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kathyedits
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Do we really need any more evidence that the media sees it's role as arbiter of all the pubic shall know in order to ensure they make the pre-determined decisions? You might want to change pubic to public, since I assume that's what you meant. Also, your "it's" should be its. No apostrophe. It's (used correctly there) being used as a possessive in your sentence, not as a contraction for "it is." Editor out.
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It definitely takes more than quotes from Der Stingle. Ha! I'll give you this much: You are hipper than I thought. I did not think you would know.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2008 on Obama's plan to still lose in Iraq at BlackFive
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You are not man enough for the biggest job in the world and your inability to mouth the word victory shows it all too clearly. Men don't sidestep the tough calls with weasel words like end the war. Takes more than combat gear to make a man. Takes more than a license for a gun.
Toggle Commented Jul 14, 2008 on Obama's plan to still lose in Iraq at BlackFive
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The Market value of Leftist Jewish beliefs and Leftist thoughts in general are never high enough for investments to be profitable. Ooooooh, is that a hint of anti-Semitism peeking out? How enlightened and un-theocratic of you! Not "flexibility of mind". That's for soap operas and literature. Love those Western democratic freedom-loving values, Ymarsakar. Keep going. Is that how you justify attacking the efforts in Iraq made by Bush to uplift the human race from the misery you and your allies wish to mire us in? Uplifting the human race from misery by imprisoning tens of thousands of human beings indefinitely, without charges, without the right to see the evidence against them, and without the right of appeal? Uplifting the human race from misery by vetoing legislation that bans the use of torture by U.S. interrogators? Uplifting the human race from misery by turning over human beings to countries that are notorious for torturing people? Uplifting the human race by disappearing human beings into secret prisons in secret places where secret interrogations using secret ways to break the minds and bodies of human beings are used? How does that work? It sounds to me like you think parents aren't wiser than their six year old children. Ah, perfect, Ymarsakar! At last you acknowledge that Americans are parents and Iraqis are six-year-old children. Nauseating, but at least it's out in the open. Hasn't the Revolution of the Youth destroyed the Jewish race several times over? There's that cool anti-Semitism again. There is no Jewish "race," fool. And the Jewish PEOPLE has not been destroyed -- no thanks to folks like you. In fact, we don't support providing welfare to Iraqis at all, I, or we, support giving a nation and its people a leg up in life. Just as parents give to their children. Just as the Roman Empire gave to the Britons and the Britons gave to America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. And eventually the children become adults and are free to make their own decisions on their own power, and apartment for that matter. I'm speechless. Which is where I started out with this "conversation," isn't it? Stick a fork in me. I'm done.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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Kathyedits, when virtually everyone else here disagrees with you based on the same perspective, and given that most people here have your experience with the world to the power of 10, you might consider that it is you who is incorrect. You are kidding, right? If you were debating the Iraq war in the comments section of a liberal blog, and virtually everyone else there disagreed with you based on the same perspective, would you conclude that you were the one who was wrong? The truth is determined by how many people believe something? Aren't you embarrassed to say something as stupid as that? And once again, you do not have my experience with the world to the power of 10, nor does anyone else here. You haven't a clue what my experience of the world is or is not. You possess the knowledge that comes from having a little piece of the whole thing, and all you know, and all anyone else here knows, is what you can see from your knowledge of that little piece. The same is true for me, of course, and for everyone else on the planet.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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... who is perpetrating that brutality upon these people? Rich ... whose actions created the conditions in which that brutality could start, and then thrive and grow? Who was responsible for overthrowing a highly centralized and tightly controlled government with absolutely nothing to put in its place? Who created the vacuum? ... it is the same people who a few comments back, you considered "understandable" regarding their hostility towards America. You are mixing up my answer to a question I was asked with what I'm saying now about the U.S. invasion and the insurgency. My statement that "their" hostility toward the United States was "understandable" was made in direct response to this assertion by Subsunk: "Your way was applied for over 20 years without success (Since the Iranian revolution, Islamic radicals have been killing Americans for NO GOOD REASON. None. You cannot dispute that fact.) Every time you say we need to talk to them, I will respond "Why didn't they talk to us instead of killing us without provocation". My "understandable" remark referred directly to that statement by Subsunk, in which he in turn was referring *specifically* to the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the fact that ever since then, Islamic radicals have hated us and tried to kill us. *That* hatred toward the U.S. had built up over years of one of the most savagely brutal regimes in the 20th century. The U.S. government put that regime in power, overthrowing a very popular, democratically elected leader to do so. Iranians suffered HORRIBLY under the Shah, for 25 long years. And it was the U.S. government that was responsible for putting the Shah there. No matter what you insist the reasons were for that 1953 coup, or how good or necessary you insist those reasons were, you cannot, if you have a shred of reasonableness, expect that Iranians would have felt that way. We did them harm. We did them grave and terrible harm. It's entirely logical and rational and to be expected that when people are harmed that gravely, they would hate the country that harmed them. Of course, the involvement of the C.I.A. was entirely secret, not just then, but for decades afterward. It's only recently that the files were declassified. So most Americans had no way to know what had happened. Naturally, Americans were mystified and totally flummoxed by the anti-Americanism that came out of the Islamic revolution. They had absolutely no clue as to what had caused it. So that's what my "understandable" comment referred to. I was not talking about Iraqi suicide bombers. If we are the cause of their hostility ... why are such as these KILLING THEIR NEIGHBORS? Could it be that the basis for their hostility is more than just our presence (if it even was originally), and therefore not so "understantable"; i.e. justified? Because when people are attacked, they fight back with what they have. Iraqis don't have the world's most powerful military with fleets of fighter jets and "smart" bombs and the latest cutting-edge technology. Iraqis don't have the capacity to drop hundreds of bombs weighing a ton or more from planes 20,000 feet in the air. So they turn themselves into bombs. That's what they've got to fight with. It's called guerrilla warfare, and you know what, Rich? The U.S. government knew damn well that Iraq did not have the ability to fight on our terms, so the U.S. government should not be surprised when Iraqis fight back on *their* terms. Let me make this perfectly clear, Kathy ... the Iraqis know we rescued them from Saddam, and that we are helping them rescue themselves from the terrorists who tried to fill the vacuum his removal left. Iraqis had no love for Saddam and they certainly have no love for suicide bombers. We agree on that point. And it's undeniably true that many, if not most, Iraqis were very grateful to the U.S. for overthrowing Saddam. But that was because Iraqis viewed us, at the beginning, as liberators. As soon as it became clear to them that the U.S. had no intention of leaving Iraq, at that point Americans became occupiers, and the honeymoon was over. And that's when the insurgency began. By the way, you are wrong about that ... for Iraqis, with the help of America, are gradually putting an end to terror in Iraq ... and the Iraqis know it and appreciate our help. The many public opinion polls that have been taken in Iraq do not bear that out. The results vary somewhat by the particular poll, but none of them support the belief that Iraqis "know Americans are helping them put an end to terror and appreciate our help." By far the majority of Iraqis do not want the U.S. in their country; want Americans to leave, either immediately or within a specific period of time; feel the U.S. military presence has not helped reduce the violence, and in fact has exacerbated it, etc. Most Iraqis' feelings about Americans in their country range from dislike or disdain to hatred and rage. NOT by those who wear the uniforms of the United States of America, or her coalition partners ... whose tactics and technology ... from expensive precision weapons to the small-unit basing that is the centerpiece of the Surge ... are designed to keep non-combatant casualties to the absolute minimum possible. That bit about "expensive precision weapons" speaks to the point I made above. Iraqis don't have such weapons, do they? So when we talk about insurgents targeting civilians, or killing civilians indiscriminately, what do you expect? If we assume for the sake of argument that there actually are Iraqis who regard the U.S. as invaders, and who actually don't want a foreign country's military in their country, then one has to assume that such Iraqis would feel the need to resist. And how do they resist in targeted fashion when they don't have "expensive precision weapons." Having said this, it's also true that "expensive precision weapons" are only as precise as the intelligence that guides the targeting. And the intelligence Americans have relied on to conduct bombing raids has been notoriously inaccurate. History has consistently shown us that, wherever rights-respecting governance has taken root, prosperity and peace grow ... and crowd out the forces of totalitarianism and fanaticism that destabilize the world. But Iraq's government is not rights-respecting. The various groups and people the U.S. military chooses to work with are not rights-respecting. The military is working with exactly the same people who are responsible for cleaning out whole cities and neighborhoods, either by killing the residents, or threatening them with death if they did not leave. These are the people we are working with, Rich. Yesterday they were terrorists and insurgents; today they are our "partners." How does a rights-respecting government come out of that? The other point is that the U.S. government is hypocritical about respecting rights, and Iraqis know it. Heck, the whole world knows it. There's no way this country can "teach" other countries how to "respect rights" when our own government doesn't respect rights. What is that about? Do as we say, not as we do? much less act to replace obviously-dysfunctional regimes that threaten world peace... How is the mindset that says it's good and proper for one country to "replace" regimes it considers "dysfunctional" compatible with the mindset that values democracy, freedom, and self-determination? I never have quite understood that. ... what is arrogant is when people like you consider yourselves, simply by virtue of your education and associations, to possess wisdom that is superior to the common man ... and then set yourselves up as the only "experts" who have the answers, reason and history be damned. Actually, as Americans, we are all supposed to be "the common man" -- or so I was taught. And it's you, not me, who claims superiority by virtue of your associations, if not your education, for yourself and members of the U.S. military. I have not set myself up as the only expert. You have done that, for yourself and for American soldiers. And in fact, you and they are not the only experts. It can be [agreeing to disagree can be lethal] ... when that is all both of you you do, instead of supporting ACTION to defend life and liberty. That sounds pretty totalitarian to me. If you are framing disagreement on political issues (or any issues) as a matter of national and personal survival, then being anti-war in general or anti-Iraq war in particular would have to be considered dangerous and subversive. That being the case, you would presumably support the criminalization of speech or writing that you think does not "support action to defend life and liberty." So it becomes a matter of restricting or denying liberty in order to defend liberty. Very cool! The longer you make those who know what it takes to replace oppression with freedom wait, the longer we will be in Iraq. I do not cede my right and my obligation to use my own mind and my own intelligence and my own ability to inform myself to others who supposedly "know what it takes to _____" fill in the blank. That is one of the most anti-democratic statements of belief I have ever read. I am a free person living in what was meant to be a free, democratic nation. I will not turn the Off switch on my brain in favor of trusting that Father Knows Best.
Toggle Commented Mar 9, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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Whoops. Forgot to put my answer to that last comment. It sounds to me like you think Americans are superior to Iraqis -- better than them, smarter, more intelligent, more capable, more competent. Americans can do anything better than any other nationality can, is that it? I have often gotten the impression from right-wing commentary on these matters that supporters of the U.S. military occupation in Iraq look upon Iraqis as children who need guidance and protection from Americans, who are serving in a sort of "in loco parentis" capacity. Iraqis are too child-like and helpless to take care of themselves or their country without our constant and indefinite presence. It's incredibly arrogant.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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Every US base is improved to allow our troops to live a better life while stationed there than living in foxholes. While the Iraqi people live in squalor, despair, and misery. Nice. Not a single American company has obtained a lease in Iraq to explore for oil. Because to date Iraq's government has declined to pass a law that would allow American companies to do just that. It's one of the benchmarks set by the Bush administration. The US government has contracts with KBR, Bechtel, Fluor to work in the Iraqi oil fields with the Ministry to assist them until they ask us to leave. The US government has given no-bid contracts to the companies you name, and others, because said contracts are worth billions of dollars, and the US government wants American companies to have the benefit of those profits. Not a single Iraqi company or business has been given any of those contracts. The US government has even brought in workers from other countries (like Kuwait) to do the most menial tasks -- like serving food to Americans in the Green Zone, washing dishes, janitorial work -- rather than giving those jobs to Iraqis. The reason for the latter, of course, is that the US military is afraid to let ordinary Iraqis in to the Green Zone in large numbers for fear the Iraqis will kill them. And btw, that "until they ask us to leave" stuff is nonsense. Iraq's government told the US government to remove Blackwater personnel from their country immediately. Iraq wanted that company of murderous mercenaries out of Iraq and gone. How did that work out? Iraqis have given their contracts to non US entities because that is who installed the equipment in the first place. Which contracts would those be? For what kinds of projects? Our system of government and culture produces people who can conquer any foe, climb any mountain, fix any problem (obviously not always perfectly, but a solution will always present itself which can be implemented in every circumstance), and land on any Moon. There is nothing Americans cannot do when we put our minds to it and refuse to quit until we reach the goal.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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To think that the "rescue" described above did not involve violent confrontation of the oppressors is beyond common sense. Considering that, by far most of the death, displacement, and other forms of suffering in Iraq since the U.S. invaded have fallen on Iraqi civilians who were the recipients of Saddam's oppression rather than its perpetrators, I don't think that the "rescue" you describe is much of a rescue at all. You don't rescue people from one form of brutality by subjecting them to another. You may choose to disagree, but I believe he won over another highly-educated and erudite Jew by the name of Saul of Tarsus, who -- as Paul -- wrote most of the New Testament, including its treatise on the role of civil governance in God's calculus ... Romans 13. It's a matter of historical truth that Saul of Tarsus became a follower of Jesus, that he took the name Paul after his conversion experience, and that he wrote most of the Christian bible. Why would I disagree with that?
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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Do you actually know what would go on in your mind if your opponent understood not only what you were saying, but what you were thinking? Ymarsakar, you know what I'm thinking? That's amazing. You should consider marketing that talent. It could be worth many millions. I, at least, understand what you are saying perfectly. No, you do not, Ymarsakar. Because I know what I'm saying, and your responses do not reference what I'm saying at all. Then again, if you have the ability to know what I'm thinking, I can see why you would believe you know what I'm saying better than I do. That is what happens when people with different philosophies and world views try to talk to each other about politics. Not necessarily. I have had many productive conversations about politics and world affairs with people whose views and philosophies are very different from mine. What's required for such a conversation to happen is a flexibility of mind and the acceptance of the existence of a possibility that you might be wrong about something. That's why we're talking in different languages -- and not because we have different world views or philosophies.
Toggle Commented Mar 8, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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I do have to note that you have answered not one question I have posed, nor have you supported any of your own feelings with facts or history - (or whatever). That is a a flat-out, unequivocal lie. Or maybe you can't identify an answer or a fact. I think that's part of the problem here.
Toggle Commented Mar 7, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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Ideally, I or we could convince you to broaden your opinions a bit closer to reality. Ideally, I could convince you to broaden your opinions a bit closer to reality, but that's not going to happen, so why keep trying?
Toggle Commented Mar 7, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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Looks like the kitchen got a little too hot for ol' Kathy ... I hope she has the fortitude to come back, though. Maybe I just don't wish to argue these issues anymore in this particular venue for two reasons: 1) I can see from the responses I've gotten that it's pointless to argue anymore because it's clear that the responders aren't even following the plain meaning of what I write, much less agreeing with it. Disagreement I can deal with, but you don't understand what I'm saying. I can tell that you're not understanding because your responses don't address what I've written. They go off, all of them, on bizarre tangents that have no connection to what I wrote. I know you think they connect, but trust me, it's like we're talking in different languages. How can you agree or disagree when you can't even decode the words? 2)I felt myself, in the last set of responses I posted, getting angry to the point of becoming uncivil. That may be the way you operate, but it's not the way I operate, or at least not the way I prefer to operate. Inside my own head, I may be formulating all kinds of uncomplimentary words to characterize the intelligence of the arguments I'm reading and the people who are making those arguments, but I don't write them down for you to read. And when the people I'm arguing with start to treat ME that way, and then naturally I start wanting to treat them the same way, that's when I know it's time to leave the discussion. Because I do not want to, and will not, descend to that level. However, although you and I have been arguing about issues of war and peace, and the argument has gotten so ugly that I do not wish to argue these points anymore with you, here is the good part: Both of us are still alive, and unharmed. I am not dead or horribly wounded. You are not dead or horribly wounded. I think it's kind of neat when you get to the point of not wishing to argue anymore, not because your family and friends are all dead and the land overflows with blood and corpses and homeless refugees, but simply because you have realized and accepted the fact that the other person is just never going to see things your way or even understand what you're saying. Agreeing to disagree is not lethal. That's a good thing.
Toggle Commented Mar 7, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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Please consider that the same Creator who instructed us to "turn the other cheek"... It wasn't the Creator; it was Jesus. as opposed to forgive, which usually requires repentance on the part of the offender as a prerequisite Repentance on the part of the offender is not a prerequisite to forgiving. It certainly helps, but it's not required. We are in Iraq because an ideology attacked us and needs to be opposed, changed or eliminated. Ideologies don't attack. Ideologies can't attack. Ideologies are not people. Ideologies are not defeated and cannot be defeated militarily. You can kill people, but you cannot kill ideas. The notion that America is what is wrong with the world was used to convince 19 terrorists to kill 3000 of your friends and neighbors. Do you consider that a valid reason for violent action on their part? A valid reason -- no. A factual explanation -- yes. In the last 60 years, U.S. has either taken violent action, or helped to instigate violent action, or provided tangible aid to the violent action of others, throughout the entire region of the Middle East. The entire history of U.S. involvement in the Middle East since 1953 has been one long parade of violent action supported or committed by the U.S. So no, I don't think anti-American feeling caused by specific U.S. behaviors in the Middle East is a valid reason for violent action, anymore than I think the mantra of "national security" or "the national interest" is a valid reason for the violence that has resulted from our interference in these countries. Unfortunately, one of the realities of human nature is that when people are treated with brutality, they often respond in kind. Is it right? No. Should we be shocked that people lash out at political actors who have harmed them over time? No. As one believer to another, I have a suggestion: read Romans 13... Actually, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not a Christian. I am Jewish. Religion happens to be an interest of mine, and I *have* read quite a bit about Jesus as an historical figure, but I am not a "believer" in the sense that you mean. Just how would you change, oppose, or eliminate such an ideology of hatred? Well, for a start, by changing, opposing, and eliminating the policies, attitudes, actions, and behaviors that feed into that ideology and strengthen it. The ideology of hatred you speak of has not been changed or eliminated by a U.S. policy that is, directly and indirectly, responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths, and roughly four million Iraqis forced to flee their homes and, in many cases, their country. That's not the way to change or eliminate an ideology of hatred. I want to assure you that the label Dhimmicrat is entirely descriptive and accurate. It is a person who believes the way to coexist with Islam is to submit. To allow their ideology to have precedence and ascendance over whatever ideology the rest of us believe. However, there is no such person. There is no such group of persons. There is no such political grouping in this country that believes the way to coexist with Islam is to submit. That is a complete and utter lie. It's some kind of hysterical delusion. I would argue that the truth is closer to the reverse: Your side believes that coexistence and submission are the same thing, and when you hear people talk about coexisting with Islam (and with diverse and various religious and cultural beliefs and traditions in general), you replace the word "coexist" in your mind with "submit." No Democrat or liberal in this country has ever said that Americans should "submit" to Islam. That is a total fantasy. Somehow I thought the Bill of Rights gave me the right to oppose that restriction. I was under the impression that our government should promote no religion, including allowing Islam special privileges that "Christianists" are specifically not allowed. Tell that to Mike Huckabee (who, thankfully, will NOT be president of the United States). Tell it, in fact, to John McCain, who has said that the U.S. "is a Christian nation," and that he would prefer to see a Christian in the White House. Your way was applied for over 20 years without success (Since the Iranian revolution, Islamic radicals have been killing Americans for NO GOOD REASON. None. You cannot dispute that fact.) No, "my way" has never been applied, ever, in the last 60 years. History did not begin with the Iranian revolution. There were historical events that came before the Iranian revolution, and that led to it. And although I agree that there is never a GOOD reason to kill people en masse, there ARE sometimes legitimate grievances that, when consistently ignored and trampled on over many years, sometimes break out into indiscriminate violence that is not good at all, but that IS pretty much completely predictable and understandable (understandable in the sense that there is a logical connection between the violent acts and the events that led to it). So I *can* dispute what you call fact, because in fact it is not fact. If the media would accurately portray the conflict by emphasizing the Evil we oppose (beheading infidels because they are infidels, mutilating women, oppressing non Islamic people, using women and children as the means to shield or execute their murderous ways, torture so horribly worse than anything the US has ever engaged in), instead of every minor mistake an American makes, then the enemy would be demoralized and would stop. That is nonsense. "Torture so horribly worse than anything the US has ever engaged in"? This is not a contest to see who can do torture the best. The U.S. should not BE practicing torture. At all. Ever. Beatings, mock executions, electric shocks, months of solitary confinement in tiny cells not big enough to stand in and swarming with rats and roaches, are not "minor mistakes." Gang raping a 14-year-old girl is not a minor mistake. Slaughtering two dozen civilians, mostly women and children, is not a minor mistake. We are responsible for the things we do. We cannot excuse them by pointing to others and saying that what they did was worse. I happened to work here in the US with a Iraqi man who fled during the Iran/Iraq war in the 80's. The 80's... that would be the decade when the U.S. government was looking the other way while Saddam did all those horrible things. That would be the decade when the U.S. government was giving Iraq satellite intelligence to help them slaughter Iranian soldiers. And that would also be the decade -- wouldn't it? -- when, at the same time the U.S. government was helping Iraq fight Iran, the U.S. government was *also* selling arms to Iran -- which was holding various Americans hostage at the time -- and using the proceeds to fund the Contras in Nicaragua -- secretly, in contempt of Congress -- who were trying to overthrow the democratically elected government there. That's when that Iraqi friend of yours fled Iraq, right? If the Iraqi’s asked us to leave tomorrow, we would do so. Your supposition that this war in Iraq is about permanent bases and geopolitical objectives (oil) makes you an idiot, not a visionary. You shouldn't call me an idiot. I haven't called *you* an idiot for saying, and actually believing, that if Iraq's government asked us to leave tomorrow, we would. Your supposition that the U.S. involvement in Iraq is about anything else *other* than establishing and maintaining control over Iraq's oil (which is really what the permanent bases are about) is breathtakingly naive and uninformed. We have factual bases for refutation of everything you have espoused here. Actually, you don't. You have stated many beliefs, but no facts to support them. Have you ever been out of the United States and actually lived there for at least a couple months, which means did you have to live wihtin the confines of their societal deities and customs, prices, taxes, standards of living.? Because if not even that much, I would suggest that you don't have much of a foundation to be telling these folks that you have an understanding of the world on a par with their understanding. Since when have U.S. soldiers been confined in their living arrangements by Iraq's religious or cultural customs? In what instances have U.S. troops had to live the way most Iraqis do? Have American troops had to drink filthy polluted water? Have they suffered epidemics of cholera? Have they seen their children killed before their eyes? Have they had to travel hundreds of miles with only the clothes on their backs, no homes behind them and no future ahead of them and no food on the way to that nowhere place? You may believe it or not, as you wish: I do have the utmost respect and compassion for American soldiers and the hardships they go through. I am not trying to minimize that. But don't try to tell me that the average American soldier knows what it feels like to experience invasion by a foreign military, war, and military occupation for five years in their own country. I understand about walking in someone else's shoes. American soldiers in Iraq have a perspective on the war that I don't and can't have. But that does not mean their point of view about the war is any more valid than mine is. I am directly affected by this war in ways that those soldiers have no way to understand or know. I am helping to pay for this war, damn it. Don't tell me I don't understand how it works or what it's for. Don't tell me I "don't have an understanding of the world" that's "on a par" with their understanding. That is absolute rubbish. You know nothing about me, or my life, or what I have gone through, or what my parent's experiences have been, or what I have seen and felt and experienced that has informed my understanding of the world. I think I should leave now. This "conversation" is getting a bit heated, and I think it's best to call it a day before it gets too uncivil.
Toggle Commented Mar 7, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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Cincinnati Bob, First of all, I cannot take seriously the arguments of someone who changes words or names into nonsensical configurations -- like "Dhimmicrat" or "Osammi Dim Ladle." I mean, we're all supposed to be grown-ups here, right? You're not the only one who does this, so don't think I'm picking on you to avoid a discussion. This is something that many bloggers do, including some liberal ones, and it bothers me a lot. It's a substitute for thinking, in my view. Just letting you know; not telling you what to do. Second, regarding having an open mind, that is something I always strive for. I don't always succeed, but I certainly consider it important to try. You need to realize, though, that keeping an open mind works both ways. It can't be you saying, "I'm right, you're wrong, and if you keep an open mind about it, maybe you'll realize how wrong you are." That's a non-starter for me, too. And third, just as a point of interest, I don't spend a lot of time listening to Wolf Blitzer. He seems like a decent human being, but as a journalist he doesn't impress me all that much. Now about this: I just noticed you discount the expericence of the military because you assume that they see the world through a single lens. A rifle sight? A sonar display? I did not discount the experience of the military. In fact, if you go back and read that part of what I wrote again, you will see that I specifically, and explicitly, and quite strongly, made it clear that I *don't* discount the experience of the military. What I said was that I disagree with the view that *only* American soldiers who have been in foreign conflicts can have a correct understanding of how the world works -- because either you or subsunk (can't remember which now) actually did tell me that American soldiers who have been in foreign conflicts understand how the world works better than I ever could, and presumably better than anyone who has not been an American soldier in a foreign conflict could. I reject that notion; I think it's arrogant and narrow-minded.
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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This combines my responses to Subsunk and Cincinnati Bob. Yes, War is insane. An organization (not 19 men) that flew commercial airliners into the WTC, Pentagon, and tried for the White House, savagely killing innocent people on the planes and in the buildings is a lot more insane and that organization must be pursued to the ends of the Earth. Yes, so why are we in Iraq, then? Osama bin Laden is not in Iraq, and Iraq is not the country that gave him sanctuary after 9/11. You will never convince me that the Iraq war is about 9/11 unless you give me a satisfactory explanation as to why Bush took the focus off Afghanistan to invade Iraq. Feel free to make your case in a civilized manner, as you have done here. I'm going to take that as a compliment. Thank you. Look at the situation, examine the potential results of losing the war by retreat and decide if that is an acceptable course of action. No sane person aware of the facts would say Yes. Well, that kind of loads the dice, doesn't it? You can't end a war, you can only win or lose. Well, if you believe that, even more reason to be extraordinarily cautious before starting a war and to exhaust every other possible option before doing so, and most of all, never to invade a country for ideological reasons, only if one's survival is directly threatened. None of these guidelines were followed with regard to the Iraq war. A predator attacks the weaker target. Iraq and Afghanistan were both much weaker targets than the U.S. at the time the U.S. invaded. They had horrible, brutal governments, both countries, but as far as military capacity that could pose a threat to any country outside the region, they were basically defenseless. And the U.S. is, militarily, the strongest most powerful country in the world. You draw the conclusion. If we hung together on this, this might be over by now. The object of war is not the kill every living individual enemy, it is to motivate them to give up. But this war has not motivated the enemy to give up. It has made the enemy more determined to harm us. Furthermore, the object as you see it is not necessarily the object as the U.S. government sees it. Even if every Sunni and Shiite in Iraq threw down their weapons tomorrow, the U.S. would not leave Iraq. The U.S. is there for economic and geopolitical reasons. If Bush had any intention of leaving Iraq, ever, he would not be approving the building of permanent military bases there. If the government in Iraq told the U.S. they wanted us out of Iraq immediately, do you think we would leave? It doesn't matter what Iraqis want. We're there for reasons of our own and we're not leaving, ever. Or at least not in the lifetimes of most people now living. I'd be interested in what you disagree with here. Pretty much everything. I disagree with your diagnosis of the problem and I disagree with what you see as the solution. You are obviously a decent lady... Thank you again! I feel good that you can see that, and that it comes through. ... who thinks you know better about how the world works than those of us who have seen it firsthand over many different foreign conflicts. You believe our experience counts for nothing. About this, you are wrong. I don't believe your experience counts for nothing. Of course your experience counts for something. Of course it matters. The point is, your experience is just that. *Your experience.* If you believe that being directly involved in foreign conflicts is the only valid way to get reliable, real, true information about how the world works, all I can say is, you're wrong. You have seen how the world works from one particular angle, one particular set of experiences, one particular personal background, one particular set of eyes. You only know what *your* experience of the world tells you about how the world works. And your experience isn't even every soldier's experience, much less every person's in general. Plenty of Americans who have fought in foreign conflicts come to very different conclusions about how the world works. Please, tell me you don't really believe that American soldiers who have been in foreign conflicts are the only people in the world know how the world works! (But, just in case you do, go read about the blind men and the elephant. You've got lots of versions to choose from.) But their hearts, as long as they still beat, quicken when the see Old Glory, and swell when they remember the times they served overseas without thanks from you or anyone in the US who had zero idea of the hazards and boredom they faced on the front lines of Democracy and Freedom. I'm sure there's a lot of truth to that.
Toggle Commented Mar 6, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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If the shooting is still occurring, then the war ain't really over, now is it? No, but I'm sure you've heard the expression "winning the war but losing the peace." And you don’t get to say what unacceptable costs are, by yourself. Not by myself, of course not. But I do get to say it, and to work with others of like mind to persuade my elected officials to support me in that view. You got outvoted. Feel free to make sure everyone else in the nation votes your way next time. Hey, I'm doing my best to accomplish as close to that as possible. But even when my preferred candidate or party does not win the election, I still have the right -- and the obligation -- to hold my leaders accountable for what they do -- even if I did not vote for them. That's part of what it means to be a responsible citizen in a democracy. Failure to follow those policies, directed by the Executive and approved by Congress, is, by definition, unpatriotic. Welcome to Democracy in America. No, it's not. That's not democracy at all. Democracy is not simply voting and then supporting the policies of whoever wins the election, no matter how wrong you believe them to be. Consider the possibility that if that was the way democracy worked, Jim Crow would still rule in the South, women would never have gained the right to vote, we would still have sweatshops and child labor and 60-hour work weeks, and much more. Patriotism means you follow your country's directed policies, no matter who directs them. If you don't like the policies, then your Congressmen must change them. If they don't because you are in the minority, guess what, too bad. Does that mean that if a Democrat is elected president in the fall, and decides to end the U.S. military occupation of Iraq, call off the building of permanent military bases there, and bring the troops home, you will follow and support that policy? If you follow your conscience over your country, then you are principled. That is not a bad thing. Thank you. In this case, I just happen to believe it is misguided and maybe uninformed. :-) However you don’t get to oppose your country’s legitimate efforts at self defense and preventing further terrorist attacks against innocents everywhere else on Earth and call yourself a Patriot by doing so. Sorry. You feel differently. Tough. Still makes you unpatriotic in my book. That's okay. No need to say sorry. If opposing a war that my government supports makes me unpatriotic in your view, then so be it. I may even BE unpatriotic, if unquestioning acceptance of government policy is the definition of patriotism. But I still love my country.
Toggle Commented Mar 5, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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Deltabravo wrote: Kathyedit. You seem to have an ability for abstract thought, and you make a good point. Thank you, Delta; I like to think I do. Reading your response to what I wrote, I can see that you, in turn, have the ability to recognize irony, and to respond in kind, and that always delights me. Subsunk wrote: I am a Christian, and that is none of your business, ... Absolutely true, and probably the only statement in your response that I'm prepared to agree with. :-) Anyone who believes we should enter a war without the intention of winning in the end is an idiot and is unpatriotic. On the other hand, there is more than one way to measure "winning" -- in most contexts, including war. It can be measured in military terms; it can be measured in economic or geopolitical terms; it can be measured also in terms of the human cost. There are people who do not believe we should have entered this particular war at all. There are people who object to the entire concept that wars can be "won" without incurring costs (tangible and intangible) that are unacceptably high. You say that anyone who *believes we should enter a war* without the intent to win is an idiot and unpatriotic -- but what about the person who does *not* think we should enter whatever particular war we are talking about? Is that person "unpatriotic" for not supporting an ongoing war that said person did not support from the start? What about the person who simply *cannot* support a particular war? Is such a person unpatriotic unless they ignore their personal moral values and act like they support a war that they actually think is utterly wrong? I think what I'm really asking is whether patriotism can only be defined in military terms, leaving the person who loves his or her country but opposes military solutions to human conflict in the position of being thought to be a traitor. That just doesn't seem fair or right to me.
Toggle Commented Mar 5, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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I believe I've said it before. If you want to change the world, you stand a better chance of doing so as an American Soldier, with an M-16 in one hand and candy in the other, than all the Foreign Service Officers, CIA Agents, Non Governmental Organizers, and bleeding heart journalists in the world all put together. I don't think I've ever come so close to being rendered speechless. I just have two brief thoughts about what you've written here. First, I don't know if you are Christian, but if you are, I'm sure it must have occurred to you how much more effective Jesus could have been had he been living today. If he had been born 2,000 years later than he was, so that he could have seen what an American Soldier can do to change the world with an M-16 in one hand and candy in the other, he might have done a lot more good in the world. At the very least, he would have known better than to waste his time on that bleeding heart Sermon on the Mount nonsense. And second, it occurs to me that, although our own country is pretty darn near perfect, there are still some changes that would make it a better place. Given your point that an American Soldier with an M-16 in one hand and candy in the other is the key to changing the world for the better, wouldn't a war and military occupation right here at home be the best way to solve our own problems?
Toggle Commented Mar 5, 2008 on Who Says Islam Can't Be Changed? at BlackFive
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