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so now that saddam is finally dead...

technodoll
December 30th, 2006, 01:06 PM
is the world really a better place now?... :confused:

wdawson
December 30th, 2006, 01:20 PM
i don't think it is,not much will change for the good over there....it might get worse. plus there are many more like him around the world.

technodoll
December 30th, 2006, 01:53 PM
i just found it hard to believe it finally happened :eek:

OntarioGreys
December 30th, 2006, 02:14 PM
Nope in my opinion there will always be people who are in powerful positions with big egos who will abuse their positions

brandynva
December 30th, 2006, 02:26 PM
I hate getting involved in political discussions. But here I go... I think there is a difference between someone in power with an ego and someone who is a dictator and killed and tortured many and many of thousands of innocent people. He was guilty of crimes against humanity and to let these types of people run loose in the world is not beneficial to the freedom that all people are entitled to.

Kristin7
December 30th, 2006, 02:58 PM
In my opinion, no. However, people closer to the situation may feel differently. I'm not over there and can't really imagine how things were under his rule. I guess to me removing him from the population doesn't make much difference as there's still a lot of bad stuff going on. If hanging him made anyone feel better, well, I guess there was some merit in it. At least he can't escape now... One thing that surprised me was how fast this happened. Here in the States, it seems like once someone is sentenced to death, it takes years and years to actually get to that point, after all the appeals and whatnot.

glasslass
December 30th, 2006, 05:53 PM
The point is not whether the world is a better place, but will his execution deter a future monster from committing the same crimes? :pray:

Frenchy
December 30th, 2006, 05:56 PM
someone who is a dictator and killed and tortured many and many of thousands of innocent people. He was guilty of crimes against humanity and to let these types of people run loose in the world is not beneficial to the freedom that all people are entitled to.

Same here. He got what he deserved.

rainbow
December 30th, 2006, 05:58 PM
The Shi'ites (sp?) and Sunnis (sp?) are going to continue fighting no matter who is in power over there. The same as the Israelis and the Palestinians and the Pakistanis and the Hindus.

They all have ceasefires every now and then for varying lengths of time but it will go on forever and ever. :(

glasslass
December 30th, 2006, 06:21 PM
Same here. He got what he deserved.

Actually, he didn't get anywhere near what he deserved! Not when he caused so many so much suffering!

Rick C
December 30th, 2006, 07:20 PM
is the world really a better place now?... :confused:

Long-winded reply . . .

Well, his invasion of Iran led to the deaths of about 1 million people and he invaded Kuwait as well, with his death squads killing thousands there. He gassed his own people and murdered hundreds of thousands of others within his own borders. Like most Muslim leaders worried about barely contained disatisfaction at home, he diverted attention of his own people by egging the hapless Palestinians on in a conflict they can never win with payments of $25,000 to the families of suicide bombers, the definition of state sponsored terrorism if there ever was one, while Israel was showing it CAN live in peace with its neighbours via agreements with Egypt and Jordan.

There's no question the world is better off with him ousted and dead.

Nevertheless, the incompetent and drawn-out nature of the American involvement in Iraq - and I remain a supporter of the invasion - still can't hide the fact America didn't invent the 1,400 year-old enmity between Shiites and Sunni's. People like to say Iraq was a secular place before America invaded . . . . yet, like all Muslim leaders, including Pakistan's Musharref, Saddam was routinely summoning God and Allah in all his speeches and within a month of his ouster, there was a multiple hundred thousand strong march of self-mutilating Shiites through Bagdhad.

It's been said before that Saddam's greatest fear wasn't America but rather civil war.

It remains one of the great mysteries of the ages - one that will now be unanswered - of why Saddam, who apparently had no WMD to hide, played chicken with the most paranoid nation on earth when full compliance with UN weapons inspectors would have saved him.

And so here we are. America, in spite of its rather amazing incompetence and lack of urgency these last few years, did finally deliver three credible elections in Iraq, all with increasing and broadening participation.

And then we saw local Muslim politicians dithering for some six months, and even today, unable to reach the concensus and compromise we routinely expect in our own system. A long-lived culture stuck in the middle ages, where there are winners and losers and nothing in between, is showing its true weakness.

As Benjamin Franklin said in the 1700's: "We have given you a republic. See if you can keep it."

We'll see . . . . . but it's all about a political solution, a compromise, arrived at by Iraqi's. America is just a referee at this point.

(And no, I won't be drawn into an interminably long Iraq debate.) :yuck: :fingerscr

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Prin
December 31st, 2006, 02:11 PM
Prin's conspiracy theory:
I don't think he's really dead. They did it during Christmas and the holiday season because they know we'll pass over it quickly before it dampens the mood, but really they let him go like in Shakespearean times, with a reprieve and a "don't let anybody ever find out you're alive".

Saddam is terrible. Osama is too. But who did Saddam tick off personally to end up here while Osama runs free while the powers that be pretend to be looking for him? We found Saddam in an underground hole. How much more obscure can you get?

badger
December 31st, 2006, 03:19 PM
Afghanistan was/is a quagmire, and at the time the Washington Brains Trust thought Iraq would be a cakewalk.

Interesting article in the Guardian (great British paper) this morning. I had no idea that Iraq and the US had such a long (and treacherous) history.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Fisk: He takes his secrets to the grave. Our complicity dies with him
How the West armed Saddam, fed him intelligence on his 'enemies', equipped him for atrocities - and then made sure he wouldn't squeal
Published: 31 December 2006

We've shut him up. The moment Saddam's hooded executioner pulled the lever of the trapdoor in Baghdad yesterday morning, Washington's secrets were safe. The shameless, outrageous, covert military support which the United States - and Britain - gave to Saddam for more than a decade remains the one terrible story which our presidents and prime ministers do not want the world to remember. And now Saddam, who knew the full extent of that Western support - given to him while he was perpetrating some of the worst atrocities since the Second World War - is dead.

Gone is the man who personally received the CIA's help in destroying the Iraqi communist party. After Saddam seized power, US intelligence gave his minions the home addresses of communists in Baghdad and other cities in an effort to destroy the Soviet Union's influence in Iraq. Saddam's mukhabarat visited every home, arrested the occupants and their families, and butchered the lot. Public hanging was for plotters; the communists, their wives and children, were given special treatment - extreme torture before execution at Abu Ghraib.

There is growing evidence across the Arab world that Saddam held a series of meetings with senior American officials prior to his invasion of Iran in 1980 - both he and the US administration believed that the Islamic Republic would collapse if Saddam sent his legions across the border - and the Pentagon was instructed to assist Iraq's military machine by providing intelligence on the Iranian order of battle. One frosty day in 1987, not far from Cologne, I met the German arms dealer who initiated those first direct contacts between Washington and Baghdad - at America's request.

"Mr Fisk... at the very beginning of the war, in September of 1980, I was invited to go to the Pentagon," he said. "There I was handed the very latest US satellite photographs of the Iranian front lines. You could see everything on the pictures. There were the Iranian gun emplacements in Abadan and behind Khorramshahr, the lines of trenches on the eastern side of the Karun river, the tank revetments - thousands of them - all the way up the Iranian side of the border towards Kurdistan. No army could want more than this. And I travelled with these maps from Washington by air to Frankfurt and from Frankfurt on Iraqi Airways straight to Baghdad. The Iraqis were very, very grateful!"

I was with Saddam's forward commandos at the time, under Iranian shellfire, noting how the Iraqi forces aligned their artillery positions far back from the battle front with detailed maps of the Iranian lines. Their shelling against Iran outside Basra allowed the first Iraqi tanks to cross the Karun within a week. The commander of that tank unit cheerfully refused to tell me how he had managed to choose the one river crossing undefended by Iranian armour. Two years ago, we met again, in Amman and his junior officers called him "General" - the rank awarded him by Saddam after that tank attack east of Basra, courtesy of Washington's intelligence information.

Iran's official history of the eight-year war with Iraq states that Saddam first used chemical weapons against it on 13 January 1981. AP's correspondent in Baghdad, Mohamed Salaam, was taken to see the scene of an Iraqi military victory east of Basra. "We started counting - we walked miles and miles in this ****ing desert, just counting," he said. "We got to 700 and got muddled and had to start counting again ... The Iraqis had used, for the first time, a combination - the nerve gas would paralyse their bodies ... the mustard gas would drown them in their own lungs. That's why they spat blood."

At the time, the Iranians claimed that this terrible cocktail had been given to Saddam by the US. Washington denied this. But the Iranians were right. The lengthy negotiations which led to America's complicity in this atrocity remain secret - Donald Rumsfeld was one of President Ronald Reagan's point-men at this period - although Saddam undoubtedly knew every detail. But a largely unreported document, "United States Chemical and Biological Warfare-related Dual-use exports to Iraq and their possible impact on the Health Consequences of the Persian Gulf War", stated that prior to 1985 and afterwards, US companies had sent government-approved shipments of biological agents to Iraq. These included Bacillus anthracis, which produces anthrax, andEscherichia coli (E. coli). That Senate report concluded that: "The United States provided the Government of Iraq with 'dual use' licensed materials which assisted in the development of Iraqi chemical, biological and missile-systems programs, including ... chemical warfare agent production facility plant and technical drawings, chemical warfare filling equipment."

Nor was the Pentagon unaware of the extent of Iraqi use of chemical weapons. In 1988, for example, Saddam gave his personal permission for Lt-Col Rick Francona, a US defence intelligence officer - one of 60 American officers who were secretly providing members of the Iraqi general staff with detailed information on Iranian deployments, tactical planning and bomb damage assessments - to visit the Fao peninsula after Iraqi forces had recaptured the town from the Iranians. He reported back to Washington that the Iraqis had used chemical weapons to achieve their victory. The senior defence intelligence officer at the time, Col Walter Lang, later said that the use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis "was not a matter of deep strategic concern".

I saw the results, however. On a long military hospital train back to Tehran from the battle front, I found hundreds of Iranian soldiers coughing blood and mucus from their lungs - the very carriages stank so much of gas that I had to open the windows - and their arms and faces were covered with boils. Later, new bubbles of skin appeared on top of their original boils. Many were fearfully burnt. These same gases were later used on the Kurds of Halabja. No wonder that Saddam was primarily tried in Baghdad for the slaughter of Shia villagers, not for his war crimes against Iran.

We still don't know - and with Saddam's execution we will probably never know - the extent of US credits to Iraq, which began in 1982. The initial tranche, the sum of which was spent on the purchase of American weapons from Jordan and Kuwait, came to $300m. By 1987, Saddam was being promised $1bn in credit. By 1990, just before Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, annual trade between Iraq and the US had grown to $3.5bn a year. Pressed by Saddam's foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, to continue US credits, James Baker then Secretary of State, but the same James Baker who has just produced a report intended to drag George Bush from the catastrophe of present- day Iraq - pushed for new guarantees worth $1bn from the US.

In 1989, Britain, which had been giving its own covert military assistance to Saddam guaranteed £250m to Iraq shortly after the arrest of Observer journalist Farzad Bazoft in Baghdad. Bazoft, who had been investigating an explosion at a factory at Hilla which was using the very chemical components sent by the US, was later hanged. Within a month of Bazoft's arrest William Waldegrave, then a Foreign Office minister, said: "I doubt if there is any future market of such a scale anywhere where the UK is potentially so well-placed if we play our diplomatic hand correctly... A few more Bazofts or another bout of internal oppression would make it more difficult."

Even more repulsive were the remarks of the then Deputy Prime Minister, Geoffrey Howe, on relaxing controls on British arms sales to Iraq. He kept this secret, he wrote, because "it would look very cynical if, so soon after expressing outrage about the treatment of the Kurds, we adopt a more flexible approach to arms sales".

Saddam knew, too, the secrets of the attack on the USS Stark when, on 17 May 1987, an Iraqi jet launched a missile attack on the American frigate, killing more than a sixth of the crew and almost sinking the vessel. The US accepted Saddam's excuse that the ship was mistaken for an Iranian vessel and allowed Saddam to refuse their request to interview the Iraqi pilot.

The whole truth died with Saddam Hussein in the Baghdad execution chamber yesterday. Many in Washington and London must have sighed with relief that the old man had been silenced for ever.

'The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East' by Robert Fisk is now available in paperback

Kristin7
December 31st, 2006, 03:46 PM
None of that is really surprising, I remember when we took Iraq's side against Iran. We also helped out Afghanistan and Osama in their war with the Soviet Union. Pretty messed up, if you ask me. Seems like there's a lot of string pulling going on. Also makes me wonder what repercussions we'll feel from the messing around in South and Central America we have done. Just a matter of time, probably.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan

badger
December 31st, 2006, 05:24 PM
The US is already feeling the repercussions: China owns most of the American debt, which is incredibly scary, your international relationships (the ones that are not covert, I mean) are in tatters and your federal domestic policies are heavily influenced, if not run, by religious zealots. I feel damn sorry for the American people right now, but there's no going back, you just have to battle on, maybe next time you'll get a President that is worthy of your intelligence.

chico2
December 31st, 2006, 05:33 PM
Yes,the world is definetly a better place without Saddam,he got what he deserves,what mostly comes to my mind,was the thousands of kurds he gassed to death,women,children and men alike,simply because they were kurds.
It might not be a deterrant to others,but at least there is one less:thumbs up

Kristin7
December 31st, 2006, 07:40 PM
True enough, badger, unfortunately. I guess they are the ones with the money (religious zealots), and in this 'democracy' they are the ones who get voted into power. It's probably not as simple as that but it's how things seem to be. I don't know how many times i've contemplated moving to Canada! :D

coppperbelle
December 31st, 2006, 11:20 PM
Is the world a better place? ... I guess it is but I don't think it will change anything. People like Saddam have egos and think they are invincible. They think that Saddam is weak because he was caught. They don't believe they will ever be caught.
I know the man deserved what he got, heck he deserved worse than he got but I could not help feeling how barbaric it was to hang him. I certainly hope his death helped some people heal but I doubt it will change anything over there in Iraq.
My feeling is that one day we will all have to answer to a higher authority for our actions on earth. Saddam has a lot of explaining to do.

Rick C
January 1st, 2007, 10:54 AM
Afghanistan was/is a quagmire, and at the time the Washington Brains Trust thought Iraq would be a cakewalk.

Interesting article in the Guardian (great British paper) this morning. I had no idea that Iraq and the US had such a long (and treacherous) history.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Fisk: He takes his secrets to the grave. Our complicity dies with him
How the West armed Saddam, fed him intelligence on his 'enemies', equipped him for atrocities - and then made sure he wouldn't squeal
Published: 31 December 2006



Typical left wing gibberish . . . .

The amusing part about conspiracy theories like the drivel in the Guardian is that it typically collapses at the first hint of common sense.

We're told that Saddam has immense secrets he can use to embarrass America . . . . HOLY CRAP!! They gotta kill him to shut him up!!!

Yet, throughout the 12 YEAR period when America pressed for UN economic sanctions against Iraq, Saddam said absolutely NOTHING about these alleged secrets although he was certainly free to do so.

When America overran Iraq, what does America do? It CAPTURES a guy who has immense secrets that can embarrass America instead of shooting him in his rathole when it had a perfect chance to silence him.

Now maybe that sentiment hadn't reached the common soldiers who found him in that rathole. So what happens when the upper reaches of the USA government hear that they've captured Saddam? They trumpet it to the world instead of having him kicked out a door at 10,000 feet over the Indian Ocean!!

Then we have a PUBLIC trial where Saddam, at one point, is ranting and raving without a gag, without censure, for hours on end, LIVE on Iraqi TV, . . . in front of independent witnesses in the courtroom. And what does he do? Not a word about these vast conspiracies and secrets he allegedly holds that will embarrass the upper reaches of the USA government.

He also is hanging out for MONTHS at a time with Ramsey Clark, a well known sycophant for every sap cause in the world, and apparently says NOTHING to this guy either, even though Clark wouldn't hesitate to yak it around to anyone.

And so we come again to the following opening paragraph in the opinion piece in the Guardian:

We've shut him up. The moment Saddam's hooded executioner pulled the lever of the trapdoor in Baghdad yesterday morning, Washington's secrets were safe.

How stupid does that sound when common sense is applied to it?

Its also funny that the author dramatically produces a list of "secrets" which apparently isn't so secret after all.

Good grief.

while Osama runs free while the powers that be pretend to be looking for him?

Double good grief!!!

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Lukka'sma
January 2nd, 2007, 12:01 PM
Good grief almighty, there is an execution of a world class dictator, and they have an amateur cameraman with a cell phone to film it?!? All I saw was ceiling, ground, bars, black, Saddam, ground, black, black, Saddam, hanging, black black black, Saddam's face, black black black, end.

They should have hung the cameraman along with him.

technodoll
January 2nd, 2007, 12:11 PM
LOL! now that is a very good point Lukka's ma! :D

Schwinn
January 2nd, 2007, 12:15 PM
Personally, I don't think it matters whether he is dead or alive. He's no longer in power, so...meh. Other than vengence, I don't see the point to executions. So, in the grand scheme of things, is the world better off without him? Not than it was with him sitting in prison. I don't think it really mattered. I'm, of course, not losing sleep over it, either.

Personally, I was against the war. Not that I didn't think getting rid of Saddam was a good thing. Quite the contrary. But I think the arguement for going into war was bogus. When Bush asked for support, Canada asked for proof of WMD's. The US said, "Don't worry. It's there". That's why I supported not joining the US. My step-father and I have had this arguement before. He always says, "You back up your buddy in a bar-fight". I always answered, "Absolutely. Unless I think he's picking the fight where it doesn't need to be started." I don't think Afghanistan and Iraq are connected, and I think by invading Iraq, the US has now gotten involved in two separate wars. And I think there was a better time and place for the Iraq war. I think it has only caused a divide among allies, and fanned the flames in the middle east (which, admitedly, has had it's own issues whether the US invaded or not).

I also find the accusations of the Guardian dubious at best. If Saddam had all these secrets, I think he would have made use of them long ago. I also think that he might have peppered his public rantings with them during his court trial as well. Personally, I think the invasion had a lot to do with the first time the US tried to get Saddam in the early '90's. Whatever the reason, I think it's one big ol' mess now, and I'm not sure we'll ever know for sure the reason behind starting it.

I also find it ironic that the man who the US captured was the same man they help put into power.

meb999
January 2nd, 2007, 12:16 PM
I think hanging him gives him too much power --> he will now be seen as a martyr....

He should have died an old man all alone in a small jail cell, completely forgotten. Just my opinion.

Kristin7
January 2nd, 2007, 12:25 PM
Yes, I agree, he wasn't doing any harm in prison. I haven't watched the hanging and won't. It sounds disgusting and is shameful the way it was handled. He is a martyr now.. too bad. I never believed the WMD excuse, and was shocked so many did. GW is a war-monger. I think he would have started something anywhere and Iraq was just next on his list. If we had more troops, etc, I think we would have started something with North Korea by now, which is a scary thought. Maybe that would have been worse. Only 2 more years... :fingerscr

Lukka'sma
January 2nd, 2007, 12:52 PM
. GW is a war-monger.

Gee, and here's me thinking Islam should be thankful that America is a somewhat peaceful nation or they would have had their butts nuked to cinders by now.

Schwinn
January 2nd, 2007, 01:20 PM
Gee, and here's me thinking Islam should be thankful that America is a somewhat peaceful nation or they would have had their butts nuked to cinders by now.

And where exactly is Islam? I can't seem to find it on my map. And my new GPS doesn't seem to pick it up either.

Islam is a religion, not a state. And the Islamic religion itself preaches peace. Do not confuse it with radical Islamic militants, which are those who are waging wars. The majority of Islamists are offended both by people like Osam Bin Laden, and statements such as yours.

Lukka'sma
January 2nd, 2007, 01:45 PM
The Islamic religion preaches peace you say,
In countries throughout the world Muslims are engaged in Jihad, or "holly war". In this supposed "holy war", non-believers are butchered...and this is supposed to be the will of Allah? I don't think a few bad apples are trying to hijack Islam, and that Muslims are somehow peaceful.

technodoll
January 2nd, 2007, 01:52 PM
guys... i would really like to keep this thread opened as not everyone has contributed their point of view yet ... :o I'm afraid the mods are going to lock this up if the politics are not toned down :eek:

Rick C
January 2nd, 2007, 02:27 PM
The majority of Islamists are offended both by people like Osam Bin Laden,

Be careful of that claim . . . . it fluctuates wildly depending on events.

In 2005, with elections in Iraq and Lebanon paving the way, we found these poll results among Muslims regarding Bin Laden/suicide bombings, etc.:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/07/14/AR2005071401030.html

We can certainly see in certain places like Pakistan, where 51% of Muslims have a favourable view of Bin Laden, that the ideology that he represents is not marginal at all.

As Fareed Zakharia in Newsweek reminded us a few days ago, 70% of all Iraqi's, in the immediate aftermath of the American led invasion, were in favour of ousting Saddam.

However, my experience in debating these things has revealed a surefire way to start a fight that lasts forever and becomes extremely embittered . . . . .

To accomplish this miraculous feat on an internet message board, you need to ask this one simple question:

What do you respect about a culture that institutionalizes racism, that practices religious intolerance and by and large appears to have a public policy - not a religious policy - of treating women as chattel?

And since we're at it . . . . do you think the average Muslim respects your culture?

Begin the fight!! :thumbs up
Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

technodoll
January 2nd, 2007, 02:33 PM
ho boy i can hear saddam rolling in his grave... laughing at what he started... nothing like a good barfight eh? :eek: :D

:rip: thread! LOL

Pike
January 2nd, 2007, 02:37 PM
Please keep this thread friendly and free of personal attacks. Good natured debate is welcome, offensive behavior is not.

Schwinn
January 2nd, 2007, 03:14 PM
**
The Islamic religion preaches peace you say,
In countries throughout the world Muslims are engaged in Jihad, or "holly war". In this supposed "holy war", non-believers are butchered...and this is supposed to be the will of Allah? I don't think a few bad apples are trying to hijack Islam, and that Muslims are somehow peaceful.


And you're right...the butchering of non-believers is not the will of Allah. It is the will of a sect of muslim extremists who use Allah as an excuse. The basis of Islam is peace. Of course, you're not going to see a headline, "Muslim Believer Stayed home and Watched Hockey with Christian Neighbour". No, you're going to see the wars, the fights, the "Jihad's". Add in dictatorships and lust for power, and suddenly "Allah's will" seems more violent. It's the same for any religion. Should we assume that christians are violent and bloodthirsty because of the crusades? No, that was one country using christianity as an excuse for world conquest. Equating Islamic extremists to every muslim is as unfair as equating Christian fundamentalists to christianity.

Oh, and Jihad actually has a different meaning than what the radicals use it for. For example, true Jihad does not harm women or children, and only engages with enemy combatants.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam

And you make a good point, Rick. I would argue, however, that that is based more on world view than religion. In the countries where support is high, they have generally had a negative view of the wester world. How would non-muslims answered the same question? Again, the teachings of Islam is, indeed, peaceful existence. And as for the average Muslim respecting my culture...I would think that they have the same respect (or lack there of) as the average devout Catholic.

But the short answer is, for the most part, yes, my muslim friends and relatives have had a certain amount of respect for my beliefs. I just always offer to drive, just in case. ;)

Rick C
January 2nd, 2007, 04:22 PM
Equating Islamic extremists to every muslim is as unfair as equating Christian fundamentalists to christianity.



Do you remember that fellow in Afghanistan who wanted to convert to Christianity?

An independent opinion poll of Afghan's found 95% agreed that he should be put to death if he did not rescind his position. The fact the court was giving him a chance to rescind was considered merciful.

You really can't mistake a number like 95%.

The site of the Muslim world igniting in anger, demonstrations, rioting, burning (and I'm not making that up) over the recent, fairly innocuous, remarks of the Pope only, very comically, served to reinforce the stereotype.

Pretty touchy folks.

I've often said in these debates that the average Muslim has the same concerns as the average guy in Des Moines, those being roof, family, food, religion.

But cultural differences can't explain away institutionalized racism which can be found in many Saudi school textbooks and on any Arab television station throughout the day. Can you say you admire a culture where women are essentially chattal, with the age-old medieval excuse that men are only protecting them from the dangers of the world?

Wanna see an Iranian children's cartoon . . . . go to this link and "view clip" for "Iranian Animated Film For Children Promotes Suicide Bombings."

http://memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S5&P1=146#

Now Bugs Bunny is a violent guy, no doubt, but not quite the same as that.

Oddly enough, this debate is interrupting me in the middle of an e-mail to a Muslim in Cairo . . . :thumbs up Seriously!!

Anyhoo, lastly, here is a snippet from a decent essay on this topic, although a bit dated from the winter of 2002, admitedly before Iraq but offering some interesting points on the big picture:

The catastrophe of the Muslim world is also explicable in its failure to grasp the nature of Western success, which springs neither from luck nor resources, genes nor geography. Like third-world Marxists of the 1960s, who put blame for their own self-inflicted misery upon corporations, colonialism, and racism—anything other than the absence of real markets and a free society—the Islamic intelligentsia recognizes the Muslim world’s inferiority vis-`a-vis the West, but it then seeks to fault others for its own self-created fiasco. Government spokesmen in the Middle East should ignore the nonsense of the cultural relativists and discredited Marxists and have the courage to say that they are poor because their populations are nearly half illiterate, that their governments are not free, that their economies are not open, and that their fundamentalists impede scientific inquiry, unpopular expression, and cultural exchange.

Tragically, the immediate prospects for improvement are dismal, inasmuch as the war against terrorism has further isolated the Middle East. Travel, foreign education, and academic exchanges—the only sources of future hope for the Arab world—have screeched to a halt. All the conferences in Cairo about Western bias and media distortion cannot hide this self-inflicted catastrophe—and the growing ostracism and suspicion of Middle Easterners in the West.

But blaming the West, and Israel, for the unendurable reality is easier for millions of Muslims than admitting the truth. Billions of barrels of oil, large populations, the Suez Canal, the fertility of the Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates valleys, invaluable geopolitical locations, and a host of other natural advantages that helped create wealthy civilizations in the past now yield an excess of misery, rather than the riches of resource-poor Hong Kong or Switzerland. How could it be otherwise, when it takes bribes and decades to obtain a building permit in Cairo; when habeas corpus is a cruel joke in Baghdad; and when Saudi Arabia turns out more graduates in Islamic studies than in medicine or engineering?

To tackle illiteracy, gratuitous state-sanctioned killing, and the economic sclerosis that comes from corruption and state control would require the courage and self-examination of Eastern Europe, Russia, South America, even of China. Instead, wedded to the old bromides that the West causes their misery, that fundamentalist Islam and crackpot mullahs have had no role in their disasters, that the subjugation of women is a “different” rather than a foul (and economically foolish) custom, Muslim intellectuals have railed these past few months about the creation of Israel half a century ago, and they have sat either silent or amused while the mob in their streets chants in praise of a mass murderer. Meanwhile millions of Muslims tragically stay sick and hungry in silence.

And more

http://www.city-journal.org/html/12_1_why_the_muslims.html

. . . . . must . . . . resist . . . . temptation . . . . to . . . . get . . . . sucked . . . . . into . . . . . Iraq . . . . . debates . . . .


Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Schwinn
January 2nd, 2007, 04:59 PM
Do you remember that fellow in Afghanistan who wanted to convert to Christianity?

An independent opinion poll of Afghan's found 95% agreed that he should be put to death if he did not rescind his position. The fact the court was giving him a chance to rescind was considered merciful.

You really can't mistake a number like 95%.

Yes, but was this because of an intolerance of non-muslim views, or because of a percieved betrayal? For example, I've known Canadian women who've traveled in muslim countries in shorts and a t-shirt without problem, but if a local, muslim woman did not, then she would be stoned. While I find it deplorable to stone anyone, there is a subtle difference between intolerance and strict adherance.

The site of the Muslim world igniting in anger, demonstrations, rioting, burning (and I'm not making that up) over the recent, fairly innocuous, remarks of the Pope only, very comically, served to reinforce the stereotype.

I think you and I would share the same ironic view of that. But the flip side of that is the muslim leaders who called for calm, and even some who stated that the pope's comments were, as you said, innocuous. The fast majority of muslims stayed home as opposed to rioting.



I've often said in these debates that the average Muslim has the same concerns as the average guy in Des Moines, those being roof, family, food, religion.

But cultural differences can't explain away institutionalized racism which can be found in many Saudi school textbooks and on any Arab television station throughout the day. Can you say you admire a culture where women are essentially chattal, with the age-old medieval excuse that men are only protecting them from the dangers of the world?

No, I don't admire the culture. I don't agree with a lot of things within the culture, either, especially with the "pecking" order of women. But then, I can show you something from almost any religion that I would take issue. I'm not agnostic due to my issues with God, but rather my issues with organized religion. I could also point out examples of non-muslim societies and countries which hold similar views of outsiders.

Wanna see an Iranian children's cartoon . . . . go to this link and "view clip" for "Iranian Animated Film For Children Promotes Suicide Bombings."

http://memritv.org/Search.asp?ACT=S5&P1=146#

Now Bugs Bunny is a violent guy, no doubt, but not quite the same as that.

Oddly enough, this debate is interrupting me in the middle of an e-mail to a Muslim in Cairo . . . :thumbs up Seriously!!

Anyhoo, lastly, here is a snippet from a decent essay on this topic, although a bit dated from the winter of 2002, admitedly before Iraq but offering some interesting points on the big picture:

The catastrophe of the Muslim world is also explicable in its failure to grasp the nature of Western success, which springs neither from luck nor resources, genes nor geography. Like third-world Marxists of the 1960s, who put blame for their own self-inflicted misery upon corporations, colonialism, and racism—anything other than the absence of real markets and a free society—the Islamic intelligentsia recognizes the Muslim world’s inferiority vis-`a-vis the West, but it then seeks to fault others for its own self-created fiasco. Government spokesmen in the Middle East should ignore the nonsense of the cultural relativists and discredited Marxists and have the courage to say that they are poor because their populations are nearly half illiterate, that their governments are not free, that their economies are not open, and that their fundamentalists impede scientific inquiry, unpopular expression, and cultural exchange.

Tragically, the immediate prospects for improvement are dismal, inasmuch as the war against terrorism has further isolated the Middle East. Travel, foreign education, and academic exchanges—the only sources of future hope for the Arab world—have screeched to a halt. All the conferences in Cairo about Western bias and media distortion cannot hide this self-inflicted catastrophe—and the growing ostracism and suspicion of Middle Easterners in the West.

But blaming the West, and Israel, for the unendurable reality is easier for millions of Muslims than admitting the truth. Billions of barrels of oil, large populations, the Suez Canal, the fertility of the Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates valleys, invaluable geopolitical locations, and a host of other natural advantages that helped create wealthy civilizations in the past now yield an excess of misery, rather than the riches of resource-poor Hong Kong or Switzerland. How could it be otherwise, when it takes bribes and decades to obtain a building permit in Cairo; when habeas corpus is a cruel joke in Baghdad; and when Saudi Arabia turns out more graduates in Islamic studies than in medicine or engineering?

To tackle illiteracy, gratuitous state-sanctioned killing, and the economic sclerosis that comes from corruption and state control would require the courage and self-examination of Eastern Europe, Russia, South America, even of China. Instead, wedded to the old bromides that the West causes their misery, that fundamentalist Islam and crackpot mullahs have had no role in their disasters, that the subjugation of women is a “different” rather than a foul (and economically foolish) custom, Muslim intellectuals have railed these past few months about the creation of Israel half a century ago, and they have sat either silent or amused while the mob in their streets chants in praise of a mass murderer. Meanwhile millions of Muslims tragically stay sick and hungry in silence.

And more

http://www.city-journal.org/html/12_1_why_the_muslims.html

Again, I would argue that there is more at play here than these countries simply being "muslim". These countries isolate their and rally not just against non-muslims, but also capitalism. They censure any information going to thier populations. For example, during the first Iraq war, there was a reporter for CNN who was stuck in Iraq, and was very critical of the west. When the war was over, he stated that he had no idea what was really going on, and the truth was a lot different from what those in the country were being told. Which may be also why the majority of muslims outside of the middle east do not share the same views, and why, for the most part, the majority of population of Afghanistan welcomed Canadian troops (I'm at work, and can't find the reference. Probably shouldn't even be on here right now), at least, initially.

And really, I'm not arguing that I'm a big supporter of Islamic religion. If I were, I'd probably be a muslim right now (and I would have had more of a relationship with my muslim friend who was the spitting image of Jasmine from Aladdin. But that's for another conversation over a beer and not mixed company...;) ) I have many issues with thier beliefs. And, I might add, I had many more issues before I learned more about Islam. I'm only arguing that radical Islam and the true religion upon what it's based should not be confused.

chico2
January 2nd, 2007, 05:04 PM
Rick and Schwinn,you both have given very intelligent fair arguments,well thought out and I am sure from knowledge.
What I,an ordinary schmuck see,is murder of innocents,happening every day,in the name of religion.
I can honestly say,I don't feel any connection to these screaming,violent people who yell,death to the infidels.
They are so far from what I consider civilized human beeings,it really is scary.
I've seen what is happening in Europe,the hatemongering among Muslims,in public places,which has finally been put an end to.
The English,the French and even the Swedes realize they have been too politically correct in allowing such happenings in their countries,countries who accepted most religions and cultures.
Yes,we can blame it all on the US,like most of the world does and I agree Bush should never have allowed 3.000 young soldiers to die for these people and I am really sorry for every Canadian life lost in Afghanistan,it's time to let them fight their own wars,which they do anyway,it's very unfortunate that the Muslims themselves cannot be tolerant of their own difference.
Yes I also know what we see on TV every day is done by a minority,but by a murderous minority,wherever they are, be it Africa,Indonesia or anywhere else where there is a large population of muslims.

jiorji
January 2nd, 2007, 06:08 PM
crimes shouldn't be forgiven but violence is not the answer to violence <--------no that is not a typo.
"hatred can only be stilled by non hatred"- THe Dalai Lama
that's all I have to say


still....whatever someone does, the fact that they taped someone dieing is in poor taste. I don't care who it is, it's morbid. And I really don't know what to think of those who searched to see the video of the hanging, or those who were so eager to share it :shrug:

technodoll
January 2nd, 2007, 06:27 PM
Bush should never have allowed 3.000 young soldiers to die for these people

just wanted to point out that these numbers only represent the ones who died in combat while physically in Irak. when you factor in all those who have died from "friendly fire", accidents, or were transported elsewhere (mostly Germany) to be treated from combat wounds and then eventually died, you are looking at a number closer to 10,000.. but the US does not want the public to know this... so they use sneaky tactics to make the death toll seems smaller than it really is. totally disgusting and hypocritical IMO :frustrated:

LL1
January 2nd, 2007, 09:28 PM
Great posts Schwinn,I hate to see Muslim bashing being tolerated.

Writing4Fun
January 2nd, 2007, 10:39 PM
crimes shouldn't be forgiven but violence is not the answer to violence <--------no that is not a typo.
"hatred can only be stilled by non hatred"- THe Dalai Lama
that's all I have to say


still....whatever someone does, the fact that they taped someone dieing is in poor taste. I don't care who it is, it's morbid. And I really don't know what to think of those who searched to see the video of the hanging, or those who were so eager to share it :shrug:

Agreed on both points, jiorji. :thumbs up

Prin
January 3rd, 2007, 03:22 AM
still....whatever someone does, the fact that they taped someone dieing is in poor taste. I don't care who it is, it's morbid. And I really don't know what to think of those who searched to see the video of the hanging, or those who were so eager to share it :shrug:I so agree. It's a private moment and I think both the videoer and the person watching are violating a right that even the worst people, IMO, are entitled to.

Rick C
January 3rd, 2007, 11:47 AM
I'm outta time for this debate . . . sadly, because I love to debate this stuff. A little too much though.

A few comments:

On 3000 dead . . . . .just wanted to point out that these numbers only represent the ones who died in combat while physically in Irak. when you factor in all those who have died from "friendly fire", accidents, or were transported elsewhere (mostly Germany) to be treated from combat wounds and then eventually died, you are looking at a number closer to 10,000.. but the US does not want the public to know this... so they use sneaky tactics to make the death toll seems smaller than it really is. totally disgusting and hypocritical IMO

That's not true.

Those who die in American hospitals later ARE added to those lists. And you hear those numbers advancing every day.

Dead, injured and injured so seriously they couldn't return to duty are included in most newscasts on most major networks, including FOX. There is no secret.

The number of dead is about 3,000. The number injured so seriously they could not return to duty is about 10,000.

If you have a conspiracy theory you want to expound then please put your evidence out there so we can have a crack at it.

And, since we're on the topic, and not minimizing the importance of the war death toll since its a 100% cost to those family members suffering with their loss, it's interesting to note that in the same time frame the Iraq conflict has been ongoing, about 50,000+ Americans will have been murdered - died violently and needlessly for no purpose - within the borders of the USA.

Obviously one number is almost 17 times larger than the other . . . . but the lesser number has greater political significance and more attention.

As far as wars go, and not to be a dispassionate ghoul, but this conflict has been very minimal in terms of human costs to the USA versus prior conflicts.

But, lest we forget, here are the faces of the dead: http://www.nytimes.com/ref/us/20061228_3000FACES_TAB1.html

The other interesting aspect of this conflict is that, in spite of its duration and questionable future, you have no broad based, organized movement of dissenssion in America.

People are dissatisfied, as you saw in the last election (although GW Bush won re-election on his war record), but that appears to have more to do with the fact Americans don't like to lose rather than any hardships the war is causing or questions about its morality.

As one pundit observed, America ISN'T at war. Only the US Army is at war.

The military industrial complex footprint on the economy is at an historic low, about 3.5%, versus the roughly 11.3% it was when Eisenhower issued his famous warning. It was about 20% of the economy at the end of WWII, 8% during Vietnam and about 6.5% during the Reagan military buildup.

The increase in federal tax receipts in America - not total tax reciepts, merely the increase - in the last two years is greater than the Pentagon's entire budget.

In other words, this conflict is causing no economic hardship for the average American. Aside from the daily news, it's scarcely noticeable in the lives of most Americans . . . . and that makes it fairly unique.

Lastly, again at the risk of sounding like a dispassionate knob, 100 Iraqi's dying every day, if true, would be roughly the average normal mortality rate from natural causes in a country of 26 million. Obviously, I'm simply providing context . . . and those extra 100 are dying needlessly.

My point is that a true civil war in a country of 26 million would probably have deaths in the thousands every day.

Regarding the Muslim converting to Christianity:Yes, but was this because of an intolerance of non-muslim views, or because of a percieved betrayal? For example, I've known Canadian women who've traveled in muslim countries in shorts and a t-shirt without problem, but if a local, muslim woman did not, then she would be stoned. While I find it deplorable to stone anyone, there is a subtle difference between intolerance and strict adherance.

The issue is one of tolerance and respect for individual rights and other cultures. Obviously, the people of Afghanistan have a ways to go in terms of growing up.

When I use the word "medieval" I don't think I'm out of line in describing an impoverished culture stuck in a Middle Ages-like time warp.

Interestingly, Shiites and Sunni's each believe the other are heretics as well . . . .

On the Pope's comments: I think you and I would share the same ironic view of that. But the flip side of that is the muslim leaders who called for calm, and even some who stated that the pope's comments were, as you said, innocuous. The fast majority of muslims stayed home as opposed to rioting.

I never said the majority of Muslims were out rioting.

On the other hand, the governments of 50 Islamic nations demanded he apologize for his remarks, demonstrating my point.

A clear generic but immature and defensive overreaction.

No, I don't admire the culture. I don't agree with a lot of things within the culture, either, especially with the "pecking" order of women.

My point in asking the question wasn't to bash Islam, which is the usual defensive reaction when I post the question.

In the west, we do have a certain self-loathing cadre, typically Chomsky accolytes, who will defend anything that isn't American.

However, if you pin them down on why exactly they would be defending a culture that generally oppresses women, institutionalizes racial hatred, etc . . . . . they can get amusingly defensive.

You can practically see their heads exploding.

But then, I can show you something from almost any religion that I would take issue.

Then again, I didn't ask you about other cultures or religions. We can always start another thread on Christianity or organized religion in general or Western culture . . . . and I can tell you right now I AM agnostic and would love a rivetting debate on whether or not we can prove a person named Jesus actually walked on this earth (always an interesting topic).

Obviously we can nitpick anything if we set our minds to it.

I'm not agnostic due to my issues with God, but rather my issues with organized religion. I could also point out examples of non-muslim societies and countries which hold similar views of outsiders.

Most people around the world, regardless of culture, actually have the same common, basic day-to-day concerns in life, home, family, work, security.

And most have the same paranoias regarding the unknown. It's the degree's that vary.

Again, I would argue that there is more at play here than these countries simply being "muslim". These countries isolate their and rally not just against non-muslims, but also capitalism. They censure any information going to thier populations.

I believe I said that earlier.

For example, during the first Iraq war, there was a reporter for CNN who was stuck in Iraq, and was very critical of the west. When the war was over, he stated that he had no idea what was really going on, and the truth was a lot different from what those in the country were being told.

My favourite example of that was the BBC's Ragah Omar who, when told by an anchor back in London that the Americans were on the outskirts of Baghdad in Gulf War II, observed with some consternation that it couldn't possibly be true . . . . that they must be much further away than that.

Which may be also why the majority of muslims outside of the middle east do not share the same views, and why, for the most part, the majority of population of Afghanistan welcomed Canadian troops (I'm at work, and can't find the reference. Probably shouldn't even be on here right now), at least, initially.

Independent polls had seventy percent of Iraqi's welcomed the American's initially as well. Obviously, they're disappointed in the results lately.

I'm only arguing that radical Islam and the true religion upon what it's based should not be confused.

Radical Islamists claim they the only true proponents of their faith . . . . you may not agree with that but that is what they truly believe, much the same as those folks who protest at the funerals of American soldiers say they're the only true proponents of Christianity.

Shiites claim they are the only true proponents of Islam. Sunni's claim the same thing.

That's the problem with organized religion in general . . . . you're right and everyone else is wrong.

For Kristin7 I never believed the WMD excuse, and was shocked so many did.

You would be unusual then because, unless your name is Scott Ritter, most people objecting to the conflict actually didn't do so because they flat out said: "There are no WMD there!!"

Most governments around the world believed he did have WMD in some degree or another. We know now that his own generals were shocked when he told them two weeks before the invasion that they couldn't count on WMD's to help them out.

Objections on this side typically centered around the immorality of war, about the degree of the perceived threat, etc, etc.

It was a rare, rare person indeed who came out and said: "There are no WMD there!!' Scott Ritter is the only one I'm aware of. Hans Blix certainly didn't say it.

So be careful of making revisionist claims.

As for myself, I'm on the record on the message board where I would usually debate these things BEFORE the invasion as saying I didn't know if he had them and I didn't know if he didn't have them, but that it was time to end this 12 year charade and find out for sure.

For Bush, this is a classic sales situation of overpromising and under-delivering. He went the extra mile and promised WMD,which he probably shouldn't have. Yet he won an election in spite of it . . . . and I was amazed at that.

For Badger The US is already feeling the repercussions: China owns most of the American debt, which is incredibly scary,

That's what was being said about Japan in the 1980's as well . . . .

Public debt as a percentage of GDP in this link will tell you where the USA sits relative to its peers:

http://www.answers.com/topic/list-of-countries-by-public-debt

There is also an ongoing debate as to whether government deficits matter. I think they do but here's part of that debate:

http://money.cnn.com/2004/02/02/news/economy/budget/index.htm

Now, leave me alone for a day!!!!

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Schwinn
January 3rd, 2007, 01:51 PM
Now, leave me alone for a day!!!!

What, and let you get the last word? ;)

I'm actually going to be brief, before I lose my job that I'm not even finished training for...

I think that there would be a lot that you and I would actually agree on, Rick.

As I said, my only point was that true Islam is not what radical Muslims are preaching...despite thier insistance to the contrary. As you said, it is similiar to the people protesting at war funerals, insisting they are the only true proponents of Christianity. The big difference there is the vast majority of us personally know people who identify as Christian, and know that those protestors don't represent the majority. A lot of us only know Muslims through TV reports of "Muslim extremists blew up yadda-yadda".

I think that there is a big difference between the view of muslims in countries which I would call (and I think you and I would probably both agree) "oppressed countries" vs "free-world" countries. Personally, I see that as proof of the point that it isn't Islam itself that is causing the issue. Again, I think that we both find a certain amount of common ground in that one. I also only bring up other cultures as example that it isn't necessarily one religion that makes people behave a certain way.

I could probably be more elquent with my points, but being that I'm at work, my thoughts are coming out a little fractured.

And just as an aside, I didn't see you as "bashing" muslims, but debating the view-point of Islam as violent. I hope you didn't see me as defensive, but rather in the same light. I only get offended at blatant racism, not intelligent debate.

As for the Iraq issue, the only thing I'll say there is that it wasn't that I was necessarily against ousting Saddam, only against the reason given, and the fact that the world was told, "You're with us or against us", but not being allowed to see the proof that was claimed. It was more the way the war started, and the timing. My personal feeling was that if you're going to go in and start blowing up a country, then I want to make 100% sure you're doing it for the right reasons. As I said before, I'll usually back my buddy up in any barfight, but I want to know I'm about to jump in for more than, "Because I said we should!".

Now, for both of us--get back to work!!

technodoll
January 3rd, 2007, 02:06 PM
That's not true. Those who die in American hospitals later ARE added to those lists. And you hear those numbers advancing every day.
Dead, injured and injured so seriously they couldn't return to duty are included in most newscasts on most major networks, including FOX. There is no secret. The number of dead is about 3,000. The number injured so seriously they could not return to duty is about 10,000.
If you have a conspiracy theory you want to expound then please put your evidence out there so we can have a crack at it.


rick... While there is no proof of a real number, there is however evidence of a cover up.

Here is one link: http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display/10554

and here: http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a1654.htm

A quote from this link:

U.S. Military Personnel who died in German hospitals or en route to German hospitals have not previously been counted. They total about 6,210 as of 1 January, 2005. The ongoing, underreporting of the dead in Iraq, is not accurate. The DoD is deliberately reducing the figures. A review of many foreign news sites show that actual deaths are far higher than the newly reduced ones. Iraqi civilian casualties are never reported but International Red Cross, Red Crescent and UN figures indicate that as of 1 January 2005, the numbers are just under 100,000.

by Brian Harring, Domestic Intelligence Reporter.

It’s also very important to point out that the second biggest force in Iraq is actually made up of private military contractors (ie. mercenaries). There are more military contractors than the combined total of all non-America troops. There are 100,000 government contractors in Iraq, a number that rivals the 140,000 U.S. soldiers in the country. The deaths of contractors is not reported, which is why the Pentagon loves to use them. At least 650 contractors have died.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/122406A.shtml

And finally, 60 minutes did a story on the underreporting of casualties: http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a2038.htm

well that was my crack at it :D

Rick C
January 3rd, 2007, 03:13 PM
rick... While there is no proof of a real number, there is however evidence of a cover up.

Here is one link: http://baltimore.indymedia.org/newswire/display/10554

and here: http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a1654.htm

A quote from this link:

U.S. Military Personnel who died in German hospitals or en route to German hospitals have not previously been counted. They total about 6,210 as of 1 January, 2005. The ongoing, underreporting of the dead in Iraq, is not accurate. The DoD is deliberately reducing the figures. A review of many foreign news sites show that actual deaths are far higher than the newly reduced ones. Iraqi civilian casualties are never reported but International Red Cross, Red Crescent and UN figures indicate that as of 1 January 2005, the numbers are just under 100,000.

by Brian Harring, Domestic Intelligence Reporter.

It’s also very important to point out that the second biggest force in Iraq is actually made up of private military contractors (ie. mercenaries). There are more military contractors than the combined total of all non-America troops. There are 100,000 government contractors in Iraq, a number that rivals the 140,000 U.S. soldiers in the country. The deaths of contractors is not reported, which is why the Pentagon loves to use them. At least 650 contractors have died.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_2006/122406A.shtml

And finally, 60 minutes did a story on the underreporting of casualties: http://www.tbrnews.org/Archives/a2038.htm

well that was my crack at it :D

I hope you have credible evidence instead of airhead conspiracy theorists on radical, ideologically slanted web sites?

It never ceases to amaze me that the same people who pillory "Faux News" do so from the pulpit of web sites and news sources far more slanted than Fox could ever be (not that I'm defending Fox, which clearly has a slant).

An amusing true story . . . on the web site where I would normally stick my nose in matters like this, in the immediate days after 9/11 and for six weeks thereafter, the number one conspiracy theorist on that board insisted the USA government was hiding 25,000 dead.

Now, aside from the obvious fact that an alleged warmonger like GW Bush would make better use of 25,000 dead than 3,000 dead, I'm sure that 25,000 missing New Yorkers would probably be noticed at some point by friends, family, loved ones, etc, etc.

And therein lies the breakdown for most conspiracy theories. How many people does it require to function? The more people required, the less likely it becomes.

You should run for cover any time a conspiracy theorist uses the term "the government" as a catchphrase to explain away the obvious fact "the government" actually consists of "individuals."

Which brings us to the central problem with this particular conspiracy theory . . . . how many individuals in American families, how many military personnel (comrades, acquaintances, doctors, nurses, orderlies, pilots, plane crews, etc, etc) how many opposition Democrats who know how many funerals are happening in their communities, how many other government bureacrats who handle things like death benefits, etc, - and all that's just the tip of the iceberg - would have to be in on the conspiracy - EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM - to pull off the difference between 1700 dead (at the time) and 9,000 dead?

As you can see, its a lot easier to use the catchphrase "the government" to wash away the problems with making this all function than it is if you actually have to explain how tens of thousands of witnesses have all participated willingly to cover this up, including the loved ones of the dead.

Apply some common sense to the issue and you can immediately see how it falls apart.

Lastly, and fatally, from the Brian Harring link dated May, 2005 - coming up on two years old - which states as fact that the number of killed and wounded leaving Iraq is far higher than reported, we have this breathless pronouncement:

When our research is complete, and watertight, we will publish the results along with the sources

Then we had the link to Brian Harring's June, 2005 call:

Nearly 9,000 U.S. troops dead? A NATIONWIDE CALL FOR INFO FROM SURVIVORS
Has the Bush administration drastically understated the U.S. military death count by redefining "death"? The following article suggests that it has, and it calls for a nationwide campaign to honor deceased service members by naming and counting them.

Well, that plea for names was a year and a half ago. Are tens of thousands of individuals conspiring to keep these statistics and names out of the hands of Brian Harring?

Or is a village missing its idiot?

I think that's an easy call.

And who is going to hold Brian Harring accountable for his lies. You, the reader? I hope so.

I loved the reference to wounded in the letter from the reps from the House of Representatives . . . . at the core of their opposition isn't the physical injuries a word like "wounded" is commonly applied to but rather the issue of post-traumatic stress disorder. Even the letter said 60 Minutes called them "non-battle injuries." Its fair to point out that number is a high one and that PTS is a legitimate and serious mental illness. However, its not common, as far as I know, in any military to generate a Purple Heart for such a "wound" nor is it fair to suggest the USA military is somehow deleting them on purpose for political reasons since its not common practice to include it.

Lastly, why on Earth would the USA military be counting civilian contractor deaths among its own statistics? And yes, the fact about 650 civilian contractors have died is common knowledge at any credible news source.

I got a couple of meetings coming . . . . jeez I hate being sucked into these things.

FOR SCHWINN - And just as an aside, I didn't see you as "bashing" muslims, but debating the view-point of Islam as violent.

I actually didn't say Islam is violent. A religion is what you make of it.

I said the culture surrounding Islam - Muslim culture - appears to be broadly mired in the Middle Ages and that its a culture where there appears to be clear winners and clear losers and no experience with concilliation to iron out differences and/or seek the middle ground.

I offered opinion polls that point out that not all Muslims are the same but there are commonalities.

Interestingly, one Islamic country that has a surprisingly free press, Pakistan, is where you will find, as per the survey I posted, 51% for Osama Bin Laden.

Lastly, my original question of "what is admirable about Muslim culture?" is merely an intellectual exercise, not a hate-monger question, to get people to actually consider it as a stand-alone thought.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

technodoll
January 3rd, 2007, 03:22 PM
rick... don't hold back, tell us how you really feel :D

fortunately the world is big enough... you believe what you want, and i'll do the same. although i do think you shouldn't wear your rose-tinted glasses too often ;)

i'll leave this discussion now as you've taken your flamethrower out of the closet, despite what you said earlier... that you wouldn't. tsk tsk. :cool:

Rick C
January 3rd, 2007, 03:29 PM
rick... don't hold back, tell us how you really feel :D

fortunately the world is big enough... you believe what you want, and i'll do the same. although i do think you shouldn't wear your rose-tinted glasses too often ;)

i'll leave this discussion now as you've taken your flamethrower out of the closet, despite what you said earlier... that you wouldn't. tsk tsk. :cool:

I hope I took my flamethrower out on Brian Harring, not yourself.

We can agree to disagree. :grouphug:

Edited to remove savagery and bluntness and add a group hug.

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

technodoll
January 3rd, 2007, 03:42 PM
group hugs are a good thing!

but no groping, he he he! :D

:grouphug:

Kristin7
January 3rd, 2007, 04:11 PM
Interesting debate. To save time, I will only reply to this direct mention of something I wrote:

For Kristin7 I never believed the WMD excuse, and was shocked so many did.

You would be unusual then because, unless your name is Scott Ritter, most people objecting to the conflict actually didn't do so because they flat out said: "There are no WMD there!!" I actually have no idea who Scott Ritter is. I and others I know, common US citizens, were also saying this; we were in the minority to be sure. But you wouldnt' know this because there is no way you could have communicated with every citizen back then, and found out their views. I do not recall talking to you about this... We all have our own opinions/views, even those of us who are not public figures, if that's what he is.
Most governments around the world believed he did have WMD in some degree or another. We know now that his own generals were shocked when he told them two weeks before the invasion that they couldn't count on WMD's to help them out. I wonder why I did not find it so shocking then. To me and others it seemed we were invading more because of oil than anything.
Objections on this side typically centered around the immorality of war, about the degree of the perceived threat, etc, etc.

It was a rare, rare person indeed who came out and said: "There are no WMD there!!' Scott Ritter is the only one I'm aware of. Hans Blix certainly didn't say it. Not so rare in every circle.
So be careful of making revisionist claims. And this means what?
As for myself, I'm on the record on the message board where I would usually debate these things BEFORE the invasion as saying I didn't know if he had them and I didn't know if he didn't have them, but that it was time to end this 12 year charade and find out for sure. I wasn't on this message board back then and just joined this year which you can see in my posts.

Also, I have always been of the opinion that war wasn't the answer. Before and after it started. I think there were other things that could have been done before we got into this quagmire. It will be hard to get out now and it is not apparent things are any better than before. More unstable, it seems, and that is not a good thing. Iraq is going to probably need a lot of help in the years to come to recover and become more stable.

:grouphug:

LM1313
January 3rd, 2007, 06:35 PM
He was a terrible person, but so are a lot of our (the USA's) allies. *coughSAUDIARABIAcoughCHINAcough* I think it's rather ridiculous that people (not refering to anyone here, just people in general) are piously saying, "Yay, the wicked witch--err, dictator--is dead! The world is a better place!"

He was a ******* and certainly much hated in Iraq, but under his regime it was possible for the average Iraqi to go to the store without the risk of getting blown up. It was possible for a Sunni to live in a Shiite neighborhood without being driven out or killed. He was the devil Iraq knew; the devil they didn't turned out to be much worse.

His death will inflame sectarian passions. "Duh," as one of my coworkers put it.

To recap: the Shiite government very hastily executed Saddam (without even having trials for all of his crimes--if I were Kurdish I would be thoroughly pissed off!) while government officials (? or whoever was attending the hanging--was it public? because the videos make it look like it's indoors in a room) shouted insults and mocking comments at Saddam, tripped the trapdoor while he was still speaking, and then danced around the body. Way to keep everything impartial and professional, Iraqi government! Clearly the Sunnis aren't even more scared, paranoid, and likely to support the insurgents NOW!

The problem with the Bush administration is that they appear to believe they're in a James Bond movie where if you take out the main villain, the minor baddies and henchmen mysteriously evaporate, never to trouble humanity again, and then Mr. Bond boinks the girl and everyone lives happily ever after. There was a quote when the US troops were marching in Baghdad, I believe from Rumsfield but possibly from Cheney, explaining that they didn't have a plan for post-war Iraq, they were just "focusing on getting Saddam." My first thought was, "I can't believe you actually let someone record that." My second was, "My God, how can you be so stupid?"

LL1
January 3rd, 2007, 06:52 PM
My post about Muslim bashing was not about Rick,and neither is this topic.I saw a few posts I found to be hate mongering and racist.I dislike that personally,but have seen it before with bashing of China or Chinese people as an example.There is good and bad everywhere,to call this a Muslim issue is really wrong in my opinion.These kinds of attitudes and opinions only serve to fuel hatred in my opinion.

Prin
January 3rd, 2007, 07:07 PM
He was a ******* and certainly much hated in Iraq, but under his regime it was possible for the average Iraqi to go to the store without the risk of getting blown up. We can certainly think that here, but I don't know about you, but I've never been there. I did, however, go to Ireland right in the middle of the IRA disarming (the first try) and what we know of the IRA here in Canada from the news is nothing compared to what the views are over there and not at all accurate. You just can't know how people feel about a "terrorist group" or a dictator until you've lived there. The news tells us what we need to hear to back the people they consider to be important. :shrug:

LL1
January 3rd, 2007, 07:13 PM
I was just thinking that Prin,and would bashing of the Irish or Israelis be accepted?I doubt it.

Prin
January 3rd, 2007, 07:16 PM
What do you mean? Like saying "all Irish are terrorists"? Yeah, no, that wouldn't be tolerated very long at all.

LL1
January 3rd, 2007, 07:37 PM
Yes,substitute the words Irish or Israeli for some of the posts where the word Muslim is used.

Prin
January 3rd, 2007, 07:39 PM
Well, I think right now Israelis are almost as badly lumped into the generalizations as the Muslims.:(

LL1
January 3rd, 2007, 07:50 PM
Do you mean in general or on this board?

Prin
January 3rd, 2007, 08:59 PM
Just in general. :shrug:

Schwinn
January 3rd, 2007, 10:07 PM
FOR SCHWINN - And just as an aside, I didn't see you as "bashing" muslims, but debating the view-point of Islam as violent.

I actually didn't say Islam is violent. A religion is what you make of it.



Um, my point actually was a show of respect as a compliment for rationally debating the topic, regardless of whether we agreed or not. I had gotten the impression from your previous post that you were being viewed as muslim bashing, and I was only stating that I didn't see it that way at all, but rather intelligent debate.


I find the whole issue of viewing the hanging of Saddam interesting, to say the least. It doesn't surprise me that people would want to see it, for several reasons. The first would be, morbid curiosity. If you polled 100 people, and asked if they wanted to see a horrible car accident, the majority would say no. Yet if those same 100 people drove by a horrible car accident, the majority would probably slow down and look. It's human nature. And the fact that he was considered by most to be a horrible man makes it that much easier to watch. Given the opportunity, many people who would not necessarily seek out to see such a thing, would watch it given easy access (it's now on the front page of several video sites). Secondly, there is a certain validity to the fact that this is a historic moment, whether we agree with the act or not. There are many people who want to see it purely for the fact that this is a historic moment.

The other thing is that it is not long ago that public executions were the norm in the US. Let's face it, society is split on the death penalty. For someone who would support the death penalty, yet say it is shameful to watch it, isn't necessarily hypocritical, but I would certainly question thier convictions (no pun intended). Also, don't forget, this is a society (Iraq) where public executions are acceptable.

What I do find hypocritical is the uproar over the publishing on Iraqi television of dead and tortured US soldiers, yet there was no moral outrage over the pictures of Sadam's sons, and then the same news channels that expressed outrage over the US soldiers have been showing portions of the hanging over and over.

Inisfad
January 7th, 2007, 09:35 AM
Posted by Rick C.
What do you respect about a culture that institutionalizes racism, that practices religious intolerance and by and large appears to have a public policy - not a religious policy - of treating women as chattel?
Er, can you tell me a country that hasn't done that at some time in it's history? And let's not get into the discussion of how religion - almost any religion - views it's women. We can start with the last time you saw a female Catholic priest...

chico2
January 7th, 2007, 10:40 AM
Inisfad,you hit the nail on the head in saying HISTORY,luckily we have evolved,for many arab countries time has stood still!
I am not into any organized religion myself and I could give a million reasons why not:cat:

FlynnMB
January 7th, 2007, 01:57 PM
Being from Ireland I have to smile at the likes of Rick C (bomb the bejasus out of them!!) it doesn't work. talk is better than war any day of the week. I don't believe in execution & america is the only western country to still have the death penalty!!! Democracy? I don't think so. America, England and France all supported Saddam in the past, the same countries allowed Pinochet mto die in a comfortable feather bed. Where is the fairness?

Prin
January 7th, 2007, 05:07 PM
Inisfad,you hit the nail on the head in saying HISTORY,luckily we have evolved,for many arab countries time has stood still!
Not sure we have evolved completely. I think we give ourselves too much credit. If even me having a French boyfriend sent ripples all around us, I just don't think we're there yet. And I can't even imagine what the Muslims here have sustained, even in Canada. :sad:

chico2
January 7th, 2007, 05:37 PM
Prin,I would say it hardly compares to what we know about certain countries,we have the freedom to marry whom we want,some people might not like your choice,but you are not going to be stoned to death because of it and the choice is yours nobody elses.
If you are so inclined you could follow any religion you want.
Wear short-short skirts,go to University become whatever you chose..
Racism still exists and I would go as far as to say in every country on earth,but even such an ugly feeling is yours to chose,you will not be hanged for your convictions.
The freedom to be an individual,to have your own thoughts needs and wants,is something many women in many parts of the world just do not have.
Also,at least your Frenchman is a Canadian,just as much as you..
When I married a young man from France in Sweden,many eyebrows were raised,imagine marrying a foreigner:eek: :D
But it was only raised eyebrows,nothing else:)

Prin
January 7th, 2007, 05:43 PM
Yeah, raised eyebrows are better than most other things... It would be nice to have just regular, low brows instead though.:D

Rick C
January 9th, 2007, 10:27 AM
Being from Ireland I have to smile at the likes of Rick C (bomb the bejasus out of them!!) ?

Nice cheap shot. Where did I say bomb the bejeezus out of "them?"

The use of the word "them" implies bombing all Muslims out of existence . . . . and I have yet to see anyone say that.

I've also said in this thread that the common Muslim has a lot of the same day-to-day concerns as the common man in Des Moines.

I said I supported a conflict to remove a specific regime which hadn't complied for twelve years with UN weapons sanctions and continued to support Palestinian terrorism, ensuring no peace would ever exist. It played chicken with the number one target on earth, the most paranoid nation on earth, and that was a very stupid thing to do and the leader is flying a marble kite right now as a result.

As a separate topic, I also asked, legitimately, what it is that you or anyone else actually admires about Muslim culture, based on your own view of the world.

Pinochet, by the way, existed in a Cold War period where superpowers were jousting by proxy rather than directly. In the post-communist world, examples like Pinochet have essentially dried up for the most part or are largely starving (Mugabe) when they might have been used in the past.

It's amusing that we continue to see pre-1990 political happenings brought into the mix when really, we have been living in a very different world since that time. I have no problem at all with the dirty things that happened pre-1989 given both sides were willing participants and it was an extension of WWII by other means.

Sadly though, after a short 20 year break, I do see a proxy world coming our way again . . . .

Aaaaagghhh . . . . I can't get sucked into these things. :angel:

Rick C
www.goldentales.ca

Schwinn
January 9th, 2007, 11:09 AM
Actually, Rick, I think FlynnMB was confusing you with someone else who suggested they were lucky that "they" don't get bombed out of existence.

Personally, I find Islam to be like most religions. Though there are parts I disagree with (and in some religions, abhore), there are parts to admire, and some are paradoxical (maybe almost hypocritcal) to others. For example, the Muslim tradition when a child is born is to save its head, and weigh the hair. The weight then determines how much they are to give to charity.

But again, I would have to say that I don't really admire ANY religion in its' entirety, because if I did, well, I'd probably be going to that church.

meb999
January 9th, 2007, 01:35 PM
For example, the Muslim tradition when a child is born is to save its head, and weigh the hair. .

you mean they behead newborns and save their heads?? :eek:

:D :D :D

Writing4Fun
January 9th, 2007, 01:36 PM
For example, the Muslim tradition when a child is born is to save its head, and weigh the hair. I'm presuming you meant "shave its head"? ;)

Hunter's_owner
January 9th, 2007, 01:43 PM
oh that would really clear it up. I didn't understand it either, must have been a dumb moment for me, :rolleyes:

LM1313
January 9th, 2007, 03:26 PM
One thing I'd like to point out is that Saddam's regime was secular, not religious. Yes, he hated the west . . . for personal reasons, not religious ones. Yes, he killed people . . . because they got in his way, not because, "oh noes, they're infidels!"

Christians lived in Iraq and enjoyed the protection of the law. Even some Jews did. Women had vastly more freedom than in, for example, Iran. The height of equality for women was in the 70s and 80s when they could wear mini-skirts, were declared equal to men in the eyes of the law, and when laws were put in place saying professional women must be paid the same salaries as men. (About 20% of Iraq's professional workforce is female.)

Unfortunately some women's rights were undone during times of economic crisis to appease the religious factions of Iraq. (You know the type . . . same type as our people who start raving about how 9/11 was punishment for not killing lesbians in the US.) But still, women there had a lot of freedom compared to most Arabic countries.

Now most of the Christians and Jews have fled (they would be the first targets of religious zealots, naturally) and most of the new Iraqi government is trying to create laws based on Islamic law. Oh, for separation of church and state.

Lukka'sma
January 9th, 2007, 04:05 PM
Too, bad they can't hang him for each offence...well I guess they could....tight, lose, tight lose, tight lose...you get the picture..

Shamrock
January 9th, 2007, 05:12 PM
Too, bad they can't hang him for each offence...well I guess they could....tight, lose, tight lose, tight lose...you get the picture..

So one should punish barbaric acts with the same?:confused:

Lukka'sma
January 9th, 2007, 05:35 PM
Hmmmmmmm..........yes

heidiho
January 9th, 2007, 05:43 PM
Is the world better,uhh no Bush is still president.......how do we know he really isnt just an evil dictator......

phoenix
January 9th, 2007, 08:32 PM
lol heidi. so true.

I agree 100% with jiorji. I think it's barbaric, and I'm really bothered by the video of Iraqi people in the US jumping and whooping about someone's death, shouting about revenge. If the death penalty is necessary, then it's necessary, (and with the prison system I'm not sure it is), but the jubilation is horrible IMO. It should have been a sombre day of remembrance as opposed to a celebration. And it should never have been taped (although I get the whole it's not a hoax thing).

heidiho
January 9th, 2007, 08:41 PM
I thought about it for awhile and thought just because he is our president and we are america,who is to say that he is not some sick evil man like some of the other crazy leaders say.Gee it just cant be cause this is america,well i say yes we might possibly be under the control of a man who is high on his power could be just a evil as the others.and of course to me it all boils down to money,what right do we have going to other countries and doing what we do.........And come on all the technology we have and we cant figure out how to get a car to run without gas........BS......Oh yeah i also think there is a cure for aids but they are making to much money off of just treating it,so why ruin a good money making thing the government has going.ok done.....

Inisfad
January 12th, 2007, 11:27 AM
Wow. I'm starting to love you guys. As a transplanted NY'er, for the past 6 years I've been watching Irish/UK TV, and have watched all Americans being tarred with the Bush brush, meaning, that it appeared that all US had become right-wing neo-con religious war-mongering, corporate licking zealots (and frankly, any zealot is dangerous, whether Muslim, Christian or whatever...). Media here never differentiated between Bush politics and Americans in general, and, frankly, it took quite a long time before any American dissention was heard in the media here. Europe couldn't believe that Bush was re-elected (and he may not have been, anyway). In his own way, he (or rather, the people he has surrounded himself with) are as dangerous as any other despot/dictator in the world.

4thedogs
January 12th, 2007, 12:00 PM
I think that execution was the only option with this particular person . I believe he would have continued to rule/give orders from prison. The counry would never had been able to repair itself.

Prin
January 12th, 2007, 02:17 PM
Media here never differentiated between Bush politics and Americans in general, and, frankly, it took quite a long time before any American dissention was heard in the media here.Yeah, the media rocks that way. :rolleyes: Here I think it's the opposite. The media is so anti-Bush that when he got re-elected we were all so shocked. :rolleyes:

heidiho
January 12th, 2007, 02:33 PM
And now he is sending more troops,my god i just dont get it,this man needs to be stopped.......what the hell is he doing??????????????

CyberKitten
January 12th, 2007, 10:55 PM
One short (I'll try, lol) comment on Saddam's execution. I almost rarely agree with the Vatican but in this case, I thought the Pope had it just right! The new Iraqi govt had the opportunity (of a lifetime, no pun intended - ooh, that;s prob not good) to show how to conduct a trial and if necessary an execution (tho like them, I am opposed to the death penalty tho I won't lose sleep now that Saddam is dead nor did I loose sleep when the likes of Ted Bundy and the kind of sociopaths who murder children are executed or the fellow on trial out west for murdering all those sex trade workers tho he will get at best 40 plus life sentences) and they blew it.

It came across as a revenge killing by two of the several groups in that country vying for power since the land was there (ie beginning of time) and as such, prob created a less safe place than a safer one. Saddam has become a side show there however so in the end, it may not matter that much but he has now been made a martyr which will not help the world. We do not need martys like him!

Even the Imam interviewed from Dearborn, Mich rather shocked me in saying he was happy Saddam was dead and it was revenge. What kind of religious person makes that comment. None I know, even amg Islamic ppl.

And I think the other thing that shocked me was the TV hype about the execution - I suspect the only thing many ppl were upset about was that it was not covered live! I suppose in a way the videophone "movie" did show the new govt of Iraq as lying since they bragged about how well it had gone, only to be shown as being untruthful. Surely they realized in this century, someone was going to get this out!

I suspect Saddam may haunt us from his grave as this wider civil war in Iraq haunts us and becomes an even wider regional war - which if one recalls our history, is how world war I began and later was a precursor for world war II. I know he was en evil man but when one thinks of the comparisons to Nirenberg and how the Nazis were treated - and as someone with some Jewish heritage I am not thrilled with that group of ppl but I don't think I would want them treated in the way Saddam was. The world (and perhaps esp the Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds and then the rest of us) needed a just trial (yes, even if he failed to do that in his own regime) and since the country does utilize the death penalty, it should have been carried out with dignity and even maybe with what usually was done for those of his stature (and what he wanted), a firing squad.

I actually understand why ppl would scream obscenities at him (I'd want to for the same thing if I were at the hanging if say, one of the Nazis - before my time but I am just thinking out loud) but that should not have been allowed.

I guess I go back to my dad - who is more right wing than I am - and ask why one country attacked Iraq in the first place when there was no record of weapons of mass destruction? He (my dad) says the US might only be too glad to have Saddam there now given what a God awful mess the place is in now - and it will be years before it is ever better, granted it would be good for the Iraqis themselves to do it on their own. However, this current govt has not shown it can govern all that well and perhaps the UN or a group of NATO countries could come together to help reconstruct the country.

I don't know. Afghanistan - where war was once proclaimed as "over" is almost as bad as it was before with the Taliban killing Cdn and other soldiers weekly - should have remained the target. A friend working there just sent me pix and they are so appalling - granted one can see lots that are similar online I suppose. His were of children living in dire poverty and young girls NOT going to school contrary to the propaganda we are fed daily. I do think our govts are trying to get women into school but it's hard when ppl and the schools keep get blown up, sigh!

Anyway - so much for my short response, lol I thin the Saddam thing was a sidebar but in the future, it will come back to haunt us as he becomes a martyr. This "war" has managed to unite some of the warring groups - not the Sunnis and Shiites certainly but where bin Laden and some of his wanabes and others had different goals, they appear to have learned the old saying "the enemy of my enemy is a friend" line so instead of nipping terrorism where once it simmered, it is now on to a boil and erupts now and then, killing so many people - not just Cdns and Americans but lots of other innocents. And I do not want to see it at a full boil and ready to explode! That is what needs to be turned down and soon!

LM1313
January 15th, 2007, 05:56 PM
The latest bizarre string of words to fall from Bush's mouth:

He said Iraqis should be thankful for all the United States has done for them since the invasion nearly four years ago.

"I think I am proud of the efforts we did," Bush said.

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: