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Author Topic: Hell
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 23 September 2004 03:00 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Over the last three years, practicing a philosophy of deliberate deception, fear-mongering and abuse of authority, the Bush administration has done more to undermine the republic of Lincoln and Jefferson than the cells of al-Qaida. It has willfully ignored our fundamental laws and squandered the nation's wealth in bloody, open-ended pursuits. Corporations like Halliburton, with close ties to government officials, are profiting greatly from the war while thousands of American soldiers undertake the dangerous work of patrolling the streets of Iraqi cities. We have arrived at a moment of national crisis.

Editor's note: Salon correspondent Phillip Robertson has spent five months covering the war in Iraq. As the presidential campaign finally focuses on the war, Robertson offers this assessment of the grim situation there.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 23 September 2004 03:50 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
To understand the intensity of these feelings of honor and kinship, read "Othello" or watch "The Godfather." This is how many tribal Iraqis perceive the world. It is not necessarily a lack of sophistication but a mark of being outside the West. Tribal culture in Iraq goes back thousands of years. When an Iraqi man loses a family member to an American missile, he must take another American life to even the score. He may not subscribe to the notion that some Americans are noncombatants, viewing them instead as the members of a supertribe that has come to invade his land.

The war, illegal and founded on a vast lie, has produced two tragedies of equal magnitude: an embryonic civil war in the world's oldest country, and a triumph for those in the Bush administration who, without a trace of shame, act as if the truth does not matter. Lying until the lie became true, the administration pursued a course of action that guaranteed large sections of Iraq would become havens for jihadis and radical Islamists. That is the logic promoted by people who take for themselves divine infallibility -- a righteousness that blinds and destroys. Like credulous Weimar Germans who were so delighted by rigged wrestling matches, millions of Americans have accepted Bush's assertions that the war in Iraq has made the United States and the rest of the world a safer place to live. Of course, this is false.

But it is a useful fiction because it is a happy one. All we need to know, according to the administration, is that America is a good country, full of good people and therefore cannot make bloody mistakes when it comes to its own security. The bitter consequence of succumbing to such happy talk is that the government of the most powerful nation in the world now operates unchecked and unmoored from reality; leaving us teetering on the brink of another presidential term where abuse of authority has been recast as virtue.

The logic the administration uses to promote its actions -- preemptive war, indefinite detention, torture of prisoners, the abandonment of the Geneva Convention abroad and the Bill of Rights at home -- is simple, faith-based and therefore empty of reason. The worsening war is the creation of the Bush administration, which is simultaneously holding Americans and Iraqis hostage to a bloody conflict that cannot be won, only stalemated.


The two paragraphs that follow, from this fine summary of what is happening in Iraq right now and what it means, are about the republic of Lincoln and Jefferson and the permanent damage that this evil war is doing and will do to that republic.

I wish I could care about innocent USians, but I don't any more. I hope that the U.S. destroys itself as quickly as possible.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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Babbler # 4790

posted 23 September 2004 03:56 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, that would certainly be better for the rest of us.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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Babbler # 1292

posted 23 September 2004 04:01 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I don't think you really mean that skdadl. There are many, many Americans who share your views on this war. The author of the article for one. And John Fogerty, who has just released a new CD:

quote:
DEJA VU (ALL OVER AGAIN)

Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Did you try to read the writing on the wall
Did that voice inside you say I've heard it all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again

Day by day I hear the voices rising
Started with a whisper like it did before
Day by day we count the dead and dying
Ship the bodies home while the networks all keep score

Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Could your eyes believe the writing on the wall
Did that voice inside you say I've heard it all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again

One by one I see the old ghosts rising
Stumblin' 'cross Big Muddy
Where the light gets dim
Day after day another Momma's crying
She's lost her precious child
To a war that has no end

Did you hear 'em talkin' 'bout it on the radio
Did you stop to read the writing at The Wall
Did that voice inside you say
I've seen this all before
It's like Deja Vu all over again
It's like Deja Vu all over again

John Fogerty
©2004 Cody River Music / ASCAP



From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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Babbler # 4722

posted 23 September 2004 04:05 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Plus the fact that 'we' are considered to be the same as them and subject to the same treatment
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 23 September 2004 04:11 PM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Wingy, they can bleeding vote against the bastards. But they don't. They live off the fat of the land, everybody else's lands, but they bleeding don't vote the bastards out; at least half of them bleeding don't vote.

So I am supposed to care about them any more? Any of them? When so many bodies lie broken and bleeding elsewhere?


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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Babbler # 2116

posted 23 September 2004 04:11 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Bacchus, what's with the "us and them" stuff?

Are you actually frightened that distraught Iraqis are going to exact their revenge by seeking you out and murdering you in Toronto?


From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Mandos
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Babbler # 888

posted 23 September 2004 04:16 PM      Profile for Mandos   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Many of them do in fact vote. I live in the basement of one of them who spends a large amount of his spare time actively campaigning against the Bushies and is a "nose-holder" on the matter of Kerry.

It's true that many people don't vote, but all individuals are not responsible for governmental actions directly. It would be frightening if it were true, but I don't think it is.


From: There, there. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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Babbler # 4790

posted 23 September 2004 04:18 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
They need a multinational force to install democracy. Let's see how they like it.
From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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Babbler # 4790

posted 23 September 2004 04:24 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
What oddest about the reactions to Skdadl's statement is that two years ago it would have been treated as tongue in cheek sarcasm or a moment of exagereated angst. Now, everyone respond seriously, treating the position as being credible, and argue against or for it.

A sign of how far we come.


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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Babbler # 4722

posted 23 September 2004 04:28 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No Im not particularly worried about it but like it or not, we basically fall with them when they go
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
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Babbler # 4014

posted 23 September 2004 04:30 PM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
Unless we decide we're not going to. How impossible is that?
From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bacchus
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Babbler # 4722

posted 23 September 2004 04:33 PM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Totally impossible. At least if you think that the end will be brought about by such interventions in Iraq. It isnt a us vs them as the rational among us all will understand who is to blame. But the ones that attack innocents will target anyone from the perceived 'west' and that includes us (and britain, spain, france, germany etc)
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ronb
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2116

posted 23 September 2004 04:43 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
I'm a bit confused. Do you believe that some sort of Islamic whirlwind of vengeance will topple the US, and we'll naturally get blown away too because we're all Americans to "them"?
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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Babbler # 2440

posted 23 September 2004 04:56 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In keeping with the post that started the thread, If America were Iraq, What would it be Like? from Juan Cole.

quote:
What if the grounds of the White House and the government buildings near the Mall were constantly taking mortar fire? What if almost nobody in the State Department at Foggy Bottom, the White House, or the Pentagon dared venture out of their buildings, and considered it dangerous to go over to Crystal City or Alexandria?

What if all the reporters for all the major television and print media were trapped in five-star hotels in Washington, DC and New York, unable to move more than a few blocks safely, and dependent on stringers to know what was happening in Oklahoma City and St. Louis? What if the only time they ventured into the Midwest was if they could be embedded in Army or National Guard units?

There are estimated to be some 25,000 guerrillas in Iraq engaged in concerted acts of violence. What if there were private armies totalling 275,000 men, armed with machine guns, assault rifles (legal again!), rocket-propelled grenades, and mortar launchers, hiding out in dangerous urban areas of cities all over the country? What if they completely controlled Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver and Omaha, such that local police and Federal troops could not go into those cities?



Much more at the link. And a little followup from Steve Gilliard.
quote:
He left out the obvious: what if US Army weapon depots were open to all takers and everyone had an M-16A3 in the closet, walked around with Berettas and AT4's were free for the taking. And the Parker Center and One Police Plaza were the site of frequent carbombings and police who cooperated with the EU forces were shot on sight and people who worked for them were immediately ratted out to the resistance, who came to visit them at night.

Then of course, armed gangs would loiter outside schools and kidnap teenage girls and rape them on a daily basis and home invasions were as common as bus rides.


Pity these guys aren't published on the front page of the New York Times.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
B.L. Zeebub LLD
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Babbler # 6914

posted 23 September 2004 05:15 PM      Profile for B.L. Zeebub LLD     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The insurgents in Iraq are quite discerning, usually. They are, despite the claims that they are barbaric, applying a quite contemporary logic derived from 20th Century "total war". By "total war" I mean the inclusion of various types of "civilians" (i.e. non-soldiers) in the definition of possible targets. This logic was clearly expressed in the behaviour of both the Axis and Allied governments during WWII. "Total war" was the extension of warfare to the productive realm - i.e. to the economy that sustains and supports political and military power.

This is 21st Century war. The insurgents' disinterest in the protocols of humanitarian law (such as the Geneva Conventions) mirror that of their opponents. Taking Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and their failure to even consult the UN before they committed an act of aggression as examples, it is clear that the U.S. have decided that such protocols do not apply to this conflict. What else are we to make of their repeated claims that this is a "war like no other", or for their "devil made us do it" logic? Both sides have undermined - if not outright ignored - the regime of international humanitarian law whenever it has suited them. Hearing the U.S. government and it's ideological adjuncts complain about this apparent "barbarism" it a lesson in hypocrisy. They are selectively applying a set of standards that they themselves have long since stopped using as benchmarks for their own behaviour.

Welcome to War, 21st Century style. It's only going to get uglier.

[ 23 September 2004: Message edited by: B.L. Zeebub LLD ]


From: A Devil of an Advocate | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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Babbler # 4881

posted 23 September 2004 05:30 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
skdadl:

I'm feeling ya. Believe me, I'm feeling ya. But as ever, let us good class-warriors be mindful of the process of ideology and conformity in the USian political system. People don't vote because their votes don't matter, especially this year. The two parties are so similar in outlook (Give or take God and abortion), and Nader's opposition candidacy has been so feeble and uninspired, that they truly do live between a rock and a hard place.

It is interesting that Canada developed a working-class party, the NDP, and America never did. It certainly did not look to be that way at one point. Arkansas was home to the largest communist printing-press in the world outside the USSR until the 1960's.

In America, the progressive "leadership" has failed the working-class, to an extent unknown here in Canada. It has been co-opted, bought out, tenured, published, and rarified into faithful compliance and shrill hand-wringing. The legitimacy vaccum has been filled by a frightful patriotism and faith in an economic system designed to grind them down.

The US is the challenge we have to face. But I do not for a second believe that the fall of the US would be an unqualified good - those waiting in the wings are not exactly trumpeting human rights and democracy anymore than the states are (at least, any more honestly).

I really do hope we can find a way to bring down the empire without bringing down the people.


From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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Babbler # 2440

posted 23 September 2004 05:55 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by Coyote:

In America, the progressive "leadership" has failed the working-class, to an extent unknown here in Canada. It has been co-opted, bought out, tenured, published, and rarified into faithful compliance and shrill hand-wringing.

I would add that the "progressive leadership" has been successfully marginalized by an organized and well-funded campaign to make "liberal" a dirty word and to insert certain values and ideas that used to be regarded as marginal into the mainstream.

It's variously known as the Mighty Wurlitzer and the vast right-wing echo chamber and the US won't truly recover until it's discredited and dismantled.


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Coyote
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Babbler # 4881

posted 23 September 2004 05:57 PM      Profile for Coyote   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Lewis Lapham did a good job of dissecting this process, and how it's funded, in last month's Harper's. "Tentacles of Rage", I believe the peice was titled.
From: O’ for a good life, we just might have to weaken. | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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Babbler # 1292

posted 23 September 2004 05:58 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yeah, here is some text:
quote:
The Islamist group, calling itself the Jihad Organization, said it killed Simona Pari and Simona Torretta in a statement posted on a website not often used by Iraqi militants.
The bold is mine becuase just last week Naomi Klein wrote an article alleging the two Italian women were kidnapped by coalition forces.
quote:
Kidnap victims have overwhelmingly been men, yet three of these four are women. Witnesses say the gunmen questioned staff in the building until the Simonas were identified by name, and that Mahnouz Bassam, an Iraqi woman, was dragged screaming by her headscarf, a shocking religious transgression for an attack supposedly carried out in the name of Islam.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1305523,00.html

What say thee now, Stockholm?


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
pogge
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Babbler # 2440

posted 23 September 2004 05:59 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Coyote: I've read it and it was excellent. If it was on-line I would have used it instead.

[ 23 September 2004: Message edited by: pogge ]


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Macabee
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Babbler # 5227

posted 23 September 2004 06:00 PM      Profile for Macabee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:


I wish I could care about innocent USians, but I don't any more. I hope that the U.S. destroys itself as quickly as possible.


If it does what happens to the people? Should they be destroyed as well? Are the "USians" Americans, the American government...Im very confused.

From: Vaughan | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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Babbler # 1292

posted 23 September 2004 06:01 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No surprise there.
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4790

posted 23 September 2004 06:04 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
What say thee now, Stockholm?


Come now Wingnut, we all know that we are better armed, have suprior intelligence and operate with an advance moral code. That code is imparted to whomever our allies are. Killing humitarian workers is way beyond the pale even of our local allies:

The Brutal Murder of Four Missionaries in El Salvador in 1980 Becomes a Landmark Human Rights Test For The American Legal System in Justice and the Generals

[ 23 September 2004: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 24 September 2004 09:46 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cueball, "a moment of exaggerated Angst" is probably the right category for my original intemperate outburst -- trouble is, whenever I read these stories, that moment returns.

I wasn't thinking of any violent, fiery collapse, though, and nothing brought on from the outside. A tidy little economic collapse would do. (Ok: I'm still being mean; I'll stop now.)

This seems to me right on, and heart-breaking to those of us who try to keep believing that the UN and other international systems of law can work:

quote:
Both sides have undermined - if not outright ignored - the regime of international humanitarian law whenever it has suited them. Hearing the U.S. government and it's ideological adjuncts complain about this apparent "barbarism" it a lesson in hypocrisy. They are selectively applying a set of standards that they themselves have long since stopped using as benchmarks for their own behaviour.

(And has anyone saved that issue of Harper's? Able to pass it on?)


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Hinterland
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4014

posted 24 September 2004 09:56 AM      Profile for Hinterland        Edit/Delete Post
quote:
I wasn't thinking of any violent, fiery collapse, though, and nothing brought on from the outside. A tidy little economic collapse would do. (Ok: I'm still being mean; I'll stop now.)

As for me, it's not so much wishing a crisis (although crises tend to be followed by real change, and in that sense, a crisis might be desirable) as just sensing a certain inevitability about the whole thing.

Why pretend otherwise?


From: Québec/Ontario | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Agent 204
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 4668

posted 24 September 2004 05:40 PM      Profile for Agent 204   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by skdadl:

I wasn't thinking of any violent, fiery collapse, though, and nothing brought on from the outside. A tidy little economic collapse would do. (Ok: I'm still being mean; I'll stop now.)

I suspect that an economic collapse in the US would be anything but tidy.

In my darker moments I sometimes think that the best thing that could happen would be a civil war in the US. Suppose the militia nuts stage a major uprising and it takes the US government several years to crush them. This would be terrible for most Americans, but arguably good for the rest of the world. Why? Because for those few years, the world would have to go off America cold turkey. Other countries would take up the slack on things like trade and peacekeeping, and when America rose again it would be a much weaker America, no longer the sole superpower in the world. They'd still be a significant power, but they'd have to share that power with the EU, China, and maybe a few other countries.

Of course, setting aside the horrible consequences this would have for ordinary Americans, there would be one enormous danger- that the insurgents would win. I'd be very, very, scared at the prospect of a bunch of Timothy McVeigh clones taking control of the world's largest nuclear arsenal.


From: home of the Guess Who | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged

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