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Iraq Updates

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS





Saddam Was a Nice Guy the war on terrorism has killed or imprisoned hundreds of pillars of our global community. Every time we put another martyr in jail we reduce our credibility blah blah blah

Look in the end I can live with a couple of thousand dead simply to get rid of Saddam and the Taliban. I have a list of another 10 governments i want toppled. If I have to pretend that they are a terrorist threat so be it, but in the end I don't cry for Saddam. the man was a butcher and so was his family.

Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Uganda, the congo (note its in lower case for a reason) Hell right now I don't have many good words for Indonesia either.

Its time for Britain and France and Belgium to start cleaning up there mess as well. The US brought us more than there fair share of bastards, but now at least they have gotten rid of two of them. Time for Russia to clean up some of its mistakes and its time for Europe to do the same.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Yea, lets debate this again. And the best way to start that debate is to assume all us anti Iraq invasion people all think saddam is a nice guy.

Chomsky (oooh, I know, how dare I utter his name in reference) sums it up nicely in the analogous title for his book Pirates & Eemperors Old & New, which he takes from The story by St. Augustine about a confrontation between king Alexander the Great and a pirate whom he caught; Alexander the Great asks, "How dare you molest the sea?" The pirate turns to Alexander the Great and says, "How dare you molest the whole world? I have a small boat, so I am called a thief and a pirate. You have a navy, so you are called an emperor." Discuss.

You guys offer the idea that Saddam was a bad guy as if it serves to be some linchpin to discredit our arguments. We know he's a bad guy corky, yet he's only a pirate, and one that the US would've kept in power if he didn't turn disobedient -regardless of how he treated people in the past present or future. You're right, there are bigger fish to fry but the US has no moral, legal, or idealistic ground to start boiling the oil until it changes it's conduct on the world stage.
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Boss Hog
Ditto do you believe that the US is actually capable of bringing stability to Iraq? Or Afghanistan?
lord no!!!! Stability and peace come from within a country they can never be enforced with any success. A people must chose to unite or they will never be united.


But I think they have the ability to beat the living snot out of the evil bastards running the place. And I think they can take down more than half of the warlords who trade in children and opium.

Its an imperfect world, although not happy with I'll accept imperfect sollutions.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS
Yea, lets debate this again. And the best way to start that debate is to assume all us anti Iraq invasion people all think saddam is a nice guy.

Chomsky (oooh, I know, how dare I utter his name in reference) sums it up nicely in the analogous title for his book Pirates & Eemperors Old & New, which he takes from The story by St. Augustine about a confrontation between king Alexander the Great and a pirate whom he caught; Alexander the Great asks, "How dare you molest the sea?" The pirate turns to Alexander the Great and says, "How dare you molest the whole world? I have a small boat, so I am called a thief and a pirate. You have a navy, so you are called an emperor." Discuss.

You guys offer the idea that Saddam was a bad guy as if it serves to be some linchpin to discredit our arguments. We know he's a bad guy corky, yet he's only a pirate, and one that the US would've kept in power if he didn't turn disobedient -regardless of how he treated people in the past present or future. You're right, there are bigger fish to fry but the US has no moral, legal, or idealistic ground to start boiling the oil until it changes it's conduct on the world stage.

10 years of working with the man means that they have the moral obligation to get rid of him, and they had the moral obligation to do it in back in the 80's. I don't suggest its there right, I suggest that as a member of the world it is our right to demand that they take action.

I think as Canadians its our right to point at France and say that they have to get into Algeria and clean up there mess. We have the right to demand that the Netherlands clan up the mess they left in nigeria, we have the right to point our finger at russia and tell them "Hey those people dying in the congo are dying because of the tanks and bullets you gave them, you go there and start fixing up the mess".

These countries happily profitted politically and economically by the horrors they caused, now its time for the rest of us to stand up and tell them to get to work cleaning up there damn mess. Enough is enough we can't continue to allow the status quo when it bring missery and death. Why can't the stock holders in Smith and Weston be held liable, why is it that we allow our teachers to invest in a gold mining company that slaughters. Lets make em pay!


But saying that everyone has to stay inside there borders to clean up the mess doesn't allow for the flexibility that is needed. The cold war didn't simply end because the Soviet Union collapsed, the stupidity is still there and its time to clean it up.

Less that 10,000 lives have been lost in Iraq, the same for afghanistan. this is nothing compared to the death that were caused by the sanctions, this is less than the amount of lives lost since the soviet pull out. I find this a more acceptable solution than having aircraft cariars and patrols in the Persian Gulf .


But I was just giving you the same tongue and cheek that you gave Deep Groove. If you can dish it out than be ready to take it.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
Less that 10,000 lives have been lost in Iraq, the same for afghanistan. this is nothing compared to the death that were caused by the sanctions, this is less than the amount of lives lost since the soviet pull out. I find this a more acceptable solution than having aircraft cariars and patrols in the Persian Gulf .

You buy into the idea that the only alternative to a military strike is to do nothing. What about removing sanctions which proved to only hurt civilians? No? That would only lead to Saddam geting a nuclear weapon right? The Hawk's answer is always WAR.

I think essentially what you are asking is what are the alternatives? Well, for one, don't install dictatorial regimes to begin with. (10 years?) Saddam & B'ath was propped up by CIA since the 50's. Are the US conducting themselves any differently today? Can you truly say yes? I think not. So the larger picture is, would a problem like Saddam emerge once again as a direct result of current US conduct? Yes. And this is what gives them no moral leagal or idealogical ground to remove anyone, because they've learned nothing, or have learned it and don't care.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS
You buy into the idea that the only alternative to a military strike is to do nothing. What about removing sanctions which proved to only hurt civilians? No? That would only lead to Saddam geting a nuclear weapon right? The Hawk's answer is always WAR.
I most certainly do not!! I believe that there are many other options. but when you have a police state with complete control on its people, its media and with no mechanisim to change government your left with very few options. Its not like the western world has gone down and started the whole assination system of past, that was just as bad. But at a certain point getting rid of the sanctions without getting rid of the war lord seems very short sighted to me.


I think essentially what you are asking is what are the alternatives? Well, for one, don't install dictatorial regimes to begin with.
Sure I agree however we're still left with 50 from our past and another 25 that are pretty damn questionable. Does sovernty outweight human rights. Does the sovernty of a country out weight the worlds determenance for change. If we all stand up and say that the King of Saud has to go does there sovernty prevent us from doing anything. If we have another Marcos are we prevented by international borders from intervening. Doing nothing doesn't work, and sometimes the politics of the time work against action. I'm not perticularly big on the american embargo of Cuba either, but I understand why its there and I understand the point that it makes. I also understand why the world placed an embargo on Libyia and didn't relieve it until they admitted responsibility for shooting down a civilian airline.

I'm not saying topple each and everyone of them. But how many people do we let Mugabe starve before enough is enough.


(10 years?) Saddam & B'ath was propped up by CIA since the 50's. Are the US conducting themselves any differently today?
Sure some give the CIA more creidt some give France more credit others argue Russia deserves more credit. Really in the end Russia supplied the vast majority of his military power, France gave him a nuclear program and his biological program smells very american. Its ugly in about 20 different ways and there is more than enough guilt to spread around.


Can you truly say yes? I think not. So the larger picture is, would a problem like Saddam emerge once again as a direct result of current US conduct? Yes.
Sure, and even in a democratic country more than %40 of the population might vote for a racist. Or for a war monger or for an evil person. Putin is a trained torturer! this is a man who was paid to torture people, litterally!! Its not just a runour the man has actually personally killed prisoners in attempts to get information. EVIL!!!

But we can't prevent mugabe from being elected and we can't prevent bush from getting elected and we can't prevent the Mussad from doing what the Mussad does right now. But when we have an obvious problem we can deal with it.



And this is what gives them no moral leagal or idealogical ground to remove anyone, because they've learned nothing, or have learned it and don't care.
You speak of ethics and morality like your some kind of priest. By your logic France, Japan, Germany, Holland, Belgium, The USA, China and Russia are never going to be able to do anything. I suggest that we must be more flexible in our views, you don't provide a perfect sollution either only more rhetoric, now at least I'm willing to offer some sollutions.

Offer a few of your own and I'm happy to debate them.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
with no mechanisim to change government your left with very few options. Its not like the western world has gone down and started the whole assination system of past, that was just as bad. But at a certain point getting rid of the sanctions without getting rid of the war lord seems very short sighted to me.
Some sanctions are needed, some are not. Some only hurt citizens. How did change, class struggle, civil rights, and labour rights emerge in the western world, through necessity & conflict, not through a fuckin constitution.. it happend through conflicts that emerged from within. Weakening a population does nothing to strengthen their capability to change. If there was a revolution within Iraq, it most certainly wouldn't be US friendly, so sanctions are kept in place till they can find an opportunity to install another Saddam that can be controlled for another 50. You know htis and I know this. There are/were alternatives, just not ones that were in line with US hegemony.


Originally posted by Ditto Much
Does the sovernty of a country out weight the worlds determenance for change.
World's? Nice wordplay. The US does not represent the world interest. I consider a country's sovereignty at a much higher priority then their ability to be valuable to US markets & economies.


Originally posted by Ditto Much
Sure some give the CIA more creidt some give France more credit others argue Russia deserves more credit.
Hmm. Yea, that's right, so lets keep disregarding the erronous conduct because it makes us money, and keep s the oil flowing. Let the next dictatorial backlash crisis be a problem of the next generation. Just make sure he's a yes man for now, and disregard the need for the real stability. Stability generated by the pride of a citizenry in feeling apart of the decisions their country makes through real democratic process. Yes conflict may occur, or peace may occur if Iraq is left to itself. But that is for the country to decide, ideals will not be effectively imposed. You think some asshole like Ahmed Chalabi would be elected if Iraq had one? No. But the US would love him in there because he's a yes man. So he's the choice, regardless of what the people want.

Originally posted by Ditto Much

Sure, and even in a democratic country more than %40 of the population might vote for a racist. Or for a war monger or for an evil person. Putin is a trained torturer! this is a man who was paid to torture people, litterally!! Its not just a runour the man has actually personally killed prisoners in attempts to get information. EVIL!!!
Are you aware of the irellevant tangents you get on? There is a difference between voting in a racist, and imposing one on a population. Neither should be decided by a hegemon. Peroid.


Originally posted by Ditto Much
But we can't prevent mugabe from being elected and we can't prevent bush from getting elected and we can't prevent the Mussad from doing what the Mussad does right now. But when we have an obvious problem we can deal with it.
Huh? We can't? Really? Show me a peice of law that says we must install dictators in order to supress potential rivals, and populations to provide cheap labour and easy access to resources? Wow, please forward me a copy of that constitution. Until then, shush.

Since you're becoming so general, at what point do we say this capitalist system is not working. Installing dictators to keep up our standard of living only comes back to bite us in the ass. History is full of examples of repression, supression, opression and int he end BACKLASH. At what point do we say this is NOT working. An overwhelmingly majority of the world is in poverty, when do we recognize that. When do we recognize that for there to be an insanely concentrated rich few, there must be an insanely large poor many? When do we actually move progressively instead of moving in directions that sustain business as usual. Writing off races, religions, deaths, and isolated situations as being small problems. If you can prove that the poor world is in no way effected by the capitalistic policy of the rich, then I'll believe you. If you can prove that laws and liberties are not written with class bias, then I'll believe you. The point is, when the US or any other idiotic entity that thinks it can attempt to rule the world once again with force instead of inspiration, I just see the same old shit and no progress.
 
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Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Otis, you suggest that there was a time when the majority of the world wasn't starving and in strife. You suggest that there was a time when people lived long and free lives. This simply isn't true!!

There has never been a time before in the worlds history where we have had the life expectancy that we see today. There has never been a time when nutrition and access to medicine were is good as today. There has never been a time with more news papers and with more access to information. You scream that capitalism doesn't work and you make the assumption that your view is true. I don't think that cheap labour is the be all and end all of capitalism, but I don't see the failures of so many other systems as suggesting that they work either.

China has almost managed to get electricity to its population, this will mean soon that they will be able to refridgerate there food and read at night. Do you realize how massive a change this is, do you realize that every single capitalistic country did this over 50 years ago. hell even India has managed to get tooth paste and tooth brushes to its entire population, this is still not possible in China.

You make these great assertations that only yes men and only installed puppes could ever go along with the USA. In the same paragraph you discuss the oil having to flow and yet fail to realize that russia and france were the benefactors of Saddam and his flow of oil. The number of cntradictions in your post are astounding.

No I'm not writing an essay and my thoughts will go onto tangents. But your arguing capitalism and don't view this as a tangent. Russia and France stood up and said no to the war on Iraq. Mexico and Chillie and Canada however tried to draft a resolution with time lines to allow for the invasion. Problem was that france said it would veto it anyway and the US went and did what it was going to do anyway. Did france speak for the world either, was the billions in oil that they were about to lose the reason why they disagreed, or how about there desire to have another nuclear power in the middle east, even if it meant building reactors in a country that flared its natural gas.

You take only a stance against capitalism.

Fine, I'll give in and agree that the problem is capitalism. Now how do we solve it, how do we get rid of the assholes we hate around the world. How do we rebuild there countries. Your right change and revolution have to come from within but if it happens while there is a dozen countries sitting on the borders more than happy to play ball it gets really messy. Saddam was still a lesser evil than Iran, it was a balance of power ploy.

Black and white, right and wrong, these aren't realistic we have to look instead at what can be achieved with all the problems. If not we are forever sitting on the fence and we can never take action.


Do we ignore the Congo, do we blockade it and prevent the flow of diamonds. How long can we leave Columbia in the state that its in. Is it safe to allow somalia to not have any real government or law. We have to ask the tough questions.
 

~atp~

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Ditto Much
I believe that there are many other options. but when you have a police state with complete control on its people, its media and with no mechanisim to change government your left with very few options. Its not like the western world has gone down and started the whole assination system of past, that was just as bad. But at a certain point getting rid of the sanctions without getting rid of the war lord seems very short sighted to me.


Originally posted by Ditto Much
Offer a few of your own and I'm happy to debate them.
I'll try and entertain these points.

The problem you have presented here Ditto is: "If in a given country, you have a dictator who runs a police state and is oppressing the population in brutal ways, including posing potential threats to neighbouring countries, how long before the international community decides to a) do something about it and b) resolves on how to go about doing it?"

In the Iraq case, let's forget about the amiable relationships the United States had with Saddam in the past, and focus on the more recent state of affairs, immediately prior to the Iraq invasion: you have a country that has been devastated by sanctions, imposed officially by the U.N. but heavily encouraged and reinforced by the United States. Now, we can all agree no one likes Saddam Hussein. We can all agree that he is not doing his population much good and is not exactly spreading words of peace to countries around him.

So we have to decide: a) do we do something about Saddam?
If the question is "yes", the next is how do we go about doing it?


Let's focus on the first question:

Must Saddam Hussein be removed from power?

This question is different from "Should Saddam be removed from power." I think the answer to the latter question is an obvious and resounding "yes", while the answer to the former a bit more complicated.

If Saddam must be removed from power, we have to qualify it with a sense of urgency:

- Must we do it immediately?
- Must it happen within 3 years? Within 10?

The urgency of the question will depend on two things: the threat that Saddam poses to the people in Iraq, and the threat Saddam poses to those without.

Obviously, Saddam poses a general livelihood threat to the population. While he wasn't actively engaged in genocide or mass murders immediately prior to the invasion, he was ruling the state as a dictator and oppressing those who lived within it. This kind of rule is not uncommon. There are currently many dictators in the world who rule like this, and who are actively engaged in far worse crimes. This doesn't imply that Saddam is undeserving of international condemnation, just that he is not particularly unique or extreme in his methods.

So Saddam poses a threat to his people, but not an immediate threat to their existence.

Does Saddam pose a threat to the rest of the world? This is a more difficult question. I can quite confidently say that no, he does not pose an immediate threat to any other nation. It is painfully obvious that sanctions and wars have destroyed his capacity to pose a legitimate threat to Israel, for example, let alone the United States. In a more subtle way, it is possible that he is siphoning money to terrorist organizations; this is a different kind of threat and again, it is not unique to Saddam Hussein. Just look at the Saudis, or the Iranian government (not to mention all the non-middle-eastern countries engaged in this kind of activity).

So Saddam probably does not pose any immediate threat to other countries.

However, in the long-term, it is very possible that Saddam Hussein could become a significant threat to the international community if he developed the bomb and regained the technology for delivering these bombs. In that case, and I would guess that at least 7 to 10 years would be a minimum on the time required to develop such weaponry, it is obvious then that Saddam needs to be dealt with within, say, 5 years. If we don't manage him properly, then he could easily manipulate oil prices, and develop a reign of command in the middle east that would definitely threaten Israel, for example.

If we can agree that he does not pose an immediate threat to his people or to other countries, but poses a long-term threat to other countries, then the question of "how do we deal with him?" can be discussed more accurately.


How do we remove Saddam Hussein, understanding that he poses a general threat in the long-term?

Methods:

  • 1) Invade Iraq.
  • 2) Assassinate Saddam Hussein.
  • 3) Encourage/support a civilian uprising.
  • 4) Impose more/other sanctions.
  • 5) Do nothing.

I don't think we need to talk about 2) as it is not a game most governments are willing to play. It leads down another very dangerous path that wouldn't necessarily make the world a better place--assassination as a methodology implicates lies, deceipt and revenge, none of which reinforce peaceful ideology.

Number 5) is not going to get us anywhere either, if we agree that eventually, Saddam will pose a significant threat to either his own population or in the long-term, other countries.

Number 1) is an interesting possibility. Do we invade Iraq? Well, if we can agree that Saddam doesn't pose an immediate threat but probably will in the future, how do we deal with it? My suggestion is this: as a democratic and purportedly peaceful nation, we must foster a global environment that is conducive to peace by prioritizing conflict solutions that are democratic in their approach, international in their approval and peaceful in their methodology.

In other words, war should be a last resort. Especially a unilateral invasion.

Let me drive this point home by pointing out some formidable reasons for not invading Iraq:

1. It is illegal under international law. (War can only be declared in self-defense).
2. Attacking Iraq would not suppress terrorist organizations capacity to do harm. It would most assuredly do the opposite.
3. As was already mentioned, there never was any real proof that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction of any kind.
4. A war in Iraq obligates the United States to a long and expensive occupation. Not to mention costly in terms of soldiers' lives.
5. Democracy as an ideology is undermined through a unilateral attack. The implementation of war undermines a country's ability to democratically organize themselves on the world stage, when they are under the constant threat of military conflict.


So what alternatives does that leave us?

1. Sanctions (of some kind).
2. An uprising.

The sanctions implemented in the 1990's didn't work very well from a humanitarian standpoint, as well as from an ideological standpoint. Obviously, sanctions hurt the welfare of the population and it hurt the image that the United States has abroad.

However, this does not imply that sanctions, in general, cannot work. There was some success to the sanctions in Iraq; in combination with the inspections, we disarmed Iraq of nearly 1000 bio/chem weapons and other arsenal tools and have disabled the country of its capacity to generate dangerous technologies (as evidenced by the current lack of such weaponry).

Can there be a form of sanctions that both restrict Saddam's capacity to develop weapons yet do not harm the local population? Perhaps. Some say this sort of thing has worked elsewhere in the world.

The other alternative is to induce a general uprising. However, is it really an option? According to the United States, I don't believe it is, as they would consider an uprising (of the Shiite or Kurdish sort) unacceptable. Why? Is it due to fundamentalism? No, it's all about control: you see, the United States is obviously concerned about having some control over the resources in Iraq, one way or another. That much is absolutely clear. If the Shiites or the Kurdish groups came into power, it is far less likely that the United States would have strong political clout among that kind of demographic government.


What is most distrubing is that the United States never really discussed the alternatives. They never came out and presented the world with an "alternative checklist" explaining why an invasion was the only possible solution. I find this absolutely incredible.

This kind of default behaviour should really be reserved for imperialistic rule and not for a democratic country. Such automaton-like reactions to fear (of Saddam, etc) completely undermines the concept of democracy, let alone peace, rationalism or intelligent discussion.



I've seen this kind of behaviour before...you can find examples of it in fact, in plenty, at your local video store.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Nice reply ~atp~ thanks for taking the time.

You highlight 5 options

1) Invade Iraq.
2) Assassinate Saddam Hussein.
3) Encourage/support a civilian uprising.
4) Impose more/other sanctions.
5) Do nothing.


we're both quick to elimate 2 of them, leaving only

1) Invade Iraq.
3) Encourage/support a civilian uprising.
4) Impose more/other sanctions.

I argue that although effective at removing the threat he posed to the world any furthur sanctions were not going to remove him from power. No amount of sanctions could take down Fidel, no amount of sanctions could effect Mugabe and none have worked in North Korea. sanctions are also VERY expensive to enforce. You need to pretty much blockade and contain indefinately and you gain nothing by doing this except causing anger and hate in the population.

Thus I argue that sanctions were a temporary sollution that has already gone on to long. Although the inspections regime was effective it must be understood that it was the result of a war and not of some universal agreement. It was unique to Iraq and although I am very pleased with the results it brought it is not applicable elsewhere.

Thus I think from the original list of five we now have two real options
1) Invade Iraq.
3) Encourage/support a civilian uprising.


Number 3 is risky!! First you might get caught supporting a revolution in another country (same problem as the assination route) next your revolution could get crushed and run over by tanks (China). And last and worst still you might end up with a band of terrorists that you taught and equipped in a foriegn country you have no control over just waiting to bite you in the ass again (Afghanistan).

So I'm left feeling that
1) Invade Iraq.

actually makes the most sense.


Now the question of when. Do you wait for the world to agree, a concept that may simply never happen, do you wait for the slaughter like in Rawanda after the world doesn't agree. Do you put a line in the sand and say leave office by next wednesday or we invade, or is this just window dressing.


Instead of Iraq lets use the DR Congo as an example.

1) Invade
2) Assassinate
3) Encourage/support a civilian uprising.
4) Impose more/other sanctions.
5) Do nothing.

Again Assanination doesn't serve a real purpose as there is no central authority in control and to many warlords with to many sons to effectively be able to do anything.

Civilian Uprsising - Well there already is an armed populous that is currently fighting amongst itself and agaist several other countries. Again we don't know enough about any of the groups to really be able to predict how they will act in 8 years. And if we do support a civilian uprising and they win what then. Its not like they have government ministries and its not like people are going to lay down there arms.

Impose more/other sanctions - You can't really trade much with them as it is, but to effectively do this your going to have to force the wills of eight other nations, 5 of which actually have armies in the Congo and are involved in the war.

Do nothing - hey lets not knock this sollution yet! Good chance that people will eventually flee the area, damn good chance that a balance of power will establish itself in the next 10 years. Couple of million people will die but a couple of million are already dead and maybe you'll be left with a singular entity when you win. then again you have 14 year olds commiting rape in an organized fashion and 12 year olds who carry automatic weapons (litterally the country has collapsed). This option isn't so nice for me either, personally I don't like it much.

Again I come down to invasion, it will be bloody, but negotiations have yet to cause an even modest dent in the body count. Living conditions are only geetting worse, and there are reports not just of eating primates but of starvation caused tribal canibalism. I don't believe that as a civilized country we can ignore this indefinately.



How about columbia.
1) Invade
2) Assassinate
3) Encourage/support a civilian uprising.
4) Impose more/other sanctions.
5) Do nothing.

Basically you have a three way war happening. The government is fighting a people army and an army that was largely the creation of the wealthier caste to protect there assets. Sections of the country are under the control of the government, entire towns and small cities however are under the control of the other groups. All three are at war with one another.

Negotiations have not had to much success, the government is elected but it has little power as assinations and kidnappings are quite common. Drugs and drug money is funding two of the three armies and the governments is largely funded by the US anti drug programs.

Assassinate - WHO? the only one you could possibly get would be the leader of the government, the others are less formal and would not be significantly effected by tyhe loss of there figure head. The only one we can target is a man who is in truth doing his best to try and bring peace back to his country and who was elected in a democratic election.

Encourage/support a civilian uprising - unfortunately we already have two peoples armies and a government army also led by the people. One is under the control of the drug cartels, the other is funded by cattle men and farmers and uses kidnappings, extortions and yup drugs to fund itself. The third is a government force that has no chance what so ever.

Impose more/other sanctions - I think we all see how effective the complete and total ban on coke has been. This is a non starter as smuggling is like seconf nature and has been in use for decades.

Do nothing - literacy rates are falling, people are starving, armed thugs rule over a third of the country. Again I don't like leaving this situation to sort itself out as it hasn't been a very effective method, if anything it has been an abstract failure. But in the end coffee will never be worth $40,000 a kilo no matter who good the bean.




We have negotiated with Israel for 30 years and they still occupy Palestine. At what point do we admit that political preasure and negotiations aren't working. What is the threat of invasion if people don't see it happen to remind them that its not just a threat.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
In response to your earlier reply Ditto:

1. Not having access to modern technologies like toothbrushes & electicity only equals poverty in a capitalistic societal structure where some of these are necessary survival elements. Poverty is measured by ability to properly sustain one's life beyond working hours, not how much access to technology they have. People can exist without certain luxuries. Hell, most of the world doesn't have a phone, but maybe they live in a part of the world where food, livelihood, and some level of contentment is maybe more important to them. When I refer to poverty, it's not referring to people that can't brush their teeth, it's referring to people that do not have the ability to sustain basic needs for living within the societal stucture in which they exist.

2. Telling me an apple is sour does not make a orange sweet. Giving a few examples of lagging (in your opinion) societal structures does not give merit to the success of the most 'advanced'. One can easily argue that China is isolated only because the capitalism chooses to isolate competing forms of societal structure to punish, and provide examples of what not to do. Like a child put in a corner. This isolation, lack of partnership, and inability to inspire those outside it's country is the reason for it's lag, not the failure in the structure of it's policy.

3. I failed to mention the trend in our capitalistic world majority. It seems that even with the exponential growth of the world population, more people slip into poverty today than yesterday and more wealth gets concentrated to the few. This is what shows it's not working because in every respect it's getting worse. In the US there are 30,000,000 living below the poverty line, not because they are lazy (most of them have jobs with long hours, some of them two) but because the capitalist structure erodes the very facilities that provide some ability to be mobile within the classes. You cannot get social grants for University or even community college anymore, tax burdens have been shifted on the lower classes yet they still continue to pay the billions that go to corproate welfare, and to clean up corporate mess so you can't argue that they are the only ones that rely on tax revenue. More people are working harder for the same or less than they were 20 years ago. What does this trend prove? It proves that the direction is down for the many and up for the few.

4. Democracy is NOT equal to capitalism, it is the antithesis if it. How they've both managed to co-exist is a marvel yes, but it's a delicate balance of power that is more volatile than you think. Mussolini poingnantly stated once that: "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." If true unobstructed democracy existed everywhere capitalism has managed to permeate, I guarantee you, the world would be a different place, and the corporation would be a heavily controlled entity. That being said, corporate & capitalistic influence should not be introduced in ANY area where democracy has not existed for at least a few generations. And I don't mean installed democracy.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS
In response to your earlier reply Ditto:

1. Not having access to modern technologies like toothbrushes & electicity only equals poverty in a capitalistic societal structure where some of these are necessary survival elements. Poverty is measured by ability to properly sustain one's life beyond working hours, not how much access to technology they have. People can exist without certain luxuries. Hell, most of the world doesn't have a phone, but maybe they live in a part of the world where food, livelihood, and some level of contentment is maybe more important to them. When I refer to poverty, it's not referring to people that can't brush their teeth, it's referring to people that do not have the ability to sustain basic needs for living within the societal stucture in which they exist.

Oh dude you missed it entirely. Without toothbrushes teeth rot by the age of 40. With rotten teeth at the age of forty your ability to avoid scurvey and several other diseases is so reduced that life expectancy collapses. Its sounds simply but the two greatest advancements in our life expectancy came from refridgeration and from dental hygene. If you don't have teeth your going to die, and refridgeration allows for the storage of fesh vegitables that provide actual nutrition.

With the exception of Africa strvation is on the decline in every other area of the world. Starvation is almost non exisistant in North America and in Europe. This alone represents more people than existed for most of our recorded history.


2. Telling me an apple is sour does not make a orange sweet. Giving a few examples of lagging (in your opinion) societal structures does not give merit to the success of the most 'advanced'. One can easily argue that China is isolated only because the capitalism chooses to isolate competing forms of societal structure to punish, and provide examples of what not to do. Like a child put in a corner. This isolation, lack of partnership, and inability to inspire those outside it's country is the reason for it's lag, not the failure in the structure of it's policy.
yes and telling me that capitalism is bad doesn't change shit about 4eh invasion of Iraq. I have more products made in China in my home than probably any other country. Who are you kidding that we don't actively involve china, they are ourt 5th largest trading partner. What you are saying makes absolutely no sense. the reality is that we deal with them and we even deal with Cuba, but a communist system has never actually been effective and they have all adopted capitalism in one form or another. Private ownership breeds self improvement and pride.


3. I failed to mention the trend in our capitalistic world majority. It seems that even with the exponential growth of the world population, more people slip into poverty today than yesterday and more wealth gets concentrated to the few. This is what shows it's not working because in every respect it's getting worse. In the US there are 30,000,000 living below the poverty line, not because they are lazy (most of them have jobs with long hours, some of them two) but because the capitalist structure erodes the very facilities that provide some ability to be mobile within the classes. You cannot get social grants for University or even community college anymore, tax burdens have been shifted on the lower classes yet they still continue to pay the billions that go to corproate welfare, and to clean up corporate mess so you can't argue that they are the only ones that rely on tax revenue. More people are working harder for the same or less than they were 20 years ago. What does this trend prove? It proves that the direction is down for the many and up for the few.

Compared to the thirties! Chirst over 1/3 of the american population was starving than and you can blame the stock market collapse all you want but in the end there was simply no work. You weren't around 20 years ago so your clearly talking out of your ass!! Reality was that 20 years ago (1973 or two years before I was born) things weren't that much better. Hyper inflation, oil embargo and a far more deadly war in vietnam claiming far more lives. starvation in Africa was just as bad if not worse and small pox still existed.

Home ownership has never been higher in the US or Canada. PErcentage of population with an post secondary education has never been higher. In fact the percentage of homes with indoor plumbing and heating has never been higher. Don't confuse your personal hatred of capitalism and the USA with reality.

b]
4. Democracy is NOT equal to capitalism, it is the antithesis if it. How they've both managed to co-exist is a marvel yes, but it's a delicate balance of power that is more volatile than you think. Mussolini poingnantly stated once that: "Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." If true unobstructed democracy existed everywhere capitalism has managed to permeate, I guarantee you, the world would be a different place, and the corporation would be a heavily controlled entity. That being said, corporate & capitalistic influence should not be introduced in ANY area where democracy has not existed for at least a few generations. And I don't mean installed democracy. [/B]

Cause god knows democracy didn't work in Germany, or in Japan, or in Italy, or in Spain or in....

Guarnetee me that the world would be a better place and it means something. Or name a country with a different political and economic system that is actually feeding its population.


But this is unrelated to Iraq, its unrelated to the invasion of Iraq, and its unrelated to any conversation that we are actually having. I get the point you hate capitalism and feel that the world is hard done by international corporations. I understand what you are saying, I however argue that saying that something is shit and pointing at shit doesn't change the fact that it is shit. You are promicing ice cream to be made out of shit but other than waving a magic wand I don't know what the plan is.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
How about some evidence instead of sweeping general factoids.

From the WHO report on life expectancy:

"In the United States, some groups, such as Native Americans, rural African Americans and the inner city poor, have extremely poor health, more characteristic of a poor developing country rather than a rich industrialized one. "

It ranks 24th in life expectancy because of this.

How can the pinnacle of the capitalistic structure with more wealth than it knows what to do with present itself as the example to follow when it has a third world poverty element within it's ranks.

Life expectancy in Africa has plummeted to 30 years old, an expectancy rate indicative of a crisis that hasn't been seen since medieval times (in Zimbabwe it used to be 61 years) and it's largely due to AIDS, but what is not mentioned as often is the capitalistic pharmaceuticals threatening lawsuits under trade agreements, against those African countries that attempt to aquire cheaper no-name drugs. Yea, they're better off because of capitalisms effect on their country. *blows kiss to the dollar*

China is a trading partner, again.. semantics. NO.. it's a source for cheap labour while continuing to be seen as a threat in every other way. They begining a space program, it's a threat. They change leaders, it's a threat. They're demonized as being totalitarianism and hostile and evil in every way publically, yet if they can offer private gain, they are the US's 5th best friend. Why? Because opressive regimes work for capitalism, but not for democracy.

And your comment about the depression, before any civil liberties were won, the US was in third world status 150 years before the term third world existed. The stock market collapse was a direct result of the new freedom mistakingly given by a bad court ruling for corporations in the late 1800's. Henry Ford was quoted as saying during the depression that "it's not that bad".. that year he made 30,000,000 in proffit. After the depression hit, the new deal was formed which gave way to the prosperity in America because of progressive corporate tax, increased social spending and other non-pro corporate policies. Until they were dismantled by the reaganites & bush years. Look at how this effected poverty and living standards in the US.




Home ownership in the states is at the same rate as it was in 1964, thanks for playing though. And is only the same among those with dual incomes... who takes care of kids when they gotta work to pay off all the debt they've assumed? Home ownership can equal pride, but it also locks folks into accepting less, and makes the banks a hell of alot of money.

There is more child labour in the world because of capitalism,
There is more spent on military to guard capitalist interests than for programs to erradicate poor.
There is more money spent on government subsidization of corporations than there is spend on social programs.
There is more evnironmental degredation because of capitalism attepmts to cut cost of bringing their product/service to market.
More tax burden on those that pay tax because of the capitalist footprint.
Less taxes come from corproations than ever before, yet their effect on public health & safety has never been felt as much.
There are more jobs being exported to places with no social reform, and exploitable labour forces becuase of capitalistic driven trade agreements.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by OTIS

So offer an alternative!


You can critique all you want but in the end all it does is makes your a critic. Give me another option and I will review it and I will try to argue the virtues of it.
 

OTIS

TRIBE Member
HMMMMMMMMM I have offered lots of alternatives.

1. Downsize the department of defense. Call it what it used to be -the department of WAR.

2. Remove all US military bases in an country that does not support internal democracy. (300 around the world)

3. End corporate welfare.

4. End corporate personhood.

5. End subsidy programs.

6. Ban any 1st world entity from financially dealing with any country that does not support true democracy on any money making venture. (End "free" trade)

7. Collect the billions owed by corporations in fines, use them to initiate a Federal Beureau of Corproate Investigation.

8. Return the CIA to it's original duty as an internal entity that organizes any incoming external intelligence. Remove it's ability for clandestine operation.

9. Adopt a code of conduct that ensures for any multinational corporation with ties to the US.

10. Ban off shore tax shelters.

11. Reintroduce the progressive tax system.

12. Ban enforcement of patents on developing nations.

13. Enforce laws on price fixing.

14. Enforce anti trust laws.

15. Convict corporate crime with penalties that regress any profit made off the crime. Currently 99 percent of corporate crimes get fined an amount that still makes it proffitable to commit the crime. Very rarely to any memeber of a board get jailtime.

17. Embrace the world court, and the UN. Remove single VETO powers, and make it illeagal for any one nation to act unilaterally an pre-emptively to threats unless sanctioned by the UN.

18. Don't murder presidents that question the power of independant agencies.

These are just a few.. start with these.
 
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OTIS

TRIBE Member
Oops this one was kinda cut off:

9. Have the US adopt a code of conduct that ensures any multinational corporation with US ties, needs to ensure that any one of it's companies, sub-companies, contractors and even nations uphold the same labour, and bill of rights, laws that the US currently has. If not, it cannot import it's products to US markets.
 
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