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Old 05-13-2006, 07:02 AM   #1
Anthony
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Thumbs up The War On Terror: There's Hope For Us Yet!

Apparently I have a kindred spirit - and right across the bay in fact!

The following letter to the editor appeared in Friday's San Francisco Chronicle:


Has the left been duped by Iran letter?

Editor - What are local progressives and liberals doing promoting the ideas of ultra-patriarchal theocrats from the religious right? I see letters everywhere saying President Bush should respond positively to a letter from Iranian President Ahmadinejad claiming that liberal democracy has failed and that Bush should join the world in turning to religion for governance.
These are the people who were raising an alarm because the "red state" voters bought the Republicans' "family values" platform for America, one that exploited fears over same-sex marriage. Now they're standing up for the sock-puppet president of a bunch of mullahs who want to export their "Islamic revolution" worldwide and make us all live under Shari'a law.
I'm a feminist, and I say, keep your Shari'a off my body! Smash the radical Islamist patriarchy now!
Right-wing Web sites are claiming that the left has sold out to radical Islamism. How can we counter that accusation when Ahmadinejad lifts rhetoric from International Answer and Not in Our Name? What are these people thinking?

BETH ELLIOTT
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I could say "Bella, Bella," or even say "Wunderbar" - but I'll actually say "Totally awesome!" and "You go, girl!"
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Old 05-13-2006, 11:39 AM   #2
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Well, too bad the letter has more than just one claim in it, Anthony. His claim that liberal democracy has failed and that Bush should join the world in turning to religion for governance is certainly not one that I find myself behind and I find it hard to believe that there are many on the left behind that specific claim. This just seems to be the same old conservative method of attack more than anything else.

Most liberals likely see the Iranian President as a nutjob and someone who likely should not be in office. Are there things from that letter that liberals would get behind? Certainly. Aside from the one part of the letter that this columnist touched on, Iran mentioned in the letter that they wanted to talk about nuclear capabilities. There are points in there about prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. Points that question the reasoning behind creating a state for Israel. Makes points about Africa and suggest the World could be doing more to help those people.

The letter says at one point:

Quote:
If billions of dollars spent on security, military campaigns and troop movement were instead spent on investment and assistance for poor countries, promotion of health, combating different diseases, education and improvement of mental and physical fitness, assistance to the victims of natural disasters, creation of employment opportunities and production, development projects and poverty alleviation, establishment of peace, mediation between disputing states and distinguishing the flames of racial, ethnic and other conflicts were would the world be today?
Which is something that a lot of people on the left are asking.

Not everything that comes out of that man's mouth is radical. Just like not everything that comes from Bush's mouth is radical, when it may often seem like that.

Also, this whole notion that the left is "standing up" for radical Islamists is just silly right-wing propaganda. There is a huge difference between standing up for someone and not wanting to see them CRUSHED prematurely.

The situation in Iran is not similar to the one in Iraq. There, Saddam Hussein had a track record for murder. Iran's President does not have the same track record. He has spoken on a lot of matters that certainly raise eye brows and the United States should certainly be paying attention to the man. However, where do you cross the line at? For all we know, it may indeed simply be talk and puffery from the Iranian President. Do we go to war and take many lives simply on words? That's the dilemma here.

On the one hand, you do not want to wait around and see Iran knock Israel around with a nuclear weapon. This is not a defense of USA/Israel relations, I don't want to see any country knocked around with a nuclear weapon. Yet, do we launch a pre-emptive strike just based off the possibility and the words of one man?

Israel could go to war with Iran based on what has happened, but it is a stretch to think the USA should lead the way.
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Old 05-13-2006, 07:27 PM   #3
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I guess my observation is less nuanced than Doug: What Beth and Anthony love to insist on but simply isn't true is, to disagree with the tactics this administration uses to fight the war on terror is tantamount to endorsing the enemy.
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Old 05-14-2006, 12:26 AM   #4
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Her choice of the words "liberal democracy" was unfortunate and needs to be clarified: She probably meant "liberal" in the classical, Adam Smith sense - which is essentially the opposite of the way the word has been used since the 1930s (personally, when I hear Bush and the neocons pontificate about "freedom," I think of "economic freedom" - as in the "freedom" of the corporate elite to run roughshod over the rest of us).

But remember when "Under God" was added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954, and "In God We Trust" appeared on paper money in 1957 (it had been on coins since 1864)? The central purpose of these gestures was to show how different we were from our Cold War adversaries, the "godless" Communists.

In a similar vein, liberals today could push for things like the reintroduction of the Equal Rights Amendment, civil rights protections for gays etc., on the grounds that doing these things would demonstrate how different we are from the Islamic extremists. But first the left has to realize that the 2000s are not the 1960s, and al Qaeda and the Taliban are not "romantic revolutionaries" like Che Guevara or even Ho Chi Minh.

Well at least there are two of us out there who understand this - and in the loony-left Bay Area no less.

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Old 05-14-2006, 12:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony
But first the left has to realize that the 2000s are not the 1960s, and al Qaeda and the Taliban are not "romantic revolutionaries" like Che Guevara or even Ho Chi Minh.
Well, that's good. Since no leftists outside of the lunatic fringe actually thinks that, I guess we've already accomplished step one.

Step two: The U.S. mainstream right has to realize that the U.S. mainstream left thinks that the smashmouth approach to fighting terrorism only begets more terrorism and turns into a neverending holy war with massive innocent casualties on each side. This belief does not amount to being Taliban-lovers, treasonous, or however else Anthony (in this case) tries to misrepresent the left this week.

I don't know why I'm even bothering though. We've been debating this on and off for months and years and nothing I'm going to say is going to convince Anthony that us leftists want anything but the US to lose. Otherwise, we would be fully support the war as it is being carried out now, as "loyal opposition" or whatever such nonsense which means "unless you're a traitor, shut up and nod."
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Old 05-14-2006, 01:01 AM   #6
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I knew what she meant in "liberal democracy". I don't think there was any need for the clarification.

Quote:
But first the left has to realize that the 2000s are not the 1960s, and al Qaeda and the Taliban are not "romantic revolutionaries" like Che Guevara or even Ho Chi Minh.
Maybe you should first realize how the left views al Qaeda and the Taliban before attempting to engage in a dialouge on the matter. It is plainly obvious that you'd rather rip the left casually rather than taking the time to find out what the situation actually is. Because you don't understand or agree with the viewpoint of the left does not mean that the left has held al Qaeda or the Taliban to be "romantic revolutionaries."

The left isn't the side that changed the landscape of the fight. The left isn't the side trying to do so once again, with Iran. The left isn't the side that is calling al-Zarqawi incompetant militarily because the man can't fire a machine gun. These are not things that are romanticizing the Taliban or al-Qaeda. These are simple different strategies for fighting the situation. I disagree with how Bush has gone about fighting the war on terrorism, I think he is woefully inept when it comes to some of the decision making here. However, I won't go as far as saying that he is not trying to fight the fight. I just think he is doing it the wrong way.

Why is it that the right always wants to say that the left just doesn't want to fight the fight when it's clear the left just wants to fight in a different manner. It's disrespectful as hell when you're trying to have a dialouge on something like the war on terror. And tiring as hell. Disagreement on methods and sympathy for the opposition are two different things.
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Old 05-14-2006, 02:33 AM   #7
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But does the author of the letter I posted come across as "conservative" to you? Well she doesn't to me (and her use of the word "we" in the last paragraph fairly well clinches it).

And why the harsh tone? (We're not talking about something really contentious like the Eagles' wide receivers here, are we? :lol All I'm trying to get out there is the points a more intelligent left could make if they put this tired '60s act of theirs to rest - and how much of their domestic agenda they could actually get enacted if they did; and no one who is at all rational is accusing the left (at least not the mainstream left anyway) of "treason" - but they are most definitely guilty of advocating appeasement: All they do is say "No, no, no" to everything without ever offering up anything they would say "Yes" to.

They're squandering a tremendous opportunity here - and how come the Republicans did the right thing during World War II, and were duly rewarded when the voters gave them control of both houses of Congress in the 1946 mid-term elections (and if Thomas E. Dewey hadn't been such a dolt, the White House in 1948 as well)?

But if you'd rather be "ideologically pure" than actually in power, well be my guest; except that nobody will like it when the economy crashes and we have a full-blown civil war in this country (the growing backlash against price-gouging by the oil companies being an ominous foretaste of what could be to come) - least of all the wealthy, who will most likely all get slaughtered.

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Old 05-14-2006, 01:17 PM   #8
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I wasn't really addressing the writer of the letter in my last post. I was addressing what you wrote...specifically the part I quoted. If the tone was harsh, it's simply because I'm tired of people on the left being painted with a brush that they do not want to fight the war.

Quote:
and no one who is at all rational is accusing the left (at least not the mainstream left anyway) of "treason" - but they are most definitely guilty of advocating appeasement
How exactly is the left guilty of advocating appeasement? Because folks on the left want the UN to enter Iraq and help out rather than just keep on doing it with a bullying military that is not trained for nation building? Because folks on the left wanted to stay in Afghanistan and really hit the terrorists hard rather than move on to Iraq? These are not appeasement stances, they are just stances different than the ones you would take.

That's the thing that is tiring to me. I'm tired of running into people on the right who think that people on the left are advocating appeasement. It just shows me that they do not give a **** about what the other side has to say on the matter.

Like I said before, Anthony, I really think you should take the time to get what the left is saying if you're going to criticize in this manner.

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Old 05-15-2006, 02:20 AM   #9
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Well to be fair Doug, the right is no less muddle-headed when it comes to immigration: Don't they realize what will happen if they do succeed in sealing the border and then deported any significant number of the "felons"? Wal-Mart and all those chicken farms in Arkansas will have to start paying their workers $8 or $9 an hour instead of the $5 and change they're getting away with now. And do you think they'd like that?

Talk about a case of "Don't wish too hard for something - it might come true."

But what good is the UN? They didn't call it "The Communist And Cannibal Club" back in the '80s for nothing, you know; and look at who sits on their "Human Rights Commission" - a classic example of putting the foxes in charge of the hen house, no?

How can anyone trust them to be impartial?

Plus I do have one huge bone to pick with Bush and the neocons regarding Iraq - I say it needs to be partitioned into three totally separate and sovereign states: Kurdistan in the north, "Sunnistan" in the center, and "Shiastan" in the south. These factions have been hating each other for more than a thousand years - they will never live together in peace; yet we're trying to force them to because the generation (there's that word again, buckeyefan!) now in power in this country still can't let go of its impulse to "teach the world to sing in perfect harmony."

And not for nothing, but what about all the sympathy the left shows for the "Palestinians"? Would they feel the same way if German suicide bombers were blowing up things in Gdansk (formerly Danzig) or Wroclaw (formerly Breslau)? Or if Italians started detonating car bombs in Rijeka (formerly Fiume) or a new breed of Japanese kamikazes began to immolate themselves in Korea?

The Arabs - at least the "Palestinians" anyway - lost the war (World War II). Everybody else who was on the losing side has gotten over it and moved on - so why can't they do likewise after 61 years? And after going to war against the British (their leader, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem - who was also Yasser Arafat's uncle - having formally declared jihad against Britain on May 9, 1941), the Arabs weren't entitled to one square angstrom of the original British mandate; yet London magnanimously gave them more than five-sixths of it and they still weren't satisfied!

But hey - don't blame me: Not only did I vote for Kerry in 2004 (and am likely to vote for Hillary in '08), but I even put a homemade sign in my front window which read "Pluck The Chickenhawks - Kerry in '04."

Isn't it funny, though, how I'm a lot calmer and more rational discussing issues like this than I am when discussing a certain NFL team? (And check the NFL board for a brand new thread on that topic).

Last edited by Anthony; 05-15-2006 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinBeane
...the tactics this administration uses to fight the war on terror is tantamount to endorsing the enemy...
What? Do you read newspapers? At all?

The entire Democrat/Liberal agenda is to pull out of Iraq/Afghanistan, remain passive to terror, reduce the budget to fight terrorism, and remain indebted to foreign nations in our oil dependance... it is instead "this administration" (as you erroneously allege above) that is addressing terrorism around the world, retooling our security apparatus in defense of terrorism, increasing the budget to fight terror, and looking for domestic sources of oil (i.e., Alaskan ANWR and Canadian Athabascan Tar Sands) to reduce our foreign dependence.

Read. Before. You. Criticize. This. Administration.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:13 AM   #11
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IntheNet: Where were you when I needed you? :lol:
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:03 AM   #12
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Inthenet, I don't understand the correlation between your speech about how the administration is right and the quote you pulled from my post. Unless your point is I can't disagree with the Administration without being a Taliban lover? What was it you said last time? Birthday party for Osama is my stance?

Yeah, it's me who needs to read more.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:09 AM   #13
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Well he does have a point about domestic oil sources etc. - although you could fire back about imposing tighter fuel-efficiency standards.

But I say there's no reason not to do both - unless of course you have a narrow partisan agenda.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinBeane
Inthenet, I don't understand the correlation between your speech about how the administration is right and the quote you pulled from my post. Unless your point is I can't disagree with the Administration without being a Taliban lover? What was it you said last time? Birthday party for Osama is my stance?
Bush's whole administration and his record since coming to office (except period from 01/01/01 to 09/11/01) has been characterized as proactively fighting terrorism. How you can - even in jest - say that his administration "endorses terror" is laughable. Do you know how popular Bush would be if he caved in to the paccifists and refused to address terror? Do you know how much risk we would be in if he just said, "Oh heck... Rep. Murtha is right... let's just bring home the troops now... refuse to address terror, become isolationist, and just ignore terrorism?"
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:31 AM   #15
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But, InTheNet, you have to look at HOW he has fought terrorism. I believe in the war on terrorism, I just don't believe in how he has fought it. Moving to a war in Iraq did not wind up being proactively fighting terrorism. They've tried to mask it as such because of all of the terrorists that have gone there to try and fight Americans, but it simply isn't the case.

InTheNet, the bottomline is that there is not only ONE way to fight the war on terrorism. I believe Bush is trying to be proactive about terrorism, I just don't think his methods have been the best/most productive/most effective.
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