That should be the "scary thing."Comment Posted By Noah Klein On 24.02.2006 @ 19:42
Sumter or Kansas?
My first instinct would be to say that the bombing of the Samarra Golden Dome Mosque is more like the firing on Fort Sumter. The symbolic attack that launches the two sides into a bitter civil war that would consume their nation. Yet there are some postive signs that this is not the case, as Rick noted. Sistani's continued call for peaceful demonstrations rather than violent reactions is one example. Furthermore, the actual success of the curfew in the four most divisive provinces is good news. If this were a true civil war, the two sides would not be able to be quelled by a curfew. Thus it would seem it is more like Bleeding Kansas with the violent reprisals on both sides, but on a small scale. The scarcy thing though is that both Sumter and Bleeding Kansas led to our Civil War. Is civil war still avoidable? I don't know, but I hope so, because if it's not our concerns over 4 or 5 dead soldiers a week will be a thing of the past.Comment Posted By Noah Klein On 24.02.2006 @ 19:40
To those supporting the port deal,
You know that it is the UAE government that owns this company, right? This is my biggest beef with the deal. Other governments should own our debt, our infrastructure or anything that is essential for nation to run. If the British company was owned by the Queen, it would also be a problem. I don't see how people are okay with a government owning major portions of our infrastructure.Comment Posted By Noah Klein On 22.02.2006 @ 19:28
I doubt you'll read this since the blog has moved on, but ties to regional terrorists (such as paying the families of suicide bombers in Israel) is different than our War on Terrorism. Our War on Terrorism is against an organization that projected those methods against us. Al-Qaeda's goal was not the destruction of Israel. Al-Qaeda laid its goals both prior to and after 9/11 and those goals dealt with getting the U.S. out of the Middle East. Now he had no legitimate reason to insist on that, since Saudi Arabia asked us to be there, but that is his grip.
There are some countries in the region that support al-Qaeda or its affiliates (Iran, Pakistan did before 9/11, Saudi Arabia, UAE and others), but Iraq was not one of them. Iraq is a secular, somewhat communistic state. Saddam was Bathist, who received funds from the USSR. He went to the USSR in the 1970's after a high-profile murder in Iraq. His state policies were communistic. And as you know (since conservatives love to point out) communists are atheists.
Along those lines, Osama Bin Laden, after the USSR-Afghanistan war, came back to Saudi Arabia. When Iraq invaded Kuwait, Osama Bin Laden went to the King of Saudi Arabia and requested to fight a war against Iraq. After being rebuffed by the King, Osama formed al-Qaeda to eliminate all infidels from the Middle East. Osama has called Islamic infidels worse than other infidels, because they should know better. There is no love lost between these two.
These two men (Osame and Saddam) have/had vastly different goals for their region. Osama wanted to establish a new Caliphate. Saddam wanted to establish a new Arabian empire, like the USSR, with him as the leader. These two goals are very different and thus more in conflict than our goals and their goals in the region. This why I said what I said and why it is not a conflict.
BTW, that thing quoted is from a song, not a TV show.Comment Posted By Noah Klein On 21.02.2006 @ 21:56
"Saddam, in short, had a record of supporting terrorism. Brazil may have been friendly with Germany but could offer her little in the way of support."
First, I disagree that Brazil could offered less support to the Nazis than Saddam offered to terrorists, but getting in to comparative discussion would us off-track. Furthermore, I won't disagree that Saddam had ties to terrorism (the man tried to kill a president), yet I will disagree that these ties amounted to a serious threat to the United States. Saddam was a bad guy and I will not shed a tear when the Iraqis kill him, but he was contained threat. The one thing that we have learned from after the war is that Saddam's threats to his neighbors or to project that further were exaggerated.
"Are you saying that Saddam was an effective counterweight to Iranian theocracy and therefore was a plus in the region? I hope not. To have oneâ€™s policy hinge on a homicidal madman who could have been overthrown at the drop of a hat would not have been very smart."
I would never say that Saddam was plus in the region and strong democratic Iraq is very much preferred to a weak autocratic Iraq, yet this was the same policy used by Reagan to combat two potential threats. A warring Iran and Iraq is a tragedy in human terms, but a strategic benefit in geopolitical terms.Comment Posted By Noah Klein On 19.02.2006 @ 22:53
While I agree with you that Jenkins comments contained in those two paragraphs are foolish, you are mistaken to paint the entire left and/or liberals with that brush. Americans (liberal, moderate and conservative) accepted that 9/11 was the the great attack that would raise this slumbering giant to action. Bush responded quickly to this assault as every American (liberal, moderate and conservative) knew he should and that is why he was supported at record levels for doing so. The reason that liberals have looked at the Clinton adminstration's policies on terrorism as successful is that they had prevented numerous attacks, but from this administration we only see actions that lead to worse and worse outcomes. I am not saying that the idea of relentless attacking this enemy is bad. I think it is very good as do most of my liberal friends, but it must be done efficiently and intelligently, which is exactly what this administration has failed to do. George Bush's decision to go to Iraq is what has led to some, mind you some, liberals adopting the Clinton adminstration's policy of enhancing domestic security, while treating terrorism as just another crime (this policy does include prevention as well as response, which most conservatives have ignored when they discuss Clinton's policies on terrorism). We assaulted a nation that had nothing to do with the war on terrorism. It would have been like FDR advocating opening a front on Brazil during WWII. Was Brazil friendly with Germany? Yes, but Brazil was not the enemy the axis powers were. Therefore, in opening a front on a nation that was opposed to both parties in our war on terror, we have damaged our ability to engage in other real fronts in the war on terror (Iran). It is this incompetence and others that angers liberals most. If this administration could do something without screwing up, I think liberals would give them much more credit and would engage them just as conservatives did with Clinton. But they can't and this is what upsets liberals the most.Comment Posted By Noah Klein On 19.02.2006 @ 13:08
"The Progress for America ads feature soldiers and their families talking about the war in a personal way, asking Americans to continue to support the mission until itâ€™s completed."
This is not entirely true, as you would know if you saw the ads. The ads feature service members and their families talking about the war, yes, but not in a personal way, but in a political way. And those comments contain false statements.
One such statement is that we only hear bad news from Iraq. Aside from the fact, that the elections were all over the local, national and cable news programs, which showed happy Iraqis voting for the first, second and third times, the WCCO conducted a "'reality check'" which disputed the statement from the PFA. The WCCO's 'reality check' demonstrated that "4 in 10" news stories about Iraq contained postive news. Furthermore, it showed that most commentators on the Sunday news programs are conservatives who obviously would say positive things about Iraq.
Another statement that is false in these commercials is when several of the spokesmen say that the insurgents in Iraq are the same terrorists who attacked the U.S. on 9/11. This patently false. The 9/11 commission said that there was no relevant connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. The Defense Department, Donald Rumsfeld and George Bush have said that only about 7% of the insurgents in Iraq are foreign terrorists and that most are dissatisfied Sunnis and Bathists. If we are going to fight and succeed in this war, it is important to know who our enemies are. We cannot go on trying to convince people of lies and then wonder why they don't trust us.
Finally, the ad states that American service members support the war "overwhelmingly." While the American military supports the war at a greater level than the general public, the military is not "overwhelmingly" in support of this war. A Military Times poll conducted in early January of 2005 has 56% approving of the war and 54% approving of the president's Iraq War policy. This is hardly "overwhelming."
These service members and their families deserve every right and more to speak. They have given to their country what so few are willing to give today. I give them great credit for all the success that we do see there. I further acknowledge that there are legitimate reasons to stay in Iraq, such as to prevent a civil war, which would allow for a haven for terrorists, and to hopefully give to that country peace, which has not had for over a century. But nobody has a right to make false statements without being challenged. This is what the DFL wants to do. And I doubt that Hubert Humprehy would differ in this.Comment Posted By Noah Klein On 17.02.2006 @ 21:05
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