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Tibro
Power struggles across northern Africa and into the Middle East are changing the faces of countries that have been "stable" and relatively fixed in the geo-political sphere for decades. "People power" appears to be winning out, seizing the moment and momentum against corrupt, autocratic regimes. Ben Ali and Mubarek are gone. And Ghannouchi's resignation has been received. Battles have been won, but how will the "wars" play-out longer term? The military rules Egypt. The U.S. has lost "reliable" "allies". If the citzenry has gotten what they want today does that mean they'll get what they need tomorrow?

Obviously, it's very early in the game to make predictions. The scene in Libya is bloody and hardly appears as if it well be settled without more blood being shed. The unrest in these places is gaining the world's attention not only directly because of the protests and changing politics, but because of the pressure it exerts on the price of the world's favorite beverage: oil.

The Chinese are actively rounding up dissidents and cranking up their "security apparatus" to head-off all possibility of a Jasmine Revolution gaining momentum in light of events much further to their west. And of course there are still the occupied territories of Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq. Al Qaeda hasn't gone away and the Pakistani's have no idea which idol they worship.

Are "the people" really winning? Which ones? I don't see a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. Food, water, shelter and a measure of security. The basic necessities of life. Are we getting closer to covering those needs for more people or farther away? Can freedom breed prosperity and success?
Kirk
The better we are able to see the man behind the curtain, the more freedom and justice there will be.
bobt
True dat.
Tibro
When the scenery is changed the curtains are drawn closed and the lights dimmed. The wizard emerged a carny.
Artemis
The wizard was from the getgo a carny.

Emergence is a passing phase.
G&C
Then Sean Connery ran around in a loin cloth and leather.
He carried a large revolver.
The end of those that would be gods of man.
Artemis
QUOTE
a loin cloth and leather


And ruby slippers.

This is my pistol
And this is my gun
With this I kill heathen
And with this I have fun
Tibro
Disturbingly revealing.

Paul Assange, welcome to our metaphors.
Jaded Prole
What gives these rebellions the ability to happen at all much less succeed is the technology that makes secrets impossible. It's a shrinking world in more ways than one, including a shrinking food supply which affects places like the middle east as well as a shrinking supply of potable water. The neoliberal economic policies of austerity and corruption pushed by the world bank and the dictators that got rich of the process are no longer viable in those places but what will replace them remains to be seen. It's no surprise that the US and EU are trying to impose an "interim government" in Libya because it is a major oil supplier but I don't think that it will have any legitimacy to Libyans who are already forming citizen committees to keep their liberated cities functioning.

As crop failures increase, food and fuel prices rise, and the global economy limps along on shaky ground I think we'll be seeing more of this. So, is it the end of a bed era or the dawn of a much worse one?
Shabba53
QUOTE(Jaded Prole @ Mar 1 2011, 10:35 AM) *
It's no surprise that the US and EU are trying to impose an "interim government" in Libya because it is a major oil supplier

I don't think I'd view 1.79 million barrels per day 'major', considering that about as much as the UK produces, and actually about 500,000 barrels per day less than the EU itself produces. The top 10 nations, including the US produce about 50 million per day based on 2009 estimates, which is the most recent World Factbook data.

But I agree with most of the other points in this thread, including yours.
Tibro
Libya may not qualify as a major oil producer but to look at it another way the country does produce about twice as much oil as Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain do combined.
Jaded Prole
I know that the oil companies would like to denationalize and absorb the Libyan National oil company.
Shabba53
QUOTE(Tibro @ Mar 1 2011, 02:37 PM) *

Libya may not qualify as a major oil producer but to look at it another way the country does produce about twice as much oil as Egypt, Tunisia and Bahrain do combined.

If you're implying that the U.S. is more concerned about the Libyan revolution because it produces that much more oil than the other three you mentioned, I'd counter by saying that the U.S. and EU would be more concerned over the control of the Suez Canal, considering it sees 2/3 of Europe's oil pass through it.
Tibro
No, I wasn't trying to imply anything. The US backed Mubarek for the most part and financed the Egyptian army to a not insignificant degree. I'm sure they believed that would buy some loyalty. And if not, well then the Israeli military is strong and ever prepared and likely could have been counted on to secure traffic through the canal.

Col. Gadduffus rules over a lovely stretch of desert, which also produces a modest amount of oil. He's mentally unstable, self-serving to the extreme and fairly brutal. But he's also tried walking a line that falls in with the US a bit more since crawling out from under their sanctions. Even so, with events going as they are it's kind of hard to stand back and do as little as the US appeared to be doing in Egypt. Not that the US is doing much more.

And what about Bahrain? A Shiite majority with political clout gives Iran a new foothold they haven't previously enjoyed.

Why isn't Obama out front with the revolutionaries polishing his Nobel Peace Prize? Amerika is often content with the dictators they know and do business with. All this freedom might be a little too politically unsettling to champion without reservation.
Kirk
They could start by going after the politicians and business men in Afghanistan and the US who have accepted or stolen billions of dollars directly from us or through the front of the Kabul bank. Gone without a trace to people who are easily found, who are not even hiding. The money funneled and siphoned through this fiasco
has been very stimulating for the economy of criminals and thugs.
Shabba53
Indeed.

Apparently, we're up to about $70 billion in frozen regime assets between Ghadonkey and Mubarak.
Donnie Darko
What is compelling about the recent upheaval in so many of these desperate nations is that they genuinely appear to be motivated by a popular awareness of rights and dignity. Autocratic leaders of these fucked up countries (they are the ones who did the fucking) have been insulting the intelligence and denying the basic human needs of their population for a long time. All it took was one crazy man in Tunisia to light himself on fire and now multiple nations are dealing with massive uprisings, indicating that this has been simmering just below a boiling point for quite awhile.

This is not comparable to when the bad Shah was thrown out by the even worse Ayotollahs, nor when decent Mossadegh was removed by a US/UK supported coup and replaced with the awful Shah. This is much more disorganized and chaotic, with no clear leader or agenda behind any of it other than the broadly shared notion that many people in those countries think they deserve better, and that no plan at all is better than what they've been enduring. Most importantly, militant Islamists do not appear to be hijacking these uprisings to any degree of success for their own ends.

Tragically, some of these autocrats, Qadaffi in particular, will happily murder as many of their civilians as necessary in order to cling to power. I sympathize deeply with the Libyan people and believe we should help them in the form of air support. My friend got out of there February 20th, literally one day before the airport turned into a replay of the New Orleans Katrina super-dome. She got the impression from everyone she encountered in Tripoli that they would much prefer total anarchy to the homicidal looney-tune in charge now, and if I were them I'd feel the same way.

Of course the debate on the matter in our sheltered Ivory Tower land is "but how will this affect our interests?" and "Bahrain hates Iran and we have a Navy base there, are we on the side of the revolt or not?". This pre-occupation with our own interests has both retarded our response and clouded our judgment. Our own leaders have apparently spent so much time in law and politics classes and surrounding themselves with sleazy political operatives that they think that every political moment world-wide is one pregnant with urgent strategic implications. It seems as if none of our leaders are considering the possibility that just because the Bahrain population hates their leaders doesn't mean they love Iran or want war with America. It just means a large portion of the population of these nations wants to fight for their own dignity. When totalitarians send the police in to murder hundreds of sleeping people merely because they voiced an opinion, our perceived "interests" should take a back seat to what is right.

It's as if we've concluded we should go easy on a country run by totalitarians that murder people for their opinions while they sleep, simply because they are an enemy of our enemy. The fact that we are not currently doing much to support local efforts for actual freedoms in these nations demonstrates quite pristinely that our slogans are nothing more than words. It's embarrassing.
Tibro
I quite agree with the over-arching view of events as you explain them. I also think there's a number of points I'd quibble with, particularly as it's a situation (actually a number of situations) that's still unfolding and in flux.

What's gotten to me is that US "interests" in particular used to be put forth quite convincingly framed in rhetoric which spoke directly about the importance of freedom and democracy. That those attributes were the keystones to well-functioning, successful societies. Freedom and democracy were propounded as being not only desirable in themselves but founts from which most other desirable attributes of a civil society would flow. They were spoken of not only as necessary features for progress and prosperity, but freedom and democracy were touted almost as if they were sufficient conditions for progress and prosperity.

I feel like Amerika has forsaken it's trust in these ideas. It's belief in the efficacy of freedom and democracy. Living memory has made us skeptical that US involvement in conflict, armed conflict, can be first and foremost about doing what is right. About what is morally demanded of the citizens of a country which embraces freedom and democracy.

Freedom and democracy are inherently divisive to some degree, it's true. But Amerika has always cherished the idea that freedom and democratic rule are self-correcting and can provide for all when these rights are properly protected and adhered to. But this also requires strong leadership, executive authority, to rally both political supporters and opponents in the name of rights which touch and benefit all.

Where is that leadership? Or have US values changed so much that these ideals are no longer prime motivators while wealth and material comfort have become the signature attributes which the US sees as most worth defending. Or accruing as it may be.

China, with slow, long-suffering patience, and little regard for freedom, democracy or individual prosperity and risen to become a powerful player in global politics. Is theirs the new model? But isn't it a variant of the same model of autocratic rule that the Tunisians, Egyptians et al are rejecting? That had been rejected in the Soviet Union and its satellites? Or does Hu Jintao (and maybe Putin) know something that these leaders don't, or didn't?

Seriously, who's winning?
Jaded Prole
Winning what?
Power?
Wealth?
Influence?

As the planet undergoes climactic changes that disrupt agriculture we may all be losers. Those who can build strong adaptable community may ultimately come out ahead, otherwise the "winners" probably won't be we arrogant homanids.

For the moment, those with good food, a bit of comfort and good booze are the winners.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Tibro @ Mar 4 2011, 02:17 AM) *

Seriously, who's winning?


That depends on what the prize is defined as being and who does the defining. For those in power, the prize for them is obviously having power. They won a long time ago, but now they stand to lose (and some have already lost, yay!). For those who wish to topple the powerful, the prize may be something as meek as the desire to not be thrown in prison or shot for having an opinion, or as ambitious as becoming the powerful. They haven't won once in their lifetime as far as I can tell.

Given that you live in the Czech Republic I assume you've read Havel's "The Power of the Powerless"? While the man has his flaws, the book is certainly consciousness raising, and I think applicable in principle to the current situation of Africa/Middle East.

Yeesh, talk about being Ivory Tower, me bringing up that book. Nobody who is riding in the back of a pickup truck with a flat tire carrying a half-functional RPG on their way to Tripoli to fight the government gives a shit about what Vaclav Havel has to say. At the end of the day, there is no "winning". It's just a shift of equilibrium. However, there is demonstrably less suffering when the equilibrium is shifted towards the public deciding governance rather than a few rich powerful megalomaniacs doing all the deciding, so while democracy can just as easily empower reckless idiots as it can empower brilliant cautious leaders, its nature enables it to be self-correcting, as you astutely pointed out. Plainly we should be on the side of the people of each country determining their own fate, even if the bastard leaders of those countries are our friends. Or at least we should if we wish our principles to be substantiated.

Of course the three places where this has the least likelihood of succeeding are the three places that need it the most: Iran, North Korea and Zimbabwe.
Tibro
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 4 2011, 04:42 PM) *

At the end of the day, there is no "winning". It's just a shift of equilibrium. However, there is demonstrably less suffering when the equilibrium is shifted towards the public deciding governance rather than a few rich powerful megalomaniacs doing all the deciding,

Sigh.

Just "a few"? Multinationals and their lobbying consortiums are numerous enough to start their own country. Which is just about what they're trying to do with all their money and influence anyway. You know, I'd bet they get along great with "a few" deposed dicktaters among their ranks.
Donnie Darko
While multinationals and dicktaters obviously have greed in common, one has a much easier time waging outright violence against its subjects than the other. The oppression that follows from having your fate decided by greedy corporations (low standards of living, unaffordable health care, resistance to any labor organization) as opposed to the oppression that follows from having your fate decided by dictators (being executed or imprisoned for doing anything the dictator finds objectionable, or for merely asking for something better) aren't not quite equatable. Plus, you can quit your job. Quitting your homeland is much harder.

That's not to say dictators are not sometimes the best friends of multi-nationals (Saudi Arabia anyone?). Greed can often make business far too cozy with corrupt regimes for my comfort, and these companies should be reprimanded for supporting such filth.
Jaded Prole
I hate to tell you but multinationals install dicktaters when they can't otherwise get their way.
Tibro
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 4 2011, 09:55 PM) *

While multinationals and dicktaters obviously have greed in common, one has a much easier time waging outright violence against its subjects than the other.

Conversely, the direct actions of a citzenry have a greater possibility of effect on one than the other.

QUOTE
The oppression[s] … aren't not quite equatable.

Shitty business splitting hairs over the evil of lessers. The double negative is a fair rhetorical compromise, if we allow that the sense of the sentence and the strict logic of grammatical parsing don't convey exactly the same meaning.

Donnie Darko
In the early 1900s, when business literally murdered people who were trying to form organized labor, you would have had a point. At that time period, it really was like dictators controlling their respective feifdoms. And I'll concede that corporate situations in some of those nations today may be like what American laborers experienced in the 1900s. I have no defense for corporate behavior that befriends dictators or looks away when they commit evil. That is enabling the dictator, at bare minimum, and is rotten. I've read all about the United Fruit Company and Guatemala, I know what can happen.

But I am also uncomfortable with the almost instantaneous reaction towards a dictator committing murder by those on the left who, rather than vociferously condemning those actions, instead pounce upon the event as an opportunity to talk about how corporations are just as bad as the dictator, and of course with all the underlying implications about capitalism eating people. If Qaddafi and an oil company, to cite on example of an evil corporation, are but a mere hair's breadth apart, I don't see how. And if the oil company is helping Qaddafi do his evil (some Italian businesses may be guilty of this), then try those fuckers for crimes against humanity just like we would any dictator. If some executive behind a desk is calling in airstrikes on protestors, jail that bastard immediately. But until we have evidence of such collusion, large business, however problematic it may be, is not exactly interchangeable with totalitarian murderers. I get much more excited about a rebellion trying to overthrow an oppressive regime than I get about excited about pontificating whether "multi-nationals" (which ones, all of them? one of them?) are just like dictators. It's as if the rebellion against these truly beastly leaders isn't all that impressive to you guys because the rebels are not holding placards that say "Down with multi-nationals!". I get goosebumps thinking about these guys, with no training and half-working weapons, who are all rushing to fight Qaddafi even though the odds are against them, because they believe they deserve better.

But yeah, what good is it for, since the hegemony of corporate world domination will still be there when Qaddafi is gone?
absinthist
It is capitalism vs. socialism. On their graves we rise our goblets full of their blood.

It can't be neglected since when how strongly Qaddafi has been justified by the West…

It is good that the nations of Middle East have risen, but ain't it gonna end like as always when the West chimes in?
Jaded Prole
Donnie, when I point out that the worst dictatorships are put in place and supported by multi-national corporations I am not making excuses for or downplaying the heinousness of those dictators. Kadaffi is a bit different than most (as is Mugabe) as he was not installed by corporate interests and while I don't want the US to intervene militarily, I would like us to get arms to the Libyan opposition so they can do what needs to be done. Nevertheless, you might educate yourself on how the world bank and enforced liberalism work. Check this out. The film, Confessions of an Economic Hitman is an eyeopener.
Shabba53
QUOTE(Jaded Prole @ Mar 5 2011, 07:47 PM) *

I would like us to get arms to the Libyan opposition so they can do what needs to be done.
yeah, that didn't come back to bite us in the ass in Afghanistan at all.

QUOTE
The film, Confessions of an Economic Hitman is an eyeopener.
film was OK. Book was amazing.
OCvertDe
QUOTE(Donnie Darko @ Mar 4 2011, 10:42 AM) *
At the end of the day, there is no "winning".

Boom- Charlie Sheen begs to differ.
Tibro
I'm probably going to make more of a hash of what I want to say this morning, but now is when I have a moment to write something here rather than later when maybe my thoughts will coalesce into something clearer.

First, I condemn murder. I'd like to make that about as categorical as possible. I am not forgiving anybody for that offense or trying to shift the topic away from the moral question. Let me shout that as vociferously as possible.

Secondly, and this is where the thoughts are still mucking around in my mind, while we can assign responsibility for actions to the leaders who require immoral behavior of their "followers" the leaders are not the ones pulling the triggers, flying the planes releasing bombs, driving the tanks, personally managing the sweatshops or otherwise trying to squeeze the blood from humanity from the people they look in the eye. Political leaders, dicktaters, seem somehow easier to point at and assign personal blame to for their dehumanizing decisions than CEOs are. Dicktaters give the orders to pull the triggers and someone has to pull the trigger. Or "defect". The people blame the individual, the dicktater at the top of the pile, for the state of the economy, for lack of personal freedoms and for big, abstract policies that lead to where objectionable results and consequences. The culpability becomes focused and "the people" may become galvanized by the perception and act.

Corporate entities, it seems to me, are perceived as acting much more concretely while the governing force, the individual policy-setter at the top, as it were, remains more an abstraction. Besides the fact that the corporation's goal is make money. For the shareholders. That is, quite often, people like you and me. Removed from the bad stuff and trying to put our excess money to use making more money. Buying the products and frequently, in our comfort, trying not to think our role in any of it. Companies are occasionally boycotted. Executives are occasionally charged with white-collar economic crimes, but most of it, any public displeasure towards a corporation, is generally kept abstract.

The power of the powerless results from awareness of what we are tacitly consenting to most of the time, whether it be following immoral orders or otherwise keeping society's status quo. Havel doesn't let anyone off the hook for burying their head in the sand. He blamed all of Czechoslovakian society for its complicity in the Communist regime's authority. And it also applies to consumers in a capitalist regime.

I know I'm on the verge of fulfilling Godwin's law here, so I'm going to take a modern twist and ask what can we expect, or what are the consequences and contaminants of inviting Hugo Chavez into the mix to mediate in Libya? Okay, the "rebels" aren't going to talk with him, but is it a better alternative than a no-fly zone? Which is just shy of an explicit declaration of war since it would necessitate the bombardment of air defences. Or maybe sending in covert operatives to try and de-head the beast is better. Or is standing by and watching Libya descend into civil war okay?

Sorry for rambling, but at least I warned you first.
Jaded Prole
Nothing is simple but the mind of those who think they are.
Donnie Darko
I realize you guys are against the dictators. I'm just trying to draw a distinction between an armed rebellion resisting a totalitarian beast and consumers resisting some evil "capitalist regime". I have no defense for the organized crime style tactics employed by some powerful businesses, but free-enterprise cannot be generalized into a so-called "capitalist regime", as the word regime hardly applies unless you are confusing economic power with state power. The two can become intertwined, and I don't dispute that. But business is too amorphous, and such an equating of "multi-national corporations" with totalitarian dictators is a wild oversimplification.

Totalitarian dictators, I think we can universally agree, are no good. A public insurrection against such beasts is always a good thing. But how exactly one might equate a totalitarian dictator with a multi-national corporation, on the mere virtue of something being a multi-national corporation, I do not comprehend. As much as I despise Roger Ailes, he's no Kim Jong Il. If one day people want to rise up against News Corp, I'll be on the front lines protesting with them (I actually went to a protest in front of their building when they were spewing lies about the "ground zero mosque"), but that situation is quite a bit different from living under a dictator who will fucking kill you dead for having an opinion. Corporate corruption is nasty, but whistleblowing can actually have an effect. Letting out information about corporate wrongdoing can actually combat the wrongdoing (not always, but there are several examples). Getting rid of a dictator requires a different apparatus, because when you blow the whistle on a dictator, he just kills or imprisons you and your family. Havel didn't end up in prison for criticizing a multi-national corporation…..
Tibro
Command economy run from HQ in Moscow. Soviet bloc communism was a multi-national corporation. The profits mostly flowed back to the Soviet board of governors, although branch managers were also allowed their take. Havel was imprisoned longer by economic hardship and limitation than he was in a physical house of detention.

Greed on a grand scale suffocates, disfigures and ultimately kills.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Tibro @ Mar 6 2011, 04:22 PM) *

Command economy run from HQ in Moscow. Soviet bloc communism was a multi-national corporation.


Q: Who were the shareholders and investors?
A: They were chosen by and subject to the state apparatus, not independent choosers themselves that could take their money elsewhere or resign and go to another corporation.

Q: Who was the rotating board of directors?
A: Also chosen by the state apparatus and made immune from the law.

Q: What contracts did they sign with their clients?
A: No contracts were necessary, since the police state kept everyone in line and the state owned most property.

Q: Who were their economic competitors?
A: There was no economic competition.

Q: What was their main revenue source?
A: They took what they wished from people's income, so there was no impetus to win public revenues by making anything worth buying.

Q: What happened if someone disagrees with their agenda or methods?
A: Imprisonment or assassination

Q: What happens if another corporation (i.e. state) attempts a takeover?
A: An avalanche of military and police violence

You see where this is going. The comparison between the operation of a Soviet state and the operation of a corporation doesn't hold together. Private Greed and Nationalist Power are certainly close cousins who sometimes dine together, but they are not interchangeable. And while Havel was oppressed by the situation imposed upon him by a Communist regime, is that really analogous to someone in a small town only being able to shop and work at Wal-Mart because they moved in and all the local businesses closed? I can answer that for you, because my brother works at Wal-Mart….he doesn't wait in line for bread and can pay his bills. Does he want better? Certainly. Is he as oppressed as Havel was? That last question couldn't be more rhetorical……
Tibro
Damn, Donnie, I learn something new every day. Thank you for pointing out that Soviet bloc communism was not built on a western capitalist model. Can't imagine how I overlooked that detail.
Tibro
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Mar 6 2011, 02:57 AM) *

QUOTE(Jaded Prole @ Mar 5 2011, 07:47 PM) *

I would like us to get arms to the Libyan opposition so they can do what needs to be done.
yeah, that didn't come back to bite us in the ass in Afghanistan at all.


Here you go:
QUOTE
Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a "day of rage" from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington's highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.

Washington's request is in line with other US military co-operation with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 and later – to America's chagrin – also funded and armed the Taliban.
Donnie Darko
QUOTE(Tibro @ Mar 7 2011, 04:04 AM) *

Damn, Donnie, I learn something new every day. Thank you for pointing out that Soviet bloc communism was not built on a western capitalist model. Can't imagine how I overlooked that detail.


I didn't mean to insult your intelligence by pointing out the obvious difference. But if the difference is obvious, then it should also be obvious the myriad ways in which the Soviets were not like a multi-national corporation.

QUOTE(Tibro @ Mar 7 2011, 05:15 AM) *

Here you go:
QUOTE
Desperate to avoid US military involvement in Libya in the event of a prolonged struggle between the Gaddafi regime and its opponents, the Americans have asked Saudi Arabia if it can supply weapons to the rebels in Benghazi. The Saudi Kingdom, already facing a "day of rage" from its 10 per cent Shia Muslim community on Friday, with a ban on all demonstrations, has so far failed to respond to Washington's highly classified request, although King Abdullah personally loathes the Libyan leader, who tried to assassinate him just over a year ago.

Washington's request is in line with other US military co-operation with the Saudis. The royal family in Jeddah, which was deeply involved in the Contra scandal during the Reagan administration, gave immediate support to American efforts to arm guerrillas fighting the Soviet army in Afghanistan in 1980 and later – to America's chagrin – also funded and armed the Taliban.



Using a more powerful totalitarian regime to fight a weaker totalitarian regime. It's both genius and stupid. frusty.gif
Patlow
Holy shit…
Donnie Darko
How awesome is that? Bin Laden shot in the head by US forces.

I usually don't try to make a big deal about 9/11, but being in NYC on that day, and seeing the 2nd plane hit the tower with my own eyes, explode into a fireball and even feeling the heat from the explosion, and then watching the towers come down and experiencing an indescribable feeling of awfulness that day, when I woke up this morning and looked at the news on my phone as I was walking my dog, I was so happy that I yelled the same thing you just said out loud on the street. And the few people who were up at 6AM and on the street too knew exactly what I was talking about and they smiled.

While we've made a lot of mistakes since 9/11, I'm extraordinarily proud that we blew away that mass murderer. I think I'll go down to ground zero later today and hopefully feel a tiny sense of closure.

sixela
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Mar 6 2011, 02:57 AM) *

yeah, that didn't come back to bite us in the ass in Afghanistan at all.

Afghanistan isn't Lybia. The US often gets bitten in the arse exactly because they can't get to grips with the fact that all these countries have a different culture (and that you're enemies' enemies are not always your friend).

But the cure for that is getting rid of blanket statements and incorrect generalisations, not to retain them as valid and to move to the other side of the fence.

Tibro
What happened to that banner that read, "Mission Complete"?
Shabba53
QUOTE(sixela @ May 2 2011, 07:39 AM) *

QUOTE(Shabba53 @ Mar 6 2011, 02:57 AM) *

yeah, that didn't come back to bite us in the ass in Afghanistan at all.

Afghanistan isn't Lybia.

Never said it was, but I used it as an example of how we thought we were doing something good by arming the rebels, but it ended badly. I'm positive that there are many rebels in Lybia that view the U.S. in a favorable light. The pilot rescue is a good example of that. But it's been said over and over again that the rebels are still a very fragmented group, the makeup of which we still aren't sure about. I just think we should use our past experiences with arming insurgents as a reason to tread with caution in the future.

Not saying we never should in the future. Just that we should be sure about to whom and where those weapons will go.
sixela
QUOTE(Shabba53 @ May 2 2011, 03:03 PM) *

but I used it as an example of how we thought we were doing something good by arming the rebels, but it ended badly.

The rebels there weren't exactly choir boys, now, were they? Afghanistan had been a mess for centuries. It's a perfect illustration of the fact that your enemy's enemy is not always your friend, something the US constantly forgets (Saddam anyone?)
G&C
The list is endless. Iran, Cuba, El Salvador, Panama…
Donnie Darko
It's comforting to know that, in the aftermath of killing the most wanted terrorist in the world, known leader of a notorious and racist death cult and inspiration to many murderers, you guys are nitpicking over what somebody thinks about arming revolutionaries.

As a segue from the pedantic pontificating, Bin Laden was also our enemy's enemy and we armed him. So there, now your point is made, because apparently nobody realizes that hindsight is 20/20, nor does anyone realize that correlation doesn't equal causation, and that arming revolutionaries may or may not have the desired outcome.

Let's get back to more important matters, like enjoying the fact that, regardless of past policy errors, Bin Laden got what was coming to him: a bullet to the head.
G&C
Let us rejoice over more killing!

Can I get an AMEN!?
Tibro
Indeed.

Always more faces on the wanted posters.

"al-Zawahri likely to succeed…"
Kirk
May Dog have mercy on his soul.
Tibro
I'm not about to credit him with having a soul. And I think it was the Seals that were merciful ending it with a head shot.
Kirk
I guess the days of respecting our enemies are over, they are obviously all insane son's of curs without a drop of intelligence. It's all clear to me now, what were they thinking? They weren't, they can't.
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