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I'm making this post so people (this means YOU, taxilnecrobane) can debate me on whether Global Politics can be boiled down into very simple concepts. I say the world is more complex than that, and anyone who tells you different is trying to sell you something.

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( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
packy
Nov. 4th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC)
Oh, btw, it was proven that Bush's IQ is 5 points higher than Kerrys. just thought you should know.

You know what? I don't care. This isn't about Bush being smarter than Kerry. I wasn't particularly thrilled with Kerry as a candidate, though the more I came to understand his worldview the more I came to respect it.

This is about Bush trying to boil international affairs down into soundbytes and absolutes. America is good and everyone who opposes us is evil. Well, it's just not that simple. America treats the middle east as if it was occupied by a bunch of aboriginals who are barely civilized and have no clue the value of the oil they're sitting on. It's an attitude toward the middle east that the US inherited from Europe, and it's one that the middle east has been suffering under for at least two hundred years. This isn't a problem that can be solved by american troops coming in and toppling a dictator, or by displacing right-wing religious regime that showed intolerance for any religious views other than its own (wait! Am I still talking about the Taliban or am I talking about the Bush regime)... all that does is create power vacuums that are quickly filled by warlords, rogue clerics, insurgents eager to push the infidel out, and no end of other possibilities. Sure, you can kill them, too, but there are always more to take their place. Where do you stop? Once you've leveled the country and all its neighbors for good measure? What do you do when you've done all that and then opportunists from the other side of the globe come in to fill the vacuum of power?

The people in the middle east aren't evil. And Osama bin Laden isn't targeting the United States because he hates freedom. He's targeting the United States because the arab people of the middle east want freedom, and he figures that he can make his mark by fighting the people who prevent them from having the freedom they want. The United States isn't provding that freedom: the US is seen as an beligerant nation that invaded a soverign arab nation without cause and set up it's own puppet government (after overthrowing the puppet government it had in there before that had gone rogue--need I remind you of the photos from the 80's of Dick Cheney shaking hands with our good buddy Saddam Hussein).

And even with everything I'm saying, it's not as simple as I'm making it out to be. It's way more complex than that. I've spent a great deal of time studying the middle east, and what I've learned is that I don't know nearly enough to solve the problems. But I know enough to know what the right direction is, and the right direction is NOT going in with guns a-blazing like a cowboy.

That's the way to get ourselves in so much deep shit, we'll feel nostalgic about the sense of security we felt on 9/12.
taxilnecrobane
Nov. 4th, 2004 09:54 pm (UTC)
Kerry's worldview is to seek approval U.N. over the best interest of the U.S. That is country to his job as president. The U.N. that Kerry loves so much is filled with corruption and it has a long track record of standing by and watching genocide happen. Even when they do hop into some hot spot, they are worse than the keystone cops at solving it are.

Are we "good"? I'd say so. Sure, we're not prefect but what is? The main point here is that we are TRYING to do good. It’s obvious that you would rather have Saddam and his butt ugly boys still ruling Iraq and killing and rapeing as they pleased.

The Islamic religion AND culture has not only refused to adapt to the changing world, but is hostile to change. Now with out of control spread of wahabi-izm in Islam (which happened quite along time ago) they have become out right savages. [Let a lowly woman even dare to speak up for herself, much less even show a bit of skin. They kill her! Heck, when they rape them, it's the woman's fault. I could use more examples, but those are for later]

Again, you are wrong packy, OBL is attacking us because we are the strongest opposition to his desire of spreading the sickness of extremist Islamic belief. If you think OBL wants freedom for the Arabs, then you are so deluded in your mindset that is no hope for you. OBL wants to "purify" Islam and kill or forcibly convert EVERYONE else on earth to his viewpoint.

Ever wonder why Arafat was never invited to the White House during the last 4 years? Because he's a MURDERER, that's why. Most of the Islamic and/or Arab leaders are right bastards and have blood on their hands. Afganistand just had their first election and the PEOPLE organized them selves. They will make their own choices and go in the directions THEY want. IS that not freedom?

If that is real freedom, then WHY are OBL's goombas and those like them trying to prevent that from happening? Are you, packy, so mentally closed off that you don't realize that what these modern day Islamic barbarians want to slap a fascist Islamic theocratic police state upon the whole world?

We ARE providing freedom. If you are too mentally blind to see that, then our debate is just a waste of time.

If you really don't know how to deal with them as you have admitted to right here, then how do you know what way is right or wrong?

We already let ourselves get into deep shit already; Bush is trying the best he can to get us OUT of it.

For now, our discussion has come to an end.
packy
Nov. 5th, 2004 06:03 am (UTC)
Sigh. You've bought the President's propaganda hook, line and sinker, haven't you?

Kerry's worldview is to seek approval U.N. over the best interest of the U.S.

No, Kerry's worldview is that diplomacy is always preferable to war. When you fight a war, you expend a lot of resources and (in case you care about this) lots of people DIE. A war should only be fought when you have exhausted every single other option.

Are we "good"? I'd say so. Sure, we're not prefect but what is? The main point here is that we are TRYING to do good. It’s obvious that you would rather have Saddam and his butt ugly boys still ruling Iraq and killing and rapeing as they pleased.

Then why have more Iraqi civilians died in the past 18 months under US rule than died in the last decade of Saddam's rule? Why do a majority of the Iraqi populace not want the US in their country? I am no fan of Saddam Hussein, but deposing Saddam in a half-assed invasion was NOT in the best interest of Iraq.

And yes. I did just say that the invasion was half-assed. Not only did Bush have not have any good reasons for invading, he had no plan for what was going to happen after he got Saddam out of power. He naively believed that the Iraqi people would welcome us as liberators and immediately fall into a peaceful waiting period while the benevolent americans set up a government. Such naivete of the basic social composition of a country he was invading is inexcusable.

The Islamic religion AND culture has not only refused to adapt to the changing world, but is hostile to change. Now with out of control spread of wahabi-izm in Islam (which happened quite along time ago) they have become out right savages.

This is outright racism. You have no IDEA what Islam preaches--you only know the soundbytes provided for you by the administration. If you had ever studied Islam (which I have) then you would know that the Islamic religion you profane is one of the most tolerant religions I've ever seen. What you seem to be unable to distinguish is the difference between radical islam and the Islam as a whole. That's kind of like saying that Mel Gibson's flavour of Catholicism represents Christianity as a whole.

Again, you are wrong packy, OBL is attacking us because we are the strongest opposition to his desire of spreading the sickness of extremist Islamic belief. If you think OBL wants freedom for the Arabs, then you are so deluded in your mindset that is no hope for you. OBL wants to "purify" Islam and kill or forcibly convert EVERYONE else on earth to his viewpoint.

Oh, God, you're naive. OBL wants personal power. Attacking the enemies of his power base is the way he's getting it. If the US weren't seen by the Arab world as the enemy of their society, we wouldn't be in his sights--he'd still be fighting the RUSSIANS. But of course, understanding that means you have to understand the Arab mindset, and to do that you'd have to learn more than a few soundbytes about them. And to do THAT, you'd have to stop letting other people do your thinking for you.

(continued)
packy
Nov. 5th, 2004 06:04 am (UTC)
Ever wonder why Arafat was never invited to the White House during the last 4 years? Because he's a MURDERER, that's why. Most of the Islamic and/or Arab leaders are right bastards and have blood on their hands. Afganistand just had their first election and the PEOPLE organized them selves. They will make their own choices and go in the directions THEY want. IS that not freedom?

One man's "murderer" is another man's "freedom fighter". In the eyes of many, many people in the world, George W. Bush is a MURDERER. Heck, George Washington was a MURDERER. The reality of the world is that when you're dealing with people with whom you've been fighting for any period of time, you need to set aside what has happened in the past and start talking about the future.

The real reason that Arafat hasn't been invited to the White House during Bush's reign is because GWB isn't a "diplomacy president." He's a "wartime president."

And the election in Afghanistan is a joke. Sure, the election happened all over the country, but the only part of the country that's under the control of the Afghani president is Kabul. The rest of the country is ruled by war-lords--not by Osama bin Laden, who's pretty much moved on to greener pastures.

We ARE providing freedom. If you are too mentally blind to see that, then our debate is just a waste of time.

And you're too mentally blind to see that we're not. What freedom are we providing? We topple the Taliban, but let regional war-lords set up shop in it's stead. We topple Saddam, but have so few troops in the country that it's awash in insurgents who've seen their opportunity and flooded into the country in droves. The United States is stopming around the world like a bull in a china shop, claiming theat they're freeing people, but all we're doing is leaving disaster in our wake. I dislike Saddam intensely, but the Iraqi people were actually better off under his rule than they are now, and it will be at least a decade or two before they're back to where they were in January 2003.

We already let ourselves get into deep shit already; Bush is trying the best he can to get us OUT of it.

*shakes head* No, Bush is actually repeating the mistakes of the past, thus getting us in deeper. In 1953, when the US overthrew the democratically elected government of Iran and set up it's own puppet government, we went deeper into shit. Now the mid-east sees us as doing the exact same thing as we did back then. Are these democratically elected governments we're deposing? No, but that doesn't matter. We're still going in and setting up puppets, and that's not winning us any fans ANYWHERE in the world.

So, once again, it boils down to "the US is GOOD, everybody who opposes us is EVIL." That's not a path to peace, that's a path to global war.
taxilnecrobane
Nov. 5th, 2004 06:25 am (UTC)
If you "studied" history, you should know that "freedom fighters" know when peace is at hand, they will stop fighting and settle down. Arafat was offered the best peace proposal from Isrial and he WALKED away from it and blew up buses agian. He's untrustworthy.

i could keep going on with you, but you fail at history packy. You said you studyed the middle east, but i see you failed to pass the class.

you have once more proven to me and everyone else you really don't have a clue as you have stated you don't know.

But i will give you credit that you are giveing me much admusment. It's the same admusment that the left is giveing me in their mental break down as they can't stand the fact they have lost power for well over a generation. What's even more funnier is that they haven't even learned anything from this.
packy
Nov. 5th, 2004 06:39 am (UTC)
i could keep going on with you, but you fail at history packy. You said you studyed the middle east, but i see you failed to pass the class.

Actually, I got an 'A'. The professor was very impressed with my grasp of international politics, and he invited me to take his other classes, because he thought I raised the level of discussion in the class.

It doesn't matter whether you consider Arafat a "freedom fighter" or not--what matters is whether he has the political clout within the Palestinian community to broker a peace deal. He used to have that clout, but once he started settling in as the leader of the Palestinian Authority, he managed to squander that clout. Unfortunately, there isn't anybody else I can see in the Palestinian community who has the clout to pull off a peace deal.

What's really sad is that you have no clue, either, yet you refuse to believe admit it. Ignorance is not strength. It's just ignorance.

Oh, and while we're on the subject of ignorance, it's "studied" and "amusement". Please, unless you like looking like a complete fool, use the spell check that's next to the "Preview" button. Then I can concentrate on the weakness of your arguments without being distracted by the weakness of your spelling.
taxilnecrobane
Nov. 5th, 2004 11:53 am (UTC)
Like i Believe that you got an "A".

But the more i watch you now, the more i believe that you are infact suffering from a mental break down from the trama of being on the loser's side in this election. I know it's hard on you and you are in total denile of what has happen. I do hope you get treatment for it.

But sense you equate Bush to "Murderer" and Arafat to "freedom fighter", i think you need alot of treatment.

Arafat got his clout by killing off his rivals and squashing any other form of options of dealing with the Jews in Isrial other than blowing up school kids. It is you packy who refuses to admit you lost to me on this point. you are sounding so much like Carvile than you realize.

If my spelling is the only point you can attack me on, you have truely lost.

Have a nice day Mr. Packy.
packy
Nov. 5th, 2004 02:15 pm (UTC)
I could scan the report card. I have it buried somewhere. Heck, I could scan my whole transscript... except, I really don't have to prove anything to you. I'm just suggesting that you'd understand the middle east a bit more if you actually spent some time trying to understand it better, rather than dismissing them as uncivilized barbarians. If it weren't for the arabs maintaining civilization for a few hundred years, Europe would never have been able to get back the knowledge it threw away during the Dark Ages. Oh, and you know those number things you use? 1, 2, 3... like that? Arabic numerals. If it weren't for them, you'd still be counting I, II, III, IV...

Anyway, I'm not saying that *I* think Arafat is a freedom fighter or that Bush is a murderer. I'm saying that the PALESTINIANS (as well as a goodly number of other arabs) see Arafat as a freedom fighter. You're not going to be able to have any kind of meaningful dialogue with them unless you recognize where they're coming from. Unless, of course, your idea of peace is to kill all the palestinians and declare the war over. But even that won't solve the problem, because you can't completely wipe out a group of people, and their relatives will always come when you least expect it and make you regret your actions.

Hence, 9/11.

This isn't some kind of hallucinatory trip due to the shock of seeing GWB elected for a second term. I've held these beliefs in the middle east since the late 90's, when I took these International Studies classes as the final requirements for my degree (unlike some people, my parents couldn't afford to send me to college, so I had to work my way through--took me 15 years). And, strangely enough, many of my views are backed up by the US State Department. Unfortunately, Bush didn't want to listen to the wusses in State, and instead decided to let the Pentagon do all the planning. This is why we had such a quick and decisive victory in Iraq... and NO plan on what to do after the victory was won.

So stop trying to dismiss my views as hallucinatory or just post-election sour grapes. Either you're willing to debate the complexity of global politics with arguments about the actual topic at hand, or you concede defeat. You can't declare victory in a debate just because Bush won the election. Bush can still be president, and global politics can still be a complex topic that requires more thought than you're willing to give it.

Oh, and it's "denial" and "Israel". Your spelling isn't the only thing I have to attack you on; it's just that one that's the most fun. What I find amazing is your staunch refusal to use the spell-check function at your disposal. Is it that you LIKE spelling things incorrectly? Or are you like Bush, where you feel you can define your own reality and everyone else has to accept it?
packy
Nov. 5th, 2004 02:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, and it's "truly". Please tell me that English isn't your first language. That, at least, I could understand.
(Deleted comment)
packy
Nov. 6th, 2004 01:04 pm (UTC)
No offense
No offense--debate is not my strong suit, and, to be honest, I'm not used to submitting my anaysis of global issues to someone with such a radically different epistemology than mine. I'm much more used to my classes, where my professors were knowledgeable about the topic at hand. Thank you for your constructive criticism and support.
sharpsight
Nov. 8th, 2004 03:27 am (UTC)
The Triad speaks:
(Personal opinion: In terms of Global Politics, and much else, everything can be boiled down to power and resources. It may be even simpler.)
packy
Nov. 8th, 2004 04:40 am (UTC)
Re: The Triad speaks:
That's like saying that all science boils down to physics. All sociology boils down to psychology. All psychology boils down to physiology. All physiology boils down to biology. All biology boils down to physics.

And all physics boils down to math. However, having recognized that, how useful is it? What are the equations for Global Politics?

Sure, it's all power and resources. But where do the power and resources come from? Can different people get power from different sources? And what can one do with the power? I mean, the US is, without question, the greatest MILLITARY power, but all that millitary power can't stop people from hating the US--all it can do is imprison or kill them.

I say that on any useful level, Global Politics has to be complex. If you boil it down to the level of power and resources you either a) introduce even MORE complexity as you try to keep track of all the higher-order systems you're "simplifying" (think of it this way, which is an easier way to look at the human body: a collection of organs and tissues, or a mathematical model tracking the movement of each and every subatomic particle in the body), or b) you're throwing out information in order to keep your model simple. In the first case, you create more headaches for yourself (and you'd better hope your models are correct), and in the second case you're just ignoring part of the problem and hoping it won't matter.
sharpsight
Nov. 8th, 2004 02:34 pm (UTC)
Re: The Triad speaks:
You have a point. However, I am nowhere near an exhaustive 'theory of politics'; I perhaps have a few thoughts, but they're far from permanently applicable.

My point, thought? It can be boiled down into very simple concepts. The hard part is working out how these concepts interact.

Like atoms in a body, or neurons in a brain....
packy
Nov. 8th, 2004 08:28 pm (UTC)
Re: The Triad speaks:
Exactly. But that's not really the point.

Taxil wants it to be simple concepts easily understood by anybody who has the sense to realize it. Simple concepts with complex interactions isn't what he wants.

Of course, it's no fun now that Taxil's left the game. :(
saratoga80
Nov. 12th, 2004 08:45 pm (UTC)
Droppping In
"Ideas are most profound when simple. It's execution that is complicated."

With a Master's in Geography, concentration in International Trade, and a practicing economist, I can affirm that our ideas are simple. The problem is that life never works along theoretical lines. So too, I assum, is the same with all things.

We can arguueabout WMDs, which may have moved, may have been destroyed, or may have happened to them what happened to much of Russia's nuclear stockpile: age and neglect lead to general break down. For example, some 15 year old ricin cap bullets were found by the US troops. As the official report revealed: there are two edged swords here: although there were no WMDs, there was an active attempt to gather them and perhaps purchase precrsor materials. To put it another way, which is the better fate: using soldiers to remove a madman whose threat is weaker than stated, or not doing anything who winds up being as strong as he is evil? Hindsight is 20/20. My question is: given the same situation,what would you have done with no foreknowledge?

Iraq is a different situation than before. It's not Iran in 1953, or Vietnam, or anything else. This is our first experiment in pre-emptive nation building. Whether or not it works, we will see. This much I can tell you: the eventual showdown with Iraq is historical inevitability. When we didn't dislodge Saddam in 1990, we left a danegrous wounded animal. His sons would have been no better - at some point, this war was coming. History shows festering global wounds lead to war.

No one welcomes conquerors - but Germany wasn't very welcoming in 1945. They sure as hell were grateful in 1955. The key is long-term outlook. Are we fighting for democracy or for our own politics? History is a better judge than the present. I think you have oversimplified the Iraq matter into "resistors" and "conquerors" - the vast majority of Iraqis are happy that Saddam is gone, but like anyone else, when that stability is gone, the Devil you knew is gone for the potential Devil you don't know. Democracy is not given all that often, and the Iraqi people of all stripes are at a choice point: democracy, dictatorship or some other muddle-through approach?
We'll see.

As to number of trooops, we have over 100,000 - you say more troops, but you fail to say ho wmany and how you would deploy them and what particular strategy is useful with more troops.

As to Afghanistan, the country is in better shape than you wold believe. There are some warlords in the moutain regions, but more and more are joining the government - is it perfect? no. And as to the election, some 10.5 million people are registered to vote, including approximately 4.3 million women. That compares to no voting before, and brutal attacks on the rights of women from before. You call it a joke - but in the US first election, less than 30% of the total population was eligible to vote - by law. Women, slaves, and even some former slaves could not vote. Democracy is a process, and if you want to compare first elections in national history, their's is more inclusive than ours, Britain's and France's. You call it a joke, but Afghanistan isn't laughing - they're grateful.

Finally, I object to the term "mindset" or "worldview". There is no american worldview, and i rather suspect there is no Arab one either. We always get caught up in caring about how Arabs see us. I think that we are missing the point: America was more united around George W than we were arond any president since his father in 1988. Granted, there was no major 3rd party candidate this year, however, the term united is silly - so is a worldview. Arabs who love democracy and freedom and the potential wealth of investing with America hate terrorists. Arabs who are from the Islamic radical sect will hate America because freedom is the counter to their form of Islam -the only our way is the way Islam. This of course, is a minorty view. But it is the view with the will to use the guns and weaponry. The world is shrinking - they can, andhave, struck everywhere. We have no choice but to take the battle to them in two ways: by etablishing freedom where they once bred terror, and in giving people economic chances to get ahead once that freedomis secured.

-- rich
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