Monday, December 19, 2005

 

Road to Anti-Americanism


In my early writings on this blog, I was careful to distinguish between the American people and the American administration when I criticized US policies in Iraq. Attack after attack came from American super-patriots. I started calling them American Saddamists because they could not distinguish between country and ‘leader’. However, more recently I started using the word America, just like them… and just like many other millions across the world to refer to the whole of the USA.

I wrote this post with a heavy heart, fully aware of the existence of millions of Americans who do not fit the gloomy picture the post portrays… but sometimes it may be more useful in the long run to face ugly conclusions.

I know that decent people, due to their very nature, will understand.

***


Fifth Americans are vocal again! They kept a relatively low profile during the recent ‘scandal’ episodes of Libby, white phosphorous and torture… These days, with the ‘successful’ elections in Iraq, they are up again - hailing the administration’s wisdom, foresight and steadfastness. They are full of praise, not only for themselves but also for the Iraqi people. They are also on the attack. Super-patriotic Americans are quite fond of labeling their adversaries “anti-American”. They simply cannot understand why anybody could be anti-American.

I have attempted to answer this question, from an Iraqi perspective. In other words: Is it possible for a rational Iraqi to view America as an enemy state?

How dare I do that even before the election results are out? The answer to that can be found in my previous post. I have deliberately chosen to do so in these days where pro-administration Americans are euphoric, in order to remind those Americans who suffer from the short-memory syndrome that seems to be prevalent in America that world history is somewhat longer than that their attention span.

However, the essay is too long for this blog. I have therefore posted it elsewhere. This post is merely a pointer to that essay.

I expressed the view from a relatively mild, secular, generally pro-western point of view in the hope that some Americans may see some of the reasons for the birth of a new wave of “Anti-Americanism” in the making.

The sad conclusion is that America can be justifiably seen as an enemy of Iraq. I say America, meaning the United States of America, because this includes the three American components that can be seen responsible for the devastation of Iraq:

1. The successive American administrations, in charge of the American government. They have a decades-long history of policies and acts of aggression against the people of Iraq.

2. The American army that has been the tool through which the American administrations have implemented their policies in Iraq.

3. The American public who, through ignorance, indifference, acquiescence or active support, was ultimately responsible for it all.

Americans are invited to reflect honestly on the idea that if a mild outlook can lead to such a dim view of America, then what conclusions would a fierce nationalist, a deeply religious Muslim or a person with violent inclinations may reach?


Comments:

I listen to right-wing American radio everyday to and from work..Masochistic, I guess, but I can't resist the filth. It scares me that this garbage is followed by so many millions in my country. People who would never bother to even pick up a newspaper, let alone seek out the views of real Iraqis, are now convinced that Holy America has brought true freedom to a people because they saw a some purple fingers on Fox News. Forget the atrocieties that the dirty "liberal" media tries to remind you of, they're just "anti-American" "Bush-hater's". It's just a constant birage of propoganda and mis-information coming from our media...People just seem to be more concerned with the condition of their front lawn than with what's happening around the world in their name. It kill's me I can't do more..
 
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Hello Abu Khaleel,
Americans, by and large, are an isolationist people, uninterested in other nations and peoples. They are interested in threats against them, real or imagined that their leaders focus on. We live in a comfortable cocoon of media and advertising which further insulates us and supports our ignorant 'worldview' which now can be seen by you as well.

You should know that all is not well in America and the deep decay revealed by Katrina, criminal corruption in the government, economic decline and financial bankruptcy (all of which is being denied by Bush&Co.)is being anxiously felt by my shallow, short-sighted people.

I wish America could apologize for the horrendous mess that we have left the Iraqi people--a mess our leader Bush is incapable of fixing in any way. I hope that your new representatives will courageously tell the American Administration to leave Iraq and begin the social and physical reconstruction of Iraqi society and that in the future, we may meet again as equals.
 
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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
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Abu Khaleel, there isn't much to say about your post, except that you are right.
 
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I agree with what you say. I saw a hilarious clip the other day where an Australian TV network interviewed people on the streets of America, asking them where they should invade or bomb next. Ordinary Americans were filmed saying things like "N. Korea, Korea, Iran, France, Italy (maybe they confused Italy with Iran) etc." But the crowning gesture was the Australian commentator showing the interviewees who said "Korea" a doctored map of the world labelling Australia as "Korea," and asking if they could place a little sticker flag on that country. As you can imagine, many proceeded to place the sticker on the Australian continent, right there at the bottom of the world, merely because it was labelled "Korea"! They didn't seem to know how the world is configured at all. I used to be surprised by international surveys which showed that 80 per cent of American high-school students couldn't find the Pacific Ocean on an unmarked world map, but now I know why. The fact that a dim-wit like Bush can be elected president says everything about their country. I'm from Singapore. I'm sad that Iraq has suffered from American imperialism, and I would like to express my sympathy. I hope one day they stop coveting your oil in contravention of their so-called holy text, the bible, and that one day their warmongers will learn to live in peace with the rest of the world.
 
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Thank you, Abu Khaleel, for that very true essay. It is time people called a spade a spade...If the Iraqi Government had invaded and occupied America, would the American people hold only the Iraqi Government responsible? Or would they have blamed Iraqis collectively? It is bad enough that Iraqis are being treated like criminals for a crime that America has committed...so, please, let us remove the rose-coloured spectacles and face reality - the American people are just as guilty as their government.
 
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Anon wrote, "If the Iraqi Government had invaded and occupied America, would the American people hold only the Iraqi Government responsible? Or would they have blamed Iraqis collectively?"

I am an American. I would not have blamed Iraqis collectively.

Anon wrote: "the American people are just as guilty as their government."

So, what does that mean? That bombing americans indiscriminately would be justified because they are all equally guilty? Since George Bush is a war criminal, all americans are also?
 
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I could see this (not the post, but the growing anti-Americanism) coming like a ten-ton truck barrelling down a hill. I'm surprised at the members of the current American administration who entirely missed it. From the beginning of this administration, far more than in the past, my nation seems to be ruled by the ideas that Might makes Right, and that the Ends justify the Means.

My apologies to you, Abu Khaleel and to your family, and to all the Iraqi readers of your blog, for what my nation (even against my will) has been doing.

My apologies as well and most specifically to those Chaldeans and Assyrians who believe that their votes have been stolen from them, and that the Americans are refusing to hear their complaints.

My country, through the actions of this administration and those who support it, has sown, not the wind, but the whirlwind. I dread the crop we shall, with justification, reap.

Be Well,
Ilu yashallimukum wayaghurukum
May God give you (all) peace and guard you (all)
 
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Abu Khaleel,

I visit your site from time to time. Last time I posted was many, many months ago, in which I urged you to understand that no matter how many 'good' people there are in America, collectively they are responsible for the crimes being perpetrated against your people and that therefore you should stop considering America and Americans as friends. Once the population allowed Bush to be re-elected there was no longer any excuse at all. Even disregarding the likelihood that the election results were falsified, nevertheless there was no overwhelming majority in favour of turfing them out.

But your post made the same point far more eloquently and with many supporting facts and details, as is your wont.

America is not the country it says it is, nor says it aspires to be, and therefore nor are its citizens. Although many are disturbed by what is going on in their name, they are not profoundly disturbed, as you so well point out in yr 20% tax increase example, which would surely mobilise them to do something dramatic.

Just as Americans are comfortable bombing tens of thousands of innocent civilians in retaliation for 'Saddam's invasion of Kuwait' or 'Saddam's threat to the US' post 9/11, thereby holding all Iraqi citizens accountable for Saddam's real and/or perceived threat to them, so also the rest of the world is more than justified in holding all Americans accountable, which includes no longer giving them a free pass.

As a practicing buddhist myself, I do not advocate hatred or violence. However, idiot compassion is not called for.

It is time for more voices in the world, institutional voices in the UN and government, think tanks, journalists, artists, bloggers such as yourself and so on to become more firm, serious, determined and critical of America and her citizens. Otherwise far worse than Iraq might ensue, but meanwhile perhaps the criminal violence being perpetrated there might be that much sooner curtailed.

You have my best wishes and heartfelt sympathy for the terror being visited on you, your family, your friends, your people, your culture, your life.
 
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I am an 70 year old caucasian native born american.
I am so terribly sad for what my government has done to the Iraqi people. I apologize for the stupidity of the 25/30 percent of te American people that still believe the LIES of the BUSH and his cronies.
Iraq is just anoter country that the US government has decimated. The US would not be so hatred if it had not exploited the world.
I said 10 years ago that if the US government did not get on the moral right side of the of the Middle East situation, instead of financing & propping the dictatorships & overbearing Israeli Zionists, the US would experience terrorist activity within the US. I also said that if te far right fundamentalist religion people got a grip on the US government, the US would be some what like the Taliban.
Well it as come to pass.
 
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PS....

I agree with ALL te above posts. I wish you and all the people in The Middle East the best & hope the US will get out and let you people settle your own destiny, I hope that one day, some ow the Zionists will be forced to admit their Illegal actions of genocide against the Palestinian people and at lest pulls back to the pre 1967 borders.
I apologize for my government's complict approval of the Zionists Illegal aggression in the middle east.
I am humiliated by my government, I am ashamed of my government, I am terrified of my government, Because of the blatant corruption of the Bush administration, I live in fear of my county's future.
 
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I am incredulous that this horror has continued for so long. I have repeatedly written to my "representatives" asking them to initiate impeachment, hold a referrendum whereby a vote of no confidence could be registered (ha, like our free elections)or even initiate a citicizens arrest of the criminals who now run our counrty into the ground along with yours. So helpless am I to remove the pestulance. Bush spoke last night and all I could think of was the song LIAR, LIAR. Mabey 30,000 innocents have died. More like 100,000 per Lancet article but who is counting? They are just collateral damage. My Christmas cards this year included a few photographs of the faces of our victims and I would encourage all to do the same. Will it finally be shame that moves our myopic brethren to outrage for what is being done in our name?
Forgive us our trespass
verdejudy
 
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Look, I'm sorry, there's no good way to state this if you take the example of Vietnam and Cambodia. After they decided that enough of their soldiers had died, they basically bombed those two countries back into the stone age. Enough now thirty years later some Cambodian kid gets his limb blown off every few minutes because of the leftover bombs. I'm sorry, I'm hope what I said earlier didn't come across as flippant. I don't follow any organised religion but I hope God blesses your family and your people.
 
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Thank you for your article. I live as an American abroad, born a San Franciscan, and have both British and USA citizenship. I am ashamed of both!
For standing up for freedom, human rights, natural law and being a Paineitte, I have been accused of being a traitor and of hating the USA. Like the victims of the Soviets in the U.S.S.R. I know what they and the jews/gays/handicapped/gypsies knew under the National Socialists. The Bush family supported Nazi Germany for a long time!

I fear that the new Dark Ages will end with another bloody revolution. Perhaps not in my life-time, but eventually it may happen. If not, then the future will be as Geo Orwell predicted in 1984. As an artist and musician, I have always been an outsider looking in. I am appalled by the cowardly nature of the American people. I have been warned by my oldest friends of 40 years and more to "keep quiet". Why? Because I have a family to protect and look out for and to survive for. America is lazy. Greed and fear still motivates everyone. Money and materialism causes the fear, cowardice and laziness.

No sane individual believes the lies Bush and Rice and Powell and Cheyney and Rumsfeld and Wolfovitz and all the other crazy neocons say. Noam Chomsky gave a very simple and clear interview in the Netherlands radio a couple of days ago. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11330.htm

Nothing new in his content, the facts are plain for everyone to see. The American people are in denial.



Assassinating the President etc. would be like the assassination of Hitler's man Heindrik during WW2. It would be counter-productive. Bush is merely a stooge, a puppet controlled by the corporations and the Bin Laden family.

I'm afraid, terribly afraid that the only solution will be a bloody violent one! And no help from the outside either!!!!!

yours sincerely,
 
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What I don't hear anyone in the media talking about, or see on any Blogs that I've seen is Hitler’s duly elected puppet government in occupied France during WWII, and what the world thought of that regime. Nor do I see any mention of well settled international law to the effect that any government installed while the subjugated people are occupied by a foreign invader is ipso facto illegitimate. How come none of the “blue thumb” champions and their collaborators in the media ignore these facts?
 
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I hope your realize how deadly to the soul this insanity is, from the belly of the beast.

If I could change the course of this country by selling everything I have, or giving it away, I would.

I really don't know how to change the evolved behavior of humans. I think every day on what meme I might dream up to disrupt this propaganda machine, but from my studies of science, I am forced to draw the hypothesis that this is the way the world ends, with insanity and fear.

The world is red in tooth and claw, and those who can actually follow the prophets of wisdom are few indeed. I think the answer will the be the sword, not the prayerbook.

Good luck.
 
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Tharpa wrote: "the rest of the world is more than justified in holding all Americans accountable, which includes no longer giving them a free pass."

I ask you the same question I asked the Anonymous poster earlier -- what does that mean?

Vague pronunciations about "guilt" or "responsibility" are empty. As a practical matter, do you really believe that any and all americans are equally "guilty" as George Bush? Do they all deserve the same punishment? Assuming for the moment that George Bush deserves imprisonment, or execution, as a war criminal, do you believe all other americans deserve the same fate simply for being "americans?" Or are you just spouting empty, meaningless rhetoric, divorced from practical consequences?
 
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This is my first visit to your blog. I usually check into Riverbend or Faiza and her sons, in Jordan now, to try and find out what is going on in Iraq since the media here leave something to be desired.

I just wanted to let you know that some of us here are extraordinarily angry and frustrated with the administration and with many of our fellow-citizens. We are trying to make our voices heard for your sake and the sake of our country. We seem finally to be having some success in waking up more Americans if the polls on the administration are any indication.

It gets discouraging sometimes although I'm sure not nearly as discouraged as you get. Just know that you do have friends in America and the number is growing.
 
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KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

KILL ALL AMERICANS!

*
 
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I agree but except on one item, More than only America to blame.-Please,even Canada provides military loans to USA and war ships along the coast and last time reported over $320 million.Why has Itlay, England, Australia and Germany escaped critic.Germany and Japan ought to be the most cowards. They forget in how they were bombed and millions died because of the Americans.No shame--they have taken part in Iraq mass killings---Germany & Japan still are occupied and no regrets.
England, America, USA have been behand all major wars--millions of killings. I suggest all readers read BEN FREEDMAN'S 1953 essay-WWI WWII was all about a homeland for the Jews but in reality- the west wanted--a viral Jewish state in the middle-east as a foothold on the rich oil region.
The west has played it's hand and they have lost--pitty, Now Israel just might be whaped out from the map!
 
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I have been ashamed of my country since I was 13 and the Kennedy Assassination took place, The country was never the same. The bigot Bush stole the last election and was put in office my the supreme court the first time after losing the recount in Fla. The people of the country are ignorant of there government, and of the people in Iraq who are being killed for being nothing but citizens of the country. This country is run by Wall St. and the rich who enjoy the tax cuts while the poor and old are left to rot in places like New Orleans. Bush is run by the Neo-Cons who care nothing about people or rule of law, they just care about POWER. J.F.K and his brother and Martin Luther King were all killed because they cared about the people not the Military Industral Complex that Esenhower warned us about when leaving office. This country is totally screwed without new leadership to take us and the world to the deminsion that only Revolution can bring about. I have always been an outsider in my own country, I lived in Canada for 10 years and they were very afraid of the Yankees and there Nuclear Weapons and what they would do with them. Bush and his regime would probably kill the next Christ if he came to earth. I have no power but to write editorials to newspapers that won't publish them. The senant and congress are also in the pockets of the fat cats. I wish and hope we will leave your country soon and consintrate on our demestic problems and forget the oil. Because the greedy Neo-Cons want to rule the oil and through oil they rule the world, bottom line its all about power with these criminals, they continue to keep us divided. A house divided can't fix its own problems how can we fix Iraqs. I see the poor children being maimed and killed by us and the people being violated in prison and tortured and I think this is a bad dream and can we ever wake up and see the killing we are associated with - KARMA for future generations... I know that most americans are deep down good people but they are being screwed by this regime with fear. This is not the country that my father and grandfather came to during the early part of last century or is it the greatest country anylonger people think of war as a sports game intill they see the blood flowing and freeze up. I most be just rambling on cause I am so furstrated with this government and the right wing idiots who believe Bush and the Neo-con-artists who run this country. I watch c-span and can't beleive what my fellow americans are saying when Bushs popularity rating is down to 40% they continue to call and support the killing of innocents. I hope we come to our collective senses and get out of your country.
 
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How utterly depressing. You know where this all leads of course, a person of your foresight must. If all Americans are considered awful then all Americans who disagree with their Administration will end up throwing in the towel, they'll give up trying to explain that patriotic No War Americans exist and will retire to their homes in unutterable silence. All those voices that might have made a difference, quashed. Just like that.

I urge you to abstain from decisions that may swell the American Administration's ego by leading the American Adminstration to believe the American Adminstration's current course of action represents all Americans. Think of the American people, poor frightened things, teetering on the verge of becoming casualties to the largest failed social experiment in history yet. I believe that we must reach out to them, if but from behind the safety of bullet proof glass, reach out and... and... and help them or something.
 
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Really a very interesting blog with interesting comments, well after reading through I have to comment too - I am very saddened at our country and the state that it is in, our inability to recognize right from wrong - as far as this sordid administration that was not totally voted in, but secretly induced within our midst without most of us realizing until it was too late, but really it is never to late to do something positive about a mistake, which is to erase them all from the picture in whatever means it takes. Also I would love to apoligize for all the murdered Iraqi's, totally immature and only from a demonized brain. I am saddened deeply by all this, my country, your country and all countries that have been duped into this chaos of stupid greed for power - it is a sickness and they certainly are all sick, if I continue might say something wrong so I have to stop, thanks for allowing me to read and comment on your blog.
 
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Boy, you’ve certainly hit a nerve here, Abu.
And to change metaphors, you’re inviting us to swim in pretty murky waters. What does being "Anti-American" mean?
Anti the people of the USA? Half of them oppose what has been done in Iraq - not strongly enough to take up arms or riot in the streets, maybe, but that wouldn’t really be the right solution anyway.
Anti the State, USA? That is, after all, the legal entity which conquered and currently controls Iraq. But the state is meant to embody the will of the people above. Gets you no further.
Anti the current government of the USA? When you come right down to it, "democracy" is in a sense just serial dictatorship anyway - in most countries the party in power does pretty much what it likes for its elected term. And would a change of ruling party actually make that much difference to the realities of global real-politiks?
Anti the Red State voters who put and have kept this administration in power? Isn’t that the same as being anti-Iraqi because one dislikes Shiite religious fundamentalists?
And there’s a point - who started this whole sorry mess anyway? Who invaded Kuwait in the first place? The people of Iraq? The State, Iraq? The ruling cabal in Iraq? The dictator, Saddam?
Gets me very confused. Could I suggest another perspective - are you really just saying that you’ve come to the conclusion that the bad things about America now outweigh the good?
In the past you’ve extolled the ideals on which it was founded. A lot of the world, a lot of the time, bought into the "home of freedom and democracy" thing and managed to ignore, or excuse, for example, the way blacks were actually treated for most of US history.
Is this foolish Iraq enterprise really just revealing to the world, for the first time, the true extent of the scabs and pustules that are hidden under that Uncle Sam suit?
Circular
(Hey, meditate for a while on the question of why no-one, far as I’m aware, is strongly Anti-Kiwi? Except for a few US Admirals because we wouldn’t let them bring their nuclear toys into our ports.)
 
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I agree with your essay. As a former Marine, I learned how to try to view things from another persons point of view. This did not come easy as I was once like those super-patriot Americans. I thought everything I was doing while in the Marines was for other person(s) good because the Government said so. My problem, it was only my point of view I was considering and not others. One day, while in Italy, myself and a couple of other guys walked past a lady in an Italian town and she spit on us and said, "America no bono!" Then kids came out and threw rocks. I pondered and pondered why they did that. Then, it hit me, it wasn't us per say that they objected to it was American troops in general. Later, I learned from other Italians that it was our presence, foreign troops in their town that they hated.
I can appreciate your feelings. Unfortunately, those super-patriots never will. They are convinced 100% of the rightousness and actions of their so called "cause" like I used to be. Never, and I mean never will they question those that ordered it. Never will they consider that any violent or negative reactions by those they are trying to "help" is a direct reaction to their "cause" or presence in the first place. Still, the super-patriots wonder why they hate us. There is one last portion the super patriots will never consider in regards to their "cause" and that is revenge. Revenge for what has been done to those people over the years and what is going on currently. You reep what you sow as they say.
 
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Yesterday the congress passed a "budget reconciliation" bill that cut funding for programs for poor people while giving tax breaks to the very richest Americans. So, I remain astounded at our citizen's indifference not just concerning foreign policy, but even our domestic policies. I attribute this in part to the corporatization of the media that fails to infom people of what is really happening. But, beyond that, I have no explanation. I feel so sad and powerless. And I wonder what will become of us.
 
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I am a born American. I am terribly saddened and angry by what BushCo. is doing internationally and domestically. What you cannot forget is that the Americans did not vote Bush back into office. BushCo and their Republican supporters stole the election. Everyday, we are losing our civil liberties and freedoms that America was founded on. People that are against Bush administration's policies, and that vocalize it, are now being put under surveilance and being labeled a domestic terrorist... and are being watched... being falsely arrested, being silenced etc.
Yes, there are many American's that are sitting idly by.. believing the false propoganda coming from the BushCo. administration,and yes, Shame on them!!!! but I believe Americans are starting to wake-up. Slowly, too slow... but better late than never. I understand all the anti-American feelings, but we must direct anger at the people responsible for this mess and realize that not every American is a greedy, hostile, self-centered, hateful, person.
 
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hello,
i am of indian origin but currently residing in US. i read alot of comments from americans and non-americans that the civilian population should be held responsible. while i completely disagree with that, we should all understand that at this moment of peril, wisdom is what should guide emotions and not impulse. 9/11 is an apt example of punishing those not responsible. though new york never supported Bush, it suffered. so does that mean if there was an attack in Ohio it would justified?
in the same manner we all agree Saddam needed to punished and not the people, along with those western elites who brought him to power and kept him there, we should also understand to win the support of the masses, to make people more aware of the world around them, you need to urge them to unearth the truth and not push them furhter into those holes they are now crawling out of at a snail's pace. If all white house officials were to be imprisoned, i doubt it would ever bring back peace of mind to those who were tortured by these murderers, Iraqis who lost their family members, not to mention half a million children whom died of santions alone. America can never be forgiven for its crimes across the globe, from Latin America to East Asia. An appleal to all americans - request more americans to read such sites, works of authors and intellectuals like Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisketc, only then may be America(the people) will ever wake up
 
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Folks, Jeffrey is a troll. He probably enjoys reading "Little Green Footballs." His intent is to portray the realists' position vis-a-vis the Iraq war as one of homicidal mania bent on harming America, when in fact critics of the war waged against Iraq are opposing the homicidal mania of people like Jeffrey, who hate Arabs on a fundamental level. May their re-education be swift and beneficial.
 
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All true Americans should on behalf of their nation make every possible movement to impeach President (43) G.W.Bush. Otherwise they are, as part of the silent majority, willing consenters to the behaviour of the current US administration.

However, just like in the Nixon days, you must get read of the even worse shit first! Make sure that the VP (that means Cheney, that is the terrorist Cheney of the terrorist Cheney administration) is unavailable for office first (preferrably by submitting him to an international court for war crimes and insane behavior).
 
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A lot of critics, in criticising Jeffey's criticism, tend to fall back on the non-arguement that "Jeffrey hates Arabs".

This I feel, is not true. Jeffrey can behave hatefully, but in all fairness he directs that hate at anyone who challenges his ideas, or worse, deliberately provokes him for fun. And who would not, in Jeffrey's place? If Americans are considered horrid, Jeffrey might be justified in his hatred at being portrayed horridly seeing as it is clear that ordinary Americans are not horrid - just oppressed.

In any case, some of Jeffrey's ancient ancestors are probably from the middle east - his last name is apparently middle european. Middle easterners and middle europeans have been exchanging political, social and cultural ideas for thousands of years. Jeffrey is doing the same thing, in his own way. I wish he wouldn't vote for Bush though.
 
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Many of us knew the shit would start rolling faster and faster downhill when the little dictator in the Whitehouse stopped asking about Osama and started screaming Saddam, Saddam, Saddam. Apparently it worked, as this asshole has built up such an armor of teflon that nothing can touch him. Now it comes out that he is even spying on his own people. Do we even care? Probably not. We don't give a shit about Iraq or any other place with "brown skinned" people. Hell, we don't even care about our own brown skinned people, unless they're rich and Christian. 12 years of sanctions that destroyed Iraq, making it an easy target for "shock and awe" doesn't bother us. We just pick up our flags, condem the homosexuals, and care whether or not Michael Jackson really molested those kids. The complete idiocy and blind sheep nature of a great number of Americans certainly leaves me with a fuming sense of "shock and awe". Sad.
 
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I am getting old and tired and I will not apologize for the actions of people who today call themselves Americans or citizens of the United States as they are not and never will be. there is nothing I can do to avoid being part of the collateral damaged by their enemies or by their administrations either. I do not worry about it for myself nor for them, though I do admit to awaiting more of their destructions and loss of freedoms within us in punishment for what they are doing to world but especally what they did to aid in death of old United States. I always felt I was part of a much greater cause, Liberty and Freedom as expressed by old US Constitutional Founders Documents and still do but I see much more chance of them being fullfilled outside us territorial borders than within. Maybe I will live to see that spark again in some foreign country but even if I don't I will never stop reminding those I trust about the old dreams of being a Free American. Most old farts are so complacent and fear ridden they cower in fear of losing medical and social security: or those who caught the greatest time to acquire wealth in us history bragging as if they made it on own forgetting what country they came from: they made theirs and to hell with the rest, the great generation? B.S.! to hell with them! NO sixty and damn few seventy year olds today served in wwII or Korea. At least some tho should remember fathers uncles and grandfathers who did and in rememberence of them should not be worried about consequences. What have they to lose but a few years of living within a lie. Better to die a free man than act like a cowering dog, self serving old fart or a flaming facist that call themselves americans.
 
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"Do we even care?"

Clearly Dan, you do. And if you do, perhaps others do. Perhaps there are not so many blind sheep, only mute sheep. Shock and awe does that, the goal after all, is stunned silence. Is nothing more musical then sheep, bleating softly to one another? Listen carefully for sheep and pray do not hurl more explosives in their midst - the trauma may have them slicing off their own tongues for fear someone else does first. Even children learn, all by themselves, that it's easier to pull your own loose teeth then bear the madman's belt.
 
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More is going on in America than the Arab world is hearing about.

This has been true since before the bombs began to fall on Iraq and will continue until those responsible are held accountable, to the fullest extent of American and International law.

The vast majority of Americans were genuinely deceived by their own fear and the fear-mongering, deception by the Bush administration and their enablers in Congress and the mainstream media.

That is changing very fast now, but it is a continuous struggle, day and night.

Yes, there are people in this country that who are the epitome of evil, but there are many more who are not anything like them.

Don't give up on us yet, Abu Khaleel.

We are weary, disgusted, ashamed, outraged and pofoundly sorry for what has happened to the people of Iraq.

Many of us are refusing to pay taxes and could be jailed or have everything taken from us. Some of us have been arrested and spied on.

We will not stop until there is justice or we die.

Salam
 
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America-bashing has become quite popular these past few years and rightly so. However, I have come to realize that to live in a state that has opposed military action against Iraq does not absolve from anything. The problem, although crassly exemplified by the US, is not really exclusively American. It is not some dim-wit racists in the American outbacks that set the standards but a corporist culture utterly detached from any ethical or even human considerations. And this culture holds pretty much every country with any economic clout in the world in its grip. America, as megalomaniac as it is, could never go it without the silent consent of the 'elites' in Europe and Asia. But where is the outcry in Germany, for instance, at the government selling submarines to Israel that will no doubt soon patrol the Persian golf equipped with nuclear warheads? Only when tackled on a global scale can this moral decline which has become an imminent threat to mankind's very survival be halted. We all, where ever we are, have to stop feeding the corporate beast, make ourselves immune to propaganda that only tastes like truth because we never got to taste anything else our whole lives, and just leave the treadmill. The problem is, who is independent enough in thought, time, and resources to do that? With each wage cut and tax rise it will be ever fewer I fear ...
 
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America bashing has always been popular among the liberal elite and the 'helpless', victimised, great unwashed. Wouldn't it be interesting to see blog posts from the '80's? I was just becoming politcally aware at the time and the papers and newscasts and PBS had me convinced Ronald Reagan was a more amiable Hitler about to doom Western Europeans to a nuclear holocaust with his fear mongering and corporate military industrial complex backers bent on world domintation. Sound familiar? I remember the 100's of thousands of literally unwashed demonstrators marching through the European capitols, burning US flags and efigies of a blood soaked Gipper. Deja vue? 'Better Red than dead'. I have since grown up, though many of us obviously did not. You people cannot be so naive ( I hope) as to think this is anything new or that in two decades it will still be going on with just as much effect over some other conflict in the growing 'American Imperialism'. Collectivism, Socialism, Communism, Marxism, Anti-Globalism--all are doomed to even greater failure---Islamofascism will just be one more shovelful on that ash heap of history through which the 'oh so smart' leftist psuedointellectuals will sift to prove to one another they are still on the right side of history and will be proven out this time. It's amusing when you think about it in a rational way. At least my son Reagan and I think it is funny. I'll bet some of you young wild-eyed soap-phobic bushhaters will name a son GW. Yes you will!
 
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well, well, well ... it seems that I am the agreeing disenter. Wheras I agree with most things said I also think that there is a larger picture. Not only in the granules of history and at this moment in time but also in the ebb and flow of human events. Sometimes I think Bush is aware of what he is doing but mostly I think that he does it without understanding anything beyond the simplistic concept of democracy=good therefore anywhere that has democracy will become prosperous and happy. His mindset may have some validity if successful because the sufferring will be by a current generation only and the benefit may become accrued for many generations to come. But I would not accept that as premise for war. It is a slippery slope wherein every ideology can justify declaring war upon any neighbor or culture that is different. and yet ... I think the idiot Bush is doing the right thing. I will be long dead of old age before it is known but I firmly believe that humanity as a species is going to profit enormously from the course of action that Bush has chosen. You can not viably argue that the Taleban, Iran, Syria, Sudan, or Hezzbollah are products of American foriegn policy. Nor can you argue that mideast oppression or terorism is a product of American policy. Both existed before America was formed. Iraq has proven that terrorism is more poltical than religous and that the terrorists are willing to kill anyone including fellow muslims. For how many years has terrorist violence been spiraling upwards? What will stop it and if it is not stopped then what will be the consequences? I know what I believe. I believe that the west can not stop terrorism and that it will continue to spiral upward until a red line is crossed. When that line is crossed the truly terrible weapons will be unleashed and western powers - including Europe - will show no mercy. Civilization is a luxury afforded to men who live in safety. Western people are just as capable of barbarism as the baathi and the mongol. They just need the correct set of stimuli. Along the current course of events that stimuli has an exceptionally high risk of being triggered by terrorists acting in the name of Islam. So who can stop it? Muslims and no one else. Throughout history war has been the primary catalyst for reformation. War forcefully blends two cultures and cause each to re-examine itself. By my guess, the war in Iraq has a 30% chance of triggerring such a series of events in the mideast and thereby avoiding a 70% probablity of a catastophic confrontation. I am a cold hearted man. A human is a human. Iraqi, American, Asian, Jew. I do not care. One human is one human. Even unborn humans count. If my own death would save more lives than it cost then I would be the first to say "kill me". I too am only one human. And so it is that I agree with most everything said ... but still ... going into Iraq was the right decision for the human species.
 
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Abu Khaleel thank you for your post.

When it comes to international military and political interventions the U.S public is very lazy to care what they are really doing in their name, the atrocities are done far away from them and their ordinary life take first priority over some people over there who are getting bombed by U.S military.

I mean just look what happened after Vietnam, you would think their memory of that would rub of to more actions to stop U.S interventions in South America?!! NO WAY, their own government they elected to represent their own interests attacked democratically elected leaders and set up dictators and they just continued with their daily lives and wondering WHY DO THEY HATE US?

The fact is they all have blood on their hands and it pisses me off that some say they can’t do anything. OF COURSE YOU CAN go out on the streets day and night and demand a stop to all this madness of your foreign policy. Iraqis did it in for decades and many of us ended up either tortured, killed or fled the other countries because we lived in a dictatorship what is your excuse? NONE.
 
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Moron99 wrote “Western people are just as capable of barbarism as the baathi and the mongol.”

Of course they are.

Moron99 continued with “They just need the correct set of stimuli. Along the current course of events that stimuli has an exceptionally high risk of being triggered by terrorists acting in the name of Islam.”

You see here is where I disagree somehow with you. When Western colonisation in Africa and Asia started it was NEVER trigged by people from Africa or Asia. The western colonials acted barbaric and it was pure white terror trigged by their own values that they had the right to control others countries resources and lives.

My grandfather’s father was working peacefully in south of Iraq many years ago and what happened? The British came and attacked Iraq. Did he trigger that? NO. Did he provide the stimuli for that? NO. YET they came and took over Iraq

He fought for his country against the British and they treated him like a criminal sent him to a prison in India. So if there is anyone setting up stimuli for war and back attacks it is the west own history of terrorism that it seems so willing to have amnesia about.
 
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Good to see Moron99 appearing on your Blog, Abu. He has the distinction of being the most aptly-named poster on the Internet.
But sad to see Nadia reacting by transforming "Anti-Americanism" into "Anti-Westernism" in general. It seems to be moving the discussion from current events to historical events, which can be misleading. Despite Blair, despite Italy in Iraq, despite NATO’s present role in Afghanistan, the era of Europe meddling in and trying to control the affairs of other countries, where it has no business to be, is very definitely over.
Only the USA is doing that now on a large scale. And not very successfully - it has clearly failed in Iraq and the Middle East in general, whatever the final outcome there it is not going to be something that furthers US interests. The USA seems powerless to do anything about the wave of "centre-leftism" sweeping South America, its other main "sphere of influence." Its military might is totally irrelevant to the challenge of the surging economies of China, India, South East Asia. (and the EU, as a global rival.)
If Bush had not reacted to 9/11 with this foolish Iraq adventure, the bluff of the "hyperpower" could probably have been kept up for quite a while. But Bush has laid his cards on the table, and they’re a busted flush. Nothing. The ultimate result of the Iraq enterprise will be to turn a newly isolationist USA into just another nation among others, rather than the biggest meanest bully in the playground. Not a bad thing for the world, probably.
Anti-Americanism? Perhaps just an impatience with all the agony we have to witness while this dishonest mongrel nation comes to terms with its real place in the world?
Please forgive any asperity. I will shortly have to endure another NZ Christmas of exquisite food consumed in idyllic beach surroundings, completely cut off from the world. Oh, the tedium!
(I won’t be a "literally unwashed leftist psuedointellectual wild-eyed soap-phobic Bushhater," either. I’ll be bathed by the Pacific Ocean, several times a day.)
Circular
 
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nadia,

the age of western imperialism died in World War II. Which is the reason for the whole Kuwait thing. Kuwait drilled slanted and stole Iraqi oil. It was wrong and Kuwait would neither stop nor pay reparations for the stolen oil. So it was indicated to Saddam that if he wanted to invade Kuwait for 5or6 kilometers and establish a buffer zone that no one would get too upset. It would have been a fair and measured response. Saddam was a dumbass. He tried to annex the entire country of Kuwait.

In the aftermath of the cold war there were a lot of countries around the world who would have liked to annex a neighbor. It was a time when national borders in eastern europe and asia were very unstable and weak. If Saddam's actions had been allowed to stand then it might have triggerred a wave of annexations around the globe. There really was no choice but to evict Saddam from Kuwait. It was the right thing to do in order to prerserve a larger, global, peace and therefore minimize the total loss of human lives.

Saddam was a stupid man who brought great sufferring upon your country. I hope that someday you and other people in the mideast have systems of governance that can peacefully remove such leaders before they can bring ruin upon your countries.
 
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Moron99 worte “Western people are just as capable of barbarism as the baathi and the mongol.They just need the correct set of stimuli. Along the current course of events that stimuli has an exceptionally high risk of being triggered by terrorists acting in the name of Islam.”

Dear Circular if you read Moron99’s comment you would see that he used the word “western people” so I was mainly replying to him that western people seemed to have no need to stimuli for barbarism when they started their colonial barbarism.

As for moving from current events to historic events I think these two can not be separated if you want to understand why we have so many people talking about double morality, wars, unfairness and terrorism today. With your analogy no criminal should be charged for his crime, I mean after all it most likely happened in the past; meaning its history already.
 
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Dear Moron99

You wrote “I hope that someday you and other people in the mideast have systems of governance that can peacefully remove such leaders before they can bring ruin upon your countries.”

One huge step towards this would be by stopping western countries selling weapons to these unelected governments. This is the double morality of the west for example Blair’s government, why do they sell weapons to Saudi Arabia?
 
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Nadia,
It is fallout from the cold war. The cold war never escalated into a nuclear war because military might was balanced across borders and neither side was ever able to outdo the other. It was a doctrine called M.A.D. - Mutually Assured Desctruction. Attempts are made to scale back from M.A.D. so that this insane system of military weapons can be eliminated. But for each two steps forward there is a country such as North Korea or Iran that forces us all to take one step backwards.

Although war was averted, it came at a terrible price for all people including both Americans and Russians. The current crop of american and European adults grew up convinced that they would never live to see 30 because of all the nuclear warheads that were pointed at us. And so our very cultures changed at the deepest level. What was the point in building for the future or making long-term plans when the entire world would soon be aglow with nuclear waste? It was not just your world that changed. If you examine the policies of America, Russia, China, India, Japan, Europe and the other "powers" you will see that all they really want is a world where this threat no longer exists. It is a paranoia that runs deep into their psyche. That "red line" I refered to is the detonation of a nuclear device - dirty or explosive - in a city of a world "power". It is known that Queda was actively pursuing such a bomb. Do you doubt that they would use it? If they did, then there would be no more tolerance or compassion. Even the majority of those who post here but live in the west would be calling for the destruction of all societies that breed terrorists.
 
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Dear Moron99,

Well in my dictionary the U.S army and the U.S administration and their supporters are terrorist and supporters of terrorism. They U.S military and their allies attacked Iraqis that had done them nothing. That is terrorism. But still I would never call for the destruction of the U.S society.

As for arguing that the reason Britain sells weapons to Saudi Arabia that it has to do with the cold war that is an excuse that does not work. They are selling them weapons NOW.

Off topic something I have always wondered about who the hell sells bullet proof cars to all these unelected governments? I mean I don’t think these cars are done in a bunker in Afghanistan or a garage in Iran or a basement in Mugabe’s house. Who is this or are these people?
 
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nadia,

a terrorist acts independantly of state and is therefore not accountable to a state under international law. The US may or may not covertly support terrorists - I do not know. They used to but laws were passed in the 80's that forbid it after the iran-contra affair. Obviously our dictionaries are written by different people. Government may well commit war crimes, crimes against humanity, and atrocities but they are inherently incapable of terrorism becuase they have accountability and may be held resposible by international law.

Take for exampole Hariri. Is that terrorism? I doubt it. I think it was done by the Syrian intelligence agency at the behest of their government. As such there is accountability and it is not terrorism.
 
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Dear Moron99,
I am not sure when and were but a few years ago I learned that there is one country that have indeed been charged and convicted with terrorism and it was the U.S..I wish I could remember more to give you extra information and myself too. Does anyone on this comment section know
more about this, how about you Abu Khaleel?

For me terrorism includes targeting innocent people that have done you nothing.

That is exactly what the U.S army and its allies did and do in Iraq.

They of course may disagree, but then again many criminals usually do not admit to their crimes right away do they? Many rapists see what they did as just having violent sex, but then it’s the victim who experienced it as a brutal rape. So it depends on which side you are on in these conflicts are you the one committing the violence or are you the one being targeted by it.

I see U.S army and it’s allies actions in Iraq as terror done by armies.
 
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Nadia,

the american war in Iraq is drawing to close. The claims of imperialism and puppetry now ring hollow because American choices of action and inaction have not been consitent with this goal. If you are an Iraqi, your war - the real war - has just now begun. You would be much wiser to focus your efforts on it. It is not a war that can be won with bombs or bullets. It is a war for the future of Iraq and it will be fought with the pen, the ballot, the media, the intellect, and the MP chair. He who controls the courts will inherit the future of Iraq. The Sunni have lost rounds 1 and 2. They need to make sure that all future rounds are fought fairly otherwise the Iranian faction will seek to make their power permanent. It is time for you and other Iraqis to look inward for fight for the future of your children.

The american war is over, it would be unwise for Iraqi nationalists to continue fighting it.
 
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Moron99 is this a joke? I am sorry but right now I can not take your comment seriously.

Its like that U.S democrat don’t know his name but he said the other day something about we have done our part in Iraq, now it’s up to the Iraqis. Taking about amnesia, U.S devastating a whole nation for over a decade and then acting as if it is never done. What a bunch of cowards.

“It is not a war that can be won with bombs or bullets.” You should have given that advice to the U.S administration and their supporters of military attacks on innocent people a couple of years ago. It could have saved thousands of Iraqi lives. You should give it to them now, you do know they are still using bombs and bullets against Iraqis.
 
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no Nadia, it is not a joke. There will be those who try to install shia clerics as the judicial system. There will be those who will try to maintain sectarian militias under the control of clerics. There will be those who will fight to allow federations to usurp national laws. There will be those who wish to enact measures that will allow them to control which candidates may appear on future ballots. There will be those who will try to enact measures designed to siphon oil revenues away from Baghdad. The war with Americans no longer controls the future of Iraq. People who claim to be fighting for Iraq need to do so in the places where it will make a difference.
 
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Nadia wrote:

"The fact is they all have blood on their hands and it pisses me off that some say they can’t do anything. OF COURSE YOU CAN go out on the streets day and night and demand a stop to all this madness of your foreign policy. Iraqis did it in for decades and many of us ended up either tortured, killed or fled the other countries because we lived in a dictatorship what is your excuse? NONE."

And what about Americans who are speaking out against the war? What about those who have spoken against it all along? Do they have blood on their hands too? Should they have tried to assasinate Bush, or risen up in armed conflict against the gov't?
 
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Dear Diogenes Of Pumkintown you wrote "Should they have tried to assasinate Bush, or risen up in armed conflict against the gov't?"


If that is what they have wanted to do so let them do it. However that is not how I see one resolving this issue.

I think it would be better with going out on the streets demonstrating day and night, demanding media to report the truth right away, demanding their representatives to do the same until this madness of their foreign policy is stopped. Abu Khaleel put it very good in his post too what he wants U.S people to do.
 
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Moron99,

One big difference for Iraqis would be for U.S and its allies occupation troops giving a set date for their departure. And compensating Iraq and Iraqis for all the devastation they have done. Paying in other words for what they have destroyed the last decade. And then we need to set up a new law which forbids any U.S international military and politically intervention outside the UN forever or there will be serious consequences for that nation.

As for your “People who claim to be fighting for Iraq need to do so in the places where it will make a difference.” We are already doing that, I am surprised you have missed it ;)
 
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Abu Khaleel keep up the good work! I am off now. Take care!

Peace/Nadia
 
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Nadia, you are avoiding my question.

You tried to claim that "all" americans have "blood on their hands."

Do you, or do you not, really believe that? If you do believe it, what should the practical punishment of "all" these equally guilty americans be? Or are you just spewing empty meaningless rhetoric on this subject, divorced from practical real world consequences?

Further, what sort of blood on the hands do all those Iraqis have who, even now, support a continued US military presence in Iraq? As an american who has been actively opposed to this war since before it began, I can assure you that it is damned hard to convince other americans that the whole thing was a bad idea, when many Iraqis appear to SUPPORT what the US is doing.

Abu Khaleel has criticized many times, and rightfully so, what he calls "binary thinking." What you are doing here is another example of "binary thinking" -- trying to put all americans on one side as the bad guys, with all iraqis on the other as their unwilling victims. The truth is of course far more complex than that.

You condemn americans for not seeing clearly that the Iraqi war was, and is, an evil enterprise, when MANY Iraqis themselves don't see it that way. What do you have to say about Iraqis like the brothers at Iraq the Model, who have been busily telling Americans over and over again that the invasion and occupation was the right thing to do, and that George Bush is a great hero and savior to the Iraqi people? What do you have to say about the apparent majority of Iraqis who, even now, do not want the american military to withdraw?

Does it make any damned sense at all to condemn all americans for not seeing the great evilness of the whole enterprise, when Iraqis themselves do not agree on this subject?

It would be one thing if all (or at least the vast majority) of Iraqis were in agreement that the invasion and occupation were wrong and oppposed it. In that case, there would be no basis for americans to believe otherwise. However, that isn't the case, is it?
 
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can't do a dated timetable Nadia. everyone would love to see such a thing but it would be unwise. Every enemy of Iraq would go to ground and start building their forces towards that day. best thing to do is establish strategic milestones based upon the strength of Iraqi government relative to their enemies and withdraw troops according to flowcharts rather than calendars.

Sadr is going to be a problem very soon. I think a deal will be brokered with compensary chairs and an alliances formed that balances power in Bagdhad (in exchange for not pressing the election fraud issue too hard). A multiparty government in Bagdhad will not want Sadr to expand his grip on southern Iraq and usurp their authority or the rule of national laws. He may resort to violence. Sadr as the largest entity left who would make himself king and place himself above the will of the Iraqi people. I don't think you'll see US troops completely withdrawn until he has been marginalized.
 
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Moron,

the US has no right to interfere in internal iraqi politics, period.

The invasion was wrong, the occupation was wrong, and it remains wrong.

In my opinion, of course.
 
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Nadia, you said -
"As for your “People who claim to be fighting for Iraq need to do so in the places where it will make a difference.” We are already doing that, I am surprised you have missed it ;)

and a damn fine job so far.

but ... every time that a bomb goes off the shia are driven further into the arms of their religous leaders and further away from secularism. People are like children. When they feel threatened they will run home to mommy. 555 is their mommy.
 
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Re terrorists and terrorist nations:
I’m reading at present a book commemorating the lives and deaths of some of the thousands of New Zealanders who served with RAF Bomber Command in World War Two.
Isn’t a terrorist sometimes defined as someone who deliberately targets "innocent" civilians, especially women and children?
According to that definition, those heroic airmen were terrorists - and the Germans used to call them "terror-fliers." And the fliers, missileers and submariners who would have launched the bombs if the Cold War had gone hot would have been terrorists too?
Moron99 suggests that in the event of a successful atomic attack by Al Qaeda or similar on a western city, " ... even the majority of those who post here but live in the west would be calling for the destruction of all societies that breed terrorists."
Speak for yourself, mate. The scale of loss of life on 9/11 was nearly equivalent to that of a small "dirty" bomb. The footsoldiers in that attack all came from Saudi Arabia. So according to your reasoning, Saudi Arabia, which very definitely "bred" them, deserved to be "destroyed," whatever that means. I hold no particular brief for Saudi Arabian women and children, to the best of my knowledge I’ve never met one, but I’m damned if I can agree that they should all be killed just like that.
I suspect most in the West, and in many other countries too, have moved on a bit from the mass slaughter of civilians that occurred in WW2, and would have occurred on an unthinkable scale in a hot cold war. It’s called being civilised, I think.
I really can’t see the difference between those Saudi lunatics and a US pilot who drops a 2000 pounder on a "suspected" insurgent hideout, knowing full well that it is going to flatten the entire neighbourhood and everyone in it.
Does that make me "anti-American?" I don’t think so. Just anti people who are quite casual about killing. Like the terrorists in Iraq. And like Moron99.
Unfortunately, Diogenes, your country’s policies seems at present to reflect his attitude more than yours?
Circular
 
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Circular -- yes, unfortunately the US gov't is controlled by ruthless thugs with a terrorist mentality.

George Bush and Osama bin Laden have a lot in common.
 
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To put that another way:
From the 1960’s to the 1990’s, the UK fought its own little "war on terror" against the IRA.
The IRA terrorists were definitely "bred" by the Catholic women of Northern Ireland.
If I read Moron99 correctly, his view is that the British government should not have pussy-footed around fighting with intelligence and restraint.
It should have just "destroyed" those Catholic women and their children, right?
Oh no, I forgot.
They were white.
Circular
 
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So many contradictions in the post above---New Zealnd bombers=heoric---US soldiers=terrorists? Where have I seen this before?
 
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anonymous,
every culture has red lines. The use of nuclear devices is a red line for europe, russia, america, india, and china the same way that seizing mecca would be for muslims. It was the nuclear red line that kept the cold war from becoming hot. It won't matter how many people queda kills if it crosses that red line. It will touch upon the deepest, darkest fears and it will elicit the deepest, darkest reaction. Also, do not confuse being blunt about the truth with being casual about sufferring.
 
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Anonymous 10.22 above.
Seems simple enough to me. In the context of the time, of "total war" between nations, the NZ airmen felt that their actions were necessary. And they were heroic in the way they carried them out. So were the US fliers who bombed the cities of Japan, come to that. At the time.
George Bush’s imaginary "War on Terror" is not, by any definition, a total war between nations. Any more than the UK was involved in a total war against the IRA.
Where’s your problem?
Circular
 
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anonymous 10:18 - you do not read right. The correct moral choice is the one that reduces total human sufferring on a global basis over 2 generations. I do not believe that mankind has the wisdom to accuretely project more than 2 generations in advance. I'm just glad that I don't have to make such decisions. I can just object or agree without having to bear the weight of responsibility.
 
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Oh come on, Moron99. By advocating a particular course of action you are necessarily taking responsibility for that action.
Circular
 
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I hereby declare (with bonsoir) the stimuli in making this comment: To Nadia and circular.

"We need to set up a new law which forbids any U.S international military and politically intervention outside the UN forever or there will be serious consequences for that nation."

The sticking point is how to make sure everyone would stand by such a law. Afterall, we had one very like it.

It is tempting, seeing as money motivates war, to believe that war might be held in check if there were a price to pay. Not those tangible prices paid every day in blood and loss of limb or sanity, which we as a global community already pay, but a real incorporeal price. An astronomical price. A motivational price.

The price of war, must be more then a war declaring party can afford, and the price must be paid to those who are certain to demand it. This way, a war can only ever be just, because a party declaring war will be sacrificing more then it ever can afford and so would only ever choose to fight wars for purely unselfish reasons.

It is tempting to believe these things.

Still, it is not enough the price be paid to someone we can be sure will demand it (and send in debt collectors if need be) we must also be certain the price is not paid to parties who may through bribery or corruption return the takings to the payee or fix the price at an affordable rate. We must be certain that any bribery or corruption would be just as costly as war, in deterrence.

In logical progression it might seem reasonable to agree the price for war be paid to the party/ies on whom war is declared, in reparation.

Yet what kind of dreadful world would the world become where populations pimp themselves? In a world where the victim only stands to gain, at least in a material sense, would populations then begin to pressure other nations, perhaps provoke even, chillingly propose battle-pacts in apparent mutual consent, encourage other nations to buy carnage?

Frightening, and very close to the situation we already have.

War does not meet any law, never has and never will. Even money cannot control war, although money can forestall war and at times deter war, the only things that really can halt war are people.

Only when all people refuse to take up arms, for any reason at all, any reason at all, can we truly say there will be no more war.
 
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Americans and people elsewhere don't realize that the United States has been taken over in a coup d'etat. That happened in 2000 when a loaded supreme court stepped in without authority and handed the election to George W Bush and his band of Neocon fascists.

Clinton had been moving the American economy to an actual market condition with some tweaking by the government but the fascists know that war is a good way to enrich a select group of elite friends while many others suffer.

In addition, America gives lip service to freedom and democracy but if you review the sordid past of U.S. interventions since the end of WWII you can see that there is hardly an instance where we have not supported some right wing dictator over over democratic or popular governments almost every time. Americans are too lazy and too stupid to maintain a democracy and that also makes them (us) especially dangerous. Bush says that he spied on American citizens in direct violation of Federal Law and that he will continue doing it. What does the congress do? Nada.
 
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No one group of men suddenly pulled a coup against the U.S. government, Bush"N"Corp are merely the successors to years of hard work and planning that found the right opportunity, Sept. 11, 2001, to come out in the open with programs they hitherto had to keep on the qt from american public. From Mc Cartyhys' days they retreated a little, then came Kennedy, Nixon Cuba and Viet Nam and they again had to retreat until Bosnian theater opened up with their much improved methodology beginning with Regans terms of Limited Intensity Conflict: Iran Contra of which no one was punished,Showed them the necessity of using the media first to manipulate the public long before the actual takeover began. It was not a democrat vs republican agenda as far as the goal, advancing us hegonomy worldwide, but in the tactics and personalitys that caused political infighting. The sucess of the wear on Drugs, Regans idea to use press to instill popular support for it, nationalizing of National guard, Clintons slaughter of Camp Davidians the no fly zones, and especially the easy manipulation of us and eu public opinion as to the need to destroy old Yugoslavian Republic for humanity and democracys that further emboldened them. The first invasion of Iraq was eye opening on how easy it would be to destroy Saddam, if he had no wmd's it would of been done then, and the next twelve years of bombing, takeover by spec ops of Kurd areas from Saddams control, and the unlimited access we had to Iraqs land and generals to bribe them not to resist, made military victory a surety: but it was on the media side that allowed war to begin and still continue. That us.eu largest arms manufacurers and energy corporations while not actually doing any dirty work are neutral , all they do is state the facts to fit the State Departments policys is the true coup upon american society. Corporatism came in like a snake, quietly, and now it has raised its head and everyone is afraid of the dangers if they attack it. Short stack, without any syrup on it! Al the media had to convince is the people who never understood the hows and whys of the true power within United States, 95% of its populace. Providence
 
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This is all nonsense. It's like reading Daily Kos. America and Americans are most accurately understood through the lens of Thomas Jefferson, the founder of the Democrat Party. Unfortunately Democrats, liberals and nearly all the parties to this looney discussion owe more to Herbert Marcuse than to Thomas Jefferson.

Mr. Chattick's post is a perfect example. Jefferson believed in the collective wisdom of the common man Mr. Chattick and "liberals" "see 95% of the populace" as a pack of fools. You arrogant jerks frame all your arguments around you being Super Smart and anyone who disagrees being dumb as a post or evil.
Sorry, boys but Mr. Jefferson nails the American virtue. You dolts don't understand squat about Americans any more than you can grasp the dynamics of capitalism.

Reading your opinions is like listening to teenagers discuss politics. Pointless but amusing.

RCL
 
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Abu Khaleel:

In your longer linked post, after a lengthy explanation of why one should blame the American people for its adminstration's bungling, you conclude with the following statement:
"This is why we can safely say that America is, and has been for a while, an enemy of Iraq and Iraqis. There is no longer much doubt about that."

Using the same broad brush logic, the Iraqi people, as a whole, must be responsible to some significant extent for the sins of the Saddam Hussein regime. This conclusion is inescapable, if you are committed to using your extremely broad brush of public culpability. After all, it took hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to enforce Saddam's will as well as the passivity of tens of millions of other Iraqis to allow a small minority to dominate and oppress them. Of course, the relative weight of Iraqi public guilt would be more on par with that of the U.S. public for its government's actions under Bush (using your logic) if Iraq had been ruled by a government more representative of popular will. But, under your theory, wouldn't the Iraqi people under Saddam (and the American electorate under Bush) have the duty to continually revolt against the regime in power until they were victorious?

To my way of thinking, such broad brush rules of public culpability are perverse since they will often result in vicitims of a totalitarian regime being blamed for the crimes of an oppressive elite, e.g., all Cambodians guilty (including relative of the dead victims) for not putting an end to Pol Pot's killing fields. While there may be some merit to some level of general public guilt based on political or military inaction in the face of bad government policy, it wouldn't seem to rise to the level of labeling all of another country's citizens as enemies. I suspect that you don't really buy into such views. The counter examples that I have cited should suffice to illustrate the great danger in over-reliance on broad brush approaches to public culpability. Perhaps, as you have been known to utilize fairly indirect means to illustrate your points, this is one of the messages that you meant to convey.

I hope that this is so, otherwise, as I am not about to advocate otherthrow of the current American government (even if I disagree with much of its handling of matters in Iraq), I am, by your definition one of your enemies. I find this to be a quite depressing conclusion.

Mark-In-Chi-Town
 
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It is the "Common Man" that is missing from American politics and as for liberals the current administration, Republican and Democrat are "Liberals" and yes they do discount American opinions because they are so easily manipulated. There are no Conservative Programs, social or economic, being put forth by administration that are not integral to formation of National Socialism which is a Liberal concept upon americans. American capitalism has in fact driven value gain from american shores into foreign finacial controls and led to a devaluation of American capital overseas. A nations currency within homelands does not reflect its true value, due to artificial price controls emplaced on National Industry while at same time it invites foreign capital takeover and increases flight of wealth from homeland. the stock market value has only maintained its number level due to the devaluation of dollar and the ones with most overseas diversity, and federal contracts and tax benefits being strongest.One may call Howard Zinn a liberal but in his works on american History it has not been the speeches of generals politicos and industrial leaders who have had most influence upon society but changes that came from the common man. It is the common mans fight, from labor to civil rights, against a central power structure under the control of corporate and finacial interest that kept unbridled power in check and the powers of corporatism warned about by Jeffferson, Only then they called it Capitalism: use of public treasury to advance one or group of mens' personal fortune and not for the good of nation it was accumulated for. Today the common man is convinced corporatism is the national good, a tribute to the marketing genius's that has transformed Free Market capitalization into National Socialism and Caeser Economics. That is todays Liberalism and its loudest proponents are ones who call themselves conservatives.
 
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The media, the media, the media. You just have to wonder how many Americans still believe 9-11 was planned and executed by Iraqis.

I would like to just suggest something. You said America is seen as the enemy of Iraq.

I beg to differ. America is seen as the enemy of the Iraqi people.

As a whole.

During the sanctions, it was the Shia we here so much about now (as a liberated people) that suffered the most because of sanctions.

And the DU crimes?

Even today, as I mentioned on my blog, the Washington Post is trying to pass off how the US military has now recruited bloggers to the frontlines.

Keep the faith, bro ... and the pressure.
 
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I had wondered where everyone went when Raed closed his comments. I wonder no more.
 
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This article reminds me of a special report I saw on MTV. . . Bear with me a moment and please believe I do not normally get my news from that media icon. It was in the months following the 9/11 attack and Kurt Loder (not that it matters) was in Iraq interviewing young teenage boys of wealthy Iraqi families, I believe in an attempt to show America that the Iraqi people were not composed completely of ignorant sheepherders in wattle and daub houses burning goat fat to light their homes at night. A view I believe was generally held by the normal MTV going audience at the time.

It followed one boy in particular, about fifteen years old, and a few of his friends, all of whom spoke impecible English. It showed his large, opulant home, his parents' american cars, their living room complete with japanese electronics, american movies and satellite television that got all the american channels. They went to his room which was plastered with posters of Britney Spears and the multitude of "Boy Bands" that ruled the era.

Then it showed video of the Iraqi people's reaction to 9/11. Multitudes of Iraqi people filling the streets shouting with joy as thousands of americans burned. It cut back to the boy and his friends and they confessed they were among the mob cheering the symbolistic downfall of american capitalism.

Yet, they didn't pull down a single poster.

I also read an article about the first McDonalds to open in Baghdad and the three mile line of cars at the drive through.

I do not argue that our current administration has lied to the American people and that some among them choose to believe the war being fought is just and right despite proof after proof offered against it. Many of those who support this war, however, are not in favor of the war in itself, rather they support the men and women who are over seas risking life and limb to make America a safer place.

Has this war made America a safer place? Only time will tell. It has drawn the battlefield to the land of the aggressor for the time being, and I believe that was the point. That and to help the Iraqi people create a government that could police itself and perhaps become an ally of the American people in the fight against radicals who would butcher innocent people and saw the heads off foriegn construction contractors (civilians) who have come to rebiuld Iraq on the American dollar.

Your confusion about american super-patriots is justifiable. But please remember that americans are just as confused, if not more so, by Iraqi religious fanatics whose ultimate goal we cannot fathom or even have an inkling of what it might be. Armegeddon? The complete death and destruction of all things American? All things "Infidel"?

That is one article I would dearly love to read.
 
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" It has drawn the battlefield to the land of the aggressor for the time being,"

We Iraqis NEVER attacked the U.S it was YOU U.S people who attacked Iraq, you are the aggressor and the whole world knows that. So you patriot if you love your country so dearly should start to wake up to the criminal terrorists acts your people are doing which you so fully support. Why not read what Abu Khaleed has written again becouse I find it difficult to understand that an honest could write such a reply to his comment.
 
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Are we so uneducated, so stunted in growth of intellect and putting moral convictions aside that we cannot see the material destruction and disruption of orderly flow of materials that the War upon Iraq has caused? Has there been no growth in human understanding of what makes wars to excuse those who explain away the atrocitys Iraq has undergone; the who and the why of this Iraq? One can fogive older generations who have never served in a war, and there are multiple billions of them living today, for still living in past fantasy's of nobility of warrior kings, knights, Samarai, pilots captains of ships sabre drawn horseman, or coolees laden down marching across chinas ranges on the long march as the epitome to human developement, but why do so many educated in todays trech youth with the new found freedoms of finacial growth and expanded abilitys feel that way. Despite the propaganda, outright lies and ignorance of many in U.S none of the M.E. and central asian countrys are peopled by primatives or still living in 1500 A.D mentalitys. That their economic status may not be as high as western nations cannot be denied, but even among and within western nations there are peoples of poor economics; or is it that they have not changd as fast as we want them too? Has Education turned from personal growth to being a product for investment in corporate profits with its leaders training instead of protecting intellectual growth? To say that the U.S. soldier must be supported but not support the war, when he is supposedly educated enough to distinguish right or wrong but then is thrust into a position to not question right or wrong is an oxymoron. American soldiers are Volunteers for a military duty that has in the past commited crimes against humanity, is part of protection and projection of us Finacial interest and they were and are being commited and well documented today. Maybe the idea of primatives, wether it be called religious fanaticism or patriotism are one and the same, deferral of reasoning over and into the depravity of inhumanity or animal instinct. Hide it behind Democracy, Captialism, or any of numerous isms' the end results are animalistic in their effects. Was Darwin wrong and developement of homo sapiens never risen from our cousins the Chimps, who like those trained by their masters riding electric go carts in a circle of never ending processes, mimicing uneducated but well trained humans?
 
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"We Iraqis NEVER attacked the U.S it was YOU U.S people who attacked Iraq,"

"Since the end of Operation Desert Fox in December, Iraqi provocations in both the northern and southern no-fly zones have escalated into a flurry of radar illuminations, aircraft intrusions and missile launches against coalition aircraft.

"This poses a threat to our aircraft, both in the north and the south," Zinni said. "We view this threat as centralized and deliberate, and we view the entire air defense system that's being set against us as the objective in any response that we take. And we will defend our pilots and our aircraft against these attacks." "
source

Why does this not count? It's a clear act of war.
 
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"(and the EU, as a global rival.)"

LoL, wet dreams.... sorry I just had too. The EU can't even agree on a single constitution, much less rival anyone. As a matter of fact Europe is dieing of old age, this generation will not replace itself, it's going extinct right before our eyes. In the next couple of years they will be totally reliant on the US. Global rivals...sure.
 
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Madtom wrote: "Why does this not count? It's a clear act of war."

You've got to be kidding.

American planes violating Iraqi airspace constantly, and you think it is an act of war on the Iraqis' part when they try to do something about it?

Please.

What if Mexicans or Canadians unilaterally declared sections of the US to be off limits to US aircraft, and started patrolling these areas with their own aircraft? Would it be an "act of war" on the part of the US to fire on these foreign aircraft?
 
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American Patriot wrote:
"It has drawn the battlefield to the land of the aggressor for the time being, and I believe that was the point."

Nadia already jumped on this, but I have to do so as well, just to express my astonishment that there are STILL people so misinformed about 9/11 and the Iraq war that they can write stuff like this in apparent seriousness.
 
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Tharpa wrote: "the rest of the world is more than justified in holding all Americans accountable, which includes no longer giving them a free pass."

I ask you the same question I asked the Anonymous poster earlier -- what does that mean?

Vague pronunciations about "guilt" or "responsibility" are empty. As a practical matter, do you really believe that any and all americans are equally "guilty" as George Bush? Do they all deserve the same punishment? Assuming for the moment that George Bush deserves imprisonment, or execution, as a war criminal, do you believe all other americans deserve the same fate simply for being "americans?" Or are you just spouting empty, meaningless rhetoric, divorced from practical consequences?
# posted by Diogenes Of Pumpkintown : 20/12/05 6:03 AM

Elsewhere two points stand out in relation to this (amongst many):

1. Surely one can't blame individual citizens for the actions of their government? And along with this the point that there are many Iraqis who agree with the occupation, i.e. you can't just lump people all together. Too simplistic.

2. There is far more than America and Americanism at play: a world 'elite' or I would prefer to say corporate-dominated leadership. The CEO class, the business class etc. etc., which exists in China, Russia, Africa and everywhere else, including America. The needs of this class and the economic system upon whose milk it derives sustenance is ultimately what drives the agenda.

To the last I say: fair enough but: if your daughter was blown up by a bomb, would you blame the state of the world which produced the disease which produced the bomber (whether from a so-called 'terrorist' or so-called 'professional soldier') or the bomber and his/her organisation?

In other words, since America is taking the lead in occupying Iraq, surely they also are front and centre in terms of 'blame' - for lack of a better word.

In terms of 'blaming' or holding accountable America, well: the great virtue (shouted by its govt of any Party ad nauseam) is that it is a govt by the people for the people. The people ultimately ARE responsible for what their government does in their name. All the people as a people, not as individuals necessarily. Abu Khaleel, in saying that America and Americans are not his friends, is not necessarily saying that all Americans are individually terrible. But on some level each is responsible for what is happening in his country, so obviously they are not friends. Friends help their friends when times get tough: most Americans are just watching from afar, if at all, even those who have heated debates about it around their safe kitchen table.

Lastly to Diogenes: 'no longer giving them a free pass' means no longer giving America the state nor Americans in general the benefit of the doubt, including American businesses, tourists, diplomats, institutions, corporations and so on.

I am not talking about frivolous demonising - which is always counterproductive and which Abu Khaleel wisely avoids. But if the World Court means anything, if the UN means anything, if international treaties mean anything, if common decency mean anything and so on, then they have to be fought for, pushed, used, challenged, shamed, whatever.

America, for example, no longer observes the Geneva Convention, insists that none of its military personnel or government officials can be challenged in a world court or other similar bodies. Insists in public policy papers that it reserves the right to pre-emptively attack those nations that are just developing better defense forces that might threaten US military dominance - even if there is no actual current conflict. American-dominated IMF policies continuously try to undermine poorer countries abilities to grow - and China of late has made great progress in offering a far more mutually productive and cooperative way of providing funds in return for resources. The list can go on forever. The point is that people should stop assuming all the time that America is basically good, right, true, noble etc. Both the State and its people should be held to the same standard as most other countries rather than putting it on a pedestal all the time and then whining when they don't live up to the fantasy.

America is just a country with 300,000,000 people. It happens to be very wealthy and thus has huge military capabilities. Fine. It is also the place where most of the world growth and technology took off big-time last century. Fine. But just like its President is not a King, nor is the country the new World Leader, or the best that has ever happened in human history and so on.

America has no business telling other countries how to order themselves nor forcing their system at gunpoint or with bombs. And as long as it is willing and eager to keep behaving that way - as seems to be the case soon with Syria or Iraq, or South American regions - it should be treated firmly by the world political, diplomatic and business organisations.

Firmly. And no longer with so much of a 'free pass', like its soldiers and govt officials being above the war crimes tribunals, for example. If they insist - as they have been doing - then how can they be treated as a first-world, moral power? They can't. They shouldn't. And increasingly they aren't.

But as with all such things, it takes the people involved in it themselves - in this case Americans - much longer to wake up to how fundamentally different the world is now from 2002: America is no longer regarded either as a leading force for good in the world, nor even a creditable leader at all. This is a HUGE sea-change in world affairs and has led to the creation of large international alliances in Eurasia and South America as a direct result.

None of this, unfortunately, helps Abu Khaleel in the immediate term, perhaps, but within a couple of years things will change and hopefully they will have some sort of autonomy again and with any luck without a long, disastrous civil war in which far more blood will be shed than has yet, unfortunately, been the case.
 
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With a few Iraqi Bloggers, like Raed Jarrar and Truthteller, having closed their Comments sections in disgust, you seem to be drawing some of the more persistent right-wing war apologists (or nutcases) here, Abu. Charles redux. Still, their thought processes can be illuminating.
Nadia picks up on MadTom’s lunatic justification: because Saddam’s forces may have slightly resisted US overflights in 1999 (eight years after Gulf War One) the invasion in 2001 was essential. It seems to be the attitude of the complete bully: "if you dare to raise your eyebrows at me, I will have to smash your face in." Actually its rather worse than that - "I will also and incidentally smash in the faces of your wife and daughter."
Diogenes goes to the heart of An American Patriot’s mindset: "Has this war made America a safer place? Only time will tell. It has drawn the battlefield to the land of the aggressor for the time being, and I believe that was the point..." In other words, fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here. Since Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, or indeed with any other terrorist attack on US citizens or forces outside Iraq, the "aggressor" is apparently the Arab world in general (a bit like the manic Moron99 who earlier wanted the "destruction of all societies that breed terrorists.") But the key phrase is "has this war made America a safer place?" Nothing about making a better, fairer, more peaceful world - just putting America and Americans first. Basically so that five percent of the world’s people can go on consuming twenty-five percent of its resources.
And unfortunately even Mark joins in the madness with his argument against your "broad brush rules of public culpability" - as far as I can make out he seems to argue that Americans, in general, are no more responsible for any crimes or errors committed by the Bush regime than Iraqis or Cambodians were responsible for any excesses committed by Saddam or Pol Pot. Apparently it is completely irrelevant that America is not a dictatorship but supposedly THE democracy, whose government embodies the will of its people.
What, a self-centred bully who lashes out blindly against any real or imagined insult, but is not responsible for his actions?
Is Anti-Americanism defined ultimately not by what the USA theoretically stands for, but by what it actually does? (Or in the case of Iraq, eventually achieves. Which will probably be zilch.)
You are perhaps correct in identifying the American military as one key component in what has gone wrong in Iraq - my sense of what has happened, probably in Afghanistan as well, is that this military machine’s complete indifference to the collateral casualties it inflicts in pursuit of its country’s goals has become a crucial factor in Anti-Americanism in those nations, in the Arab world, and in the world in general. (And the machine has become increasingly perfunctory in its expressions of regret and its promises of "investigations.")
Is this casual brutality (there’s no other word for it) a symptom of what America has become? If so, I don’t mind being anti-American. I’ve just been on holiday, driving around a lot, and I’m very anti-careless, reckless, incompetent and selfish drivers. Even the ones whose wives in the passenger seats are nagging them to slow down and keep a better lookout. After all, the immediate visible danger is the huge uncontrollable speeding SUV straying into your lane: but the cause of the crash is the nutcase at the wheel. And presumably, following Moron99’s reasoning, the ultimate cause is the appalling family that bred him.
Circular
 
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Incidentally, while on holiday I was able to borrow from time to time a copy of Robert Fisk’s "Great War for Civilisation."
It’s a very hefty read, and his "Anti-Americanism" shines out like a beacon in a darkened world. He’s got all the facts very well assembled, too.
But my impression was that his "Anti-Arabism" or "Anti-Islamism" shines out almost equally strongly. For example, he was very scathing about both sides in the Iran-Iraq war. He devoted an entire chapter to modern Turkey’s attempts to bury and deny the Armenian genocide of the early 20th century. He didn’t have a single good word for Saudi Arabia. And so on, at great length.
Basically his reporting experiences seem to have left him pissed off at pretty much everybody.
I can go along with that.
Circular
 
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Circ:

You miss my point entirely. Please try applying the broad brush approach to any of New Zealand's mistaken policies. Is each New Zealander personally and publicly responsible for all of the clear errors made by its government? Does that make them and every other New Zealander an enemy of those that are disadvantaged by the mistaken policy? Is the answer the same even if they oppose the government's mistaken policy?

If opposition absolves a person, or portions of "the public," from guilt for a mistaken government policy, how much opposition is required? Must they sacrifice their own lives in revolt, work through political channels to attempt to affect change, organize mass protests, publicly speak out, or merely vote against the current government? At what level of opposition is moral grace received? In my view, these thorny moral dilemmas are obliterated by the broad brush approach to public accountability that you and Abu Khaleel appear to have adopted.

Further, even as applied to a country with a democratically elected government, labeling all the people of that state, with few minor exceptions, as enemies and prejudging all of their motives and actions strikes me as bigotry, rather reasoned analysis. Again, Abu Khaleel has been known to use indirect methods to illustrate his views. I continue to hope this is one of those occasions.
 
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Circ:

As you probably guessed from its excessive length and pendantic tone, the last entry was mine.

Mark-In-Chi-Town
 
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Mark. Don’t worry, I think I would have recognised your tone anyway.
Short answer is, that’s why I said "Is Anti-Americanism defined ultimately not by what the USA theoretically stands for, but by what it actually does?"
Or to put it another way, in a proper democracy policy development tends to be cumulative. For example, look at NZ’s anti-nuclear policy (which I personally am fairly lukewarm about.)
It was introduced in the 1980’s by a Labour government, but successive conservative administrations, keen to restore relations with the US, have been unable to change it because they have sensed that the public reaction would be too damaging.
I understand you are a proponent of the "necessary American might as the defence of world freedom" school of thought. But the general consensus among pundits and historians now seems to be that, because of the Cold War, American might since WW2 has been mostly used to install and prop up right-wing repressive regimes.
(I seem to recall asking someone here to list all the countries, since WW2, where America has brought freedom, democracy and prosperity by invading and conquering them. I don’t think he came up with any. Watch what we do, not what we say.)
In other words, if the actions of successive democratically elected governments, over time, appear undesirable, then ultimately the entire people bear responsibility for those actions?
I dunno. But the alternative seems to be that no people can be held responsible for anything their nation does?
I mean, if you can say "America won WW2, or saved South Korea, or won the Cold War," can’t I say "America has stuffed up royally in Iraq, just like it did in Vietnam?"
Circular
(p.s. I'll be out working all day, sorry, so no debate.)
 
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Mark,
It seems broad brush-stroke condemnations are characteristic of humanity.
How many innocent Sikhs and Copts were harrassed or even murdered because of the actions of AlQaeda? How many innocent Sikhs were murdered because of the slaughter of Indira Gandhi? Kristalnacht was a response to the actions of one Jewish adolescent. And so on and so forth...

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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Circ:

Now you see my point, "no people," in the broad sense, should be blamed for their government's actions. It is those in power that make policy that bear primary responsibility. Those of "the people" that support odious policies also bear, to a lesser extent, moral culpability for the consequences of such policies. This to me is perfectly logical.

How does one logically blame the roughly 60% of the American people that oppose Bush's handling of Iraq for his insistence on continuing his policies?

Circ: You also wrote, "But the general consensus among pundits and historians now seems to be that, because of the Cold War, American might since WW2 has been mostly used to install and prop up right-wing repressive regimes." This certainly is the consensus amongst certain segments of historians and pundits with left of center world views. It is, however, far from a general consensus if one includes centrist and right of center viewpoints.

I think it would be fair to say that there is a consensus among the left and center that U.S. cold war driven actions included numerous incidences of overreacting to perceived "Communist threats." For example, I am not familiar with any reputable scholar with a left, centrist, or center right viewpoint that will defend American meddling in Chile during the 70s.

On the other hand, the U.S. and the rest of the world under reacted to reports that the Pol Pot's Communist regime was systematically slaughtered its own people. Similar global under reactions to atrocities, with similar tragic consequences, have occurred in Rwanda, Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. The same game is now playing out in Darfur.

As you and others here have now permanently disqualified the U.S. from acting as global policeman, I nominate the Kiwis to intervene in Darfur. However, the nearly assured Chinese veto (due to its commercial ties to the oppressive Sudanese government) of any security council resolution authorizing entry of NZ troops to make or keep the peace in Darfur will be a bit of a problem. But, I am sure that they will yield to never ending onslaught of Kiwi diplomacy in the end. If you Kiwis fail to execute my brilliant strategy to prevent further genocide, I will, of course, in keeping with your theories of collective culpability, be forced to rest the full weight of my moral opprobrium on each and every Kiwi.

Mark-In-Chi-Town
 
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Mark
Back for lunch.
Come on now, be fair. The US under-reacted to Pol Pot because (a) it was a bit tired of SE Asia after Vietnam, and (b) it saw Pol Pot as Anti-Vietnamese, which he was. Just playing politics.
It is unlike you to descend to ad hominem argument - all that sneering nonsense about NZ taking over the role of global policeman. You know perfectly well that the population of NZ is less than that of a small US city. Don’t cheapen the tone of Abu’s Blog.
(See, I can be stern and censorious too.)
"How does one logically blame the roughly 60% of the American people that oppose Bush's handling of Iraq for his insistence on continuing his policies?"
Easily. No-one is talking rioting in the street, or armed insurrection, but they’re simply not making their presence felt sufficiently in the media and in communication with their representatives. Too busy eating to excess and charging around in their SUVs.
The reason no right-wing government here in NZ has been able to rescind the anti-nuclear policy is because any suggestion of doing so is met with howls of outrage from the majority in letters to newspapers, voices on talk-back shows, opinion sampling, and so on.
This is called democracy in action. You guys should try it sometime.
Circular
 
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Circ:

If Bush is the despot that so many on the left have claimed, no amount of media howling could possibly make him change his course. Frankly, I think Bush has changed policy on Iraq on a number of occasions with the policies turning more toward political, rather than military solutions. In my view, those changes were too little, too late, but it would be intellectually dishonest to assert that there have been no changes. Whether those changes are the result of U.S. domestic pressure, military necessity, or some combination of the two is a subject worthy of a separate consideration.

My Kiwi as global policeman comments, as I hoped you would understand, were not meant to be ad hominem attacks, but instead, to point out the absurdity, under the current conditions, of other countries taking on large-scale, hostile environment peace keeping operation, like Darfur, without at least U.S. logistical support.

The Pol Pot example is another reason it can be dangerous to go overboard with the Anti-Americanism as the reaction thereto in this country may be isolationism (the opposite reaction of hostility leading to more aggressive behavior is also possible and even more undesirable). When the next international crisis occurs and the world community needs U.S. muscle to help resolve it, a more isolationist administration elected in response to the Iraq fiasco may be quite unwilling to become involved.

Mark-In-Chi-Town

P.S. As impressed as I am by your stern and censorious side, I suggest that we should try to retain our more natural roles since the over-serious role comes more naturally to me and since I have a stone mason's touch with the lighter side.
 
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anon 01:16

ultimately society will take action against the nutcase driving the SUV. If his actions are bad enough there will be many voices calling for the eradication of driving priviledges for his entire family, genetic profile, or personality type. If societies frustration is high enough or one of societies basic fears is awakened then the eradication voices will gain enough power to pursue their goals. Is it right? No. Does that change anything? No.

It is far wiser to try and change the way his children learn to drive SUVs before it ever comes to that. I will never call for the eradication of bad drivers, but I will always strongly support driver's education - and even support court ordered driver's ed if I think it will save lives in the long-run.
 
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As Plutarch said : "Greece to herself doth a barbarian grow,
Others could not, she doth herself overthrow", to explain its fall from a golden age into decay so too can one point to U.S. following in the same pathway. The M. E. gave us civilization and government and the Greeks invented politics to destroy them. Democracy is credited as coming from greece but in reality the form of democratic governing of villiage and tribal afilliations bear more respect from Germanic immigration onto British Isles whose Kings who fought its institutions continually. Among the many complexitys that destroyed the Roman Republic and turned it into an oligarchy and eventually a theocracy was its rise to supremacy of its military leadership that grew strong enough to defy, the constitution , assembly and the senate, "upon the glory of sword, did their life reside, too late they fell, upon in suicide". It took around 100 years of military expansion, about the same as we in U.S. have experienced for this to happen in Rome.
Today within US the military industrial complex, of which we were warned of by President Eisenhower 60 years ago, has come to fruition. Also included within this heirarchy is the intelligence departments used to implement the many "needs" for this expansion.
That the us is winning in Iraq is true, as our original objective was to cause chaos and make the country dependent upon our intervention and we will be there interveneing from now on, Iraq as a countrty is no more than three vassel states to us hegonomy.
What began with the conquest of Yugoslavia, so called Balkan wars, by instigating a civil war within, a program called Greater Albania, in which Islamic forces of volunteerwes, including some of Bin Ladens and Taliban, from many nations all funded by U.S. Euro Intels thru many NGO's, thru Afghanistan and whole Caspoian sea area and eventually the invasion of Iraq. Now on to the conquest of yemen, Syria Sudan and Iran. All counties that helped them in initial phases of takeover of balkan nations, including arms from N. Korea, china, Iran: especially 107 andf 122 rocket launchers inspected and shipped by an NGO called "Third World Relief Agency", thru Pakistan.
the U.S, nation is as the Romans but with more subtlty except in case of Iraq where plans hit a snag: the Iraqui people.
No bakward savages and far more nationalistic than Balkans or C.Asian political systems, except for a clergy each wanting their own form of power, the Iraquis continue to exist despite US attempts of Genocide against them.
While the problem is local for original corespondent it is world wide in scope and until Americans can learn what politicly astute Euros' already know it will not change.
I agree first with Tacitus, Agricola: they create a desert and call it peace.
Secondlyt I agree with Solon:
"If now you suffer, do not blame the Powers'
For they are good, and all the fault was ours,
All the strongholds you put into his hands'
And now his slaves must do as he commands".
They took US to wars of war and we have no choice now but to do as they say! Providence!
 
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M. Chattick,
In the rise and fall of civilizations, you give too much credit to individuals who have annointed themselves as important. Civillizations rise and fall due to innovation. Thousands of years ago a nomad had the innovation of planting seeds in a field and tending the harvest. Every great power and civillization arises due to innovation(s) and falls because a competitor creates another innovation. For example the Spanish arose because they innovated geography and discovered the new world. But they were soon displaced by the British who innovated shipbuilding and prevented the Spaniards from having free access to the oceans. The Romans were built upon concrete and brigades. A civilization does not kill itself. It simply fails to grow enough new ideas and gets left behind. America was built upon mass production and electronics. If America falls it will be because it does not have enough engineers, entrenpeneurs, or artists to remain innovatively competitive ... nothing more and nothing less. That is why the fundamentalist nutjobs pursuing their caliphate state are no real threat to the west. One of their goals is to eliminate many of the sources of innovation and enforce uniformity of thought amoung submissive subjects. They see art and entrenpenueral spirit as a threat rather than an asset. Whatever society they create will fall hopelessly behind.
 
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Be left behind? Every attempt by a ME country to advance itself in first 2/3rds of last century was destroyed and delayed by military and political forces in protection of Euro and us Corporate Interest. Even the injecton of a Free Israel was a political and military decision done by western powers without consultation of M.E. powers.
What was the status of Iraq prior to first us invasion as far as National infrastructure: per capita income, education, medical, religious orgainzations, and many other fields compared to say even Israel never mind other M.E. nations? In all those fields it was higher and not using a borrower status such as Israel to maintain its identity, a socialist economy and one that was far more diverse culturally except for its neighbor, Irans.
Wahhabism is an off shoot of M.E. Countrys not being able to politcly take their place in world society, but Iraq was not part of that movement. It was Pan Arab but not Pan Islam.
Left Behind? What country has highest literacy rate and most foreign educated grouping within its leadership? Saudi Arabia, Q'Tar Brunei, Sudan turkey, and leaders now put in place by useuro concerns. the ME educated were primarily of family or Royalty but in their actions they now are major investors within almost all energy endeavors in C.Asian and ME along with Persian and African enterprises. As holders of us Loans they rank only behind Britian and Japan and soon China. the US could not carry on its foreign conquest without their fiancial backing and interconnections in that area.
As for Iran: Iran is now where Iraq was before first us invasion and does pose a threat of being too influential upon local finacial dealings. European and Asian investment returns in Iran are growing at around 13% a year and where else can any finacial investment frims get such a rate? Within US our so called entreapenurial expertice relys upon military takover, borrowing, and constantly rising of percentage towards military franchisemnt with a lowering of domestic populaces economic growth within its GDP figures. Countries such as china, Iran and old Iraq had a higher percentage: per cap: of Private Enterprises than does us.
American enterprise is a socialistic enterprise, money borrowed goes to college research in medical, transportation, military hardware, and even social engineering all geared towards Corporate growth within industrys that day by day are being bought up and or merged with foreign finacial interest.
Call it innovation if you want, but the only realy innovative approach of american enterprise is with money marketing not industrial growth through innovative technologys. More and more of our innovative technology needs to be applied outside of us because we no longer have an infrastructure to support its usage.
As for what and the heck this has to do with Originators blog: maybe it is time for US populace to realy take time to reflect upon what is an American Society and why do so many depend upon a central government to exist at the level of comfort they do and is the price to rest of world and individual liberty worth it.
 
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m chattick

you are full of bull and promoting false arguments in order to support your political positions. Quoting people who are smart than you does not make you any smarter. It does make you appear smarter to people who aren't smart enough to understand the meaning or context of the original author. But to people who are smart, it only makes you look incapable of forming your own ideas. Perhaps that is why you do not like innovation. It is a task that is beyond your grasp, no?

In the 1950's Bell Laboratories invented the semiconductor and soon thereafter the silicon transistor. In the 1970's Intel used transistor to transistor logic (TTL) to create a programmable VSLIC for hand calculators (central processing unit). In the 1980's IBM created an open standard for personal computers built around the Intel 8080 microprocessor. In the late 1980's the American inventions of ethernet, mouse, UNIX, TCPIP, Netware, and GUI came together to deliver distributed proccessing to corporations. In the late 1980's CISCO created the commodity based router and the modern Internet was born. Perhaps you missed it, but America had a phenomenal economic boom in the 1990's as a result.

Both military power and economic might are built upon innovation. For example, the French were decimated because they had crossbows and the English had longbows. It was a British innovation that allowed a smaller, more mobile army to decisively defeat a larger and more heavily armed French force because the longbow could strike at further distances. And the dead knights became an obstacle well clear of the French crossbow and spears. It wasn't because the English had more trees. It was because they figured out how to build longbows from them. As a result, the French aristocracy was dealt a blow of many thousands dead whilst the English ruling class sufferred three casualties. The reason the French were never a big player in the European age of empires was because they failed to keep pace with british innovation. It was not because some pompous jack-ass quoted an ancient greek and elevated them to a higher plain. They simply got out-smarted.

Which - back to the present century. Arabs lag behind because they lack innovation. They lack innovation because their authoritarian rulers suppress independant thought and their social architecture has too many taboos. Go ahead, name the last major innovation born from an arab nation. The only people keeping the Arabs down are the Arabs themselves. Their social and political architectures are not conducive to innovation. They are destined to be third world until they change it. Speaking of which, isn't that why we are in Iraq?
 
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Sorry if I read and learn from people smarter than myself, you should try it sometime within a non technical sence and maybe the little trace of racial bigotry would not prevail so much in your writings.According to your reasoning the problems of limited freedom and economics of black population within U.S. are only products of their lack of innovation.Did not miss the boon in economy of 90's built upon speculation with very little materials to back them up but I did miss the bust of them thankfully. the innovative Mexican Steel industry surpasses U.S. Steel. American auto industry had to import Japanese and European techniques in order to reamin competive but still firms preedominatley led by US citizens such as GM are still failing while their counterparts under influence of outside flourish. US telecommunications lags behind what is available From Scandinavian countries and France. US does not have means to launch its own permanent satelites and depends upon France, China and Russia to do so. Our innovative space shuttle program was used to put military satelites into non permanent orbit and Boeing new contract for permanent has seen vast influx of Indian, Eurpopean, chinese and Asian engineers who are very innovative, unlike those majority who presently graduate from from us schools who cannot pass: less than 30% do, a basic college educational level test put forth by the very educators who run us instituions. the so called innovations of IBM now are used by and instituted by a foreign work force three times domestic in number.
Same goes for Intell, financial centers of us corps located here but innovative and productive forces are outside of country.
Educational bill gave over 68 billion to universitys, one alone recived over 1 billion, UW recived almost 600 million and all for pharmaceutical,military,Agricultural and chemical industry research that will in all probability be manufacured in overseas and sold same. this does not count the "black" grants given to chicago, Univ of Penn, cal state,Harvard univ of Wash, Brigham Young and a few others, and no it does not go to student unless they work post graduate slary while at same time us gov guts student loans and tutitions rise.
the largest oil company in world Exxon Mobil has less than 5% shares of ownershiop in private hands and is about same ratio of all of Americas top 500 Corps.
Sorry but these figures come from people and groups smarter than I.
I may be uneducated but am not dumb as to think I know all answers. I guess I am just not innovative enough.
All I was responding to was the plight of a fellow human being from an unjust destruction because someone thinks that warfare is an innovative answer to our energy needs and are dumb enough to be lead by an imbecile who is relying on lies of 1950 ideas of morality and the american way to lead them.
I am not here to debate a racial profiling which comes from someone who through no work of own but lives upon wealth built up by hardworking freedom loving people to be abused for selfish egotism who thinks having a walkman or x-box is a sign of their racial and national superiority!
 
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it is the american way to abandon the manufacturing and production of commodities when the patents run out and the consumption of labor hours in a fixed price product drives down either wages or profit. Taking the low-profit industries is a good way to raise mexicos wages from extreme poverty to ordinary poverty. But innovation is what creates a product that generates high wages. In the case of computers, we turned sand into something more valuable than gold. Next will probably be either He3 mining. genetic engineering, or medicine. People of the world, including mexican steel workers, will trade all of their gold for one treatment of a life-saving medicine.

and of course the immigrants are the most innovative. They are the ones who have enough gumption to get up off their asses and emigrate instead of sitting around whining. America's greatest asset is her ability to attract immigrants. It's not a matter of race. Gifted people exist in equal amounts amoung all races. The trick is to attract the brainiacs to come live in America.

You really don't understand these things do you?
 
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M. Chattick Sr you wrote “Be left behind? Every attempt by a ME country to advance itself in first 2/3rds of last century was destroyed and delayed by military and political forces in protection of Euro and us Corporate Interest.”

You are absolutely right and ad to that the protection of Israel and easy access to cheep oil. Even Rice admitted this year in Cairo that the U.S policy the last 60 years have been to keep the masses in the ME under control, and I have not heard other western countries admit this but they sure have had the same overall policy too. So how did they do that? They did it and still do it by supporting unelected governments left and right for decades. They have had no problems doing business with them and still don’t, no problem selling them weapons that they use to terrorise their own people. For 60 years have brutal governments that use terror on its own people in the ME been supported by the west and then some have the nerve to say it’s the ME people own fault. Why is Britain selling billions of dollars worth weapons to the religious dictatorship Saudi Arabia? Why is Sweden selling weapons to the military dictatorship in Pakistan? In what way are these deals that bring millions into the societies of the west helping people in Saudi Arabia or Pakistan getting a better free open society with same opportunities as the west? NONE. In what way are these military deals helping promoting human rights? NONE.

It’s a web of were we living in the western having the best time of our lives the last century on and the ones paying the price are people living outside our western countries. Less then 5 years ago it started to come up on the surface all the funds people are saving their money in have millions in the military industry. Money you and I in the west that we save in funds to have to our pension or trip or a house are invested by the banks in weapons. Even the Swedish church had this. So sure we go to the church pray for peace but at the exact time we are investing in weapons we then sell to dictators who use it to either threaten or kill their won people or others. It’s a sick society we have built on giving a blind eye to the fact that democracies are fully supporting dictators that suppress their people as long as it is in the west interests. And we have amnesia about what we have done and do and blame it on others. It’s the damn Pakistanis that they have a dictator, why should it be the Swedish peoples fault?

There are many good stuff in the west, but those who have read my comments before understand what I am against it is this double morality that exist in the west as if we have NEVER been part of keeping people in other nations under terrible life conditions just because our national security and way of life depends on having things they might not agree to give us if they were free as we are in the west.

You can go to any shop in Sweden buy water from Sweden and it cost you more then you pay for fuel that comes from Saudi Arabia. Why? Imagine if the last 60 years after WWII people in the ME would have been free I find it very difficult they would have agreed to sell all this fuel to the west at these cheep prices. They would have demanded more money and instead of investing it in the west they would have demanded it to be invested in research, universities etc in their own countries. Now were would that have left the west? Not were it is today I can a sure you.

So let us remember Rice’s words that the U.S have the last 60 years wanted security by supporting dictators in the ME instead of free people. And this is something millions of Arabs have said for decades and what have we got in return that it’s all a conspiracy theory. Well guess what it was not, it was the truth.

Makes you wonder what is it the west have been so afraid of that it have taken them 60 years to brake and get rid of. Is the arab world and other countries people now ignorant and weak enough to be safe and not a threat any more is that it?

What ever the answer is we will never be able to hide the fact as M. Chattick Sr wrote that there have been so many people in the ME who have wanted to advance their societies for decades but they have been destroyed and controlled by dictators supported by the west both military, politically and even thru business.
 
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nadia,
have these western weapons ever been used by the saudi's against their own citizens?

If not, then why are they still in power?
 
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Arab Human Development Report 2004
An Instrument for Measuring Human Progress and Triggering Action for Change Promoting regional partnerships for influencing change, and addressing region-specific human development approaches to human rights, poverty, education, economic reform, HIV/AIDS, and globalization.
http://www.rbas.undp.org/ahdr2.cfm?menu=12

This is an excellent report that I suggest people to read. Sure one can read about what others say about it but I suggest that it’s better if one reads the report and get the facts from the source directly. And remember it’s the 2004 report you should buy or borrow.

For those who are waiting for it to come in the mail or downloading it can read this if you want:

"Why, among all the regions of the world, do Arabs enjoy the least freedom?" the authors ask. "What has led Arab democratic institutions—where they exist—to become stripped of their original purpose to uphold freedom?"

The answers are not cultural—as some foreign analysts allege—but political, the authors argue, citing the decades-long imposition of "emergency powers" by authorities across the region, the systematic suppression of independent courts and parliaments, and the "double standard" of foreign powers which they say have accepted or even encouraged authoritarian rule in exchange for political stability and access to energy supplies.
http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/0/6fa2e087fffe075985256fda0070b8d0?OpenDocument
 
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Moron99 you wrote “why are they still in power?” referring to the religious dictatorship in Saudi Arabia.

One of the things that stuck in my memory this year was this:
http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2005/04/what-can-you-say-what-am-i-to-make-of.html
 
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nadia said

"The answers are not cultural—as some foreign analysts allege—but political, the authors argue, citing the decades-long imposition of "emergency powers" by authorities across the region, the systematic suppression of independent courts and parliaments, and the "double standard" of foreign powers which they say have accepted or even encouraged authoritarian rule in exchange for political stability and access to energy supplies."

yes. exactly. The question is at what point will the people grow tired of leaders who say "let them eat cake" and when will that also coincide with an intellectual awakening to prevent the recurrence of Iran? In many countries the removal of one dictator would accomplish little more than opening the door for another.
 
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Moron99 you wrote "have these western weapons ever been used by the saudi's against their own citizens?"

Dear Moron99, Weapons sold to dictators can be used in different ways.

-One is to use it against their own people,
-and/or as a reminder who is in charge and you better not try to change it,
-and/or shift funds from what should have be used to build a healthy free and peaceful society,
-and/or the fact that the million military deal is done without the agreement of the people of that nation, the dictator is putting his nation in millions of dollars debt for things they have NEVER have had a chance to have a say about.

When the terrible earthquake hit Pakistan you had the Pakistani government pleading for help, blankets water, money etc ect from all over the world they needed it all. And at the same time days after the earthquake they signed a deal with Sweden to buy military weapons worth millions of dollars. These military airplanes have not dropped one single bomb on the Pakistanis but they sure shifted national funds that should have been used to save lives and help devastated areas.

And as a Pakistani woman living in Sweden wrote in one of the national newspapers: this is a shame on Sweden as a democracy, promoting human rights and freedoms. When it comes to weapon deals these values don’t apply. And what was the Swedish governments reply, it was a military deal decided long time ago, sadly the deal were signed just after the earthquake. Forgetting all along “amnesia once again” that WEAPONS SHOULD NOT BE SOLD TO DICTATORSHIPS AND UNELECTED GOVERNMENTS.
 
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Dear Abu Khaleel and all of you who visit this site I wish us all that 2006 will be the year that the implementation of the Millennium Goals is put on the top of all agendas as priority number one! And that U.S political and military intervention outside the UN in the world are stopped for ever.

The other day I heard on TV that 35000 people die everyday because of poverty.

Those are the steps to make our world a better place!

http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/goals.html
 
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"You've got to be kidding.

American planes violating Iraqi airspace constantly, and you think it is an act of war on the Iraqis' part when they try to do something about it?
Please.
What if Mexicans or Canadians unilaterally declared sections of the US to be off limits
"

Well for your example to be relevant first the US would have to invade Mexico or Canada and then the defeated by those countries of a coalition of their allies. Then after the "Mexican/Canada coalition for a free world" finally put an end to the US aggression, and the US illegitimate annexation of Mexico and Canada, then yes, they would be perfectly within their right to curtail any further aggressions from the US regime. But you have to be on drugs to make this type of hypothetical.

Stick to the facts.
 
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Happy new year to Abu Khaleel and all his readers.
 
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I do have an almost complete transcript of this important paper, I say almost because areas of finace who published translations are out there and no U.N. document is ever fully published, for political reasons, or gets lost in bureaucratic squablings. I do agree with its finding that culture plays a very important part in the relative delay in Islamic nations acceptance of modern technology but at the same time the paper does not look at reasons for this cultural resistance to modernism. It does not lay any blame or acceptance that Western influence and yes its abuses, religious and secular as having any "criminality" and a background of those who prepared report definately shows a western bias in learnings. Still it is a defining document and yes well worth the read.
I suggest that what largely helped define the culture of me in its resistance to western science was one idea as expressed by reformers came from abuses by what were percived as Christian communities from invasion of Palestine, Crusades, to the sucess of Muslims invasions on central asia africa and Europe, which is when the halt in Arabic and ME science reached its zenith, and into the awakinging period of mid 1800's when the new Christian onslaught, using advanced western technological expertise against their coutries began.
A clash of Ideals, Muslim Scholars thaought "Values" not only to be transmitted through education but must be reflected in "actuality of works done: Whereas the work being done by "Christian" empires denied any equality to the arab, Pershan or for that matter any "lesser" racial group except as menial labor.
There were many modenism Muslim teachers and tho they never succeded to this day their effects upon Muslims and IC's worldwide are just becoming.
As the UN report puts blame upon IC thought, and yes religion. If one were to use the same guidelines but frame question as to why US declared war was it cultural I susspect one would find that yes the cultural makeup of US is on the whole a warlike society.
Complicated but many such as Jamal al Din al-Aghani Hasan al Banna did try to modernize islamic thought and even the Egyptian Brotherhood, old and today, still tries to combine two cultureal disparitys.
To deny the influence of Western culture and the influence Christianity has upon it cannot be done and yet even today we see Fundamentalist Christians world wide trying to deny science with new theological excuses of creation and their base countries destroy and support people who deny the humanity of being an IC or an Arab by slaughtering them. A vlues orientation that goes directly against the Modernist Islamicv thought that values expressed throuh education must be whon by works. "Not by their words, shall you know them, but by their works.
 
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Sorry for long windedness but as an aside, could I suggest readings of ancient Greek Herodotus; "History", in which he describes Greeks thougth that ME peoples especially Pershians as peoples who liked being slaves because they did not accept Democracy. I contend that it is the defining document as to how western thougth from its time until today defines M.E. peoples.
Many study Greece as the beginning of civlization but know little of M.E., Urukagina, Hammarabi Cyrus the great Darius etc. Darius : if you take the three forms of government, democracy, oligarchy and monarchy-maintains that monarchy far surpasses the others for what government can possibly be better than that of the very best man in the whole state.
As stated by many in M.E., "since ancient times we have not appointed our own leaders so we have a different feeling about leadership. In the M.E. there is an instictive love for the leader if he is realy a leader.
It is strange how that feeling transmutes into many within U.S. of today who support Bush"N"Corps form of divine leadership.
Providence!
 
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m chattick,

what caused the european awakening? what were the primary elements that prevented it from happening at an earlier date? If you desired to create such an awakening in the mid-east, then what course of action would you reccomend? Would the benefits to the human species be worth the risks and costs? What is the cost of success? What is the cost of failure? What is the cost of inaction?
 
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While this may reinforce part of your argument on nnovation in warfare as being one factor of Euro centric supremacy here goes.
The Invasion of Europe by M.E. cultures with their advanced sciences liberated it from the restrictions of the western religious instituion, Roman Catholicism!
This is what realy began the Reformation period within Western Society, and split the Roman church into Western and Eastern Orthodoxys'.
New ideas of science along with the Muslim educational methods of keeping intact all the ancient writings, no matter the religion or sectarin natures and study of them. The most important innovation in world, the printing press, made available the writings and ideas of that which the Roman heirarchy of church had forbidden, and in fact had once condemned reading among anyone other than the clergy, individual learning and scientific approaches over theological thought.
Even to this day we find a two book theology among the major religious groupings be they islamic divisions or Christianity in its many denominations as First: Holy writings, and Secondly, the explanation trying to justify or deny Scientific conflicts in the first.
The western secular reformist thoughts and Islamic Reformist are actually quite similar:
" Truth cannot contradict truth, therfore there cannot be a discrepency between the truth of God, and of science. the Word of God and the works of God are one and the same".
I cannot remember off hand complete translation but this is my attempt to interpret. I would respect any IC or western secular more learned than I to corect or verify what was an Islamic thought from reformers.
Why the Islamic or muslim advancemtn seemed to end here at beginning of Reformation timeline which is when the real capital formation of empires began is of many varied reasons, and one can also ask why did Eastern Catholicism change and remain in nations not as technologicly advanced as what Euros became.
Much more reasons and no black, white quicky answers as we in west are so prone to demand.
Providence
 
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Interesting debate.

May I wish you all a very Happy New Year.

May your efforts (if honorable :) be fruitful and may your days be joyful!
 
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I had to chuckle when I read this

"Truth cannot contradict truth, therfore there cannot be a discrepency between the truth of God, and of science. the Word of God and the works of God are one and the same".

We sure are a vain species. We assume that our languages are so complete that they can accurately reflect the word of God. Thus our pitiful approximations that we call our "holy books" become the "word of God". Too funny. If God spoke one sentence in his native language the enormity of it would be greater than our tiny little brains could comprehend. When it comes to God, we are such a vain and insecure little species.

Anyway - my own theory as to why the crusades helped trigger the european awakening is the same as yours - but with a different twist. We are both saying that the crusades presented physical evidence that the church was fallable and that people began to question them. At that time, the church did not think that questioning an idea made it stronger. They believed in absolute rule and questioning the church was sacreligious. (lest we not forget the spanish inquisition and the widespread burning of heretics). The church was clear that God would punish non-believers and that their teachings had to strictly followed or the wrath of God would result.

But .... the crusades presented physical evidence that directly contradicted the church.

Upon traveling to the mideast the knights discovered that Muslims had a higher standard of living and were living happier/healthier lives than Europeans. Rumor has it that indoor plumbing was available to merchant class muslims. Not even the kings themselves had indoor plumbing in Europe! Worse yet, they weren't even christian. Where was the wrath of God? It presented a question that neither the church nor the mosque has answered to this day. "If there is only one acceptable method of worship, then why do infidels and heathens live a better life than us?"

This question - or at least a related version of it - has exceptionally strong undercurrents in the mideast. The conspiracy theories, the zionist plot phobia, the externalization of blame ... all of these are symptoms of the same basic question. "If we are devout, if we are obidient, if we have great oil wealth ... then why do the infodels lead better lives than us?" Does Allah punish his childrens and reward non-believers? The dictators and mosques have offerred the solution that the evil great-satan west conspires against them. What if it is shown that there is no conspiracy? What then? What if the west actively engages in trying to build an oasis of prosperity and the effort fails due to indigenous elements? Where then do the church and mosque turn? How then will they explain their failure to lead allah's chosen people to a better life? How then can they explain the juxtapostion of poverty and oppression with incredible oil wealth?

It is my belief that the unintended consequences of failure in Iraq may be more desirable than success. Nonetheless, I wish for the people of Iraq to have a country of prosperity, justice, and freedom. Either way, if people start asking questions and demanding answers, then the awakening will have begun. Our job - america's job, the free world's job and mankind's responsibility to itself, is to protect those who wish to ask. It will be ugly. It always is. The forces of oppression will not go down without a fight.
 
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Happy New Year Abu Khaleel,
Peace and self-determination for Iraq!
 
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It is not quite new years here and to be polite I will offer the obligatory Happy and properous New Year wishes to everyone. Whle I personally have much to be happy about, Providence has been more than generous despite my many failings,I grow pensive for the fates of many millions who live in despair and fear of what a new year will bring.
I can read many books on Philosophy, politics, morality, theologys and scientific thoughts but they are mere words on paper, and words can be twisted and paper set alight to burn and destroy, or studied and enlighten humanity. As a crayon can draw crude pictures for lust or destruction so can they be used to form patterns that shine forth to create beauty.
The choices are up to each individual on this earth.
Not being learned and wise I read words but cannot express by them what is in my heart. We live in a world where it seems words no longer have pillars of truth to them so that love, charity, peace have become so corrupted that no one can fully believe the honesty of the speaker who expressed them.
Happy new Year? Do we pass a man on side of road freezing in March rains and wait until Christmas to give him a coat and warm meal out of charity and then wish him a happy new year?
Each day is a beginning of a new year and today is when we can help others to begin tomorrow.
As the Dr. said "if your intentions are honorable", Peace and Prosperity.
Providence!
 
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The whole Iraq must be annexed to the USA, and Iraqis must be americanized,learn English and became christians or atheists. It's the only way to keep Iraq united and make it prosperous.
 
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all Iraq or any mid-east country needs in order to secure a prosperous future is to quit terrorizing people who do not agree. Whether it be with politics, dress, morals, religion, or anything else it is all the same thing. Terrorizing people for being different is the basis of oppression. As long as the people are willing to do it on a small scale then the government will be willing to do it on a big scale. Go to Basra without your hijab and yell that Sadr is fat and stupid. The reason you can't do that is the same reason that the mideast languishes in political misery.

Apparently, it is no better in Mosul either. It seems that no matter where you go in Iraq, the local politicians will have you assasinated if you criticize them. Is there a country where you may speak freely and openly? For how long has that been? How is their economy doing?
 
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Moron99 wrote “all Iraq or any mid-east country needs in order to secure a prosperous future is to quit terrorizing people who do not agree.”

Well I think that ANY COUNTRY needs in order to secure a prosperous future is to quit terrorizing people who do not agree. And any country that sells weapons and/or offers any other sort of support to an unelected government is aiding these people in their crimes against their people and must stop this sort of “hidden” terror.

And since this comment of Abu Khaleel is still about Iraq and the U.S actions towards it, I would suggest that the U.S in order to secure a prosperous future is to quit terrorizing Iraqis living thousands of miles away from their borders. And to stop with their support to unelected governments and dictators in the world. Clean up in you own garden fist.

Moron99 wrote “Whether it be with politics, dress, morals, religion, or anything else it is all the same thing. Terrorizing people for being different is the basis of oppression. As long as the people are willing to do it on a small scale then the government will be willing to do it on a big scale. Go to Basra without your hijab and yell that Sadr is fat and stupid. The reason you can't do that is the same reason that the mideast languishes in political misery.

Now you Moron99 either seem to be an honest slow learner or simply do not want to face the fact that the political miseries you complain about have been supported by the west for 60 years.

As for your concerns about not wearing a hijab in Basra, I did not wear a hijab when I lived in Amara in the 80:s or when I visited relatives in Basra. So this is a new phenomenon that came with the U.S invasion of Iraq. And those politicians you do not like well those are the one the U.S said will bring us Iraqis freedom and democracy. These are the people Iraqis are called terrorist or aiding terrorist by the U.S for not agreeing with them.

Moron99 wonders “Is there a country where you may speak freely and openly?”
There are lots of countries you can speak freely and openly in the world but the thing that one should look at is; do you have any power to make actual changes?

And from the looks of it in the U.S the answer seem to be no power to make changes. Now it seems that the U.S administration and their supporters are not so keen on people speaking freely and openly any more. They use the “if you are not with us you are with the terrorists” all the time to end debates and add to that they spy on their own people. And the majority of U.S people seem to be more engaged in who wins the American idol then these grave actions taken against them.

Moron99 wonders about the ME “For how long has that been? How is their economy doing?”
Moron99, I am surprised that you seem to forget so quickly and know so little about world history?

According the Rice herself the U.S supported this for 60 years, before that you had the British, French and Turks. As for your question about how is their economy doing well once again if the west wasn’t so keen on selling these unelected governments weapons for trillions of dollars as I wrote before, if western banks did not so happily open hidden bank accounts for these unelected leaders, if western companies were not so happy selling enormous expensive things to these unelected governments, if it weren’t for support like the above and more I can assure you we would have had a different world.

Controlling the ME and other areas have been essential for the west to build its societies and way of life it has today. For example having control over continuing flow of cheep oil from the ME have and still goes hand in had with national security and survival of the west’s way of life since the benefits of oil became known.

Access to cheep oil for example in Sweden have made it possible for the price the consumer pay includes more tax then actual payment for fuel that goes to the seller in the ME. So income from fuel is more for the Swedish governments then it is for the actual country that produced it. Now some will say that makes Sweden almost as an oil country; it sure does.

Now let say this is how things have been going on since the end of WWII; enormous amounts of money have been coming in to the Swedish society thru these taxes on oil/fuel. Taxes that then have been used to make the Swedish society a better, richer and more comfortable one.

Now Sweden is on the top of almost all lists were people have a good life in all aspects you can think of. I find it almost impossible to see this to be the picture if people in the ME have had the chance to control their own recourses price tags. I think it would indeed be a different Sweden and a different ME. It most likely would have been a more fair way of life.

Its like the other day they had a show on Swedish TV asking people living in the capital Stockholm about their views about northern Sweden. The image you read in the everyday national media (mostly controlled from middle Sweden) is almost always negative news about the north, no recourses, poor land, unemployment, lazy people and on social help. Now we people living in the north as myself know differently but some have been brainwashed by this too. So then they showed a map over Sweden to show that it was the water recourses in the north that provided electricity all over Sweden. So if it wasn’t for the north and people working in these places many parts of Sweden would be without electricity as we know it today. Now with this enormous important resource you would think the north would be the riches part in Sweden now, well it’s not, because the corporations managing this are mostly based in the capital or outside Sweden and they do not pay back as much as they should to the north. Complicated reasons but still its wrong I think.

We also enormous amount of minerals in the north and more mines are on their way so now finally we have local politicians demanding that some corporations/institutes and government agenises linked to this industry move up north which is at the moment a none acceptable action in Stockholm.

So we don’t have to go between west and east to see how unfairly recourses income is managed. In our own backyard the benefits goes to were the political power is the strongest. And that is exactly what has happened in the ME with the west controlling flow of cheep oil resources thru corrupted unelected governments.
 
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The huge difference is that here in Sweden I can openly and freely speak about this, making a change is however a bit harder but it can be made and it is my responsibility too if I am not agreeing to what is happening. Because the good part of a democratic country that still works sees to it that I will not get murdered, I will not get thrown in prison without charges, I will not get followed, threatened or tortured for not agreeing with the polices of recourses in Sweden.

On the other hand under dictatorships unelected brutal governments you do not have this freedom as many with narrow views seem to forget.

Many in these countries even though do far more brave things then people in a democratic country do, sadly most of the time they get killed, tortured, put in prison, threatened with family or they escape to another country to save their lives.. All this have been going on for over a century in many parts of the world, and it would not be so if it wasn’t for the support these dictators and unelected governments get from the west and each other, and it all sums up in the west’s way of life must be protected by all possible means.

It was a U.S president who said a couple of decades ago when referring to an oil crises in the ME “we will not allow them to change our way of life".
 
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Nadia,

you have a top-to-bottom view of the world. I have a bottom-to-top view. Wheras you believe that the people reflect the leader, I believe that the leaders reflect the people. Wheras you believe that government controls the economy and people I believe that the people and economy control the government.

To summarize -
innovation creates economic growth.
Tolerance and freedom breed innovation.
In order for the mid-east to progress economically there needs to be a level of tolerance that can generate an internationally competitive amount of innovation. The danger of the sadrists and quedas is that they will kill innovation, the economy will stagnate, and Iraq will decay into dictatorship. Under economic stagnation, it is inevitable that dictators will emerge. Without sufficient economic might, the people will be unable to displace a dictator who can sustain himself with oil revenues. The only way the mideast will be shed of their dictators is through tolerance leading to innovation leading to a strong merchant class. When the merchant class possess more money and power than the dictator then the dictator will cease to exist.

It all starts with creating an environment where average people are encouraged to be innovative.
 
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Moron99 wrote “I believe that the leaders reflect the people.”
In a democracy they sure do.

Moron99 also wrote “you believe that government controls the economy and people”
In a dictatorship they sure do.

Moron99 believes “I believe that the people and economy control the government.”
In a democracy they sure do.



Moron99, there IS difference between a dictatorship and democracy. You on the other had from your comments seem to lump them together as if there was no difference, and you are the first person that I have ever met to do this. Hopefully the last one too.
 
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IMO -
government is a product of society.

Society must have internal mechanisms to protect itself from meglomaniacal sociopathic liars otherwise it will devolve into an authoritarian state. The best mechanism is a healthy and vibrant merchant class whose combined power is greater than that of the government.

I doubt that functional democracy can exist without a healthy and substantial middle/merchant class. By the same token, if a healthy merchant class comes about then some form of popular governance is inevitable. After all, when it comes to politics the bottom line is putting food in the belly. When most of the food depends upon the merchant economy, then the merchants will wield more power.
 
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By "land of the agressor" I meant the middle east and moreover the muslim majority that occupies those lands. Not the Iraqi people. I would have thought that was apparent.

Just clarifying.
 
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Fact: the Iraqis sack their own cities after the fall of Saddam regime.
Nadia's thought: I blame the US Army, I blame Bush.

Fact: the heroic Iraqi resistance blown up pipelines, causing great economic damage to the new Iraqi govt.
Nadia's thought: I blame the Americans and their administration.

Fact: the heroic Iraqi resistance kidnap and kill many contractors that go in Iraq for rebuild the infrastructures. Many contractors abandon Iraq without finishing their work.
Nadia's thought: I blame the American administration for the disaster of Iraqi infrastructures.

Fact: A martyr detonates his car bomb near an American vehicles surrounded by Iraqi children, killing tens of them.
Nadia's thought: I blame the stupid American soldiers, they must point their guns to the children so the children stay away from them.

Fact: In a wave of martyrdom actions, in asingle day tens of Iraqis are killed and hundreds wounded. All of them are civilians.
Nadia's thought: CIA behind this! The glorious Iraqi resistance can't do such actions... Yes, CIA and Mossad behind this.

Fact: The Iraqis, due for their bigotry, in free elections elected a fundamentalist govt.
Nadia's thought: I BLAME BUSH, AND ALL THE AMERICANS! DEATH TO AMERIKIA!
 
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US Imperialist, do you feel better now?
 
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Correct the sentences if they are wrong.

However yes, I feel better now. Now I can leave this blog in peace.
 
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Oh. Well. I'm with all of you - in part.

Take leaders following the people. This sounds good. Except that now that our leaders are all following the people our leaders are more like sheep. Or small birth damaged lambs. Taking up the peoples calls willy nilly if it's going to win a vote or some respite in the polls.

Oh sure, this is a lot of fun for bloggers - you can have your leaders saying all sorts of silly things and tying themselves in knots, flip-flopping all over the joint trying to get a grip on public opinion and looking suitably more inept each day. But the real trouble is when leaders pretend to be following the people but are really just massaging public opinion till it produces what leaders need... highly sinister but we all know it happens.

The whole thing will just break down in the end - all of our leaderships will collapse under ridicule OR will eek out a few extra years by becoming more authoritarian, even less democratic and more and more like little hitlerhem - you know what I mean, before finally there is nowhere to go but the woolsheds.

No need for wars, civil or otherwise, sheep-leaders always turn daggy and then it's time for the dip - whup, dags sawn off, head down under the dip tongs and yoke. They don't like it - but it has to be down.
 
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Marcela,

“just massaging public opinion till it produces what leaders need.”
Never read or heard it put in this way before, very interesting!

There is a saying that a diplomat is a person who when telling you go to hell you look forward to the journey. It reminds me of what you just wrote.
 
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Hmm, I never heard the enjoying the road to hell analogy before - that's very interesting. Mostly, I just deal with sheep.

I know we shouldn't mix our metaphors like this, but I smell lamb chops burning (and I'm a vegetarian!).
 
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Oop, that was supposed to be "they don't like it but it has to be done" (instead of "down". You can tell I've spent too much time with the ovines, my subtext is suffering).
 
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[nadia] “am not sure when and were but a few years ago I learned that there is one country that have indeed been charged and convicted with terrorism and it was the U.S..I wish I could remember more to give you extra information and myself too.”

Nicaragua, Nadia. In 1986 the World Court found the US guilty of aiding the Contra terrorist group which was trying to overthrow the elected Nicaraguan government by force. The Court dished out some hefty fines against the US and ordered it to pay up to the Nicaraguans. These fines had serious repercussions for the health of senior US officials, some of whom died of laughter at the thought that anybody could impose a punishment on the US. In other words, the US didn’t pay a dime.


[diogenes] “You tried to claim that "all" americans have "blood on their hands." Do you, or do you not, really believe that?”

I’ll admit that it’s very easy to fall into the trap of thinking “all Americans are accountable”. It’s even easy to justify through saying the democratic system necessarily represents the will of the people.

Of course this view is incorrect, since it is true that there are millions of Americans who do not support the current actions but do not have the power to influence events in any way. I think apathy is the reason that allows the US administration to get away with whatever it likes.

[diogenes] “I can assure you that it is damned hard to convince other americans that the whole thing was a bad idea, when many Iraqis appear to SUPPORT what the US is doing.”

Apathy and misinformation. Quite apart from the ‘planted and paid for’ stories that the US govt. (Lincoln Group?) has introduced into the Iraqi media, there is the aspect of the ‘divide and rule’ tactic, which ensures that a pro-US minority of Iraqis exists to get their views blown out of proportion of their real numbers. The Polls (zogby etc), however, paint a truer picture of Iraqi sentiment, and are a good source of solidity in the murk.


[madtom] “… Iraqi provocations in both the northern and southern NO-FLY ZONES have escalated into [yadda yadda] …. Why does this not count? It's a clear act of war.”

Given that you have consistently been around when I demonstrated point for point WHY the ‘no fly zones’ were not only un-mandated by the UN, hence illegal and also a breach of the 1991 Ceasefire … and technically an act of war by THE US AND THE UK … I can only conclude that your natural state of confusion has coalesced into impermeable, blinkered stubbornness.


[moron99] “Wheras you believe that the people reflect the leader, I believe that the leaders reflect the people.”

So Bush is a reflection of Americans? God help us all!
 
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Hello, I am an Ohioan. And it is hard to combat the ignorance in this country(us). In toledo ohio, I have taken the opportunity to stand on a street corner with many americans to protest what our government is doing in Iraq, many times. It will not surprise you to know that obscenities are more often shouted at us versus shouts of support. It is also sad for me to admit that the re-election of the horrible war monger bush was won in my state. Beleive me we worked hard to make that not happen. you are also right in that it probably wouldnt have made a difference with Kerry. Americans are ignorant sheep as a whole. The shocking thing to me is how many educated semi-sane people just dont get it. I have protested, written letters to government officials, donated money and time to organizations trying to defend the world against our own administration to little or no avail. I cant get members of my own family to participate in protests. I apologize that I cant make a difference, I wont stop trying, however.
 
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Thanks Bruno for the update!

"Nicaragua, Nadia. In 1986 the World Court found the US guilty of aiding the Contra terrorist group which was trying to overthrow the elected Nicaraguan government by force. The Court dished out some hefty fines against the US and ordered it to pay up to the Nicaraguans."
 
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dan mikolajczyk,

If someone has different opinion than you it does not make them ignorant.
 
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"The Court dished out some hefty fines against the US and ordered it to pay up to the Nicaraguans. These fines had serious repercussions for the health of senior US officials, some of whom died of laughter at the thought that anybody could impose a punishment on the US. In other words, the US didn’t pay a dime."

Worse still, it was the 80's. Nobody back then believed the US would pay a dime, so nobody really bothered to press the point. A great shame, as this point pressed is one of the US administration's acupuncture points - hit them in the wallet with steady pressure and the rest of the organism reacts.

So why didn't Reagan's world wide opposition seize on that moment to cripple the US? Why didn't radicals press the point and demand fine payment? Maybe because if the US were deterred from funding Nicaraguan terrorists by hefty fines, with unrelenting demand for fine payment including continued scrutiny of who the fine is paid too and what the fine is used for, maybe then the US would have stopped funding other extremist organisations too. Farmers don't care where subsidies come from, farmers only care there is cashflow to carry the farm through a bad lambing season.
 
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Bruno, you said: "The Polls (zogby etc), however, paint a truer picture of Iraqi sentiment, and are a good source of solidity in the murk."

I am aware of the polls. Unfortunately, they also tend to give mixed signals. Typically, majority Iraqi opinion as expressed in polls runs something along the lines of wanting the US occupation to end, but not immediately -- only after "stability" or "security" or some such vague goal is met . . . or after the formation of an elected gov't.

It will be interesting to see what happens after the new Iraqi gov't is formed, since a sizable amount of Iraqi opinion in prior polls set that as the condition for wanting the US occupation to end.

Nothing would please me more than for the new Iraqi gov't to tell the US to get the hell out, and/or for new polls to show that Iraqi opinion is now overwhelmingly in favor of immediate US withdrawal.

Were that to happen, the Bush administration would have to oblige -- either that or reveal that all the talk about promoting Iraqi democracy has just been one big lie (which, btw, I believe it is, serving simply as a cover for the real reasons for the continued occupation).
 
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"either that or reveal that all the talk about promoting Iraqi democracy has just been one big lie (which, btw, I believe it is..."

Ditto. But with continued outside pressure reinforcing the inside desire for a proper fully functioning democracy (will probably be the only one in the world) maybe US administrators can be tied to their promises until they fulfill them. For once. Unlike the Nicaragua fines deal.

Bushes budget is tight, the insurgency while a darned nuisance has been a drain on things financial more then anything. Apply more pressure to other parts of the bank from a few strategic angles and "floop" the whole thing will fall apart.
 
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For all of you that continue to blame America for all that is wrong, I hope god gives you peace of mind soon and that the readers that read your site realize that like in America people have diffrent veiws and not all Iraqis feel the way this site portrays. God bless you all, as I turn the other cheek.
 
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I think everyone who reads this site realises that. Are you an American Iraqi, anonymous?
 
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[diogenes] “I am aware of the polls. Unfortunately, they also tend to give mixed signals.”

The reason for the mixed signals is to my mind, quite simple. It is a symptom of the division of Iraqi society which causes Iraqis to fear each other as much as the invader. The “shia” fear a “sunni” backlash if there is nobody to keep them in check. The “sunni” fear Iranian invasion and interference if there is no US army to keep Iran at bay. Both parties, given a stable situation, would doubtless tell the US to scarper in a minute if they did not feel so threatened. The US military is quite aware of the advantage of a divided Iraqi society, and the disadvantages of a united one. The first attack on Fallujah met with howls of protest on all sides and a revolution by the Shiite Mahdi army. The second time round the “Shiites” were quietly rubbing their hands at seeing their ‘rivals’ get pasted. Why? Sectarian division, that’s why.

[diogenes] “Nothing would please me more than for the new Iraqi gov't to tell the US to get the hell out”

March – April is going to be very interesting. (Read: bad) In Iraq we have a Shiite, Iranian aligned government that is taking power with the blessing of the US. Simultaneously we have the US propaganda machine grinding into gear against the Iranians. It is an open secret that military strikes are being readied against Iran very soon. When that happens, the Iraqi-ranian government will tell the US to take a hike. I want to see what happens then. Either the US will have ‘realigned’ itself with the (formerly evil, Ba’athist, terrorist) resistance and will try to unleash the one against the other – or it will try to use some sort of veto mechanism to torpedo the marching orders – or it will deem Iraq to be dysfunctional as a single entity and declare that the elected govt.’s authority is confined to the south of Iraq.
 
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HOpe all is well Abu Khaleel!

Here is something to read, if you haven't already seen it : )

I hope the link will work and not be cut of. Can someone please tell me how to insert a tag with a link, then it will not be cut of. Atleast I think so.

Crude Designs:
The Rip-Off of Iraq’s Oil Wealth
By Greg Muttitt
http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/oil/2005/crudedesigns.htm#deal
 
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www.globalpolicy.org
/security/oil/2005/
crudedesigns.htm#deal

I put the link this way, cut and past is all that's needed. I tried with HREF but got the message that it is not allowed.

/ Nadia
 
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WOW ! Must say I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all the posts here and commend Abu for his good work in trying to keep us updated with events.
However, I am NOT impressed by the anti Iraq comments being made by considerble Americans on here.
Simarly the whining and whinging emanating from the same mouths, how the good folks of America can not be held accountable, how America is the shining light of the FREE World ect, ect, ect.
Spare me your rhetoric, unlike many of the writers here, I am a Veteran, have shed blood on behalf of the wonderfull gift to humanity America that the World should be grateful for and get down on it's knees and kiss it's feet. (NOT)
I sat up night after night waiting for some poor Vietnamese to come along so I could help in blowing them to little pieces simply because they OBJECTED to someone other then themselves running their country and their affairs.
I went to Vietnam on a mission, to find the truth, whether what we were being told in the media and by our leaders was in fact true, within the first 6 weeks, I discovered EVERYTHING WE HAD EVER BEEN TOLD REGARDS Vietnam WAS A LIE.
The same goes for Iraq, Afghanistan,Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, and most of all Iran.
American cannot survive without obtaining access to new markets and access to raw resopurces to feed the demand for those markets, never mind that most of the stuff they produce is JUNK and a total waste of resources, but the investors in their Corporate entities demand profits at an ever increasing pace, thus new markets must continuall be found, and when those markets are targeted, they MUST CONFORM TO THE U.S.'s demand, if not, watchout ask Chavez in Venezuela, who is a Nationalist and places HIS COUNTRY above the Coprorate greed emanating from the U.S.who jealously stare at his countries riches with envy greed and lust, it's only a matter of time, before the dogs of war are set amongst these poor people once again, so the might EVIL empire can once again subjugate their people and steal their resources.

Don't regale me with cries of innocence of Americans, if you have ever supported the Corporate robber barons of the U.S.A. if you receive returns on your investments, if you're livelihood is from the defence (MERCENARY) industry, if you obtain benefit in any way from these murderous overseas criminal acts, YOU ARE COMPLICTE OF THE CRIMES AND SHOULD EXPECT RETRIBUTION.

It's rather funny, to read the pathetic words here, how innocent some Americans claim to be, I say funny, because I remember when there was a period in MY LIFE, when my country of birth's citizens were saying exactly the same thing.
Remember Germany,, and the alledged crimes supposedly perpetrated by them during WW 2?
The citizenry claimed they were innocent and had no idea of what was going on, (Hmmmm, does that sound familiar to our readers) "it was not us they said, we had no idea of what went on, so you can't blame us."
Question I have, Did that cut any ice with the Allies ?????
Like hell it did, the whole nation was collectively punished for it's alledged crimes.
Now I say, why if it was good enough to collectively punish ALL Germans why is it not fair, in the case of America, to hold ALL AMERICANS RESPONSABILE FOR IT'S CRIMES ?????????????????????

Some have also requested here info on the U.S.'s involment with it's crimes in other countries, well for starters folks, it wasn't so long ago, the World Court found the U.S. GUILTY of fomenting unrest and supporting TERRORISTS in Guatemala and imposed a hefty fine on them. Has the fine been paid to date ? Your kiddin right ?

Here are your previous involments;

http://www.counterpunch.org/jensen08172005.html

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rogers/rogers179.html

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article10398.htm

COUNTRIES BOMBED BY THE UNITED STATES SINCE THE END OF WORLD WAR II :

China 1945-46
Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
Guatemala 1954
Indonesia 1958
Cuba 1959-1961
Guatemala 1960
Congo 1964
Peru 1965
Laos 1964-73
Vietnam 1961-73 (Vietnam War)
Cambodia 1969-70
Guatemala 1967-69
Grenada 1983
Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
Libya 1986
El Salvador 1980s
Nicaragua 1980s
Iran 1987
Panama 1989
Kuwait 1991 (Iraqi Targets)
Iraq 1991-
Somalia 1993
Bosnia 1994, 1995 (Bosnian Serb Targets)
Sudan 1998
Yugoslavia 1999
Afghanistan 1998,
 
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hello,
I have another post on this page but after that, I was busy reading the on going debate. Not only am I shocked but in complete dismay how some of the people even after reading what Abu Khaleel has to say, still support US imperialism. Nadia, I suggest you don’t argue, these people are blind, they sound like neocons and one of the person has actually posted something (about Europe aging and dying) from the well reputed neoconservative, Robert Kagan's book - Of Paradise and Power.

Ironical isn't it, Americans talk about freedom and liberties but they just don’t seem to acknowledge the fact that the government has gone around toppling democracies around the world. They talk about making the world a safer place but don’t question them selves that when did the terrorist attacks on America actually start. They want liberties and democracy everywhere, but no one questions where these values were when JFK was assassinated or when Martin Luther was killed. America ranks 39, the last among the freest nations according to the freedomhouse.org, an American organization. Yet, they are complacently smug in believing that they are attacked for their freedom. No wonder Sweden, Finland and the other countries ranked far above US when it comes to freedom and are safe from terrorism. Your media barks day and night about terrorist threats but did it tell you about the letter Osama Bin-Laden wrote to you, practically enlisting the reasons for the attack? Murder of civilians cannot be justified for any cause whatsoever, but it might actually put some sense into your heads why you are abhorred and detested. Some Moron actually spoke about leaders representing their people; you make me pity you to be honest. While 95% of America’s wealth remains concentrated with 5% of the population and the wedge further widening, American masses are made to believe their economy is actually improving. Sure your leaders care, as long as you care and remain concerned about whether Michael Jackson was a pedophile or not and whether Angelina Jolie was responsible for the break up of Brad-Aniston, indeed your leaders are concerned. As long as the gas prices aren’t high enough that you can drive around the city and go to theatres & shopping, you remain happy, who cares if Iraqis have to pay 2-3 times the price they were initially paying for their own gas. You don’t care whose dying where and why, only when your soldiers begin to die, you wake up from your vegetative dormancy. You don’t care whether half a million Iraqi children were dead before, thanks to your sanctions or whether over 200,000 civilians are now dead and rising. And please, do me a favor any pro-Bush right-wingers, don’t tell me they were to stop Iraq from building weapons. Medicines for curing yellow fever, malaria and not to mention, treat cancer (thanks again to your uranium) cannot be used to build WMDs.

While I am certainly not against those Americans who do not support war and BUSH, the Big Murderer, I indeed cannot stand those neoconservatives that seem to infest the nation. You don’t know what the country; your country has done in Far-East Asia and Latin America, because people of these ill-fated countries have suffered silently. But middle-east is not the same and you will see that. Do me a favor and your self as well, listen to people like Robert Fisk, a British journalist who has risked his life a 100 times over to get the truth to the people. This man is the only western journalist to have met Osama Bin-Laden, he is a Christian, but knows Arabic, read his articles; it will help free your cluttered and demented thoughts. He understands terrorist, read his views and you will know why America is hated and is under constant threat, instead of watching your Jew controlled, manipulated, tampered news from CNN and Fox News where journalist are nicely seated in tanks, saying what the government has instructed them to say, like parrots repeat the propaganda and not to mention report news from hotel rooms – “mouse journalism”, if you know what I am talking about. Web page dedicated to him is given at the end of this exhortation.

People like Noam Chomsky, Tom Feeley, John Pilger and many-many more are simply just fanatics right? They for some reason just hate America, even though most of these peace-activists are Americans. I fail to understand why. There is evidence of US torture, malpractices, and dual-intentions and still we foolishly discuss whether the war is right or wrong. The other day, a blessed ignorant dotard was speaking about how America has successfully brought democracy to Afghanistan. I was silent, what can I say? Karzai, a Unocal foreign advisor is made president, opposition election party members are butchered, drug production in Afghanistan has doubled, thugs and war-lords are allowed to rule, but still – an American will tell you with an air of defiance – “we gave them democracy”. Forget discussing with such people the plan to lay pipelines across Afghanistan, you can’t really argue with a kindergarten child whether pneumonia starts with a “P” or a “N”. Gods of wisdom have perished and so will humanity as long as ignorance prevails. Please see some of the links I am posting, might help you fulfill the responsibility of gaining freedom; freedom from ignorance.

www.informationclearinghouse.com
www.chomsky.info
www.robert-fisk.com
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_United_States_Imperialism
http://www.crimesofwar.org/
http://www.antiwar.com/
 
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What type of site is this. Many 'enlightened people' resorting to 4th grade name calling, that is intellect? I am an American and believe mistakes have been made but I would not consider such vile to be anymore the truth than what they speak out against. Some of these posts are outright laughable, like Jeff, and the one who doesn't seem to know much about a certain N.C. What a shame, I thought maybe I had reached a reality-based dissent. Maybe some was but with all the nonsense how can one tell, shamefully, really.
 
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لى هنا يكفي ... معاً ضد العنف والتطرف.... معاً من أجل الحوار والتمدن
Nu er det nok..
It is enough now!

 
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Dear Abu Khaleel,

it is two months since your last post.

Please, do tell your readers that you are safe and well...
 
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Dear Italian,

I am safe. Thank you for your concern.
 
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Thanks be to God!
 
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Abu Khaleel!!!!! So nice to hear from you :)
 
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Abu!
Are you active on other sites?
Why are you off from here?
Stay alive.
 
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Abu Khaleel,
You, your family, and your friends (and your nation) are in my prayers.
May God be gracious and merciful towards you (towards y'all).

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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I so hoped we could avert this latest calamity. May the Iraqi resiliance hold and bind the nation together. You, your family and your countrymen are in my prayers.
 
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"I am safe."
What a ridiculous thing for an Iraqi to say.
You didn't deserve this, Abu. Your country didn't deserve this.
Hang in there, mate.
Circular
 
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This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
 
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i am with circular in this. take care abu, and please keep us updated, if possible. maybe you can do a 'reposting' of the posts you mentioned yourself for a re-reading of various backgrounds? thanks for all anyway, (and don't do anything i wouldn't do... ;)
 
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Abu Khaleel keep safe.



Cile here is the link you asked for:

http://iraquna.blogspot.com/2004/11/sunni-and-shiite-iraq-intermingling.html
 
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As an American, I am sworn to uphold the Constitution and the principles of the American Revolution. I have been saddened that since the entry of the U.S. into the U.N. that successive Administrations have failed to do just that. In regards to Iraq, I feel that the current President, George W. Bush did the right thing in toppling the Saddam regime, and would like to personally apologize for allowing former President George H.W. Bush to be defeated by Bill Clinton. It is my sincere belief, that had Clinton not been elected President, the situation with Iraq would have been resolved in the early 90s and the 1990-2003 Iraq War would not have escalated into the 21st Century.
 
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As an American, I am sworn to uphold the Constitution and the principles of the American Revolution..blah..blah..blah..

Anon above,
Your craven cowardice and the repeated personal failures of your holy oath cannot be allowed to go unpunished. You need to end your pathetic existence before you do further harm to the sacred American Homeland-so stay out of politics and pray that Jesus comes back soon to rapture you to heaven.
Enjoy the kool-aid.
PS, there's a loaded gun out back if you don't like kool-aid.
Heil Bush!
 
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Abu Khaleel, let us know if you are alright, please. The last few days have had very worrying news coming from your country. If you are not too depressed to do an analysis of current events, well, now is the time to do it!

(Oh, and - As a citizen of the world, I feel I should personally apologise for being unable to stop the anonymous yank from coming here and spouting his nonsense.)
 
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Bruno,

I’m ok, thank you. I had actually posted a comment but deleted it two days later. It gave away too much!! At the moment, I am in a much better mood! In addition to the gratifying conduct of those ragheads, two other items lifted my spirits:


1. Re recent developments: Iraq wins again! As you know, I have been saying for along time that there are powerful forces bent on inciting sectarian strife in Iraq. These villains are numerous, powerful, resourceful and determined. But decent, ordinary people have taught them another lesson. That blowing of the shrine was a truly severe one; it was the most powerful ‘sectarian assault’ yet. Several forces of darkness moved swiftly to initiate sectarian conflict – but were dismayed to learn that ordinary people were not interested! It has passed. It was a close call indeed. I was quite depressed and apprehensive. I had to go back and read my own writings on the subject to regain a more balanced perspective! No doubt there will be other ‘assaults’. But I still believe that we will pull through.

2. Here is a link that may be of interest. Words from one of more moderate of my dearly beloved neocons, the villains who engineered the devastation of our country – Francis Fukuyama: “Neoconservatism has evolved into something I can no longer support”. I find the article most gratifying. Remember, this is from one of their architects. It is as clear an admission of defeat as any (albeit for the wrong reasons and with a wrong prescription for the way ahead;). A formal declaration of defeat of a bankrupt philosophy!

3. A few days ago, a large-scale opinion poll conducted by Maryland University showed that 87% of Iraqis (including 64% of Kurds, please note) endorsed a demand for a timetabled withdrawal of the occupiers. The findings were mostly ignored by the media. Need I say anything?

Oh, how I love this country!!

As to what has and is taking place on the ground in Iraq, I will try to oblige – perhaps later, when I have more time and/or motivation!
 
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Hello Abu Khaleel,
Here's the link you gave, without the prefix which blogger apparently adds: http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1715179,00.html
Hopefully it will work.

Be Well and take care,
Bob Griffin
 
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Oops! Here is the link again:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1715179,00.html
 
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To Mr. Khaleel,

It sounds like you were happier being a slave to Saddam than you are as a free man. You do not deserve to be free at the cost of American blood. You deserve to be a slave.

To all you Americans that bash your country to foreigners on blogs like this, I hope you realize that you are frittering away whatever goodwill America still has in the world. Do you think this goodwill will suddenly reappear when your party gets back in the White House? Grow up and think about the long term consequences of your actions. Stop your whiny pandering to people like this twisted Baathist.
 
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Annonymous poster of 2nd March, 7:41AM Greenwich Mean Time,

First, Abu Khaleel is clearly NOT a Ba'athist. If you had read his various posts and blogs, you would see that he has gone to great lengths to promote representative democracy in post-invasion Iraq, and has no affection for Saddam Hussein at all.

Second, I respectfully request that you wash your mouth with some strong soap. Your verbal behavior towards our host is despicable.

Third, I request that you read up on what the US has ALLOWED to occur in Iraq with and after the invasion, and compare it with how we treated Germany and Japan in World War II.

Fourth, it is not the critics of US policy which make the US unpopular in much of the world, it is the policies themselves. Those who don't respect America BECAUSE of the critics of American policy are like those who believed China did the right thing at Tienanmin Plaza.

Unfortunately I have little hope that you will understand this.

May God be merciful to you,
Bob Griffin
 
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Dear Bob Griffin,

Wash my mouth out with soap? Did I swear? No, I did not. You just don't like what I have to say.

Of course, from your profile, I see you live in California, and your favorite films include, gee whiz golly, lord of the rings and star wars! Wow.

You clearly enjoy alternate reality. Get a grip.

Freedom requires sacrifice. Unfortunately, this sacrifice almost always requires bloodshed.

Of course, I don't expect you or Aragorn to understand this. Oh wait. I think Aragorn did understand this. Please watch Lord of the Rings again and get back to me.
 
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Abu Khaleel –

Thank you very much for the link. I have archived it. It was very interesting to read Fukuyama’s mea culpa on the subject, although I think it’s a bit easy for him to advocate the virtual destruction of a country on ideological grounds and then get off with an “oops, I was wrong”. Anyhow, I suppose these days we ought to be grateful that at least the man had the courage to admit he was wrong.

[a k] “A few days ago, a large-scale opinion poll conducted by Maryland University showed that 87% of Iraqis (including 64% of Kurds, please note) endorsed a demand for a timetabled withdrawal of the occupiers.”

That was the PIPA poll.

It said the same as all the other polls from Iraq – and there are quite a few of them – almost two per year. The numbers change only minimally between the various polls. Yet, it seems that they have ALL been ignored, except for those results which can be spun into a positive light. It seems as if the US/UK don’t want to hear what Iraqis have to say, unless it is what they want to hear.

It seems as if the road of knowledge through pain is the road they want to take.

Speaking of which, here is one of these numbskulls:


[anonymous] “It sounds like you were happier being a slave to Saddam than you are as a free man. You do not deserve to be free at the cost of American blood. You deserve to be a slave. To all you Americans that bash your country to foreigners on blogs like this, I hope you realize that you are frittering away whatever goodwill America still has in the world.”

No, brave ‘anonymous’, being under the American boot is being no freer than under Saddam’s. You may THINK this is so, but yet every day you pay in American blood to learn the opposite.

The Americans who have the courage to speak out on the atrocities you have inflicted on Iraq and elsewhere are not frittering away goodwill towards America – on the contrary, they are salvaging whatever is left of your tattered reputation in the world. The day will come when people will debate whether Americans are totally evil, whether you deserve to be wiped out or not – these brave individuals are what will redeem you.

Lets just hope there are enough of them.

(If you really want to take the Lord of the Rings as an analogy, the Iraqis are being given the choice between Sauron (Saddam) and Saruman (USA). Neither is freedom. I think Aragorn understood this too.)
 
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Abu Khaleel:

Here is a link to a critique of the Fukyama essay by Christopher Hitchens: http://www.slate.com/id/2137134/ . Hopefully, the level of sectarian violence in your area will decrease enough that you have both the luxury of time and the interest to give it a look.

Mark-In-Chi-Town
 
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Mark-in-Chi-town,
Thanks for the reference to Hitchen's response to Fukuyama's essay. It is an interesting read, though I wonder how it will sound to non-Westerners.

Reading Hitchens' article reminds me of all of the 2002/2003 arguments against invading Iraq and all of the socio-cultural psychologizing that was being done to justify the then-upcoming invasion.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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Dear Bruno,

You are far braver than me. I checked your profile, it is completely empty. All we know about you is that you've chosen the name "Bruno." Wow. You are brave indeed.

I laugh at your designation of me as a "numbskull." I graduated at the top of my class from a top ten undergraduate school and a top ten law school. I'm sure I'm really not as smart as you and Bob Griffin.

May your lives at home with your parents be fulfilling!

Peace. And more imporantly, freedom.

Anonymous
 
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Dear Bruno,

When you and your weak kneed friends decide that all Americans are "evil" and should be be "wiped out" (you sound a lot like the current president of Iran), please note that we are very well armed and ready to die to protect our freedom, unlike the coward Khaleel.

Lets just hope, for your sake, that there are enough of YOU.
 
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[anonymous] “You are far braver than me. I checked your profile, it is completely empty. All we know about you is that you've chosen the name "Bruno." Wow. You are brave indeed.”

So then PICK A NAME.

I have used the same handle ever since I started posting to the Iraqi blogs, and all my posts can be associated with me, for better or for worse. Unlike you, I don’t have the luxury of denying any half-arsed posts I may make, or stupid things I have said.


[anonymous] “I laugh at your designation of me as a "numbskull." I graduated at the top of my class from a top ten undergraduate school and a top ten law school.”

Ah, yes, and I was sent for repeated IQ tests for determining ‘genius level’ individuals when I was within the educational system.

Trouble is, though, that over THE INTERNET you have no way of verifying my claims, isn’t it?

I could actually be lying through my teeth, isn’t it?

Which is why I confine my analysis of YOU to what can be verified about you: your post. And yes, according to your post, you may well be a numbskull, claims of exceptionalism notwithstanding.


[anonymous] “When you and your weak kneed friends decide that all Americans are "evil" and should be be "wiped out"”

If you read my post properly, Mr Intelligence, you will see that this is not what I said at all.


[anonymous] “ please note that we are very well armed and ready to die to protect our freedom, unlike the coward Khaleel ”

Yeah, we have here an ANONYMOUS armchair hero living in complete safety, proclaiming his toughness while deriding as a coward a man who has the guts to tough it out in a country that YOUR country has turned into hell on earth; a man who risks his life every day merely by trying to prevent out and out civil war in his area.

Do you have ANY idea how pathetic you sound?

I believe that Abu Khaleel started this blog partly in order to find out why Americans could possibly have supported a war on his country, and to try to convince them that they were mistaken in their beliefs. He has pretty much given up in disgust and hopelessness, thanks largely to people like yourself.

Another huzzah for the Fifth Americans!


[anon] “Lets just hope, for your sake, that there are enough of YOU.”

Thanks to people like YOU, pal, your country loses more and more friends in The Real World ™ every day. There are over five billion non-Americans on this globe.

If things carry on as they are … well, you do the maths … if you are able to.
 
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Mark, thanks for the relevant link, as per usual.

Am I imagining things or do you have an alter ego on Strategy Page?

:)

Cheers.
 
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Forbidden
You don't have permission to access / on this server.

that is what i get when i try to get to abu's 'Glimpse of Iraq'.
am i the only one having this problem? or did something happen with that blog?

anyway, bests to all of you, and specially to abu, of course. take care.
 
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Abu Khaleel, just wanted you to know you are in my thougts.

Take Care.

Peace/ Nadia
 
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Cile,
I was just able to access the Glimpse of Iraq blog with no problems, using the link on the left side of the main page of this blog.

Be Well
 
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Abu!
Many times I asks myself what makes you not to pick up the riffle.
I mean, my blood boil when I see what they do to all of you, and you still remains cool and keeps out of the crossfire.
Must say Iam impressed.
Bye
 
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Anonymous Law School grad:

Well, it is clear that you learned the art of ad hominem argument. I live on the opposite coast from my mother, and my father's coffin is not available for sub-lease.

It is not your raw intelligence which is an issue. The intellect is merely a tool, which can be used either in the pursuit of the truth or in opposition to the truth. It was intellectuals (certainly of higher than average intelligence) who made the argument in 2002 that since Iraq is an honor/shame society, a rapid defeat of the Iraqi army would quickly lead to a peaceful pro-American Iraq. On a mostly-conservative-Christian board, one member has (or had) the tagline 'Though it always comes as a surprise to intellectuals, there are some forms of stupidity that one must be highly intelligent and educated to commit.' (As a member of Mensa I am quite aware of this, and also of the fact that it can describe my own positions as well as those of others.)

I question not your intelligence but rather your willingness to re-evaluate evidence. It seems to me that you use your intellect as a tool to bludgeon those who disagree with you rather than as a tool to increase your understanding. I invite you to change your perspective.

Be Well,
Bob Griffin
 
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Anonymous Law grad,

I'll submit a few books for your consideration, some fiction and some non-fiction. These deal with SOME of the issues involved in and around Iraq.

'Jihad vs McWorld'

'The Crimson Field' by Rosie Malek-Younan, about the Assyrian Genocide

'Mount Semele' by Ivan Kakovitch, also about the Assyrian genocide, concluding with the massacres of Assyrians in 1933 by the Iraqi army

You might also visit muslimwakeup.com for a view of anti-jihadist Islam, and the responses from the more intransigent. Check out Riverbend's blog, our host's 'Glimpses of Iraq' and 'Rapid Democracy in Iraq'. Check out the archives of ZindaMagazine.com, an Assyrian on-line magazine, for pictures both of Iraq under Saddam (oppressive, if not deadly) and since (both oppressive and deadly in much of Iraq).

Be Well
 
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[bobgriffin] “I question not your intelligence but rather your willingness to re-evaluate evidence.”

That is the hardest part of intelligence. It is very difficult to accept that one’s cherished views may actually be wrong if they are wrong … and then modify those views accordingly. But honesty to oneself and thus honesty to the truth dictates that one should do so.

What is very tempting for clever people to do is to demolish a true but badly argued statement by a lesser light, in order to preserve their world-view. I suspect that this is what ‘Mr Intelligence’ is used to doing.

Let’s see him try that here.
 
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Well, well, a Mensa member and a guy who had a few IQ tests. Wow, color me impressed. You guys sound very accomplished. ;)

What you libs will never understand is that free societies must eventually confront fascism and totalitarianism in all its forms to preserve freedom, not only for themselves, but also for others.

Don't worry boys, us conservatives will keep doing the dirty work of freedom while you guys run down the U.S., which for the last 100 years has been the best hope for mankind.

Now you can get back to patting each other on the back and sharing book lists in this lovely intellectual vacuum created by a man who pines for the "good ole days" under the heel of Saddam.

My work here is done.

Sincerely,

The Aptly Named, Mr. Intelligence
 
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[Mr I] “Well, well, a Mensa member and a guy who had a few IQ tests.”

Well, that’s what we SAY. Of course, we could be lying - as could you - which is the entire point of my paragraph. I guess you were just too intelligent to understand it.


[Mr I] “What you libs will never understand is that free societies must eventually confront fascism and totalitarianism in all its forms to preserve freedom, not only for themselves, but also for others.”

Oh, granted that that is a noble ideal. But what you ‘gops’ fail to understand is that the means which you employ to achieve these ends are equivalent to what you are fighting against. Not only this, but the “fight against [fill in enemy of choice]” is actually a smokescreen for other reasons which are a heck of a lot more materialistic and self interested than sheer magnanimity and brotherly love for your fellow man.

This perversion of genuinely good ideals coupled with the hypocrisy of both your means and ends renders your kind far more dangerous and subversive than the dumb ol’ USSR.

Let me rephrase that: You don’t fail to understand this at all. You know exactly what you are doing.

Some of your more gullible support base in Hicksville, Texas might truly believe that they are in the right. That’s just because they don’t understand the enormity of the crap that they’re in. They’ll sing your praises even while the rich GOP’s are selling them and us down the river to perdition.

It’s like a paedophile telling his daughter that he molests her for her own good … so that other dirty – minded boys will not. And she believes it.

That’s how sick the system has become.

Well, I don’t believe it.
 
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Mr. Inteligence=Jeffrey
 
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Jeffrey? Who is Jeffrey?

In any event, please try to spell "Intelligence" correctly.
 
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[anon] “Mr. Inteligence=Jeffrey”
[Mr I] “Jeffrey? Who is Jeffrey? In any event, please try to spell "Intelligence" correctly.”

Mh. Could be. But I think it’s the same team, different player.

Jeffrey is too busy sneering and ranting about how dumb Islam and Arabs are to bother making any political point. Besides, he hasn’t mentioned faeces *once*.

I like the way Mr I’s main concern is the quality of your spelling, though.

No attempt to post anything of substance.

Yep, another drive-by trolling.
 
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Bruno and you other people trying to confront these offshoots of neo-conservatism, sincerely, please halt. Mr.Bob already gave some links to these ranting imbeciles and so did i, so that they could learn something useful and increase their ever diminishing worldly knowledge, and with it, the superficial wisdom they think they possess. any practical American, who calls him or herself an intellectual and a true believer of freedom and democracy, would first ask, why is the US attacked and disliked the most, why us? Why is the US involved in almost all the wars around the globe? how come the US has either direct and indirect relations to almost all the worst, hannibal like dictators around the world? and if the US was really as sincere as it says it is, how come there is indispensable and undeniable colossal evidence of the contrary? No American hates America, nor do people around the world who know what they need to; they only hate what is become of it and those that are helping it become this impossible curse. If you are really that interested in spreading freedom, why don’t you look at the contrary evidence of what your country has done and then ask yourself what is real and what is a lie? Why don’t you go and speak to those veterans who have seen the ground realities (not those sadistic psychos torturing and mutilating people in the gallows of Guantanamo and Abu Gharib), who know what really the agenda behind war is. I have posted some other links in a previous post, have a look at them as well if you are really interested in knowing more, essentially the truth, and the reason I say truth is because these individuals are there to see what is happening, not like most Americans listening to CNN and FOX propaganda day and night. To be honest, if there was even a grain of truth of what the American government was doing, like I said, there would never be so much pain, suffering and killing going on. Sadly, educated people (some who have studied law yet do not know of what comprises of violations of law) still believe in the propaganda and will continue to believe, till they don’t resort to some serious introspection and search for truth beyond the realm of their immediate sources.
 
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"Sadly, educated people (some who have studied law yet do not know of what comprises of violations of law) still believe in the propaganda and will continue to believe, till they don’t resort to some serious introspection and search for truth beyond the realm of their immediate sources."

Sadly, some people can't write a comprehensible sentence, but want to be taken seriously.
 
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When you believe and support hideous lies, even letters of the alphabet will be incomprehensible. Sine you have so little left to say, apart from helplessly picking out grammatical or spelling mistakes from other posts, one thing that indeed is comprehensible, is that you were the law student I was referring to.
 
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One thing the Bush administration has said after the miltary went into Iraq was that Saddam used chemical weapons "against his OWN people". when that was actually happening, the USA ignored it as best they could.

Today, the dictator of Pakistan, Musharef, is bombing and killing "his OWN people".


So, someday, the war mongerers will claim we have to do something about Pakistan (like bomb it or invade) and that the evil dictator of Pakistan killed "his OWN people".


This will change if Musharef gets kicked out of there.


US foreign policy is full of bullshit like this.
 
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[Anonymous : 12/3/06 6:23 AM] “Sadly, educated people (some who have studied law yet do not know of what comprises of violations of law) still believe in the propaganda …”

Your words are so, so true.

I believe that the root cause of the problem lies in the phenomenon of American exceptionalism, which cannot admit that Americans are simply people like others on this planet. If one believes in American Exceptionalism, then one automatically transcends the debate over means and ends, because the ends of US foreign policy are never in question, hence all means are justified. This phenomenon is insidious and very powerful, because it is not addressed in debates and yet is the driving force behind the yahoos on the net.

Even some people whom I think are very intelligent and informed, like Mark-in-chi-town are affected by it. Note his outrage when Abu Khaleel dared suggest that Americans are manipulated by their media.

Oh, by the way, I don’t believe that out Mr Intelligence is a law graduate.

I think a genuine law graduate would have put up a far more effective and vigorous defence of his beliefs than the “you can’t spell” drivel that he has posted here.
 
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hope you're all right, and to hear something soon...
iraqi blogosphere is different without your writings.
bests
and take care
 
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yes bruno, every word you say is so true. what concerns me most is the relentless propaganda that the government is now resorting to, to invade Iran. once again, all of America is trembling, wondering when the next nuke will hit them. incase anyone is unaware, the theory of another 9/11 has already been proposed. to draw the american people into another malicious war, the government might just go in for another manufactured 9/11 and then call it a surprise, unprecendented attack. curse these fiends. i can only breathe with ease thinking about the state of these murderers in hell.
i wonder sometimes how intellectuals like Chomsky are born in between people who call Bush a "good christian" (Jesus must be wondering what is wrong with people to call Bush even human, forget christian). Some of his works on how people of America are manipulated are simply fantastic. after reading some of the stuff he writes, you really understand how gullible, yet shallow most of the people of america are. god knows what will happen to them, they are getting killed from all sides. the outside world hates them for who they are, thanks to the rascals who govern them, and on the inside their government is choking them to death. i really pity americans who remain blissfully ignorant of the hellish vortex they are trapped in. honestly speaking - god 'needs to' bless america.
 
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Cile and other friends,

Thank you. I am still alive.

In several respects, it was indeed a pleasure and an honor to discuss, listen to and write to some truly decent people whom I have come to know through these pages and who come from more than four continents, including America. Yet, now I feel that most of those people already know. In many cases, they know a lot more than I do about the rest of the world and about America… so what good will any writing do?

As to those other people, they still say they are right and they are on the right track. Just last week, Saddam – after nearly 40 years of devastating the country – was still arguing that he is right!!! It will be the same with these people and their parrots. From my experience on this blog, I now believe it is degrading to debate things with parrots.

It was personally shocking for me to realize that so many people of the most powerful and ‘advanced’ country in the world are driven primarily by the primeval demon of Fear. Many of those driving and manipulating them are themselves driven by demons of arrogance, lust for power and greed. America’s Founding Fathers must be turning in their graves.

May America itself one day be liberated by her own sons and daughters and saved from those demons. At the moment this seems highly unlikely. Meanwhile, may no other country suffer the misfortune of being ‘liberated’ by present-day demon-possessed America.

And tonight, on the eve of the anniversary, I naturally have mixed feelings - but mostly feelings of anger and bitterness!

There have been three phases in Iraq over the past 4 decades: Saddam Rule, US rule and Sectarian Iraqi rule. There have been mixed transition phases between them. We are now embarking on the third phase, engineered by the US administration. Each was worse than the one before.

My own position has also gone through three different phases (also with mixed transition periods): Advocating democracy and reaching out; Doing what I can to avert local conflict; Taking the offensive and doing something about it. The first phase was a total failure. The second was a success. At the moment I spend much of my free time thinking about the next phase.

I no longer believe that the solution of the problems of Iraq lies in America or anywhere else. It lies here in Iraq and always has.

Why do you think so many more people in America are now against this war? Is it because it was wrong or that horrible things have been done in this country by the American administration and the American Army? It is now certain that most of those people have had a change of heart because America lost. Had the administration won, a lot more people would still be supporting this adventure (regardless of wrongdoings and atrocities).

And how has America lost?

It was because of things taking place here on the ground – mostly by Iraqis.

I am not bitter against the rest of the world; most people of the world have been against this thing right from the start. It is just that I think that they are ineffective, and almost useless to us as Iraqis. They could not force change over 12 years of criminal sanctions and they could not force change during 3 years of occupation, bombing, killing, devastation and atrocities. They are also running out of steam!!

It is our battle - particularly now that the Americans are laying the grounds for the next phase where they can take their boys out of harm’s way and leave various Iraqi factions to fight it out with more Iraqi blood. They are already starting to play the ‘good guy’ role acting as mediators between evil parties and entities that they empowered in the first place. They are ‘doing their best’ to induce those people (even force them) to forge a government of ‘national unity’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Only something extremely wicked can unleash so many evil forces.
 
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Hello Abu Khaleel,
Thank God you are alive and kicking!(Like Iraq!)
It is so good to here from you!
Especially with 'Operation Swammer' going on- another US offensive to nowhere.
Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld are still on TV trying to drum up support but few here in the US are listening. Those three have failed miserably. They won't try to 'teach' Iraqis how to rebuild their country anymore. Bush is now (mildly) threatened by the Democrats with censure and impeachment for lying, but where will it end? The neocon dreams have been discredited and lie upon the 'ashbin of history'.
Unfortunately, Iraq is almost dead from the fever.
Iraq will revive without US military assistance(or bases)!
Rest,care and let nature take its course.
I'm afraid you're right that most people in America would not have cared about Bush's crimes if he had succeeded.
But most of his schemes seem to be failing.
Not by accident I think!
 
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Abu Khaleel: You wrote, "It is our battle." This is the absolute truth, although I hope that, between Iraqis, it is a political, rather than military battle you are describing.

The American military presence has continued to become steadily more unpopular here at home as I had predicted in these pages long ago. With mid-term Congressional elections approaching, Bush will be desperate to make some progress on drawing down U.S. troop levels. This means he will be steadily dumping Iraq's security problems into the lap of Iraqi's security forces well before they are truly ready (or to have gained enough of the confidence of the Iraqi people to be effective). As a U.S. withdrawal is what you have long been seeking in these pages, you should be happy, but this does not seem to be the case. I suspect that the specter of continued sectarian violence or civil war is the reason for the anxiety.

It will be up to Iraqis to find a formula for a political accommodation which avoids such a conflict. Focusing any of your efforts on placing blame for the rise of Iraqi sectarianism is, in my view, an utter waste of time. To my mind, your efforts would be more fruitfully employed in organizing a mass movement to place pressure on Iraq's factional leaders to make the political compromises necessary to yield a stable and just government. To help ensure that the factions are more amenable to compromise, it will be advisable to stress the need for Iraq's constitution to contain a workable mechanism for amendments in order to have the ability to refine the system in later years. In this way, each faction can feel confident that the others will agree to make changes as the fullness of time proves them correct about one issue or another. As always, I wish you the best of luck in your efforts in the political battle.

Mark-In-Chi-Town
 
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“My own position has also gone through three different phases ....Advocating democracy and reaching out; Doing what I can to avert local conflict; Taking the offensive and doing something about it. The first phase was a total failure. The second was a success. At the moment I spend much of my free time thinking about the next phase.”

Good grief, Abu, I hope I'm reading you wrong, but that seems to imply joining the Resistance. If so, keep just thinking about it! Remember, the Pen is mightier than the Sword!
And aren't you a bit old for that sort of thing?

“I am not bitter against the rest of the world; most people of the world have been against this thing right from the start. It is just that I think that they are ineffective, and almost useless to us as Iraqis.”

True, and I'm sorry about being ineffective. I am a bit old for protest marching myself, and find it rather undignified anyway. But I hope I've done a little bit by opposing the Charles's who infest the Internet and Blogosphere. (And the Marks-in-Chi-Town who persist in seeking rational solutions to irrational situations.)

I suspect that Iraq will form a Government of National Unity at about the same time as George Bush will sit down with a US Cabinet made up equally of Republicans, Democrats and independents. “Do as I say, not as I do.” This madness has many years to run yet.

But Cile above is right - “the iraqi blogosphere is different without your writings.” It has been a privilege to know you, mate. Keep your head down, and remember Auto on the AK47 is UP.

Circular
 
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Parting word, I promise.

"Only something extremely wicked can unleash so many evil forces."

"By the pricking of my thumbs
Something wicked this way comes."

I hope you're not getting religion, Abu.
 
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Circ:

Unless one of the sectarian factions can completely and utterly impose its will by force on all others, which in Iraq's case seems doubtful in the short run, the rationial people, like Abu Khaleel, have no other choice but to use politics to try to solve Iraq's problems. Militant sectarians are not going to magically disppear. They will need to be talked into compromises as their heads cool and the violence recedes into the past. All military conflicts come to end in one way or another. More often than not, it is when the factions realize they can't win by force of arms alone and that endless cycles of retribution are self-defeating. I hope that day come soon to Iraq.

Mark-In-Chi-Town
 
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Abu Khaleel, thank you ever so much for the update.

Your attempt to communicate with, understand and convince our cro-magnon friends was truly a heroic undertaking which was pursued with more determination than I thought possible. Kudos for your enormous effort. Unfortunately you have realised the ugly truth:

[ak] “It will be the same with these people and their parrots. From my experience on this blog, I now believe it is degrading to debate things with parrots.”

And while it pains me to admit it, you are right that we in the wider world are powerless to help you, as you said here:

[ak] “most people of the world have been against this thing right from the start. It is just that I think that they are ineffective, and almost useless to us as Iraqis.”

Wallah, what can I, in South Africa, really do to help an Iraqi in Iraq, other than through puny words? Sure, we can boycott US goods for as long as their policy stinks like this, but realistically, most people here don’t even care about South African politics, never mind the fate of Iraqis. So, me not drinking Coke anymore is more of an ironic joke on the uselessness of my ‘effort’ than anything serious.

But as far as ‘ejecting’ the Americans out of Iraq, the armed struggle is definitely working. Many of our Fifth American friends are heartily sick of the steady procession of dead and wounded, and they are starting to believe that this whole venture was a mistake. Not much of the “let’s help the Iraqis” attitude left now amongst the wingnut ranks.

[ak] “It is our battle - particularly now that the Americans are laying the grounds for the next phase where they can take their boys out of harm’s way and leave various Iraqi factions to fight it out with more Iraqi blood.”

That’s the way their little foreign policy adventures usually run. But take heart. Iraqis have shown an amazing resistance to their usual machinations thus far, and I do believe that there is a real possibility of your country emerging untainted and victorious from the struggle.

I personally believe that this US re-alignment away from the ‘shias’ and towards the ‘sunnis’ is a symptom of a coming struggle even more dangerous than the invasion of Iraq. I believe that the US will take on Iran, and will try to use the ‘sunnis’ and ‘kurds’ against the ‘shias’ internally in Iraq when the SCIRI / Dawa backlash comes in response to this. I hope that Iraqis don’t fall for this gambit and let SCIRI and the Americans kill each other for a change.

[ak] “Doing what I can to avert local conflict”

Congratulations on the success of this effort. This is already a very big achievement, given the magnitude of the forces that are trying to rip Iraq apart.

Penultimate point: I (very briefly) met Saleh al Mutlaq when he was here in SA. He struck me as a brave and honest man. Is this impression correct, or am I mistaken? What do you know of him?

Finally, the best of luck with whatever your plans are for the future. Iraq desperately needs intelligent patriots like yourself, and I hope that you are successful in whatever you do. But take care as to what statements you make that could be misconstrued as meaning something else on the internet. IP addresses can be traced, and there are people around that listen much and say little, if you know what I mean.
 
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