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Author Topic: GOP and Democrats in the House of Reps
tern
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That's an interesting perspective. Mind if I steal it? [Smile]
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TomDavidson
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Go ahead. *laugh* Although the sad thing is that I think Goebbels got there first.
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tern
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I think other people beat him to it. For some reason, viewing media as a bunch of fascists really appeals to me. [Wink]
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TomDavidson
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More people are fascists at heart than generally like to admit it. It's a very compelling philosophy in a lot of ways. What gets creepy is when you start to consider what the "ruling class" and the "underclass" actually ARE in those scenarios. FoxNews and ABC have very different answers to those questions, but neither of them have answers that make me feel good about the universe.
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Bean Counter
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quote:
I am sorry that you are over there, facing enemy fire and terrible conditions. In my opinion you and your fellow soldiers should be home with your families.

You are not really fully aware of what Soldiering is are you? Would you rather the steel workers were home instead of making steel? The nurses home instead of curing the sick?

Do not sit there and pretend you want what is best for me or the world and with the same sentence steal the honor of my proffession as being less desireable then simple unemployment.

Keep your sympathy for the countries that do not have an Army that protects its fools from themselves.

BC

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TomDavidson
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quote:

Keep your sympathy for the countries that do not have an Army that protects its fools from themselves.

I know that's not why I'm paying you, Bean Counter. [Smile] When more people in the Army start thinking like you -- that it's their job to protect us civilians from ourselves -- I think fewer and fewer of us will feel like giving you our money for that service.
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JTruant711
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I seriously doubt that the military would suffer greatly if all taxes died tommorrow. One thing America has learned to love: it's military might.
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TomDavidson
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quote:

I seriously doubt that the military would suffer greatly if all taxes died tommorrow.

I dunno. Ask Bean Counter how long he'd be willing to do what he's doing for free, or without regular shipments of ammo and food. There's not a lot out there for them to pillage.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
The Army's job is to make America safer; when the Bush Administration uses the military to make America less safe, it is bad for America (and the military is not being used for its intended purpose)
This is the trouble you run into with this line of thought. By suggesting that the military is being used contrary to the purpose of keeping America safe-especially in wartime-you are in essence suggesting that they are dying for no purpose at all, dying needlessly and stupidly.

It is a very difficult thing to seperate a criticism of the civilian and high military management of a war from being necessarily critical of the soldiers themselves, for hinting to them, "You're making a stupid sacrifice."

For the record, I'm not saying that's what you are doing, I'm just pointing this problem out. And the problem isn't helped by the people on the far-left who, despite the protestations of some people in this thread, do sometimes say in very plain language, "You soldiers are stupid."

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JTruant711
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
quote:

I seriously doubt that the military would suffer greatly if all taxes died tommorrow.

I dunno. Ask Bean Counter how long he'd be willing to do what he's doing for free, or without regular shipments of ammo and food. There's not a lot out there for them to pillage.
Haha, yeah, the government would shut down the military, laughable. They would cancel every education program, every social program, NASA, the whole nine, then if the situation was dire, institute martial law and call it a day. No US government is so stupid as to allow themselves to be completely vulnerable.

Of course this is all merely hypothesis because if you stop paying taxes, chances are a couple of things will happen.

One - You will not file your taxes and some percentage of the US that usually doesn't won't either and nothing will happen.

Two - You won't file and you will get pinched in the end.

Either way, the goverment isn't quaking in their boots over an empty threat like that.

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JTruant711
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BC, how long would you do what you are doing for free?

To humor you...

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Rakeesh
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Just to be clear, Tom was asking more than how long he would do it if he weren't paid for his service. He was also asking how long he would do it if he wasn't getting bullets, gas, and beds.
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Bob_Scopatz
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tern, a couple of thoughts on the article you linked to:

1) It seems to prove my point in terms of NPR not really being incredibly biased

2) It doesn't address the points that are unique to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in terms of having standardized measures of equal time/coverage to ensure that they aren't biased.

3) The measure of "bias" is sort of strange in your article. As I understand it, the measure is relative to some people in Congress, how much does a particular news outlet cite the same sources. I think that's fraught with all kinds of challenges and I wonder why they didn't use something more common-sense like amount of time devoted to commentary from acknowledged spokespersons from one side of the aisle or the other.

4) Ultimately, since this is a measure based on the outlets' relative "bias" compared to the bias of the American people, the question about hearing your own echo really comes to the fore. What the conservatives seem to be saying is that news programs aren't a good enough echo of their own biases, not that they want reporting that is actually balanced. In fact, I think it's already been said that on many issues finding a truly balanced picture would move the entire spectrum of reporting hard left from what we're used to in this Country.

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MrSquicky
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quote:
He was also asking how long he would do it if he wasn't getting bullets, gas, and beds.
I think Shakespeare said it most incomprehensibly when he wrote "I pray you, how many hath he killed and eaten in these wars? But how many hath he killed? For, indeed, I promised to eat all of his killing."

That is to say, I don't think BC would be at all discomfitted if he weren't getting bullets. Unless we're talking about pretend bullets. I do so wish I could look at the IP he's posting from. I think it might be closer to the Mid-West than to the Mid-East.

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Silkie
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quote:
Originally posted by Bob_Scopatz:tern, a couple of thoughts on the article you linked to:

1) It seems to prove my point in terms of NPR not really being incredibly biased

2) It doesn't address the points that are unique to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in terms of having standardized measures of equal time/coverage to ensure that they aren't biased.

3) The measure of "bias" is sort of strange in your article. As I understand it, the measure is relative to some people in Congress, how much does a particular news outlet cite the same sources. I think that's fraught with all kinds of challenges and I wonder why they didn't use something more common-sense like amount of time devoted to commentary from acknowledged spokespersons from one side of the aisle or the other.

4) Ultimately, since this is a measure based on the outlets' relative "bias" compared to the bias of the American people, the question about hearing your own echo really comes to the fore. What the conservatives seem to be saying is that news programs aren't a good enough echo of their own biases, not that they want reporting that is actually balanced. In fact, I think it's already been said that on many issues finding a truly balanced picture would move the entire spectrum of reporting hard left from what we're used to in this Country.

Here is an interview with Bill Moyers about this issue. His investigative reporting show NOW was at the focal point of the storm about bias in the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. He and his show were specificly targeted by Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson as being "liberal" in content. Moyers resigned from his show, and participated in setting up the commission that now polices the CPB. He has a lot to say on the matter.

quote:
Bill Moyers became the central figure in absentia in the controversy surrounding former Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) Chairman Kenneth Tomlinson. It was Tomlinson who pointed to Moyers' NOW newscast on PBS as a chief reason for his efforts to bring "balance" to public broadcasting by adding conservative shows. Moyers has since left NOW and is currently president of the Schumann Center for Media & Democracy. He spoke with B&C's John Eggerton in the wake of a CPB Inspector General report concluding Tomlinson had violated the law by dealing directly with a programmer during the creation of a show to balance Moyers' program.


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Silkie
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quote:
Originally posted by adam613:
quote:
You are not really fully aware of what Soldiering is are you? Would you rather the steel workers were home instead of making steel? The nurses home instead of curing the sick?
Bad analogy. Steel workers making steel helps our economy. Nurses curing the sick, well, cures the sick. Both are good for America. The Army's job is to make America safer; when the Bush Administration uses the military to make America less safe, it is bad for America (and the military is not being used for its intended purpose)
Until this war, we had NEVER preemptively attacked another country. We did not have the authority from the UN to enforce their orders. Using Cowboy justice, the administration took the law into their own hands. To get approval and funding for that effort they lied and manipulated the truth.

Everything that comes down comes around.

Now that the TRUTH about why we are over there is known, most Americans do not approve of this war, and are against continuing it, just as they were BEFORE the Lies about Mushroom clouds and WMDs. Republican Congressional members are jumping ship on the Bush Administration for self preservation: They want to be reelected.

RE: Neocon

If you walk like a Duck and Quack like a duck, odds are you are a Duck, Grasshopper. If you do a little research on Neocon belief systems you might find yourself looking in a mirror.

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Kwea
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Or perhaps you are seeing only what you wish.
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tern
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News flash, Chief: Cowboys are the good guys.

And while I may share some beliefs in common with neocons, I am not a neocon. I'm probably best described as a Reagan Republican. Except that I'm not a Republican.

quote:
we had NEVER preemptively attacked another country.
Hello, Grenada. Oh, and Panama. Oh, and Mexico.

quote:
Now that the TRUTH about why we are over there is known
Which TRUTH is that, Sparky? Seems like there's still quite a bit of disagreement. Back in the echo chamber you go!

quote:
most Americans do not approve of this war
Depends on the poll you look at, the time of day, if it's that time of the month, etc...

quote:
the Lies about Mushroom clouds and WMDs
Eh, I must have missed the Mushroom cloud lies. And the WMD thing was at worst, a mistake. Which all the intelligence agencies of all the major countries agreed on. But it's all Chimpy McHitleribushurton's fault!

quote:
We did not have the authority from the UN to enforce their orders.
You might be surprised to know that the American military's purpose is not to act as a police force for the United Nothing.

/irritation

*sigh* I really don't feel like this discussion is achieving anything. Think I'll let this last, mean post stand as my final word on this whole thing.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
News flash, Chief: Cowboys are the good guys.
At what point does this become untrue? Can the Lone Ranger put Injun Joe's feet to the fire to make him say where he's tied up Miss Clampett and stay a good guy? What if Injun Joe doesn't talk? Can the Lone Ranger order Tonto to cut him a little? Or parade him around naked in front of Madame Martine's place? Maybe have Silver try to mate with him?

At what point does the mythology of the good cowboy looking to do the right thing get lost in the dark miasma of what the cowboy's actually doing?

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Bob_Scopatz
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quote:
*sigh* I really don't feel like this discussion is achieving anything. Think I'll let this last, mean post stand as my final word on this whole thing.
Gosh, if you're going to get all snarky about it, maybe my reply to the above should be:

"is that a promise?"

However, assuming you still want to discuss the things you bring up on a discussion board...

I do think probably people get the wrong idea about Iraq being the FIRST pre-emptive military action by the US. That's true. But using Grenada, Panama and Mexico as "precedents" has not been very popular, and for good reason. Grenada is a spec. It was also extremely limited and had a clearn objective. Probably not something to draw a comparison for Iraq if one wanted to avoid embarrassing questions like "what went wrong this time?" And, in the same stroke, that gets rid of ALL the modern examples of US military pre-emption.

Then we have Panama. A nasty piece of work in many respects including carving a new country out of an existing sovereign state and, ultimately setting the stage for some rather troubling political problems there that echoed into modern times. In short, we don't do well with puppet dictators and probably no-one arguing that we should go into Iraq wanted to bring up Panama as a shining example of how good our track record is in this area.

Although, now that you mention it...

Hmm...

As for Mexico, well, let's just say that the Republic of Texas has not been a lone star for nothing. The history of that war and the "freedom" for people pushing what amounted to a collossal land grab is also probably not the sort of image one would want to bring up.

Also, it's kind of a weird deal to bring that up given the way we entered the war (remember the phrase "manifest destiny" from your history lessons?) and the fact that it was basically just a land grab by a President who was just aching for some excuse to go for it.

There's probably a reason why the Administration would prefer (at least at the outset) to avoid comparisons of their pre-emptive war to the others in our History.

Oh, and you forgot Hawaii... Basically more of the same.

This is why I'm usually pretty careful to describe Iraq as a bad precedent, not as the first and only time we've engaged in pre-emptive warfare.

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Bean Counter
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Yes I am in Davenport Iowa right now with a college Coed and a her mother waiting on me hand and foot... no wait that was a dream, sigh....

Sorry I am in closer to Falluja then you are too common sense.

quote:
Until this war, we had NEVER preemptively attacked another country. We did not have the authority from the UN to enforce their orders.
It has been said but perhaps it could do well for being repeated, we are not the enforcement arm for the UN, they have no position of authority above us, the highest authority for the US military is the President of the United States.

I have gone a month without pay a couple times how bout you JT? Assuming I got fed and watered I would go until I found a ride out of here! A starved US Army over here would create order in record time! Mister nice guy would be right out!

I did not say I would keep fools from being foolish, I just create a safe space for them to be fools in. What they do there is their affair.

"You live in peace because rough men stand ready to do violence on your behalf..."

If you do not think this is honorable duty then at least know it is necessary, steel workers might still go to work every day without us, but they would do so under the lash.

BC

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Scott R
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The conscious, conscientious citizen is just as important to the vitality and safety of the country as the dedicated soldier.
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Kwea
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Not to mention that quite a few of thoses "fools" happen to be people who served themselves.
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Silkie
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quote:
Originally posted by tern:
News flash, Chief: Cowboys are the good guys.

And while I may share some beliefs in common with neocons, I am not a neocon. I'm probably best described as a Reagan Republican. Except that I'm not a Republican.

quote:
we had NEVER preemptively attacked another country.
Hello, Grenada. Oh, and Panama. Oh, and Mexico.
I stand corrected. There have been a few examples of Cowboy diplomacy besides this one. As mentioned by another, none of them are positive examples of the paragons of Democracy we Americans claim we are.

Ask Native Americans whether their ancestors were 'insurgents' or freedom fighters?

quote:
quote:
Now that the TRUTH about why we are over there is known
Which TRUTH is that, Sparky? Seems like there's still quite a bit of disagreement. Back in the echo chamber you go!
quote:
quote:
most Americans do not approve of this war
Depends on the poll you look at, the time of day, if it's that time of the month, etc...
Please note that one of the links I presented to you had a COMPILATION of Poll data, showing a steady decline of the Cabal's Poll numbers. Since September. http://www.pollingreport.com/BushJob.htm Would that be the 'wrong time of the month' 'wrong time of day' for several months? I doubt it!

quote:
quote:
the Lies about Mushroom clouds and WMDs
Eh, I must have missed the Mushroom cloud lies. And the WMD thing was at worst, a mistake. Which all the intelligence agencies of all the major countries agreed on. But it's all Chimpy McHitleribushurton's fault!
Perhaps you were not watching the news last year. ALL of the primaries in the Cabal said those exact words on National Television, repeatedly, as well as using them in speeches in front of the UN: Condoleeza, Rummy, Powell, Cheney, Bush, et al.

Proof? Take your pick, m'dear:
Check these articles out, gotten by using my favorite search engine...
If you think those results are an echo chamber, then use your own search engine. Just enter "Iraq mushroom cloud" ... I got four pages of responses.


quote:
quote:
We did not have the authority from the UN to enforce their orders.
You might be surprised to know that the American military's purpose is not to act as a police force for the United Nothing.
Again, the propeganda used to justify this war said that we were enforcing the UN orders (among many other reasons that evolved over the time we have been over in Iraq).

quote:
/irritation

*sigh* I really don't feel like this discussion is achieving anything. Think I'll let this last, mean post stand as my final word on this whole thing.

Consider the possibility that your irritation might just be caused by the sound of unpleasant FACTS bouncing off your Echo chamber.

[ November 29, 2005, 11:25 AM: Message edited by: Silkie ]

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JTruant711
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So, Silkie, tell me, what knowledge leads you to believe that insurgents in Iraq are freedom fighters? No matter how many of these guys I throw in jail, etc. - I never seem to get the impression that they fight for anything other than their idea of Allah or God or whatever OR CASH or DRUGS.

Which doesn't make them freedom fighters. Oh yes, that is right, CASH and DRUGS! You heard it here first, Hatrack. If you want CASH and DRUGS all you have to do is make a bomb, bury a bomb, shoot an American, shoot an Iraqi Policeman, or bomb some women or children, etc. Even BARELY coming close to comparing insurgents to Native Americans is farce.

Insurgents are in support of a theocracy, whereas, we fight for the possibility of a representative government with civil liberties...

Tell me again, now, who is the freedom fighter?

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Ask Native Americans whether their ancestors were 'insurgents' or freedom fighters?
Now are you comparing them to Iraqis who target military and police?

Or the ones who murder civilians by the score in mosques and marketplaces? Just curious, Silkie.

Incidentally, by modern standards, many Indians were terrorists.

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fugu13
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Rakeesh: of course, so were many white settlers.
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Silkie
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quote:
Originally posted by fugu13:
Rakeesh: of course, so were many white settlers.
quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Ask Native Americans whether their ancestors were 'insurgents' or freedom fighters?
Now are you comparing them to Iraqis who target military and police?

Or the ones who murder civilians by the score in mosques and marketplaces? Just curious, Silkie.

Incidentally, by modern standards, many Indians were terrorists.


Exactly my point. Depending on which side you are on, the American Indians were "insurgents" or "Indian Resisters." Indian "collaberators" were killed by Indian resistance. War is savage.

I am not saying the Insurgents are right. Step back and look at this from an Iraqi's point of view.

We invaded their country. We blew up their homes, their families, their friends. We talk funny, and dress funny and have weird ideas that conflict with what their religious leaders teach. Basic infrastructure is still down... They don't have reliable water, sewerage, and electricity in the cities. The heat there is legendary by now. There are few jobs, and they have families to take care of. Our contractors gouged them and us, and took advantage of the situation, more than they rebuilt. If that happened to YOU, how would you feel?

We call them Insurgents, but they do not call themselves Insurgents. Think about it.

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tern
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*sneaks into thread*

Hey, I can't think of any historical bad guys who actually thought of themselves as bad guys. Stalin? Mao? Peewee Herman? Think about it.

*sneaks back out*

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Kwea
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quote:
Originally posted by tern:
*sneaks into thread*

Hey, I can't think of any historical bad guys who actually thought of themselves as bad guys. Stalin? Mao? Peewee Herman? Think about it.

*sneaks back out*

Right...they are only freedom fighters if WE support/train/pay for their activities...


Like in Central America, right?


BYW, didn't the US use illegal arms sales and drug money to finance...


Who did we sell those arms to again?


Nevermind. [Wink]


Not that I completely agree with silkies point, but there is more to it that you are allowing, tern.

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Bob_Scopatz
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Amen!
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JTruant711
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Look at it from the Iraqi point of view: The average Iraqi calls an insurgent 'Ali Baba'. What do you think that means?
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JTruant711
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quote:
Originally posted by MrSquicky:
That is to say, I don't think BC would be at all discomfitted if he weren't getting bullets. Unless we're talking about pretend bullets. I do so wish I could look at the IP he's posting from. I think it might be closer to the Mid-West than to the Mid-East.

MrSquicky, I think you should send BC a care package. Visit http://www.gadod.net/files/news.php

Look for 2-130 Infantry. You can be proud to know that he's doing good things for you. As am I. Sincerely,

SGT Thomas Stead (Team Leader, Infantry)

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JTruant711
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PS you can find ME on Anysoldier.com if you want to send me hate mail or a care package.
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Rakeesh
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Yes, fugu, I know. And in fact numerically, and measured by their own standards, I believe that European settlers in the New World behaved much worse than did the Indians.

quote:
We call them Insurgents, but they do not call themselves Insurgents. Think about it.
Is that supposed to be deep thinking? "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" isn't exactly new, Silkie. It's been around. And you know what I'd do if all that happened to me? There's a good chance I'd start boming police stations and military targets.

But not engaging in the wholesale murder of civilians, like many "insurgents" do. It's those "insurgents" I'm talking about, and you know it. I'm not going to argue about your very slanted interpretation of what happened, but I will say this: none of it excuses deliberate targeted murder of civilians.

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tern
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Amen!
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Silkie
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
Yes, fugu, I know. And in fact numerically, and measured by their own standards, I believe that European settlers in the New World behaved much worse than did the Indians.

quote:
We call them Insurgents, but they do not call themselves Insurgents. Think about it.
Is that supposed to be deep thinking? "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter" isn't exactly new, Silkie. It's been around. And you know what I'd do if all that happened to me? There's a good chance I'd start boming police stations and military targets.

But not engaging in the wholesale murder of civilians, like many "insurgents" do. It's those "insurgents" I'm talking about, and you know it. I'm not going to argue about your very slanted interpretation of what happened, but I will say this: none of it excuses deliberate targeted murder of civilians.

Of course you would be fighting the invaders Rakeesh, and so would I.

A mistake that is being made is in lumping every resister together and calling themm the "insurgents". While there is an Al-Qaeda presence in Iraq, most of the resisters are Iraqi. There is also resistance based on personally experienced atrocities, and on ancient ethnic divisions. So some civilian casualties are ehtnic cleansing, some are "I don't care who gets killed" and some are collateral damage.

And our government - not our soldiers - is behaving more like a fascist government than one who is encouraging freedom and democracy. It has recently come to light that we have been secretly submitting 'news' through third parties to the newspapers in Iraq, 'news' that is really propeganda. Not a surprise, considering that we do that at home too. And now it has come to light that Bush 'jokingly' considered bombing the independant news outlet, Al-Jazeerah for telling the truth about civilian casualties.

When there were elections, the Shiite religious-leader backed candidates won, overwhelmingly. That same group is expected to win again in December. That's ironic isn't it. We are faced with the strong possibility that we're participating in the creation of another Iran-type Islamic government.

Some people are saying that Iraq was better off under Saddam. I honestly don't know if that is true, but most certainly we have created one helluva mess there.

We have become part of the problem, and the sooner we can bring home our men and women serving there, the better off everyone will be. The Iraqis can then turn their anger toward the real threat of a strong Al-qaeda that is now firmly embedded there, thanks to our bungling government.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
A mistake that is being made is in lumping every resister together and calling themm the "insurgents".
Actually 'insurgent' is a synonym for 'resister'. The mistake being made is lumping head-choppers and mosque-bombers under that name.
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twinky
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Yeah, it's also a synonym for "rebel."
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Scott R
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>>When there were elections, the Shiite religious-leader backed candidates won, overwhelmingly.

Of course, what's REALLY startling is that this is happening in our own country, too. Almost all of our elected officials are Christian.

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Silkie
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quote:
When there were elections, the Shiite religious-leader backed candidates won, overwhelmingly.

Of course, what's REALLY startling is that this is happening in our own country, too. Almost all of our elected officials are Christian.

[Roll Eyes]

quote:
Originally posted by Silkie:

When there were elections, the Shiite religious-leader backed candidates won, overwhelmingly.

As opposed to those candidates we pushed on the Iraqi people, who were NOT backed by the Shiite religious-leaders.
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Silkie
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
A mistake that is being made is in lumping every resister together and calling themm the "insurgents".
Actually 'insurgent' is a synonym for 'resister'. The mistake being made is lumping head-choppers and mosque-bombers under that name.
The use of "Insurgent" is one more example of Orwellian labeling by this administration.

While those words are often used as synonyms, there is a subtle positive (Resistance) or negative (Insurgent) implication in their meaning when they are used.

That is why early in the war the administration prompted the national news to call the people fighting against us in Iraq "insurgents" and not "resistance." I remember when the newscaster (on NBC news) announced that they had agreed to call the resisters "insurgents" in their news. Before that various different labels were used.


quote:
Resister
n 1: someone who systematically obstructs some action that others want to take
2: someone who offers opposition

Source: WordNet ® 2.0, © 2003 Princeton University

Resistance An underground organization engaged in a struggle for national liberation in a country under military or totalitarian occupation.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

quote:
in·sur·gent ( P ) Pronunciation Key (n-sūrjnt)
adj.
Rising in revolt against established authority, especially a government.
Rebelling against the leadership of a political party.

n.
One who is insurgent.


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Rakeesh
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Silkie,

I think it's more than a little ridiculous to label this "Orwellian". Of course the government will try and cast the insurgents in an unfavorable light. You'll notice they're not all being called "terrorists", but let's just ignore that.

Oh, and for the record-your advocacy for using your favored term-resisters-is equally "Orwellian". You want the term to reflect your views of the political reality, just like they do.

And I think it's nuts to be so concerned about a slightly negative word in favor of a slightly positive word for the people who are either actively at war with our military (and others), actively engaging in mass murder of civilians (theirs and others), or even both. Man, your priorities are way outta wack.

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twinky
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Actually, I think that aspect of Silkie's point merits discussion. First, there's a distinction between an individual adovcating or requesting the use of a certain term and a government doing the same thing. For example, what if the Russian government requested that the news media used the term "insurgents" to describe what are most commonly called "rebels" in Chechnya? The Chechen rebels have certainly targeted and murdered civilians. Or the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka? Indeed, why should a single blanket term be used to describe any of these groups? It seems to me that it's basically a convenient intellectual shorthand that makes it easier to lump all of "them" together into a single entity. But as your post on the last page shows, it isn't always intuitively obvious which subgroup is under discussion.

I don't think the fact that the groups in question have all murdered civilians should negate discussion surrounding their reasons for doing so, nor should it give those who oppose them carte blanche. In another thread, someone stated that they would like torture to be explicitly outlawed so that a government agent who decided to employ it would have to make a judgment about the potential merit of any information he might extract under torture -- "is it worth the punishment for breaking the law?." In other words, the law should be upheld, but there are cases where it can be deemed acceptable to have broken it. Sort of like how ambulances and police cars can break speed limits. I think that's a very interesting position. Similarly, if a person thinks killing is wrong and is then presented with a situation where he must kill to potentially prevent something from occurring, he has to make a value judgment about the importance and likelihood of that something, and then live with having committed an immoral act even if the killing was justified. To tie this back to the current discussion: in this view, Government A saying "Government X murdered, tortured, raped, and beat its own civilians" does not in and of itself make it right for Country A to invade Country X. In other words, under this argument, launching a preemptive invasion is still wrong, the question is, rather, is it less wrong than letting the earlier wrongs go unpunished?

From what you've been saying, Rakeesh, it seems like once one civilian is intentionally killed, any subsequent action on the part of the killer's opponents that is punitive in nature is inherently preferred, regardless of context. Is that at least loosely accurate?

At any rate, the question of whether the argument itself is applicable in this particular case depends on your assessment of the Bush Administration's goals for (and motivations behind) the current action in Iraq.

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JTruant711
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Glad you could use the dictionary, perhaps now you can figure out what to call all the bad guys that blow sh*t up in Iraq...
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MrSquicky
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I don't know, if I'm an Iraqi of a certain type, how about Americans? Definition and perspective are strongly tied together.
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Rakeesh
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Twinky,

I agree that it merits discussion. I disagree that "Orwellian" is the right word. I think it's hyperbole.

quote:
I don't think the fact that the groups in question have all murdered civilians should negate discussion surrounding their reasons for doing so, nor should it give those who oppose them carte blanche.
I agree with that, on both counts. What I disagree with is this idea to keep naming such groups "insurgents" or "rebels" or "resisters"-such connotations ignore actions.

quote:
From what you've been saying, Rakeesh, it seems like once one civilian is intentionally killed, any subsequent action on the part of the killer's opponents that is punitive in nature is inherently preferred, regardless of context.
You're wrong about that, at least a bit. For one thing, I think very few actions are entirely punitive, rehabilitory, etc. I think we are facing a host of enemies in Iraq, and against some of the, punitive responses are generally prefered simply because other responses simply will not work.

However my general belief is that negotiating with people who are deliberately targeting civilians (aside from stuff like hostage negotiations) is stupid and counterproductive, because it sends a message everytime, no matter how unfavorable the terms of negotiation are to the killer: targeting and murdering civilians is an effective means to get us to talk to you.

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tern
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However, y'all are trying to use "definition and perspective" to achieve moral relativity between terrorists who target civilians and others for whom civilians are at most, collateral damage. You know, the old "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." Right, and "One man's child molester is another man's courageous defier of society's oppression." It's still wrong, no matter what you call it.
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MrSquicky
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errr...no, I'm not. I speaking about defintition and perspective and why it's important to understand how they are interrelated. We just had a whole converstaion about how lumping all the people fighting the U.S. into one group of "insurgents" can be very misleading.

Some of the these people are targeting civilians and for others civilians are at most collateral damage, but through the magic of defining them as the same thing, you can say that they are all evil terrorists who target civilians and need to be wiped out.

Likeiwse, from a certain perspective, the Americans fit the description "the bad guys that blow sh*t up in Iraq.", which is a big reason why some of these people are fighting us.

---

Also, I don't know that this distinction is anywhere near as significant to the killed as to the killers. From the point of view of say the family members of someone who was killed, I don't know that the "civilians targeted" versus "collateral damage" difference is a particularly important one.

And then you start looking at relative numbers. If you kill 10,000 people as collateral damage, do you really think that these people are going to think you're better than a group of people who killed say 500 people on purpose?

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Rakeesh
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I think again you're hearing things that aren't being said, tern-at least certainly not by Twinky. I've had almost the exact same discussion with him before.

As for killer and killed, obviously the goal for which civilians were collateral damage factors into things.

For instance, an unlikely scenario: let's say that law enforcement and/or the military discovers for certain-say, a threatening videotape-that terrorists have managed to construct and are preparing to arm a nuclear weapon in downtown NYC and will detonate it during rush hour. They've got hundreds of hostages, but since a nuke doesn't detonate if you just blow it up with conventional explosives, the building itself could be targeted and destroyed along with the terrorists, bomb, and all the hostages.

Now of course since I've never died I cannot say for sure what I'd think, I think that in that case, I wouldn't feel nearly so bad if I were collateral damage than I would if, say, I was a civilian in Hiroshima.

But seeing as how I believe those nuclear weapon attacks on Japan saved vast numbers of lives both Japanese and American (as well as ending vast numbers of lives), I think I wouldn't feel totally outraged if I were a civilian there, either.

Speaking personally, I think that people probably would feel a little better if they were collateral damage than if they were targeted for murder. That's just because, frankly, most people all over the world regard the idea of collateral damage as acceptable-when it's their side doing the damage.

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