7 Jul 2005 cinamod   » (Master)

Tomas, that's because in the US you get branded a traitor (or worse) if you suggest that the terrorists are anything other than whackjobs. The terrorists couldn't possibly have *any* legitimate gripes against us. They must hate our freedoms. Yeah, that's it. Our shit doesn't stink. We most certainly haven't done anything to upset them. Pesky questions like "why do they really hate us" are certainly not important, and are likely to get you into trouble.

  • No, we never gave WMDs to Saddam during his war against Iran...
  • The current war in Iraq is totally justified. So long as you're using whatever justification the administration is using this week...
  • No, we don't support the state of Isreal...
  • No, we never gave Osama and his Afghani army money, arms, and training during the 1980s...
  • No, we don't have military bases on Muslim land...
  • No, those female GIs walking around in non-Muslim garb on those military bases definitely don't upset some Saudi fundamentalists...
  • No, we never left depleted uranium shells in Iraq after the Gulf war, causing countless birth defects and other complications...
  • No, we didn't blow up Iraqi infrastructure (including lots of soft targets like acquaducts) during the Gulf war...
  • No, the sanctions against Iraq were a good idea, even though it's estimated that a million people died as a direct effect of them...
  • No, we don't ever try to manipulate political and social regimes in the middle east...
  • No, we don't support opressive regimes in Saudi and elsewhere...
  • No, Saddam and Osama definitely weren't our buddies in the 1980s...

I don't condone attacks against civilian targets, be they done by terrorists or the US military. I don't necessarily think that all of the things we've done above were "wrong" decisions. And I don't think that non-involement in the region will be a panacea either. But I won't pretend that those actions weren't controversial. Try walking a mile in their shoes. If I were in a Saudi's shoes, I might want to blow shit up. I'd imagine that most people would feel the same.

Our might does not make right. Our present and historical invovlement in the mideast is conveniently unknown or forgotten. Effects and causes are disjoint.

The West Wing's Toby Ziegler might be right - maybe they will like us when we win. But maybe they'll like us if we simply stop doing everything within our power to fsck with their lives. There's a good New Testament quote to the effect of "they will know you are a Christian through your actions and good deeds." Let's spread freedom through our good example instead of our tanks.

As you mention, it's the same way with crime. The only solution the US population will stomach is bigger prisons and offender databases. Criminalize everything. Issue Amber alerts. Run 24-hour coverage of blondes missing in Aruba, 40 days after they've disappeared. What you end up with 3+ million Americans in prison. Nevermind vicious cycles of poverty, inadequate education, lacking health care, broken homes, and all the other root causes. You don't solve crime by locking up everyone. You only breed more poverty, more broken homes. More criminals. The UK understands this. Why can't we?

</rant>

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