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  #41  
Old 05-06-2011, 10:43 AM
hamandcheese hamandcheese is offline
 
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Default Re: Canada Election Vlogging

Osama bin Laden is stuck on a track with an out of control trolley barreling towards him. You and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed just so happen to be on an overpass watching events occur on a CCTV, and could stop the trolley by dropping a heavy weight on the track. Do you push him over? is it an act of war or policing? how does the legal precedent of the Nuremberg trail affect your decision making?

That seems to capture the silly essence of the discussion, particularly from Glenn.

I'm fond of the analytical tradition in America but there are more important things to analyze than whether Hillary is human or just has spring allergies. Public interest in the Osama story has so far been driven by one part genuine news interest, ten parts voyeurism. As the days go by that ratio gets worse and worse.

And thanks to Twinsword and JonIrenicus for the good links.
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  #42  
Old 05-06-2011, 12:16 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Riley Waggaman gets serious

There's a lot I don't agree with in it, but I still think "What Is ‘America,’ Anyway?" deserves a read.
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  #43  
Old 05-06-2011, 12:38 PM
opposable_crumbs opposable_crumbs is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by TwinSwords View Post
In any case, if "reputation" is what we are concerned with, there seems to be overwhelming support for what happened in Abbotabad last Sunday, so I think our reputation was significantly helped, not hurt.
It depends on whether you are a President concerned with your reputation among the electorate, or with the international community. It is that same concern that makes releasing any photos of OBL to be very problematic.



Quote:

I am baffeled as But why would we have? It takes some nerve, I think, to ask the world to leave bin Laden roaming free to realize more of his murderous ambitions until such time as he turns himself in or we can cleanly arrest him.

Earlier someone said that it would have been "easy" to arrest bin Laden. Easy! Is that incredible, or what? If people can't grasp the enormous danger the SEALS were facing, they can't make rational judgments about how they should have conducted themselves once they found bin Laden.
No one has said that he should be allowed to roam free. Though the Taliban did offer to turn OBL over for trial to another country let's not forget. That would have been an easy out, if that's really what you are after.
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  #44  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:21 PM
chamblee54 chamblee54 is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

We all are.

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  #45  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:35 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
Al Qaeda, obviously, is neither a state nor an army; it is more like a band of pirates
Al Qaeda described as a band of religiously enhanced pirates. I like that one.
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  #46  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:40 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by thouartgob View Post
Al Qaeda described as a band of religiously enhanced pirates. I like that one.
If only they were also zombies.
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  #47  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:48 PM
Florian Florian is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
If only they were also zombies.
In a sense they are. Like all religiously enhanced pirates they are not afraid of death....because they are already dead.
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  #48  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:52 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

yeah, I thought of that, and the generally pre-modern attitudes would suggest an already dead world view.
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  #49  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:53 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs View Post
It depends on whether you are a President concerned with your reputation among the electorate, or with the international community.
I think the president's concern about the electorate is a more complicated thing. It's about managing the visceral fear that 9/11 caused in the american people. Bush et al. used that fear, stoked that fear to get done what he wanted to get done. I believe that Obama, on the other hand, understands that the fear that americans feel affects their decisions in disastrous ways and is not something to mess around with. From that point of view I think Obama wants to re-engage people's frontal lobes again in this country and removing bin laden as a threat and removing him from the world stage is going to be part of what needs to be done to do so.

Personally I was glad Bin Laden was taken out. I found myself bemused at the happy reaction people had, but that was catharsis. That was fear falling away. I didn't see the actual events of 9/11 until I got back from work. That gave me at least a little distance from the fear of the event so that in time I was able to ease my anger to manageable levels. People who watched the events unfold in real-time had an existential sense of fear ( as in their lives could really be in danger ) and that's way more traumatic. I might not agree but I understand where the revelers are coming from and that joy will quickly dissipate and life will be a bit more normal from now on now that this particular chapter has ended.
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Last edited by thouartgob; 05-07-2011 at 12:23 PM.. Reason: christ the gammar errors
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  #50  
Old 05-06-2011, 01:57 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
yeah, I thought of that, and the generally pre-modern attitudes would suggest an already dead world view.
medieval utopianism meets apocalyptic worldview. A death cult from a bygone era that exists only in their twisted fearful minds. Talk about hell on earth.
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  #51  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:05 PM
hamandcheese hamandcheese is offline
 
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Default Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
There's a lot I don't agree with in it, but I still think "What Is ‘America,’ Anyway?" deserves a read.
"Don’t be silly! America’s young people emerged from their condos to celebrate Death. Too bad Leni Riefenstahl wasn’t there with her Flip Cam." lol

But seriously, the author of that peice comes off sounding like an inflammatory idiot. From the comments:

"I'm actually in agreement with the point about withdrawing from Iraq and Afghanistan that you buried somewhere in that mammoth-sized wad of pink hippie slobber, but oh, if only you knew how many paragraphs of snark I forced myself to delete from this comment before posting. If this essay were entered into a competition for Most Libtardy Thing, it would win bronze and immediately cede its spot on the podium to the fourth-place entry because it came from an underprivileged background."

lolol
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  #52  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:07 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious

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Originally Posted by hamandcheese View Post
But seriously, the author of that peice comes off sounding like an inflammatory idiot.
I didn't think so. Struck me more as a young idealist.
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  #53  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:09 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by thouartgob View Post
medieval utopianism meets apocalyptic worldview. A death cult from a bygone era that exists only in their twisted fearful minds. Talk about hell on earth.
Yes, but as I understand it, and I have very limited knowledge, and all reference to virgins aside, their acts of "heroism" insure that everyone in their families are guaranteed a place in heaven.
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  #54  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:11 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by Florian View Post
In a sense they are. Like all religiously enhanced pirates they are not afraid of death....because they are already dead.
Not bad, not bad I must say.
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  #55  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:20 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Canada Election Vlogging

Quote:
That seems to capture the silly essence of the discussion, particularly from Glenn.
There's nothing silly about the rule of law, and you ought to be very grateful to people like Glenn reminding you of its principles and nuances.

Liberals used to love ACLU types and didn't give a shit when Republicans ridiculed them. Since Obama, however, liberals are wary of civil liberties and human rights lawyers and some even join in the ridicule.
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  #56  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:27 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Canada Election Vlogging

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Originally Posted by Wonderment View Post
Liberals used to love ACLU types and didn't give a shit when Republicans ridiculed them. Since Obama, however, liberals are wary of civil liberties and human rights lawyers and some even join in the ridicule.
I do think that it's true that some on the left who are defending the extrajudicial execution of OBL would've criticized it had it been Bush doing it. By the logic used, we should've just executed Khalid Sheik Mohammad when we found him.
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  #57  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:36 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by handle View Post
Yes, but as I understand it, and I have very limited knowledge, and all reference to virgins aside, their acts of "heroism" insure that everyone in their families are guaranteed a place in heaven.
Godly ends all to often mean ungodly means. A death cult is a death cult even if in destroying this world they gain a place in the next one. The religion isn't the issue just how it is practiced and interpreted ( usually an issue of not understanding the concept of the metaphor )

I tend to think of islamic fundamentalists as just wanting to be left alone for the most part, to be insulated from threats whereas the virulent strain that wants to war ( al qaeda etc. ) want to remove threats as they see them, prophylactic-ally, so to speak.
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  #58  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:49 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

Quote:
Originally Posted by thouartgob View Post
I think the president's concern about the electorate is a more complicated thing. It's about managing the visceral fear that 9/11 caused in the american people. Bush et al. used that fear, stoked that fear to do get done what he wanted to get done. I believe that Obama, on the other hand, understands that the fear that americans feel affects their decisions in disastrous ways and is not something to mess around with. From that point of view I think Obama want to re-engage people's frontal lobes again in this country and removing bin laden as a threat and removing him from the world stage is going to be part of what needs to be done to do so.

Personally I was glad Bin Laden was taken out. I found myself bemused at the happy reaction people had but that was catharsis. ... I might not agree but I understand where the revelers are coming from and that joy will quickly dissipate and life will be a bit more normal from now on now that this particular chapter has ended.
I agree with this. It's a unique situation that will now fade quietly into history because Obama handled it in the best possible way. I am disinterested in all the legal argumentation. Not everything can be reduced to the application of law.
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  #59  
Old 05-06-2011, 02:50 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
I agree with this. It's a unique situation that will now fade quietly into history because Obama handled it in the best possible way. I am disinterested in all the legal argumentation. Not everything can be reduced to the application of law.
So where do you draw the line?
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  #60  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:21 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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So where do you draw the line?
I draw the line pretty much under secretive terrorist leaders who are publicly at war with the US. I would not take out leaders like Gaddafi, for example. I prefer to let his subjects suffer in the absence of US intervention.
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  #61  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:25 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by thouartgob View Post
Godly ends all to often mean ungodly means. A death cult is a death cult even if in destroying this world they gain a place in the next one. The religion isn't the issue just how it is practiced and interpreted ( usually an issue of not understanding the concept of the metaphor )

I tend to think of islamic fundamentalists as just wanting to be left alone for the most part, to be insulated from threats whereas the virulent strain that wants to war ( al qaeda etc. ) want to remove threats as they see them, prophylactic-ally, so to speak.
[emph. added]

Ah ha! I suspect you see fundamentalism (and most modern organized religion) as I do, not a practice of religion itself, but the perversion of said religion's teachings and texts from metaphorical life lessons, to literal interpretations. Which leads to a separation from the intent of the originators, that enables the "interpreters" to use it as a means to indoctrinate, and manipulate their followers.
I tend not to engage in the religious debates here, because to me, it's just that simple, and the fact that we are no longer even discussing religion, but the complete distortion, and misuse of it, renders me uninterested.

I completely agree with your main point regarding virulent strains, and see this as another very destructive aspect of what I have described.
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  #62  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:26 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious

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I didn't think so. Struck me more as a young idealist.
agreed but on the other hand this issue is a tough one. The threads of conversation and opinion in this forum as in others cut against the grain of normal political discourse in this country. It's exciting in a way since real feelings are displayed but in is scary because real feelings ( fear in this case ) are also exposed.

In theory I would have liked bin laden to get trial in civilian court in NYC and all that but I also believe that would only have a chance at working if Bush himself was the one responsible for capturing him ( he played up the fear and should be responsible to allying it symbolically ) and that just isn't the way things worked out. This country is too big and powerful to be at the mercy of a scared electorate. With all of the agnotology going on ( great word by the way ) in this country ( never mind others similarly afflicted ) we need some breathing room and some time to get in the habit of responding to things not react to them. Sounds a bit pop-psyche I know but I feel the arc of 9/11 is just beyond anything we can control, it has to processed.

For me this incident is one of those exceptions that proves the rule. A quick burn to cauterize the wound so to speak. Not exactly consistent but this country needs a clear head and not having bin laden around will aid in that IMHO.
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  #63  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:27 PM
operative operative is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
I draw the line pretty much under secretive terrorist leaders who are publicly at war with the US. I would not take out leaders like Gaddafi, for example. I prefer to let his subjects suffer in the absence of US intervention.
Ok, so there are two levels there--the fact that he's a non-state actor and the fact that he's at war with the United States. Do both of them have to be true? You contrast him with Gaddafi, but Gaddafi isn't at war with us; if he declared war on us and proceeded to launch some sort of assault on US strategic interests or something of the sort, would it be better to simply assassinate him than to bring him for trial? Or is this reserved for non-state actors?
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  #64  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:39 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Ok, so there are two levels there--the fact that he's a non-state actor and the fact that he's at war with the United States. Do both of them have to be true? You contrast him with Gaddafi, but Gaddafi isn't at war with us; if he declared war on us and proceeded to launch some sort of assault on US strategic interests or something of the sort, would it be better to simply assassinate him than to bring him for trial? Or is this reserved for non-state actors?
AND he's a leader, or someone with the resources to actually do great damage. Yes, all three factors must be true.

In the case of a declared war, with a profound assault on the US, I suppose I would go to congress and get permission to give the enemy the Iraq treatment.
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  #65  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:52 PM
thouartgob thouartgob is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by handle View Post
Ah ha! I suspect you see fundamentalism (and most modern organized religion) as I do, not a practice of religion itself, but the perversion of said religion's teachings and texts from metaphorical life lessons, to literal interpretations. Which leads to a separation from the intent of the originators, that enables the "interpreters" to use it as a means to indoctrinate, and manipulate their followers.
Quite so. I am an agnostic atheist for the most part but I do believe that various practices ( religious or otherwise ) have a symbolic power that can work wonders for the human psyche and since it can be powerful it can be dangerous. Obscuring the metaphors with literal interpretations are indeed a simple matter of trying to control. The horrible comedy of it all is that many religions actually warn you to not mix metaphor with reality, but those warnings are themselves distorted. I could be mistaken but idea of not portraying the prophet Muhammad is really a warning to not create concrete image that obscures true nature of something that is transcendent, yet this proscription itself is taken too literally and people who draw a cartoon are threatened and killed by people trying to protect something that can't be protected because the concrete symbol has no real meaning in a spiritual sense.

The irony and tragedy of it all is staggering if you think about it.
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  #66  
Old 05-06-2011, 03:56 PM
stephanie stephanie is offline
 
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There's nothing silly about the rule of law, and you ought to be very grateful to people like Glenn reminding you of its principles and nuances.
Is hamandcheese a self-proclaimed liberal? I don't recall, and wouldn't have gotten that idea from this discussion.

Quote:
Liberals used to love ACLU types and didn't give a shit when Republicans ridiculed them.
Really? Is the set of "liberals" defined by Michael Dukakis? I love ACLU types myself, but without knowing how you are using the term "liberal" (and assuming from the reference to Obama that it's basically being used to mean "Democrats" or those in the leftmost half of the US), I don't think that's remotely true. Some not insignificant group of self-proclaimed liberals and Dems probably liked (and still like) the idea of the ACLU, but most people, liberal or not, have generally gotten bothered by much of what the ACLU has actually stood up for. This is a large reason why the ACLU is important and good.

The idea, though, that the mainstream "liberals," the left half of the country, or Dems are somehow less "liberal" or less pro civil rights since Obama was elected seems to me to ignore the history here. History which includes a huge portion of the Dems being less than supportive of these kinds of issues (or rulings like Miranda, say) in the Cold War age generally, the fact that Clinton clearly wasn't, and it was obvious that that was reassuring to many, and that Obama's hints that he might be better during the campaign seem to have given way to political realities. Realities that, much as it might be nice to have someone to blame, appear to have preexisted and defined him. Sure, it would be great, probably, if he were more of a leader on issues that were generally unpopular in the country, but not surprising he isn't, and if we had to rely on the executive to lead on civil rights issues, especially the most unpopular war and crime ones, we'd really be in trouble.

(I think that some on the left got a weird idea about this during the Bush administration when the wide-spread anger by many at much of what Bush did led to the idea that there was a whole-scale rejection of much of what the US has always done. Thus, an assumption that the country as a whole was more to the left on a variety of issues than has ever been the case.)

Last edited by stephanie; 05-06-2011 at 04:00 PM..
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  #67  
Old 05-06-2011, 04:10 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious

Quote:
Originally Posted by thouartgob View Post
agreed but on the other hand this issue is a tough one. The threads of conversation and opinion in this forum as in others cut against the grain of normal political discourse in this country. It's exciting in a way since real feelings are displayed but in is scary because real feelings ( fear in this case ) are also exposed.

In theory I would have liked bin laden to get trial in civilian court in NYC and all that but I also believe that would only have a chance at working if Bush himself was the one responsible for capturing him ( he played up the fear and should be responsible to allying it symbolically ) and that just isn't the way things worked out. This country is too big and powerful to be at the mercy of a scared electorate. With all of the agnotology going on ( great word by the way ) in this country ( never mind others similarly afflicted ) we need some breathing room and some time to get in the habit of responding to things not react to them. Sounds a bit pop-psyche I know but I feel the arc of 9/11 is just beyond anything we can control, it has to processed.

For me this incident is one of those exceptions that proves the rule. A quick burn to cauterize the wound so to speak. Not exactly consistent but this country needs a clear head and not having bin laden around will aid in that IMHO.
I'm pretty much where you are, I think. I view OBL as a unique case, and if my ideal (matching yours, of capture, followed by trial in civilian (or world) court) couldn't be met, I think it was a nasty bit of business that had to be done, and was best done quickly.

I'm also less opposed to targeted killings than a lot of other people. Ever since the US went into Panama to arrest Manuel Noreiga ("take him alive"), which meant a cost of several hundred to several thousand lives, this notion of principle about the US government supposedly not being in the assassination business has always seemed problematic. Or farcical, depending on my mood.
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  #68  
Old 05-06-2011, 04:15 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

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Originally Posted by thouartgob View Post
Quite so. I am an agnostic atheist for the most part but I do believe that various practices ( religious or otherwise ) have a symbolic power that can work wonders for the human psyche and since it can be powerful it can be dangerous. Obscuring the metaphors with literal interpretations are indeed a simple matter of trying to control. The horrible comedy of it all is that many religions actually warn you to not mix metaphor with reality, but those warnings are themselves distorted. I could be mistaken but idea of not portraying the prophet Muhammad is really a warning to not create concrete image that obscures true nature of something that is transcendent, yet this proscription itself is taken too literally and people who draw a cartoon are threatened and killed by people trying to protect something that can't be protected because the concrete symbol has no real meaning in a spiritual sense.

Horrible comedy... I love that, well said. I never came to your realization of the unreality of it actually morphing into a sort of parallel faux reality, but such is the nature of ideology set adrift I suppose. But this is a very logical extension of what I already understand to be the case.

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Originally Posted by thouartgob View Post
The irony and tragedy of it all is staggering if you think about it.
Spot on, again. That's what leads me to prefer not to obsess on it too much (although I'm not sure if this is the "right" thing to do), and try to remind myself to understand God (Gob?) as a metaphor for that which we do not understand (much of everything) and that which exists inside all of us, but, of which, we are unconscious.
Keeps me off the meds, anyway.
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  #69  
Old 05-06-2011, 04:36 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Canada Election Vlogging

I may have used the terms "liberal" and "ACLU-type" loosely, but what is clear as day to me is how criticism of the US wars and human rights abuses has remarkably evaporated under Obama, despite the fact that in many ways, as 'Heads like Eli Lake and Glenn Greenwald have pointed out repeatedly, Obama has not only continued Bush policies, but worse, he has done so in violation of his own campaign promises to repudiate them.

The opiate of the (liberal) masses is Barack Obama.

This dialogue is a perfect example, not because Glenn's points entirely fail to resonate with the same people who were flipping out over Bush/Cheney, but also because the blather of former Bush mouthpiece David Frum is now hard to distinguish from what we now hear from Obama administration apologists both in the mainstream media and on Bheads.
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  #70  
Old 05-06-2011, 04:40 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious

young idealist vs. inflammatory idiot.

One man's....

In all seriousness, I am having trouble seeing how both labels don't apply in this case....
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  #71  
Old 05-06-2011, 04:44 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Canada Election Vlogging

Or it might actually be the case that liberals agree with "ACLU types" about some things but not others.

Unless, you know, agreeing about one thing means one has to agree about everything else.

Go Team!

Last edited by miceelf; 05-06-2011 at 04:46 PM.. Reason: darn free range quotation marks
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  #72  
Old 05-06-2011, 04:45 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

Indeed, hell on earth is most often created by those who are trying to make things better on the next one (whether the next one is determined by putative deity or by an impersonal abstraction, thrown in to include Stalin et al.)
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  #73  
Old 05-06-2011, 04:45 PM
TwinSwords TwinSwords is offline
 
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Default Dalai Lama on killing Bin Laden

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For his entire life, the Dalai Lama has stood as a symbol of peace, understanding and compassion. Hell, he won't even kill mosquitoes.

But the Serene One turned some heads this week during an appearance in California at USC when he seemed to suggest that the killing of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden by U.S. Navy SEALs was OK with him. (He also raised eyebrows for wearing a Trojans hat, but that's another story.)

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Dalai Lama said that, yes, as a human being bin Laden deserved compassion and forgiveness, but then added that, "forgiveness doesn't mean forget what happened. … If something is serious and it is necessary to take counter-measures, you have to take counter-measures."
(Source)
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  #74  
Old 05-06-2011, 04:52 PM
miceelf miceelf is offline
 
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Default Re: Canada Election Vlogging

Your recall of liberals' criticisms of Bush is a little incomplete.

Sure, there were people who opposed all wars ever, and I think they are just as vocal as ever, they are just no longer as likely to be joined by the people who opposed Iraq specifically, and thought Afghanistan was the better war. (Obama was very explicit about this point, and if people didn't believe him when he said it, I don't know what that says).

As well, a common liberal criticism of Bush wasn't that he was willing to kill bin Laden, but that he was willing to kill a bunch of people *other than* bin Laden. Indeed, Bush's failure to focus on killing bin Laden (and instead his focus on killing a bunch of unrelated Iraqis) was indeed a big piece of the criticism of Bush from mainstream Dems.

You may not have liked those criticisms and they may not have resonated with you, but they were out there, even among some of the people who might have joined the more pacifist set at "out of Iraq" rallies.
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  #75  
Old 05-06-2011, 04:54 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Law, Power, and Bin Laden (Glenn Greenwald & David Frum)

It seems to me that all of the talk of rules of engagement has become anachronistic. The people of the US are sick of boots on the ground and building new societies for those who hate us and would like to see us gone.

And yet we must protect ourselves from threats. The threats we are seeing today have nothing much to do with the wars we have fought in the past, since symmetry is gone. And so the old rules no longer apply. I think the conflicts we engage in in the future will have much more to do with surgical strikes based on intelligence, like the one that took out Osama Bin Laden.

Of course, as those who oppose us catch on, this won't be as easy as it was last weekend, but it should suffice for at least a while. It will serve, for a while, to let our enemies know we are watching and will allow no mischief without consequences. This has got to be preferable and certainly less expensive than what we are currently engaged in.

And of course, this will set up a lot of questions about new rules of engagement and the way foreign affairs will be conducted in the future.
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  #76  
Old 05-06-2011, 05:00 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Luis Posada Carriles - an act of war?

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In 2005, the US refused to extradite Cuban Airplane Bomber and CIA asset Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela, the judge cited concerns about the potential threat of torture he faced. I also expect this ruling was a relief to any US administration that was worried about what potentially embarrassing details Carriles might reveal about the CIA and US government.

Just as Carriles had powerful protectors in the US establishment, Pakistan may have faced the same problem and his 'house arrest' may have been a tactical concession to gain leverage with those who would otherwise be more of a threat to the Government.
Yes, the case of mass murderer and psychopath Posada Carriles is an interesting one. We have harbored other Cuban terrorists because they are anti-Castro, but he is clearly the worst of the lot.

Democrats and Republicans are very wary of pissing off Cuban voters, particularly in the key electoral state of Florida. The Pakistanis, of course, also have analogous fears about alienating voters by cooperating too closely with the CIA and the US military.
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  #77  
Old 05-06-2011, 05:05 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Canada Election Vlogging

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You may not have liked those criticisms and they may not have resonated with you, but they were out there, even among some of the people who might have joined the more pacifist set at "out of Iraq" rallies.
Those are good points, but you're ignoring the disconnect between Obama-candidate and Obama-president. I come across many people who still think O-C is the same person as O-P. They don't believe their lying eyes.
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:17 PM
handle handle is offline
 
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Default Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious

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Originally Posted by bjkeefe View Post
I'm pretty much where you are, I think. I view OBL as a unique case, and if my ideal (matching yours, of capture, followed by trial in civilian (or world) court) couldn't be met, I think it was a nasty bit of business that had to be done, and was best done quickly.

I'm also less opposed to targeted killings than a lot of other people. Ever since the US went into Panama to arrest Manuel Noreiga ("take him alive"), which meant a cost of several hundred to several thousand lives, this notion of principle about the US government supposedly not being in the assassination business has always seemed problematic. Or farcical, depending on my mood.
Exactly, and all idealistic posturing aside, if blowing the figurehead off a perceived enemy avoids the kind of collateral damage we've seen in Iraq, the there's only one common sense solution.
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:22 PM
bjkeefe bjkeefe is offline
 
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Default Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious

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Originally Posted by miceelf View Post
young idealist vs. inflammatory idiot.

One man's....

In all seriousness, I am having trouble seeing how both labels don't apply in this case....
Much depends on connotation, it seems to me. One carries an almost completely dismissive feel, the other a much more charitable reaction.

But if you're saying that you don't see how both don't apply, I suppose I could also understand that as an expression that your reaction was midway between Samuel's and mine.
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Old 05-06-2011, 05:24 PM
Wonderment Wonderment is offline
 
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Default Re: Riley Waggaman gets serious

Manuel Noriega was just a CIA employee gone rogue. There was no legitimate national security reason for his arrest, much less the invasion of his country.

If we didn't think we still owned Panamá because of the long imperial history of the Canal Zone, the invasion would never have happened.

The invasion of Panamá was condemned by the UN by a wide margin of votes.
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