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Author Topic: Who is the worst living dictator.
Darth_Mauve
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This came up in another thread, so I thought lets make our top ten, or would it be bottom ten list.

Kim Jung Il?
Mugabe?
Omar Bashir of The Sudan?

Other suggestions and why?

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BlackBlade
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Dick Cheney? [Wink]

I need to think about that one, Robert Mugabe and Jim Jung Il are pretty strong contenders IMHO.

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Tante Shvester
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Hugo Chavez has got to be a contender.
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Oshki
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Are you looking for the Anti-Christ? His religion would have to be Humanism or simply: (Whatever feels good is good.)the worship of Man,Man,Man (666) The only evil being: Christian Guilt and getting caught. He would have to be really smooth because he is suppose to be able to fool even the elect.

"The man that is wicked and thought to be good can do no wrong because no one believes that he would." Giobanni Boccacio, The Decameron

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Lisa
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Obama is a strong contender. The others you've listed didn't start off with a democratic republic and turn it into a corrupt, crony-run, socialist government, intent on quashing dissent.
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ricree101
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Well, that worked out well for a grand total of three posts.
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Mucus
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Ya think?
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Raymond Arnold
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quote:
Are you looking for the Anti-Christ? His religion would have to be Humanism or simply: (Whatever feels good is good.)the worship of Man,Man,Man (666) The only evil being: Christian Guilt and getting caught. He would have to be really smooth because he is suppose to be able to fool even the elect.

"The man that is wicked and thought to be good can do no wrong because no one believes that he would." Giobanni Boccacio, The Decameron

I can't tell to what degree this is sarcastic.
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Nighthawk
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Since I live in Miami, there's a city ordinance that states I must answer "Fidel Castro", regardless of how I actually may feel on the topic.
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adenam
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Do we actually know if he is alive?
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Darth_Mauve
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quote:
turn it into a corrupt, crony-run, socialist government, intent on quashing dissent.
Sorry, I am out of the Libertarian Paranoid Loop.

Can you tell me what Corruption we have here in the states? How does it compare to the Corruption in, say, Russia?

Crony-Run? President Obama brought in one or two associates. President Bush brought in most of his friends from Texas. Compared to his predecessor, President Obama is Crony-Free, and compared to Mayamar?

Socialist? We are talking changing the last non-socialized medical system in the industrialized world as a major advance of socialism? Or is it the way he's tried to fix the economic problems caused by short sighted greed on every level--and do it so that companies and industries are free of Govt. Intervention swiftly? Still, how does this compare to Chavez's socialist take over?

Squashing Dissent? He asked people to report the rumors and folks panicked that he was taking names for future punishment. That is squashing dissent. He's asked for calm debate and not screaming and name-calling in his public town hall meetings, where his predecessor roped off all dissenters blocks (up to miles) away from his INVITATION only "Town Hall" meetings where only those who agreed with him were allowed into the room. And how do either of these stack up to North Korea, where there is only one mandatory radio station, and not listening to it is a crime?

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Strider
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quote:
Are you looking for the Anti-Christ? His religion would have to be Humanism
Right, because a person who ascribes to this:

quote:
Humanism is a progressive lifestance that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead meaningful, ethical lives capable of adding to the greater good of humanity.
is definitely a candidate for the anti-christ. [Roll Eyes]

I'm curious too Raymond.

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Blayne Bradley
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I would have to consult with my brother on this as hes more versed in the obscure despots, he would probably place the Turkish government on the list possibly, I wouldn't put it past him though.

I think simply put Kim jong Il is the worst living dictator simply because he runs a totalitarian dictatorship that doesn't kneel to ANY outside pressure except for the pressure from China whom don't wanna cause a ruckus just yet to Unify Korea.

Nearly everyone else is bad because of incompetance or at least has some semblance of a relatively free populace who can do what they want.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
Obama is a strong contender. The others you've listed didn't start off with a democratic republic and turn it into a corrupt, crony-run, socialist government, intent on quashing dissent.

It's like you're trolling yourself.
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lobo
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Oh please. I think Cheney was mentioned before Obama. Untangle your panties...
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Samprimary
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quote:
Oh please. I think Cheney was mentioned before Obama.
I hope you have some clue whatsoever that BlackBlade's mention of Cheney was obviously not serious, I mean, what with the smiling winking 'just kidding of course' emoticon put right next to it, prefacing his serious answer.
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Darth_Mauve
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I think Castro is in the "Undead" category of evil leaders--like various Soviet officials were before their deaths were announced, and of course, Queen Elizabeth.
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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Lisa:
Obama is a strong contender. The others you've listed didn't start off with a democratic republic and turn it into a corrupt, crony-run, socialist government, intent on quashing dissent.

It's like you're trolling yourself.
When I got really angry at my parents or sisters as a child, I would go into my room and throw up all over the place. I didn't exactly throw up intentionally, but my body seemed to make me puke to suit my anger. My parents always had to clean it up, so despite the irrationality of the act, I always won.
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Samprimary
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the comparison is so fitting to so much of what i see on the internet!
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Obama is a strong contender. The others you've listed didn't start off with a democratic republic and turn it into a corrupt, crony-run, socialist government, intent on quashing dissent.
The funny thing is that even if you think that's what Pres. Obama will do, surely he hasn't done it yet - and thus fails to qualify for the list.

On a serious note, it's literally impossible to be a dictator when you assume office through popular approval, and when the measures you make reality are done only with the consent of literally hundreds of other people (Congress), and subject to the review of a handful of people (USSC) whom you have very, very little if any power over.

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Oshki
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quote:
posted August 19, 2009 07:15 PM
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Are you looking for the Anti-Christ? His religion would have to be Humanism or simply: (Whatever feels good is good.)the worship of Man,Man,Man (666) The only evil being: Christian Guilt and getting caught. He would have to be really smooth because he is suppose to be able to fool even the elect.

"The man that is wicked and thought to be good can do no wrong because no one believes that he would." Giobanni Boccacio, The Decameron
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I can't tell to what degree this is sarcastic.

We can agree that there is an element of sarcasm since the quote was from the Decameron which was written during the black plague. This was a time when humanism reigned suppreme not as a metaphysicial ideal but rather as a knee jerk reaction to the high possibility of death at any moment. The rich, poor, sinner, saint, young, old, in the city or in the country got ill and died without any obvious ryme or reason. Christian charity was out the window since just touching the cloths of the sick seemed to bring on sickness. This short period of "Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die." is humanism that I can understand but as a philosophy? On what foundation are the ethics based? Not the Natural Law?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by lobo:
Oh please. I think Cheney was mentioned before Obama. Untangle your panties...

So that there is no doubt, I don't think Dick Cheney approaches being a contender for the category under discussion.
--
--
--
[Wink]

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MattP
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quote:
On what foundation are the ethics based?
One perspective is that the "ethics" of all people is an expression of innate biological traits - that we have evolved to behave well in a social group because there is survival advantage in doing so. People do, in general, behave well until met with severe adversity or an adversarial ideology, at which point people generally behave pretty poorly regardless of the purported foundation of their ethics.

You can even argue that God is responsible for such traits.

But just saying "God told me so" is a foundation of ethics has it's own problems, given that God seems to tell different people different things, and seems to be fond of telling the faithful that he's particularly unhappy with the enemies of whomever he's speaking with at the moment.

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natural_mystic
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quote:
Originally posted by Oshki:


"The man that is wicked and thought to be good can do no wrong because no one believes that he would." Giobanni Boccacio, The Decameron
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I can't tell to what degree this is sarcastic.

I would have described it as cynical rather than sarcastic.
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Darth_Mauve
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See Oshki, what you are calling Humanism is what I call Sensationalism or Egoism or living for the joys that God has put in front of us.

What I call Humanism is a philosophy. It is based on the idea that All Humans Are Noble. Regardless of race, faith, nationality or gender, all Humans have intrinsic value and intrinsic rights. You can not torture the heretic because he is not of the faith, nor can you enslave the foreigner because he is foreign. The lame, the sick, the crazed and yes, the wicked, are all human and must always be given the deference and value that they deserve.

Such a Humanist as I describe is not a Dictator.

Such a Humanist as you describe could not be a Dictator either, for they are too wrapped up in the joys and temptations of life to plan and conquer others. They have no cause greater than themselves, and to be truly cruel, to do the true evil that requires labor and effort, you must have another cause than yourself.

The egotist would eventually get tired and bored using the whip. The fanatic, however, would not allow himself to be tired or bored. The fanatic, whether its for God, Communism, The State, or simply--My Legacy--is required to be the greater evil.

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Parkour
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Humanism, as according to its broadest international "minimum statements," quote:

Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
This short period of "Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die." is humanism that I can understand but as a philosophy? On what foundation are the ethics based? Not the Natural Law?
The true foundation of humanism is pretty much the same as any religious system of ethics, Oshki: "I think this is a good, worthwhile thing to believe in, and I will try to adhere to it."

Anyway, 'Humanism' obviously meant something quite different in the context of that quote than it does when used to describe modern beliefs. The problem is, there are folks out there who really do believe modern Humanism as described by MattP are evil, doomed to failure, sent by the Devil, etc. etc.

Which is a strange point of view when you consider that those same people generally view going along with God's plan as something voluntary, and thus their own ethics aren't very different from humanistic ethics at least in motivation.

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0Megabyte
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Yeah, Humanism as a philosophy seems to have little to do with the "eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die" thing.

I think Oshki and you guys are talking about completely unrelated things which you are regrettably using the same word for.

This is sadly common, I find.

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MattP
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Hedonism, perhaps?
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Strider
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hedonism fits the description.
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AchillesHeel
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For dictators, I want to say Putin (call him president or dictator, it does not change the Russian govt.) but I always have to keep from laughing when I hear his name, hes a living poop joke for crying out loud.

Does Warren Jeffs count as a dictator? smaller scale maybe but he makes up for it in potency of evil.

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Samprimary
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ANSWER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJ6E3cShcVU

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
For dictators, I want to say Putin (call him president or dictator, it does not change the Russian govt.) but I always have to keep from laughing when I hear his name, hes a living poop joke for crying out loud.

Does Warren Jeffs count as a dictator? smaller scale maybe but he makes up for it in potency of evil.

He is democratically elected though and current is not the President but is the Prime Minister, Medvedev is President.

As said above popularily elected figures don't count.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
As said above popularily elected figures don't count.
They do if those popular elections aren't unfettered, for instance by a state-run media which campaigns for the incumbents.
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Blayne Bradley
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And you know how close half of the privately run media is to doing that in US elections?

International Watchdogs have said that the elections in Russia ARE democratic.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
And you know how close half of the privately run media is to doing that in US elections?
Half of the privately run media is doing 'that' in US elections, 'that' being state-run media campaigning for the incumbent?

And since when do you care about 'International Watchdogs', Blayne? You certainly don't give them much credence when they're talking about the PRC. Rather a shifting scorecard with you, isn't it? Anyway, international groups say a helluva lot more about Russian elections than simply 'they're democratic'. Example. That was the first result turned up by a Google search, taking less than two seconds. Your facts are wrong again.

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Lyrhawn
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Mugabe jumps to mind for me, despite the fact that he was elected. He's been impossible to remove from his position, and no one has stopped his absolutely awful policies that have turned one of Africa's bread baskets into a wasteland of poverty that has driven hundreds of thousands of people, if not millions, out of the country in search of food and work. How he can take a thriving economy and wreck it so completely earns him, if not an award for worst LEADER in the world, then a shout out for worst dictator.

quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Obama is a strong contender. The others you've listed didn't start off with a democratic republic and turn it into a corrupt, crony-run, socialist government, intent on quashing dissent.
The funny thing is that even if you think that's what Pres. Obama will do, surely he hasn't done it yet - and thus fails to qualify for the list.

On a serious note, it's literally impossible to be a dictator when you assume office through popular approval, and when the measures you make reality are done only with the consent of literally hundreds of other people (Congress), and subject to the review of a handful of people (USSC) whom you have very, very little if any power over.

If you mean an extremely literal definition of dictator, then sure. But in practice? It's happened many times before, it'll happen many times again in the future. In other countries of course, but America has had problems with this in the past as well. How did we get into the Iraq War? How did we get into the Civil War? What power did the Supreme Court have over Lincoln when things didn't go Lincoln's way? And how good was Congress at backing SCOTUS up? America has a rather dangerous history involving powerful executives, a powerless court system, and a spineless, rubber stamping Congress. At that point, you can say it's still democracy, but what real difference is there between it and one of the dog and pony shows we see all over the world in OBVIOUS dictatorships like what Iraq was whilst voting for Saddam, or like in Iran, where the people are actually pretty serious about the vote?

At some point, the difference becomes one of naming rather than substance.

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Rakeesh
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I wasn't suggesting it couldn't happen - though I think that's a silly fear - just that Pres. Obama certainly doesn't, by any definition whatsoever, make any list of dictators right now.

Also, I object to the notion that how we got into the Iraq War has any bearing on whether or not we've got dictatorships in this country, and the sideways suggestion that President Lincoln was one. All instances of exceeding executive authority aren't examples of degrees of dictatorship.

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Lyrhawn
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Okay.

So at what point would it cross that imaginary line?

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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
And you know how close half of the privately run media is to doing that in US elections?

International Watchdogs have said that the elections in Russia ARE democratic.

Not when you are taking your life in your own hands running against Putin, I dont think many people in or near Russia are willing to speak against Putin and his government, and if Russia truely wants to be democratic they need to limit the time as prime-minister as we have done. What Putin says, goes in HIS country and he does not plan to let that change.
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Rakeesh
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Well, in the case of your Iraq War example, a point where the unseen line was crossed might be if the war hadn't had to be sold to Congress.
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Lyrhawn
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The Iraq War was perhaps a bad example. But I'm not so sure, for a number of reasons.

President Bush made it very clear that he didn't need any sort of Congressional authority to prosecute the war. Yes, in the end Congress wishy-washily went along with it, but if they hadn't, does anyone really think that Bush would have called the troops home? The reason I'm willing to say it was perhaps a bad example is yeah, that's all based on
"could have beens," though I'd call them "very likelys."

But what about Lincoln? He outright defied a SCOTUS decision over habeus corpus. The Civil War was filled with questionable executive orders, and that was back when the imperial presidency was in its extreme infancy.

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Glenn Arnold
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The answer is: ME. I'm lousy at being a dictator.
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AchillesHeel
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This is true, Ive lived in Glenn Arnolds country, the kitchen succeded and no one noticed until lunch.
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BlackBlade
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I too have to agree that Glenn Arnold is totally the worst dictator. He doesn't even have trains, let alone ones that run on time!
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
And you know how close half of the privately run media is to doing that in US elections?

International Watchdogs have said that the elections in Russia ARE democratic.

Not when you are taking your life in your own hands running against Putin, I dont think many people in or near Russia are willing to speak against Putin and his government, and if Russia truely wants to be democratic they need to limit the time as prime-minister as we have done. What Putin says, goes in HIS country and he does not plan to let that change.
The Communist Party of the Russian Federation is in opposition. Though they tend to cooperate on all the important matters.
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Rakeesh
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'Wishy washily'? Aside from being a funny phrase to say, I disagree with that characterization. The 'wishy-washily' part came later, when it became clear (to the public, that is) just how much misleading the Executive had done. I would characterize their authorization as 'negligently', not 'wishy washy'.

And in any event, Pres. Bush did have their consent. Might have beens or even very-likelies don't add up to dictatorships.

As for Lincoln, there was also a war for the nation's survival on. I think in such situations the judgment of history, so far removed, ought to be on what his intentions and his outcomes were. While he did abuse some powers, I don't think anyone can claim his ends were dictatorial, nor were even his means except when absolutely necessary to preserve the Union in the midst of a civil war.

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lobo
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So who is to say that 100 years from now our great-great-grandkids won't come to a similar conclusion with President Bush?
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ricree101
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It's impossible to say for sure, but the magnitude of the crisis Lincoln faced isn't really all that comparable to that which Bush faced. Plus, Lincoln gets a lot of credit given to him for his role in the end of slavery.

I can't really think of anything comparable that would improve Bush's legacy down the road.

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Raymond Arnold
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Well, if Iraq was successfully transformed into a beacon of democracy and hope throughout the middle east, that might help.
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