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To: EJhonsa who wrote (116260)10/5/2003 10:01:57 PM
From: arun gera
   of 281380
>The breakdown for the state is more like 70/30 than 80/20, with only the Kashmir Valley being predominantly Muslim. One other part of the state (Jammu) is predominantly Hindu, and another (Ladakh) is predominantly Buddhist.>

And the Muslim population in Kashmir includes many Shias who don't really get well treated in Pakistan.

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To: Win Smith who wrote (116253)10/5/2003 11:10:43 PM
From: KLP
   of 281380
The local rtalk radio station ran was a tape of Albright and either Hune or Snow, I believe. She was promoting her new book. Maybe her new book will say that.

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To: Bilow who wrote (116092)10/5/2003 11:40:26 PM
From: stockman_scott
   of 281380
Bush's missing exit strategy draws down support on Iraq

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To: Jacob Snyder who wrote (116205)10/5/2003 11:46:05 PM
From: stockman_scott
   of 281380
Israel's attack is a lethal step towards war in Middle East

By Robert Fisk
6 October 2003
The Independent

Israel received the Green Light. It came from what is called the Syria Accountability Act, moving through the United States Congress with the help of Israel's supporters, that will impose sanctions on Damascus for its supposed enthusiasm for "terrorism" and occupation of Lebanon.

Speaker after speaker in the past week has been warning that Syria is the new - or old, or non-existent - threat previously represented by Iraq: that it has weapons of mass destruction, that it has biological warheads, that it received Iraq's non-existent weapons of mass destruction just before we began our illegal invasion of Iraq in March.

The Israeli lie about "thousands" of Iranian Revolutionary Guards in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon has been uncloaked yet again. In reality, there hasn't been an Iranian militant in Lebanon for 20 years. But who cares? The dictatorial Syrian regime - and dictatorial it most decidedly is - has to be struck after a Jenin woman lawyer, who has probably never visited Damascus in her life, blows herself and 19 innocent Israelis up in Haifa. And why not? If America can strike Afghanistan for the international crimes against humanity of 11 September 2001, when 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, and if America can invade Iraq, which had absolutely nothing to do with 11 September, why shouldn't Israel strike Syria?

Yes, Syria does support Hamas and Islamic Jihad. But in Iraq is based the Mujahideen Khalq, which bombs Iran, and the Americans have not bombed them. In Jerusalem exists a government that openly threatens the life of Yasser Arafat but no one suggests action should be taken against the Israeli administration.

In Jerusalem lives a prime minister, Ariel Sharon, who was adjudicated to be "personally responsible" by Israel's own Kahane commission of enquiry for the massacre of up to 1,700 Palestinian civilians at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982. But he is not going on trial for war crimes.

Of course, Syria is going to take the air strikes on the training base" of Islamic Jihad to the United Nations. Much good will it do Damascus. When the United States cannot bring itself to support a resolution condemning Israel's threat to murder Arafat, when it will not stop the Israelis building 600 more houses - for Jews and Jews only - on Palestinian land, air raids on Syria simply don't matter.

Perhaps Lebanon will benefit. Perhaps Lebanon can now be spared Israel's retaliation for Palestinian violence - unless, of course, Israel decides to strike a Palestinian "training base" in Lebanon.

No one asks what these "training bases" are. Do Palestinian suicide bombers really need to practice suicide bombing? Does turning a switch need that much training? Surely the death of a brother or a cousin by the Israeli army is all the practice that is needed.

But no. Yesterday, we took another little lethal step along the road to Middle East war, establishing facts on the ground, proving that it's permissible to bomb the territory of Syria in the "war against terror", which President Bush has himself declared now includes Gaza.

And the precedents are there if we need them. Back in 1983, when President Reagan thought he was fighting a "war on terror" in the Middle East, he ordered his air force to bomb the Syrian army in the Lebanese Bekaa Valley, losing a pilot and allowing the Syrians to capture his co-pilot, who was only returned after a prolonged and politically embarrassing negotiation by Jesse Jackson. In an era when America is ready to threaten the invasion of Syria and Iran - part of that infamous "axis of evil" - this may seem small beer. But Syria itself has seen what has happened to America's army in Iraq, and is emboldened by its humiliation to avenge the attacks of Israel or America, whatever the cost.

If America cannot control Iraq, why should Syria fear Israel?

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To: Neocon who wrote (116147)10/5/2003 11:50:25 PM
From: GST
   of 281380
Progress? Don't make me laugh. The situation in North Korea grows worse by the day. Unsecured WMD sites in Russia are an open invitation to terrorists to buy and deal in nuke materials. Iraq is an appallingly expensive sideshow that has given us nothing in the way of improved national security while diverting our attention from real threats, tying up our military and costing us a small fortune -- not to mention a complete breakdown in respect for America and the credibility of our intelligence services. Progress? What a sick joke.

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To: stockman_scott who wrote (116264)10/6/2003 12:01:38 AM
From: skinowski
   of 281380
No one asks what these "training bases" are. Do Palestinian suicide bombers really need to practice suicide bombing? Does turning a switch need that much training?

No, it does not. And to crash a plane into a building one doesn't have to be a master pilot. And in those camps they teach youngsters to make love, not war, of course.

To pull a switch is easy - but to maintain an atmosphere were there is no shortage of youthful kamikazes must require a pretty sophisticated physical and ideological infrastructure.

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To: Jacob Snyder who wrote (116202)10/6/2003 1:16:07 AM
From: cnyndwllr
   of 281380
Jacob, there is a wealth of wisdom and depth in your post and I enjoyed reading it. That post raises, of course, follow up questions concerning the process by which this country chooses it's leaders and governs itself during times of uncertainty. It seems that lately we're not doing too well in protecting the visions and principles that have largely set us apart from the abuses of some of histories other great powers. I suspect it's because of the old maxim that power corrupts, superimposed on the evident fact that many of our decisions are made with our emotional minds as opposed to our thinking minds.

I couldn't imagine an immature, cocky and untested personality like George W. Bush ascending to the presidency in the tense times that existed when, if diplomacy failed, there was a perceived threat of a devastating nuclear war. In the absence of that threat, however, the stage was evidently set for an administration that pandered to our basic needs, wants and desires, without regard to underlying principles and without a careful vision of the long term aftershocks resulting from the unfettered exercise of our massive economic and military power.

In this era when psychologists and ad executives have learned how to identify our emotional buttons and, more importantly, how to push them, we are prey to those with commercial or positional access to the media. Unless we feel involved enough to engage in actual discourse about the issues, most of us will internalize subliminal messages that become part of what we "KNOW."

When Bush says Saddam and Al Queda in the same phrase often enough, we will KNOW there is a connection, even though we may not realize where, or how, we garnered that information. When Rumsfeld and Cheney and Rice look us right in the eye through the screen and get emotional about the need to "protect" ourselves from the "grave danger" presented by Iraq, we will come to FEEL the threat of a mushroom cloud, of dead and dying poisoned Americans and of a future where we are held hostage to Iraqi State terrorism on a major scale, without even understanding the basic analysis that could support that fear.

In times like that, our democracy is poorly suited to achieve optimal choices in policy. We are too easily manipulated. Those that are the most likely to adhere to an "ends justify the means" approach, are the most likely to be able to fear monger and capitalize on our emotional thinking. Once they've achieved the strong support of a majority of us, then if their judgement is good they may lead us on a positive path, if they are extreme thinkers with unrealistic views of human nature and the world, they will likely lead us down a negative path.

My problem with Bush and the special interests and powers that guide him, is on both levels. They are clearly "ends justifies the means" adherents on the one hand. On the other, they are clearly dogmatic thinkers that shut off all opposing views and their view of the world and the average people that populate it are skewed. It is a formulae for disaster and almost every assessment that they've made in terms of how the world, the Iraqis and others will react has proven to be fatally wrong.

It will all change when the average American begins to feel the pain IN HIS EVERYDAY LIFE. Only then will most people begin to internalize the questions and issues that we should have been debating in our homes and with our friends and neighbors a long while back. It's not enough that many moderate and careful thinkers figured this out from the onset. Now that we have a climate that allows extreme thinkers to take extreme views without fear that we are heading down a path that will lead us to a nuclear confrontation with a major superpower, those that erroneously consider these questions to be remote from their personal lives will have to get a wakeup call. Maybe Congressman Rangely is right; maybe we should renew the draft so that the average American will "FEEL" personally impacted by the foreign policy decisions that take this country to war and send back our young in plastic bags and medivac planes. Maybe then we will, as a nation, seriously ask "Is it worth it? Where will it lead? In the end what will we have accomplished?"

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To: cnyndwllr who wrote (116267)10/6/2003 2:26:32 AM
From: FaultLine
   of 281380
Hello cnyndwllr,

Welcome to the Foreign Affairs Discussion Group.

Please read the thread header and dive in... :o)


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To: Jacob Snyder who wrote (116202)10/6/2003 3:06:33 AM
From: greenspirit
   of 281380
Jacob, myth counterpoint....

res-1 Myth:
The War Party people are courageous; the Peace Party people are cowards. The followers of Gandhi, who took on the British Empire, they were cowards. The followers of ML King, who endured a campaign of hundreds of church-bombings and lynchings, whose marches were broken up with police dogs and water cannon and sometimes bullets, they were cowards. The millions of unarmed East Germans, who went into the streets of Leipzig and E. Berlin, and faced down the Communist's tanks, they were cowards. The American woman who stood in front of an Israeli armoured bulldozer, just like the Chinese man who stood in front of a line of tanks in Tienamin Square, she too was a coward.

I don't recall ever seeing someone say these people were cowards. Perhaps you could point me to one story in which the person standing in front of the tank in Tienamin Square was described as a coward? I've never seen one. Therefore, your 1st "myth" is not really a myth at all.

What missing in your myth is this. For Ghandi and Martin Luther King to be effective, they had to appeal to the goodness within their oppressors. In one case, the culture of Britain, in the other the culture of America. Using Ghandian like tactics against a monster like Hitler would have been foolhearty and cost many more millions of lives. Ignoring his genocidal murdering rampage was a choice many would rather not take. The myth is that ignoring a mass murderer and not taking up arms against him is somehow virtuous, while risking your life in order to stop the killing is not.

Sometimes force is necessary when the evil has no conscience, no soul, and no place from which to change. Freedom rests on the backs of people who fought for it. Your ability to express your opinion on this forum may never have existed, had it not been for people willing to take up arms against tyranny.

res Myth 2:
Only people who believe in solving problems by killing their fellow man, are courageous. Only they have the bravery to kill their enemies, and accept the "collateral damage" and "unfortunate accidents" that, in the typical guerrilla war, kill 10 times as many civilians as combatants. The techno-warrior, who sits in a bunker in a heavily protected base, watching a screen, and pushes a button, and a drone aircraft drops a bomb and kills some people (who were identified as the enemy, based on vague and uncertain Intelligence), this warrior (and the people who cheer him on), he has courage. Only him.

When one person is called courageous, a hero etc. it doesn't necessarily mean the opposite behavior is defined as its opposite. Courage can take many forms, and it's a myth to suggest only soldiers are looked at that way. Sounds to me like a bit of envy laced with insecurity.

Only the War Party loves their country; the Peace Party hates their country. Peace and Patriotism are opposites, mutually exclusive.

Another black and white view. The real myth here is that peace protesting automatically means someone is patriotic.

The War Party has the only solutions. They are the only hard-headed Realists, the only ones who know how to GetThingsDone. There are only two solutions to any foreign policy problem: kill or submit. Escalate without limit, or appease. Be an alpha male wolf, snapping and snarling at the slightest hint of revolt in the pack. Or roll over and expose your belly. Those are always the only two choices.

Must be easy to see those who disagree with your foreign policy in such a black and white mental model of reasoning. The myth here is that people who believe war does solve some problems are narrow minded and thoughtless. While those who profess peace at all costs are thoughtful wise and caring.

Truth 1 :
"All of us have heard this term 'preventive war' since the earliest days of Hitler. I recall that is about the first time I heard it. In this day and time.... I don't believe there is such a thing; and, frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing." - President Eisenhower in 1953, after being shown plans for a preventive war against the Soviet Union.

Closer truth 1: There are times when preventative war is effective. Often, in hindsight, it is impossible to determine with certainty when such an instance has occurred. We don't have a crystal ball; therefore your truth is anything but.

Truth 2 :
At one time all people were only one nation. - The Koran 2:213

Wonderful sentiment, it's too darn bad so many who profess faith in this book don't follow its tenants.

I hear you. You're scared. I'm scared, too. Yes, I know, you can't admit you're scared, so I'll do it for both of us. What scares me the most, is that your fear causes you to do things that make more and more people hate you and me. Your methods, a near-random Hitting Back, this is losing the war. And you are so frozen in fear, you won't even consider alternative methods of fighting our war.

I'm scared, and I see your fear, and I'll keep holding up the mirror till you see it too. Then, maybe, we can change our methods, and win this war.

I am not scared, because, I'm confident in my country, its people, and in our civilian/military leadership. We will overcome, adapt and succeed in the face of evil terrorists who are hell-bent on destroying our way of life.

The ones who are afraid are the terrorists, because we're committed as a nation to hunt them down and bring them to justice.

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To: greenspirit who wrote (116269)10/6/2003 3:12:49 AM
From: FaultLine
   of 281380
Hello Michael,

Jacob, myth counterpoint....

Thoughtful response. Thanks.


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