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sidney
March 21st, 2006, 01:07 AM
In case there is any question about the benefits to the world when the US topples an evil terrorist dictatorship and brings the joys of democracy to the liberated populace, here's an example of how things could have turned out in Iraq if only the US had been as determined and competent as they were in Afghanistan:

Google News article list: Afghan man faces possible death penalty for converting to Christianity (http://news.google.com/news?ie=UTF-8&ncl=http://www.kwtx.com/home/headlines/2493131.html&hl=en)

The ABC News article (http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&ct=us/1-0&fp=441ff8ae4ef01508&ei=VaEfRMHeGYjMpwLD5dWECQ&url=http%3A//abcnews.go.com/WNT/story%3Fid%3D1746943%26page%3D1&cid=0) is one of the more detailed versions of the ones I looked at.

Judy G. Russell
March 21st, 2006, 03:00 PM
Oh for pete's sake... democracy in action, huh? Worth all those tens of billions of dollars, right? Good grief...

rlohmann
March 21st, 2006, 04:10 PM
It was probably in the old Compuserve Bar Room that I started ranting about the absurdity of Clinton's belief that democracy could be imposed by military action.

Nothing that has happened since then has suggested that it can.

davidh
March 21st, 2006, 04:46 PM
It was probably in the old Compuserve Bar Room that I started ranting about the absurdity of Clinton's belief that democracy could be imposed by military action.

Nothing that has happened since then has suggested that it can. I think the word "Tap" sounds more dignified than "Bar", unless you meant "Bar Mitzvah".

BTW, when the bartender catches the first beer from a newly tapped keg in a pitcher and it comes out half foam, does the customer who drinks the pitcher pay zero, half, or full price? And which currency?

David H.

Judy G. Russell
March 21st, 2006, 05:37 PM
How about coming right out and saying that it's absurd for BUSH to think you can impose democracy by military action? Clinton is no longer President, hasn't been president for a long time, and what's going on right now didn't happen on his watch. So how 'bout it? What do you think of what BUSH thinks? Absurd, or not?

ndebord
March 21st, 2006, 08:28 PM
It was probably in the old Compuserve Bar Room that I started ranting about the absurdity of Clinton's belief that democracy could be imposed by military action.

Nothing that has happened since then has suggested that it can.

Ralph,

Clinton was a piker compared to GWB. Not since the heights of the cold war in the 50s, has this country been subjected to the ravages of neo-conservative absurdity. And back then, they were just tolerated and shown the closet to sit and stew in.

Lindsey
March 22nd, 2006, 12:07 AM
Clinton was a piker compared to GWB.
Refresh my memory, please. When did Bill Clinton ever say that democracy could or should be imposed by military force?

--Lindsey

rlohmann
March 22nd, 2006, 08:03 AM
I think the word "Tap" sounds more dignified than "Bar", unless you meant "Bar Mitzvah"..The Bar Room was Section 14, the free-for-all section, of the CompuServe LAWSIG, whence the name.

BTW, when the bartender catches the first beer from a newly tapped keg in a pitcher and it comes out half foam, does the customer who drinks the pitcher pay zero, half, or full price?In Germany, at least, where I drank great quantities of beer, excess foam gets tossed before the customer gets the glass. (German beer, brewed without chemicals, has less foam than most American beer anyway.)

And which currency?Preferably DM. Don't get me started on the loathesome Euro. Marks are money. Euros are not. :(

rlohmann
March 22nd, 2006, 08:16 AM
To quote myself, "[n]othing that has happened since [Clinton] has suggested that [democracy] can [be imposed by force].

Not being a Republican, I'm quite free to express doubts about the course Bush is following. While I don't credit the allegation, trumpeted by several people around here, to the effect that Bush knew Saddam had no WMD but went into Iraq for no reason other than to demonstrate his machismo, I do think it's about time for Bush to give the Iraqis an ultimatum: Show you're capable of governing yourselves or slide into anarchy by yourselves.

(Clinton, of course, merely dithered, more concerned about keeping his Left Wing under control by playing nice with everybody than paying attention to what the Bad Guys were doing in the Middle East. Do you really think we had a foreign policy during the Clinton administration?)

rlohmann
March 22nd, 2006, 08:16 AM
The Balkans.

To my delight, I find that the Village Voice, a publication up there with Salon (and of course preceding it by decades) in the canonical writings of the Left, is of the same opinion:

http://www.villagevoice.com/news/9914,vest,4830,1.html

<sneering amiably>

Judy G. Russell
March 22nd, 2006, 02:34 PM
I do think it's about time for Bush to give the Iraqis an ultimatum: Show you're capable of governing yourselves or slide into anarchy by yourselves.That's good. Now let's get back to my question. Do you or do you not think that it is absurd for Bush to think that democracy can be imposed by military action? You say that you're "free to express doubts about the course Bush is following" and I want to see if you can really do it.

rlohmann
March 22nd, 2006, 06:56 PM
Evidently you've been hanging out with thin-lipped ideologues for too long. Unlike those who go to unbelievable lengths to defend OFPaLotFW and his lovely wife from credible allegations of misconduct, I do not hesitate to criticize Bush if I think he's wrong.

I don't think democracy can be imposed by force because democracy is something a society has to attain by its own efforts. You can't give democracy to anybody, anymore than you can give achievements to currently fashionable racial or sexual groups by means of "affirmative action" or any other such nonsense.

There are some things you have to earn by your own blood, toil, tears, and sweat.

Since you've raised the issue, would you care to state your own position on affirmative action and similar non-merit-based social initiatives?

<sneering expectantly>

Judy G. Russell
March 22nd, 2006, 08:39 PM
Nope, nope, nope. Not gonna play that game. I asked you a question, and I would like a clear straightforward answer:

Yes or no, counsellor: is Bush's opinion that democracy can be imposed by military action absurd?

Lindsey
March 22nd, 2006, 08:58 PM
I always thought the reason we went into the Balkans was to halt genocide (something we are obligated to do by international treaty), not to "impose democracy."

I would like to point out that the Village Voice is not Bill Clinton, but I think what they are saying, even though they are criticizing Clinton, nevertheless supports my impression:

bombing a country in the name of halting depredation

(quoting Clinton) "We must apply the same lessons in Kosovo before what happened in Bosnia happens there too"

Clinton's articulated policy ("The U.S. should always seek an opportunity to stand up againstó at least speak out againstó inhumanity")

Show me anything in that article, highly critical though it is, that says that Clinton went into the Balkans to "impose democracy."

--Lindsey

rlohmann
March 23rd, 2006, 05:19 PM
I'm not sure what you're after here, but I think it's as absurd for Bush as it was for OFPaLototFW and his lovely wife.

Are you implying that it was not absurd for OF...etc.?

<sneering expectantly>

Judy G. Russell
March 23rd, 2006, 05:41 PM
I think it's as absurd for Bush as it was for OFPaLototFWYou're halfway to independent thought! The other half, of course, will be achieved when you manage to say that Bush is wrong about something without comparing it to how wrong some former President/Senator/mayor/whatever who happened to have been a Democrat may have been.

ndebord
March 24th, 2006, 10:10 AM
Refresh my memory, please. When did Bill Clinton ever say that democracy could or should be imposed by military force?

--Lindsey

Lindsey,

Never, as an official policy of the American government under Bill Clinton.

Nobody since Wilson has officially sponsored preemptive war, until now and GWB. Clinton intervened in the Balkans after he had refused to intervene in Rawanda earlier on. Call it the shame factor if you will. Perhaps Ralph is referring to the cruise missles Clinton sent into the Sudan and Afghanistan, or Somalia.

rlohmann
March 24th, 2006, 03:49 PM
You're halfway to independent thought! Interesting observation.

I always thought that "independent thought" meant the ability to recognize perjury regardless of who was committing it.

<sneering absently>

rlohmann
March 24th, 2006, 04:02 PM
I picked that article out of the heap, after discarding a screed by Noam Chomsky,

http://www.chomsky.info/articles/199905--.htm

It was certainly clear within the Defense Department that we were supposed to bomb the Serbs into democracy. We thought it ironic that the draft-dodging Clinton had become so bellicose.

Judy G. Russell
March 24th, 2006, 04:22 PM
In other words, you really CAN'T criticize a Republican without dredging up ancient history about a Democrat?

Lindsey
March 24th, 2006, 09:00 PM
Call it the shame factor if you will. Perhaps Ralph is referring to the cruise missles Clinton sent into the Sudan and Afghanistan, or Somalia.
If that's what he meant -- none of those were for the purpose of "imposing democracy."

--Lindsey

Lindsey
March 24th, 2006, 09:23 PM
I picked that article out of the heap, after discarding a screed by Noam Chomsky,
Let me be sure I understand this: you are invoking Noam Chomsky to support your argument? You, the Archgrave of whatever-it-is-you-aspire-to-be-the-archgrave-of????

Can I assume that you are conceding that the first article did not, after all, support your contention that President Clinton sought to impose democracy by force?

As to Chomsky's piece: First, Chomsky is not Clinton. What Chomsky says Clinton thinks is not the point. But cut to the chase for me, please: Point me to the argument in it that (a) democracy can be imposed by force; or (b) that it's what the Clinton administration was trying to do?

It was certainly clear within the Defense Department that we were supposed to bomb the Serbs into democracy.
Again, what the Defense Department thought is not the same as what the Clinton administration either said or intended. Something like 85% of the current military personnel in Iraq think they are there to retaliate for Saddam Hussein's roll in 9/11, something even George W. Bush doesn't officially claim he was responsible for. But is there some public statement made by someone within the military to document that's what they thought their mission was?

--Lindsey