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#52679 - 07/20/04 09:44 PM Re: OT: politics
Hawkson101 Offline
devotee

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 359
Loc: wilmette illinois
""When the significance of money, and therefore wealth decreases, mankind will advance as a society. When healthcare, food, shelter, education and moderate individual accesories are afforded to everyone we, as a race and a country, can start to move towards something bigger then planet earth. Granted, the situation I described is almost utopia like, but it is achievable. With robots and computers ready to take on 80% of the jobs humans do, there will be more free time for us to devote towards individual free time, bettering ourselves and bettering others."

I would have to disagrre with just about everything in the above statement. Money, wealth, capitalism, etc... is the engine that has advanced human civilization to the point we are today.

For example, there is no question that health care in the developed countries is better today than it was 10 years ago or 20 or 100. Why? Because medical research - largely funded by companies looking to make a profit with the latest, greatest life saving drug/machine - has benefited from the incentive capitalism provides.

If the time comes when humans no longer have to work and can just spend their time pondering the angst of their existence, we will be in trouble. It is healthy, nay ESSENTIAL, to strive, to struggle, to want, to achieve. The "free-time utopia" you envision would probably be a very depressing, listless, direction-less place.
"

I think you took my vision of a better society and possibly twisted it just a little:)

Sometime in this century machines will replace most of our daily jobs. What possibilities are there for the human race when most instinctual needs are met without working(very hard or at all) and we have time for other things? In my view space and other conquests will be achieved. IMO that is the time to start looking foward instead of now while healthcare and food are not readily available to everyone.
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Once You Pop You Can't Stop

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#52680 - 07/20/04 09:53 PM Re: OT: politics
TurboDog1 Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 342
First of all, let me say that I too don't put a ton of weight on anything that Pat Buchanon says. He has long since burned that bridge w/ the extremist crap that he often spews. In this case, I tried diligently to separate his personal assertions from the actual quoted/referenced text. I also followed up by reading up on the think-tank website that these guys maintain, which contains a lot of position papers issued by them...I don't have the link here at home. I will try to post tomorrow.

In the end, I can pallet the idea of these guys brainstorming policy, since those types of groups are probably a dime a dozen. It doesn't surprise me that they were able to get into the positions that they presently hold. I can even accept that their policies may be slanted a little too far in favor of Israel's interests. However, I take comfort in the fact that public opinion and the influence of Congress should keep this generally at bay. My biggest concern is the general sentiment they express to aggressively attack ALL of the militant terrorist groups, such as Jesbola (etc). I obviously would prefer that these groups be eradicated, but I have heartburn about the fact that many of these groups are not our direct enemies at this point in time. If we actually take the aggressive stance that these men are proposing, I fear that we might actually ignite more hatred for the US than we already see in the Middle East. Right now, many of these groups would rather blow up Israel. I'm not quite sure I want to proactively shift their attention to blowing us up.

Now, I want to shift gear to Iraq again for a minute....

First of all, I too find myself questioning the "imminent threat" portion of the administration's argument. I think that they stretched that one a bit to transition from Afghanistan to Iraq. That being said, I personally think that they had an opportunity to pressure the UN to step up to the task...as I stated before. We still would have been the muscle in that scenario, but we would have forced the UN to follow through on their own threats.

On a related note, as expected, the "No WMDs" argument has surfaced. I find this particular argument to be a bit disturbing. Persons arguing will quickly argue that the lack of WMDs found is proof that the war effort was flawed from inception. What they will not readily agree to is the fact that ALL of Congress (Including Hillary and Kerry) voted in favor of the war, based upon the available intel and the perceived threat...which, by the way, has been subsequently confirmed by Russian intel. In addition to this, they often scoff at the idea that Saddam most assuredly hid all of the weapons in question either out in the desert or probably in Syria, which is presently acting as the terrorist turnstile. To agree to these points, you have to admit that the Bush administration did the right things based upon the information available....and that's not going to happen.

The second of the above points completely perplexes me. If you go through the different UN resolutions and documents, there is ample proof that Saddam had WMDs (yes, probably US-made). While doing that search, you also quickly see that he spent ten years (on and off) giving UNSCUM the runaround and depriving them of unfettered access to Iraqi facilities. Neither of these is disputed. Given that, I'm not sure why everyone can't connect the dots and see that he hid the weapons. Did he just go and destroy them and not tell the UN?....why?...makes no sense. Did he not have them at all?...nope. UN reports document their existence. So, that's not a valid position. Did he use them?...there's no evidence of that, beyond the early days of gassing thousands of his own people (yes, after we encouraged them to revolt and left them hanging). What's left is to assume that Saddam hid the WMDs. It's not a copout....it's the only explanation...simple logic. They had to go somewhere....occam's razor, is it?

I hope it's apparent now that I'm not fully arguing in favor of either side. I am merely trying to address points as they come up. I think that we all are guilty of picking up the party line sometimes without questioning the motives of the particular argument. Right now, the Democrats have selective amnesia concerning their support for this war and their statements concerning the Iraqi threat. Their demigod was the first to admit that Iraq was a problem that needed to be dealt with....too bad he hadn't snatched up Bin Laden when the Sudanese offered him up on a silver platter. No way I wasn't going to toss that out to stir things up.

In reading over this post, I realize that I'm a bit scattered in my argument....Oh well, long day.

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#52681 - 07/20/04 09:58 PM Re: OT: politics
Zarak Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/09/03
Posts: 1849
Loc: PA
If you are bringing God into it, they would surely say he is on their side...that's the whole motiviation. I of course don't agree with that (or even that he takes "sides" in the affairs of men).

As to his methods being just, no they aren't for what we expect. Does that make it our job to police the world and take out all leaders that we don't consider to be just? Why should our version of right be considered the right for the whole world? Sounds kind of like what Hitler wanted...his version of right for everyone.

Now before you saying I am not being PC again, no I am not comparing the US to Hitler...I think we live in a great country and I feel lucky that I happened to be born in it and enjoy all of the freedoms that we have. I'm just trying to look at things from outside of the US perspective and try to see it as some other countries do. Not everyone has had the privledge of growing up and living their lives in a country like ours, so they have different perspectives on things. At the same time, I don't think this means we should try to free every country and try to give them the freedoms we enjoy. Not only is it not our job as a superpower, but there are many countries out there that would resent it (not just the leaders/govt., but the people too).

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#52682 - 07/20/04 10:18 PM Re: OT: politics
Hawkson101 Offline
devotee

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 359
Loc: wilmette illinois
"I think that we are indeed in the middle of world war with us on one side and radical Islam on the other. This is not a war of religion for us; it’s a war for survival. I think that we have forgotten the horror of 9/11, which is understandable, to an extent. We are so wrapped up in our own little worlds to pay attention to the bigger picture…However, the terrorists are still out there planning ways to kill YOU. No matter what we do, they want us dead. 9/11 was a wake-up call, but it didn’t last long enough. We’ve settled right back into our normal day-to-day life and lost sight of the underlying fact that the adversary in this situation does not forget, does not get back to normal life, does not have a change of heart. He wants us dead no matter what. The next time we hear from them on American soil, it might be when they vaporize 10 million people with a nuclear device. That day is coming…mark my words. This fact alone should keep you up at night. So, when you are standing at that ballot box, keep this in mind. We need strong leadership right now that is willing to speak in their language. George W Bush might be a moron to some degree, but he is the one that scares our enemies, not John Kerry. "


You are correct we are at war with radical islam. But how exactly do you propose we fight this war? With bullets and bombs? With harsh words and forceful politics? That doesn't sound like good foreign policy to me.
What George Bush proposes is to beat radical islam into submission until they no longer believe it is in their best interests to fight and die for what they believe.

Since these people are willing to die for what they believe how is that killing them will eliminate their conviction to fight?

Granted, we can kill their leaders and partly remove institutions that foster these terrorists groups and the ideas that form them, but the problem and the anti-american sentiment will still be there. Others will take their place. Others will die in their place. Others will take up the cause.

It is perposteruous to me to think that you can kill an idea with bullets and bombs and that is exactly what GWBush is planning on. Think Braveheart. Think Israel and Northern Ireland.

The way to solve the 'terrorist' problem is to first figure out why the [censored] they are so pissed off in the first place. Can anyone honestly say why they are pissed off? I have seen my dateline and CNN specials, but what have we really learned about them. According to dateline they feel we have invaded their culture. And we have insulted their god. And a number of other things.

But thats Bullshit. It is a multitude of issues that we have yet to work out. Once we figure out the economics, politics, and religious problem they have with us can we solve our differences.

And when we do figure out the problem, we can figure out the solution. It seems to me that we know they want to kill us, and that we must stop them from killing us.
George Bush says this crap is the problem and that he is solving it by going to war with iraq. That isn't the problem. That is the result of radical Islamic problem that already exists.

We need a leader NOT like George Bush who understands that the hearts and minds of Islam will NOT be won over with bullets and bombs.

It is so unbearably frusterating to think that we have a president who says he is trying to win a war with Islam while completely ignoring Islam. Instead he concentrates on Iraq which contrary to Fox's "Cheney said so" approach, was not a part of radical Islams attack on America.

What is also frusterating is that former 'non-radicalists' of Islam are becoming more and more radical thinks to George Bush. George Bush is the cause of problems by completely ignoring Islam.

We went into Iraq without any regard for others, and now that Iraq is a junk hole, we look to others for help. If you put yourself in their shoes, it is hard to imagine they have any sympathy for us anymore.

America was in a great position to change the world after 9-11. We had the hearts of people all over the world with us and the momentum after Afgahnistan to change a lot. Instead we [censored] it up and went to Iraq.

George Bush [censored] my generation. Period




_________________________
Once You Pop You Can't Stop

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#52683 - 07/20/04 10:29 PM Re: OT: politics
TurboDog1 Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 342
"IMO that is the time to start looking foward instead of now while healthcare and food are not readily available to everyone."

Now, here is where I'm going to come off as cold, but I have to do it.

First of all, widespread hunger is not a problem here in the US. We are probably by far the fattest nation in the world. This obesity problem extends will into the impoverished areas. Those that would have you believe otherwise are often the ones that manipulate survey results where kids answered questions like "Are you ever hungry at school?" and paint the results to imply widespread childhood hunger.

As far as healthcare goes, I will go out on a limb and say that everyone has access to healthcare in some form or another. Those in poverty may not be part of an HMO, but they still have options w/ clinics, emergency rooms, medicaid, etc. It's not an ideal situation, but it's still far better than the majority of nations on this planet. The recent surge in socialist sentiment in the Democratic party would have everyone in society have the same level of healthcare services. To do so, someone is going to have to bear that financial burden....ie, taxpayers. Before we go down that road, I would prefer that those seeking higher standards of healthcare do what it takes to advance their career prospects, which will directly result in meeting their needs.

Again, our society too easily falls into this government can solve everything mode. If an individual, no matter what their income bracket is, wants to raise their standard of living, it's not the governments responsibility to provide that. It's each of our responsibilities to make our own way. Government progrems should be to help those in lugitimate need....not to subsidize the lower end of the financial spectrum with money taken by force from "the rich".

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#52684 - 07/20/04 10:45 PM Re: OT: politics
Hawkson101 Offline
devotee

Registered: 11/06/03
Posts: 359
Loc: wilmette illinois
Turbo Dog-I understand what you are saying and I agree you with 100%. I am talking in generalities and I do know there are specifics that have to be worked out. When I say we need to fix healthcare and food I mean for the whole world. The US will be fine assuming we do not get annihilated. But if we go to mars to claim the red planet in the name of mankind, we should be able to look upon earth from mars knowing mankind is in good order. It used to be(and still is) that humans looked to the skies to get away from the harsh reality of earth, and in the future we can look to the skies knowing that is our reality.

But until we have conquered our problems on planet earth, conquering mars will not, and should not happen.


Edited by Hawkson101 (07/20/04 10:46 PM)
_________________________
Once You Pop You Can't Stop

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#52685 - 07/20/04 10:56 PM Re: OT: politics
TurboDog1 Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 342
That is the quandry, isn't it. How do we fight this battle? You assert that the first step is to understand Islam and the true source of this sentiment. I think that I would agree with this statement to some extent. It is necessary to truly understand how we have affected this region and created the very sentiment that we are now fighting against. When you really start to understand that, the situation gets even more complex. They don't just hate us because we have intruded on their region. They hate us because we have played w/ them like chess pieces, pitting them against each other to meet our needs and then bailing out on them after we get what we want. But, in the end, the biggest problem is that we represent the antithesis of the fundamentalist culture that they are trying to sustain.

Now, once you gain this better understanding, what do you do with that information? They are still coming, no matter what we do. Our only hope is that the region begins to police itself. But, in the interim, we either sit idly by and wait for the next attack or we finish what we started in Iraq and demonstrate our resolve, the one thing that they do understand about us. There is no resolving of differences in this scenario. With Allah as their guide, they have vowed to destroy us...we can't talk ourselves out of that.

As far as Iraq being a "junk-hole", I think that there are relatives of the tens of thousands of dead kirds that might disagree with that. There are millions of Iraqis that now have a level of freedom they could only have imagined. The only thing turning Iraq into a "junk-hole" is the unending flow of terrrorists from surrounding countries fighting tooth and nails to stop the establishment of a free Iraq. The biggest problem facing Iraqi muslims right now is not the Americans. We're spilling American blood daily trying to protect them. The problem they are facing now is the fundamentalist Islamic radicals killing fellow muslims. Based upon recent proclamations from Iraqi groups demanding the end to these terrorist attacks, it's fair to assume that there is hope that Islam will start to police Islam. Personally, I think that is our best hope for resolution.

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#52686 - 07/20/04 11:04 PM Re: OT: politics
TurboDog1 Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 342
Hawkson, I understand what you are saying. However, there is another side of me that thinks that halting innovation is a dangerous thing. Right now, the world is still a bunch of Neanderthols clubbing each other over whose God is best. One could argue that massive change requires massive catalysts. What happens if we were to find some kind of proof of life on Mars. Think of the global ramifications if our species was able to know for sure that we are not alone in this game? I agree....It's a tough question when you see mass starvation and AIDS in Africa. However, I also realize that the NASA budget isn't enough to solve the worlds problems...unless of course we can find proof of ET.

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#52687 - 07/20/04 11:04 PM Re: OT: politics
BigWill Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/01/03
Posts: 1951
Loc: Corona, Calif. USA!!!
I certainly did not intend to bring God into the discussion, but when discussing matters of right and wrong it is easier to refer to that paradigm. Pmbuko got my drift by acknowledging that the humanitarian benefit/cost of the war is yet to be seen. Keep in mind, however, that Saddam - terrible as he was - would have been succeeded by another despot.

"As to his methods being just, no they aren't for what we expect. Does that make it our job to police the world and take out all leaders that we don't consider to be just? Why should our version of right be considered the right for the whole world?"

I've never met a Saddam apologist before. Although the link pmbuko supplied earlier came close, stating that Kuwait brought it on themselves. Talk about battered-wife syndrome!

Regardless, Saddam was not viewed as a "true believer" by other Muslims and his hold on power was not affirmed by the graces of Allah. He ruled by fear; the fear that if you opposed him your family would be murdered (hey, you're right, those aren't tactics we would expect from our gov't. To each his own I guess). The poor guys that rushed our tanks with AKs probably had the same fate awaiting them if they had refused. They weren't fighting for Allah, IMO.

"I'm just trying to look at things from outside of the US perspective and try to see it as some other countries do."

I'm not. As an American, I am interested in the health and welfare of my own. No doubt the rest of the world feels the same way, despite their rhetoric to the contrary. Like it or not, there is no int'l system of gov't which unites us all as one people. I look in the eyes of my little boy and know that I could give a rat's ass what the French think.

If it is not our job to police the world then we may as well scrap the UN. Fine by me. But, as we saw on 9/11, the issues in the Middle East - which the gov't is now attempting to address - have direct impact on the lives of Americans in their home country. Not policing the world, but looking out for our own interests.



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#52688 - 07/20/04 11:32 PM Re: OT: politics
TurboDog1 Offline
devotee

Registered: 02/29/04
Posts: 342
Scrap the UN? That's the best idea I've heard tonight. Many people seem to view the UN as some kind of early-days Federation from Star Trek, a unifying body of like minds. It's very unfortunate, but this optimistic view of the UN is misguided. The UN does NOT have the best interests of the US in mind. In fact, a good case can be made for stating that the UN is about as anti-American as you can get, while maintaining enough composure to happily accept the massive US contributions/dues. As we saw with Iraq, three of the largest European powers threw us under the bus in order to maintain their own personal corrupt agenda. I say, pull the funding, disband the damn thing, and start over w/ equal power. That way, the Frogs won't have veto power over a nation willing to actually do a damn thing beside bend over and take it.

OK...I'm done for the night. Political talk does nothing but stress me out. These problems have gotten far beyond our control. When I really think about it, I fear for the future of my little girl, who hopefully will be arriving in the next couple weeks. I guess the best I can do is just do my best to raise an intelligent and compassionate young lady....and hope that the rest of the world can finally get it's #$%& together before they blow it all up.

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