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Thread: The real 'War of Terror'

  1. #301

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    Quote Originally Posted by El_Cid View Post
    I've never read a book, but i hear they are well worth it.[...]
    If You ever intent to do something about the money-makers, and go politicallly active, you should leave less material for smear campaigns behind... ;P

  2. #302
    Monarch Arnelos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by El_Cid View Post
    Whatever.....I'm not holding up Chomsky as the new messiah (and neither does he, at all!). I think his words tell the story more than any mud slinging can But carry on the nit picking type tactics if you feel you need to, if it makes you feel like your doing something positive to protect your opinions and those like yourself etc

    edit: sorry for the tone, but well.....you revealed yourself quite completely and my time is prescious, so i'm not going to waste too much time on a pointless exercise in relation to yourself anymore Arnelos, i'll get back to presenting the evidence and answering any (shortish) questions on those topics etc, sorry about that.
    This... is a cop out.

    No, you're probably never going to convince me that my own deeply held convictions are wrong. No, I'm probably never going to convince you that your deeply held convictions are wrong. That's sort of how that works. We may learn things of which we were previously unaware - and that may affect how we view some things - but deeply held convictions aren't likely to move anywhere.

    Nevertheless, it would be interesting to at least understand the thinking of those who think different than we do - and to appreciate that our differences of opinion are not derived because there's something nefarious in our counterpart in the discussion, but that we share our humanity and our differences ultimately arise from prioritizing & cherishing different things.

    My view of Mr. Chomsky is that he is quite likely a very well-meaning person... he's just also the sort of conspiracy theorist who sees evil cabals all around him all the time that I find it very very difficult to take seriously. When people become convinced that everyone who thinks differently or acts differently than they do can only be diabolically evil as an explanation for this divergence of opinion & behavior, they're essentially just giving up on trying to understand thinking patterns different from their own. It's one of the most cowardly and lazy cop-outs in politics.

    And conspiracy theories of all stripes (from the one in your article about President Obama to ones about Fox News to Koch to anyone else) thrive on precisely that cop-out: it may be intellectual lazy, but that's sort of the point... it's quite a bit easier to just write all sorts of people off as evil than to delve into attempting to understand how they think and what drives them.
    Last edited by Arnelos; 18-08-12 at 17:17.

  3. #303

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnelos View Post
    This... is a cop out.

    No, you're probably never going to convince me that my own deeply held convictions are wrong. No, I'm probably never going to convince you that your deeply held convictions are wrong. That's sort of how that works. We may learn things of which we were previously unaware - and that may affect how we view some things - but deeply held convictions aren't likely to move anywhere.

    Nevertheless, it would be interesting to at least understand the thinking of those who think different than we do - and to appreciate that our differences of opinion are not derived because there's something nefarious in our counterpart in the discussion, but that we share our humanity and our differences ultimately arise from prioritizing & cherishing different things.

    My view of Mr. Chomsky is that he is quite likely a very well-meaning person... he's just also the sort of conspiracy theorist who sees evil cabals all around him all the time that I find it very very difficult to take seriously. When people become convinced that everyone who thinks differently or acts differently than they do can only be diabolically evil as an explanation for this divergence of opinion & behavior, they're essentially just giving up on trying to understand thinking patterns different from their own. It's one of the most cowardly and lazy cop-outs in politics.

    And conspiracy theories of all stripes (from the one in your article about President Obama to ones about Fox News to Koch to anyone else) thrive on precisely that cop-out: it may be intellectual lazy, but that's sort of the point... it's quite a bit easier to just write all sorts of people off as evil than to delve into attempting to understand how they think and what drives them.
    You are right, it is a cop out on my part, and it simply means no more multipage 'trying to better understand the other person' games. I'm not a professional, this is not my job (i don't get paid for it by anyone of any political persuasion, this is all my own amatuer work, in my spare time), so i simply don't have time for that particular game, and i was just giving fair warning of that. It wasn't very tactfull, and to be honest not that polite (which does bother me), but i wanted to be honest with you.

    But you miss the point completely (and deliberately off course) if all you think most of this thread is about is conspiricy theory (a very useful brush to be sure) or simply mud slinging vs the 'right' (as it might seem).

    The incovieniant truth is in much of what people like Chomsky say, and their may be specific details he is wrong on (he seems to do his research quite thouraghly though), and even some viewpoints he has that i never will (His anarchist roots, not paying taxes etc). BUT, and this is important, even besides those specifics, it does not invalidate much of the core message he and those like him are trying to warn the rest of us about.

    I'm a grown up man, i've done interesting things myself, been interesting places, hung out with interesting folks so i know which parts of any so called conspiracy theory are legitimate, and which are not, for the most part.

    We are not going to be able to agree on some basic prinicples simply because as you say,

    "Chomsky seems to believe, as a matter of deeply held conviction, that humans are fundamentally good, altruistic, and peaceful people and that all conflict in the world and history must therefore be some form of extraordinary or unusual part of the human condition that can only be explained by nefarious cabals of deeply evil people who are highly aberrant compared to the rest of mankind.

    I'd offer a contrary hypothesis with the assistance of Occam's razor: Humanity - as a whole - isn't as naturally angelic as Chomsky wants to believe and the men and women involved in human conflict across the world and across human history are neither as aberrant or as malicious compared to the average human as he wants to believe, either. It's Chomsky's view of humanity that is aberrant, not humanity itself.

    Moreover, I'd assert that capitalism has been a force for good - for prosperity, for freedom, and even for the uplifting of those in poverty - in human history. And, while men and women like Chomsky may continue their fool's search for the "true socialism" that somehow controls all of us and yet is somehow non-coercive and non-violent (which I find to be a fundamental contradiction), it's amusing how men & women like Chomsky seem to be the only ones who haven't figured out why no real example of socialism has lived up to their lofty expectations yet."


    And setting aside the theme on Chomsky, as a guy(myself) that has travelled to most continents on this world, and had dealings with most of the ethnic and cultural diversity that is mankind, i know the error in your assumption, that their is no base 'goodness' in humanity or being human. This is very much at the core of why i can't really ever (for long) subscribe myself to right-wing ideology in general, and why we will always have this difference of outlook. All i can say that might ring true with you, and folks like you, is that the Bible is not wrong. And i mean the specific words and theme of the Bible, not the tv preachers corrupted reading of what he tells his flock the Bible means. I'm talking about the words of Jesus, the message of God to us all.

    And again this is where america, and the american right is so bizzare, as you have bascialy two completely incompatible core ideologies that somehow not only have been fused together, but have been socialy engineered to be one and the same and allow completely un-christian actions by your government, Presidents and the wider political apparatus (left or right are both at fault here, but the biggest most obvious corruption of Jesus message is on the right of the spectrum).

    Jesus was not a warrior, 'turn the other cheeck'.
    Jesus was not a capitlist, 'It is easy for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven', 'and the poor shall inherit the earth'.
    Jesus was not a war monger, 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto to you'.

    There are many key and central parts to Jesus's teachings, that are so not what the right wing american movement is about it shows how complete the social indoctrination must be. This is not a criticsm or judgement on peoples faith, i know a lot of christian people do loads of good in their lives, and without their efforts and generosity and kindness, many people around them would find life even harder than it is. But that is some disconnect with your faith, and the meaning of your faith, when you let the abberation that has arisen through your political system make is seem 'ok' that you are serving Jesus words with your vote, there are just so many examples (pretty much this whole thread!) of why this is not so!

    So that is the criticsm i lay squarely at the feet of the right (Republican) movement in america, it is disingenuous to those christian ideals it claims to represent. I'm not even a core christian myself, but i studied my bible and i see the value of christianity around us in the world today, i know it's history, i value the teachings of Jesus and more importantly i really understand their words and their worth. Knowing that there is no way i could give my support to a political party claiming to be of those values, while clearly, at every opportunity, enacting almost the complete opposite to them.

    The difficulty is off course that the other choice you have politicaly is no nearer to being 'godly' than the republicans. They may once have dealt a little less in the death trade, maybe show a little bit more in general of 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto to you', in relation to social concerns etc, but for sure if i was to vote on a christian principle they would not get off the starting block either. So what to do?

    In a way this is what this thread is about. Only by exposing the truth behind the mask or normality can we all make a better choice, especially in relation to our politics and whom we give the responsibility to to govern in our names. It is the world they ultimately create around us, the world our kids will be growing up in.

    Edit: And well ok it was another long response, i guess i still think maybe i can get through to you
    formerly known as child of Thor(coT) in the CTP2 section of poly.

  4. #304
    Monarch Arnelos's Avatar
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    Thank you for your response.

    And, for what it's worth (I don't have a lot of time to respond at the moment), I think you've laid out a principle and valid critique of taking libertarian thought (in particular) to an illogical extreme where it would oppose the basic tenets of Christianity. That tension - between the Christian imperative to do good in the world and a belief in the holy spirit - and the empirically-based belief in the natural sinfulness of mankind (though there are biblical roots to that as well) is often at the core of a tension in American conservative thought (and conservative thought in other areas of the world, too).

    So I appreciate your point.

    I don't think that discounts what I find to be simply empirical from own perspective, though (and which we're unlikely to agree upon, as you've noted)... that, while mankind certainly has a capacity for enormous altruism, he is naturally selfish and sinful... and it is only by the grace of God, the influence of civilization, the adoption of moral codes, and learning to follow the better angels of his nature that he is ever uplifted from that condition. Even in doing so, he is likely to continue following his perceived self-interest - merely not to the exclusion of the impact his life can have upon those around him.

    But, as you've noted, this is a point we're unlikely to agree upon. And, really, that's ok.

    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I appreciate it.

  5. #305

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    Faust (google if you have to)

    More to the point: See, the main difference i see in right and left ideologies, is that the former says: i first have to help myself, while the later says, ...only if i am not better off than most of the others already

    Anyways, Arnelos: Did you watch that money-maker-vid El Cid posted earlier? What do you think of it?

    I mean -wether left or right-: if one is with good intent, its topic should be a matter of concern right?

    Concerning conspiracy - i´ve always been opposed to such. Until i learned of the credit system. Why is it not part of education or public discourse?
    Last edited by Mr. Scruffy; 20-08-12 at 00:39.

  6. #306
    Monarch Arnelos's Avatar
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    It's 3 and a half hours long. No, I haven't had a chance yet.

  7. #307

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    and don't forget the +4 hours on 'The Power of Nightmare' films (they are a trilogy). You can't fully appriciate the reason behind Islamic extremist terrorism until you have (which is a pretty important topic these days).

    'The Money Masters' film was updated to 'The Secret of Oz' film, which i would recomend purely due to it being more current, so more able to reflect on the current financial crisis. I don't like it's 'Wizard of Oz' analogy, it smacks too much of all that conspiracy theory stuff (so is more likely to be labelled such itself), BUT the basic narrative, supported by evidence, is all there on it's interesting topic. In the context of this thread, and any 'left/right' discussion it is very useful, if only because it cements the tendancy of the ultra rich to persue and be the momentum behind most right-wing ideology (which is the most important detail in that left/right discussion imho).

    As for religion, i didn't check my bible when i drew on those quotes, so like most of this 'amateur' thread it may not be 100% perfect (but as you may know that is not the purpose of this thread, it is mearly to make people 'think' a bit more than usual). For example 'the poor shall inherit the earth' is also written as 'the meek shall inherit the earth' (which would fit it square under the 'Jesus was not a war wager/monger' heading).

    But my wider point in all that section Arnelos, was to show that some of the most important principles of Christianity (as i know this IS a big deal in the usa) are completely opposite to your countries influence in the world. From the viewpoint of rest of the world (outside of any corrupt political cabal) america is not a Christian power, it is simply an agressive, oppresive and violent power that uses it's superior military might to do very un-christian things. Now inside the usa the right has done a very good job on spreading the propoganda to create the opposite self image, and in a geographical political sense, that makes perfect sense, as in a democracy you only need to persuade the people that you rely on for your vote of that fact.

    We don't live in a communication bubble anymore, that's an important issue. And while the vast majority of christian republican voters may not do regular internet (or go outside very specific 'safe' places to discuss things), or make other types of contact with the outside world, the world view looking into america is very different, and all of us will tell you of the danger that lies in the path you (as american voters) are allowing the government (pushed by the various corporations with their vested financial interests) to persue, especially over this last decade when the state actively sought to engage christians for the cause of the republican party(with their very specific oil and war corporate interests).

    All you have to do is look around the world (and in this thread) to see the designed outcome of that. American soldiers, brothers, fathers, mothers, are all giving their lives (and killing millions of real innocent civillians) for this rather nasty corporate interest. This may be what wars are often ultimately fought over, but this 'war on terror' is especially nasty, un-christian, corporate led, and one sided; and atleast we can see that pattern and spread awareness of the damage to the christian soul supporting these actions will ultimately have, it is all written in the bible in plain sight. 'Thou shall not kill', 'Thou shalt not covert another mans possesions' etc etc.

    I'm not even a fully subscribed christian (but agnostic rather than aethist) and i can understand that perfectly well. So it is time for good christians to stand up and demand their beliefs and the words of Jesus are properly respected if either party wants their votes. The american christian right can be a force for real tangible good in the world, based on real christian principles (rather than the fake hate-filled ones the right-wing political machine has created for corporate profit generation). You just need to see the wood for the trees, and i wish you well in doing so.

    EDIT:

    Lets just also focus for a second on the world Jesus lived in. He lived in a Roman world, the world of the Roman Empire. Without that foil would he have been the same man? His was a world of vast cruelty, state persecutions, lack of freedom (for non romans), a huge dissparity between the haves and have nots. I belive his words from God where very much influenced from the world he lived in, so he fought against that oppression of humanity and showed the world from there onwards that there was a better way to live together. He was a true holy man, a wise man, a man we all need give thanks too for that shift in perspective in those dark times.

    America, the people that currently run america, sees itself as a new Rome, it's actions mirror that classical model. That is the fundemental incompatability between what america actually stands for by it's actions (not the words of it's politicians or media) in the world, and what Jesus himself was against in the world he lived in. He would recognise the current american world for what it is, he would be familiar with it. Simply saying you are a Christian does not make you a Christian, Jesus would tell you that, it is all about your actions in the world towards your fellow man.
    Last edited by El_Cid; 21-08-12 at 09:09.
    formerly known as child of Thor(coT) in the CTP2 section of poly.

  8. #308

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    And just another example of what i'm talking about (on top of the countless examples all through this thread):

    'US drone strikes target rescuers in Pakistan – and the west stays silent':

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisf...cuers-pakistan

    "The US government has long maintained, reasonably enough, that a defining tactic of terrorism is to launch a follow-up attack aimed at those who go to the scene of the original attack to rescue the wounded and remove the dead. Morally, such methods have also been widely condemned by the west as a hallmark of savagery. Yet, as was demonstrated yet again this weekend in Pakistan, this has become one of the favorite tactics of the very same US government.

    A 2004 official alert from the FBI warned that "terrorists may use secondary explosive devices to kill and injure emergency personnel responding to an initial attack"; the bulletin advised that such terror devices "are generally detonated less than one hour after initial attack, targeting first responders as well as the general population". Security experts have long noted that the evil of this tactic lies in its exploitation of the natural human tendency to go to the scene of an attack to provide aid to those who are injured, and is specifically potent for sowing terror by instilling in the population an expectation that attacks can, and likely will, occur again at any time and place:

    "'The problem is that once the initial explosion goes off, many people will believe that's it, and will respond accordingly,' [the Heritage Foundation's Jack] Spencer said … The goal is to 'incite more terror. If there's an initial explosion and a second explosion, then we're thinking about a third explosion,' Spencer said."

    A 2007 report from the US department of homeland security christened the term "double tap" to refer to what it said was "a favorite tactic of Hamas: a device is set off, and when police and other first responders arrive, a second, larger device is set off to inflict more casualties and spread panic." Similarly, the US justice department has highlighted this tactic in its prosecutions of some of the nation's most notorious domestic terrorists. Eric Rudolph, convicted of bombing gay nightclubs and abortion clinics, was said to have "targeted federal agents by placing second bombs nearby set to detonate after police arrived to investigate the first explosion".

    In 2010, when WikiLeaks published a video of the incident in which an Apache helicopter in Baghdad killed two Reuters journalists, what sparked the greatest outrage was not the initial attack, which the US army claimed was aimed at armed insurgents, but rather the follow-up attack on those who arrived at the scene to rescue the wounded. From the Guardian's initial report on the WikiLeaks video:

    "A van draws up next to the wounded man and Iraqis climb out. They are unarmed and start to carry the victim to the vehicle in what would appear to be an attempt to get him to hospital. One of the helicopters opens fire with armour-piercing shells. 'Look at that. Right through the windshield,' says one of the crew. Another responds with a laugh.

    "Sitting behind the windscreen were two children who were wounded.

    "After ground forces arrive and the children are discovered, the American air crew blame the Iraqis. 'Well it's their fault for bringing kids in to a battle,' says one. 'That's right,' says another.

    "Initially the US military said that all the dead were insurgents."

    In the wake of that video's release, international condemnation focused on the shooting of the rescuers who subsequently arrived at the scene of the initial attack. The New Yorker's Raffi Khatchadourian explained:

    "On several occasions, the Apache gunner appears to fire rounds into people after there is evidence that they have either died or are suffering from debilitating wounds. The rules of engagement and the law of armed combat do not permit combatants to shoot at people who are surrendering or who no longer pose a threat because of their injuries. What about the people in the van who had come to assist the struggling man on the ground? The Geneva conventions state that protections must be afforded to people who 'collect and care for the wounded, whether friend or foe.'"

    He added that "A 'positively identified' combatant who provides medical aid to someone amid fighting does not automatically lose his status as a combatant, and may still be legally killed," but – as is true for drone attacks – there is, manifestly, no way to know who is showing up at the scene of the initial attack, certainly not with "positive identification" (by official policy, the US targets people in Pakistan and elsewhere for death even without knowing who they are). Even commentators who defended the initial round of shooting by the Apache helicopter by claiming there was evidence that one of the targets was armed typically noted, "the shooting of the rescuers, however, is highly disturbing."

    But attacking rescuers (and arguably worse, bombing funerals of America's drone victims) is now a tactic routinely used by the US in Pakistan. In February, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism documented that "the CIA's drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals." Specifically: "at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims." That initial TBIJ report detailed numerous civilians killed by such follow-up strikes on rescuers, and established precisely the terror effect which the US government has long warned are sown by such attacks:

    "Yusufzai, who reported on the attack, says those killed in the follow-up strike 'were trying to pull out the bodies, to help clear the rubble, and take people to hospital.' The impact of drone attacks on rescuers has been to scare people off, he says: 'They've learnt that something will happen. No one wants to go close to these damaged building anymore.'"

    Since that first bureau report, there have been numerous other documented cases of the use by the US of this tactic: "On [4 June], US drones attacked rescuers in Waziristan in western Pakistan minutes after an initial strike, killing 16 people in total according to the BBC. On 28 May, drones were also reported to have returned to the attack in Khassokhel near Mir Ali." Moreover, "between May 2009 and June 2011, at least 15 attacks on rescuers were reported by credible news media, including the New York Times, CNN, ABC News and Al Jazeera."

    In June, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, said that if "there have been secondary drone strikes on rescuers who are helping (the injured) after an initial drone attack, those further attacks are a war crime." There is no doubt that there have been.

    (A different UN official, the UN special rapporteur on human rights and counterterrorism, Ben Emmerson, this weekend demanded that the US "must open itself to an independent investigation into its use of drone strikes or the United Nations will be forced to step in", and warned that the demand "will remain at the top of the UN political agenda until some consensus and transparency has been achieved". For many American progressives, caring about what the UN thinks is so very 2003.)

    The frequency with which the US uses this tactic is reflected by this December 2011 report from ABC News on the drone killing of 16-year-old Tariq Khan and his 12-year-old cousin Waheed, just days after the older boy attended a meeting to protest US drones:

    "Asked for documentation of Tariq and Waheed's deaths, Akbar did not provide pictures of the missile strike scene. Virtually none exist, since drones often target people who show up at the scene of an attack."

    Not only does that tactic intimidate rescuers from helping the wounded and removing the dead, but it also ensures that journalists will be unwilling to go to the scene of a drone attack out of fear of a follow-up attack.

    This has now happened yet again this weekend in Pakistan, which witnessed what Reuters calls "a flurry of drone attacks" that "pounded northern Pakistan over the weekend", "killing 13 people in three separate attacks". The attacks "came as Pakistanis celebrate the end of the holy month of Ramadan with the festival of Eid al-Fitr." At least one of these weekend strikes was the type of "double tap" explosion aimed at rescuers which, the US government says, is the hallmark of Hamas:

    "At least six militants were killed when US drones fired missiles twice on Sunday in North Waziristan Agency.

    "In the first strike, four missiles were fired on two vehicles in the Mana Gurbaz area of district Shawal in North Waziristan Agency, while two missiles were fired in the second strike at the same site where militants were removing the wreckage of their destroyed vehicles."

    An unnamed Pakistani official identically told Agence France-Presse that a second US drone "fired two missiles at the site of this morning's attack, where militants were removing the wreckage of their two destroyed vehicles". (Those killed by US drone attacks in Pakistan are more or less automatically deemed "militants" by unnamed "officials", and then uncritically called such by most of the western press – a practice that inexcusably continues despite revelations that the Obama administration has redefined "militants" to mean "all military-age males in a strike zone".)

    It is telling indeed that the Obama administration now routinely uses tactics in Pakistan long denounced as terrorism when used by others, and does so with so little controversy. Just in the past several months, attacks on funerals of victims have taken place in Yemen (purportedly by al-Qaida) and in Syria (purportedly, though without evidence, by the Assad regime), and such attacks – understandably – sparked outrage. Yet, in the west, the silence about the Obama administration's attacks on funerals and rescuers is deafening.

    But in the areas targeted by the US with these tactics, there is anything but silence. Pakistan's most popular politician, Imran Khan, has generated intense public support with his scathing denunciations of US drone attacks, and tweeted the following on Sunday:"

    ------------------------------

    There are a zillion links within the thread proper

    The military sure has changed quite a bit since i was there (although it wasn't pure as white driven snow even then), i'd feel ashamed to be involved in many of our actions these days, ashamed as a soldier, ashamed as an officer.
    formerly known as child of Thor(coT) in the CTP2 section of poly.

  9. #309

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    These drone attacks... these people must feel like they are being attacked by aliens. That will help fighting terrorism, for sure (i am being sarcastic here), double-tap or not!

  10. #310

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    The whole idea of the 'War on Terror' is in the title 'The real war of terror' But yes it must be scary as hell, and then IF you go to help anyone injured it is american military policy to also hit those people (even if wearing ambulance signs etc). So evil it is quite amazing it is true!

    And another recent drone strike:

    'US drone strike 'kills 16' in Pakistan':

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-19368433

    "A US drone attack has killed at least 16 suspected militants in Pakistan's north-western tribal area, Pakistani security officials have said.

    Three compounds believed to be militant hideouts in North Waziristan, near the border with Afghanistan, were targeted.

    The US believes the attacks are vital to combat militants who operate in the border region.

    The attacks came a day after Pakistan's foreign ministry summoned a senior US diplomat in protest at such strikes.

    "A senior US diplomat was called to the ministry of foreign affairs and informed that the drone strikes were unlawful, against international law and a violation of Pakistan's sovereignty," the ministry said in a statement.

    Each of the three compounds targeted in Friday's strikes were hit by two missiles, according to the Associated Press, which reported that 14 people were also injured in the attacks.

    Three drone strikes have taken place already earlier this week, including a drone strike on the suspected hideout of a warlord on Saturday which killed five people.

    Drone attacks frequently target Pakistan's restive tribal areas, where many insurgents have taken shelter.

    The frequency of the attacks has increased since President Barack Obama took office in 2008.

    A number of militants, some of them senior, have been killed in the raids, but many civilians have also died.

    The US does not routinely confirm drone operations, but analysts say only American forces have the capacity to deploy such aircraft in the region."

    ----------------------------

    That one sounds more like it hit the right kind of target, as the quote came from the pakistani security channels, so use of the term 'suspected militants' is not the same thing as when usa sources say that (all males 12 and over in an operations area are called that then, armed or not). But yeah there is something not quiet right about that kind of strike to my mind, i wouldn't be happy without real eyes on the ground as you just can't tell and are too removed from the danger to judge well in my opinion.
    formerly known as child of Thor(coT) in the CTP2 section of poly.

  11. #311

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    And a very interesting read about the 'power behind the throne' if you like, and why it does what it does:

    http://www.theamericanconservative.c...t-of-the-rich/
    formerly known as child of Thor(coT) in the CTP2 section of poly.

  12. #312
    Monarch Arnelos's Avatar
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    Saw this article about an hour ago and thought you might find it interesting, El Cid:

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories...483.html?hp=r2

  13. #313

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    I suspect most of the ultra-rich are suddenly going to become 'nice normal human beings' once they realise the rest of us have cottoned on to their game And yes thanks for the link, it was interesting and perfectly placed in this threads meta-reach

    What did you think on Mike Lofgrens piece above, 'revolt of the rich'? Does that chime with a newer awareness in the republican party base?
    formerly known as child of Thor(coT) in the CTP2 section of poly.

  14. #314
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    I think Lofgren's piece conflates very different political forces because they happen to mutually be people from the rich side of our society and mutually within the Republican Party in some cases (though he does note the cross-over of some between BOTH parties on one side of that fight). What he's missing is that some of those rich are fighting against one another to determine the future of the party and the movement, as are some of those who are less wealthy, and the conflict doesn't line up on socio-economic status as much as he might think.

    Take the Koch Brothers in the article I posted, for instance. Aside from fighting pretty actively in favor of the use of fossil fuels, most of the organizations they're involved in are not on the same side of the internal Republican battle as the people Lofgren is citing. Whereas much of the rich business class involved in our politics - in both parties - have a primary interest in utilizing government power to advantage their position in the market through additional government involvement, the Koch Brothers' interest (again, outside of fossil fuels) seems to be legitimately libertarian: they're after a free market under the premise that it will advantage everyone (both them and the rest of society). We can agree or disagree with the idea that free markets advantage everyone, but they're largely pushing against crony capitalism rather than for it, which puts them at odds with much of the rest of the business class putting money into politics (most of whom are merely seeking narrow advantage for their company and/or industry).

    Lofgren isn't alone in this conflation, though. From a left-leaning perspective (and he's moved in that direction in his life and many are already there), a billionaire fighting for free & open markets likely SEEMS identical to a billionaire or millionaire fighting for the government to carve out a tax credit or subsidy for his business or pass a regulation that disproportionately harms his competitor. From their perspective, all they're seeing is the idea that both are businessmen getting involved in politics with their money to advance their interests. What they often don't appreciate is how those of us on the right see it: that one businessman is getting involved in politics to use politicians to defeat and harm his market competitors, using his money to warp the political system & market to his unfair advantage (the crony capitalist) while the other is supporting an economic model (free markets) that would allow his competitors just as much ability to defeat him as he'd have to defeat his competitors.

    But that really gets to the heart of how those on the different sides of the ideological divide look at capitalism itself. Those influenced by Marxist thinking of various degrees (knowing or not) have a tendency to look at capitalism as a means by which the rich seek to remain rich at the expense of the poor. I'd submit that, in the case of free markets, that's not how capitalism (as opposed to crony capitalism) works at all. It permits both the poor man and the rich man to compete in a common market for the creation of wealth and actually does much to level the playing field between them in terms of the opportunity to become rich... but, of course, by creating the opportunity for the successful to become fantastically wealthy (whether they started out rich or poor), there will always be the people from the very neighborhoods they started in who won't enjoy the same success. Free market capitalism creates more equality of opportunity, but it does not address equality of outcome.

    So there's a lot more conflict and separation between the forces Lofgrens is conflating in his piece. Much of the Republican Party unfortunately remains dominated by elements of the business class who may pretend to care about free markets to obtain the support of the party's base, but in reality are no different from the Democrats who pretend to care about populism and the struggle of poor against rich. Both parties' elites, in reality, overwhelmingly do not serve these ideological principles, but serve the interests of the nation's dominant business class and crony capitalistic interests to the advantage of certain businesses & industries based upon the success or failure of each business's and each industry's lobbying efforts in Washington, D.C.

    Both the progressive movement on the American Left and the conservative/libertarian movement on the American Right, while they have VERY different solutions to the present problem, have been mutually increasingly their awareness that this reality needs to change if their own ideological objectives ever stand any chance of being met.

  15. #315

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    I think one thing you have to be very aware of is the division of left and right, in the democratic process, is in part simply 'busy work' for the average person. As the article by Lofgren, and others, and my own and other peoples view that i see discussing the subject in any depth, have concluded, at a certain level of wealth (in the top 1 percentile) none of this actually matters to you anymore. And ultimately the threat that presents to our societies is the concern, rather than the 'are they going to vote republican/democrat/right/left?' 'game' we are all encouraged to be so 'busy' being concerned about.

    So on prinicple i vote with my wallet the most, as in their (ultra rich) world, that is the only way to exercise some real control, which may be small on the individual scale, but if you raise awareness to these issues (as i and others do) that can translate into real change. It is the only advantage of a capitalist system in respect of doing social good. Which is where i come down on the side of those 'survivalist' types (even if always odd ball ultra right wing types i couldn't get on with), the more you can do for yourself, the more you ensure the longterm well being of your close family and friends, extrapolating where the ultra-rich plan to take our societies etc. My time in papua new guinea showed me what true freedom can look like (looking at the way people relied on themselves and nature for what they needed etc).

    Edit: that is not saying png is perfect and everything is great, but as a whole most of their people live truely 'free' lives in the way anti-government types might understand it, and i was not critical of that system in any way, it taught we a whole bunch of useful stuff.
    Last edited by El_Cid; 02-09-12 at 13:47.
    formerly known as child of Thor(coT) in the CTP2 section of poly.

  16. #316

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    Next a very perplexing article from a book about the rise of neo-fascism inside the american army:

    'The modern US army: unfit for service?':

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...aq-afghanistan

    "Fogarty was not the first extremist to enter the armed forces. The neo-Nazi movement has had a long and tense relationship with the US military. Since its inception, the leaders of the white supremacist movement have encouraged their members to enlist. They see it as a way for their followers to receive combat and weapons training, courtesy of the US government, and then to bring what they learn home to undertake a domestic race war. Not all far-right groups subscribe to this vision – some, such as the Ku Klux Klan, claim to prefer a democratic approach – but a large portion see themselves as insurrectionary forces. To that end, professional training in warfare is a must." - extract.

    wel worth the read
    formerly known as child of Thor(coT) in the CTP2 section of poly.

  17. #317
    Monarch Arnelos's Avatar
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    In regards to the topic of this thread, the Onion makes a phenomenally good point:

    (Warning: NOT WORK SAFE)

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-...s-image,29553/

  18. #318
    Revolutionary Dale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arnelos View Post
    In regards to the topic of this thread, the Onion makes a phenomenally good point:

    (Warning: NOT WORK SAFE)

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/no-...s-image,29553/
    Says it all.
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