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I just heard someone with a great deal of expertise on the Middle East comment that some who know the country say that if free and fair democratic elections were held in Saudi Arabia today, Osama Bin Laden would be the hands-down winner.  Don't know if that is true or not; but if so would democracy still be a good thing for Saudia Arabia? Would that be the right way to start? Just wondering what ppl think.

You can't support a system then dismiss the result.

 

If the elections were truly fair and representative, and the result was one that was not as palatable for the unrepresented, then that's tough.

 

(Otherwise you're looking at the Guardian advising readers to write directly to members of the Ohio electorate in a Presidential election and try to convence them to vote for someone ...) :-"

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Did the Nazis ever attack the US?  Nope so I wouldn't have bothered.  Did the Japanesse attack the US?  Yep, and I would have targeted the primary cities, like Tokyo, then left them to rot.

Yes they did. Omaha, Nebraska (where I live) is one of the few cities bombed in WWII.

 

Before the US was officially involved in WWII, Hitler sent U-Boats to the US to spy on us, and launch a preemptive strike. They also sent a small number of bombs over on balloons.

 

Either way, Japan and Germany were allies, and we were attacked by Japan. The United States attempted to be isolationist, and we were dragged into war by two counties. When you are the king of the hill, people will ALWAYS look to pick a fight with you. Only an idiot would suggest we could ever be truly isolationist.

 

And I suppose you also then condone standing by and ignoring genocide. It's not our problem, right?

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No, we do not.  We aren't the police of the world and by acting as such the US government has done more harm than any sort of good.

 

When I said "we" I meant the international community, not just the US. Sorry for the confusion.

 

I know and personally I like to see it wiped from the map as with all of the Middle East as far as I care.

 

:-

 

Surely you jest...

 

I agree fully, that is why both sides need to either come to an agreement or both sides need to be wiped out.

 

Either way, there is peace.

 

Hopefully something will come of the peace talks this time. The trouble in the last few years was that Arafat was more concerned with keeping power to himself while being determined to fight the Israeli. Unfortunately Bush did not hold his ground, but instead let Israel do whatever it wanted. The results weren't pretty. Harsh though it may sound, I feel the best thing Arafat has done for his country in the last five years is to die, so there was room for more progressive people like Abbas to take over. Seems there is some talk of peace now, but that could still just be either or both sides stalling. I live in hope of peace...

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Please understand that not all ppl in the United States are the same. I personally have never supported or believed Bush. A large number of Americans share that view, and the number grows every day. Americans have done lots of things for reasons other than our own self interest. If I remember correctly Hitler was elected via democratic voting. That wasn't a good thing...

 

Actually with Osama as leader of Saudi Arabia you would then have a solid target to take out.

 

It was for the Germans for quite a long time. Giving into Hitler only fueld his sense of importance and invincibility. Of course Britain wasnt really in very good shape even in 1939 so it's unlikely they could have stopped him even if the will was there.

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

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That's right Ender, not my problem. SUch as with Saddam Hussein. If he wanted to use chemical weapons on his people that is his affair and not mine. If he did so on American soil attacking Americans then nuke Bahgdad. As in this case when we invaded he had no WMDs that could threaten us.

 

Or, then we should have nuked Berlin after Japan. Bomb it into submission, leave no survivors.

Harvey

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The west certainly kept Saddam in power and helped him become the tyrant that everybody knows and loves - we were perfectly content to give him weapons and equipment as long as he fought Iran. I've seen old footage of Rumsfeld sitting in Saddam's palace shaking hands with him as if they were good chums. This would have been back in the 70s or 80s, I guess. So yes, we did create him. He was a bad man already, sure, but we gave him weapons and allowed him to be a monster to his neighbours and to terrorize his own people... To give a man like that weapons and then deny responsibility is absurd.

 

The weapons that he committed those mass murders with were weapons we supplied him with. Yet people insist that we have no responsibility for that. We do, and we need to face up to it, and we also need to face that we let Saddam butcher the resistance that *we* encouraged after the first Gulf War in 91. A big part of the problem during the invasion in Iraq was that the Iraqis had not forgotten that we just sold them out and let Saddam slaughter the opposition back in 91. As long as our memories continue to be this "selective", we will be seen as playing double standards by middle-east nations.

 

Got it wrong again. It was spending oil money that allowed him to become a tyrant. As soon as there were reasonably grounds to do so they attempted to remove him, only to be thwarted by the UN. Many people wanted to go in and finish the job but they were held back.

 

Then it took another 10 years before another chance came along.

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

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That's right Ender, not my problem.  SUch as with Saddam Hussein.  If he wanted to use chemical weapons on his people that is his affair and not mine.  If he did so on American soil attacking Americans then nuke Bahgdad.  As in this case when we invaded he had no WMDs that could threaten us.

 

Or, then we should have nuked Berlin after Japan.  Bomb it into submission, leave no survivors.

I would argue that such an attitude only creates bigger problems; all moral capital deserved for being attacked is lost in the meeting out of punishment.

 

Only instead of foreign nationals, you would have a splintering of support withing the nation, so that US citizens would attack the US, like the bombing of the Omaha government building, recently. ...

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I just heard someone with a great deal of expertise on the Middle East comment that some who know the country say that if free and fair democratic elections were held in Saudi Arabia today, Osama Bin Laden would be the hands-down winner.  Don't know if that is true or not; but if so would democracy still be a good thing for Saudia Arabia? Would that be the right way to start? Just wondering what ppl think.

 

 

I see that from this perspective.....the US sees democracy good only if it benefits their goals, when not, then they support various authocratic regimes that do so.

 

They support the current regime in S.Arabia only because it's in their interest, mind the fact that S.Arabia is one of the most anti-democratic states in the Middle East and it terrorisis those of their citizens that don't act and live accordingly with their laws.

 

Why not elections? Because that would endanger the flow of Saudi oil to the US, that would probably also mean they had to pull out their military facilities in S.Arabia. And why would they remove the present regime when they put most of their money in US banks - the Saudi have 1000 billion $ ( not kidding)stashed in US banks. Imagine that someone wins elections in S.Arabia and decides to cash out that amount, the US would be on the edge of financial chaos.

MONEY BEFORE HUMAN LIVES, DEMOCRACY and FREEDOM

The main policy of the US, if otherwise, they wouldn't be the superpower they are today.

 

Oh, come on - that's not what he said. His point was simply that Saudi Arabia doesn't seem to be ready for democracy, and it's not really a bad point either.

 

It's probably why things aren't going on well in Iraq. The US refused to look at Iraq from an evolutionary point of view, and just assumed that the people would hail the americans as heroes, since they brought freedom and democracy, which is rather naive IMHO - you cannot expect to bomb a country, invade it with tanks and planes, and then expect people to greet you with open arms. The iraqis saw it as an invasion, which is probably what it was. And any promises of democracy and fair treatment was probably ignored either due to Saddam's propaganda-machine or because people remembered what happened the last time the US asked them to "rise up against the tyrant Saddam"...

 

Besides, you cannot blame the US for any lack of democracy in Saudi Arabia - they may have bases there, but they did not install the current regime, nor do I get the impression that they are keeping it in power. If there was an uprising, the US would pull out rather than defend the king, so democracy will come to Saudi Arabia when the Saudis are ready for it and not before. Democracy must come from the will of the people in a country - you cannot create it by force. As one arab journalist said quite mockingly about the invasion: "Democratize now or we shoot!" :-

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I just heard someone with a great deal of expertise on the Middle East comment that some who know the country say that if free and fair democratic elections were held in Saudi Arabia today, Osama Bin Laden would be the hands-down winner.  Don't know if that is true or not; but if so would democracy still be a good thing for Saudia Arabia? Would that be the right way to start? Just wondering what ppl think.

You can't support a system then dismiss the result.

 

If the elections were truly fair and representative, and the result was one that was not as palatable for the unrepresented, then that's tough.

 

(Otherwise you're looking at the Guardian advising readers to write directly to members of the Ohio electorate in a Presidential election and try to convence them to vote for someone ...) :-"

I cannot disagree with what you say but will add a couple of reservations.

 

First I never thought it a reasonable thing to expect Iraq to go directly from a state of absolute repression to a democratic state overnight. In that case ppl have learned through experience that they should grab power when they can because they may not get another chance. Democracy only works if ppl trust in the process and I believe it takes some years to develop such a trust.

 

Second, we don't have a pure democracy in the US. Very few countries do. In a pure democracy, a majority can completely remove all rights from the minority. A representative democracy protects against that somewhat, as do constitutional limitations on the power of government.

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Got it wrong again. It was spending oil money that allowed him to become a tyrant. As soon as there were reasonably grounds to do so they attempted to remove him, only to be thwarted by the UN. Many people wanted to go in and finish the job but they were held back.

 

Iraq's economy was shattered by the war with Iran. If we had really hated Saddam so much at the time, then that would have been a good time to go in and throw him out. We didn't. We decided to support him with weapons and money instead.

 

Oh, and Saddam was already pursuing WMDs in the 70s. His nuclear potential was devastated by the Israeli, however, while we did squat about it...

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"Kill them all, God will know his own."

Pope Clement V

The only way to achieve world peace is through the extinction of the human race.

Except us right-thinking people, of course.

 

Yes, we're all different.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I'm not.

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:p  :lol:  :lol: .....man are you naive or what?

.....they don't seem to be ready? - sure they'll be "ready" when it benifits you.

 

You're completely ignoring my point that true democracy must always come from the will of the people. I dare say we would hear of it if US troops enforced the reign of the current rulers, but that just doesn't happen. Besides, democracy isn't the same as the dictatorship of the majority - it also means respect for the individual and the acceptance of certain principles. Osama bin Laden has long since demonstrated that he has no respect for any democratic principles.

 

You didn't install the current goverment - true. But you do in a way keep it in power because of your military presences,which is a clear sign of backing the current regime by military means and defending it from any outside enemy or from within, the current goverment is in a fact as the US says - with Israel, one of our most important ally in the Middle East.

 

You're assuming rather a lot from the US presence in Saudi Arabia, and far more than I can support. For one thing, I think the US will pull its troops out within the next couple of years, since the political climate there isn't exactly favorable.

 

If there was an uprising they would pull out rather then defend the king? I don't think so. S.Arabia is a police state, with strong military and police, they even have the "moral" police that is ensuring everybody lives with the muslim customs and laws. If there was an uprising and they would cut them down, even if the uprising was democratic or otherwise the US wouldn't risk allowing them to come in power and to possibly disrupt the current relationship and become another unstabile regime rather then the authocratic and stabile one present.

 

Sadly you might be right there, but I'm not about to accuse the US of being guilty for doing something it has not yet done. I might suspect it to happen in a scenario like what you describe, but it hasn't come to pass, so there can be no blame, and it might not happen at all. If you want to accuse the US of something, then look at history instead - there are more than enough examples to choose from there.

 

Why? It's simple - Saudi Arabia is often the leading source of imported oil for the United States, providing about 20% of total U.S. crude imports and 10% of U.S. consumption. The U.S. is Saudi Arabia's largest trading partner, and Saudi Arabia is the largest U.S. export market in the Middle East. Those reasons far exceed any possibility for a democratic change in S.Arabia

 

Again, you could be right, but I'm not about to accuse the US of imperialist tendencies in the future on the basis of possibilities or even probability. I still have enough faith that the US might change this sort of policy for something that shows greater respect for other countries. I will not abandon that hope so easily even if the reasons you give are compelling reasons.

 

That talk that the will of the Saudi people for democracy is going to actually bring it is laughable - that story is only good as a material for writing fiction novels and fairy tales.

 

Worked for most democratic nations in the world...

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buhu. people die, deal with it. as long as i'm not affected directly or indirectly(people i know), i really don't care if and how others die. 37 people? come on, what's that? 37 out of 8,5 mill people died. big deal...

 

only difference between this and a car crash or a famine, is the entertainment value. terrorist attacks are spectacular, but hardly significant. terror is not something new; it has been around for centuries(probably much longer). the difference now is the global media...

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buhu. people die, deal with it. as long as i'm not affected directly or indirectly(people i know), i really don't care if and how others die. 37 people? come on, what's that? 37 out of 8,5 mill people died. big deal...

 

only difference between this and a car crash or a famine, is the entertainment value. terrorist attacks are spectacular, but hardly significant. terror is not something new; it has been around for centuries(probably much longer). the difference now is the global media...

 

...And profits that Bush can get from those attacks

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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The only way to achieve world peace is through the extinction of the human race.

 

Or to just dehumanize humanity, to cull all ideas that might lead to war. To utterly remove the meaning of love, hate, society, difference, acceptance from our minds and societies. Of course, I'd rather we were all extinguished before my individuality was neutered and ripped away from me for the sake of the 'greater good' or peace.

 

This, assuming the success of world peace is entirely and exclusively dependant on the extinction of the human race.

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Iraq's economy was shattered by the war with Iran. If we had really hated Saddam so much at the time, then that would have been a good time to go in and throw him out. We didn't. We decided to support him with weapons and money instead.

 

Oh, and Saddam was already pursuing WMDs in the 70s. His nuclear potential was devastated by the Israeli, however, while we did squat about it...

 

Dosnt matter what state the economy is in as long as he has the oil and someone to sell it too. Remember the Russians and France ? They were the ones doing deals and allowing him to circumvent sanctions. They were also the ones who constantly held back the UN for their own selfish gain while people died in droves. Something to think about it isnt it.

 

Odd thats isnt. When Isreal do something good we didnt act and when they do something "wrong" its our fault for supporting them.

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

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Or to just dehumanize humanity, to cull all ideas that might lead to war. To utterly remove the meaning of love, hate, society, difference, acceptance. Of course, I'd rather we were all extinguished before my individuality was neutered and ripped away from me for the sake of the 'greater good' or peace.

 

This, assuming the success of world peace is entirely and exclusively dependant on the extinction of the human race.

 

Discovering life on other planets is a good start. It will explode the human idea of self importance for one thing. As well as give religion a bloody nose which is never a bad thing.

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

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Or to just dehumanize humanity, to cull all ideas that might lead to war. To utterly remove the meaning of love, hate, society, difference, acceptance. Of course, I'd rather we were all extinguished before my individuality was neutered and ripped away from me for the sake of the 'greater good' or peace.

 

This, assuming the success of world peace is entirely and exclusively dependant on the extinction of the human race.

 

Discovering life on other planets is a good start. It will explode the human idea of self importance for one thing. As well as give religion a bloody nose which is never a bad thing.

 

Amen! :p

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Dosnt matter what state the economy is in as long as he has the oil and someone to sell it too. Remember the Russians and France ? They were the ones doing deals and allowing him to circumvent sanctions. They were also the ones who constantly held back the UN for their own selfish gain while people died in droves. Something to think about it isnt it.

 

Odd thats isnt. When Isreal do something good we didnt act and when they do something "wrong" its our fault for supporting them.

It seems to be true that some French and Russian politicians and businessmen profited personally from the Oil-for-Food programme and other deals. However, the French and Russian governments and people stopped supporting the sanctions long before, and for good reasons: the sanctions had a devastating effect on the civilians of Iraq; they were unjustified given that similar or worse regimes elsewhere were not subject to sanctions; they weren't destabilising the regime. Now, you can make strong arguments against this position, I agree. But the simplistic view that 'Oh, the French opposed the sanctions and the war because they were taking backhanders' is part of a worrying trend of anti-French hostility that's building in the US and UK and needs combatting now.

"An electric puddle is not what I need right now." (Nina Kalenkov)

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