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Bush, meet dead horse, here's your bat.
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Bart



Joined: 22 Jul 2006
Posts: 1572

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was trying to say a couple off things, but i accidentially managed to hit the back button *sigh*. I won't be going into this discussion tonight then, but i'll try to add my two cents later.

And thanks for the read weels, it's interesting.
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mouse



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

like twsod says - an important first step is not thinking all terrorists are the same, thus leading to the mistaken belief that attacking them in one place will somehow stop all of them.

another important step is getting good intelligence, and actually listening to that intelligence. the clinton administration was holding weekly meetings about terrorist threats, and maintained a level of vigilence that enabled them to stop things before they happened, at least here in the u.s. the bush administration started by willfully ignoring the terrorist threat. they did not start talking about it until about august of 2001 - and we know what the result of that was. since then, as has been pointed out, they have been picking and choosing and manipulating intelligence, until we really don't know _what_ the deal is. that has to stop. we have to pay for good intelligence, and we have to listen to what it tells us, whether we like it or not.

in terms of protecting the u.s., intelligent security work would be nice. good intelligence, efforts to secure _all_ danger sites (like chemical plants, ports, railroads, etc.), and rational security in airports and the like (so, not relying on minimum-wage screeners, doing some reasonable profiling, so we aren't searching grandmothers and babies, things like that). we could learn from other countries about this - israel has been dealing with terrorism, great britain had the ira, spain has the basque seperatists, etc., etc. - we could look around and see what works, and what doesn't.

attacking real threats and not imaginary ones would be good, as would finishing the job. we were right to attack afghanistan, we should have stayed to catch bin laden, and we _should_ have put our rebuilding efforts there. rebuilding afghanistan would have sent the same message as bush keeps claiming we would send by rebuilding iran, but we wouldn't have had to overcome the onus of rebuilding something we destroyed.

understanding where the terrorists are coming from would help. although they proclaim it's all about establishing a new caliphate, there's a lot underlying that. one is the way western governments (like the u.s.) have supported dictators (like saddam hussein). taking a clear look at who, exactly, we are propping up would be a good thing. oppressive dictators drive their people to take extreme action - and sometimes it seems easier or better to attack the dictator's supports rather than the dictator himself. bin laden, for example, was unhappy about the u.s. military presence in saudi arabia - but it's only been quite recently that al qaeda attacked saudi arabia.

being clear on where we are sending our money and why would be another good thing. right now, we are sending billions of dollars to the middle east to buy oil. some of this money goes to prop up oppressive dictatorships (like those in saudi arabia, iran, libya, etc., etc.) - some goes to support terrorists (oddly, often by way of these same dictatorships, as in saudi funding of madrassas in pakistan). if we could manage to free ourselves of the need for imported oil, we would reduce funding for a lot of bad people. and we might actually end up giving people in those countries a better life, thus inspiring them to chose something other than death as a terrorists. nicholas kristof has written quite a bit about how the middle eastern countries making the most progress in modernization (with all that includes) are those lacking oil revenues. the ones with oil revenues can just pay their people off, without providing them with educations or jobs or diversifying their economies.

so, in short: 1) better foreign policy; 2) better intelligence; and 3) fighting the real enemies, and not the pretend ones.
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Sam



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:21 pm    Post subject: Old time's sake Reply with quote

Agamemnon wrote:
Any way to offer alternatives without pointing out the perceived mistakes of the current administration?


Considering that the administration and its base of political American power first and foremost represents the biggest obstacle towards anyone advocating a change in course, it's unrealistic to expect that they can be ignored in practically any discussion involving a reworking of strategy, so ... no, not likely.

Re: the subject of this thread. In which it is observed that Bush has chosen to continue support of the oft-repeated "stay the course" mentality and strategy, along a line that a supermajority of policy analysts have observed to be countereffective, and that most of the American populace has become disenchanted with.

It is not unfair to expect that the chief policymakers of the nation in question, whose actions have been central towards the contemporary situation in question, will be included in discussion. You've already made the mistake of insinuating that bringing up Bush means that it's not about other ideas; you also react negatively over Iraq being brought up because it's been 'done to death,' despite the fact that it's an ongoing event that is central to the issue of realities and alternatives.

Short version: no kneejerking!
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mouse



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and by the way - bush was talking about winning an "ideological struggle" with the terrorists - which has nothing to do with the military. i was thinking about this on my walk at lunch - bush has actively been disarming us, ideologically.

i know a lot of people who came here from other countries; they love the u.s. for our freedoms, for our rights, for our devotion to justice and lack of corruption, for the chance this place gives them to make something of themselves. this administration has been busy dismantling most of these.

we have had many discussions about the extent to which this administration is dismantling our freedoms - from warrantless wiretaps to limiting journalists' rights to print stories. they are also limiting other people's rights - witness the treatment of the detainees at guantanamo, who are held without trial, without contact with lawyers or anyone else. and yet, rights to trial and legal representation are big selling points for this country. this administration is willing to throw out the geneva convention so we can torture people - we used to be people who found torture anethema, who were know for the humanity we showed prisoners of war.

this administration is the most secretive in history - and it keeps coming out that a lot of that secretiveness is covering up corruption. tom delay's lasting contribution to the american people is his k street plan - pay to play politics. delay may be gone, but his friends in congress are working hard to keep the money train coming. this is an embarrassment to us as a people. we _used_ to have an open and honest government. now our government is actively working to keep itself fat while ignoring its duties to the people.

it is also an incompetant administration, in large part due to cronyism - itself a form of corruption. look at the mess that has been made of fema, of the epa, of any number of governmental agencies, because this administration has put party hacks into positions of authority.

and the little guy is finding it harder and harder to make something of himself. this administration looks out for big business - not the new immigrant trying to start his own. it's not interested in helping poor people stay healthy or educate their children. it seems even to be promoting negative, even racist, attitudes towards immigrants, particularly brown-skinned ones - especially if they are from mexico or the middle east.

on top of that, the government is increasingly the servant of a fairly narrow religious group. no more respect for all beliefs - the money and the power is going to the christian right - who don't even represent all christians. how is a government kowtowing to christian fundamentalists any better than one under the thumb of islamic fundamentalists?

so what, in all this, makes the u.s. an attractive ideological beacon to people from other countries? we can no longer offer an open, just, non-corrupt system, with rights and freedoms and opportunities for all.

what exactly is the ideology that the bush administration thinks we represent? and how close is it to what it has really made us?
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Snorri



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:


so what, in all this, makes the u.s. an attractive ideological beacon to people from other countries? we can no longer offer an open, just, non-corrupt system, with rights and freedoms and opportunities for all.


Well, you could. But noone would believe you.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mouse wrote:
it is also an incompetant administration, in large part due to cronyism - itself a form of corruption. look at the mess that has been made of fema, of the epa, of any number of governmental agencies, because this administration has put party hacks into positions of authority.

Don't forget NASA, which was headed by a 24 year old degreeless experienceless whelp who demanded that NASA not step on anybody's toes over Intelligent Design or support Global Warming, assigned to head the press of the agency simply because he helped Bush's campgaining. It makes me absolutely sick.
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kame



Joined: 11 Jul 2006
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Location: Alba Nuadh

PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm, I think a good start would not to start wars for ideological reasons. It didn't work in Vietnam, or Korea, it's not working in Iraq. It has been shown in the past that a determined opposition can make a conventional army look silly.

Second, I believe America has got to stop manipulating/overthrowing governments for it's own purposes, that has also not worked in the past. Just about every dictator that the US has propped up has either bit the hand that fed them, or was destroyed in a populous uprising. Saddam Hussein is a perfect example of that. Whatever short term gains the american's made then, if any, are worthless now.

Third, stop pouring a third of your gdp into the military. Or whatever percentage it is. As nice as it is to have a missile plant in buttfuck Utah, it serves no useful purpose. A major investment into upgrading education standards will go a long way to make sure that the snow job that the current admin pulled on it's own pupulace won't be repeated. Teach your children how to sift out bullshit because your politicians do not fear you, and they will continue to sell your interests out to the highest bidder as long as you remain ignorant of how and why you're doing it.

People here are pretty fucking smart, this is not a suckup, it's a statement of fact. It's time to bring the rest of america up to this standard, otherwise we're all fucked.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
mouse wrote:
it is also an incompetant administration, in large part due to cronyism - itself a form of corruption. look at the mess that has been made of fema, of the epa, of any number of governmental agencies, because this administration has put party hacks into positions of authority.

Don't forget NASA, which was headed by a 24 year old degreeless experienceless whelp who demanded that NASA not step on anybody's toes over Intelligent Design or support Global Warming, assigned to head the press of the agency simply because he helped Bush's campgaining. It makes me absolutely sick.


oh, the parade is apparently endless.

Quote:
August 31, 2006
Editorial
Homestretch for a Hack

The spectacle of a high federal appointee brazenly pleading preoccupation with the war on terror when called to account for billing for unwarranted paydays — while running a horse racing operation from his State Department office — sounds like the stuff of a wise-guy Broadway musical. Or an indictment. So far neither is in the cards for Kenneth Tomlinson, the Republican ideologue ousted last November in an earlier ethics scandal at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Once again Mr. Tomlinson has been caught up to his old tricks, this time as chairman of the separate agency that runs the Voice of America.

Investigators found that Mr. Tomlinson, who owns a thoroughbred stable, used office time tending to Karzai, Massoud and his other horses and still had the temerity to bill the government for more than the 130 workdays he was limited to by law. He also hired a friend and signed off on $244,000 in two years’ undocumented compensation.

Mr. Tomlinson should have been humbled by his previous troubles. Investigators found he repeatedly broke ethics rules by packing the Public Broadcasting payroll with Republican partisans and pushing for a $4 million deal to “balance” public television with conservative polemicists. But Mr. Tomlinson, who has close ties to the White House, double-billed the government for 14 workdays on which investigators discovered his two broadcasting jobs somehow overlapping.

Mr. Tomlinson says he is proud of his work, assuring taxpayers that he spent far more time working the broadcast job from his horse farm than working the horses from his government post. It’s inexplicable why the White House maintains confidence in Mr. Tomlinson. The Senate should immediately show him the barn door as he comes up for reappointment at the State Department.

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Agamemnon



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kame wrote:
Hmmm, I think a good start would not to start wars for ideological reasons. It didn't work in Vietnam, or Korea, it's not working in Iraq. It has been shown in the past that a determined opposition can make a conventional army look silly.

Second, I believe America has got to stop manipulating/overthrowing governments for it's own purposes, that has also not worked in the past. Just about every dictator that the US has propped up has either bit the hand that fed them, or was destroyed in a populous uprising. Saddam Hussein is a perfect example of that. Whatever short term gains the american's made then, if any, are worthless now.

Third, stop pouring a third of your gdp into the military. Or whatever percentage it is. As nice as it is to have a missile plant in buttfuck Utah, it serves no useful purpose. A major investment into upgrading education standards will go a long way to make sure that the snow job that the current admin pulled on it's own pupulace won't be repeated. Teach your children how to sift out bullshit because your politicians do not fear you, and they will continue to sell your interests out to the highest bidder as long as you remain ignorant of how and why you're doing it.

People here are pretty fucking smart, this is not a suckup, it's a statement of fact. It's time to bring the rest of america up to this standard, otherwise we're all fucked.


I would agree with this, mostly, and point out that Bush did not have a hand in all of this.

Otherwise, I will back out now and let all of you keep up your Bush bashing. I apologize that my attempt to bring about meaningful discussion that does not continue to endlessly harp on Bush was unsucessful. I thank WoC for the links he brought out. They are providing some interesting ideas, though I'm not sure I agree with all of them.
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kame



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd posit that Bush admin is the culmination of the military-industrial complex, they didn't create it, and none of their ideas are new. They've just been much less careful about using it.
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Major Tom



Joined: 09 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agamemnon wrote:

Otherwise, I will back out now and let all of you keep up your Bush bashing. I apologize that my attempt to bring about meaningful discussion that does not continue to endlessly harp on Bush was unsucessful.


you try to pull this all the time, ag

you aren't looking for meaningful discussion, you are hoping to get people to pretend bush is not a national havok for a little while.

if you would like a meaningful conversation that doesn't raise honest opinions and thoughts which strike you as harping on bush, please pick your topic with more care and forethought.

i don't feel the need to hold my tongue in order to keep you from becoming peevish.

just because you become upset doesn't make my or anyone else's thoughts less meaningful.
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Agamemnon



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not peevish, just looking to have a discussion on this topic, or others like it, without having to put up with your taking every oportunity to give Bush another potshot. It's why I've really, really, enjoyed the Minimum wage discussion.
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's all well and good but it doesn't change the plain reality that he (bush) is quite central to what is most wrong with many other topics that are discussed around here.
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Agamemnon



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't dispute that, but do you think it's reasonable to ask for a response other than "Because Bush has done this wrong" or "we shouldn't do it the way Bush has" or some such? I'm looking to see if anyone has an alternative, or are people just using whatever subject is at hand to bash Bush once again?

I keep hoping....
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Major Tom



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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i didn't actually mention bush, i only suggested an alternative and, in that I was mentioning "an alternative", I offered the context with which one might tell what was to be changed.



...you have heard this word 'peevish' before, yes?
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