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No. of Recommendations: 13
MSHH and the jerk who tried to make light of Ken's death are trying to yank our chains. They have nothing to offer, except little mind games somehow designed to unseat Bush. Of course, they won't mention how John Kerry, the poster child for liberalism, will be an unmitigated disaster as President. The only reason he's doing well in the polls is because he hasn't spoken to the American people. Just wait until he actually has to make a decision in front of people.

But that's beside the point. The fact remains that MSHH and the rest aren't looking to offer solutions and debate ideals. They're here to whine about Bush. Please don't feed the trolls. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Oh, and Happy July 4th.

Dean
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No. of Recommendations: 4
"Oh, and Happy July 4th."

Thanks and let's remember the reason for the holiday. INDEPENDENCE!

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No. of Recommendations: 5
Of course, they won't mention how John Kerry, the poster child for liberalism, will be an unmitigated disaster as President.

Well, since you seem to know the answer to this, enlighten us, please. How SPECIFICALLY will Kerry be an "unmitigated disaster"? Contrast this to the known quantity of GW Bush.

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No. of Recommendations: 10
Hi Corbetti,

Of course, they won't mention how John Kerry, the poster child for liberalism, will be an unmitigated disaster as President.

Well, since you seem to know the answer to this, enlighten us, please. How SPECIFICALLY will Kerry be an "unmitigated disaster"? Contrast this to the known quantity of GW Bush.


While I don't KNOW that Kerry will be as much of a disappointing disaster as Bush... the fact is we know VERY little of ANYTHING significantly positive about Kerry at all!

Frankly, we might as well toss a coin, or throw a dart at a list of senators... or better yet, let's just vote in my next door neighbor Al... He's got it all figured out! LOL!

The "Anything But Bush" cry is so thin as to be dangerously irresponsible. There CAN be worse than the status quo... VERY worse.

I'm the last to "choose the devil we know to avoid the one we do not," HOWEVER, blind change merely for the sake of change is a very bad idea, IMO.

Cheers,
Dave
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No. of Recommendations: 2
MSHH and the jerk who tried to make light of Ken's death are trying to yank our chains. They have nothing to offer, except little mind games somehow designed to unseat Bush. Of course, they won't mention how John Kerry, the poster child for liberalism, will be an unmitigated disaster as President. The only reason he's doing well in the polls is because he hasn't spoken to the American people. Just wait until he actually has to make a decision in front of people.

If all they did was try some BS about politics, I could handle it easily, but to come over here and speak ill of someone that was not even dead 5 days is absolutely beyond revolting.
BTW, I will make certain that every person I know on the the Fool knows the games they played. I want people to know exactly how the sniveling little slimes hide behind their keyboard.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Thanks and let's remember the reason for the holiday. INDEPENDENCE!


Or as my 5 & 7 year old daughters say, "Happy Birthday, USA!!"
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Well, since you seem to know the answer to this, enlighten us, please. How SPECIFICALLY will Kerry be an "unmitigated disaster"? Contrast this to the known quantity of GW Bush.

You're probably right. He'd have to make up his mind before he could be a disaster.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
but to come over here and speak ill of someone that was not even dead 5 days is absolutely beyond revolting.

I've seen two or three references to this in the last few days, but I
haven't found whatever it is you might be referring to.
Since it keeps coming up, could you provide a link(s)?
Thanks,
ValueSnark
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No. of Recommendations: 0
I've seen two or three references to this in the last few days, but I
haven't found whatever it is you might be referring to.
Since it keeps coming up, could you provide a link(s)?
Thanks,
ValueSnark


TMF yanked it. This is the thread that follwed it and the original poster was satiranarchist:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=20961620&sort=whole
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No. of Recommendations: 1
I was walking in Harvard Square late Friday afternoon, and the John Kerry folks were out in full force. Every single time I passed one by, they called to me, "Do you want to help us defeat George Bush?" They had signs that said "Democratic National Comitte". Not a single mention of John Kerry. Not one.

I told one of the campaigners she was wating her summer.

-JAR
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No. of Recommendations: 3
zsimpson,

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I see no mention of MSHH in that thread, but the post you made condemning these posters included MSHH by name. Is there something obnoxious he posted as well, or were you perhaps using a shotgun when a rifle would have made more sense?

Thanks,
R:
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Not to put too fine a point on it, but I see no mention of MSHH in that thread, but the post you made condemning these posters included MSHH by name. Is there something obnoxious he posted as well, or were you perhaps using a shotgun when a rifle would have made more sense?

His post was another board. He didn't have the guts to post it here apparently.
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No. of Recommendations: 34
Well, since you seem to know the answer to this, enlighten us, please. How SPECIFICALLY will Kerry be an "unmitigated disaster"? Contrast this to the known quantity of GW Bush.

Kerry has a well-documented history of flip-flopping on important issues. One of the qualities I look for in a President is being a leader, and making tough decisions, when you know about 50% of the American public is going to disagree. Even more important is when a President makes a decision that he KNOWS will be unpopular, because he has classified information that the American public doesn't. I don't think that Kerry has what it takes to make tough decisions that are in the best long-term interests of the country. I think he's predisposed to duck dealing with difficult problems. He'll try to set up 'commissions' and 'task forces' to 'handle' issues like health care, Social Security, etc., but these will do nothing to solve the underlying problems. But more importantly, he won't put American lives at risk to fight terrorists on THEIR turf, which will all but guarantee that the war on terror will continue on OURS. That's enough for me to say he's a disaster in the making.

Dean
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Not a single mention of John Kerry. Not one.

That's the thing -- at some point, Kerry has got to fish or cut bait. He won't be able to hide at pep rallies forever, and/or let the "Hate Bush" crowd look for supporters. I think that the image of Kerry is a lot more appealing to moderates now than it will be when he has to take a position and defend it. It's a lot easier to run a negative campaign than a positive one, and he's staked out territory that indicates that he wants to run a positive campaign. Kudos to him on that point, but the road is going to get a lot tougher after the convention.

Dean
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No. of Recommendations: 29
Well said, Dean.

Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq was a politically courageous move. It appears to have been done with the interests of US citizens and greater humanity in mind but at great personal political risk.

The nutty theories advanced in support of alternative motives don't hold water. Bush's opponents would have us believe that he went to war with Iraq KNOWING that Hussein's Iraq was unlikely to have significant WMD's. Waging war knowingly on a false premise would have been sheer lunacy and political suicide. His opponents then concoct theories about oil, Haliburton profits or revenge for an assassination attempt on his father as motivation. Does anybody really believe that Bush would throw away American lives and commit political suicide for oil which was already on the world market, the corporate profits of a company he doesn't even work for, or simple revenge? Unbelievable.

Recent news of Iraq's terrorist ties and Hussein's atrocities are mounting and providing compelling evidence that the decision to invade Iraq was the right decision at the time.

This decision may cost Bush the election in November as Americans grow weary of war casualties. If so, that would be a blow to our national resolve in fighting the radical Islamic terrorist threat.

I am critical of this adminstration's uneven approach to the terrorist threat and some of its excesses in this regard but the alternative appears far worse.

wolvy

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No. of Recommendations: 14
wolvy,

You're right, there's no end to the illogic about why Bush went to war. To some people that are so filled with hate and bile, it just couldn't be because it was in the national interest. I believe that Bush did what he thought was right, acting on the information he had at the time. That's all you can ask of any President. I prefer a measured response in the face of a threat to national security, as opposed to a stick-your-head-in-the-sand approach that may be more politically expedient.

What a lot of Americans still don't realize is that radical Islam is DETERMINED to kill as many Christians and Jews as they can. That's ALL THEY DO. Do they want to build schools? Only if it can help them brainwash more 'true believers' that will strap themselves with explosives. Do they want to debate ideals with us? No, because their ideals are based on repressive regimes and slavish adherence to dogma. So, what's the solution? TO HUNT THEM DOWN AND KILL THEM ALL. Now, that's not a comforting thought, I'll admit. But faced with the alternative of just waiting around for them to keep attacking us, I say that we have the obligation to take the war to them. I'm libertarian, but not Libertarian. I believe that national defense is fundamental obligation of government. We are in a war. Some of us just choose to ignore the facts. They count up the lives lost, but they don't say anything about the lives probably saved.

That's a fundamental difference. If your hero in "A Few Good Men" was the character played by Tom Cruise, then you probably are against the war. My favorite character was played by Jack Nicholson. In the film, an innocent man died, but sometimes they do, even when good people are doing what they think is right under intense pressure. The right things are rarely easy, and you'll never get credit for doing them when you're sitting in the White House. Lest we forget, Abe Lincoln was among the most despised men in history while he was alive. I'm not saying that Bush is in the same ballpark as Lincoln, just that being a President and being hated doesn't mean you're not doing the right things.

Dean
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No. of Recommendations: 6
Dean

I have a similar general political philosophy which emphasizes individual rights but also national security. I also disagree with the Libertarian platform which abdicates government's critical and central responsibility of national security. I am a realist who recognizes that protecting us from certain national security threats may take precedence over unlimited individual freedoms. In the long run, this approach should protect our most basic freedoms.

I also take the threat of Islamic radical terrorism very seriously. These monsters would kill as many innocent people as they could. If they had access to the most terrible weapons, they WOULD use them to kill as many Americans as possible. This could be millions. Left-wing apologists seek to place the blame for the terrorists' atrocities on their victims. There is no reasoning or rationale for their terrible crimes. There is NO excuse for purposefully murdering innocent civilians. There is no room for complacency or indecisiveness in combating this threat.

wolvy
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No. of Recommendations: 4
"Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq was a politically courageous move. It appears to have been done with the interests of US citizens and greater humanity in mind but at great personal political risk."

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

Really good post. I'd only add that Bush's opponents' take on the war on Iraq seems to be "I would have done it, too, but I would have done it better." Easily said, but we have no way to believe they could have done a better job. And they could have done a worse job at that. How do we know?

I'm not defending Bush as much as calling his opponents to task for a really, really weak argument.

-JAR

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No. of Recommendations: 4
I have a similar general political philosophy which emphasizes individual rights but also national security. I also disagree with the Libertarian platform which abdicates government's critical and central responsibility of national security. I am a realist who recognizes that protecting us from certain national security threats may take precedence over unlimited individual freedoms. In the long run, this approach should protect our most basic freedoms.

I, too, have a problem with the Libertarian attitude towards things I consider national security treats. I do not like the Patriot Act, nor do I like American citizens being locked up without a trial, or any of the due process.

I also do not want the country to stick it's head in the sand and let the Muslim extremists blow Israel off the face of the map, and I definitely prefer having the extremists shooting at our well-armed and well-armored troops than at our un-armed and un-armored civilians.

I noticed this year at the National Libertarian Convention there were definitely a lot more people that would normally consider themselves "Liberal" or "Democrat" than I would expect, and I think that is a direct result of the party's stance on the war. I think if the party's stance changed, most of those folks would abandon the Libertarian Party with smoke behind them.
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No. of Recommendations: 1
This decision may cost Bush the election in November as Americans grow weary of war casualties. If so, that would be a blow to our national resolve in fighting the radical Islamic terrorist threat.

If the people believed we were defending our country, our reslove would not be broken because of the casualties we're having.


However, it is clear to me that the war on Iraq was not in defense of our country, thus has nothing to do with "fighting the radical Islamic terrorist threat."
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No. of Recommendations: 5
Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq was a politically courageous move. It appears to have been done with the interests of US citizens and greater humanity in mind but at great personal political risk.

Wolvy,

I completely disagree with these statements.

I believe the President's decision to go to war on Iraq was the worst form of political cowardice - he took the national sentiment stemming from the attacks of 9/11 and tried to redirect it to get support for an a'priori plan to invade Iraq.

There was no compelling US national interest at stake in Iraq. Saddam had been contained for the 10 years since President GHW Bush drove him out of Kuwait. He had not presented a strategic threat to the citizens of the United States in any meaningful way in that 10 years. There is no evidence he supplied or planned to supply WMD to terrorists.

Why go to war in the absence of a compelling threat?

As far as operating in the interest of humanity, that isn't what I hired President Bush to do and it isn't his choice to make. He was hired to enforce the laws and support and defend the Constitution of the United States. He wasn't hired to use our national resources in the service of humanity as he saw it.

Do we really want the President committing troops and treasure to right every perceived wrong for the sake of "humanity"? I don't think any of us want to live with the consequences of that course of action.

The nutty theories advanced in support of alternative motives don't hold water. Bush's opponents would have us believe that he went to war with Iraq KNOWING that Hussein's Iraq was unlikely to have significant WMD's.

The UN had a resolution requiring Iraq to abandon their WMDs. Iraq clearly obstructed the verification efforts of the weapons inspectors and looked for all the world like a man trying to hide something. I don't think it was unreasonable to believe he still had WMDs in his arsenal.

That doesn't change a couple of facts, though:

1) The administration severely oversold the WMD angle. I remember several definitive statements from members of the administration regarding knowing exactly where the WMDs were and I also remember a strong case made by the Secretary of State before the UN that suggested the US had proof of their existence. Given the inability to locate anything of the sort once we were on the ground, the integrity of the information used by the administration is certainly questionable. The people making the statements were all intelligent men, and their willingness to use information that later proved completely false in an effort to sell an administration policy does legitimately raise some eyebrows.

2) The UN was the one who made the resolutions banning the weapons. Now you can argue that the UN is a toothless tiger and a complete waste of time and I won't argue with you. Nonetheless, it was their policy being flouted, not ours. I've never been able to make the leap that would let me see Saddam ignoring the UN as our problem to solve.

Waging war knowingly on a false premise would have been sheer lunacy and political suicide

We had several premises as I remember, each one tested in the media in succession and found to be wanting. First, it was to enforce Un resolutions. Then the UN said "Hell no", and it became about WMD and terrorist threats. When that wasn't selling, it was decided that we would go to war to liberate the Iraqi people from oppression.

Were any of these premises false? No, not really, but they were a thin justification for a policy that had already been decided - a justification far too thin for the gravity of the action undertaken.

As far as political suicide, have you seen the President's ratings lately? The economy is growing like gangbusters, 1M jobs have been added in the last 3-4 months, and the President's approval rating is in the tank. I think the American people sense that they were sold a basket of goods in Iraq and they're punishing the President for it.

Recent news of Iraq's terrorist ties and Hussein's atrocities are mounting and providing compelling evidence that the decision to invade Iraq was the right decision at the time.

What recent news? Putin coming out and saying Russia gave the US vague warnings about Iraq's ties to terrorism? Where was he when the UN was debating the invasion? If he knew that the US was combatting a legitimate terrorist threat, why would he have kept mum, and only come out about it 18 months later?

There has been no connection between terrorism and Iraq other than Iraq rewarding "martyrs" in Israel. Certainly, there has been no compelling evidence to suggest a link between Iraq and global terror networks that threaten the US. If there has been, I would love to read the article.

Husseins actions as ruler if Iraq were terrible. I don't think anybody is arguing that. How does that justify our military invasion?

How many die of famine every year in North Korea?
How many are executed?
How many are oppressed in China or Iran?
How many are tortured in Columbia or Peru?
How many are killed in Central Africa?

Seems like there is oppression, injustice, and government atrocity in every corner of the globe. Who should we invade next?

The government of this country was established, in part, to protect the citizens from foreign and domestic threats, not to galavant around the globe protecting humanity.

This decision may cost Bush the election in November as Americans grow weary of war casualties. If so, that would be a blow to our national resolve in fighting the radical Islamic terrorist threat.

I don't believe this to be true. The outcome of the Presidential election is not a referendum on the war on terrorism.

Personally, I don't think President Bush has earned high marks for his efforts against terror so far. Our national interests in the combatting of global terrorism would have been better served if we had fully pacified Afghanistan and left enough troops there to see a stable central government established. The administrations laser focus on invading Iraq has worsened, not improved, our ability to stamp out terrorism.

Will Kerry be any better? Tough to call. I don't see him as a man of resolve or dramatic action, and that will be a disadvantage. That said, I believe he has a more nuanced view of the world which may allow the war on terror to be fought more effectively and at a lower cost in terms of treasure and American lives lost.

Time will tell.

Steve
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No. of Recommendations: 1
Saddam had been contained for the 10 years since President GHW Bush drove him out of Kuwait. He had not presented a strategic threat to the citizens of the United States in any meaningful way in that 10 years.

Or any time prior to that.

His invason of Kuwait in no way jeopardized Americans.
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No. of Recommendations: 0
deanwoodward: "Lest we forget, Abe Lincoln was among the most despised men in history while he was alive. I'm not saying that Bush is in the same ballpark as Lincoln, just that being a President and being hated doesn't mean you're not doing the right things."

Then why mention Lincoln at all?

But it is also true that "being a President and being hated doesn't mean you're . . . doing the right things," either. Assuming that right means something akin to correct or proper, as opposed to distinguishing right from left.

JAFO



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No. of Recommendations: 1
Bush's decision to go to war with Iraq was a politically courageous move. It appears to have been done with the interests of US citizens and greater humanity in mind but at great personal political risk.

OK, I have to call you on this one:

How was the invasion of Iraq in the interests of US citizens???

Hint:

Was it in the interests of the 868 dead soldiers (to date)
Was it in the interest of the next generation which will have to bail out a trillion dollar deficit?
Was it in the interests of those who lost someone in 9/11?
Was it in the interests of a farmer somewhere out in the Midwest?
Was it in the interests of those who are paying a higher price for gas?
Was it in the iterests of the millions who took to the streets and said "NOT IN MY NAME"!

You see, I don't think it was.


Let's leave Michael Moore out of this and let's look at the cold facts:

Bush originally said it was because of the threat to the US from WMDs. This proved to be a lie. there was no threat.

Then he said, it was because Hussein was harbouring Al Quaeda. this was also a lie.

Then he said it was about liberating the Iraqi people and all the neocons have jumped on the bandwagon and repeated "yes, yes, it was to liberate the Iraqis."

But is "liberating the Iraqis" in the interests of the US citizens?

It isn't. It's in the interests of the handful of Iraqis who wanted to be liberated and who didn't lose a relative through the US precision bombing and the accidental "lighting up" of drivers at checkpoints.

Bush isn't courageous - he's a nitwit and an idiot. he is a brainless example of how NOT to be president.

Regards

Ahote


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No. of Recommendations: 0
Does anybody really believe that Bush would throw away American lives and commit political suicide for oil which was already on the world market, the corporate profits of a company he doesn't even work for, or simple revenge?

I don't. At least I don't think it was a simple decision based on one single factor.

However, the motivation for waging war that he delivered to congress and to the American people was at best misleading and at worst an outright lie. That certainly explains where the wild speculation about what his true motivation is.

You believe his motivation is that he saw Iraq as a threat to national security worthy of billions of dollars and thousands of lives.

I would like to see proof that Iraq was a threat to national security worthy of billions of dollars and thousands of lives. A couple of nuclear warheads that were pointed at us will do. A few suitcases full of poison gas with shipping address to the US would do also.

As it is, there are no more ties to terror from Iraq than from Saudi Arabia or any other nation in the region. So, what was Bush's motivation for attacking Iraq? What was it? Was he duped by bad intelligence or was there something else?

Either his motivation was sincere and we can hold him accountable for following bad advice and bad intelligence or there was some other motivation. Which do you think?


Recent news of Iraq's terrorist ties and Hussein's atrocities are mounting and providing compelling evidence that the decision to invade Iraq was the right decision at the time.

Recent news of Iraq's terrorist ties and Hussein's atrocities are mounting and providing compelling evidence that the decision to invade Iraq was the right decision at the time.

What are you implying by 'at the time'? That it is no longer the right decision? Weird.

Recent news that Iraq didn't have WMD and that Americans have actually commited atrocities are mounting and providing compelling evidence that the decision to invade Iraq was the wrong decision.

This decision may cost Bush the election in November as Americans grow weary of war casualties. If so, that would be a blow to our national resolve in fighting the radical Islamic terrorist threat.

I hope to always be 'weary of war casualties'. It is my responsiblity as an human being to be 'weary of war casualties'.

FFO

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No. of Recommendations: 6
"I believe the President's decision to go to war on Iraq was the worst form of political cowardice - he took the national sentiment stemming from the attacks of 9/11 and tried to redirect it to get support for an a'priori plan to invade Iraq."

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

Actually, Bush and other conservatives laid out the real case for war quite well, if anyone was willing to listen. 9/11 just made it easier to build a larger coalition for the war.

Let me ask the follwoing:

Shouldn't an event such as 9/11, which surprised all of us, make us re-think our foreign policy? It is *good* that national sentiment changed, is it not?

By your logic, it seems to me that *any* foreign policy shift after 9/11 would have been bad because you could argue that that shift only got support because of "national sentiment". We were attacked, and you're talking about "national sentiment" as if we were all crazed lunatics.

Political cowardice to shift foreign policy because of an attack on our country? I don't agree.

-JAR
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No. of Recommendations: 8
Then why mention Lincoln at all?

To illustrate the point that being hated by your contemporaries is not an accurate measure of whether a President is in fact acting in the best long-term interests of the country. The two are unrelated, as the conclusions and expectations most people are likely to draw from the contemporary perspective usually differ substantially from what the actual results turn out to be.

As a case in point, many people think that we're making things more difficult for ourselves in terms of terrorist activity, by toppling Saddam and the Taliban. I disagree, because terrorists are unique in the history of American enemies, in that they do not necessarily do what many civilized people consider to be rational. For instance, the enemies of America in the last century have included Germany, Japan, North Korea, the USSR, Vietnam, and China. All (with the recent exception of North Korea) have behaved pretty much rationally in response to the varying degrees of U.S. pressure. They do basically what is in the interests of their people. Muslim extremists, on the other hand, seek to keep a significant portion of their population desperate, so that they always have a pool of martyrs from which to draw. Also, they are not inclined to use diplomacy, and they won't surrender until all the leaders and most of the followers are dead. Even the Japanese, one of the most brutal regimes in history, finally surrendered. I don't think radical Islam is ever going to. So the only solution is to kill them. Many liberals fail to acknowledge that this is the only rational solution that can be obtained from the circumstances. Failure to accept the harsh reality of a situation doesn't alter its truth.

And yes, I meant "right" to be "proper", not as a reference to the political spectrum.

Dean
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Shouldn't an event such as 9/11, which surprised all of us, make us re-think our foreign policy? It is *good* that national sentiment changed, is it not?

Yes on both counts. It made perfect sense to re-assess our foreign policy priorities after 9/11. Further, the shift in national sentiment towards one of greater caution and desire for positive action is a good thing in my opinion.

By your logic, it seems to me that *any* foreign policy shift after 9/11 would have been bad because you could argue that that shift only got support because of "national sentiment". </i.

No, that isn't what my logic suggests and I don't think it can be reasonably inferred that this was what I meant.

A shift in foreign policy towards more concern for terrorism was good and justified. It got support because the national sentiment had changed into one of serious concern over the threat of terrorism. The invasion of Afghanistan in an attempt to captur Bin Laden and punish the Taliban for harboring him was in this sense perfectly justified.

Now flash forward a year or so and you start hearing the administration mention Al Qaeda and global terrorism in the same breath as Iraq when there is virtually no established link between the two. Over and over again, Al Qaeda...terrorism...Iraq. The administration was forming a link in people's minds between terrorism and Iraq for the purpose of tapping the national sentiment built up around terrorism after 9/11 to gain support for their desire to invade Iraq.

That is political cowardice. There is no established link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Using the emotion stirred up by 9/11 to gain support for an invasion of Iraq on the grounds that they were somehow tied to the group that attacked us is insulting to the memory of the people who died there and the efforts undertaken to punish those responsible.

We were attacked, and you're talking about "national sentiment" as if we were all crazed lunatics.

I am? Where did I even remotely suggest that? My problem is not with the response of the people of this nation, it is with the misuse of that response by the administration.

For the record, I don't see Americans as crazed lunatics because they're upset by the attacks on 9/11.

Better?

Political cowardice to shift foreign policy because of an attack on our country? I don't agree.

Neither do I, and fortunately that isn't even close to what I said.

Steve

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No. of Recommendations: 8
"However, the motivation for waging war that he delivered to congress and to the American people was at best misleading and at worst an outright lie. That certainly explains where the wild speculation about what his true motivation is."

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

This statement doesn't make much sense. Why would anyone vote for a war become of *someone else's motivation*. I mean, you would think that a member of congress would form his *own motivation* in his mind, whether or not it agreed with the president's motivation, before voting for the war.

I mean, how does that work?

President: My motivation for going to war is X.

Congressman: Well, I have no reason to go to war, and X is not a reason I would go to war, but if *you* want to go to war because of X, well, that's good enough for me.

Huh?

The fact is Congress did support the war, including both members of the Democrat ticket, Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Tom Daschle, etc., all of whom are *lucky* they didn't have to be the one who put his head on the chopping block and got us to do what no one else had the political will to do.

When nations go to war, there are *many* different reasons some people want to go to war. Some will be ones you don't agree with: (like, he tried to kill my daddy, or I work for Haliburton, or Saddam is diabolical and will eventually do something we'll all regret). Deal with it.

-JAR
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No. of Recommendations: 2
Damned italics...

Try this one more time...


Shouldn't an event such as 9/11, which surprised all of us, make us re-think our foreign policy? It is *good* that national sentiment changed, is it not?

Yes on both counts. It made perfect sense to re-assess our foreign policy priorities after 9/11. Further, the shift in national sentiment towards one of greater caution and desire for positive action is a good thing in my opinion.

By your logic, it seems to me that *any* foreign policy shift after 9/11 would have been bad because you could argue that that shift only got support because of "national sentiment".

No, that isn't what my logic suggests and I don't think it can be reasonably inferred that this was what I meant.

A shift in foreign policy towards more concern for terrorism was good and justified. It got support because the national sentiment had changed into one of serious concern over the threat of terrorism. The invasion of Afghanistan in an attempt to captur Bin Laden and punish the Taliban for harboring him was in this sense perfectly justified.

Now flash forward a year or so and you start hearing the administration mention Al Qaeda and global terrorism in the same breath as Iraq when there is virtually no established link between the two. Over and over again, Al Qaeda...terrorism...Iraq. The administration was forming a link in people's minds between terrorism and Iraq for the purpose of tapping the national sentiment built up around terrorism after 9/11 to gain support for their desire to invade Iraq.

That is political cowardice. There is no established link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. Using the emotion stirred up by 9/11 to gain support for an invasion of Iraq on the grounds that they were somehow tied to the group that attacked us is insulting to the memory of the people who died there and the efforts undertaken to punish those responsible.

We were attacked, and you're talking about "national sentiment" as if we were all crazed lunatics.

I am? Where did I even remotely suggest that? My problem is not with the response of the people of this nation, it is with the misuse of that response by the administration.

For the record, I don't see Americans as crazed lunatics because they're upset by the attacks on 9/11.

Better?

Political cowardice to shift foreign policy because of an attack on our country? I don't agree.

Neither do I, and fortunately that isn't even close to what I said.

Steve
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"Now flash forward a year or so and you start hearing the administration mention Al Qaeda and global terrorism in the same breath as Iraq when there is virtually no established link between the two. Over and over again, Al Qaeda...terrorism...Iraq. The administration was forming a link in people's minds between terrorism and Iraq for the purpose of tapping the national sentiment built up around terrorism after 9/11 to gain support for their desire to invade Iraq."

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

From www.factcheck.org

"It's a matter of record that Bush and Cheney repeatedly accused Saddam
Hussein of aiding al Qaeda terrorists and providing them a base, but
stopped short of accusing him of aiding the September 11 attacks
specifically."

And they were right about aiding al Qaeda terrorists and providing them a base.

All this other nonsense about melding words together is ridiculous. I remember when Ariana Huffington said, "We went into this war based on the lie that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11", which was, of course, a big lie about a non-existent lie.

-JAR

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This statement doesn't make much sense.
Sure it does. I've read it a dozen times. I'll restate it.

The motivation that president Bush gave for going to war in dozens of speeches leading up to it was either misleading or false. This is why people are speculating about his real motivation.

The dialog between the President and Congress in your post is totally off the topic. It has nothing to do with anything in my post.

The fact is Congress did support the war
Duh. Where did I say or imply otherwise? This is totally off topic, I don't know where it came from.

Look, I asked you some questions in my post, but you didn't answer any of them. You just gave some mini-rant about how congress approved the war.


When nations go to war, there are *many* different reasons some people want to go to war.

I believe my post agrees with you here. I state clearly that I don't think it was any single simple reason.

Some will be ones you don't agree with: (like, he tried to kill my daddy, or I work for Haliburton, or Saddam is diabolical and will eventually do something we'll all regret).

Your right, I don't agree with the first two reasons. The last reason is what all of the debate is about, now isn't it? The question I have is was there a way of preventing that diabolical something without spending billions of dollars and thousands of lives? Or, could we have made better progress against terror and saved some of those lives by spending those billions of dollars elsewhere?

Deal with it.

I have every intention of dealing with it in November. Thank You.


If you'd like to answer my questions directly, I'll repost them for you.

Here:
As it is, there are no more ties to terror from Iraq than from Saudi Arabia or any other nation in the region. So, what was Bush's motivation for attacking Iraq? What was it? Was he duped by bad intelligence or was there something else?

Either his motivation was sincere and we can hold him accountable for following bad advice and bad intelligence or there was some other motivation. Which do you think?

<<Your words>>
Recent news of Iraq's terrorist ties and Hussein's atrocities are mounting and providing compelling evidence that the decision to invade Iraq was the right decision at the time.
<< >>

What are you implying by 'at the time'? That it is no longer the right decision?

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deanwoodward:

<<<Then why mention Lincoln at all?>>>

"To illustrate the point that being hated by your contemporaries is not an accurate measure of whether a President is in fact acting in the best long-term interests of the country. The two are unrelated, as the conclusions and expectations most people are likely to draw from the contemporary perspective usually differ substantially from what the actual results turn out to be."

If we were to last that long, I wonder how you might react to history giving B. Clinton better reviews than many on this board or PA did during his term?

"As a case in point, many people think that we're making things more difficult for ourselves in terms of terrorist activity, by toppling Saddam and the Taliban."

Actually, I know very few who make that argument about toppling the Taliban. OTOH, not sticking around to see to the new Afghanistan off to a good start probably was a mistake.

WRT Saddam, I still little or nothing that distinguishes from several of the other middle easetern countries or any or countless bad dictators all over the globe, and no particular reason to make him the example, except as pretext for ulterior motives.

"I disagree, because terrorists are unique in the history of American enemies, in that they do not necessarily do what many civilized people consider to be rational."

And the winners always get to write the history.

"For instance, the enemies of America in the last century have included Germany, Japan, North Korea, the USSR, Vietnam, and China. All (with the recent exception of North Korea) have behaved pretty much rationally in response to the varying degrees of U.S. pressure. They do basically what is in the interests of their people."

Of course, those are all countries and recognized governments (more or less). "Muslim extremists" are an amorphous group.

"Muslim extremists, on the other hand, seek to keep a significant portion of their population desperate, so that they always have a pool of martyrs from which to draw."

Which current government(s) would you call Muslim extremists?

"Also, they are not inclined to use diplomacy, and they won't surrender until all the leaders and most of the followers are dead."

Might even diplomacy have limits when you have no country to run?

"Even the Japanese, one of the most brutal regimes in history, finally surrendered."

After we used nuclear weapons.

"I don't think radical Islam is ever going to. So the only solution is to kill them. Many liberals fail to acknowledge that this is the only rational solution that can be obtained from the circumstances."

Possibly, but until a "recognized" government in the Middle East is radical Islamic, and is left alone WRT to its internal matters, so long as it does not export terrorism, I am not prepared to accept never. OTOH, you might be correct.

I am aware that Clausewitz said that "War is the continuation of politics by other means" but I wold like to know with more certainity that all other means have been unsuccessful before launching a permanent war to the death.

I do not have the quote handy, but in one of the Godfather movies (and IIRC, it was Vito Corleone) who said something to the effect that you cannot leave any survivors - mothers, wives, siblings or children who can grow up and seek vengeance against you. To be successful your effort would need to verge into religious genocide. Otherwise we aer simply leaving behind to many potential future terrorists.

I did find: Michael Corleone: "Your enemies always get strong on what you leave behind."

i>"Failure to accept the harsh reality of a situation doesn't alter its truth."


No, but thinking is not necessarily knowing.

Regards, JAFO

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And they were right about aiding al Qaeda terrorists and providing them a base.

They were? Where was this base?

My understanding is that there was one meeting between a supposed Al Qaeda operative and a member of the Iraqi secret police.

Where is the aid?

let's look at what the 9/1 commission had to say:

http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20040707_495.html

The Sept. 11 commission is standing by its finding that al-Qaida had only limited contact with Iraq before the terrorist attacks.

The 10-member, bipartisan panel issued a one-sentence statement Tuesday saying it had access to the same information as Vice President Dick Cheney, who suggested strong ties between ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida.


How can you support a terrorist base and have only limited contact with them?

All this other nonsense about melding words together is ridiculous

Okay, if you say so. That must be why Condoleeza Rice had to go to the media recently and explain that the administration never claimed Iraq masterminded the 9/11 attacks. It's true...they never claimed it. They insinuated it in speech after speech after speech in the run up to the Iraq war. Like this one:

President Bush: "Both of them need to be dealt with," Bush told reporters at the White House. "You can't distinguish between al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror."

Or this one:

Secretary Rumsfeld: ""We do have solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of al-Qaeda members, including some that have been in Baghdad," Mr Rumsfeld said. "We have what we consider to be very reliable reporting of senior-level contacts going back a decade and of possible chemical and biological agent training," he added.

or this one:

Condoleeza Rice: "We clearly know that there were in the past and have been contacts between senior Iraqi officials and members of al Qaeda going back for actually quite a long time"


So you tell me: Why did 70% of Americans associate Saddam Hussein with the 9/11 attacks?

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-09-06-poll-iraq_x.htm

The connection isn't obvious. Hell, it doesn't even exist according to the 9/11 commission. So where did they get that idea?

This article seems to suggest where they got it:

http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0314/p02s01-woiq.html

What are your thoughts? Is the " melding words together " theory still ridiculous nonsense?

I think the record speaks for itself.

Steve
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Or any time prior to that.

His invason of Kuwait in no way jeopardized Americans.


What about the Americans living and working in Kuwait? Or that we consider the Kuwaitis our allies? None of that counts?
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How was the invasion of Iraq in the interests of US citizens???

I guess long-term thinking is beyond many people here today. Okay let's try this, there's a lot of people out there that want to blow the US and it's allies off the face of the planet. The largest portion of these people are radical Muslims that come from the Middle East. The reason the radical Muslims are able to get people to follow them is that the people are living in the 13th century still and their lives are crap. If we teach them how to have a life instead of wanting to end other people's lives, they will not follow the radical Muslims. If the radical Muslims have no following, they will eventually die out. If they die out, there is one less enemy for us to worry about.
The only way they will learn about freedoms and democracy is to see a Middle East country that is living it. Iraq and Afghanistan will be those countries.
Now, was that simplistic enough yet? My 5yo could even understand that.
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I have every intention of dealing with it in November. Thank You.


Good. Now leave us alone in the meantime. You're annoyingly dense.
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I guess long-term thinking is beyond many people here today. Okay let's try this, there's a lot of people out there that want to blow the US and it's allies off the face of the planet. The largest portion of these people are radical Muslims that come from the Middle East. The reason the radical Muslims are able to get people to follow them is that the people are living in the 13th century still and their lives are crap. If we teach them how to have a life instead of wanting to end other people's lives, they will not follow the radical Muslims. If the radical Muslims have no following, they will eventually die out. If they die out, there is one less enemy for us to worry about.
The only way they will learn about freedoms and democracy is to see a Middle East country that is living it. Iraq and Afghanistan will be those countries.
Now, was that simplistic enough yet? My 5yo could even understand that.


Great point. I think the critical difference among posters on this issue is short term versus long term thinking.

wolvy

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Now, was that simplistic enough yet? My 5yo could even understand that.

Simplistic is exactly what it was and Bush is behaving with the foresight of a 5 year old, so it doesn't surprise me that yours would understand this utter rubbish.

The reason the radical Muslims are able to get people to follow them is that the people are living in the 13th century still and their lives are crap.

I don't agree with this statement. Especially in view of some of those who perpetrated 9/11. Some of them were well off, came from good families. They had money.

If we teach them how to have a life instead of wanting to end other people's lives, they will not follow the radical Muslims.

What do you think you will be able to teach them? Democracy? Democracy is a cultural way of life. They are bedouins. Democracy and its advantages doesn't interest the majority of the populations of either Iraq or Afghanistan. There is no legislation which affects them in the remote rural parts of these countries. You want to teach them not to want other people's lives? You don't do it by bombing them.

Consider this: the tightly knit way these societies are built up, entire families living closely together, often under one roof, means that every death affects dozens of people. these are emotional people brought up in a tradition with Shaaria law in the background. A death demands compensation or exaction. You are breeding your so called terrorists, which those who are fighting the US occupation are not, by the way.

If the radical Muslims have no following, they will eventually die out. If they die out, there is one less enemy for us to worry about.

The so-called insurgents and terrorists are doing what Arabs have been doing for 900 years in order to fight what they consider to be oppression. The Assasins, originally a secret sect which was created by Hassa Ibn Saba to fight the Ottaman occupation was founded in the 12th Century. You think that this little ridiculous war on terror is going to make them "die out"? You think it will eradicate 900 years of cultural history? No, it is sustaining it. There are many books on this subject. It makes good reading. I can recommend it if you wish to understand who these people are.

The only way they will learn about freedoms and democracy is to see a Middle East country that is living it. Iraq and Afghanistan will be those countries.

There is no possibility of Afghanistan being run in a real, effective and legitimate democratic manner. I would go so far as to say that Iraq also cannot be run in a democratic manner. There are several reasons for this. Take my word for it: Afghanistan is as a country, as badly off as it was before the US invasion.

There has been no noticeable improvement in its infrastructure. I have been there and have seen it myself. It is a field I am involved in.

Without infrastructure, you (litterally) cannot reach the people.

A suitable infrastructure will take around 25 to 40 years to buils and will costs somewhere in the region of 2 to 3 trillion dollars, which would include the removal of land mines.

This is not going to happen. The average farmer, living just slightly beyond the outskirts of Kabul, earns around $7 a month. The average life expectancy is 42 years. Afghanistan has the highest death rate in childbirth of almost any country. 90% of the water is undrinkable. You think this farmer is interested in who is in power in Kabul? It litterally is of no significance for him if the Taliban is in power or not. Please go there and see for yourself.

Time to go - I would like to invite you to rethink your simplistic argument. Please.

Regards

Ahote


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What do you think you will be able to teach them? Democracy? Democracy is a cultural way of life. They are bedouins. Democracy and its advantages doesn't interest the majority of the populations of either Iraq or Afghanistan. There is no legislation which affects them in the remote rural parts of these countries. You want to teach them not to want other people's lives? You don't do it by bombing them.

Consider this: the tightly knit way these societies are built up, entire families living closely together, often under one roof, means that every death affects dozens of people. these are emotional people brought up in a tradition with Shaaria law in the background. A death demands compensation or exaction. You are breeding your so called terrorists, which those who are fighting the US occupation are not, by the way.


So I guess all the Iraqis that have blogs have been lying? Only you know the truth?

The so-called insurgents and terrorists are doing what Arabs have been doing for 900 years in order to fight what they consider to be oppression. The Assasins, originally a secret sect which was created by Hassa Ibn Saba to fight the Ottaman occupation was founded in the 12th Century. You think that this little ridiculous war on terror is going to make them "die out"? You think it will eradicate 900 years of cultural history? No, it is sustaining it. There are many books on this subject. It makes good reading. I can recommend it if you wish to understand who these people are.

I grew up with "these people," and somehow I think any book you recommend would have the same extremely bigoted view you are showing. "Because they are Middle Eastern, they are too stupid to grasp Democracy." I think you need to do a little historical reading. They have a great and wonderful past that had nothing to do with assasins.

There is no possibility of Afghanistan being run in a real, effective and legitimate democratic manner. I would go so far as to say that Iraq also cannot be run in a democratic manner. There are several reasons for this. Take my word for it: Afghanistan is as a country, as badly off as it was before the US invasion.

Once again, the same bigoted outlook. BTW, why should I take your word for anything? I have no clue who or what you are other than someone posting on a board. You have no background here to show what you know or don't know. You are an unproven entity. Give me facts to believe. "Take my word for it," just doesn't cut it.
BTW, that's the same argument that was used about Germany and Japan after WWII.
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I grew up with "these people," and somehow I think any book you recommend would have the same extremely bigoted view you are showing. "Because they are Middle Eastern, they are too stupid to grasp Democracy." I think you need to do a little historical reading. They have a great and wonderful past that had nothing to do with assasins.

I grew up with "these people" too zsimpson and nowehere did I say they were too stupid for anything. On the contrary, I respect their intelligence and their education often surpasses that of many Westerners I know.

I referred to the culture of the past. Assasins are part of the culture there. Irrevocably so. It doesn't mean it is the only culture.

I don't see the point of continuing this thread as you don't argue constructively and ignore my points whilst making unfounded allegations about things that I apparently said or implied.

Regards

Ahote
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"The question I have is was there a way of preventing that diabolical something without spending billions of dollars and thousands of lives? Or, could we have made better progress against terror and saved some of those lives by spending those billions of dollars elsewhere?"

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

Sorry I appeared to be snide. That wasn't my intention. But instead, to steer the debate in the direction of what I've quoted above.

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

"Either his motivation was sincere and we can hold him accountable for following bad advice and bad intelligence or there was some other motivation. Which do you think?"

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

This question *was* the one I was responding to.

This above statement/question is irrelevant, and I'll again explain and clarify why.

Sincerity of motivation *does not matter*. Bush put forth an arguement for the war. It is not disingenuous at all for anyone to give me a motivation for the war that I will agree with and supporting evidence, even if that person doesn't share that motivation. That's why I brought Congress into it, because *they* were the ones he needed to convince. I honestly don't see how "some other motivation" may be relevant. Either you agreed with the motivation put forth and the supporting evidence, or you did not. And as you stated, you will vote accordingly (which if done correctly is not for Bush, Cheney, Kerry, or Edwards, since *all* of them voted for the war based upon their own motivations and the evidence presented to them. Therefore, Badnarik or Nader would be a good choice.).

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

"As it is, there are no more ties to terror from Iraq than from Saudi Arabia or any other nation in the region. So, what was Bush's motivation for attacking Iraq? What was it? Was he duped by bad intelligence or was there something else?"

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

Again, Bush's motivation is irrelevant. I refuse to speculate on it, but instead to debate the relevant points for or against the war.

There are far fewer ties to terror from Iran, Jordan, Qatar, U.A.E., Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, shall I go on?

As far as the other nations that have more or equivalent ties to terror, these are: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon and Libya.

Now this is just my opinion, because I don't know if it's Bush's, but invading Iraq was correct because 1) Saddam made himself an easy target by behaving very, very poorly in the past, 2) doing so puts *a lot* of pressure on all of these other nations, 3) doing so allows the U.S. to gradually reduce ties with Saudi Arabia because we now have a good Arab partner, and 3) it directs the terrorists to attack other Muslims, thus dividing the Muslim community.

We probably could have gotten the justification for attacking Saudi Arabia because of 9/11, but attacking Saudi Arabia would have been a really bad idea because the Muslim holy sites are there.

The real justification for attacking Iraq came a long time ago when Saddam gassed the Kurds and invaded Kuwait. That's what I meant about "making himself an easy target." Everything else has just been nuanced diplomacy and timing.

It would have been very difficult to find justifcation to attack Syria, Lebanon or Libya.

Just my opinion, though, and I really don't care about Bush's.

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

"<<Your words>>
Recent news of Iraq's terrorist ties and Hussein's atrocities are mounting and providing compelling evidence that the decision to invade Iraq was the right decision at the time.
<< >>

What are you implying by 'at the time'? That it is no longer the right decision? "

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

You are mistaken. Those weren't my words.

-JAR
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BTW, why should I take your word for anything? I have no clue who or what you are other than someone posting on a board. You have no background here to show what you know or don't know. You are an unproven entity.


He's an immigrant to America from Europe if I remember rightly - I seem to remember him posting about student loans on another board where he gave his background.

And we all know the prevailing European view... also that the "oil for food" thing needed Saddam to stay in power.
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"So you tell me: Why did 70% of Americans associate Saddam Hussein with the 9/11 attacks?"

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

Because they're lazy. Because they want to believe that their nation goes to war over simple-to-understand reasons.

You should be blaming the public for believing things that aren't true when *no one told them this*.

Because the American public doesn't actually care about these things enough to think about them. And the Democrat party is exploiting their ignorance by claiming that Bush lied about something when he didn't. You see, these political games work both ways.

-JAR

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I guess long-term thinking is beyond many people here today. Okay let's try this, there's a lot of people out there that want to blow the US and it's allies off the face of the planet. The largest portion of these people are radical Muslims that come from the Middle East. The reason the radical Muslims are able to get people to follow them is that the people are living in the 13th century still and their lives are crap. If we teach them how to have a life instead of wanting to end other people's lives, they will not follow the radical Muslims. If the radical Muslims have no following, they will eventually die out. If they die out, there is one less enemy for us to worry about.
The only way they will learn about freedoms and democracy is to see a Middle East country that is living it. Iraq and Afghanistan will be those countries.


You make the common error made by virtually everyone, especially conservatives, in conflating society with the State.
There is no doubt that a lot of people would like to "blow the US and its allies off the face of the planet."
What this means is that they are against American imperialism, with its 133 tax-theft-supported military bases throughout the world, which do nothing except foment hostility toward the American state among foreigners and ultimately imperil the security, property, and lives of Americans everywhere.

But if you travel throuhout the world, or speak to people who have, or read the travel literature or people who have, such as the two books by Jim Rogers, who is something of a libertarian (you can access at least one of his talks at www.jimrogers.com), you'll discover a simple truth:
that virtually no one hates or even dislikes American citizens and culture, but that lots of people oppose the policies of the American state, even to the point of hatred of the U.S. government. Hmmm, they sound like lots of American libertarians!

Your analysis of Muslims is naive and historically uninformed. The U.S. military and government can't teach them (or anyone else) anything
and shouldn't be trying. Instead, if the U.S. government pursued a foreign policy of peace and free trade, such as that articulated by George Washington in his _Farewell Address_, then they would look more
favorably upon us, 9/11 would not have happened, and a stupid white man named Michael Moore would be left to bashing capitalism, stupidly.

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