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War on Terror: Why we are losing
Posted: 04 January 2007 05:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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[quote author=“mahahaha”][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.

But you said “I believe that US mission of ‘detroying the godless commies’ was much more exemplary of paranoia, greed, corruption, and ignorance than religious fantaticism.” I am saying it wasn’t paranoia or ignorance. It was a real threat.

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.

Sure. Its just that when I think someone is denying Communist attrocities, I understandably feel like the descendant of a Holocaust survivor upun hearing the crazy theories of a Holocaust denyer.

And how we managed to fight off one threat could shed light on how we could fight another. Granted there is an important difference between the ideology of Communism and Islam. Communism promised heaven on Earth, and since it failed to provide it after nearly a whole century of trying, people could actually see that it failed, and is therefore false. Islam promises paradise in the afterlife, so there is no empirical way to prove it false.

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.

I deny the right of Cuba’s opressive state dictatorship to exist. (The right of the island and people to exist is not in question, in fact, isn’t even a question). No government that violates its own people’s rights has the right to exist. This is an important point in this discussion. America has the moral right (legality is a different question) to overthrow Castro’s government, and we had every right to end Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. Tyrrany should not have the protection of “sovereignty” to protect it. A government’s job is to protect the rights of its people, and when it does the opposite, it loses that moral legitimacy.The only important question is wether or not its a good idea for us to invade. At least in hindsight it seems like invading Iraq was a bad idea.

The point is we shouldn’t let the idea of sovereignty, especially when applied to government to which it should not apply, get in the way of our doing what we need in order to fight this war. The question is not one of our moral right to do it, just wether or not its a good idea. I have the moral right to cash in all my savings and blow it on one night of booze and strippers, but I don’t think that would be a good idea.

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.

In a sense it is. Like I said, communist religious fanaticism at least had empirical evidence against it, a whole century of it. Even the Russian people got sick and tired of repeated promises that socialism was just over the horizon. Islam, making no claims that can be empirically verified, is unfalsifiable. However, there are some things we can learn from the Cold War that might apply, but only so long as we do not deny its horrors.

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.

For one thing, we fight them with the courage of our convictions, which many of us did in the Cold War. We must be willing to stand up and call the Evil Empire by its right name.

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

You are asking this rhetorically. I hope. My answer is “Hell no”, in any case.

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

Definitely not eradicate them. But lets never leave out our military options. We do have advantages in technology and industrial strength.

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

Nevertheless, we have to try. Anybody know someone who can translate “The Federalist Papers” into Arabic?

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

Hopefully it will happen, but you are right, that will take a long time.

Beats the hell out of me.  :?:

We need to remain true to our own ideals of individual freedom, for one thing. Thats the source of our strength. I strongly disagree with those who say we need to sacrifice some of our freedom for the sake of security. Didn’t Ben Franklin or Thomas Paine say something about that?  :wink:

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Posted: 04 January 2007 05:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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[quote author=“SaulOhio”]But you said “I believe that US mission of ‘detroying the godless commies’ was much more exemplary of paranoia, greed, corruption, and ignorance than religious fantaticism.” I am saying it wasn’t paranoia or ignorance. It was a real threat.

I stand behind the statement.  Religious fanatacism was never a significant motivation of the US against the communists.  And, the motivation indeed was more political and economic than a crusade against evil (nothwithstanding Reagan’s “Evil Empire”).

Having said that, there is no argument against the fact that communism was and is a real evil; it deserved (and deserves) to be eradicated.  Good riddance.  China is not far from evolving out of it; Cuba will follow, I believe.

But history shows that the US in many instances overeacted during the Cold War to the real or perceived threat of communism to the US, and pulled a number of bonehead moves across the globe in the name of “freedom” that were wrong, stupid, hypocritical, corrupt, ignorant and paranoid, and still haunt us today. 

Can you say “Vietnam”?  How about “Shah of Iran”?

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Posted: 04 January 2007 06:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”][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.

OK, it was a religious war. Communism is a religion.
See Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism

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Posted: 04 January 2007 06:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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[quote author=“Salt Creek”]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.

You’re clearly an intelligent guy, but your sophistry often is more annoying and smug than it is enlightening.

Did you make any New Years Resolutions?  Not too late.

re·li·gion   /rɪˈlɪdʒən/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[ri-lij-uhn] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun 1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. 
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion. 
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions. 
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, etc.: to enter religion. 
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith. 
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: to make a religion of fighting prejudice.

Thus spake Salt Creek:

The United States of America:  The Religion of Capitalism worshipping the Almighty Dollar.

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Posted: 04 January 2007 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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mahahaha,

Anit-Communism is the most zealous and violent religion that has ever existed.

Read your own comments. You might as well be a JW attacking Satanism.

Having said that, there is no argument against the fact that communism was and is a real evil; it deserved (and deserves) to be eradicated.

Having said that, there is no argument against the fact that SATANISM was and is a real evil; it deserved (and deserves) to be eradicated.

I’m curious about another comment;

 

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

I don’t see how communism in Russia affects laissez-faire in the US.

Unless you are stating that Laissez-faire has a DIVINE RIGHT to impose itself in places where it is not wanted. In which case, that makes Laisse-faire a Religion.

Are we going to build spaceships and scour the universe eradicating comunism so people in Omaha can have private property?

Thank you for understanding my simple point about ‘right to exist’. I wan’t trying to make a complicated nation by nation argument, just a examination of the underlying principle.

I think you have to admit that a great many Americans do see the US as having been specifically created by God for the express purpose of bringing freedom and democracy to the world. Bush openly states it.

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Posted: 04 January 2007 09:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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[quote author=“Joad”]mahahaha,

Anit-Communism is the most zealous and violent religion that has ever existed.

Religion is based on faith. Anti-communism is based on the FACT that communism murdered over 100 million people over the course of the 20’th century.

Read your own comments. You might as well be a JW attacking Satanism.

Why? Because he uses the word “evil”? Evil is the willfull destruction of human life. See again that 100 million number.

Having said that, there is no argument against the fact that communism was and is a real evil; it deserved (and deserves) to be eradicated.

Having said that, there is no argument against the fact that SATANISM was and is a real evil; it deserved (and deserves) to be eradicated.

But Satanism didn’t murder 100 million people.

I’m curious about another comment;

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

I don’t see how communism in Russia affects laissez-faire in the US.

Two words. Verona cables.

Unless you are stating that Laissez-faire has a DIVINE RIGHT to impose itself in places where it is not wanted. In which case, that makes Laisse-faire a Religion.

Who said anything like that on this forum?

Are we going to build spaceships and scour the universe eradicating comunism so people in Omaha can have private property?

More obvious strawman arguments. Why do I even bother with you?

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Posted: 04 January 2007 09:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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SaulOhio,

I love your comments. Keep winning my battles for me.

I deny the right of Cuba’s opressive state dictatorship to exist. (The right of the island and people to exist is not in question, in fact, isn’t even a question). No government that violates its own people’s rights has the right to exist. This is an important point in this discussion. America has the moral right (legality is a different question) to overthrow Castro’s government, and we had every right to end Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. Tyrrany should not have the protection of “sovereignty” to protect it. A government’s job is to protect the rights of its people, and when it does the opposite, it loses that moral legitimacy.

Translation: The USA and ONLY the USA has the ONLY POSSIBLE model for governement. Any nation that does not comply with the US model can be attacked. Even if 100% of the people in that nation agree to their system, the US has MORAL DUTY to FORCE our system on them.

Of course, if the US Government takes away our rights or acts in a tyrannical manner, then NO OTHER NATION may even comment.

Tyranny: When a government allows its citizens to choose a system which conflicts with SaulOhio’s opinion. 

I don’t know why the US should allow the people in other nations to have democracy. After all, we have SaulOhio’s opinion of how they must run their country. Why should we care about their opinion?

To clarify: Cuba has no right to exist because Castro often violates the US Constitution. Castro committed terrible atrocities. He gave his people the right to health care and thereby violated their right to PURCHASE health care.

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Posted: 04 January 2007 10:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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[quote author=“Joad”]SaulOhio,

I love your comments. Keep winning my battles for me.

I deny the right of Cuba’s opressive state dictatorship to exist. (The right of the island and people to exist is not in question, in fact, isn’t even a question). No government that violates its own people’s rights has the right to exist. This is an important point in this discussion. America has the moral right (legality is a different question) to overthrow Castro’s government, and we had every right to end Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship. Tyrrany should not have the protection of “sovereignty” to protect it. A government’s job is to protect the rights of its people, and when it does the opposite, it loses that moral legitimacy.

Translation: The USA and ONLY the USA has the ONLY POSSIBLE model for governement. Any nation that does not comply with the US model can be attacked. Even if 100% of the people in that nation agree to their system, the US has MORAL DUTY to FORCE our system on them.

Interesting translation. What are you using, a yiddish to russian dictionary to translate my english to english?

Of course, if the US Government takes away our rights or acts in a tyrannical manner, then NO OTHER NATION may even comment.

Tyranny: When a government allows its citizens to choose a system which conflicts with SaulOhio’s opinion. 

I don’t know why the US should allow the people in other nations to have democracy. After all, we have SaulOhio’s opinion of how they must run their country. Why should we care about their opinion?

To clarify: Cuba has no right to exist because Castro often violates the US Constitution. Castro committed terrible atrocities. He gave his people the right to health care and thereby violated their right to PURCHASE health care.

Castro murdered thousands of his citizens and gave them a two tiered health care system, good health care for tourists and party officials, but have a look at whats available to Cuba’s common people:

Cuba’s health care system

http://www.therealcuba.com/kubac298.jpg

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Posted: 04 January 2007 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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I’ve been thinking, Joad’s comments about Castro’s health care system reminds me of an episode of Star Trek - Deep Space 9. The Bejorans had recently thrown off the occupation of the Cardassians, who had murdered probably millions of Bejorans. A few years later, one of the Cardassians returned to Bejor to do some research, I forget what for. He commented that one of the benefits that Cardassians brough to the planet Bejor was a more efficient computer filing system. As if that was worth the torture and murder of millions of innocent people!

Castro may have murdered and tortured thousands of Cubans, and imprisoned many more for political crimes, but at least he gave them free health care!  :D

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Posted: 04 January 2007 12:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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[quote author=“Joad”]Anit-Communism is the most zealous and violent religion that has ever existed.

Did you graduate from high school?

Let me help you out:

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

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

You’re welcome.  It’s on the house.

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Posted: 04 January 2007 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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[quote author=“mahahaha”]
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.

Well there you go. You have a pretty clear bias toward this “civilized, democratic, modern country”. If you have any antipathy toward their right wing, it certainly doesn’t show. As others have pointed out, this right to exist concept is subject to far more scrutiny than you seem willing to give it. I pretty much identify Israel with the actions of their right wing. I know they have superior weaponry including nuclear weapons that are provided by the US and I don’t think they are any saner from a religious motivation standpoint than the Arabs with Islam. I don’t see where Israel occupies any moral or rational high ground. Witness the recent invasion, destruction and wanton killing in Lebanon. Please don’t give me the excuse about the captured soldiers, we know it’s not true. According to Seymour Hersh, it was a planned trial run for the invasion of Iran by the US. They thought the Lebanese would blame Hezbolla when they were bombed by Israeli F-16’s. Beirut used to be more of a modern, civilized city before it was bombed.

You don’t call these actions terrorism and deny that there is any religious motivation but you know it’s there. There are virtually no muslims in the Jewish or the American armed forces.

If there is a problem I have with TEOF it’s that Sam Harris seems to think that Israeli Jews and American Christians are substantially more modern than Islam. I agree to a point but it seems that recent events, including the invasion of Iraq prove him wrong. Sam went into some detail on the My Lai massacre and then suggests that we have evolved morally since then!! Well that was before Abu Ghraib and the attacks on Lebanon. I do agree with Sam that the so called moderates allow these actions to be taken in their name with no protest and are just as guilty as those that carry them out. All muslims are not terrorists of course, and I suppose the same thing goes for jews and christians.

 

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Posted: 04 January 2007 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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[quote author=“eucaryote”]If you have any antipathy toward their right wing, it certainly doesn’t show.

I have antipathy towards everybody’s right wing, and the more extreme, the greater the antipathy: USA, Israeli, Islamic, Euro, etc. 

Same with the left.

I suppose you could say I am intolerant of intolerance.  :wink:

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Posted: 04 January 2007 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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[quote author=“mahahaha”][quote author=“eucaryote”]If you have any antipathy toward their right wing, it certainly doesn’t show.

I have antipathy towards everybody’s right wing, and the more extreme, the greater the antipathy: USA, Israeli, Islamic, Euro, etc. 

Same with the left.

I suppose you could say I am intolerant of intolerance.  :wink:


Okey Doke! If there is anything that all these religious crazies share, it’s intolerance. It’s not just the right wing though. When you see it from the outside, Israel is just as much a theocracy as Iran as America. Certainly the religious right in this country is perfectly happy with that description of America. Others must judge us by our acts. When americans are bombing Iraqui muslims or israelis are bombing the lebanese or the palestinians, the fact that their oppressors are white christians and jews is not lost on them any more than the religious nature of the 911 terrorists is lost on us.

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