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No. of Recommendations: 4
Something to consider:

http://slate.msn.com/Earthling/01-09-19/Earthling.asp

What I am concerned with is the military highjacking the nation's direction for 10 years by telling the populace of some blatantly overstated fear, e.g, the nonexistent missile gap pushed by Kennedy and the fraudulent Gulf of Tonkin incident that preceded the resolution. And lets not forget Gen. LeMay's frequent attempts to start a war with the Soviets by having his bombers fly into their airspace.

Most army officers I know don't really want to go and fight. They know that they and their young people do much of the dying. Plus they can't quite get over the cuffing they received at the hands of their own government in Nam. The military has a long institutional memory on that excursion into foreign affairs.

But what they do like is having their budgets approved and getting promoted. So they might be willing to be creative in relating the threat to the CIC and the populace. If this happens it means many things we ought to be taking care of will not be.

Now before you bomb-throwers lose your minds I'm not talking about the recent atrocities visited upon us in New York and DC. I am concerned about what direction will happen after that particular phase is over.

"dry thoughts of a dry mind in a dry season"

I think it was elliot who wrote it. Not sure.

j

ps- I'm wondering if it might be cheaper to give every Afghani a million dollars and see what that does to them. See if we can co opt them into becoming "consumers."
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No. of Recommendations: 35
Now before you bomb-throwers lose your minds I'm not talking about the recent atrocities visited upon us in New York and DC. I am concerned about what direction will happen after that particular phase is over.

Only now, some 10 days after the fact, am I becomming fully aware of the enormity of this atrocity that has been visited upon us. All through the first week I kept hoping against hope that this was all a bad dream and that I would wake up to another day in Paradise.

I am filled seething anger. My twisted heart cries out for revenge against these animals that have rained such destruction upon our soft and unsuspecting midst. Six thousand and more dead in the rubble of a landmark complex that is the heart of our economic philosophy. Thousands of mourning and impoverished families. Tearful widows and children struck dumb, fathers and mothers seeing their beloved children simply obliterated. Friends abandoned by the whims of fate. Firemen and policemen by the hundreds buried in the rubble of twisted iron and crumbling concrete. The country at large reeling in shock and consternation and disbelief, wondering what will become of us, what we should do in the face of this mind-numbing, viscious, blind-sided roundhouse blow.

I am filled with ambivalence. I have lived and worked in the Middle East. I found the Arabs warm and generous. They treated me and my wife with great kindness and respect. I found Islam a powerful force for good in their lives. I was impressed with their piety and their devotion and their proprietary morality. I like the Arabs. I respect Islam. I appreciate the effect that Western culture is having on their old and ingrained, traditional ways. Our civilization, our mores, our culture is infringing on a culture that they value as much as we value ours.

I thought Bush gave a rousing speech to a receptive audience last night. We are confused and uncertain and buffeted mightily by forces beyond our control. Why do They hate us so as to visit this horror upon us?
Should we respond, and, if so, in what manner? My heart says one thing. My brain advises caution. I would give him credit for rallying a willing nation, yet I am ambivalent about the nature of his response. We would be extremely ill-advised to go to war simultaneously with more than a dozen different nations. I have experienced myself the folly of the land-war in Asia that MacArthur so cautioned this nation against. In particular, no nation since the Mongols has succeeded in subjugating what is now Afghanistan. The grave of the old, and formerly mighty Soviet Union is built on the ashes of their crushing military failure in Afghanistan. Furthermore, we have no quarrel with the Afghani people, only their leaders, the Taliban, who are themselves usurpers in the political vacuum of Russian defeat. It serves no purpuse to sacrifice innocent Afghani citizens and peasants to avenge the atrocities of the WTC fiasco. It serves little purpose to sacrifice the flesh and blood of the sons and daughters ofthis homeland nation to advance our emotional and practical causes. I am a reluctant warrior. I fear we will destabilize Pakistan and a myriad of other Muslim countries, creating problems far greater than those we have confronted for such a short and necessarily irrational time. We do not have the resources for a full frontal attack on all nations that harbor terrorism or at least look the other way when presented with less than welcome guests.

I am incredibly angry with Israel for fomenting and prolonging this cultural and political war that is really the wellfont of this current dilemma and the destruction recently visited upon us. There are plenty of reasons for the disadvantaged of the world to hate us, many illogical, some painfully valid. That would be an excellent topic for discussion in this erudite forum. The Palestinians will not go away. Their huge and righteous discontent is entirely justified. The sight of children in the streets of Gaza and Ramalla filled my heary with dismay. These are terrorists......not yet in their teens. Such ingrained hatred can not be defeated with airstrikes and ground troops. The Palestinians need a homeland. The Muslims have as much religious clain to Jerusalem as do the Jews and the Christians. Jerusalem should be a living symbol of religious harmony for the entire world to enjoy and admire.

The equation is incredibly complex. My own reactions are a work in progress. I admire Bush's speechwriters and his skillful delivery. He did well in adressing many of the concerns of a struggling people. He struck some very responsive cords. His too is a work in progress. I would hope that wise counsel and cooler heads will limit his military targeting and that our diplomatic and legal expertise will come to dominate the necessarily wide and prolonged response that will certainly consume most of the next deacde of our national and international interest.

This si just a start. I have much more to say, but my wife advises me that it is time for dinner. I wish you all well, brothers and sisters, for brothers and sisters we are. You will need great strength and courage, patience and wisdom to sustain us all in the months and years to come.

Jimbo
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No. of Recommendations: 1
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I have experienced myself the folly of the land-war in Asia that MacArthur so cautioned this nation against.

Jimbo, you have done it again. Your articulate, well-considered comments are speaking my thoughts so much better than I could have.

When I read that Bin Laden T-shirts are impossible to keep in stock in Indonesia, it screams that our approach is totally wrong. We are losing the battle for the hearts and minds of the Muslim man-in-the-street. We are completely playing into Bin Laden's hand. He couldn't ask for more. We are alienating the Muslim world. While we have the capability to destroy the countries and governments involved, the man in the street will remain.

Jerusalem should be a living symbol of religious harmony for the entire world to enjoy and admire

I heard a proposal, decades ago, that Jerusalem be made an international city, and seat of the United Nations. It makes more sense to me than anything I've heard. I'm not agreeing with the "Get the UN out of the US" crowd, but moving it to Jerusalem is attractive to me.

Of course neither the Jews nor the Muslims would agree to it. <gloom>

cliff
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Yet another worthwhile post:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=15788747


I agree, e. Brilliant, even.

Rick
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No. of Recommendations: 12
The Palestinians will not go away. Their huge and righteous discontent is entirely justified.

It is my understanding the the Palestinian problem was, if not created by, then greatly exacerbated by Arab leaders. When Israel was about to become a nation, these leaders spread scare stories about what would happen to Arabs inside Israeli territory. As a result, many fled, abandoning businesses, homes and cultural roots, and ending up in refugee camps. In other words, the Arab leaders in the area used the Palestinians to create a problem for Israel and as a source of future terrorist recruits. While Israel has done much to help Jews worldwide (remember Entebbe?), have the oil-rich brethern of the Palestinians done anything to ease their plight?

If the creation of Israel had been met with peace and cooperation, Palestine today would be a prosperous region, and Israel would still be within its original boundaries. Palestinian youths would have jobs and prosperity, at least by Middle Eastern standards, and be less inclined to roam the streets throwing rocks. I seldom see anyone point to the irony that the Arabs in Israel are better off than most Arabs in Arab countries. Some of them even serve in the Israeli parliament. Where else in the Arab world can an Arab even vote? Fifty years of war, terrorism and hatred have reduced, in my mind, any legitimacy the Palestinians have for any grievances against Israel--but it's not the fault of the Palestinian in the street--he's been the pawn of self-serving murderers like Arafat.
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No. of Recommendations: 2
I am incredibly angry with Israel for fomenting and prolonging this cultural and political war that is really the wellfont of this current dilemma and the destruction recently visited upon us. There are plenty of reasons for the disadvantaged of the world to hate us, many illogical, some painfully valid. That would be an excellent topic for discussion in this erudite forum. The Palestinians will not go away. Their huge and righteous discontent is entirely justified.


Jimbo,

I am certainly no expert on middle-eastern history, but IIRC, when the United Nations carved out the country we now know as Israel about the first thing the Palestinians did was attack them. The attacks, to my knowledge, have not stopped since. Do you suppose that if the Palestinians had left them alone they wouldn't be in this awful mess now? Does Israel attack anyone without provocation? If Palestine stops its attacks, would there be peace there?

AM
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No. of Recommendations: 7
Where else in the Arab world can an Arab even vote?

This is one of the most ignorant questions I have seen in a long time.

For some reason, I spent a good portion of my "free time" today actually digging up the answer to this. I created a glorious spreadsheet detailing (among other things) government type, number of parliamentary members & their term lengths, birth rate, life expectancy, infant mortality and some other juicy tidbits of QOL indicators.

The fact of the matter is, in MOST of the "Arab world", there are elections. Granted, there are a few countries where those votes may or may not matter, depending on the whims of the PTB.

But that wasn't the question, was it?

If anyone's truly interested in the spreadsheet I created, email me.

- T, who can websurf one-handed AND collect data quite readily even whilst nursing a teething toddler.

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No. of Recommendations: 8
Me: Where else in the Arab world can an Arab even vote?

TeraG: This is one of the most ignorant questions I have seen in a long time.

Well, yes and no. TG kindly emailed me her spreadsheet, but it was formatted in such a way that I couldn't read it. I suspect that she created it in Excel 2000 or XP, which are not backward compatible with Excel 97. Microsoft's little trick to get you to buy the same product over and over.

So I did a little research myself. Turns out that Arabs can vote in most Arab countries. But I still question whether it means anything (and I was only concerned with the national level in my previous post, not voting for town council or dogcatcher). Taking the Arab world from west to east:

Morocco: monarchy
Algeria: military dictatorship
Tunisia: seems like they actually elect their leaders
Libya: dictatorship
Egypt: elections
Palestine: dictatorship
Syria: dictatorship
Iraq: dictatorship
Saudi Arabia: monarchy

Those are the biggies, or at least most of them. Go further east and you run out of Arabs. Even in some of the dictatorships/monarchies, the people elect national assemblies, but I believe they are rubber stamps for the rulers.

TG should really get out more. There are lots of questions far more ignorant than mine everywhere you look.

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