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Thread: Who are the adwizards who came up with...

  1. #1
    [url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-10-12-iraq-letters-usat_x.htm]http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/20...ters-usat_x.htm[/url]

    I'm not trying to be a cheap shot artist here. I know the American public is stupid and impatient and loves sensationalism, and that assumption in and of itself bothers me enough -- think back to the 9/11 planes thread where lefties and righties both are rationalizing a potential huge lie about the PA crash to appease people who can't handle the truth.

    But, the bottom question remains, WHY do we need stuff like this? This kind of news, when outed, at best shows a lack of confidence in the mission by the powers that be and at worst shows that they're desparate for positive PR because things are going worse than is being reported.

  2. #2
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Set Junta[/i]@Oct 14 2003, 11:43 AM
    [b] [url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/2003-10-12-iraq-letters-usat_x.htm]http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/iraq/20...ters-usat_x.htm[/url]

    I'm not trying to be a cheap shot artist here. I know the American public is stupid and impatient and loves sensationalism, and that assumption in and of itself bothers me enough -- think back to the 9/11 planes thread where lefties and righties both are rationalizing a potential huge lie about the PA crash to appease people who can't handle the truth.

    But, the bottom question remains, WHY do we need stuff like this? This kind of news, when outed, at best shows a lack of confidence in the mission by the powers that be and at worst shows that they're desparate for positive PR because things are going worse than is being reported. [/b][/quote]
    I agree that this is pretty bad, although I have no problem with asking GI's to sign it if they agreed with it. But, to pass it off as written by so-and-so local boy and not to tell each newspaper that it was, in a sense, a petition of sorts, is very bad. It is also bad if they included a signature of a GI who didn't actually sign anything.

    I disagree, however, that this sort of thing implies that things are going WORSE than is being reported in the mainstream. It is clearly just PR. I highly, highly doubt that things are going worse because the coverage is almost 100% negative, at least in my view. I contend that this was just part of a PR campaign to accentuate the positive and disagree with your last sentence. As to who initiated it and the extent and the issue of can USA Today be trusted - we'll have to see, although I agree that this sucks.

    However, I have two cousins over there presently with whom I communicate regularly and friends of mine have shown me letters of their family members and the sentiments are overwhelmingly positive. Granted, these are people who are generally conservative, but their cousins are kids and aren't exactly very into politics. There have been compliants about post-war stuff, etc. But the main theme I notice is that the Iraqis generally treat them well, are glad they are there and morale (at least in these little sections) is pretty high. Most of them are annoyed at staying until February (and perhaps beyond) when they were originally told June...that seems to be a pretty consistent complaint. But my cousins, at least, realize that it is part of the job. They are single guys in their early 20's, so I honestly can;t say they have a wife and kids at home...so yes, it's an isolated perspective.

    But I generally agree and have a distrust for government in a lot of ways Jet Set. That is why I don't like giving them my money, my guns or like the idea of having them 'tie my shoes" for me, other than from a protection standpoint! ;)

    There are a few social things we seem to disagree on, and obviously Iraq, but philospohically we aren't that far apart. I don't know if you'd want to take that as a compliment, though :(

  3. #3
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    Talk about a stupid and awkward publicity stunt. And these are the guys you say could shoot down a civilian airliner and keep it secret?

    Totally pathetic.

  4. #4
    Dude, if your cousins aren't getting their asses shot at every day and are still alive, I'd say things are going pretty goddamned well. :D

    Believe me, I wasn't trying to use this as evidence of "quagmire", but rather as reasons why I don't trust anybody's PR right now about how good or bad it is. Too me, the closest things we have to hard facts are body count and total cost.

    I could spot you that lack of ensuing terrorist/WMD attacks on America is also a hard fact, but the flipside is also true when we haven't even found the smoking guns many were envisioning a year ago. It's a perception thing, for sure, to say those two cancel each other out; since the former half of the equation would mean horrible things for us and the latter would just be more smug politics and debating from our safe computers, but to quote the old cliche about religion and magic "grandiose claims require grandiose evidence".

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Set Junta[/i]@Oct 14 2003, 02:13 PM
    [b] Dude, if your cousins aren't getting their asses shot at every day and are still alive, I'd say things are going pretty goddamned well. :D

    Believe me, I wasn't trying to use this as evidence of "quagmire", but rather as reasons why I don't trust anybody's PR right now about how good or bad it is. Too me, the closest things we have to hard facts are body count and total cost.

    I could spot you that lack of ensuing terrorist/WMD attacks on America is also a hard fact, but the flipside is also true when we haven't even found the smoking guns many were envisioning a year ago. It's a perception thing, for sure, to say those two cancel each other out; since the former half of the equation would mean horrible things for us and the latter would just be more smug politics and debating from our safe computers, but to quote the old cliche about religion and magic "grandiose claims require grandiose evidence". [/b][/quote]
    It is also a fact that the lack of another successful domestic terror attack could always be a natural lull, and not necessarily due to any pro-active policy on our part. It could be because of our military, it may not be - it could be both, who knows? There was a long eight years between WTC attacks for instance. Pro-Clinton guys will claim that is evidence that his "policy" on terrorism WORKED, while contra-Clinton people will say that it was during this eight years where we should have been as proactive as we are being now, in order to prevent what happened in 2001 and that the lack of aggressive pursuit from 1993 to 2001 was a failure.

    Ultimately, like you said, it comes down to a certain amount of subjective faith. Clearly, looking back, we should have recognized the threat AQ and OBL posed in 1993 and gone after them heavily. Perhaps we could have avoided 9/11, but in doing so we most certainly would have endured cost and casualties and most CERTAINLY there would have been gripes about the lack of a "smoking gun" as a justification. The problem is that a gun only smokes once it's been fired, and in these terms, even a single shot is no good.

    So it is somewhat ironic from my perspective that the main critique about the current Iraq war is a lack of a smoking gun since it is quite clear we underestimated and didn't acknowledge a legit threat in AQ and OBL and got burned big time because of it. I do NOT think 9-11 gave us [i]carte blanche[/i] to just shoot first and ask questions later, but I also think for critics to characterize what Bush has done as being that is just absurdly ridiculous, partisan and revisionist.

    We soon realize that we will not be correct all the time or even, perhaps, the majority of the time. The threat of terror also requires bold and decisive action (not always based on clear, convincing, objective evidence, but rather trends and a large amount of intuition) from people in power AND the willpower to see that same action through the tough times. To me, Bush does have this quality. He may have overestimated Saddam's threat, he may not have. He has made mistakes and will continue to do so. But he has made some positive moves and he's clearly, right or wrong, acting on principle and not just following polls. This war could cost him his job - if that doesn't prove that it is sincere I don't know what does, IMO. But I think he thinks that the lesson learned from 9-11 is that it is better to be wrong when shooting than to be wrong while waiting to be shot. It's not that simple, obviously...but you know what I mean. Additionally, I am very, very happy Bush has called the game of international diplomacy to the floor and exposed it for what it really is and has been for a long time. What others call arrogance I call realism - we CANNOT let our policies be held hostage to the whims of perfidious and duplicitous, weak countries that DO NOT have our interests at heart. 'International community' and 'international law' my a$$. The UN is a toothless debating society that provides democratic say to regimes and states that don't even come close to providing that same right to the people they 'represent.' It is a sham and has been for some time. They now care about turning Iraq over to the Iraqi people "quickly" when they spent 12 years looking the other way while Saddam starved and butchered them, didn't lift a finger or a penny to help free them and in fact PROTECTED Saddam?! Put that f*cking sh*t on toast you miserable pieces of SH*t! The madness doesn’t end there - some wack-job court in Belgium actually claims jurisdiction over every person on the planet. Are you kidding me...Belgium?? (I digress....)

    I think Clinton would have been justified going balls out after terrorists after 1993. The problem was that attack wasn't a success and the USA needs to suffer an upper cut before they wake from a slumber (a la Pearl Harbor). There were many, many terrorist attacks over the past 30 years that jabbed us and jabbed us (marines in Lebanon, Cole, etc) but we as a country did not have the fortitude to do anything about it until 9-11. That is not Clinton's fault. I strongly believe he would have invaded Iraq is he was President this term, I really do.

    Maybe he wanted to do it in 1993 but knew that it would be costly, risky and he wouldn't have the mandate Bush had due to the fresh wounds. I am not sure of this and would contend Clinton's passivity was more of a strategic error, but I don't really blame him. It's like you said - blaming this guy or that guy for 9-11 or the spread of terror is a cop-out. We had no idea they would do what they did and did not prepare for it because it never occurred to us.

  6. #6
    I hate following up such a good post with a quickie, but the more the thing in Iraq goes to no satisfying conclusion or justification to me:

    What if we had just committed the amount of resources we did w/ Iraq (in terms of troop count, establishing bases, etc) into Southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan? Could 120,000 troops and the world's best military technology not have determined once and for all whether or not Bin Laden is alive and rounded up another 300-odd Al Queda scum in the process?

    These are still the guys I want to see suffer for 9/11, not Iraqis. I know we still commit some troops and intelligence there, but you can't tell me 2 + 1000 - 1000 = 20. There's no way the amount of focus on Iraq isn't draining the ideal intensity of rebuilding/securing Afghanistan and locking down the idiot warlords and sympathizers on that border w/ Pakistan. And these are the guys who ARE linked to 9/11, Al-Queda, and plenty of missing weapons from Soviet Russia over the years.

    I'm not so sure on Clinton and Iraq, though I think it could be possible -- which is more than most liberals OR conservatives would even think. I personally think even NADER would have invaded Afghanistan post 9/11 let alone Gore, McCain, or a 2000 Dean/Clark winner -- it was the closest thing this country has had to a real direct retaliatory invasion in 50 years when the Taliban as good as invited/dared us in.

    The problem with "smoking gun" theories and remembering 9/11 comes back to the fact there was no gun used in 9/11. It was boxcutters and jet fuel. So it's not like we got 'burned' the first time around by not rooting out WMDs in third world countries. Maybe they're dying to find some, maybe they're not. But if the contention was that they were going to get supplied by Saddam in the immediate future, there has to be something there to show that in hindsight. Otherwise, there's 100 better and easier places they could get scary stuff from than a nation under UN sanctions and inspections ... places that range from Iran to Kazahkstan to who knows what African yellowcake shop (screw the middle man with his berets and flags).

    I agree with your overall point that 9/11 was more than just the previous Administration being caught with their pants down. I wish more conservatives would admit that rather than making it some partisan issue and glossing over the rest of that gap between Carter's Iran crisis and Clinton's asperin factory.

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    [quote][i]Originally posted by Jet Set Junta[/i]@Oct 14 2003, 04:10 PM
    [b] I hate following up such a good post with a quickie, but the more the thing in Iraq goes to no satisfying conclusion or justification to me:

    What if we had just committed the amount of resources we did w/ Iraq (in terms of troop count, establishing bases, etc) into Southern Afghanistan and northern Pakistan? Could 120,000 troops and the world's best military technology not have determined once and for all whether or not Bin Laden is alive and rounded up another 300-odd Al Queda scum in the process?

    These are still the guys I want to see suffer for 9/11, not Iraqis. I know we still commit some troops and intelligence there, but you can't tell me 2 + 1000 - 1000 = 20. There's no way the amount of focus on Iraq isn't draining the ideal intensity of rebuilding/securing Afghanistan and locking down the idiot warlords and sympathizers on that border w/ Pakistan. And these are the guys who ARE linked to 9/11, Al-Queda, and plenty of missing weapons from Soviet Russia over the years.

    I'm not so sure on Clinton and Iraq, though I think it could be possible -- which is more than most liberals OR conservatives would even think. I personally think even NADER would have invaded Afghanistan post 9/11 let alone Gore, McCain, or a 2000 Dean/Clark winner -- it was the closest thing this country has had to a real direct retaliatory invasion in 50 years when the Taliban as good as invited/dared us in.

    The problem with "smoking gun" theories and remembering 9/11 comes back to the fact there was no gun used in 9/11. It was boxcutters and jet fuel. So it's not like we got 'burned' the first time around by not rooting out WMDs in third world countries. Maybe they're dying to find some, maybe they're not. But if the contention was that they were going to get supplied by Saddam in the immediate future, there has to be something there to show that in hindsight. Otherwise, there's 100 better and easier places they could get scary stuff from than a nation under UN sanctions and inspections ... places that range from Iran to Kazahkstan to who knows what African yellowcake shop (screw the middle man with his berets and flags).

    I agree with your overall point that 9/11 was more than just the previous Administration being caught with their pants down. I wish more conservatives would admit that rather than making it some partisan issue and glossing over the rest of that gap between Carter's Iran crisis and Clinton's asperin factory. [/b][/quote]
    You raise an interesting point about diverting attention from Afganistan. I think, though, that the whole 'democracy in the Middle East' thing has more to do with Palestine and Israel than it does with AQ, necessarily. I do know that Saddam supported terror and may or may not have already given WMD to groups such as AQ. The finer details will hopefully emerge soon and I am not as worried about immediacy as partisan politicians in an election cycle are. So, if you take Bitonti's line about symptoms and root causes, trying to pacify or end the Palestine-Israel conflict could do more to stop future terror than would committing 100% of US muscle in Afganistan, speaking long-term. Let's face it, AQ are just the guys that hit us, not the only dangerous ones out there.

    I in know means am trying to imply that I agree with the democracy in the Middle East, Perle Doctrine stuff. I supported removing Saddam and showing the Arab world that we don't take sh*t from petty dictators, 9-11 or no 9-11. I am less sure about the "makeover" we seem to be envisioning. I understand that we certainly can't leave a power vaccuum, but if we think that Iraq will prosper and foment democratic revolutions all across the ME, which will subsequently end the Palestinian problem and reduce both fanatical Islam and terror - well, give me some kind buds and I guess I can wax for a while about that. But I just don't know and frankly, no one does. But what is beyond doubt is that what we have been doing these last fifty years hasn't worked and it's time for drastic changes in policy.

    I have said before that the Israel-Palestine thing is the key to the whole deal and a huge reason why terrorism flourishes. I also think that the PLO and Arafat and essentially ALL of the Arab world does not desire a separate Palestinian state - the previous three Arab-Israeli wars were all fought even though Arabs controlled the "west bank" and "gaza" so their current claims are fraudulent. They seek the destruction of Israel. There is no negotiating with these people. This will not change. We will not abandon Israel nor should wem even though I agree that creating that state was a huge mistake. So we need to deal with it some way, somehow. Meaningless treaties and things haven't worked.

    I think we are stumbling a bit, succeeding a bit, etc, but I imagine that within 100 years or so the entire situation will be better, not worse. Yes, there are growing pains now and yes, our strategy is risky. But I don't know and haven't heard much better out there, save for self-serving and oversimplified partisan clap-trap. Elections come and go but I think we are seeing the dawnings of a new American vision towards that section of the world.

    Also - like you said, it was boxcutters, jet fuel and planning. So, in a sense, even ridding the world of nukes and WMD just means they will find another way in. Free societies are easy to attack on a small scale like terrorism - it's part of the territory. Peace is ephemeral and I sound like a hippie!! :lol:

  8. #8
    I've been playing this computer game alot lately called Civilization 3. in it, you can choose the type of government your "empire" operates under. Each one has positives and negatives. For those that haven't played it i highly recommend it - its big picture thinking to the extreme.

    anyway in the game Democracy is one of the most delicate forms of government there is - it cannot just be implemented unless the conditions are just right. Yes, if you can maintain a democracy the financial rewards are abundant - however if there is any sort of violence or unhappiness the democracy will fall to be replaced by despotism or some such simple default government until things have settled down. If governments were cars, despotism (dictatorship) would be an old timey diesel truck - reliable but inefficient - democracy is like a porche 911 turbo - great performance but HIGH maintenance.

    This is essentially the problem with "democracy" in Iraq. It just can't happen. There are too many ignorant people and not enough ammenities. There are stages that a civilization needs to go through to get to democracy. im talkin Hundreds of years of development and even then most countries can't handle it.

    America is the greatest country in the world, blessed with incredible resources, geographical advantages, no natural enemies and filled with people decended from those smart enough and/or brave enough to leave their stagnant roots behind and seek opportunity and adventure. just cause a version of Democracy (its actually a republic with veins of socialism) thrives here doesn't mean a version of democracy will thrive in a sandpit ****hole land that has been war torn for 5000 years.

    Logicially, This is what's gonna happen.

    Enforced psuedo democracy may or may not take hold in Iraq. the second the US turns around, be it 5 weeks or 5 years from now the provincial created government will get overthrown in a violent uprising, much the same way Iran was taken by coup in the early 70's. The resultant power will be even more extreme than Saddam, and the whole thing will have gone for naught. These things can change on a dime, note the road map for peace in the middle east.

    You want to give the people of Iraq "self-rule" - the same people that walk the streets and flaggelate themselves with chains? those Iraqis? oh yeah, what a great idea. <_<

    its f--king moronic is what it is. Looks great on paper but no one on the ground will buy that happy crappy for a minute.

    I know i know there are semblances of democracy in Japan why not in Iraq? They were a world power prior to our arrival with great education and industry. The Iraqi&#39;s are living in a sand pit. Still We had to nuke the Japanese twice to wake them up, and even still they are not really a democracy. They still got the Emperor and all that crap. And for every Japan there are 10 Vietnams. Also and most important the hatred that the Japanese felt for the Americans PALES in comparison the hatred that the Islamic people feel toward the west and Jews. The Asians resented about America for a couple hundred years. The Islamic people have hated the Judeo/Christian mindset for LITERALLY THOUSANDS of years. You can&#39;t buy these people with Hersey Bars and Marlboro Reds. There&#39;s something off in them, like a missing capitalistic gene or something. They just aren&#39;t consumers. Maybe a couple generations from now they will be but right now they are by and larged brainwashed, Angry and ignorant.

    I&#39;ve said it from the beginning - ISOLATIONISM is the only real solution. But no one wants to think big picture. Its all about preemptively diverting terrorism by "spreading democracy." oh and lets not forget the legions of bible belt idiots who are proclaiming "Gee why don&#39;t we convert them to christianity while we are over there&#33;" they are really helping matters.

    All this aside the INCREDIBLE amount of resources this undertaking is consuming from domestic coffers is truly disgusting. the hundreds of Billions of dollars we are throwing down the toilet for the Iraq experiment could be put to so many better uses here at home.

    Its just so frustrating and so dumb.

  9. #9
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    [quote][i]Originally posted by bitonti[/i]@Oct 17 2003, 12:51 PM
    [b] This is essentially the problem with "democracy" in Iraq. It just can&#39;t happen. There are too many ignorant people and not enough ammenities. There are stages that a civilization needs to go through to get to democracy. im talkin Hundreds of years of development and even then most countries can&#39;t handle it.

    America is the greatest country in the world, blessed with incredible resources, geographical advantages, no natural enemies and filled with people decended from those smart enough and/or brave enough to leave their stagnant roots behind and seek opportunity and adventure. just cause a version of Democracy (its actually a republic with veins of socialism) thrives here doesn&#39;t mean a version of democracy will thrive in a sandpit ****hole land that has been war torn for 5000 years.
    [/b][/quote]
    Bill Clinton, said once that we should wage war against "ignorance" domestically and abroad. I agree. I think he&#39;s a loser, but I couldn&#39;t agree more with that opinion.

    The question is: Given your statements that I&#39;ve quoted (and I AGREE with them)

    1: Does America have a unique opportunity with today&#39;s technologies, urban planning skills, financial and military resources to "lift" a 3rd world country out of it&#39;s rut of perpetual ignorance?

    2: If it could be done, would it be worth the cost to turn stone age cultures (it really is about culture, they&#39;ve got cash) into cultures that can better handle 21st century planet earth?

    Don&#39;t assume I&#39;m sugarcoating Bush&#39;s largely capitalistic motives, I&#39;m just wondering if this is a risk worth taking for the "human" gains it might have?

    I mean, These people can&#39;t go on forever reviling everything non-islam. Eventually they need to learn to live with the rest of us. I see islamic world perspective as similar to the Japanese&#39;s perspective pre WWII. Hopefully their culture can evolve less painfully than that of the Japanese.

  10. #10
    Global capitalism as a catalyst for democracy and rising standards of living works great on paper, but right now in practice the system RELIES upon having tons of third world ****holes to supply the barely human cheap labor force to produce the goods at the prices we enjoy. Right now you see a lot of this in Asia, South America, and the Carribean, and it won&#39;t surprise me to see more of it spreading to the Middle East.

    The problem isn&#39;t America (like with the slave trade 300 yrs ago, all of these places have rich native dictators who take corporate money and handle the oppression themselves), but few people who claim to be disturbed by the work conditions across the majority of the world are willing to own up to the symptoms many Western-based corporations exhibit in this system.

    Every &#39;change&#39; always comes down to two choices: either you find a way to "force" a system or standard through hard law and enforcement, or you try to set a better example that propagates out of sheer common sense, efficiency, or financial/human attractiveness. This is as true at home as it is abroad, when we argue about how American crime prevention, health care, social issues, etc. can be improved.

    Right now it&#39;s too early to make a definitive judgment on how we&#39;re treading the above two alternatives in "improving" Iraq and the Middle East as a whole, but the cynical side of me believes absolutely that Iraqi "self-rule" is largely a shame if said rule conflicts with the American overseers and military/oil interests. And it&#39;s not because America itself or Americans are "evil" -- frankly, we as everyday Americans lost our say in this a long time ago. But I absolutely believe the small group of people who DO have that say have their own agendas in being over there and shaping Middle Eastern policy.

    So when does the SimDesert video game come out?

  11. #11
    Unemployment in Iraq is 70%. The currency is in the crapper. Water, Power and Sewage are only marginally operational. Besides cell-phones and oil speculators, Foreign investment is basically non-existant.

    [b]Democracy requires cushy digs. Its not for everyone.[/b] Junta you are correct that this economic system we enjoy everyday is built upon the cheap labor of others. Everything from my underpants to this keyboard was probably assembled 1000&#39;s of miles from where i live by under-aged, under compensated labor.

    There is in short, no chance of a quick and dirty fix that would change Iraq into a democracy overnight. Jerry K you ask if the investment is worth it - obviously on a personnel level you can&#39;t redeem human lives - and we are still losing men on an average greater than 1 per day. That&#39;s not counting the over 1800 men and women who have received purple hearts, and if the Gulf War I numbers hold true, the 35% of vets who will come back suffering from Post Traumatic Stress syndrome severe enough that it renders them disabled. 35% of 150,000 soldiers... hmm not friendly math.

    In a purely economic sense, the amount of money it would take to make Iraq amenable to democracy - it would be more cost effective to mount surface to air missles on every skyscraper and air-to-air missiles on every commercial airplane in the nation. that&#39;s how much we are spending over there. The 87 Billion requested by the white house is literally enough money to solve the deficit of every state - its 4x what this nation spends on public education in a year. Its about 10x what we spend on homeland security. ITs a HUGE HUGE amount of money and the return will be relatively minimal. This is only a part of the expense mind you, this conflict will be reaching the 12 figure point pretty soon. (hundreds of billions to date).

    And what have we got for it? They still find boxcutters on airplanes. There is no beakon of hope eminating from Iraq that the rest of the middle east will be drawn to change their ways. ITs not a situation at all like the Japanese, who were taught to hate us but when we got there, were in awe of us. The Middle Eastern people hate us deep down and when we got there they still hate us. Its a conflict with roots dating back millenia.

    If we occupied Iraq for 30, 40, 50 years... yeah maybe there could be a democracy there. Maybe. That&#39;s how behind they are as a people.

    ---

    as an aside we as a nation are still dependant on foreign oil more than we have EVER been. Remember the 1973 oil embargo that begat stagflation and recession... we as a nation are MUCH MORE RELIANT on oil now then ever. If for whatever reason the taps stopped flowing our economy would literally collapse. The Dow would fall about 7000 points.

    OIL as a WEAPON. The Iranians and others are already talking about it. They boycott sales to US, and we all feel the burn in a big way. All because we lack the strength and the foresight to kick the oil habit, its the crack of national resource usage.

    In the end its not even about transportation - its about land management -municapally supported new single family dwellings reachable only by a vast highway network. No reliable forms of mass transit. No sensible land planning - The inertia behind this problem is STAGGERING. [b]We literally have built our houses upon the sand. Our economy our very way of life depends on purchasing a substance from a people that collectively hate us.[/b] in the end the change that is required is not about saving the planet or any bull**** like that its about saving our asses.

    Instead of terrorism we should be PRE-EMPTING the energy crisis, the aging population crisis, the infrastructure crisis, the education crisis - Not freakin Terrorism. What do they want? us to leave them alone and stop interfering in their affairs. Sounds easy enough to me. Let Israel duke it out with those raghead bastards. We could be living the life of Reilly with all the money saved from this failed intervention, preparing for the day that taps run out or get shut off. One way or the other a change will have to be made. If we don&#39;t prepare for it, it will get VERY ugly.

  12. #12
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    It&#39;s odd to see liberalism making isolationist aguments, however reasoned.

    I dunno. The Trekkie in me just doesn&#39;t want to give up on "equalizing" the world&#39;s cultures....whatever the cost. Perhaps the world just isn&#39;t ready for it yet. Nevertheless, I won&#39;t go thinking that the US is in any way bad for making the attempt, nor will I consider the people of Islam particularly inspired as long as they harbor their contempt for everyone who isn&#39;t like them.

  13. #13
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    There has been some pretty good stuff posted by you three lately on this thread. If I was sober right now, I&#39;d add to it. :blink: Yee-haw&#33;

  14. #14
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    OK, I&#39;m sober.

    [b]Bitonti [/b]- the Marshall Plan after WWII represented over 30% of our GDP. Through tax hikes and other largesse, this money was taken out of the economy and the markets suffered considerably in the short term. The current &#39;bill" in Iraq represents less than 1% of the current GDP and if it is coupled with huge tax hikes that the Dems want to impose, the markets will suffer again in the short term - this will create large state deficits and larger federal deficits. Calm down. Read something by Stephen Moore and get some perspective...it is not enough to "solve" every state&#39;s deficit, that is nonsense. You are implying that you perhaps wouldn&#39;t mind the 87 billion so much so long as the gov&#39;t spent far more money on whatever crisis Du Jour you whine about. Gee - who’s going to pay for all of that? Either we raise taxes fivefold or we run up a dreaded deficit...ooohhhh, the horror&#33;

    Incidentally, money has been thrown at education for years and years and years and our teachers still suck and our kids are still stupid. More money is not the solution to this &#39;crisis.&#39; When a real alternative comes along like vouchers, the left seems to demonize it A Priori, because they are beholden to the all-powerful unions. But that is a different story entirely (eucation) and it has NOTHING to do with Iraq - your implied connections are absurd, and just as absurd as someone who says that the money we spent on HillaryCare COULD have been used to increase Homeland Security in the mid 90&#39;s and thus may have prevented 9/11. Did we waste money on HillaryCare? Yes. Did it have ANYTHING to do with 9/11? No. Is the Iraq War expensive? Yes. Does it have anything to do with education, infrastructure, etc? Hell no. There is enough money to go around, trust me. I find it HILARIOUS that the left is actually complaining about wasteful spending, seriously. That said, Bush has yet to veto a single spending bill that&#39;s passed his desk in this term. He hasn&#39;t even vetoed ONE&#33;&#33;&#33; This annoys me beyond belief, trust me. I have no real great love for Dubya, and aside from his war on terror (which I support) I don&#39;t think he&#39;s very conservative, at least not fiscally. If he didn&#39;t cut taxes his base would have abandoned him, trust me.

    You want everything immediately, and seem to have no regard for just how ludicrous your demands are. Democracy "overnight" I mean, puh-lease&#33; The war should have lasted a day, no one should have died in it, it should have been free, and Iraq should have become one big happy suburb all in a few short hours or else this was a huge mistake. Oh, and Saddam is a victim and Bush is an imperialist liar who enjoys pissing off the entire world and he&#39;s a stupid God-head. Did I forget anything? Oh - Bush caused 9-11 and has been preying on fears of terrorism to push his fascist agenda...even though he is by far the most irretrievably stupid man to ever hold high office. I think I covered it all.... ;)

    Moreover to your SERIOUS points - I agree about our dependence on oil. However, demonizing SUV owners or questioning every policy decision by Bush and Cheney is absurd. Changing emission standards is all well and good, but stop lecturing us about the wildlife in Alaska and stop saying there isn&#39;t any oil there (not you, the royal LEFT, as it were) I also laugh loudly at the need to use Global Warming as an excuse to demonize Detroit. Stop the madness and stop insulting intelligent people. I AGREE that we need to develop alternative energy and I AGREE that we need to do it quickly and I AGREE that this is linked to ME turmoil, I just wish liberals wouldn&#39;t then ***** every time a wind farm gets planned in their backyards. Also - you know as well as I do that to aggressively pursue viable alternative energy the government would have to spend hundreds of billions. I would hope you wouldn&#39;t lecture us then about how that money could go towards paying for installing transgender bathrooms in public schools, "solving" the deficit every time California runs one up or how if could just throw more and more money at everything education would improve considerably. Also - God forbid another domestic terror attack happens while the gov&#39;t is aggressively allocating resources to the Bitonti Alternative Energy and Isolationism Plan. The party out of power would whine whine whine about how all of that money could have been used for this or that.

    Also - regarding infrastructure - who is going to rebuild it? With all of the deregulation nonsense, no private company is going to want to do it since they can&#39;t be guaranteed a profit...then the residents ***** and sue every time you run a cable through their yards? Please. And if the government builds it, where does the money come from? Well, fine, they can pass the cost on to the consumer. Great. Get used to a 250% increase in your energy bills, coupled with higher taxes. All of this money, in turn, is removed from the markets and growth stagnates, causing a decrease in corporate spending and (you guessed it) JOB LOSS&#33;

    I&#39;ve spoken with you at length about isolationism.

    You are a bright guy, but you are a bit all over the place with your posts. Focus, dude, focus. Throwing money at everything is not always a solution.

    [b]I have one final point[/b] - the hyper partisanship that dominates the climate these days is a huge impediment towards meaningful change. I was being overly argumentative in this post, but clearly there can be ways to improve infrastructure, alternative energy, schools, etc. The problem is that the climate is so awful, that both sides just ridicule and slander the other and nothing even approaching debate occurs. I raised some objections, but someone else could address those objections and an incremetal plan could be imposed for, say, alternative energy. Baby steps, as it were. We SEE if the doomsday scenarios play out with cost. We see if companies are willing to take a gamble or what kind of benefits the gov&#39;t can give to them and their insurance companies. The HATRED on both sides, even from the leadership on down to guys like us, is palpable. The GOP lowered the tone with their constant and exaggerated demonization of Clinton, and it has continued unchecked with the outright and immature HATRED the left now has for Bush. This is not a good thing for America, no matter which side you are on or which side happens to presently be in power. I have been guilty of it before and will be again, I imagine. But it does s*ck.

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