Friday, November 11, 2005

 

The Shortest-lived Empire


Fallen Office Veterans

It must be one of the shortest-lived empires in the history of mankind.

It was an empire that was fashioned by taking hold of the reigns of an existing empire. America was taken from the inside.

The initial effort was painstakingly made; laying the foundation took several decades of hard work; but the main battle only took a decade or so to overwhelm the American political and military system to force an order based on the “Project of the New American Century”.

They took formal office in 2001. They tried to shape the world to their ambitious master plan. They were certainly quietly (but not secretly) praying for another Pearl Harbor to be able to mobilize the public’s feelings to initiate their scheme.

Providence gave them 9/11.

Large segments of the American public fell for their scheme-in-disguise, either through fear, misguided anger, blind desire for revenge, delusions of grandeur, patriotism, super-patriotism, greed, ignorance or indifference.

The wind was blowing in their direction. They went full speed ahead… and the world was never the same again; Afghanistan, Iraq, scorn for the UN, contempt for “Old Europe” and total disregard for the rest of the world…

As soon as “Mission” was “Accomplished” in May 2003, they went ahead with trying to shape Iraq to neocon design with decree after decree of “economic reform” as if designing a new country on an empty sheet of paper.

It was the height and the Golden Age of that empire.

But soon after, the idols started crumbling. This is amazing. Builders of the new American Century are falling at the peak of their adventure… one by one:

1. Richard Perle, “The Prince of Darkness”, dismissed quietly before the fun even started.

2. Paul Wolfowitz , removed from the MoD where he had so much control over the US army, quietly to the World Bank.

3. Douglas Feith, the man responsible for post-invasion planning among other things, slipped quietly from a position of great influence… into oblivion.

4. Scooter Libby… exposed in disgrace (although technically innocent so far) despite all the sugar-coating and all the smokescreens.

And now the front man himself, God’s Confidante, is seen by a majority of his own people as unethical and incompetent.

His fortunes and those of his top two lieutenants, Cheney and Rumsfeld, will unfold in the coming year or two.

Captains of the New Order falling at the peak of their ‘winning battle’; Odd isn’t it?

These people are a disgrace to empire builders! They should be called “Empire Crumblers”. Well, it was more like a palace coup really!

These people have fallen. More will fall in the coming days.

However, it is sad to reflect, on the American Veterans’ Day, that these office warriors send real soldiers to battle. When real soldiers and captains fall, they pay with their lives and fall into pools of blood. But when these office warriors and initiators of wars fall, they fall out of office into another one or, sometimes, into golf courses.

***


Just to think of the damage they have done to their own country, leading to the death of many of its sons and daughters and the squandering of so much of its wealth and its loss of standing in the eyes of the world… they are really getting off lightly.

But they are American. They were put in their positions of power by the American people through a democratic process. The American people have nobody else to blame.

But what about Iraq? What about all the loss of innocent life and the suffering and the destruction and the devastation of a country that is still going on for more than two years? What about the terrorism that was imported by these people into our country that is now an export business?

All this reminds me of something Michael Ledeen, the neocon guru, once wrote advising George Bush (in April, 2004 urging him to deal harshly with Fallujah, even after that first massacre):
“Remember one of the early dicta of Machiavelli: If you are victorious, everyone will judge your methods to have been appropriate. If you lose, you're a bum.”

Tonight, I watched President Bush defending his policy, attacking Syria and Iran and moving along the same track, as if nothing had happened. What will it take for this Emperor to know?


Comments:

Hello Abu Khaleel,
Yes, our 'imperator' is in serious trouble. He's seen as a liar and incompetent.

In his latest speech, lashing out at the skeptics accusing them of endangering US troops (his favorite human shields) and (incredibly) accusing the critics of 'revising history' on WMDs and the reason for war?

The reason for this is simple, he hasn't the tenacity try to 'stonewall' a la Nixon and hasn't the slickness to 'apologize' a la Clinton. So his brain, Karl Rove, advises that he attacks. The problem is that he's lost credibility. Things are getting bad in the ol' USA and it is possible the Democrats may even get control of Congress--which means more hearings and possibly impeachment. The people are getting sick of him and his party and are ready for a change.

On the american people.. let me point out that in 2003 at the height of war fever and all the bogus 'intelligence'--31% of the House of Representatives and 22% of the Senate voted against the war, that in the 2004 election 48% voted to remove Bush.

Lincoln said "You can fool all of the people some of the time, you can fool some of the people all of the time( he was thinking of Charles, maybe?), but you can't fool all of the people all of the time."

IMO, Bush never even came close.
 
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I for one am happy that in the end saddam's fate will be worse than anything that will befall Bush. Maybe the intelligence was a lie, maybe the public took the bait, and maybe in the end Bush will lose face and be seen as a liar and a hypocrite, but saddam will most probably either be hung, shot, or rot in a jail cell for the rest of his natural like. For me at least that will mark a clear "mission accomplished". From that day forward there will be on less dictator in the world. America will put one more notch on our collective belt. And slowly but surly Iraq will evolve into a modern state populated by a free people empowered to make their own mistakes.
 
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Anonymous above: I wouldn’t get your (or Abu’s) hopes up too soon. Put it the other way round: after 5 years of blunders and transparent lies, the polls are saying that at least a third of the American people still worship the Emperor - he’s still got an awful lot of Charleses "fooled all the time."
Case in point is this Madtom guy, clearly a true believer. He says, apropos Saddam’s execution,
"From that day forward there will be on less dictator in the world. America will put one more notch on our collective belt."
Like to see that belt. I’m trying to think of all the evil dictators the USA has removed from power by armed intervention since after World War Two, and I can’t come up with any. Or the countries that have "evolved into modern states populated by free people" courtesy of a US invasion. None that I know of.
Far as I can see, while the USA remains essentially a "truth-free" or "history-free" zone, its got as much chance of removing the far right from power as the Iraqis had of removing Saddam from power.
The Bushies will bounce back. All it takes is money.
Circular
 
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America was better off before the rest of the world dragged us into their problems (ie WWI and WWII). Ever since then we have found it to be our place to preserve the peace, even if it takes a war. We wil always be criticized by those countries that now feel inferior to us, beacuse when you have power you are hated weather you use it on not. If we try to help people we are accused of having alterior motives (oil, empire building, ect.), and if we don't do anything people will say

"Those Americans have all that power to stop suffering and injustice but they won't use it."

That is how it always is with any powerful force. My question is why does the United Nations not actually do anything to help anybody. They sit around in New York enjoying the benifits of the modern world and just argue. They turn a blind eye to suffering and injustice that is happening as we speak. Genocide in Africa. Inhuman conditions in the middle east where people are ruled with and iron fist and killed if they fall out of line. Lawlessness in Central and South America where drug lords and rebles have all the power and the people have to sneak in to the US to have a good life. If the US was so Evil why do people want to come here so badly? People complain about the deaths of innocent civilians in Iraq, we don't go out of our way to kill women and children like the people we are fighting do. When ther is conflict ther are bound to be innocent people getting caught in the cross fire, and I feel badly but there is nothing to be done. If we leave the new goverment colapes and war lords take over, and ther will be many more decades of suffering. If we stay the insurgency will continue to bomb their own people. They are screwed either way. We are there to bring democracy to the middle east. We lay the seeds now so that the idea of self goverment can grow and prosper. The mid east in its current form can not coexist with the Western world. They are the one true road block in the way of a world with no major wars. They are they live in societies that tell them that all problems can be solved with violence. Women can be raped as repayment for dishonor. People can be exicuted over minor misunderstanings.

I know this has been a bit of a rant, but that is just how one average American sees the world today.

And I'm willing to not post anonymously.

http://snoozelight.blogspot.com

---Geoff From Chicago
 
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Well there you go, Abu, exactly what I mean about a fact-free and history-free zone behind your jolly curtains.
Geoff, the poster above, seems from his Blog to be an absolutely perfect example of total American normality - a nice, well-meaning, well-behaved kid, doesn’t smoke or drink, certainly rather courageous in posting his thoughts on what is obviously an adult Blog. (Should that be an elderly Blog?)
But gee, the poor guy: his perception of the world, of reality, is so distorted by apparently mistaught history, and unrelenting propaganda, plus presumably no direct experience of the world outside his curtains.
(I mean, not to go into it all, but evidently he’s been taught that the world "dragged the USA into its problems" in WW2. No understanding of American isolationism before 1942, which Roosevelt had to use all his cunning to circumvent; apparently unaware that the Japanese attack was the immediate cause of US involvement, or that the US did not declare war on Germany - Hitler declared war on the US in fulfilment of his Axis Pact obligations, etc. He would probably be similarly unaware that the British Commonwealth contribution to Germany’s defeat was, in terms of men and materiel, greater than that of the USA, or that both together were completely dwarfed by the USSR’s destruction of 300 German divisions on the ground.
He would apparently simply not understand that the spread of peaceful centre-left democracy through much of South America in recent years has been partly due to the cessation of CIA meddling in the area, propping up right-wing dictatorships. He wouldn’t know that Argentineans are still pursuing the torturers of the 1970’s military regime, torturers who were trained at the "School of the Americas" in Georgia, USA.
His conviction that his country is bringing the surprising new gift of democracy to the backward Middle East must rankle a little with someone like you who has thought about and worked towards democracy in Iraq for most of your adult life. And try telling him that in Iran (which I certainly carry no candle for) the last elections were apparently so democratic that when the first poll didn’t bring a clear result, they all trooped off a month later for another go.
And so on, and so on. Try telling him that in most of the world "liberal" is not a term of abuse, just a description of a political position. Or that PNAC is not a new drug. Even the use of language is different.)
Doubtless I’m being totally unfair to him. I try to think back to my own kids at age 21 - they would have been heavily into partying and pot-smoking at that age, the little @&#@. But I think they would still have had a more balanced understanding of the world - hell, the University they attended (Auckland) has just been ranked 52nd in the world in a recent survey, 12th in the world outside the USA and the UK. (Wonder where Baghdad rates nowadays?)
So Geoff is clearly part of the 30% plus of Americans who will always believe in the Emperor and his empty slogans, come what may. A few scandals aren’t going to change that - and re-education of an entire nation is a pretty serious challenge, even for Iraqi Letters.
 
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"Case in point is this Madtom guy, clearly a true believer."

I would like to hear what it is you think I am a believer in? Just curious.

"He says, apropos Saddam’s execution,"

Execution is one option, why do you harp on it, I think it's clear I was saying "apropos" saddams conviction.

"and I can’t come up with any"

How about South Korea, armed intervention prevented a dictatorship and put the people there on the road to democracy. If for some reason Korea does not count, and even if we accept as fact that armed intervention has never been used to put people on a path to democracy. Who says that Iraq cant be the first?
 
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Madtom
Just a quick answer.
1) A true believer in whatever the White House says, basically. Unlike about 58% of your countrymen who now don’t trust the incumbent resident president.
2) I don’t think mentioning execution once can be called harping on it. Although actually, to complete what Bush One started, I would prefer to see him tried by a World Court, not an Iraqi one. A conviction there on two counts of waging aggressive war (Iran and Kuwait) plus charges relating to internal atrocities would establish a useful precedent for deterring future aggressors and tyrants. Conviction by an Iraqi court on a single representative charge doesn’t seem to carry quite the same message.
3)Korea wasn’t exactly the removal of a dictator - he’s still there, or his son is. Korea was a UN police action following the North’s invasion of the South. And I’d like to stress that - Korea was in the good old days when the UN was getting going and meant something, when the US necessarily provided the bulk of the force for any major action but there was a whole bundle of countries involved, most of the British Commonwealth, Turkey was there with a very fierce contingent, etc etc.
Come to that, Gulf One was essentially a US-led UN action, there were heaps of countries involved, including Arab ones.
Now the US has turned its back on the UN instead of leading it.
4)As the just-released memoirs of the former British Ambassador to the USA are now revealing, a more measured approach to the removal of Saddam could quite possibly have resulted eventually in a proper "Blue Helmet" invasion or action. The main advantage of this would have been probably a much more sensible approach to the occupation phase, which has been the real disaster for 30 months now.
Being a Hyperpower involves having hyper responsibility. I was happy to see you guys bring down Saddam’s regime. It’s been your failure to plan and organise the follow-up to invasion intelligently that has got on my tits.
If Iraq is the first, God help the second. Unless you have some evidence that Bush and his mates are capable of learning from experience. I haven’t seen any.
Circular
 
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Good post as always!

Can someone please give this blow link to Bush, Congress, Senate and the U.S media.

This clip from John Pilger's documentary, Breaking the Silence, contains 2001 footage of Powell and Rice declaring that Iraq is not a threat
This clip from John Pilger's documentary, Breaking the Silence, contains 2001 footage of Powell and Rice declaring that Iraq is not a threat.

http://www.thememoryhole.org/war/powell-rice-wmd.wmv


And here you can see the whole documentary.
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/pilger_breaking_the_silence_35m
 
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"1) A true believer in whatever the White House says, basically. Unlike about 58% of your countrymen who now don’t trust the incumbent resident president."

Well there you go, that's not me. I have never believed anything out of this white house. I even campaigned and voted against this administration twice. That said, I still think some things can be true even if "W" believes them.

"I would prefer to see him tried by a World Court, not an Iraqi one."

Your trust in the Iraqi people is showing again. Because I happen to believe that saddam did more damage to Iraq than to any other country he should be tried there. I don't like the world court, I don't trust them. I think that it's easily hijacked for political, or personal vendettas. If you would like to establish some kind or "world government" then maybe we could talk about world courts. Or in a case like WWII were atrocities were committed across many borders, but for saddam i would rather he be tried by the Iraqis themselves.

"Now the US has turned its back on the UN instead of leading it."

Some would argue that the UN has turned it's back on the US.

"4)As the just-released memoirs of the former British Ambassador to the USA are now revealing, a more measured approach to the removal of Saddam could quite possibly have resulted eventually in a proper "Blue Helmet" invasion or action. The main advantage of this would have been probably a much more sensible approach to the occupation phase, which has been the real disaster for 30 months now."

Wishful thinking, it's all right, but where're the beef. Is it the same approach being used to keep nuclear weapons out to the hands on the Iranian regime, is it the same as threat being deployed against North Korea, Cuba... the list goes on and on. Sometime you have to take a stand, enough is enough. Mind you I am not calling for the invasion of any of those places, but non of those places is currently targeting or firing missiles at our planes. But how long will it take for these organizations to work. What stopped any of them from doing something to stop saddam for the 30 years of power. And may I remind you that if we were to send "Blue Helmet's" into Iraq with the usual no bullets in there guns, then they would have been killed in the first week or we would have to send in the Marines to save there asses. Give me a break, the UN pulled up and ran out of Iraq after just on bomb.

"Being a Hyperpower involves"

It's not our fault, it's not like we have actually pulled so far ahead, it's the rest of you that have fallen behind. Most if not all of the technologies and economics of the US and the free world are open to all. It's not some big secret that we keep in a big vault somewhere and are denying it too the rest. If something that we do is working why are you not copying, WTF is holding the rest of you back? Anyway China's on the move, so if you would rather have a bipolar world, just sit and wait a few years and you will have your wish. I'm just happy that we are there on the ground in China. They have taken down the wall, sort of, and hopefully our interaction and the coming of age of India, will have an effect on the people there and they will move away from totalitarian rule, and evolve into a modern state
 
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Madtom
I don’t think we should get into a "You say, I say" private debate, I don’t think Abu Kahleel likes too much of them on his Blog. I think he prefers guests to stick loosely to the topic he’s posted. (Some people aren’t much help, though, are they Abu? What idiot turned your last post into a discussion about sex with bears?)
However, I will say that the tone of your comments (and Geoff’s) does remind me of something that relates to Ledeen’s Machiaveli reference; and that’s the old dictum that the victors get to write the history books - and by extension, so do victorious empires.
The discussions on this Blog often sort of show the empire trying to rewrite the history books even while it is making the history. Your predecessor Charles (since banned by Abu) was a perfect conduit for this revisionary propaganda. Charles could have written your statement "What stopped any of them (the UN and other powers, one presumes) from doing something to stop saddam for the 30 years of power."
Real history tells us that one thing that stopped world opposition to Saddam from achieving anything is the fact that for about ten of those years he was effectively a US ally, fighting its confrontation with Iran by proxy. You will just do the goldfish thing, opening and closing your mouth but saying nothing, when reminded of this, and of the happy snap of Rumsfeld greasing up to Saddam in 1984 or thereabouts.
Or when reminded that in earlier years Saddam was receiving covert CIA support, including I believe a membership list of the Iraqi Communist Party, which helped him to eliminate them.
Or when reminded that April Glassie, the then US Ambassador to Iraq, told Saddam in 1991 that the US had no particular views on border disputes between Arab states. She was trying to tell him, sure, push the Kuwaitis a bit over them cross-drilling into your oilfields. Unfortunately he took it as a green light for grabbing all of Kuwait.
If the Empire is victorious, all this sort of stuff will quietly vanish from memory, within the Empire at any rate.
If the Empire is victorious. I agree with Abu, things are looking a bit shaky in the Palace at the moment, it’s looking like a very temporary Empire, as you’d expect of an enterprise built on a foundation of solid and very smelly bullshit.
Circular
 
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Again you try to obfuscate by trying to make the US the ugly duckling. If we oppose some regime, we're and empire, if we work with the governments currently in place we're collaborating with the regime. Which one is it, and how can it be both? If the US has been manipulating the regimes of the ME to our advantage, this should tell you something about the value of these regimes. In you last post you said you were waiting for some international organizations to take care of the saddam problem, and now your saying that he was under our protection. So I have to ask, how were these organizations going to ever succeed? It sounds to me like everything you say is just empty rhetoric, and that you never really had any plans to help the Iraqi people free themselves from the grips of a tyrannical regime. It sounds like you needed saddams regime more than we did. With friends like you the Iraqi people did not need enemies. But hey when you have a chance to hate America, who cares who pays the price.
 
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Oh well. Excuse me, Abu.
Dementedtom
It’s no use foaming at the mouth and spitting at me, I’m wearing a raincoat. Stick to the issues. "We just want the facts, Ma’am."
Look, back when you were an itty-bitty boy, did you ever see a bad movie called GhostBusters? Remember that?
Your main concern seems to be to promote the merits of TyrantBusters Inc., "Freedom and Democracy Brung While-U-Wait." You seem to agree above that it’s a new outfit in town, and Iraq is its first real job.
It’s had some illustrious predecessors. There was Fighting Fascism Inc, which did a helluva job once it got going. Then there was Containing Communism Corp, which (depending on one’s interpretation of history) was pretty successful, even if DefendOurDictators Ltd, also known as the CIA, was a big part of it. (But there was that subsidiary, CongBusters Corp, which got its ass chased outa town by the ghosts it was trying to exorcise, remember.)
But we’re not talking about when policemen wore pointy helmets, we’re talking about now, TyrantBusters (2003) Inc.
Frankly, it doesn’t seem to be doing too well. First haunted place it’s tried, it got the main ghost OK, but at the cost of demolishing half the house, and attracting a lot of little ghosts which are now spooking around in the rubble. And it’s so tied up trying to handle them that it doesn’t seem likely to take on any new jobs soon.
Failed start-up? Me, I’d suggest a good look at the Board of Directors, especially the Chairman, who you reckon you didn’t vote for. If your shares in TB Inc are so all-fired important to you, shouldn’t your first concern be a half-way competent and honest management?
Go back and read Abu’s post again. That’s what he’s on about. Go back and read his US Mistakes in Iraq posts.
On the precedent of the late-lamented Charles, your next post will consist of hysterical accusations of me being a supporter of terrorists and a hater of freedom. I await it with interest.
Circular
 
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Well you have to break some eggs to make an omelet.

"Frankly, it doesn’t seem to be doing too well. First haunted place it’s tried, it got the main ghost OK, but at the cost of demolishing half the house, and attracting a lot of little ghosts which are now spooking around in the rubble. And it’s so tied up trying to handle them that it doesn’t seem likely to take on any new jobs soon."

Iraq the jihadi roach motel, they find their way in but they don't get out. Not that I am a big supporter of the idea, I voted against W for just that reason. But you cant argue with success can you. Why would we want to go anywhere else when the dammed fools are coming to us?

"your next post will consist of hysterical accusations of me being a supporter of terrorists and a hater of freedom."

No I think I pegged you a long time ago, you just hate America. I don't know why, maybe some American kid bullied you at school when you were growing up, or maybe some G.I.Joe was your real father or something. I have no way of knowing.
 
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Madtom
If you go back a couple of posts, you will find a discussion between Mark-in-Chi-Town and myself (with Abu joining in) about the merits or otherwise of the "ad hominem" form of argument, i.e. attacking your opponent personally rather than addressing their reasoning.
You have just committed a classic example of that. It’s not intelligent, it’s not ethical, and it damn sure isn’t manly. Have a think about it - are you really representing your country well by behaving like that?
For the record, I don’t hate anyone. But I reckon I’ve got quite good at recognising fools when I see them. And your current leadership seem like fools and liars to me.
As I’ve remarked before, breaking eggs to make an omelette is one thing - strangling the chicken is quite another.
Remember those photos of the Iraqi kids, blood-spattered and howling, after their parents were murdered by a panicky US patrol in Tal Afar? That’s not breaking eggs - that’s strangling and disembowelling the chicken. And the troops stood around looking vaguely embarrassed.
Someone tracked down the kids a few months later - living in poverty. The eldest boy is semi-paralysed. The eldest girl said of the US troops, "I would like to kill them and eat their livers."
Never mind the foreign jihadis. THOSE are the ghosts you have aroused in Iraq.
TyrantBusters Inc, Directors Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Co have aroused.
Roosevelt, Kennedy, Eisenhower, even Nixon and Johnson and Clinton would have done it better than this.
Circular
 
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You make some statements about the "about the merits or otherwise of the "ad hominem" " and with the next breath you say "your current leadership seem like fools and liars to me."
Which looks a lot like an ad hominem, go figure.

Tal Afar is a hot spot of terrorist activity, the terrorist had as much to do with that tragedy as did the coalition forces. We at least offer something other than war, some place else for the people to work out their differences. What do the terrorist offer? Perpetual war and dictatorship. I don't know about you, but I see may Iraqis turning away from the insurgency and working towards the political solution to end the war. The Iraqis have something to lose, they have something that they want to preserve that they don't want to see go up in smoke. The jihadis want nothing and offer nothing, and if I were you I would not put my eggs or my chickens in their basket.

"Directors Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Co have aroused. Roosevelt, Kennedy, Eisenhower, even Nixon and Johnson and Clinton would have done it better than this"

There is an old saying in Cuba, you have to pull your cart with the oxen you have.
 
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Try to think straight, LunaTom. I’m not talking to your current leadership, I’m talking to you. And I haven’t called you a fool or a liar.
Yet.
I didn’t know that Donald Rumsfeld was Cuban - "You go to war with the Army you have, not the one you might want or wish to have."
If he had listened to his senior generals who told him he would need a much bigger Army for an occupation, if he had let State and Powell run the occupation instead of Defence and Bremer, then it’s quite possible that those kids in Tal Afar would still have their parents.
The man is a fool.

I’m trying to follow your reasoning about the incident in Tal Afar.
(a) the place is a hotspot of terrorist activity - (although some would call it Resistance, when you attack soldiers of a foreign army occupying your country: 60 to 70 incidents a week, according to your military, of direct attacks on Coalition forces. But anyway)
(b) therefore US forces there have to use "force protection" tactics - shoot on suspicion
(c) thereby creating more terrorists or resistants, like the little girl who wants, very understandably, to eat their livers.

Are you really, really sure this is going to work?
Circular
 
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This duel has taken a few nasty turns. It certainly is quite reminiscent of earlier debates on this blog! We must have covered those grounds a few dozen times. But I will not delete any of those posts. Instead, I will move on (in a bit of hurry) to the next topic, which was my original objective. This thread has only demonstrated my main thesis!
 
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I hope Abu Khaleel does not mind if I answer.

" of direct attacks on Coalition forces"

Yes and also on the locals many of which did not want their town used by foreign jihadis, and add to that the collateral kills associated with those attacks on coalition forces. Car bombs are not exactly smart weapons.

"thereby creating more terrorists or resistants,"

Also creating groups of Iraqis that have learned that help from the jihadis is no help at all. It cuts both ways.

"Are you really, really sure this is going to work?"

No, but nothing is for sure. I tell you one thing, it's working a lot better and having more of an effect than the last 30 years did. I only wish I could see the world in the theoretical cleanliness that you seem to see. What have 47 years of theory done for the Cuban people? When are your world organization going to start to give a shit?
Abu is right in his next post, 9-11 was a wakeup call. Bring your papers and pencils, and lets work on your theories, I have no problem with that, but you better also bring a shovel, and some hammers because the time to take some action has arrived.
 
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America has never been a very good Empire builder, we need to study European policies better, cause we keep giving the OCCUPIED people the opportunity to decide thier fate. Even while young Americans die making sure that it is possible for them to do so. We're not going to ask for thanks and we are not going to apologize. All we want is for you to have a chance to experience freedoms that we take for granted. And we will always be here ready to lend a hand because the world simply can not do and will not do it without our leading the way, that is the fact if you or anyone else likes it or not. Today Iraqi's did the responsible thing and voted now it is time for them to do the next responsible thing and help eliminate the insurgency so they can have a serious opportunity to create a government. Not a government of one person's voice but all Iraqi voices. It's time to put your money where your mouth is and lead like you say you can so well. This way Iraqi's can help send the americans home and we Americans want them to come home. The ball's in your court!
 
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One of the major obstacles in Americans understanding the real motives of their corporate run government is education. Schools are effective tools in marketing brand America to impressionable young people. America can do no wrong. To bring up evidence that could prove otherwise, is to mark oneself as the other, the outsider, the traitor. Children who are constantly force-fed a distorted view of history and their country's role in it have little stomach as adults for questioning or hearing any evidence that shatters well established myths. How can I feel this way? I am a history teacher in an American middle school! I have to keep my mouth shut or I would have the weight of the community or administration come down heavy on me. The best I can do is encourage the students to sometimes take positions that are opposed to their own and engage in debate.
 
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Do you really think you can convince Madtom that many of his views are incorrect or naive? Please see my above comment.
 
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Mad tom states:

"It's not our fault, it's not like we have actually pulled so far ahead, it's the rest of you that have fallen behind. Most if not all of the technologies and economics of the US and the free world are open to all. It's not some big secret that we keep in a big vault somewhere and are denying it too the rest. If something that we do is working why are you not copying, WTF is holding the rest of you back?"

I think most citizens of western Europe would revolt if their media performed as poorly as ours or if their governments immediately copied our health care system. WTF is holding the US back from providing all its citizens with health coverage? WTF isn't the US copying somthing like their type of system? This is just one issue on which the US has not simply fallen behind; it never even moved from the starting line. Again, this is partly due to a two party system dominated by parties heavily influenced by corporations. Their profits and agenda will always come before the interests of the people.
 
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A local guy was boasting about "going to Iraq to kick some Iraqi ass" with the marines. He's now six feet under after getting second prize in a firefight over there! I believe if I encountered such an individual entering my country with the same mindset, I would also have a duty to protect myself, my family and my nation from such a brainwashed bully.
However, in our society this type is raised up as some kind of hero. I just feel his ignorance was used to help pursue the goals of a neo con agenda bent on world domination. The world would not put up with domination by Nazi Germany. There is absolutely no way that it will now accept domination by a country ruled by corporations and populated by a majority of people who are too lazy to drag themselves off the couch to really learn about their government and the world around them. Forget dreams of an empire, America. Instead, continue putting more and more effort into keeping gays out of your churches, reading about celebrity scandals, pushing "intelligent" design in schools, and eating yourselves to death. You can do this from the comfort of your couch, or fast food drive "thru", while not having to think about US corporations moving your jobs to cheap labor countries, ignoring the fact that 40 million Americans don't even have health insurance, or closing your eyes to massive tax cuts given to the wealthiest while the poor and middle class are made to pay more and more of the bill. Ignorance must be bliss.
 
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I know this was a while ago, but I would like to make some followup comments relating to my earlier rant. I guess I am a kid I can not take offense to that, but I wish you would not dismiss me becasue of that or the fact that I am the product of a US school. Even though I did attend private school, which if you are not from the US(I don't want to assume you do or do not) is not controled by goverment policies. I have also attended public school (High School). I would like to say that I happen to find it appauling that the schools in the US are so dumbed down. I have always tried to question anything tought to me in school, and to have facts to cite when I argue. But once again I am getting on a rant. I am fully aware of the level of isolation in the us before WWII, and that Roosevelt did desperagtly want to get involved. But I will not give up my contention that the US had no hand in starting that war. Germany was still angry about our siding with the allies in the first war, and saw the U.S. as a threat. As for Japan, many Japanese to this day try to blame the U.S. for starting that part of the conflict. Well, the only thing they truly have on that is that we refused to supply them the raw goods they needed to continue their revenge/nation buliding aginst China.
As for the Britan's role in the war I do know that they fought bravley, and gave everything they had to stop the Germans, but, they were in imminate danger of loosing to the Germans. I would never say that the U.S. sacrificed more than the people of the U.K. Without help from the U.S. the British would have most likley never been able to regain the footholds of France and Italy.
As for South America I will say that I am not well informed enough about their history to argue that point.
We are in Iraq for a few reasons, I think. The reasons are (in no particular order) to give the Iraqi people the ability to form their own gov't. We think if the country is governed by the people and not just one person that every one there and around the world will be better off. The people will make better choices than someone like Sadam would. We see a democratic Middle East as one that will try to live in a mutualy benificial relationship with the rest of the world. We are not just doing this out of the goodness of our hearts we want something out of it. I do not nesseciarly think that is a bad thing.
I applaude Iran for their elections. I am aware of the new "president" that, correct me if I am mistaken, has little to no actual power. Isn't that how the country works? The religious heads of state actually set policy and the like? I could be wrong. I am painfully aware of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, mostly becasue I am Jewish. I do not take kindly to certain remarks he made recently. And before anyone brings up the comments made by Pat Robertson, but he is not a politician.

I do not take kindly to being belittled, but I can see how you could take the opinion of a young person with little seriousness. Oh, well, there is nothing I can do about that.

Lastly, I promise, I have a little trouble understaning the "emperor" talk. How is Bush an emperor. The dictionary definition is that of a soverign monarch, and he is no monarch. He was elected like a leader should be. He will be gone in a couple of years. He could even be impeached if enough people belevie that he is truly that bad. Sadam was an emperor, kim jong Ill is an emperor, the king of Saudi arabia is a emperor. And I have nothing but ill will to the puppet gov.t we are supporting in Saudi Arabia.

Once again I will not post anonymously
--Geoff from Chicago
 
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Geoff,

I believe that one of the goals of the American school system, whether public or private, is to create "good" citizens. The only problem is how do we define a "good" citizen. We only have to think back to the recent past, just after 911, to see that a "good" citizen was presented as a person who would not question the leadership of the current president. I observed numerous times that people who dared to raise their heads above the parapet by criticizing the current administration were viciously attacked as unpatriotic. The corporate media also play an extremly active role in crushing, marginalizing, or ridiculing dissenting opinions. Also, look at the childish antics of members of Congress, even calling French fries freedom fries because the French government didn't go along 100% with what another foreign government was pressuring them into - ultimately a disater. No wonder George Galloway, a Brit politician tried and tested in the hurly burly of British parliamentary debates, was able to wipe the floor with the likes of Senator Norm Coleman on a visit to the Washington. Please check out the video and transcripts of him ripping a new one for Senator Coleman at:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article8869.htm

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1616578_2,00.html

The corporate media avoided showing an articulate Brit making complete fools of the senators and destroying their lies about him benefitting from the oil for food program. Importantly, the corporate media also decided not to reveal Galloway exposing US government involvement in arming the Saddam regime, while turning a blind eye to US corporations doing business with the "Butcher of Baghdad."
Also, this idea that the US is out to solve the world's problems, and even really cares about all of their own citizens, is evidently a massive falsehood that "good" citizens eagerly go along with. Look at the US government's treatment of President Chavez of Venezuela and its involvement in the coup to remove him, a democratically elected leader of a sovereign nation. Chavez crime seems to be that of putting more of the wealth earned from his country's natural resources into the poorest sections of his country. Meanwhile, look how Chicago responded to Chavez offer of cheap fuel to help low-income Chicagoans at the site below. I wonder who put pressure on the Chicago politicians.

http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/2710

I could go on forever. However, it depends on how much you really question whether or not you will ever overcome the conditioning you have received from the moment you came into this world. Good luck!
 
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Alright, if I'm getting this straight, "propaganda" is all the articles and photos that make GWB look good, and "Truth" is what makes him look bad. The American Right Wing (Fifth Americans) defines it the opposite way. Who the heck can we trust?

"Well, duh! Trust the Alternative meida! We're small, and underfunded, and would NEVER make stuff up or stretch the Truth(tm) just to get people on our side! Oh, and don't forget that 'national opinion' polls spanning a few thousand people in six different cities are super-accurate and should be trusted at all costs!"

You idiots are no better than the giant corporate entities you constantly attack. How many people read this blog, twelve? Oh, there are ten thousand other blogs that take the same political stance and have way more readers? How many of the people reading those do you think are willing to grab a gun, storm Washington D.C., fight SWATted-out cops and APCs, and execute the loathesome suit-wearing jerks who work in the Roman-looking buildings? I hate the bastards too, but I don't waste my time and bandwidth bitching endlessly and concoting unprovable conspiracy theories about them when I know damn well that they ain't going anywhere.

Yeah, Johnson was a real crapfest, so public opinion forced him to retire from politics, and we put Nixon, almost as loathsome, in his place. After forcing him to resign in a less-honorable fashion than Johnson, we got Ford, Carter, Reagan, three dull halfwits who didn't do anthing of noticable significance, be it positive or negative. Then came GHWB, who, in 1991, proved himself to be a sign that the "Good Ole' Boys" were on their way back in. Clinton was an adolescent form of the "Good Ole' Boys" establishment, made a sufficient mockery of the White House with embarassing sex scandals and halfassed military operations that never quite succeeded, but did it all in such a way as to invoke a sense of the great boring three. The current National embarassment is a maturation from Clinton, in that he keeps his pants zippered, and while he manages to screw things up in almost as spectacular a manner, he tends to stretch them out over a longer time span. Be wary, we may have to endure yet another jackfest of a Wartime President before we regress back into the boring, ineffective, but thankfully docile ones. We'll almost never elect a serious third-party guy, as they're outsiders, relatively extremist, and don't look professional enough. 'Aint nothing I can do about it, 'cuz no one else, outside of a few thousand isolated militia guys out West, really cares to see any change. The "intellectuals" and "reformists" say they do, but they keep supporting the same corrupt Demican Republicrat crap, under the banner of change.
 
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The Malays. I think so...
 
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