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#129622 - 10/29/06 11:04 PM Re: dick cheney and water boarding
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
We have to remember that these suspects have been hardened through training to resist interrogation techniques. So simply doing the "good copy/bad cop" thing with them ain't going to work.

And while it sounds good in theory to say we shouldn't descend to their level, I agree to a point. But I don't think we will ever get even close to their level of barbarism and the total disregard for human life they have. Some say we are just as bad as they are, such as Rosie O'Donnel saying the Christiam Right is just as bad as the terrorists. I say that's a load of crap. But then again, look at the source, Rosie, who will do and say anything to shine the light upon herself.

Some see this war as a fight for oil, which has a lot of truth to it. However, I was in favor of it from day 1 for humanitarian reasons, to free the Iraqi people from one of the most brutal dictators this world has ever seen. Some say it's not our fight, we shouldn't care if Saddam slaughters his own people. So what, they say. That's where the real pity in all this was, that some didn't think the Iraqi people were worth liberating and that they didn't deserve to live a free life like anyone else.

_________________________
Eddie

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#129623 - 10/30/06 01:59 AM Re: dick cheney and water boarding
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Just word of caution from the perspective of a guy who has lived in the Middle East for a total of about 10 years in various capacities (student, journalist, university teacher, researcher) and taught the Arabic language and Middle East history for 25 years.

No, it isn't okay for men to have sex with their sons, not at any age, and yes, women in the Middle East have birth certificates just the same as men. Throughout my times in the Middle East, whether living there, researching a topic, or just visiting, I have always been treated with kindness and respect. There are outrages there, the same as in the West, and when they get into the press a big fuss is made of them, as if that is the norm.

On honor killing, yes, that does still occur in some places, usually regions where the authority of the state is difficult to enforce. But it is typical of societies where family honor is extremely important, so until recently it also occurred in Italy, for example, not to mention also in the United States.

There is indeed a new level of extremism and fanaticism that is very tempting for people everywhere to fall for, but it really does need to be resisted. Terrorists like Osama bin Laden are no more the rule for the Middle East than Adolf Hitler was typical for the West.

On the political side, many people in the Middle East want democracy, same as we do. But remember, we had to fight for ours and went through a terrible civil war over the problem of what democracy means and who it's for. And that was in a society deeply inspired by the liberal democratic ideas they brought with them from Europe.

The people of the Middle East have no such tradition. They were ruled by authoritarian empires since ancient times, and from that they passed to European colonial rule beginning in the early 19th century. Old ideas such as the tribe, religious sect, and ethnic group gave people their sense of identity, and superseding that isn't easy to do in any case. Complicating everything is a situation where huge sums are spent on weapons and propping up the regime, when what people really want is employment, education for their kids, basic health care, and access to a reasonable quality of life. All that is far more important to them than the right to vote in democratic elections.

We might not be so different, were it not for the fact that we already have all those things.

Just some thoughts.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#129624 - 10/30/06 05:19 AM Re: dick cheney and water boarding
cpt. confusion Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/26/04
Posts: 159
Loc: midwest
Larry, thank you so much for your perspective in this thread, and I honestly believe that no one truly knows the real driving forces that led us to what is happening in the middle east, and what is keeping us there so long, and the bigger question of how it is all going to be fixed.

Media is a strong driving force that indoctrinates people by the masses to believe such a wide variety of partial truths, as well as complete fiction. Its really a shame that the masses get their news through these media source, which get their news through other sources, which get their news from yet other sources... basically my point is that there is no direct line to reality anymore because it all has to be sensationalized into something that is entertaining enough to draw viewers, and ratings, and $$$. Of course, I can only speak for what is happening in the U.S. because I havenít had the pleasure of exposure to other countries (outside of the US and Mexico).

I by no means hate my country, I'm very proud to be an American... but that doesn't mean that I have to agree with everything that happens because of Americans, which is why I'm happy here! I agree with Eddie, that I was a proponent to the Iraq war... at the beginning, what freedom have we been able to secure?? And is this state of confusion/war in the country really better than the dictatorship that they lived under??? Is the democracy that we are forcing upon a country that has no precedent for democratic society really going to be able to thrive, especially because it may not be the solution that the people that live there were looking for?
Larry's point about the people of the US being "deeply inspired by the liberal democratic ideas they brought with them from Europe" is really the reason that democracy is able to thrive in the US. If there is no widespread inspiration for democracy in a place that it is being forced upon than how can it truly take, and bring that country to govern itself successfully???

These are just some frustration I have with what is going on, sorry for the slight rants, but I feel strongly on these topics (Iraq/media/state of US gov't/etc.). Thanks for reading!!

Peace,
-cpt.

_________________________
"Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use."
-Carlos Castaneda

*WoR Alum
Sequoia I-March '11
Alta II, September '11

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#129625 - 10/30/06 10:10 AM Re: dick cheney and water boarding
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Firstly, I cannot condone torture and barbarism in the West.
No matter what, if you try hard enough, you can get anybody to confess to anything.

Going into Afghanistan and fighting the Taliban is far worse than fighting the Vikings, they do not care if they get killed, and they are battle hardened from eight years of fighting the Russians who fled from them.

The World is flooded with cheap drugs which the Taliban once had control over.
Sorry guys, innocent ppl are dying through a fight for oil and power in the middle east.

This has gone on for as long as I can remember, and the truth is that, what we do to them when we catch them is reflected when they catch us in their country.

I live in a country UK where women are told to not wear veils, and you cannot wear a crucifix.
What sort of crap is this telling the public?
Are we in fact going back to the times where it was a crime to worship any God?

Violence begets violence, history tells us over and over again.
You guys know what it is like to live in pain like this, so you should reject it as the same.

Its our old friend abuse, over and over again,

ste

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#129626 - 10/30/06 03:49 PM Re: dick cheney and water boarding
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
As a professional scholar I was a great supporter of the Iraq war and I continue to think that the elimination of Saddam was as great a gift to the people of Iraq as the elimination of Hitler was to the people of Germany. The sick brutalities of Saddam were so extreme they can't even be summarized without shocking people.

The problem was that Bush Jr., unlike his father, had no exit strategy or "end game" worked out. The idea was just some vague notion of bringing democracy to the Middle East (and yes, it was about oil too, as well as about confronting Iran). Professional experts were consulted, but we were all ignored because most of the advice warned that the USA would have to be prepared for a long occupation and the potential disintegration of the country. The various tribal, religious and ethnic factions, now unrestrained by Saddam's brutality, would re-emerg and begin competing for power and influence. The danger of civil war, which is now what we have in Iraq in all but name, was pointed out long before the invasion.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#129627 - 10/30/06 04:23 PM Re: dick cheney and water boarding
reality2k4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/06/04
Posts: 6838
Loc: Stuck between water, air, and ...
Larry, all the experts told them what would happen if they went in.
Now they cannot get out, the exit is under siege by faction and counter faction.

They were warned of the ferocity of the Taliban but took no notice.
Any issue of invading Iran is definitely off, they would hit fire on fire if they tried,

ste

BTW, do you remember who put saddam there in the first place?

_________________________
Whoever stole the Sun, put it back and we'll drop all the charges!

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#129628 - 10/31/06 02:17 AM Re: dick cheney and water boarding
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Quote:
Originally posted by roadrunner:
As a professional scholar I was a great supporter of the Iraq war and I continue to think that the elimination of Saddam was as great a gift to the people of Iraq as the elimination of Hitler was to the people of Germany. The sick brutalities of Saddam were so extreme they can't even be summarized without shocking people.

The problem was that Bush Jr., unlike his father, had no exit strategy or "end game" worked out. The idea was just some vague notion of bringing democracy to the Middle East (and yes, it was about oil too, as well as about confronting Iran). Professional experts were consulted, but we were all ignored because most of the advice warned that the USA would have to be prepared for a long occupation and the potential disintegration of the country. The various tribal, religious and ethnic factions, now unrestrained by Saddam's brutality, would re-emerg and begin competing for power and influence. The danger of civil war, which is now what we have in Iraq in all but name, was pointed out long before the invasion.

Much love,
Larry
Larry, I agree 100% with your statement. Unfortunately, there is no simple solution to the middle east, and I have long ago given up hope of seeing a resolution during my lifetime. It truly is very complicated when you look at all the competing factions in the area, and how the West has never really understood the long term problems with trying to implement short term solutions by installing puppet governments.

_________________________
Eddie

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#129629 - 10/31/06 04:06 AM Re: dick cheney and water boarding
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Eddie,

That's basically it. I'm pretty pessimistic about peace in the Middle East anytime in the next 20-30 years.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
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