

I note that no one anwered my question about what real tangible good the Muslim world has given us lately. You present no facts. You have shown me nothing but your hate-filled imaginings.

There are a lot of attacks here, so in the time I have I will do the best I can to address the points you raise.

Where is it that I pretend to be God? From my point of view, it is you who do that! And from my point of view, your one-sided education makes you among the least prepared in history to do so.

I grew up in a country with a free press, where all points of view on all issues are allowed free circulation. From my point of view, I do not speak half-truths. You do. Have you considered the possibility that much of what you think you know to be true is really illusion? Or are you God?

The Arab-Muslim countries in the region WANTED the U.S. to help oust Saddam's butchery machine from Kuwait. They invited us. Only we could get it done. It was mostly our dollars and our lives that were used to achieve it, and it would be ours again if Saddam attacked anyone again. So, we had some right to decide what to do and how to do it when he failed to abide by the terms of his surrender.

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.

You see, we have standards of conduct here. And so our military is trusted in Iraq far more than Saddam's military was -- or than your deceitful bands of suicides and murderers, who deliberately hide among women and children, kill anyone they can, and so have no honor.

Note that we did not plant any WMD. That would be the sort of thing you might expect from your al Queda types, who have no problem with deceit. But not us.

The Administraton did not lie to us about 9/11. That statement might be believed by some lunatic conspiracy theorists, but it is ridiculous, and most Americans are not stupid enough to believe it. I would suggest you try some other form of deceit, since that seems to be your specialty. (And from my point of view, that does not reflect well on your religious belief system.)

Sure the U.S. has made mistakes. The difference here is that mistakes are not hidden. And we don't lie and bury them and rewrite history the way you do. We find the mistakes, air them out, figure out what went wrong, and correct them as well as we can. The debates and misperceptions might linger longer than they should when that serves the political interests of this or that political group. But that is the price we pay for having an open society. In the end, we correct the mistakes and are getting better and better. Meanwhile, you ignore the numerous flaws of your countires and cultures, rot in them, fill with hate, and blame the U.S. for everything that ever goes wrong rather than improving yourselves.

Again, what tangible good have you had to offer the world recently?

Whether the Muslim occupiers of Spain and invaders of France (hundreds of years before the "Crusades,"  which were a long overdue military counterstroke) were tyrants or not is a matter of perspective. Who is permitted to write the histories and teach the public changes things significantly.

I have no position on the Iran/Iraq War. From the point of view of most Americans, the leadership of neither side was anything worth preserving. The Ba'athists were nasty brutal communists, but at least they were moving toward a more enlightened and evolved modern world view, unlike the Ayatollah, whose atavistic book "Islamic Government" reads like Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and is full of Islamic hubris, vile hatred, and not-so-very veiled threats against the larger part of the human race.

How you choose to characterize Reagan permitting arms sales to both sides is of no interest or consequence. You will believe whatever you want to believe and whatever serves your ego and psychopathic, Islamo-fascist need to kill.

Your discussion of the health care issue is especially absurd, Kim, typical of the sorts of apocryphal statement used to justify killing Americans. It would probably be better for your credibility if you did not make arguments about thtings that you know nothing about. You mistake "health care insurance," which is a relatively recent invention, to actual "health care." Everyone in the U.S. has access to health care. It is law that anyone who needs medical care will get it. A kid with a cold can go to any hospital emergency room, if he wants, and get free health care. And even at that, the 40% UNINSURED figure is a gross distortion, too. It is a much smaller number of UNINSURED, and most of those people are young people new to the work force who are healthy and don't want to spend $5000 a year on health insurance when they go to the doctor less than once a year anyway. Most of the rest are self-employed and self-insured.

I don't have time to answer every ignorant statement. I have to earn a living now, something you leftist and al Queda types would not understand -- hence your miserable condition and misplaced hatred.

No, the Bush Administration has not said that there would be "carnage without end." That is the sort of thing your Ayatollahs and terrorist leaders say and that you guys say here in these posts. It is you projecting your own psychoses onto the innocent so you have an excuse to satiate your war-pride and blood lust. Grow up. And get a real education and a real job and we will all be better off.

Peace.

Astro

 

 



-------------
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.


Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 27 June 2005 at 8:13am

My apologies, Kim. It was Whisper who brought up Health Care.

I should have pointed out that the misleading phrase used by the Democrat left (natinal socialists, hence lterally, NAZIs) was that 40 million -- not percent -- of Americans had no heath care insurance. that number is false and misleading for the reasons stated above. Perhaps if you understood more about economics and had a functional health care system of your own, you would realize why your faint hint of a dream of a fantasy of an insubstantial mirage of a shadow of a better solution won't work.

Regarding "starving people": it is al Queda and Saddam who use this tactic, partly because little things like actually producing the food necessary to feed people are quiet a bit beyond their wonted thought processes, which revolve around merely killing on the basis of ignorance of real world concerns and protection of self from like minded murderous Muslim would-be tyrants and religious bigotry and such.

Saddam even went to the extent of draining water supplies of Shia rregions so that the people would die of thirst. The U.S. is pouring food into Iraq as well as worker and monies trying to repair the water supplies and other necessary infrastructure that his and his Ba'athist butchers never would repair. Your terrorists keep blowing them up and cutting the heads off the relief workers trying to complete these humanitarian efforts.

In Somalia, bin Laden backed Aidid, who along with his al Queda cohorts, butchered the common people who came to get emergency food supplies from the U.S. Then Aidid and al Queda stole that food and used it to feed their bands of murderers and anything left over to bribe and subdue local populations that survived their bloody and inhumane control.

As for Afghanistan: the Taliban would not give up the murderous outlaw bin Laden, so they became outlaws themselves. Good thing, too. Women are being treated like human beings again, not being lead around like dogs on leashes and aren't being shot in the head on the whims of lunatics.

So, don't try to lecture me, please. America has progressed to the point that it is the most generous country the world has ever known. You've got nothing to show for your culture and its narrow world view and its consequent hatred but the hatred itself and all that hatred brings in its wake.

I will pray for you and hope that before it comes to your buring in Hell for your evil and misinformed and misplaced hostility, that you will come to realize that virtually everthing you think that you know about America is WRONG!!! The good Muslims who live here will tell you so themselves.

I've heard some of those who you want to see in "bodybags" talk about why they want to go to Iraq and Afghanistan: it's to help the local people, to bring hope for freedom from tyranny as well as food and water. That's all. It's an act of Charity, something that in actual practice is apparently alien to the Islamic mindset.

Again, what tangible good have you and those who think as you do brought to the world lately? Can you try to compete with us in that, like brothers, rather than in just senseless killing and destruction?

Peace.

Astro

 



-------------
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.


Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 27 June 2005 at 1:29pm

P.S. Also, as far as mistakes by the U.S. is concerned, perhaps it was a mistake to try to help people whose religion apparently tells them that they must kill themselves and each other in order to spite those who try to help them, and that they must kill those who try to help them, too.

With astonishment at the narrow and lop-sided views and hostility I find here,

Your friend,

Astro



-------------
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.


Posted By: kim!
Date Posted: 27 June 2005 at 3:57pm

Dude, why the surprise? We sit here in our foreign countries minding our own business and it appears that the US is trying to take everything over.

I have nothing against you, but occasionally you have to expect some venting.

Truly, it's ok, I actually have American friends and I'm polite in company. Mostly.  ;)

 

Kim...

 

 



Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 28 June 2005 at 5:16am

Hi, Kim and Whisper:

To whip up anti-American hatred, blood-thirsty fanatics blame the U.S. for everything and or, if it serves their purposes, its opposite. No, most Muslims are not like them. But is does not take many today to turn the Planet Earth into Hell with their kind of blind hatefulness.

Never mind the easliy proved fact that, among non-Muslim nations, it was UN officials and the French and Russians, mostly, who supported Saddam and campaigned on his behalf and profited from his continued presence. Still the Islamo-fascists blame the U.S. for letting Saddam stay in power and murder and starve Iraqis -- bin Laden cites this as a reason for his 9/11 atrocity.

So, the U.S. shows that it doesn't control the UN, removes Saddam, ships in billions in food and infrastructure repair, and we try to give the Iraqis a political system that will protect the lives and rights of Iraqi citizens without us having to be there. That is, we give them what the fanatics say that they want. Now these same fanatics use thier unholy spin-machine to turn THIS act of charity into a cause for anger and hatred to feed their war-pride and blood lust. (Look at a map of the world and note that the butchery of fanatical Muslim expansionism is behind most of the wars being fought today.)

The pattern is obvious. As has been the case from the beginning of Islam, there is this core of depraved people who will invent any excuse to export their primitive and blood-thirsty cultish version of Islam and try to make the rest of the world as miserable as they are.

And they write about how terrible we English-speaking people are. Do they know that Muslims attacked and overran vast reaches of Christiandom hundreds of years before the "Crusades"? Do they know that Arab Muslims brought the African slave trade to the Europeans? Do they know that we English-speaking people outlawed the slave trade centuries ago, even fought a war in the U.S. to end it, while slavery is still in practice in some African and Arab-Muslim lands today?

All peoples of the world have erred at times. But we have been correcting our flaws for many centuries and now have a mostly good and decent and open-minded society. I wish I could say the same for the Islamic world. Perhaps someday....

By the way, my brother-in-law is a Muslim from an immigrant Muslim family. He is a judge in an American court of law. His older brother is a pediatrician (doctor of medicine for children). Both still practice Islam and love America. And they are typical of their immigrant family, who include business owners and teachers and other productive members of American society. So, there is tangible proof that your prejudices, Whisper, are all wrong. Not that it is likely to matter to you: I have little doubt that you will still be able to invent some excuse to want Americans killed. It seems to be your way.

I will pray for you.

Astro

 



-------------
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.


Posted By: Ali Zaki
Date Posted: 28 June 2005 at 6:47am

Peace to all,

I would like to make a (brief) statement on this discussion (although politics is certainly not my main interest or area of expertise).

It seems that both sides are refusing to recognize the subtlies in eachothers arguments, and are simply "falling back" to the baracades or fanaticism. If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing right!

As an American, I would say that 1.) I love my country (but not my government) and would die to defend my country (i.e., land, people) if attacked, but not the current administration or the particular political system that is in place today. Does this make me a patriot or a traitor?

Anything that is man-made certainly contains flaws in it. The American patriotic fervor of today tends to ignore the obvious flaws in the system, and focus on the positive aspects (and there are quite a few) of our current political system. I find this tendency especially strong among the neo-conservatives of today (although I'm not labeling anyone).

Most Americans do not care much about either politics or foreign policy. Anyone who doubts this, just look at what t.v. shows are on early Sunday morning (few people watching) vs. Prime Time (many people watching). The reason is that most problems of the typical American are social and financial problems (i.e., family problems, under-employment, alchoholism, drug-addiction, etc.). People are interested to learn about what effects them, and politics has NO effect on the life of the average American family.

Any American who did a internet search on "Iraq", "Middle-East", "Vietnam", etc. would quickly realize that the news they are getting from CNN or ABC lacks even the most elementary degree of depth, analysis or perspective. The reason that this "intellectual cotton-candy" is consumed by so many is because 1.) they have little interest in the subject and 2.) they have a (mistaken) belief that there government is only doing what is in there interest.

Rather then trying to "indoctrinate" others, we should encourage eachother to read and study these issues with an open mind. When I hear Astro (for example) group Al-Qeada terrorists and "Ayatollahs" as if there is no relevent difference between them, I know where he is getting his information from (i.e., The Rand Corp and American Heritage Foundation). When I see Whisper and Kim "painting with sucha broad brush" and assuming everyone who disagrees with them is a neo-con, I also see where their info is coming from.

Let's all try to be a little more academic and less reactionary. Thanks.

Peace!



-------------
"The structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad."

Imam Ali (a.s.)


Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 28 June 2005 at 9:15am

Hi, Ali:

Thank you for your thoughtful and constructive post and critique.

I must point out that my views do not come from the American Heritage Foundation or the Rand Corp. I am a free thinker. I am not a robot or parrot, nor am I a gullible fool , my friend! I have many years of experience reading and watching the world unfold. My views come from my own readings of various histories, philosophical tracts, posts in places like this, from a critical reading of various news media, and from my own personal connection with God (which is always subject to skeptical review and critique, of course).

My views about Ayatollahs come from reading "Islamic Government" by Ayatollah Khomeini. Here is a lovely quote from a part of that tract in which he quotes the Qu'ran and then goes on to interpret what the passage means in practical terms:

God's messenger is a just ruler. If he orders that a position be occupied or that a corrupting group of people be wiped out, he rules justly because if he fails to do so, he would be violating justice, and because his rule is always in harmony with the requirements of the interests of Moslems, rather than with the requirements of human life in its entirety. (p. 66, Manor Mooks, New York, 1979)

Khomeini then goes on to explain that, in the absence of Muhammad, the imams (also referred to as "those in charge") must be obeyed as would the messenger. He thereby gives himself and his like the sole authority to order "that a corrupting group of people be wiped out."

The narrow-minded and perverse rhetoric of "those in charge" today makes it quite clear who they imagine this "corrupting group" is. You might be surprised to learn that, as a generous and God-serving American, I do resent being so labelled and targeted. But do forgive me if I decide, after enough of this trash talk from the Muslim world, to encourage my government to protect me from evil megalomaniacs of that sort!

Peace.

Astro



-------------
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.


Posted By: Ali Zaki
Date Posted: 29 June 2005 at 8:20am

Peace to Astro,

Coming from your perspective, I understand how you came to this conclusion regarding the subject of "Wilayt Al'Faqih" or (The leadership of the jurists) that you did. I can assure you, however, that your conclusion is a result of an inadequate understanding of these issues.

This is a subject of much debate and discussion (even among the Shia), and not all Ayatollahs agrees that the concept of Wilayat Al'Fiquih is supported in Islam, nor that the Iranian understanding of Islamic government is the only "template" for all other such projects. Even Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani (who does not support the concept of Wilayat Al"Faqih) would also object to your critisism of it.

In order to understand the doctrinal arguments for and against Wilayat Al'Faqih, you must have certain "pre-requisite knowledge" (i.e., the Islamic concept of the authority of the Prophet, the authority of the Imams, etc.) as well as a general understanding of the position of the Prophets to Allah (s.w.a.), and the position of the Prophets to their Umma (followers).

Having said this, however, this has nothing to do with whether or not you have anything to fear from "The Ayatollahs". As history testifys to, despite Imam Khomeni being given this position by the people of Iran, he never ordered a jihad against anyone. The only military action taken by Iran since 1979 is to defend it's borders against Iraqi attacks under Saddam. So if the U.S. is spending money to defend against a potential attack by the Islamic Republic, I think our tax dollars could be better spend elsewhere (as Iran has never attacked or threatened to attack the U.S.).

Peace.



-------------
"The structure of faith is supported by four pillars endurance, conviction, justice and jihad."

Imam Ali (a.s.)


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 30 June 2005 at 12:12am
Brother wish there were just a few more like you to spread a bit of peace in that land of nuerosis where everyone feels that everyone in the world is ot to get them. Is it because we think everyone else to be just exactly as we are?


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 30 June 2005 at 7:31am

For goodness sake, please, at least don't pray for me. I promise you I am just a silly innocent Afghan. I don't deserve any American kindness!! They have ever been so kind to us all these few decades.

 

How did you guess?

Are you a psychic? You are absolutely right. I have had a very one sided education. The English boarding schools, they say, really teach you nothing. They are just a bit one sided.

Is that what you meant?

 

How many sided education do you have in the states? Is it more than just is required for making, counting and spending dollars?

 

Once met two American uni girls who thought Singapore was a city in China. They could not show me Egypt on the globe in their banker dad's study.

 

You make me laugh as if Neo-Con were just my invention?

Isn’t it something that got currency since our “Great American Century” project? Plus, what’s wrong about being a Neo-Con when you serve their cause far better than any of them ever could?

 

Let me put you the same question:

“what real tangible good the U S has given the world lately?”

Hiroshima? Nagasaki? Mai Lai or Falluja? Bagram, Abu Gharaib, Gitmo? Or just all those other torture centres across the world?

 

Do you ever ask yourself “why has our admin managed to fill the world (not just the Muslim world but the entire human race across the globe) with such hatred?

Instead of wondering why do they hate us?

 

I was almost like an American in my youth, the Connie Francis “High Society” generation. I am even today on the board of four US companies. I lived just the other side of the Detroit River – Windsor (Ont) before moving to a wee more humane Spain.

 

I always thought the US would correct its injustices and such stupid mistakes. But, thanks to your Fascist Admin that they showed me the reality in an absolute light of the day and I now believe that the US are global blood suckers.

 

What history are we referring to?

You mean history started just in 1776? I will discuss history of other peoples with you the day you show that you know just a wee bit about your own history. Not about the whole of it but let’s say just about your country’s deeds in the past 60 years.

 

Shall I put the same question to you?

Have you considered the possibility that much of what you think you know to be true is really an illusion or a mere American Dream Machine at play?

 

Your Hans Blix statement is not even a half-truth.

It’s just an out and out lie. Everyone in the world knows what he has said before and after the war.

 

I told you you have great sense of humour.

Your military is trusted in Iraq - mean Eyerak? You mean other than just by Ayad Allawi and 23 other men of the CIA imported variety?

 

Next you will tell me that people love being occupied. Eyrakis in fact staged Abu Gharaib because they just wanted so much to be sodomised by those tall, good looking, blue eyed Americans? And, after all that sexy party the people of Eyerak are now lining the streets of Bagdad (promise, I won't breath a word about Falluja!) with Magnolia garlands, singing hymns of Dick the Chainy, Ronald Dumbsfeld and must not forget that dear old Texas Kid.

(Not Texas Kid the colt I had when I was fifteen but the other one!)

 

Didn’t I tell you your sense of humour makes me roll in laughter? And, you are saying all that at a time when even your own generals and the Pentagon have begun to see the reality for what it is and have started parleys with the FREEDOM FIGHTERS?

(By the way, why the so freedom loving Americans are ever so scared of the “Freedom Fighter”?) Never been able to work that out.

 

Sir, deceit is a “White Wash House” and the Downing Street speciality. Imagine if they can deceive their own people so how much they must have scammed the others in all these years?

Just sit up. Don’t smoke what you smoke that particular day. And, just think for a change. I may be asking too much of an American but we can all think on an odd day if we just put in just a wee bit of effort.

 

US is the midwife of Al-Qaeda. Al-Qaeda was born when the US occupied Saudi Arabia. You occupied Iraq (sorry, I mean Eyerak) and Afgaanistan just to multiply Al-Qaeda. Did you see the CIA report of 16th June?

 

Sometimes I am tempted to feel that the Pentagon have a Joint Venture with Al-Qaeda.

 

Can you swear upon your honour that you spent your dollars in the Kuwait campaign? Then why did the Japanese, the Saudis, the Gulf states have to pay for it? And, how come the US made a $1.23 BILLION net profit out of this undertaking?

 

Perhaps you know better?

Or you think that you know better.

 

You are absolutely right.

Your admin didn’t lie to you.

They have just held the truth back from you.

 

I am a flyer. Have held a PPL for 42 years.

I know that BILLIONS of your dollars have been spent to put in place the best single security system in the entire world

        to INTERCEPT and bring down any plane that goes off course

        in 8 (EIGHT) minutes

        any where in the length and the breadth of the US of A.

Why were those aircraft allowed to dance 9/11 for a whole 58 and 76 minutes respectively?

 

Kindly, just answer the question without feeding us that huge dose of words you spin merely to cover up for the quality lacking in your posts.

 

What do you know of my belief system?

Do you always jump to conclusions just like that?

What makes you think that I am a Muslim with a name like Sasha?

 

Or, are you trying to tell me that all the people in the world are Americans and fail to think unless the TV tells them to or when some Self Help book drops a clue for them?

 

The Europeans and a lot of the world that has been in touch with the Muslims or, with Islam tend treat this typically U S and Israeli affliction as a vulgarity. Well, we take quite a few other American things as vulgarities, but this one has become a major concern to us - since the US has started to shatter the security of the entire world by promoting terrorism with her half-baked policies for the sake of sheer wanton cowboy show of strength.

 

We have no use for deceit at all in our lives.

We leave it to the State Department and their lackey Brit Foreign Office.

 

You seem to be deluding about the facts on the ground.

 

Your own Secretary of State admitted just last Thursday that your admin had practiced a Policy of “exceptionalism” in the Mid East. They placed, maintained and supported tyrants in the entire region with the obvious connivance of the Brits

– for their own interests.

 

U S can’t afford to allow democracies in strategic countries.

It’s easier to “do business” with one man without involving the people of that land. Do you know where is Uzbekistan?

Do you know they boil their opponents and shoot people in the streets by the thousands if they seek anything civil or sheer basic human rights? All with absolute U S support.

 

You must know Egypt?

In Arabic we call it Masr. $3,000,000,000 of your tax money is paid each year to keep a monster Inc type of a tyrant there. It has been paid for the past 22 years. He has been killing, torturing people with nothing other than Amreeki support.

 

The US has been bleeding the Muslim world for decades and now when the Muslims have begun to wake up to the reality of their world being looted, pillaged and even occupied by the filthy cultureless Americans, you cry foul?

 

Those with brilliant history never need to re-write it.

I will talk to you about my history the day you show a wee knowledge of your own history.

 

Sir shall we talk about culture say in the next 645 years as it will take you at least as long to grow a bit of your own culture?

Right now, your entire contribution to the mankind remains a MacBurger and the Smart Bomb.

Sorry, forgot the Chewing Gum.

 

Okay you tell me: “what tangible good have you had to offer the world recently?”

Other than Hiroshima? Nagasaki? Or Mai Lai? Most recently, Abu Gharaib? No, Gitmo I suppose. Aging a bit by now. Sorry, just forgot Palestine. How much you contribute each year in person to support the Israel land grab, demolition of poor homes and shooting three year old little cute girls?

 

Do you know how much you contribute for that each day?

Use a calculator. It’s quite simple. Take $3,000,000,000 and divide it by 360 and then by the number of your population on that day. You will get the exact amount you are paying to kill, maim, dispossess and create a human atrocity. 

 

Sir, I will request you to spare us any remarks about Spain.

Have you ever been there other than as a tourist? The Muslims, Jews and Christians together created one of the most beautiful civilisations in human history. This could not have been possible without the peace and harmony these communities enjoyed together. You know nothing about how the Andaluz feel about their unique heritage.

 

Sorry, Sir, I stand corrected.

Your President had said: “A war without an end”.

What a dream of Cap It All ism. No need to find a new enemy every ten or so years.

 

Do you ever read any serious American publications like the “Harpers” magazine? No wonder you know very little about the American reality on many things like the health care and a total disaster on other corporate scams.

 

No. You are just mistaken on the “blood-thirsty fanatics” blame the U.S. for everything. If that’s the case then 96.2% Spaniards, 91.6% French and just over 86% Germans must be “blood thirsty fanatics”. And, 67% Brits.

 

Every invader in the world has always had better or similar excuses to the ones now being spun by your war machine. I know why your boys are in Afghanistan and Eyerak.

 

Do you really want to know?

After reading your absolutely raw, biased, vulgar and absolutely baseless comments on Islam and Muslims I am convinced that you don’t need me to make you understand something. You need proper care and attention to step out of such a condition.

 

Best wishes


Posted By: ansari41
Date Posted: 02 July 2005 at 1:18am

Dear astrophysist,

 

Your posts were very impressive!

 

Incidentally, what were you talking about? Even after reading more than once, I could not understand what you were trying to say. What I guessed was that you were trying to say that (1) America and the Americans are the best of/in everything, and (2) Islam and the Muslims are the worst. Is that what you were really trying to say?

 

You also did a lot of bragging about America. I really don’t understand what there is about America to brag about. If you tell me that America is the richest on earth, I will agree with you. And tell me that America is the most powerful on earth, yes, I will agree with you, too. Unfortunately, with these two superlatives, it became a curse to the whole world. What else is there to brag about America?

 

I used to hear Americans boast about America’s foreign aid. But they forget that America is not the only country that provides foreign aid. There are many rich countries that do the same. But what America does is different. America does not provide any aid to any country without attaching a string. When the other countries provide aid quietly, without much of a hassle, what America provides, minus the string that is attached with it, is highlighted over and over again by the western media. It gives an impression that America provides a lot of foreign aid, without which the whole world is going to crumble. But in actual fact, it is a different story. In 2002, the rich countries in the world have given a total of $58 billion worth of aid to the poor countries, of which $13.3 billion came from the US government, the richest country on earth. According to the OECD, the US is often considered a stingy government donor. The US gives more than one third of its foreign aid to Israel, which in turn is used to annihilate the Palestinians. Therefore, in effect, its foreign aid for 2002 was about $8 billion. That is the real aid it gives to other countries. But even that is refused by some countries because of the tie-ups.

 

You were talking about the Iraqi dictator. He was a dictator to the people of Iraq only. According to the Western media, he killed some of his own people. It could be true. But what’s about America! It is a nuisance, a bully and trouble maker to the whole world. Who dares stand against it? It tries to control the whole world. It is the only real terrorist nation. Saddam only dictated his country, but America is dictating the whole of the third world countries. Nobody dares do anything that will displease America. Would you disagree with these facts? If that is reality, what would you call America?

 

U.S. as a Vessel of God’s Goodness – and that’s the heading of your post. Let’s have a look at the vessel:

 

NUMBER OF PEOPLE AMERICANS KILLED:

In Afghanistan

          civilians : more than 3500 (the actual figure will never be known)

 

soldiers: who were defending their country from the invading Americans – 15 000

 

In Iraq              

civilians: more than 35 000  (mostly women and children) during the 1st Bushwar.

 

: more than 13 000 (mostly women and children) during the 2nd Bushwar.

 

Soldiers who were defending their motherland from invading Americans: 100,000

 

                          ABOUT 50% OF ALL CIVILIAN DEATHS were children.

 

In Vietnam:

          Civilians: 1.5 million to 4 million (the real figure will never be known)

 

 

AMERICA DESTROYED 80% of Iraqi military capacity in 1991 (according to the US claim)

 

AMERICA DROPPED 100 MILLION POUNDS OF AGENT ORANGE and other herbicide in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

 

AMERICANS BURIED ALIVE about 6000 retreating Iraqi soldiers during the 1st Bushwar in 1991.

 

AMERICANS WERE BOMBING IRAQ continuously for 26 years.

 

AMERICAN-LED COALITION dropped 177 million pounds of explosives on Iraq during the 1st Bushwar.

 

AMERICAN AND BRITISH PILOTS dropped 20 million pounds of explosives between December1998 and September 1999.

 

AMERICAN AND BRITISH PILOTS dropped an estimated 200 million pounds of explosives on Iraq since the start of Operation Iraqi Invasion in March 2003.

 

 AMERICAN AND BRITISH LED (UN imposed) SANCTIONS IN IRAQ

 

          IRAQ HAS LIVED UNDER economic sanctions for 12 years

 

NUMBER OF IRAQIS DIED through 1999 due to UN sanctions: 1.5 million

 

NUMBER OF UN WEAPONS INSPECTIONS conducted in Iraq in November – December 1998: 300

 

NUMBER OF UN WEAPONS INSPECTIONS conducted in Iraq in 2003: 500.

IN CONTRAST

NUMBER OF UN WEAPONS INSPECTIONS ISRAEL HAS ever allowed: 0.
NUMBER OF UN RESOLUTIONS
ISRAEL VIOLATED through 1992: More than 65.
NUMBER OF UN RESOLUTIONS ON
ISRAEL THAT U.S. VETOED between 1972 and 1990:
More than 30.

NUMBER OF NUCLEAR WARHEADS U.S. HAS: More than 10,000.
NUMBER OF NUCLEAR WARHEADS
ISRAEL HAS: More than 400.

 

These are the contents of the 1st container from your vessel. Is it necessary to open the other containers?

 

Ansari



Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 07 July 2005 at 8:49am

Originally posted by Whisper

Brother wish there were just a few more like you to spread a bit of peace in that land of nuerosis where everyone feels that everyone in the world is ot to get them. Is it because we think everyone else to be just exactly as we are?

I have it it said to me on this site several times, quite explicitly, that Islam is superior to all other religions and that all must submit to it. This attitude is not confined to just a few crazy people. So I am not being neurotic. You are in denial of what many of your fellow Muslims believe.



-------------
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.


Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 07 July 2005 at 9:13am

I found a few more minutes for responses.

Originally posted by Whisper

For goodness sake, please, at least don't pray for me.

 

Why not? It's just a way of asking God to help me understand you and you to understand me. Is that so bad?

 

Originally posted by whisper

I promise you I am just a silly innocent Afghan. I don't deserve any American kindness!! They have ever been so kind to us all these few decades.

 

I guess that for your sake, then, we should regret having helped you to oust the Russians. Sorry about that.

 

The sanctions on Iraq were there as long as Saddam did not abide by the terms of his surrender and allow a specific UN inspection regimen. Bush proved that the US did not control the UN when he could not get it to approve of Saddam's ouster. Saddam had bribed UN leaders as well as the French, Russians, and Germans and so had made himself, in essence, their quasi-colonialist puppet. Look into the "Food for Oil" scandal, which does not seem to be getting much press. The US and Great Britain are not responsible for the continued sanctions. The "Food for Oil" criminals are.

 

You people are amazingly good at hiding your own defects and deflecting blame. Saddam is ultimately responsible for ALL those deaths, and he was helped by mostly by the French, who have been betraying Arabs since they threw Faisal out of Damascus after WWI. But they have mutual bribe and corruption policies with all the right people, so they don't get any blame.

 

Look, you have a lovely string of "facts" but many inaccurate and all taken out of context. And your "reasoning" is all fallacious: mostly either "post hoc ergo propter hoc" (Latin for "after this therefore caused by this") or "ab hominae" (Latin for "from the man," meaning that an argument is being accepted or rejected because of who has made it rather than because of its own intrinsic merits.)

 

I don't have time to put right all your wrong views. I think that the greatest failing of the American government is probably that we (as in "we the people") have not made more of an effort to counter these sorts of foul misrepresentations of us. Many governments and other groups of the world have a lot to gain by focusing attention on us rather than their own faults.

 

Iraqis as a whole are much better off without Saddam and would be far better off still if the terrorists (they are NOT "freedom fighters") would leave them be, let the Americans finish the humanitarian projects that the likes of Saddam, Annan, or Chirac did not allow, let a representative goveernment exist (as Aristotle pointed out, democracy is the best form of government for protecting the lives and rights of the citizens) and let us leave the country in peace and friendship, which is ALL WE EVER WANTED TO DO, despite what your crazy imams and conspiracy-theorists and socialist/communist plotters and tyrannical regimes tell you.



-------------
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.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 07 July 2005 at 9:59am

Welcome back my friend.

I accept your Japanese scenario to be correct in good faith. But you will have to agree that this particular war "was sold to the Americans people like a prospectus of some bogus company(not my words but a piece from a well respected serious American publication)

Yes, you are right perceptions can be flawed.

But Ansari and I have simpley listed actual facts as documented ny global bodies and, in some cases, by your own mainstream media. You are welcome to show us that these facts are lacking in exactness or in their authenticity and I will not just stand corrected but even apologise to you in person.

Can't the number of resolutions US has vetoed be just verified at the UN? Or, the tonnage of explosives dropped by the U s through the First Bush War be tallied just from Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf's very own press briefings?

We have listed solid facts - not perceptions. Why not come up with counter facts instead of swiping these facts as flawed.

I have no idea what the the Islamic or the US fundamentalistas love or hate. I fail to understand this mindset. I love and respect all religions. I hold each and everyone in this world to be a better and a more loveable person than I myself am.

Is it beacuse you are seething with such venom for the Prophet that you have come to feel that everyone in this world must be like you and and as hateful of all other prophets and their people.

Or, is it only because we refuse to accept your invasions and occupations lying down?

Sir, it's your President who is trying to spread his reigion (or, democracy, the same difference) with a huge army and that great art of killing women and children from 52,000 feet. Not us.

You seem to be dishing out very interesting and powerful compliments to Islam today. But your killing machine and your admin's actions are sufficient just on their own to turn anyone into killers, bombers and all else. They do not need any assistance from Islam or anyone else for that matter.

Just by the way, is this just my perception below:

So, Mr Bremer, where did all the money go?

At the end of the Iraq war, vast sums of money were made available to the US-led provisional authorities, headed by Paul Bremer, to spend on rebuilding the country. By the time Bremer left the post eight months later, $8.8bn of that money had disappeared. Ed Harriman on the extraordinary scandal of Iraq's missing billions


Thursday July 7, 2005
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ - The Guardian

When Paul Bremer, the American pro consul in Baghdad until June last year, arrived in Iraq soon after the official end of hostilities, there was $6bn left over from the UN Oil for Food Programme, as well as sequestered and frozen assets, and at least $10bn from resumed Iraqi oil exports. Under Security Council Resolution 1483, passed on May 22 2003, all these funds were transferred into a new account held at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York, called the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), and intended to be spent by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) "in a transparent manner ... for the benefit of the Iraqi people".

The US Congress also voted to spend $18.4bn of US taxpayers' money on the redevelopment of Iraq. By June 28 last year, however, when Bremer left Baghdad two days early to avoid possible attack on the way to the airport, his CPA had spent up to $20bn of Iraqi money, compared with $300m of US funds. The "reconstruction" of Iraq is the largest American-led occupation programme since the Marshall Plan - but the US government funded the Marshall Plan. Defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Bremer have made sure that the reconstruction of Iraq is paid for by the "liberated" country, by the Iraqis themselves.

The CPA maintained one fund of nearly $600m cash for which there is no paperwork: $200m of it was kept in a room in one of Saddam's former palaces. The US soldier in charge used to keep the key to the room in his backpack, which he left on his desk when he popped out for lunch. Again, this is Iraqi money, not US funds.

The "financial irregularities" described in audit reports carried out by agencies of the American government and auditors working for the international community collectively give a detailed insight into the mentality of the American occupation authorities and the way they operated. Truckloads of dollars were handed out for which neither they nor the recipients felt they had to be accountable.

The auditors have so far referred more than a hundred contracts, involving billions of dollars paid to American personnel and corporations, for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. They have also discovered that $8.8bn that passed through the new Iraqi government ministries in Baghdad while Bremer was in charge is unaccounted for, with little prospect of finding out where it has gone. A further $3.4bn appropriated by Congress for Iraqi development has since been siphoned off to finance "security".

Although Bremer was expected to manage Iraqi funds in a transparent manner, it was only in October 2003, six months after the fall of Saddam, that an International Advisory and Monitoring Board (IAMB) was established to provide independent, international financial oversight of CPA spending. (This board includes representatives from the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development.)

The IAMB first spent months trying to find auditors acceptable to the US. The Bahrain office of KPMG was finally appointed in April 2004. It was stonewalled.

"KPMG has encountered resistance from CPA staff regarding the submission of information required to complete our procedures," they wrote in an interim report. "Staff have indicated ... that cooperation with KPMG's undertakings is given a low priority." KPMG had one meeting at the Iraqi Ministry of Finance; meetings at all the other ministries were repeatedly postponed. The auditors even had trouble getting passes to enter the Green Zone.

There appears to have been good reason for the Americans to stall. At the end of June 2004, the CPA would be disbanded and Bremer would leave Iraq. There was no way the Bush administration would want independent auditors to publish a report into the financial propriety of its Iraqi administration while the CPA was still in existence and Bremer at its head still answerable to the press. So the report was published in July.

The auditors found that the CPA didn't keep accounts of the hundreds of millions of dollars of cash in its vault, had awarded contracts worth billions of dollars to American firms without tender, and had no idea what was happening to the money from the Development Fund for Iraq (DFI), which was being spent by the interim Iraqi government ministries.

This lack of transparency has led to allegations of corruption. An Iraqi hospital administrator told me that when he came to sign a contract, the American army officer representing the CPA had crossed out the original price and doubled it. The Iraqi protested that the original price was enough. The American officer explained that the increase (more than $1m) was his retirement package.

When the Iraqi Governing Council asked Bremer why a contract to repair the Samarah cement factory was costing $60m rather than the agreed $20m, the American representative reportedly told them that they should be grateful the coalition had saved them from Saddam. Iraqis who were close to the Americans, had access to the Green Zone or held prominent posts in the new government ministries were also in a position personally to benefit enormously. Iraqi businessmen complain endlessly that they had to offer substantial bribes to Iraqi middlemen just to be able to bid for CPA contracts. Iraqi ministers' relatives got top jobs and fat contracts.

Further evidence of lack of transparency comes from a series of audits and reports carried out by the CPA's own inspector general's office (CPAIG). Set up in January 2004, it reports to Congress. Its auditors, accountants and criminal investigators often found themselves sitting alone at cafe tables in the Green Zone, shunned by their CPA compatriots. Their audit, published in July 2004, found that the American contracts officers in the CPA and Iraqi ministries "did not ensure that ... contract files contained all the required documents, a fair and reasonable price was paid for the services received, contractors were capable of meeting delivery schedules, or that contractors were paid in accordance with contract requirements".

Pilfering was rife. Millions of dollars in cash went missing from the Iraqi Central Bank. Between $11m and $26m worth of Iraqi property sequestered by the CPA was unaccounted for. The payroll was padded with hundreds of ghost employees. Millions of dollars were paid to contractors for phantom work. Some $3,379,505 was billed, for example, for "personnel not in the field performing work" and "other improper charges" on just one oil pipeline repair contract.

Most of the 69 criminal investigations the CPAIG instigated related to alleged theft, fraud, waste, assault and extortion. It also investigated "a number of other cases that, because of their sensitivity, cannot be included in this report". One such case may have arisen when 19 billion new Iraqi dinars, worth about £6.5m, was found on a plane in Lebanon that had been sent there by the American-appointed Iraqi interior minister.

At the same time, the IAMB discovered that Iraqi oil exports were unmetered. Neither the Iraqi State Oil Marketing Organisation nor the American authorities could give a satisfactory explanation for this. "The only reason you wouldn't monitor them is if you don't want anyone else to know how much is going through," one petroleum executive told me.

Officially, Iraq exported $10bn worth of oil in the first year of the American occupation. Christian Aid has estimated that up to $4bn more may have been exported and is unaccounted for. If so, this would have created an off-the-books fund that both the Americans and their Iraqi allies could use with impunity to cover expenditures they would rather keep secret - among them the occupation costs, which were rising far beyond what the Bush administration could comfortably admit to Congress and the international community.

In the few weeks before Bremer left Iraq, the CPA handed out more than $3bn in new contracts to be paid for with Iraqi funds and managed by the US embassy in Baghdad. The CPA inspector general, now called the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (Sigir), has just released an audit report on the way the embassy has dealt with that responsibility. The auditors reviewed the files of 225 contracts totalling $327m to see if the embassy "could identify the current value of paid and unpaid contract obligations".

It couldn't. "Our review showed that financial records ... understated payments made by $108,255,875" and "overstated unpaid obligations by $119,361,286". The auditors also reviewed the paperwork of a further 300 contracts worth $332.9m: "Of 198 contract files reviewed, 154 did not contain evidence that goods and services were received, 169 did not contain invoices, and 14 did not contain evidence of payment."

Clearly, the Americans see no need to account for spending Iraqis' national income now any more than they did when Bremer was in charge. Neither the embassy chief of mission nor the US military commander replied to the auditors' invitation to comment. Instead, the US army contracting commander lamely pointed out that "the peaceful conditions envisioned in the early planning continue to elude the reconstruction efforts". This is a remarkable understatement. It's also an admission that Americans can't be expected to do their sums when they are spending other people's money to finance a war.

Lack of accountability does not stop with the Americans. In January this year, the Sigir issued a report detailing evidence of fraud, corruption and waste by the Iraqi Interim Government when Bremer was in charge. They found that $8.8bn - the entire Iraqi Interim Government spending from October 2003 through June 2004 - was not properly accounted for. The Iraqi Office of Budget and Management at one point had only six staff, all of them inexperienced, and most of the ministries had no budget departments. Iraq's newly appointed ministers and their senior officials were free to hand out hundreds of millions of dollars in cash as they pleased, while American "advisers" looked on.

"CPA personnel did not review and compare financial, budgetary and operational performance to planned or expected results," the auditors explained. One ministry gave out $430m in contracts without its CPA advisers seeing any of the paperwork. Another claimed to be paying 8,206 guards, but only 602 could be found. There is simply no way of knowing how much of the $8.8bn has gone to pay for private militias and into private pockets.

"It's remarkable that the inspector general's office could have produced even a draft report with so many misconceptions and inaccuracies," Bremer said in his reply to the Sigir report. "At liberation, the Iraqi economy was dead in the water. So CPA's top priority was to get the economy going."

The Sigir has responded by releasing another audit this April, an investigation into the way Bremer's CPA managed cash payments from Iraqi funds in just one part of Iraq, the region around Hillah: "During the course of the audit, we identified deficiencies in the control of cash ... of such magnitude as to require prompt attention. Those deficiencies were so significant that we were precluded from accomplishing our stated objectives." They found that CPA headquarters in Baghdad "did not maintain full control and accountability for approximately $119.9m", and that agents in the field "cannot properly account for or support over $96.6m in cash and receipts". The agents were mostly Americans in Iraq on short-term contracts. One agent's account balance was "overstated by $2,825,755, and the error went undetected". Another agent was given $25m cash for which Bremer's office "acknowledged not having any supporting documentation". Of more than $23m given to another agent, there are only records for $6,306,836 paid to contractors.

Many of the American agents submitted their paperwork only hours before they headed to the airport. Two left Iraq without accounting for $750,000 each, which has never been found. CPA head office cleared several agents' balances of between $250,000 and $12m without any receipts. One agent who did submit receipts, on being told that he still owed $1,878,870, turned up three days later with exactly that amount. The auditors thought that "this suggests that the agent had a reserve of cash", pointing out that if his original figures had been correct, he would have accounted to the CPA for approximately $3.8m more than he had been given in the first place, which "suggests that the receipt documents provided to the DFI account manager were unreliable".

So where did the money go? You can't see it in Hillah. The schools, hospitals, water supply and electricity, all of which were supposed to benefit from these funds, are in ruins. The inescapable conclusion is that many of the American paying agents grabbed large bundles of cash for themselves and made sweet deals with their Iraqi contacts.

And so it continues. The IAMB's most recent audit of Iraqi government spending talks of "incomplete accounting", "lack of documented justification for limited competition for contracts at the Iraqi ministries", "possible misappropriation of oil revenues", "significant difficulties in ensuring completeness and accuracy of Iraqi budgets and controls over expenditures" and "non-deposit of proceeds of export sales of petroleum products into the appropriate accounts in contravention of UN Security Council Resolution 1483".

In the absence of any meaningful accountability, Iraqis have no way of knowing how much of the nation's wealth is being used for reconstruction and how much is being handed out to ministers' and civil servants' friends and families or funnelled into secret overseas bank accounts. Given that many Ba'athists are now back in government, some of that money may even be financing the insurgents.

Both Saddam and the US profited handsomely during his reign. He controlled Iraq's wealth while most of Iraq's oil went to Californian refineries to provide cheap petrol for American voters. US corporations, like those who enjoyed Saddam's favour, grew rich. Today, the system is much the same: the oil goes to California, and the new Iraqi government spends the national wealth with impunity.

· Bremer maintained one slush fund of nearly $600m in cash for which there is no paperwork: $200m of it was kept in a room in one of Saddam's former palaces

· 19 billion new Iraqi dinars, worth about £6.5m, was found on a plane in Lebanon that had been sent there by the new Iraqi interior minister

· One ministry claimed to be paying 8,206 guards, but only 602 could be found

· One American agent was given $23m to spend on restructuring; only $6m is accounted for

This is an edited version of an article that appears in the current issue of the London Review of Books



Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 07 July 2005 at 12:32pm

Astro, I haven’t the foggiest who or what you are talking about?

Please show me just one sentence in which I have claimed to be a Muslim or even implied that Islam was the best thing since the 4th of July or Halloween for that matter?

 

I believe in the messages of the Creator. And, I believe that all these are linked unlike some trained consumers who may prefer one to the other.

 

I promise upon my scout’s honour, these Imams would be absolutely helpless without your admin’s “Full Action” support and their “state of the art” butchery devices. Their sermons would drop on deaf ears if the listeners saw anything even slightly different than what they were saying.

No?

 

Let’s be friends now that we hold that rare chance and accept that the US would not have got involved into a war we had already started to win BUT for their own geo-political interests. We stand grateful to all the help we had from any corner.

 

But, sadly, the Afghans do feel insulted since the U S planted an ex-Burger Joint owner (CIA operative) as our President. Wish you had found at least some ex-Classy Restaurant owner for us. But then it seems your admin has only this quality of people in stock. Perhaps the legitimate quality people refuse to collaborate with them.

 

On Sanctions; I will check the title of the book (written by an American field worker) with the Harpers and place it with you. That may clear who controlled the sanctions. But I do admit that it is a murky situation.

 

Can we blame just the French for their corrupt dealings and shady colonial policies? The Brits and the Americans hold an angelic record at that?

 

I never look at the man in any such matters.

I am a systems trained person and I only examine the situation as it stands or as it stood in any political clime.

 

Shall we be honest just for a few moments? Is America’s role really been made in heavens but just for these “foul misrepresentations”?

 

If you really wish to leave the country in peace and friendship and that’s ALL YOU HAVE EVER WANTED TO DO then why spend Billions on the 14 largest bases in Iraq?

 

Let me again assure you that no one has any taste of listening to any crazy imams, conspiracy-theorists and socialist / communist plotters and tyrannical regimes if the reality on ground is ever slightly different.

 

If you rise above being an American just for a few moments and look at the situation with an open heart you will see that the American troops are the problem, not the solution of this painful drama of your president’s choice.

 

It’s not our fault and I always feel sad for your "just past their teens" young army men when they are hit and the Iraqis gather around the burning humvee cheering the successful hit.

 

I am a humanist.

You seem to be measuring me against some familiar fixed yardsticks of your own choice. It's not my or anyone else's fault that your admin lied to you to take you to war. Today, it's again not my fault that they are lying to you about their occupation and the reasons for prolonging their stay there.

It’s a far bigger lie than all their other reasons put together.



Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 07 July 2005 at 2:02pm

Hello, again, friend:

Originally posted by Whisper

Welcome back my friend.

I accept your Japanese scenario to be correct in good faith. But you will have to agree that this particular war "was sold to the Americans people like a prospectus of some bogus company(not my words but a piece from a well respected serious American publication)

Thank you for giving me the benefit of any doubts regarding WWII, Whisper. I appreciate that. I assure you that, though the use of the A-bombs is still debated to this day, my account is accurate. As a young man, I had the priviledge of being the driver for a elderly professor who -- among other amazing things, like knowing Sigmund Freud personally -- had helped Truman write his memoirs. So, I have the inside scoop on how the decision was made. As a private but informed citizen, I was for ousting Saddam within the first two years of Clinton's presidency, the moment it became cleaer that Saddam would not abide by the terms of his surrender, wriggle out of them, and so make it unwise for the UN sanctions to be lifted. Think of it this way: were Saddam allowed to get out of the terms of his surrender, then rearm and overrun Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, not making the same tactical and strategic mistakes that he made in 1990, who would be called upon to oust him then? And the job would be much more difficult. Would the political will to do it be there? We could have had a genocidal communist tyrant in control of more than half the proven oil reserves and hence, of the global economy. So, is it not clear that the sanctions could not be arbitrarily lifted? Saddam knew they could not, but because he controlled the media and automatically had the sympathies of Arabs -- despite his horrendous character -- he could blame America and get rich an comfortable as his people suffered and died. Chirac and everybody else, including Clinton, knew the sanctions could not be arbitrarily lifted. So, each did what what financially and politically expedient for themelves, not what was just. Clinton, for example, had not guts and no will of his own. He was weak, ruled by polls, and could not do what what just and necessary. He also knew that no matter what America did, lots of you folks would find a reason to hate us. So, it was better to just do nothing, as far as he was concerned.

Immediately after the 9/11 atrocities and months before Bush's "axis of evil" speech, I wrote a nine-page essay called "Axis of Terror: Fundamentalists Hijack Islam" and sent a copy to the White House enclosed with my daughter's contribution to the Afghan Children's Fund.

I doubt anyone of note saw it or that it in any way contributed to the decision. I am a nobody. Surely other people in more influential positions knew what I knew and saw what I saw. The point here is that, in this essay, written in September of 2001, I called for the ouster of Saddam as a central part of the war against Islamofascist terrorists. So, you see, I saw the logic and necessity of this mission of justice and charity long before Bush announced his intent to do it. No, I was not "sold." The need for this action is so obvious and clear that I was for along time astounded that there was any argument at all about it.

In my view, arguments for the Iraq mission of justice and charity are unassailable. Conspiracy theories about ulterior American motives are foolish distractions.

But many in the American media -- for their own reasons like abortion or government payouts ("welfare" and such) or corporate tax policy and so on -- do not want Republicans elected to the presidency or Congress in the next election cycle. So, they try to undermine confidence in Republicans like Bush with these ridiculous conspiracy theories and "American imperialism" trash. We are there on a mission of mercy, pure and simple, and we will get out when the Iraqi people are safe. Then the French and Russians can make their oil deals, not with the likes of saddam, but with the Iraqi people -- who probably will want not war machines and rape rooms but the necessities of life and good lives for their children and children's children.

Originally posted by whisper

[Yes, you are right perceptions can be flawed.

But Ansari and I have simpley listed actual facts as documented ny global bodies and, in some cases, by your own mainstream media. You are welcome to show us that these facts are lacking in exactness or in their authenticity and I will not just stand corrected but even apologise to you in person.

I would like to meet you, Whisper, and it certainly would be easier to talk than write. I doubt that it is practicable, though.

I wish I had more time to go into details. Just what I have written so far has taken more time than I really have today! I have dealt with many of these "facts" in other posts throughout this site. I am a private citizen with a business and a household to attend to. To me, all these accusations of evil intent on the part of America are just so obviously wrong but so numerous I don't know where to begin.

So, last time, I picked one, the Japanese/American experience of WWII, that I felt I could get through in a reasonable period of time. this time I have, so far, picked the Iraq mission.

Originally posted by whisper

Can't the number of resolutions US has vetoed be just verified at the UN? Or, the tonnage of explosives dropped by the U s through the First Bush War be tallied just from Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf's very own press briefings?

We have listed solid facts - not perceptions. Why not come up with counter facts instead of swiping these facts as flawed.

The problem that I have with these facts is that, in my view, you are not seeing them in context. I am sure you know how frustrating it is when someone selectively cites facts but does not include the context that makes them understandable. Again, I have addressed at least some of them before. I will try to get to each when I can.

Tonnage of bombs, for example, doesn't necessarily tell us much. We know that the Soviets, who supplied Saddam with most of his weaponry, also had sold him the latest in hardened-bunker design and construction and other defensive measures that require more bombs to get through than older defenses.

Originally posted by whisper

I have no idea what the the Islamic or the US fundamentalistas love or hate. I fail to understand this mindset. I love and respect all religions. I hold each and everyone in this world to be a better and a more loveable person than I myself am.

I am glad to hear that. I used to feel that way. Since about 9/11 (actually a little before, when I first started reading posts from the sort who think that the world must be forcibly converted to Islam and who approve of and do these sorts of atrocities), I feel that way about every religion except Islam. I am just being honest here, not politically correct. I know and love lots of Muslims. It is the philosophical basis of the Muslim religion itself -- not Muslim people -- for which I have lost almost all respect.

Originally posted by whisper

Is it beacuse you are seething with such venom for the Prophet that you have come to feel that everyone in this world must be like you and and as hateful of all other prophets and their people.

Please understand that my Christian upbringing teaches me the exact opposite of this. Jesus says, "It becomes us to fulfill all righteousness." I have practiced Zen Buddhism, had lots of Jewish friends, dated many Jewish girls (nearly married one) and have always been facinated by the Hindus (who are the orginators of what we call "Arabic numerals"). I have long been a great admirer of the great Chinese sages, like Lao Tzu and Confucious, to name a few. And of course, the ancient Greeks are an inspiration to me as much as they have been to many a devout Muslim over the millenia.

My experience on this web site is that it is a great number of Muslims -- not Americans (we are open to all religions and races here) -- who claim that THEIR prophet is the only true prophet, the one to whom all must submit. It is that very attitude that, to me, is evidence of one of the great flaws of Islam.

But I will let you in on a little secret: all my in-laws are Muslims. I have been to the mosque many times and am a friend of the Imam. But he is a sane and reasonable person --  most of the time, anyway . Yes, Whisper, I married into a Muslim family. So, you see, here is yet another of your perceptions that is in error. That is why I first started going on Muslim web sites and where I fisrt learned that not all Muslims were warm and sane people like my in-laws --  that, in fact, a large number of them are in my opinion, completely and dangerously out of touch with reality.

Originally posted by whisper

Or, is it only because we refuse to accept your invasions and occupations lying down?

By collaborating with and protecting bin Laden and refusing to turn over him and his henchemen, the Taliban made Afghanistan equally guilty and an outlaw regime. So, what were we supposed to do, let them keep attacking from Afghanistan and pretend we didn't know where these homocidal lunatics were? We are not occupying Afghanistan. We are helping the people reestablish a civilization that can protect the rights and lives of the people. It is doubtful that people who want peace and prosperity will tolerate the presence of someone like bin Laden.

Same thing in Iraq. Or "Eyerak," if you prefer.

The U.S. did not invade Saudi Arabia. We were invited by the Saudi government to help protect it and its people from the brutal and rapacious Ba'athist regime of Saddam Hussein. How quickly people forget!

Originally posted by whisper

Sir, it's your President who is trying to spread his reigion (or, democracy, the same difference) with a huge army and that great art of killing women and children from 52,000 feet. Not us.

Democracy is not a religion. It is a system of government that permits common people to defend their interests. Eyerak and Afghanistan can be Muslim and democratic. My Muslim inlaws love our democracy and are free to practice their religion here. Islam and democracy are not exclusive of one another. In fact, many Muslims here will tell you that democracy fits perfectly with the ideal society that they think the Qu'ran envisions.

The American military, unlike your terrorists, tries as much as is humanly possible to avoid civilian casualties. Saddam put military installations in populated areas and forced civilians into military installations. Your terrorists are no different when they fire from mosques and polupated areas, or when the fight wearing no uniforms. They abide by no codes of decency, making it difficult to fight without some civilian casualties. It seems that they want civilian casualties for propaganda purposes.

Originally posted by whisper

You seem to be dishing out very interesting and powerful compliments to Islam today. But your killing machine and your admin's actions are sufficient just on their own to turn anyone into killers, bombers and all else. They do not need any assistance from Islam or anyone else for that matter.

The Afghanistan mission was to break up al Queda and the outlaw regime that sponsored and protected it and to install a decent and civilly responsible government that could protect ALL Afghanis and prevent al Queda from infesting the country again.

The Iraq mission is one of justice and charity, two words that sadly seem to have lost any practical meaning in your world. I hope that in time you will see it for what it really is and welcome it.

Originally posted by whisper

Just by the way, is this just my perception below:

So, Mr Bremer, where did all the money go?

I am still looking into this issue as I can. The problem is that the leftist American media and propaganda machines of various goverments have so muddied the waters that it is difficult to tell what is true and what is not. Most stories will also have stories that counter them. I can tell you that efforts to rebuild Iraq are costing us in many ways, including taxes. The cost of plywood here in the U.S., for example, has gone way up because so much is going to Iraq! I've had to put off building a garden shed for my wife . But that's okay. I'd rather that schools and hospitals were being built for Iraqi kids, moms, and dads and all.

We are not evil, and neither is the Bush Administration, Whisper. I think that the problem here is one of perspective. You assume the worst and then find evidence to support your beliefs, ignoring that which conflicts with your prejudice. You find ways to fit these out-of-context "facts" into your prejudgments. It is human nature to do this. We all do it. Judges have to warn juries about this psychological phenomenon so they don't just listen for evidence that confirms their prejudices and ignore the rest. Your "fact" sheet condemning the U.S. would never stand up in a fair court of law.

Be well!

Astro



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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.


Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 07 July 2005 at 7:57pm

I am just one person and don't have time to reread all the posts from all participants in all the threads. So, perhaps I am responding in the wrong thread, but I do have two more comments.

Perhaps it was not in this thread that someone spoke degradingly of English, calling it a language unsuited to artistic and poetic expression. While that could be true, it is more likely the face of bigotry showing itself again. My experience tells me that the power and beauty of a language, like that of a religion, comes from the people who use or practice it. I can recall reading how some writers not born to the English language felt that it was the best language for poetry. And Shakepeare, whom many people in many parts of the world regard as among the finest poet ever, wrote in English. I really don't know and really don't care. It is the language that I was born to, and it is quite capable of being used artistically to convey the myriad wonders of the universe. I never mastered French, Spanish, or German, but I do recall that during the time that I studied them, they did not appeal to me as much as my English. My in-laws love their Albanian tongue. Wonderful! How could any tongue but that of one's birth, of one's every memory, convey as much to one's soul? Is it helpful to insult my language? Is it necessary? No.

Second, ...hmmm... I've forgotten! It will come to me, and I will write again. For now, a pleasant everning to you all. I am tired and going to bed.

Astro



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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.


Posted By: rami
Date Posted: 08 July 2005 at 12:01am
Bi ismillahir rahmanir raheem

"U.S. as a Vessel of God’s Goodness"


2. The medium IS the message, so a true religion (message) of peace cannot be spread by threat of war.

You are either with US or against US.



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Rasul Allah (sallah llahu alaihi wa sallam) said: "Whoever knows himself, knows his Lord" and whoever knows his Lord has been given His gnosis and nearness.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 08 July 2005 at 4:28pm

Astro, I am in transit and would reply to your other post as soon as I touch base. My position keeps me on the airports more than anywhere else.

I am sorry. I didn't mean to run English down or anything like that at all. The sheer fact is that when I was growing up I thought no end of Shakespear and my day would be baren without a few lines from Byron. I even changed my 21st Jan to 22nd January in the school register, just to share my birthday with Byron's.

But then I grew up and learnt other languages and realised the limitations of English. Just for an example; how many English words do we have for the various aunts in a family? How many "aunts" are there in Arabic or Punjaubi? There is a long list of situations which have as yet not developed in this language.

English is good, straight language. It's the best language for legal documents and business letters. It does pale when forced into some other functions. Just for an instance if Spanish weren't what it is, wouldn't we have Flamenco in every other language? Spanish was created for poetry and "cantas". The day you come to understand the Spanish soul, all else pales.



Posted By: Whisper
Date 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.


Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date 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



-------------
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.


Posted By: Whisper
Date 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?

 



Posted By: Whisper
Date 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
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ - 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.



Posted By: rocitreal
Date 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.


Posted By: rocitreal
Date 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.


Posted By: DavidC
Date 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.


Posted By: Whisper
Date 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.



Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 15 July 2005 at 3:06pm

I know they can print as many dollars as they could get away with, but some old habits die hard. Like . . .

So, Mr Bremer, where did all the money go?

At the end of the Iraq war, vast sums of money were made available to the US-led provisional authorities, headed by Paul Bremer, to spend on rebuilding the country. By the time Bremer left the post eight months later, $8.8bn of that money had disappeared. Ed Harriman on the extraordinary scandal of Iraq's missing billions

Thursday July 7, 2005
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ - The Guardian



Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 15 July 2005 at 7:07pm
Originally posted by Whisper

W: Your post is riddled by half truths.

A: I live in Spain and know Spanish history well. The Moors didn't rule Spain as tyrants. It was a progressive Muslim, Christian Jewish venture. History and local Andalucian records prove that.

W: Do you own the Distorted History Press?

B: No serious retort - just perjorative?

A: Everyone believed Saddam had these weapons, from the UN inspectors to every intelligence service in the world! The evidence indicates that even Saddam believed he had them.

M: Did the UN weapons inspectors really believe that? Do you want me to produce Hans Blix's testimony before and after the God's (or is it Gaad's) Goodness Army's invasion?

B: Hans Blix was not convinced either way - also the question, in part, was not whether Saddam, who sat on billions in oil wealth dictatorially, had WMD capabilities, but how imminent his threat was against civilization.  That will never be an issue now and to remove this:
http://www.massgraves.info/
is something to praise, don't you think Mr. Cynic?

W: Somewhere you also mention 9/11. Why were those planes allowed to go off their "flight paths" for a whole 58 minutes when US natwork can deal with any stray plane withing 8 minutes?

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.

B: The bipartisan 9/11 commission did an exhaustive review of all these matters - I'm sure you have a copy for reference - I've got two - want me to send you one Whisper?

Do you keep posting half-truth trash taking it for granted that the rest of the world is as ill informed as the American public? Do you do it everyday or is it because of some particulra health crisis?

B: With your attitude - piss poor - you make a very bad representation of yourself.  Is that intentional?  Ill informed for you may be as close as looking in the mirror.  Don't start any arguments with yourself now...

However divine your country may be right now it has just one choice - to get out of Eyerak and Afghanistan. Either you get out yourself or we send you back in bodybags.

B: Who are you?  Qaeda Spain?  Talk about a "particulra health crisis?"(sic)

Just wish you had spent all those billions rubbished by your Neo-Cons to provide Health Cover to your own 40% without any health cover. Or, on those poor one in five kids who go to sleep on an empty stomach and in cold!!

B: What in the world do you know about the US anyhow, Cynic?  What are YOU doing for the poor, by the way?

W: "...we can see through your agenda very clearly. Not all the world is fed on spin as you seem to imply in your posts. But then we always think that everyone else is only like us."

B: Can't you see the irony of your own words?!



-------------
Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 15 July 2005 at 7:12pm
Originally posted by DavidC

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!


The US economy produced US$11.75 Trillion GDP in 2004 and Spain was under 1...

Next question?


-------------
Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 16 July 2005 at 5:19am

I wonder if B95000 even knows what we are discussing here?

That's what makes it exactly all the more exciting. US had such a turnover and yet they had to steal poor Iraqis' money? Just go up a bit and see:

So, Mr Bremer, where did all the money go?

 



Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 16 July 2005 at 6:13am

However hard you huff and however hard you puff, today, the whole world including all the educated serious Americans hold this war as a grave crime against humanity. With whatever words you may try to clothe the US, it just stands as a filthy war criminal.

Sir, it's not my fault that your country has got a bit of a smelly name right now. If you really love your country so, please, just correct her in deed, not just with such immature posts.

Your Bi-Partisan Commission didn't touch "Who had Done 9/11". The world knows why the commission was set up. My friend, the world thinks. We are not just Americans.

On US poverty, please, read some serious US publications.



Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 28 July 2005 at 6:57am
Originally posted by rocitreal

First of all, Kofi Annan was found innocent of any wrongdoing with the Food for Oil program. 

Are you not aware of the recently discovered memo that indicates Annan was very much aware of and mysteriously silent about his son's activities, and that his son is still under investigation (under indictment, actually, I think) and pretty obviously clearly guilty? (Still, he has probably acquired enough money to buy  a different verdict.)

Originally posted by rocitreal

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.

Blix has but one area of expertise. Bush had many other factors to consider. For example, it was possible that Blix had been corrupted, as had so many other UN officials, by Saddam's billions. More importantly, because of the possibilty of chem and bio weapons in Saddam's arsenal, U.S. and allied military personnel might have to wear heavy chem and bio suits; so the operation had to begin before the hottest weather began -- or wait at least six months. Waiting would cause serious diplomatic, logistical, and morale problems.

Then, consider the prospect of having to deal with a murderous, lying piece of crap Saddam for the rest of your term in office and leaving that mess and his even more depraved sons to future administrations....

Originally posted by rocitreal

Sadaam was cooperating as Blix stated at the United Nation Security Council prior to the US invasion which demanded the inspectors leave the country.

Really? After ten years of not co-operating, Saddam suddenly seems reasonable? Why might that be? And for how long would that go on? Do you suppose that maybe he was co-operating only because a huge American force was ready to invade? What would happen the moment that force left? If you had any knowledge of military matters, you would know that you can't let an enemy jerk you back and forth like that. Once the American force was in place, it was too late for Saddam. he should have abided by the terms of his surrender. Once it was clear that he had could not be trusted, he had to go. Existing WMD becomes a secondary matter.

Originally posted by rocitreal

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.

My understanding is that (1) the British stand behind the "yellow cake" intelligence report, even though Wilson could not independently confirm it, and (2) that Rove did not disclose his wife's identity but simply said, "Yeah, I've heard that, too" when Novak said to him, "I heard Wilson's wife works fot the CIA." It has all been politicized to the point of not being recognizable.

 

Peace.

 

Astro



-------------
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.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 28 July 2005 at 7:12am

So that was not the usual way of outing someone? Sad, but that's how you lose credibility - by having a readymade answer for everything in the world.

That's is known as S P I N.

Gracias



Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 28 July 2005 at 7:14am
Hola! All the theives seem to have gone mumb about the Iraqi Missing Billions - what bunch of thugs!


Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 28 July 2005 at 7:35am
Originally posted by Whisper

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?

It is hard to remain civil when you constantly hurl insult and venom. I have not "conveniently" forgotten anything. Unlike you, I have to work for a living and don't have time to just fly around airports doing whatever you do or sit at my computer inciting murder and violence.

In addition, I resent that you always assume that I must always be on the defensive when you can not account for your own point of view. You obviously have not read or understood any of my previous posts, which address and in most cases nullify your other arguments. You have failed to answer any of my questions or counter any of my points. You continue in the same familiar vein, and thought you won't answer mine, you expect me to answer your questions on your timetable, like some obedient puppy, as if you were some sort of magistrate or ruler. We are not in your grandfather's court. You are just a citizen of the world, like me. I owe you nothing. But there are people in my life to whom I owe a great deal, and I must attend to my responsibilites.

Right now, you remind me of the cigarette-smoking, cafe dwelling communists that my Muslim father-in-law used to tell me about. They seemed to think that the world owed them obedience and a source of income, though they did no real work, because they were "intellectuals."

I have not had time to look into the Iraqi billions issue. There is someone I hope to ask about it, but I have not talked to him for a while. He and I have booth had some days off and have been away. In the summer months, lots of Americans go away for maybe a few days or a week. We visited with my sister. I don't know where he has been.

Originally posted by whisper

What do you think of this?

Our troops are part of the problem

The think that the author of this piece has it more or less right.

First, as much as the U.S. and allies try to avoid civilian caualties, the tactics of the terrorists are designed to cause civilian caualties. (Their frequent, deliberate  attacks on civilian targets prove that they don't care about civilian lives -- which brings up the obvious question: why do we hear no criticism of them from the likes of you?) By wearing no uniforms and attacking from civilian quarters and vehicles, the terrorists make it impossible for U.S. soldiers to take action that does not put civilian lives in danger. So, perhaps it will be better if the Americans begin to leave, even though the task is not complete. While this is the aim of the terrorists, it is also the aim of the American Democratic Party, who care only about winning the next election cycle. But the new Iraqi government might perhaps be able to step up and fill the role of the Americans and so defeat the terrorists and their Democrat allies, after all.

It is inevitable that politics will play a significant role. It is unfortunate, but the rhetoric of the American Democratic Party and their allies in the Jihadist media, both of whom hope to defeat Bush, have succeeded to a great degree in undermining Bush's policy and encouraging the terrorists.

As I said in an earlier post, quoting Churchill, " War is a strange sea, and there is no telling where it may take you."

I still believe as much as I did twelve years ago, however, that Saddam had to be removed. At least now there is hope and wide open possibility. Let us see what Arab Muslims can do with this opportunity to start anew.

Peace.

Astro

 



-------------
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.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 28 July 2005 at 10:29pm

Whisper wrote:

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?

> It is hard to remain civil when you constantly hurl insult and venom.

Astro, I must apologise. I should have addressed my post properly to the person I am responding to.

 

I respect you. You are a straight man. You have a certain political leaning, which you openly declare. You have do not attempt to mask your approach in some fake misplaced global concern of one kind or the other. We can have not just a thorough argument, but also a doughnut and a coffee someplace if we ever get the chance.

 

We can both hold some wrong facts at times. We are human. You have not once tried to slip away from my questions or points. My friend I consider it an honour to fight with you!!

 

But some classless slippery character had entered our conversation. My post was directed at him.

 

Brother, I also work for my living. I direct 9 companies (2 in the US) and, this keeps me at the airports.

 

I have read your post.

I am a fair man. I admit when a point makes sense. You have changed my view on an important issue like nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But for me the rest of your post stood as a weak excuse for the US global behaviour - exactly in your party line.

 

So, I had honestly posted my opinion for you.

 

> You have failed to answer any of my questions or counter any of my points. 

I would have if they made any sense to me. For me it’s no use countering anything that’s in direct contravention of the Almighty’s commandments – which now seems to have been Upgraded to read: “thou shalt kill but only from 52,000 feet in the sky and after fabricating all the excuses for your voters

 

> You are just a citizen of the world, like me.

Exactly, that’s my point. I believe in absolute equality. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I find “Americanism” a bit offensive. They seem to go about the world as if they are more equal than the rest of the world. 

 

whisper wrote:

What do you think of this?

Our troops are part of the problem

I agree with your analysis on the whole.

Just by the way, “What task did the world assign the US?” Or, is it just another example of being more equal than the mortal lot?

 

I agree with you Saddam should have been removed.

But I would have washed better with the world if Americans thought of it while he had not gone past his use by date. At that time, Rumsfeld was running so often to Baghdad with Golden Spur pairs?

 

Plus, the US evaded two internal revolts to oust him?

One of my quite “senior” a pro-western sources has confided that it was for the only reason that a local success won’t leave the US with much control of the country!!

 

I will reserve my comments on the opportunity you have provided the Arabs and Muslims. The Muslims would think it to be an opportunity only when your troops leave their lands and IF the Palestinians are dealt a fair hand by the only tskers of our world.

 

It’s in fact an opportunity for the US to prove that she can regain her lost place in that area and in quite a few other corners of the world. It's an equal chance for both, the U S and the Muslims.



Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 01 August 2005 at 5:44pm
"I still believe as much as I did twelve years ago, however, that Saddam had to be removed."

How can anyone contend that this is not a good thing.  Or that the Taliban's evil hands being replaced is not good for Afghanistan?


-------------
Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Posted By: Goerge the Jew
Date Posted: 04 August 2005 at 7:17am
yeah lets blame the talibans, they are easy to take out

besides i never liked the way Reagan gave sadam much money to solve the
hostage crisis in iran for us when i was in school, and what where you doing
when this happened?

"I hope you leave here and walk out and say, 'What did he say?'" —George W. Bush, Beaverton, Oregon, Aug. 13, 2004

-------------
Rabbi Yaacov Perrin said, "One million Arabs are not worth a Jewish
fingernail." (NY Daily News, Feb. 28, 1994, p.6). , if you have a problem with this then your been anti-Semitic cuz i aint .


Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 12 August 2005 at 6:01am

Greetings to all, and especially my friend Whisper:

It is not an easy matter finding answers to all the accusations in the "Mr. Bremmer, where did all the money go" article. I think it is an important matter indeed, and I believe that I have some answers, and I am trying to find the others. It is going to take some time, as there is a lot there, and I am not a journalist and so don't have all the resources (or time) required to thoroughly investigate.

First, I have some other points to make that are responses to points that you and others have raised.

You and others often refer to refer to a "party line" to which you believe I am adhereing. Not true. I have never been a member of either the Democratic or Republican Party. I have always registered as an Independent and consider myself a moderate -- not moderate in the strength of my convictions, but moderate in these senses: (1) I think that all sides of political dialogue can represent legitimate interests and so I like to try to to remain independent and remain attentive to points made by all sides as one who moderATES the debate from a rational center; (2) I think that dialogue is most productive when participants try to keep their passions in check and moderATE their tone; (3) I think that the best remedies or new policies are usually not radical changes but moderate steps in the new direction. There can be exceptions, of course. And sometimes I find that reason favors this or that side of a debate and so I align myself with it and so, not always by sheer coincidence, my will arguments sound a lot like theirs.

So, those among you who have this tendency, please stop assuming or implying that I am some sort of robot or parrot merely repeating Heritage Foundation or Bush Administration arguments. Please deal directly with the substance and logic of the arguments themselves.

Thank you very much.

I reserve the right, however, to parrot the words of anyone or organization when doing so expresses a point of view I find interesting and/or helpful, or if it makes me look cool and savvy!

Also, in the moderate spirit, I prefer to think of what transpires here as a dialogue and not a fight.

As for America acting "more equal," I repeat that it was the U.S. to whom the other Arab Muslim nations in the region turned when Saddam overran Kuwait. It was the U.S. that the Arab Muslim world then blamed for all the 1.2 million Iraqis who died during the next twelve years of sanctions and brutal suppression by Saddam, who flouted the terms of his surrender, abused the "oil for food" program along with U.N. officials and French, German, and Russian politicans and oil and arms merchants whom he bribed and for whom acted as a quai-colonialist puppet. None of this was the fault of the U.S. But we got all the blame. Why? Is there not an implication that we were believed to have the power to change the way Saddam and his cronies, the U.N. officials, the French, Germans, Russians, etc., were behaving? If we were believed to be responsible for this tragedy and able to end it, does that not imply that were believed to be "more equal"? Does it not seem then, especially in light of bin Laden's aforementioned [and dead wrong] accusations, that we were being called upon to respond in ways "more equal"? 

The U.N. mandate and coalition mission in 1990-91 did not include the ouster of Saddam. Indeed, most governments in the region would not have signed on were his ouster a part of the plan. To some, he served as a buffer with the radical government of Iran. Turkey, meanwhile, feared that the absence of a strongman in Baghdad would free the Kurds to fight for a united Kurdish state.

As for the two rebellions, would you have supported U.S. intervention then? I imagine that the U.S. administration (especialy that of the feckless, gutless posturer, Clinton) was concerned that such a move might bring the very sort of vicious rhetorical attacks and terrorist responses that this intervention has brought on. The difference is that by 2003, Saddam had been given every opportunity to do right and had demonstrated -- to a degree that should be obvious to all in this world who have any ability to perceive truth -- his depravity and total lack of honor.

So, who would be called upon to deal with Saddam or Uday or Cusay fifteen years hence when this emboldened Ba'athist regime rolled over the entire Arabian peninsula and brandished its missles and a stock of atomic, biological, and chemical weapons and agents and saboteurs deployed major Western and Eastern cities? The U.S. perhaps? Again? If we are the ones who have to send our kids (and dollars) into these miserable back-stabbing Islamic world situations, shouldn't we have some right to decide when and how and take preventative measures, especially when doing so is in the best long-term interests of people like the Iraqis?

Incidentally, you have said that Iraqis died of unnatural causes at a rate of about 100,000 per year during the years of the sanctions and Saddam-ization. If the rate is now 10,000 per year -- and that only because of the terrorist (some say "insurgent") activity -- that means that this U.S. policy has reduced the Iraqi death rate by 90%. Eliminate the terrorists, and it will be down to zero. What is so bad about that?

The Bremmer stuff will have to wait for a later post (today, I hope). I have to be somehwere right now!

Peace.

Astro

 



-------------
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.


Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 12 August 2005 at 9:41am

I will respond to the Bremer article in the Guardian in stages.

First, the phrasing of some statements in the Harriman piece raises suspicions about the objectivity of the author and the publication. Looking through other Guardian articles, I detect a significant leftward tilt. Without corroboration from a trusted and impartial source, I therefore cannot accept the accuracy of all Harriman's "facts," assertions, or conclusions. I also find much potential for deceit in enthememes, equivocations, and other ambiguous and potentially misleading phrasings. I still need to find out more about Harriman's source material.

Perhaps you think all this is pure dodging, but please bear in mind that, in Western courts, both sides of a disagreement are allowed to present their facts and arguments, and usually either can make a case that sounds compelling -- until you hear the counter-arguments from the opposition. This is especially the true in complex and confusing matters like this tangle of financing, out of which one can probably support any sort of story line one wishes.

So, while Harriman might seem to you to have a lock on the argument (and primacy effect might predispose you to acknowledge only his "facts" and arguments), there is apparently an opposing point of view that has already prevailed in a sort of a court: an independent U.N. commission has looked into these accusations and found that, while some of the usual corruption persists here and there, the overall allocation and disbursement of Iraqi and other monies is proceding as it should 

All that having been said, there are some specific points to which I can respond at this time.

Harriman writes: "Both Saddam and the US profited handsomely during his reign. He controlled Iraq's wealth while most of Iraq's oil went to Californian refineries to provide cheap petrol for American voters. US corporations, like those who enjoyed Saddam's favour, grew rich. Today, the system is much the same: the oil goes to California, and the new Iraqi government spends the national wealth with impunity."

This statement struck me as odd because it was my understanding that the U.S. did not import oil from Iraq (especially under the sanctions) but that Iraqi oil went to mostly to China, Japan, France and some other European countries. I had to wonder if this was not evidence that Harriman was inventing facts to support his conclusions, that is, his prejudices. I still have not found specific statements saying that the U.S. did import Iraqi oil under the sanctions, but I did find some somewhat relevant information at

http://www.gravmag.com/oil.html

In 2001, Canada was the leading source of U.S. oil  imports at 15.4%, followed by Saudi Arabia, 14%, Venezuela, 13%, and Mexico, 12.1%. In 2002, Canada was at 17%, with Saudi Arabia, 13.7%, Mexico, 13.5%, and Venezuela, 12%, in a virtual three-way tie for second. If Iraqi oil was indeed brought to America by oil companies of any nationality, it was not in sufficient quantity to merit mention in this article.

Imports percentages seem hover in the same general range year to year. In 2003, the year of the ouster of Saddam, U.S. imports from Iraq were well below the levels of import from other countries -- about 4%, roughly the same percentage as the U.S. imported from Great Britain or Angola or Algeria, and significantly less than the 7% imported from Nigeria that year.

So Harriman is certainly wrong when he claims that "Iraq's oil went to Californian refineries to provide cheap petrol for American voters. US corporations, like those who enjoyed Saddam's favour, grew rich." Even in 2003, after sanctions were lifted, Iraqi oil did not not comprise a significant portion of American oil imports. And recall that a domestic American oil production accounts for a higher percentage of American oil use than any single foreign source.

As for the anecdotal "evidence" of wrongdoing by American officers or officials, I can say little. The U.N. apparently did not feel that there was sufficient evidence to indict anyone. I am sure that corruption occurs everywhere. It seems to me, however, that Harriman has been unfairly selective in his anecdotes, only recounting tales that will support his anti-conservative politics and thesis.

More money than was anticipated, I must add, has been spent on security -- something like 40%. This is the fault of the terrorists -- you can't expect contractors not to defend themselves.

Please read the following, taken from the source posted here:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/iraq.html

GENERAL BACKGROUND
Iraq now finds itself in a period of uncertainty and transition after more than three decades of Ba'ath party rule. Following the end of Saddam Hussein's rule in the spring of 2003, Iraq was governed for a year by the "Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA)" led by the United States and the United Kingdom. On June 28, 2004, the CPA transferred power to a sovereign Iraqi interim government, with national elections held on January 30, 2005. A permanent constitution is to be written by October 2005, with elections for a permanent government scheduled for December 2005. On May 3, 2005, the new transitional government was sworn in, with Ibrahim Jaafari as Prime Minister.

Although Iraq's unemployment rate remains high (perhaps 30 percent or more), the overall Iraqi economy appears to be recovering rapidly from its condition just after the war, fueled in large part by U.S. and international reconstruction aid. For 2004, Iraqi real GDP growth was estimated by Global Insight at 54 percent, with 34 percent growth forecast for 2005. This follows a 21.2 percent decline in 2003, on top of more than a decade of economic stagnation and decline. On October 15, 2003, a new Iraqi currency -- the "New Iraqi Dinar" (NID) -- was introduced, replacing the "old dinar" and the "Swiss dinar" used in the north of the country. Since then, the NID has appreciated sharply, from around 1,950 NID per $U.S. in October 2003 to around 1,538 NID per $U.S. by mid-May 2005. In early February 2004, Iraq was granted observer status at the World Trade Organization (WTO). In late September 2004, Iraq sent the WTO a formal request for membership.

Total, long-term Iraqi reconstruction costs could run to $100 billion or higher, with an October 2003 donors conference in Madrid resulting in pledges of $33 billion for the International Reconstruction Facility Fund for Iraq (IRFFI). In mid-October 2004, donor countries meeting in Tokyo agreed on the need to speed up the disbursement or promised assistance to Iraq. To date, only a small fraction of the money pledged in Madrid has been disbursed.

On May 22, 2003, the U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 1483, lifting sanctions on Iraq, phasing out the 6-year-old U.N. oil-for-food program over six months (the program ended on November 21, 2003), and designating a U.N. "special representative" to assist Iraq in its reconstruction efforts. On May 27, 2003, the U.S. Treasury Department lifted most U.S. sanctions on Iraq, thereby implementing U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483. http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/iraqmore.html#oil - In November 2003, the U.S. Congress authorized $18.4 billion for Iraq in a "supplemental allocation" aimed at boosting Iraqi reconstruction and economic development. As of early 2005, however, much of this money - perhaps 40 percent or more -- reportedly was being spent on providing security, not on actual reconstruction.

Iraq assumed a heavy debt burden during the Saddam Hussein years, around $100 billion if debts to Gulf states and Russia are counted, and even more if $250 billion in reparations payment claims stemming from Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait are included. Under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1483, Iraq's oil export earnings are immune from legal proceedings, such as debt collection, until the end of 2007. In November 2004, the Paris Club group of 19 creditor nations agreed to forgive, in stages, up to 80 percent on $42 billion worth of loans. The relief is contingent upon Iraq reaching an economic stabilization program with the IMF.

OIL
According to the Oil and Gas Journal, Iraq contains 115 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, the third largest in the world (behind Saudi Arabia and Canada), concentrated overwhelmingly (65 percent or more) in southern Iraq. Estimates of Iraq's oil reserves and resources vary widely, however, given that only about 10 percent of the country has been explored. Some analysts (the Baker Institute, Center for Global Energy Studies, the Federation of American Scientists, etc.) believe, for instance, that deep oil-bearing formations located mainly in the vast Western Desert region could yield large additional oil resources (possibly another 100 billion barrels or more), but have not been explored. Other analysts, such as the U.S. Geological Survey, are not as optimistic, with median estimates for additional oil reserves closer to 45 billion barrels. In August 2004, Iraqi Oil Minister Ghadban stated that Iraq had "unconfirmed or potential reserves" of 214 billion barrels. In early May 2005, Ibraihim Bahr al-Uloum was named to replace Ghadban, stating that his main goals were to reduce corruption in the oil sector, to improve fuel availability, to reduce attacks on oil infrastructure (Ghadban had cited 642 such attacks in 2004 at a cost of $10 billion), and to re-establish an Iraqi National Oil Company (INOC) by the end of 2005.

I know that I need to find more information and specific responses to Harriman's accusations, so please do not assume that I am done. I take these concerns of yours seriously.

But again, I have to go do lots of things to keep bread on the table, and I see that I have some other responses to write, too.

Be well.

Astro



-------------
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.


Posted By: Hayfa
Date Posted: 12 August 2005 at 11:00am

I personally do not think the US govt cares if anyone else lives under tyranny as long as we are friends with that tyrant and can get its cheap raw materials. That is true through our (US) history. We participated and turned a blind eye towards colonization. I was recently reading about WWII and prisoners of war in Pacific.  We did not support the Philippines independence from Spain, so when Spain left we took over. We supported terrible regimes such as Pinochet in Chile. This has proven time and again. Typically we will operate what is on our self-interest. Other leaders of governments and countries do that as well. We-the US- just, as the current economic power, just have more influence and possibly more greed and more to lose.

 

What truly has disturbed me is that the US government changed its reasons for invading Iraq based upon the current situation and people sat back and did not respond. It made some general vague connection to 9/11 that galvenized the country. Being a dictator and tyrant did not make Saddam a threat to the US. Then it was about WMD. Then it was ‘democracy’. When things were exposed it changed. People in the US often do not appreciate the ramifications and horror of war. (Maybe it’s the lack of invasion on this soil.) Not everyone in the US government wanted this war. There were people in the State Department who did not think it was a good idea. They were ignored. As some in the administration have said ‘let’s bring the ‘war on terrorism’ over there.. War is horrible. Tyrants are horrible but chaos is too.  There are other effective ways to force change then invading if we really wanted to (as happened in The Czech Republic and South Africa)

 

There is a shade of paternalism in the US towards other peoples. That is how we can justify our actions. That is how we justified colonialism, slavery etc.  We don’t like countries like Iran or Cuba who tell us to stuff it. When other countries want what we want we say they cannot. And it shows that we tell other countries they cannot have nuclear weapons and we are the only country to have used them. (Like we somehow are better at making these decisions to destroy people then others are.)

 

I do not think this is about the average person in the US or anywhere else. Most people are actually decent. Many people help out in a time of crisis and do that with the best of intention.  That is the generosity of the average person not necessarily the governments.  When the Tsunami hit, the US government had to be pushed to give aid (the amount was far lower then other countries) but thousands of people gave to aid organizations with the best of intentions.  The US invasion of Iraq has helped only those in the US government with ties to the military institutions and friends of theirs. The Iraqi after years of living under sanctions and other wars could not afford this to have this happen. The average child in the US will be paying for it through the US debt for years to come.

 

People often talk about ‘loving their country’. For me part of the problem is this nationalism. Unfortunately we separate ourselves and somehow we are not truly all connected. Instead of truly worshiping the Devine and treating with love and care all that we have been given, we think we own things and we really own nothing.

 

Peace

 



-------------
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy. Rumi


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 12 August 2005 at 12:26pm

Hayfa, after going through your post, I have gone into silence. Unlike some other posters here, you touch not just the mind but also the soul.

That's where truth resides.



Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 12 August 2005 at 12:32pm

Brother Astro, I was quite convinced with your point on nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but found some reasonable clips in the British press.

I find in your posts a total and unjust rejection of anything that's not just entirely rightist. Life needs to be viewed not just from one angle but from all possible angles.

You would excuse me for not being able to read your entire post. I have read it many times over as a part of your admin's point of view.

Hiroshima and history
Tuesday August 2, 2005
http://www.guardian.co.uk/ - The Guardian


Max Hastings concludes (What would you have done?, July 30) that "Truman's Hiroshima judgment may seem wrong in the eyes of posterity". But his whitewash says nothing about the Nagasaki judgment. Having made his point by killing or wounding some 150,000 inhabitants of one Japanese city, what grounds could there be for demolishing another?

Gore Vidal is one of many who have exposed "the great myth" that Harry Truman dropped his two atom bombs because he feared that a million American lives would be lost. Admiral Nimitz, on the spot in the Pacific, and General Eisenhower, brooding elsewhere, disagreed. The Japanese had already lost the war, they said, and had been trying to surrender since the May 1945 devastation of Tokyo by the US B-29 bombers.

Truman's test-casing of his lethal arms development was grimly prescient of our contemporary death-hawking western leaders' inflexible determination to out-bully the likes of Bin Laden and Hussein, at such high-flown cost to so many innocent citizens.
Michael Horowitz
London

In discussing the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Max Hastings underestimates the callousness of the decision. The Americans had firebombed virtually every important city in Japan, with five or six exceptions. With strict orders not to be bombed, these were left so that the effects of the new weapons could be assessed. There were two types of new bombs - one using enriched uranium and the other plutonium, so two cities were needed. In early August, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were chosen.

The authorities were well aware of the destructiveness of the bombs from the test they had already conducted.
Robert Hinde
St John's College, Cambridge

If the atomic bomb contributed at all to Japan's unconditional surrender in the second world war, it contributed little. The decisive factor was the Soviet drive against Japan's Kwangtung army back from the Manchurian borders.

The atomic bombs were a warning not only to the Soviet Union but also to the Communist-led forces in China whose resistance to Japan's occupation had been growing from strength to strength. The bombings unleashed US expansionism in the east, claiming not only Japan but also China under Chiang Kai-shek for their sphere of influence. In the latter case, with the eventual success of the Communist party of China, the "deterrent" effect of nuclear weapons proved less than successful.
Jenny Clegg
CND National Council

If we condemn the atomic bombings as war crimes, then we must equally condemn the firebombings and the whole area-bombing strategy. Of course, some observers do, but they have never convincingly proposed what alternative strategies the allies could have used. Of course, nuclear weapons are the worst weapons man has invented. But we should not conflate legitimate concerns about the potential use of such weapons (as they multiplied in individual power a thousand-fold with the development of the hydrogen bomb) with their actual usage in 1945.
Roger Todd
London



Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 18 August 2005 at 10:28am
Originally posted by Astrophysicist

Incidentally, you have said that Iraqis died of unnatural causes at a rate of about 100,000 per year during the years of the sanctions and Saddam-ization. If the rate is now 10,000 per year -- and that only because of the terrorist (some say "insurgent") activity -- that means that this U.S. policy has reduced the Iraqi death rate by 90%. Eliminate the terrorists, and it will be down to zero. What is so bad about that?


Exactly, I've been saying this too - the US/MNF policy has been greatly reducing death in Iraq...Those opposed to this must be in favor of the greater deaths and murders under Saddam Hussein..


-------------
Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 02 September 2005 at 10:25am
How come you have suddenly become so concerened with Iraqi deaths. Produce proof that your concern is genuine.


Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 02 September 2005 at 12:38pm
Originally posted by b95000

Originally posted by Astrophysicist

Incidentally, you have said that Iraqis died of unnatural causes at a rate of about 100,000 per year during the years of the sanctions and Saddam-ization. If the rate is now 10,000 per year -- and that only because of the terrorist (some say "insurgent") activity -- that means that this U.S. policy has reduced the Iraqi death rate by 90%. Eliminate the terrorists, and it will be down to zero. What is so bad about that?


Exactly, I've been saying this too - the US/MNF policy has been greatly reducing death in Iraq...Those opposed to this must be in favor of the greater deaths and murders under Saddam Hussein..


Originally posted by Whisper

How come you have suddenly become so concerened with Iraqi deaths. Produce proof that your concern is genuine.


You've been the one impugning me of not caring.  Why don't you answer the issue of what alternative there would have been to a free Iraq?  More Saddam, 10 times more unnatural deaths per year, etc. and that exponent will only get greater as we move forward.  Were you in favor of that Sasha?  That's your difficult question, not mine..


-------------
Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 02 September 2005 at 3:14pm

Statistics, numerical data and such concerns are pure spin for the dumb home market. How come that the great American ultra right accomplices of Israel have suddenly fallen madly deeply head over heals in love with the Muslims in Iraq?

Forget about what would be or what would have been slick lines. Your President couldn't so have a terribly slim chance. Just spell out why have Americans suddenly become so concerned with Muslims?

Just answer that - no aieen, baeen shaeen as they say in India!!

War criminals have no rights to ask us any questions. It's far more racist to think and make believe that the world can not go round without the English Speaking Cousinhood.  



Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 02 September 2005 at 3:16pm
I think this string should have been titled US as Gaad's Extra Additional Deputy Assistant!! The world finds it hard to take you seriously without your guns?


Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 06 September 2005 at 4:47pm
Originally posted by Whisper

Statistics, numerical data and such concerns are pure spin for the dumb home market.

B: You would have us believe that statistics - which have their basis in mathematical measurement, in science are some fabrication for the 'dumb home market?'  How dumb is that?  It is not statistics that we should fear but the dearth of them and the filling in the void with empty jargon and meaningless bantor designed to tickle one's own biases and presuppositions.  That is what we should fear - not reality, mathematical and scientific measures...

How come that the great American ultra right accomplices of Israel have suddenly fallen madly deeply head over heals in love with the Muslims in Iraq?

B: Huh?  Leave it to Sasha to try to breed discontent and disunity where there is none - he's sort of a reverse St. Francis of Assisi...

Forget about what would be or what would have been slick lines. Your President couldn't so have a terribly slim chance. Just spell out why have Americans suddenly become so concerned with Muslims?

B: Because it was murderers who called themselves Muslims, that mass murdered us in the not too distant past.

Just answer that - no aieen, baeen shaeen as they say in India!!

War criminals have no rights to ask us any questions.

B: What in the world does this mean?  Lay it out for us our communist friend...we're all listening with baited breath.

It's far more racist to think and make believe that the world can not go round without the English Speaking Cousinhood.

More racist then your version of racism...gotcha... 



-------------
Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 07 September 2005 at 1:42am

Abuse of anything is criminal. It becomes a dumb crime against humanity when we try to flash statistics to lend support to an Illegal War.

You mean the Agency when you say we're all listening? Or just claiming to be some Master General of this Forum?

Muslims, that mass murdered us in the not too distant past.
Though it's questionable as to WHO attacked you, yet even if it were Muslims, you mean they just attacked you? And, your country's occupations of Muslim "Oil" lands had nothing to do with it?

The day you begin to understand that the world may start to take you seriously even without your guns.



Posted By: Lameese
Date Posted: 07 September 2005 at 1:49am

Maybe if the Terrorists would stop saying, I am a Muslim form the blah blah blah regieme then this would help.

Every time something is blown up or torn down, an Islamic Group is taking credit for it. They damn the Islamic Religion with their view of how Islam should be and then claim it was done in the name of Allah.

Now, did you see Timmothy McViegh saying, I am from the Christian group so and so and this is why I have done this? Nope. He was just a nut with a bomb and a plan.

 

Lameese



Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 07 September 2005 at 5:52pm
Originally posted by Whisper

Abuse of anything is criminal. It becomes a dumb crime against humanity when we try to flash statistics to lend support to an Illegal War.

B: Who says it's illegal - Iraq violated 16 UN security council resolutions and was in current violation to the UN weapons inspections.  They had not complied with the full list of their weapons and had violated the missiles' strictures.  All of the major intelligence services placed current WMD in Iraq and Saddam did nothing to dissuade this theory in any of his dealings with the outside world and the UN.  He literally brought suffering and death - yet again, down upon his people.  This is not the 'illegality' that you are wishing for to impugn the US/UN/International community.  And yet, people though the US jumped the gun and didn't wait long enough - I understand that..for some, no amount waiting would have been long enough...and if Saddam had had nukes or other weapons...they would have been fine with that (practially speaking.)  I am not fine with that.

=====================

Muslims, that mass murdered us in the not too distant past.
Though it's questionable as to WHO attacked you, yet even if it were Muslims, you mean they just attacked you?

B: Just what I said, the 'not too distant past.'
And, your country's occupations of Muslim "Oil" lands had nothing to do with it?
B: By that you mean Saudi?  How did we occupy Saudi?  Saudi has been the hosts to the UN, US, and MNF forces.  OK - are we back to true freedom and occupation - fine - but at least roll in Saudi and other Arab states to the equation, to the occupiers who need to be 'ousted."

By the way - are you justifying Sept. 11th attacks this way?

The day you begin to understand that the world may start to take you seriously even without your guns.

B: You've much to learn and understand too, our communist manifesto..



-------------
Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 07 September 2005 at 11:00pm

Who says it's illegal Come on show us this war was legal. We all really need a laugh.

Iraq violated 16 UN security council resolutions How about the 60 Israeli violation?

and was in current violation to the UN weapons inspections. Simple straight and at that just an exclusively American bull**it

 



Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 08 September 2005 at 5:26pm


-------------
Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 08 September 2005 at 5:35pm
Iraq, Israel and the United Nations

Double standards
Oct 10th 2002
From The Economist print edition


...a quite distinct sort of claim is also made in the “double standards” debate. This holds that Israel stands in breach of Security Council resolutions in just the way Iraq does, and therefore deserves to be treated by the UN with equal severity. Not so.


What the law says

The UN distinguishes between two sorts of Security Council resolution. Those passed under Chapter Six deal with the peaceful resolution of disputes and entitle the council to make non-binding recommendations. Those under Chapter Seven give the council broad powers to take action, including warlike action, to deal with “threats to the peace, breaches of the peace, or acts of aggression”. Such resolutions, binding on all UN members, were rare during the cold war. But they were used against Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait. None of the resolutions relating to the Israeli-Arab conflict comes under Chapter Seven. By imposing sanctions—including military ones—against Iraq but not against Israel, the UN is merely acting in accordance with its own rules.

The distinctiveness of Chapter Seven resolutions, and the fact that none has been passed in relation to Israel, is acknowledged by Palestinian diplomats. It is, indeed, one of their main complaints. A Palestine Liberation Organisation report, entitled “Double Standards” and published at the end of September, pointed out that, over the years, the UN has upheld the Palestinians' right to statehood, condemned Israel's settlements and called for Israel to withdraw. But “no enforcement action or any other action to implement UN resolutions and international law has been ordered by the Security Council.”

...

In the case of Iraq, the Security Council has instructed Mr Hussein to take various unilateral actions that he is perfectly capable of taking. Resolution 242 cannot be implemented unilaterally, even if Israel wanted to do so.



-------------
Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 08 September 2005 at 10:32pm

Thanks a lot. I am glad to sample yet another of Anglo-American frauds with the global populace. Now I know why Nature won't grant you the security and peace you keep chasing - and why you have to keep such a huge killing machine.

So these paper regualtions satisfy your "great" concern for humanity? Good bye, Bruce, now I exactly know who you are.



Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 10 September 2005 at 12:39pm
Whisper, the US government does not need Iraq or OBL to produce billions of dollars. All they need do is PRINT IT!
Now they need all the aid they can get to handle one hurricane.


Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 11 September 2005 at 10:35pm
Originally posted by Whisper

Thanks a lot. I am glad to sample yet another of Anglo-American frauds with the global populace. Now I know why Nature won't grant you the security and peace you keep chasing - and why you have to keep such a huge killing machine.

So these paper regualtions satisfy your "great" concern for humanity? Good bye, Bruce, now I exactly know who you are.



What?  What are you talking about?  Do you even know?  You keep writing about the UN SCRs violated by Israel, but, as usual, with no details and no supporting documentation.  That's typical for you Sasha.  You are your own authority - and that seems to be that for you.  Horrible when you're trying to relate to other cultures like that - just AWFUL.  But you persist.  Imagining you are a legend in your own mind.

Iraq violated resolutions that are backed by the threat of force - Israel has not.  So, it's clear your qualm is with the UN and its charter and constitution.

However, the rule of law has importance in all cultures.  Precedence, history and tradition have importance in all cultures.

You should not contend with that basic point (but I'm sure you'll try!)


-------------
Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Posted By: Astrophysicist
Date Posted: 07 October 2005 at 9:16am

This information is a few months old, but it gives some idea of how U.S. policy is far more beneficial to Iraqis than were the quasi-colonialist policies of France, etc., ond those of their puppet and benefactor, Saddam and his murderous Ba'athist tyranny.

47 countries have re-established their embassies in Iraq.

The current Iraqi government employs 1.2 million Iraqi people.

3100 schools have been renovated, 364 schools are under rehabilitation, 263 schools are now under construction and 38 new schools have been built in Iraq.

Iraq's higher educational structure consists of 20 Universities, 46 Institutes or colleges and 4 research centers, all currently operating.

25 Iraq students departed for the United States in January 2005 for the re-established Fulbright program.

The Iraqi Navy is operational. They have 5- 100-foot patrol craft, 34 smaller vessels and a navel infantry regiment.

Iraq's Air Force consists of three operational squadrons, which includes 9 reconnaissance and 3 US C-130 transport aircraft (under Iraqi operational control) which operate day and night, and will soon add 16 UH-1 helicopters and 4 Bell Jet Rangers.

Iraq has a counter-terrorist unit and a Commando Battalion.

The Iraqi Police Service has over 55,000 fully trained and equipped police officers.

There are 5 Police Academies in Iraq that produce over 3500 new officers each 8 weeks.

There are more than 1100 building projects going on in Iraq. They include 364 schools, 67 public clinics, 15 hospitals, 83 railroad stations, 22 oil facilities, 93 water facilities and 69 electrical facilities.

96% of Iraqi children under the age of 5 have received the first 2 series of polio vaccinations.

43 million Iraqi children were enrolled in primary school by mid October.

There are 1,192,000 cell phone subscribers in Iraq and phone use has gone up 158%.

Iraq has an independent media that consist of 75 radio stations, 180 newspapers and 10 television stations.

The Baghdad Stock Exchange opened in June of 2004.

2 candidates in the Iraqi presidential election had a televised debate.

 

For yet another perspective, I offer these words, written by an American soldier. I do not share all his views, but agree with the general thrust:

This "Letter of Apology" was written by Lieutenant General Chuck  Pitman, US

Marine Corps, Retired:

"For good and ill, the Iraqi  prisoner abuse mess will remain an issue. On
the one hand, right thinking  Americans will abhor the stupidity of the
actions while on the other hand,  political glee will take control and fashion this
minor event into some modern  day massacre.

I humbly offer my opinion here:

I am sorry that the  last seven times we Americans took up arms and
sacrificed the blood of our  youth, it was in the defense of Muslims
(Bosnia, Kosovo, Gulf War 1, Kuwait,  etc.).

I am sorry that no such call for an apology upon the extremists  came after
9/11.

I am sorry that all of the murderers on 9/11 were  Islamic Arabs.

I am sorry that most Arabs and Muslims have to live in  squalor under savage

dictatorships.

I am sorry that their leaders  squander their wealth.

I am sorry that their governments breed hate for  the US in their religious
schools, mosques, and government-controlled  media.

I am sorry that Yassar Arafat was kicked out of every Arab country  and
high-jacked the Palestinian "cause."

I am sorry that no other Arab  country will take in or offer more than a
token amount of financial help to  those same Palestinians.

I am sorry that the USA has to step in and be  the biggest financial
supporter of poverty stricken Arabs while the insanely  wealthy Arabs blame
the USA for all their problems.

I am sorry that our  own left wing, our media, and our own brainwashed
masses do not understand any  of this (from the misleading vocal elements of our
society like radical  professors, CNN and the NY TIMES).

I am sorry the United Nations scammed  the poor people of Iraq out of the
"food for oil" money so they could get rich  while the common folk suffered.

I am sorry that some Arab governments pay  the families of homicide bombers
upon their death.

I am sorry that those  same bombers are brainwashed thinking they will
receive 72 virgins in  "paradise."

I am sorry that the homicide bombers think pregnant women,  babies,
children, the elderly and other noncombatant civilians are legitimate  targets.

I am sorry that our troops die to free more Arabs from the gang  rape rooms
and the filling of mass graves of dissidents of their own  making.

I am sorry that Muslim extremists have killed more Arabs than any  other
group.

I am sorry that foreign trained terrorists are trying to  seize control of
Iraq and return it to a terrorist state.

I am sorry every time  terrorists hide they find a convenient "Holy Site."

I am sorry they  didn't apologize for driving a jet into the World Trade
Center that collapsed  and severely damaged Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox
Church - one of our Holy  Sites.

I am sorry they didn't apologize for flight 93 and 175, the USS  Cole, the
embassy bombings, the murders and beheadings of Nick Berg and Daniel  Pearl,
etc....etc!

I am sorry Michael Moore is American; he could feed a  medium sized village
in Africa.

America will get past this latest  absurdity. We will punish those
responsible because that is what we  do.

We hang out our dirty laundry for the entire world to see. We move  on.
That's one of the reasons we are hated so much. We don't hide this stuff
like all those Arab countries that are now demanding an apology.

Deep  down inside, when most Americans saw this reported in the news, we
were like -  so what? We lost hundreds and made fun of a few prisoners. Sure, it
was wrong,  sure, it dramatically hurts our cause, but until captured we
were trying to kill  these same prisoners. Now we're supposed to wring our hands
because a few were  humiliated?

Our compassion is tempered with the vivid memories of our own  people
killed, mutilated and burnt amongst a joyous crowd of celebrating  Fallujahans.

If you want an apology from this American, you're going to  have a long
wait!

You have a better chance of finding those seventy-two  virgins.

Chuck Pitman Lieutenant General, USMC (Ret)



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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.


Posted By: Whisper
Date Posted: 07 October 2005 at 2:30pm
Great P R post! But we will see when the occupation ends and the Extra Additional Deputy Gaad's troops leave Eyerak - to the Eyerakis.


Posted By: b95000
Date Posted: 10 October 2005 at 10:54am
Originally posted by Whisper

Great P R post! But we will see when the occupation ends and the Extra Additional Deputy Gaad's troops leave Eyerak - to the Eyerakis.


Of course you can't acknowledge any facts outside your bubble head mentality..how's the god or is it the ghost of Marx today, by the say W?

Thanks for the good post above Astrophysicist...


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Bruce
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.



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