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New Very fair assessment...
and perhaps some of the vitriol of the last post was directed elsewhere. ;-)

I also do not wish to put words in your mouth so I retract much of the last attributed to you. I assumed from your post (where I joined this thread), that you may be a part of the "Democrat" crowd and were implying that Bush's hidden agenda was to wag the dog indefinately (or at least until the next election cycle). Although this argument is not without precedence, I firmly do not believe that this is the case in this instance (although it is impossible to objectively determine Bush's "motives"). I really think that Bush and the current government are reeling from 9-11 and "winging it" as far as the implications for the security of our country in the new world order. They are completely changing the intelligence community and security of the country. They're also lashing out. They were pissed that Sadam was paying suicide bomber's families in Israel... Let's face it, he is a poster child terrorist - a convenient (and probably justifiable) target.

For much of this past few months, I've been allowing myself to ask, "what if the US is really wrong on this whole thing?". Recently, I had arthroscopic surgery which allowed me the luxury of time off to recoup and watch the UN hearings. My impression - I've allowed myself to ask "who gives a fuck what France thinks?"... The only real governmental archetype for response to terrorism is Israel. I've noticed that they have tried appeasement at various times with varying degrees of success. FWIW, they tend to respond to terrorism with escalated terrorism nowadays as it seems to be more effective in reducing their body count.

I think that the reason I have been so much on the fence and not "flying my flag" so high is that I have been getting caught up in the "justice" argument. If we (the US) attack in a terrorist fashion, are we any better than any other terrorists? This has deeply bothered me. I have come to the conclusion that this question in and of itself is condescending to the people of the Middle East and those organizations lashing out against the West... Of course we are no better than them, nor worse. We are all human beings, first and foremost. We're all capable of extreme compassion and extreme cruelty.

In the grand scheme of things, I believe that Bush et al. are setting the stage for a world government. One that has an "or else" clause attached to it's proclamations (laws). From watching the UN hearings, it was hard to escape the Dilbertesque PHB simile. "Dear Mr. Chairman, I most gratiously congratulate you on your totally meaningless temporary appointment to grand poobah of this superfluous hearing... Ladies and germs, Iraq blah, blah, blah." It was a mockery. A travesty. A mockery of a travesty of a sham... I am not willing to place my security in the hands of these dickheads... sorry. Not the way the UN stands now. No way.

My hope is that we do stay and rebuild what we destroy and offer the people of Iraq hope for a better future and ultimately - independence. It is also my hope that this might send a clear signal to the other dicktators/tyrants that there is no longer any place in the world to hideout and set up shop and there will be a strong "or else" attached to non compliance of terms of surrender (notice that it is not "just" that they have weapons of mass destruction - as do many nations - but they were required by the terms of their surrender in '91 and numerous UN proclamations/ultimatums to disarm). If the UN is meaningless, it is meaningless. Maybe we should form a "League of Nations" instead?

Sorry for the purge, but I've been thinking a bunch and not posting much at all.
Quite a few thoughts,

Screamer


Living is easy with eyes closed
misunderstanding all you see,
it's getting hard to be someone but it all works out
it doesn't matter much to me


J. Lennon - Strawberry Fields Forever
New Eschewing obfuscation, then_____ 'Democrats' indeed!
C'mon Dan - you haven't got the usual excuse (of not having bothered to read much history), tui grosnya Kapitalistichiskaya Svinya..

What's with this 'Democrats' label - as if one would want to associate oneself with such a gutless and opportunistic small branch of the One Party With Two Right Wings: the Republicrats ?? Utterly mind-numbingly silent during the pupa stage of this cabal's grubby mindfuck-theories of domination.
[while we are manufacturing straw polarities here]

I infer from your ~ defense of the imminent rush towards a 50-mile-diameter Tar Baby, that even you [!] have just elided the Fact of what Iraq is: a Western cobbled-together Yugoslavia, containing irreconcilably-hostile groups of True Believers. Whatever variety of asshole Saddam surely is:

It is *you* and *here* demonstrating your naivete re the possibility of a mindless-fuck like Dubya ever grokking the hornet's nest / Tar Baby he's rushing for, full speed. (Never mind for the moment - the pseudo-'morality' whereby we blackmail the world with our own massive WMDs while piously preaching 'disarmament' to our "partners" [1]) as we coldly proceed with -

>> "A first-strike on an entity which has not threatened us but might someday be able to and then You Know It Will because ... CHA CHA CHA" <<

I'm afraid that Network theory is dulling your reason, dumbing-ya down to simple logic - the kind whispered into Dubya's shell-likes. Why.. you even forget this cabal's irreversible opposition to even the idea of a World Court! - unless the US is perpetually exempt and absolved in advance of any charges of War Crimes etc. [cha cha cha].
(Of course, when it's convenient for propaganda purposes, we're All [theoretically] For Something sorta-like It.)

And without a fully-supported World Court -?- ONLY the Nuke-backed-up U.S. shall henceforth decide When, Where and How to attack.. whatever next.. we think *might someday* oppose us.

Are you really an Apologist for this regime and its aims? or just a dupe of the same class as you tar us TroubleMakers ?? If you cannot see how much the actions of next few days shall exponentially expand the ranks of wannabe US-killers, thus measure the danger this fuckwit is throwing us into precipitately -- I doubt I can explain it at this late date. I expected better from thee, Dan. Get thee to a Nunnery.


Ashton


[1] As with the Gold Standard for anti-social vulture capitalism, Microsoft: a partner is simply a victim we haven't gotten around to assimilating yet. Our God is the $$ and Ashcroft is Our Pope. These folks are all a-Theists: they worship only their combined-Egos and the aforementioned $$.
New Mou droog, I respectfully disagree...
With a number of your stated positions. Primarily the assumption that we will be hated more or less no matter what happens with Iraq.
I was in Germany in the early 80's (France too) for just shy of 3 years, with many German friends and acquaintances. They "hated" our government then (probably rightfully so). What is happening now is a shameless exhibition of we aren't joining this bandwagon 'cause we can't afford the reconstruction. We don't want you there because of the oil. Mind numbing hypocrisy on all sides.

As far as the Democrat thing, it was alluding to his original premise of wagging the dog, a purely political innuendo. Opportunistic too!

I truly have grepped many of the headlines, parsed them and piped them to my own conclusions, and, unfortunately for our current discourse, humbly agree with the US position. If that makes me an apologist for the current crop, so be it.

I highly respect you and many of the others who post on this board, but wonder if maybe you aren't being a tad reactionary and joining the counter-cabal yourselves. A possibillity?
Just a few thoughts,

Screamer


Living is easy with eyes closed
misunderstanding all you see,
it's getting hard to be someone but it all works out
it doesn't matter much to me


J. Lennon - Strawberry Fields Forever
New In simplest terms then - bringing this 'off'
would require a degree of genuine ability + wisdom.. of the calibre of a Gandhi or at least a Disraeli; it would require going to the root of the Problem, simultaneously with fdisking Iraq and installing mental s/ware from scratch:

Giving sufficient teeth to the World Court to intercede, create a territory for the Palestinians and discipline both sides while they get used to the fact that Neither shall force the other into the sea.

Yes, this last would require more than just 'US Will' - but it would require that First and backed by serious and competent intent.. and then the suasion which diplomacy means: that for which we have substituted harangues and naked threat to 'allies'.

Absent both the will and the intellect to accomplish the latter (Isr/Pal), the former (Iraq) shall IMhO next.. remind a whole new US generation of The Uncle Remus Stories, in partiicular The Tar Baby.

May your faith not be misplaced; we witness a Dubya never before seen or deemed possible + beneficent Wonderfulness transforming people who have never *seen* 'democratic representation' -- mostly converting to Charismatic Christianity and building Corporations. Well franchises, maybe. and shopping. shopping A Lot.

It Could Happen.


Ashton
     interesting "Fresh Air" today - (rcareaga) - (32)
         Um... - (ben_tilly) - (31)
             Re: Um... - (rcareaga) - (29)
                 Very telling... - (screamer) - (28)
                     Your logic is wrong - (ben_tilly)
                     Re: Very telling... - (rcareaga) - (26)
                         Carrying this a bit further... - (screamer) - (25)
                             you're assuming *way* too much - (rcareaga) - (13)
                                 Very fair assessment... - (screamer) - (3)
                                     Eschewing obfuscation, then_____ 'Democrats' indeed! - (Ashton) - (2)
                                         Mou droog, I respectfully disagree... - (screamer) - (1)
                                             In simplest terms then - bringing this 'off' - (Ashton)
                                 Been down this slippery track with this person before - (dmarker) - (8)
                                     Add one more thing, Dougie... - (screamer) - (7)
                                         He HAD answered that, even BEFORE you asked! - (CRConrad) - (1)
                                             Avoiding the flames forum... - (screamer)
                                         Re: Add one more thing, Dougie... - (rcareaga) - (4)
                                             he's not a "seasoned brawler" Thor God of Flaming thunder! -NT - (boxley)
                                             Let's start again then. - (screamer)
                                             P.S. Dimestore words like interlocutors... - (screamer) - (1)
                                                 Well, when correctly spelled, then - - (Ashton)
                             Why the US won't attack countries with nukes - (ben_tilly) - (10)
                                 Re: Why the US won't attack countries with nukes - (deSitter) - (3)
                                     Conventional Western Wisdom holds... - (ben_tilly) - (1)
                                         US current global strategy has China already contained ... - (dmarker)
                                     Digression -- Khrushchev - (rcareaga)
                                 Using same logic, what about bio/chem weapons? - (screamer) - (4)
                                     I'd dispute that getting bio/chem weapons are easier to get - (jake123)
                                     Bio/Chem won't have the same impact as nukes. - (inthane-chan) - (2)
                                         Basically agree with you and Jake except - (screamer) - (1)
                                             Re: Basically agree with you and Jake except - (jake123)
                                 'Immanent' - a Jungian typo ? ;-) - (Ashton)
             There was a piece on BBC World Service a day or two ago - (jake123)

Gee whillikers!
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