Obama

Doctor X

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Your entire text seems a pretty damning account of American politics. You make some good points though.
Call it as I see it: it is rarely a case of "all good" or "all bad." But as I love to tease my English friend, at least we are not run by the Scots. :)

BTW, American foreign policy only enforces international law when it suits it.
As it should . . . in a way . . . because international law can be an ass. Case in point:

Israel has flouted more UN resolutions than any other country, but the US (and Britain) turns a blind eye.
Yup. But she is a democracy. She has not threatened to wipe all of her neighbors off the map in progressively hyperbolic terms. She also does not send her children to blow up civilians or randomly shoot rockets at neighbors.

However, she also treats the population like chattel, practices land-grabbing with the philosophy of "if we live there they cannot get rid of us," and have practiced quite frank terrorism such as blowing up the homes of families of terrorists. However, in a choice between a democracy that can behave badly, and regimes such as Syria who do behave badly, the democracy will win. It is never a situation of "black and white," "good versus evil."

For the record I still think Rumsfeld was a feckin' idiot. ;)
Not much argument there. I would agree that an idiot is one who, like the crazy person, does the same thing over and over again expecting a different outcome. Rumsfeld should have learned from the situation rather than expecting the situation to conform to what he wants it to be.

fryke said:
DoctorX: That's a _lot_ of hogwash. How was Bush's antiterrorism a success?
How many have we had?

Oh, you admit the answer:

He didn't bring terrorist attacks from 1'000 attacks a year to zero.
He took them from 0.001% to zero. . . .
Wrong.

- and we don't know whether any of the measures taken after 9/11 actually helped.
We do. We know of plots that were discovered and halted by techniques and strategies instituted by his Administration. You are simply trying to rewrite history to fit your . . . what is that term you use? Oh yes, "hogwash." How quaint.

What we _do_ know is that warnings before 9/11 were ignored. . . .
By Clinton . . . then Bush. Your point? However, your sentence is fallacious; it assumes these "warnings" would have led to a different situation. That is "Monday Morning Quarterbacking."

I don't wanna play down 9/11.
Then do not write this:

It was a terrible thing to happen. But it was a crime of an organisation called Al Quaida, not an act of war by Afghanistan or Iraq.
Wrong on two fronts. First, Al Qaeda was sponsored and supported by the government of Afghanistan which Bush--and Clinton before him--tried to negotiate with--remember those statues? Granted, they were trying to deal with those who think the best way to deal with gender issues is to simply publicly shoot women in the back of their heads. They were given the opportunity to cough up Al Qaeda--they failed. Even Obama disagrees with you on that point.

Second, Iraq was not about 9/11 other than we no longer wait for the inevitable. He rather did what you suggested regarding Al Quaeda--he paid attention to the problem.

You implied method of looking at terrorism as something you can "sort out" or "arrest" is not only naïve, it fails. This was Clinton's approach after the first bombing of the Towers.

How well did it work?

--J.D.
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
How many attacks did you have on the towers in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998? See: You _can_ see it as simple as you want, but just saying that Iraq was not about 9/11 now doesn't quite put Bush and consorts into a better light. Because that's one of the biggest mistakes they made. They changed their arguments to fit the war they wanted.

So to look at terrorism as something criminal is wrong in your opinion. Why? I'm not talking about "works" or "doesn't work". To me, quite clearly, all attempts have failed so far. There are reasons for that.
 

Doctor X

Registered
How many attacks did you have on the towers in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998?
One prior to 9/11 was not enough? The failed millennium neither?

Curious. . . .

When did Al Qaeda come together? When did it have the force of a government behind it?

. . . .but just saying that Iraq was not about 9/11. . . .
Is a different topic; try to stay focused on one at a time.

. . . now doesn't quite put Bush and consorts into a better light.
I am really not concerned with your lack of illumination.

Because that's one of the biggest mistakes they made.
What mistake?

They changed their arguments to fit the war they wanted.
Only if you were not paying attention, particularly to the ten years prior.

So to look at terrorism as something criminal is wrong in your opinion.
Reality is not a matter of opinion.

How are those "arrests" going?

Why? I'm not talking about "works" or "doesn't work".
You should. Particularly if you are going to conjure up post hoc blame.

To me, quite clearly, all attempts have failed so far.
9/11 was a success for terrorists. FYI. . . .

There are reasons for that.
I am not sure you are aware of what they are, but I like surprises.

--J.D.
 

Doctor X

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One quick example:

An Ohio truck driver who admitted six months ago that he plotted with senior operatives of Al Qaeda to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge was sentenced on Tuesday to 20 years in prison. Minutes before the sentencing, the driver, Iyman Faris, 34, tried to withdraw his earlier guilty plea, saying he had admitted a role in the plot only to fool the F.B.I. and secure a book deal for himself.

''I'm innocent,'' Mr. Faris said.

But Judge Leonie M. Brinkema of Federal District Court said she was not persuaded. The sentence was the maximum allowable under a plea agreement that Mr. Faris, a native of Pakistan who came to the United States in 1994 and became a citizen in 1999, signed with prosecutors last May.

Judge Brinkema said that when Mr. Faris agreed to plead guilty to terrorism charges in a secret proceeding, his answers to detailed questions about the Brooklyn Bridge plot and other incidents indicated that ''he thoroughly understood what he was doing.''

Prosecutors said in court pleadings that Mr. Faris traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in late 2000 and met with Osama bin Laden and other senior Qaeda leaders, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, widely regarded as a key planner of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Government officials said Mr. Mohammed told Mr. Faris that Al Queda was planning two more attacks in New York City and Washington, including the destruction of the Brooklyn Bridge.

New York Times
One of the more public ones.

--J.D.
 

Rhisiart

Registered
Serious intelligence failures led to 9/11 (under Clinton and Bush) and the debacle over alleged Iraqi WMD (under Bush). Perhaps these almighty cock-ups tell us more about an ineffective American Federal Government as a whole than just individual Presidents.

However Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld (and Blair in Britain) seemed overly gung-ho about war with Iraq. Their inability to plan for the days, weeks and months after the initial invasion was failure on a truly colossal and unforgivable scale.

However, I am not sure I agree with your entire argument fryke. Afghanistan is different to Iraq. The Taleban are keen sponsors of terror (in the same way that the US were keen sponsors of fascist dictators in Central and South America).

The US may have played a considerable role in allowing the Taleban to flourish in the first place, but the mindless fanaticism of these ultra-Islamic gangsters has no place on this planet, anymore than Hitler's ideologies.

I don't think Afghanistan can be 'won'. However, it can be contained (albeit at great expense). The real issue there for me is to win the hearts and minds of the Afghans.

How about encouraging farmers to grown poppys to produce morphine not heroin? The big pharma companies won't like it, but it can be done.
 

Doctor X

Registered
Serious intelligence failures led to 9/11 (under Clinton and Bush) and the debacle over alleged Iraqi WMD (under Bush). Perhaps these almighty cock-ups tell us more about an ineffective American Federal Government as a whole than just individual Presidents.
I would agree, however it was a cock-up shared by the French, Russians, Germans, even Iraqi military. It is more of a problem of practicality. I recall critics wondering why the US did not "just take out" Hussein ala James Bond--send in an assassin. Well . . . the guy rather made sure his regime was set up to combat that sort of thing. It also had to do with the practicality of setting up reliable intelligence on the ground in a Stalinist state.

However Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld (and Blair in Britain) seemed overly gung-ho about war with Iraq. Their inability to plan for the days, weeks and months after the initial invasion was failure on a truly colossal scale.
"The buck stops here"--I tend to think Rumsfeld bought the "easy war" myth--and many in America did as well. I recall the Liberal Anti-Bush Media [Tm.--Ed.] wondering when the US would invade Syria or Iran as the "next!" The invasion was easy, far easier than many predicted. I rather suspected holding, pacifying, and transforming would have taken more, but that was not the opinion being given.

That being written Bush deserves blame for not recognizing sooner that the plan needed to be changed. He also needed to accept that Rumsfeld had become a toxic presence. Justified or not--I think it was justified--that impression hurt efforts.

The US may have played a considerable role in allowing the Taleban to flourish in the first place, . . .
Not . . . really. I blame Clinton [For everything.--Ed.] Hush! I blame him for ignoring the country. I can recall The Economist writing about the growing regime, what it was doing, et cetera, while it seemed no one in the US had paid attention; they just knew the "mujahadeen" took out the Ruskies so . . . it must be all good!

To be fair, though, what was Clinton and then Bush going to do prior to 9/11? Bomb them? Invade them? They tried negotiation, tried to "soften" them, but we all know how well that went.

I don't think Afghanistan can be 'won'.
Oh I think it can be won--it just takes time. People forget that it took a good 10 years to transform Germany and Japan into democracies--and I never credit the early 1920s as a "democracy" for Germany. However, both countries had to be nearly destroyed in the process. I am not suggesting the same thing for Afghanistan, but the commitment remains heavy. It is a matter of convincing people that the response to opinions you disagree with is NOT shooting the guy! As more than one person jokes whenever a new party takes control of the White House, "no one got hung!"

The real issue there for me there is to pay farmers to grown poppys to produce morphine not heroin. it can be done.
Yup.

But . . . OH NOES!!11!!
. . . that means children . . . CHILDREN will use t3h drugs! They will become:



incurably insane!!11! [!--Ed.]

You are completely correct with one of the main problems: poverty. What are they suppose to grow instead? Barley? The choice between $$$ and starving is not much of a choice. To win the "hearts and minds" requires giving the people something practical to live off of.

I do not know . . . maybe it is impractical to do that--use the poppy fields to ultimately produce morphine over the what will still be more lucrative heroine, but I have to wonder if there is a "knee-jerk" opposition to it.

--J.D.
 

ora

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I read an article a few years back talking about how buying their poppies would be the best thing to do for Afghanistan. The article said there are a very limited number of places allow to grow opium for morphine production, basically Turkey and India. Both apparently got the deals in the post war/cold war era as sweetners to stay on 'our' side. But now there is a global shortage of painkillers, mostly affecting the third world rather than most people on this forum, but one we could fix partly by buying Afghani opium. For some reason no one has taken up this idea though, despite the fact that I've heard it in the ether a lot the last few years.

Oh JD, on the issue of whether the US helped the Taleban, perhaps not under that name but I saw an ex- cia dep director interviewed on the BBC shortly after the invasion of Afghanistan basically admitting that the lack of human intelligence (humint as opposed to intel from satellites etc ) prior to the invasion was basically because all the guys the US supported against the Russians and used as intel assets were now in the Taleban. So maybe you can't blame Clinton for all of it :) Not that he is blameless. As Bill Hicks pointed out at the time, he was still screwing people over, he just smiled more when he did it than the Republicans that preceded him.
 

Doctor X

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For some reason no one has taken up this idea though, despite the fact that I've heard it in the ether a lot the last few years.
This is pure speculation on my part because I have not researched it [Yet he will pontificate extensively upon it.--Ed.], but I would not be surprised if part of the problem with that on the US side is the knee-jerk political reaction against drugs. Believe me, I am not a "legalize all, Dude!" but the US still has a perverse attitude.

Oh JD, on the issue of whether the US helped the Taleban, perhaps not under that name but I saw an ex- cia dep director interviewed on the BBC shortly after the invasion of Afghanistan basically admitting that the lack of human intelligence (humint as opposed to intel from satellites etc ) prior to the invasion was basically because all the guys the US supported against the Russians and used as intel assets were now in the Taleban.
That or in the whatever it was called--"National Alliance?" that the predecessor to Karzi was the leader of. I love to remind 9/11 "Twoofers" that his assassination was timed to the 9/11 attacks. Anyways, I wish I could give credit to whomever stated it, but one of the problems with intelligence in the region is you DO have to rely on the people there rather than your own agents. It is not like you can send Bob Sixpack to Russian-Language school and send him to Moscow. As the guy explained, you almost have to tell prospective intelligence agents: "first, we have to knock all of your teeth out!" Add in the tribalism--everyone "knows" everyone else, gaining intelligence is very difficult.

So maybe you can't blame Clinton for all of it :)
Did we have SARS before Clinton?! Britany Spears? The evidences are clear!!!1

As Bill Hicks pointed out at the time, he was still screwing people over, he just smiled more when he did it than the Republicans that preceded him.
Would you WANT Newt Gingrich smiling at you?


To tangent a bit, while I like to play the "I Blame Clinton" card against the Rabid Bush Haters [Time Shares Available.--Ed.], if you reversed rolls--had Clinton as a new President after a very close election . . . then had 9/11 . . . you would have PsychoCons claiming he faked it all! Politics is politics! I was "glad" to see the infamous "Clinton Death List"--a supposed list of all of the people he ordered executed over the years, a list that, for some reason, did not include Linda Tripp, Monica Lewinsky, or Hilary--resurface during Hilary's run . . . but this time SHE compiled it!!11!

Meanwhile, on ANOTHER FORUM [Boo. Hiss.--Ed.], I am pounding a "Paultard" who insists that, at any moment, they are going to haul off Obama because he is "not a Natural Born Citizen [Tm.--Ed.]."

It is all politics.

--J.D.
 

Rhisiart

Registered
You mentioned Newt Gingrich. He was once asked who was the better President, Carter or Reagan. 'Reagan' he replied, 'because he knew what he didn't know, where as Carter didn't know what he didn't know'.

Maybe Gingrich was not exactly non-partisan, but its an interesting way of looking at leadership.
 

ora

Registered
Did we have SARS before Clinton?! Britany Spears? The evidences are clear!!!1



Would you WANT Newt Gingrich smiling at you?
To the first, you raise an interesting point, though this makes Bush responsible for H5N1 Avian Flu and the abomination that is High School Musical.

To the second, thank you for putting that deeply disturbing image in my head!
 

Doctor X

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To the first, you raise an interesting point, though this makes Bush responsible for H5N1 Avian Flu and the abomination that is High School Musical.
All LIBERAL LIES!!!11!!

Okay . . . I have to concede the High School Musical . . . that alone was impeachable. :)

To the second, thank you for putting that deeply disturbing image in my head!
That is . . . one of the nicest things anyone has ever written to me!

Likes one's parents, we really should never imagine our politicians engaged in . . . Cunjugal Impleasantries.*

--J.D.

*Safe for Work, Home, and most Day Cares
 

chevy

Marvelous Da Vinci
Staff member
Mod
When the wise points the moon, the fool looks at the finger... and the zetetician never loses the finger from its vision.
 

Rhisiart

Registered
When the wise points the moon, the fool looks at the finger... and the zetetician never loses the finger from its vision.
If I point to the cat food tray to let Molly know her breakfast is ready she always stares intently at my finger. But then she has never been a bright cat.
 

Attachments

ora

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Just so you can share my discomfort, imagine waking up and seeing this face, that of Mr GinGrinch:
 

Doctor X

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You know . . . I was going to bring up Maggie and Dennis--anyone familiar with the Spittin' Images--but I was afraid that might violate the TOS plus a few human rights conventions.

Now . . . Janet Reno. . . .

--J.D.
 

ora

Registered
You know . . . I was going to bring up Maggie and Dennis--anyone familiar with the Spittin' Images--but I was afraid that might violate the TOS plus a few human rights conventions.

Now . . . Janet Reno. . . .

--J.D.
Even worse then the idea of these two having an affair? (Which they did, eeewwwwwwwww)


 
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