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« New Voice(s) in the American West | Main | OhmyNews at Five »

February 22, 2005


Bob McKeand

Yes! And yes I am ashamed.
This country is a joke!


This has been going on early 2002. I had a deeper take at this issue here
Yes, this effects citizens of various countries.. I wonder if next will be neutral citizens of Korea , Iran or any other country which does not support the current American Regime. Yes, I say REGIME.. thats what the american landscape has become.. The poor american Solider and public is being duped..

Why dont you just solve your social society problems first and the leave the rest of the darn world out for the time being eh ??


A blow to America's image? What did you think America has been doing for the last century or so? Starting off the 20th century with genocide in Philippines, to torture and murder in Latin America, genocide in Vietnam, and now beginning the 21st century with yet another war started and fought on a pretext.

If you think America has ever stood for "freedom" and "democracy" in anyone's mind other than the Hollywood-brainwashed and the naive, you might want to read a few more (real) history books.

Gerald Buckley

Folks I'm not proud of everything MY country (the US of A) has accomplished or attempted. That said, is there a better system in the world at present?

If so, drop me an email from there once you've settled in. Otherwise, why don't you run for office and take charge of the situation? Seems the present crop of politicians aren't satisfying your wants/dreams/desires.


There isn't. So why not tell our children the whole truth in their history classes?


I agree with Gerald Buckley, there are lots of things to be ashamed of, but we are the ones that generally overcome the problems and lead the world. Many who built the Constitution knew slavery was wrong. It took half a century and a war, but we got rid of it. Slavery still exists in parts of the world. Bigotry is alive and well in many parts of the world, too - even in Kerry's vaunted Europe.

There was some joke that made the email rounds a few weeks ago about a program where liberals could take in some of the Gitmo prisoners. It was pretty funny. It talked about Libs trying to adapt to their "cultural differences." Highly recommended. Email me and I'll forward it.

In all seriousness, how do you expect these people to be transported? On Southwest with no assigned seating?

I guess I don't see it as a blow. I wish we didn't have to do some of these things, but I wish they wouldn't try to blow us up either. It seems to me that we're talking about acts of war, not criminal actions. When people plot to blow up buildings, trains, and airplanes, I think we're a little beyond law enforcement. Either we stop it or the cancer grows. It's obvious that Europe has had little interest in stopping terrorism; they would rather cooperate and profit from dealings with the countries that support it.

I'm proud that we're leading the way to stop it. The left has no mechanisms for dealing with these types of people. Their response seems to be "Law Enforcement". But Law Enforcement is "after the fact."

All I hear is complaining from the left and very few ideas. Like it or not, the left seems to be on life support.


The disparity between the monstrously perverse nature of this CIA story and any possible reasoned comment is so vast that the comment itself would seem comic, so great the difference between its small words and the acts of desperate tyranny.

In fact, some comments appear to have inadvertently taken this route.


Gerald writes, "That said, is there a better system in the world at present?"

This familiar rhetorical question assumes an answer that ain't necessarily so. Canada, the U.K., Sweden, Norway, Denmark, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Belgium would all make my short list. Holland, Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy are not my personal favourites, but are certainly very pleasant places to live for those who appreciate their cultures.

This idea that the USA has a monopoly on good living, right values, and virtuous political organization is nonsense. Unfortunately, it is an idea accepted almost universally by Americans.


Al:"It seems to me that we're talking about acts of war, not criminal actions. When people plot to blow up buildings, trains, and airplanes, I think we're a little beyond law enforcement. Either we stop it or the cancer grows" -

so how about stoping the cancer in your own backyard first ?? Lets say the recent-- 7 yr old and the preg girl, peterson and luci, the Columbus Sniper .. should I go on ??

In reality the American 'dream' society is the cancer of the 21C. If its not stopped, their ideals will spread .. its ridicules to impose your culture in other parts of the world. If you think that Possesion of guns are a fundametnal right.. so be it.. but dont think its supposed to mean its right in a 3rd world country or in EU/CA??

Yeah , now lets talk about the .50 Calibre assult rifle. Where the heck is that not banned ?? or how about the AK47 ??

Its not about right and left. Its about whats right and wrong. Good or Bad. Look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you want you son or daughter at home with a .50 caliber tucked under the bed.. and then come back and post your reply here.


I don't think anyone said we're perfect and we may not be the "ideal", but western civilization provides rights and treats it's people much better than many other countries. Maybe we should have stayed out of WWI and WWII? Maybe we should have not engaged the Soviets? Was it right to support some of the brutal regimes that we did to counter the Soviets? What about Militant Islam? What about China's growing power?

The only reason there is an EU is because of the relative safety that the US provided Europe over the years.

As for a .50 calibre weapon under my kid's bed, it is illegal in the US. I would check out the crime rates for countries that have instituted bans on guns. I'm no expert, but I think the rates have skyrocketed in the UK and Australia.

Charlie Prael

One comment: .50 cal rifles are not illegal in the vast majority of the US. California is pretty unique in having a ban in place on them.

That being said, if you're referring to the recent Zahn special, check out how many felonies they committed in their expose.


HT: We are not telling the countries you listed how to live. But we are trying to help stop some other countries that you did not list on how to treat their people. We're trying to prod Russia into staying Democratic. We're trying to stop Militant Islam. Do our strategic interests influence our actions? Sure they do. And, yes, the rest of the world is growing up. If the Soviets were still asserting power or if Al Qaeda was blowing up chunks of Europe, you can bet that these conversations would be different.

I know we're a bit off topic here, but, really, we've reached the point where we can fight for basic values. Some of the bigger problems like the Soviets and Al Qaeda (to a lesser extent) have been minimized. This is how I see it and I see what Bush is doing to help the Mideast as a huge plus for the world and millions of people who live under those dictators. At some point, we'll get to tackle Africa.

The bottom line is either someone takes the lead or it's all talk. The US is taking the lead and the Bush knows that things may not turn out a certain way. These are the risks we are willing to take.

I have nothing against the countries you listed, but they are not capable of leading the world and helping the peoples of the Mideast and Africa get out of their misery. Why do you think the Chirac and Shroeder are in such agreement over many things? They want to run the EU and they want the EU to deal with the US rather than individual countries (New Europe especially) or NATO.


Al: "western civilization provides rights and treats it's people much better than many other countries" - Really ?? Thats news to me--provides rights yes- better rights- No. "Treats people better." eh ?? come again on the air.. lets start with the rodney king case and then I'll digress to the Detainees and Shadow operations of the US governmment !!

".50 calibre weapon is illegal." -So you not aware of the CNN reporting .. let me clue you in.

Please read >a href="">this

"Maybe we should have stayed out of WWI and WWII? " - Why ? America got bombed in Pearl Hourbour- Its a right to protect your country. Go for it!!

-- "What about Militant Islam? What about China's growing power? " -- Yes, What about them ?? They were fightin in their own backyards--till the Americans stepped in. Whats with the Chinese growing power ?? are you talking about the economic wealth or the Miltary Power. If its economic wealth, I'll be damn'ed. Its not every american's Birth right to be rich and have all the Money to themselves. Secondly, if its miltary power- go figure-- the america's have largest nuclear arsenal in the world .. and mind you the ONLY nation in the world to use them. So lets talk about america reducing their arms before they talk about other countries reducing their arsenal. YEs, Condi just signed off on something which consolidates more power under the current american regime !!

"The only reason there is an EU is because of the relative safety that the US provided Europe over the years." - No- The only reason is--that they are smarter and wiser. If they had not Joined together- it would little brother being bullied by big brother. They pre-empted the american international policy of 'divide and conquer'. Go figure-- banks all over the world are devesting USD and stacking up on EUR$.. why ??

Al, this is just some my thoughts put candidly.. nothing personal

Charlie Prael

/pd - You seem to have a small problem sorting out your facts. From the top:

Wester civ/rights/etc.: You might note that there is a continuing net population inflow to "western" countries from the posited villains. A LARGE net inflow - you don't see very many applications for political refugee status FROM the US/Canada/UK/France/Germany/Japan. You see large numbers TO them each year.

.50 cal rifles: Discussed previously. Note that CNN committed at least 2 felonies during their reporting segment. BATF has decided not to prosecute due to lack of intent, even though intent (mens rea) has been ruled to not be a triable issue for these crimes. California is relatively unique in the US in banning these items.

Militant Islam: Perhaps you've missed it, but Islam has been an export-driven religion for it's entire life. Think that Muslims stopped trying to subjugate the Christians after the Crusades? Think again. The last Muslims stronghold in Spain didn't fall until Jan, 1492. Where do croissants come from? The repulse of the Ottoman army at Vienna in 1683. The Moghul (Muslim) empire in India wasn't even founded until 1526, and their expansion continued well into the 18th century (the fall of Calcutta was in 1756, foerx). "Their backyard" has been continuously expanding for all of the last thousand years.

US Nuclear weapons: You want to talk about US reducing their arsenal? About reduction of nuclear weapons stocks? OK, let's talk. In the last decade, the US has withdrawn from service over 15,000 nuclear warheads. As of 2001, we were down to ~6000 warheads. In November of 2001, Pres. Bush announced an agreement with Russia to reduce deployed nuclear warheads to under 2200 per side - a 2/3 reduction from what was then in place, and a 90% reduction from the number of deployed warheads when the Berlin Wall came down. Or are you talking about conventional forces? The cold facts there are that, even with the expansions from the WoT, US troop strengths are at 2/3 of what they were in 1988 (1.4 million vs. 2.1 million). And if China is so ignorable, why is Japan so much more concerned about their military capabilities now? Why are all their neighbors equally concerned?

EU/US: Quick check on timing here: The European Common Market was founded when? NATO was founded when? How many US troops were present _in Europe_ at the time providing a protective screen? Al's right on this. Without the US umbrella to grow under, there never would have been a Common Market, or an EU.


Why must discussions like this be so binary -- Amerika the evil giant or America the Camelot on the hill? America is not perfect because peoples and nations are never perfect, but depending on what you value in life, America is very good. America is not the only great nation, but offers much for the world to emulate. We've committed hideous acts of genocide and abuses, as have most powerful nations, but also have used that power to protect many others and to make the world a better place.

Criticizing our nation for its shortcomings and leadership excesses is a right and a duty that can be exercised without meaning we don't love our country as much as any other citizen. We can also be proud and patriotic without denying the flaws in our history, character and actions.

There isn't a lot of perfection around. Legions of parents, teachers and high-priced consultants have advised us that we need two things to improve: understanding and acknowledging our weaknesses, and setting goals for improvement. Breathless indignation about abominations like torture is as ineffective at making it end as are pompous patriotic denials that it exists. Only when Americans collectively insist our leaders behave according to our laws and values will our nation transcend its seamier aspects.


Have I missed the point ??

"Perhaps you've missed it, but Islam has been an export-driven religion for it's entire life." -

So therefore every person who follows Islam is a Militant and that's the very reason, that freedom of religion has been tossed out of the window and the Leonard Boyd Aircraft is in the Air. Thus sayest DaNGillmor - "To ship suspects off to foreign countries, where they can be tortured or otherwise "interrogated" in ways that would be flagrantly illegal here, is to spit on our commitment to human rights" !!

So did you get the point Charlie ?

I'll Conceed not to respond on the various other points. Mea Culpa for bringing it up. Its off topic on the orginal post !!


I think we can all agree that the best way to win this war is to keep our enemies narrowed to the militant fundamentalist Muslims. You don't want to wage war against a billion Muslims, especially when Pakistan has the nuke.

That's why this is a war for hearts and minds.


Owen, thank you for bringing some rationality into the discussion. I'm with you on this one.

Reverend Joe

Islam has been an export-driven religion for it's entire life

Yeah! Those a**hole Muslims!

Good, God-fearing Christians NEVER try to convert anyone to THEIR religion!

They've never sent a missionary, or subjugated an entire nation of native peoples because they were "savages" without any enlightened religion, or ANYTHING so nasty as that!

God bless any good person who worships MY God, and let Him burn everyone else in Christian HELL!!!

Eric Smith

I've often wondered what part of the Constitution (as Amended) allows the US government to engage in activities abroad that would clearly be prohibited on US soil. In particular, the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusal punishment does not have any wording suggesting that it is only intended to apply to US citizens, or to people upon US soil.


Here an insightful article from The New Yorker covering the same topic.

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