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Author Topic: NY Times Magazine last Sunday.......  (Read 9063 times)
PeterAit
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« Reply #60 on: March 26, 2010, 04:18:06 PM »
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Quote from: k bennett
Thank you. I suppose my six years in the military doesn't count in your world -- if I am moved by these photos, I am a "disgusting coward."

One glaring problem with political discourse in this country is that it quickly devolves into name-calling. You, sir, should be ashamed.

Ken Bennett
US Army, 1982-88

Well said, Ken.
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Peter
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« Reply #61 on: March 26, 2010, 05:09:32 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
I don't know, Russ, you had a damn good stab at it during and after WW2 and I understand that a lot of new ethnic communities were created in the States after Korea and Vietnam... Non?

Rob C

Rob, One thing at a time. It's almost dinnertime, so I'll tackle this one first and leave the other one until later -- maybe even till tomorrow, though I've promised to go shoot some stuff for the local retirement community in the morning.

To answer your question, Oui. C'est la vie. I was going to preface that with "malheureusement," but I don't really think it was all that unfortunate. Eurasians are some of the most physically beautiful people in the world. But much more needs to be done. Wish I were young enough to put my shoulder (so to speak) to the wheel.
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Rob C
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« Reply #62 on: March 27, 2010, 04:05:59 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
Rob, One thing at a time. It's almost dinnertime, so I'll tackle this one first and leave the other one until later -- maybe even till tomorrow, though I've promised to go shoot some stuff for the local retirement community in the morning.

To answer your question, Oui. C'est la vie. I was going to preface that with "malheureusement," but I don't really think it was all that unfortunate. Eurasians are some of the most physically beautiful people in the world. But much more needs to be done. Wish I were young enough to put my shoulder (so to speak) to the wheel.




Russ! You mean you're into effing cars?

Rob C
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RSL
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« Reply #63 on: March 27, 2010, 08:11:48 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Nobody invited either the US or the UK into Iraq; it had nothing to do with 9/11

Rob, how would you feel about an Iraq under Saddam's heel, armed with nuclear weapons? Would that stabilize the Middle East? The rest of the world? The fact is that every intelligence agency in the world, emphatically including the UK's believed that Saddam was on the verge of having weapons of mass destruction. The Brits weren't "suckered." Their intelligence apparatus backed Bush all the way.

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...which had everything to do with the totally biased positive position held towards the Palestinans' neighbour for reasons that, I suppose, are reflected in the power makeup of the US and, I guess, the rest of the international money business.

Oy vey.

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You can mess around with the definitions as much as you like, but the truth is that if you constantly back one side against the other, the other is going to start seeing you as simply another part of the original enemy, which is exactly what happened, and the UK allowed itself to be suckered in too. I don't think all those other western governments were just being cowardly, and as has been pointed out many times, Afghanistan and Mexico would lose their drug incomes overnight if the 'civilized' world took the domestic drug industry seriously and broke a few skulls back home. Now that would be a domestic fight worth fighting! It will not happen.

Well, I'll do you the favor of ignoring the first part of that but I thoroughly agree that the problem with drugs is demand, not supply. As long as there's demand there isn't going to be any way to remove the supply, and thousands of "war on drug" people would lose billions of dollars if we declared victory and shut down the "war." As far as I'm concerned, people should be able to walk into a drugstore (chemist's) and buy any damned thing they want to buy. Until the early part of the last century it was that way and we didn't have an invasion of druggies. But it isn't going to happen. Too many people's livelihood depends on keeping the "war" going. What's happening right now in Denver with grass, by the way, is a hoot.

Gonna have to do this in sections. Too many quotes otherwise...
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« Reply #64 on: March 27, 2010, 08:18:27 AM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Well, the far east would look much the same

With Thailand under Communism? I think not. Or, as the Thai would say, "Mai ching, khap."

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...the US lost in Vietnam despite massive power

The U.S. lost in Vietnam because of an absence of political will. I was there when our craven politicians jerked the rug. What happened after that makes it clear that it was a just war. We won that war during the Tet offensive, but thanks to the likes of Cronkite and his cronies our politicians lost their nerve and snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory.

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and North Korea is still truckin' as before, with a southern boat sunk as I write, with or without northern help.

But you may have noticed that South Korea is still not under the thumb of the north, in spite of the immense military buildup in the north. At the moment it looks as if the sinking was an accident, though I'll withhold judgment until I hear more.

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Further south in the direction of Australia the Moslem population is the largest in the world and nobody is going to mess with that! The eastern European/Balkan nations have always been in turmoil and neither NATO, the UN nor any credible EEC alternative seems to be capable of pleasing all of the combatants all of the time. Turkey is playing footsie with the west because it hopes to get into the EEC which, in turn, is terrified to let it in in case that opens the floodgates to the entire middle east cutting across the borders too via a Turkish doorway, yet fears sayin 'no' in case military access to Iraq is then denied.

All true, and the point is?

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The USSR reputedly fell apart from within because it couldn't finance the military any longer - check echoes of the state of the UK today!

The USSR fell apart because Reagan, at Reyjkavik, in spite of the warnings and advice of his advisors, refused to make a deal on missile defense. Once the deal was off, Gorbachev realized the USSR couldn't compete and tried to save the USSR by going easier on his people. Didn't work.

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China is rapidly turning into the new America

As the duke said, "Madam, if you believe that, you will believe anything!" The Chinese are a wonderful people -- as Churchill said, "a serviceable people." They're extremely capable and most of Asia's merchants are Chinese. But as long as their dictators have the guns, they're screwed.

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and I would seriously question it has any desire to suicide any time soon!

That's the saving thing -- so far. But China's military is like the Japanese military prior to WW II: a big club, and awfully close to being in charge. Taiwan is the big question mark.

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The middle east would be the mess it always has been, or perhaps it might have resolved itself on the basis of regional power which, of course, isn't the equation today because one party has the might of America at its beck and call.

And it might also "have resolved itself on the basis of" who has the nuclear weapons. The problem with, say Iran getting nuclear weapons isn't just that they may blow up Israel and start WW III. The problem is that as soon as that happens, or gets very close to happening, all the other Arab nations are going to need nukes too. Somebody had better have the might of someone "at his beck and call" or things are going to get out of hand rapidly.

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By the way, I think that these bits of thread are what make LuLa such an exceptionally valuable proposition: there is so much more here than just friggin' cameras and pixels and most of us are able to express an opinion reasonably politely!

As is often the case we agree completely.
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jjj
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« Reply #65 on: March 27, 2010, 08:47:48 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
Rob, how would you feel about an Iraq under Saddam's heel, armed with nuclear weapons? Would that stabilize the Middle East? The rest of the world? The fact is that every intelligence agency in the world, emphatically including the UK's believed that Saddam was on the verge of having weapons of mass destruction. The Brits weren't "suckered." Their intelligence apparatus backed Bush all the way.
Really!?
The other point of view is that only information that could point to a vague possibility of WMD was acknowledged. Plus as unsurprisingly nothing was found, that means a lot of people were either lying or seriously incompetent - as well as the idiot mendacious politicians in charge. Both here in the UK + the US.


I have to say I find your violent reaction and nasty uncalled for insults against those who simply had a different opinion to you regarding the images linked in original post a little disturbing. They are simply typical examples of good photojournalism, which is showing a different view of a conflict, one only those who have lost the most normally see. And it is not a left or right wing view or one that claims to show every aspect. It simply shows a less anonymous, more individual aspect of those people who died wearing uniforms. It is understated and quite touching as a result, to those who have some empathy with the families of the dead soldiers. Didn't seem like propaganda, just a litttle reminder that to any war, justified or not, there is a human cost.
You and ddk don't get the pictures, fine. But arguing that without context they'd just be boring photos, is missing the point. The context is the most important aspect of the images.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 08:49:32 AM by jjj » Logged

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RSL
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« Reply #66 on: March 27, 2010, 09:51:03 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
The other point of view is that only information that could point to a vague possibility of WMD was acknowledged. Plus as unsurprisingly nothing was found, that means a lot of people were either lying or seriously incompetent - as well as the idiot mendacious politicians in charge. Both here in the UK + the US.

Well, that's certainly "another point of view." It's a point of view I've frequently seen, always as it appears here: an unsupported assertion. But if you read the actual statements made by the people who were reading and acting on the intelligence reports you might get a glimpse of the rest of the picture. Do you really believe that John Bolton, for instance, only accepted information that supported a particular point of view. "Nothing was found?" Well, in a sense you're right. No nuclear weapons were found, but the ability to gin up chemical and biological agents on short notice certainly was found. Yes, the intelligence agencies were wrong, but they weren't mendacious. They believed what they were reporting -- all of them. What you're telling me is that as president, you'd have ignored the evidence. The kind of hindsight you're relying on is always 20/20.

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It simply shows a less anonymous, more individual aspect of those people who died wearing uniforms. It is understated and quite touching as a result, to those who have some empathy with the families of the dead soldiers. Didn't seem like propaganda, just a litttle reminder that to any war, justified or not, there is a human cost.

It? Understated? How many pictures were in that series? How many of them had Pooh bears and other kids' toys in them? If what you're saying were true, then a single picture would have been even more effective. But that wasn't the point. The point was to make people so averse to war that we're no longer willing to fight. How about film clips of coffins coming off an airplane? Are they "touching" and "understated" too?

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You and ddk don't get the pictures, fine. But arguing that without context they'd just be boring photos, is missing the point. The context is the most important aspect of the images.

Exactly. I'm glad we agree on at least one point. Art had nothing to do with it. The "context" was the whole point.

------------------------------

I need to add something here that relates only tangentially to the subject.

We're now 65 years away from the last time a nuclear weapon was used in war, and the two weapons detonated then were candles compared with the searchlights the world has developed since then. I was 15 when those two bombs went off. Later on, as a staff officer at NORAD I was deeply involved in disaster preparedness. The job required that I become thoroughly versed on the effects of nuclear weapons. I'm afraid most of the people now in positions of authority either never knew or have forgotten how destructive a nuclear weapon actually is. A thermonuclear weapon isn't just a big bomb. A nuclear detonation of any sort in any large city in any nation would be a history-changing event, just as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were a history-changing event. Detonation of a thermonuclear weapon would mean the end of civil order for the whole country.

If anyone thinks the cost in blood and treasure for the limited conventional wars we've fought since WW II is too high a price to pay to prevent a nuclear war -- anywhere in the world -- I'd advise him to find a copy of The Effects of Nuclear Weapons and read it from cover to cover, then extend the effects of a roughly 13 kiloton weapon reported in that book to the effects we might expect from, say, a 20 megaton weapon: a detonation more than fifteen thousand times more powerful. Any president who allows a nuclear war to start when he could have prevented it will deserve more odium than can be meted out in this  world.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 10:21:03 AM by RSL » Logged

ckimmerle
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« Reply #67 on: March 27, 2010, 10:12:53 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
They believed what they were reporting -- all of them.

As a wise man recently wrote: "It's a point of view I've frequently seen, always as it appears here: an unsupported assertion"    
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Chuck Kimmerle
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« Reply #68 on: March 27, 2010, 10:27:58 AM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
As a wise man recently wrote: "It's a point of view I've frequently seen, always as it appears here: an unsupported assertion"  

Chuck, Are you saying you have evidence that that's not true? If so, what is it?
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« Reply #69 on: March 27, 2010, 11:01:25 AM »
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Quote from: RSL
... Do you really believe that John Bolton, for instance, only accepted information that supported a particular point of view...
Did switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?

For those outside of the US, the answer to the above car insurance company commercial is unequivocal YES! Besides, taking John Bolton as a paramount of objectivity and unbiasedness would be equal to considering Fox News fair and balanced. The same goes for our dear friend Russ: after calling me and others "disgusting" for having a different opinion, and after reading more and more of your "arguments" Russ, I've some to believe that any attempt at reasonable dialog with you has the same chance of success as persuading a fervent believer there is no God (or vice versa).
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 11:10:56 AM by Slobodan Blagojevic » Logged

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« Reply #70 on: March 27, 2010, 12:06:49 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
Chuck, Are you saying you have evidence that that's not true? If so, what is it?
I think the point was do you have evidence that your statement was in fact true.

My view is that only the naive think the reason we went to Iran was simply because of some fictitious WMDs.


Quote
We're now 65 years away from the last time a nuclear weapon was used in war, and the two weapons detonated then were candles compared with the searchlights the world has developed since then. I was 15 when those two bombs went off. Later on, as a staff officer at NORAD I was deeply involved in disaster preparedness. The job required that I become thoroughly versed on the effects of nuclear weapons. I'm afraid most of the people now in positions of authority either never knew or have forgotten how destructive a nuclear weapon actually is. A thermonuclear weapon isn't just a big bomb. A nuclear detonation of any sort in any large city in any nation would be a history-changing event, just as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs were a history-changing event. Detonation of a thermonuclear weapon would mean the end of civil order for the whole country.
I do not think you had to be alive during Horoshima and Nagasaki to appreciate the power and destruction of nuclear weapons. Well before my time, yet I certainly am very aware of their terrible power and I'm sure those with them are also clued up on their potential to change history as you put it.
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« Reply #71 on: March 27, 2010, 12:12:15 PM »
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Quote from: Slobodan Blagojevic
Did switching to Geico really save you 15% or more on car insurance?

For those outside of the US, the answer to the above car insurance company commercial is unequivocal YES! Besides, taking John Bolton as a paramount of objectivity and unbiasedness would be equal to considering Fox News fair and balanced. The same goes for our dear friend Russ: after calling me and others "disgusting" for having a different opinion, and after reading more and more of your "arguments" Russ, I've some to believe that any attempt at reasonable dialog with you has the same chance of success as persuading a fervent believer there is no God (or vice versa).

Sorry... afraid you lost me on the Geico commercial thing.

Well, Slobodan, remember that the "disgusting" part only applies if the shoe fits. Whether or not it does is something each individual has to determine for himself.

But after considerable rumination I think I ought to withdraw the term "disgusting." Let me re-phrase that line: "This kind of thing is unmitigated crap, and people who buy into it are showing that they can be easily gulled."

Churchill once said, “If you're not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you're not a conservative at forty you have no brain.” So if you're twenty, I guess it makes sense that you can be so easily gulled. But if that state continues into your forties, you obviously have a serious problem and probably ought to seek help from a neurologist.

And yes, it's hard to convince a "fervent believer" of something that's demonstrably not true.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 12:15:39 PM by RSL » Logged

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« Reply #72 on: March 27, 2010, 12:34:31 PM »
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Quote from: jjj
I think the point was do you have evidence that your statement was in fact true.

In the first place, I'm not the one making the accusation that the free world's intelligence services were all crooked. I can take as evidence the fact that the free world agreed there was a problem. What you're saying is that the intelligence services of the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Israel etc., etc., all were playing a crooked game because the president of the U.S. wanted to go to war. That's what needs evidence, yet no one seems to be able to come up with any.

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My view is that only the naive think the reason we went to Iran was simply because of some fictitious WMDs.

Really... Then, what do you think was the reason? And, by the way, the word "fictitious" in that sentence is what's called "begging the question." If you don't know what that means, as Yogi said, "You could look it up."

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I do not think you had to be alive during Horoshima and Nagasaki to appreciate the power and destruction of nuclear weapons. Well before my time, yet I certainly am very aware of their terrible power and I'm sure those with them are also clued up on their potential to change history as you put it.

I think that's a fair quibble, and I can't argue with it because I haven't any evidence that it's not true, but when I read some of the stuff that gets written about how the world can live happily with a nuclear Iran -- in other words, a religious madman with a nuke in hand -- it becomes pretty clear to me at least that I may be right.

Incidentally, the weapons "well before your time" are still around and now they're capable of orders of magnitude more "power and destruction."
« Last Edit: March 27, 2010, 12:46:23 PM by RSL » Logged

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« Reply #73 on: March 27, 2010, 01:01:37 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
In the first place, I'm not the one making the accusation that the free world's intelligence services were all crooked. I can take as evidence the fact that the free world agreed there was a problem. What you're saying is that the intelligence services of the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Israel etc., etc., all were playing a crooked game because the president of the U.S. wanted to go to war. That's what needs evidence, yet no one seems to be able to come up with any.

Russ, you made the claim that everyone you listed above were honest and forthright and competent. My point was that you don't actually know that's the case any more than I know they were crooked. We each have our beliefs, but that is far from proof, no matter what side we're on.

I was just using your words against you. It was easier than coming up with my own.
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« Reply #74 on: March 27, 2010, 01:50:16 PM »
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I'm a coward.  So what?
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RSL
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« Reply #75 on: March 27, 2010, 02:24:09 PM »
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Quote from: ckimmerle
Russ, you made the claim that everyone you listed above were honest and forthright and competent. My point was that you don't actually know that's the case any more than I know they were crooked. We each have our beliefs, but that is far from proof, no matter what side we're on.

I was just using your words against you. It was easier than coming up with my own.

Chuck, I'm not sure what you're referring to. Perhaps it's my statement that all of the free world's intelligence services believed Saddam was on the verge of something very bad for the rest of the world.

If we're actually going to get into a knock-down, drag-out on whether or not the world's intelligence services were cheating, I'll have to go back into whatever I have available and drag it out. But we've already demonstrated that the people who believe that's true aren't going to be dissuaded by any amount of evidence. And, of course, the evidence is going to have to be based on what we know about what the intelligence folks said -- in English, French, Japanese, etc. in any case it's more than unlikely that even one intelligence service is going to spill the beans on how it gathers its data so I doubt those who've been suckled at the teat of the NYT will believe any amount of evidence.

But to go back to my original argument: The fact is that the free world's governments believed, on the basis of raw intelligence data to which none of us have access that Saddam was an existential threat to the world. That's enough evidence on my side of the argument for me to demand that anyone who wants to argue on the other side needs first to present his evidence that those folks were lying. But before anyone wastes time trying to do that, there's another little factoid that's presents a problem: even some of Saddam's top military folks thought he had WMDs.

The bottom line is this: Can anyone explain to me why they think the French, Germans, Japanese, would be interested in sucking up to Bush on the question of war. I can see arguments about why the Israelis might, and I can vaguely see arguments about why the Brits might, though considering the differences in political conviction between Blair and Bush that's a hard one to swallow. In the end, if no one can answer that question satisfactorily, there's simply no argument.
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Rob C
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« Reply #76 on: March 27, 2010, 04:43:14 PM »
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Quote from: RSL
The bottom line is this: Can anyone explain to me why they think the French, Germans, Japanese, would be interested in sucking up to Bush on the question of war. I can see arguments about why the Israelis might, and I can vaguely see arguments about why the Brits might, though considering the differences in political conviction between Blair and Bush that's a hard one to swallow. In the end, if no one can answer that question satisfactorily, there's simply no argument.



Russ

I'm not sure if you mean the French, Germans and Japanese did or did not suck up to Bush, but as far as I remember from the news casts, only Blair was willing to hitch the ride. The pair of them couldn't even get a UN backing a second time and that's probaby why they jumped when they did.

They weren't even going to give that weapons inspector Blix (? - I always confuse his name with the lady who wrote about Kenya)) enough time to prove them wrong. He insisted right up until he was sidelined that there was nothing there. Anyway, even if there had been chemical weapons available, the means of delivery to the west were never there and not even suspected. Blair's position vis a vis Bush: I suspect that Blair would have done anything to appear at the top international table; apart from anything else, it could only improve his stock for the lecture circuit. He is currently prancing around the middle east as a peacebroker!, and can you imagine a single character apart from Bush who must be more detested by the Moslem side than he? And he has the gall to occupy such a position that at the very very least should command mutual trust or appear disinterested in having any bias. Dear God, what a pointless body of politicians to set up and finance!

Rob C
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« Reply #77 on: March 27, 2010, 05:25:09 PM »
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Russ

I'm not sure if you mean the French, Germans and Japanese did or did not suck up to Bush, but as far as I remember from the news casts, only Blair was willing to hitch the ride. The pair of them couldn't even get a UN backing a second time and that's probaby why they jumped when they did.

They weren't even going to give that weapons inspector Blix (? - I always confuse his name with the lady who wrote about Kenya)) enough time to prove them wrong. He insisted right up until he was sidelined that there was nothing there. Anyway, even if there had been chemical weapons available, the means of delivery to the west were never there and not even suspected. Blair's position vis a vis Bush: I suspect that Blair would have done anything to appear at the top international table; apart from anything else, it could only improve his stock for the lecture circuit. He is currently prancing around the middle east as a peacebroker!, and can you imagine a single character apart from Bush who must be more detested by the Moslem side than he? And he has the gall to occupy such a position that at the very very least should command mutual trust or appear disinterested in having any bias. Dear God, what a pointless body of politicians to set up and finance!

Rob C

Might want to hunt down the Frontline episode "Bush's War".  It is pretty fascinating.  I'm pretty sure it is just more disgusting and cowardly left wing crap to be dismissed but even so.
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« Reply #78 on: March 27, 2010, 05:25:13 PM »
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[quote name='RSL' date='Mar 27 2010, 02:18 PM' post='356093']

Point 1.  The U.S. lost in Vietnam because of an absence of political will. I was there when our craven politicians jerked the rug. What happened after that makes it clear that it was a just war. We won that war during the Tet offensive, but thanks to the likes of Cronkite and his cronies our politicians lost their nerve and snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory.

Reply 1.  Exactly, and Vietnam falling totally under the reds didn't make a lot of difference to the area and made a huge difference to those who died.

Point 2.  But you may have noticed that South Korea is still not under the thumb of the north, in spite of the immense military buildup in the north. At the moment it looks as if the sinking was an accident, though I'll withhold judgment until I hear more.

Reply 2.  No, it isn't under the thumb of the northern part, but perhaps if it were, the entire joined up country would have crumbled by now since it is probably easier to keep a small place going on nothing than it is to pull that trick with a larger one. Post USSR that's perhaps why Cuba is still breathing. But it does have a great medical service. ;-)

Anyway, the justification for much of the messing around in the far east at the time was the 'domino' theory, which was supposed to lead to the fall of that entire section of the globe to communism, with Australia following suit at the end. Well, Korea was never resolved and the war still, I believe, is officially unfinished; Vietnam is communist and further southwards they are mainly strongly Moslem and Australia still obsesses about cricket, booze and getting melanomas on Bondi; I think New Zealand still consists of two major parts. So the communist threat was somewhat overcooked, to say the least. Where it probably was and might still be a real danger is within Europe, where it masquerades under a variety of sweeter appellations today.

Point 3.  As the duke said, "Madam, if you believe that, you will believe anything!" The Chinese are a wonderful people -- as Churchill said, "a serviceable people." They're extremely capable and most of Asia's merchants are Chinese. But as long as their dictators have the guns, they're screwed.

That's the saving thing -- so far. But China's military is like the Japanese military prior to WW II: a big club, and awfully close to being in charge. Taiwan is the big question mark.

Reply 3.  I think China is going to be the new America because the people have the same materialistic urge as, for that matter, have the Indians, regardless of the poverty in great chunks of both countries and even despite the religious renunciations of possessions. Both countries are on a path upwards and have the huge area and population to achieve much. The current political leaders will all die out in time and then new minds, coupled with the appetites once frowned upon, will create the kinetic energy to drive the mometum that is all it's going to take for the burgeoning new wealth to flower. I think it unavoidable, and nothing more than the repetition of the old truth of every dog having his day coupled with the other idea that nothing is as certain as change.

And in like manner, the old dogs will fade and die. Of course, as photographers we shall be all right: we only go out of focus. (Groan quickly followed by apology.)

Point 4.  And it might also "have resolved itself on the basis of" who has the nuclear weapons. The problem with, say Iran getting nuclear weapons isn't just that they may blow up Israel and start WW III. The problem is that as soon as that happens, or gets very close to happening, all the other Arab nations are going to need nukes too. Somebody had better have the might of someone "at his beck and call" or things are going to get out of hand rapidly.

Reply 4.  That might still happen - Israel has them. Do you want to believe that they are any less likely to commit suicide than Iran? I don't think any of the leaders want that; the trouble lies with the follower-idiots who buy into the propaganda, either political or spiritual, and cease to see or realise that any God worth believing in is about love and not destruction.  But then, centuries have passed in which the men of violence have cornered the market in press space.

Point 5.  As is often the case we agree completely.

Reply 5. Absolutely.

Rob C

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« Reply #79 on: March 27, 2010, 06:36:45 PM »
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Quote from: Rob C
Russ

I'm not sure if you mean the French, Germans and Japanese did or did not suck up to Bush, but as far as I remember from the news casts, only Blair was willing to hitch the ride. The pair of them couldn't even get a UN backing a second time and that's probaby why they jumped when they did.

They weren't even going to give that weapons inspector Blix (? - I always confuse his name with the lady who wrote about Kenya)) enough time to prove them wrong. He insisted right up until he was sidelined that there was nothing there. Anyway, even if there had been chemical weapons available, the means of delivery to the west were never there and not even suspected. Blair's position vis a vis Bush: I suspect that Blair would have done anything to appear at the top international table; apart from anything else, it could only improve his stock for the lecture circuit. He is currently prancing around the middle east as a peacebroker!, and can you imagine a single character apart from Bush who must be more detested by the Moslem side than he? And he has the gall to occupy such a position that at the very very least should command mutual trust or appear disinterested in having any bias. Dear God, what a pointless body of politicians to set up and finance!

Rob C

Rob, I'm not talking about the politics of who decided to go with Bush and who decided not to go with Bush. I'm talking about whether or not all those people and their intelligence services agreed that Saddam had bad stuff. Yes, some of the politicians decided not to go with Bush in spite of what their intelligence people were telling them, but that doesn't change what their services were saying. As far as weapons inspector Blix (or whatever his name was) is concerned, of course there's always someone in any group like that who disagrees. I've seen plenty of intelligence where there were people who disagreed with the consensus. But that doesn't change the result any more than it does when there are dissenters on the Supreme Court.

Most politicians are pointless to set up and finance, but, in the end, civilization needs government -- as little as possible, but at least enough to make people drive on the right side of the road.
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