Closed Thread Icon

Topic awaiting preservation: Stop Wasting Money (Page 1 of 1) Pages that link to <a href="http://ozoneasylum.com/backlink?for=14419" title="Pages that link to Topic awaiting preservation: Stop Wasting Money (Page 1 of 1)" rel="nofollow" >Topic awaiting preservation: Stop Wasting Money <span class="small">(Page 1 of 1)</span>\

 
Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dammed if I know...
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 10-29-2003 09:09

Just want to post this...

Published on Wednesday, October 1, 2003 by the Miami Herald
Stop Wasting Money


America wants the world to pledge billions of dollars to Iraq's reconstruction at a donor's meeting to be held in October in Madrid. The world's answer should be an unequivocal No.

Iraq's long-term reconstruction does not need foreign financial assistance. What it needs is a political settlement, which will be possible only with the withdrawal of America's occupying army. The billions of dollars that the United States seeks should be directed toward true global emergencies such as the fight against AIDS and hunger.

As long as America remains an occupying force in Iraq, political stability there is unlikely, making economic recovery unlikely as well. The attacks against the U.S. occupation have successfully stopped the flow of a large part of Iraq's oil exports. The oil pipeline in the north to Turkey has been repeatedly bombed and functions sporadically if at all. The oil fields in the south do not have enough electricity to operate at capacity because the power grid is also the target of repeated bombings.

Iraq is reportedly pumping one million to two million barrels of oil a day rather than the two million to three million barrels that the country could achieve in peaceful circumstances.

This shortfall in oil earnings, not the lack of foreign assistance, is the real cause of Iraq's financial crisis. Each reduction of one million barrels per day translates into lost revenues of about $30 million at today's world market price of $30 per barrel. If Iraq increased its oil exports by one million barrels a day -- which it could achieve with a cessation of attacks on its infrastructure -- it would have about $10 billion per year in additional revenues to begin reconstruction.

Iraq's oil production could probably rise to about five million barrels per day within three years, or an extra $30 billion to $40 billion per year -- enough not only to restore basic services, but to achieve big improvements in living standards and economic growth in the medium term. Iraq would not need official development assistance at all.

The biggest costs in Iraq are not for reconstruction but for U.S. troops. America will pay an astounding $51 billion per year for 140,000 troops. If the United States withdrew its troops and gave just a fraction of the financial savings to Iraq in 2004, there would be plenty of revenue to run the Iraqi government.

By focusing global attention on an economic crisis that does not really exist, America has diverted public attention from serious crises that do. Consider the battles against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. About eight million people will die of these preventable and treatable diseases in 2004.

In 2001, the world created a global fund to fight them. Yet for fiscal year 2004, the Bush administration is committing just $200 million to that fund. For every one of these dollars, the administration is committing $350 to Iraq. These are grotesquely distorted priorities.

It's time for the world to tell America some hard news: Stop wasting so much money on military spending and redirect your efforts toward the world's poor. That's a financial effort that the world can and should join.

Jeffrey D. Sachs is director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0930-08.htm

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/EJ02Aa01.html



[This message has been edited by Xpirex (edited 10-29-2003).]

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 10-29-2003 22:30

I feel strongly that this insanity will cease when the administration changes.

A resounding "HERE HERE" to the author of the article...

It's a stupid mess, and we shouldn't have gotten ourselves into it.


Cell 617

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dammed if I know...
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 10-30-2003 06:31

It's all so insane and mad and crazy... that it gives me comfort... ...because somthing so mad and crazy can not possibly continue... it has to change...!!! or humanty is truely fucked... ..then I will not know what to do or be... this world truely breaks my heart.

Rameses Niblik the Third
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: From:From:
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 10-30-2003 10:54

And pretty much the whole world shouts "I TOLD YOU SO!" as Dubya gets booted out.

Rameses Niblik the Third
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: From:From:
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 10-30-2003 10:54

Sorry, double post.

[This message has been edited by Rameses Niblik the Third (edited 10-30-2003).]

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 10-30-2003 11:14

The problem is, there are a lot who still believe in the Bush administration, and willingingly follow...why, I do not know.

Interesting article, thanks for posting, Xpirex.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 10-31-2003 07:56

It is a pipe dream to believe Iraq will rebuild itself without foreign aid. I am seriously saddened to hear that this author wants to abandon Iraq during this critical time in its history.

. . : slicePuzzle

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 10-31-2003 08:40

With or without the US, Bugs, it will get rebuilt...that is a cold, hard fact. The only question left open is the time-scale.

Will it get built faster with US help and presence? Or would it be rebuilt faster without? That's hard to say, at the moment, and I think that in itself is telling...and worrisome, IMHO.

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dammed if I know...
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 10-31-2003 09:00

Yeh but my point was the scandles that suround all of this business... and the motives of the players.. (see links...)

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 10-31-2003 09:49

Yes Xpirex, but that is not new - we discussed this all earlier. That it has gone so far though...and that there are people that still believe and trust the Bush Administration - that amazes me, frankly.

Rameses Niblik the Third
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: From:From:
Insane since: Aug 2001

posted posted 10-31-2003 12:43

Oh well, you live in Germany, and I live in Australia, so we can go on ahead and make fun of his administration.

Seriously though, if he wins the next election, it'll be by sheer dumb luck.

Or he'll rig the polls.

Skaarjj
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: :morF
Insane since: May 2000

posted posted 10-31-2003 13:13

nonono...HE won't rig the polls...not intelligent enough for that (dumb you got right...luck you didn't). His father and his father's cronies on the supreme court bench will rig it for him

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 10-31-2003 13:33

Ramses, I'm an American living in Germany - Mr. Bush is my president, after all - I haven't forgotten that. I'm still an American citizen.

Something of interest here - to add to Xpirex's links - Study: Bush donors rake in contracts

An excerpt

quote:
Big givers to President Bush and companies with political and military connections are getting most of the reconstruction work in Iraq and Afghanistan, a watchdog group said Thursday.
The Center for Public Integrity has done the first detailed analysis of $8 billion in contracts awarded to 71 U.S. companies by the Pentagon, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development.



So....so. Hmmm...looks bad, anyway one turns it....

jstuartj
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: Mpls, MN
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 10-31-2003 14:49

or perhaps there is simply now one else worth voting for. Bush is still better then the sucky choices we are presented with at the moment. Now if only Hilary C. would run or our former MN Gov. Jesse Ventura. (It very least it would be entertaining.)

I like most of Pres. Bush's policys so far. Most appear in my best intrest and that of the US from my prospective. Which is as it should be after all, I did voted for him. Besides it's not like anyone else could have done much diffrently, the economy was already heading into the crapper and the Iraq thing was bound to happen sooner or later now be for nukes or worse become evolved.

As for the AIDS, Hunger, and poor starving masses. It's realy a problem of overpopulation, simply throwing money at is really's not going to help a lot. It might even make things worse or require us to overthrow other unstable goverments to insure the money acturally when where it was needed. Tough love perhap, but maybe nature is trying to tell us something.

As long as I am ranting, The news press is a joke expecially in the US and this close to an election. Every thing skewed to sell beer, cold meds, and subway sandwichs (Which is should say is not bad thing. I am in advertising after all.) But I do suppect there is no such thing as a fact check anymore. They simply tell you one thing, cut to a comercial, 20 minutes later they tell you something completely different, then it's off to the weather which of course is wrong.

Speaking of news, don't you simply love the story of the CIA agent's name leak, a complete non-story I mean who realy cares. Besides the CIA agent and some democartic presidental candiate. How could it happen, who's to blame, how horriable it is. Yet the go on and on about it, saying the husband name every 5 mins, that helps now the who world knows. Well at least there arn't cigars and little black dresses involve, at least not yet.

I swear if you could get the world's press to spin the worlds problem positive, many of the problems would go away.


J. Stuart J.

[This message has been edited by jstuartj (edited 10-31-2003).]

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 10-31-2003 17:40
quote:
With or without the US, Bugs, it will get rebuilt...that is a cold, hard fact. The only question left open is the time-scale.

The most important point was left unstated and that is *how* it gets rebuilt. If we don't leave Iraq better than it was, then we will have truly wasted our time and our blood on this effort. Remember that America's problem historically has not been that we intervened too much but that we abandon too quickly.

And the author suggesting that fighting world hunger and disease versus rebuilding Iraq is an "either or" proposition is at best absurd and at worst heartless.

. . : slicePuzzle

DL-44
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: under the bed
Insane since: Feb 2000

posted posted 10-31-2003 18:08
quote:
It is a pipe dream to believe Iraq will rebuild itself without foreign aid. I am seriously saddened to hear that this author wants to abandon Iraq during this critical time in its history.



It is as much a pipedream to think that a US military presence there can bring any kind of stability. Perhaps much moreso...



Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 10-31-2003 18:35

I disagree. 90% plus of Iraq is stable right now thanks to military forces and the increasing Iraqi authorities. This is a process of the military acting as police, which sucks, but slowly transitioning that role over to local control. This is a doable thing but it needs the proper support. That is why it is crucial to maintain that support right now.

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 10-31-2003 19:52

Another point to note is that the author is assuming these attacks will cease after the US is gone. That isn't necessarily the case.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 11-01-2003 09:52
quote:
90% plus of Iraq is stable right now thanks to military forces and the increasing Iraqi authorities.

-- Bugimus



Hmmm...where do you have this information? 90%? What exactly does 'stable' here mean? Personally, I see an American presence doing exactly the opposite...providing for instability.

GD - good point, surely one worth thinking about.

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dammed if I know...
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 11-03-2003 09:25

Stability??

I just heard on the news that more American military have been killed since the declared end of the war, then during the whole war itself.. Bang!.. down comes another helicopter...
it's just getting worse folks... or our viewponts based on the info we get are really twisted..



[This message has been edited by Xpirex (edited 11-03-2003).]

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 11-03-2003 14:20

Well, it looks like the Public tide is turning - 51% of Americans disaprove of the way Mr. Bush is handling Iraq...hmmm. Food for thought.

MW
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: 48°00ŽN 7°51ŽE
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 11-03-2003 15:18

And Mr Rumsfeld is starting to sound like Comical Ali:
"The increase in attacks on US forces only shows how desperate the enemy is getting!"

What should be considered is that the guerilla warfare is still mostly limited to the "sunnite triangle", where Saddam and many of his followers come from. So the current attacks are probably conducted by remaining Baath loyalists (which are a small minority in Iraq), plus some fanatic Jihadis, possibly from other countries (It´s unlikely the non-religious Baath people would do suicide bombings).

The Shias are still keeping quiet because as the absolute majority in Iraq they hope to get to power sooner or later. But once they realize that the US won´t let them to build the islamic state they want, things could easily get even worse than they are now.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 11-03-2003 17:35

X, it is quite likely that our view is twisted based on the news reports we get. We all know that the news tends to focus on negative stories, after all those are the most titilating. However, if we had all been deluged with the reports of progress in Iraq, and they do exist, I think we would all have a different perspective on things.

MW, you raise a very key point. If in fact the majority of Iraqis want to establish a theocracy, and that remains to be seen, then I think we are faced with a terrible dilemna. The very source of the terrorist movement we seek to counter comes from a particular version of Islam that is intensely militant. It would seem that the key sources for this movement come from Saudi Arabia and Iran and this has unleashed much of the terror activity we are currently faced with. I cannot see how the rest of the world could want to see Iraq become another breeding ground for that.

I'm curious, MW and X, do you see theocracies like Iran as being a problem? If you were running the show, what would you do, or not do, if you thought Iraq was becoming an Islamic state intent on imposing sharia onto the entire country, including its minorities who did not want it?

. . : slicePuzzle

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 11-03-2003 20:07
quote:
I just heard on the news that more American military have been killed since the declared end of the war, then during the whole war itself..

Declared end of the war? Just exactly when was that? There was a declaration of the end of major hostilities, that is to say we were beginning our infantry actions. That hardly equates with the 'declared end of the war'. That is just propaganda being regurgitated repeatedly to turn the people's mindset in the direction the media wants.

This war was never something that was touted to end in the next year or the year after that. As a matter of fact, since the beginning of all this, it was said to be a matter of years approaching a decade to achieve the goals of this military action. This war is likely to, and supposed to, spill into Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia to remove the threats of these theocracies and other breeding grounds for terrorism that are causing so much trouble in the first place.

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dammed if I know...
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 11-04-2003 03:50

Yeh, sorry GD I meant Bush's declared ceasefire...

Bigs: What would I have done? I would not have invaded in the first place... and who am I to tell others what to believe and how to live.. and force my view upon them. I myself live in a society where things are pressed upon me... of a more subtle nature but equally as effective and pervasive.. the west has had far more experience and practice of social engineering and the manipulations of peoples bahavior and offering us 'apparent' freedom of chioce. They have it down to a fine art. I am not free. (Yet)

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 11-04-2003 05:32

Interesting article:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1076480,00.html

although I do hope things are more rosey than are being painted there it does pick on some of my points from other threads:

quote:
According to Iraqi opposition sources, there are more than 40 different resistance organisations. They consist of Ba'athists, dissident communists, disgusted by the treachery of the Iraqi Communist party in backing the occupation, nationalists, groups of Iraqi soldiers and officers disbanded by the occupation, and Sunni and Shia religious groups



and:

quote:
In other words, the resistance is predominantly Iraqi - though I would not be surprised if other Arabs are crossing the borders to help. If there are Poles and Ukrainians in Baghdad and Najaf, why should Arabs not help each other? The key fact of the resistance is that it is decentralised - the classic first stage of guerrilla warfare against an occupying army.



___________________
Emps

The Emperor dot org

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dammed if I know...
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 11-04-2003 07:31

I just checked... Bush did say the war was over.....

...and if I remember correctly the whole purpose was to seize these so called weapons of mass destruction right?... ..and they said they also said they would not damage the infrastructure of the country.. well they went on to rip it to pieces... and now making themselves rich claiming to be re-building it... ...tell me this is not mental?

GrythusDraconis
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: The Astral Plane
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 11-04-2003 17:20

The first goal was to remove Saddam from power. The second goal was to find eveidence of already KNOWN quantities of WMD, destroyed or not. The fact that we haven't proves that it is being hidden somewhere. There is no reason to hide evidence of compliance, hence he has to be hiding WMD. We know he had them because they were found before he threw the UN inspectors out in '98. Why does everyone trust Saddam? He had them, kicked the UN inspectors out, and then what? Destroyed them on his own without anyone watching him? He didn't think to provide evidence that he had done this? Now Bush isn't a saint (by any means) BUT Saddam isn't better and he certainly isn't more trustworthy.

In a situation where you have a great number of people trying to take control of a region the first thing you need to do is get rid of the limiter. The US is not going to allow a government to take power that puts us back to where we started from. The likelyhood is that the US is going to try and support any government attempting to achieve a democratic society (a mistake IMO). For all of those groups out there fighting for their own style of government, be it a theocracy, communism, tyranny or whatever, the US needs to be gone first. There is a common enemy in the US right now. If the US left things would only get worse. "The western oppressors have left us! Now we fight to the death until our leader emerges victorious!" Which leads us right into a militarily based tyranny just like they had before.

What would probably work better is if Iraq was returned to it's original monarchy (not the most stable form of government but better than the alternative IMO). Start enforcing Iraw's existing constitution instead of ignoring it and let Iraq return to a form of government that was working before everything was destroyed by the tyrranical take over(s). Why impose OUR form of government on them when they have their own to return to, if they even remember it. It wouldn't be unlike Jordan's governmental structure.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 11-04-2003 17:31

Emps, that second quote of yours sounds about right from my understanding. There have been a couple hundred foreign insurgents captured in Iraq so far -- Syrians, Iranians, Lebanese, etc. WS, those were the foreigners I referred to earlier.

There is propoganda on both sides, no doubt. But since I am a partisan, I don't want my side to be misquoted. Here's the full text of Bush's speech. Key points:

quote:
Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.
...
We have difficult work to do in Iraq.
...
The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort.

Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave - and we will leave behind a free Iraq.

The point is that the military take-down was completed but the task of occupation and recontruction began. That is the hardest part and that is the part that takes a while. We are seeing that now.

X, I asked those who opposed military before the war what should be done. The answer was either to wait or to do nothing. It is clear that you would have done nothing. I hear you but cannot agree with that course of inaction. My read of human history convinces me that answering aggression with denial or appeasement leads to more violence and aggression. Our nation used to have isolationist policies and this did not lessen the problems in the world but only allowed them to fester.

I believe in a pro-active foreign policy. I am increasingly in favor of pre-emptive action against particular kinds of threats as well. In the past, this was not necessary because of the types of level of military technology. Now the this technology has risen to a level that allows relatively small groups to cause massive damage, free nations can either try to stop the attacks before they happen and still possibly get hit or they can do what you suggest and make it a fait accompli.

You will have to do some serious persuasion on me to show me the wisdom of sacrificing my family and loved ones to those who want them dead for their own misguided and obscene holy war.

Can you please explain to me something? When I listen to left-wing propoganda, it constantly warns against the religious right. It sounds the alarms against the coming oppression by the controlling, judgemental, puritanical neoCons and their hordes of blind faith minions. They speak of Ashcroft like he is the devil himself. Yet when it comes to a group of right wing religious fanatics that want to impose religious laws on the whole world by force in the name of their god, there is very little to say and most often silence. Why? Why? Why?

Just yesterday I was listening to an interview with Heather Wokusch, the author of a new book that suggests the Bush administration is intent on war mongering because it doesn't have enough sex with everyone. The author was asked what she would have done about 9/11 and she said she would have appointed a study to see why it happened. But that means she doesn't know why it happened and would have done nothing to counter the attacks while the study progressed. Death by lecture I suppose was her plan. I was dumbfounded.

Please explain it to me from your view of the world. I have my own theories but it would be much better to hear it from those who hold that position... please.

. . : slicePuzzle

[This message has been edited by Bugimus (edited 11-04-2003).]

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 11-04-2003 18:05

GD, I was posting while you wrote that. Good points to be sure. My thoughts at this point are since we have already sacrificed our own blood and will continue to do so, why not set the goal high? mobrul's dire prediction that the US would simply install another brutal dictator should not be realized. While he and I have similar end goals we approach the problem almost from completely opposite directions but, like him, I *do not* want us to give up on democracy in Iraq without a good and hard try. If after our best shot it cannot be achieved, then let's fall back to a thug that will not oppose us for a while if that is all we are left with, but that would seriously suck.

. . : slicePuzzle

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 11-04-2003 18:52

Hmmm...as I remember correctly, I never said wait, or do nothing specifically...I suggested, rather, that there were other lands and targets that were much more critical, and dangerous than Iraq. Also, I was specifically never against removing Saddam from power, either, but mainly against the methods used! To assemble a coalition of our allies, and UN approval - certainly not a hard task, considering all the aces the US held after 9/11. Then, the war plan...onto the actual 'plan' (or lack thereof) to actually rebuild Iraq.

Seriously, the way that the situation in Iraq is leaning towards, is not at all conducive to a 'change' in the region that would be favorable to the US...or the west, to be certain. In fact, it is harming movement against countries in the region that are much more dangerous (IMHO) such as Iran. One must remember, that Iran does have a nuclear policy, and who really knows how far they are towards actually producing an atomic bomb (if they don't have them already). Certainly the 'policy' of the US to attack lands that do not have nuclear capability is driving some countries to at least infer that they have nukes - consider North Korea, for example. I can see Iran being no exception...

Iraq was not high on my list of dangerous foes. There are certainly others who are quite frankly more worrisome than Iraq was.

As for what to do with Iraq? I think that the example of Germany (and the rebuilding of it) after WWII is probably one of the best examples - however, it is now probably too late to do this.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 11-04-2003 19:02

WS, I was not thinking of you when I mentioned those who advised doing nothing. I remember your views just as you stated them.

Why is it too late? This period is crucial and all it takes is committment from the free world to make it happen. And I agree that the Marshal Plan model would be a good thing to see and that is why I was very pleased the US congress just approved the $87B aid package for Iraq. We are putting our money and our blood into this effort and I honestly wish other nations would help us. It is not Bush's fault that the other nations are not wanting to help, they can lend a hand any time they see fit and put aside the political bickering now that we all have a real chance of some serious reform in the ME.

I understand you wanting to focus on Iran and the DPRK first. But I cannot state this enough that Iraq is playing into a larger strategic move against those types of regimes. Why do you think Iran is allowing inspections and the DPRK are entering talks even though they said they would never do so without a non-aggression pact with the US? Hmmm? I say it is because they saw that Bush is not the type of leader who is unwilling to back up his policies with some action. I say they understand life far better than the Left because they respect action and use those who favor inaction for their own agenda. That is my opinion.

. . : slicePuzzle

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 11-04-2003 22:59

Ok, the Marshall plan - no way to do it now, Bugs, in Iraq. One of the principles of the Marshall plan, was no cronyism - i.e. no companies getting rich contracts that were 'friends' of the government. Second, the 'rebuilding funds' were then handed over to the Germans to care for - do you know that this fund exists to this day, much bigger than it was then? That monies from this fund is used to this day, to help starting businesses get off the ground?

As for the 'effects' from the Bush administration on world affairs...well, fear and loathing (which, incidently, often is incited from such arrogance) is making itself known - perfect breeding grounds for exactly that which we don't want. And you can't, simply cannot let Mr. Bush off the hook so easily with the 'if the world wants to help, then they can freely' thing. Namely, we all know that this is about power. Let us be clear on this. The UN certainly does not want to be seen as dancing to the tune of America anymore than it already does. And neither do many other countries who opposed the war in the first place. Instead, they want the US to turn over the rebuilding to the UN - Mr. Bush could do this easily. But we both know that he will not do this. That he can't do this. Too bad.

So we have the present situation. And it is not getting any better. Sure, there are some things that have been rebuilt, yes. But actually better? Haven't seen that yet.

As for the effects on countries such as Iran, Syria, NK, etc...oh really? Yup, they've cleaned up their acts alright...surely. C'mon...that they have not. Remember, NK has been in this type of situation before - during Vietnam. I'm sure they are being as cautious as ever, and they are still playing the same old game that we already know - no real changes there (except that we 'tend' to forget about NK from time to time - or so it would seem - and then it raises it's ugly head again). Oh wait - they may have Nukes, now - that's a whole different ballgame, as you pointed out so well in your post on that type of subject.

Look, when someone is swinging a bat on the block, one ducks - and then takes his legs out from under him. We (America and the West) have enemies. Yes, they hate us. They want our destruction. We need to decide on how we want to react to this - remember, it's not the first time, we have faced this type of thing before. They will smile at us to our faces, and behind our backs slip in the dagger. We can run around, and try to stomp out every little fire that starts, and spread our forces and resources thin - that's what they would like to see, I imagine. It's also called 'reacting', instead of having a plan, and acting. Or we can stand united - for surely, divided, we will fall. They have weaknesses, as well - we must utilize them.

Hitting Iraq did exactly what to alleviate (or change) this? Quite frankly, I see more danger now, of greater instability in the region, as before. This comes from mis-management, from mis-calculation, on our parts. And I'm frankly not certain if it is reparable anymore, at this point. The fact that those who instigated this, aren't sure, is also disconcerning, to say the least. Belief alone will not solve this.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 11-05-2003 08:30

Good article from Time.com Where Things Stand

quote:
TIME teamed up with ABC News to travel the length of the country, visiting more than 30 towns and conducting more than 600 interviews with Iraqis from all levels of society. We found dramatic contrasts between Greater Baghdad and the rest of the country.

It's not a case of things being rosey exactly. It's a case of a real shot at making this work out in the long run. This article supports somewhat my point about much of the country being "stable".

quote:
There are many complaints—about the increase in banditry on the roads, the slow pace of reconstruction, the rise in prices, the shortage of jobs caused in part by the U.S. dissolution of the Iraqi government and army. But when people in the north and the south were asked whether life has improved since the war, the answer, in Arabic, often came automatically: "Tab'an ahsan" ("Of course, better"). In the village of Duluiyah, in central Iraq, Abdel Fattah al-Juburi, a longtime opponent of the Saddam regime, says of the occupation, "It's clear we got the better of two evils."

This whole affair is not about black and white but shades of gray. I've come to terms with the world not being as simple as black and white some years ago and ask myself how a better can be brought about "using" gray since that is all we have. If that makes any sense at all... LOL!!! It's late.

. . : slicePuzzle

[This message has been edited by Bugimus (edited 11-05-2003).]

MW
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: 48°00ŽN 7°51ŽE
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 11-05-2003 15:18

Bugs, this was not directed at me, but I´d like to say something about it:

quote:
You will have to do some serious persuasion on me to show me the wisdom of sacrificing my family and loved ones to those who want them dead for their own misguided and obscene holy war.


I´d just like to point out that this argument works both ways. Apart from the fact that the end of Saddam´s regime is an improvement, you´ll have a very hard time persuading the people in the middle east that they should sacrifice their families for your idea of a western democracy they don´t actually want.

quote:
Can you please explain to me something? When I listen to left-wing propoganda, it constantly warns against the religious right. It sounds the alarms against the coming oppression by the controlling, judgemental, puritanical neoCons and their hordes of blind faith minions. They speak of Ashcroft like he is the devil himself. Yet when it comes to a group of right wing religious fanatics that want to impose religious laws on the whole world by force in the name of their god, there is very little to say and most often silence. Why? Why? Why?


I think they see Ashcroft et al as the bigger threat to freedom because the government can take away your freedom. They can change your constitution, or make dissent something that gets you in jail. Terrorists can not take any freedoms from you.
All they can do is kill people and spread terror. But even if it got really bad and they´d manage to kill 3000 Americans every year (and this is not even going to happen), this is only a tiny fraction of the people dying every year by gunshot or in car accidents. Those casualties do not seem to make you fear losing your freedom. Are you really afraid that out of nowhere those extremists are going to take over your country by means of car bombs and suicide attacks? Let me get really cynical to make my point very clear: Even if terrorisats would kill half of the american population, the remaining half would still have all the freedoms provided by your constitution!

I know that you would be one of the first people on this board to oppose the idea of gun control, knowing very well that every year more than ten thousand americans are killed by guns. Gun control would take away an important freedom, you say.

But on the other hand, you seem to be totally at ease with the idea to hollow out freedom of speech, freedom of travel, the right to unmonitored communication etc. just on the remote possibility that these freedoms may allow terrorists to kill americans. In my opinion, even a police state/dictatorship can never be totally safe, a free society even less, you can always trade some freedom for some safety, but beyond a certain point you have to sacrifice huge amounts of freedom to get a tiny bit more safety. My favorite quote on the issue of safety vs freedom is from Jefferson, you probably know which one I´m referring to.

[This message has been edited by MW (edited 11-05-2003).]

MW
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: 48°00ŽN 7°51ŽE
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 11-05-2003 15:45
quote:
I'm curious, MW and X, do you see theocracies like Iran as being a problem? If you were running the show, what would you do, or not do, if you thought Iraq was becoming an Islamic state intent on imposing sharia onto the entire country, including its minorities who did not want it?



I don´t see theocracies as a problem per se. As long as basic human rights are provided, and they are reasonably peaceful towards their neighbours, my opinion is that they can have any form of government they want, and that we are certainly not entitled to force our western ideas on them.

Iran, for example is not the empire of evil it is made out to be. In Teheren you can see women walking the streets in skirts and blouses, not burkas (I know someone who was there recently). The human rights situation is certainly not worse than in Russia or China, leave alone parts of South America and Africa (which doesn´t mean it´s good, or even really acceptable, but it´s certainly not justifying military action). The real extremists are losing more and more power, although the war against Iraq was good for their propaganda. I see a real chance that Iran can transform to a quite liberal society without any intervention.

If we should allow the Sharia to be imposed on minorities in Iraq which don´t want it? Once again I´d like to ask from the other perspective: Should we be allowed to impose our ideas of justice on a majority that doesn´t want them?

As a typical "european leftist sissy" I see the capital punishment you have in the US, as well as some stuff like giving someone 15 years for stealing a slice of pizza, because he had already committed two crimes before, as examples of a not-really-civilized justice as well. But if this is what the majority in your country wants, I´m not going to tell you you can´t have it. If the people in Iraq actually want to live under the Sharia, who am I to tell them they can´t?

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Dammed if I know...
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 11-06-2003 04:55

MW: ...excellent.. im just too tired right now to do the brainwork..



[This message has been edited by Xpirex (edited 11-06-2003).]

« BackwardsOnwards »

Show Forum Drop Down Menu