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Wayne Scott
February 13th, 2006, 10:45 AM
Once more dear Al has demonstrated that however much fault one can find with W, we can all be grateful that Al was never the president. The man is now in that bastion of democracy, Saudi Arabia, telling the world that the United States should be ashamed of the terrible way we have treated our Arab-American fellow citizens since the attack on the Twin Towers. One can only ponder what goes on in his tiny, warped mind. I'm not much of a W fan, but every time Al or Teresa's puppy opens his mouth, G.W. Bush looks less awful.

Grateful in Grenada

lensue
February 13th, 2006, 11:27 AM
>telling the world that the United States should be ashamed of the terrible way we have treated our Arab-American fellow citizens <

Wayne, thanks for pointing this out--I wasn't aware of Gore doing this and I wasn't aware of unforgivable conditions--I thought the Moslem population in America was treated with alot of dignity after 9/11 and I thought in general the Moslem community acted in a dignified manner. I also seem to recall reading of a small minority of Moslems in Patterson NJ who cheered about the 9/11 devastation but most people seemed to feel they didn't represent a majority viewpoint of most Moslems.

"Gore told the largely Saudi audience, many of them educated at U.S. universities, that Arabs in the United States had been ''indiscriminately rounded up, often on minor charges of overstaying a visa or not having a green card in proper order, and held in conditions that were just unforgivable.''

Meanwhile I'd like to know if the government of Saudi Arabia is making any progress on offering more democracy to its people. Regards, Len

ndebord
February 13th, 2006, 07:25 PM
Once more dear Al has demonstrated that however much fault one can find with W, we can all be grateful that Al was never the president. The man is now in that bastion of democracy, Saudi Arabia, telling the world that the United States should be ashamed of the terrible way we have treated our Arab-American fellow citizens since the attack on the Twin Towers. One can only ponder what goes on in his tiny, warped mind. I'm not much of a W fan, but every time Al or Teresa's puppy opens his mouth, G.W. Bush looks less awful.

Grateful in Grenada

Wayne,

I'm not sure who has a warped little brain here: GWB or Al Gore.

When I think of what this administration's actions have meant in terms of our domestic security, I weep. More terrorists signing on, more sympathizers to fighting Americans. I also weep when I think of our soldiers dying in Iraq with inadequate equipment and not enough boots to do more than drive up and down predictable roads where 50% of the casualties come from IEDs.

No less an authority than Arthur Schlesinger said: "The president has adopted a policy of "anticipatory self-defense" that is alarmingly similar to the policy that imperial Japan employed at Pearl Harbor, on a date, which, as an earlier American president said it would, lives in infamy. Franklin D. Roosevelt was right, but today it is we Americans who live in infamy." We're not talking Noam Chomsky here, but mainstream American Academy.

Of course, if you like neo-con philosophy and strategy, nothing I can say here will sway you from your affiliation, but if you have more of a real politik view then perhaps Zbigniew Brzezinski's views can reach you. "...the three grand imperatives of [U.S.] imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together."

An expansionist, unilateral, "anticipatory self-defense" strategy of attacking first sans multilateral treaties, or U.N. approval, in my opinion, will create the proper conditions by which the "barbarians" will come together to oppose us wherever they can.

Lindsey
February 14th, 2006, 10:35 PM
Meanwhile I'd like to know if the government of Saudi Arabia is making any progress on offering more democracy to its people.
And just how would you propose they go about doing that, Len? And what assures you that it wouldn't result in an Islamist, or even terrorist, government there? Bin Laden, after all, is a Saudi, and the vast majority of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. Would we accept a democratically elected government that was not to our liking, or would we then proceed to undermine it, the way we do everywhere else people have the temerity to elect someone we don't approve of?

Not that I wish to be an apologist for the Saudi government, but maybe what we ought to do, instead of pushing simply for elections, is to push oppressive governments to move toward respect of human rights. Of course, that might require that we do clean our own house first.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
February 14th, 2006, 11:02 PM
Democracy by itself (as in, elections without meaningful change) isn't going to fix any problems in the Middle East. Witness Hamas in Palestine... talk about going from the frying pan into the fire...

Lindsey
February 14th, 2006, 11:06 PM
You left out something else he said: telling his audience at the Jiddah Economic Forum that the vast majority of Americans did not agree with the abuses that had occurred.

But what he said was true: There have been indiscriminate roundups of Arabs in the US, they have sometimes been deported on relatively trivial charges, and there have been problems with the visa program, which is presenting a terrible dilemma for American universities. Foreign enrollment is dropping, and foreign students are going to other Western countries for their education, losing us a chance to bind them to the US. I heard Colin Powell make that same observation regarding visas just last Saturday. You gonna call him "small brained" too? (And did Gore actually say, "The US should be ashamed"? I haven't seen the fulll text of the speech, but that wasn't exactly what he said in the portions of it that I saw. He said there had been abuses, and that detainees had sometimes been held in unforgivable conditions, that the visa policy was thoughtless and a mistake, but he also emphasized that this was not the picture that the Arab world should make of the entire country and the American people.)

You left out something else that Gore said; I guess Limbaugh and NewsMax.com didn't quote it:

On Iran, Gore complained of "endemic hyper-corruption" among Tehran's religious and political elite and asked Arabs to take a stand against Iran's nuclear program.

Iran says its program is for peaceful purposes but the United States and other Western countries suspect Tehran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

"Is it only for the West to say this is dangerous?" Gore asked. "We should have more people in this region saying this is dangerous."

--Lindsey

lensue
February 15th, 2006, 08:05 AM
>Not that I wish to be an apologist for the Saudi government, but maybe what we ought to do, instead of pushing simply for elections, is to push oppressive governments to move toward respect of human rights.<

Lindsey, almost didn't spot your reply--it's so hard to keep track of who replies to you in each thread. Anyway I certainly agree on pushing for the human rights.

> Of course, that might require that we do clean our own house first.<

I think our own house is in much better shape than what's going on in Saudi Arabia and most other countries too--I consider myself very lucky to live here in America. Regards, Len

lensue
February 15th, 2006, 08:08 AM
>Witness Hamas in Palestine<

Judy, that's certainly a tough problem--do you think there's any chance Hamas which didn't expect to win will now have to act more responsibly if it wants that US aid? Regards, Len

Judy G. Russell
February 15th, 2006, 09:40 AM
do you think there's any chance Hamas which didn't expect to win will now have to act more responsibly if it wants that US aid? Frankly, I don't think so. I think Hamas will continue to be tough, the US and Israel will stop supporting the Palestinian Authority, Hamas will point at that as proof that the US really doesn't care about democracy, and more terrorists will be born.

Judy G. Russell
February 15th, 2006, 09:41 AM
I think our own house is in much better shape than what's going on in Saudi Arabia and most other countries too--I consider myself very lucky to live here in America. But the fact that we're good (and I do think we are) doesn't mean we can't be better. And I think we owe it to ourselves to try, always, to be better.

RayB (France)
February 15th, 2006, 04:02 PM
But the fact that we're good (and I do think we are) doesn't mean we can't be better. And I think we owe it to ourselves to try, always, to be better.

Absolutey! Viewing from afar, however, it does appear that we are tending to 'fix too many things what ain't broke' and accentuating our propensity to expand the philosophy of 'If a little is good, a lot is better'.

PC and Over-sensitivity I simply cannot understand.

Judy G. Russell
February 15th, 2006, 04:56 PM
I'm afraid that we've mistaken the notion of being sensitive to other people's feelings with the notion of never saying anything that anyone might ever take offense to. In life, we don't have to sit there while others meanly disparage us. But we do have to have a little bit of a thick skin.

rlohmann
February 15th, 2006, 07:48 PM
You've been reading too much Maureen Dowd.

Democracy by itself is politically neutral. Although I haven't yet seen anybody raise the issue of Germany in January of 1933, someone somewhere must have noted by now that that election was as democratic as any in this country.

What democracy does, generally--a point that Miss Dowd and her horseholders appear to overlook--is give citizens a detree of ownership of the government's actions. If the citizens want war, as the Germans did in the 30s and Hamas does now, there's nothing inherent in a democratic system that will frustrate that wish.

What may happen with Hamas, however, is the realization that if they do send in the suicide bombers en masse, enough Palestinians will be dead after the inevitable reprisals that the survivors are quite likely to go after Hamas.

Nothing Bush (or any other American, or Israeli, or Dane) can do is going to change that.

Judy G. Russell
February 15th, 2006, 10:31 PM
Huh? What of what I said are you taking issue with?

Lindsey
February 15th, 2006, 10:54 PM
Huh? What of what I said are you taking issue with?
I was trying to figure out the same thing.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
February 15th, 2006, 11:54 PM
That'll earn us both some demerits, I'm sure.

lensue
February 16th, 2006, 12:19 AM
>I don't think so<

Judy, well I hope your assesssment doesn't come true but I fear it could. Regards, Len

lensue
February 16th, 2006, 12:23 AM
>And I think we owe it to ourselves to try, always, to be better.<

Judy, well of course I agree with that too--it's just that sincere people with good intentions may differ on just how we do that. Regards, Len

Judy G. Russell
February 16th, 2006, 09:44 AM
I hope it doesn't either, but I'm a natural pessimist, particularly when it comes to anything good in the Middle East.

Judy G. Russell
February 16th, 2006, 09:45 AM
That's true, but we can't let the fact that we may disagree about the means from trying to figure it out and moving forward. Too many people throw up their hands and walk away the minute somebody else says "maybe that's not the best thing".

rlohmann
February 16th, 2006, 11:07 AM
Witness Hamas in Palestine... talk about going from the frying pan into the fire...
Seemed pretty clear to me.

rlohmann
February 16th, 2006, 11:21 AM
You left out something else he said: telling his audience at the Jiddah Economic Forum that the vast majority of Americans did not agree with the abuses that had occurred.He did say that, but it was the speech as a whole that shows his appalling lack of judgment.

Gore, like many on the Left, strikes me as a vaguely goodhearted soul who sincerely believes that everybody else thinks along the same warm-and-fuzzy lines as he. Consequently, he thinks, a heartfelt recital along the lines of "you did some bad things and we did some bad things, but we're all warm-and-fuzzy guys, so let's be friends and sing 'Kumbaya' together."

The problem is that Gore, like Carter before him and many others in that uniquely Democratic political hothouse, is too innocent of reality to comprehend the fundamental evil in some people. This blinds him to the fact that in the real world, trashing your own side in public before the the bad guys isn't too smart a thing to do.

Judy G. Russell
February 16th, 2006, 11:31 AM
And you disagree there? You think that changing the Palestinian Authority from the Fatah Party to Hamas is NOT going from the frying pan into the fire? Give reasons for your answer...

chm
February 16th, 2006, 03:51 PM
Not that I wish to be an apologist for the Saudi government, but maybe what we ought to do, instead of pushing simply for elections, is to push oppressive governments to move toward respect of human rights. Of course, that might require that we do clean our own house first.

Well put, Lindsey.

I'll add that I'm no fan of the Saudis. Our government cuddles up to them far more than they deserve - must be their oil.

Carolyn

chm
February 16th, 2006, 04:07 PM
An expansionist, unilateral, "anticipatory self-defense" strategy of attacking first sans multilateral treaties, or U.N. approval, in my opinion, will create the proper conditions by which the "barbarians" will come together to oppose us wherever they can.

Your whole message is very well put, but the above especially so. This is what is happening and what will continue to happen, I fear, as long as we continue these policies.

Add to that the damage done with our prisoner abuse.

Whatever happened to our early goal of "winning the hearts and minds" of the Iraqis? Not going too well. Probably not realistic in the first place. Maybe, probably, Brzezinski was right about "...keeping the barbarians from coming together"?

Carolyn

chm
February 16th, 2006, 04:18 PM
..."you did some bad things and we did some bad things, but we're all warm-and-fuzzy guys, so let's be friends and sing 'Kumbaya' together."

But, wouldn't it be nice? Pick a better song, though.

Why it's not going to happen (not in my lifetime) is for the same reason that Jesus said "Love your enemy.", and we don't. Real vs. Ideal.

...in the real world, trashing your own side in public before the the bad guys isn't too smart a thing to do.

Yeah, I like Al Gore, but I do have to agree with this.

Reminds me of when Cindy Sheehan went to Argentina and was cozying up and agreeing with their leader who disses us so much (I forget his name). I didn't appreciate Jane Fonda and her Hanoi visit, either.

Carolyn

Wayne Scott
February 16th, 2006, 04:43 PM
Well put, Lindsey.

I'll add that I'm no fan of the Saudis. Our government cuddles up to them far more than they deserve - must be their oil.

Carolyn
Well, duh!

Wayne Scott
February 16th, 2006, 04:47 PM
Wayne,

I'm not sure who has a warped little brain here: GWB or Al Gore.

When I think of what this administration's actions have meant in terms of our domestic security, I weep. More terrorists signing on, more sympathizers to fighting Americans. I also weep when I think of our soldiers dying in Iraq with inadequate equipment and not enough boots to do more than drive up and down predictable roads where 50% of the casualties come from IEDs.

No less an authority than Arthur Schlesinger said: "The president has adopted a policy of "anticipatory self-defense" that is alarmingly similar to the policy that imperial Japan employed at Pearl Harbor, on a date, which, as an earlier American president said it would, lives in infamy. Franklin D. Roosevelt was right, but today it is we Americans who live in infamy." We're not talking Noam Chomsky here, but mainstream American Academy.

Of course, if you like neo-con philosophy and strategy, nothing I can say here will sway you from your affiliation, but if you have more of a real politik view then perhaps Zbigniew Brzezinski's views can reach you. "...the three grand imperatives of [U.S.] imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together."

An expansionist, unilateral, "anticipatory self-defense" strategy of attacking first sans multilateral treaties, or U.N. approval, in my opinion, will create the proper conditions by which the "barbarians" will come together to oppose us wherever they can.
You know perfectly well who you think has the most warped tiny brain. I'm pretty sure that you know that Al Gore is really the president of the united states and that only the vile SCOTUS put W in office.
Why pretend to be in doubt?

Lindsey
February 16th, 2006, 11:20 PM
Consequently, he thinks, a heartfelt recital along the lines of "you did some bad things and we did some bad things, but we're all warm-and-fuzzy guys, so let's be friends and sing 'Kumbaya' together."
Actually, that's not the way I read the story at all. My take was more like the blogger quoted in the NYT "Opinionator" column:

[E]verything Al Gore said in his speech was true Stories of such treatment have been chronicled in the Arab media for years. Not surprisingly, those who were mistreated and/or deported told their stories to friends, to family, and to various Arab and Muslim media outlets. Nothing Al Gore said was news to anyone in the Muslim world.

Far from fanning the flames of anti-Americanism, Gore was actually doing damage control. He was trying to de-fuse a source of strong anti-American sentiment by making it clear to his audience that the actions at issue were not condoned by most Americans.

Apparently you would prefer to have Gore go up in front of an Arab audience and tell the equivalent of the "happy slave" fiction that was presented in my elementary school textbooks. Somehow I think that wouldn't have had much credibility in Jiddah.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
February 16th, 2006, 11:23 PM
Whatever happened to our early goal of "winning the hearts and minds" of the Iraqis?
Yeah, well -- you see what happened to Al Gore when he made an attempt to win hearts and minds in Saudi Arabia. He was denounced as a fool at best, and perhaps even a traitor.

--Lindsey

Lindsey
February 16th, 2006, 11:26 PM
But, wouldn't it be nice? Pick a better song, though.
Don't hold your breath. For reasons I can't quite fathom, these guys are fixated on "Kumbayah".

--Lindsey

rlohmann
February 18th, 2006, 08:38 AM
Perhaps I didn't read your original note carefully enough. I understood that you were blaming the democratic election for the worsening of the situation, and giving an "I told you so" to Bush.

rlohmann
February 18th, 2006, 08:41 AM
Apparently you would prefer to have Gore go up in front of an Arab audience and tell the equivalent of the "happy slave" fiction that was presented in my elementary school textbooks.No, I would rather that Gore simply shut up.

rlohmann
February 18th, 2006, 08:45 AM
ROFL!

But Lindsey, it's so ... so ... warm, so fuzzy, so give peace a chance.

It's so 1968, when so many of today's Democrats thought Ho Chi Minh was such a goodhearted and loving agrarian reformer.

Judy G. Russell
February 18th, 2006, 09:40 AM
The democratic election is what put Hamas in office, no?

rlohmann
February 18th, 2006, 05:50 PM
Yes.

Am I then to understand that you think there shouldn't be democratic elections in the Middle East, and that Bush is wrong to have encouraged them?

ndebord
February 18th, 2006, 07:57 PM
You know perfectly well who you think has the most warped tiny brain. I'm pretty sure that you know that Al Gore is really the president of the united states and that only the vile SCOTUS put W in office.
Why pretend to be in doubt?

Wayne,

Now I am quite disappointed in you. Another non-answer answer. I made several points in my post, none of which you answered. I must assume you are a die-hard neo-con and have no answer of any weight.

Lindsey
February 18th, 2006, 10:19 PM
No, I would rather that Gore simply shut up.
Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting: freedom of speech and thought and expression is only for people who can be counted on to repeat the neocon talking points. Why should anybody want to reassure the rest of the world that the vast majority of people in the US really do believe in the rule of law and human rights? Let them hate us, so long as they fear us, yes?

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
February 18th, 2006, 11:38 PM
At this point in time, I think American interests and elections in places where the minds of the populace are controlled by the lunatic fringe are at odds. And, frankly, I think any election in a place like Palestine (or Iraq or Iran or a host of other places) is merely an exercise in having the lunatic fringe take over.

What we have ended up with is a government that appears to have a legitimate claim to recognition and international support as a democratically elected government -- and remains committed to wiping an American ally off the face of the earth.

Our sole response in such a case?? "Oh, well, we only like democratically elected governments when they agree with us." It puts us in an absolutely and totally impossible situation. We cannot both support democratic elections and reject the results of those elections where the results are (predictably) horrifying.

Lindsey
February 20th, 2006, 01:42 AM
where the results are (predictably) horrifying.
Indeed; Mahmoud Abbas begged Bush to support him in putting the elections off, saying holding elections now would be to the advantage of Hamas. He was right; in spades. And perhaps a postponment wouldn't have made any difference, but we can't say we weren't warned.

Unfortunately, this election is reaping the harvest of decades of failed policy toward the Palestinians. If it's a bitter one, well -- it's partly our own fault.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
February 20th, 2006, 10:48 AM
we can't say we weren't warned.But hey... any time you get elections, it's a good thing for America, right? We're spreading democracy! Even if the folks getting elected are out to destroy us and/or our allies, it'll be a democratic destruction! Yahoo!

Lindsey
February 21st, 2006, 12:00 AM
But hey... any time you get elections, it's a good thing for America, right? We're spreading democracy! Even if the folks getting elected are out to destroy us and/or our allies, it'll be a democratic destruction! Yahoo!
I think what they're counting on is that there is some sort of magic thing that happens that prevents a democracy from launching a war against another democracy. It's true that's been the pattern up to now (so long as you don't count our covert operations against democracies in South and Central America), but it's also true that democracy has been more the exception than the rule among the world's governments, so it may just be a case of having too small a sample to be statistically significant. I don't think I'd want to bet the farm on that theory.

Not to mention that the Western-style democracies that evolved over the course of several centuries represent a very different cultural tradition from what is currently being set up in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories, which don't have the centuries of institutional infrastructure that has in the past gone hand in hand with modern democracies.

In short: the whole thing strikes me as a crap shoot.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
February 21st, 2006, 07:40 AM
Not to mention that the Western-style democracies that evolved over the course of several centuries represent a very different cultural tradition from what is currently being set up in Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and the Palestinian territories, which don't have the centuries of institutional infrastructure that has in the past gone hand in hand with modern democracies.And which are more likely to have a tribal and/or theocratic mindset where the election merely institutionalizes what amounts to a repressive system.

Lindsey
February 21st, 2006, 11:12 PM
And which are more likely to have a tribal and/or theocratic mindset where the election merely institutionalizes what amounts to a repressive system.
Precisely.

You can't build a solid house without first laying a firm foundation.

--Lindsey

Judy G. Russell
February 22nd, 2006, 10:09 AM
And we have to accept that it may not be possible to build a foundation in countries with no tradition of democracy whatsoever.

Lindsey
February 22nd, 2006, 11:21 PM
And we have to accept that it may not be possible to build a foundation in countries with no tradition of democracy whatsoever.
In those countries, that's precisely where we should be concentrating our efforts: pushing them toward building that foundation.

--Lindsey

earler
February 23rd, 2006, 02:06 AM
Remember there was no tradition of democracy in france, germany, italy, etc. Yet today they are democracies.

-er

Judy G. Russell
February 23rd, 2006, 12:19 PM
There was, however, a tradition of central government and a rule of law. Not so in the Middle East.

earler
February 23rd, 2006, 01:39 PM
You didn't speak of centralized government in your first statement. And, even in those countries without a centralized government, such as italy and germany until 1870, there was a rule of law.

-er

Judy G. Russell
February 23rd, 2006, 01:56 PM
I used the generic phrase "tradition of democracy" instead. The most essential element of which, IMO, is the rule of law.

earler
February 23rd, 2006, 03:19 PM
The rule of law is in all countries not in anarchy, and this for centuries. Don't you think there was the rule of law under louis xiv, an absolute monarchy who was no friend to democracy.

-er

Judy G. Russell
February 23rd, 2006, 10:47 PM
Earle, I have no idea why you seem determined to pick pick pick at each word used until you can finally say, "Aha! You said that degree of grey and you really meant THAT degree of grey!" I've frankly had enough. If you have a miraculous means of creating the right conditions for democracy in the Middle East, say so. Otherwise, enough.

Lindsey
February 23rd, 2006, 11:36 PM
Judy,

This Wikipedia article on the concept of "the rule of law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_of_law)" makes the point that "rule of law" doesn't simply mean "a country that has laws." It involves far more than that, as you have implied:

The concept "rule of law" is generally associated with several other concepts, such as:


Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali - No ex post facto laws
Presumption of innocence - All individuals are "innocent until proven otherwise"
Double jeopardy - Individuals may only be punished once for every specific crime committed. Retrials may or may not be permitted on the grounds of new evidence. See also res judicata.
Legal equality - All individuals are given the same rights without distinction to their social stature, religion, political opinions, etc. That is, like Montesquieu would have it, "law should be like death, which spares no one."
Habeas Corpus - A Latin term meaning "you must have the body". A person who is arrested has the right to be told what crimes he or she is accused of, and to request his or her custody be reviewed by judicial authority. Persons unlawfully imprisoned have to be freed.


The concept of "rule of law" per se says nothing of the "justness" of the laws themselves, but simply how the legal system upholds the law. As a consequence of this, a very undemocratic nation or one without respect for human rights can exist with or without a "rule of law", a situation which many argue is applicable to several modern dictatorships. However, the "rule of law" is considered a pre-requisite for democracy, and as such, has served as a common basis for human rights discourse between countries such as the People's Republic of China and the West. (My bolding)


The article goes on to point out that the People's Republic of China, which regards the rule of law as interfering with the class struggle, makes this critical distinction in its approach to the purpose of the law:


In the People's Republic of China the discourse around rule of law centers on the notion that laws ultimately enhance the power of the state and the nation, which is why the Chinese government adopts the principle of rule by law rather than rule of law.

And then there is the position taken by some totalitarian states, such as Nazi Germany, in rejecting the notion of the rule of law, which is "that the public should be constantly in fear of the government."

Surely anyone who has come along in a society that is governed by the rule of law should understand all, or at least most, of that without having to be explicitly told.

--Lindsey

earler
February 24th, 2006, 05:22 AM
Most countries don't have habeas corpus, a unique feature of the english common law that was taken to the usa. That doesn't mean they don't have very good systems of law. The wikilpedia article throws out some cute latin expressions, but is not a good description of what constitutes a rule of law. The anglo saxon system has many qualities, but so does the napoleonic code. One may prefer one over the other, but it would be quite unfair to say either is bad. Then there are systems used in asia, which have their features, and undoubtedly are effective.

As I said earlier, democracy and rule of law aren't necessarily concomitant.

-er

earler
February 24th, 2006, 05:26 AM
I never addressed the question of democracy in the middle east, which you now do. I only said and will repeat that countries may become democracies without a prior tradition of democratic governments, as shown by most of europe, and japan, too. A rule of law is a sign of civilization not of democracy. We may not like the sharia rule of law, but it functions.

The absence of a rule of law is either arnachy or a return of tribalism, though even primitive tribes have laws.

-er

Wayne Scott
February 24th, 2006, 11:50 AM
First, please understand that I am not for one moment a big fan of GWB. I feel that he was the lesser of 2 evils in the 2 elections he won. Yes, I think he won the 2000 election.
Your screed that suggests that my mind is totally closed makes me wonder if you should look in a mirror.
I am somewhere in the far left wing of the Republican Party. What I have thought of as MY party has been hijacked by a cluster of fundamentalist rightwing zealots that, IMAO, are about on a par with such groups as the present government of Iran, the left wing of the US Democratic Party exemplified by my state's senator Boxer, and similar groups.
The two lady senators from Maine, the ex-governor of New Jersey are my idea of what a Republican should be.
You and Senators Boxer and Corzine are not what I think the Democratic Party should be either.

Hidebound in Hibernia

Wayne Scott
February 24th, 2006, 11:54 AM
Carolyn: Maybe we should meet somewhere in Southern California and try to find a better song than Kumbaya.

Wayne

Wayne Scott
February 24th, 2006, 11:56 AM
Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting: freedom of speech and thought and expression is only for people who can be counted on to repeat the neocon talking points. Why should anybody want to reassure the rest of the world that the vast majority of people in the US really do believe in the rule of law and human rights? Let them hate us, so long as they fear us, yes?

--Lindsey
That's not Ralph's view nor is it mine, and I think you know that.

Judy G. Russell
February 24th, 2006, 01:48 PM
What part of "generally associated with several other concepts, such as" don't you understand?

Judy G. Russell
February 24th, 2006, 01:49 PM
Earle is just engaging in his usual reductio ad absurdum style of argument.

Judy G. Russell
February 24th, 2006, 01:50 PM
Let's get back to the issue at hand: democracy in the Middle East. I realize you don't want to discuss that, because it's an intractable issue, but that is what this discussion focuses on.

Judy G. Russell
February 24th, 2006, 01:51 PM
We could have a contest for forum fight song!

earler
February 24th, 2006, 03:42 PM
That article applies only to countries with the anglo-saxon law. I well understand what the article says, but it is inaccurate since it attempts to apply concepts under anglo-saxon law to the rest of the world.

-er

Lindsey
February 24th, 2006, 09:06 PM
Earle is just engaging in his usual reductio ad absurdum style of argument.
With an emphasis on ad absurdum.

--Lindsey

Jeff
February 25th, 2006, 01:20 PM
With an emphasis on ad absurdum.

--Lindsey

Yeah, I'm about to activate the twit filter hereabouts.

- Jeff

RayB (France)
February 25th, 2006, 02:47 PM
Yeah, I'm about to activate the twit filter hereabouts.

- Jeff

And who would be left, pray tell?

(Formerly-Front Range)

Jeff
February 26th, 2006, 01:18 PM
And who would be left, pray tell?

(Formerly-Front Range)

Well that is pretty absurd, but it doesn't quit rise to the level of twitness. That takes a special form of pinhead which I think even the Front Range would ride out of town on a rail.

- Jeff

rlohmann
March 5th, 2006, 04:26 PM
And just how would you propose they go about doing that, Len? And what assures you that it wouldn't result in an Islamist, or even terrorist, government there? Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your screed. :->

The essence of a democracy is the accountability of its citizens for the consequences of their decisions. The practical result of an infusion of democracy in a Muslim-fundamentalist society would be a sudden awareness on that they could suffer significant consequences if their governments went ballistic.

It strikes me as unlikely that fundamentalist Muslims understand that process. but even if they do, they're stuck with whatever decision they make.

Judy G. Russell
March 5th, 2006, 05:29 PM
they're stuck with whatever decision they make.Unfortunately, so are we. And that's what worries me. Just as I prefer to think that your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins, I would prefer that Muslim (and any other type of) extremists' right to blow things up ends where my property line begins...

Lindsey
March 5th, 2006, 11:02 PM
Screed? And what is your definition of "screed"? "Anything said by someone I have already decided I will not agree with"?

The practical result of an infusion of democracy in a Muslim-fundamentalist society would be a sudden awareness on that they could suffer significant consequences if their governments went ballistic.

And this theory of yours, that Muslim societies can be expected to jump directly from totalitarian/authoritarian governments to democratic republics without laying any intervening groundwork and without endangering neighboring countries or any of the rest of the world, has been demonstrated exactly where?

--Lindsey

ndebord
March 5th, 2006, 11:36 PM
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your screed. :->

The essence of a democracy is the accountability of its citizens for the consequences of their decisions. The practical result of an infusion of democracy in a Muslim-fundamentalist society would be a sudden awareness on that they could suffer significant consequences if their governments went ballistic.

It strikes me as unlikely that fundamentalist Muslims understand that process. but even if they do, they're stuck with whatever decision they make.

Ralph,

It strikes me as unlikely that fundamentalist Americans understand that process either: that the entire nation could suffer significant consequences if their government went ballistic. And I would argue that under this weak, undemocratic prat boy, GWB, we are in danger of losing our Republic entirely. So wherein is the moral high ground of the Republic? I would argue that the moral high ground is now only a lingering memory of policies past, not present, at least under the rule of this autocratic President.

We will see if the Republic can revive since Bush crossed the Rubicon of Iraq and ignored the dictates of democratic rule.