From the top:

There are accounting discrepancies on whether the UN owes the US or the US owes the UN. You make a blanket comment that 30% of the UN is funded by the US. I’d like to know the source of this number, as there are experts who study this in depth who cannot reach any conclusions on who owes what.

Are you referring to the CIA’s operations in Guatemala when you write “black helicopter conspiracy theories” ? Those operations are a matter of historical fact, and one should NOT dismiss the record by using words like “conspiracy”, a black-eye tactic to shred any credibility. I never blamed all bad elements of the world on the US, never. This is a logical fallacy called overgeneralization. My point is that US citizens cannot possibly attempt to regulate the “badness” of the world. But the average citizen here can hold their government accountable. Yeah, ok, you got me on oversimplifying the “freedom-loving injustice-hating” Americans.

I am living in a dream world? Better look in the mirror Butch. My eyes are wide open about my place in the world and the US’s role in the world. You have illusions that guide your thinking, not me.

The only comment you make worth repeating in that reply was that it is easy to criticize in hindsight. Yes it is, but that begs the question, should we not? Should we not attempt to learn from the past mistakes of this country’s leaders? Those who do not learn the mistakes from history are condemned to repeat them (Santayana).

Again, you quote the communist threat 90 miles from our shores that Cuba posed. Did you understand the bit I wrote about Cuba’s revolution as a nationalistic one, not communistic. It was at least a year later, after the US gov cut economic ties to Cuba crippling their economy that it was forced to turn to the Soviets for help. Would that have happened if the US course of action had been different? Who knows? In 1775, there began a popular movement to fight British tyranny, and a revolution ensued. Are you seriously going to deny other nations and other peoples the right to have similar popular movements? That’s narrow.

I cannot comment on what I would have done, what policies I would have supported 50 years ago, nor can you. That question is bullshit, and completely irrelevant to any discussion today about US policies.

The next paragraph you again over-generalize my comments about the American masses.

60% overweight and 40% clinically obese is a factual portrayal. The (to me) obvious innuendo yesterday when I posted was that we have too much while others are not as fortunate.

You take exception to my description of Americans as barbaric : Are you then arguing that our society is not? That’s naïve, Butch. How do you account for the murders, the public support for attacking Iraq, the soon-to-be public support for war with Iran. There is a flawed premise, again, at play here. American life is sacred, and foreign life is cheap. Take 9/11 : less than 3,000 Americans died. Take the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq after the First Gulf War ( which were ignored by Halliburton incidentally) , which human rights groups put at 500,000 dead Iraqis, mainly innocents. These people largely did not like Hussein nor support him. Yet 500,000 people died. What was the reaction in the States? Madeleine Albright stood before reporters and said that was a “price we are willing to pay…” even though we did not “pay” it. It was cheap foreign blood in her eyes and the eyes of our government (as she was Secretary of State). Another repugnant statistic. The Sudan offered to extradite bin Laden in 1996. The President (al-Bashir (sp)) offered him to us. Clinton said no. He was in Khartoum and he had , at the time, directed resistance in Somalia , and US troops died as a result. This was before the US embassy bombings in Africa, but he was still wanted by the US. Clinton said no, boot him from your country, but we don’t want him. How was Sudan repaid for its noble offer. The US launched an airstrike that knocked out the Al-Schifa pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan. This plant provided the majority of inexpensive medicines to the Sudan, and as a result of this strike, literally tens of thousand people have died. People die there from malaria, and the plant produced cheap medicines. The country is still recovering from that one. So again, foreign blood is cheap, but American blood is like gold.

Your comments about other foreign governments being corrupt : Name them, give me data, explain how you think they are corrupt and I will reply. What is the point of this anyway? Their corruption does not affect me. My government’s corruption does affect me, and every other American.

I spent all last summer in France. They are every bit as free as we are. They can talk about the government, and they do, and the thought police don’t show up at their doors. With the Patriot Act, the FBI or CIA could come to my apartment tomorrow, take my computer, label me seditious, take me to jail, and since Habeus Corpus has effectively been suspended, I can rot there with no charges against me. In fact, they are more free than we are.

I brought up the isolationist point of view yesterday as an indicator of American attitudes historically, and the consequences of a government pursuing a different policy than what got it elected in the first place, and the effect that has on the democratic label. I said clearly, re-read if you must, that today isolationism cannot work as it could have 100 years ago.

Ok, you make 2 intelligent points in your response:

Context is important, and rightness or wrongness assertions must be accompanied by the situation, possible solutions, the context … Fine, no argument there. Again you call me naïve (funny actually)

About reading the same sources and reaching different conclusions, what’s so strange about that? I told you to read “Against All Enemies” and you did (hats off for that), but our conclusions were radically different. Let me explain why. I read that book looking for answers about the intelligence breakdown prior to 9/11. There is damning commentary about the Bush administration from Clarke, about its refusal to address the al-Queda threat. The outgoing Clinton administration (which I despised by the way) informed the incoming Bush administration hat the al-Queda threat was the single biggest issue the new administration should address. The 2 embassy bombings in Africa and the attack on the USS Cole had already transpired. There was evidence of planned future attacks when project Bojinko was discovered , in 1995 I think, (which detailed crashing hijacked commercial airliners into the White House, Pentagon, World Trade Center, Sears Tower and another structure I think) . Clarke said he asked for a briefing with the President for 8 months to apprise them of the al-Queda threat before his wish was granted. They met the week before September 11. I call this a failure of the Bush administration. You defend the guy because you are a die-hard Republican ( 🙁 I voted for Bush in 2000 too) who, frankly, has trouble thinking outside party lines (no offense man).

There’s a quick explanation on how different conclusions can be reached from the same data set. Don’t be too surprised by that. Everyone views things through their own brand of sunglasses, nothing noteworthy there.

Here are 2 good links, from the conspiratorial CNN and BBC :

Check them out…

http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0201/08/ltm.05.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/3617289.stm

Last comment before I return to my professional duties :

I hated Fahrenheit 9/11. I hate that Michael Moorer represents the dissident voice in mainstream America. The facts in Fahrenheit 9/11 were not new to me (the Bush-bin Laden family connection, the Taliban – oil connection, none of it) . Why I hated that propaganda piece is that he got too political. His whole theme was “look at what your Republican President has ties to”. He argues from the democratic viewpoint blindly, slung mud ad nauseam, and I absolutely hated it. So don’t presume that I put any of my support behind his arguments.

Now there you go, man, another 2 hours of my life consumed by casting pearls before swine …

🙂 just kidding

Cheers

Posted at 02:20 pm by Scottie

Posted by BP @ 12/10/2004 02:48 PM PST
At what point in my post did I “defend President Bush because I’m a die-hard Republican” there is absolutely no evidence of that in any of my posts. My rationale is backed up by a lot more than partisanship, and you’re well aware of it.

Posted by BP @ 12/10/2004 02:52 PM PST
Has trouble thinking outside of what? You’re kidding, right. You think I invite authors with decidedly different points of view and study their sources, because I can’t think out of party lines. What a chickens*** thing to say.

“Black Helicopter Conspiracy theories” was in quotation marks because I believe that you are not a conspiracy theorist, but indeed someone who is genuinely in search of the truth; if you’ll recall, that is why you’re on this blog.

Posted by BP @ 12/10/2004 02:57 PM PST
Now, don’t think I’m offended, cause you know that’s impossible, however, keep in mind who you’re talking to, and how others responded to your essays. Would you say my response was a little more open minded.

Thanks for the posts…keep ’em coming.

Posted by BP @ 12/10/2004 04:53 PM PST
BTW, the intelligence briefing is a red herring. It was mostly historical information and very little of it was unique from previous briefs. Actually, from what I heard (and even the Democratic Underground can’t dispute it: http://www.democraticunderground.com/articles/04/04/15_pdb.html) The only unique part was the surveying of two men of New York Federal Buildings, which turned out to be two Yemeni tourists, and no federal buildings were attacked in NY.

Posted by Johnny @ 12/11/2004 02:20 PM PST
Scottie,

Those obesity #s were a little high, but the overweight #s were right

obesity= 30.5%

BTW, according to the BMI, the scale used to determine obesity here, Michael Jordan (i.e. athletes)are obese. Maybe that doesn’t tilt the numbers dramatically, but just pointing that out.

Posted by Shoobox @ 12/13/2004 07:20 PM PST
What services did Haliburtan supply during the sanctions?
butch response

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