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InvisibleBiggNigg
Plumb bob

Registered: 05/12/02
Posts: 125
Loc: In yo face
Continued from an OTD thread
    #644649 - 05/25/02 12:13 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

I'm posting my latest answer to hongomon here in the hopes that some of the smart dudes that hang out here (evolving, wingnutx, innvertigo, pinksharkmark, etc.) can share their thoughts on the topic. I know these guys don't all hang out in OTD, so they might have missed the thread.

The post I am responding to is this one

****I'm going see if I can keep this short, Bigg, cause I don't feel right bashing other people's religion tet a tet.*****

What religion? I'm an atheist. You're the one who brought up the Spanish Inquisition.

****About 'agressive'. I suppose I used it loosely. Could you perceive the word used to describe a certain basketball team's style? A boxer's? What about certain types of plants growing in the garden? They are all in common use. However, the definition you insist on does in fact fit much of what my government does. Often these aggressions are covert, and may not show up in your high school textbook.****

The same word in different situations takes on different definitions. But, even if you refer to a boxer's or a basketball team's style as "aggressive", you would be saying it is "attacking, or initiating action" rather than "passively defending". You used it to describe the actions of a government. You are unmistakably implying that the government is provoking the situation, or initiating it, or creating it in the first place. Show us how the US CREATED the situation in Bosnia or Somalia or Korea or the Cold War or even, for that matter, Viet Nam. I'm not saying that the US should have been in Viet Nam, only that the US didn't START the Viet Nam war. It didn't.

****Some people seem to have been waken up, only to find themselves in a new dream, a dream where evil men are out to get them and their families for no other reason but that that's what evil men do.****

Face it, dude, that's what happens some times. What was Charlie Manson's reasons for murdering people? What is the reason for the endless tribal slaughters in Africa? What could a Tutsi, or the whole tribe of Tutsis, do to prevent being hated and slaughtered by the Huttus? Relating that to the September 11 attacks, bin Laden has stated on numerous occasions that his beef with with the US is that it is defiling the Holy Land with its presence. He is referring to the fact that there are US troops garrisoned in Saudi Arabia, where the prophet once walked. He doesn't say that they are doing bad things or oppressing people or anything like that. It is not the soldiers ACTIONS that piss him off, but their very PRESENCE, the fact that in his mind infidels are defiling a holy place. Not a tomb or a mosque or even Mecca, just a place where the prophet once set foot. I ask you, what normal human being would order a group of his followers to fly airplanes into buildings because he was pissed off that some Americans were living in the wrong place? He did it not because America did anything wrong, but because he is a religious whack job.

****The post-colonial mess there has nothing to do with smarts or lack of it. Where did you get that idea?****

It's what you implied.

****First, I'll bet that if the vast majority of the "governing class" of your own country up and left over the next year, your nation would also fall into chaos. That's a transition no country can afford to make.****

There is no governing class in my country. There are politicians.

****Secondly, those Spanish and Portuguese who abandoned South America didn't leave without a trace, obviously.****

Did they leave within a single year?

****They left a culturally foreign system for whoever was left to fill, for better or for worse.****

If they left, what reason would the natives have for perpetuating that culturally foreign system rather than reverting to the ways of their ancestors or inventing a new system? If the "ruling class" has left, those who remain are free to do whatever they want.

****Colonialism and post-colonialism were especially depressing in that by forcing one cutlture into the confines of another, vastly different culture, a mixture that simply wasn't meant to function resulted.****

That may be true of colonialism. How is it true of post-colonialism?

****And still, the Western powers--in particular the richest, the United States of America--do more to fuck these nations further than they do to correct the problems their predecessors caused. Man, i'm not even getting into this one.****

Probably because you can't. It's easy to make sweeping generalizations and then imply that there's just SO much shit going on that it is impossible to even BEGIN to explain it to us poor dumb proles. That's a pretty clumsy attempt to evade justifying your position. I challenge you to give us three specific examples. Just three. Specifically HOW has the US "fucked these nations further".

****Okay, as for that American Inquisition analogy. I made it up on the spot and I think I'm going to develop it a little more. But I don't think I want to rip on an altar boy's faith any more for the moment. Besides, if I pulled the branches down for you do grab, maybe you're so light that when I let go you get flung off somewhere.
But if you want to understand the analogy, remember, I mentioned the religion in my post, and you mentioned the key words to an inquisition in yours. Can you get anything from that?****

No. I am too stupid to see the connection between the Spanish Inquisition and America's actions over the last fifty years. You'll have to spell it out for me. Capitalism/consumerism is not a religion, and America doesn't spread the wish to prosper by force, and America doesn't burn at the stake those who reject capitalism/consumerism. What makes you think that only capitalist consume? Socialists consume. All human beings consume.

****Maybe you could do an extra credit report in your history class... ****

In my work in history class I have to SUPPORT my statements, give EXAMPLES, and use FACTS. Simply stating my opinion or repeating some vague conspiracy theory doesn't cut it in the school I attend. Dude, your posts so far would get a failing grade from my teacher.


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Tru dat!


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: BiggNigg]
    #645044 - 05/25/02 07:03 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

hi bignig, you really got that hook stuck in your lip don't you?
i thought some excerpts from noam chomsky's "what uncle sam really wants" might get you jiggling up and down some more.
noam gets much of his info from declassified govt documents. he is professor of linguistics at m.i.t and has published over 30 books, hundreds of articles and lectured at many universities and conferences around the world.

"The people who determine American policy were well aware that the US would emerge from WW II as the first global power in history, and during and after the war they were carefully planning how to shape the postwar world. Since this is an open society, we can read their plans, which were very frank and clear.
American planners -- from those in the State Department to those on the Council on Foreign Relations (one major channel by which business leaders influence foreign policy) -- agreed that the dominance of the United States had to be maintained. But there was a spectrum of opinion about how to do it.
At the hard-line extreme, you have documents like National Security Council Memorandum 68 (1950). NSC 68 developed the views of Secretary of State Dean Acheson and was written by Paul Nitze, who's still around (he was one of Reagan's arms-control negotiators). It called for a "roll-back strategy" that would "foster the seeds of destruction within the Soviet system," so that we could then negotiate a settlement on our terms "with the Soviet Union (or a successor state or states)."
The policies recommended by NSC 68 would require "sacrifice and discipline" in the United States -- in other words, huge military expenditures and cutbacks on social services. It would also be necessary to overcome the "excess of tolerance" that allows too much domestic dissent. "
"NSC 68 is the hard-line extreme, and remember: the policies weren't just theoretical -- many of them were actually being implemented. Now let's turn to the other extreme, to the doves. The leading dove was undoubtedly George Kennan, who headed the State Department planning staff until 1950, when he was replaced by Nitze -- Kennan's office, incidentally, was responsible for the Gehlen network.
Kennan was one of the most intelligent and lucid of US planners, and a major figure in shaping the postwar world. His writings are an extremely interesting illustration of the dovish position. One document to look at if you want to understand your country is Policy Planning Study 23, written by Kennan for the State Department planning staff in 1948. Here's some of what it says:
we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population....In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity....To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives....We should cease to talk about vague and...unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.
PPS 23 was, of course, a top-secret document. To pacify the public, it was necessary to trumpet the "idealistic slogans" (as is still being done constantly), but here planners were talking to one another. "
The US government had two major roles to play. The first was to secure the far-flung domains of the Grand Area. That required a very intimidating posture, to ensure that no one interferes with this task -- which is one reason why there's been such a drive for nuclear weapons.
The government's second role was to organize a public subsidy for high-technology industry. For various reasons, the method adopted has been military spending, in large part.
Free trade is fine for economics departments and newspaper editorials, but nobody in the corporate world or the government takes the doctrines seriously. The parts of the US economy that are able to compete internationally are primarily the state-subsidized ones: capital-intensive agriculture (agribusiness, as it's called), high-tech industry, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, etc.
The same is true of other industrial societies. The US government has the public pay for research and development and provides, largely through the military, a state-guaranteed market for waste production. If something is marketable, the private sector takes it over. That system of public subsidy and private profit is what is called free enterprise."

"When US forces entered Korea in 1945, they dispersed the local popular government, consisting primarily of antifascists who resisted the Japanese, and inaugurated a brutal repression, using Japanese fascist police and Koreans who had collaborated with them during the Japanese occupation. About 100,000 people were murdered in South Korea prior to what we call the Korean War, including 30-40,000 killed during the suppression of a peasant revolt in one small region, Cheju Island."
(btw - there are currently over 36000 u.s. troops stationed in s.korea and s.korea is the u.s's 9th largest trading partner.....how does this fit with your "ridiculous claim", they helped an ally and left with no new trading partners? )

" US policies in the Third World are easy to understand. We've consistently opposed democracy if its results can't be controlled. The problem with real democracies is that they're likely to fall prey to the heresy that governments should respond to the needs of their own population, instead of those of US investors.
A study of the inter-American system published by the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London concluded that, while the US pays lip service to democracy, the real commitment is to "private, capitalist enterprise." When the rights of investors are threatened, democracy has to go; if these rights are safeguarded, killers and torturers will do just fine.
Parliamentary governments were barred or overthrown, with US support and sometimes direct intervention, in Iran in 1953, in Guatemala in 1954 (and in 1963, when Kennedy backed a military coup to prevent the threat of return to democracy), in the Dominican Republic in 1963 and 1965, in Brazil in 1964, in Chile in 1973 and often elsewhere. Our policies have been very much the same in El Salvador and in many other places across the globe.
The methods are not very pretty. What the US-run contra forces did in Nicaragua, or what our terrorist proxies do in El Salvador or Guatemala, isn't only ordinary killing. A major element is brutal, sadistic torture -- beating infants against rocks, hanging women by their feet with their breasts cut off and the skin of their face peeled back so that they'll bleed to death, chopping people's heads off and putting them on stakes. The point is to crush independent nationalism and popular forces that might bring about meaningful democracy. "

"When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the UN Security Council immediately condemned Iraq and imposed severe sanctions on it. Why was the UN response so prompt and so unprecedently firm? The US government-media alliance had a standard answer.
First, it told us that Iraq's aggression was a unique crime, and thus merited a uniquely harsh reaction. "America stands where it always has -- against aggression, against those who would use force to replace the rule of law" -- so we were informed by President Bush, the invader of Panama and the only head of state condemned by the World Court for the "unlawful use of force" (in the Court's condemnation of the US attack against Nicaragua). The media and the educated classes dutifully repeated the lines spelled out for them by their Leader, collapsing in awe at the magnificence of his high principles.
Second, these same authorities proclaimed in a litany that the UN was now at last functioning as it was designed to do. They claimed that this was impossible before the end of the Cold War, when the UN was rendered ineffective by Soviet disruption and the shrill anti-Western rhetoric of the Third World.
Neither of these claims can withstand even a moment's scrutiny. The US wasn't upholding any high principle in the Gulf, nor was any other state. The reason for the unprecedented response to Saddam Hussein wasn't his brutal aggression -- it was because he stepped on the wrong toes.
Saddam Hussein is a murderous gangster -- exactly as he was before the Gulf War, when he was our friend and favored trading partner. His invasion of Kuwait was certainly an atrocity, but well within the range of many similar crimes conducted by the US and its allies, and nowhere near as terrible as some. For example, Indonesia's invasion and annexation of East Timor reached near-genocidal proportions, thanks to the decisive support of the US and its allies. Perhaps one-fourth of the 700,000 population were killed, a slaughter exceeding that of Pol Pot, relative to the population, in the same years.
Our ambassador to the UN at the time (and now Senator from New York), Daniel Moynihan, explained his achievement at the UN concerning East Timor: "The United States wished things to turn out as they did, and worked to bring this about. The Department of State desired that the United Nations prove utterly ineffective in whatever measures it undertook. This task was given to me, and I carried it forward with no inconsiderable success."

http://www.zmag.org/chomsky/

like it or not, chomsky has done a lot more research than the writers of your high school textbook. yes, he is extreme, maybe the truth lies somewhere in the middle. why don't you spend 30 minutes reading the whole article, you will find quite alternative interpretations of the cold war and u.s policy, vietnam and numerous examples of countries and/or people suffering for not 'toeing the line'.
but, then again, as you have already been 'educated' maybe your time will be better spent calling me some more names, have fun!



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OfflinePhred
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: mr crisper]
    #645284 - 05/25/02 10:33 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

I'd be happy to add my thoughts, BiggNigg. Thanks for the invite.

For the record let me state that I disagree with many things the US government has done and continues to do. I am a laissez-faire Capitalist, so I disapprove of any action the US government takes that is not related to protection of its citizens. Having said that, mrcrisper has misrepresented both the motives and the actions of the US in his posts. By the way, BiggNigg, congratulations on skewering him on his contradiction re: the US spending money on military and becoming rich while the USSR was spending money on military and going broke. Neatly done.

mrcrisper writes:

noam gets much of his info from declassified govt documents.

And much of it he makes up.

he is professor of linguistics at m.i.t and has published over 30 books, hundreds of articles and lectured at many universities and conferences around the world.

I have read several, but not all, of Chomsky's books. He is a competent linguist. However his political theories are, to be charitable, naive if not outright bizarre.

"The people who determine American policy were well aware that the US would emerge from WW II as the first global power in history, and during and after the war they were carefully planning how to shape the postwar world.

Of course they were. They had just gone through the most devastating war in history, and were anxious not to repeat the experience any time soon. They were also keenly aware of the OTHER global power... the USSR. Odd how Chomsky would call the US the first global power, when the USSR occupied outright more land and countries, and immediately after the war embarked on an aggressive expansion campaign, the likes of which has yet to be repeated. It took little foresight to realize that Stalin was potentially a worse threat than Hitler.

"It called for a "roll-back strategy" that would "foster the seeds of destruction within the Soviet system," so that we could then negotiate a settlement on our terms "with the Soviet Union (or a successor state or states)."

Seeing what the Soviet system was, can you blame them for wanting it to hasten its demise?

The policies recommended by NSC 68 would require "sacrifice and discipline" in the United States -- in other words, huge military expenditures and cutbacks on social services.

What social services were those? America in 1950 had little "social services" to cut back. It was hardly the welfare Nanny State it became in the Johnson years.

"Here's some of what it says: we have about 50% of the world's wealth, but only 6.3% of its population....In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment.

And there you have it. The reason most of the world hates America is not because it is evil or does bad things, but because it is successful.

"Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity....To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives....We should cease to talk about vague and...unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization."

Clearly, in this context the human rights, living standards and democratization he was referring to was that of other countries. In other words, he was saying the US should tend to its NATIONAL objectives and let other countries progress (or regress) on their own. An isolationist. Perhaps if his advice had been followed, there would be less people screaming about US interference.

"The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts."

He was right. The USSR wasted little time in arranging its first confrontation with the free world. And the USSR respected one thing and one thing only -- power.

The US government had two major roles to play. The first was to secure the far-flung domains of the Grand Area. That required a very intimidating posture, to ensure that no one interferes with this task -- which is one reason why there's been such a drive for nuclear weapons.

I see no quotation marks here, mrcrisper. Does that mean these are your words or Chomsky's? Doesn't matter, I guess. Care to identify a few far flung domains? What is the Grand Arena? As for nuclear weapons... the US had them, the Soviets didn't. It was the Soviets who were driving.

The government's second role was to organize a public subsidy for high-technology industry. For various reasons, the method adopted has been military spending, in large part.

As a Capitalist, I disagree with subsidies for industry. However, it must be pointed out that the Soviets had subsidized military research since 1917. Given the USSR's oft-repeated goal of global domination, it would have been foolhardy not to make sure that America's self-defense capacity was at least on par with that of the USSR.

The parts of the US economy that are able to compete internationally are primarily the state-subsidized ones: capital-intensive agriculture (agribusiness, as it's called), high-tech industry, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, etc.

What about the auto industry? Heavy machinery? Commercial airliners? The entertainment industry? The fast food industry? Courier companies? All pretty competitive, I'd say. Oh, and please name a high-tech company that is state-subsidized, if by hi tech you mean computers or telephone switchers or electronic instruments.

The same is true of other industrial societies. The US government has the public pay for research and development and provides, largely through the military, a state-guaranteed market for waste production. If something is marketable, the private sector takes it over. That system of public subsidy and private profit is what is called free enterprise.

As I have pointed out in this forum before, that is NOT free enterprise. Setting that aside for the moment and sticking to the topic at hand, how does the subsidizing of various industries make the US an aggressor who starts wars in order to avoid going broke?

"When US forces entered Korea in 1945, they dispersed the local popular government, consisting primarily of antifascists who resisted the Japanese, and inaugurated a brutal repression, using Japanese fascist police and Koreans who had collaborated with them during the Japanese occupation.

It was the US who inaugurated a brutal oppression? Source, please.

(btw - there are currently over 36000 u.s. troops stationed in s.korea and s.korea is the u.s's 9th largest trading partner.....how does this fit with your "ridiculous claim", they helped an ally and left with no new trading partners? )

The US had exactly 200 advisors in South Korea in 1948.
See: http://www.rt66.com/~korteng/SmallArms/TimeLine.htm

The US returned, at the request of the UN, after North Korea attacked South Korea. The vast majority of troops left after the cease fire. Did every single one leave? Nope. The US maintained military bases at the request of South Korea, just as the Chinese maintained a military presence in North Korea.

Your POINT was that the US started the Korean war to gain a new market. It didn't START the war, and it already HAD South Korea as a trading partner before South Korea was invaded. Therefore, it didn't GAIN a new market.

Parliamentary governments were barred or overthrown, with US support and sometimes direct intervention, in Iran in 1953, in Guatemala in 1954 (and in 1963, when Kennedy backed a military coup to prevent the threat of return to democracy), in the Dominican Republic in 1963 and 1965...

This is one of Chomsky's most easily checked revisions of history. I live in the Dominican Republic, and am quite familiar with its history. The US was not overthrowing a parliamentary government. Quite the reverse. Juan Bosch had been democratically elected president in 1962 but was felled by a military coup. A series of short-lived "provisional governments" (read military juntas seizing power from one another) traded places while civil war broke out. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson sent the Marines to stop the fighting and ensure that UN supervised elections could be held. A second democratic election was held in 1966 and Joaqu?n Balaguer was elected president in what was probably one of the most scrupulously supervised elections ever held in Latin America.

like it or not, chomsky has done a lot more research than the writers of your high school textbook.

So have I, most likely. Chomsky is not always right. I would read the article in its entirety if you provide a direct link. I went to the site and poked around for quite a while without finding the article you were quoting from.

pinky


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Invisiblemr crisper
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Registered: 07/25/00
Posts: 928
Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: Phred]
    #645372 - 05/26/02 01:30 AM (14 years, 10 months ago)

hi pink
thanx for sharing your thoughts.
to find the full article, hit the link, click on 'books' in the index, scroll down to 'what uncles sam really wants' and click the title - voila!


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InvisibleInnvertigo
Vote Libertarian!!
Male

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 16,296
Loc: Crackerville, Michigan U...
Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: BiggNigg]
    #646390 - 05/26/02 04:27 PM (14 years, 10 months ago)

i'd love to put in my 2 cents (something i think i do good) but i'm not sure what i could add that Pinksharkmark has already said. I'm beginning to get a little pissed off at the topics in the political section because i have been of late, coming into them too late and the topic has usually been beat to death...maybe next time.


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

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson


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Offlinehongomon
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: BiggNigg]
    #651109 - 05/29/02 12:43 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I'm back! Camping was beautiful, but now it's time to be a pain in BiggNigg's ass again.

First, a few quotables:
U.S.-trained and financed Contra guerillas in Nicaragua ?systematically engage in violent abuses?so prevalent that these may be said to be their principal means of waging war.?
--Human Rights Watch

"It is a gross fabrication to claim that the contras are composed of democratic groups".... As I can attest, the 'contra', military force is directed and controlled by officers of Somoza's National Guard.... During my four years as a 'contra director, it was premeditated policy to terrorize civilian noncombatants to prevent them from cooperating with the Government. Hundreds of civilian murders, tortures and rapes were committed in pursuit of this policy, of which the 'contra' leaders and their CIA superiors were well aware."
Edgar Chamorro, a former member of the directorate of the Nicaraguan Democratic Force (FDN) of the Contras
http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Foreign_Policy/Rollback_quotes.html

In Honduras the CIA backed the "death squad" Battalion 316.
http://www.cpa.org.au/garchve4/1069cult.html

Haiti has been demanding that the U.S. extradite Emmanuel Constant, who while on the CIA payroll murdered hundreds of Haitians in a terror campaign. Even after Sept. 11, and all the extradition demands that led to, the U.S. still ignores the Haitian people's call for justice. http://www.geocities.com/~virtualtruth/constant.htm
http://www.hrw.org/press97/oct/haitialb.htm

The U.S. also played a role in the rise of Indonesia's General Suharto, who Clinton praised as being "our kind of guy." Since then we've gotten a good idea of what kind of guy Suharto is, so now the question is, Is he really our kind of guy? What kind of guys are we?
(commented on in Chomsky's "Rogue States") http://www.southendpress.org/books/rogueexc.shtml

I don't bring these up to try to dump all the blame for the world's problems on the U.S. government, but to suggest the sad fact that our current world power, that could, and should, be leading the way in true progress, is so often engaged doing quite the opposite. All in the name of the U.S. economy, I suppose.

And all along we stand by our fervent belief that:
a) our system truly opens doors of opportunity to everyone. That widening gap between the rich and poor of this world apparently has nothing to do with us, or our system.
and/or
b) the system is the lesser of all the evils. "Go to China, see how you like it there," we tell the critics.

Neither of these will do. If our current system of capitalism-consumerism is the best we can come up with, then we're doomed to hell. What matters right now is that the world is at a crossroads and if you are to save your children's future and I am to save mine, we've got to get off the defensive and extend, by our actions, some real olive branches to the people of the world who are ready to burst over with oppression and subjugation. Apple pie may be American, but humble pie?

Please read this.
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=585&ncid=753&e=1&u=/nm/20020522/sc_nm/environment_britain_dc_1
this is a similar story.
http://www.cbc.ca/stories/2002/05/22/un_enviro020522

Sorry I can't just write "here" and make it a link to those sites. After I post this I'm going to go and learn that magic spell.

Western expansionism is just a recent chapter in a long tale of humankind's desire to acquire. We've been so occupied reaping whatever we could from the new lands we've discovered that we've rarely given a second thought to the people who were already there. Well, that's no longer possible. As Tom Plate, a UCLA professor whose column appears in my paper, puts it, "At a time when globalization is synonymous with a shrinking world, we are all, more and more, living in the same (or immediately adjacent) neighborhood."

So this isn't about how to defeat an enemy, this is about making peace with a neighbor.

peace (real peace)

hongomon


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Offlinehongomon
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: BiggNigg]
    #651135 - 05/29/02 12:54 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Oh, and BiggNigg, sorry if I'm too abstract for you. I belong with those loonies over in the philosophy and spirituality forum.

In the abstract sense, you do have a religion. Is 'ideology' an easier term for you?
In that same abstract sense, I'm a heretic, or trying to be.

In the abstract sense, your country, as well as mine, does have a "ruling class." It's an abstract sense, hence the quotation marks. Thankfully this class' boundaries are kept open due to the democratic process, but there is still a very particular culture observable among those involved with politics and big business. This culture is most noticeable where it is least penetrable, at the upper level.

hongomon


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: hongomon]
    #652942 - 05/30/02 09:53 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

hongomon writes:

U.S.-trained and financed Contra guerillas in Nicaragua ?systematically engage in violent abuses?"

Note that these are NICARAGUANS, not US troops.

The U.S. also played a role in the rise of Indonesia's General Suharto...

Which "role"? Did the US station troops at the polls to prevent anti-Suharto voters from voting? Did US troops murder Suharto's political opponents? Let's have some specifics, please.

I don't bring these up to try to dump all the blame for the world's problems on the U.S. government, but to suggest the sad fact that our current world power, that could, and should, be leading the way in true progress...

How? Define "true progress". Do you mean technological progress? The US leads the world in technological innovation. Do you mean economic progress? The US economy is the envy of the rest of the world. Do you mean political progress? Even with the increasing tangle of government controls and violations of freedoms of its citizens (i.e. the War on Drugs) the US is arguably still the most free nation on earth politically. If that is not "leading the way", please explain what is.

All in the name of the U.S. economy, I suppose.

Exactly. YOU SUPPOSE the US gets involved in these civil wars for economic reasons, as does mrcrisper. Neither of you offer a shred of proof that this is in fact their reason for involvement.

mrcrisper's original statement -- "the us economy is military based, if there is no war on you guys are fkn broke, hence the non-stop aggression.(cold war, korea, vietnam, central america, mid-east)"

hongomon's original statement -- We were in there because the U.S. government knows that its longevity as a world power lies in its ability to channel the world's riches and resources toward U.S. businesses.

Excuse me, but exactly WHICH riches and resources are to be found in Nicaragua, Somalia, or Bosnia? More precisely, which riches and resources do those countries possess which would not be available to the US REGARDLESS of who the eventual "winner" of the struggle might be? Let's face it... a country with no industrial base to speak of will sell its resources if it can... to ANYONE who cares to meet the price.

And all along we stand by our fervent belief that:
a) our system truly opens doors of opportunity to everyone. That widening gap between the rich and poor of this world apparently has nothing to do with us, or our system.


It doesn't. As technology makes the production of wealth easier, those nations with superior technology outdistance those without. It's a question of technology, not politics.

b) the system is the lesser of all the evils. "Go to China, see how you like it there," we tell the critics.

The technology gap is responsible for the disparity between the relative wealth of nations, but the political system in place explains the disparity between the relative wealth of the citizens within a given nation. The "wealth gap" is enormous in countries with a totalitarian form of government (USSR, China, colonial Haiti, etc.), less so in those countries with a more free form of government.

If our current system of capitalism-consumerism is the best we can come up with, then we're doomed to hell.

And which variant of Statism do you propose we switch to?

we've got to get off the defensive and extend, by our actions, some real olive branches...

Defensive? You said the US was "aggressive", not "defensive". Which is it? And what precisely do you mean by "olive branches"? Do you mean the US should throw money at the problem by increasing foreign aid?

Or should the US decline to come to the aid of its allies and refuse to partake in any more UN peacekeeping missions? No, that can't be it, because you said isolationism is not the answer.

... to the people of the world who are ready to burst over with oppression and subjugation.

Oppressed by whom? Subjugated by whom? How do Burger King and General Motors and Microsoft and George Lucas (all icons of the capitalist/consumerist ethos, you must agree) oppress and subjugate the people of Somalia or Bosnia or Afghanistan or China?

Western expansionism...

And what new territories has the US acquired through its "expansionism"?

... is just a recent chapter in a long tale of humankind's desire to acquire.

Human survival is dependent on humankind's ability to acquire. You don't acquire food, you die. You don't acquire medical knowledge, you die young. You don't acquire effective means of self defense, you die when the tyrant across the border decides to invade.

At a time when globalization is synonymous with a shrinking world, we are all, more and more, living in the same (or immediately adjacent) neighborhood.

All the more reason for ensuring the neighborhood is a peaceful one, where humans can trade with each other by choice.

pinky


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Offlinehongomon
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: Phred]
    #654455 - 05/30/02 09:43 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Pinksharkmark,
Thanks for a very complete response. I especially appreciate the requests for clarification.

Pinky writes,
"Note that these are NICARAGUANS, not US troops."
and
"Which "role"? Did the US station troops at the polls to prevent anti-Suharto voters from voting? Did US troops murder Suharto's political opponents? Let's have some specifics, please."

It seems you have whittled down all actions requiring accountability to the most flagrant, the most obvious--the physical presence and participation of U.S. troops. I question that. It certainly wouldn't vindicate a person accused of hiring someone to murder another person.

But I do recognize that a campaign focused solely on placing blame on the U.S. government--or any other single factor--is missing the mark in this complex situation. I am a critic of my government, but more than anything I want to encourage people to consider the relationship between themselves and their government, to connect the dots back to themselves. (NOT to take on a burden of guilt, but a greater sense of accountability.)

I started a thread on my thoughts concerning "true progress." It's not particularly developed, but I hope it at least illuminates my position better. But once again, I don't believe we should expect anything inherently altruistic about a democratic government. The government will reflect its people's attitudes, and it is crucial that we come to truly take that concept to heart.

To my comment,
"And all along we stand by our fervent belief that:
a) our system truly opens doors of opportunity to everyone. That widening gap between the rich and poor of this world apparently has nothing to do with us, or our system,"
Pinky writes,
"It doesn't. As technology makes the production of wealth easier, those nations with superior technology outdistance those without. It's a question of technology, not politics."

When you say "It doesn't," are you responding to my first comment, or my second?"

Pinky:
"The technology gap is responsible for the disparity between the relative wealth of nations, but the political system in place explains the disparity between the relative wealth of the citizens within a given nation. The "wealth gap" is enormous in countries with a totalitarian form of government (USSR, China, colonial Haiti, etc.), less so in those countries with a more free form of government."

I agree that technology plays a major role. Technology, however, doesn't exist in a vacuum. It doesn't make its own choices, or insist on playing the role that it does. I just wish that more of us could get ourselves to be a little more concerned about the gap that continues to grow, and not so protective of our right to acquire more.

Aggressive and defensive. Sorry for yet more confusion. The term "aggressive" has already been dissected a bit, but what I mean by defensive is that attitude we take on when we encounter criticism. I suppose it's a natural reaction to some degree, but it simply interferes with our desire to be open-minded. I get on the defensive sometimes, and it's something I try to overcome. Internet forums like this are nice because it gives us that much more reaction time.

I hope this isn't too long, or too vague.

peace and progress (true progress, of course)

hongomon


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: hongomon]
    #654965 - 05/31/02 06:47 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)


hongomon writes:

It seems you have whittled down all actions requiring accountability to the most flagrant, the most obvious--the physical presence and participation of U.S. troops.

And you assign accountability through the most tenuous connections. It seems in your view, if the US has ever had dealings with a government, it is automatically responsible for all the wrongdoings of that government forever more. Did the US supply some weapons to a particular country, which were later used to support that country's aggressions? Well, then the whole thing MUST have been instigated by the US! Did US officials ever have cordial meetings with a foreign politician who later became the head of state? Well then the US MUST have engineered his election! Why would they do so? Well, because the US KNEW that sooner or later this guy would start a war or oppress his own citizens.

No one ever seems to acknowledge the fact that the French, for example, sell weapons (damn good ones, too) to ANYONE. The USSR was pretty damn good at training and arming and manipulating foreign heads of state, too.

When you say "It doesn't," are you responding to my first comment, or my second?"

The second. -- That widening gap between the rich and poor of this world apparently has nothing to do with us, or our system.

Technology, however, doesn't exist in a vacuum.

Correct. The countries with the system closest to complete freedom are more advanced technologically than the countries run by dictators. There is a direct connection between the wealth of a nation and its form of government.


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Offlinehongomon
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: Phred]
    #656541 - 05/31/02 09:09 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Pinky, it seems you have me pegged into my little pidgeon hole, and you're no longer able to actually read anything I write.

You say,

"And you assign accountability through the most tenuous connections. It seems in your view, if the US has ever had dealings with a government, it is automatically responsible for all the wrongdoings of that government forever more."

Sorry, slick. That's pretty far from what I wrote:
"I don't bring these up to try to dump all the blame for the world's problems on the U.S. government, but to suggest the sad fact that our current world power, that could, and should, be leading the way in true progress, is so often engaged doing quite the opposite."

Besides--"tennuous connections"? Funding and training are tennuous connections? Good god.
You drivel on:
"Did the US supply some weapons to a particular country, which were later used to support that country's aggressions? Well, then the whole thing MUST have been instigated by the US! Did US officials ever have cordial meetings with a foreign politician who later became the head of state? Well then the US MUST have engineered his election! Why would they do so? Well, because the US KNEW that sooner or later this guy would start a war or oppress his own citizens."

Pinky: no thinky?

No, too busy raising stinky:

"No one ever seems to acknowledge the fact that the French, for example, sell weapons (damn good ones, too) to ANYONE. The USSR was pretty damn good at training and arming and manipulating foreign heads of state, too."

I acknowledge that fact. Really, I do.

Que saque tu cabeza


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Offlinewingnutx
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: BiggNigg]
    #657472 - 06/01/02 02:30 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I'm a little late to this, but I'll throw in some observations:

Relating that to the September 11 attacks, bin Laden has stated on numerous occasions that his beef with with the US is that it is defiling the Holy Land with its presence. He is referring to the fact that there are US troops garrisoned in Saudi Arabia, where the prophet once walked.

That is true. He only glommed onto US policy and the Palestinian situation very late in his game, when he wanted to drag third parties into it. Previously he had stuck to the offense of infidel troops defiling holy Saudi soil and deposing the corrupt house of Saud.

He also threw in the Spanish reconquest of Andelusia in the 1500s for good measure.

As for Chomsky, he may be a good linguist, but he is a conspiracy nut of the worst sort. Yes, I have read some of his stuff, and even have a record of his (the B-side of a bad religion single). I love watching him try to debate because he always falls back on his 'US is the root of all evil' schtick, and uses any unchecked fragment of a fact he can to prove it. He never lets verifiable facts get in his way.

As for the US casuing trouble around the globe: We have caused our share, but immensely less that any other global power, and we have doen more good than any other global power.

US colonialism is very limited in scope, the only major example being the Philipines, for a relatively short duration. We are currently on great terms with the Philipines, with polls showing over 75% support for our current military cooperation. I spent a lot of time there myself, and am proud to have them as a partner.

We colonized nothing in Africa, or South America. Enemies that we conquered we simply forced to adopt a form of government less likely to attack us again, then left them in peace. If we truly had notion of empire then we would have kept Cuba, Japan, Germany, and Mexico.

Third world countries are incontinual poverty not because we hold them down, but because they refuse to follow an example of what truly works, and because they have cultures mired in authoritarian rule and corruption. Korea went from dirt huts to industrial might by adopting free trade. Arab and many Latin countries doom themselves to squalor because they will not embrace the values that allow a society to prosper. They'd rather engage in scapegoating the successful countries that shame them in comparison, like Israel.



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Offlinehongomon
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: wingnutx]
    #658134 - 06/01/02 10:28 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Thanks for your observations, wingnutx.

About binLaden: first, I'm not of the mind that exploring where we are going wrong in our country is synonymous with putting binLaden onto any pedestal. I'm not sure you're implying that, but I just wanted to clarify.

Second, historical figures don't rise where there is no historical context to elevate them. Osama binLaden--his actions, his effectiveness in gaining support--is merely a symptom of the troubled, grossly imbalanced state the world is in. These people who hate us, who want to kill us, they may not have found the words to express just what it is that is driving them, but how can we expect them to given the complexity of the situation? I've heard it simplified down to things like "they're evil, wacko, fanatics, etc." and I just don't buy it. We're evil, wacko, and fanatical in our own ways, too. And we have a lot more power over our own postition than we do over someone else's. It just seems that that avenue has yet to be discussed.

I would say that your claim that the U.S. causes "immensely less [global trouble] that any other global power, and we have doen more good than any other global power" is one destined to endless debate here. I don't believe it, any more than I believe that the U.S. is the source of all the problems. I know we've done good, but the message, even from our humanitarian record, is that we intend to capitalize on our kindness.

wingnutx:
"We colonized nothing in Africa, or South America."

Back in the 80's, Japanese real estate speculation in Hawaii was through the roof. Our joke was "Japan doesn't want to take over Hawaii, they just want to buy it." Welcome to the new age of expansionism. The only way that the U.S. has been able to maintain the high-consumption lifestyle it has, has been by pulling in resources--from oil to beef to metals--from around the world.

wingnutx:
"Third world countries are in continual poverty not because we hold them down, but because they refuse to follow an example of what truly works, and because they have cultures mired in authoritarian rule and corruption. Korea went from dirt huts to industrial might by adopting free trade. Arab and many Latin countries doom themselves to squalor because they will not embrace the values that allow a society to prosper."

It seems that the laisez-faire capitalists I've spoken to (and I don't know if that's how you describe your postion) insist that if the poor countries in the world would just set up a democratic nation, and otherwise get their act together, they too would enjoy the prosperity we enjoy. Correct me if I'm wrong about that claim. If it's so, please explain how the planet, already showing it can't support us in the status quo, is going to support American-style prosperity on a larger scale. It's unthinkable.

"They'd rather engage in scapegoating the successful countries that shame them in comparison, like Israel."

Give a country $6 billion a year in foreign aid, and they might make something of themselves. We might even be proud to be their partner.

hongomon


Edited by hongomon (06/01/02 10:35 PM)


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Offlinewingnutx
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: hongomon]
    #658175 - 06/01/02 11:50 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Were you formerly known here as Hongus?


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Offlinenugsarenice
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: wingnutx]
    #658302 - 06/02/02 04:26 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I have to throw in a couple cents here, first, you all are claiming this "chomsky" character is crazy. Second I don't know who Chomsky is. Third, you all admit that he is a genius in linguistics. O.K. the moral of the story is that language is barrier to truth, language is not the first important thing to all people, otherwise we would all speak the same language. The first most important thing varies, from money, to sex, to drugs, etc. However, If I was a great linguist, I would have unlimited information regarding history. Second I could research u.s. history against these sources (assuming Chomsky first language is enlglish) , now who has a better understanding of history, the person who has studied it in many languages, or just english? Also, if you were to read two biased pieces of history, in two different languages, one might come up with an unbiased solution, simple math here guys, so I want to just say that I much agree with myself maybe getting one of these Chomsky books, which speak of the "untelling bad truth of bad republicans, democrats, and the u.s. government" I might just enjoy a little history lesson in english, that is unbiased, and not approved by our government. I seems that throughout history our government has only supported propaganda, from Carbon Dating, to Indian Primitivity, to Religious beliefes, to communism, to drugs, to Christopher Columbus, and so on. Is this not enough examples of how the U.s. governement has lied, and inserted propaganda in it's place? Maybe all you wing nutz should stop studying republican manifesto's and concern yourself with an unbiased field of study. Sometimes you must gain trust in an intellectulist by studying his field of study, only then can you determine his intelligence,and begin to trust his political theory. Does any politician actively research something? I don't know one to date, I mean what did Bush do, mangage a baseball team!



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Offlinewingnutx
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: nugsarenice]
    #659372 - 06/02/02 06:47 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I didn't see anyone call Chomsky a 'genius' at linguistics. I give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that he competent in his field of expertise. What he is famous for, however, are his wild political accusations.

I'm quite suprised that you've never heard of him, seeing as how you want to start a leftist think tank and all. Noam Chomsky is a major player in leftist nut-jobbery.


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Offlinenugsarenice
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: wingnutx]
    #659592 - 06/02/02 10:24 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I'm glad I have'nt wasted any time on reading him then, thanks, you have read some books of Chomsky then? Which is good to buy, and not?


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InvisibleGreat_Cthulhu
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: nugsarenice]
    #659876 - 06/03/02 04:44 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I'd say none since he's an illogical far left extremist.



--------------------
"That is not dead which may eternal lie..and with strange eons even death may die."
Vote Great Cthulhu for President. Why vote for a lesser evil?


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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: Great_Cthulhu]
    #659895 - 06/03/02 05:04 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Oh, you know some good right wing linguists then?


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Offlinehongomon
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Re: Continued from an OTD thread [Re: nugsarenice]
    #660159 - 06/03/02 08:33 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I had some linguini last night. It seems the restaurant was out of spices. It was probably the most conservative linguini I've ever eaten.


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