[OT: humour] On the subject of taking Iraq messages elsewhere

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Just Zis Guy, Jan 23, 2003.

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  1. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    Folks, if you don't think it's funny I apologise in advance, but this definitely made me chuckle:

    IMMEDIATE ATTENTION NEEDED : HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL

    FROM: GEORGE WALKER BUSH 202.456.1414 / 202.456.1111 FAX: 202.456.2461

    DEAR SIR / MADAM,

    I AM GEORGE WALKER BUSH, SON OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA GEORGE HERBERT
    WALKER BUSH, AND CURRENTLY SERVING AS PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THIS LETTER MIGHT
    SURPRISE YOU BECAUSE WE HAVE NOT MET NEITHER IN PERSON NOR BY CORRESPONDENCE. I CAME TO KNOW OF YOU
    IN MY SEARCH FOR A RELIABLE AND REPUTABLE PERSON TO HANDLE A VERY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS TRANSACTION,
    WHICH INVOLVES THE TRANSFER OF A HUGE SUM OF MONEY TO AN ACCOUNT REQUIRING MAXIMUM CONFIDENCE.

    I AM WRITING YOU IN ABSOLUTE CONFIDENCE PRIMARILY TO SEEK YOUR ASSISTANCE IN ACQUIRING OIL FUNDS
    THAT ARE PRESENTLY TRAPPED IN THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ. MY PARTNERS AND I SOLICIT YOUR ASSISTANCE IN
    COMPLETING A TRANSACTION BEGUN BY MY FATHER, WHO HAS LONG BEEN ACTIVELY ENGAGED IN THE EXTRACTION OF
    PETROLEUM IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AND BRAVELY SERVED HIS COUNTRY AS DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED
    STATES CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY.

    IN THE DECADE OF THE NINETEEN-EIGHTIES, MY FATHER, THEN VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF
    AMERICA, SOUGHT TO WORK WITH THE GOOD OFFICES OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ TO REGAIN
    LOST OIL REVENUE SOURCES IN THE NEIGHBORING ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN. THIS UNSUCCESSFUL VENTURE WAS
    SOON FOLLOWED BY A FALLING OUT WITH HIS IRAQI PARTNER, WHO SOUGHT TO ACQUIRE ADDITIONAL OIL REVENUE
    SOURCES IN THE NEIGHBORING EMIRATE OF KUWAIT, A WHOLLY-OWNED U.S.-BRITISH SUBSIDIARY.

    MY FATHER RE-SECURED THE PETROLEUM ASSETS OF KUWAIT IN 1991 AT A COST OF SIXTY-ONE BILLION U.S.
    DOLLARS ($61,000,000,000). OUT OF THAT COST, THIRTY-SIX BILLION DOLLARS ($36,000,000,000) WERE
    SUPPLIED BY HIS PARTNERS IN THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA AND OTHER PERSIAN GULF MONARCHIES, AND
    SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLARS ($16,000,000,000) BY GERMAN AND JAPANESE PARTNERS. BUT MY FATHER'S FORMER
    IRAQI BUSINESS PARTNER REMAINED IN CONTROL OF THE REPUBLIC OF IRAQ AND ITS PETROLEUM RESERVES.

    MY FAMILY IS CALLING FOR YOUR URGENT ASSISTANCE IN FUNDING THE REMOVAL OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE
    REPUBLIC OF IRAQ AND ACQUIRING THE PETROLEUM ASSETS OF HIS COUNTRY, AS COMPENSATION FOR THE COSTS OF
    REMOVING HIM FROM POWER.

    UNFORTUNATELY, OUR PARTNERS FROM 1991 ARE NOT WILLING TO SHOULDER THE BURDEN OF THIS NEW VENTURE,
    WHICH IN ITS UPCOMING PHASE MAY COST THE SUM OF 100 BILLION TO 200 BILLION US DOLLARS
    ($100,000,000,000 - $200,000,000,000), BOTH IN THE INITIAL ACQUISITION AND IN LONG-TERM MANAGEMENT.

    WITHOUT THE FUNDS FROM OUR 1991 PARTNERS, WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ACQUIRE THE OIL REVENUE TRAPPED
    WITHIN IRAQ. THAT IS WHY MY FAMILY AND OUR COLLEAGUES ARE URGENTLY SEEKING YOUR GRACIOUS ASSISTANCE.
    OUR DISTINGUISHED COLLEAGUES IN THIS BUSINESS TRANSACTION INCLUDE THE SITTING VICE-PRESIDENT OF THE
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, RICHARD CHENEY, WHO IS AN ORIGINAL PARTNER IN THE IRAQ VENTURE AND FORMER
    HEAD OF THE HALLIBURTON OIL COMPANY, AND CONDOLEEZA RICE, WHOSE PROFESSIONAL DEDICATION TO THE
    VENTURE WAS DEMONSTRATED IN THE NAMING OF A CHEVRON OIL TANKER AFTER HER.

    I WOULD BESEECH YOU TO TRANSFER A SUM EQUALING TEN TO TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT (10-25 %) OF YOUR YEARLY
    INCOME TO OUR ACCOUNT TO AID IN THIS IMPORTANT VENTURE. THE INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE OF THE UNITED
    STATES OF AMERICA WILL FUNCTION AS OUR TRUSTED INTERMEDIARY. I PROPOSE THAT YOU MAKE THIS TRANSFER
    BEFORE THE FIFTEENTH (15TH) OF THE MONTH OF APRIL.

    I KNOW THAT A TRANSACTION OF THIS MAGNITUDE WOULD MAKE ANYONE APPREHENSIVE AND WORRIED. BUT I AM
    ASSURING YOU THAT ALL WILL BE WELL AT THE END OF THE DAY. A BOLD STEP TAKEN SHALL NOT BE REGRETTED,
    I ASSURE YOU. PLEASE DO BE INFORMED THAT THIS BUSINESS TRANSACTION IS 100% LEGAL.

    IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO CO-OPERATE IN THIS TRANSACTION, PLEASE CONTACT OUR INTERMEDIARY
    REPRESENTATIVES TO FURTHER DISCUSS THE MATTER.

    I PRAY THAT YOU UNDERSTAND OUR PLIGHT. MY FAMILY AND OUR COLLEAGUES WILL BE FOREVER GRATEFUL. PLEASE
    REPLY IN STRICT CONFIDENCE TO THE CONTACT NUMBERS BELOW.

    SINCERELY WITH WARM REGARDS,

    GEORGE WALKER BUSH

    Switchboard: 202.456.1414 Comments: 202.456.1111 Fax: 202.456.2461 Email: [email protected]

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
    Tags:


  2. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Cute. Except that, as noted above, there really is no credible argument that the issue is oil. I
    would have suggested, as well, that you keep things under the already-established OT threads.
    That way, if people don't want to see this it's an easy matter to simply filter the threads out
    as a whole.

    Besides which, it's not really very funny as ironic humor goes. Maybe you need to watch *The Spy Who
    Shagged Me* again. Either that, or try a soliloquy by Saddam lamenting the fact that he can't seem
    to convince any of his loyal scientists to leave sunny Iraq in order have a credible heart to heart
    with Hans Blix. The poor guy is practically powerless in his own land! Now there's something Mike
    Myers can work with.

    --
    --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.
     
  3. It's difficult to comprehend just how steeped in Bushit many Amerericans are.

    "Freewheeling" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Cute. Except that, as noted above, there really is no credible argument that the issue is oil. I
    > would have suggested, as well, that you keep things under the already-established OT threads. That
    > way, if people
    don't
    > want to see this it's an easy matter to simply filter the threads out as
    a
    > whole.
    >
    > Besides which, it's not really very funny as ironic humor goes. Maybe
    you
    > need to watch *The Spy Who Shagged Me* again. Either that, or try a soliloquy by Saddam lamenting
    > the fact that he can't seem to convince any
    of
    > his loyal scientists to leave sunny Iraq in order have a credible heart
    to
    > heart with Hans Blix. The poor guy is practically powerless in his own land! Now there's something
    > Mike Myers can work with.
    >
    > --
    > --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.
     
  4. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    > Cute. Except that, as noted above, there really is no credible argument that the issue is oil. I
    > would have suggested, as well, that you keep things under the already-established OT threads.
    > That way, if people don't want to see this it's an easy matter to simply filter the threads out
    > as a whole.
    >
    > Besides which, it's not really very funny as ironic humor goes. Maybe you need to watch *The Spy
    > Who Shagged Me* again. Either that, or try a soliloquy by Saddam lamenting the fact that he can't
    > seem to convince any of his loyal scientists to leave sunny Iraq in order have a credible heart to
    > heart with Hans Blix. The poor guy is practically powerless in his own land! Now there's something
    > Mike Myers can work with.

    Agreed, the issue is not about oil - G.W. Bush thinks Saddam Hussein is a frog, only this time he
    has a much bigger firecracker.

    FWIW, I find Mike Myers/Austin Powers about as funny as motor vehicle passengers throwing objects
    at cyclists.

    However, the post in question would not be nearly as funny to someone who has not received an
    example of the "Nigerian Spam" which it parodies.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  5. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    "Agreed, the issue is not about oil - G.W. Bush thinks Saddam Hussein is a frog, only this time he
    has a much bigger firecracker."

    You too might need a course at Comedy University. The truth is that political humor is seldom funny.
    That's not the point, after all. But having the freedom to *make* political jokes might be the
    point. According to Freedom House Jordan has the greatest press, political, and civil freedom of any
    Muslim nation in the Middle East. (About a 4 on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being the least free.)
    Political humor is virtually unheard of in Jordan, according to a former roomate of mine. (Not that
    any humor is particularly popular, other than reruns of the Gong Show.) But Jordan is a bastion of
    freedom compared to Syria, and Syria is California compared to Iraq. In Iraq they think "Nyuk Nyuk"
    is the name of the North Korean Ambassador.

    --
    --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.

    "Tom Sherman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Freewheeling wrote:
    > >
    > > Cute. Except that, as noted above, there really is no credible argument that the issue is oil. I
    > > would have suggested, as well, that you keep things under the already-established OT threads.
    > > That way, if people
    don't
    > > want to see this it's an easy matter to simply filter the threads out as
    a
    > > whole.
    > >
    > > Besides which, it's not really very funny as ironic humor goes. Maybe
    you
    > > need to watch *The Spy Who Shagged Me* again. Either that, or try a soliloquy by Saddam
    > > lamenting the fact that he can't seem to convince
    any of
    > > his loyal scientists to leave sunny Iraq in order have a credible heart
    to
    > > heart with Hans Blix. The poor guy is practically powerless in his own land! Now there's
    > > something Mike Myers can work with.
    >
    > Agreed, the issue is not about oil - G.W. Bush thinks Saddam Hussein is a frog, only this time he
    > has a much bigger firecracker.
    >
    > FWIW, I find Mike Myers/Austin Powers about as funny as motor vehicle passengers throwing objects
    > at cyclists.
    >
    > However, the post in question would not be nearly as funny to someone who has not received an
    > example of the "Nigerian Spam" which it parodies.
    >
    > Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  6. Cletus Lee

    Cletus Lee Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > ...I would have suggested, as well, that you keep things under the already-established OT threads.
    > That way, if people don't want to see this it's an easy matter to simply filter the threads out as
    > a whole.

    Ah. But if that happened, I might have missed this gem. I filtered the 'Iraq messages thread long
    ago. To think there might be something really important show up in a thread of questionable value is
    more than I want to ponder.
    --

    Cletus D. Lee Bacchetta Giro Lightning Voyager http://www.clee.org
    - Bellaire, TX USA -
     
  7. Tom Sherman wrote:

    > However, the post in question would not be nearly as funny to someone who has not received an
    > example of the "Nigerian Spam" which it parodies.

    I imagine that just about everyone using the InterWeb has received at least one example of the
    Nigerian 419, though.

    And I'm *still* waiting for Messrs Blair and Bush to say something about Zimbabwe (apart from
    "Where?", natch).

    Dave Larrington - http://legslarry.crosswinds.net/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  8. Gary Mc

    Gary Mc Guest

    Scott,

    Must disagree. Oil is to the current age what gold was the the 15th & 16th Centuries. Finding oil is
    like winning the lottery for a nation. It is the wealth to build an empire, as Spain did. It is the
    quick riches that Saddam and other tyrants are willing to spend the lives on their citzens to
    obtain, so they can build still bigger armies. Without oil, Saddam would not be a menace. Except for
    our desire for Mideast oil, we would hardly care what Arab States did to one another. We would be as
    indifferent as we were to Rwanda.

    Re: political humor. Of course it is wonderful. Will Rodgers was the best, but Mark Twain was also
    good on the subject. The guy who now plays the piano and does polical satire (name escapes me) is
    really enjoyable too. We laugh at politicians because they take themselves too seriously. And, it is
    great that we live in country that permits political satire.

    Will Rodgers once said something like, "I don't belong to any organized political party, I am a
    Democrat." Being a newly coined Democrat, I love it.

    Lets ride our bikes and save a bit of gas.

    Gary McCarty, Greenspeed GTO, Salt Lake City

    "Freewheeling" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Cute. Except that, as noted above, there really is no credible argument that the issue is oil. I
    > would have suggested, as well, that you keep things under the already-established OT threads.
    > That way, if people don't want to see this it's an easy matter to simply filter the threads out
    > as a whole.
     
  9. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    As I said somewhere, without oil Saddam wouldn't be in power, and Iraq would look a lot more like
    Jordan. To say that oil is "important" is just axiomatic. That is not the same as saying that the
    potential conflict with Iraq is about oil. In that regard I get a helluva kick out of Saddam's
    stupid son, Uday. He says, on the one hand, that if the US invades Iraq it will suffer retaliation
    that will make September 11 look like a picnic (in spite of the fact that daddy says Iraq has no
    WMD), but on the other suggests that Iraq is willing to make any sort of accomodation about the oil
    that the West wants to make. So, with one statement he has given the lie to the two most insideous
    conspiracy theories out there: that the conflict is "about oil" and that we somehow need "proof"
    that Saddam has WMD. But Uday never did have his ducks in a row.

    Sorry about the paucity of humor in this post. Other than the mental resemblance between Uday and
    Gilligan, that is.

    And, of course, I agree that cyclinng in lieu of driving is patriotic. The fewer Wahhabi madrasas
    there are in the world, the better.

    --
    --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.

    "Gary Mc" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Scott,
    >
    > Must disagree. Oil is to the current age what gold was the the 15th & 16th Centuries. Finding oil
    > is like winning the lottery for a nation. It is the wealth to build an empire, as Spain did. It is
    > the quick riches that Saddam and other tyrants are willing to spend the lives on their citzens to
    > obtain, so they can build still bigger armies. Without oil, Saddam would not be a menace. Except
    > for our desire for Mideast oil, we would hardly care what Arab States did to one another. We would
    > be as indifferent as we were to Rwanda.
    >
    > Re: political humor. Of course it is wonderful. Will Rodgers was the best, but Mark Twain was also
    > good on the subject. The guy who now plays the piano and does polical satire (name escapes me) is
    > really enjoyable too. We laugh at politicians because they take themselves too seriously. And, it
    > is great that we live in country that permits political satire.
    >
    > Will Rodgers once said something like, "I don't belong to any organized political party, I am a
    > Democrat." Being a newly coined Democrat, I love it.
    >
    > Lets ride our bikes and save a bit of gas.
    >
    > Gary McCarty, Greenspeed GTO, Salt Lake City
    >
    >
    > "Freewheeling" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Cute. Except that, as noted above, there really is no credible argument that the issue is oil. I
    > > would have suggested, as well, that you keep things under the already-established OT threads.
    > > That way, if people
    don't
    > > want to see this it's an easy matter to simply filter the threads out as
    a
    > > whole.
    > >
     
  10. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Fri, 24 Jan 2003 01:42:47 -0500, "Freewheeling" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >The truth is that political humor is seldom funny.

    The real trouble with political jokes, of course, is they get elected.

    I think this might be a case of the famous American tendency not to "get" irony then. Political
    humour works precisely because it /is/ funny. Satire is one of the richest sources of real belly
    laughs - and quite right too; politicians take themselves far too seriously.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  11. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    > "Agreed, the issue is not about oil - G.W. Bush thinks Saddam Hussein is a frog, only this time he
    > has a much bigger firecracker."
    >
    > You too might need a course at Comedy University. The truth is that political humor is seldom
    > funny. That's not the point, after all. But having the freedom to *make* political jokes might be
    > the point....

    What I wrote was not intended to be humorous, unless someone finds a child stuffing a firecracker in
    the mouth of a frog, lighting the wick, and throwing the frog in the air so he can watch it explode
    (as the young G.W. Bush is reported by family members to have done) to be funny.

    Frankly, I worry about the large number of people in the US [1] who do not seem concerned that G.W.
    Bush by his public speaking manner (apart from tax cuts) seems disinterested in everything but
    punishment (especially executions) and violence.

    As for the freedom to make political jokes, if the US Supreme Court ultimately decides (as the Bush
    Administration wants it to) that Jose Padilla can be declared an enemy combatant by the executive
    branch and held in a military prison with no right to a fair and speedy trial until the end of
    hostilities (whenever that would be in a "war" against an abstract noun (terrorism)?), the US will
    have become a police state without civil rights including the freedom of speech.

    [1] But not the rest of the industrialized world, where opinion polls show that G.W. Bush is
    considered a much greater danger to the world than either Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden.

    "To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the
    president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the
    American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  12. No credible argument? What planet are you living on? "Freewheeling"
    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Cute. Except that, as noted above, there really is no credible argument that the issue is oil. I
    > would have suggested, as well, that you keep things under the already-established OT threads. That
    > way, if people
    don't
    > want to see this it's an easy matter to simply filter the threads out as a whole.
    >
    > Besides which, it's not really very funny as ironic humor goes. Maybe you need to watch *The Spy
    > Who Shagged Me* again. Either that, or try a soliloquy by Saddam lamenting the fact that he can't
    > seem to convince any
    of
    > his loyal scientists to leave sunny Iraq in order have a credible heart to heart with Hans
    > Blix. The poor guy is practically powerless in his own land! Now there's something Mike Myers
    > can work with.
    >
    > --
    > --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.
     
  13. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Tom:

    "Frankly, I worry about the large number of people in the US [1] who do not seem concerned that G.W.
    Bush by his public speaking manner (apart from tax cuts) seems disinterested in everything but
    punishment (especially executions) and violence."

    What worries me is that you actually think that Chomskyesque caricature is true. I really don't
    think it makes much sense to base your theory about such an important issue as war or national
    security on such clearly partisan characterizations. It's precisely the sort of stuff that's
    gradually convincing me I've been in the wrong party for 40 years. Surely you're more intelligent
    than that.

    "As for the freedom to make political jokes, if the US Supreme Court ultimately decides (as the Bush
    Administration wants it to) that Jose Padilla can be declared an enemy combatant by the executive
    branch and held in a military prison with no right to a fair and speedy trial until the end of
    hostilities (whenever that would be in a "war" against an abstract noun (terrorism)?), the US will
    have become a police state without civil rights including the freedom of speech."

    Well, there's another leap of logic. First you're basing theories about national security on rumors
    about childhood personality flaws carried into adulthood, and then you're jumping to the conclusion
    that we live in a police state because some court makes a pragmatic judgment about circumstances of
    threat that have no precedent in US history. As though the criminal justice paradigm is relevant to
    such circumstances. Tell me who you're voting for, so I can be sure to vote against them.

    "[1] But not the rest of the industrialized world, where opinion polls show that G.W. Bush is
    considered a much greater danger to the world than either Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden."

    God, that makes me want to cry it's so stupid. A homicidal maniac who is known to have murdered and
    tortured hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of his own people without remorse, simply to
    preserve his own corrupt regime, and a religious nut who thinks it'd just be neato to wipe a major
    US city, if not the population of the US (you know what the term "soft kill" means, I take it),
    being favorably compared to a leader who is willing to stay or leave based upon the results of an
    election it two years (assuming it's not another tie). If you're talking about the mainland
    Europeans, no wonder they've been the cause of two world wars in the last century.

    But to be fair all you'd need to convince me that Saddam is no threat is to get a comprehensive list
    of Iraqi weapons scientists, and then interview some in sanctuary with their families somewhere
    safe. I mean, considering the stakes you'd think he'd be falling all over himself to comply with
    that requirement. Unless he has no intention of getting rid of his arsenal of WMD. Do you actually
    *know* anything about Saddam Hussein?

    This has developed into one of those left/right ideological rifts, when I don't think ideology has
    the slightest thing to do with anything. It's like encouraging people to swim in shark infested
    waters because the temperature seems comfortable, and there aren't any fins visible.

    1. It's relatively easy to settle the matter of whether there are WMD in Iraq, once and for all.

    2. One can reasonably presume that a concerted effort to obstruct (1) from happening constitutes
    evidence that there *are* WMD in Iraq.

    It really isn't that hard to figure out. Who happens to be the President, or what his opinion on
    capital punishment or the welfare state happens to be don't make the slightest difference--as long
    as he has a lick of sense, and knows enough not to mistake comfort for security.

    --
    --Scott [email protected]il.com Cut the "tail" to send email.

    <<snippage
     
  14. Just Zis Guy

    Just Zis Guy Guest

    On Sat, 25 Jan 2003 02:39:16 -0500, "Freewheeling" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Well, there's another leap of logic. First you're basing theories about national security on rumors
    >about childhood personality flaws carried into adulthood, and then you're jumping to the conclusion
    >that we live in a police state because some court makes a pragmatic judgment about circumstances of
    >threat that have no precedent in US history.

    First, I wasn't aware that anyone had debunked the GWB animal cruelty stories (if so please post
    where). This kind of stuff tends to be a strong predictor of future sociopathic tendencies.

    Second, there are precedents in US history. Terrorists funded by the USA bombed undefended
    civilian targets on the UK mainland using explosives supplied from the USA, and the USA allowed
    the perpetrators to continue fundraising round the States. Or does it only count when the USA is
    the victim?

    It is not "unpatriotic" or "anti-American" to express profound reservations about Bush's actions.

    >This has developed into one of those left/right ideological rifts, when I don't think ideology has
    >the slightest thing to do with anything.

    Is true enough over there, but that's mainly because Bus has wrapped himself in the flag and tied
    the whole thing in the most cynical manner to 9/11 [that's 11/9 to those outside the US :)].

    In the UK the issue definitely doesn't go along party lines - I know people of both left and right
    political persuasions who have views on both sides. Although to be fair a centre-right Englishman
    probably sits to the left of a centre-left USian on many issues.

    Guy
    ===
    ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    dynamic DNS permitting)
    NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    work. Apologies.
     
  15. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Scott,

    Freewheeling wrote:
    >
    > Tom:
    >
    > "Frankly, I worry about the large number of people in the US [1] who do not seem concerned that
    > G.W. Bush by his public speaking manner (apart from tax cuts) seems disinterested in everything
    > but punishment (especially executions) and violence."
    >
    > What worries me is that you actually think that Chomskyesque caricature is true. I really don't
    > think it makes much sense to base your theory about such an important issue as war or national
    > security on such clearly partisan characterizations. It's precisely the sort of stuff that's
    > gradually convincing me I've been in the wrong party for 40 years. Surely you're more intelligent
    > than that.

    Having watched interviews of G.W. Bush at the time his name was being mentioned as a presidential
    candidate, what struck me was how his affable manner changed to an aristocratic "how dare you
    question me" response to uncomfortable questions. Of course now his handlers are careful to isolate
    him from troublesome journalists (Ari Fleisher deals with them).
    >
    > "As for the freedom to make political jokes, if the US Supreme Court ultimately decides (as the
    > Bush Administration wants it to) that Jose Padilla can be declared an enemy combatant by the
    > executive branch and held in a military prison with no right to a fair and speedy trial until the
    > end of hostilities (whenever that would be in a "war" against an abstract noun (terrorism)?), the
    > US will have become a police state without civil rights including the freedom of speech."
    >
    > Well, there's another leap of logic. First you're basing theories about national security on
    > rumors about childhood personality flaws carried into adulthood, and then you're jumping to the
    > conclusion that we live in a police state because some court makes a pragmatic judgment about
    > circumstances of threat that have no precedent in US history. As though the criminal justice
    > paradigm is relevant to such circumstances. Tell me who you're voting for, so I can be sure to
    > vote against them.

    You must have missed the word "if" in my posting. I am not claiming the US is a police state since
    that case has not yet reached the US Supreme Court. However, if one person in the government can
    decide to hold anyone in custody with no time limits and no legal recourse for the detainee, how is
    that not a police state?

    > "[1] But not the rest of the industrialized world, where opinion polls show that G.W. Bush is
    > considered a much greater danger to the world than either Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden."
    >
    > God, that makes me want to cry it's so stupid. A homicidal maniac who is known to have murdered
    > and tortured hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of his own people without remorse, simply to
    > preserve his own corrupt regime, and a religious nut who thinks it'd just be neato to wipe a major
    > US city, if not the population of the US (you know what the term "soft kill" means, I take it),
    > being favorably compared to a leader who is willing to stay or leave based upon the results of an
    > election it two years (assuming it's not another tie). If you're talking about the mainland
    > Europeans, no wonder they've been the cause of two world wars in the last century.

    Lets look at means available to the three men in question to carry out destruction.

    Osama bin Laden/ Al Quada is limited to the means that creative terrorists can come up with, and
    while they have been very successful using those means, the destructive capability is quite limited.

    Saddam Hussein has a rather ineffective and poorly equipped army of mostly conscripts, no navy or
    air force to speak of, and very little if any of the WMD's that Iraq had in 1990. In addition, he
    can not make any military moves without US surveillance picking it up.

    G.W. Bush has the most technologically sophisticated military in the world, a military budget that
    is larger than the next 15 largest combined, and a huge supply of WMD's and the ability to
    deliver them to any place in the world. Add to this Bush's public policy of "pre-emptive
    strikes" and possible first use of nuclear weapons (per the leaked Nuclear Posture Review), and
    the level of concern seems sensible.

    As for the mainland Europeans (and the Russians, Chinese, and Japanese) they suffered terribly from
    the consequences of conventional 20th Century warfare. The US for all practical purposed only
    suffered from a loss of a small percentage of its young male population fighting overseas. It should
    not be surprising that people in the US seem less concerned about the destruction caused by warfare
    than the other countries, since it has not happened in the US since 1865.

    > But to be fair all you'd need to convince me that Saddam is no threat is to get a comprehensive
    > list of Iraqi weapons scientists, and then interview some in sanctuary with their families
    > somewhere safe. I mean, considering the stakes you'd think he'd be falling all over himself to
    > comply with that requirement. Unless he has no intention of getting rid of his arsenal of WMD. Do
    > you actually *know* anything about Saddam Hussein?

    Saddam Hussein is a bully who will push the limits of what he can get away with and no farther. He
    probably would not have invaded Kuwait if US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie had not told him in
    1990 that the US was not concerned with disputes between Arab states. Yes, he has been responsible
    for a huge number of innocent people being killed, but then so have many other dictators that the US
    has not gone to war to remove (not to mention the US record in killing innocents).

    And of course, the US assisted Iraq/Hussein in developing his chemical and biological weapons
    programs in the 1980's. This was done to use Iraq as a US surrogate to attack Iran which was
    considered the primary US enemy and threat to US interests in the Middle East after the Pahlavi
    regime was deposed in 1979 by a fundementalist revolt. (The Pahlavi regime was of course imposed on
    the Iranian people in a US/CIA backed coup in 1953, and maintained its totalitarion hold on the
    country with US support.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  16. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    "First, I wasn't aware that anyone had debunked the GWB animal cruelty stories (if so please post
    where). This kind of stuff tends to be a strong predictor of future sociopathic tendencies."

    Sounds like boy stuff to me. Most kids of that age would just see frogs as highly animate toys, not
    living entities. When I was a kid vacationing in Priest Lake, Idaho there were about a half dozen
    kids my age who hunted the ubiquitious frog population around the 4th of July and did all manner of
    evil to them (including some of the stuff you mention). I grew up with those kids (most of whom were
    farm kids like me), knew them by name, and half of them turned out to be peacenik hippies in later
    years. At a somewhat later age we had frogs as pets, and held funerals for them when they died of
    natural causes. Like I said, I can't believe you guys are making up your minds about national
    security based on that kind of stuff. Where do you get your ideas, from Barbara Streisand?

    "Second, there are precedents in US history. Terrorists funded by the USA bombed undefended
    civilian targets on the UK mainland using explosives supplied from the USA, and the USA allowed
    the perpetrators to continue fundraising round the States. Or does it only count when the USA is
    the victim?"

    Again with the outrageous accusations, and no specifics. And the absolutely incoherent implied logic
    of the paragraph is that it *is* alright. What a pantload.

    "It is not "unpatriotic" or "anti-American" to express profound reservations about Bush's actions."

    It's certainly OK, and quite American, to have reservations about the exercise of any statist
    authority, whether it involves war or the welfare society. But the absolutely unavoidable logical
    inference from the evidence (especially the behavioral evidence) is that Saddam *is* hiding WMD,
    which means he has something in mind for them. It isn't that it's un-American not to recognize that.
    It's just inexplicably dense. And in my experience only ideology has the capacity to make people
    that dense. Well, that and drugs.

    Now, there are people on the libertarian "right," like Bob Novak, who oppose intervention. But I
    stopped listening to Bob Novak when he expressed the opinion that Tariq Aziz was a "nice man." I
    see pretty much the standard anti-American crowd in Europe lined up on this, with a few exceptions.
    But the French will cave as soon as we agree to allow them the oil contracts they've signed up for.
    Same with the Russians. I don't know what to say about the Germans, except that it's not easy being
    that color.

    I didn't vote for Bush. (In fact, I voted for Nader.) But this issue has absolutely nothing to do
    with that. And I don't give a damn whether Bush serves a second term, either. In fact, if I read the
    guy right he's willing to sacrifice a second term for the sake of getting this done. Which is what
    I'd be willing to do if I were in his shoes.

    But it would be an awful shame to eject Saddam if he didn't happen to have WMD. Except for the Marsh
    Arabs, the Kurds, the Shia of the holy cities in the south, and most of the Sunni population who
    aren't part of the Tikriti elite or their sycophants. His obvious determination to confound efforts
    to prove he has no WMD are, no doubt, due to his wierd sense of humor.

    --
    --Scott "the Southpark Conservative"

    "Just zis Guy, you know?" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > On Sat, 25 Jan 2003 02:39:16 -0500, "Freewheeling" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Well, there's another leap of logic. First you're basing theories about national security on
    > >rumors about childhood personality flaws carried
    into
    > >adulthood, and then you're jumping to the conclusion that we live in a police state because some
    > >court makes a pragmatic judgment about circumstances of threat that have no precedent in US
    > >history.
    >
    > First, I wasn't aware that anyone had debunked the GWB animal cruelty stories (if so please post
    > where). This kind of stuff tends to be a strong predictor of future sociopathic tendencies.
    >
    > Second, there are precedents in US history. Terrorists funded by the USA bombed undefended
    > civilian targets on the UK mainland using explosives supplied from the USA, and the USA allowed
    > the perpetrators to continue fundraising round the States. Or does it only count when the USA is
    > the victim?
    >
    > It is not "unpatriotic" or "anti-American" to express profound reservations about Bush's actions.
    >
    > >This has developed into one of those left/right ideological rifts, when I don't think ideology
    > >has the slightest thing to do with anything.
    >
    > Is true enough over there, but that's mainly because Bus has wrapped himself in the flag and tied
    > the whole thing in the most cynical manner to 9/11 [that's 11/9 to those outside the US :)].
    >
    > In the UK the issue definitely doesn't go along party lines - I know people of both left and right
    > political persuasions who have views on both sides. Although to be fair a centre-right Englishman
    > probably sits to the left of a centre-left USian on many issues.
    >
    > Guy
    > ===
    > ** WARNING ** This posting may contain traces of irony. http://www.chapmancentral.com (BT ADSL and
    > dynamic DNS permitting)
    > NOTE: BT Openworld have now blocked port 25 (without notice), so old mail addresses may no longer
    > work. Apologies.
     
  17. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    "Having watched interviews of G.W. Bush at the time his name was being mentioned as a presidential
    candidate, what struck me was how his affable manner changed to an aristocratic "how dare you
    question me" response to uncomfortable questions. Of course now his handlers are careful to isolate
    him from troublesome journalists (Ari Fleisher deals with them)."

    Well, that's probably true of anyone who attended Phillips Academy. It's also true of anyone who
    runs for political office, in my experience. Having been directly involved as campaign advisor on a
    number of Democrat campaigns I've decided that candidates are a sort of special breed, who naturally
    have a much higher opinion of themselves than is warranted by reality. But Condoleeza Rice isn't a
    politician, nor are a lot of people who see this war as a very unfortunate necessity. I'd love to
    foist the job on the French, except they'd probably construct a Maginot Line on the Shatt al Arab.

    "You must have missed the word "if" in my posting. I am not claiming the US is a police state since
    that case has not yet reached the US Supreme Court."

    My point is that no nation has really had to deal with mass terrorism in the body of its legal
    system until now. The criminal justice paradigm, which assumes small numbers of victims and takes no
    account of the notion of "super-empowered individuals" is just not relevant. We need a new body of
    law, and new set of precedents, that deal with these new circumstances. I would agree that giving
    one person sole discretion, without oversight, on the administration of these cases is dangerous.
    But the conclusion that if some individuals, under special circumstances related to the above, are
    held outside of the conventional criminal justice system constitutes a police state is simply not
    valid. I suggest you visit Freedom House's website if you're confused about what a police state
    actually is.

    The contention that Al Qaeda is as limitted as you say is just that, a contention. We hope you're
    right. The contention that Saddam is currently as limitted as you say is probably *not* true,
    although he may not have the capability at this time to strike the US. That doesn't mean his
    capability is static, nor does it mean that he couldn't engage in weapons blackmail at a point in
    the not-too-distant future. That, after all, is his phantasy.

    We are really living on borrowed time here. Most people who know about this stuff acknowledge that
    the "super-empowered angry man" who is not governed by any scruples, or restrictions, will become
    more dangerous with each passing year. And there's really no hope of placating such people... once
    they have access to such devices. So the only viable strategy is to delay that outcome as long as we
    can, and in the mean time work to open the closed societies in the world that are the breeding
    ground for such individuals. I also find it hard to believe that we can even hope to be 100%
    successful, which is not an argument for not trying.

    "It should not be surprising that people in the US seem less concerned about the destruction caused
    by warfare than the other countries, since it has not happened in the US since 1865."

    I would argue that they're *more* concerned, not less. I mean, strictly speaking if we were not
    concerned about the effects of war we could have saved a lot of tax money by not using "smart"
    weaponry, to identify only one instance. By the way, Japan currently has the largest surface fleet
    in the Western Pacific, had passed China in general military capability by the '90s, has an enhanced
    and sophisticated jet fighter program in the F-2, and is second only to the US in it's potential
    capacity to have a massive intercontinental nuclear arsenal... within months. China actually sees
    the US as a source of stabiity in their sphere of influence, which it is. They're far more concerned
    about the Japanese. If you don't know that it's difficult to interpret the N. Korean situation.

    "Saddam Hussein is a bully who will push the limits of what he can get away with and no farther."

    Which is an argument for allowing him to get away with not providing for safe haven interviews of
    Iraqi scientists, when that's a requirement of the UN resolution? But Saddam is a good deal *more*
    than a "bully." That term doesn't even come close to describing him. The sounds eminating from his
    prisons aren't sounds of pain, but long term agony.

    "Yes, he has been responsible for a huge number of innocent people being killed, but then so have
    many other dictators that the US has not gone to war to remove (not to mention the US record in
    killing innocents)."

    Again, I wish it were true that we were so idealistic as to go to war to free people of dictatorial
    governments, our reasons for going to war have always been US security. If we ever see that mission
    as essential to US security it might become the primary case that you seem to think it should be.
    But not until that benighted conclusion is reached.

    "This was done to use Iraq as a US surrogate to attack Iran which was considered the primary US
    enemy and threat to US interests in the Middle East after the Pahlavi regime was deposed in 1979 by
    a fundementalist revolt. "

    It *was* our primary enemy at the time. Indeed, they had literally declared war on the US and
    exclusive control of the Persian Gulf by the Iranians *or* the Iraqis would have been a disaster,
    before *or* after the fall of the Pahlavi regime. This is all balance of power politics. That does
    not excuse the proliferation of some weapons capabilities to Iraq (though the extent and nature of
    that proliferation has been exaggerated), but its hardly a reasonable justification for staying out
    of things now. And we made a number of concerted attempts to interdict development of Saddam's
    weapons programs, long before the Second Gulf War, a fact that is often overlooked in efforts to
    indict the US.

    Again, the *only* valid argument that I see the Peace Movement as making at the present time
    concerns the potential aftermath of the Iraq war. But they aren't yet raising those very valid
    issues in order to formulate a policy to actually *deal with* the aftermath, but rather as an
    argument against involvement. As though Saddam is leaving us a choice.

    BTW, are you gonna do MoM this year?

    --Scott

    --
    --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.

    "Tom Sherman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Scott,
    >
    > Freewheeling wrote:
    > >
    > > Tom:
    > >
    > > "Frankly, I worry about the large number of people in the US [1] who do not seem concerned that
    > > G.W. Bush by his public speaking manner (apart from tax cuts) seems disinterested in everything
    > > but punishment (especially executions) and violence."
    > >
    > > What worries me is that you actually think that Chomskyesque caricature
    is
    > > true. I really don't think it makes much sense to base your theory
    about
    > > such an important issue as war or national security on such clearly
    partisan
    > > characterizations. It's precisely the sort of stuff that's gradually convincing me I've been in
    > > the wrong party for 40 years. Surely you're
    more
    > > intelligent than that.
    >
    > Having watched interviews of G.W. Bush at the time his name was being mentioned as a presidential
    > candidate, what struck me was how his affable manner changed to an aristocratic "how dare you
    > question me" response to uncomfortable questions. Of course now his handlers are careful to
    > isolate him from troublesome journalists (Ari Fleisher deals with them).
    > >
    > > "As for the freedom to make political jokes, if the US Supreme Court ultimately decides (as the
    > > Bush Administration wants it to) that Jose Padilla can be declared an enemy combatant by the
    > > executive branch and held in a military prison with no right to a fair and speedy trial until
    > > the end of hostilities (whenever that would be in a "war" against an abstract noun
    > > (terrorism)?), the US will have become a police state without civil rights including the freedom
    > > of speech."
    > >
    > > Well, there's another leap of logic. First you're basing theories about national security on
    > > rumors about childhood personality flaws carried
    into
    > > adulthood, and then you're jumping to the conclusion that we live in a police state because some
    > > court makes a pragmatic judgment about circumstances of threat that have no precedent in US
    > > history. As though
    the
    > > criminal justice paradigm is relevant to such circumstances. Tell me
    who
    > > you're voting for, so I can be sure to vote against them.
    >
    > You must have missed the word "if" in my posting. I am not claiming the US is a police state since
    > that case has not yet reached the US Supreme Court. However, if one person in the government can
    > decide to hold anyone in custody with no time limits and no legal recourse for the detainee, how
    > is that not a police state?
    >
    > > "[1] But not the rest of the industrialized world, where opinion polls show that G.W. Bush is
    > > considered a much greater danger to the world than either Saddam Hussein or Osama bin Laden."
    > >
    > > God, that makes me want to cry it's so stupid. A homicidal maniac who
    is
    > > known to have murdered and tortured hundreds of thousands, if not
    millions,
    > > of his own people without remorse, simply to preserve his own corrupt regime, and a religious
    > > nut who thinks it'd just be neato to wipe a
    major US
    > > city, if not the population of the US (you know what the term "soft
    kill"
    > > means, I take it), being favorably compared to a leader who is willing
    to
    > > stay or leave based upon the results of an election it two years
    (assuming
    > > it's not another tie). If you're talking about the mainland Europeans,
    no
    > > wonder they've been the cause of two world wars in the last century.
    >
    > Lets look at means available to the three men in question to carry out destruction.
    >
    > Osama bin Laden/ Al Quada is limited to the means that creative terrorists can come up with, and
    > while they have been very successful using those means, the destructive capability is quite
    > limited.
    >
    > Saddam Hussein has a rather ineffective and poorly equipped army of mostly conscripts, no navy or
    > air force to speak of, and very little if any of the WMD's that Iraq had in 1990. In addition, he
    > can not make any military moves without US surveillance picking it up.
    >
    > G.W. Bush has the most technologically sophisticated military in the world, a military budget that
    > is larger than the next 15 largest combined, and a huge supply of WMD's and the ability to
    > deliver them to any place in the world. Add to this Bush's public policy of "pre-emptive
    > strikes" and possible first use of nuclear weapons (per the leaked Nuclear Posture Review),
    > and the level of concern seems sensible.
    >
    > As for the mainland Europeans (and the Russians, Chinese, and Japanese) they suffered terribly
    > from the consequences of conventional 20th Century warfare. The US for all practical purposed only
    > suffered from a loss of a small percentage of its young male population fighting overseas. It
    > should not be surprising that people in the US seem less concerned about the destruction caused by
    > warfare than the other countries, since it has not happened in the US since 1865.
    >
    > > But to be fair all you'd need to convince me that Saddam is no threat is
    to
    > > get a comprehensive list of Iraqi weapons scientists, and then interview some in sanctuary with
    > > their families somewhere safe. I mean,
    considering
    > > the stakes you'd think he'd be falling all over himself to comply with
    that
    > > requirement. Unless he has no intention of getting rid of his arsenal
    of
    > > WMD. Do you actually *know* anything about Saddam Hussein?
    >
    > Saddam Hussein is a bully who will push the limits of what he can get away with and no farther. He
    > probably would not have invaded Kuwait if US Ambassador to Iraq April Glaspie had not told him in
    > 1990 that the US was not concerned with disputes between Arab states. Yes, he has been responsible
    > for a huge number of innocent people being killed, but then so have many other dictators that the
    > US has not gone to war to remove (not to mention the US record in killing innocents).
    >
    > And of course, the US assisted Iraq/Hussein in developing his chemical and biological weapons
    > programs in the 1980's. This was done to use Iraq as a US surrogate to attack Iran which was
    > considered the primary US enemy and threat to US interests in the Middle East after the Pahlavi
    > regime was deposed in 1979 by a fundementalist revolt. (The Pahlavi regime was of course imposed
    > on the Iranian people in a US/CIA backed coup in 1953, and maintained its totalitarion hold on the
    > country with US support.
    >
    > Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  18. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    No credible argument, that's right. If we were solely and exclusively interested in tapping Iraqi
    oil, regardless of the implications for US and world security, it would be a simple matter to cut an
    advantageous deal with Hussein. The French and Russians seem to buy that notion, and I'm pretty sure
    we have the leverage to force them out of the picture if we wanted to. Consequently, there is *no*
    credible argument that this is "about oil" in the sense that you undoubtedly mean. Zero, nada, zip.

    Not only that, but no occupying nation would be able to get away with direct usurpation of Iraq's
    sovereignty over their oil fields, beyond the need to secure them in the short term from sabotage.
    The conviction that such a thing is remotely possible is extraordinarily naieve.

    Relatedly, the notion that the US got involved in Afghanistan (even to the point of engineering the
    WTC attack itself as justification) in order to usurpe Caspian oil is impossibly flawed. The Caspian
    reserves, it turns out, are mostly locked in geologic formations... something that was not known
    before geologists explored in the wake of the Afghan War. To believe in the Caspian conspiracy
    theory necessitates believing in a conspiracy of genius that was not sufficiently "together" to
    verify the value of the prize before they took the enormous risk and cost of securing it. Big "oops"
    on that one, I guess. Not exactly a convincing argument. The trouble with most conspiracy theories
    is that they demand execution by idiot/savants.
    --
    --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.

    "news.verizon.net" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > No credible argument? What planet are you living on? "Freewheeling"
    > <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Cute. Except that, as noted above, there really is no credible argument that the issue is oil. I
    > > would have suggested, as well, that you keep things under the already-established OT threads.
    > > That way, if people
    > don't
    > > want to see this it's an easy matter to simply filter the threads out as
    a
    > > whole.
    > >
    > > Besides which, it's not really very funny as ironic humor goes. Maybe
    you
    > > need to watch *The Spy Who Shagged Me* again. Either that, or try a soliloquy by Saddam
    > > lamenting the fact that he can't seem to convince
    any
    > of
    > > his loyal scientists to leave sunny Iraq in order have a credible heart
    to
    > > heart with Hans Blix. The poor guy is practically powerless in his own land! Now there's
    > > something Mike Myers can work with.
    > >
    > > --
    > > --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.
    > >
    > >
    >
     
  19. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Scott,

    Freewheeling wrote:
    > ... My point is that no nation has really had to deal with mass terrorism in the body of its legal
    > system until now. The criminal justice paradigm, which assumes small numbers of victims and takes
    > no account of the notion of "super-empowered individuals" is just not relevant. We need a new body
    > of law, and new set of precedents, that deal with these new circumstances. I would agree that
    > giving one person sole discretion, without oversight, on the administration of these cases is
    > dangerous. But the conclusion that if some individuals, under special circumstances related to the
    > above, are held outside of the conventional criminal justice system constitutes a police state is
    > simply not valid. I suggest you visit Freedom House's website if you're confused about what a
    > police state actually is.

    The British (IRA) and Spanish (Basque separatists) among others might disagree about not having
    their legal systems deal with terrorism.

    The danger of becoming a police state is that if one branch of the government gets to decide who is
    a terrorist/unlawful combatant with no judicial review, there exists the possibility of abuse this
    power against political opponents.

    > The contention that Al Qaeda is as limitted as you say is just that, a contention. We hope you're
    > right. The contention that Saddam is currently as limitted as you say is probably *not* true,
    > although he may not have the capability at this time to strike the US. That doesn't mean his
    > capability is static, nor does it mean that he couldn't engage in weapons blackmail at a point in
    > the not-too-distant future. That, after all, is his phantasy.
    >
    > We are really living on borrowed time here. Most people who know about this stuff acknowledge that
    > the "super-empowered angry man" who is not governed by any scruples, or restrictions, will become
    > more dangerous with each passing year. And there's really no hope of placating such people... once
    > they have access to such devices. So the only viable strategy is to delay that outcome as long as
    > we can, and in the mean time work to open the closed societies in the world that are the breeding
    > ground for such individuals. I also find it hard to believe that we can even hope to be 100%
    > successful, which is not an argument for not trying.

    Actually, Saddam Hussein may well be living on borrowed time since he is 68 years old and reportedly
    in poor health and suffering from cancer.

    The best outcome would be for Hussein to die from natural causes or be removed from power
    internally, since it would provide a much better opportunity for improving conditions in Iraq
    (including a non-aggressive foreign policy) and would allow the Bush administration a way out of the
    corner they have backed themselves into by insisting on regime change in Iraq.

    > ... BTW, are you gonna do MoM this year?

    Probably not. I have not been in very good health (I could buy a Bacchetta Aero with my out of
    pocket medical expenses over the last two years) so I am not in very good aerobic condition. [1] In
    addition, the drive to Virginia and back would take 4 days at a very busy time of year.

    P.S. I will not be reading or posting to a.r.b.r. for the next week if anyone intends to continue
    this OT discussion.

    [1] I am hoping to improve this with some high intensity push scootering on my Blauwerk Sidewalker
    Micro that arrived today.

    Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  20. Freewheeling

    Freewheeling Guest

    Tom:

    "The British (IRA) and Spanish (Basque separatists) among others might disagree about not having
    their legal systems deal with terrorism."

    *Mass* terrorism. Of course terrorism has been a problem for approximately a century. The problem of
    what Tom Freidman calls "the super-empowered angry man" is something new.

    "The danger of becoming a police state is that if one branch of the government gets to decide who is
    a terrorist/unlawful combatant with no judicial review, there exists the possibility of abuse this
    power against political opponents."

    A danger that always exists, in any society. The real genius of the way the Founders established
    this system of governance isn't really in the so-called "balance of powers," but in the Madisonian
    notion of "cross-cutting alliances." This is the reason the US did not decend into factional
    fighting that had doomed most experiments in self government up to that time, and ultimately doomed
    the French Revolution.

    "The best outcome would be for Hussein to die from natural causes or be removed from power
    internally, since it would provide a much better opportunity for improving conditions in Iraq
    (including a non-aggressive foreign policy) and would allow the Bush administration a way out of the
    corner they have backed themselves into by insisting on regime change in Iraq."

    Tom, do you *know* anything about conditions in Iraq? If the Tikritis aren't driven out of office
    there won't be any substantial changes in the way Iraqis are governed. Just a change in the face on
    all the posters. There is virtually no civil society left, destroyed by years of murderous
    repression and dependance on the regime for all of the essentials of life; and the Shia are in no
    condition to assume power since most of their leadership have been murdered or coopted. The only
    group that is relatively intact, thanks to the NFZ, are the Kurds. If Iraq is to progress toward
    something like an open society it will have to rely on returning expatriots, and under a Tikriti
    regime there's just no incentive for that to happen.

    Hope your health improves. I understand perfectly that participation in MoM is definitely not
    something one ought to try, if your conditioning isn't up to it. I'm hoping my foot injury heals
    completely by then, because there's no way I could do MoM in this condition, or anything close to
    it. Best of luck.

    --
    --Scott [email protected] Cut the "tail" to send email.

    "Tom Sherman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Scott,
    >
    > Freewheeling wrote:
    > > ... My point is that no nation has really had to deal with mass terrorism in
    the
    > > body of its legal system until now. The criminal justice paradigm,
    which
    > > assumes small numbers of victims and takes no account of the notion of "super-empowered
    > > individuals" is just not relevant. We need a new body
    of
    > > law, and new set of precedents, that deal with these new circumstances.
    I
    > > would agree that giving one person sole discretion, without oversight,
    on
    > > the administration of these cases is dangerous. But the conclusion that
    if
    > > some individuals, under special circumstances related to the above, are
    held
    > > outside of the conventional criminal justice system constitutes a police state is simply not
    > > valid. I suggest you visit Freedom House's website
    if
    > > you're confused about what a police state actually is.
    >
    > The British (IRA) and Spanish (Basque separatists) among others might disagree about not having
    > their legal systems deal with terrorism.
    >
    > The danger of becoming a police state is that if one branch of the government gets to decide who
    > is a terrorist/unlawful combatant with no judicial review, there exists the possibility of abuse
    > this power against political opponents.
    >
    > > The contention that Al Qaeda is as limitted as you say is just that, a contention. We hope
    > > you're right. The contention that Saddam is
    currently
    > > as limitted as you say is probably *not* true, although he may not have
    the
    > > capability at this time to strike the US. That doesn't mean his
    capability
    > > is static, nor does it mean that he couldn't engage in weapons blackmail
    at
    > > a point in the not-too-distant future. That, after all, is his
    phantasy.
    > >
    > > We are really living on borrowed time here. Most people who know about
    this
    > > stuff acknowledge that the "super-empowered angry man" who is not
    governed
    > > by any scruples, or restrictions, will become more dangerous with each passing year. And there's
    > > really no hope of placating such people...
    once
    > > they have access to such devices. So the only viable strategy is to
    delay
    > > that outcome as long as we can, and in the mean time work to open the closed societies in the
    > > world that are the breeding ground for such individuals. I also find it hard to believe that we
    > > can even hope to be 100% successful, which is not an argument for not trying.
    >
    > Actually, Saddam Hussein may well be living on borrowed time since he is 68 years old and
    > reportedly in poor health and suffering from cancer.
    >
    > The best outcome would be for Hussein to die from natural causes or be removed from power
    > internally, since it would provide a much better opportunity for improving conditions in Iraq
    > (including a non-aggressive foreign policy) and would allow the Bush administration a way out of
    > the corner they have backed themselves into by insisting on regime change in Iraq.
    >
    > > ... BTW, are you gonna do MoM this year?
    >
    > Probably not. I have not been in very good health (I could buy a Bacchetta Aero with my out of
    > pocket medical expenses over the last two years) so I am not in very good aerobic condition. [1]
    > In addition, the drive to Virginia and back would take 4 days at a very busy time of year.
    >
    > P.S. I will not be reading or posting to a.r.b.r. for the next week if anyone intends to continue
    > this OT discussion.
    >
    > [1] I am hoping to improve this with some high intensity push scootering on my Blauwerk Sidewalker
    > Micro that arrived today.
    >
    > Tom Sherman - Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
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