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Old 10-17-2007, 08:40 PM   #121 (permalink)
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Host took a leave of absence for a while, it didn't seem much to me like things were different argument-wise while he was gone.
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Old 10-17-2007, 09:08 PM   #122 (permalink)
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I've come off my third sabatical from this forum, this last one going nearly four months, seems like nobody missed me. 2700+ posts the majority of which stem from this forum. I get burned out trying to debate when I feel like the majority of my posts go ignored or at best dismissed. I've conceded a lot over the years, and most would be surprised probably by how much I've learned and shifted from this forum. Its just tired when people like Host just saturate with information and leave little room for discussion.

Its not fair to knock the guy, he has good resources, he contributes, and he sure as shit isn't some liberal bogey man, but he sucks at relaying them into any message I care to converse with.

I try and make my posts as legit as possible. Obviously they are based in opinion, but I strive to back it up with facts whether historical or legal.

If I say X is legit because Y precedent and Z America law says so, I rarely felt like I ever got a fair counter point, or answer even. Is it weird that a 4 year veteran with so much contribution feels over looked?

And yes I want your pity because my ego is irreversibly scarred.

edit: and being a veteran I miss Filth, maybe its due to my absence but I remember his presence a lot more.
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:42 AM   #123 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo_PeiPei
edit: and being a veteran I miss Filth, maybe its due to my absence but I remember his presence a lot more.
Likewise homey. We're all growed up, or something. Actually, i think we've kind of gotten to the place on the politics board where most everyone knows where most everyone else stands and fewer people feel the need to debate anymore because it would be just like watching a movie for the 8th time. I got my jollies. Now i just like to reminisce sometimes.
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Old 10-18-2007, 04:45 AM   #124 (permalink)
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So what would fix the problem you guys see? Is it just a simple matter of new blood or is there a greater underlying issue that needs to be dealt with? Personally, I think that the fatigue is more indicative of the country's woes than anything else.
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Old 10-18-2007, 08:45 AM   #125 (permalink)
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For me personally, i don't feel the need to get in a heated discussion about certain old favorites, like abortion, because it's been done, and i don't have anything to add, and i doubt there's much to get out of it. My interest in discussing politics on the internet is waning, mainly because i'm super busy and partly because i get my kicks elsewhere both on the tfp and off.

For other issues- a lot of the action in the politics forum was in reference to the war in iraq, and other typical conservative-liberal bones of contention, and between prowar conservative-y folk and antiwar-liberal-y folk. Ever since the last election there has been a curious silence from most of the prowar conservative-y folk on the tfp, which is possibly representative of the nationwide trend towards viewing the war in an unfavorable light.

Those discussions still exist in other places, but they mostly consist of the types of back-and-forth that tends to get discouraged here, i.e. belligerent and confrontational. I don't know, maybe in some ways political discussions tend to resemble street fights and the tfp is more akin to a boxing ring?
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Old 10-20-2007, 07:47 PM   #126 (permalink)
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I guess my issue is that I'm ok with discussing issues, but partisan crap really gets me turned off. I can read newspapers, so rehashing one party's or the other's talking points about the latest supposed outrage isn't all that interesting. It's much more interesting to read independent thought. Put up something that's well-reasoned and it's a pleasure to read and dis/agree - particularly when people recognize that they can disagree and still get along fine.
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Old 10-21-2007, 01:13 AM   #127 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrosis
Perhaps there is yet another reason.

A search of posts containing the word "Abramoff":
Showing results 1 to 40 of 91

A search of posts by Host containing the word "Abramoff":
Showing results 1 to 40 of 58

In these posts, Host was able to delve out incredibly minute details of public figures he dislikes. Contrast that to a search for posts by Host containing the word "Hsu":
Showing results 1 to 3 of 3
Unfortunately, none of these refer to NORMAN Hsu.

A man who can tell you Abramoff's uncle's shoe size, and who posts at length of real and imagined transgressions by Republican politicians, does not stimulate me to debate if he has not heard of Norman Hsu. For that matter, a large majority of other posters on this forum has no interest in lawbreakers who are not named Abramoff, Cheney, Rove, or Bush.

Why in the world would anyone consider debating people with such closed mindsets? Perhaps one of Host's lengthy posts, this time dishing on Norman Hsu, would stimulate animated debate.
I just noticed this...from page #3....so.....

....I've started a new thread about my POV of Norman Hsu vs. Jack Abramoff.
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Old 12-10-2007, 01:06 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Where is the old heated debate?

The conditions in Iraq have improved, no longer an issue?
Democrats in Congress getting nothing done, no longer an issue?
Democratic leaders knew about CIA extreme questioning techniques, no longer an issue?
Iran had a nuclear weapons program up to 2003 according to an NIE, discontinued after the US invaded Iraq, no longer an issue?
Chavez going down in flames, no longer an issue?
Bill Clinton joining in on "lib" double speak of being against the war in Iraq when he was for it, not an issue?
What happened to the SCHIP bill?

These are rhetorical questions, I already know the answers. Some of us have the ability to admit when we are on the wrong side of an issue, some of us don't.
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Old 12-10-2007, 03:12 PM   #129 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceventura3
These are rhetorical questions, I already know the answers. Some of us have the ability to admit when we are on the wrong side of an issue, some of us don't.
ace....why rhetorical? You don't want to discuss them further?

Quote:
The conditions in Iraq have improved, no longer an issue?
There is less sectarian violence for a number of reasons, including the surge of US troops....but also because of the mass exodus (some describe it as ethnic cleansing) of many (millions) from Baghdad to neighboring Syria and Jordan over the last two+ years (some of whom are now returning to neighorhoods that are unstable or unsafe, under the patrol of US financed and armed "concerned local citizens" (Sunnis who may have ties to al queda or anti-government groups) or at best, walled sectarian enclaves in Baghdad); the fact that al Sadr withdrew his militia from Baghdad and has effectively taken control of Basra instead, with promises to return to Baghdad if the dysfunctional government continues to be a "US puppet"; and the ill-advised new US strategy built around the so-called "anbar awakening", where we have paid and armed Sunni tribal chieftains, with no loyalty to the central government, to discourage their support of al queda. ....progress?

When Bush announced the surge in January, he said the goal was to give the Iraqi goverment "breathing space to make progress" and yet, the central government has still barely met 3-4 of the 18 benchmarks that were established nearly a year ago and are no closer to reconciliation or an oil revenue sharing law...progress?

The training of Iraqi military and police has been plodding along for 3 years now and still is highly infiltrated by the various militia and $1 billion of military equipment missing....progress?

Quote:
Democrats in Congress getting nothing done, no longer an issue?
They got quite a bit done.

The first minimum wage bill in 10 years, the most comprehensive ethics and lobbying reform in years, contracting reform, implementation of most of the recommendations of the 9-11 commission that were stalled, an energy bill that focused on energy conservation (new mileage standards, etc) and more alternative energy R&D funding rather than tax breaks to big oil, new trade/copyright protections in relations with China, restoration and reform of college tuition assistance, new investments to improve US competitiveness (double R&D budget and expanded focus on science and math education)..... not all of the above saw their way through to enactment and there would have been more progress if not for the unprecedented obstruction by Senate Republicans through "extended debates" (filibusters), not to mention Bush vetoes.



Oh...lets not forget the oversight of the DOJ that resulted in the exposure and correction of the worst politicization of the department in years.
Quote:
Democratic leaders knew about CIA extreme questioning techniques, no longer an issue?
This is a tough one because what the leaders learned in closed sessions is classified and could not be made public shared with other members at the time, but granted the Democrats could have been stronger and more vocal in their opposition, but they did introduce legislation prohibiting such practices.

Quote:
Iran had a nuclear weapons program up to 2003 according to an NIE, discontinued after the US invaded Iraq, no longer an issue?
And yet the White House rhetoric of WW III continued.

BTW, one of the findings of the phase II pre-war intel report from the Senate Intel that the Democrats forced to be released in May after Republicans held itup for two years concluded that:
"military action to eliminate Iraqi WMD would not cause other states in the region to abandon their WMD programs

also:
"establishing a stable democratic government in post-war Iraq would be a long, difficult and turbulent challenge (so much for "mission accomplished")

"al queda would probably seek an opportunity to accelerate its operational tempo and increase terrorist attacks..."

"Iraq was a deeply divided society that would likely engage in violent conflict..."

" the US defeat and occupation of Iraq probably would result in a surge of political islam and increased funding for terrorists groups

http://intelligence.senate.gov/prewar.pdf (pdf)
Bush chose not to share this intel with Congress or the American people prior to askng them to go to war.

Quote:
Chavez going down in flames, no longer an issue?
He's hardly going down in flames and is still an influential leader in South America.

Lets see what happens with the bi-lateral trade deals with various South American countries that Bush will be pushing next year.


Quote:
Bill Clinton joining in on "lib" double speak of being against the war in Iraq when he was for it, not an issue?
Not nearly as egregious as Bush misleading the American people by cherry-picking the intel (see the conclusions of the pre-war intel report above that the Repubs withheld for 2 years and none of which was shared with the Democrats in Congress or the public)

Or McCain (and other Repubs) on their recent tours to Iraq saying Baghdad is safer and thriving....as they walk through the streets of Baghdad in body armor, surrounded by US forces, humvees and air cover.

Quote:
[What happened to the SCHIP bill?
Back burner, with funding added in the omnibus budget bill to continue the program through next spring, at which time this highly popular program will become an election issue.

ace...you have a unique view on these issues and progress or lack thereof, but as you said, "you already know the answers"
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Last edited by dc_dux; 12-10-2007 at 08:11 PM.. Reason: added a few links for those with an open mind
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Old 12-10-2007, 11:53 PM   #130 (permalink)
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It is late, so I'm just going to respond to ace's first point:
Quote:
The conditions in Iraq have improved, no longer an issue?
ace, IMO, Iraq is a failed state, a meat grinder and a money grinder. The "meat" is the lives and limbs of US soldiers and innocent Iraqi civilians, and the "money" is all borrowed from our children and grandchildren, to the "tune"of at least $10 billion a month. Are you aware of any of the following news?

GUESS WHERE THE IRAQI PARLIAMENT HAS BEEN SINCE LATE LAST FRIDAY, DEC. 7TH?

Please read on:

Quote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/wa.../25policy.html
U.S. Scales Back Political Goals for Iraqi Unity

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and ALISSA J. RUBIN
Published: November 25, 2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 — With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections.

...Bush administration officials have not abandoned their larger goals and emphasize the importance of reaching them eventually. They say that even modest steps, taken soon, could set the stage for more progress, in the same manner that this year’s troop “surge” opened the way, unexpectedly, for drawing Sunni tribesmen to the American side.

A senior official said the administration was intensifying its pressure on the Iraqi government to produce some concrete signs of political progress. ...

....The White House has been elated by the drop in violence since the increase in American forces, now 162,000 troops. Public comments by President Bush and his aides, though, have been muted, reflecting frustration at the lack of political progress, a continuation of a pattern in which intense American efforts to promote broader reconciliation have proved largely fruitless.

There have been signs that American influence over Iraqi politics is dwindling after the recent improvements in security — which remain incomplete, as shown by a deadly bombing Friday in Baghdad. While Bush officials once said they aimed to secure “reconciliation” among Iraq’s deeply divided religious, ethnic and sectarian groups, some officials now refer to their goal as “accommodation.”...
Quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...120602548.html <br>U.S. Plans to Form Job Corps For Iraqi Security Volunteers
Shiite-Led Government's Slow Hiring of Sunnis Prompted Change

By Karen DeYoung and Amit R. Paley
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, December 7, 2007; Page A25

BAGHDAD -- The U.S. military plans to establish a civilian jobs corps to absorb tens of thousands of mostly Sunni security volunteers whom Iraq's Shiite-dominated government has balked at hiring into local police forces.

The new jobs program marks a sharp departure from one of the most highly touted goals of the so-called Sunni awakening, which was to funnel the U.S.-paid volunteers, many of them former insurgents, into Iraq's police and military.

President Bush and Gen. David H. Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, have said the volunteers have played a major role in the recent downturn in violence and would provide a key element of local security as U.S. forces draw down. Plans to reconfigure the program raise new questions about the permanence of security and political structures the United States has sought to impose on Iraq.

The Bush administration has described the hiring of the volunteers by police forces as proof that Iraqis are beginning to reconcile sectarian differences. Yet the government here has shown only grudging interest in the program, despite constant U.S. pressure.

So far the Iraqi government has approved police jobs for only 1,738 members of what the United States calls the Concerned Local Citizens program, or CLC. Of a total 60,321 registered volunteers, about 51,190 are currently on short-term U.S. contracts that pay an average of $300 a month, officials said. The program has spread beyond Anbar province, and officials said new recruits appear daily in Baghdad and the central and northern parts of the country.

The Shiite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has lagged in hiring the volunteers, more than three-quarters of whom are Sunnis. Sectarian concerns are "still an obstacle. I won't lie to you about that," said Col. Martin Stanton, who tracks the program for Petraeus's command. "They're deeply suspicious of any organized group of Sunnis," Stanton said of the government....
Quote:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...ck=4&cset=true
Iraq's bid to pass bills dead for year <h3>Parliament suspends its session</h3>, but may extend it into January to take up legislation deemed crucial by the U.S.
From the Associated Press
December 7, 2007

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi legislators suspended parliamentary sessions Thursday until Dec. 30 because of Muslim religious holidays, ending efforts to pass U.S.-backed legislation aimed at achieving national reconciliation this year.

The Sunni speaker of parliament announced the decision after days of debate over a draft bill that would allow thousands of former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party to return to government jobs. The measure is among the 18 benchmarks set by the United States to encourage reconciliation.

Speaker Mahmoud Mashhadani said many lawmakers would be making the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, which culminates with Eid al-Adha, or the feast of sacrifice. Others were expected to leave the capital to spend the festival with their families elsewhere in Iraq or abroad. The holiday begins around Dec. 20.

Dec. 30 is one day before the end of the current term for parliament. Lawmakers normally would take a recess for two months at that time, but they were expected to extend the term by a month so they could meet in January to pass a budget and other important measures, a senior U.S. official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject....
Quote:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...ck=1&cset=true <br>Iraq calmer, but more divided

The U.S. troop buildup has brought down violence, but that has failed to spark cooperation among politicians. If anything, the country appears more balkanized into ethnic and sectarian enclaves.
By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
December 10, 2007
'Kay....one more:
Quote:
Democratic leaders knew about CIA extreme questioning techniques, no longer an issue?
Quote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/10/wa...in&oref=slogin
C.I.A. Official in Inquiry Called a ‘Hero’

By MARK MAZZETTI
Published: December 10, 2007

.....New details emerged Sunday about when members of Congress were first told specifics about the program. The Washington Post reported that top lawmakers had raised no objections during a September 2002 briefing about some of the techniques C.I.A. operatives were using to get information from Al Qaeda detainees — including waterboarding, a procedure that causes a feeling of suffocation and drowning.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, among the lawmakers who attended the briefing, issued a statement on Sunday saying that she eventually did protest the techniques and that she concurred with objections raised by a Democratic colleague in a letter to the C.I.A. in early 2003. ....
Quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...801664_pf.html
Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say

By Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writers
Sunday, December 9, 2007; A01

.......Graham said he has no memory of ever being told about waterboarding or other harsh tactics. Graham left the Senate intelligence committee in January 2003, and was replaced by Rockefeller. "Personally, I was unaware of it, so I couldn't object," Graham said in an interview. He said he now believes the techniques constituted torture and were illegal.

Pelosi declined to comment directly on her reaction to the classified briefings. But a congressional source familiar with Pelosi's position on the matter said the California lawmaker did recall discussions about enhanced interrogation. The source said Pelosi recalls that techniques described by the CIA were still in the planning stage -- they had been designed and cleared with agency lawyers but not yet put in practice -- and acknowledged that Pelosi did not raise objections at the time.

Harman, who replaced Pelosi as the committee's top Democrat in January 2003, disclosed Friday that she filed a classified letter to the CIA in February of that year as an official protest about the interrogation program. Harman said she had been prevented from publicly discussing the letter or the CIA's program because of strict rules of secrecy........

Last edited by host; 12-11-2007 at 12:34 AM..
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:54 AM   #131 (permalink)
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I believe it was in June when Democratic leaders in Congress sent Bush a letter saying that the "surge" had failed to produce the intended results. the intent of the "surge" was to curb the violence to give the Iraqi people a real opportunity to establish a strong central government. The "surge" was a needed step in a process. The US needed to show the Iraqi people and other government and people in the region a strong commitment to help fix a problem we contributed to creating.

If we had followed the desires of Democratic leaders, I truly believe the conditions in Iraq would be worse today with the entire region closer to being in total chaos. Given, the circumstances at the time, cutting and running would have been the worst thing to do. Bush deserves credit for listening to his military leaders and his desire to bring stability to Iraq rather than cutting and running.

It is true that the Iraqi government is still struggling and the majority of the Iraqi people support a timetable for US withdrawal. However, given the "surge", when we do leave we will leave a country better prepared than if we followed the "cut and run" strategy.

I presented this originally as a rhetorical question because I did not believe those who strongly dislike Bush could possibly give him credit for anything positive developing in Iraq.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:08 AM   #132 (permalink)
 
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Thats great, ace.

Except, intentionally or not, you mischaracterized every Democratic leadership legislative proposal from June through the latest.

None could accurately be described as "cut and run" but rather as plans for phased redeployment tied to "real" benchmarks to hold he Iraqi government accountable to take meaningful steps towards reconciliation. Instead, Bush continues to lower the bar for Iraqi political "successes" and lets them continue to suck off the US tit while our troops are still acting as police in a sectarian conflict.

I believe it was also in August that Republican leaders said they would be prepared to take a different course if the Iraqis did not show meaningful progress towards meeting the political benchmarks by September. I guess they were just blowing more hot air.

But back to reality....
ace...do you think arming 60,000+ Sunni "concerned local citizens", some of whom US forces acknowledge may be "sympathizers of al Qaida in Iraq and other anti-government organizations" is "progress"? Or the unaccounted for 12,000+ US weapons provided to the Iraqi government, but much of which may have ended up in the hands of Shia militiant groups.

Is arming both sides of the sectarian conflict really a sign of "leaving the country better prepared"?
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Old 12-11-2007, 10:27 AM   #133 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceventura3
I believe it was in June when Democratic leaders in Congress sent Bush a letter saying that the "surge" had failed to produce the intended results. the intent of the "surge" was to curb the violence to give the Iraqi people a real opportunity to establish a strong central government. The "surge" was a needed step in a process. The US needed to show the Iraqi people and other government and people in the region a strong commitment to help fix a problem we contributed to creating.

If we had followed the desires of Democratic leaders, I truly believe the conditions in Iraq would be worse today with the entire region closer to being in total chaos. Given, the circumstances at the time, cutting and running would have been the worst thing to do. Bush deserves credit for listening to his military leaders and his desire to bring stability to Iraq rather than cutting and running.

It is true that the Iraqi government is still struggling and the majority of the Iraqi people support a timetable for US withdrawal. However, given the "surge", when we do leave we will leave a country better prepared than if we followed the "cut and run" strategy.

I presented this originally as a rhetorical question because I did not believe those who strongly dislike Bush could possibly give him credit for anything positive developing in Iraq.
ace, I can document convincingly that it is reasonable to believe that little or nothing has been accomplished in Iraq since the announcement of "the surge", to the extent that it would enhance accomplishing the goals set by the Bush administration for completing "the mission" in Iraq.

Instead, the goals themselves have been reduced. We've lost nearly a thousand more troops since the Baker Hamilton ISG report was made public 55 weeks ago. Our military is weaker and even more bogged down, and we've spent a shitload more money, with even...an undefined, and unforecast addtional amount, to be borrowed and spent on this military and foreign policy disaster, in the future.

And, it is extremely doubtful that the US military is even "bogged down" in the right place:
Quote:
http://web.archive.org/web/200707181...97,print.story
<br>Saudis' role in Iraq insurgency outlined Sunni extremists from Saudi Arabia make up half the foreign fighters in Iraq, many suicide bombers, a U.S. official says.
By Ned Parker
Times Staff Writer

July 15, 2007

BAGHDAD — Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers.

<h3>About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia</h3>; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.....
Quote:
http://blogs.abcnews.com/theblotter/...s-release.html
Brian Ross and Rehab El-Buri Report:

Saudisrelease_mn Saudi Arabia has released 1,500 prisoners suspected of belonging to a radical Islamic group after the prisoners underwent what was described as a five-week counseling program, according to Middle Eastern newspapers.

Critics of the prisoner reform program worry it does nothing to seriously combat Islamic radicalism and releases dangerous extremists back into society.

"This is the sort of failure to recognize the threat and deal with it seriously that has characterized the Saudis for years," said former White House counterterrorism chief Richard Clarke, an ABC News consultant.

Click Here for Full Blotter Coverage.

The released prisoners are described as followers of the rigid Takfir ideology and considered by many U.S. intelligence officials to be prime recruiting material for al Qaeda groups.

According to a Saudi newspaper, the Takfir group calls for establishing an Islamic state, kicking non-Muslims out of the Arabian Peninsula and considers other Muslim leaders, scholars and the general Muslim public disbelievers.

The Saudi newspaper, Al-Watan, publicized the massive prisoner release on Sunday, saying the Saudi Ministry of Interior spearheaded the effort in 2005 by holding 5,000 meetings with about 3,200 suspected Takfir members. The New York Sun first reported the development in the United States.

The Saudi Embassy and Ministry of Interior did not respond to repeated attempts for comment.

The committee charged with reforming Takfir suspects told Al-Watan it uses 100 Islamic law specialists and 30 social and psychological experts to counsel the prisoners. After the suspects met in groups of 20 for five weeks and completed an exam, the committee awarded the prisoners certificates -- and their freedom.
<h3>Can you imagine, ace, if the greatest proportion of captured foreign fighters in Iraq, had come from Iran, instead of from Saudi Arabia, or if the Iranian government chose to release "1,500 prisoners suspected of belonging to a radical Islamic group",..... "After the suspects met in groups of 20 for five weeks and completed an exam"? Do you think "the news" would be relegated to a network news anchor's blog, or would the white house be "shoutin' it", from the effing mountaintops?</h3>

This is a disaster, ace, and the history of it will be written that way. No IDB or WSJ editorial will be able to smear enough lipstick on this pig for the rest of us to embrace what you are perceiving:


<h3>ace, on page 25 of the Iraq Study Group Report, linked below, here is the key phrase that you and president Bush...ignored, overlooked, minimized... whatever you did in reaction to it:</h3>
Quote:
....Because none of the operations conducted by U.S. and
Iraqi military forces are fundamentally changing the con-
ditions encouraging the sectarian violence, U.S. forces
seem to be caught in a mission that has no foreseeable end...
Quote:
November 10, 2006

Former U.S. Secretary of State Lawrence S. Eagleburger has replaced former CIA Director Robert M. Gates as a member of the Iraq Study Group, study group co-chairmen James A. Baker, III and Lee H. Hamilton said Friday....

<a href="http://www.usip.org/isg/news_releases/1110_isg_eagleburger.html">Eagleburger served</a> as the 62nd U.S. Secretary of State under President George H.W. Bush. A career diplomat, Eagleburger held numerous high-ranking positions in the presidential administrations of both Republicans and Democrats....

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...120601903.html
In Theater of War, It's Iraq Study Group's Turn to Take the Stage

By Dana Milbank
Thursday, December 7, 2006; Page A02

....asked why their views should carry weight, Baker looked down the row of commissioners with a smile and a wink. He took out some lip balm and applied it, then smiled some more. "This report by this bunch of has-beens up here is the only bipartisan report that's out there," he finally shot back.

Whatever else the "has-beens" accomplished, they made sure that any credibility questions will be directed not at them but at Bush. Hamilton lectured: "You cannot look at this area of the world and pick and choose among the countries that you're going to deal with." Leon Panetta counseled Bush to "look at the realities of what's taking place." <h3>Eagleburger said after the event that when the group met with Bush, "I don't recall, seriously, that he asked any questions."...</h3>

Quote:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=6587217

--- "We do not recommend a stay-the-course solution; in our opinion, that approach is no longer viable." - James A. Baker III, co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group

--- "The current approach is not working. And the ability of the United States to influence events is diminishing… Many Americans are understandably dissatisfied. Our ship of state has hit rough waters. It must now chart a new way forward." - Lee Hamilton, co-chairman of the Iraq Study Group.

--- "The report is an acknowledgment that there will be no military solution in Iraq. It will require a political solution arrived at through sustained Iraqi and region-wide diplomacy and engagement." - Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb....

Quote:
http://209.85.207.104/search?q=cache...lnk&cd=6&gl=us

The Iraq Study Group Report

Letter from the Co-Chairs

....Our political leaders must build a bipartisan approach to
bring a responsible conclusion to what is now a lengthy and
costly war. Our country deserves a debate that prizes substance
over rhetoric, and a policy that is adequately funded and sus-
tainable. The President and Congress must work together. Our
leaders must be candid and forthright with the American peo-
ple in order to win their support.......

Page 14

Executive Summary

....The Iraqi people have a democratically elected government, yet
it is not adequately advancing national reconciliation, providing
basic security, or delivering essential services. Pessimism is per-
vasive......

Page 16

.....The Iraqi government should accelerate assuming re-
sponsibility for Iraqi security by increasing the number and
quality of Iraqi Army brigades. While this process is under way,
and to facilitate it, the United States should significantly in-
crease the number of U.S. military personnel, including com-
bat troops, imbedded in and supporting Iraqi Army units. As
these actions proceed, U.S. combat forces could begin to move
out of Iraq.
The primary mission of U.S. forces in Iraq should evolve
to one of supporting the Iraqi army, which would take over pri-
mary responsibility for combat operations. By the first quarter
of 2008, subject to unexpected developments in the security
situation on the ground, all combat brigades not necessary for
force protection could be out of Iraq. ......

....It is clear that the Iraqi government will need assistance
from the United States for some time to come, especially in
carrying out security responsibilities. Yet the United States
must make it clear to the Iraqi government that the United
States could carry out its plans, including planned redeploy-
ments, even if the Iraqi government did not implement their
planned changes. The United States must not make an open-
ended commitment to keep large numbers of American troops
deployed in Iraq....

.....The United States should work closely with Iraq’s leaders
to support the achievement of specific objectives—or mile-
stones—on national reconciliation, security, and governance.
Miracles cannot be expected, but the people of Iraq have the
right to expect action and progress. The Iraqi government
needs to show its own citizens—and the citizens of the United
States and other countries—that it deserves continued support.....

....If the Iraqi government demonstrates political will and
makes substantial progress toward the achievement of mile-
stones on national reconciliation, security, and governance, the
United States should make clear its willingness to continue
training, assistance, and support for Iraq’s security forces and to
continue political, military, and economic support. If the Iraqi
government does not make substantial progress toward the
achievement of milestones on national reconciliation, security,
and governance, the United States should reduce its political,
military, or economic support for the Iraqi government.....


Page 25

....Many military units are under significant strain. Because
the harsh conditions in Iraq are wearing out equipment more
quickly than anticipated, many units do not have fully func-
tional equipment for training when they redeploy to the United
States. An extraordinary amount of sacrifice has been asked of
our men and women in uniform, and of their families. The
American military has little reserve force to call on if it needs
ground forces to respond to other crises around the world......

Page 95

Restoring the U.S. Military
We recognize that there are other results of the war in Iraq that
have great consequence for our nation. One consequence has
been the stress and uncertainty imposed on our military—the
most professional and proficient military in history. The United
States will need its military to protect U.S. security regardless
of what happens in Iraq. We therefore considered how to limit
the adverse consequences of the strain imposed on our military
by the Iraq war.
U.S. military forces, especially our ground forces, have
been stretched nearly to the breaking point by the repeated de-
ployments in Iraq, with attendant casualties (almost 3,000 dead
and more than 21,000 wounded), greater difficulty in recruit-
ing, and accelerated wear on equipment.
Additionally, the defense budget as a whole is in danger of
disarray, as supplemental funding winds down and reset costs
become clear. It will be a major challenge to meet ongoing re-
quirements for other current and future security threats that
need to be accommodated together with spending for opera-
tions and maintenance, reset, personnel, and benefits for active
duty and retired personnel. Restoring the capability of our mil-
itary forces should be a high priority for the United States at
this time.
The U.S. military has a long tradition of strong partner-
ship between the civilian leadership of the Department of De-
fense and the uniformed services. Both have long benefited
from a relationship in which the civilian leadership exercises
control with the advantage of fully candid professional advice,

76

and the military serves loyally with the understanding that its
advice has been heard and valued. That tradition has frayed,
and civil-military relations need to be repaired....

Quote:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...ck=1&cset=true
Iraq calmer, but more divided

The U.S. troop buildup has brought down violence, but that has failed to spark cooperation among politicians. If anything, the country appears more balkanized into ethnic and sectarian enclaves.
By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
December 10, 2007
Quote:
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationwo...ck=4&cset=true
Iraq's bid to pass bills dead for year
Parliament suspends its session
Quote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/26/wo...st/26iraq.html
Pressure for Results: The Politics of Tallying the Number of Iraqis Who Return Home

By DAMIEN CAVE
Published: November 26, 2007

....By all accounts, Iraqi families who fled their homes in the past two years are returning to Baghdad.

The description of the scope of the return, however, appears to have been massaged by politics. Returnees have essentially become a currency of progress.

Under intense pressure to show results after months of political stalemate, the government has continued to publicize figures that exaggerate the movement back to Iraq and Iraqis’ confidence that the current lull in violence can be sustained.

On Nov. 7, Brig. Gen. Qassim al-Moussawi, the Iraqi spokesman for the American-Iraqi effort to pacify Baghdad, said that 46,030 people returned to Iraq from abroad in October because of the “improving security situation.”

Last week, Iraq’s minister of displacement and migration, Abdul-Samad Rahman Sultan, announced that 1,600 Iraqis were returning every day, which works out to a similar, or perhaps slightly larger, monthly total.

But in interviews, officials from the ministry acknowledged that the count covered all Iraqis crossing the border, not just returnees. “We didn’t ask them if they were displaced and neither did the Interior Ministry,” said Sattar Nowruz, a spokesman for the Ministry of Displacement and Migration.

As a result, the tally included Iraqi employees of The New York Times who had visited relatives in Syria but were not among the roughly two million Iraqis who have fled the country....

.....Some Iraqi lawmakers said that overly broad figures were being used intentionally.

“They are using this number because they want to show that Maliki is succeeding,” said Salim Abdullah, a lawmaker and member of the largest Sunni bloc, known as the Accordance Front, referring to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. “But this does not make the number correct. I think dozens of Iraqis return home daily, but not 1,600.”

A half-dozen owners of Iraqi travel agencies and drivers who regularly travel to Syria agreed that the numbers misrepresented reality.

They said that the flow of returnees peaked last month, with more than 50 families arriving daily from Syria at Baghdad’s main drop-off point. Since Nov. 1, they said, the numbers have declined, and on Sunday morning, during a period when several buses used to appear, only one came.....

.....A United Nations survey released last week, of 110 Iraqi families leaving Syria, also seemed to dispute the contentions of officials in Iraq that people are returning primarily because they feel safer.

The survey found that 46 percent were leaving because they could not afford to stay; 25 percent said they fell victim to a stricter Syrian visa policy; and only 14 percent said they were returning because they had heard about improved security.

Underscoring a widely held sense of hesitation, many of those who come back to Iraq do not return to their homes. Clambering off the bus on Sunday, a woman who gave her name as Um Dima, mother of Dima, said that friends were still warning her not to go back to her house in Dora, a violent neighborhood in south Baghdad. So for now, she said, she will move in with her parents in southern Iraq.

Raad al-Kihani, a prominent Shiite tribal leader in Baghdad and supporter of the prime minister, said that most people returning were still restricted by the fear of sectarian violence. “There are no Shiite families moving back to Sunni neighborhoods and no Sunnis moving back to Shiite neighborhoods,” he said.

The Iraqi government is using incentives and aggressive public relations to try to bring more people home. Iraqi officials plan to pay for buses to transport Iraqis from Syria. Prominent government figures recently visited Saab al-Bor, a largely abandoned town near Baghdad, to emphasize that families should feel safe enough to return.

The Displacement Ministry offers 1 million Iraqi dinar, about $800, to internally displaced families who can prove they have returned home with a letter from the police and their neighborhood council. But the movement has been limited. As of Thursday, 4,358 internally displaced families, about 25,000 people, had returned to their homes in Baghdad, the ministry’s registry of payments to returnees said.

Furthermore, people are still leaving their homes — 28,017 were internally displaced in October, according to the latest United Nations figures. In all, the United Nations estimates that 2.4 million Iraqis are still internally displaced, with many occupying someone else’s home.

Greater numbers will not return to their neighborhoods, some Iraqi lawmakers and independent migration specialists say, until a clear legal framework has been established to help them get their houses back without evicting other displaced families.

“The actions are slow and so many things needs to be done, said Ayaed al-Sammaraie, a member of Parliament and a leader of its largest Sunni Arab bloc. “The main thing people would like is to return to their spots, and it seems there isn’t a plan for that.”
Quote:
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/25/wa.../25policy.html
U.S. Scales Back Political Goals for Iraqi Unity

By STEVEN LEE MYERS and ALISSA J. RUBIN
Published: November 25, 2007

WASHINGTON, Nov. 24 — With American military successes outpacing political gains in Iraq, the Bush administration has lowered its expectation of quickly achieving major steps toward unifying the country, including passage of a long-stymied plan to share oil revenues and holding regional elections....

....There have been signs that American influence over Iraqi politics is dwindling after the recent improvements in security — which remain incomplete, as shown by a deadly bombing Friday in Baghdad. While Bush officials once said they aimed to secure “reconciliation” among Iraq’s deeply divided religious, ethnic and sectarian groups, some officials now refer to their goal as “accommodation.”...
Quote:
http://www.projo.com/news/johnmullig...5.2a7fd57.html
Army at the breaking point

01:00 AM EST on Monday, December 3, 2007

By John E. Mulligan

WASHINGTON — When a Navy admiral took over as the nation’s top uniformed leader this fall, he homed in on the military establishment’s fears for the future of the Army by touring several forts in the heartland and listening to the concerns of young infantry, artillery and recruiting officers.

After 12 months fighting in Iraq or Afghanistan, 12 months back home before redeployment is “just not good enough,” one Army captain at Fort Sill, Okla., told Adm. Michael G. Mullen, enunciating one of the many problems that add up to major worries about an all-volunteer force that is in its seventh year of wartime stress.

“The ground forces are not broken,” Mullen said in October in one of his first public appearances as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, “but they are breakable.”

Mullen’s pronouncement echoes a rising refrain in Congress and the Pentagon that the modern, all-volunteer Army is undergoing the hardest test in its 34-year history. More than the next phase in the struggle for a stable Iraq is riding, therefore, on President Bush’s reduction of troop levels following the surge of 2007. The Army’s prospects for an early recovery from years of continuous combat are also at
issue.   click to show 
...and, ace...after more of our troops die avoidable deaths in this senseless Iraqi civil war, and we spend huge amounts of more borrowed money on it, all as nearly helpless and uninfluential "bystanders" in a failed state this US administration's policies created...Iraq was the most secular Arab country in the world with the greatest opportunities afforded to it's women, before the US invasion....and "islamofascism" continues to grow under the politically expedient neglect of our two allies...the dictatorships in Saudia Arabia and in Pakistan, can you see a day coming where you have to admit that your stance, and similar stances of others who share your opinions, were part of the problem, all your good intentions, aside?

Last edited by host; 12-11-2007 at 12:41 PM..
host is offline  
Old 12-16-2007, 09:07 AM   #134 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by filtherton
Actually, i think we've kind of gotten to the place on the politics board where most everyone knows where most everyone else stands and fewer people feel the need to debate anymore because it would be just like watching a movie for the 8th time.
This is really I think the largest problem. I can look at a thread title, and I don't need to read the posts for content, I can read the names and know with about 85% accuracy what everyone will say. For awhile I assumed that people genuinely would read and try to understand other views, and maybe even change their own. I was proven wrong, again and again. And after checking the board out again, it seems that it has greatly slowed down, with most of the threads being made by one or two people. Also, it seems any non-"liberal" point of view has been driven away almost entirely.
alansmithee is offline  
Old 12-16-2007, 11:09 AM   #135 (permalink)
Banned
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
.... it seems that it has greatly slowed down, with most of the threads being made by one or two people. Also, it seems any non-"liberal" point of view has been driven away almost entirely.
alansmithee....could it be that the "non-liberal point of view", cannot compete, alongside examples like:

I offered a simple challenge (below, in bold)....not just here at TFP, but at another, busier politics forum.....no attempt at an answer, just retorts with the same old talking points:

Quote:
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showpos...20&postcount=8

....you have an opportunity to persuade me that Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq was not "the supreme international crime", the "crime of aggressive war".

<h3>All you have to do is detail what portion(s) of Sec'ty of State Colin Powell's February, 2003 UN presentation, justifying military invasion of Iraq and "regime change", were accurate and rose to a level justifying the immediate threat described by Powell, Bush, cheney, and Rumsfeld, that required attacking Iraq asap.</h3> I'll point you here:
Quote:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/relea...0030205-1.html
For Immediate Release
February 5, 2003

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses the U.N. Security Council....

....Zarqawi's activities are not confined to this small corner of north east Iraq. He traveled to Baghdad in May 2002 for medical

treatment, staying in the capital of Iraq for two months while he recuperated to fight another day....
Is it reasonable to believe, as you do, that it was just Bush's and Powell's "bad luck" that every significant Iraqi "threat" touted by Powell and Bush in Feb., 2003, turned out not to rise to a level justifying military invasion...WMD, mobile (trailer mounted) bio-weapons labs, Iraqi government "relations" with al-Zarqawi and al-Qaeda, or is it reasonable to believe that Bush authorized and participated in an agenda of aggressive war against Iraq?
I asked folks who do not believe that a reasonable role for government is to redistribute wealth, to avert unrest, at the extreme.... if they are not concerned with the top ten percent in the US, owning 70 percent of all US assets, at what higher percentage of wealth inequity, would or might concern them...(Canadians are concerned after a 30 year rise in inequity from 52 to 58 percent of total wealth owned by the top ten percent...), and <h3>no one named a higher percentage of wealth inequity that would concern them...</h3>.
Quote:
http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/showthread.php?t=128049
The U.S. gini "neighborhood":
https://www.cia.gov/library/publicat...elds/2172.html

................Gini
Ecuador 42
note: data are for urban households (2003)

Burundi ........ 42.4 (1998)
Iran ........ 43 (1998)
Uganda ........ 43 (1999)
Nicaragua ...... 43.1 (2001)
Turkey ........ 43.6 (2003)
Nigeria ........ 43.7 (2003)
Kenya ......... 44.5 (1997)
Philippines .....44.5 (2003)
Cameroon ........44.6 (2001)
Uruguay ........ 44.6 (2000)
Cote d'Ivoire ...44.6 (2002)
United States ...45 (2004)

Jamaica ........ 45.5 (2004)
Rwanda ........ 46.8 (2000)
Malaysia ........46.1 (2002)
Mexico ........ 46.1 (2004)
China ........ 46.9 (2004)

Nepal .......... 47.2 (2004)
Mozambique ......47.3 (2002)
Madagascar ......47.5 (2001)
Venezuela .......49.1 (1998)
Argentina .......48.3 (June 2006)
Costa Rica.......49.8 (2003)
Sri Lanka .......50 (FY03/04)
Niger ...........50.5 (1995)
Papua New Guinea 50.9 (1996)
Thailand ........51.1 (2002)
Dominican Republic 51.6 (2004)
Peru ............52 (2003)
Zambia ........ 52.6 (1998)
Hong Kong........52.3 (2001)
El Salvador......52.4 (2002)
Honduras ........53.8 (2003)
Colombia ....... 53.8 (2005)
Chile .......... 54.9 (2003)
Panama ........ 56.1 (2003)
Brazil ......... 56.7 (2005)
Zimbabwe ........56.8 (2003)
Paraguay ........58.4 (2003)
South Africa ....59.3 (1995)
Guatemala 59.9 (2005)
Bolivia ........ 60.1 (2002)
Central African Republic 61.3 (1993)
Sierra Leone ....62.9 (1989)
Botswana........ 63 (1993)
Lesotho 63.2 (1995)
Namibia .........70.7 (2003)

Quote:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...093000495.html
Chinese Officials Vow to Spread Growth Benefits
Decision Reflects Awareness That Inequalities Could Become Politically Troublesome

By Edward Cody
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 30, 2005; 10:48 AM

....The Politburo's call for more determination to attack the problem
reflected growing awareness at senior levels of the party that widespread dissatisfaction over the glaring inequalities has become a potentially troublesome political issue....
(If a Gini co=efficient in China of 46.9 is described in WaPo reporting as a "glaring inequalities", and the US Gini is 45, and in Norway and Scandanavia, it is under 30, why i the US Gini no catalyst for discussion or concern?)

From post #6:
Quote:
Originally Posted by host
How about an actual discussion. The questions are in the OP. Your post hints that you don't see a problem with US wealth inequity.
alansmithee, I'll give you more examples upon request. The "problem" here is that some arguments cannot compete alongside others, and some are not arguments at all, they are "feelings"...and they do not translate well from keyboard to screen.

Last edited by host; 12-16-2007 at 11:15 AM..
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Old 12-16-2007, 03:11 PM   #136 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by host
The "problem" here is that some arguments cannot compete alongside others, and some are not arguments at all, they are "feelings"...and they do not translate well from keyboard to screen.
I looked at your examples. There was no "arguement". There was a list of one measure of inequality, and then a link to the White House's site. You speak of conservatives not having arguments, but "feelings". Well, in your first quoted section you mention

Quote:
Originally Posted by host
you have an opportunity to persuade me that Bush's invasion and occupation of Iraq was not "the supreme international crime", the "crime of aggressive war".
Bolded sections mine. That is not a fact. It is your OPINION (and that of many people) that war should only be the last resort. However, it is also the opinion of many that war can also be a tool to prevent greater evil later. You give no place for such an argument in how you frame your question. Your "argument" is nothing more than what would happen if I typed in "Iraq War" in a moveon.org search engine. I don't need to point out which sections of Powell's speech to the UN (which I think is a ridiculous organization to begin with) were accurate. The Bush Administration thought that war was the best course of action. They assembled what data they thought would be good enough to state their case and get what approval they thought would be required. And they did get that approval. So I would say the whole presentation provided things that justified an immediate attack on Iraq.

Quote:
Originally Posted by host
I asked folks who do not believe that a reasonable role for government is to redistribute wealth, to avert unrest, at the extreme.... if they are not concerned with the top ten percent in the US, owning 70 percent of all US assets, at what higher percentage of wealth inequity, would or might concern them...(Canadians are concerned after a 30 year rise in inequity from 52 to 58 percent of total wealth owned by the top ten percent...), and
no one named a higher percentage of wealth inequity that would concern them...[/SIZE]
This question seems silly to me. If they don't believe that a reasonable role for government is to redistribute wealth, that would seem to imply that there is no level of wealth inequality that they would be concerned with. Some people do believe in allowing the free market to operate unfettered. And many of those people believe that if inequalities in wealth arise, that is a fair price to pay to maximize total economic output. I do not personally agree with this, but there are many that do. And then this is followed with inequality figures and a link to a Washington Post piece about the growing inequality in China. It seems to me glaringly obvious why inequality in China would be met with a lot more outcry than in the US. China is in the process of shedding (portions of) it's Socialist economy. Under that economy, equality was essentially mandated by law (at least in terms of urban-urban and rural-rural equality). People who were given lifetime employment (regardless of the economic feasibility of their job), lifetime housing, and many other state-sponsored benefits are now having to survive on their own merits. What is being seen is that during this transition period, certain people are much better equipped to take advantage of the situation. And another problem is the rampant corruption at the various levels of government, which leads to more inequality. The US has had neither the recent history of Socialist rule nor the Chinese levels of government corruption. Therefore, the inequality is not seen as such a problem. Your whole "argument" here would be the equivalent of me asking "When did you last beat your wife?" and then linking to domestic abuse statistics and an article about a battered women shelter.

You are right, some arguments cannot compete alongside others. And some "arguments" are not arguments at all. Conservatives do not own a monopoly on retorting with talking points.

Again, I do not speak for all "conservatives". But personally, I have often found discussions here to be framed from the outset in a way that does not promote true discussion and understanding. They often seem to be thinly veiled attack pieces aimed at one side or the other. And in the threads that are solely about an event or occurrence, I can fairly accurately predict how most of the posts will go, based simply on the name of the poster. Lack of true debate coupled with a subtle hostility to certain views and the general predictability of thread contents doesn't really make me usually feel like bothering to post anything (or even view the board).
alansmithee is offline  
Old 12-16-2007, 04:16 PM   #137 (permalink)
Banned
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
I looked at your examples. There was no "arguement". There was a list of one measure of inequality, and then a link to the White House's site. You speak of conservatives not having arguments, but "feelings". Well, in your first quoted section you mention



Bolded sections mine. That is not a fact. It is your OPINION (and that of many people) that war should only be the last resort. However, it is also the opinion of many that war can also be a tool to prevent greater evil later. You give no place for such an argument in how you frame your question. Your "argument" is nothing more than what would happen if I typed in "Iraq War" in a moveon.org search engine. I don't need to point out which sections of Powell's speech to the UN (which I think is a ridiculous organization to begin with) were accurate. The Bush Administration thought that war was the best course of action. They assembled what data they thought would be good enough to state their case and get what approval they thought would be required. And they did get that approval. So I would say the whole presentation provided things that justified an immediate attack on Iraq.



This question seems silly to me. If they don't believe that a reasonable role for government is to redistribute wealth, that would seem to imply that there is no level of wealth inequality that they would be concerned with. Some people do believe in allowing the free market to operate unfettered. And many of those people believe that if inequalities in wealth arise, that is a fair price to pay to maximize total economic output. I do not personally agree with this, but there are many that do. And then this is followed with inequality figures and a link to a Washington Post piece about the growing inequality in China. It seems to me glaringly obvious why inequality in China would be met with a lot more outcry than in the US. China is in the process of shedding (portions of) it's Socialist economy. Under that economy, equality was essentially mandated by law (at least in terms of urban-urban and rural-rural equality). People who were given lifetime employment (regardless of the economic feasibility of their job), lifetime housing, and many other state-sponsored benefits are now having to survive on their own merits. What is being seen is that during this transition period, certain people are much better equipped to take advantage of the situation. And another problem is the rampant corruption at the various levels of government, which leads to more inequality. The US has had neither the recent history of Socialist rule nor the Chinese levels of government corruption. Therefore, the inequality is not seen as such a problem. Your whole "argument" here would be the equivalent of me asking "When did you last beat your wife?" and then linking to domestic abuse statistics and an article about a battered women shelter.

You are right, some arguments cannot compete alongside others. And some "arguments" are not arguments at all. Conservatives do not own a monopoly on retorting with talking points.

Again, I do not speak for all "conservatives". But personally, I have often found discussions here to be framed from the outset in a way that does not promote true discussion and understanding. They often seem to be thinly veiled attack pieces aimed at one side or the other. And in the threads that are solely about an event or occurrence, I can fairly accurately predict how most of the posts will go, based simply on the name of the poster. Lack of true debate coupled with a subtle hostility to certain views and the general predictability of thread contents doesn't really make me usually feel like bothering to post anything (or even view the board).
so, you will not answer either question?

I have to assume that there was nothing in Powell's presentation to the UN (it is irrelevant what you think of the UN....that was the opportunity for the US to build a coalition and to persuade the security council to vote for a resolution that would have made an invasion and occupation of Iraq lawful.)

Powell's presentation sits displayed on the white house official website. It was supposed to be the prima facie "case" for war with Iraq, for the American people to examine, as well as the rest of the world. Did you even bother to click on the white house link?

What does this mean?
Quote:
Originally Posted by alansmithee
..The Bush Administration thought that war was the best course of action. They assembled what data they thought would be good enough to state their case and get what approval they thought would be required. And they did get that approval. So I would say the whole presentation provided things that justified an immediate attack on Iraq.
...
<h3>Can you describe anything from Powell's "whole presentation" of 02/05/03 that was an actual "imminent threat" posed by Iraq, that rose to the level of a response of aggressive war, by the Bush administration?</h3>

Do you agree that "aggressive war"...attacking another country not in self defense due to a prior attack on your country, by the targeted country, or because of overwhelming evidence of an imminent threat to your country's national security, was condemned at Nuremberg because, in the absence of such an ominous threat or of a prior attack, war is not justifiable.

The reason Bush's pre-emptive war/aggressive war doctrine is illega, a crime against humanity, is borne out by the very outcome of the invasion of Iraq. It is revealed to be unjustified, there were no WMD, and no Iraqi relationship with al-Qaeda. It is akin to a cop shooting an unarmed suspect, what is described in police work as a "bad shoot".

All you have to do is point us to something in Powell's presentation that turned out to describe an actual imminent threat to US national security (or to Israel's) that justified invading and occupying Iraq, and I'll post that you have prevailed in your argument....

My experience of not finding anyone who does not accept a legitimate government role and responsibility to resdistribute wealth, if only to lessen the chances of civil unrest in response to wealth inequity, is unchanged after your post.

The wealthiest ten percent in the US own 70 percent of all US assets. If their share increases to say....85 percent, do you offer any proposals to reverse their consolidation of wealth? The trend toward greater wealth inequity has progressed in that direction since the early 1970's, and you'll let it run until riots break out? That does not seem reasonable, or a practical view.
host is offline  
Old 12-17-2007, 04:01 AM   #138 (permalink)
Junkie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by host
so, you will not answer either question?

I have to assume that there was nothing in Powell's presentation to the UN (it is irrelevant what you think of the UN....that was the opportunity for the US to build a coalition and to persuade the security council to vote for a resolution that would have made an invasion and occupation of Iraq lawful.)

Powell's presentation sits displayed on the white house official website. It was supposed to be the prima facie "case" for war with Iraq, for the American people to examine, as well as the rest of the world. Did you even bother to click on the white house link?

What does this mean?

<h3>Can you describe anything from Powell's "whole presentation" of 02/05/03 that was an actual "imminent threat" posed by Iraq, that rose to the level of a response of aggressive war, by the Bush administration?</h3>

Do you agree that "aggressive war"...attacking another country not in self defense due to a prior attack on your country, by the targeted country, or because of overwhelming evidence of an imminent threat to your country's national security, was condemned at Nuremberg because, in the absence of such an ominous threat or of a prior attack, war is not justifiable.
Again with the links. I didn't click on it now, but I did years ago when it was actually relevant. And you seem determined to prove my point about how discussions are commonly framed here. Your last section clearly starts as a question ("Do you agree") but ends up being merely a statement. So I ask you, do you agree that domestic violence, something the vast majority of people find despicable, therefore, you should stop beating your wife and turn yourself in to the police for your crimes against women.

The reason Bush's pre-emptive war/aggressive war doctrine is illega, a crime against humanity, is borne out by the very outcome of the invasion of Iraq. It is revealed to be unjustified, there were no WMD, and no Iraqi relationship with al-Qaeda. It is akin to a cop shooting an unarmed suspect, what is described in police work as a "bad shoot".

All you have to do is point us to something in Powell's presentation that turned out to describe an actual imminent threat to US national security (or to Israel's) that justified invading and occupying Iraq, and I'll post that you have prevailed in your argument....[/quote]

Cite the "law" that makes Bush's invasion "illegal". And many unarmed suspects are justifiably shot (even if someone were to accept your parallel, which I don't). Your displeasure doesn't make something illegal. Violating a law makes something illegal. I don't have to do anything. The fact that Iraq was invaded is the proof.

Quote:
My experience of not finding anyone who does not accept a legitimate government role and responsibility to resdistribute wealth, if only to lessen the chances of civil unrest in response to wealth inequity, is unchanged after your post.

The wealthiest ten percent in the US own 70 percent of all US assets. If their share increases to say....85 percent, do you offer any proposals to reverse their consolidation of wealth? The trend toward greater wealth inequity has progressed in that direction since the early 1970's, and you'll let it run until riots break out? That does not seem reasonable, or a practical view.
Why should your view be changed? I don't think there is ANY argument that would make you change your views. And personally, I don't really care. You are proving my point for me. You didn't even bother to read what I said. You simply reposted what you said before. So, I'll also repeat what I said:

NOT EVERYONE THINKS THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD REDISTRIBUTE WEALTH

Many people think the redistribution of wealth (especially in the absence of the widespread catastrophe you seem to be prediction) is akin to a preemptive war. And there are people who think that even rioting would not warrant such actions.

And the humorous thing is that I clearly said

Quote:
Originally Posted by myself
And many of those people believe that if inequalities in wealth arise, that is a fair price to pay to maximize total economic output. I do not personally agree with this, but there are many that do.
Again, the lack of ability to even consider any viewpoint other than your own I think has greatly contributed to the lack of heated debate. I am able to understand, and even (albeit casually) attempt to defend A VIEWPOINT I CLEARLY STATE IS NOT MY OWN. And despite that I clearly say I don't believe that view, you seem to address your next post as if I DO agree with that viewpoint. Some people apparently cannot even be bothered to fully read any response to what they type before regurgitating their opinions back.

Although I do think that the inequality in the country is a serious issue, I can still have a discussion with people who don't believe that. That is something that I think many here have a great deal of difficulty in doing.
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Old 12-17-2007, 11:54 AM   #139 (permalink)
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Host, as an economic matter wealth inequality increases during eras of rapid technological advancement. This has been borne out time and again. As the advances consolidate and more people adapt to them, the degree of inequality eases. If you want an explanation of why that is, read Alan Greenspan's book. He has a whole chapter explaining it. Hint: it has next to nothing to do with government policies or taxation.

And Host, you still haven't explained why you think income inequality in and of itself is a problem. What does inequality do that you object to, other than simply be unequal? We live in a country where the poor people are obese, you know. I would posit that inequality is a function of variance of human traits: just like I'll never be as good-looking as George Clooney, or as entrepreneurial as Sergey Brin, many others will never be as good as I am at what I do and won't make anywhere near as much money. They'll make up for it in other ways - there will be things they are blessed with or good at that I'm not. For example, they won't have a disabled child like I have.

This focus on income inequality to the exclusion of every other kind of inequality is a form of dehumanization and a refusal to recognize that every person is different, and is good at different things.
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:01 PM   #140 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loquitur
Host, as an economic matter wealth inequality increases during eras of rapid technological advancement. This has been borne out time and again. As the advances consolidate and more people adapt to them, the degree of inequality eases. If you want an explanation of why that is, read Alan Greenspan's book. He has a whole chapter explaining it. Hint: it has next to nothing to do with government policies or taxation.

And Host, you still haven't explained why you think income inequality in and of itself is a problem. What does inequality do that you object to, other than simply be unequal? We live in a country where the poor people are obese, you know. I would posit that inequality is a function of variance of human traits: just like I'll never be as good-looking as George Clooney, or as entrepreneurial as Sergey Brin, many others will never be as good as I am at what I do and won't make anywhere near as much money. They'll make up for it in other ways - there will be things they are blessed with or good at that I'm not. For example, they won't have a disabled child like I have.

This focus on income inequality to the exclusion of every other kind of inequality is a form of dehumanization and a refusal to recognize that every person is different, and is good at different things.
I'm short on time....yer lucky....

Loquitur, Greenspan also urged homebuyers to "take advantage" of "flexible rate" and ARM mortgages, so they could "save money" paying lower monthly payments than with higher, fixed rate mortgage terms, just as the FED began to reverse it's short term interest rate cutting, circa 2004.

The two decades after WWII saw huge techno innovation and the peak of union membership in the US. Inequity decreased until union membership began it's decline....

The risk of income inequity can be seen in the US "gini neighborhood", look at the neighboring countries on my list posted on this page. Gross inequity (We are at it's doorstep) serves up increased crime, civil unrest, and the likes of Cesar Chavez....


Obesity and poverty:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...=Google+Search

Quote:
http://uspolitics.about.com/b/2007/0...facts-data.htm
From Kathy Gill,
Your Guide to US Politics.
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Labor Day Facts & Data


....There has been a steady increase in concentration of income in the upper 20 percent and an even greater concentration in the upper 5 percent.

In 1967, the upper fifth accounted for 43.8 percent of aggregate income, and in 1998, 49.2 percent. Concentration in the top 5 percent accounts for most of that increase, increasing from 17.5 percent to 21.4 percent from 1967-1998. For 2006, the top 5 percent took home 22.3 percent of all money income.

Gini Index
The Gini Index of Income Inequality (definition) is another way to examine income distribution. By this measure, "distribution of income among American families tended to become more equal in the two decades after World War II."

The measure has become steadily more unequal since WWII, whether or not non-income sources such as food stamps (but not employer-provided non-wage benefits) are included. In the current Census report, the figure is basically unchanged (46.9 versus 47.0) although it has shown a steady increase over time. For example, in 2002, it was 46.2; in 2000, it was 40.8; in 1967, it was 39.7.

The US has the highest Gini index of any advanced nation, suggesting a society divided by income in a manner far greater than Europe.

For example, CIA Factbook records the following Gini indices: Denmark (23.2), France (26.7), Germany (28.3), Japan (38.1), Mexico (54.6) and the United Kingdom (36.8)....
From one of my prior posts in another thread.
Quote:
....We need this "reform", today:

Republican Eisenhower was president when the top rate was <a href="http://www.truthandpolitics.org/top-rates.php">91 percent</a> (on annual income above $400,000), when new college graduates often worked for less than $4000 per year....and the <a href="http://www.census.gov/hhes/www/income/histinc/f04.html">Gini coefficient was 35.1</a>....it's 44 now.

The U.S. has experienced political shifts, beginning with the the "great depression" in the 1932 elections, that transferred the presidency to a democrat.......and democrats dominated in the executive and legislative branches, with the exception of the 8 year Eisenhower presidency, for the next 36 years. Compared to later republican presidents, Eisenhower could be described as a "centrist".

Today on a webpage at the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation site, (Milton was the late younger brother of republican president Dwight Eisenhower,) the following is displayed:
Quote:
http://www.eisenhowerfoundation.org/..._economic.html

.......With an eye to Thomas Jefferson's warning against the antidemocratic "aristocracy of our moneyed corporations," the United States needs to return corporate taxes to the levels in force during the Eisenhower administration. We also need to increase the top marginal tax rate for the super-rich to about 50 percent. This would still be far below the top marginal income tax rate of 91 percent during the Eisenhower administration.

Repealing the tax cuts given to the super-rich would return more than $85 billion per year from the richest 5 percent of the population. Returning to corporate tax rates in force during the Eisenhower administration could increase tax revenues by roughly $110 billion more per year. Returning to a 50 percent top marginal inomgcome tax rate far below the top rate in the Eisenhower administration could capture as much as $90 billion more per year from the richest 2 percent of the population.

At the same time, we should provide tax cuts to the 150 million hard-working workers who are struggling because they can't afford to buy all they need. Millionomgaires don't need additional spending money. Workers, middle-class Americans, and the poor do. Their spending will stimulate the economy more effectively, help busiomgnesses, and be more fair to the Americans who need fairness the most. There is amomgple economic evidence that putting money in the pockets of average Americans stimulates the economy much more than further lining the pockets of the rich........
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Old 12-17-2007, 01:40 PM   #141 (permalink)
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you changed the subject rather than answer the question. Whether Greenspan said something about ARMs has nothing to do with whether wealth and income disparities increased during periods of rapid technological advance. They quite obviously do. That's why we had robber barons in the early part of the century and why we have internet billionaires now.

Address the issue. You consistently try to avoid that by trying to discredit sources on peripheral points. Are you interested in having a discussion or winning some imaginary points?

Oh, and btw, WWII gave us some techno innovation but we also were functionally the only major economy, which acted to temper some of the distortionary effects of that technology. And in any event, the post WW2 technologies were nowhere near as disruptive or as drastic a change in a small period of time as factories, mass production, railroads, electricity or automobiles, which was the high-tech of the early part of the century.

Last edited by loquitur; 12-17-2007 at 01:43 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:30 PM   #142 (permalink)
 
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i said i wasnt going to speak for host and then i did even though i said different things.
it's situational.
plus i had just had to wait for a bus on a very cold night for a very long time.

so there were two. two situations.
well, three if you count the one in which i noticed the first one.
i thought of the second one later, so there were 4 situations.
now there's been five.
six.
uh oh.
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Last edited by roachboy; 12-17-2007 at 07:43 PM..
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Old 12-17-2007, 04:35 PM   #143 (permalink)
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Loquitur, do you really want to leave your point where it is? I pointed out in response to your claim that periods of significant (unprecedented?) technological innovation drive increasing wealth inequity...THAT the post WWII period in the US contradicts your claim.
It was a time of the most equitable wealth distribution since the industrial revolutuion . It was a period of unrivaled techno innovation and mass production and marketing. The transistor was invented in 1948, the Eisenhower interstate highway system begat Disneyland, Holiday Inn, the tourism industry, the supremacy of the car and bus over the rail network. TV and TV advertising came into every living room, and then it transformed from b&w into color broadcasts. Segregation ended and the space race emerged and matured. It was said that the unforseen benefits to civilian products innovation from NASA programs was amazinly huge. Frozen tv dinners and microwave ovens were developed and marketed, as was the laser and it's many uses and in 1962, touchtone phones ushered in digital communications.
The new highway system drove auto sales and suburban homebuilding and shopping malls. Middleclass grew and moved from the city to the burbs. Mostly, in that first 20 years after the war, women stayed home and families enjoyed all the progress I,ve described on one income, Dad's....

Union membership was at it's peak, legitimized by 1935 New Deal legislation and the impeded by 1947 Taft Hartley.

Then, in thw '70's both union membership and equitable wealth distribution began the delines they are still experiencing today.

My point about Greenspan is that he was wrong about mortgages, he created and encouraged the housing valuation bubble via extreme Fed rate cuts and loosening mortgage lending policy, and he was wrong about periods of great innovation driving wealth inequity. The opposite happened in America during the period I just described.
New Deal mandatied bargaining power of workers drove equitable wealth distribution and Taft Hartley broke that.
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