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Will Saddam torch Iraq on his way out?

 
 
BlaiseDaley
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2002 11:14 pm
Perception- I can't recall where I called Bush stupid but I will say he has been quite disingenuous when it comes to the UN, using it when it suits his needs and discarding it otherwise. We're either a part of the world community or we are not.
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Sat 21 Dec, 2002 11:29 pm
Blaze
I think you're correct--you probably didn't however many people on this forum have. What you're suggesting is that we can make the UN relevant---you are probably correct and for now I would say that is probably in our best interests to leave it the way it is.
Why can't the UN make itself relevant? It probably could if it's delegates didn't waste so much money partying and playing at being bigshots. If they were serious about being relevant then they must admit a need for a large UN response team to combat rogue nations and or terrorism. I feel we would support that and probably volunteer to do most of the messy work if the UN was organized along the lines of our democracy with the proper checks and balances. It is totally unworkable now. My opinion only.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 07:48 am
perception
Quote:
just because Clinton was amoral and dishonest I don't think you should say that Bush and his administration fit in the same category.

Naughty, naughty. Johnston re Cambodia, Nixon re...to much to list, Reagan and crowd re South/Central America, Clinton re a blow job...etc etc.

There really are good reasons why folks are cynical, because there is no small history of lies. The deep partisanship in American politics is not a help either, particularly in these times because each is eagerly out to expose the lies of the other and gain power. So, half the country, approximately, will always be cynical.
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 08:18 am
Blatham

Don't you ever sleep----it's only 6 AM in your world now and you've been up an hour?

You intrreeccctuals will always be cynical so why should the administration worry about a lack of information/disinformation. I think anyone of us, saddled with the awesome responsibility of trying to protect the citizens, would indulge in attempts to manage the information. It is up to police dogs of information, the media, to decipher the truth. The truth then becomes clouded and those who have an axe to grind with any administration will, immediately question the integrity and the motives of that administration and always try to shove their opionions down our throats(the public).
These are the people that I immediately question as having dishonest motives. If these people were intellectually honest they would attempt to give both sides of the story and let the public determine the truth----thus you have the situation that I tried to convey in another thread--- the media being contemptuous of the public intelligence immediately tries to manage the truth---now who is the most dishonest?-----The administration or certain factions of the media? Conclusion----which is the most dishonest---the administration trying to manage the information----OR---the media trying to manage the TRUTH?
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dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 09:14 am
perception: "even a blind pig finds a few acorns" is an old french adage which simply means even someone as stupid as i might be right some of the time. but you might notice i changed my signature to "fiat lux" it is said that the German Philosopher Goethe on his death bed exclaimed "more light, more light" which is generally assumed to have meant that what is needed is more understanding, however Walter Miller in his book "Canticle for Liebowitz" took a wry turn on this exclamation in his description of the coming Nuclear War as "fiat Lux" being for course latin for "let there be light" the irony is that the light was generated by nuclear bombs going off and destroying civilization.
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 10:01 am
dyslexia
Ah yes but you used that signature to cause the reader to ask a question about himself---could this apply to me? Thanks for translating your current sig.

You deny being a poet and instead "just an ordinary working stiff" but yet you seem to be seeking the status of the poet in your analysis of past and current events. By that I mean you much prefer to see only the pure, idealistic aspect of any subject and by choice ignore the ugly side of that same subject. This is a noble endeavor but clashes with reality and can lead to confusion regarding priorities when attempting to find solutions to any problem. It is just not consistent with your experience as a rancher /farmer who by neccessity must be pragmatic, innovative and self sufficient. I'm confused))))
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 10:22 am
perception

Sometimes I wake bright and chipper at odd hours (4 AM today) then may or may not return to bed, but I'm normally an early riser.

Let's differentiate between skeptical and cynical. Cynics think the worst, skeptics merely don't accept at face value statements from 'authority'. Betrtand Russel, a rigorous skeptic, said "Every man, wherever he goes, is encompassed by a cloud of comforting convictions which move with him like flies on a summer day." Perhaps Bertrand hadn't been bathing enough, but otherwise I think he's on the mark.

Skepticism is a common stance of 'intellectuals', true. But it must be, otherwise we would not advance our ideas. We would still hold, for example, that the universe was made of earth, wind, water and fire, and that the best way to ensure a good crop of wheat was to hack a goat to death over a fancy magic alter.

If we think of the media...that is, if we think of newspapers and broadsheets such as the founders knew and would have been thinking of when referring to 'freedom of speech', we think of a public voice which acts not as a mouthpiece for those in power, but rather as a guardian against abuses by those in power. That's the whole idea of a free press. So skepticism is absolutely necessary in maintaining democracy, and they, being skeptics themselves, knew this and inculcated it into the constitution (as another check or balance). You correctly allude to this with 'police dogs of information'.

Governments do try to 'manage' information. The good side of this is attempts to explain a policy in an understandable way. The bad side is when a democrat senator or a republican congressman gets busted for having kiddie porn on his computer, and if that guy's party is in power, they'll try to bury the story under some other drama, or in another case they might outright lie because what they do is illegal and unconstitutional (William Casey).

There are voices (Ann Coulter and William Bennett are particularly egregious examples) who claim that 'the media is liberal'. Well, some of it is - but so is much of the population. Ed Meese tried to suppress stories coming out in the press on Watergate, charging that the Washington Post was anti-Nixon and anti-republican. We are happy he didn't succeed.

Once again, I think I have to make the point that civilian life, including government's relationship to the people, is quite different from a military organization. Soldiers serve their commanders, but media and the populace don't serve their governments. Internal opposition and conflict are positives here.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 10:45 am
I see no reason to doubt that extensive provision has been made by the Iraqis for the sabotage ot their own infrastructure, particularly that which is petroleum-related. The image of Sadaam as Jimmy Cagney, defiantly raging against the world from the top of a blazing oil tank, comes to mind (Oh, ... what movie IS that from ... surely somebody here recalls). No doubt the Iraqi intention is to attempt to blame her attackers for the damage, though such a ploy is patently ludicrous. A disturbing side issue is that they may, thanks to their experience in Kuwait, have developed techniques that will vastly complicate the task of extinguishing the blazing wells and storage facilities. The question is, however, whether orders to commit the destruction will be carried out as intended. Given the certainty of Sadaam's fall in the event of this round of hostilities, the political reliability of his field troops may well be assumed suspect. Few militaries in history displayed more fanatical Leader Devotion than The Whermacht of WWII. Hitlers order to convert Germany into the funeral pyre of The Third Reich was roundly ignored by a military mindful of a Post-Hitler Germany. It may be hoped Iraq will prove similar in such regard. An ongoing propaganda campaign being waged by The US is intended to engender such thoughts among the Iraqi Rank-And-File. The possible use of WMD by Sadaam, whether against his own subjects or the invaders, falls subject to the same question of political reliability among the commanders and units tasked with the deed.

Some comfort may be drawn from the inevitability of an overwhelmingly swift and unprecedentedly comprehensive Allied onslaught. The strategy seeks to decapitate the Iraqi defense capability, rendering its military incapable of coherent action. The elements assumed to possess the greatest political reliability will be high on the targeting priority list. The bulk of the Iraqi military establishment is composed of indifferently trained, poorly equipped, and dully lead conscripts, united in desire to be doing just about anything other than facing certain destruction by an unstopable juggernaught.

It has been acknowledged in this thread that the motives of politics rarely are Black-or-White, and that often a Leader may risk contemporary misunderstanding and condemnation in pursuit of loftier long term goals. I am convinced of the current applicability of both concepts. I take issue both with those who jingoistically support the war and those opposing who assign exclusively cynical and self-serving motive to it. The agenda of neither encompasses the reality of the situation. The matter is exceedingly complex, with far-reaching and yet unforeseen implications. We at present may be certain only of further uncertainty. Events have a disturbing way of confounding the best-laid plans. The level of one's success often depends on the depth of one's ability to allow for and accommodate unexpected contingencies. There is much in the matter at hand which does not meet the eye, and much which at the moment seems apparent will prove other than as currently accepted.

In my view, the world is still dealing with the Breakup of The Ottoman Empire, and will be doing so for some considerable time to come. Iraq is but an episode. Many chapters remain to be written. The resolution is not yet at hand, and while the plot may seem clear, it is in the development of that plot that the drama lies. We may anticipate safely much further drama.



timber
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 10:52 am
timber

Once again, a doffed hat. I'm balding, so I'll have a minion do it, but it means the same thing.
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 10:59 am
Blatham

Ah yes but there is very fine line between skepticism and cynicism and most people on this forum have crossed the line into cynicism.

Your argument is a great example of obfuscation(like the declaration from Iraq).

You ignore or deny the blatant attempts of all the media(right and left) to manage the truth to fit their particular agenda. This to me is intellectual dishonesty.

You said: " the media and the populace do not serve the gov't" but can you deny the media is supposed to serve the populace just as the gov't is supposed to? This is where you and I disagree---you want to blame the gov't for all errors in information dissemination----take a look a the moral responsibility of the media.

I would like to add something to soften this a tad---there is considerable justification for the contempt shown by the media toward the public intelligence. Most people couldn't even find the US on a map, let alone Iraq. I blame that on our "worst" education system in the world because it has been dragged down to the level of the least intelligent student instead of raising the level to at least the average and then providing additional assistance for the less fortunate. Then you add in the lack of discipline in the schools brought about by "liberal enlightenment" regarding punishment for causing disruption in the class room. This is all very disturbing and does not generate a lot of optimism about the future for our children.
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timberlandko
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 11:02 am
blatham, being likewise challenged in the attribute of cranial hirsutism, I have directed suitably coiffed minions to reciprocate respectfully.



timber
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 11:08 am
Christmastime...it brings out the best in all of us.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 11:11 am
For those rewriting the dictionary:

cyn·ic n. 1. A person who believes all people are motivated by selfishness. 2. Cynic. A member of a sect of ancient Greek philosophers who believed virtue to be the only good and self-control to be the only means of achieving virtue.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 11:18 am
Is it really the educational system and the teaches who are at fault for children not being educated? The parents should take a great deal more of the responsibility for their children's education. I don't believe they do as they are in the category perception is placing a great many American citizens -- couch potatoes. There are conservative and liberal couch potatoes, manifesting itself in how they use their brains. Frank Lloyd Wright called it "the Mobocracy," and I think he's Wright.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 11:39 am
LW

It's a very good thing indeed that you didn't quote my definition as I would have had grounds for a vigorous copyright suit as soon as my new dictionary is published. But in common present usage, my differentiation is surely fairly correct?
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 11:48 am
That doesn't make the common usage correct -- I think you're thinking of pessimism, not cynicism. There's a lot of word play on these forums -- just trying to determine what someone means.
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 11:54 am
Since I'm not an interrrreeeccctual---I merely followed the path of my coach in his implied useage of cynicism))))))))))) because he are one.
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perception
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 12:01 pm
This is from the "Cambridge International Dictionary"

cynic---Some one who does not trust or respect the goodness of other people and their actions
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 12:06 pm
My point exactly -- perception. I don't believe anyone here is displaying cynicism, although the word has also been used to try and shade someone's attitude in degrees, it doesn't work.

A little intelligent cynicism or a lot of optimistic stupidity -- we all have a choice.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 22 Dec, 2002 12:17 pm
What I am reading is some healthy skepticism and some natural pessimism about the motives of those who are our leaders. Blind faith in our leaders is a dangerous course to take. They have to be questioned on steps they take, unlike being vocal in a business about your boss for which you'd likely be fired. If one has been broken into life by the military, I realize it's hard to fathom not agreeing with one's leaders. One does get to elect them.
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