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War on Terror: Why we are losing
Posted: 02 January 2007 10:57 PM   [ Ignore ]  
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http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4883
http://jewishworldreview.com/0107/glick010207.php3

"And thats all I have to say about that."

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Posted: 03 January 2007 12:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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Good grief, Saul. If you’re looking for a way to get involved, you could do far better than linking us to a lunatic fringe blog like jewishworldreview, which, beyond promoting tedious conspiracy angles on geopolitics, makes itself as part of the bargain yet another venue for a craphound like Dennis Praeger.

And your idiotic Capitalist Magazine has a left hand that doesn’t know what its right hand is doing:

http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4880

http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=4872

The right hand says that health care is not a right, and the left hand says that people have a right to go ot the Heart Attack Grill and eat whatever kind of trans fat they want, even if it tends to create more customers for the cardiac surgeon’s table. Whose freaking side are they really on? Let me guess… Yep. People are stupid and capitalists have a perfect right to eat them for breakfast. For all I know, you may be right. I’m only urging that you should be more forthcoming about the real message content.

You’re off the deep end, fella. But don’t get yourself down about it. I hear Lyndon Larouche is always looking for volunteers, and it seems the JWs haven’t shunned you yet. :D

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Posted: 03 January 2007 01:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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Salt Creek: Do you have anything to contribute besides ad hominem attacks? And you don’t see how freedom of choice in healthcare is compatible with freedom of choice of diet? The two articles you mentioned are perfectly compatible. Their fundamental theme is individual freedom.

BTW, I have been shunned by the JW’s, in a sense. There’s a girl here at the hospital where I work that is single and very attractive. I asked her out once, and thats when I found out she is a JW, and doesn’t date outside her faith.  rolleyes  LOL

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Posted: 03 January 2007 02:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”]Good grief, Saul. If you’re looking for a way to get involved, you could do far better than linking us to a lunatic fringe blog like jewishworldreview, which, beyond promoting tedious conspiracy angles on geopolitics, makes itself as part of the bargain yet another venue for a craphound like Dennis Praeger.

I’m just a goy, but I see nothing “lunatic” about the central message.

Simply put: There is no way to appease a culture/religion which denies Israel’s very right to exist and views ALL infidels (men, women, children, babies) as cannon fodder in an insane Islamic jihad.  The appeaser will be manipulated and taken advantage of in the open, and derided and ridiculed behind its back.

That’s what the west is up against with Islam, especially the radicals but also the moderates, as Sam Harris points out bluntly and eloquently.  Western liberals - an 90% of the time that’s me - who fail to get this message are making a huge mistake.  Such as Jimmy Carter’s naively misguided:  Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid .

I have an ultra liberal Jewish friend whom I dub “reformed reformed”:  a Jew who supports the Palestinians vs. the State of Israel.  How nutty or self-hating is that?  Certainly, the extreme right in Israel IS a lunatic fringe adding nothing to the debate and should be vehemently opposed (those whom Harris describes as viewing Yahwe as a celestial real estate broker), but anybody equal or to the left of Netanyahu is a friend of the civilized and sane, and not an enemy. 

Dealing with religious fundamentalists, both Islamic and Christian, is a huge moral dilemma for we who call ourselves liberal.  We have an innate appreciation for civil rights and freedom of choice and thought.  But this moral strength is also a weakness, because our big hearts are easily manipulated by extremists with agendas.  We grant them equal rights to freedom of speech, opinion, and religion, but they have no intention whatsoever of reciprocity.  We give them an inch, they take more than a mile.

Look what has happened in the USA with the Christians.  While we liberals sat back in ignorance or apathy, the Christian right over the last 20 or so years hijacked first our local governments and school boards, and then much of the congress, and finally the presidency.  If given their complete way, we WOULD have a theocracy in this country.  Thankfully, they are so utterly nutty and so screwed up our foreign policy, our national debt, and everything else, and were so obviously incompetent and hypocritical, that the brakes were put on in the midterm election.

But what are liberal, reasonable, intelligent, educated and free thinking people to do now with the Christianists at home and the Islamists abroad, who are in actual FACT dire threats to the continued peaceful existence and survival of this planet?

That is the question.  Do we abandon our principles and kick the living sh*t out of them?  Declare our own “Holy War”?  That is my gut response, but it is a betrayal of my core, and could be more an exacerbation of the problem than a solution.

I wish I knew the answer.

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Posted: 03 January 2007 03:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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The appeaser will be manipulated and taken advantage of in the open, and derided and ridiculed behind its back.

We knew that already, mahahaha. Introducing us to the problem of radical Islam is not the main aim of the cited article, since it is there a priori. There’s a lot of geopolitical ambition afoot as to the purpose of the state of Israel, dating back to long before assuaging guilt over the Holocaust was even conceivable. Perhaps “lunatic” was not quite the right word, but I’m at a loss otherwise to describe mixing geopolitics with teleology. That’s why Praeger’s byline at that blog threw up warning flags for me, so I gave myself permission to toss the baby out with the bathwater.

The thread running through The End of Faith that clarifies the threat of radical Islam is not misguided. Making it the whole story is. The agenda for our policy toward the Islamic world is overdetermined in several ways you seem already aware of.

I didn’t mean to imply that I think mollifying the Palestinians is even possible, but it is not all that relevant either. Remember in Polanski’s great film “Chinatown” where Noah Cross sez to Jake, “You think you understand what’s going on here, Mr. Gittes, but you don’t.” Islamic global jihad would be nowhere without a supply of trillions of petrodollars. Your enemies also include China, which in any event would have no compunctions about buying their oil, even if we didn’t.

The threat posed by insane blogs like jewishworldreview is that their point of view may be cynical enough to proceed, even when they believe the geopolitical arcs of the United States (and maybe even Old Europe) reached their apex some time ago, and that consolidating certain breeds of power inside the US can proceed regardless of whether there is still an unlimited capacity to run the show. It’s not fun any more, is it?

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Posted: 03 January 2007 04:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”]Islamic global jihad would be nowhere without a supply of trillions of petrodollars. Your enemies also include China, which in any event would have no compunctions about buying their oil, even if we didn’t.

“My” enemies?  Don’t you mean “our?.”  Or are you somehow apart from the civilized, rational and intelligent to whom jihadists are a threat?

Somehow ending western, and especially US, dependence on Muslim oil would be huge step in solving many of the problems in the Middle East.  As Thomas Friedman points out, we are financing their war against us.  Not to mention causing it by physically being there in the first place.

Finding clean alternative energy sources would also help to alleviate global warming (which on a selfish and personal level is currenlty having a deleterious effect on inhabitants of the northeastern US who enjoy snowsports).  Hopefully techheads with google dollars will be able to come up with a resolution before it is too late.

Ending oil dependence does not solve the Islam vs. Israel dilemma, however.  Nor does it do anything to solve the Chritianist problem in the USA.

I ask again:  the threat of Islamic and Christian fundamentalism to modernity and even civilization has been identified.  What do WE do about it?

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Posted: 03 January 2007 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
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As a child I learned a great little song.

It began “There was an old lady who swallowed a fly…..”

That song describes US Foriegn policy since WW2.

THe US was faced with the ‘fly’ of Communism. So it swallowed a spider in N Korea, a mouse in Vietnam, and a cat in the Mideast.

The US has propped up, funded, armed and supported radical Islam in the Mideast because it is impossible for Communism to survive under such Theocracies.

We prevented the spread of Communism into the Mideast by giving it a Theocratic immunity. Now it turns on us.

mahahaha,

You commented on Isreal’s ‘right to exist’. That is a very interesting notion. Are you aware that it has never been applied to any nation other than Isreal? Have you ever heard any US politician discuss Cuba’s ‘right to exist’?

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Posted: 03 January 2007 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
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[quote author=“Joad”]You commented on Isreal’s ‘right to exist’. That is a very interesting notion. Are you aware that it has never been applied to any nation other than Isreal? Have you ever heard any US politician discuss Cuba’s ‘right to exist’?

I don’t get your drift.

I understand that the questioning of Israel’s “right to exist” by Palestine and the neighboring Arab and Muslim countries is a (the) root of the current conflict between them.

I happen to be of the opinion that Israel does have such a right, and I support this generally civilized, democratic, modern country over the neigboring Islamic jihadists, terrorists and the like any day of the week (despite my antipathy toward their own extreme right wing).

As an adherent of Sam Harris’ opinions, I don’t see that there is much to debate on this question.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right_to_exist

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel

Let me know where I’m wrong.

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Posted: 03 January 2007 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
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mahahaha,

The US is absolutely dedicated to the complete and total eradication of the Cuban State. It has spent untold $billions over the last 50 years in trying to destroy the Cuban State. It tried direct violence during the Bay of Pigs. It tried assassination on numerous occasions. It has used embargoes relentlessly.

Today, the US eagerly awaits the death of Castro. It has already planned exactly what government it will install and even has detailed planning as to how it will distribute land, houses and businesses.

Now, to me, that appears to be an absolute denial of Cuba’s Right to Exist.

I see no difference between the US attitude towards Cuba and the Arab attitude towards Isreal.

So, why does Isreal get a right to exist that is catagorically denied to Cuba?

The answer is simple. Isreal claims the ‘right to exist’ comes from God.

That leads to some serious problems. It places the Right to Exist in the metaphsical. Nazi Germany lost its right to exist when it started invading its neighbors. Its right to exist was based on international law.

Since Isreal’s Right to exist was granted by God, it cannot be revoked. Therefore Isreal is free to violate international law in even the most aggregious manner, and must still be allowed nationhood.

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Posted: 03 January 2007 01:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
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[quote author=“Joad”]The US is absolutely dedicated to the complete and total eradication of the Cuban State.

You are committing a logical fallacy.  I do not contest in the least your analysis of US policy vs. Cuba, but that started before the Christians took over the US government, and accordingly has nothing to do with religious fanatacism.  I sort of thought the latter was a relevant subject in a forum under the heading Specific Comments on The End of Faith.

When radical communist Cubans start flying planes into US buildings, blowing themselves up in crowded public places killing and maiming children, and becoming a threat to world stability in a quest for liberation from US oppression, I’ll get back to you.

In the meantime, if you want to be a Palestinian apologist and rant against Israeli agression, be my guest, more power to you, free country and all that.  But I would suggest you are the sort of far left liberal who, along with the faith-heads on the other extreme, don’t get the point of Sam’s book.  You may want to have another go at it.

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Posted: 03 January 2007 02:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
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mahahaha,

Sorry…where did I ever say ONE SINGLE WORD in support of Palestine?


However, you did not respond to my point. If ANY nation has a ‘right to exist’ then it can NEVER be held accountable for its actions.

I simply stated that Isreal was NO DIFFERENT than all other nations.

Isreal has no ‘right to exist’ for the same reason that the US, Nazi Germany, Belgium or the Roman Empire have no ‘right to exist’.

It’s probably a waste of time to point out that Anti-communism in the US is the most violent example of religous fanaticism in all human history.
You’d deny that destroying the “GODLESS COMMIES” was based on religious beliefs.

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Posted: 04 January 2007 12:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
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[quote author=“Joad”]It’s probably a waste of time to point out that Anti-communism in the US is the most violent example of religous fanaticism in all human history.

You’d deny that destroying the “GODLESS COMMIES” was based on religious beliefs.

I believe that US mission of “detroying the godless commies” was much more exemplary of paranoia, greed, corruption, and ignorance than religious fantaticism.

Stating that the Grand Canyon was formed by Noah’s Flood , as the Bush Administration does, is religious fanaticism.  Running US foreign policy based upon Biblical Prophesy is religious fanaticism.  Killing infidels for Allah in order to go to Paradise is religious fanaticism.

Fighting communism to protect personal property rights is laissez-faire capitalism.

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Posted: 04 January 2007 03:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
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[quote author=“mahahaha”]
I believe that US mission of “detroying the godless commies” was much more exemplary of paranoia, greed, corruption, and ignorance than religious fantaticism.

The reason for destroying the communists wasn’t that they were godless, though admittedly some people used that justification. The reason was that they were brutal murderous dictators with some designs on turning the US into a brutal murderous dictatorship.

Anyone here ever heard of the Venona cables?
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/935929/posts

From We Told You So by Stephen Goode:

And American academics seem particularly prone to harbor notions of the basic rightness of communism. Just last year, Miami University of Ohio historian Robert W. Thurston published Life and Terror in Stalin’s Russia, 1934-41, which purported to prove that Stalin’s terror wasn’t so very terrible after all—that far fewer people than originally believed had been arrested and far fewer put to death.
. . . . The argument was, of course, vulnerable to ridicule and was devastatingly attacked by a fellow historian, Adam Hochschild, in an op-ed piece in the New York Times. Among the book’s many defects to which Hochschild pointed, none was more telling than a map in Thurston’s book of the infamous Kolyma district of Siberia where historians have located more than 120 Soviet “labor” camps. Thurston locates only one such camp on his map of Kolyma. Thus continues the effort to make communism palatable, despite substantial evidence to the contrary.

And if you still want to deny or minimize Communist attrocities, I could dig into my family history. My parents and grandparents fled Lithuania when the Soviets occupied the country. I could tell you horror stories with just my parents as eyewitnesses. And my parents are still active with the Lithuanian community here in Cleveland, and I could get probably hundreds of other eyewitnesses.

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Posted: 04 January 2007 04:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
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[quote author=“SaulOhio”][And if you still want to deny or minimize Communist attrocities, I could dig into my family history

It was not my intent to minimize communist atrocities, only to point out that the US Cold War paranoia about “creeping communism” and “the domino effect” was much more about our capitalist system vs. their socialism, than about our religion vs. their “godlessness.”

I’m on YOUR side, for crying out loud, if you read through this thread.

So, can we stay on topic? 

You started a thread on why we’re losing the war on terrorism in the Specific Comments on the End of Faith forum.

It doubtless is TRUE that the US denies Cuba’s right to exist and that the entire history of Communism - Russian, Chinese and all the rest, is replete with repression, atrocities, megliomania, insanity, and ultimately, dismal failure.

The point is that RELIGIOUS FANATICISM is more or less completely irrelevant to those issues.  To be sure, Communism, as Sam points out in books and lectures, when it devolves into a dogmatic ideology, can be analogous to religious fanticism, and perhaps its ultimate demise can be attributed to that.  But it is not our current topic.

Our current topic and our immediate problem and worldwide threat in 2007 - per The End of Faith - is precisely religious fanaticism, particularly Islamic and Christian (another other huge - but also off topic - issue is global warming and environmental degradation.)

How reasonable and rational people are supposed to deal with religious fanatics, and particularly terrorists, is the issue of the day.

Do we negotiate with and try to appease them? 
We’ll be manipulated and taken advantage of.

Do we declare “Holy War” on them and try to eradiciate them?
They outnumber us.

Do we try to educate, modernize, and deprogram them?
Evolution takes too long.

Do we isolate them until they grow up and evolve?
See number 2

Beats the hell out of me.  :?:

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Posted: 04 January 2007 04:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
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[quote author=“SaulOhio”]BTW, I have been shunned by the JW’s, in a sense. There’s a girl here at the hospital where I work that is single and very attractive. I asked her out once, and thats when I found out she is a JW, and doesn’t date outside her faith.  rolleyes  LOL

Ah, if I had a dime for every girl that turned me down claiming she didn’t date outside her faith… I’d have accumulated enough capital to start my own escort service. Could you really date anyone who was not an Objectivist like yourself?

I hear the LaRouche girls are hot. Radioactive, even.

Do you mean to tell me, Saul, that you work at a hospital? Why the freakin’ hell do you not already own a hospital and hire other people to feed patients into it? Let me guess: Not enough capital, right?

I see a great future for you as an independent contractor. Chat up some LaRouche supporters. You could contract a venereal disease. One that would only be detectable with a scintillation counter! raspberry

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Posted: 04 January 2007 04:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
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[quote author=“mahahaha”]It was not my intent to minimize communist atrocities, only to point out that the US Cold War paranoia about “creeping communism” and “the domino effect” was much more about our capitalist system vs. their socialism, than about our religion vs. their “godlessness.”

What I don’t get is how it is you do not see that as a religious war. Beats the hell outa me. God is just a word. It only names whatever it is you deify.

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