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Posted: 08 June 2011 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]  
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Funny, I thought by laying out arguments and examples in defense of my case, and in opposition to yours, my post begged a rejoinder(assuming you still disagree), not a retort.  I feel like this is worth discussing, especially if we agree on many other related points.

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Posted: 09 June 2011 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]  
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Reerr - 09 June 2011 12:40 AM

Funny, I thought by laying out arguments and examples in defense of my case, and in opposition to yours, my post begged a rejoinder(assuming you still disagree), not a retort.  I feel like this is worth discussing, especially if we agree on many other related points.

I agree - especially as we don’t agree on many related points; wink
But you don’t discuss. Look back over your posts - you selectively deconstruct and nitpick - like you’re the lecturer marking my work.
I’d be willing to try again… this forum could use a bit more ‘action.’
Perhaps you’d be kind enough to start.

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Posted: 09 June 2011 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]  
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OK (I think).

You began by taking Jones to task about the mock-trial surrounding the koran burning, a position I can readily sympathize with.  I pointed out, however, that no one was defending that part of the act, only the actual burning of the book.  We could very well have ended in agreement here, but you then brought to bear an additional position:

Some significant number feel burning a Koran is worth killing people over….?

Not really.

This is where our disagreement began.  I think if you look back over the coverage of even many moderate muslims, you will find that many were in favor of him being dealt with in a very stern manner; some advocated death (to him or just all infidels), while some advocated censorship in the form of legal or social justice.  In fact, you seemed to condone this retribution here:

I abhor the fact they killed some UN workers - but I’d have (secretly, very secretly) cheered them had they burnt Jones. Sorry.

If you, a western (I assume western) educated anti-theist, find yourself, however secretly, condoning the death of an American citizen for his treatment of a book, I don’t see how you can be so sceptical of this same reaction out of the muslim world.  That aside, my primary gripe is that this position of yours(and theirs) runs roughshod over the principles of a free society: if it’s kosher for the Hobbit, it’s kosher for the Koran.  The coverage, or lack, is irrelevant; crimes do not become illegal only when televised, and the same goes for ethical action.  Hell, you can burn the constitution and do so while protected by it.  Thats how this works.

You continued your scepticism here:

If Muslims had a real religious problem with Jones burning a Koran then they’d have killed Jones - not just any infidels who happened to be handy.

I again point to the effigy as evidence that they would have acted, and presumably been cheered on by you, in a violent manner towards Jones had they access to him(as a number of death-threats can also attest to).  They did not have such access, and instead vented their righteous fury on innocent infidels in their midst.  This is what children, and immature adults, do during temper tantrums.

I did not point all of this out to “nitpick” or embarass you.  I am simply trying to demonstrate why your position is neither in keeping with the principles of a free society (more resembling those who wish to fashion a global caliphate), nor ethical (in respecting a book over innocent human life).  Your appeal to hypocricy, in mentioning the drone attacks, is first and foremost a non-sequitor; two wrongs don’t make a right.  It is also a bad comparison, for reasons already mentioned in my previous posts. 

I “deconstructed” your posts into what I thought were fair and accurate representations of your argument, instead of just throwing rhetoric like a primate throwing poo.  You seem to agree that I was fair and accurate, but would rather I not address your posts point by point.  I don’t see how we’ll get much of a discussion going if I ignore your arguments, nor even what we would discuss.  Perhaps if the structure of this post is not what you were looking for, you could set the example in your next post, and we can go from there.

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Posted: 10 June 2011 08:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]  
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Hi.
The right to freedom of expression. In the West we have and we approve of the right to FoE - but it’s limited. One doesn’t have the right to incite violence and one is responsible for the effects of exercising that right. The right means nothing if it doesn’t mean someone else doesn’t have the right to express the opposite view.


In the lands where some people took violent offense to Jones’ actions, there is no right to freedom of expression.
The concept doesn’t exist. It’s an area of the world where they kill for heretical belief.
That makes us better from our point of view and them better from their point of view.
Which culture or law is superior to the other depends solely on which one you belong to.


Jones was more than exercising his right to freedom of expression. He was inciting violence. That he said he expected the received reaction in the ME is sufficient indication to me his actions were calculated and deliberate and he didn’t care.
Had the people who were killed been Americans in America - how responsible would an American court of law hold Jones for his part in their deaths?
Would he at the very least not be held responsible for instigating the riot?


Some significant number feel burning a Koran is worth killing people over….?
I disagree but I’m disagreeing with the words “significant number.” There are fanatics in every walk of life. Some fanatical Christians feel people should be executed for blasphemy (“The Bible says so!”) but we don’t tar all Christianity with them. When we (westeners) kill we are treated as we should be - as criminals who face the wrath of the law; our religion or lack of it doesn’t get a mention.

No Islamic cleric has issued a fatwa to kill Jones, therefore there is no Islamic/Sharia legal imperative for Muslims to kill him.


They did not have such access, and instead vented their righteous fury on innocent infidels in their midst.  This is what children, and immature adults, do during temper tantrums.” Please note: I’m not trying to excuse this; I’m trying to figure how/why it happened.


The effigies and killings didn’t happen where the Quran burning took place but in a part of the world that has suffered intensive invasion and war for the last 30+ years. To them the reason is that they are Muslim. Then the very people who are invading and killing them now mock their religion and beliefs internationally, publicly, over the world’s TV screens in the most offensive manner possible and defend it as “our freedom of expression.” I think Jones’ burning was a straw that broke a camel’s back. A bunch of vigilante rioters took the law into their own hands in a country that is essentially lawless.


We can’t expect any random group people to act reasonably or with reason as a matter of course.
Tolerance and reason require education and education is something the people of Afghanistan haven’t had much chance of since Russian invaded them in 1979. Higher education is very secondary to food, shelter, health and just staying alive.  I don’t think I can even begin to imagine what it must be like to live and bring up children in a place like that. How do you teach or learn peace, fairness, justice and a god of love in a world where random death deals you - just because you happened to be standing on that particular spot?


Do you want an apology for my “secretly, very secretly”? Very well. You have it.
A great many people asked Jones not to carry out his intent and explained why. He disregarded all, preferring his own notoriety above the lives and well-being of all others; preferring to exercise his right in an despicable manner in a place that ensured his own safety and risked only others. All Islam doesn’t condemn all secular justice and all Christianity for the actions of this one obnoxious and cowardly individual; should we do less?

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Posted: 10 June 2011 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]  
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Just briefly, to keep this moving:

To address your first point, this is what’s called “fighting words” as far as the supreme court is concerned.  Your insinuation that some aspect of Jones’ actions were in the ‘limited’ portion of FoE is belied by the utter lack of judicial action since.  Given the president’s publicly stated opinion, and that of a large number of americans, if this was a case of the ‘limited’, he would have been arrested long since.

Your second point(paragraph) is irrelevant, this is not a case of whose culture is better.  The events are cross-cultural, and both Jones and I are within the same culture.  The only relevant culture is the one in which FoE is defined for the citizen in question.

I am out of time, I’ll get to the rest of your post in a few days.  Please feel free to respond thus far.

Lee.

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Posted: 11 June 2011 06:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]  
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You say my “insinuation that some aspect of Jones’ actions were in the ‘limited’ portion of FoE is belied by the utter lack of judicial action since,” so let me change the context for the sake of argument.  If Jones had offended eg. African-Americans and that offense had resulted in riots in America in which innocents had died US law would hold him responsible for instigating the riots.  But Jones’ actions, (deliberately) within the protection of the secular sphere, (deliberately) resulted in riot and death, (deliberately) outside the jurisdiction of that same secular sphere. To my mind that doesn’t make him innocent as a newborn babe, it makes him a low-down dirty rotten scumbag sonofabitch.


My second paragraph is not making the point that one culture is superior to another; it’s supposed to be making the point that cultural superiority is a nonsense idea. Culture is what one grew up with - what one innately knows without thinking, is right or wrong. One may learn different as one grows.


You wrote:-
“The events are cross-cultural, and both Jones and I are within the same culture.  The only relevant culture is the one in which FoE is defined for the citizen in question.”  How does that make your stance any different to theirs?
“The events are cross-cultural; and both the offended and the killers are within the same culture. The only relevant culture is the one in which blasphemy is defined for the citizen/s in question.”
Jones, you and I are of the same culture; we think FoE overrides any concept of blasphemy.
The other side thinks FoE is forbidden and blasphemy gets the death sentence.
I don’t think that’s a license for us to demean them as we may please and then jump up and down “I told you so! I told you so!” when they react according to their beliefs.


But, you may say, They killed!
Only those with the political agenda “kill all the enemy/Americans you can find anywhere” in any way agree that the killers were right to kill people innocent of the offense. Those killers were criminal; if they were in anything but a war-torn, strife-addled country they’d be tried and convicted as criminals.


Yes. Jones’ burning the Quran was legal in the West.
Yes. Burning books, even holy books should remain legal in the West, provided it remains on the individual preference level and not an establishment level.  But because we may doesn’t mean we should do it in a manner best determined to offend the greatest number and then allow ourselves to pretend we’re only walking the moral high ground.

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Posted: 11 June 2011 12:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]  
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If Jones had offended eg. African-Americans and that offense had resulted in riots in America in which innocents had died US law would hold him responsible for instigating the riots.

This is where you are not understanding the legal distinction between ‘fighting words’ (as in the ‘69 case about the KKK), and ‘incitement to violence’.  Mere ‘offense’ is not grounds for legal action; you are perfectly allowed to offend anyone you wish, even if they are reasonably likely (or even certain) to react to the offense in a violent manner.  Their action is their responsibility alone, no part of the burden lies on you, this is what it means to have freedom of speech.  You may think of him as a “low-down dirty rotten scumbag sonofabitch”, but his actions were well within his constitutional rights, and your opinion is frankly irrelevant.  He was not outside the jurisdiction of the secular sphere (paraphrased from your comment), he was well within that jurisdiction, he was simply not breaking any laws.  I recommend looking up the distinction instead of taking my word for it.

Lets take a look at two of your quotes:

Those killers were criminal; if they were in anything but a war-torn, strife-addled country they’d be tried and convicted as criminals.

If they were members of the united states (among other countries, perhaps no longer including the UK) and living in the US, they would have been tried and convicted.  Jones would still be a free man, for reasons elucidated above.

Why, then, were they NOT tried and convicted?  More importantly, why did this rioting and violence not occur in the US, where Jones resides?  One theory, which you present in the quote above, is that the country it did occur in is “war-torn, strife-addled”.  This is not an adequate explanation, and you were gracious enough to provide the perfect counter-argument:

Jones, you and I are of the same culture; we think FoE overrides any concept of blasphemy.
The other side thinks FoE is forbidden and blasphemy gets the death sentence.

I agree with you, on both points here.  I also agree that my opinion on which is right is somewhat dependent on the culture I was brought into, but I do not feel that this is as far as human beings can go with regards to determining who is actually right.  The cultures may be different, but I believe the underlying values are substantially similar, such that, as Sam Harris contends, it will be possible to come to an understanding of what types of societies (a la one containing FoE vs one containing blasphemy laws) reliably lead to happier, more fulfilled, and healthier citizenships.  I don’t think it’s a meaningless statement to claim that some societies are doing it wrong, or not as well as they could be, and I think to reject the possibility of meaning in such a claim is to surrender any notion of morality, ethics, and justice as simply illusory.

Leaving that aside, the real take-away from your quote is how it interacts with your theory above.  To ask the question again: Why, then, were [the “criminals”] NOT tried and convicted?  According to you, it is because their culture holds blasphemy over FoE/S.  Blasphemy gets you the death-sentence, and their actions were practically an obligation under the law.  From where are the principles of justice derived in a muslim society?  See where this is going?  To remark, as you did in your previous post, that no cleric has issued a fatwa, is to misunderstand how Islam works.  If you scroll back through this topic, you will find a lengthy, and informative, discussion that I had with a muslim.  Among a number of things that I learned about the religion, one thing stands out as salutary here: there is no central authority within islam.  There is no ruling body out of which fatwa’s are issued.  As one scholar put it (paraphrasing): Every tom, dick, and harry can issue a fatwa.  Apologists for Islam who claim that Bin Ladin didn’t have the authority to issue fatwa’s are LYING to you, relying upon our ignorance of the religion.  The truth is, he has as much authority as any cleric.  Only in Iran, as far as I know, is the clerical class attempting to establish itself as an authority a la the catholic church.  Also, as far as I know, it’s not working.

So what does all this mean?  Well, no central authority means no ‘true’ Islam to appeal to; all arguments appeal to the koran and one of the many, many hadiths available to muslims.  There is, and at the same time isn’t, justification within Islam for the actions of these individuals.  Therefore, you cannot appeal to anything but an alternative opinion within Islam to call these actions wrong by Islamic standards, and you cannot claim they are breaking any laws within their own country, laws apparently suspended because we came in kicking over furniture and pissing on the carpet.

But because we may doesn’t mean we should do it in a manner best determined to offend the greatest number and then allow ourselves to pretend we’re only walking the moral high ground.

Throughout your posts, you betray a tendency for accommodation that I feel occupies a dangerous point on a slippery slope.  This sort of position gets you blasphemy laws, like in the UK.  What actually happens when we become overly careful to the sensibilities of others is that we lose fundamental rights.  When your freedom of speech is limited by it’s possibility of giving offense, and given the adage “you can’t please everyone”, what speech is left that is free? 

You don’t like Jones, fine.  I don’t like him either, to be perfectly honest with you, but what he did was within his rights as an American citizen.  These types of events, if you feel as you do, are the unfortunate collateral damage of having a legitimate freedom of speech for all of the citizenry.  Taking the analogy a step further, we can either accept that loonies will do stupid and offensive things with their rights, or we can take those rights away from everyone.  Frankly, if the worst of our loonies are just burning books, I’m uninterested in the extreme. 

The problem, in this situation as in the cartoon catastrophe, is not ours to solve, nor does it lie within our system to be fixed.  Our laws do not apply to citizens of other countries, while in those other countries, any more than other country’s laws apply to citizens in ours.  This is why those criminals have not been arrested under our justice system, and why Jones will remain a free man regardless of his status in their system.

I don’t think that’s a license for us to demean them as we may please and then jump up and down “I told you so! I told you so!” when they react according to their beliefs.

They need to be desensitized to this sort of thing, kind of how we are desensitized to their repeatedly burning American flags, bibles, effigys of American citizens, and screaming death to America.  They need to stop blowing up innocent people over theological grievances, they need to take back their own countries from the despots that have oppressed them for millenia, in large part with their permission.  They are doing it, they are fixing the problem the only way it can possibly be fixed.  I wish you could understand that in the same way you do not buy whatever your child wants at a grocery store to avoid a tantrum, you do not relinquish freedoms for your own citizens to placate the tantrums of a mob.

Yes, life sucks in afghanistan.  I saw that first hand, but let me tell you something: this is nothing compared to life under the taliban.  If you don’t know the difference, you don’t know the difference.

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Posted: 12 June 2011 04:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]  
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Mere ‘offense’ is not grounds for legal action; you are perfectly allowed to offend anyone you wish, even if they are reasonably likely (or even certain) to react to the offense in a violent manner.

Are you sure? Does that include calling a homosexual a faggot or an African American a nigger?
I don’t know if these will get you jail-time in The States but they will get you a hellova lot of public condemnation, probably even fired.
No-one defends your right to bigotry or FoE if you try these.


I’m aware there is no central authority, or intermediary, in Islam - but that’s the point, isn’t it? Any ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ can issue a fatwa but none did. Therefore, an infidel burning a Quran in an infidel land is not blasphemy and not an insult to Islam. It was merely an obnoxious act in bad taste; Muslims in America and the vast majority Muslims around the world decried and treated it as such; some even said absolutely nothing.


The instigation to riot in Afghanistan was political, using “religious insult” as the pretext to fire up people who are essentially uneducated, well, anything you and I might regard as education, and desperately angry and frustrated from surviving decades of ongoing brutal war. 30+ years of war is not conducive to a functioning, let alone good, justice system. Add to that, for Afghanistan to try these people now for murder would be a matter of trying to convict them for killing ... the enemy - Uhmmm… US/UK/UN/NATO Coalition… war…
The Coalition doesn’t intentionally kill civilians, even tries to avoid killing civilians but it does kill civilians… in return we expect civilians on the receiving end should put on their thinking caps and say “I must not kill that man; he might look like an enemy but he’s not a real enemy?” Perhaps we ask too much.

Throughout your posts, you betray a tendency for accommodation that I feel occupies a dangerous point on a slippery slope…. you do not relinquish freedoms for your own citizens to placate the tantrums of a mob.

You chide me, fairly, because I don’t differentiate between what is just arguing, trying to think something out from the other pov and personal opinion.  So for the record, I’m atheist. I abhor the very concept of blasphemy. I think one should treat others as one wants to be treated. Where civil liberties are concerned I think common sense and good manners should be practised; not legislated and I dislike the current trend to try to legislate according to the lowest common denominator. On insult, I’m inclined to the Eleanor Rooseveldt school of thought: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Don’t give consent. An element of truth in an insult might sting but on the whole, insults say far more nasty things about the insulter than the insulted.
Oh. I’m not inclined to the view that what the extremists do is “terror” and what the coalition does is “legitimate action.” If you’re anywhere near the blast - it’s likely all sheer bloody terror. But, I’m not American; my country is not involved in this war on terror and I don’t feel I’m under any threat from Muslims. That must tar my views.

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Posted: 12 June 2011 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]  
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Are you sure?

Positive.  Like I said, look it up for yourself.

No-one defends your right to bigotry or FoE if you try these.

Only the constitution.  You may very well get fired, or forced to resign, but that is protected speech under the constitution.  Anyone who attempts to bring suit against you for saying those things, or riots and kills people while reacting to such an utterance, will find themselves up against a brick wall of precedence.

Any ‘Tom, Dick and Harry’ can issue a fatwa but none did.

Perhaps I wasn’t as clear as I should have been.  It doesn’t require a fatwa, such a requirement would be predicated on a central authority that would find it in bad taste to act outside of a fatwa.  Any formal declaration of intentions, i.e. fatwa-esque, implies an underlying structure.  This structure does not exist, muslims follow, or choose not to follow, fatwa’s based on how it corresponds to their own views on the religion, not because this imam or that has more authority than this citizen or that.

The instigation to riot in Afghanistan was political, using “religious insult” as the pretext to fire up people who are essentially uneducated, well, anything you and I might regard as education, and desperately angry and frustrated from surviving decades of ongoing brutal war. 30+ years of war is not conducive to a functioning, let alone good, justice system. Add to that, for Afghanistan to try these people now for murder would be a matter of trying to convict them for killing ... the enemy - Uhmmm… US/UK/UN/NATO Coalition… war…
The Coalition doesn’t intentionally kill civilians, even tries to avoid killing civilians but it does kill civilians… in return we expect civilians on the receiving end should put on their thinking caps and say “I must not kill that man; he might look like an enemy but he’s not a real enemy?”

There’s quite a bit here what begs deconstruction:

1. It has not been decades, it has been milennia of ongoing war.
2. The most recent decades have been relatively peaceful, though perhaps Taliban rule is stretching the phrase a hair.
3. We talked about justice already, remember?  Justice means death to blasphemers.
4. We don’t kill as many civilians as you think, and our track record is nothing short of miraculous compared to any other war to date.

Perhaps we ask too much.

Perhaps.

Oh. I’m not inclined to the view that what the extremists do is “terror” and what the coalition does is “legitimate action.” If you’re anywhere near the blast - it’s likely all sheer bloody terror.

Pacifism, then, yes?  This is the sort of stance that only works if your enemies scruples meet or exceed your own.  I’ll leave it up to your imagination as to whether this is the case.

But, I’m not American; my country is not involved in this war on terror and I don’t feel I’m under any threat from Muslims.

The idea of not being involved in a struggle against millions of religious nuts, on both sides of the fence, trying to build a global caliphate on one hand, and engineer a worldwide apocalypse on the other, is pretty naive.  This is a little like being on a playground when a bully pulls a gun, claiming he will shoot everyone on the playground.  Two of the boys wrestle him to the ground, managing to take the gun away after a prolonged struggle.  Rising to their feet and dusting off their jeans, one of the boys looks at you and asks why you didn’t help?  To respond that “I don’t feel I’m under any threat” from the bully with the gun is analogous to not feeling threatened by Muslim fanatics.  You’re on the playground, just because someone is doing your fighting for you doesn’t mean you aren’t involved.

I think one should treat others as one wants to be treated. Where civil liberties are concerned I think common sense and good manners should be practised; not legislated and I dislike the current trend to try to legislate according to the lowest common denominator.

Civil liberties, as history has shown time and again, do not last under mere “common sense and good manners” alone.  I don’t ‘like’ that this is necessary either, but I don’t allow my disappointment in man’s character get masked by illusions of man’s good nature.  As to the “lowest common denominator”, given the context, I can only assume that you prefer a ‘majority rules’ kind of civil liberty.  I think simply restating your comment is sufficient to shed light on it’s problems.

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Posted: 12 June 2011 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]  
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The idea of not being involved in a struggle against millions of religious nuts, on both sides of the fence, trying to build a global caliphate on one hand, and engineer a worldwide apocalypse on the other, is pretty naive. ... You’re on the playground ...

Oh come on. That is unadulterated tripe.
Saying the Muslims are trying to take over the world is no better or worse than saying the Christians are trying to take over the world or the Secularists ... or any other group. And it has exactly the same credibility. None. What do you think your “War on Terror” looks like to the ordinary person on the receiving end of it?


It used to be the Reds; now it’s the Muzzies. Look around. The people doing the invading and bombing and droning and killing with some Gitmo thrown in for dessert are .... America and a few allies who aren’t yet too embarrassed by the whole affair to help.


You don’t really believe some bearded extremists in Afghanistan are going to trade their camels in for rafts and sail the ocean to come kill you all in your sleep? Do you?

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Posted: 13 June 2011 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]  
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Oh come on. That is unadulterated tripe.

All muslims?  All Christians? no.  Enough to be a problem? I don’t see how you can deny that.

It used to be the Reds; now it’s the Muzzies.

So the soviet union was never a threat?  Interesting take on history.

You don’t really believe some bearded extremists in Afghanistan are going to trade their camels in for rafts and sail the ocean to come kill you all in your sleep? Do you?

No no no, rafts? that’s silly.  Planes, on the other hand…

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Posted: 14 June 2011 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]  
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So America saved the world from Communism…
and now America will save the world from Islam….


Tell me - who saves the world from America?

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Posted: 14 June 2011 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]  
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Let me get this straight: you believe that if America simply adopted a hard-line isolationist position, fundamentalist Islam would cease to be a problem?  They’d all just remain content in their respective corner, kind of like fundamentalist christians do(n’t) now?

Tell me - do you feel threatened by America?

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Posted: 14 June 2011 02:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]  
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Reerr - 14 June 2011 06:08 PM

Let me get this straight: you believe that if America simply adopted a hard-line isolationist position, fundamentalist Islam would cease to be a problem?  They’d all just remain content in their respective corner, kind of like fundamentalist christians do(n’t) now?

Tell me - do you feel threatened by America?

The Communists kinda disappeared into the woodwork - so America needed another enemy.
That war machine services about 48 states. It goes out of business and US unemployment goes thru’ the roof.
Fundamental Islam wasn’t a problem until America made it one.
She made it a real problem to herself and NATO allies by bombing two dirt poor, 3rd world countries under false pretenses…
Pretenses so false they were in fact downright lies.
Afghanistan = the FBI didn’t want OBL for 9/11; Iraq = no WMD.


Next will be Pakistan = Taliban can’t have those nukes. (My guess; and the set-up’s well on the way.)
Oh yeah. Let’s not forget. With Iraq almost over Venezuela will likely return to the agenda.
Laughable? I’m foolish? Perhaps. But let’s look again in 18-24 months.


Do I feel threatened by America.
No. Not yet. My country is small and insignificant in the grand scheme of global positioning, rape, murder and pillage.
But La Clinton is running around the African continent telling us Chinese investment will be more colonialism and we should go for American investment because that would be freedom for us.
But….. I’m not impressed with American freedom; especially American freedom for 3rd world countries where most of the occupants have the wrong colour skin and many have the wrong religion.
American freedom, looking around the world, is pretty much:- “What we say—- or—- Bombs all the way!”

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Posted: 15 June 2011 06:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]  
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Fundamental Islam wasn’t a problem until America made it one.

False.  Islam has been a problem since the crusades kicked their civilization back to the stone age, and the primacy of orthodox views kept them there.  America is just one of the MANY countries on the radar for this cult.

But….. I’m not impressed with American freedom; especially American freedom for 3rd world countries where most of the occupants have the wrong colour skin and many have the wrong religion.

American freedom is localized to countries in which the constitution protects it, and the constitution is upheld.  Flinging racism and bigotry at America is like slinging bricks into a quarry.  It’s untrue in the general, and trivial in the specific.  America is not a block, like the Borg, assimilating other countries like a vast machinery of stars and stripes, any more than muslims are a vast sea of carbon-copy Bin Laden’s.  Each group has wide diversity, many of whom would echo precisely much of what you say, even your most visceral condemnations of American foreign policy.  In the same token, there are many muslims who will admit that the religion can be read, without absurdity, as a death-cult of exclusivity, violence, and misogyny (they just think that’s not* how it should be read).

——

My first question remains: If America were to completely isolate itself, withdrawing all troops around the world and ignoring all of these countries, would fundamentalist islam cease to be a problem?  I’ll grant not immediately, but what about in 10 years? 20? 50? ever?  Have fundamentalist christians or jews given us any evidence that, left alone, fundamentalist religious adherents reliably moderate themselves when impediments to their goals are removed?

* Grammatical edit.

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