Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why this war is so hated : Part II

In Part I I tried to advance some arguments as to why the Iraq war is so hated. Here are a few more. Neither that post nor this one is meant to be exhaustive.

One of the main justifications for the war was that Iraq had violated the terms of the Gulf War ceasefire and the UN inspections. But the war was also widely--and rightly--seen as an attempt to begin to change the face of the Middle East. For that reason, the fear exists that this war will just be the first in a long series of wars in the region, a sort of "where will it all end?" apprehension. This apprehension is also, I believe, behind some of the otherwise almost incomprehensible defense of Iran's leadership by segments of the antiwar contingent.

To many liberals and those on the left who never accepted that Saddam's violations of the ceasefire and inspections were a large part of what led to the US decision to go to war ("it's all for oil, it's racism, it's imperialism"), the decision to go to war with Iraq seemed purely arbitrary. Therefore the fear was that nothing would stop this administration from attacking country after country in that region.

Perhaps that's even part of what's behind the seemingly inexplicable need of some on the left to have the whole enterprise fail. Think about it: if it succeeds, then what's to stop those evil crazed neocons from doing it again and again in the region? Because of course, we all know that neocons have no sense of nuance, no knowledge of the differences between countries, nor of why a possible solution for one is not necessarily the right approach to another.

Another aspect of this war that is hard to accept--not just the Iraq war, but the larger "war on terrorism" or "war on Islamic jihadism" or whatever term one wishes to use for it--is that it does most definitely have religious overtones, although those religious overtones are actually those of the enemy. Our own religious battles in the West are for the most part of the "cold" variety, although our history is one of lengthy "hot" wars of a religious nature. But to a great degree we've put all of that behind us.

Now it rears its ugly head in a way that seems positively medieval. But the fact is that we are fighting an enemy with a medieval/religious mindset and access to modern weapons, and one who is trying to gain access to the most modern of weapons--nuclear ones--even as we speak. It's a lethal combination, and very hard to believe and accept, especially if one is accustomed to thinking in PC terms. And, strangely enough, when all this became clearer on 9/11, we happened to have had a President in office who takes his own religion, Christianity, usually seriously, and is unashamed to state that fact.

This whole business of a war that is at least partly religious in nature (if only because the enemy wills it to be so) is assuredly not what most of us expected for the beginning of the 21st century. I remember, when I first started reading blogs, coming across the site of an Australian blogger (now defunct; wish I could remember his name!) who wrote a funny piece on that very subject. The gist of it was that the whole thing can be explained by a mixup in time: the numbers of the years got reversed, and instead of it being 2001 it was actually the year 1200.

Sometimes it feels that way; the sense of dislocation can be profound. Hard to accept the fact of an enemy with a medieval mindset wedded with modern technology. Much better, and far more reassuring, to think that those who are aware of the threat and who want to do something different about it are nuts. Because who would want to recognize that we're in a long struggle against an unusually implacable and rage-filled enemy?

158 Comments:

At 1:25 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Neo:

Thoughtful post, as usual. I would posit that the opposition to this war has, at its core, an element of religiosity as well. (I've said as much in a comment on Part 1.)

It's as if the opponents of the war have accepted a creed that begins with "Bush Lied, People Died," and ends with "No Blood for Oil" and "HalliburtonBushMcChimpyHitlerNoWMD's".

No amount of fact or reason can shake this creed. No amount of reasoned argument will be seen by those who subscribe to this dogma as anything but dogma of the opposite kind, the wailing of a heretic.

And so, like all religious discussions among those who hold opposing beliefs, the outcome is hardly surprising: rage, discord, rampant name-calling, and hatred of the "other."

I don't hate those on the "other side," but listening to some of their comments and arguments makes me weep for the future of the West.

 
At 1:33 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

just because you oppose it does not mean you want it to fail. However it would be good if the opposition to this war prevented further adventuring - it is a dangerous game.

Secondly the religious dimension of this war is a device used by extremists on both sides. The whole notion of a global religious war is a nonsense. It is about what wars are always about. Power, resources and ompetition. The fighting is not about God, although he gets dragged in by all and sundry to justify their violence.

The divisions caused by this in america are really concerning and you lot need to start talking to each other. Like it or not neo the war is very unpopular and you are going to have to find some common ground with those who oppose the war.

 
At 1:33 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Buffy said...

I like the way you work your way through a problem, methodically and reasonably. You are a credit to the gender, madame. I'm sometimes troubled when comments don't live up to your original essay.

You seem to have a thicker skin than I'd have in this situation. You've apparently developed a way to deal with stupid commenters who try in the most childish ways to get under your skin. Good on you, girl.

 
At 1:40 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

neoneoconned:

"just because you oppose it does not mean you want it to fail."

I'm curious, then: what does opposition to the war entail, if not failure? If you didn't want it to start, it seems pretty obvious that the stated aims were something you opposed, so why would you not want those stated aims to fail?

And if you're okay with the stated aims, but oppose the war on the grounds that the U.S. acted "unilaterally" and/or "illegally", then I suppose that's a defensible position, but if you support the ends, and no one else was willing to provide the means, then....what?

 
At 2:00 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

the numbers of the years got reversed, and instead of it being 2001 it was actually the year 1200.
Wouldn't that be 1002 though? Creative license I guess.

I think the problem is when people come here and they see things that fit into their preconceptions, and then their empathy shuts off and they let loose the barrage.

See this scientific report about how people lose their empathy when talking to the people who are different

When they aren't intellectually honest, when they don't wait for confirmation when they just jump to conclusions based upon the grossest sort of prejudice, then we got a problem. If you recall, Confud was actually polite when he first began his 3 posts asking questions. When he didn't like the answers and started accusing me of being a racist neo-con or whatever, then he didn't become so pleasant and open-minded.

Like I told Jack, when you threaten people's fantasies, they go Rage on you man.

You've apparently developed a way to deal with stupid commenters who try in the most childish ways to get under your skin.

It helps when she doesn't have to answer back, cause they're too busy attacking the yermadwanker, which is an interesting semi-literate anagram of my name. Anyone ever realized that the flypaper strategy in Iraq used against terrorism is also used on this blog (and others) against aggressors?

If everyone is just attacking me, then the amount of static and interference is reduced to the rate at which I can reply. However, if you bring in like 10 other people on this blog, we're going have a like a free for all. Free for all s are pretty chaotic.

 
At 2:04 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Stumbley - now all this mess is in motion i would like to see a stable iraqi regime...or three separate states if thats what it takes. i see no appeal in further bloodshed and chaos. For the sake of the Iraqi people and the foreigners there i hope this is what happens.

However I opposed this war because I always suspected the motives - i am one of the simpletons who believes the main purpose behind this is oil supplies - and always felt that it was optimistic to think that regime change was going to be an easy process. What is most likely is a slow drift into near civil war a la Lebanon, until the US abandons the place at the first available opportunity. The chaos encourages the activities of more violent groups in Iraq and neighbouring countries and may even inspire more wars and mess.

i am sure the keyboard warriors on here are all thinking this is cowardice and every despotic regime can and should be attacked....but they can't. In the real world you have to deal with all kinds of unpleasant people.

And i can hear people saying would you have left saddam in charge? well in the 2003 set up yes i would. Ideally he should have been finished off in The first war and i never understood why it was left so obviously half done.

The mistake made on here by many people is to assume that the "opposition" is a monolithic whole; they are not. There are serious divisions between many islamic groups and countries. The sensible route is to exploit these. The USA had an enormous amount of support aross parts of the muslim world in the wake of 9/11 which in blew in invading Iraq. By going on about a "long war" against "islamic terrorism" it is more likely to push muslims into supporting all other muslims, however badly they behave, in the face of the very real american threat.

Now, for people like yrmdwnkr this all smacks of some ideological impurity but it is the reality of how countries operate. A certain level of real politk is necessary.

It is also worth adding that America is not popular around the world because it is not perceived as being friendly to many foreign countries. It invades, interferes, dominates markets etc. A sensible US governeent would do its best to change this perception - to be the force for good which it perceives itself to be. A starting point would be to put more open pressure on Israel to resolve the Palestinian mess. Only America can do this.


....I await the shit throwing monkeys :-)

 
At 2:07 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I kept reading John RIngos' Road to Damascus where he has the Bolo say "I Rage". Which I so funny!

 
At 2:11 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I call dibs on the "divide and conquer" strategy though.

Divide and procreate

 
At 2:21 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Okay, now we're having a reasonable debate.

"However I opposed this war because I always suspected the motives - i am one of the simpletons who believes the main purpose behind this is oil supplies - and always felt that it was optimistic to think that regime change was going to be an easy process."

I will agree with your "oil supplies" statement, in this sense: I believe that part of the purpose of the invasion was to stabilize the ME with regard to oil, that is, to ensure that a rogue state like Iraq could not continue to invade its neighbors. As far as regime change being an "easy process," I don't recall anyone in the Administration making that claim. I do recall many mentions of a "long war," in fact, I believe that someone once mentioned "generations."

It's always interesting to me how so many attribute such rampant evil to the U.S.: "America is not popular around the world because it is not perceived as being friendly to many foreign countries. It invades, interferes, dominates markets etc."

We have "invaded" exactly ONE foreign country in recent memory; otherwise, we've been ASKED to help in a number of conflicts around the world. We provide more foreign aid than anyone on the planet; we are among the few nations doing anything about AIDS in Africa (even Bob Geldof will agree, as well as Bono); we responded quickly and generously to the recent tsunami in East Asia, when the UN spent weeks deciding which hotel to stay at. There are a wealth of similar examples.

We "dominate markets" because we have a pretty healthy economy that produces goods and services that the world wants. Just wait until China gets a little more capitalistic, if you want to see "market domination."

In an earlier thread, a commenter mentioned "enviness", or some such. I think that's at work here.

And why can't we pressure the Palestinians to resolve the mess as well? Are they not somewhat of a barrier to peace too?

 
At 2:48 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

well leave aside the extent to which the usa really has invaded countries, "inspired" coups, and that many international markets are seriously rigged - cos lets face it we are never going to agree. Think about it in terms of purely practical international politics....

Is the aim to produce peace and quiet? To allow people to live their lives in a prosperous peace and gradual development?
Hopefully we sort of agree - mainly cos its such a bland statement! but never mind.

Given that what is the best way the USA and othrs can contribute?

I would argue by being an active force for good. This sometimes means force - e.g. Gulf War 1 - right up to the road to Basra. I really need to read more about why the hell we stopped there. I remember at the time just being relieved the killing was going to stop but being puzzled as to why.

But it also means letting countries be what they want to be. Venezuala does not want to be another california. They want to use the oil money to pay for health and education etc. Why oppose them? It just gives an impression of the usa as a controlling state in the thrall of the oil companies who would like access to their oil.

And how about this for a radical plan...probably too late now but......

Undermine the whole palestinian excuse for terrorism by buying out the problem. One of the most sucessful and under rated pieces of american foreign policy ever was the marshall plan. At a time when Italy and France could easily have elected communist governments the populations were effectively bought off. rude but very effective. In return the US got two less communist countries and some solid trading partners.

Now imagine in Palestine. Hamas are popular because alonside their other activities they provide a great any basic health and social services - this appeals to the locals who, like it or not, have been treated badly for decades. A substantial injection off cash into Palestine would produce a change in the culture there. However it would also mean Israel making concessions. But it does depend what you are trying to achieve.

How many Palestinians are there? How much per person would solve the problem? What woul dthat be worth in terms of international peae and quiet and underining the mad terrorists?

Also if you perceive all muslims as the opposition in a holy war....well don't be surprised if groups like Hamas simply get more popular. Don't forget in the eyes of the Hamas leadership they hav eextremists in Islamic Jihad to worry about -they are not a monolithic grouping. Also HAmas, for all their violence, are a great deal less corrupt than fatah. I bet a lot of peopel now wished they had encouraged fatah because what has replaced it is so much worse.

..i put my protective gear on and await the monkeys

 
At 3:07 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

this article might give some indication of the divisions within the palestinians, the problems caused and possible solutions

 
At 3:19 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"I really need to read more about why the hell we stopped there. I remember at the time just being relieved the killing was going to stop but being puzzled as to why."

It was mandated by the UN. Bush 1 actually listened to the "international community."

"It just gives an impression of the usa as a controlling state in the thrall of the oil companies who would like access to their oil."

Well...it actually involves a country nationalizing a legitimate foreign business. Kind of like the USA deciding that the Toyota, Mercedes, Honda and BMW plants in the U.S. "belonged" to us. Venezuela would not have had "access to their oil" were it not for Occidental Petroleum. Same with Saudi Arabia and ARAMCO and many of the other ME countries.

"Hamas are popular because alonside their other activities"

Like suicide bombings?

"they provide a great many basic health and social services "

Like AK-47's and dynamite for suicide bombers? I'm just a little skeptical (or should I say "sceptical" for our UK readers?) about using Wiki entries for factual information, but...so what? Hamas' charter still calls for the eradication of the Israeli state, and they still practice suicide bombing, in addition to other terrorist activities. They should be persuaded to put a stop to these prior to anyone giving credence to their demands.

"if you perceive all muslims as the opposition in a holy war"

I do not. I do, however, wish that the millions of "moderate" Muslims would speak up, denounce and otherwise eradicate the fundamentalists in their midst. Since I haven't seen much evidence of this "moderation", I can only speculate that perhaps this "moderation" is less prevalent than you or I would wish. And we did not start the "holy war" (unless you believe, as Al-Qaeda does, that the Crusades were only yesterday).

"Also HAmas, for all their violence, are a great deal less corrupt than fatah. I bet a lot of peopel now wished they had encouraged fatah because what has replaced it is so much worse."

This is absolutely true. "Be careful what you wish for..."

A reasoned discussion like this is what we'd all hope for. Would that civil discourse could solve all the world's problems. I would bet that what you and I wish for our children and the world's children is much the same, though we might choose different ways of achieving it. I am reminded of that wonderful line from Sting's "Russians": "What might save us me and you / Is that the Russians love their children too"

Unfortunately, part of the world just happens to be peopled by folks who strap dynamite to their children's waists and send them off to pizza parlors.

 
At 3:26 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Unfortunately, part of the world just happens to be peopled by folks who strap dynamite to their children's waists and send them off to pizza parlors.

didn't just happen it is the end result of a long process. and it is a minority.

and as i also said it depends what you want to achieve....if you want peace it has to be worked at. War and chaos is easy to achieve and we seem to slide into more of it



....and please don't quote sting....i just can't stand him - sorry

 
At 3:27 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Oh, and as regards "well leave aside the extent to which the usa really has invaded countries, "inspired" coups, and that many international markets are seriously rigged - cos lets face it we are never going to agree. Think about it in terms of purely practical international politics...."

Is your opprobrium reserved solely for the U.S., or do you hold the same opinion of Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the former Soviet Union, India, North Korea, Syria, and China (to name just a few) who have done exactly the same things you fault America for?

 
At 3:30 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

yes

 
At 3:34 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"didn't just happen it is the end result of a long process. and it is a minority."

Well, again, so what? The fact that the "minority" is allowed (and I'm sorry, probably aided and abetted) BY THE STATE to blow innocents up for the avowed purpose of eradicating the "other" seems to be reasonable grounds for not sitting down at the peace table just this instant.

It's difficult for me to see why those who oppose violence to help advance democracy in Iraq seem to excuse (and by excusing, support) violence to advance "peace" in Palestine and Israel.

Sting's not a favorite with me, either, but I like that line. If we could all keep that mindset...

 
At 3:36 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"yes"

So you're from Canada?

:^)

 
At 3:40 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

i am not advocating violence in palestine. I am trying to suggest a realistic route out of it. It is one of those situations where you have to be practical and not keep back over who said what when, whose fault it is etc. It is a very difficult thing to solve and will require patience and perserverence.

What will not work is all muslims are bad so lets stop "pussyfooting around and attack"....like it or not you have to engage with them to get change....in reality it is what all american governments have done - although they haven't always chosen well about who to engage with

 
At 3:47 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Dan said...

Neo -

First, thanks for another fine post.

I think there is another reason that you are leaving out. I think the left is scared to death of being wrong about Bush. For many of these people, Bush hatred is not merely politics, it is IDENTITY. Not a person who disagrees with the President's policy on this or that, but simply a "Bush Hater". They define themselves as being anti-Bush. It is their virtue. It is a demonstration of the (perceived) moral and intellectual superiority that they so desparately crave.

Look at the rhetoric that almost exclusively ascribes to the president not just incorrectness, but evil motives and malicious intent. The fact that 50 million people are now on a path to freedom and self-determination is disregarded, trivialized to a half-hearted caveat, as you pointed out ("Well, it's good Saddam's gone, but..."). How else to explain how Gay groups can support a regime that would immediately have them killed, or how Feminist groups remain silent about the disgraceful treatment of women by those whom we fight, or how the anti's decry the existance of the Guantanamo prison, where prisoners get everything from reverently handled Korans to Kosher meals to anti-anxiety medication, while remaining silent about, or even supporting the Castro regime and the true horrors it creates on the very same Island?

Imagine the blow to the egos that these people face if things go well and Bush turns out to be right. Imagine the horror of facing those guided from oppression to freedom and saying "I would have prevented your liberation. I would have left you to die in the prisons, the torture chambers and the rape rooms." The hatred is so high because the stakes are so high. Bush must fail, this silly, simple Texan, with his oh-so-unsophisticated ideas about morality, about right and wrong. Or else those who cherish above all else the illusion of their own enlightenment will see that illusion shattered. If Bush does 'Good' then what of those who define themselves as anti-Bush?

My apologies for the cocktail-napkin psychology.

 
At 3:54 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

how the anti's decry the existance of the Guantanamo prison, where prisoners get everything from reverently handled Korans to Kosher meals to anti-anxiety medication, while remaining silent about, or even supporting the Castro regime and the true horrors it creates on the very same Island?


the point is that Guantanamo was and is a politically stupid move whih has given endless recruiting propaganda to terrorist type organisations. It all depends what you want to achieve.

I would rather live in cuba than iraq. I would rather be poor in Havana than in Washington

 
At 3:57 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"I would rather be poor in Havana than in Washington"

Really? Have you been to either place?

I'd rather be poor in America than anywhere else in the world.

 
At 3:58 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

I would rather be poor in Havana than in Washington

What you would rather do is entirely up to you, of course, but it's a lot more to the point that most of the poor people in Havana right now would very much like the chance to get to Washington.

 
At 4:11 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

as it happens yes , but that really doesn't help. Being poor in the usa is no joke, look at imprisonment rates if nothing else. poverty is pretty widespread in cuba and carries less of a stigma....its about perspective. And at least i am allowed to go to uba - unlike you yankees :-)

 
At 4:25 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: In Part I I tried to advance some arguments as to why the Iraq war is so hated.

You failed miserably.

 
At 4:53 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

neoneoconned - Undermine the whole palestinian excuse for terrorism by buying out the problem

Yeah, right. Just like when Paulie Walnuts and Big Pussy come into your store offering protection from them 'violent elements' out there.

Your proposal is also called 'shaking down' or "extortion". Terrorists make threats, but they'll let us purchase their hearts and minds (and our safety) for lots and lots of cash.

Actually, the developments in "Palestine" are going in the right direction, with Hamas and Fatah elements attacking each other. Giving terrorists political power but no money seems to cause unrest. Let's you and him fight has always been the most cost-effective way to win a war.

Giving terrorist groups their extortion payments is the worst thing we could do.

 
At 5:01 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Yo, Steve:

neoneoconned has remained admirably civil. Let's see if you can do likewise. "War whore" is a bit—no, a LOT out of line.

And I think if you actually read the quote that you cite, the operative phrase is "settled on", as in, "not the only reason, but the one that we thought most people would buy among all the reasons we had."

"failed miserably"? Neo advanced some theories, exactly what she said she'd do. They may not be YOUR reasons, but they're legitimate.

 
At 5:05 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

so, what did stumbley's debate with conned, solve?

 
At 5:28 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"so, what did stumbley's debate with conned, solve?"

Well, we discovered that nnc dislikes America for doing what basically every other country in the world does, except maybe better and more successfully.

We discovered that people CAN actually have a civil discussion in these comments.

We discovered that nnc's from Canada, which explains a lot of why he/she thinks what he/she does. (Not criticizing Canada, mind you, but it puts stuff in perspective for me.)

We were treated to nnc's ideas for a Palestinian-Israeli peace accord, which I don't think would work, but which are nevertheless an "outside the box" solution...

We found that nnc would prefer Havana over Washington in his/her poverty, which is explained by his/her living in a socialist country that advocates a "cradle-to-grave" welfare state. Fine for him/her, but definitely not for me.

and we discovered that we both harbor a dislike for Sting.

 
At 5:52 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

thanks for the summary.

 
At 6:25 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Neo said....

Now it rears its ugly head in a way that seems positively medieval. But the fact is that we are fighting an enemy with a medieval/religious mindset and access to modern weapons, and one who is trying to gain access to the most modern of weapons--nuclear ones--even as we speak.


Sorry to harp about this but please provide evidence of this nuclear ambition, and explain why manufacturing a political standoff to sideline the IAEA (the ones who have the power to verify and inspect to the globes satisfaction) is in any way constructive toward this not happening.

This is the nub of the Iran argument despite what some of the more extreme elements would have us believe. Slipping an unsubstantiated speculative proposition into the essay as though it were fact is dishonest.

 
At 6:50 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Intellectual dishonesty is not determined by the ignorance or opinions of other people. For every individual has to decide what he believes or does not believes, and the reasons he has for it. Neo has listed many justifications for why she believes as she does, as well as all the justifications for why she should not believe in such a thing. She has decided that her justifications overwhelm any justifications against her beliefs. Thus she is required by intellectual honesty to believe, for she cannot do nothing else when there are more justifications for than against.

This is different than somebody else coming in and not believing it and thinking it is a lie. Things are only a lie if the person saying it does not believe in it. Deception is another thing, however, because you can tell the truth and still deceive people.

 
At 6:57 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

stumbley and others: As I said in another thread, I let many of the taunting comments stand, at least for now, because I think they illustrate better than anything I can say or do the character of the commenters in question. Hoist by their own petard, as it were.

Flat out insultingly obscene comments I tend to delete, although not always. That's why neoneoconned's post calling me a "war whore," (the one to which you refer) was deleted. Rudeness of that magnitude is also instructive, I suppose, however. It says a great deal about the person making the comment, and much less about the person who is the object of said comment, doesn't it?

 
At 7:00 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Neo:

To be fair to neoneoconned, the stricken comment was by Steve J, who is best banned from here altogether.

 
At 7:06 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It was by steve j, in one of his longer posts.

 
At 7:11 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The justification for why Neo thought stumbley was talking to conned was because there were many other posts before that stumbley posted that was directly speaking to conned. Therefore it is a linear progression, however sometimes things are non-linear.

 
At 7:13 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Yfronts,

I'm well aware of the perception is reality argument. In the main I don't agree with it because it more often than not involves willfull self deception.

Either way, I don't believe it applies in this instance.

 
At 7:15 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

stumbley: I stand corrected on the identity of the offender: steve j., indeed.

 
At 7:41 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Intellectual honesty or dishonesty, as covered by epistemology 101, is not really the perception equals reality or relative reality argument.

Justifications have to do with knowledge, and knowledge cannot be knowledge without it being true. Hence, justifications are true justifications, never fabricated, illusionary, or deceptive statements of truth.

 
At 7:46 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Flat out insultingly obscene comments I tend to delete, although not always. That's why neoneoconned's post calling me a "war whore," (the one to which you refer) was deleted.

Neo, what do you mean by standing by steve j's?

 
At 8:03 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

I think Wafa Sultan nailed it hard and right-on when she said, "This is not a clash of civilizations! Civilizations do not clash! This is a clash of opposites!"

 
At 8:16 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

In other words, blood spills guts fall to the ground wars are inevitable – I don’t like it I don’t want it, but it is an utterly inescapable condition of human nature as much as breathing. What matters is whose ideas survive at the end of the day. When I’m dead – what to I care of the misery or happiness of for those to come after me? Maybe it is something that the forefront of civilization writes on my soul. The old of the Left have forgotten, and the young of the left have never understood. Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed - else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die. ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

This is neocon psychobabble, enjoy it.

 
At 9:11 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Off Topic: Yay! Taylor Won! Great show tonight! [Am. Idol]

 
At 9:59 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

How can anyone stand to watch that imperialist junk called American idol? The idea that America can be idolized in any way, shape, or form is ludicrous.

 
At 10:47 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: To many liberals and those on the left who never accepted that Saddam's violations of the ceasefire and inspections were a large part of what led to the US decision to go to war

Paul Wolfowitz didn't think so at the time.

 
At 10:50 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I really don't understand why the Left likes to quote Wolfowitz so much. Didn't they discredit him awhile ago?

 
At 1:01 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Steve J. said...
NEO-NEOCON: To many liberals and those on the left who never accepted that Saddam's violations of the ceasefire and inspections were a large part of what led to the US decision to go to war

Yes, it's an interesting one that isn't it. It could be because none of it is true. Saddam NEVER EXPELLED THE INSPECTORS. (Sorry for shouting)

Wolfowitz now has hinds grubby little pinkies in the World Bank treasury. Shame, they missed him in Baghdad.

 
At 7:06 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

I think Stumbley summed it up best. Face it, Lefties, you lost. Your insights and wisdom and beliefs and intelligence and experience were ignored, even reviled. Most Americans don't blame themselves for terrorism and the world's problems and we were willing to expend lives and money to destroy saddam hussein's regime, however ill-defined his evil was. Sorry, no cigar for you on this one. What an affront to their superior intellects that is. Then to make matters worse, Congress keeps funding the war.I find savage joy in that and the truth be known, I bet many of the Left with the means are financially invested in the defense industry. Ain't that just the whipped cream on top of the cake?? Such irony, just like the human shields (remember them?) who rushed into the arms of US forces once saddam's men deserted them. Yup, the Left is down for the count on this war, but they've always got Iran with which to take up the mantras. Any wagers on whether or not the mullahs will allow US human shields in?? I've got a crisp $50.00 says they won't.

I too note an increase in "taunting comments" Neo and recently I used the F word myself against a respondent. I should have been deleted.

I see the palis have been mentioned in this Post. What's the score? I think fatah is up a few on the body count, aren't they? Wait! I think I just heard that hamas blew up some fatah children at a candy store. Can we call this the war of freedom fighters or is it just plain old in-house bickering? Someone help me here - when should I dance in the streets? When fatah whacks hamas or when hamas whacks fatah?
Sincerely,
goesh, buddy of Bush

 
At 7:14 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 7:18 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

But weren't Hamas and Hezbollah created by Israel to counter the PLO? … Something I picked up on from “Edward Said: The Last Interview”.

 
At 7:27 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Saddam NEVER EXPELLED THE INSPECTORS. (Sorry for shouting)

He was having to much fun. Those were the party days. Humiliating the free world is not just good old fashion infidel hating, secular or not, it's Islamic dogma and it appeals to the masses -- and many in the West, a cheap thrill but a fix nonetheless.

I found well over a 125 quotes to "unbeliever" [all negative of course] in the online Koran at:

ONLINE KORAN

Use: Simple Search
Keyword: unbeliever

 
At 8:17 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

I'm sure you know radical atheists who HATE Christianity, though most don't seem to.
It has something to do with Identity.

As Dan said, it's Identity.

For many Leftists, "Moral Superiority" is one their chief self-actualization goals, along with "keeping their hands cleans." Bush is challenging their morals.

I wish he would be more agressive:
war or genocide in SE Asia? anti-war folk wanted genocide.
war or genocide in Rwanda? anti-war folk wanted genocide.
war or genocide in Darfur? anti-war folk prefer genocide to a US led war (but the UN and Amnesty won't call it genocide until it's over).

They don't hate the Iraq war -- they hate Bush; the Iraq war is merely a stick to beat him with. One which, as it slowly and painfully goes thru an expensive nation-building process, it will be slowly less used by the Left.

They hate Bush -- because they hate reality.

The reality that says one must choose: fighting evil, including killing innocents, or let evil win.

Of course, so many Reps and Bush supporters ARE corrupt, and moderately poor at public relations, the media hiding the main questions.

 
At 8:28 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

Nyomythus, Hizbullah could be considered combatants in some respects since they were men enough at least on one occasion to engage the armed men of IDF in southern Lebanon. Hamas men on the other hand are to be considered freedom fighters since they blow up women and children in pizza parlors and teens at dances, and people at wedding receptions. Neo likes us to be technically correct on such matters.

 
At 8:49 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Wait! I think I just heard that hamas blew up some fatah children at a candy store.

It's the Israelis pulling the strings dontcha know. Just cause they left the West Bank, don't mean the Israeli mojo magic isn't still in the air.

 
At 8:57 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

opposition to this war is natural as a consequence of change. on 911 a significant portion of our perspective really did change, but not all. thus the groundwork for conflict between those who would seek a new paradigm and those who resist this change is inevitable. And this conflict is compounded by:

1. our previous international actions have not always held up well with our own ideals for ourselves. thus motives will be questioned. even or especially of those who have rejected the disfunctional past and act on a new path.

2. a culture of suspicion and near paranoia that has sprung up in popular culture in the past 50 years. conspiracy ideations have gained popular traction.

3. a culture of misinformation perpetuated by popular media and institutions of "higher leraning" that has only accelerated since the Vietnam war.

4. isolationists, who are likely more pacifist than not, who have always maintained a strong presence in our history, born from a time when the Atlantic and Pacific crossing were arduous but now no longer the case.

5. the eternal conflict between those who believe that there could be a better way and those who act within an imperfect world

 
At 9:17 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

They hate Bush -- because they hate reality.

The reality that says one must choose: fighting evil, including killing innocents, or let evil win.

Of course, so many Reps and Bush supporters ARE corrupt, and moderately poor at public relations, the media hiding the main questions.


so then Tom Grey i have to support corrupt people and the killing of innocents because there is no alternative apart from supporting evil?

and you say the left wing are simplistic. And, lets face it, it is not difficult to be morally superior to this.

There are lots of alternatives but they are complex, require thought and need to go beyond a kneejerk response. Simply advocating armed resopnse is not working.

 
At 9:19 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger cb said...

Sometimes I think the secular left has adopted politics as their religion. It would help explain their emotionally charged discourse and their hostility to Christianity. Others have noted the religious behaviors of the environmental movement, but I think that's just one tenet, or denomination, if you will. Currently, hating Bush and everything he does is the dogma. Any thoughts from a certain therapist?

 
At 9:25 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Your posts are certainly thoughtful, and there is much that I agree with. However, allow me to cautiously take issue with a number of your points, whilst eyeing the legion of “shit throwing monkeys” nervously.

This apprehension is also, I believe, behind some of the otherwise almost incomprehensible defense of Iran's leadership by segments of the antiwar contingent.

I’d like to have your definiton of “defended” explained in some more detail. I’m not a fan of the Iranian government, but I also don’t agree that they, or the Iranian people should be incinerated or pitched into a decade of turmoil.

To many liberals and those on the left who never accepted that Saddam's violations of the ceasefire and inspections were a large part of what led to the US decision to go to war… arbitrary.

Israel is an even bigger violater of UN resolutions than Saddam ever was, and the US a more enthusiastic wielder of the veto in the UN than the French have ever been. What else could you call it except arbitrary?

Either you have agreed processes and you abide by them, or you don’t. Bush wanted to have his cake and eat it, and the security council told him no.

You don't think it somewhat disingenous to claim a resolution allows you to do X, when the originators of the resolution almost unanimously disagree with that interpretation?

Much better, and far more reassuring, to think that those who are aware of the threat and who want to do something different about it are nuts.

Mabye if you are an American!! However, for those of us on the outside looking in slackjawed with horror, it’s not reassuring at all.

Bush may not be “nuts”, but he is at least simple minded, stubborn and a very poor chief executive. Thankfully, the majority of americans seem to have come belatedly to the same conclusion.

 
At 9:37 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Bush wanted to have his cake and eat it, and the security council told him no.

Well that makes sense. When the security council is feeding from Saddam's oil vouchers, obviously they would mind it a lot if Bush went in and tried to eat their cake and have it too. How would the security council stuff themselves if Bush took their care and ate it for himself? Omg.

There are two UNs. The UN that went against Saddam was the "freedom loving, anti-oppressor" wing. The ones that try to subdue Israel in the Un are the Arabs and the Palestinian exploiters.

So that is why people should not be confused into using the word 'UN' to mean both factions interchangeably without context. Things are only inconsistent if they share the same space-time. But the dictator UN and the liberty UN don't share the same time coord, but they do share the same space, the United Nations building.

 
At 9:46 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

5. the eternal conflict between those who believe that there could be a better way and those who act within an imperfect world

The conflict comes in part because both parties see themselves as championing the cause of : "could be a better way".

My contention is that there is a better way. However, it is complex, time consuming and requires nations to pool sovreignity in a minimal way.

War cannot be engaged in without a majority vote of some kind. No vetoes though.

Everyone plays by the same rules.

 
At 9:55 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

When the security council is feeding from Saddam's oil vouchers,

Corruption is part of politics. I don't like it or condone it. However, look how corrupt american politicians have been and not just on the domestic front. Does that warrant the laws as the stand to be ignored, revolution to be fomented? Of course not.

If you turf out the system, you have chaos, and that kills lots of people. As needs hardly be said, we have Iraq as an ongoing example, and hundreds of pages of history.

The UN for all it's faults has prevented a WWII class event. That was it's function. By abandoning that system, instead of working to change it, you put the entire planet at risk.

Besides there is much more that could be done, which makes far more sense than blowing stuff up. Or threatening to blow stuff up. Lets expand the repotoire of instruments past those rather limited options.

Your posts are certainly thoughtful, and there is much that I agree with. However, allow me to cautiously take issue with a number of your points, whilst eyeing the legion of “shit throwing monkeys” nervously.

 
At 11:15 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Bmc:

"War cannot be engaged in without a majority vote of some kind. No vetoes though.

Everyone plays by the same rules."

With all due respect, you are ignoring the whole of human history, from Cain and Abel to Pol Pot, Stalin, and Saddam. Unless and until there is a sea change in humankind, this utopian vision will never come to pass.

People are not nearly as reasonable or nice as we would like them to be. You have only to read some of the comments in this and other threads to see the evidence. And you think NATIONS can be relied upon to behave civilly?

 
At 11:27 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

People are not nearly as reasonable or nice as we would like them to be. You have only to read some of the comments in this and other threads to see the evidence. And you think NATIONS can be relied upon to behave civilly?

Thats exactly what I don't think. The very reasons you raise are exactly why we need binding law.

People are bastards. Thats why we have laws within our nation states binding directly on the individual. If we did not, people would do as the like and we would have chaos.

Which is (almost) what we have internationally, and for the same reason.

 
At 11:35 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

The UN for all it's faults has prevented a WWII class event. That was it's function. By abandoning that system, instead of working to change it, you put the entire planet at risk.

I don't think it's knowable whether the UN prevented a WWII unless one is resorting to a post hoc/propter hoc fallacy.

I do think it's a good, legitimate criticism of the Iraq War that the US and its allies have largely scrapped the system of international relations that resulted from WWII.

There is no getting around it -- the Iraq War has been a risky undertaking and the stakes are huge. Responsible supporters of the war have never made a secret of this. Neo for instance has mentioned it a number of times.

However, those of us who support the war also assess the risks of not acting in the Middle East as a greater risk, and see the UN as being useless or worse in the face of this risk. Note how well the UN is handling Iran.

In my opinion the UN is going to go the way of the League of Nations, whose purpose was to prevent a World War I class event until it didn't.

 
At 11:48 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger al fin said...

From neo's original post:

Hard to accept the fact of an enemy with a medieval mindset wedded with modern technology. Much better, and far more reassuring, to think that those who are aware of the threat and who want to do something different about it are nuts. Because who would want to recognize that we're in a long struggle against an unusually implacable and rage-filled enemy?

No one in comments has said it any better. Neo's detractors have illustrated her point in virtually every one of their posts, most redundantly.

World changing events such as 9/11 do not enlighten everyone. Only those who are basically sound in mental structure, and who are prepared knowledge-wise. People who are led by the nose by popular media never will get it. Not enough maturity and depth to overcome the overwhelming psychic fear of facing what 9/11 tried to tell them.

 
At 11:49 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I don't like it or condone it. However, look how corrupt american politicians have been and not just on the domestic front.

For someone that doesn't like corruption, you tend to talk about it a lot instead of not cooperating with it. Instead of saying it has to stop, you're saying we have to cooperate cause it is law.

How is talking about American politics "not condoning" UN corruption? That makes no sense logically.

Does that warrant the laws as the stand to be ignored, revolution to be fomented? Of course not.

When the laws were created by corruption politics to benefit corruption politics, how is "obeying those laws" not condoning corruption? You want to obey the law, obey the laws that were made by people looking out for the best interests of the people. Those laws would punish and stop corruption, wherever it is. Obey those laws, but to do that you first have to "find" them in the UN. If you can't "find" them, then there's nothing to obey.

This belief that the UN is the one preventing a world war has a problem. The problem is that there is no one with a military capacity to start a world war up, after the Soviets discombobulated. The UN is not the cause of world disarmament, the United States is. The UN simply cannot offer the protection, power, and glory that a big strong military gives to a nation-state, therefore there is nothing the UN can or has done that has caused a single nation to disarm. The nations that have decreased their weapons, like Germany, France, Britain, and the US would have done them anyways because there are people who want to funnel those funds into social programs, as we all know. The UN didn't have to convince anyone that social programs are more beneficial to greedy people than a good army, so the UN didn't have any affect there as well. As shown by UN peacekeeping efforts, it does nothing to stop war or make nations disarm.

The faith based belief that the UN stops world wars because of its very existence, and not anything that it does, is quite unjustified and wrong.

The problem I see is that BMC is trying to scale up what works at the individual, community, and nation-state level to the UN World Planetary level.

Two problems. Unification is done by 2 methods. Conquest or violent civil wars. Second problem, cultural unification takes decades if not centuries.

To unite "states", "families", and "ethnic groups" takes more than a bureacratic organization with a "United" in its name. Mutual interest, for example, has to be present. Two families fighting each other for centuries need a common enemy, as a mutual interest, to combine. Or they need an uber strong family to force the 2 families to work together.

For the nation-state, this is done by police powers and a professional military for the common defense.

As it stands right now. There is no mutual interest for France to work with the US or vice a versa. There is no mutual interest for Iran to work with the US. Why? Because some people want power and other people want peace, and that's that. When there is no uber police power above the factions, the factions do not unite. When there are no mutual enemies to the factions, the factions do not unite. When France's ally and sugar daddy is Iraq, France is not going to unite with the US because the US seeks to kill their sugar daddy.

Forcing a unification through some kind of confederacy principle simply makes people start fighting each other. I would have thought that the history of Colonailism drawing lines on the map in Arabia would have taught people that arbitrarily uniting different people and cultures make wars, they don't make peace.

You try to force the US to cooperate with other nations in the world, and you really will get a world war.

 
At 11:52 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

I don't think it's knowable whether the UN prevented a WWII unless one is resorting to a post hoc/propter hoc fallacy.

Well, 60 years without a major war after having had two in quick succession sounds like solid evidence to me.

Don't get me wrong, the UN is deeply flawed in almost every regard you care to mention. However, in this respect the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

There is no getting around it -- the Iraq War has been a risky undertaking and the stakes are huge.

I'm releived to hear you say it. The problem is a significant majority of the global populace disagree with the assessment.

Therein lies the rub? Who in the hell is George Bush to risk the destruction of the planet?

I don't feel threatened by Islamic terrorists, because as an Irishman, I've lived with terrorism of one kind or another all my life. As have most Europeans.

A rational assessment of the relevant strengths of the two parties puts us on the winning team, by an enormous margin.

For you guys it's new, granted, and terrifying. You want to lash out and "deal with" it.

I am afraid, this is the wrong approach, and almost always results in the reverse. That is to say, more terrorism, as is currently the case in Iraq.

 
At 12:06 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

bmcworldcitizen said..."Everyone plays by the same rules."

This is a fallacy. everyone does not play by the same rules. even more so in a conflict of deeply held convictions and beliefs, even more so in a war.

all it takes is one person to do what he/she thinks is better irregardless of popularly held rules. as witness by every broken treaty in the course of human history.

and ultimately, there can be no effective rules if there are no enforcers of the rules, willing to met out punishments.

 
At 12:07 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Two problems. Unification is done by 2 methods. Conquest or violent civil wars. Second problem, cultural unification takes decades if not centuries.

There is a lot of truth to your assertions. The history of mankind is full of examples that support your depressing contention.

Nonetheless, the UN was a small baby step forward. We'll simply have to agree to disagree etc.

More recently India, and the EU are examples of co-operative ventures based on enlightened self interest.

The US itself is an excellent example of the end game, a federation that has subsequently calcified into a nation state.

To unite "states", "families", and "ethnic groups" takes more than a bureacratic organization with a "United" in its name. Mutual interest, for example, has to be present.

I agree. The mutual interest is the dreadful waste that military spending represents, as well as the threat of destruction by WMD stockpiled all over the planet.

Both are crazy situations, and should be addressed.

An international regime allowed war under the understanding that the leadership in the warring parties would be subject to trial would focus the right minds on finding more creative solutions.

Given long enough, and a string of successful prosecutions and perhaps a few aquittals, military spending world wide could be slashed.

The very existence of an arbiting hyperpower like the US means that this is the right time to do it.

 
At 12:10 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

and ultimately, there can be no effective rules if there are no enforcers of the rules, willing to met out punishments.

I agree completely, any agreed punishments should be severe and bear on the individuals responsible. Up to and including sanctioned assassination.

If a majority (perhaps make that unanimous) on whatever hypothetical council agrees that a leader has become such a grave and dreadful threat.

 
At 12:17 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Well, 60 years without a major war after having had two in quick succession sounds like solid evidence to me.

It's evidence, but hardly proof. Exactly when did the UN intervene to stop WWIII? It was an additional place to communicate and let off steam, and I'd grant that it was somewhat helpful during the Cold War.

More to the point, I'd say, was the hot line and the fear of mutual assured destruction that prevented WWIII. When Kennedy and Khrushchev were facing off during the Cuban Missile Crisis they didn't settle that via the Security Council or the General Assembly.

 
At 12:30 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

When Kennedy and Khrushchev were facing off during the Cuban Missile Crisis they didn't settle that via the Security Council or the General Assembly.

This is a good point but not entirely on target. UN Sessions were instrumental in "blowing of steam" in this exact disagreement.

Kennedy spoke to the American public, and to the Soviet government, in a televised address on October 22. He confirmed the presence of the missiles in Cuba and announced the naval blockade as a quarantine zone of 500 nautical miles (926 km) around the Cuban coast. He warned that the military was "prepared for any eventualities", and condemned the Soviet Union for "secrecy and deception". The U.S. was surprised at the solid support from its European allies, particularly from the notoriously difficult President Charles de Gaulle of France. Nevertheless, Britain's prime minister Macmillan, as well as much of the international community, did not understand why a diplomatic solution was not considered.

The case was conclusively proved on October 25 at an emergency session of the UN Security Council. U.S. Ambassador Adlai Stevenson attempted to force an answer from Soviet Ambassador Valerian Zorin as to the existence of the weapons, famously demanding, "Don't wait for the translation!" Upon Zorin's refusal, Stevenson produced photographs taken by U.S. surveillance aircraft showing the missile installations in Cuba.

Granted though, the right people on hand were probably more critical. However, when we are talking about nuclear annhiliation very little bit helps.

More to the point. Note the incredible restraint exercised in this stand off. This is because "we" had as much to loose as "them".

War becomes an easy option, the option of choice when all the casualties can be inflicted on one "side".

This is a dangerous fallacy, and every aggressor in the past has had their come uppance at some point.

I'm just observing .... not wishing.

 
At 12:40 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

"Every little bit helps" is a very different proposition from "The UN prevented World War III."

War becomes an easy option, the option of choice when all the casualties can be inflicted on one "side".

This is a dangerous fallacy, and every aggressor in the past has had their come uppance at some point.


What is the fallacy here and how does it apply? I would note that the US has not been without casualties of late.

 
At 12:44 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...


I agree completely, any agreed punishments should be severe and bear on the individuals responsible.


Logic problem. Nobody is going to agree to have punishments enforced on them. Therefore tieing "agreement" to enforcement is like asking for the criminal's permission to arrest him. That's not going to work.

The individuals responsible can be the UN security councel authorizing the punishment... are we expected then to obey the laws created by the criminals in charge? If not, who else has the power to punish the criminals?

How is this going to work, and if it does work, why should anyone want it to work?

When people talk about macro scale plans on a macro scale (UN world) level, I'm going to look at the application and the details. And the details are bad, they are really bad. There's just no available solution other than putting the US into a position of uber-power. A "real cabal" in other words. Presumably, bmc would not like that.


The US itself is an excellent example of the end game, a federation that has subsequently calcified into a nation state.


While I believe that is true, what does that mean? If you want the world to become like the US, then isn't putting the US in charge of the process a good idea? But if you don't like that good idea, then how are you going to do something that the US has already done, without the US leading it as the world policeman?

Then there is the problem of elections. Nobody is elected to the UN. Nobody. Not even the US, because our ambassadors are appointed.

Well, 60 years without a major war after having had two in quick succession sounds like solid evidence to me.

Don't get me wrong, the UN is deeply flawed in almost every regard you care to mention. However, in this respect the proof of the pudding is in the eating.


I actually believe that when the world sees Germany and Japan disarmed, almost obliterated off the face of the earth, and occupied by American and Allied forces, people wanting to do a war of conquest realized that it wasn't so profitable. So the question is, how do you know the avoidance of a major war was caused by the UN? Why would the UN cause anyone to avoid war anyways?

I've already depicted why the US has caused people to avoid wars, people don't like to lose and they know if they invade their neighbors (kuwaitt) they will lose to the US. that's how wars are prevented. When one side knows they will lose, they stop starting up wars.

Therein lies the rub? Who in the hell is George Bush to risk the destruction of the planet?

As the duly elected leader of the only successful federation, upon which the UN should be modeled upon, Bush is responsible for making sure the world conforms to certain standards. The real question is, why is the United States the only true example of a successful federation?

If people have ever read the Prince by SM Stirling and Jerry Pournelle, you will see an example of an international based anti-war organization. The coDominium. Responsible for preventing nuclear war among the human planets of the galaxy. Responsible for enforcing the rules of war and proper conduct in war.

I don't have anything against world stability or international based organizations. My one stipulation, is that it works. Because if it doesn't work, then I'm going to go back to the only successful example of a federated, democratic, government. The United States. Britain might apply as another success, since there are like Scotland and Ireland there as well. But the recent IRA problems puts some doubt.

 
At 12:48 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Jack, BMC means that when you're the world superpower and you know that nobody else can stand up to you, this makes war more attractive and therefore the leaders in the US are willing to committ to many wars.

This might make sense on a principle basis. After all, I said that nations stopped doing war cause they realized that if they did, the US would beat them into the ground.

Yet, if war was so easy to the US, why did we leave Somalia undestroyed? Why don't we throw a few MOABS at the rebels or the genociders in Darfur?

If war was so easy to the US, so effortless, why don't we see more of it? We do see a lack of war and expansionism because people know the US will land on them like a load of bricks (gulf war). So, what is limiting America's warlikeness?

My answer is that what made America a success is also what guarantees America not going into wars just for the fun and kick of it. America's history has been to make wars work, to make wars solve problems. You can't solve problems by making war on everybody, that creates more problems than it solves.

 
At 1:15 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger cb said...

"UN Sessions were instrumental in "blowing of steam" in this exact disagreement."

Some would say this purpose is all the institution is good for, which is a benefit, but it doesn't solve problems unless the big players want them solved (see yugoslavia).

"I don't feel threatened by Islamic terrorists, because as an Irishman, I've lived with terrorism of one kind or another all my life"

From one Irishman on the other side of the pond to another, we aren't threatened, we just want them dead. Why anybody should be against that is beyond me, and don't call me simpleton, after 9/11 I don't feel like being nuanced, it's boring and unconvincing, I just want the bastards dead.

 
At 1:36 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

bmc:

"I don't feel threatened by Islamic terrorists, because as an Irishman, I've lived with terrorism of one kind or another all my life."

Sounds eerily similar to this:

"When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out."

With radical Islam, you have three choices: dhimmitude, conversion, or death. None of those appeal to me.

 
At 2:19 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

While I believe that is true, what does that mean? If you want the world to become like the US, then isn't putting the US in charge of the process a good idea?

Yes frankly. Problem is the US has not been put in charge. The US has taken charge, and that, where arguably the survival of the human spieces is at stake, I take issue with.

Islamic terrorists are scary Stumbley, but they do not represent either an existential threat to the US, the EU or the planet. A general world war, brought on by a conflagration in the middle east absolutely does.

Besides, the cat, as regards nuclear weapons, is already out of the bag.

I just want the bastards dead.
Sure, so do I, or at least arrested and out of circulation, but not if we have to kill a hundred thousand innocent people to do it. How many civilians did the Brits kill on bloody Sunday, was it even as many as 20? Yet that unleashed 30 years of terrorism, which we have only just begun to get over in the last 10 years. Given that known history, can you extrapolate how many potential terrorists the Iraq war is incubating?

No, lashing out indiscriminately is the wrong way to deal with tiny, hard to pinpoint groups like this. Decades of counter terrorism speak to that reality. Plus, make no mistake, war is indiscriminate.

Yet, if war was so easy to the US, why did we leave Somalia undestroyed? Why don't we throw a few MOABS at the rebels or the genociders in Darfur?

Those are great examples! They illustrate the arbitrary, capricious “act of God nature” of the intervention. Why doesn’t the US intervene? It can’t be because Bush cares what the world thinks, right? So why doesn’t he go for it?

He doesn’t because he can’t, you guys are overstretched, bogged down doing something of very dubious value. He doesn’t because he doesn’t care enough to take the flak. Mostly he doesn’t because he can point, plausibly, to the Chinese veto with regard to Dafur, and there isn’t much left to destroy in Somalia. It’s a glowing example of what happens when there are no laws, when every man with a gun is his own independent nation.

As the duly elected leader of the only successful federation, upon which the UN should be modeled upon, Bush is responsible for making sure the world conforms to certain standards.

No he isn’t. I didn’t vote for him, I didn’t have the choice even not to vote. Didn’t you people have a revolution because some fancy foreigner tried to make you do stuff you didn’t want to do? Didn’t you have a civil war so that every person, regardless of colour or creed could participate in the political discourse?

Your careless comfort with my disenfranchisement, with the disenfranchisement of billions world wide is surely ground enough for contempt or perhaps hatred? I don’t feel that way because I’m a well off white guy living in relative comfort in one of the richest nation states in the world. So the situation is somewhat academic for me, but not for many others.

You deal with terrorism by draining the swamp of poverty and injustice, not dropping mega tons of DDT. That just makes the creatures that survive hideous, malformed misbirths that are impossible to kill, and breed like the blazes.

You deal with poverty by spending money on education and health care. You deal with injustice be giving people rights, and putting structures in place to punish those in power who abuse their citizens.

I’m all for killing Mugabe, Kim Il Jong and that asshole in Uzbekistan, but not for killing the citizens of those countries. Plus, you just don’t get to decide alone who lives and who dies. That is not cool.

 
At 2:24 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger cb said...

"You deal with terrorism by draining the swamp of poverty and injustice"


Your points are well taken, I just happen to believe that what we are doing in Iraq is exactly what you advocate above. I guess we'll agree to disagree, and check back in a couple of decades to see if it worked.

 
At 3:40 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"You deal with terrorism by draining the swamp of poverty and injustice"

Yep, if that multi-millionaire Osama had only been treated properly...

"Islamic terrorists are scary Stumbley, but they do not represent either an existential threat to the US, the EU or the planet."

And I guess this is where you and I will have to agree to disagree. I should think that recent events in France, Beslan and Denmark would have given cause for concern, but apparently not.

By the way, we weren't in Iraq on September 10. That didn't seem to stop anybody from joining up with OBL, did it?

You should read some of the sermons transcribed at Memri, if you want a little taste of what "moderate" Islam says at home, rather than in public (not to mention what the world is actually up against):

http://www.memri.org/

 
At 4:05 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Yep, if that multi-millionaire Osama had only been treated properly...

Well for a start, if the US had not funded him to the tune of billions of dollars in Afghanistan, allowing them to "defeat" the Soviets and harbour delusions of grandeur and global conquest. We'd certainly be better off.

Osama and his ilk will find a steady stream of desperate and impressionable people to do there bidding, as long as the world remains as gut wrenchingly injust as it is.

This is simple fact. Now that Ireland has the 2nd highest GDP in the world, and is dragging the North along in it's economic wake, the IRA are struggling to fund recruits. This isn't a mystery, or particularly hard to grasp.

Osama is a string puller, not a foot soldier.

You should read some of the sermons transcribed at Memri,
Why? What is he saying that hasn't been said by every rabble rousing holy war idiot before him?

Why should I be impressed by his delusions? Tremble in my boots at his pronouncements? Why should I give a shit what either he or Fred Phelps thing about, well anything?

Terrorists are dangerous, agreed. But the risk they pose to you personally, or me or any individual is far smaller than the risk of traffic accidents, or poor diet, or inadequate exercise. It's simply another thing that grown ups add to the list of stuff to keep alert for.

Between the EU and the US we account for 60% of economic activity on the planet, and 50% of its armed forces, and (excluding Russia) practically all the WMD.

In this context, you expect me to be spooked by a couple of crazy guys with delusions?

To the extent that I would sanction the killing of innocents, torture and the release of the four horsemen? It's absurd, and it is mind boggling how enthralled you are to this smoke and mirrors, for that is all it is.

 
At 4:41 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

@bmcworldcitizen said...
I agree completely, any agreed punishments should be severe and bear on the individuals responsible. Up to and including sanctioned assassination.

yes it is much better for men of power to decide on assassination of each other than to engage in war. naturally assassination are more effective when decided in secret. and if shrouded in secrecy there won't be a need for accountabily. with no accountabilty why care about collatoral damage, in material or human lives! and why stop at just killing the big guys, i'd say assassinate whoever gets in your war! yay!
that is exactly how i want my, or any, government to work!
ahh, the new liberalism.

If a majority (perhaps make that unanimous) on whatever hypothetical council agrees that a leader has become such a grave and dreadful threat.

again you miss the point. it has little to do with opinion but will for and actual action required for enforcement

 
At 4:41 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Oh you guys are so funny aren't you?

Hamas was originally funded by mossad. Simple.
They have a ceasefire in place and were NOT responsible for your celebrated pizza bombing. OK? They have offered a total ceasefire in return for Israeli cessation of extrajudicial murders.

Hezbollah was borne in the refugee camps of South Lebanon. They fought a campaign against the 22 year Israeli occupation. They do not target civilians and never have. And they won.

Know your enemy.

 
At 4:42 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

He doesn’t because he can’t, you guys are overstretched, bogged down doing something of very dubious value.

Look, any other country would be overstretched. But we're talking about America here. America has 50 nation-states to draw upon in terms of resources, manpower, and logistics. California alone, has GDP equal to France or Germany. Even if we devoted the full resources of Texas, California, and Georgia combined, that still leaves 47 other states to power the war machine.

The US is currently spending around 500 billion for Defense. That is 4% GDP of a 11 trillion dollar economy, per year. A lot of people simply cannot grasp how large 11 trillion dollars is. But it is quite big.

Based upon simple statistics and reasoning, the US cannot be overstretched putting out a couple of divisions in Iraq, when the Iraqis themselves have EXCEEDED the total number of US troops in Iraq. Iraq can exceed our combat troops because the US is paying and providing for Iraqi logistics. But Iraq only has 25 million people, while the US has 300 million people.

500 billion is more than the GDP of scores of nations.

Bush doesn't go into Darfur because America did not become America by invading every country tha was self-destructing. We didn't become america by using up our resources on those kinds of countries either. The early history of America was marked by isolationism, and avoidance of European warlike policies. Having the wisdom to choose the best wars to go into, makes a big difference historically.

No he isn’t. I didn’t vote for him, I didn’t have the choice even not to vote.

Nobody votes for the UN. You wanna change that? Go ahead.

Didn’t you people have a revolution because some fancy foreigner tried to make you do stuff you didn’t want to do?

The US doesn't need any one else's help to do anything. Since the US handles 90% of the combat in any allied theater, the amount NATO allies or Coalition allies can contribute to combat are noticeably limited to logistical/infrastructure/spec ops help.

We had a Revolutionary War cause we got taxation without representation. Who is actually paying for the US military, and not getting the benefits of our protection? And who is getting the benefits of the US military's protection without paying for it? A big difference in those two numbers.

You deal with terrorism by draining the swamp of poverty and injustice, not dropping mega tons of DDT.

That's one of the reasons why Bush won't go into Darfur. When people talk about America dropping mega tons of DDT when we aren't, we're not going to do the world any favors, especially when Americans are paying for our military and not the world or darfur. Any African nation can obtain United States protection and status by becoming a US protectorate, sorta like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. But like immigration, no nation-state can apply to be annexed as the 51st state. That just doesn't happen anymore, which is very bad for Africa.

Plus, you just don’t get to decide alone who lives and who dies. That is not cool.

Taxation without representation is bad. Taxation with representation may not be good, but it isn't bad either. America gets to decide what our military does because Americans pay for their own military, with that 500 billion. No one else's military is being taxed without representation. No other nation is required to contribute, without representation.

Between the EU and the US we account for 60% of economic activity on the planet, and 50% of its armed forces, and (excluding Russia) practically all the WMD.

And between the EU and the US, how many combat divisions does the EU have compared to US assets? Russia has a 1 million man army on paper, but they can only fied around 15,000 to fight in Chechnya. Putin told this to his people in his state of the union address (state of the union, pretty hilarious, did they somehow model their stuff after the US?)

 
At 4:43 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Know your enemy.

I thought only war mongers and neo-cons read Sun Tzu?

 
At 4:50 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

i'd say assassinate whoever gets in your war! yay!

This is were we differ. I say kill the people doing the killing. That we decide on these serious issues in an agreed way, and we make the process as open and democratic as possible.

I don't like the idea of killing anyone, but sometimes force is the only option. When it is the only option left, then bring it to bear directly on the leadership only.

Have a security council session, whatever. Announce it upfront the guy can turn himself in or face the consequences.

How is your option of sending hundreds of thousands of innocent american service personnel into harms way more rational?

The truth is it isn't, how could it possibly be?

 
At 4:56 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

More rational because Solobodan Milosev didn't get tried in UN war crimes.

You want UN war crimes tribunals? Milosivic is the result.

When i see a sucessful UN prosecution under war crimes, that is when war crimes prosecution under the UN is more rational than the successful invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.

 
At 5:07 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Yfronts said...

Really? Think again.

 
At 5:12 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ymarsakar said...
More rational because Solobodan Milosev didn't get tried in UN war crimes.

You want UN war crimes tribunals? Milosivic is the result.

When i see a sucessful UN prosecution under war crimes, that is when war crimes prosecution under the UN is more rational than the successful invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq.


Who wouldn't sign up to the war crimes tribunal? Who threatened sanctions against big bad Belgium?

Hypocrisy is the killing of it.

 
At 5:24 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

How many civilians did the Brits kill on bloody Sunday, was it even as many as 20? Yet that unleashed 30 years of terrorism, which we have only just begun to get over in the last 10 years.

As far as I know, it started because the union thug/terrorists were picking on the Catholics, the Catholic thugs/terrorists struck back, Brits came in to 'help' and, as they always do, they wound up fighting terrorism with bigger terrorism (Bloody Sunday).

You can't fight terrorism with terrorism and you can't fight it with appeasement. Those are the only two options the Brits ever use because they're clueless. That doesn't mean that there are no other options.

Irish resentment against the Brits and the Protestants was based on hundreds of years of horrific repression. Irish terrorism wasn't funded by billions in oil money and it wasn't supported by states. Al Qaeda and other Islamist terror groups are internationally organized, highly trained paramilitary forces, funded by states with the hope of disabling and conquering other nations. The IRA is not really comparable to these groups.

This is were we differ. I say kill the people doing the killing. That we decide on these serious issues in an agreed way, and we make the process as open and democratic as possible.

You are disagreeing with the UN's policies here. They're an organization of elites whose goal is to protect people with political power. That's why Idi Amin and Pol Pot died of old age, and it's why they're peacefully watching people die in Darfur. Because they are opposed to killing the people doing the killing.

If we make war plans as "open and democratic as possible", if we broadcast our war plans, we lose.

 
At 5:35 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Al Qaeda and other Islamist terror groups are internationally organized, highly trained paramilitary forces, funded by states with the hope of disabling and conquering other nations.


Really? And you know this how?

The only state funding that we know Bin Laden got was from the US. Bin Laden's main beef at the time of 11/9/01 was that US troops were in the Saudi peninsular as guests of King Faisal.

 
At 5:37 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"Why? What is he saying that hasn't been said by every rabble rousing holy war idiot before him?"

Well, for one thing, it's not just "a couple of crazy guys with delusions", it's pretty much the entire panoply of Islamic imams, extolling those millions of "moderate" Muslims to hate the kaffir every Friday, which you'd understand, if you were actually aware of it by, you know, reading the site.

But hey, it doesn't bother you that they want you dead.

I'm glad Ireland is doing so well economically. Wouldn't it be great if the U.S. could export democracy and capatilism to those dysfunctional Middle Eastern states, obviating the need for terrorism while they could enjoy freedom and prosperity in places like Iraq?

Oh, wait...

 
At 5:56 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

YOu can't impose democracy by the sword. Doing a favor so people don't have to repeat that argument.

 
At 6:05 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

True, but you can prepare the fertile ground by getting rid of the weeds...

 
At 6:16 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

What if American occupation forces are the weeds ; ) What do you do then?

 
At 6:40 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Here's a good link stuff, read it, it gets you going.

The next time a fashion-parroting ignoramus or fifth-columnist informs you of how 'the rest of the world hates America', forward them this article, and remind them that India has more people than Europe and the Middle East put together. The delusions of fifth-columnists represent merely their fanatical hatred of a society that celebrates meritocracy, strong families, a powerful and proud military, and a great thirst for achievement.

link

 
At 7:27 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

This answers some questions about what is an Iraqi success

 
At 7:45 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Al Qaeda and other Islamist terror groups are internationally organized, highly trained paramilitary forces, funded by states with the hope of disabling and conquering other nations.

Really? And you know this how?

Their actions speak louder than your words.

With your efforts to polish the turd of Saudi/Iranian/Islamist-sponsored terrorism, I'm surprised you don't work for the state department.

 
At 7:47 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

@bmcworldcitizen said...
This is were we differ. I say kill the people doing the killing. That we decide on these serious issues in an agreed way, and we make the process as open and democratic as possible.

I don't like the idea of killing anyone, but sometimes force is the only option. When it is the only option left, then bring it to bear directly on the leadership only.

Have a security council session, whatever. Announce it upfront the guy can turn himself in or face the consequences.

How is your option of sending hundreds of thousands of innocent american service personnel into harms way more rational?

The truth is it isn't, how could it possibly be?


1. If you kill the people doing the killing, would you have to kill yourself as well?

2. Is a democratically sanction assassination make it right? Ever heard of oppression by the majority?

3. Yes, sometimes force is the only option. But you say lets limit it to the leader. Ok, lets try it out. Lets say the system is in place in 1940. We have authorization to assassinate Hitler. Lo and behold Hitler declines to turn himself in. So we try Assassination. But we fail because there are Nazis who actually like, agree with, support and protect Hitler. Some also do so not because they like him, but dislike you. Some also do so because they disagree with assassinations. Some also just don't like foreigners interfering in their national politics. Now what, how many of these people can we kill as we try to kill Hitler? And do you think they will just wait for the next assassination attempt or will they take active steps, even apply force against you? And what if they don't believe in assassination but prefer lobbing V2 bombs instead. Or a suicide bomber even?

4. War is an ugly and nasty thing and to be avoided. But war should not to be avoided at any and all costs because there are certainly worse things than war. There are oppression and systematic murder, there are rape camps, and there is a nasty thing called genocide popular when a majority tries to eliminate a minority. Thus sometimes war must be reluctantly initiated to end such atrocities. And sacrifices are required. A declaration of war cannot be hidden, thus must be deliberated, debated, and be held accountable for. That is much preferable to a foreign policy predicated on assassination that is both limited by selectivity and secrecy.

5. The enemy of good is perfect. That is the difference between a realist and an idealist.

 
At 8:05 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

There are lots of alternatives but they are complex, require thought and need to go beyond a kneejerk response. Simply advocating armed resopnse is not working. None have been taken, the kneejerk "HAAAAAAAAAAAATE BUUUSHHHH! Screw Reason."

Lot of Alternatives; picking daisies, napping, making a triple decker peanut butter and jelly sandwich ... some times you have to react more quickly than one would reading through the universal book of alternatives.

Complex is not a reason for intellectual laziness and cowardice to face hard decisions.

Armed response ended Feudalism, Slavery, Militarism, Nazism, Communism, Totalitarianism, and in time Jihad [probably the greatest challenge of all].

I served.

 
At 8:57 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Did you serve man, nyo?

American armed response ended those things. The Europeans did things a bit differently.

 
At 8:59 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...


1. If you kill the people doing the killing, would you have to kill yourself as well?


That does bring up an interesting point. What happens if the american president has enough votes to assassinate the French President on the UN Security Council. If the French resist, is the US allowed to lobe nuclear bombs and stealth bombers at Paris to make the French turn in their President?

 
At 11:53 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Let me respond as pithily as possible.

1) Laws should impinge on people, not states.

2) Laws should punish the guilty, not tens of thousands of the innocent.

3) In any polity where the overwhelming majority of citizens have no say in issues that are vital to them, were they are never or rarely consulted on issues of life and death, you have outrage, and often violence.

4) The removal of "One dollar one vote" as a system of government began in the 18th century and continues today. It is not something that rational people want to regress to.

You are basically trying to portray an untenable kindergarten position as noble, brave and inspiring. Specifically : "The US has the most powerful militarily and is the richest country in the world. Therefore, we will do as we please.

Thats what I object to, and I'd be crazy to accept such a diktate, and if you were in my position ... Well, lets just say that rational argument wouldn't be your preferred choice of instrument.

 
At 2:04 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Oh and one more thing. Dislike of Bush is not even close to dislike of the US.

This is a cheap trick. I and most of the people who deplore Bush are in favour of the ideals enshrined in the US constitution, and until Bush and his gang hove into view those ideals were gaining ground, with minimal violence, around the world.

Here is a slightly more balanced sampling which reflects global opinon of Bush not America. Lets keep the two separate.

http://www.betavote.com/

 
At 7:06 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

@bmcworldcitizen


you did not reply to my post.

but then i didn't expect you to. that is the problem with mere ideas when they have to be applied to real life. most cannot make the transition.

 
At 8:02 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger druidbros said...

I think neo missed the points of opposition to this war. I called it long before we even started combat operations in Iraq. The Bush administration, as a whole, LIED to the American people, period. They did NOT tell us the truth. Now I realize they think the truth is whatever they tell us it is or whatever they think they can repeat enough times but there is such a thing as objective truth. And we didnt get it from the Bush administration before the war or since.

 
At 8:31 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

but then i didn't expect you to. that is the problem with mere ideas when they have to be applied to real life. most cannot make the transition.

Huan, you had nothing meaningful to add. Your questions are just long winded attempts to justify the kindergarten "I'm bigger" justification for US behaviour. As detailed above.

However, I'm an accomodating guy, so I'll give it a go:-)

1. If you kill the people doing the killing, would you have to kill yourself as well?

No. The question is ludicrous. The US has states with the death penalty doesn't it? That hardly needs further explanation.


2. Is a democratically sanction assassination make it right?

No. It's a dreadful solution, but it's far superior to war where thousands of innocent parties are killed. I would have to be very closely managed, very transparent and very democratic.

Ever heard of oppression by the majority?

Sure, but the only rights at issue here are the rights to make war or suppress the rights of your citizens, and we are talking about very narrowly focused efforts. The ICC is a very weak version of the same thing, break the law and face the consequences.

Again, it's a dreadful solution, but it beats war by orders of magnitude.

As regards the rest of your comments. To use your monolithic and simplistic American terminology. The "right" needs to get out of the time warp that has them stranded in the 1940's.

To pro-Bush war supporters, the world is forever stuck in the 1930s. Every leader we don't like is Adolf Hitler, a crazed and irrational lunatic who wants to dominate the world. Every country opposed to our interests is Nazi Germany.

From this it follows that every warmonger is the glorious reincarnation of the brave and resolute Winston Churchill. And one who opposes or even questions any proposed war becomes the lowly and cowardly appeaser, Neville Chamberlain

It is of course simple minded nonsense. We do not live in the 1940's, we live in a networked interdependent world where communication is instant and culture is in constant flux. Techonology has facilitated communication to such a degree, that any two random people today have more in common with each other than any two random "Americans" in the 18th century.

I'm an Irishman living in Sweden lecturing an American. Case closed.

That is why binding laws we agree should target individuals, not nation states. We know who they are, and we know their movements. At the very least with such a system, we could make ruling for those we consider in breach of our laws practically impossible. Consider the situation of the war criminals in the former Yugoslavia.

Of course the scenario you outline could spiral out of control, even in the real world we live now, and flare up into actual war. However I fail to see how trying this route is worse than immediatley going to war?

The worst thing you can say about it is that getting agreement would be hard. Not as hard as you might think though .... small countries that do not make pre-emptive war on their neighbours have nothing to fear from such an arrangement, and much to gain.

Cetainly a beefed up ICC if the US supported it would be a cakewalk.

5. The enemy of good is perfect. That is the difference between a realist and an idealist.

You must be far gone indeed to consider what I've outlined as "perfect". Nonetheless it's a big improvement on the current crap arrangements.

 
At 9:08 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

Thanks for a lot fewer insults than most such threads! (this is a copy from Part I ... for continuing discussion)

The Palestinians had a point that Israel's creation was not perfectly just. Yet from 1948 - 1967 Muslim Egypt and Jordan could have but failed to support the creation of a second, Palestinian state, next to the Jewish state, on pre-1967 boundaries.

Instead crazy USSR supported Nasser massed troops on the border, and Israel wiped out the wimpy Muslim fighters in 6 days.

The Jews humiliated the weak, disorganized, undisciplined Arab Muslims -- which is a big reason the Jews are hated. Much more so than them taking land which had been conquered Ottoman land, and very poor, for centuries. Muslim shame about weakness has been turned into Jew-hate and America-hate. Supported by those who hate capitalism's success.

The oppression has always been Arab oppression of Palestinians, as is true in Lebanon today, while blaming it on the West, the US, and Israel. Mostly false blame, yet Israel hasn't been perfectly just -- and there is NO "pure justice" available today.

Peace will require acceptance of less than justice.

It's important to see how the Left blames America/ the West for most of the evil of recent history.

The Holocaust murders were caused by Hitler, not the West's unjust Treaty of Versailles; the Cambodian Killing Fields were caused by (China supported) commie Pol Pot, not Nixon's bombing [with commie victory enabled by the Dems voting to end funding for fighting evil]; the Rwanda genocide was Hutu vs unjust Tutsi (French enabled, Clinton calling it "not genocide", until it was over); the Darfur genocide is enabled by the UN & Amnesty calling it "not genocide."

The choice is war or genocide, and the anti-war folk want to stop genocide with words, only. Their failure to do is blamed ... on America.

The evil is done by the evil actors, and such evil actors always look to excuse their evil actions with some imperfections of others.

America is good, is great -- but is imperfect. The Left that blames America for Iraqis starving due to sanctions, is failing to blame Saddam, the acting dictator in charge, for the deaths.

The Left that blames America for Iraqis dying from suicide bombs is failing to blame the acting Islamist murderers, though more Iraqis are starting to.

The purpose of the blame includes "keeping their hands clean," but also indulging in BDS Bush-hate. It's fun to demonize "the enemy" -- and Bush-haters do it, with Bush as the enemy.


If Iran gets a nuke, and allows Hizbollah to nuke Tel Aviv "secretly" -- such "blame America first" Leftists will blame America.

America should act like Iran is on that path now. Iran, unlike Israel, signed the NPT. That means, for 3 years they've been in violation of their signed agreements.

What does "international law" say about violations? Well, no UN SC resolution, no enforcement. It's not really law, because there's no World Cop; no World Judge; no democratic World Legislature. There "is" the UN, full of corrupt dictators, all looking to blame America for any evil by themselves, and using America's imperfections as justifications.

The purpose of the UN was to stop genocide, and stop war -- and it has failed, failed, failed, and is still failing. As long as there are important, powerful countries that don't accept Free Press & Free Religion, it will continue to fail.
(The world needs a Human Rights Enforcement Group / coalitions of willing democracies -- but such an org doesn't exist yet.)

Of course, the Left blames the failures of the UN on ... America! Not supporting the ICC, not doing enough (in Darfur), doing too much (in Iraq). Even the weather is America's fault! -- Bush doesn't support signing Kyoto (which Clinton's gov't rejected). Of course, those that DID sign, are virtually all in violation.

But "signed treaties", like the Paris Peace Accords, are only really to be followed by America. Other country violations don't matter, don't count, and never reduce the blame to be given to (too-)rich America for being imperfect.

I blame Bush, too, a little bit -- he should have been talking about invading Darfur for two years. He should have pointed out the alternative to imperfect American invasion is slo-mo, UN enabled genocide.

He should also talk about how long, and slow is the process of nation-building. Look at how Iraq is already ahead of Kosovo (media suppressed info, of course).

There were other ways to help Iraqs rebuild faster (municipal loan bonds to elected Iraqi mayors, for instance, controlled by Iraqis), and much cheaper for the US taxpayer.

But read the Euston Manifesto -- Leftists like Norm Geras who is more honestly in favor of human rights and democracy, and is increasing disturbed by the rampant, intellectually dishonest anti-Americanism of so much of the Left.

 
At 9:31 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

America is good, is great -- but is imperfect. The Left that blames America for Iraqis starving due to sanctions, is failing to blame Saddam, the acting dictator in charge, for the deaths.

That Saddam was a monstrous idiot goes without saying. Why must it constantly explained?

However, coming off "better" than Saddam is hardly a ringing endorsement of your human rights credentials.

Your post simply preceisly what you claim the "left" (whatever that means) are doing. Blaming everyone else.

If one lives in a feudal system where 20% of the population have all the rights and 80% of the wealth, it's hardly surprising if they get much of the blame for societal problems. Is it?

Grasp it. Please. We live in one big world and global society will no longer allow you to do as you please. At least not without highlighting the boundless and vomit inducing hypocrisy of a democracy at home and a feudal system abroad.

 
At 10:12 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

1) Laws should impinge on people, not states.

Why should the representatives in the UN, who are elected by nobody, have the right to make laws for unrepresented people?

Specifically : "The US has the most powerful militarily and is the richest country in the world. Therefore, we will do as we please.

Stop being obtuse. The US has the most powerful military and the richest country and this means you are wrong about us being stretched. Stop changing the subject.

This is a cheap trick. I and most of the people who deplore Bush are in favour of the ideals enshrined in the US constitution, and until Bush and his gang hove into view those ideals were gaining ground, with minimal violence, around the world.

Bush was elected by those "ideals" in the US Constitution and the people in the US as well, not once but twice. So this is like saying MLKj is a good guy but violence can still be supported. There's a bit of inconsistency going on.

about betavote, it is a very good idea to keep statistically balanced polls from futuristic away from internet based convenience polls.


That Saddam was a monstrous idiot goes without saying. Why must it constantly explained?


People keep asking about Saddam not so they can hear the sound of your voice decrying Saddam, what they really want is to hear some solution offered to get rid of him. Again, assassination is not a solution because Saddam bought the people doing the assassinating.

 
At 10:29 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

@bmcworldcitizen

actually no where in my post that i even suggested and mentioned the might of the US
you are confused

the gist of my post was that typical of leftists and neo-liberals, their ideas do not have any applicable practice

war is a necessary evil

 
At 10:35 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Why should the representatives in the UN, who are elected by nobody, have the right to make laws for unrepresented people?

We are on the same page here. Lets reform the UN and elect representatives based on a population weighted system.

The US has the most powerful military and the richest country and this means you are wrong about us being stretched

The US is not omnipotent. Those points are hardly mutually exclusive:-) The US is overstretched in the context of it's current military and economy. I'll grant you it's some trick, but a hat trick it ain't.

inconsistency going on.
Oh bosh. Are you eight? Do complex attitudes simply confuse and overwhelm you?

I can totally love the US and all it stands for and viscerally despise Bush with every fibre of my being, and yet be completely consistent. Fascists and Totalitarians conflate personalities with the state, not democrats!!! Jesus ... democracy 101 here.

My position is a good bit more nuanced. I think the US on balance has been good for the world, up until Bush arrived. You know why. That is not to let the US off the hook for inconsistency and poor decisions in the past, but would I prefer China or the Soviet Union running riot? Ah ... no.

I think the US is the most important country in the world as regards our mutual future, but Americans are just 5% of the global population, and you at a minimum, need to work with the other 55% of the worlds citizens that are democrats.

That shouldn't be too much to expect surely?

 
At 10:39 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

war is a necessary evil
Huan, I'll grant you that force is a necessary evil. However, war in the world we live in today is not required.

We need binding, agreed, "ouch it bites now I'm dead, well we told you so" law. Not war.

If China could function as a unitary state 2000 years ago with practically no technology, the world can get agreement on something as serious war in 2006.

The will is what we lack, not the means.

 
At 10:44 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The US is not omnipotent. Those points are hardly mutually exclusive:-) The US is overstretched in the context of it's current military and economy. I'll grant you it's some trick, but a hat trick it ain't.

I'm not against stretching muscles to increase flexibility and blood flow. I am against overstretching, that tends to damage muscles and cause unnecessary pain. I point out the military experience and training and Defense funding because it is necessary to understand one's capacities to understand whether one is overstretched or not.

Overstretching is not beneficial, but stretching is. I don't really think anyone has to have the strength of a God to avoid overstretching. You just have to know your limits and not try to exceed them in terms of troops or funding.

Oh bosh. Are you eight? Do complex attitudes simply confuse and overwhelm you?

When they come from certain people, they do. Cause the Left has some mind altering philosophies, and I put a strict cap on how much of it I am willing to let myself realize that I know. This slows down my reflexes and wit, but it does have the benefit of resisting assimilation.

Fascists and Totalitarians conflate personalities with the state, not democrats!!!

But I didn't say you had to support Bush, in anything, to support America. Rather, regardless of why you dislike Bush, it has to be tempered by the very philosophy you say you hold towards American ideals. In that, there should be no inconsistency.

That is not to let the US off the hook for inconsistency and poor decisions in the past, but would I prefer China or the Soviet Union running riot? Ah ... no.

Well that is a good thing, you got one up on the competition in these terms. Most people don't think about who can or would replace the US if they get rid of us.

I think the US is the most important country in the world as regards our mutual future, but Americans are just 5% of the global population, and you at a minimum, need to work with the other 55% of the worlds citizens that are democrats.

That's one reason why disliking Bush's policies don't make sense. Out of all possible alternatives, Bush is the most multilateral President since his father, really. Clinton has already said he would never have gone to the UN. Now, regardless of whether the UN is good or not, don't you recognize that Bush at least attempted to convince the rest of world through the UN?

And then there are initiatives at work with India-America, Japan, Coalition and non-Coalition members. Why isn't this work multilateral and democratic in origin?

 
At 10:46 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

If Bush listend to the American people, he would never have went to the UN. Clinton listened to the AMerican people, and did not go to the UN in Yugoslavia.

So if one likes the UN and multilateralism, one would think they would prefer Bush instead of fighting him.

 
At 11:06 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

don't you recognize that Bush at least attempted to convince the rest of world through the UN?

Sure he did kudos, but then he gave them the finger. Whats the good of that? Great trial judge, loved your hair, but I'd prefer not to go to jail today. Ciao.

Couple of things. I'm not an American, so I'm not a democrat or from the mythical monolithic "left" although I do openly loathe Bush. I'm just a global citizen pissed off at stuff I totally disagree with happening in my world.

Clinton I liked, although I was mostly oblivous to his existence. However, he did some dubious stuff too.

The UN sucks, and on my humble little blog, I've tried to articulate what exactly there is about it that sucks. However, it's the system that we have, it was agreed upon by the peoples of the world at the close of a conflict that killed 50 million human beings. In that sense it deserves some respect.

Still though it does suck, and it needs urgent change. Perhaps we agree on that.

So we work to change the system not wreck it. Can you imagine how powerfully compelling and laden with legitamcy a parliament of elected representatives from every corner of the world would be?

 
At 11:37 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

So we work to change the system not wreck it. Can you imagine how powerfully compelling and laden with legitamcy a parliament of elected representatives from every corner of the world would be?

When terrorists plow an airplane into your powerfully-laden-with-legitmacy parliment, what do we do next? This is one of many reasons why a centralized, global government is the wave of the past, not the future. Power needs to be decentralized.

The US and/or the UN can't parent the world. Many "little countries" are perfectly capable of parenting themselves. It's time for them to get up off the couch, stop watching reruns of Star Trek Enterprise and take responsibility for their own lives.

 
At 12:59 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

When terrorists plow an airplane into your powerfully-laden-with-legitimacy parliament, what do we do next?

My GOD. You're right!!!! What if an earthquake strikes, or a Tsunami, or a meteor, or the sun goes supernova, or a black hole passes through the solar system and sterilizes the earth? I'll just go hide my head up my ass shall I?

Good grief Mary, try and get past the terror, it's a wonder you can dress yourself.

As regards the practical issue of decentralization, the fact that you and I are having this discussion somewhat renders further comment irrelevant. A global parliament should be exactly that, global.

No one is looking for anyone to "parent" the world, that is the very thing that many people are reacting against. What we need is to mutually take responsibility, and collectively agree the way forward. We absolutely do not need to be taken by the hand, or directed or instructed or dictated to.

Humans have aggregated, in fits and starts, into larger and larger groups since the dawn of time.

In every case there have been "my mud huttists", "our villagists", "only tribalists", "nationalists" and "regionalists" being dragged along kicking and screaming claiming it was impossible, lunacy and an offense against the natural order.

From this remove, I can clearly see that they were all wrong. Why should I credit you with being right?

The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain. ~Colin Wilson

 
At 1:59 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/help/3681938.stm

 
At 2:26 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Still though it does suck, and it needs urgent change. Perhaps we agree on that.

I may not necessarily agree that it is better to try to change it than to replace it with something better. But I do know Bush and Bolton Ambassador thinks it sucks and needs urgent change, so Bush and Co definitely agrees with you, BMC.

Sure he did kudos, but then he gave them the finger.

The point you made before, was to try to work with the 55% something percent of democratic nations. If it fails, then Bush will still have fullfilled that requirement of yours.

The Left as I use it, isn't really monolithic. It composes of a lot of people. Some socialists, some communists, Hollywood, and the progressives. They being who they are, have some weird philosophies, which I pointed out in my response to you. Not having the Left be monolithic allows fluidity and flexibility. Because someone can be of the Left, and actually hold inconsistent beliefs with the others in the Left. A true pacifist of the Left could decry both Palestinian and Israeli violence, and could be paired up by someone else of the Left (hand) who decries Israeli violence but says that the Palestinians have no other recourse than terror against the Israeli tech superiority.

If I used the Left to refer only to Americans, I would use the word Democrats. The Left, thus, is not a reference to fake liberal or classical liberal political beliefs applying to Americans, but rather specific kinds of people with a common, but not uniform, belief system.

One of the weird beliefs of the Left is that heirarchy is not necessary in human affairs. BMC, you seem to believe in some of those beliefs. Even if we say that nations and people can work together, there is going to be a leadership position available and someone is going to grab it. If you construct a system, in the UN, based upon the idea that there is no need for a leader, then it is going to run into problems when humans try to go up in the heirarchy.

 
At 2:52 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

One of the weird beliefs of the Left is that heirarchy is not necessary in human affairs.

That is a fairly fringe belief. The "right" is a similarly discontinuous hodge podge of overlapping and even partially conflicting belief systems. We can agree that both "sides" have their lunatics.

Did you see Blairs speech by the way ... colour me gob smacked : http://globalconfederacy.blogspot.com/2006/05/tony-blair-un-and-global-governance.html

The devil is in the detail as they say:-)

We seem to be inching toward agreement on the need for improved international structures. Although, we are a long way from my "assassination by global referenda" option, but not so far from ensuring every breach of the global peace is prosecuted aggressively against individuals.

The rub is that the large countries must be equally subject to the rules. Otherwise the whole thing is a farce. Can that be done?

 
At 3:11 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

As regards the practical issue of decentralization, the fact that you and I are having this discussion somewhat renders further comment irrelevant.

The internet is decentralized and global. As society progresses, there is often unity of purpose, but power and input becomes more diffuse. For the decentralized/global society to work, individual elements have to be capable of functioning independently.

From an article on decentralization in Wired:

Concentrations of consequence, though, are not a necessary element of civilized life. They come about not because of the nature of the world or the fundamental needs of humanity, but because they have some sort of economic or political appeal. The vulnerabilities they entail persist because they are either underappreciated or not understood at all. If civilization is going to come under attack - not just by Islamic extremists, but by any number of other groups or even individuals who fail to see its merits and wish to destroy or cripple it - then those vulnerabilities need to be addressed.

Protecting particularly vulnerable targets is one answer. But a more radical response is to look for changes to the infrastructure itself, changes that more evenly spread out the risks and consequences of failure. Defense requires distribution, and military strategists are increasingly looking to technology to provide it. We should look for similar help at home. The development of distributed systems throughout the national infrastructure should be seen as a priority by all the countries of the world.

No one is looking for anyone to "parent" the world

If every member of your parliment was equally able to defend itself, and equally able to function without the others, before reaching massive consensusthen it would work. If not, it won't.


As far as I can tell, you're talking about a very centralized world government, something more equivalent to the UN or the Medieval Catholic Church.

It couldn't move forward without massive consensus. It would be a slow-moving, slow-responding large target - you know, like a dinosaur.

Since the dawn of time, animals grew, in fits and starts, into larger and larger entities, but that trend ended around the Jurassic age. Let's not make the same mistake again.

 
At 4:30 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

As far as I can tell, you're talking about a very centralized world government, something more equivalent to the UN or the Medieval Catholic Church.

No I'm not. That's your prejudice to the idea talking.

The prevention, prosecution and eventual elimination of war is what I am keen on.

You can keep the rest.

http://globalconfederacy.blogspot.com/2006/05/global-governance-duh.html

 
At 4:35 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"The rub is that the large countries must be equally subject to the rules. Otherwise the whole thing is a farce. Can that be done?" - bmc

"Can't we all get along?" - Rodney King (maybe not familiar to foreign readers of this blog)


"Israel must be wiped off the map." - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

"The rub is that the large countries must be equally subject to the rules. Otherwise the whole thing is a farce. Can that be done?"

No.

 
At 4:41 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

"Israel must be wiped off the map." - Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

This is propaganda. Your assignment is to find out why.

 
At 5:04 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"Your assignment is to find out why."

Yeah, I've seen that one translation is "must be removed from the page of time" or some such.

Please. This is like "it depends on what your definition of 'is' is."

I respect that your opinion of humankind is more generous than mine, but the tenor of some of the comments on this and other blogs tends to color my opinion of the ability of people to achieve the state of harmony you believe is possible.

We just finished a century in which "civilization" achieved more for more people than in the rest of human history combined...and slaughtered more innocents in the name of "peace, brotherhood and progress" than ever before.

A global government must of necessity have global power to be effective. Do we really want to invest ONE body with that kind of power?

"Meet the new boss / same as the old boss"

...only with a far larger jackboot.

It's a really scary thought.

 
At 5:06 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

The prevention, prosecution and eventual elimination of war is what I am keen on.

Your goals are different then. The prevention, prosecution and eventual elimination of terrorism and genocide is what I am keen on.

Oh, and if we could find some way of eliminating whifty utopianism in the process, that would be a bonus.

 
At 8:54 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It can be done, but certain countries must trust the UN. However, the UN can't be trusted until you give them power over you. But, if you have no trust of the UN, and want the UN to prove the trust, then giving them power over you is a good way to demonstrate that you cannot trust the UN.

For the US, the way out of this paradox, in the Civil War, was to kill each other until one side won and enforced the federal will and demonstrated, by force, why the federal government can be trusted.

If you do it peacefully, it has far less chance of working simply because if the UN can't even win a war against the United States, why does the United States or other countries like Russia, China, and India trust the UN to protect us? In addition to the logical paradox, there is also the problem of trusting someone to protect you that is actually weaker than you are militarily and economically.

Protectors are supposed to be wiser, superior, and stronger than the protected. In this instance, world government cannot acquire power without the powerful nations on this world giving them power. Thus, even if it happens, it just turns into a world dictatorship based upon a cabal type leadership between the world's most populous and powerful nations, RUssia+US+China+India. All the little countries would get squashed. (This has actually been written about before in SM Stirling's The Prince, called the coDominium an alternative solution to Soviet-US cold warism)

 
At 1:24 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

All of the objections raised in the last series of posts are valid, every single one.

Let me try and see what I can do to explain how each could be addressed.

1) The prevention, prosecution and eventual elimination of terrorism and genocide is what I am keen on

We are on the same page here. One difference. Terrorism will never be eliminated. One nut job and a grievance flowers very readily into terrorism. In this respect, I am the realist, and you are the utopian.

The key is to address all the root causes, not exacerbate them, and treat each event as it occurs as a policing matter all the way back to source. Like crime, this will be never ending, but if the root causes are addressed, much of the worst of it will dissipate.

2) A global government must of necessity have global power to be effective. Do we really want to invest ONE body with that kind of power?

Depends on the power. If you are suggesting that we place the worlds military under the single control of the UN, then we are in agreement that this is lunacy.

What I am about is, giving the UN the legitimacy to issue warrants of arrest, subpoenas and the judicial infrastructure to try and convict or acquit the accused.

Now. It is true that there is a fundamental problem if an entire nation state harbours a particular person, or group of individuals. Then the option of sanctioned assassination drifts onto the table, up to and including war.

At the moment we have sanctions, and the war option, but few other useful instruments. In addition, the Security Council has a mere 15 members, 5 of whom are not elected and all of whom can derail any process with a single veto. These 5 members account for less than 25% of the global population, and 2 major landmasses are completely unrepresented.

At a minimum, a larger security council, where no vetoes exist, and a sliding scale of majority votes sliding up the scale depending on the gravity of the action brought to bear on the issues, would go a long way to solving the log jam.

3) In this instance, world government cannot acquire power without the powerful nations on this world giving them power.

Sure, but this power is "given" on a case, by case basis, not as a permanent feature, and only sufficient to address the issue of the moment. That is in effect how the system currently "works", but the guaranteed paralysis of the Security Council constantly interferes.

The nub of the problem is
a) The decision making process is terrible.
b) The instruments that can be brought to bear are crude.
c) They can only be brought to bear on entire nation states, not individuals.

We replace this with the entire judicial armoury of
1) Warrants of arrest issued across the entire world
2) Subpoenas to appear in court, either virtually or physically.
3) Trials, convictions and acquitals.
4) Asset freezing of a suspect, and any individuals in government openly supporting them.
5) Limited military action to capture or kill suspects who will not present themselves to the court. Requiring say, a 2/3 (population based) majority to pass.
6) Broader war, where genocide or war crimes are currently in progress, requiring a 2/3 (population based) majority to pass, and countries voting in favour, contribute troops on a population-based scheme.

So why has this not been done? It seems fairly obvious, and it is a modest expansion of the current UN system.

The answer to that question lies with the countries, most especially the large and/or rich countries, and the biggest responsibility lies with the 5 permanent Security Council members. There is a very strong cynical, vested interest in keeping things as the are.

Changing the UN to a fairer system means actions these countries absolutely oppose may pass. Or worse still, actions they champion may not pass. As things are practically nothing can pass anyway, but this is still worse, because an improved UN, with fairer structures would give such a "thumbs down" greater legitimacy.

At the end of the day, that will be such a systems greatest strength. Any country can still do anything it likes, and it’s leaders or military may be indicted, subpoenaed and yelled at ad nauseam, and it won’t achieve a thing.

Still though, there are very few countries that could consistently get away with that, and the opprobrium, in the face of a genuinely representative UN, would be overwhelming and deserved.

If we already had Pinochet getting arrested in London, and Yugoslavian war criminals unable to move from their home provinces for fear of arrest and ICC warrants issued for that whack job in Uganda, we are already on the right track. We need to expand that, give it more teeth, ensure that everyone is subject and get the hell on with it!!!

 
At 2:19 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

"And i can hear people saying would you have left saddam in charge? well in the 2003 set up yes i would. Ideally he should have been finished off in The first war and i never understood why it was left so obviously half done."

And you want a one world govt? That'll work...

"The USA had an enormous amount of support aross parts of the muslim world in the wake of 9/11 which in blew in invading Iraq."

Right. Enormous amounts of support across parts of the muslim world. It's a self contradictory statement. I'll keep an open mind though- please point me to the survey that demonstrates this. Thanks.

"If one lives in a feudal system where 20% of the population have all the rights and 80% of the wealth, it's hardly surprising if they get much of the blame for societal problems. Is it?"

I suppose not, but that doesn't make the ones leveling blame correct, does it. We worked hard to get where we are, and as any immigrant can tell you, we are happy to see others do the same. We can't help it if others settle for the governments they have, or have philosophies or cultures that lead them into a morass. We've provided an example of success, what more do you want? You can't 'give' success away.

"Well for a start, if the US had not funded him to the tune of billions of dollars in Afghanistan, allowing them to "defeat" the Soviets and harbour delusions of grandeur and global conquest. We'd certainly be better off."

Now, either you actually believe this- which would mean you deal in rumor not fact- or you know it's not true, but say it to bolster your argument- which would mean your a propagandist and a liar. I hope it's not the latter. We did not fund the group of Jihadists that Osama was affiliated with- we funded what was esentially the Northern Alliance- a different group of fighters altogether. Osama and his compatriots were funded by Arabs. And were the Soviets NOT defeated? What exactly did you mean with the "defeated" bit? And how exactly did helping them expell an invader give them the idea that they should rule the world by defeating us? Interesting logic.

"Osama and his ilk will find a steady stream of desperate and impressionable people to do there bidding, as long as the world remains as gut wrenchingly injust as it is."

but as soon as we acheive a one world governed utopia, that'll be all over...no more desperate, impressionable people. whew, what a relief.

"This is simple fact. Now that Ireland has the 2nd highest GDP in the world, and is dragging the North along in it's economic wake, the IRA are struggling to fund recruits. This isn't a mystery, or particularly hard to grasp."

No, though you are implying that the cause was prosperity and the dividend was peace- as opposed to the opposite, which is not only far more likely, but true.

"You should read some of the sermons transcribed at Memri,
Why? What is he saying that hasn't been said by every rabble rousing holy war idiot before him?"


Perhaps because he actually killed 3000 odd folks going to work one day because of it, as opposed to Fred Phelps, who is impotent and unimportant because almost no one follows him. Your casual dismissal of a source of information that might not help your argument speaks volumes.

Huan- keep it up.

 
At 2:26 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Here's what I don't get BMC- you want a one world govt- but acknowledge that the US is the model to follow- but the US is by definition anti big government, not for it. Our federal government is severly restricted, particularly compared to other nations. How do you reconcile that? And if you allow nations a degree of autonomy under you proposed world gov, how do you get any real order- because we had enough trouble just with our small, related states, much less nations that have little in common, and many old grievances...
Just curious.

 
At 3:41 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

you want a one world govt- but acknowledge that the US is the model to follow

Douglas ... I don't know what to tell you. My most recent post, was long, detailed and fairly modest in scope.

If you can't "get" how a world bound by laws surcumscribing war would be beneficial, there is very little more I can say on the subject.

Rational people know they must be subject to law, because it protects as well as restricts them. Laws are required at all tiers of society from your local town to the entire planet.

Parking meters and zoning are administered locally. Wars that could result in thousands of deaths, continent spanning pollution or in the worst case scenario, complete planetary destruction, strike me as requiring regulation at the global level.

If you don't get it, well I'm all tapped out, and repeating myself:-)

 
At 3:44 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

"Rational people know they must be subject to law"
But whose law? What if you're a Muslim who believes the only real law is Sharia? how do you rectify that? There are lots of other similar issues that would come up with your proposal...

 
At 3:52 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Hey douglas, will you lay off the sarcasm a bit?

I'm doing 3 filters right now, reading the things you've quoted, your response, and your real translated response. 2 would be better.

 
At 3:56 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Instead of focusing on how the UN voting system by general consent recommended by BMC would fail concerning Muslims, look instead at the process.

The vetoes, any vetoes, always paralyzes a democratic body. However, even if you are able to remove the UN Security Council, if the UN depends upon "temporary" authority, then if the UN has more votes against America why wouldn't America secede from the UN when the UN can't make us do what they voted on?

In essence, America will always have a veto on UN action, even if you can convince France, Britain, China, and Russia to give up their veto powers (which is a hard enough hurdle itself). America will have that veto because the authority the UN has is not permanent, it does not have a permanent army and relies upon the consent of the governed. Therefore, if the US chooses not to obey a vote, nobody else in the UN can enforce it. Even if every nation in the globe pooled their military and economic resources fully into the UN, they still couldn't make America do what America does not want to do.

Therefore enforcement does not work until such a time as the rest of the world builds up their military to equal America's. In this scenario, the UN does not act to decrease warfare, but actually increases it by accelerating global power competition and conflict.

 
At 4:07 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

A few points I should comment on though :

Now, either you actually believe this- which would mean you deal in rumor not fact- or you know it's not true

I except that there was hyperbole in my comment. There is plenty of blame to go around as regards the creation and funding of Ossama and Co. However, the US played an enormous role in creating this asshole, and setting the stage for this kind of terrorism. That cannot possibly be denied, and it would be deeply disingenous to do so.

http://globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO109C.html

What exactly did you mean with the "defeated" bit?

These people, if you read the literature, consider that "Allah" is the one responsible for ensuring the defeat of the Soviets. You and I, and lets face it, probably Mr. O. himself, know that it was primarily American support, and especially those handy stingers that defeated the Soviets. It had little or nothing to do with Allah.

However, this is a useful example with which to galavanise the moronic "I want my 72 virgins too" masses. Superpower (0) vs neolithic sheep herders + Allah (1)!!! Hot Damn!!! Lets do that again!!!

Blowback is a bitch.

Which is why all such "go it alone" efforts should be illegal, and should be channelled through a democratic UN.

 
At 4:21 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Therefore enforcement does not work until such a time as the rest of the world builds up their military to equal America's.

No this backwards, and indicative of the US militant, down in the bunker mentality.

No one is going to force anyone to signup to these arrangements, at least not in my scenario. The compelling "force" of the argument is what should win the day. The very act of getting agreement on these structures would begin to reduce military spending.

It is true that the US, could do what they liked. However, if having signed up to clear cut structures the US then reneged on them, that would generate a lot of deserved negative attention.

Plus the president who allowed such a thing to happen should be liable for arrest and trial anywhere outside of the US for the rest of his or her life.

Force against entire nation states would become the absolute utter last resort, but not against indivduals. In the case of the US it would be crazy to even suggest force. The people to target are the ones breaking the agreed laws, not millions of innocent people.

Remember, we are talking only about the right to wage war without it passing a revamped security council vote.

The big hurdle is hammering out the details, and getting agreement. However, the principle is completely sound, and vastly superior to the train wreck that currently passes for "Global Governance".

 
At 4:51 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

"Rational people know they must be subject to law"
But whose law? What if you're a Muslim who believes the only real law is Sharia?


No I have explained that. Sharia law, while objectionable to you and I is not grounds for a war. That would be considered a matter for local regulation.

That doesn't stop us highlighting the basic injustice of it, and working to change peoples mind on the subject of course.

I am NOT proposing a set of homogenised laws governing every aspect of human activity. That is completely nuts.

I am suggesting laws aggressively regulating the use of the military. To such a degree that eventually having a massive military would be considered foolish.

Such changes will take decades perhaps centuries, binding global law is simply the start.

Subsidiarity is the principle which states that matters ought to be handled by the smallest (or, the lowest) competent authority.

It is found in several constitutions around the world (see for example the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution).

It is presently best known as a fundamental principle of European Union law. According to this principle, the EU may only act (i.e. make laws) where member states agree that action of individual countries is insufficient.

 
At 5:23 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

By the way Ymarsakar, thanks for introducing me to "The Futurists" Blog.

I consider myself a "still to be convinced" transhumanist, this guy raises a lot of fascinating points.

 
At 8:49 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

The key is to address all the root causes, not exacerbate them, and treat each event as it occurs as a policing matter all the way back to source. Like crime, this will be never ending, but if the root causes are addressed, much of the worst of it will dissipate.

No it won't. We treated the first World Trade Tower attack as a policing matter. Europe has always treated terrorism as a policing matter. That's why terrorist paramilitary armies call Europeans cities 'home'..

Addressing the root causes of terrorism and crime has never worked in the past and it will never work in the future. When a government 'addresses root causes', crime goes up, as it did in New York City during the 1970's, as it's doing in Britain now, as it's doing all over Europe and especially Sweden now. If we follow your plan, you're right, terrorism will never be eliminated. It will increase exponentially.

Of course, you don't need proof to present your unworkable ideas as workable. You don't need proof because your faith is absolute.

You present your arguments very well (are you a salesman in real life? A lawyer? Marketing? ) but your ideals aren't based on research, facts, or workable political theory. Your pacifist transnationalism is based on faith. Pacifism doesn't work as a political system - ask the Tibetans.

[I know, you'll deny that you're a pacifist, but if it walks like a duck..Why are pacifists afraid to admit that they're pacifists lately? ]

The problem with pacifists is that they're willing to peacefully watch others die in the cases of genocide and terrorism, rather than effectively intervening because they think all violence is abhorrent. Although you're presenting your ideas as a sort of democratic global management system,. your only real goal is to eliminate violence, and (although you don't wan to admit it) self defense. Because to you, all violence is bad.

I think I already told you about neo-neocon's discussion of pacifism as a faith. You really should read it. She said:

Pacifism sometimes seems illogical and naive to those who don't espouse it. But the key to the logic of pacifism--and it definitely has its own logic--is that it is a belief system. As such, it's based on certain premises which are accepted as articles of faith and that, to pacifists, can stand outside the realm of proof.

You're using the "logic" of pacifism here.

 
At 11:18 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

No Mary. I am afraid you force me to draw your attention to the facts and figures.

Addressing the root causes of terrorism and crime has never worked in the past and it will never work in the future.

This does not mean "free houses for all and no police!". It means addressing root causes. People who are sick, poverty stricken and downtrodden eventually turn on their masters, or whomever happens to be handy.

Every revolutionary since Spartacus and before him no doubt, has placed this very issue at the heart of their recruitment drives. There can be no doubt that it resonates. As evidenced by your own revolution.

Feed, clothe, employ and if possible bejewel people, and they will be less willing to blow themselves (and you) up. This is not political; it's basic common sense.

it's doing in Britain now, as it's doing all over Europe and especially Sweden now.

Crime is always in flux, it goes up and it goes down. My recollection of the stats is that crime has fallen in Britain since Labour came to power, and has introduced the kinds of social support that would make an American social conservative clutch their ample chests in shock. Sweden I've no idea, I hadn't heard it was going up, and I live here.

As regards comparing these countries to the US, this is a fatal own goal. I relish the fun of setting you straight. I take it you know what per capita means?

The US has per capita homicide rates 3 to 4 times the European average, and incarceration rates 5 – 8 times the European average. Given that we are the namby, pampy, huggy, terrorist french kissing surrender monkeys you portray, it suggests that this model does in fact, work better. By actual orders of magnitude, stop a moment and think about that.

Unlike you, I will supply the source of these statistics. Knock yourself out.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_mur_percap
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_pri_per_cap

It must strike even you as very, very odd that the US not only has more murders per capita, but 5 – 8 times as many prisoners! Surely given the high incarceration rates, there could hardly be anyone left that would have criminal leanings.

Even taking total crimes per capita, the US doesn’t do terribly well.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_tot_cri_percap

Still though, even the countries that are worse (and there aren’t many) imprison so much fewer of their citizens, that it’s hardly surprising they have higher overall crime rates. The true wonder is that the US doesn’t have the lowest crimes rates of all. O.K., I think I’ve milked that open goal past respectability, but you do beg for it:-)

The problem with pacifists is that they're willing to peacefully watch others die in the cases of genocide and terrorism, rather than effectively intervening because they think all violence is abhorrent.

I’m not sure that’s true, even about pacifists. Plus given that I have tabled, albeit in the context of a democratized UN, sanctioned assassination, international swat teams and in some limited cases actual war as solutions, I think you need to check up the definition of the word pacifisim. I don’t qualify.

However, this is a distraction. The justification for going to war in Iraq was not about saving Iraqi lives. It was about sacrificing Iraqi lives to save American lives. Fight them over there etc.

I find that idea pretty abhorrent in isolation, but the cowardly, brutal, calculation of it pales into insignificance when coupled with the fact that the basic premise was and is wrong. As can be seen every day as the next lot of 20, or 30 step into the grinder.

Thousands have died, and are continuing to die, because of what can be perhaps be generously categorised as incompetence and group think. Some check or balance should have prevented that, and a comprehensive and democratic Security Council in the UN has a shot at being that check.

 
At 12:18 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

People who are sick, poverty stricken and downtrodden eventually turn on their masters, or whomever happens to be handy.

No they don't. People were sick, poverty stricken and downtrodden for hundreds of years under the guidance of monarchies and the Catholic Church, and they did squat to change things. Revolutions emerge from the middle class, not the poverty stricken.

Criminals prey on the weak. If no one protects people, and if they're not allowed to protect themselves, crime increases, as is has in Britain and all over Europe. Via the Telegraph:

England has worst crime rate in world

England and Wales have the highest crime rate among the world's leading economies, according to a new report by the United Nations.

The survey, which is likely to prove embarrassing to David Blunkett, the Home Secretary. shows that people are more likely to be mugged, burgled, robbed or assaulted here than in America, Germany, Russia, South Africa or any other of the world's 20 largest nations. Only the Dominican Republic, New Zealand and Finland have higher crime rates than England and Wales.

During the period 1998-2000, Britain went from fifth to fourth worst in the world league table.

More at Reason and the American Spectator

Most blame the crime wave, not on the lack of available guns (New York has strict gun control laws, low crime), but on the EU inpired Human Rights legislation.

This sounds just like the idea you're proposing. I don't know how many times I have to say this, but it doesn't work.

It never did work. Really. Don't they teach pragmatism over there?

However, this is a distraction. The justification for going to war in Iraq was not about saving Iraqi lives. It was about sacrificing Iraqi lives to save American lives. Fight them over there etc.

No, the justification for going to war in Iraq was the Carter Doctrine, which basically states that America is reponsible for maintaining 'stability' in the Middle East (yes, because of the oil) The government believed that Saddam and his real or potential WMDs threatened that stability.

If your main goal is to prevent another such war, you're in luck, the majority of Americans don't support it either. The majority of Americans will approve of a war for self-defense, but very few Americans want to die for the cause of realpolitik games. There is groupthink in the government, on the right and the left, but not among the wide variety of Americans out there. You know, the Mexican Americans, Black Americans, Asian-Americans, Irish Americans, Italian-Americans and all those other people you view as one white, stupid, fat, bloated mass.

If Bush proposes another such war, support in America will be nonexistent. So you're going through a lot of trouble for nothing.

 
At 2:03 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It is true that the US, could do what they liked. However, if having signed up to clear cut structures the US then reneged on them, that would generate a lot of deserved negative attention.

There are two things I think bears focusing on. One, if the US simply opts out of the UN if nations in the UN expects too much out of the UN and doesn't give it back. If it is supposed to be based upon consent and mutual benefit, then if the US gives out 100 billion in aid and gets like 500 million back, the US will go somewhere else.

Second, the scenario you brought up consists of the US benefiting from the UN and then not agreeing to abide by a vote or consensual agreement.

The way I see it, if the other nations do not "arm up" then the US is not going to acrue mutual benefit from the arrangement. If the other nations do not spend as much on Defense as the US does, then the US has no reason not to disobey UN votes. People obey the law because they fear violating the law, the cops are going to come after them and all that. Who is going to come after the US if the US violates the UN votes? Nobody, because everyone is too busy disarming and not contributing their fair share to the defense equation.

Those above reasons are why, if you want the US to obey UN votes and stay in the UN, other nations need to armup to an equal level to the US once you lump them together. Currently, the US Navy is larger than the "next" 7th largest navies. And this is only a per ton basis, not a technological compensated difference. The level of difference between the USAF and the US Army is even larger given the lack of quality and quantity in the rest of the world's forces.

China is trying to, but they can barely get one carrier working.

The people to target are the ones breaking the agreed laws, not millions of innocent people.

That is just the thing though. People in the US won't give up Constitutional protections over US citizens, including the President. The people will themselves not cooperate because they don't want the UN deciding their politician's fate, since the people prefer to do that themselves. If the people don't cooperate, then you are going to run into resistance if you try to enforce grabbing politicians and leaders. The UN might not declare war on the US, but the US most definitely will declare war on the US for grabbing US citizens when it becomes inconsistent with American law. This is the argument behind the World Court for example.

By the way Ymarsakar, thanks for introducing me to "The Futurists" Blog.

Your welcome, I myself only came across it recently because of a chance commentator.

In conclusion, i can't agree on the premise that the principles are correct. The principles do not take into account the role of the military and the interest of human beings. For example, I do believe you can get people and nations to disarm. But you have to give them guarantees, that if someone should attack them, that they will be protected. It is about trust. Do they trust the UN to always vote their way if they are attacked? No, that is as you say, not how it will work. So people will not give up their armies either because the UN will have no army or will never be guaranteed to use it if they did have an army.

The way the world is set up right now, the US has eseveral mutual defense deals with nations like Poland, Japan, NATO, Taiwan, and etc. The US guarantees that if these nations are attacked or invaded, that the US will respond with the penultimate in military force, which outmatches any other nation as well as the next 7th largest nations combined together. Even for little nations like Kuwaitt that didn't have such an agreement because they either could not trust us or thought it wasn't needed, benefited from American protection when Saddam invaded.

People and nations have weapons and armies for two reasons. To use it to conquer others and take what is not theirs. Or to protect themselves from people who conquer others and take what is not theirs. Most people are the latter, but the former pops up every now and again. People will not disarm if they feel threatened and isn't given a trusted guarantee of protection.

The UN, as you described, would not be capable of giving that guarantee of protection. To translate the UN into some kind of US federal system, requires a federal army and a federal law which supercedes ALL local laws. Otherwise there is NO guarantee that the federal government will uniformly and consistently enforce mutually agreed upon rules and laws.

By actual orders of magnitude, stop a moment and think about that.

I've responded to this from other people in past. Basically, a more lawful and consistent society can have more crime statistics because the more chaotic and crime based societies don't actually have people willing to trust in the police and report the crimes. Cause basically either the police is corrupt or they won't do anything, therefore the crime statistics for chaotic countries may actually be LESS than more orderly societies that record everything.

This is noticed in Britain, which has many many times the home breakins and assault crimes than the US. And not only that, but the people in Britain don't report their crimes because the police don't do anything to arrest the criminals (so long as they don't kill anyone or use a gun that is). So you have more assaults and breaks in in Britain, yet more people are unwilling to report crime.

The argument for why the US has more criminals in jail is easy to explain, related to the above xplanation. A more lawful society puts their criminals in jail and keeps them there. A more chaotic environment, like Russian, can have people bribed to get out of jail. Another reason why the US has more criminals in jail compared to say Britain, is because the US has a lot of very large urban cities. Crime in urban cities are grossly greater than an equal number of populated small towns. A 5 million city population produces more crime than 500,000 towns with 10 people in each of those towns. Why? Because when people know each other, criminals know that they will get caught and be shamed. There's nowhere to hide out, unlike the criminal enclaves in big cities.

Besides, the stats are missing Britain, and that is a big problem if you are using it to compare US to Europe crime problems.

Good example is.

#95 France 95 per 100,000 people

With the French riots going on, do you perhaps think that the lack of big arrests actually contribute to more crime instead of decreasing it?

The strategy in a nutshell in Iraq, is better characterized as "getting them to fight their own wars themselves". Meaning, terroism is an Arab problem and Arabs should be best suited to solve it. But taht means Arabs have to kill Arabs, and so we give them something to fight for (liberty) and the terroists a reason to kill other Arabs (liberty equals no shariah).

Thus we offer the Iraqis American power, support, and money in return for the Iraqis fighting a proxy warfare against both their enemies and ours. It is a mutual benefit deal, that the UN you would create BMC, would have many such deals like this.

 
At 2:10 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Just to clarify. The USN is larger than the combined tonnages of the next Seven largest navies.

So even if you add up Japan, China, indian, Britain, and etc, it doesn't even equal the USN in terms of tonnage. We're not even talking about technology or experience yet. Which is probably 1 or 2 orders greater than other nations.

China would go bankrupt if they tried to match American defense spending. China has like what, somewhere between 1/10 or 1/5th the GDP of America?

So in order to match our 4% Defense spending, they would have to spend either 40% GDP per year or 20% GDP per year. For like how many years it takes to go par with us. This is as we are also spending, so if China wants to reach instant parity with the US, they would go bankrupt cause we've been spending 4 to 6% GDP for awhile now, while China has only begun. So there's like a learning curve first.

 
At 4:05 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

"These people, if you read the literature, consider that "Allah" is the one responsible for ensuring the defeat of the Soviets. You and I, and lets face it, probably Mr. O. himself, know that it was primarily American support, and especially those handy stingers that defeated the Soviets. It had little or nothing to do with Allah."

Yes, so a) you admit your quote on "defeat" was misplaced, and b) They think everything is due to Allah, one way or another, anyway- so what? When we defeat them, they'll have to credit that to Allah as well, won't that be nice. You'll get it eventually, Inshallah.

"People who are sick, poverty stricken and downtrodden eventually turn on their masters, or whomever happens to be handy."

Why then isn't Bangladesh a writhing morass of violence and civil war? In the 70's it was the better off Pakistani's that were the antagonists... How do you explain that? Why don't the desperately poor in Brazil or Mexico revolt against the governments that are corruptly holding power in the upper classes and maintaining a stratified society? How do tyrants maintain power when they oppress their people? Your statement is so patently false, yet you seem to actually believe it... sigh.

 
At 4:05 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Ymar, you better read Jed Babbin's latest...

 
At 4:18 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

It is rather bizarre, that it should fall to an Irishman to defend the UK against your slander.

Nonetheless here I am:-)

The stats you quote are from an article written in 2002.

Here is a link showing total incidents of crime in the UK since 1981 to 2005. These statistics are hot off the press direct from the people who produce them.

http://www.crimestatistics.org.uk/output/page54.asp

As you can see, crime has been falling steadily since 1993, about 4 years before Blair took office.

So you appear to be wrong again, with regard to the increase in crime. Which rather puts your theory about EU human rights legislation to bed. But you were certainly correct about the higher incidents of crime in the UK, on that point I surrender.

Although, you might have saved yourself the trouble of looking up the article. It's right there in the stats posted by moi from nation master:-)

#6 United Kingdom 85.5517 per 1,000 people
#7 Montserrat 80.3982 per 1,000 people
#8 United States 80.0645 per 1,000 people

More neck and neck though ... 5 incidents of crime per 1000 in the difference? Plus there is the homicide rate.

So, sure in the UK its 6% more likely that I'll get mugged, but in the US it's 300% more likely that I'd be murdered. I know which I'd prefer:-) Plus, you've got that embarrasing prison population rate, strictly speaking the US should be a crime free paradise based on that alone:-)

Sorry, Mary. You loose this round comprehensivley.

Revolutions emerge from the middle class, not the poverty stricken.

All sorts of people participate in revolutions, for all kinds of reasons. The primary umbrella driver is injustice, perceived or real.

Regardless of who foments the revolution, if you have a seething underclass, they supply the muscle. C'mon lets not quibble over the obvious stuff.

So to summarise.

EU crimes are mostly lower than the US, although Finland and the UK are higher overall.

Homicides are roughly 300%, and Prison populations are roughly 600% higher in the US than in the EU.

Which brings me back to my point. The namby, pamby approach has it's benefits. We don't have to spend all that money on prisons for a start.

 
At 4:42 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

How do tyrants maintain power when they oppress their people? Your statement is so patently false

This is just black/white Good/Bad nonsense. History is full to overflowing with examples of what I'm talking about.

The French revolution, the Russian revolution, Slave rebellions in the Roman Empire, heck even in the Confederacy. Please, don't be obtuse.

If you keep people in grinding poverty it often pisses them off. Will that cover it? Sheese. History kindergarten.

Ymarsakar, your entire post boils down to "we have more money, so we should do what we like". I disagree with that basic position, so we have, I think an irreconcilable difference there:-(

you admit your quote on "defeat" was misplaced
No I do not. The Soviets where defeated but not by Allah and Co. Hence "defeat".

A more lawful society puts their criminals in jail and keeps them there.

Sure, this is a problem if we are talking about the US and say, Colombia. However it is very hard to explain away when comparing the US to Germany, Ireland, Sweden or any other minority world country.

Have you ever been out of the US? We don't have gangs roaming the streets here:-)

There may be some play in the system but not hundreds of %, that indicates at least some minor societal dysfunction.

 
At 6:16 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

How am I going to read Babbin's latest when I don't know where the link is?

 
At 1:35 AM, May 28, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

"Have you ever been out of the US? We don't have gangs roaming the streets here:-)"

Have you been to Paris lately?

 
At 1:40 AM, May 28, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

How do tyrants maintain power when they oppress their people? Your statement is so patently false

"This is just black/white Good/Bad nonsense. History is full to overflowing with examples of what I'm talking about.

The French revolution, the Russian revolution, Slave rebellions in the Roman Empire, heck even in the Confederacy. Please, don't be obtuse.

If you keep people in grinding poverty it often pisses them off. Will that cover it? Sheese." History kindergarten.


No it's not that simple. History if full of many more periods of long term oppression of the underclass. Revolution is the exception, and in fact, often required outside intervention to pull it off (even ours- from Spain and the French no less). The problem here is that you see it as "black/white", "History Kindergarten", and I see it as complex and major events as being the result of a confluence of circumstances and causes...

This line you threw in was particularly interesting-
"heck even in the Confederacy."
The poor and oppressed in the confederacy (black slaves) weren't the ones doing the revolting, were they?

 
At 1:42 AM, May 28, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Babbin's latest

Just for you Ymar ;-)

 
At 1:44 AM, May 28, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

The main reason (In my opinion) that the US has such a higher rate of homocide, and a gang problem is that our police don't have the kind of police powers that they do in Europe- not even close, but that's the price we pay for being more free.

 
At 11:54 AM, May 28, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The US has a gang problem because the fake liberal Democrats control the inner cities, and they are what is keeping the black folks down. Ironic, that the black folks keep voting Democrat to "spite the white man" when who they are voting for is the man.

France has a French problem because their gang problem is everywhere, even if lcoated in French slums, because of the French welfare and socialized system.

It is quite a lot more complex than "America has money therefore can do what it wants". The most notable thing I was speaking of was psychology. The ability to visualize a scenario, and predict with accuracy what both sides would do and WHY they would do it.

My observations and predictions of what the US would do and the UN nations would do, is described by BMC as the US having money therefore they are allowed to do anything. Which is obviously not the point of my psychology based predictions and observations.

In terms of France, Europe, and the US. We have the curious story the statistics tell us, with all the qualifiers and addendums that everyone who has studied statistics knows about ahead of time without having it spelled out to them, and then we have the actual rioting and violence in Europe and France compared to the US.

So what the statistics purpotedly tell us, is somehow very different from the actual level of incitement and violence.

When people are willing to be terrorized in their homes, on a daily basis, rather than to risk being killed by a gun or using a gun to defend themselves, we start to see a decadent spiral into the Dark Ages basically where nobles protected the defenseless peasants and an aristocracy is thus created. That is a bad idea.

 
At 12:12 PM, May 28, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_ass

US has 2.2 million. Britain has 2.7 million once you adjust for the cer capital rate, in assaults.

So that 6% bmc talks about is half a million more assault victims in terms of actual comparison between the US and Britain. And the US has far more big cities than Britain, so the US should statistically have more assaults than Britain. This is of course, not even including how many assaults go unreported in Britain because the police won't do anything about them.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_ass_vic

2.8% of Britain is an assault victim.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_bel_in_pol_eff

Britain has 15% less people believing in police efficiency than the US, and the US leads the pack.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_car_the

US has 1.1 million car thefts.

GB has 2.0 million once you multiply GB"s pop by 6, to equal the US's.

The US has a lot more cars than GB, I notice. Yet the rate is higher in GB than it is in the US.
http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_con

#1 Egypt 3,576,010
#2 United Kingdom 1,398,270


That is how many are convicted. That is a lot of convictions, because the US would have to have 8 times 1.3 million to equal those convictions, which would put us AHEAD of Egypt, a police state.

Here is the perception of safety towards home invasion.

#4 United States 78%
#5 Denmark 75%
#6 Norway 68%
#7 Canada 66%
#8 Switzerland 64%
#9 Netherlands 62%
#10 United Kingdom 58%


http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_per_of_saf_bur

Sentencing lengths.

#16 United States 29
#17 Portugal 26
#18 South Africa 26
#19 Lithuania 25
#20 Papua New Guinea 24
#21 Zimbabwe 24
#22 United Kingdom 15


could it be that the US has more people in jail because we keep them there in jail instead of releasing them?

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph-T/cri_sen_len

#1 Poland 1.8%
#2 Italy 1.3%
#3 Australia 1.2%
#4 United Kingdom 1.2%
#5 Slovenia 1.1%
#6 Portugal 1.1%
#7 France 1.1%
#8 Belgium 1%
#9 Canada 0.9%
#10 Sweden 0.9%
#11 Netherlands 0.8%
#12 New Zealand 0.7%
#13 Switzerland 0.7%
#14 Denmark 0.7%
#15 Saint Kitts and Nevis 0.7%
#16 Finland 0.6%
#17 United States 0.6%


Robbery victims up above.

These are the burglary victims below.

#1 United States 2,099,700
#2 United Kingdom 836,027


Adjusted by pop, UK is 5 million.

I'm a lot better at statistics because I can actually understand what they are telling me, instead of just finding in them what I want. The numbers don't lie, but people do make mistakes when they interpret them.

 
At 8:45 AM, May 29, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

The numbers don't lie, but people do make mistakes when they interpret them.

I never, at any point in this thread denied that the UK had a marginally higher crime rate than the US. I disputed the contention that crime has not been falling in the UK.

However, I do dispute your recent efforts to massage the gap to make it appear so much larger than it actually is. Not a terribly fair way to treat your only real friend in the world:-)

That said, the UK is practically the only country in the developed world that comes even close to US overall crime rates.

You note that the US has more convictions and you keep people in prison longer. Jesus you're a genuis.

Did imagine the prison population were asexually reproducing:-)? You truly have become the master of stating the bland and obvious.

Wood for the trees alert: It didn't occur to you that higher convictions and longer prison sentences are bad things? Especially given the US still has higher homicide rates and crimes rates when compared to almost any developed country?

No doubt you can find some categories of crime the US does better in than ... someone.

However you are still stuck with higher homicide rates and prison populations (compared to developed countries), regardless of how disingenously you spin it.

You silly, silly man.

 
At 10:44 AM, May 29, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I never, at any point in this thread denied that the UK had a marginally higher crime rate than the US. I disputed the contention that crime has not been falling in the UK.

As BMC unintentionally stated, his point wasn't about the UK but about how the crime rates are higher in America than other nations.


However you are still stuck with higher homicide rates and prison populations (compared to developed countries), regardless of how disingenously you spin it.


Thus the only refutation he can provide, is that the UK's crime rates are lower, yet they are still higher than the US. As the statistics prove, or as much as BMC's stats can prove, the UK trades daily terrorism through burglaries, assaults, and being an assault victim to the US trading in less daily terrorism for more people being murdered because they didn't feel the need to learn self-defense. It is either that, or people are being killed because they can fight back, and killing them is the only way not to be killed yourselves. When places like Britain disarm their population, the criminals have no need to kill anyone body, because nobody will try and stop them and nobody will fight back. Thus the people of Britain become the terrorized slave population of a mob like organization where here in the US, it is more like the Wild West where people fight it out based upon individualism.

If people will recall, many people complain that the US is trading their civil rights for security. Disarming citizens so that the murders go down while the property rights of people and the safety of their citizens are violated, seems not to be noticed as an inconsistency. BMC said it himself, he'd rather be assaulted with a baseball bat or a hand to hand weapon, than to be killed by a firearm. The logic that it is the US willing to give up our civil rights for security, is an attempt to project the world's lack of self-confidence and liberty upon the United States. It is an unfortunate byproduct of making the people of the West into sheep, they will always complain about animals with teeth.

As BMC's behavior proves, they really can't tolerate a position dynamically different from their own without throwing things like "disengenous lies, only friend in the world" into the mix to supplement their lack of reasoning and logic skills. They have to make things personal, because it is personal to them that they are the ones sacrificing their liberty for security while the US is not.

The difference is simple. While I talk about what people like BMC does and why they are wrong, BMC talks about who and what people like me are. They shift the subject to who you are, and not what you believe. They do it unconsciously, so they will always deny it. As BMC will deny it, because he truly cannot see the logic problems with his own arguments.

It is quite a lot more complex than "America has money therefore can do what it wants". The most notable thing I was speaking of was psychology. The ability to visualize a scenario, and predict with accuracy what both sides would do and WHY they would do it.

As we can see, any attempts to steer it from being about "America and Americans" lands with a return about "disengenous" spinning.

As a last note, I just provided the statistics and their titles and how I interpreted them. BMC sees this as an attack on some statement of his about the UK's crime rate lowering. In most cases, these statistics benefit other people than BMC, and knee jerk reactionary thinking is not a good idea.

 
At 12:57 AM, May 31, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

I'm not fixated on the UK. You are. Primarily because it is one of the few developed world countries you can point to with higher overall crime rates.

I have repeatedly put this in context for you. Homicide and Prison population rates are hundreds of % higher per capita in the US than in the UK, or indeed any other developed country in the world. I give you that differing systems and cultures can result in trends that are hard to match up, but not by hundreds percent in two major categories, across the entire developed world. That strains credulity, it's a wonder you can swallow such nonsense yourself.

The heady mix of your hyper nationalism and these rather banal factoids, has generated a surprising blizzard of torturous reasoning, desperate refutation and twisted logic.

Entertaining, but all your blather on the subject doesn't get you around the facts. It just highlights how completely your hyper nationalism has degraded your critical thinking. Sad really.

 
At 12:56 PM, May 31, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Facts have never mattered to me, only principles.

 

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