spikegifted - Random thoughts
|V O T E: Bush or Kerry|
August 26, 2004
[Originally posted by EM]
It really should only be open to people legal to vote in the US...keeps the riff-raff from outside influence...
For those who don't know, I am not an American citizen. However, I live in the United Kingdom and I work in an industry that they both together, in more ways than you'd imagine, are heavily influenced by American policies. Since I don't have a say about which individual would be a 'better' US president than the other, there's little point of me to disclose my personal thoughts. On the other hand, I'd like to remind those who think that this act of purely 'internal' politics - electing the 'most powerful man on the planet' - has a large and unthinkably strong influence on the rest of the world.
Whether you like it or not, the US is the most powerful country on the planet. The actions and policy decisions of the US can have strong influence on the rest of the world. Now, the question is: Is the strongest guy going to be a bully or a protector? Ok, that's a little unfair because the line between the two is often very blur and there's a large overlap. Many problems that we, as in those of us who are fortunate enough to be living in the 'free world', face today cannot be swept away by broad strokes - unlike the white men's 'conquest' of the Native Americans - the barrel of the gun only gets to so far.
There is one reason why certain countries in 'old' Europe find the actions of America in the run up to the invasion of Iraq difficult to stomach - the unilateral manner that affairs was conducted. American may not see it that way, but many in 'old' Europe did and still do. If it was an internal problem, no-one would even raise an eyebrow, but this was an invasion of another sovereign state without an UN mandate. Americans may argue that the UN is irrelevant, but it is only irrelevant because the US administration chose to make it so. If you have a tool for a certain job, but you choose not to use it, it becomes irrelevant. Simple. Moreover, it is now quite clear that through the various inquiries in the US and the UK that the 'evidence' used for the case for war was misleading at best, but complete blatant lies at worst.
As for actions of those brave troops who carried out the orders of their political masters, they're repaid by extended tours. As for the support the US citizens have given to the administration (for being 'patriotic') you're now faced with the highest oil prices since the 1970s oil shocks and an extra US$100 billion of national debt. Who would have thought this was the case during the last election? Also, Iraq may no longer have a dictator, but Iraqis are not freed. Just in case that the rest of the world's 'commitment to freedom' has not been demonstratively shaky, the US, the UK and the Australians are about the only 'coalition partners' still operating in Iraq. The rest of them have pulled as soon as threats where made against their citizens. Some governments do care more about their citizens than political rhetoric and being on the 'right side' of freedom.
So, what's my point? My point is: well, I don't have one - I just wanted to hijack the thread and make a complete fool of myself in front of my favorite forums.
No, seriously, I think you need to look at the problems facing America today - internally and externally - and ask yourselves what kind of policies will best serve America? More of the same of what has gone on in the past three years or something a little different - something that may make America a better place, instead of hiding the problems by striking outward; something that may make America more 'acceptable' to the international community.
Obviously, I'm not trying to influence your decision. After all, this is internal politics. However, billions of people will be affected by your choice.
September 2, 2004
If you bother to apply a little bit of Nazi logic - ie. Aryan being the 'super race' or 'master race', Japanese would rank somewhere close to the bottom of the packing order along with the rest of the world.
The Germans and Japanese conducted their wars almost completely independently. The German wanted to humiliate the 'Western Powers' for the 'shame of Versailles', conquer 'living space' in the East (of the Reich) and defeat Bolshevism.
For the Japanese, they wanted to 'liberate' east Asia from 'imperialists' and then subjected other east Asian countries to the Japanese form of domination and exploitation; secure resources (read: oil) for their home country.
Now, if you have any understanding of what the above 'strategies' had few overlaps. Ok, the enemies may be the same, but they're about as far apart as you can get. When Hitler found out the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, he was completely mad - he was hoping that the Japanese would attack Russia to aid the German's drive to Moscow. Hitler declared war on the US because Japan is part of the 'Axis', which was neither one thing or another, and the German U-boats were sinking US shipping of the east coast like it's full scale war anyway.
September 3, 2004
It was not difficult for Hitler and the Nazi to 'convince' the German nation to turn against Jews - antisemitism was alive and active in Imperial Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire even before the First World War, perhaps as early as the the 1880s. Many contemporary 'intellectuals' have written on the subject. The problem with German was compounded by the loss of WWI, revolution against the Kaiser, the humiliation of Versailles, subsequent ineffectual and fractionous Weimar Republic and economic hardship.
Outside Germany, antisemitism was a constant undercurrent in many continental European countries - France, Belgium, Austria, Rumania, etc. However, only the Austrians developed a full-blown copy of the Nazis domestically.
September 5, 2004
Stow it about the "lies". Sane people are sufficiently intelligent to know Bush doesn't lie. He is a man of his word. Bush was elected - he's there right now, correct. The whole process was an election.
Maybe foreigners don't understand our democratic process too well.
Who's really lying?
I'm not entirely sure what you mean by 'baseless tirade'. I am guessing that you mean anything close to becoming 'criticism' is considered so. The problem is: The administration has not given all the information required to allow a really informed judgment to be made and no-one outside the administration is going to find out any time so. If you think an inquiry here or there will give you the answer, you really should think again.
The invasion of Iraq may not be illegal, but the US chose to ignore the UN and instead chose to pursue unilateral action. Now, I don't know why the administration chose to do that and I'm sure the people there have very good reasons for that, but it flies in face of logic to have an international body but choose to make it irrelevant by by-passing it. Never forget that the US is one of the founding members of the UN and every member has signed up to the UN Charter which was drafted, by and large, by the US:
- to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security, and
- to ensure, by the acceptance of principles and the institution of
methods, that armed force shall not be used, save in the common
It has been pointed out to me in the past that while the US is founded on democratic principals, it is not a true democracy - meaning that while everyone get to have a vote, their votes are in turn put through the electoral college. Ultimately, it is the electoral college that elect a president, not the voters.
September 5, 2004
Yes, you're completely right. It was a rather rash statement I made. I think the point would be better explained as: No-one, aside from those who were directly involved in the decision making process, knows whether all the information has come to the public domain.
We may find out more in the future, but then again, we may not. Your assessment is probably also correct is that someone will always claim more is being kept back. However, I think this demand of 'more information' will not continue if whatever secret is made public leads to very senior heads rolling.
(All of which we know will not happen anyway, so there's little point in prolonging our agony...)
September 6, 2004
Even if Bush doesn't get voted out, I really, really wish TB gets his butt whipped in the next election in the UK! But then again, I think the BBC is a more credible and effective opposition than any other political party in the UK.
September 9, 2004
I mean it must be the USA fault that England wonít get out of Northern Ireland, so it is the USA fault for all the IRA bombing right?
And it is the USA fault for helping the people of Afghanistan fight against the invasions for the USSR that made them support Al Queada that lead to the attack on NY and Washington DC on 9/11.
It must be the USA fault that the terrorist took over the school in Russia, because the USA is the source of all evil right?
But I might have this all wrong, and it might not be the USA fault for most/all/any/some of it. Could it just be the fanatical Mulas that are trying to force the rest of the world to live in there 14th/15th century rules that might be causing part of the problem? But I donít know, I just support the people that are dieing everyday fighting for the freedom and bringing power and food and medicine to the now free people of Iraq.
Remember save a hoarse ride a cowboy
Northern Ireland - Yes! The USA was the single biggest funding source for those mindless IRA 'freedom fighters'.
Afghanistan - Yes! The US probably funded the Mujahadins against the Soviet invasion... I don't know, hence the use of the word 'probably'. However, when the Soviets pulled out, despite the fact that the Mujahadins was temporarily in control of a large section of the country, the US (and the rest of the world) watched and allowed the Talibans to take over the country - which ultimately allowed the al Qaeda leadership to use as a training and hiding place.
NY and Washington (9/11) - Yes! First of all, it was an evil act! No sane person or anyone with even a little bit of humanity will allow (never mind order) such act to take place. Absolutely no excuse, whatsoever! However, the primary reason why Osama bin Laden doesn't like the US in particular is because of the continual presence of US military in Saudi Arabia. After generations of US policy of 'securing national interest abroad' finally came back and haunt your country.
Southern Russia... A 'may be'... Let's imagine Saddam is still around and the US and allies are still targeting bin Laden and his gang in Afghanistan (instead of slaughtering Iraqis and being slaughtered in by insurgents)... First of all the coalition will have probably have more success in rooting out al Qaeda from it base. Second of all, Saddam will not allow Iraq to become the training ground for budding al Qaeda terrorists... Third - the whole region will not be as unstable as it is now... Then the Chechens may not have the support it needed to carry out such a horribly attack.
Don't forget, the US was one of the 'super powers' for over 40 years before becoming the sole 'super power' on the planet. I'm certain that the US, at present and in the past, as a finger in every pie that it thinks it has a 'right' to get involved in. Moreover, I'm also certain that no matter what you choose to pick on, it will, somewhere along the line, have the US in the link of events.
September 25, 2004
That's good point...
Presidents, or those who've been elected to high political offices, are chosen to lead and to make decisions. No-one said being a president or a prime minister is easy, or a 13-year old will be doing it. The point is, presidents and prime ministers are there to make decisions and choices that will affect everyone in his/her country, whether the individuals voted for him/her or not. Some of those decisions may be popular and some not. Moreover, popular decisions may not be the 'right' decisions in the longer run and unpopular choices may prove to be excellent ones a few years down the line. No-one can be sure, because we don't know the future.
Presidents and prime ministers have resources available to them that other people can only dream of. They have all the advice they wish have to make a decision. The difficulty is that too much information may lead to overload and in the confusion, make the wrong decisions. Again, decisions are made but their effects may not be immediate and the electorate may not see how bad a popular decisions turn out to be until much later.
Having said all that, I think that people who have been voted into (or even appointed to) high political office need to demonstrate that they have one thing above others - integrity. They need to be 'man' enough to say to the electorate: "Yes, it was a tough call, but I was the person who made it because you put me there to make it. (Or I was put there to make it.) You can judge me by it." Give people the choice to judge you rather than putting spin on it to mask things that can potentially be seen 'mistakes'.
There is enough spin and general b.s. in politics already, we don't need more. Speak the truth, show the fact, demonstrate the results and lay out the plans of action. No more, no less.
October 1, 2004
If you read a little harder, you'd find that even France and Germany thought that Iraq had WMDs. The difference was that the likes of Russia, France and Germany wanted to give Hans Blix much more time (say another 3-6 months) to find out for sure if there was WMDs, but the US and UK (and others) were not.
Ultimately, the whole world was fooled (even someone who knows a lot and very hawkish like David Kay). The difference was some chose to use WMDs as an excuse to invade and deliver 'justice' and 'liberty', while others chose not to interfere...
October 2, 2004
You don't need to slap me - I'm not a warmonger. If you bother to go back to one of the older threads I was and still am against the war in Iraq.
The Germans might not have believed all the 'evidence' provided by Colin Powell in the UN Security Council, but they did not and could not come out and say they believed Iraq had no WMDs. The fact was - no-one could say for sure, aside from the US administration and the UK PM.
The one point I'm merely trying to raise was that France, being one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council, was one of the more active (behind the scene anyway) in trying to ensure that Iraq disarmed by bringing the arms inspectors back into Iraq. The Trojan Horse for the warmongers was Resolution 1441 - it set out the possibility of 'serious consequences' in case of Iraqi non-compliance. The difficulty was that Saddam's regime did start to comply with the UN demands and the arms inspectors still couldn't find anything during their stay. It was impossible to complete the task in the short time available anyway...
Then it was all down to interpretation: could compliance but found no 'smoking gun' be considered as non-compliance? The US and the UK said yes; France, Russia and Germany said no.
The rest, as they say, was history.
Please don't confuse the two scenarios that I try to distinguish in my argument: - allow and assist inspectors to search for WMDs, but could not find them; and - no allow or 'obstruct' inspectors in their searches.
These are not the same thing. The first scenario could have led to more inspections and Saddam 'getting of the hook' with a 'clean bill of health' in terms of WMDs; while the latter would led to war. Evidently the US and the UK (and others) thought the the former scenario was unacceptable.
October 3, 2004
There's not much I can say about your last post. At the bare minimum, you've a better understanding of what communism stands for than most 'educated' people (which in my mind classifies you as being highly knowledgable and have a clear head). However, I'd like to make a comment or two on the related to WWII.
The Beginning: From my personal perspective, the date that is agreed among historians for the beginning of WWII is wrong. For the most American-minded, they'd argue that until the entry of the US after the Pearl Harbor (Dec 7, 1941), it wasn't truly a 'world war'. Most Europeans would look to the date Hitler invaded Poland (Sept 1, 1939). Well, excuse me for being Sino-centric, but for me, WWII started with Japanese aggression against the Chinese, dating all the way back to 1931 - the annexation of Manchuria (Sept 18, 1931). Some (mainly 'Westerners') would suggest that was a 'localized' conflict. Well, so was the German invasion of Poland. Some would suggest that I'm being hateful of the Japanese, my answer would be: unlike the Nazis, who carried out the atrocity against the rest of Europe, who were completely removed from German life, Japanese war criminals were never brought to justice (thank you, General MacArthur).
Fire-bombing and Atomic strikes: There are lots of humanitarian reasons why fire-bombing cities and dropping atomic bombs over cities. But hang-on a minute... This was war. This was the 1940s. Back then there were no real precision bombing. Back then, bombs were released based on 'eye-balling' the targets. The most devastating fire-bombing incidents were night bombing. Nights and 'eye-balling' don't really go hand-in-hand. There is no record of any day-time bombing resulted in the same kind of devastation as night-bombing. Fire-bombing was brought about as the desire to cripple the German industry but the spread of fire. It was a perfectly legitimate thing to do. If we are to have sympathy for the poor ordinary German citizens living in those cities, how about all those who died in concentration camps and at the hands of the execution squads? The dropping of the atomic bomb was more to impress the Japanese to surrender unconditionally. The Japanese has been putting out feelers to see if the Allies would accept Japanese surrender with strings attached, like keeping Manchuria and Korea. Moreover, if the Americans were to invade Japanese mainland itself, it would cost a lot of lives and take many years, if the fighting in places like Iwo Jima, Saipan, etc.
Atomic bombs and US 'intention' to invade Japan: As I've stated above, the US had no intention to invade Japan. However, the Soviet Union did want to invade - to at least take control of Sakhalin Island and possibly Hokkaido Island.
October 3, 2004
North Korea is a clear case that a country is not practicing all the teachings and philosophy of communism. As rmn has mentioned, communism is not practicable for the human race - communism requires human not to have greed and each takes only what he/she needs... Your statement on North Korea (and the practice of nearly all former and current communist states) clearly contradicts such lofty ideal.
October 3, 2004
The Nips were told to back off after Potsdam or face the bonano!
Well, by God, they had some saki and
told Truman to FO. Moral: F**k with the bull, you'll get the horn!
I might be a little sensitive hearing discriminatory comments against Asians (and that's any Asian), but I find our language rather difficult to stomach. I feel sad for you that you need to express yourself in such unfortunate terms. To add insult to injury, you chose not to even check the spelling of the Japanese traditional alcoholic drink, which, to me, demonstrate your ignorance. Please show a little more consideration in the future.