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Romney/Ryan 2012
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Ryan Smith
(ViolentGreen) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 18:48:31 MST Print View

Miguel,

All part of that American Exceptionalism that our politicians love to yell from the rooftops.

Ryan

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 19:07:31 MST Print View

@Kat

Sorry - the anti jewish propaganda comment was not directed at you. I was on my phone and less clear than I intended. I was trying to head off the entire thread derailment (if it can even be called that anymore:)). And saying let avoid the entire subject. Not going to happen obviously.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 19:16:01 MST Print View

@miguel

"I'm completely with Kat on this. Going by your reasoning, Michael, every conversation about whom Israel and the US attacks can be construed as "anti-Arab" or "anti-Muslim". The level of support the US gives to Israel is way beyond reasonable, if you are trying to think in terms of finding a solution to the conflict there."

Not really Miguel. There is still a lot of anti semitism in Europe, the world, and the US. It will end up there on this board. Of that I have no doubt. And the level of support we provide Israel is not beyond reason if you consider they are pretty much the lone country in the Middle East that isn't seeking the destruction of the Western way of life. But I know you don't see it that way.


We can go round and round about Israel and their right to defend themselves against countries whose leaders are on record as saying they want Israel destroyed. I think Israel has showed remarkeable restraint.

But this discussion will go nowhere.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 20:27:12 MST Print View

"German treatment of Jews during WWII has something to do with our support of Isreal"

Indeed, but why should innocent Palestinians have to pay the price for German atrocities?

They had nothing to do with the persecution of the Jews.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 20:30:47 MST Print View

Michael, I can understand why you would want to talk about Israel defending itself. And, to a reasonable degree, I agree with you. I have close friends and some family in Israel, so it's not as if I don't care about the people there.

But don't you think that you might, and so many people talking only from the Israeli perspective, only be going on the assumption that all those Arab countries around >want< to destroy Israel, or the Jews? They see the argument exactly the same way, the Israel, with its enormous military power, is bent on destroying >them<. The discussion goes nowhere because everyone on both sides assumes the same thing and is afraid of the power and anger of the other. Personally I am not taking sides, since neither side is more important to me. I am a legitimate, objective third person in this debate, having affinity to neither side. So I feel I tend to see the points both sides are making.

Arab and Muslim countries have a >very< long history of tolerance of other religions, especially of the Jews. Much longer than the Christians. It goes in the face of everything they've done in their history that many of them (it is absolutely wrong to lump all Arabs and Muslims together) only recently have become so strident against Israelis. And many Israelis themselves are against the warlike policies of their own government.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 20:31:36 MST Print View

"What I find interesting is how terrorist will handle China? Gotta think China will not be tolerate to people messy with their oil."

China won't have that problem, Brad. They are wise enough not to interfere in other peoples' countries. People are not born terrorists or, as many Muslims refer to them, martyrs. Rather, they are made.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 20:34:17 MST Print View

"China won't have that problem, Brad. They are wise enough not to interfere in other peoples' countries."

Tom. C'mon. You can't really believe that. China does indeed interfere in other countries. They just don't tend to do it with the hubris we do. And they're perhaps a bit choosier about which countries they target for interference.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 20:54:02 MST Print View

"In the discussion between Dean and Tom, one thing that, as a non-American, deeply troubles and infuriates me is the unquestioned assumption that America's concerns and desires preclude those of everyone else in the world."

How you came to that conclusion puzzles me, Miguel. I thought you knew me better than that. I said that in the context of American politics. As I posted, any president that did otherwise would have been summarily impeached, if not worse, and the country would have gone up for grabs, quite possibly resulting in an even more violent response. My position on 9/11 has been clear in previous threads, perhaps best expressed as follows: Why would 19 young men, well educated and in the prime of life, come 6000 miles to fly airplanes into buildings? I have always been enormously distressed that, to my knowledge, no one here ever asked that question. Certainly not in public discourse. Until we confront that question, we will be doomed to an unending conflict in that part of the world, at enormous cost to ourselves and so many others.

"In the discussion about attacking Afghanistan to get bin Ladin, the statement, "It had to be done." is about as hubristic as I can think of, with a cavalier dismissal of Afghanistan as a valid and sovereign entity, that exhibits an aristocratic attitude worthy of any of the world's empires, and goes against the very thing that Americans were fighting against when they broke away from Britain."

See above. To take account of the political reality in America as part of the discussion does not mean that I support our actions in that part of the world in general. Quite the contrary, as you of all people should know from previous threads. If that doesn't calm your fury, there is nothing further I can say.


"Even the term, "terrorist" is a total dismissal of another people's authenticity and legitimacy (and the very reason why those who become "terrorists" become what they do). People very rarely fully address the whole issue of what a "terrorist" really is; the term is just vaguely applied so that no more responsibility is needed in thinking about another person. "It had to be done"? That statement alone says everything about how Americans see everyone else in the world."

I just replied to a previous post regarding terrorists, in which I observed that their own people consider them martyrs, and that they are not born that way, but made. Again, I thought you knew me better.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 20:55:18 MST Print View

Indeed, but why should innocent Palestinians have to pay the price for German atrocities?

There is a very big difference, too, between "Germans" and "Nazis". A great portion of Germans were against everything the Nazis represented and did, including my pacifist German grandparents. Most people outside German don't know that there were two armies in Germany during the 2nd World War, the Nazi army and the national army. Very different. My grandfather refused to bear arms and kill anyone, and became a medic instead, serving on the front. He was captured by the Americans and imprisoned in France, where he was terribly treated by both the French and the Americans. He refused to talk about it until shortly before he died, when I recorded a long, bitter monologue he gave about being beaten and starved by his captors.

My point is that labels tend to overlook reality and what people really are, or what really happened. You have to suspend your outrage and desire for revenge when thinking about "the enemy". Because the enemy really are just people like you and me, some of them angrier and feeling more wronged than others. Did any of you know about the atrocities committed against the Germans >after< the 2nd World War, for instance, committed by the Americans and its allies? The European Atrocity You Never Heard About. Or that concentration camps were not invented by Germans, but had actually existed long before, France being one example, putting Jews (!!!), Gypsies, anti-fascisits (!!!), Arabs, and Spanish refugees into camps with often the same conditions as those so often attributed only to Germans?

Again, my point is that most conflicts around the world are not cut and dried. There are very rarely clearly understood "Bad Guys". And a lot of history and facts are swept under the rug, all to make one side look better than another. The truth is there are no one people better than another. Conflict and war merely shows the inability to communicate and see the other's point of view.

Edited by butuki on 11/15/2012 21:03:31 MST.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 21:02:30 MST Print View

I thought you knew me better than that.

Yes, Tom, I do, and I didn't make the extra effort needed to make that clear, so I'm sorry for the way I worded things.

Still, these discussions, among Americans, invariably only concentrate on the American agenda. (which is natural, I guess, just as a similar discussion among Japanese or Germans, would similarly be about their own agendas) If there were a balanced number of non-Americans in this thread, or any thread about such things in BPL, I think you would see a very very different direction in the arguments. But there are only a few of us non-Americans here, so we tend to get drowned out, unless we make big, controversial statements.

But also try to see, Tom, that I was attempting to address the entire discussion, rather than just you. You just happened to be one of the big names in the discussion. But with all the discussions we've had over the years, yes, I do very much see your very balanced point of view, especially about the Middle East, where you've had far more experience than almost anyone else.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 21:06:24 MST Print View

"Tom. C'mon. You can't really believe that. China does indeed interfere in other countries. They just don't tend to do it with the hubris we do. And they're perhaps a bit choosier about which countries they target for interference."

I would say they seek to build influence with other countries by working in areas of common interest, typically economic. They do not, to my knowledge, try to force political change, and they most certainly do not invade other countries, the one exception being Viet Nam in either the very late 60's/early 70's(I can't remember offhand the exact year) when China was experiencing a lot of internal turmoil. They got their butts kicked in the process, and the PLA has been quiescent ever since. There was even some grumbling by a couple of high ranking Chinese military officers recently, bemoaning the PLA's lack of combat experience. This may change in the future, if festering territorial disputes are not resolved peaceably, or if we force them into a confrontation with our pivot to Asia, but that is not the same as interfering in other countries' affairs, IMO. If you can cite examples to the contrary, I would very much like to see them. I am willing to be convinced.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 21:15:35 MST Print View

China won't have that problem, Brad. They are wise enough not to interfere in other peoples' countries.

Doug responded to this and made a good point, so I'll leave off adding mine. But I would like to say that everyone in Asia lives in terror of China, even the Japanese. The recent intensifying of the both the Chinese and Japanese warships concentrating in the Japan Sea over the Senkaku Islands, and the growing huge and very violent anti-Japanese demonstrations in China, has everyone here very worried. The Tokyo governor making extremely inflammatory statements about China and then going ahead and threatening to >buy< the islands, thus forcing the Japanese government to jump in and purchase them themselves, has elevated the relations into a powder keg. Anything could set off a skirmish or a war. Hopefully all sides can calm down and keep their heads.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 21:16:41 MST Print View

"Yes, Tom, I do, and I didn't make the extra effort needed to make that clear, so I'm sorry for the way I worded things."

It's a complicated subject, Miguel. I frequently feel caught in the middle, between my homeland and my empathy for those who have suffered at our hands. The result is not always crystal clear or well rounded prose.

"If there were a balanced number of non-Americans in this thread, or any thread about such things in BPL, I think you would see a very very different direction in the arguments. But there are only a few of us non-Americans here, so we tend to get drowned out, unless we make big, controversial statements."

This has troubled me for a long time. there are a substantial number of non Americans on BPL, and I truly wish they would make themselves heard. It would be of great benefit for Americans to learn how others see us. We have been isolated for far too much of our history, and it has seriously impacted our ability to deal with
peoples of different cultural and religious traditions, and whose historical experiences have shaped them differently. In any case, I hope you will continue to contribute to these discussions. I at least welcome your perspective.

Michael L
(mpl_35) - MLife

Locale: The Palouse
Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 21:17:56 MST Print View

Miguel,

I will never claim either side is innocent. But to pretend that Israel hasn't been the subject of repeated attempts at invasion by its neighbors is to just ignore history. I don't see how you can claim to that Israel is bent on destroying them. Israel typically hits nuclear or military targets. Their enemies aim to terrorize by launching rocket attacks into civilian targets.

Other than a few notable exceptions when the Israel army invades they quickly withdraw afterwards. So I don't think you even have a basis for a claim that Israel is bent on destroying Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Iran, etc...

So history paints a pretty one sided view of which group is bent on destroying the other. Israel has nothing to gain from continued war. Hamas and many of the former dictators kept themselves in power based on fear and hatred of Israel.

"It goes in the face of everything they've done in their history that many of them (it is absolutely wrong to lump all Arabs and Muslims together) only recently have become so strident against Israelis."

I'm glad you at least admit that they are now against the Israelis. They may have at one time been more tolerant, but that time is NOT now.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 21:18:40 MST Print View

"But I would like to say that everyone in Asia lives in terror of China, even the Japanese."

Is not the reverse true of Japan as well?

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 21:20:00 MST Print View

? Tom, China invaded and took over Tibet. Most Chinese now consider it part of their country, as you can easily see in their travel brochures. And they're doing their damndest to get Taiwan "back".

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 21:32:28 MST Print View

"Tom, China invaded and took over Tibet. Most Chinese now consider it part of their country, as you can easily see in their travel brochures. And they're doing their damndest to get Taiwan "back"."

As I understand things, China considers both to be historically part of China. How valid that is can be argued, certainly, but that is how they see things. Also, again as I understand it, Tibetans once were considerably more warlike than at the present and often raided into China proper. China has always been very sensitive about "barbarians" invading, since early times. It is why they built the Great Wall", and why they have historically sought vassal/buffer states on their borders. The same applies to Xinjiang Province; they feel they need it as a buffer zone against Muslim encroachment. I don't think anyone outside China thinks the Muslims are a threat to China, but their history has shown them otherwise, and they have very good memories. Note that all of the examples mentioned are on their periphery. It is almost akin to our Monroe Doctrine. The difference I see with China is that they do not seek to project dominance far beyond their borders, nor have they historically, as does the US.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 21:36:01 MST Print View

Is not the reverse true of Japan as well?

I think at one time, yes. But not anymore, at least not among almost every young Asian I've met and known. Japan has become "the" place to go now (a lot of starry-eyed views of Japan). Japan has done a great job in adhering to its principles of "non-aggression" as outlined in their new constitution just after the war, and most Japanese sincerely and deeply believe this principle. They may have completely botched the necessary follow-up, after the war, of properly apologizing for what they'd done (though they have officially apologized a lot: List of War Apology Statements Issued By Japan), but unlike Germany, they actually carried out their non-aggression policies. The only capacity that they have been militarily involved with conflicts around the world are as logistical assistants. (Now, before anyone goes criticizing Japan for not adding fighting soldiers to those conflicts, remember that it was the U.S. and Russia that demanded that the Japanese never again use force or have a standing army, and forced them to put that into their constitution).

It's been almost 70 years since the WW2. Long enough for a lot of people to change their feelings and policies to change. China is flexing its muscles, now that its economy is booming. We'll have to see what they'll do next. Hopefully it will be as you say, Tom, but it's scary living here and waiting for what they decide to do right over the horizon.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Valid combatant targets @ Dean on 11/15/2012 21:40:14 MST Print View

Tom, I laughed as I read your comment about China, because it sounds so similar to the way Americans are arguing in this thread about "terrorists". "Terrorists"/ "Barbarians". Same, same. It's the >Han< Chinese being referred to here. of course. But the whole of China itself is made up of lots of conquered people who don't consider themselves Chinese. The Han Chinese themselves have a lot to answer for, including their assumptions of what is "theirs". Western "Chinese", like the Uighurs, for instance, never asked to be part of the Chinese "nation". They were forced into it.

James Castleberry
(Winterland76)
Jerry's fact checker on 11/15/2012 22:30:27 MST Print View

Jerry said:
"...because all of the oil we discovered in North Dakota, we will soon by supplying all of our own oil. We will be the biggest oil producer, replacing Saudi Arabia. Even today, all of our oil imports are from Mexico and Canada."

The U.S. currently produces 5 or 6 million barrels per day; consumption is approx. 19 million per day. Maximum production in the U.S. was in the 9 million barrel per day range in the early 1970s. Don't hold your breath on us ever reaching 9 again.
Someone else commented regarding the existence of inherently "Bad" or "Evil" people; I'm sure the American Indians would have an interesting opinion on that one. It's all relative. We all are capable of good and bad and need to learn to get along (as best we can).
Tom had the best comment: "Until we confront that question, we will be doomed to an unending conflict in that part of the world, at enormous cost to ourselves and so many others."
Personally, I am dismayed that only approx. 0% of American schoolchildren can correctly answer a simple direct fundamental question such as: "How many tall buildings fell down on 9/11?"
I actually think 99.9% of the world can get along fine with each other. We're all just trying to get by, doing the best we can. But we are conditioned so that we fall for tricks and get manipulated really easily.

Edited by Winterland76 on 11/15/2012 23:12:27 MST.