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A New American Isolationism
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Orion27
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Apr 8, 2007, 10:46 AM
 
Historically, Conservatives in the United States have taken the more isolationist world view. Neo-Conservatives have largely been blamed for the current US effort to transform the Middle East from societies ruled by oligarchs and ruthless dictators to budding constitutional democracies. In an article in today's New York Times , David Brooks talks about Moderate Arabs strident narrative about the Israeli Lobby controlling the American Government. It appears at a recent conference of "Moderate Arabs" co-sponsored by the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan and the American Enterprise Institute, "...... problems between America and the Arab world have nothing to do with religious fundamentalism or ideological extremism, they have to do with American policies toward Israel, and the forces controlling those policies."
The general theme was Israel was at the root of several issue in the Middle East, including Lebanon, Iraq, and the confrontation with Iran. The American view were the discord in the Middle East was largely due to "fundamentalism, extremism and autocracy and could not be blamed on Israel or the American, but it had much deeper roots."
Brooks went on to comment on there being nothing defensive or introspective about the Arab participants.
"In response to Bernard Lewis’s question, “What Went Wrong?” their answer seemed to be: Nothing’s wrong with us. What’s wrong with you?"
Brooks than intimated about a total American disengagement from the "cesspool" due partly because our inability to transform the region and Arabs unwillingness to change by clinging to "Zionist-centric mythology, which is as self-flattering as it is self-destructive".
If or when Americans disengage I believe there will be "new isolationism" with regard to American foreign policy with dangerous repercussions throughout the Middle East but Europe and Africa as well.

A War of Narratives
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: April 8, 2007
On the Dead Sea, Jordan

I just attended a conference that was both illuminating and depressing. It was co-sponsored by the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan and the American Enterprise Institute, and the idea was to get Americans and moderate Arab reformers together to talk about Iraq, Iran, and any remaining prospects for democracy in the Middle East.

As it happened, though, the Arab speakers mainly wanted to talk about the Israel lobby. One described a book edited in the mid-1990s by the Jewish policy analyst David Wurmser as the secret blueprint for American foreign policy over the past decade. A pollster showed that large majorities in Arab countries believe that the Israel lobby has more influence over American policy than the Bush administration. Speaker after speaker triumphantly cited the work of Stephen Walt, John Mearsheimer and Jimmy Carter as proof that even Americans were coming to admit that the Israel lobby controls their government.

The problems between America and the Arab world have nothing to do with religious fundamentalism or ideological extremism, several Arab speakers argued. They have to do with American policies toward Israel, and the forces controlling those policies.

As for problems in the Middle East itself, these speakers added, they have a common source, Israel. One elderly statesman noted that the four most pressing issues in the Middle East are the Arab-Israeli dispute, instability in Lebanon, chaos in Iraq and the confrontation with Iran. They are all interconnected, he said, and Israel is at the root of each of them.

We Americans tried to press our Arab friends to talk more about the Sunni-Shiite split, the Iraqi civil war and the rise of Iran, but they seemed uninterested. They mimicked a speech King Abdullah of Jordan recently delivered before Congress, in which he scarcely mentioned the Iraqi chaos on his border. It was all Israel, all the time.

The Americans, needless to say, had a different narrative. We tended to argue that problems like Muslim fundamentalism, extremism and autocracy could not be blamed on Israel or Paul Wolfowitz but had deeper historical roots. We tended to see the Israeli-Palestinian issue not as the root of all fundamentalism, but as a problem made intractable by fundamentalism.

In other words, they had their narrative and we had ours, and the two passed each other without touching. But the striking thing about this meeting was the emotional tone. There seemed to be a time, after 9/11, when it was generally accepted that terror and extremism were symptoms of a deeper Arab malaise. There seemed to be a general recognition that the Arab world had fallen behind, and that it needed economic, political and religious modernization.

But there was nothing defensive or introspective about the Arab speakers here. In response to Bernard Lewis’s question, “What Went Wrong?” their answer seemed to be: Nothing’s wrong with us. What’s wrong with you?

The events of the past three years have shifted their diagnosis of where the cancer is — from dysfunction in the Arab world to malevolence in Jerusalem and in Aipac. Furthermore, the Walt and Mearsheimer paper on the Israel lobby has had a profound effect on Arab elites. It has encouraged them not to be introspective, not to think about their own problems, but to blame everything on the villainous Israeli network.

And so we enter a more intractable phase in the conflict, which will not be a war over land or oil or even democratic institutions, but a war over narratives. The Arabs will nurture this Zionist-centric mythology, which is as self-flattering as it is self-destructive. They will demand that the U.S. and Israel adopt their narrative and admit historical guilt. Failing politically, militarily and economically, they will fight a battle for moral superiority, the kind of battle that does not allow for compromises or truces.

Americans, meanwhile, will simply want to get out. After 9/11, George Bush called on the U.S. to get deeply involved in the Middle East. But now, most Americans have given up on their ability to transform the Middle East and on Arab willingness to change. Faced with an arc of conspiracy-mongering, most Americans will get sick of the whole cesspool, and will support any energy policy or anything else that will enable them to cut ties with the region.

What we have is not a clash of civilizations, but a gap between civilizations, increasingly without common narratives, common goals or means of communication.
     
Randman
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Apr 8, 2007, 11:04 AM
 
Bullshit. The world is smaller than ever with near-instant communication and the global economies tied to one another. Anyone who espouses such a view must not see any racial diversity in their lives save for "the help" and they must not look out the view of their chauffeured rides. Small minds, indeed.

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Orion27  (op)
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Apr 8, 2007, 11:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by Randman View Post
Bullshit. .... Anyone who espouses such a view must not see any racial diversity in their lives save for "the help" and they must not look out the view of their chauffeured rides. Small minds, indeed.
Makes perfect sense;

Released: 12/06 Pew Research Center
I guess Conservative Republicans have the biggest and most open minds!
( Last edited by Orion27; Apr 8, 2007 at 11:48 AM. )
     
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Apr 8, 2007, 06:16 PM
 
If isolationism is defined as "thinking the Iraq war was a terrible idea," then yeah.
     
Orion27  (op)
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Apr 9, 2007, 07:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post
If isolationism is defined as "thinking the Iraq war was a terrible idea," then yeah.
We'll define it when the blood bath in Iraq starts and we turn our backs and walk away. We'll define it in Europe when we turn our backs Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo.
     
osiris
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Apr 9, 2007, 10:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by Orion27 View Post
We'll define it when the blood bath in Iraq starts and we turn our backs and walk away. We'll define it in Europe when we turn our backs Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo.
What a f'n drama queen.
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Nicko
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Apr 9, 2007, 10:11 AM
 
America is out of step with the rest of the world. They need to re-evaluate their role in the international community.
     
Orion27  (op)
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Apr 9, 2007, 10:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
What a f'n drama queen.
Take a hard look at Darfur..
     
Millennium
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Apr 9, 2007, 10:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
What a f'n drama queen.
Dramatic, perhaps. But it's extremely difficult to argue that it won't happen; there just isn't a lot of room for doubt in the data we have. We're talking about ethnic groups that have been fighting for thousands of years, with the only pauses in the violence coming when a third party has stepped in and imposed a cease-fire. And every time that third party has been removed from the picture, the same thing happens: when you pull the pin out of the grenade, it blows up.
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osiris
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Apr 9, 2007, 10:44 AM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium View Post
Dramatic, perhaps. But it's extremely difficult to argue that it won't happen; there just isn't a lot of room for doubt in the data we have. We're talking about ethnic groups that have been fighting for thousands of years, with the only pauses in the violence coming when a third party has stepped in and imposed a cease-fire. And every time that third party has been removed from the picture, the same thing happens: when you pull the pin out of the grenade, it blows up.
Your theory is fine, the application in the Iraqi situation, however, is horribly flawed.
Iraq was much more stable under Saddam. American 'influence' has created more terrorists, and brought about a profound new level of instability in the ME. Yes, a third party is usually required to attain peace between two warring peoples, but the US ain't the one, not this time.
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Orion27  (op)
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Apr 9, 2007, 10:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
Your theory is fine, the application in the Iraqi situation, however, is horribly flawed.
Iraq was much more stable under Saddam. American 'influence' has created more terrorists, and brought about a profound new level of instability in the ME. Yes, a third party is usually required to attain peace between two warring peoples, but the US ain't the one, not this time.
A point you are missing is it didn't have to be a unilateral US intervention if the French and the rest of Europe had helped to enforce UN resolutions. Europe turned it's back on the situation and continued to support the status quo. The fact that you hold up Hussein as a paradigm for stability is a real problem. The fact Europe has undermined a chance for possibly changing that paradigm, and gloating over the US failure to overcome Europe's sabotage, is more troubling still.
     
osiris
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Apr 9, 2007, 11:05 AM
 
Originally Posted by Orion27 View Post
A point you are missing is it didn't have to be a unilateral US intervention if the French and the rest of Europe had helped to enforce UN resolutions. Europe turned it's back on the situation and continued to support the status quo. The fact that you hold up Hussein as a paradigm for stability is a real problem. The fact Europe has undermined a chance for possibly changing that paradigm, and gloating over the US failure to overcome Europe's sabotage, is more troubling still.
Yes, that is where we disagree. You genuinely feel the actions in the ME during the past few years were justified.
I do not.
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Apr 9, 2007, 11:14 AM
 
The last time America went Isolationist we had a second world war. I do agree with those who say we're over-extended, but America is by far the top country and has to act as a leader in certain respects. The world is far, far smaller than it was when Washington gave his farewell address.

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Millennium
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Apr 9, 2007, 04:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
Iraq was much more stable under Saddam.
So were the Balkans under the Soviet Union, and for the same reason: a party ostensibly uninvolved in any one faction -the "third party" I was talking about, in this case Saddam- clamped down on all of them with an iron fist.

This is not an acceptable situation.
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mac128k-1984
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Apr 9, 2007, 07:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Orion27 View Post
Makes perfect sense;

Released: 12/06 Pew Research Center
I guess Conservative Republicans have the biggest and most open minds!
Minding our business doesn't mean isolationism.

I think its wrong that we act as the world policeman, we have no business interfering with other nations, but that doesn't mean I'm for isolation, on the contrary, we need to grow our businesses, sell more items to the world. increase our diplomacy and act as a neighbor and not as the cop.
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Orion27  (op)
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Apr 9, 2007, 07:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984 View Post
Minding our business doesn't mean isolationism.

I think its wrong that we act as the world policeman, we have no business interfering with other nations, but that doesn't mean I'm for isolation, on the contrary, we need to grow our businesses, sell more items to the world. increase our diplomacy and act as a neighbor and not as the cop.
Nice try, when you need the good guys, who ya gonna call? This is multiple choice:
1. The UN
2. France
3. European Union
4. China
5. Russia
6. USA
Duh!
     
mac128k-1984
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Apr 9, 2007, 07:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Orion27 View Post
Nice try, when you need the good guys, who ya gonna call? This is multiple choice:
1. The UN
2. France
3. European Union
4. China
5. Russia
6. USA
Duh!
Well it certainly shouldn't be the US and that's is DUH!!!

If the problem is in europe, let the EU handle it, middle east let the arabs handle it. If there's issues in the US let US handle it.

We have enough issues at home, we have no right or business telling others how to live when we don't even take care of our own.
Michael
     
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Apr 9, 2007, 08:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by Millennium View Post
So were the Balkans under the Soviet Union, and for the same reason: a party ostensibly uninvolved in any one faction -the "third party" I was talking about, in this case Saddam- clamped down on all of them with an iron fist.

This is not an acceptable situation.
It's not acceptable, but there are a lot of things going on that aren't acceptable, but have no simple solution. Iraq, for example.

Again, if we define isolationism as "against the Iraq war," the bar has been set way too high.
     
Orion27  (op)
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Apr 9, 2007, 08:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984 View Post
Well it certainly shouldn't be the US and that's is DUH!!!

If the problem is in europe, let the EU handle it, middle east let the arabs handle it. If there's issues in the US let US handle it.

We have enough issues at home, we have no right or business telling others how to live when we don't even take care of our own.
If the UN needs to enforce resolutions which directly impact on World Security, if not individual States, who you gonna call? You didn't answer the question! Same choices apply.
     
mac128k-1984
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Apr 9, 2007, 09:46 PM
 
Originally Posted by Orion27 View Post
If the UN needs to enforce resolutions which directly impact on World Security, if not individual States, who you gonna call? You didn't answer the question! Same choices apply.
I'm not (and the U.S.) shouldn't need to call anyone. You're missing my point. We are not the world police man. If there's trouble some else in the world let them deal with it. I don't care if France, the UN, EU wants to help, let them. I'd rather see us our limited resources in dealing with U.S. domestic issues. So to answer your question I'm not going to call anyone, its their problem not mine.
Michael
     
Orion27  (op)
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Apr 9, 2007, 09:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984 View Post
I'm not (and the U.S.) shouldn't need to call anyone. You're missing my point. We are not the world police man. If there's trouble some else in the world let them deal with it. I don't care if France, the UN, EU wants to help, let them. I'd rather see us our limited resources in dealing with U.S. domestic issues. So to answer your question I'm not going to call anyone, its their problem not mine.
Fair enough. Pressure to mandate a new American Isolationism. Please continue to contribute your thoughts on the subject.
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 02:19 AM
 
I think Orion27 = Spliffdaddy.
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984 View Post
I'm not (and the U.S.) shouldn't need to call anyone. You're missing my point. We are not the world police man. If there's trouble some else in the world let them deal with it. I don't care if France, the UN, EU wants to help, let them. I'd rather see us our limited resources in dealing with U.S. domestic issues. So to answer your question I'm not going to call anyone, its their problem not mine.
It truly is unfortunate that the US seems to have this responsiblity of being the "policeman"...Let them deal with it??? Please reference WW1 and WW2. The rest of the world seems to suck us in unfortunately.

You gotta tame the beast before you let it out of its cage.
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 06:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I think Orion27 = Spliffdaddy.
No.

Spliffdaddy was funny, irreverent and made sense in his own way.
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 09:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by osiris View Post
Your theory is fine, the application in the Iraqi situation, however, is horribly flawed.
Iraq was much more stable under Saddam. American 'influence' has created more terrorists, and brought about a profound new level of instability in the ME. Yes, a third party is usually required to attain peace between two warring peoples, but the US ain't the one, not this time.
One could say, in the case of Iraq, that Saddam was the third party referred to by Millennium, and removing him from power was akin to pulling out the pin mentioned by Millennium.

[whoops - just saw Millennium's post stating almost exactly the same thing]
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 01:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984 View Post
We are not the world police man. If there's trouble some else in the world let them deal with it.
Interesting point of view. Allow me to present another:

These are the words of President John F. Kennedy, prepared, but not delivered, on a November day in 1963, in Dallas, Texas.

I will excerpt from them.


There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.

....

We in this country, in this generation, are--by destiny rather than choice--the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.


http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical...rt11221963.htm
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 01:46 PM
 
So Kennedy was wrong. Arrogance and hubris are not virtues. A lot of people have had to deal with the school bully.
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
America is out of step with the rest of the world. They need to re-evaluate their role in the international community.
I think the rest of the world is out of step with America. They need to re-evaluate their role in the New American Century. They can choose where to fit in or be put there by us.
</sarcasm>

Although I think a surprising number of Americans *do* believe that our status as a military super-power somehow gives us the right to impose our will and/or beliefs on the rest of the world. (I think it is the same mentality that says "love it or leave it" when questions of support for the Iraq War come up.) I am not one of those who think we could, or should, try and impose our will or beliefs on the rest of the world. But, I do see this attitude manifest itself among Americans just often enough to make me wonder if the 19th-century idea of Manifest Destiny/American Exceptionalism hasn't been transmogrified into the 21st-century idea of Progressive Excellence (i.e.: We are the chosen ones to lead the world forward.).
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984 View Post
If the problem is in europe, let the EU handle it, middle east let the arabs handle it. If there's issues in the US let US handle it.

We have enough issues at home, we have no right or business telling others how to live when we don't even take care of our own.
My sentiments exactly.

Let the world regions take care of their own problems and for place where there is no one in the region to help--say sub-Saharan Africa--then a collective body of other nations could offer to step in and help. But we are the past the point in history where individual countries could, or should, unilaterally go into other countries to solve their problems for them.
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
IWe in this country, in this generation, are--by destiny rather than choice--the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.
[/i]

http://www.jfklibrary.org/Historical...rt11221963.htm
I disagree that its by destiny, I think we have an obligation to ourselves first. This nation has issues and shouldn't we look to resolving them before we tell others how to fix their problems. The old, removing the plank from our eye before telling our neighbor about the speck in his.
Michael
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by Orion27 View Post
If the UN needs to enforce resolutions which directly impact on World Security, if not individual States, who you gonna call? You didn't answer the question! Same choices apply.
The UN solicits member state to participate in UN-sponsored military actions (usually in the form of peace-keeping missions). But, when there is a problem in Europe's backyard (Bosnia/Serbia) the UN should expect the Europeans to step up and offer help. Just like if there are problems in South America the UN should expect other countries in that region to help in finding/implementing a solution. When problems affect North America then it should be the US--along with Canada and/or Mexico--that should act as the principal nations expected to step up and try to address the problem. But, unless in cases of natural disaster, I don't see a reason for the US to be so actively involved in crises in countries half a world away.
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:30 PM
 
Originally Posted by vmarks View Post
Interesting point of view. Allow me to present another:

These are the words of President John F. Kennedy, prepared, but not delivered, on a November day in 1963, in Dallas, Texas.

I will excerpt from them.


There will always be dissident voices heard in the land, expressing opposition without alternatives, finding fault but never favor, perceiving gloom on every side and seeking influence without responsibility. Those voices are inevitable.

....

We in this country, in this generation, are--by destiny rather than choice--the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.


Remarks Prepared for Delivery at the Trade Mart in Dallas - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum
Umm, those words were (to be) delivered in the middle of the Cold War during a time in history when there was truly a bi-polar geo-political structure. Now, the Cold War is over (We Won. Yippee!!!) and the current geo-political structure is multi-polar. The US no longer needs to be the "defender of freedom against the godless Communist oppressors". We can relinquish some of the control we had on the geo-political stage to other actors who are now emerging in their own right.

However, I think you, and those who think like you, don't want the US to relinquish that position of power. I think you, and those who think like you, want the US to do whatever it takes to try and maintain that former position of dominant global power. But, I don't want that for our country any more: That position of dominance was tolerable during the Cold war but it has become intolerable now for those of us who think the US government should focus more of its resources on domestic issues and less on international issues. Although, to be honest, I those of us who advocate for a less significant geo-political role for the US will be fighting those like you for another generation or so until some modification in the US's geo-political standing is achieved.
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:33 PM
 
Originally Posted by KarlG View Post
So Kennedy was wrong. Arrogance and hubris are not virtues. A lot of people have had to deal with the school bully.
Bush has Iraq, Kennedy had Bay of Pigs - both were/are failures.
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:38 PM
 
Originally Posted by mac128k-1984 View Post
I disagree that its by destiny, I think we have an obligation to ourselves first. This nation has issues and shouldn't we look to resolving them before we tell others how to fix their problems. The old, removing the plank from our eye before telling our neighbor about the speck in his.

You are correct in your assessment. The problem is, however, that there are those who find it easier to worry about the splinter in someone else's eye, because it takes self introspection to determine why there is a plank in one's own eye, and what caused it to be lodged there. For many, introspection is a painful process, and denial is much easier to sustain, as long as someone else has that splinter. It's always easier to point out someone else's dirty home than it is to clean one's own.
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:49 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
Bush has Iraq, Kennedy had Bay of Pigs - both were/are failures.
Kennedy had the Vietnamese President, Ngo Dinh Diem, assassinated.
The 2 different Vietnamese men I work with both said they were taught this in school.
And the American government denies it.
I believe them.

And you left out Kennedy/Johnson on Vietnam.

Oh, let's not forget Truman and the Korean war boondoggle.
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Apr 15, 2007, 03:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sky Captain View Post
Kennedy had the Vietnamese President, Ngo Dinh Diem, assassinated.
The 2 different Vietnamese men I work with both said they were taught this in school.
And the American government denies it.
I believe them.

And you left out Kennedy/Johnson on Vietnam.

Oh, let's not forget Truman and the Korean war boondoggle.
I agree. Starting a war (whether the US or any other country) is generally a very bad idea no matter who does it.
     
spacefreak
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Apr 15, 2007, 05:05 PM
 
And we started this war how?
     
OldManMac
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Apr 15, 2007, 05:17 PM
 
By invading a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, under false pretenses. Even Paul Wolfowitz, one of the architects of the war, has admitted that the only reason WMDs were so loudly blathered on and on about was because it was the only issue that could be agreed upon by the rest of the neocons who were looking for a reason to get militarily involved in the ME.
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
analogika
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Apr 15, 2007, 06:17 PM
 
I have it on good authority that the Pentagon and CIA will be releasing documents in September that'll make you EAT YOUR WORDS.

Spacefreak can back me up on this.
     
ebuddy
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Apr 15, 2007, 07:14 PM
 
I wish isolationism would work. Unfortunately, it only works if others aren't.

- SCO signed in June of 2001 and Sino-Russian cooperation treaty signed between Russia and China in July 2001 against "US perceived hegemony" among other things . Mind you, this was well before our "invasion" of Iraq and includes joint military training in Naval, Air, and ground. I wish they were isolationists.
- Russia- Iran nuclear deal signed. I wish they too were isolationists.
- N. Korea and Cuba exchanging scientists and technology, cooperating in chemical weapons programs, and N. Korean military training in Cuba... I wish they were isolationists.
- I wish Syria were isolationists and Israel, UK, EU,etc...
- From vialss.com and referring to the US as "the Great Satan";

"Russian President Putin is taking a lead role in the most powerful coalition of regional and superpowers in the world. The coalition consists of India, China, Russia and Brazil. This will challenge the superpower supremacy of America." … "He [Putin] wants to establish a long-term Russian footprint in Latin America in order to expand Moscow's geopolitical influence in the region. Brazil is very open to the coalition concept where these large countries support each other in term of trade, economics, international politics and defense."
Just this single strategic move means that the new coalition embraces just over three quarters of the world's total population, eighty percent of its natural resources, and a majority of technical and scientific experts. Nor does it end there, because the coalition automatically includes the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which is presently comprised of China, Russia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Dangerously for America, the coalition will soon have another important member, Iran, currently due to enter informally in a few months time through the SCO "back door" because of a mammoth energy deal. We will return to Iran shortly.
On 16 November 2004, just six days after Vladimir Putin formally introduced Brazil as a member of the new coalition, IAEA inspectors from Geneva visited Rio de Janeiro. Just eight days later on 24 November 2004, Brazilian Energy Minister Eduardo Campos announced that the IAEA had issued Brazil with a permit to commence the experimental stage of uranium enrichment.


I wish they were all isolationists and if it's our fault they're not, I'm sorry. Unfortunately, at this time I am required, out of a nagging sense of self-preservation; to concern myself with these matters. I cannot see them from underneath a pile of sand. I don't buy into this notion of; "we've created more terrorists". From what I saw, terrorists created more Americans... at least for a few months. I don't like isolationism any more than the next guy, but we just may be isolated no matter what we do. Dramatic? Not really. Perfectly natural really. At some point we may actually have to choose sides that's all.

Of course, I've been saying the world will come to a head of ideals regardless. It's human nature. Isolationism is not.
ebuddy
     
wolfen
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Apr 15, 2007, 09:42 PM
 
Originally Posted by analogika View Post
I have it on good authority that the Pentagon and CIA will be releasing documents in September that'll make you EAT YOUR WORDS.

Spacefreak can back me up on this.
Yes, I'm sure they've been working on these documents for some time.

As for the debate on US power mongering: I have known people in military intelligence and in an assassination squad. Yes, an assassination squad basically disguised as a ranger team. These things are not rare -- they're almost routine. Monthly occurences around the world. I do not understand anyone who pretends to uphold "the values of America" while supporting our own brand of international terrorism.

I'm not a hater of my country, I've just lost faith in its leadership. My faith rests in people's ability to respond to crisis within a democracy. When the crisis comes, things will happen. Until then, we hope you enjoy Desperate Housewives with the occasional interruption by the latest bombing.
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OldManMac
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Apr 15, 2007, 09:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by wolfen View Post
I'm not a hater of my country, I've just lost faith in its leadership. My faith rests in people's ability to respond to crisis within a democracy. When the crisis comes, things will happen. Until then, we hope you enjoy Desperate Housewives with the occasional interruption by the latest bombing.
How dare you forget about Anna Nicole Smith, and her baby's parentage issue. I mean, what kind of American are you?
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
dcmacdaddy
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Apr 15, 2007, 10:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
I agree. Starting a war (whether the US or any other country) is generally a very bad idea no matter who does it.
Originally Posted by spacefreak View Post
And we started this war how?
The War on Terror or the war in Iraq?

The War on Terror we started when our leaders felt the best way to respond to a terrorist attack on US soil was to start a war against an idea instead of against those responsible for said attack. (Why ARE there still members of Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan? Why aren't they all dead?)

The war in Iraq we started when our leaders felt that they should open another front in the war against an idea. So, instead of fighting an idea in one location--a bad enough practice in and of itself--they decide to fight an idea in two locations. So, we are still fighting an idea instead of fighting, and killing, all of those responsible for attacking us on September 11th.

I *so* wish we had just gone into Afghanistan, killed all the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and then come back home. We had the whole world behind us at that point. We could have carpet-bombed the entire Northwest Frontier province of Afghanistan until it was reduced to rubble--where the Al Qaeda and Taliban had their bases and where they are re-emerging from today as a formidable power--and very few nations would have spoken out against us. We could have ruthlessly eliminated ALL the Taliban and ALL the Al Qaeda adherents in Afghanistan--just kill them all, no capturing, no trials, no prisons, just kill them all--and very few nations would have spoken out against us. And then we could have used our considerable financial power to help re-build the country--still allowing for plenty of no-bid contracts to go to Halliburton--and then brought our troops home. But, none of that happened. SIGH!!!
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Nicko
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Apr 16, 2007, 03:00 AM
 
Originally Posted by dcmacdaddy View Post
The War on Terror or the war in Iraq?


I *so* wish we had just gone into Afghanistan, killed all the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and then come back home. We had the whole world behind us at that point. We could have carpet-bombed the entire Northwest Frontier province of Afghanistan until it was reduced to rubble--where the Al Qaeda and Taliban had their bases and where they are re-emerging from today as a formidable power--and very few nations would have spoken out against us. We could have ruthlessly eliminated ALL the Taliban and ALL the Al Qaeda adherents in Afghanistan--just kill them all, no capturing, no trials, no prisons, just kill them all--and very few nations would have spoken out against us. And then we could have used our considerable financial power to help re-build the country--still allowing for plenty of no-bid contracts to go to Halliburton--and then brought our troops home. But, none of that happened. SIGH!!!
The funny thing is, the year after the invasion of Afghanistan things were looking somewhat positive. I think it all started going bad shortly after the invasion of Iraq. There weren't enough forces in Afghanistan to completely get rid of the Taliban and they rebuilt/reorganized. Suicide bombings were unheard of and Kabul and now they are becoming a regular occurrence.

IMO what are the two big problems in Afghanistan? The Taliban have unlimited supplies of money from the poppy fields and have sanctuaries in Northern Pakistan. Somewhat similar in Iraq, the waring factions have money and guns coming in from Iran and smuggled oil. Not only that but Iraq and Afghanistan are both HUGE countries and US just thought they could invade and pacify both of them so easily?
     
goMac
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Apr 16, 2007, 03:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Orion27 View Post
Nice try, when you need the good guys, who ya gonna call? This is multiple choice:
1. The UN
2. France
3. European Union
4. China
5. Russia
6. USA
Duh!
If I were another country, I would certainly not call the U.S. to come and help me. Last thing I'd want was to be turned into another Afghanistan or Iraq.

I think the U.S. would come just somewhere above Libya.
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tie
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Apr 16, 2007, 04:55 AM
 
Originally Posted by Orion27 View Post
Makes perfect sense;

Released: 12/06 Pew Research Center
I guess Conservative Republicans have the biggest and most open minds!
Your poll has nothing to do with isolationism and everything to do with Iraq. Have some common sense.

Just one presidency ago it was the Democrats who were the nation-building party with the Republicans fiercely opposed. Look how quickly that switched.
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Sky Captain
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Apr 16, 2007, 11:35 AM
 
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
IMO what are the two big problems in Afghanistan? The Taliban have unlimited supplies of money from the poppy fields and have sanctuaries in Northern Pakistan. Somewhat similar in Iraq, the waring factions have money and guns coming in from Iran and smuggled oil. Not only that but Iraq and Afghanistan are both HUGE countries and US just thought they could invade and pacify both of them so easily?
Not to mention all the monetary aid from Saudi.
And probably training and material from Iran.
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subego
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Apr 16, 2007, 12:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Nicko View Post
The funny thing is, the year after the invasion of Afghanistan things were looking somewhat positive.

The positive results in Afghanistan were used by Rumsfeld as justification that we could achieve our goal in Iraq with a minimal troop deployment.

Oopsie.
     
OldManMac
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Apr 16, 2007, 02:36 PM
 
Originally Posted by Sky Captain View Post
Not to mention all the monetary aid from Saudi.
And probably training and material from Iran.
Where do you think that money's coming from?
Why is there always money for war, but none for education?
     
ebuddy
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Apr 16, 2007, 04:03 PM
 
Originally Posted by KarlG View Post
Where do you think that money's coming from?
Where's it coming from?
ebuddy
     
 
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