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Explosion in London this morning


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First of all, I want to express my condolences to relatives and friends of the dead in London after the events of yesterday, which demonstrates atrocious acts by barbaric savages, who should be hunted down and punished without mercy - there is and can never be any excuse for willfully targeting civilians - ever!!

 

That said, let me address a few comments here. For one, the US is scarcely on friendly terms with Saudi-Arabia. It has been and that is why there are bases there, but the relationship is strained, and many people of Saudi-Arabia want the US troops out of their country. Some have argued that this is one reason for the invasion of Iraq, since the US could then set up bases there instead. Not sure myself, but it's a possibility.

 

Indeed, most of the extremist terrorists seem to come Saudi-Arabia. Osama bin Laden is a Saudi.

 

Also, while I do share some of the concerns that Hildegard mentions, that does not mean it is reasonable to blame all americans or even the entire administration for the policies that may be questionable. For example, I find **** Cheney's association with Halliburton and its many contracts in Iraq to be highly questionable and indication of corruption, but that does not mean that I will hold people like Rice or Powell responsible for it. Indeed, many americans have themselves questioned the Cheney/Halliburton relationship and argued corruption and nepotism.

 

Let us not tear this forum into a battleground for the war on terror. There are always extremists on both sides of a conflict, and they will always seek to polarize the situation and so draw people from the middle to one side or the other. I don't like it that Bush said, "with us or with the terrorists" - as Patrick Stewart once said, "That's Orwellian!" I will not Bush or anyone else to tell me which side I'm on - that's my own business, and I'll thank everyone else to respect that, thank you very much! Doing something about terrorism is, of course, necessary, but while I accept that, I'm also fairly convinced that Bush made a lot of sympathizers for Al-Qaeda with his comments, and we really don't need to bolster their ranks. I find it interesting that George Lucas has Anakin practically quoting Bush in one of his darker moments. "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy!" Well, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes..."

 

To polarize the situation is to continue the war. No, we should not just sit down and ignore the whole thing, but we should also not allow terrorists to tell us which side we're on. They're only out to make this into a religious conflict between Islam and other religions, which is a lie - wars are never truly about religioius convinctions, though some people delude themselves and others into thinking so, since they apparently feel their atrocious acts are somehow heroic and morally defensible if it's all for a higher and nobler cause. It's still a lie, though. Wars are about politics, and this one is no different. Let us not accept the lie.

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The Bin Laden family does not tolerate nor support terrorism, and when Osama Bin Laden decided to become a terrorist, he was exiled from Saudi and cut off from his family.

 

Just because Bin Laden grew up in Saudi, that does not make many, or most Saudi's terrorists.

 

Saudi condoned, and wanted US bases to protest Saudi from Iraq. I think with Saddam deposed, there will be a push for the US to pull out of Saudi, and I'm fine with that.

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The Bin Laden family does not tolerate nor support terrorism, and when Osama Bin Laden decided to become a terrorist, he was exiled from Saudi and cut off from his family.

 

Well, they would have done that in any event given what the alternative was...

 

Just because Bin Laden grew up in Saudi, that does not make many, or most Saudi's terrorists.

 

Nor did I say so. But most terrorists that have been identified do seem to be Saudi. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were, if memory serves.

 

Saudi condoned, and wanted US bases to protest Saudi from Iraq.  I think with Saddam deposed, there will be a push for the US to pull out of Saudi, and I'm fine with that.

 

There was a push for that long before Iraq war. Though the leaders of Saudi-Arabia have voiced support for the US, that does not mean that the population feels the same way. Don't forget, the leaders of Saudi-Arabia are scarcely democratically elected. That's also a thought for concern...

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Paranoid.

I was raised by polar bears. I had to fight against blood thirsty wolves and rabid penguins to get my food. Those who were too weak to survive were sent to Sweden.

 

It has made me the man I am today. A man who craves furry hentai.

So let us go and embrace the rustling smells of unseen worlds

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Jediphile, I can understand that you might be suspicious of the Bin Laden family, on first principles. But the fact is it's huge, and in any case even small families don't think alike. You should see my cousin and I whaling at each other. He's nearer Hildegard than anyone!

 

Hildegard, thanks for taking the trouble to paste in some hard material, like the maps. I should say again that I have no problem with you personally, although I don't expect we count as buddies or anything. I see you've thought a while about what you believe in, so fair enough.

 

However :blink: , I do wonder what you genuinely expect large US bases to be doing, besides guarding that nation's strategic and economic interests? Handing out flowers like the moonies? Should the US have massive bases in the namib desert? Yes, they do have a poor history of backing repressive regimes as a means to an end, particularly against the Soviets. But many people today forget how big a threat the Soviet Union was until Gorbachev got all loved up. Both sides played dirty, and both sides backed some pretty disgusting people.

 

The point is now that the US has apologised officially for it's poor record of backing such regimes (speech a couple of months ago by Condi), and part of the new agenda (one of the few good bits) seems to be gentle pressure to reform, as part of a plan to improve the general conditions of people worldwide and reduce the seeds of discontent. I doubt it will be at the expense of geopolitical influence, but the groundswell of opinion from the State Department seems positive.

"It wasn't lies. It was just... bull****"."

             -Elwood Blues

 

tarna's dead; processing... complete. Disappointed by Universe. RIP Hades/Sand/etc. Here's hoping your next alt has a harp.

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Jediphile, I can understand that you might be suspicious of the Bin Laden family, on first principles. But the fact is it's huge, and in any case even small families don't think alike. You should see my cousin and I whaling at each other. He's nearer Hildegard than anyone!

 

I didn't mean to imply that the Bin Laden family is suspicious no matter what, just that their dismissal of Osama does not somehow put them above suspicion.

 

And I don't think the problem many have with the US today stems from its actions during the Cold War. It's probably more that it looks like bias against arab nations in many cases. The US argued that Iraq should not be allowed to violate UN decisions, and that action had to be taken. Well, how does that look to arabs, when Israel has been in violation of similar UN decisions and yet the US has vetoed any sort of response to that every time? Now put the US reluctance to let weapon inspectors do their job in Iraq on top of that, and the picture begins to look rather disturbing. Hans Blix spoke very harshly against the aggressive tone of the US before the Iraq war, yet that seems to be somehow forgotten today.

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Let us not tear this forum into a battleground for the war on terror. There are always extremists on both sides of a conflict, and they will always seek to polarize the situation and so draw people from the middle to one side or the other. I don't like it that Bush said, "with us or with the terrorists" - as Patrick Stewart once said, "That's Orwellian!" I will not Bush or anyone else to tell me which side I'm on - that's my own business, and I'll thank everyone else to respect that, thank you very much! Doing something about terrorism is, of course, necessary, but while I accept that, I'm also fairly convinced that Bush made a lot of sympathizers for Al-Qaeda with his comments, and we really don't need to bolster their ranks. I find it interesting that George Lucas has Anakin practically quoting Bush in one of his darker moments. "If you're not with me, then you're my enemy!" Well, "Only a Sith deals in absolutes..."

That's dialectical rubbish. Either you support democracy, freedom, and the western way of life, or you don't. There's no middle ground.

 

If you think SW is suitable as a moral beacon, you need to grow up and look around.

 

 

And I don't think the problem many have with the US today stems from its actions during the Cold War. It's probably more that it looks like bias against arab nations in many cases. The US argued that Iraq should not be allowed to violate UN decisions, and that action had to be taken. Well, how does that look to arabs, when Israel has been in violation of similar UN decisions and yet the US has vetoed any sort of response to that every time? Now put the US reluctance to let weapon inspectors do their job in Iraq on top of that, and the picture begins to look rather disturbing. Hans Blix spoke very harshly against the aggressive tone of the US before the Iraq war, yet that seems to be somehow forgotten today.

Right. It's our fault. We had it coming all along. :p

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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And I don't think the problem many have with the US today stems from its actions during the Cold War. It's probably more that it looks like bias against arab nations in many cases. The US argued that Iraq should not be allowed to violate UN decisions, and that action had to be taken. Well, how does that look to arabs, when Israel has been in violation of similar UN decisions and yet the US has vetoed any sort of response to that every time? Now put the US reluctance to let weapon inspectors do their job in Iraq on top of that, and the picture begins to look rather disturbing. Hans Blix spoke very harshly against the aggressive tone of the US before the Iraq war, yet that seems to be somehow forgotten today.

 

Those are a different type of resolution. But the fact of the matter is that without the US the UN is toothless and all it can do is wag its finger at people.

 

Blix was also being given the run around by Saddam, the inspectors were constantly minded and had to give advance notice on where they wanted to go. Which would give you time to move the weapons out.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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That's dialectical rubbish. Either you support democracy, freedom, and the western way of life, or you don't. There's no middle ground.

 

I do support democracy and freedom. I'm just not quite so convinced that Mr. Bush does. To argue "with us us or with the terrorists!" is not a particularly democratic position - it's a threat to get people to submit. That's not particularly democratic.

 

And I will not let Mr. Bush or you or anyone dictate to me that there is no middle ground - I'll find that answer myself and decide for myself, thank you very much.

 

If you think SW is suitable as a moral beacon, you need to grow up and look around.

 

Oh, please. I think I have already demonstrated better grasp of reality than that, but the quote is still very obvious, and it certainly tells us what Lucas thinks.

 

Right. It's our fault. We had it coming all along.  :p

 

I didn't say that, but then I see that the "with us or with the terrorists" approach is working quite well, sadly :(

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Those are a different type of resolution. But the fact of the matter is that without the US the UN is toothless and all it can do is wag its finger at people.

 

Well, I wouldn't say toothless, but certainly with less of a bite. But then the US probably needs the UN as much as the other way around.

 

Blix was also being given the run around by Saddam, the inspectors were constantly minded and had to give advance notice on where they wanted to go. Which would give you time to move the weapons out.

 

Well, I guess the obvious rebuttal to that comment would be "what weapons?", since they rushed in to prevent that, and yet didn't find any weapons. Seems the inspectors weren't so wrong after all. Yet the fact that there were no WMDs is also forgotten, since that does not serve the governments who supported the war.

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I do support democracy and freedom. I'm just not quite so convinced that Mr. Bush does. To argue "with us us or with the terrorists!" is not a particularly democratic position - it's a threat to get people to submit. That's not particularly democratic.

 

And I will not let Mr. Bush or you or anyone dictate to me that there is no middle ground - I'll find that answer myself and decide for myself, thank you very much.

You keep searching. Meanwhile, people are dying.

 

That kind of weakness is what they prey upon.

 

 

I didn't say that, but then I see that the "with us or with the terrorists" approach is working quite well, sadly :p

Only because it hasn't been implemented to its fullest extent. Only because people like you still have reservations. Only because some refuse to acknowledge that this is war, and it's not any country that it's being attacked. It's our culture.

 

 

But then the US probably needs the UN as much as the other way around.

Reality and facts disagree with you.

 

 

Well, I guess the obvious rebuttal to that comment would be "what weapons?"

The ones he used to murder tens of thousands of kurds.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Well, I wouldn't say toothless, but certainly with less of a bite. But then the US probably needs the UN as much as the other way around.

 

Well, I guess the obvious rebuttal to that comment would be "what weapons?", since they rushed in to prevent that, and yet didn't find any weapons. Seems the inspectors weren't so wrong after all. Yet the fact that there were no WMDs is also forgotten, since that does not serve the governments who supported the war.

 

Nope totally toothless. Iraq shows just how little the US needs the UN.

 

Not the point. Rather the point would be if you had nothing to hide then why act like you do. Just because they havnt been found dosnt mean they didnt exist they certainly did because he's used them. They are still digging up mass graves 20 years on that no one knew existed and you need some sort of paper trail or indicator. You wouldnt find randomly buried drums of chemicals until they started to leak.

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.

478327[/snapback]

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Right. It's our fault. We had it coming all along.  :p

 

 

Yes, it is. If the US and the Brits didn't involved themselves in the Middle East after World War 2 in forming Israel and pretty much left those people ALONE. We wouldn't be in this mess now. We need to mind our own store and not interfere with others.

Harvey

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You keep searching. Meanwhile, people are dying.

 

Now you're just spouting propaganda...

 

That kind of weakness is what they prey upon.

 

Like Ghandi was weak? If that's the company I'm in, then I'll be happy to be weak. Besides, I have not argued doing nothing, as you seem to suggest. I just hold firmly that to support democracy is to allow individuals to choose for themselves. You seem to think that it's to choose a side in the war. Well, I don't want to belong to extremists on either side, and I will not let anyone tell me that I must!

 

Only because it hasn't been implemented to its fullest extent. Only because people like you still have reservations. Only because some refuse to acknowledge that this is war, and it's not any country that it's being attacked. It's our culture.

 

I'd agree with you that it's an attack on our culture, but you don't win a war by destroying the enemy, because you can't destroy the enemy. We're not at war with just a select group of people - we're at war with an extremist ideology. We're not going to win that war by embracing an opposing extremist ideology. We're going to win by sticking with our principles and ideals and demonstrating that we do want peace and justice and that they cannot anger us into becoming the monsters they claim we already are. Already we've begun reducing our own liberties and rights for the sake of "national security". But in doing so, what message are we sending the terrorists? We're telling them that they *can* change us, that they can make us abandon our principles. We need to stop that and instead show them that they can kill as many of us as they like or not - it will not make us change our position or, as Blair put it yesterday, our resolve.

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Yes, it is.  If the US and the Brits didn't involved themselves in the Middle East after World War 2 in forming Israel and pretty much left those people ALONE.  We wouldn't be in this mess now.  We need to mind our own store and not interfere with others.

No.

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Not the point. Rather the point would be if you had nothing to hide then why act like you do. Just because they havnt been found dosnt mean they didnt exist they certainly did because he's used them. They are still digging up mass graves 20 years on that no one knew existed and you need some sort of paper trail or indicator. You wouldnt find randomly buried drums of chemicals until they started to leak.

 

Now you're embracing the US position of "well, what does it matter that there weren't any WMDs - Saddam was a bad man doing horrible things, so who cares?". Well, that's not what Powell told the UN before the war. Nobody talked about chemical weapons or mass graves back then, no, it was WMDs and nothing less, and it was all over the headlines. To just shrug now and say "well, so what" is to accept lies and misinformation because it's more convenient than admitting something was done under pretense.

 

Now, I'm not blaming anyone here. Heck, I voted for a government that supported that war. There has since been another election, however, and I decided that I could not support that government with my vote again. That they wanted to do something about Saddam is one thing - that I might have accepted - but they lied about the reasons, and I will not be lied to and then accept those lies because I don't like admitting that I was mislead. They did mislead me, and it has cost them my vote!

 

And if the US cared so much for the admittedly poor people murdered under Saddam Hussein's regime, then why did the US just pull out of Iraq and let Saddam slaughter the resistance against him during the first war in 91? That was a just war IMHO, but the fact that the alliance of the time (and I'm not just blaming the US, because the other nations involved are just as much to blame) just pulled out and let Saddam butcher the opposition in Iraq (an opposition that *we* had encouraged, I might add) has also been conveniently forgotten - who do you think are in those mass graves you mention? It's the people our nations incited to rise against Saddam, but whom we then abandoned and allowed Saddam to murder back then... I don't support the terrorists, but it's about time we faced up to our own responsibility in that mess - we're not beyond blame!

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Now you're just spouting propaganda...

Now you're just diverting the attention...

 

 

Like Ghandi was weak? If that's the company I'm in, then I'll be happy to be weak. Besides, I have not argued doing nothing, as you seem to suggest. I just hold firmly that to support democracy is to allow individuals to choose for themselves. You seem to think that it's to choose a side in the war. Well, I don't want to belong to extremists on either side, and I will not let anyone tell me that I must!

Who's spouting propaganda now?

 

And thankfully for the western civilization, some people have what it takes to do what's necessary, unlike you. You don't want to fight for your way of life? That's fine, someone else will. You forget that that freedom of choice you seem to take for granted was paid for in blood. And it will undoubtedly take blood to keep. Don't you dare question the way your safety and your so vaunted freedom is granted to you, when you are not willing to fight for it yourself, you coward.

 

Keep closing your eyes to reality. I suspect you'll only open them when they have to pick someone dear to you from the streets with a teaspoon.

 

 

I'd agree with you that it's an attack on our culture, but you don't win a war by destroying the enemy, because you can't destroy the enemy. We're not at war with just a select group of people - we're at war with an extremist ideology. We're not going to win that war by embracing an opposing extremist ideology.

You are wrong. You can destroy the enemy, in the form of the governments that support terrorism. End of story. And defending oneself is not an extremist ideology, as any lawyer will tell you.

 

 

We're going to win by sticking with our principles and ideals and demonstrating that we do want peace and justice and that they cannot anger us into becoming the monsters they claim we already are.

Beautiful. Unfortunately, your ideals will not protect you from shrapnel.

 

 

Already we've begun reducing our own liberties and rights for the sake of "national security". But in doing so, what message are we sending the terrorists? We're telling them that they *can* change us, that they can make us abandon our principles. We need to stop that and instead show them that they can kill as many of us as they like or not - it will not make us change our position or, as Blair put it yesterday, our resolve.

A reasoning based on the wrong premise that a terrorist is a rational being. Fanaticism isn't rational. They don't seek to "win". They only seek to kill as many of us as they can. And according to you, the thing to do is let them? To quote other poster here "Are you sick or just perverted?"

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Yes, it is.  If the US and the Brits didn't involved themselves in the Middle East after World War 2 in forming Israel and pretty much left those people ALONE.  We wouldn't be in this mess now.  We need to mind our own store and not interfere with others.

No.

 

Why "no"? Are terrorists attacking China or Argentina or Brasil? No. They're attacking anglosaxon powers who steal arab oil and mess with arab affairs.

HERMOCRATES:

Nur Ab Sal was one such king. He it was, say the wise men of Egypt, who first put men in the colossus, making many freaks

of nature at times when the celestial spheres were well aligned.

 

SOCRATES:

This I doubt. We are hearing a child's tale.

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Why "no"? Are terrorists attacking China or Argentina or Brasil? No. They're attacking anglosaxon powers who steal arab oil and mess with arab affairs.

They don't attack China because they know the Chinese would retaliate.

 

They don't attack Argentina or Brasil because they are not the ones running the world.

 

Your point? :p

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Right. It's our fault. We had it coming all along.  :p

 

 

Yes, it is. If the US and the Brits didn't involved themselves in the Middle East after World War 2 in forming Israel and pretty much left those people ALONE. We wouldn't be in this mess now. We need to mind our own store and not interfere with others.

 

 

Well, not that I disagree entirely, but I don't think we can avoid getting involved in the long run. There are atrocities going on in the Darfur region of Sudan right now, and we need to get involved there too.

 

The problem is that if you go back and read a little objective history, you'll see that Israel wasn't just formed out of the kindness of someone's hearts. The leaders of Israel at the time did pretty nasty things to the Palestinians. It's just that since western nations supported Israel after WW2, we tend to want to see that in a better light than it really was. We want to see the world in all black and white.

 

The trouble is that the world isn't populated only by heroes and demons - it's populated by real people who are almost exclusively somewhere in between, and they all have reasons for what they do. I cannot blame the Palestinians for wanting to be free of the Israeli.

 

I do not support Palestinian suicide bombers, but I also do not support Israel bombing a house and killing 14 or so children just to get one man, and then basically just shrug and say that you can't make an omelet without breaking some eggs... And I've seen parents of Israeli children killed by Palestinian suicide bombers say that *they* understand why they do it on 60 Minutes! That's makes far more of an impression on me than the self-serving arguments of any government!

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They don't attack China because they know the Chinese would retaliate.

 

They don't attack Argentina or Brasil because they are not the ones running the world.

 

Your point? 

 

And America didn't retaliate? Foolishness. We *want* to retaliate but **** we can't do it, no more than the Russians could've and no more than the Chinese can. No country, world power or not, has ever defeated the Middle East. Russia tried and they got kicked out by insurgents. We tried and we got kicked out by insurgents. If China tried, they too would be kicked out by insurgents. The only truly viable solution is to level the whole place via nukes, and that's something that even you, I hope, is not suggesting.

There are doors

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The only truly viable solution is to level the whole place via nukes, and that's something that even you, I hope, is not suggesting.

No, I'm not suggesting it. But can you ensure the Chinese wouldn't do it if they were the constant target of terrorist attacks, as Israel is?

- When he is best, he is a little worse than a man, and when he is worst, he is little better than a beast.

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Yes, because then they'd be shunned by the international community. See, the Chinese have to worry about that, whereas if the US were truly on our own we wouldn't, and the world will be worse off for it if we ever do get pissed off enough to nuke the place.

There are doors

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