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  1. #81  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    I believe our the U. S. alliance with Israel has had support historically because a significant portion of our citizenry felt the land and the people held spiritual significance.
    Agree, mostly.
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Today, the support seems to stem from an almost voyeuristic glee over the presence of "democracy" in the region (as though democracy were the ideal form of governing---hmm, I'm beginning to understand why some call our efforts imperialistic). I believe what we will see is that the spread of democracy is not a sufficiently strong enough foundation.
    I think your original thinking ("land and the people held spiritual significance") still holds today. I am not sure the situation in the Middle East is more complicated than it was, but there are other reasons, perhaps, for the US to show presence in the Middle East (other than oil, that is). Believing in Democratic values isn't wrong per se, but you seem uncertain about it.
    There's plenty of support in the US for a viable Palestinian nation. I think the equated-to-terrorism notion is what prevents the US from an outright support of Hamas. But things will change eventually.
  2. #82  
    Quote Originally Posted by vw2002 View Post
    I supported israel up to this point until I saw the arrogance portrayed by these videos.
    Goodness, the videos are just an isolated incident played out by drunk and dumb kids.
  3. #83  
    Quote Originally Posted by impish View Post
    Agree, mostly.

    I think your original thinking ("land and the people held spiritual significance") still holds today. I am not sure the situation in the Middle East is more complicated than it was, but there are other reasons, perhaps, for the US to show presence in the Middle East (other than oil, that is). Believing in Democratic values isn't wrong per se, but you seem uncertain about it.
    There's plenty of support in the US for a viable Palestinian nation. I think the equated-to-terrorism notion is what prevents the US from an outright support of Hamas. But things will change eventually.
    I have developed some uncertainty on this matter. I see the value of government based on democratic principles. Yet, I also see what I believe is a greater importance on shared values within a society.

    If you think about it, the form of government fundamentally addresses how conflicts are resolved. In a scenario where the peole have largely shared values, the conflicts will tend to be "small" and matters of interpretation. In a scenario where values are disparate, conflicts will tend to be larger and require determination of which value system will prevail.

    Take a "simple" matter such as how the U.S. Constitution is interpreted. If it is a living breating document, conflict resoluion is directed by the people who happen to hold sway at the time the matter is adjudicated. If the document is fixed in meaning, conflict resolution is only matter application to the circumstances at hand.

    Didn't mean to go there. But it is a synopsis of why I am uncertain about the importance of promoting a form of government, as opposed to promoting values.
  4. #84  
    I find the U. S. governing model most appealing, on paper. However, it s practice that matters.

    Regarding democracy in general, the underlying tenet is that everyone has a vote--has a say. The same can be said of anarchy (peaceful or chaotic). What sets democracy apart is the agreement to yield to the majority (be it of the populace or the duly elected representatives).

    Peace and prosperity CAN occur under any form of government, as they result from adherence to principles. There are some forms of government, though, that more readily lend themselves to those outcomes.

    But again, promoting a governance model is not a cure all, because insecurity and poverty result from adherence to certain principles as well, and likewise can occur under any form of government.
  5. #85  
    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Take a "simple" matter such as how the U.S. Constitution is interpreted. If it is a living breating document, conflict resoluion is directed by the people who happen to hold sway at the time the matter is adjudicated. If the document is fixed in meaning, conflict resolution is only matter application to the circumstances at hand.
    Some verifications.
    The Constitution is a "work in progress" you say (and it should be). How does that impact the US global thinking that democracies are better than tyrannies?

    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    Peace and prosperity CAN occur under any form of government, as they result from adherence to principles. There are some forms of government, though, that more readily lend themselves to those outcomes.
    Agree. But again, should this be a reason to cease the promotion of democracies worldwide? (Keep in mind that I am not soliciting the promotion of democracies via force!)
  6. #86  
    Dictatorship: This is not an evil form of gov in and of itself, but how easily it can be abused. If the King, Emperor, all powerful President, etc.... is a person who truly cares about the well being of his people, a lot of good can be done with this form of gov, and can be done quickly and efficiently. Kind of like the meaning of the one liner from Spiderman: "With great power, comes great responsibility".

    But as history has shown, this is usually not the situation with an all supreme single person style of gov. Usually having this kind of power has one or several of the effects most often due to a single person having this power makes this ruler want more power for themselves resulting in:

    • Obsessive with wealth, often times at the horrible sacrifice of the people he rules over. Sometimes making it one of the richest countries in the world (or at least their region) at the time, while also having the most of the poorest people at the same time.
    • Kills multitudes. Gains the flippant attitude that all people he rules under are subject to their whim. Reminds me of a kid torturing and hurting animals or bugs simple because he can. There is also several examples of killing according to their prejudice. Hitler, Saddam, Stalin, offered examples of this. Tens, if not hundreds, of thousands have been killed because of this in each example of this.
    • Attack neighboring countries to gain even more power, wealth, pride, etc...


    Democracy: Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. But this is the main point of failure and pitfall of a dem form of gov is that if the will of the majority is opposite of the well being of the country as a whole, then it will fall. It can result in all but a dictator form of gov. If the people knowingly voted in AQ as their head of gov, problems are going to occur.

    Democracy and Representative Dem must be distinguished as well.

    Abraham Lincoln once said "The ballot is stronger than the bullet" and I personally feel that is what many of the terrorist fear today with the threat of Dem taking root in their own backyard.

    Democracy and Islam: This is a totally different issue with several unique challenges. I posted a detailed post on this subject, but search cannot seem to find it. It was very eye opening in their stated conflict with their religious conviction that must fundamentally be against any form of democracy......I will keep looking.

    Summary: With all forms of gov taken into account....I personally feel that Dem offers the best chances for peace and prosperity for it's citizens and for peace for with it's neighbors. It is best if chosen by the people. I am not for promoting by force. But I am for doing our best to educate and offer the people this form of gov if in a situation to do so.
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 02/22/2007 at 11:57 AM.
  7. #87  
    Quote Originally Posted by impish View Post
    Some verifications.
    The Constitution is a "work in progress" you say (and it should be). How does that impact the US global thinking that democracies are better than tyrannies?
    There is a difference between having a "work in progress" and having on-going negotiations about the meaning of that which is already established. Work in progress suggests (to me, anyway) that there remains ground to be covered. But it presumes (again, to me) that which is already ratified is complete.
    Quote Originally Posted by impish View Post
    Agree. But again, should this be a reason to cease the promotion of democracies worldwide? (Keep in mind that I am not soliciting the promotion of democracies via force!)
    I don't necessarily advocate promoting Democracy or not. I recognize that democracy in and of itself does not equate to peace and prosperity (though I believe the U.S. model of democratic replublic with bulit-in checks and balances readily lends it self to outcomes of peace and prosperity).
  8. #88  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    ...Summary: With all forms of gov taken into account....I personally feel that Dem offers the best chances for peace and prosperity for it's citizens and for peace for with it's neighbors. It is best if chosen by the people. I am not for promoting by force. But I am for doing our best to educate and offer the people this form of gov if in a situation to do so.
  9. #89  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    ...It is best if chosen by the people. I am not for promoting by force. But I am for doing our best to educate and offer the people this form of gov if in a situation to do so.
    Precisely, because democracies ALLOW people to decide. Hence a dilemma: Many people simply don't know better because they never experienced a democratic form of governing. How would you go about educating them or offer them democracies? Would you suggest to a tyrant such as Muammar Kadafi to educate his people that a democracy might be a better alternative to the way he runs his country?


    Quote Originally Posted by shopharim View Post
    There is a difference between having a "work in progress" and having on-going negotiations about the meaning of that which is already established.
    I disagree, but it is a matter of definition, I suppose.
    A work in progress is an ever-changing and ever-debatable thing; today, tomorrow or a minute later.
    Clearly the Constitution is debatable and changeable. Even if you and I agree at 11 a.m. on subject “A,” our daughters could challenge our agreement by 1 p.m. And it’s a good thing! When you say "having on-going negotiations about the meaning of that which is already established," is expressly why it is indeed a work in progress, in my opinion, for a definition/meaning of something is changeable and debatable (even by those who defined it in the first place). I think in this spirit the Constitution was written.
    Last edited by impish; 02/23/2007 at 07:39 PM.
  10. #90  
    Quote Originally Posted by impish View Post
    Precisely, because democracies ALLOW people to decide. Hence a dilemma: Many people simply don't know better because they never experienced a democratic form of governing. How would you go about educating them or offer them democracies? Would you suggest to a tyrant such as Muammar Kadafi to educate his people that a democracy might be a better alternative to the way he runs his country?
    Actually Muammar al-Gaddafi situation in Libya is a good example of how people can start to become educated and start to gain enough desire to start movements of change. (Plus seeing what was possibly in store for him by looking over the fence at Iraq didn't hurt):

    Gaddafi follows his people to embrace US
    FOR 34 years, his eccentricities have been law. When he declared green the colour of his revolution, a nation repainted its doors. When he proclaimed his Third Universal Theory, academics wrote 1,000 studies of it. When he renamed the months of the year, Libyans celebrated Valentine’s Day in "Bird".

    But suddenly, Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi finds himself scrambling to keep up with his people.

    In the latest incarnation of Col Gaddafi’s Libya, the government is opening up to the Western world, making amends for its terrorist past and vowing to give up weapons of mass destruction.

    Col Gaddafi had little choice: Libya’s people had already moved on. They are already learning English and using the internet to chat with relatives in the United States. They watch Big Brother on satellite TV. They follow news of European elections, the war in Iraq, the bird flu virus. They debate democracy and explore international business deals.

    Libya’s 61-year-old leader, in power since he overthrew King Idris I in 1969, is anxious not to be left behind.

    "It’s not something he had a choice in," says Hafez Ali Khalifa, a neurosurgeon. "You go with the flow, and he’s going with the flow."

    FULL STORY: http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=240262004
    If all that doesn't work maybe we could drop millions of DVDs with little parachutes explaining Democracy, how it works, how it benefits it's citizens, etc....
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 02/25/2007 at 12:17 PM.
  11. #91  
    Quote Originally Posted by HobbesIsReal View Post
    If all that doesn't work maybe we could drop millions of DVDs with little parachutes explaining Democracy, how it works, how it benefits it's citizens, etc....


    It makes me laugh though, regarding Muammar al-Gaddafi. Firstly, he's responsible for killing many human beings and, for that, there's no excuse (even if he's making amends on whatever)! Secondly, here's an example of his "democratic" thinking: An open letter to Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi. Also: By the mid-1980s, he was widely regarded in the West as the principal financier of international terrorism.
    Of course we have taken a detour from the topic but it's all fun.
  12. #92  
    Believe me, I was not in any way defending or justifying any actions about Gaddafi.....but rather focusing on the people under his rule in response to your specific question about how do you educate a population under a dictator, which I thought your example of Libya's situation was a fairly good one.


    .........What was this thread about again?
    Last edited by HobbesIsReal; 02/25/2007 at 12:12 PM.
  13. vw2002's Avatar
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       #93  
    Quote Originally Posted by pdxtreo View Post
    Originally Posted By: vw2002 at Today 02:15 AM

    "Do you think you are entitled to our support regardless of whatever insults and slights the jews direct at us?"


    '02

    "The Jews" in Isreal might assume all Americans are anti semitic after reading
    a post like this. Why are you so ready to ascribe the actions of a few loose cannons to a whole nation? You might want to take a peek in the mirror.

    Wow. Talk about ramblings.

    Dont give me that garbage. ONCE AGAIN, reread my original posts..."I really hope we are only seeing the wayward few in these films..." You selectively ignore certain things Ive said, like the above quote, in order to fit your accusation that I am "ascribing the actions of a few" to a whole nation.

    Wow. Talk about being careless and woefully inattentive. :eek

    I think YOU have sunk to a new low, pdxtreo.

    Are the words "the jews" now indicative of an anti-semite, now? Does it mean a person is anti-gentile if they use words "the gentiles"?


    Take a peek in the mirror yourself, and check that sanctimonious tone of yours.
    Last edited by vw2002; 02/25/2007 at 11:17 PM.
    I gotta have more cowbell
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