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Old 01-09-2007, 01:16 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL

3. I consider it the most immature form of cop-out to ignore things just because they "upset you". You will never find out the truth by ignoring people who disagree with you, and to do so reveals a lack of interest in the truth.
Ah come on, that is straight [Expletive(s) Were Deleted], you are ignoring me because of my comments, isn't that, the "Pot calling the kettle black".
I think I can consider that immature.
But as I will say again, I don't care you ignore me, man

[I will eventually just delete posts with profanity]

Last edited by SkinWalker; 01-09-2007 at 01:35 PM. Reason: Removed Profanity
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Old 01-09-2007, 01:19 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally posted by windu6:

Ah come on, that is straight [Expletive(s) Were Deleted], you are ignoring me because of my comments, isn't that the, "Pot calling the kettle black".
I think I can consider that immature.
But as I will say again, I don't care you ignore me.
I'm not ignoring you, Windu. I read everything you post. In fact, my ignore list is literally empty. I read EVERYONE'S posts.

However, I choose not to respond to your posts, as a rule. My reasons for not doing so are well-documented, but I have just PMed you my reasons in a detailed form, in case you require further explanation.


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Old 01-09-2007, 04:02 PM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MasterRoss08
Yes we should but what should we do with these people that ordered
and support these terrorist acts on people that are living life like
anyone else?
It's true that some people killed by Saddam's regime were truely innocent people, intent on living their life. However, we must remember that a LOT of the people imprisoned and killed were not the nicest people either. Saddam's main enemies in Iraq were not those pushing for a secular, democratic government. They wanted an Iranian-style Islamic government, pretty much what we have right now. Saddam's repression of his political opponents was actually a GOOD thing for our interests in the Middle East. As brutal as he was, his opponents were willing to carry out numerous assassination attempts in order to bring about their Islamic revolution in Iraq.
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Old 01-09-2007, 04:06 PM   #44
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The fact most Star Wars actors (Ian McDiamond and James Earl Jones are noteable exceptions) are not known for their acting prowes makes your tirade on Natalie Portman serve no point I could see except an oppotunity to attack Jews, and with you taking the bait so easily and, as I've pointed out, to do Skin a favor I considered it the wisest option. What, you'd prefer I start flame wars over attacks on Israel?
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Old 01-09-2007, 04:24 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
The fact most Star Wars actors (Ian McDiamond and James Earl Jones are noteable exceptions) are not known for their acting prowes makes your tirade on Natalie Portman serve no point I could see except an oppotunity to attack Jews, and with you taking the bait so easily and, as I've pointed out, to do Skin a favor I considered it the wisest option. What, you'd prefer I start flame wars over attacks on Israel?
http://imdb.com/name/nm0000204/

If she isn't known for her acting, what is she known for?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Ah well, if some actress who appeared in some Star Wars films says Israel's in the right, it MUST be so. Especially considering how great her performance was.

Honestly, this comment of yours has to be the single most hilariously irrelevant comment I've ever read or heard on the topic of Israel's conduct. I mean, I like one or two of Portman's performances on film... but I don't look to entertainers to inform my political views, and I encourage you to avoid doing so as well.
I don't see the word "Jew" in there. I see her referred to as a so-so actress who you apparently look up to for some reason that escapes me.



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Old 01-09-2007, 04:37 PM   #46
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I like Natalie Portman, I like the roles she's played in Star Wars, The Professional, V for Vendetta, ect, and I think she is good. Hayden Christia...what's his name, Anakin as well. To be fair part of the problem is the script but most Star Wars actors are not considered on the level of such illustrious people as Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, ect. But I like Portman, Christis...ahhh him, Ford and Jackson better.

I'm not sure if Natalie Portman is actually Jewish but I know she is Israeli, and spoke of her support for Israel in Empire IIRC. Do I look up to her? I look at the roles she plays and the reason she plays the roles, with Evey being an absolute perfect example, and think 'good on her' for playing these roles. If she was in an upcoming movie I'd see it. The same for Hayden, Ford and Jackson, as well as Keither Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones, Will Smith, Jennifer Hale, Jennifer Garner, Dwayne Johnson, ect, ect, ect.
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Old 01-09-2007, 05:53 PM   #47
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This still has no relevance. Just because any actor has played neat roles in movies does not mean that they are a reasonable source, or perhaps that their support of Israel somehow validates anything is somewhere above and beyond silly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
What, you'd prefer I start flame wars over attacks on Israel?
Actually, no. I really would not prefer that. I would prefer that you do what is intended by the forum, and actually engage in serious discussion about the points that have been raised by the people who you disagree with, as opposed to taking everything personally and assuming that every single statement is somehow a direct attack against you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
makes your tirade on Natalie Portman serve no point I could see except an oppotunity to attack Jews
Once again, it wasn't even a tirade on Natalie Portman. It was a brief paragraph, followed by a lengthy post that was based on OTHER points of your post that were incorrect. It's what happens in a debate. It is, in fact, the entire purpose of this forum.
Also, you can scan the entirety of Al's posts, and you'll be hard pressed to actually find him attacking Jews. Ever. Just because Israel is composed primarily of Jewish people, doesn't mean that disagreeing with the actions of Israel somehow makes someone a hater of Jews, or some other such nonsense.



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Old 01-09-2007, 06:32 PM   #48
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First of all congrats on becoming a mod.

Now, I've covered this a bit before, but to clarify anything that might be confusing, I happen to agree with Natalie Portman's support of Israel. That's not because she said so, but because I look at what's going on and draw my own conclusions. The same as I agree, up to a point, with the portrayal of a future Britain the Wachowski brothers had created in V for Vendetta, and the analogies to present day. Even the parts I don't nessecarily agree with or find uncomfortable (the heroic V talking about the destruction of symbols recalling Osama Bin Laden and the World Trade Centre, James Berendalli's words) I admire the courage of what they have put on celloid. The same goes for politicians, deep thinkers, anyone. I think Bush and America deserve credit for wanting to get rid of Saddam Hussein, but deserve criticism for going to war. I maintain that we won the conflict against the Iraqi military but failed misribly at what followed, from politics to insurgency to controversy (Abu Gharib). As I said I support Israel, and their right to defend itself against terrorism, but not it's attack on Hezbollah or plans on launching a nuclear strike against Iran. Again this is not because of what Bush said or what Natalie Portman said, or really what anyone says. It comes from me looking at these things and getting information on these things and making judgements on what I consider right and wrong. Are some of these judgements instinctive and spontanious? Of course, the torture that occured at Abu Gharib and the beheading of Nick Berg and Margarett Hassan, I don't need to spend a week studying university texts to know these are wrong. The same for America to launch an attack in the face of heavy disapproval and rejection from the UN. Maybe my views are very diffirent to the views of some others, and they would even be upsetting to some.
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Old 01-09-2007, 10:18 PM   #49
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I lol at this thread.

Nothing much more to say unless someone wants to bring up a credible argument.

As for the situation in Iraq: won't be improved for a long time, with or without Saddam.




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Old 01-10-2007, 10:12 AM   #50
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Regardless of the illegality and inherent flaws of his trial, one can at least rest assured that he was certainly deserving of his fate. The real danger now is that the leaked footage of him being mocked and bayed at makes him into a dead martyr and fans the flames of Sunni discontent. Still, the "what's next" part is pretty obvious; it's just the same as it was before Saddam was hung. Iraq is still teetering on the brink of all-out civil war and a magnet for Muslim terrorists and paramilitaries of all descriptions. Saddam Hussein has been a largely irrelevant sideshow since his capture.

And any actor's or actress's political views or nationalities are totally irrelevant to this discussion or the actions of world governments. Toby Keith (probably) wants to nuke Iran. So what?

And windu6, if you really didn't care about Spider AL not responding to you, you wouldn't feel the need to tell him that.


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Old 01-10-2007, 12:13 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
Regardless of the illegality and inherent flaws of his trial, one can at least rest assured that he was certainly deserving of his fate. The real danger now is that the leaked footage of him being mocked and bayed at makes him into a dead martyr and fans the flames of Sunni discontent. Still, the "what's next" part is pretty obvious; it's just the same as it was before Saddam was hung. Iraq is still teetering on the brink of all-out civil war and a magnet for Muslim terrorists and paramilitaries of all descriptions. Saddam Hussein has been a largely irrelevant sideshow since his capture.
They are already in a damn civil war, I don't know what news you are watching.



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Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
And windu6, if you really didn't care about Spider AL not responding to you, you wouldn't feel the need to tell him that.
I just was calling him a hypocrite, what the hell is you talking about?
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Old 01-10-2007, 01:06 PM   #52
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What needs to get done now....we broke it, we need to fix it.
1. Get the oil wells producing well so the country can make money and get its economy going better, and people can have jobs. People with good jobs tend to dislike things that take good jobs away, like revolutions. Try to curb corruption in that field so money actually goes (heaven forbid) to the Iraqis, since it's their oil in the first place.
And @SA--I never said, nor implied, that religion was the _ultimate_ motivation in the Middle East. My earlier post was addressing Iranian agents, not the entire region as you assumed. It's just more influential than nationalism in a lot of the Middle East, because you can't separate Islam from Middle Eastern politics like you can other religions in, say, EU, the Far East, or North America. However, _the_ ultimate motivation is controlling the oil/oil wealth. Saudi Arabia, for example, is not where it is in world standing because it's the birthplace of Islam. It's there because of its oil wealth and its influence on OPEC, which in turn influences the economies of industrialized nations. Money (or greed, if one wants to be cynical about it) speaks louder than any other language or religion.
2. Make sure basic necessary services get put in place quickly--water, food, sanitation, medical care, schools, warm/cool (depending on time of year) and dry housing, basic security, etc. People who have adequate food and water and who are safe, warm, and dry have far less motivation to engage in activities that would take that away.
3. Appropriate representation for all the major groups in gov't (Sunni, Shi'a, Kurds). No group is ever going to feel that their interests are completely fairly represented in the gov't, but it's going to work a lot better if everyone at least feels the gov't is not entirely unfair in its makeup.
4. Adequate security to minimize the number of terrorists/paramilitaries. Obviously that needs to be an Iraqi job, but we need to help get them to the point where they can do that. UN support would likely be better received by a lot of groups vs US/UK-only support.


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Old 01-10-2007, 04:44 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
What needs to get done now....we broke it, we need to fix it.
I would hesitate to put Iraq in such a simple light.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
1. Get the oil wells producing
2. Make sure basic necessary services get put in place quickly--water, food, sanitation, medical care, schools, warm/cool (depending on time of year) and dry housing, basic security, etc.
3. Appropriate representation for all the major groups in gov't (Sunni, Shi'a, Kurds).
4. Adequate security to minimize the number of terrorists/paramilitaries.
And how exactly would this be done without taxing the shirt off every American's back?

For appropriate representation, it would be far better if each group just had its own country. Given how they have separate languages, cultures, histories and all those traits, that's more than enough justification for giving each one its own country. They all want it that way, anyhow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
Obviously that needs to be an Iraqi job, but we need to help get them to the point where they can do that.
The U.S. is no position at all to do such a thing, let alone the Iraqis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi
UN support would likely be better received by a lot of groups vs US/UK-only support.
Of course, there must be a reason the UN should support such an expensive venture. Doesn't that sound rather idealistic?

Saddam - he's deserved it for years. Not like this'll change anything, though.


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Old 01-10-2007, 05:15 PM   #54
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What now with Saddam being executed? A growing epidemic of people hanging themselves after watching the execution. Holy ****, beam me up Scotty, there's no intelligent life down here.

Okay, they may be a bit unfair, but these people, children, are killing themselves in play acting of or in honor of Saddam for hell's sake. I know it's probably wrong to give points to the worst thing to come out of Saddam's execution but this is really the limit.
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:28 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
people, children, are killing themselves in play acting of or in honor of Saddam for hell's sake.
Saddam's executioners never killed them - they did that to themselves, by their own free will. The only people at fault are them.

Saddam committed crimes against humanity, and had to answer for them. How people react to that is their decision, but their opinions, no matter how radical, have no place in the law.


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Old 01-10-2007, 09:53 PM   #56
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I'm not sure I would say the people who kill themselves, or others, deserve no sympathy, but you're right. These people are ****ed in the head if they are doing these things, more so than anything to do with Iraq has done. Does that lessen the tragedy of it at all? No, I don't think so, but not only are you technically correct in saying that their opinions are not something you can present in court you are right in saying the hanging cannot be blamed for their deaths.

Conversely, the issue came about because of a pirate video showing more than the news did. My understanding is suicide is not allowed to be shown in the event it puts the idea in people's heads. Maybe it's a similar story here.
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Old 01-10-2007, 11:37 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
For appropriate representation, it would be far better if each group just had its own country. Given how they have separate languages, cultures, histories and all those traits, that's more than enough justification for giving each one its own country. They all want it that way, anyhow.

Perhaps. But how will you rearrange the borders so that all groups benefit form the oil wealth? Short of oil disappearing as an economic factor, no one group will agree with such a solution that cuts them off from the oil.
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Old 01-11-2007, 12:42 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Perhaps. But how will you rearrange the borders so that all groups benefit form the oil wealth?
A tricky question. The most logical solution, though, would be to give them each an equal amount of the oil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Short of oil disappearing as an economic factor, no one group will agree with such a solution that cuts them off from the oil.
If they have fair shares there'll be less for them to complain about, though I doubt they would cease entirely.


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Old 01-11-2007, 08:51 AM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by Mace MacLeod:

Regardless of the illegality and inherent flaws of his trial, one can at least rest assured that he was certainly deserving of his fate.
Before we consider what punishment fits a crime, we must first prove in a legal sense that the accused committed the crime. I think we're all of the (well founded) opinion that Saddam was a brutal dictator and mass-murderer. Certainly all the available evidence points to such being the case. But it's up to a court to decide these things, not us. And in a case where a person is accused of crimes under international law, a court of international law is the only suitable place to try them.

Therefore, what Saddam "deserved"- morally speaking- was to be tried and sentenced in a court sanctioned by international institutions under international law. Just as every human being deserves fair treatment under the law, regardless of how horrible the crimes they are accused of are. Anything else is merely arbitrary and immoral.

So no, we can't sit here and say "Saddam deserved to be hanged" as if that in any way mitigates the amorality of it all. Because it doesn't.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mace MacLeod:

The real danger now is that the leaked footage of him being mocked and bayed at makes him into a dead martyr and fans the flames of Sunni discontent.
I think the illegal and immoral trial and execution of Saddam by his enemies in collaboration with the US and UK is enough to fan those flames. I really don't think the video of it will make a bad situation all that much worse.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mace MacLeod:

Iraq is still teetering on the brink of all-out civil war and a magnet for Muslim terrorists and paramilitaries of all descriptions.
Bit of an overstatement. Iraq is a very lawless, harsh and violent place at this time, due to our illegal international aggression there. But the idea that a massive war between Sunni and Shia is about to spontaneously and suddenly kick off would seem to be neoconservative propaganda. Although, having said that there are those in Iraq who say that the US/UK are- through our policies- actively trying to incite such a conflict. Because it would certainly serve our interests in several ways.

-

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

What needs to get done now....we broke it, we need to fix it.
1. Get the oil wells producing...
2. Make sure basic necessary services get put in place quickly...
3. Appropriate representation for all the major groups in gov't...
4. Adequate security to minimize the number of terrorists/paramilitaries...
Jae, these are all lovely, lovely suggestions. They really would be great things to happen. And I for one wish fervently that they COULD happen.

But once again, look at our record in this matter. We have come up with paltry, pathetic sums of money that are COMPLETELY inadequate to the task of rebuilding Iraq... (Which, as you rightly agree, we destroyed) And then we misplaced a huge chunk of that already paltry amount of money.

So though I wish we could do better, I doubt we will. So we must come to the conclusion: The US and the UK are simply unwilling to financially affect our own nations by pouring cash into Iraq... and we would only squander it on spurious corporate contracts and local cliquery if we did.

And also, we are a bad influence in Iraq. The presence of our military is not helping the Iraqi situation in ANY MEANINGFUL WAY. We are a magnet for violence and unrest. We are not well-liked, because we are an occupying force. In many cases throughout our illegal invasion and occupation of the nation, we have actively and directly inflicted evils upon the Iraqi people.

Therefore, we should try to fix Iraq... by going home, and sending money there. We should help Iraqis by sending technicians and advisors. But our occupying forces should leave the country. We have no right to be there, we have no business there, we should abide by the will of the Iraqi people and LEAVE. End of story.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

@SA--I never said, nor implied, that religion was the _ultimate_ motivation in the Middle East. My earlier post was addressing Iranian agents, not the entire region as you assumed. It's just more influential than nationalism in a lot of the Middle East
Jae, what you typed was:

"religion drives politics there as much as, if not more than, nationality."

And since we were discussing insurgents in Iraq at the time, it is reasonable to assume that you were referring to Iraq. Hence, my rebuttals citing some small samples of the VAST quantities of evidence to show that nationalist concerns outweighed any religious concerns in Iraq throughout recent history.

Neoconservatives like to parrot the nonsense that Sunni and Shia always were at each others' throats... but under Saddam's regime relations between the two were actually quite good, comparitively speaking. As stated before. If there's any major sectarian violence at this time, it's not because of a denominational issue or an islamic schism... it's because we illegally invaded the country and wiped out the infrastructure, allowing those who want power to use fundamentalist rhetoric to further their goals.

So I have to say once again, if you feel I've misconstrued your intent, that's unfortunate. But I really think it's an issue of your clarity rather than of my comprehension.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

because you can't separate Islam from Middle Eastern politics like you can other religions in, say, EU, the Far East, or North America.
No, in most cases, Islam performs exactly the same role in Middle-Eastern politics that Christianity performs in North America, (or Judaism does in Israel): It's a convenient tool to control the minds of a large section of the populace.

Religion is not a driving factor in the major conflicts we've been discussing, however, and it's very rarely a driving factor in any major policy decisions.

-

Quote:
Originally posted by Nancy Allen``:

Okay, they may be a bit unfair, but these people, children, are killing themselves in play acting of or in honor of Saddam for hell's sake. I know it's probably wrong to give points to the worst thing to come out of Saddam's execution but this is really the limit.
It IS wrong to "give points", and that's why I noted that it was reprehensible when you did so.

And once again, the fact that you persistently return to these incidents only faintly associated with Saddam's execution that occurred outside Iraq... is telling. It shows that you're not really serious about the issue, because while these suicides are tragic, there are many more tragedies occurring in Iraq that you simply aren't mentioning and don't seem interested in. A human life is a human life. Western lives are no more valuable than Iraqi lives.

-

Quote:
Originally posted by Emperor Devon:

A tricky question. The most logical solution, though, would be to give them each an equal amount of the oil. If they have fair shares there'll be less for them to complain about, though I doubt they would cease entirely.
Perhaps so, but these are questions for the Iraqi people.

We have no right to decide such things for them. I personally have some confidence that left alone, the Iraqis could come up with some good, working solutions by themselves. We have never ever left these poor people alone in the past. It's about time that we removed our occupying troops and allowed Iraq to determine its own fate for once.


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Old 01-11-2007, 03:34 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
And in a case where a person is accused of crimes under international law, a court of international law is the only suitable place to try them.
I'll agree with you on that--it would have been more fair, or at least less biased, though I still think the verdict would have been 'guilty'. Whether they would have executed him or not is a different story.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
But the idea that a massive war between Sunni and Shia is about to spontaneously and suddenly kick off would seem to be neoconservative propaganda.
They've been fighting, to varying degrees, for a long time. It's nothing new.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Jae, these are all lovely, lovely suggestions. They really would be great things to happen. And I for one wish fervently that they COULD happen.
It was rather an exercise in "How to Fix Iraq if Politics and Finances Were Not an Issue". Well, we can always hope that some of those things will happen, at least. I never said it would happen, but it'd be nice if it did. Unfortunately, what we should do and what we are able to do (and what we choose to do) are entirely different things. Americans aren't too excited about paying more in taxes for anything Iraq-related, regardless of our responsibility.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
And then we misplaced a huge chunk of that already paltry amount of money.
While I don't disagree that money can/has disappeared into the DoD black hole, what specifically are you refering to?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
So though I wish we could do better, I doubt we will. So we must come to the conclusion: The US and the UK are simply unwilling to financially affect our own nations by pouring cash into Iraq... and we would only squander it on spurious corporate contracts and local cliquery if we did.
Heh, we've both reached the point of cynicism on this one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
(with some snippage)
Jae, what you typed was:
"religion drives politics there as much as, if not more than, nationality."

And since we were discussing insurgents in Iraq at the time, it is reasonable to assume that you were referring to Iraq. Hence, my rebuttals citing some small samples of the VAST quantities of evidence to show that nationalist concerns outweighed any religious concerns in Iraq throughout recent history.
The discussion for several posts prior to mine was about Iranian agents.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Neoconservatives like to parrot the nonsense that Sunni and Shia always were at each others' throats... but under Saddam's regime relations between the two were actually quite good, comparitively speaking.

So I have to say once again, if you feel I've misconstrued your intent, that's unfortunate. But I really think it's an issue of your clarity rather than of my comprehension.
Under Saddam's regime, the Shi'a didn't dare fight the Sunnis/Baathists, or they ended up in mass graves or as targets/amusements for Saddam & Sons. Saddam quelled the violence temporarily, but the underlying differences remained. If he'd been entirely successful at getting the 2 groups to get along like brothers and sisters and resolve all their problems, there wouldn't be major unrest and fighting right now. There wouldn't have been a hornet's nest for the US/UK to stir up in the first place.

If you read something that you think has more than one possible interpretation, it's appropriate to ask the writer to clarify ("Are you meaning just these 2 things in relation to each other, or are you implying that religion is the most important factor in determining Middle Eastern politics?") and then base your opinion on that. If you had asked that, I would have specified that I was not implying religion was the ultimate determining factor and further commented "Good heavens, it's oil (and control of it) that's king in the Middle East...." My sentence actually was very precise, but apparently the question you had in mind reading it was scope of application. Without the visual cues from body language, it does make communication (both sending and receiving) more challenging. We'd probably be a lot better off if we could actually see each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Religion is not a driving factor in the major conflicts we've been discussing, however, and it's very rarely a driving factor in any major policy decisions.
Are you applying this broadly to the Middle East or more narrowly to just Iraq? If broadly, I'd point out that Sharia law has a significant impact on policy decisions in those countries where it is in effect. As far as the world community is concerned, no, it's not nearly as influential.
If in reference only to Iraq, religion is a factor in that it was responsible for creating at least 2 of the political entities that currently exist there. The problem of dealing with the differences between the groups is likely going to require some kind of a religious component as part of the solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
For appropriate representation, it would be far better if each group just had its own country. Given how they have separate languages, cultures, histories and all those traits, that's more than enough justification for giving each one its own country. They all want it that way, anyhow.
Unfortunately, the oil in Iraq isn't distributed in equal amounts. The greatest number of oil fields are in the southern, Shi'a controlled region. If that were made into its own country, the other 2 major groups would have far less oil revenue, and the Kurds and Sunnis would be land-locked. While being land-locked isn't as big an issue now with modern transportation, it's always nice to have a seaport anyway. The Kurds might be happy to have their own country (they do have some producing oil fields), but it's doubtful the Sunnis would want to break off.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Emperor Devon
Of course, there must be a reason the UN should support such an expensive venture. Doesn't that sound rather idealistic?
Sure, it's terribly idealistic. The thread title asked 'What now?', and I answered with a solution. Now if you're asking for a realistic solution, that's a lot harder, and it's going to depend on how much the US, UK, and the rest of the world is willing to put out to help them get back on their feet.


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Old 01-11-2007, 03:40 PM   #61
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The Iraqis tried him, then an appeal was launched that failed. Would it have been any diffirent had it come to the International Courts? Saddam's actions are beyond doubt, his punishment regardless of which court he faced must fit the crime. Execution? I am now against the idea given what it has done, but yes I would say that verdict still would have been given, and recieved just the same level of criticism.
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Old 01-11-2007, 05:24 PM   #62
Spider AL
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

I'll agree with you on that--it would have been more fair, or at least less biased, though I still think the verdict would have been 'guilty'. Whether they would have executed him or not is a different story.
Well I'm glad you agree, it is a very basic moral question, after all.

As for whether the verdict would have been the same or not, that's an utter irrelevance that is constantly thrown around by neo-con apologists. A lynch mob could say the same thing of the man they hang: "Oh, well a jury would have found him guilty anyway". It would be just as irrelevant to the point that their actions were both illegal and immoral. As in this case.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

They've been fighting, to varying degrees, for a long time. It's nothing new.
"To varying degrees"... That is such a non-specific statement that it covers a multitude of sins, and is therefore essentially meaningless.

The fact is that even when Saddam's Baathist regime was severely weakened during the mid-eighties- I think the most extreme example was in '86- the Shia did not rise up against the Sunni minority. And that was despite the fact that Iran was throwing massive Shia propaganda their way at the time, encouraging an uprising. At that time nationalist concerns far outweighed religious rivalries, and there is no significant evidence to suggest that the situation altered at all until we illegally and amorally blundered into their country.

And of course, suffice it to say that the neo-cons have been warning of the danger of a civil war since 2003. Specifically, a civil war if we leave "before the job is done". It wasn't true then, and there's no reason we should take such claims seriously now. Especially when such claims routinely confuse Iraqi people themselves.

I'll worry about a Sunni-Shia civil war when someone OTHER than a neo-con apologist warns me about it, and I suggest you should adopt the same view.

Of course, as stated before, our presence as an occupying force can do nothing to improve sectarian interrelations. And a civil war would have positive aspects, from the point of view of the US/UK. For instance, if Sunni and Shia were at each others' throats, then Sunni would have little time to fight against the occupying forces. They are in a minority, after all. And there are quite a few people in Iraq who believe that we are directly or indirectly trying to foment religious unrest through our Iraqi policies precisely for this reason, and others.

And sadly, looking at our historical record in these matters, they may have good cause to accuse us. Such a thing would hardly be out of character for us.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Under Saddam's regime, the Shi'a didn't dare fight the Sunnis/Baathists, or they ended up in mass graves or as targets/amusements for Saddam & Sons. Saddam quelled the violence temporarily, but the underlying differences remained. If he'd been entirely successful at getting the 2 groups to get along like brothers and sisters and resolve all their problems, there wouldn't be major unrest and fighting right now. There wouldn't have been a hornet's nest for the US/UK to stir up in the first place.
Too black-and-white, Jae. It seems you think of the tension between Sunni and Shia as either "On the verge of civil war!" or "getting along like brothers and sisters".

Of course there is religious tension between those of different denominations. But the question is, is the neoconservative propagandist assessment of the LEVEL of that tension- both now and in the past- accurate? There isn't really much evidence to suggest that it is accurate. If you have some non-neocon surveys or reports, I'd be very interested to see them.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

It was rather an exercise in "How to Fix Iraq if Politics and Finances Were Not an Issue". Well, we can always hope that some of those things will happen, at least. I never said it would happen, but it'd be nice if it did. Unfortunately, what we should do and what we are able to do (and what we choose to do) are entirely different things. Americans aren't too excited about paying more in taxes for anything Iraq-related, regardless of our responsibility.
As stated before, the only moral thing to do is to clear the troops out. This is because an occupying force has no rights, only responsibilities. And the very first moral responsibility is to abide by the will of the victims- in this case the Iraqi people. And they don't want us there as an occupying force. So we should clear out, and then attempt to do those nice things you suggested from afar.

Of course, we're not going to do the moral thing, because our governments are amoral.

So if we aren't going to do the moral thing, what are we going to do? Well sadly, I think we're going to continue spending taxpayers money and soldiers' lives in an attempt to stabilise our puppet regime in office in Iraq. We will do this by oppressing the Iraqi people and slaughtering a fair few insurgents (and civilians) along the way. And of course, as an illegally occupying force we have no moral right to kill Iraqis, and we can never claim "self-defence".

So the former is what we should do, and in my estimation the latter is what we possibly WILL do. But who knows as to the latter? The machinations of our governments are labyrinthine indeed.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

While I don't disagree that money can/has disappeared into the DoD black hole, what specifically are you refering to?
I believe it was something to the order of nine billion dollars US, unaccounted for according to a US audit published in 2005. I cited several news sources in post #19, in the interests of both space and time I'll have to refer you back to it rather than re-typing the paragraphs/links.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Heh, we've both reached the point of cynicism on this one.
Rationalism Jae, rationalism. Cynicism is about as misleading as optimism... though often less damaging.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

The discussion for several posts prior to mine was about Iranian agents.
Agents in Iraq.

You stated: "'Iranian agents' isn't quite the right way to look at it. It's 'Shi'a agents who happen to be Iranian' because religion drives politics there as much as, if not more than, nationality."

The phrase "drives politics there" refers to a place, not people or agents. Therefore it was reasonable to assume that you were referring to Iraq and the situation specific to Iraq. Therefore my rebuttals were exactly apt, and perfectly pertinent. The fact is that religion does not drive politics in Iraq as much as nationalistic concerns, and never has in recent Iraqi history. There, religion is a tool used to further political aims, just as Christianity is in the US. The driving forces (and senior US intelligence officials have agreed with me on this) are financial gain, and the pursuit of power. Not religion.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

If you read something that you think has more than one possible interpretation, it's appropriate to ask the writer to clarify
Actually it was quite obvious to me what your statement meant, and frankly it still is obvious. The paragraph above this one shows that my initial interpretation was the literal one, and I believe the technically correct one.

And frankly, I didn't ask you for clarification because once again, your statement seemed fairly clear. You stated that religion and nationality were AT LEAST equal in terms of how much they "drive" politics in Iraq. I cited sources to show that this was not the case.

Once again, if you feel that I didn't read your intent, you're absolutely correct, because I cannot know your intent. But I did read your text. If it's not what you meant to type, it is not my problem.

But of course this argument of "reading intent" is an old argument between you and I, and I feel no need to pursue it. I really won't address any further assertions that I misread this particular statement, as I have just comprehensively disproven them.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

Are you applying this broadly to the Middle East or more narrowly to just Iraq?
I believe my previous statements clearly answer your question. However, it could be said that even in the most fundamentalist countries, religion is once again merely a handy tool to influence the populous. Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.

Quote:
Originally posted by Jae Onasi:

religion is a factor in that it was responsible for creating at least 2 of the political entities that currently exist there. The problem of dealing with the differences between the groups is likely going to require some kind of a religious component as part of the solution.
The fact that our illegal and immoral invasion has allowed some power-hungry individuals to start using religious rhetoric to further their political aims is beyond question. But as to a solution... from our point of view the solution begins with us removing our occupying forces from Iraq. Whether the solution the Iraqis eventually come up with for themselves contains a "religious component" would be interesting to see, but would be a moot point.

If on the other hand you're suggesting that we should remain in Iraq and pander to groups in religious terms... that would merely be counter-productive. The fact is that we have destroyed one of the most secular of middle-eastern societies and have made every effort to usher in fundamentalism. I don't think adding to the sectarian stew in ANY respect would be at all constructive. Any "assistance" we offer Iraq should be firmly secularist in nature.

-

Quote:
Originally posted by Nancy Allen``:

The Iraqis tried him, then an appeal was launched that failed. Would it have been any diffirent had it come to the International Courts? Saddam's actions are beyond doubt, his punishment regardless of which court he faced must fit the crime. Execution? I am now against the idea given what it has done, but yes I would say that verdict still would have been given,
First of all, it was a US puppet Iraqi regime that tried Saddam.

Secondly as stated in my first paragraph, any comments like "well he would have been found guilty even if the court were valid" are highly irrelevant to the moral question, and merely compound the immorality of the show-trial and lynching.

As for your declaration that you are now against Saddam's execution "given what it has done", well anyone with a brain could have told you "what it would do" before it was done. And many people accurately predicted the results.

Quote:
Originally posted by Nancy Allen``:

and recieved just the same level of criticism.
You're suggesting here that if the trial and execution had been in line with international law... it would have received the same level of criticism? What utter nonsense. The trial and execution was illegal and immoral. If the trial and execution had been legal and moral, it wouldn't be criticised for being illegal and immoral now, would it.


[FW] Spider AL
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