What's your opinion on invading Iraq in the first place?

Discussion in 'Diplomacy & Conflict Resolution' started by JohnConstantine, May 14, 2012.

  1. loving grace

    loving grace New Member

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    Agreeing to disagree!
    Wow. Reading this brought chills. This is one of only several times my ideas have been acknowledged as having some merit, by someone who disagreed with me, after many, many, many discussions over the past decade. And you gave me more than merit, you gave me reasonable. Thank you.


    US puppet mastery
    Yes. But a war being "just" isn't sufficient to send our boys and girls into harm's way. There must be benefit. See Benefit of Iraqi Invasion section.

    Ah! So, you do not object to our moving chess pieces around the board? Do I have that right? Is there any situation where you would support "ousting other country's leaders, or killing them, or invading other countries - without the provocation of an attack"? More than to move chess pieces around, I suppose is what I mean, if that makes any sense.

    The thing that really gets me about US foreign policy, is that all of our chess moves in the ME, up to the 2003 invasion, were for the objective of stability, at the expense of the people, to access resources. See Benefit of Iraqi Invasion section.

    Yes, this is a key point. In discussions with smart arabs, not kids, they admit to a duality: on the one hand we went in and took out the Sunnis and empowered the Shia - VERY BAD, while on the other hand, Saddam was brutal bastard dictator and needed to go. They also have their bastards that need to go, but they do not want western interference, or at least not until air cover is needed. The Iraqi invasion is actually a HUGE inspiration for them to take care of their own business. See Benefit of Iraqi Invasion section.


    Iraq
    Saudi Arabia, in collusion with China and Russia. Not good to lose our special friend with the big oil can.

    The rise in transnational Islamic terrorism, directed at the US as evidenced by many events leading up to 9/11, is totally connected to our support of regional autocracies. We had to address the underlying cause of transnational terrorism and not chase goats through the hills. See Benefit of Iraqi Invasion section.

    No doubt, but there are few presidents that really understand the nuances of the international situation and rely on picking good advisers. Isn't it fantastic that Keane was able to bend Cheney's ear and get in front of the Man.

    But...it is still a democracy. Not Jeffersonian, but maybe Al-Sistani Democracy? That beats Khameni Democracy! I am greatly anticipating Mursi Democracy in Egypt! (I ignore the military for the most part and look to see the informal coalition between the Copts/Sufis, MBs and the non-military seculars against the Salafis, through the establishment of a civic state). See Benefit of Iraqi Invasion section.


    Palestine
    For sure the Israelis do not trust a 2 state solution, which is why they split Palestine into two regions, in 48, first militarily then diplomatically.

    From the perspective of the Arabs, the west gives HUGE assistance to a "democratic" country created from a demographic invasion, who deny Palestinians the vote and actively suppress them economically and politically.

    If a 2 state solution is not in the cards, then that just leaves a proper democracy, with all Palestinians have the vote, or a deteriorating situation...

    The point is that it is another glaring example of the west moving chess pieces at the expense of the people. See Benefit of Iraqi Invasion section...


    Ta da! Benefit of Iraqi Invasion!

    So, this is more than just general benefit of geopolitical significance. It has to be US benefit of geopolitical significance. Of course, there is also all the special deals for oil companies and contractors...oops. For sure, the invasion was sold in some quarters for those greedy economic reasons. But that misses the real benefit.

    The real benefit to the US is a fundamental change in foreign relations strategy to the ME, that the average Arab Muslim could appreciate. Notwithstanding the fact that we empowered the Shia, mortal enemies of the Sunnis, at the expense of the Sunnis (although this was not the first option in the "Plan"), we did go in and knock out a former client, stating that our intention was to free the people. Now, most people didn't believe that for a minute, at least on the surface. But, guess what? That was indeed the primary geopolitical message and they did notice.

    So, what do they see now? A real mess, given the fulcrums in play. But they also see that the US acted not only for US benefit, but for the people's benefit, and whatever conspiracy theories arise, we still took out the strong man and developed a real democracy. They know we don't cause the Sunni and Shia militants to do what they do, but they know we unleashed them.

    The point is, this is the first time since the US became the superpower that we have acted somewhat in the interests of the average person. This has implications across the ME and NA, etc. Combined with our feeble diplomatic attempts to encourage democratic reforms and the subsequent Arab Spring, the Islamic world now sees the US on the side, to varying extents, of democrats across the region (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, KSA, Yemen, Bahrain...).

    Another related benefit of the Iraqi invasion was the geopolitical storm we unleashed, from a country which was the site of three major Middle Eastern fulcrums, outwards to the rest of the Middle East, forcing everyone to change.

    Finally, we provided a third option to brutal autocracies and radical Islamists. We provided political room for the formation of democrats.

    So, the benefit of the Iraqi Invasion was 1) our change in foreign policy to the Middle East, 2) the socio-political shockwave sent out to upset the apple carts, and 3) political room for the growth of democrats as a third option to autocracy and theology.

    Edit: sorry, the US benefit to those things is that our actions better match our rhetoric.
     
  2. expatriate

    expatriate Banned

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    you are quite welcome.

    I actually believe that we ought not to start any war. I actually cannot imagine a situation where I would applaud our sending men into battle to die for a chess move without some hostile act against us.

    I don't think so.

    that is an excellent observation. I might have a bit of a disagreement that the objective really had anything to do with the Iraqi people.

    I, too have had discussions with arab friends from my days in country and, maybe they are not as smart as your arab friends, or maybe they are MORE smart... but in any case, they have a deep and abiding distaste for George W. Bush and all that he did in the region. To a man, everyone of them mentioned Obama's speech in Cairo as the moment when they came to believe that the USA might actually be even handed with arab people and not just suck at the oil teat regardless of the costs to the people.


    I have not seen evidence of that... but I am not doubting that you have. I DO doubt, however, that if we had thought it was in our national interest... especially with the JUSTification of his human rights violations, we could have easily prevailed. But that is Monday morning quarterbacking I guess.

    I think that it had much more to do with our troops in Saudi Arabia and our support for Israel. In regard to transnational Islamic terrorism, I believe that Saddam was quite successful in limiting their ascendancy in his neck of the woods and would have continued to be effective in that regard giving our REAL enemies one less place to hide.

    my understanding was that Jack Keane did not become an influential Bush advisor until well after we were ensconced in Iraq.

    It is a "democracy" where more civilians die violently NOW than in the years before we invaded.


    By and large, the "palestinians" who lived on the land under the British protectorate were not land "owners" but land "users". Many savvy Ottomans had obtained title to most of the land of Palestine and were perfectly willing to collect annual rent from Palestinians or sell it outright to European Jews if the price was right. This "demographic invasion" as you call it was, for the most part, a series of legitimate real estate transactions. Jews would buy chunks of land and sell it to their friends and family members who would come to Palestine and begin to work that same land. Rather than herd sheep, they planted crops and orchards. When I was in the middle east, I became very close friends with a lady who had been born in Palestine in the early 30's. Her father had purchased farm land in the manner I described above in the upper Galilee valley just northeast of Haifa. Now clearly, not ALL the land was being purchased by Jews... some more affluent Arabs were also able to purchase farm land from the absentee landlords. My friend's father had an Arab neighbor. While not "bosom buddies" they did help each other harvest their crops each year. When the partitioning happened, the Arab neighbor came to my friend's father and told him that he was sorry, but that all Arabs were being asked to leave their land and temporarily relocated to Damascus while the Pan Arab Army attacked the region and drove all the jews into the sea. The neighbor said that when he came back from Damascus, my friend and her family would be gone and he would own their farm. Needless to say, the progeny of that Arab farmer still live in the Damascus area and my friend's family farm got a lot bigger. The point is: there is no easy solution and painting one side or the other as "the bad guys" or "the good guys" doesn't really work.


    I see a great deal of wisdom in this analysis of yours. I again have doubts as to whether our actions were actually on behalf of the average person... I have my doubts as to whether our invasion of Iraq "CAUSED" the Arab Spring of a decade later. I am not sure that, by our invasion of Iraq, we provided the third option. I think a case could be made that social networking and the borderless internet had as much to do with raising the democratic alternative as our brutal invasion of Iraq did, but I will grant you that, whatever made it happen, it is happening. I hesitate to credit the Iraqi Invasion with all that you credit it with...just like I hesitated to credit Ronald Reagan for singlehandedly bringing down the Soviet Empire. I guess that hesitancy will prevent me from ascribing to all those benefits to the invasion. If, however, 20 years from now, Iraq IS a stable, peaceful, successful democracy and an ally of America, I will be inclined to alter my opinion. If, instead, it is a theocratic shi'ite satellite of Iran, and no friend of OURS, I will not. How's that?
     
  3. loving grace

    loving grace New Member

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    Let me please return the compliment, that you are really pushing the boundaries of my opinions with your thoughtful ideas. In reading what you have written in this last post, I am struck by the idea, due to both the Iraq situation and the Palestine situation, how much of an impact unexpected consequences play a role. All my talk of planning misses the mark. They had one plan and another couple (of dozen) had to be developed after the situation changed. They say the enemy always gets a vote.


    US puppet mastery
    I actually totally agree with you, which is why I was more in favor of Iraq than Afghanistan. We were already at war with Iraq and we just broke the cease-fire (again). It would be a completely different consideration were we not already in low-level conflict with them and had there been no 17 UN resolutions. Iraq was special.


    Iraq
    :) maybe more smart. All of those I spoke to about it also hate George W. Bush, for wrecking the bulwark against Iran. But some agreed that the purple finger fever was unleashed from Iraq, and that that would not have happened if not for the invasion.

    No, it is complete speculation, especially Russia and China's involvement, except that I did read somewhere, I think, that we were prevented by Arab diplomacy.

    That's very true, I think, what you say about Saddam. But my opinion about transnational terrorism is that it was more than troops in KSA and Israel. Osama definitely pointed to those issues, but I believe he also pointed to the broader region of autocracies and oppression. Not Al-Qaeda proper, but Al-Qaeda in Iraq had many non-Saudis. For sure the problem of terrorism is not limited to KSA, but in the specific case of transnational terrorists, it may be. I suppose the danger was this spreading to other nationalities.

    Mine as well. Mid-2006 if memory serves, prepping for the surge in 2007. Finally!

    Very good point. We did not get the gentle transition we hoped for.

    I believe I made the earlier point that the broader region getting democracy was more important than how Iraq turned out, given the fulcrums and long history of animosity. You have made me realize that I am taking the unintended consequences of today and trying to claim that these consequences were expected and it was all part of the plan. Thank you.

    I still think the geopolitical concern with the broader region was a principle aspect of our going in, it just didn't turn out nearly the way expected. Still, that purple finger fever is out there, isn't it?

    There were multiple objectives, including capturing the oil industry into our sphere, I think. The objective connected to the Iraqi people was to do a slow, controlled transition to democracy, to demonstrate to other countries that they could do the same, in a controlled manner. The Shia did not go for that. There goes that unintended consequence.


    Palestine
    Just to be clear on the Palestine situation, I do not think the vast, vast majority of Jewish settlers were hardcore Zionists. In this present day, prior events have created a completely different context, so I do not place blame with the average Israeli for what is happening, nor for their opinion of self-preservation. However, there is no getting around the fact that Israel purposely suppresses the Palestinians and do not extend them the vote (since that would be Israeli suicide). Settlements are a big problem, especially since the Israelis choose water control points in the West Bank to locate those settlements.


    Benefit of Iraqi Invasion
    I believe, or I hope, that I said the Iraqi Invasion led to the Arab Spring, not that it caused it. I guess that means I am saying it "partially" caused it. I will refer to the purple finger fever, and the iconic images of that that spread through the Muslim world. I totally agree with the impact of social networking and the internet were major contributors, as well.

    If Iraq is still screwed up and many other Arab countries are democracies, I will count that a success.

    The one aspect of all this that I still stick to is that the geopolitical aspect of our invasion of Iraq was to present that third option of democracy to the region, although it is clear that it happened completely differently than originally envisioned. I can say with certainty that it is the only reason I was in support of invading Iraq, whatever the unexpected path that got us all here today.

    Thanks very much for correcting my ideas to include unexpected consequences. I was definitely overlooking that.
     
  4. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    The evidence shows the opposite.The Obama team opposed the Arab Spring in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Kuwait, Jordan, Yemen, Tunisia, and Bahrain. As for your assertion that "our invasion of Iraq was to present that third option of democracy to the region", Ill show this once more:

    This is no small footnote in the history of (failed) imperialism. In a signing statement, President Bush declared that he will bypass Congressional legislation that forbids the establishment of "any military installation or base for the purpose of providing for the permanent stationing of United States Armed Forces in Iraq," and will also ignore any legislation that forbids administration actions "to exercise United States control of the oil resources of Iraq."

    These intentions were outlined in the 2007 "Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship", an agreement between the Bush administration and the Maliki government. The Declaration permits US forces to occupy the country indefinetely. The declaration also commits Iraq to:

    Furthermore, in March 2005, the editors of the Financial Times observed that:

    So perhaps your analysis that "it happened completely differently than originally envisioned" is technically true. What was originally intended was that Iraq would be an "Arab facade" in which United States rule would be "veiled" behind such "constitutional fictions as a protectorate, a sphere of influence, a buffer State, and so on."- essentially the British model.

    This humanitarian rationale is just outrageous. Iraq is a humanitarian catastrophe, as was predicted before the 2003 invasion. Over a million people killed or seriously wounded, millions more displaced. Depleted uranium is increasing birth defect rates to Hiroshima levels and lets not forget that Washington supported Saddam's crushing of the Shiite rebellion in 1991 which probobly overthrown him:

    Administration reasoning was outlined by New York Times chief diplomatic correspondent Thomas Friedman:

    In 1993, The New York Times added that:

    And then the New York Times again reported:

    And then they instituted a murderous sanction regime that caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children and made the population more dependant on the tyrant for survival.
     
  5. loving grace

    loving grace New Member

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    You criticize a statement I made about the geopolitical motivations for going into Iraq, when Bush was president, then make an unfounded assertion about what Obama's position was in multiple countries, each with a different situation? What does what Bush did relate to what Obama did?

    The fact is we want to see democracy flourish, but not in the Iranian model and we don't want a bunch of civil wars. Iraq got away from us. Look at the vortex Syria is creating. We want a peaceful, reasoned transfer of power to democratically elected governments. Jordan is a fine example of the attempt to make a peaceful transfer, as is Kuwait.

    What does this have to do with creating a democracy in Iraq? It is no surprise that we wanted to keep forces there to prevent regional war. It is no real surprise that we would be greedy about it at the same time. This does not mean we did not intend to help establish a civil state democracy.

    Where did you pull the bolded text from or are they your words?

    Yep, it's a real problem. Guess we should have left the iron fist in place. Is this what you are suggesting?

    I totally agree with you here. Sanctions do nothing but make the people's lives miserable and strengthen the hold of the autocracy, in general. I do believe there are exceptions where sanctions have worked as designed, however. Aren't there?
     
  6. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    Check the link provided.

    Saddam would've gone the same way as other dictators. Post invasion evidence shows that his hold on the country was shaky. And Ive already answered your other questions with the evidence I provided. No use repeating myself. Your understanding of this history seems to be mostly based on what youve observed on the tube.
     
  7. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    Here is the reason for the disparity in our perceptions of these issues. You and the like go by what political figures declare publicly and accept it as truth, independant of any credible evidence. I go deeper. Like gathering intelligence, I collect data from a variety of authoritative sources and then put it together. I look at the internal records and read books by historians, various authors, reports by human rights organizations and behind the headlines news reports. You can find these things in the corporate press because elites need to know what's going on in the world and also because there are honest journalists trying to get the truth out and sometimes they find openings and take advantage of it but it will almost never make it to the front pages or on CNN, Fox and so on. If you rely on television to inform you then you're better off not paying attention at all.
     
  8. loving grace

    loving grace New Member

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    I'll get back to you on this, but first I gotta watch my favorite show...
     
  9. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    If you really want to know what the underlying concerns of US planners are it's not to spread democracy as you believe. It's actually the opposite. Substantive democracy may respond to the popular demands of the masses while the United States is concerned with fostering the most favorable conditions for its private overseas investments. CNN is not going to point this out to you..

    As Thomas Carothers observed during his years of working with USAID on democracy promotion projects in Latin America while serving in Reagan's State Department:

     
  10. loving grace

    loving grace New Member

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    I see, it was published in 1999 and has directly nothing to do with Iraq 2003, other than a well-known illumination of how, historically, the US materially and externally supported autocracies in the ME.

    So your assertion here has some historical support, but no explicit evidence.

    to be replaced by the next strong man, which does not introduce democracy to the region. So, your response is in the positive, you would leave the iron fist in place and not change US foreign policy.

    You failed to answer the following questions, with the quotes you provided:

    • You criticize a statement I made about the geopolitical motivations for going into Iraq, when Bush was president, then make an unfounded assertion about what Obama's position was in multiple countries, each with a different situation?
    • What does what Bush did relate to what Obama did?
    • What does this have to do with creating a democracy in Iraq?
    • I do believe there are exceptions where sanctions have worked as designed, however. Aren't there?

    You make the assumption and cast the aspersion that I don't do any intelligence gathering beyond watching CNN and Fox. This makes me laugh. This method of discrediting the opinion of another on the internet is quite amusing when you haven't a clue as to the information I have acquired in developing my opinion.

    When you are ready to respectfully discuss with me whether the US intended to develop a real democracy in Iraq, you let me know, ok?
     
  11. loving grace

    loving grace New Member

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    So you use two quotes from publications in 1991 to make a claim about our foreign policy intentions in 2003 (2012)? For sure there is historical support for your view, but you do not provide for the option that this policy has changed in the modern day. Unless you expect evidence of such a policy change to be applied unilateral to all client states at once, whatever the resulting geopolitical upheaval that would foster...

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    Once agian, when you are ready to respectfully discuss with me whether the US intended to develop a real democracy in Iraq, you let me know, ok?
     
  12. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    I already did. Did you not see the quote boxes I showed you? Nothing has changed.
     
  13. loving grace

    loving grace New Member

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    Still confrontational, I see. And providing quotes you claim imply non-democratic intention, when they do not.
     
  14. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    In 2004, Carothers also reviewed the record of US democracy promotion since the end of the Cold War and he found that:

     
  15. loving grace

    loving grace New Member

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    Ok, so the US downplays democracy in KSA, UAE and Bahrain and promotes it in Egypt, Jordan, Maghreb, Yemen, Syria and...Iraq. Your quote supports neither of our positions and both of our positions. It is ambiguous. Try again.
     
  16. Mushroom

    Mushroom Well-Known Member

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    Well, with the latest appearances, this thread has now officially descended into Tin Hat Land.
     
  17. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    It's only "tin hat land" for fanatics of the state-religion such as yourself.

    I think you may need to review what I showed you about Iraq again.. As for Egypt..

    Glenn Greenwald observes:

    Apparently, the New York Times understands the meaning of the term "stability"..

     
  18. loving grace

    loving grace New Member

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    Here's the deal. An uncontrolled, or loosely controlled, transition to democracy gets you Iran or the mess in Iraq. It may be an article of faith, but I firmly believe that the real geopolitical intention was to provide the third way of democracy, instead of autocracy and theocracy. It is the only thing that makes sense for why we really went in there: to address the root problem of the generation of radicalism, without steering the region into chaos. That's not to say we didn't want to be close allies and get some gravy too.

    However, the disparate sects within Iraq could pop open in conflict and then we've got our mess. So, we did want to place an "Arab Facade" in Iraq in order to have a stable transition to democracy and show the region how it could be done, resulting in a civil state and tolerance between the sects. It did not work out that way, as Al-Sistani didn't trust us or the Sunni dominated military and probable "Arab Facade" to deliver.

    The same is true in Egypt, 2011. Now, July 30, 2012, we have these pieces of information:

    Egypt unnerved by rising religious fervor

    Egypt revolutionary group says Morsi ignores promises
    Egypt's interior ministry announces sweeping personnel changes

    Constituent assembly's judicial committee ends discussing constitution

     
  19. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    You ignore the fact that Washington strongly supported the dictatorship in Yemen, right to the end. You ignore the fact that Washington strongly supported Mubarak right to the end of his rule, untill it was no longer possible. You refuse to comment on my thread: http://www.politicalforum.com/diplo...258651-washington-s-bow-mideast-monarchs.html . You refuse to acknowledge the fact that Washington supports democracy IF it conforms to US strategic and economic interests. According to you, the government changed its decades old brutal imperial policies and suddenly became crusaders for democracy- a former imperial superpower which is now benevolent and yearns to spread freedom to suffering people while ignoring the glaring contradictions. You say we wanted a transition to democracy in Iraq even though the authors of the constitution were supposed to have been appointed by the occupation authority and only "partial elections" were to have taken place, in which the candidates would also be approved by the Americans. That is what's called "formal democracy" or "top-down forms of democracy" in which elites linked to the United States would rule. American planner's hearts do not bleed to bring democracy to suffering Arabs. Your romantisizing of the state is not realistic.

    As journalist Robert Fisk points out: "States are not about good guys. They are about power." The United States is a failing empire. It is incapable of reacting to threats to the welfare of the global economic system as it did before the Iraq war. The Obama team supported the military coup in Honduras and fraudulant elections in Haiti, while attempting to block the still popular former President Aristide from returning to his country, and even tried to have him locked up on false charges. The administration has been working to remilitarize Latin America and has been funding anti-Chavez groups in Venezuela. The administration also worked with major textile companies in Haiti to cap the minimum wage at 31 cents an hour. Or maybe Obama's heart bleeds for suffering Arabs but not suffering Haitians? What about Israel? How do you ignore the Palestinian situation?

    [video=youtube_share;UlNwo52uEkE]http://youtu.be/UlNwo52uEkE[/video]
    [video=youtube_share;Fucpus065C4]http://youtu.be/Fucpus065C4[/video]

    Obama wheeps for all Arabs except Palestinians I guess..
     
  20. loving grace

    loving grace New Member

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    An uncontrolled, or loosely controlled, transition to democracy gets you Iran or the mess in Iraq, or the mess in Egypt. It is better to support the existing power structure and have a controlled, stable transition to democracy.

    You seem to prefer civil war and conflict, in the transition to democracy, such that Iraq is killing more people today than before the invasion. If the Shia had allowed the transitional government to develop a civil state constitution, then hold elections, it would be much more peaceful, but then the Sunnis would have more institutional power...YMMV.

    You seem to think that democracy is all about the elections, when, in fact, it is about the institutions.
     
  21. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    America does not have the right to determine the futures of other countries. No, your basic presupposition is wrong no matter how wonderful you believe the system to be.
     
  22. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    Here is the true face of your beloved champion of human rights:

    The imperial state sponsor of terror, which is responsible for the deaths of over -minimum figure (1987)- 6 million people of other societies in the name of freedom and democracy. The benevolent superpower that brings poverty, famine, disease, terror, and repression to those they liberate.
     
  23. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    Obama rejects Palestinian statehood bid at UN. Promises a Veto

    [video=youtube_share;efH4OlpyWvo]http://youtu.be/efH4OlpyWvo[/video]
     
  24. danielpalos

    danielpalos Banned

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    What short-cut to Peace can there be when it only takes a voice vote from our elected representatives, for free? Is that too, fiscally responsible in modern times?
     
  25. Horhey

    Horhey Well-Known Member

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    Israel is an extension of US power in the ME, one of the few remaining in fact. Washington might as well just hang it up. I think it may be over. It's only a matter of time untill the Saudi monarchy falls and then it's really over. How they come back from that will take actions that I dont even think the public can be manipulated into supporting. The terror threat will not do. Besides, the empire is broke. It may collapse from overstretch. Obama is rational which is the only difference between realist imperialists and neocons which reminds me about something with Wolfowitz and his strong support for Suharto as late as 1997...Wolfowitz was the one that was said to be leading the crusade for democracy in Iraq.
     

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