inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #76 of 146: John Zuill (klauposius) Tue 18 Nov 03 12:45
    
May the race be worthy of your sentiments David Kline
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #77 of 146: tambourine verde (barb-albq) Tue 18 Nov 03 13:04
    
For the cup half empty view: the greed and need to dominate others
seems be hardwired. Their expression just comes in revised, more masked
forms. For instance, slavery is gone from the US but our very economic
system ensures it continues and grows elsewhere to serve our consumer
and investor needs. We have cut out a piece of the world and are
ridding it of lots of pollution and unsightly practices, only to move
these elsewhere where they continue to feed the greed and domination
lusts.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #78 of 146: I'm on the Chet Atkins Diet. Pass the BBQ, please. (rik) Tue 18 Nov 03 13:05
    
"We no longer practice
 human sacrifice, serfdom or slavery"

Well, you've got one out of three.   Provisionally.   Human sacrifice is
more and more difficult to pull off.  These days, we call it collateral
damage.   But as for serfdom and slavery, it may have been driven
underground, but guestworkers in the middle east, and tribesmen in
subsaharan Africa might find the rejoicing a bit premature.    Slavery may
be illegal, but it remains.   And as for serfdom, lets visit the sweatshops
of asia, home of many of the jobs that have left our shores.   And one of
the major reasons that it has left our shores is that serfdom is easier to
pull off there.


"Here at home, slavery no longer exists nor does the Jim Crow segregation
 which prevailedat the time I was born."

You are, once again, using conditions in the US to point to the future
elsewhere.   It may very well be the other way around.  It is illegal to
operate that way here, but it's quite common elsewhere.   In Israel, for
instance, your religion determines where you can or cannot buy property.
Northern Ireland remains Jim Crow in the face of the fact that you can't
tell the players by sight.

I'm at work.  More later
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #79 of 146: David Kline (dkline) Tue 18 Nov 03 13:44
    
> slavery is gone from the US but our very economic system ensures it
> continues ...

Do not confuse the persistence of exploitation with the continuation of
legal, chattel ownership of human beings. Or the persistence of war with 
the routine slaughter of captured prisoners.

Exploitation of course continues. But in general it tends to take less
onerous forms. This is no small matter. Just ask any illegal migrant or
sweatshop slave who finally gets to be a (still-exploited) wage laborer,
with the right to leave his or her employment or strike for higher wages.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #80 of 146: tambourine verde (barb-albq) Tue 18 Nov 03 14:51
    
The point is that our "enlightened" natives continue something very
close to the more awful practices of the past, just someplace outside
our borders and with some adjustments for modern conditions. Because
there is such a lopsided economy, these practices suffice. But if there
really were a shortage of people willing to work for peanuts rather
than starve, I'm sure there would be many within the "new economy"
considering how to reinstitute bondage... 
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #81 of 146: David Kline (dkline) Tue 18 Nov 03 15:29
    
No, the point is that compared to, say, 500 years ago, far far fewer human 
beings worldwide are enslaved with absolutely no legal or human rights.

It's tragic that exploitation and war still exists, and I've seen       
quite a bit of it. But I've yet to hear any evidence to suggest that, in 
general, life isn't getting better for most human beings over time.

But as you said, yours is a half-empty view. 
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #82 of 146: tambourine verde (barb-albq) Tue 18 Nov 03 15:31
    
Do you really believe far far fewer humans are enslaved? Aren't the
terms of the enslavement merely less defined?
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #83 of 146: David Kline (dkline) Tue 18 Nov 03 16:06
    
No, they are very clearly defined.

Wage labor is a major step up from serfdom. It offers fundamental legal, 
political and economic rights that serfdom does not. Ask any serf.

Serfdom is a huge advance over chattel slavery, which denied slaves any
legal or human rights at all -- including the right to marry, seek redress
in court or by petition, or even the right to their very lives.

Does exploitation continue, even among wage laborers? Of course. But any
slave or serf would give anything to achieve wage labor status and all the
accompanying rights and benefits that go with it (even if these pale next
to the perogatives of the rich). That's why human societies, as the
Marxists rightly noted, proceed along an inevitable path from slavery to
feudalism to capitalism to ... well, we'll have to come up with something
better than state socialism for the next step in social evolution.

Why is it so difficult to recognize the progress made by millions of men
and women over the course of milennia? Do you feel that by doing so, you
deny the widespread suffering and exploitation that still exists?
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #84 of 146: tambourine verde (barb-albq) Tue 18 Nov 03 17:11
    
No I just don't see things as black and white and sunny as you seem
to. Your scenario of constant "progress" sounds like some Walt Disney
tale or GE ad about how things just keep improving and improving. They
do in some ways. In others not. There's alot of back and forth, up,
down and sideways. 

I don't really see today's unrestrained freemarket capitalism as a
step up for many. In fact, I believe it's a doomed and unsustainable
system for allocating resources, which is hard to see as a step forward
when we have human and civil rights decreasing for many, the
destruction of the earth accelerating, the middle class being
eliminated and the economy increasingly based on stock manipulation,
fraud and the exploitation of third world countries. And I see this
Iraq war as part of that exploitation, just to get back on topic.

I understand what you are saying, but I believe things are more
cyclical than you portray. We may be progressing in the big scheme of
things in some areas, but there are certainly frequent plunges back to
the pits for many.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #85 of 146: Ron Levin (eclectic2) Tue 18 Nov 03 17:48
    
The way I look at it is that civilization is progressing on most
fronts, but the danger of extinction is also growing.  I think the
question of whether we'll evolve to the point of enlightened
sustainability before wiping ourselves out is still open.  
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #86 of 146: one big petri dish (jnfr) Tue 18 Nov 03 17:56
    
I agree with that, Ron. We're skating so close to the edge, and the 
stakes are enormous. I admire David's belief that we will find our way 
out, but I'm personally unsure.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #87 of 146: Berliner (captward) Wed 19 Nov 03 02:23
    
Incidentally, slavery exists in Eastern Europe in the prostitution
trade. These women are bought and sold like any other commodity, and
treated as badly as any slave ever was. But this is, as noted, drift...
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #88 of 146: John Zuill (klauposius) Wed 19 Nov 03 06:57
    
Slavery is the big undiscovered story now a days. I guess thats why
its punching holes in an Iraq thread.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #89 of 146: tambourine verde (barb-albq) Wed 19 Nov 03 07:50
    
Now that the US dropped literally dozens of 500-lb bombs in Iraq
yesterday, it's probably time to return to the topic of what is going
on over there. To me the latest air war forays seem to be a case of
"doing something" whether it's actually effective or not. I read that
our military forced a number of women and children out of their houses
so that the buildings could be destroyed because they were the
residences of of "suspected terrorists." An effective strategy?
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #90 of 146: Ron Levin (eclectic2) Wed 19 Nov 03 08:23
    
No.  Just desperation & frustration, IMO.  Despite their denials, it
smacks of the Israelis' punitive bulldozing policy.  
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #91 of 146: John Zuill (klauposius) Wed 19 Nov 03 08:55
    
smacks and positivly punchs
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #92 of 146: David Kline (dkline) Wed 19 Nov 03 09:23
    
Collective punishment via bulldozing homes is not a winning strategy.

It is also illegal under international law.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #93 of 146: John Zuill (klauposius) Wed 19 Nov 03 09:26
    
I guess we are going to start hearing a lot more about the Vietnam
war.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #94 of 146: Berliner (captward) Wed 19 Nov 03 10:08
    
Actually:

Iraq: looking back
 
BATH, England One commentator after another - the venerable Walter
Cronkite is only the latest - has warned that Iraq is "another
Vietnam." Although this is understandable (and shows how untrue it is
that America has exorcised the ghosts of Vietnam), it's an inapt
comparison. There are much better parallels.

(http://www.iht.com/articles/118121.html)

...this guy says the Suez crisis. Very interesting piece. 
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #95 of 146: David Kline (dkline) Wed 19 Nov 03 13:10
    
Very interesting.

"The ideologues of Washington failed to see that the one way to make even 
an unpopular Arab leader [Saddam] popular was for America to attack him.

"At Suez, the British and French attacked Nasser, in the process
reinforcing his popularity, and gravely damaged their standing in the Arab
world. In 2003, the United States attacked Saddam, in the process making
him popular for the first time, and gravely damaged American standing in
the Arab world."
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #96 of 146: Brian Slesinsky (bslesins) Wed 19 Nov 03 13:13
    
Riverbend on the bombing, and other things:

http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/2003_11_01_riverbendblog_archive.html

"There have also been a string of raids all over Baghdad, but
especially in Al-A'adhamiya. They've detained dozens of people with the
excuse that they own more than one weapon. Who owns less than two
weapons? Everyone has at least one Klashnikov and a couple of guns.
Every male in the house is usually armed and sometimes the females are
too. It's not because we love turning our homes into arsenals, but
because the situation was so dangerous (and in some areas still is)
that no one wants to take any risks. Imagine the scene: a blue mini-van
pulls up… 10 dirty, long-haired men clamber out with Klashnikovs,
pistols and grenades and demand all the gold and the kids (for ransom).
Now imagine trying to face them all with a single handgun… if Baghdad
were SECURE people would give up their weapons. I hate having weapons
in the house."

(Kind of funny that when there's an actual situation where ordinary
citizens really do need guns to protect themselves, the Republicans
forget what the second amendment is all about.)
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #97 of 146: Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Wed 19 Nov 03 13:58
    
Hell, I have more than one weapon.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #98 of 146: David Kline (dkline) Wed 19 Nov 03 14:02
    
Me, too. 

One day someone is going to build an entire book or movie off of this one,
utterly-insane image of U.S. soldiers "searching for weapons" in Iraq and
Afghanistan -- where literally (not figuratively) EVERYONE has them.

I say again, where is Joseph Heller when we need him?
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #99 of 146: tambourine verde (barb-albq) Wed 19 Nov 03 14:13
    
In passing I heard we dropped two 2,000 lb. bombs yesterday. Guess
we're moving up from the teeny weeny 500 lb. models.
  
inkwell.vue.200 : The Wrong War?
permalink #100 of 146: Ron Levin (eclectic2) Wed 19 Nov 03 22:47
    
Sensing Shiites Will Rule Iraq, U.S. Starts to See Friends, Not Foes
By STEVEN R. WEISMAN

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 - The Bush administration, which was wary earlier
this year of installing a government dominated by Shiites in Iraq,
has concluded that such a development is virtually inevitable and not
necessarily harmful to American interests, administration officials
said Wednesday.

The officials said that fears of an Iranian-style - and Iranian-
influenced - theocracy in Baghdad have faded because it has become
clear that Iraq's Shiite population is not a monolithic bloc and not
necessarily dominated by Tehran.

"Our basic position is that as we get to know more of Iraqi society,
we're more comfortable with a democratic process, and if that emerges
with a predominant Shiite role, so be it," said an administration
official. "There's been a steady education process here."

Still, American officials are taking steps to ensure that when a
Shiite-dominated government is installed next year, as most expect,
religious freedom and minority rights are respected and Iraq's
neighbors are reassured that the first Shiite-governed Arab country
does not pose a threat to them.

The shift in the administration's thinking laid the groundwork for
the decision announced last week to accelerate the timetable for self-
government in Iraq, administration officials say.

More:
http://nytimes.com/2003/11/20/international/middleeast/20GOVE.html
  

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