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'No Afghanistan withdrawal in 2011'

Mark Mardell | 17:56 UK time, Friday, 4 December 2009

The US won't pull out of Afghanistan in 2011.

President Obama's top national security adviser, who has played a key part in designing the new Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy, has been trying to clear up some confusion about the exit strategy.

Gen James Jones told me that "in no manner, shape or form" would the US withdraw from Afghanistan in 2011.

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In his speech on Tuesday, President Obama for the first time put a date on the beginning of the end of the United States presence in Afghanistan.

He said "these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground."

While it was a necessary political message to those Americans who are doubtful about this war, sweetening the pill of the troop increase, it has worried many in the region, where some have interpreted it starkly as meaning that America will pull out in a year and a half's time.

Gen Jones was deeply involved in designing the new strategy, attending all 10 meetings between the president and his top advisers at which the strategy was discussed. And he told me that wasn't so.

He said that "with a relentless application of this new force in 2011 we will be successful in reaching our goals...That will allow us to start pulling some of our forces out. So there is no contradiction."

I put it to him that that wasn't the way the speech had been seen in the region. This was his response:

"Its very important that people in Afghanistan hear this very clearly: this is not a withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan in 2011, it is a decision to turn over to the Afghans some of the responsibility where they are ready to accept that responsibility. But in no manner, shape or form is the United States leaving Afghanistan in 2011."

I asked Gen Jones whether the combination of the push in Pakistan and the new strategy from the United States made him more confident about killing or capturing Osama Bin Laden. He said:

"It certainly makes it more optimistic that we can dislodge al-Qaeda, hopefully capture him, he is a very important symbol, but I would be satisfied if we could cause the insurgent safe havens to feel less secure and to have to move. Once you eliminate sanctuary for an insurgency it becomes very difficult for that insurgency to operate. So obviously capturing Bin Laden would be terrific but the important thing is to eliminate those sanctuaries."

Despite recent reports, he said that the conventional wisdom was that Bin Laden was still in northern Waziristan but he hoped he would be "forced to rethink his location" soon.

Comments

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  • 1. At 8:13pm on 04 Dec 2009, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 8:22pm on 04 Dec 2009, ghostofsichuan wrote:

    The terrorist in the Mumbai hotels were fascinated with sinks in rooms and running water. Recruitment of poor uneducated individuals who can be filled with a fanatical idea and the belief that they are protecting their religion and are protected by god, makes this a difficult tasks. There are different worlds in this world and unfortunately in that world it is kill or be killed. There will be no compromise, there will be no "agreeing to disagree". This can be a situation that is confronted in a foceful way or it can continue as a slow bleed. The "developed" world has ruthless bankers that steal money from individual retirement accounts with no accountability for their actions, "developing countries" have families that rule and own most production in those countries and "undeveloped" countries have weapons (see exports of one and two).
    The sliding scale of citizen abuse.
    They all have corrupt governments.

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  • 3. At 9:13pm on 04 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    Is there no end to Mark's fascination with Afghanistan? The same post could be written by anyone in Europe or elsewhere. I do not see that one has to be in Washington to make this kind of observation. At this very moment, Americans are concerned with Hanukkah and Christmas, some possibly with Kwanzaa and others with their own Winter Solstice celebrations. During this period, Afghanistan is going to take a back seat - and Christmas in the United States is different to that in Great Britain. Surely the lives and actions of ordinary Americans are just as important and more interesting than this continued subject. It's time to consider peace to men of goodwill!

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  • 4. At 9:23pm on 04 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Good.

    Perhaps the people who look upon the presence of western forces as a gravy train, and who benefit from seeing those forces mired in a never ending struggle, are starting to wake up.

    Next thing, they may realize that they had better focus their minds or they are going to have the Taliban back.

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  • 5. At 9:26pm on 04 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    Mr. Mardell, I appreciate your focus on this, the most important subject in US public affairs today. Keep up the good work!

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  • 6. At 10:11pm on 04 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    I'm with David Cunard on this,
    "It's time to consider peace to men of goodwill!"
    Now if we could only get the Taleban, Al Qaida, Wahabis, Janjaweed, Kim Jong Il, GOP hardliners, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Ahmadinejad, Bebe and various other problem people and populations on board.

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  • 7. At 10:44pm on 04 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    JMM wrote:
    I'm with David Cunard on this,
    "It's time to consider peace to men of goodwill!"
    Now if we could only get the Taleban, Al Qaida, Wahabis, Janjaweed, Kim Jong Il, GOP hardliners, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Ahmadinejad, Bebe and various other problem people and populations on board.

    ____________________

    How about adding Keith Obermann, Georger Soros, extremist democrats, Hugo chavez Evo Morales and Barbara Boxer to the list.

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  • 8. At 10:45pm on 04 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #3
    David Cunard wrote:
    Is there no end to Mark's fascination with Afghanistan?
    _________________-

    I agree how about ClimateGate and that Boxer refuses to hold hearingson the fraud. I guess they don't want to expose Al gore for the charlatan he is.

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  • 9. At 10:46pm on 04 Dec 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    "Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly,..." So we've accomplished something in Iraq, including executing a transition responsibly, and no crying howls to the contrary, so I guess it is so. Well done Mr. Obama, clever clever man, and gracefully understated. Mr. Mardell is just doing his part to shift the noise and focus.

    And if Bin Laden can rethink his location, that explains a lot too! Does he have to wink?
    http://www.tv.com/i-dream-of-jeannie/show/608/summary.html

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  • 10. At 10:47pm on 04 Dec 2009, Christine wrote:

    I often turn to news sources outside the US to get a better understanding of what is happening in our country due to the fact that our media almost always lacks neutrality. Your interview of the General confirms what I already expected in regard to our situation in Afghanistan - specifically that the war will not be over anytime in the foreseeable future.

    Sadly, Americans as a whole are too concerned about losing our homes and our jobs to be bothered with the war. We are more concerned about our rising national debt and how our government seems to be spending like there's no tomorrow.

    Average Americans are discontented with our government. Our politicians use our money and borrow against our future, they make loans to third world countries (who will never have the ability to repay us) and spend trillions to fight wars abroad, and give alot of money to institutions and organizations around the globe. They do this casually, as if it were all necessary, while at home people go jobless, homeless, and without basic necessities. Our educational system is in shambles, we are behind most other modernized countries. In many areas of the country, our roads, bridges, and dams are in pitiful shape. Our military is stretched too it's limit...I could go on and on.

    In closing, I am all for helping less fortunate people and countries - I am all for helping to provide greater security for the world. But not to the point where we neglect our own and not to the point where we go into debt because of our generousity.

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  • 11. At 10:57pm on 04 Dec 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    climategate...what is this strange pleasure in being part of a brain dead mob - I personally just don't find it comforting or enjoyable...except for the World Cup.

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  • 12. At 11:15pm on 04 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #11
    frayedcat wrote:
    climategate...what is this strange pleasure in being part of a brain dead mob - I personally just don't find it comforting or enjoyable...except for the World Cup.

    ____________________

    As one of those who wants a serious discussion of the environment this is a major issue. I do not need to be lectured by Al gore or the Prince of Monaco or the head of the U.N commission who have largest carbon footprints.

    Stop giving status to ignorant politician and celberties so something of merit can be done.

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  • 13. At 11:31pm on 04 Dec 2009, Andy Post wrote:

    Ref. 3, David:

    "During this period, Afghanistan is going to take a back seat..."

    I disagree. It's during the holidays that Americans think most about our troops overseas. It gives "I'll Be Home for Christmas" renewed meaning.

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  • 14. At 11:32pm on 04 Dec 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    We've known what of merit needs to be done since we were little children...stop pulluting, stop putting harmful chemicals in the air land and water, stop burning things, get off of coal and oil fuels, find cleaner and more effective energy sources, stop generating toxic wastes. The laws haven't moved much since the 70's (and it took graphic depictions of DDT mutative effects on wildlife to move the public then).
    http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/caa_history.html
    http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/cwa.cfm?program_id=45
    Now some tongue wagging rumors of exaggerated email 'plots' will derail us for another decade...another generation lost.

    Have you seen the ads in the US advertising that we have 100 years of natural gas left? Just 100 years - and this ad is meant to be conforting. If the people weren't shortsighted and dumb as posts this would cause a nationwide panic riot.

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  • 15. At 11:59pm on 04 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #14Have you seen the ads in the US advertising that we have 100 years of natural gas left? Just 100 years - and this ad is meant to be conforting. If the people weren't shortsighted and dumb as posts this would cause a nationwide panic riot.

    _____________-

    Yes and blame the special interests who have blocked nuclear plant construction and off shore oil drilling.

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  • 16. At 00:12am on 05 Dec 2009, democracythreat wrote:

    David Cunard wrote:
    "Is there no end to Mark's fascination with Afghanistan? The same post could be written by anyone in Europe or elsewhere. I do not see that one has to be in Washington to make this kind of observation. At this very moment, Americans are concerned with Hanukkah and Christmas, some possibly with Kwanzaa and others with their own Winter Solstice celebrations. During this period, Afghanistan is going to take a back seat - and Christmas in the United States is different to that in Great Britain. Surely the lives and actions of ordinary Americans are just as important and more interesting than this continued subject. It's time to consider peace to men of goodwill!"

    This is the sort of post that demonstrates precisely why there is terrorism in the world.

    People like Cunard make casual observations that wars of aggression, funded by their tax dollars, are less important than the soap opera lives of ordinary Americans. Not only are they less important, but Cunard wants to hear about something else when HE GOES TO INTERNATIONAL NEWS.

    You see, this myopia is not random. This is not a man who is tired of the struggle of war. This is not someone who does not understand the war because he can;t find the information.

    This guy doesn't want to know. He actively, deliberately, articulately does not want to know about the killing and suffering being perpetrated by his empire, to the benefit of his economic situation. He even wants foreign news sources to tailor their reporting to his scandalous taste.

    Cunard is the reason we have terrorism, because when people who live under despotic regimes which are supported by our tax dollars look at our society, they have a legitimate source of grievance. When paupers from the middle east who live in blood and dirt look at the west and they see people like Cunard willfully looking the other way as our military forces support criminal exploitation of their resources, why wouldn;t they be hoping mad?

    We would be.

    If China or Russia invaded our lands and then said we could have any democracy we liked as long as they had power of veto over its actions, and if they went around shooting any sign of resistance at their continuing occupation, we would be outraged. And if we then look at the invaders society, and folks like Cunnard asking to hear new about warm puppies and Jesus his friend, and asking that our concerns be drowned out because he prefers a happy christmas, what would our reaction be?

    Would we feel like refraining from targeting such people, knowing that they are making money, indirectly or not, from the industrial output driven by their empires war games?

    Cunard, you are a disgrace of a human being. You may not care about the suffering of other human beings, and you may not care that your taxes make you an active participant in the conflict, but at least keep those views to yourself.

    The civilized world is trying desperately hard to convince the third world that people like you don't exist, or that if they do, then they are ten years old and a tiny minority.

    If you don't want to know about the war, then rent cowboy westerns and watch internet TV that is guaranteed to keep your precious goodwill and happy thoughts insulated from the real world. That is what most folks do.

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  • 17. At 00:21am on 05 Dec 2009, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    MICHAEL MOORE

    Now, that we have all this cleared up about the Afghanistan policy, that there are no contradictions to the contradictions, does anyone what too explain to Micheal Moore than what he taught he heard wasn't really what he taught he heard, but really what he didn't really hear?

    Well Mike, what we meant to say was the European are leaving in [2011], but we have set up permanent residence to protect the Oil and Gas Lines and our opium production we have now taken over, plus we now will have a Foothold in Asia Minor and a Naval Base in Karachi Pakistan, with access to the Oil of the China Sea.

    So, what you taught you heard you didn't hear, and what you taught we said we didn't really say, you just taught what we said was what you taught you really wanted to hear.

    So, there is no contradiction, it was all a mistake on your part.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

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  • 18. At 02:13am on 05 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    democracythreat (#16), I think Cunard is about as American as you are Swiss, but he is certainly not "a disgrace of a human being." This is just your usual pompous, over-the-top, blather. You know almost nothing of Cunard or any other poster here, and are in no position to make such a judgment.

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  • 19. At 02:54am on 05 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #16. democracythreat: "Cunard is the reason we have terrorism."

    I think not. Aggrieved - and possibly envious - persons are the reason we have terrorism. The IRA, for instance, wanted to ensure that Ulster was joined to Eire. Palestinian and Israeli groups have had grievances which they sought to correct through violence. In their own minds they had legitimate concerns, and no doubt Al Qaeda and the Taliban believe so too. Internal terrorism is a result of dissatisfaction with circumstances beyond their control. I am not the reason for terrorism.

    "Cunard, you are a disgrace of a human being. You may not care about the suffering of other human beings, and you may not care that your taxes make you an active participant in the conflict, but at least keep those views to yourself."

    Pretty strong words from someone who has not the faintest idea of what I have done or my interests. I believe that a blog about America should be just that - about America. What have you ever done about the suffering of those with AIDS or the poverty stricken in urban areas? How many of your friends and family have died from disease such as cancer? I care very much for what my taxes are used - and an American blog should at least make more than a passing effort to reflect what so many Americans do. If you bother to check domestic US newspapers, you will not find a constant front page headline about either terrorism or Afghanistan: the lead article in today's (Friday) New York Times was "Jobs Report Is Strongest Since the Start of the Recession." I submit that jobs and the economy remain the number one interest of a majority in the United States, but perhaps you are living on Easy Street and have no interest or compassion for those who cannot afford food or shelter.

    Of course, since you appear to disapprove of free speech and opinion, you may not be American or even live in North America: the unfortunate reference to "the soap opera lives of ordinary Americans" appears to substantiate this. One of the great things about the country is that people are permitted, nay, encouraged, to speak (write) their minds, even when what they have to say may be found disagreeable by others.

    "If you don't want to know about the war, then rent cowboy westerns and watch internet TV that is guaranteed to keep your precious goodwill and happy thoughts insulated from the real world. That is what most folks do."

    You miss my point entirely; I and others can read as much about the actions in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the columns of almost every newspaper and political column available. What I don't need is a blog which purports to be about America constantly hectoring about a subject which is tangential to the lives of ordinary Americans. It may be difficult for you to understand, but for those struggling to put a nourishing meal on the table or wondering about how the next rent payment will be made, Afghanistan is very low (if at all) on their list of priorities.

    Incidentally, I am not like "most folks" and would never rent a cowboy western (what other kinds of western are there?) but something more uplifting. Take it from me, the real world is here in America and is frequently not a pretty sight. Surely that bears reporting?

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  • 20. At 03:36am on 05 Dec 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    Although I disagree with the president on this one, I am willing to wait to see if this approach works. I have strong doubts, but I also know that we as a nation are often far to hasty to rush in and make changes if we don't achieve instant results. A little patience can sometimes- sometimes- make a difference.

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  • 21. At 03:38am on 05 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    " ... and would never rent a cowboy western (what other kinds of western are there?)" (from David_Cunard at #19)

    I would call Unforgiven a western. No cowboys in that, to speak of.

    The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

    High Noon, considered by some to be the greatest western of all.

    Shane, also one of the greatest, has a few cowboys, but they are minor characters.

    There are lots of western themes that don't involve cattle.

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  • 22. At 04:09am on 05 Dec 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    To: democracythreat
    I'm sorry, but it is actually people like you in the world who are the reason for terrorism, sir. Mr. Cunard's comment may be a bit naive, but it is not threatening in the least, which cannot be said of your comment which strikes me as quite threatening..."Would we feel like refraining from targeting such people, knowing that they are making money, indirectly or not, from the industrial output driven by their empires war games?". In fact if more people in the world agreed with Cunard then maybe they wouldn't feel the need bomb embassies, trains, subways, airplanes, hotels, resorts, 100+ story buildings, etc for the sole purpose of mass murder in the name of their religion for want of genocide and heavenly virgins.

    Cunard may be tired of the war, as am I, but I believe it's necessary for our safety that this war continue for the time being. After all, my liberty and safety as a US citizen should always be a priority for my government, and if we are able to bestow that gift on another nation, then all the better.

    You've displayed an insane hypothetical in some bizarre attempt at relativism without realizing that the 300 year old democratically elected US government is not and will never be compared to the brutal Taliban regime by anyone credible, and that over throwing that military regime is not morally equivalent or even analogous to a Russian or Chinese overthrow of the US government.

    BeL

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  • 23. At 04:41am on 05 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    16. At 00:12am on 05 Dec 2009, democracythreat wrote:
    David Cunard wrote:
    During this period, Afghanistan is going to take a back seat - and Christmas in the United States is different to that in Great Britain. Surely the lives and actions of ordinary Americans are just as important and more interesting than this continued subject. It's time to consider peace to men of goodwill!"

    This is the sort of post that demonstrates precisely why there is terrorism in the world.

    22. At 04:09am on 05 Dec 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    To: democracythreat
    I'm sorry, but it is actually people like you in the world who are the reason for terrorism, sir.

    I agree with Bienvenu - democracythreat's rant marks him as the material of terrorism. Vituperation against someone's opinion is at the least the mark of intolerance and ignorance, and at worst the evidence of mindless fanaticism. It is really only acceptable in the football stadium, and then if you can hug the other rabid lout around the neck and congratulate him in the parking lot afterward, win or loose.

    I don't always agree with David Cunard, but I find him astute, well spoken, and decent, and so I must respect him. A civil tongue is required of a fellow citizen, and necessary to civilization. In my opinion.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 24. At 04:58am on 05 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    As others have said, this is precisely what Mr. Obama promised to do during the campaign - an orderly withdrawl from Iraq, a deliberate strategy in Afghanistan, and a clear endgame there so everyone will come to understand what we are doing, why, and that we have no intention of staying. Why did anyone who was alive and thinking way back in 2008 imagine that Tuesday night's speech changed all that into a unilateral withdrawl in 2011? It can only be that they paid attention solely to the red media, and have no idea what Barak Obama was saying.

    By the way, signs are this week that top of the unemployment crest will be a bit over ten percent, toward the end of 2009, and a slow recovery in 2010. At the early edge of Mr. Obama's forecast made between election and inauguration.

    The logjam over sanctions on Iran is breaking due to the Iranian leadership's blind defiance, as is the similar logjam a the top over global warming. Must be diplomacy. Must be a different kind of leadership.

    Peace, goodwill, and hope in a flawed world.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 25. At 05:15am on 05 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #22. BienvenueEnLouisiana: :To: democracythreat "I'm sorry, but it is actually people like you in the world who are the reason for terrorism, sir. Mr. Cunard's comment may be a bit naive, but it is not threatening in the least, which cannot be said of your comment which strikes me as quite threatening."

    While I appreciate the sentiment, I'm cannot see how my comment is naive: wishing for a blog which concentrates on America when the heading implies that it is to be about America is all I ask. Is that really so naive?

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  • 26. At 06:08am on 05 Dec 2009, BienvenueEnLouisiana wrote:

    24 KScurmudgeon:

    Indeed, there does appear to be some welcomed developments on the world stage of diplomacy and military strategy recently. Even the weather decided to put on a show; it snowed today in Houston, of all places, and it continues to snow in parts of south Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama tonight!

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  • 27. At 07:04am on 05 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #25. David_Cunard: This comment has been referred to the moderators. Explain.

    All I asked, in response to #22, was what was naive about my comment/s - and I was referred?! There's either some very strange filtering or a very strange mind at work when a simple question becomes suspect. Which leads me to ask where is a rebuttal from 'democracythreat' - or perhaps he'd rather vanish, as colonelartist appears to have done.

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  • 28. At 07:35am on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    Well. As someone (U-something, aka Squirrellist, whichever turns up this time) still looking for the strategy I 'hae ma douts' as they say.

    General Jones will be happy if the Taliban and Bin Laden--assuming he is either still around or even matters any more, about both of which I have my doubts-- are forced to 'move'.

    Move where I'd like to know? One of the former Soviet Republics, perhaps, to hand the problem over to them in 2011? Further into Pakistan (ditto)? Kashmir, maybe? Morrocco? Algeria? Sudan? Somalia? Mali? If you do not embrace the concept of 'containment' (and that means military, political and ideological--the approach taken in Malaysia getting on for 50 years ago now--that is what is going to happen.

    I cannot say I care for these inklings of Realpolitik. (Translation: "Oh look, the bad guys have all gone from Afghanistan, we can get out now and say Afghanistan's safe. Oh, and if they come back, well that's the fault of the Afghans, the Indians, the Pakistanis, the Uzbeks, the Tajiks, the Russians, anybody but us because the US got out and therefore we've won.")

    If that is not a war aim that could be achieved by the US in eight years -- wasn't that the original idea, for heaven's sake?-- how can anyone really expect it can be achieved by an Afghan army and police force? Or a Pakistani army (a pretty professional one, by the way) with its members and civilian population beset by ever more ruthless and violent suicide bombers?

    Oh well, if the war won't really be over by Christmas, we can always pretend over the turkey and mince pies, can't we?

    Actually, it will be for me; I shall be in a not-quite completed house in France, without internet access or telly, possibly even without Le Monde or Liberation if the local shop's gone bust. I just hope I don't see a Reuters report in the local weekly in the supermarket telling me of bombs at tube stations near my home as I did one summer. That btw is what living with the 'threat to international security' really means. The prospect is always lurking at the back of our minds one way or another.

    We don't want terrorist idealogues 'moved', we want them contained or preferably, in a political and social situation where their ideology is untenable and unexportable and where suicidal mass murder is no longer a religious or political option. A strategy for that I'm still waiting to see. Perhaps it's too complex an idea?

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  • 29. At 08:35am on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    3. At 9:13pm on 04 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    "Surely the lives and actions of ordinary Americans are just as important and more interesting . . ."

    Amanda Knox's perhaps?

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  • 30. At 09:04am on 05 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    28. At 07:35am on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:
    Actually, it will be for me; I shall be in a not-quite completed house in France, without internet access or telly, possibly even without Le Monde or Liberation if the local shop's gone bust. I just hope I don't see a Reuters report in the local weekly in the supermarket telling me of bombs at tube stations near my home as I did one summer. That btw is what living with the 'threat to international security' really means. The prospect is always lurking at the back of our minds one way or another.
    __________________________________

    So, like Sulpicius Severus you will retire to your French estate, and wait for the end of the world.... hoping that your rustic isolation protects you from the barbarians and the Emperor of the hour.

    Perhaps that was the most civilized period in European history. The sense of this being the sunset of a great civilization is irresistible.

    Salute!

    KScurmudgeon
    where it is cold and raw

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  • 31. At 09:40am on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #29
    squirrelist wrote:
    3. At 9:13pm on 04 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    "Surely the lives and actions of ordinary Americans are just as important and more interesting . . ."

    Amanda Knox's perhaps?

    __________________

    Well from what I read of the Knox trial she should not have been convicted. no DNA evidence, prosecutor misconduct. I think it was anti americanism by the Italian court and jury.

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  • 32. At 10:04am on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    30. At 09:04am on 05 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    "So, like Sulpicius Severus you will retire to your French estate, and wait for the end of the world.... hoping that your rustic isolation protects you from the barbarians and the Emperor of the hour."

    In a sense, and a propos an Afghan connection that seldom gets considered, the barbarians are already at the gates even of that small village. I've seen the signs of drug dealers coming in, something which I don't think many of the locals have; or maybe they don't want to acknowledge it. But then I'm a city boy unlike them so it's something you get an instinct for. It's depressing.

    (Sarkozy btw is already getting more than a bit Napoleonic. A month or two ago he had a whole sector of Paris closed off with armed police, CRS, snipers, traffic diverted, locals told to stay indoors, workers told to stay at home, just for an official visit to a hospital . . .But he's not likely to be travelling south. Last emperor figure to turn up where I'm going was Catherine de Medici, and before her the Black Prince, I think . . . )

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  • 33. At 10:43am on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    31. At 09:40am on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    "I think it was anti americanism by the Italian court and jury."

    Ah. I thought I might read that, somehow. Seems to be the received opinion of the hour. (The Italian half of me decidedly resents the implication I might say; her co-accused, also convicted, is Italian after all. I suppose the fact he was sentenced to one year less proves the anti-Americanism? You could equally say, since the victim was British, my compatriots were being "pro-British". Or "anti-Bari", maybe, since that's where Raffaele Sollecito comes from. Since I don't know Perugia, can't say whether they feel any particular animosity to Bari . . .)

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  • 34. At 11:01am on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    29.

    Squirrelpost:

    The Squirrel Party has slapped their spokeshuman's paw for being irreverent and has extracted this apology:

    "Sorry, everybody. Shouldn't have mentioned that; I just got a bit bored with the Afghan convoy going round in more or less the same circles. Blame it on surfacing unscathed and breathing ozone again . . .heady stuff."

    And we said "irrelevant". He's going to get another slap for being cheeky. Keeping up Party discipline is a real struggle with these humans sometimes. Good job he's off on holiday soon.

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  • 35. At 11:09am on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #33squirrelist wrote:
    31. At 09:40am on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    "I think it was anti americanism by the Italian court and jury."

    Ah. I thought I might read that, somehow. Seems to be the received opinion of the hour. (The Italian half of me decidedly resents the implication I might say; her co-accused, also convicted, is Italian after all. I suppose the fact he was sentenced to one year less proves the anti-Americanism? You could equally say, since the victim was British, my compatriots were being "pro-British". Or "anti-Bari", maybe, since that's where Raffaele Sollecito comes from. Since I don't know Perugia, can't say whether they feel any particular animosity to Bari . . .)

    ______________________-

    Go to the BBC News page, the facts do not show proof. Unlike say a certain police killer in Phiuldelphia that europe keeps insiting is innocent.

    Amanda Knox like the CIA agents is a victim of an out of control Itaian court system.

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  • 36. At 12:44pm on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    35. At 11:09am on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    " the facts do not show proof"

    I think, after a trial that has gone on for a year, I would want to offer as evidence of innocence a little more than a few lines of a summary news report. Consider what happened to four mobile phones, memory loss supposedly resulting from smoking marijuana, lack of claimed internet activity and a false accusation of another, for example. Just to start with.

    Still. nice to see some people have prejudices apart from just those to do with the Middle East.

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  • 37. At 12:59pm on 05 Dec 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I'm getteing soooooo bored with these same old wars day in and day out. One day it's Afghanistan, the next day it's Iraq again. That's all we seem to hear about. We can't even watch the war in Sri Lanka vicariously anymore because it's over. Can't we just flatten these places to dust, walk away and get some new wars to look at going. How about Iran and North Korea. Seems to me we have a lot of unfinished business in Somalia. They look like sitting ducks if we really wanted to take it. I'll bet Iceland would provide a few days of diversion...well an hour or two anyway. What a surprise they'd get if they were suddenly attacked without warning by the Navy and the Marines. Nothing to steal there though. With global warming, not even ice anymore.

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  • 38. At 1:36pm on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    squirrelist wrote:
    35. At 11:09am on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    " the facts do not show proof"

    I think, after a trial that has gone on for a year, I would want to offer as evidence of innocence a little more than a few lines of a summary news report. Consider what happened to four mobile phones, memory loss supposedly resulting from smoking marijuana, lack of claimed internet activity and a false accusation of another, for example. Just to start with.

    Still. nice to see some people have prejudices apart from just those to do with the Middle East.


    ___________________-

    It's not prejuudice it's fact , liberals cry racism when they can't argue.

    The Italian judicial system is a joke, how about the Liam Gabriele came where a father who has legal custody is being denied access to his son in favor of an Italian orphanage. How about a politicly motivated prosecution of berscolin by Prodi and his pals?

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  • 39. At 2:05pm on 05 Dec 2009, carolinalady wrote:

    #'s 4 & 5: About damned time, too! A panic among the Karzai clan and subsequent housecleaning is exactly what's wanted. The President said so loud and clear: start cleaning up your act by a date certain because we're not going to stick around forever and ever to allow your Swiss bank accounts to grow fatter. And this IS an important ongoing story: the holidays don't take precedence -- they just accent the message.

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  • 40. At 6:24pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Christine 10
    I agree with most of your letter.
    except that last bit
    "because of our generousity."
    there was no generosity in invading AQfghanistan and Iraq. NONE
    don't kid yourself.
    There had been champaighns to help Afghanistan for years after the russians pulled out and the taliban started taking over.
    No one (sorry ,except for a very small number of womens activists) in the states said squat about it until 9/11.
    then they all cried "who are the taliban"

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  • 41. At 6:28pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Gherkin If you guys had not been so dishonest on Clmate change then there might have been less reason forte scientists to "hide" the figures that would confuse Morons out there.
    these are not the ONLY figures on this subject.

    To claim NOW you want a rational debate after stifling debate for 20 years is funny. I to would prefer to know what is happening rather than fantasies.
    but you are not qualified to debate it. you have real understanding issues.
    comprehension issues.
    I would rather listen to someone that doesn't always seem to be so easily misguided.

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  • 42. At 6:32pm on 05 Dec 2009, hms_shannon wrote:

    #37.

    Hello Marky,what about invading Wales as you are at it?.
    Nothing much has happend here since the Romans left,except prehaps the rebeca riots"note another Welsh first,Cross dressing"but thats going back some.
    Ps
    Please make it between Mon-fri 8:30 to 5:00 if you disrupt the Rugby on the week end you would be routed.
    PPs
    What do you call a good looking Taliban, AS IF.

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  • 43. At 6:34pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Democracy threat. sorry but you overstated you opposition to David Cunard there.
    look at the blog. look at the record we have there. I think you could safely say every angle on t his has been covered. Now we could have yet more of the "muslims are all terrorists" comments but we have heard them before.
    we also Know that the americans started this war .. or not. at least it can be said we have all discussed this at great lenght.,
    so taking that into consideration can it not be claimed that we have dwelt on this a fair amount?

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  • 44. At 6:40pm on 05 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    DemocracyThreat,

    I agree with your ..sentiments. But, you are not pompous, not "fraudulant," not a demogogue,

    But, knowing you and I'll say it here and you can "attack me" here, you are abominably ignorant and that is the worst thing one can say to You.

    Ignorant about Americans, America AND David Cunard--I mean ummmm, why do you go on and on? Its because you have no real knowledge of things..here.

    You are all sound and fury. Switzerland is ok, and its culture is ok, why do you not "spread the gospel?" of Switzerland and its good things, instead of spreading self hate as a gospel. It is not an acceptable gospel and

    You are a good person, forget about all those people who disagree with you, for a moment and just relax and remember your own good qualities.

    Merry Holidays, to you,

    David

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  • 45. At 6:51pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    democracy threat.
    I had not read this bit when I replied
    " you are a disgrace of a human being. You may not care about the suffering of other human beings, and you may not care that your taxes make you an active participant in the conflict, but at least keep those views to yourself."

    We have had weeks of peopel making all sorts of disgusting inhuman comments . mainly directed at Muslims and Islam and you say nothign, don't join the debate. but you come here to berate David cause he is as many are Bored with the endless repetition of hate found on these blogs and wishes we could move to other topics.

    You maybe should look for that disgrace in the mirror.
    you could ignore him.


    KS I am SO glad you see that Obama is actually doing what he said. quietly and behind the scenes it must be because many miss it.
    I am glad they miss it cause they don't want to see it and that you do see it.
    I know you were not sold on O immediately.

    And I see you as one who has made fair comment when others rage that he is too one way or the other.


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  • 46. At 6:54pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    28 Squirrelist.
    Oh luck you, being on holiday at christmas you may miss this years fireworks.
    after all the leadership in a certain country did say to Obama they would refrain from attacking a certain neighbour of Iraq until the "end of the year"

    I suspect we can expect a display soon after. It has become an annual display.
    ;(

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  • 47. At 7:05pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "I think it was anti americanism by the Italian court and jury."

    well at least in Italy she is not facing death row unlike the people tried under americ's "un bigoted "juries.

    I doubt you saw much of the evidence.
    go on do a dna analysis.

    lol gherky
    "How about a politicly motivated prosecution of berscolin by Prodi and his pals?"
    how bout cause the guy should be in jail a long time ago but uses emense media resources to jkeep getting elected while fixing it so that the media opposing is bought out and of course as a serving president he cannot be prosecuted.
    It is not a matter of evidence it is a matter of getting him out for long enough to not rig everything.
    Not that I am helping prove amanda Knox was not kangarooed through the courts.


    for that I would just say I suspect she received a fair trial and that if you think america courts behave better then explain why the guy wanted for the deaths of 25000 people is still not being extradited.
    oops sorry I did it again

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  • 48. At 7:36pm on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    44. David; 45, fluffytale:

    To borrow a Scots phrase, dinnae fash yesells.

    All may not be quite what it seems from an apparently arty ex-officer whose first degree apparently "was an arts degree with a major in military history and US foreign policy from the Royal Military Academy".

    Whether the Canadian one, the Belgian one, the Thai one or Sandhurst is uncertain. (Given some ideas expressed by our subject about the Royal Prerogative and the aristocracy in Britain, which would raise eyebrows at Sandhurst, I think, I would be somewhat doubtful if it were the last. He could have reacted rather badly to Richard Holmes, I suppose . . .But then, the two of you know the UK, too . . .)

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  • 49. At 7:48pm on 05 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    DC, "Incidentally, I am not like "most folks" and would never rent a cowboy western (what other kinds of western are there?)"
    Ask Kurosawa or George Lucas

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  • 50. At 8:02pm on 05 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    The Kurmudgeon has the right of it - as usual.

    Democracy Threat, I think your head needs a wee soak.

    It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in an argument.

    Q.E.D.

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  • 51. At 8:06pm on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    46. At 6:54pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "28 Squirrelist.
    Oh luck you, being on holiday at christmas you may miss this years fireworks."

    I'll have my mobile. And France Inter and the World Service on the wireless. (I like that word. I prefer it to 'radio' now I've remembered it.) Thanks for reminding me that the 'season of peace and good will to all mankind" means damn all in some quarters I've been doing my best to forget about for a while. Did you have to? Was it Auntie Blanche's war-hungry little boy that reminded you?

    (Actually we were extremely well-informed and kept up to date about the Lebanese invasion there via the Guardian International edition as well, which curiously must go to print much later than the French papers which were always 24 hours behind. We were getting one way down near the Med and the Pyrenees that must have been put to bed between 10pm and midnight, as opposed to the last London edition which I think rolls off the presses between 2 and 4 am. Impressive, we thought.)

    Mention of Auntie Blanche's boy reminds me. Perhaps the North Koreans could target a New Jersey trailer park (the one with all the empty bottles lying around, can't miss it) so he could have a really good grandstand view of what it's like to be on the receiving end for once? Even if it's over in a bit of a flash? What's a vapourised trailer park between friends?

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  • 52. At 8:16pm on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 53. At 8:19pm on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    47. At 7:05pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "of course as a serving president he cannot be prosecuted"

    Actually, I think he (I can't write that ghastly guy's name, I hate even reading it) can, now, again. I'm not holding my breath though. He's Prime Minister though, not the President. Italian presidents are purely decorative. (Not even that, much, actually, squirellio says glumly, can never even remember their names, but you know what I mean.)

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  • 54. At 8:23pm on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    Oh, I've just noticed. I've been given my proper spelling back. Only one 'l'. I wonder how that happened? How strange.

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  • 55. At 8:31pm on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    I think we may have to re-introduce ourselves. I'm getting a a bit confused.

    What with 'dceilar' becoming a spanner, the late dousing in saltwater seems to have had some odd effects as we all dry out. At least I only shrank by an el. I see I might have been turned into a badger or a racoon or something.

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  • 56. At 8:43pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "In my own area of sustainability I lecture on it. "

    WhAT?
    lol I didn't know they taught sustained racism at school.


    What do you tech?
    go on tell us. all this time and no mention of your teaching prowess.Do enlighten us.

    You lecture in sustainability.
    PS you have assumed that from E mails you never read that the science is flawed.


    You make a lot of assumptions for a "scientists"
    admttedly I am assuming your didn't read them but i think it is safe to say you didn't.
    you can hardly read a post.
    I have told you loads that I do not even know what the "protocals of zion are" I have heard you mention t he name and a few others. But I do not follow up cause it seems that they are probably bull. maybe I should take your suggestion up and read them. are they good?
    fair? accurate?


    You call Al gore a charlatan.
    on what grounds tdo you claim this.?

    this is slander.
    what do you say backs up him being a charlatan.
    following science.
    daring to care.
    You guys always forget that not everyone wants your "advances"
    your level of energy consumption.
    You americans have ignored more fuel efficient cars and the real pollution that goes with your consumption, even without Global warming.

    Flat out said "screw the world when in 2001 the vehicle tax breaks were given to "utility vehicle's" and not on the efficiency of milage.
    yet still you all bleat as if you were hurt.
    and grab at the last straw to try to prove your point.
    A point that is as valid as Obama's Birthcertificate.
    You think that someone who can't figure out that Obama is ameican should be listened to as a respected scientist?

    LOL
    I doubt if you read the complete e mails you would be able to understand them.
    Hell I just had to point out to one 'merican that " so many americans"
    does not equal a blanket condemnation equal to ALL americans.



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  • 57. At 8:48pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    lol Squirrelist. I should just say "leader";) in the future.

    That trailer park. problem is if you describe it that way a lot of innocents could get hit before finding the right target.
    specify "cheap wine" bottles( i use inverted commas cause I am sure they weren't cheap to buy just in taste. but then I don't know wine.)

    that 'll exclude the budlight collections. or in this part of th world the "sierra nevada" (featured in GTA as "logger the beer that brought the forests down").



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  • 58. At 8:55pm on 05 Dec 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To David Cunnard and Gh1618:

    "Out West where the men are men and the women are very glad of that..."

    Western movies celebrated mythic themes that still seem to haunt us in 21st century. We Americans cling to a concept that the good guys wear white and the bad guys wear black. It is difficult for many that the world is much more complex. Some do not understand that there are no absolutes. Politicians and media have made it even more difficult to know the score without a 'score card.'

    Many of us are perhaps not as learned as some here but most want peace. We just may not know what we, as simple people, can do. We are not all Western hero to defeat 'bad guys' and save the world. No more of that. The world must also learn to save itself.

    "High Noon" was a classic! "Do not forsake me O my darling..." From my youth, so dramatic, so romantic! The others you mentioned, GH1618, also classic and filled with drama.

    The theme of good vs evil is still being portrayed in films today. In our hearts we all want to fight evil and restore good but it would be very helpful to know just side we are fighting on.

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  • 59. At 9:04pm on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #56
    "In my own area of sustainability I lecture on it. "

    WhAT?
    lol I didn't know they taught sustained racism at school.
    (You means you learned it at home?)


    What do you tech?
    go on tell us. all this time and no mention of your teaching prowess.Do enlighten us.

    You lecture in sustainability.
    PS you have assumed that from E mails you never read that the science is flawed.



    You call Al gore a charlatan.
    on what grounds tdo you claim this.?

    this is slander.
    what do you say backs up him being a charlatan.
    following science.
    daring to care.
    You guys always forget that not everyone wants your "advances"
    your level of energy consumption.
    You americans have ignored more fuel efficient cars and the real pollution that goes with your consumption, even without Global warming.

    (Al gore has no degree in the sciences a British study found 12 flasehoods in his movie yes he is a charlatan)

    Flat out said "screw the world when in 2001 the vehicle tax breaks were given to "utility vehicle's" and not on the efficiency of milage.
    yet still you all bleat as if you were hurt.
    and grab at the last straw to try to prove your point.
    A point that is as valid as Obama's Birthcertificate.
    You think that someone who can't figure out that Obama is ameican should be listened to as a respected scientist?

    (When I have questioned wether Obama is an American? Another lie by you, no surprise there. I have criticized his resume and his policies which i also did for white southern John Edwards)

    LOL
    I doubt if you read the complete e mails you would be able to understand them.
    Hell I just had to point out to one 'merican that " so many americans"
    does not equal a blanket condemnation equal to ALL americans.

    (Why do you disregard the fact those involved in promoting a climate change agenda refused to allowed the facts to be debated)


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  • 60. At 9:07pm on 05 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Is there no end to Mark's fascination with Afghanistan? The same post could be written by anyone in Europe or elsewhere. I do not see that one has to be in Washington to make this kind of observation. At this very moment, Americans are concerned with Hanukkah and Christmas, some possibly with Kwanzaa and others with their own Winter Solstice celebrations. During this period, Afghanistan is going to take a back seat - and Christmas in the United States is different to that in Great Britain. Surely the lives and actions of ordinary Americans are just as important and more interesting than this continued subject. It's time to consider peace to men of goodwill!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is not a racist post..whoever thinks it is, has a racist mind.

    There was once a sikh who was sitting comfortably in a chair under a tree in a summer afternoon. He was wearing just his shorts. In his hand was his white shirt which was full of lice. He would turn inside out every when all the lice would move to inside of the shirt. he went on and on and on...A guy who was sitting and watching this ritual could not keep quiet anymore, and ask why the sikh was doing it,and the sikh replied that he would kill the lice by making them walk.Mark will make you so sick of afghanistan that you will not even pay attention to it,when it would be important.

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  • 61. At 9:16pm on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    58. At 8:55pm on 05 Dec 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    "We Americans cling to a concept that the good guys wear white and the bad guys wear black."

    You're not going to believe this, but I assure you I had it from a very trustworthy source.

    Before the second Iraq invasion, Marines were being 'trained' in urban warfare. Those playing the 'good guys' wore red bandanas; the 'bad guys' wore sombreros.

    Later on, in Baghdad or Kandahar, it must have come as a surprise that in real life urban guerillas aren't so easily distinguishable. . .

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  • 62. At 9:17pm on 05 Dec 2009, baroness wrote:

    48, squirrelist -

    "All may not be quite what it seems" from more than one regular contributor to this blog. When one reads professionally one tends to be more attuned to contradictions, inconsistencies, and strange coincidences; particularly prevaricatory is a certain poster of pompous prose to this and other blogs. Perhaps you have noticed this. Or not. It can be amusing until it becomes slyly malicious, or when readers of the blogs are made to believe that the poster's opinions are based on experiences that in fact are completely fabricated.

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  • 63. At 9:18pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Gherky
    "(Why do you disregard the fact those involved in promoting a climate change agenda refused to allowed the facts to be debated)"

    because just as all muslims are not terrorists I know that all climate scientists do not work at east anglia university.


    you went with the birthers right at the start.
    sure you were made to look foolish and backed off.

    He made a long film with 12 inaccuracies in tem. None as fatal to global warming science as you would make out.
    Charlatan

    " A charlatan (also called swindler or mountebank) is a person practising quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretence or deception."

    I do not think seriously addressing a scientific theory that predicts some real consequences for us all is acceptably called being a Charlatan.

    He was already famous, yes he was a little more famous but also not able to run for president, which he might have had nhe not stood up for the rest of the world.

    I can see that you think he is a charlatan.but you also think Nelson mandela is a racist supporter of terrorism.

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  • 64. At 9:22pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "I doubt if you read the complete e mails you would be able to understand them.
    Hell I just had to point out to one 'merican that " so many americans"
    does not equal a blanket condemnation equal to ALL americans.

    (Why do you disregard the fact those involved in promoting a climate change agenda refused to allowed the facts to be debate"

    I don't disregard the facts. I do disregard your opinion ,your interpretation and your moral compass.

    Yes it is funny that I had to explain that so many is not the all inclusive "all". but I don't see how you quoting that backs your argument;)


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  • 65. At 9:23pm on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #58"High Noon" was a classic! "Do not forsake me O my darling..." From my youth, so dramatic, so romantic! The others you mentioned, GH1618, also classic and filled with drama.

    The theme of good vs evil is still being portrayed in films today. In our hearts we all want to fight evil and restore good but it would be very helpful to know just side we are fighting on.
    ____________________________

    The West, Israel and India wear the white hats.

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  • 66. At 9:34pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    completely fabricated?
    interesting stuff.
    bleat

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  • 67. At 9:36pm on 05 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    52. At 8:16pm on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    "Mein Kampf or the Protocols of Zion where your philosophies seem to come from"

    To accuse anyone who does not share your opinion on Zionism or the legitimacy of 'Eretz Israel' --and that includes me--of being a Nazi, or a neo-Nazi as you have just done, is both patently erroneous and cheap.

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  • 68. At 9:39pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "slyly malicious,"

    as opposed to

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFkIqaIYdoI&feature=related

    later love.

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  • 69. At 9:40pm on 05 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 65 MagicKirin

    "The West, Israel and India wear the white hats"

    Hasidim wear black hats all the time. There are Hasidim in Israel; are there not?

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  • 70. At 9:58pm on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #63fluffytale wrote:
    Gherky
    "(Why do you disregard the fact those involved in promoting a climate change agenda refused to allowed the facts to be debated)"

    because just as all muslims are not terrorists I know that all climate scientists do not work at east anglia university.

    That may be true but why are opposing views discounts?


    you went with the birthers right at the start.
    sure you were made to look foolish and backed off.

    (Another lie by you Fluff brain; you seem to do a great deal of it, I never supported the Birthers anymore than rational liberals which you are not; support the 9/11 conspiracy

    He made a long film with 12 inaccuracies in tem. None as fatal to global warming science as you would make out.
    Charlatan

    " A charlatan (also called swindler or mountebank) is a person practising quackery or some similar confidence trick in order to obtain money, fame or other advantages via some form of pretence or deception."

    (Gore is a fraud just like when he said he invented the world wide web)
    He was already famous, yes he was a little more famous but also not able to run for president, which he might have had nhe not stood up for the rest of the world.

    (He is still able to run for President but he lost to a far better and wiser man than he)

    I can see that you think he is a charlatan.but you also think Nelson mandela is a racist supporter of terrorism.
    (Mandela supported the PLO terrorism against Israel and was silent on Mugabe's racial clensing case closed)


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  • 71. At 10:03pm on 05 Dec 2009, aquarizonagal wrote:

    To#61 Squirrelist:

    Your comment does not surprise me at all. Where I live the 'bad guys' have most often worn sombreros. Life would be so much simpler with a 'score card.'

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  • 72. At 10:23pm on 05 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    61 if the just all wore Gorilla suits it would be easier.

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  • 73. At 10:41pm on 05 Dec 2009, Grant Carlson wrote:

    President Obama hs been dithering since August as to what to do in Afghanistan, an area of the world where he said necessary action was "urgent", that more troops were needed quickly, etc. This was in July, 2008.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/07/20/obama.afghanistan/

    Now, after waiting all this time, he could not even make himself clear as to just what he meant, and everyone is now trying to decipher just what he actually said. His idea of being a strong leader is to lower the tone of his voice.

    But this man is no leader, never has been, and never will be, and many will suffer and die as a result of his weaknesses.

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  • 74. At 10:56pm on 05 Dec 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    #71 aquarizonagal

    Drat those 1970s. It all got so confusing after Hollywood starting abandoning those cliches. Butch and Sundance could be interpreted as anti-heroes, and the Spaghetti Westerns definitely confirm this. And sometimes deliberately mocked the archetypes- a la Chuck Norris in "Good Guys Wear Black."

    How is it that we loved the antiheroes and everymans, and yet can't quite grasp the ambiguous, multi-layered morality of the real world, like that which they portrayed?

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  • 75. At 10:59pm on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #67
    squirrelist wrote:
    52. At 8:16pm on 05 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    "Mein Kampf or the Protocols of Zion where your philosophies seem to come from"

    To accuse anyone who does not share your opinion on Zionism or the legitimacy of 'Eretz Israel' --and that includes me--of being a Nazi, or a neo-Nazi as you have just done, is both patently erroneous and cheap.

    ________________-

    Fluff Brain comments show that is where her philosophy does come from. But to deny Israel's right to exist and their legimitacy is racist

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  • 76. At 11:35pm on 05 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    Obama is your typical sheltered uber liberal politician.

    No reality to great to ignore...and no problem in which other people's money cannot fix.

    Liberals would destory this country rather than to admit that Liberal policies don't work...Its like trying to convince a drug addict that drugs are bad for them...They know you are right, but they just can't muster the strength to honestly look at themselves and the destruction that they bring to everyone around them...

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  • 77. At 11:37pm on 05 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #51. squirrelist: "I'll have my . . . wireless. (I like that word. I prefer it to 'radio' now I've remembered it."

    Does it need an accumulator to run it? (it's an old word too.) I once had a crystal set and it didn't need any juice. Good for emergencies - and I'm surprised no-one makes them readily available. No current, no receive, except for those nifty wind-up kind.

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  • 78. At 11:58pm on 05 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 77 David_Cunard

    "...I'm surprised no-one makes them readily available."

    They still are available in kit form. Google "crystal radio".

    Welcome back as the real you; instead of a Unumber.

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  • 79. At 00:05am on 06 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    77. At 11:37pm on 05 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    "Does it need an accumulator to run it?"

    Well, I've never had to bet on any horse races before I listen to it, no. Usually had enough cash to buy the batteries.

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  • 80. At 00:09am on 06 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    This is what you get when you get a community organizer as a political leader....

    ...If it wasn't so serious...this would be a Benny Hill skit...You know the one where the MOST stupid and impossible scenerio is acted out in front of you with all the actors pretending to be serious about it...Usually with someone getting blow up or getting thrown out the window and being chased around by the whole town for screwing up things so badly....all done to a cheasy sound track

    I fully expect America in 2010 to throw out this joker and his whole liberal democratic cabal and establishment media cheerleaders out in the street

    ...to be Obamazied....to think you are getting a bag of gold only to realize later you got bag of dead skunks...

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  • 81. At 00:21am on 06 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 82. At 00:33am on 06 Dec 2009, ann arbor wrote:

    Re: #24 KScurmudge
    The reduction in the rise of unemployment is reason to say, "'crisis over', it is getting better"? So, we went from 15.0 million to 15.1 million instead of 15.5 million unemployed.

    Has it dawned on you perhaps we have fewer working people left to dismiss?

    Perhaps it is just seasonal that our unemployed engineers and professionals now have retail jobs selling Christmas toys for a month. Employment will tank on December 26.

    -------
    re: 52. Magic

    You are more capable than you think.

    case 1:
    a) "Greenhouse gas concentrations are rising."
    b) "Global temperatures are rising.

    Therefore, according to al gore, "a" causes "b".

    case 2:
    a) "Global temperatures are rising."
    b) "Greenhouse gas concentrations are rising."

    Equally plausible, "a" causes "b".

    case 3:
    a) "Gore is getting older"
    b) "Global temperatures are rising.

    Therefore, "a" causes "b", right?!
    Equally plausible, "a" and "b" are unrelated, but happen to correlate.

    We are bombarded with failures in scientific critical thinking. The leaked emails demonstrated "case 2" and "case 3" would never be heard, though they may be just as valid as "case 1".

    Scientifically, proof through analogy or correlation is "fraud".

    The collusion that masked temperatures actually dropped is illuminating in case 1:
    a) "Greenhouse gas concentrations are rising."
    b) "Global temperatures actually dropped".

    CO2 and greenhouse gases are reflective (that is how they retain heat). They may, in fact, be reflecting solar heat resulting in lower temperatures. Or, maybe they are just not related.

    Scientists will lose their funds and grants if the problem is not real, severe, or balances out. Al Gore will lose his carbon credit tax/trade windfall. U.N. will lose the power of "crisis".

    Do not confuse climate change skeptics with not believing in conservation or protecting the environment. We can still be green without being misled.

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  • 83. At 00:38am on 06 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    #38 MagicKirin wrote:

    "It's not prejuudice [sic] it's fact , liberals cry racism when they can't argue."

    #52 MagicKirin wrote:

    "It would be better use of your money than your buying of Mein Kampf or the Protocols of Zion where your philosophies seem to come from"

    MK is as tedious as he is predictable. Usually he claims, falsely and without evidence, that anyone who dares to disagree with or criticise Obama will be called a racist. Now he expands on this to claim, falsely and without evidence, that 'liberals cry racism when they can't argue' - even when there was no mention of racism.

    And almost immediately, he once again, scurrilously and mendaciously, falsely and without evidence, defames anyone who disagrees with him as an anti-Semite and a Nazi, while appearing not to comprehend the gross hypocrisy of such a position.

    Then again, this is someone who loves to hurl around slurs of 'ignorant', and claims to be a lecturer, while he can barely compose a literate sentence...

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  • 84. At 00:42am on 06 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    liberals...pretend that they are better, smarter and more moral than everyone else. Hence the well deserved description as elitest yankees.

    I just saw the mini-series called "John Adams", which is about the history of the American revolution. I think it is very telling that EVEN then....liberals from the North East establishment didn't want to do what was required and even "voted Present"...sound familiar?

    If you can't tell by now...I have a very low opinion of liberals and their tendency to destroy everything and then make the adults clean up their messes....all the while pretending to have nothing to do with the disaster...Its like dealing with a bunch of spoiled teenagers...

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  • 85. At 01:07am on 06 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    I think the reason that 99% of liberals cannot explain WHY their point of view is correct and fall back to others being racists, Nazis, etc...

    Is that for the past 80 years...the establishmet media, political and educational elites have given cover for the masses and didn't allow any alternate points of views into the debate....

    Now that the monopoly has been broken in the age of alternate media and the internet, liberals are for the first time having to explain WHY...and are not capable of explaining their world views as automatically superior...

    Vs....

    in the same 80 years of time, alternate voices have had to sharpen their thoughts, understand the nature of the issue and expand their capacity to understand other points of views in order to defend themselves as the outsiders and specifically NOT welcomed points of views....

    Thus...liberals are reactionary, thin skinned and unable to defend their totalitarian ways....when pushed for a reasoned position of why its good to take away peoples freedom and money and unable to explain it as anything other than "just because"...they typically resort to calling their opposition inferior as a human being and thus able to write off any critism as comming from "bad people"...

    liberals think conservatives are evil
    conservatives thing liberals are wrong

    If any liberal cares to EXPLAIN why a big government that is at its heart a totalitarian political theory...is the best answer to all of mans problems...then I'll listen....

    but if it's the same old...if you dare to think differently than the group..then you must be a bad person stuff....I've heard it already..

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  • 86. At 01:27am on 06 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 84 CuriousAmerican wrote:

    "If you can't tell by now...I have a very low opinion of liberals and their tendency to destroy everything and then make the adults clean up their messes....all the while pretending to have nothing to do with the disaster...Its like dealing with a bunch of spoiled teenagers..."

    Gosh - I never realised that Bush and Cheney were liberals....

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  • 87. At 01:33am on 06 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 73 Grant Carlson wrote: [of President Obama]

    "But this man is no leader, never has been, and never will be, and many will suffer and die as a result of his weaknesses."

    How true. If only we had the firm and decisive leadership of GW Bush. He was never one to let facts, truth or evidence interfere with his decision-making process.

    Or if only McCain were President. He didn't foolishly waste a lot of time on deciding a trivial issue such as who was best qualified to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. No, he went with his gut, and chose someone he hardly knew - S Palin....

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  • 88. At 01:41am on 06 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Curious American,

    We do not pretend to be better than conservatives, we (LIBERALS) ARE better. nah nah nah.

    (nee stellarBeloved lol)

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  • 89. At 02:03am on 06 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    80. At 00:09am on 06 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:
    “This is what you get when you get a community organizer as a political leader.... throw out this joker and his whole liberal democratic cabal and establishment media cheerleaders out in the street.”
    And this is worse than a Yalie fake Texan, member of a secret society, who, with a Neocon posse, screwed up the country worse than he screwed up a baseball franchise and bankrupt company?

    84. “liberals...pretend that they are better, smarter and more moral than everyone else. Hence the well deserved description as elitest yankees….I have a very low opinion of liberals and their tendency to destroy everything and then make the adults clean up their messes”

    Now who invented the “moral majority?” And which airhead bimbo feels free to talk about her redneck base as “the REAL Americans" pointedly excluding people she disagrees with? I have a very low opinion of people who want to replace science in the schools with religious doctrine, and think they are smart. I have a low opinion of hypocrites who run others down and justify it by whining that they always run him/her down.

    85. “Thus...liberals are reactionary, thin skinned and unable to defend their totalitarian ways....when pushed for a reasoned position of why its good to take away peoples freedom and money and unable to explain it as anything other than "just because"...they typically resort to calling their opposition inferior as a human being and thus able to write off any critism as comming from "bad people"...

    The current economic crisis shows that the people trying to take away the money and freedom of the American people are the Wall Street, Big Insurance, Big Pharma, Big Bank, Big Business elites that the GOP loves so much. [I will give you that the congress on both sides is corrupt and beholden to the corporations, not just the Dems, though.]

    And since you are the hate spewer, calling the people you disagree with names like reactionary, you are obviously not someone able to have a reasoned conversation with another person who happens to hold a different opinion than you do. This was one of the best characteristics of the founding fathers you seem to hate so much. [BTW you do know that Jefferson and Adams were friends and pen pals to the end despite many disagreements.] I dislike the far left as much as I dislike the far right. Ignorance, pigheadedness and ideological blindness are on both sides in this dispute but are never acceptable.

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  • 90. At 05:43am on 06 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    82. At 00:33am on 06 Dec 2009, ann arbor wrote:
    Re: #24 KScurmudge
    The reduction in the rise of unemployment is reason to say, "'crisis over', it is getting better"? So, we went from 15.0 million to 15.1 million instead of 15.5 million unemployed.

    Perhaps it is just seasonal that our unemployed engineers and professionals now have retail jobs selling Christmas toys for a month. Employment will tank on December 26.
    ___________________________________

    I never said 'crisis over'. Everyone these days is searching for trends with which to predict the future. I do understand that the future is unknowable, both in any one detail and in general. A 0.002 change is really insignificant, except as it contributes to or reflects a trend in fact, which must actually happen to become fact.

    "Has it dawned on you perhaps we have fewer working people left to dismiss?"

    Being in the competitive labor market, I know at first hand that the amount of work that needs to be done determines how many working people are needed. There cannot be 'too few people left to dismiss', unless you mean that at the moment there is work sufficient to the number who are employed.

    I agree that this slight increase in employment may be the result of temporary hiring for the holidays. But if we are hiring more temps this year than last, or if the trend is an increase where last year's trend was a decrease, that in itself must be positive, and if holiday sales are increasing, then the backbone of the economy, consumer spending, is also stronger.

    This would be good news, don't you agree?

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 91. At 08:30am on 06 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    85. At 01:07am on 06 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    "liberals...pretend that they are better, smarter and more moral than everyone else"


    Absolutely no pretending in it at all.

    One assumes this is an example of that curious American English usage where 'liberal' means 'socialist' and 'socialist' means 'communist'. And 'conservative' means 'far right loony'. Poor benighted persecuted souls.

    The Red Squirrel Party is currently debating abandoning its previous resolution of throwing 'conservatives' to the wolves, partly on the grounds that they seem to be doing a perfectly good job of it all by themselves (economic shambles, unemployment, huge debt, wars, rubbish health care, education cuts etc. etc., you know, the usual capitalist cockups they land us with every time) and because paradoxically (they're a bit thick and really stubborn) it only seems to encourage them.

    The proposal for instituting auto da fe was rejected unanimously on the grounds that although it might increase enlightenment generally in these darkening days, it would unfortunately add to global warming and increase our carbon paw print.

    (And while we're on that subject, we're fed up with people going on about Al Gore and Leonardo diCaprio, when the information people should be discussing is here and the British Met Office's Hadley Centre will shortly be releasing the world-wide raw dataits been using for some of its modelling now it's got the agreement of the of the 180-odd countries which have given it to them.

    If you want serious debate instead of ill-informed sloganeering, next week that might be a good place to start.)

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  • 92. At 09:54am on 06 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #85-91

    The problem is tags too many posters like John in dublin and Fluff Brain see liberal always good, Obama as messiah etc.

    The objection I have is people insist you have to follow their rigid doctrine in al things.

    The country would be better off if we had more people like McCain,Liebermann,Collins who will vote on the subject rather than party affiliation.

    But when you have 3 polarizing idealogical figures who don't have the ability or flexibility(Obama, Pelosi Reid) you cause major troubles.

    Tip O'neil and Newt Gingrich may have been liberal and conservative but they could work with the other side.

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  • 93. At 12:37pm on 06 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    This "liberal" just came back from Cozumel, Mexico, where I had the opportunity to see the effects of our wonderful foreign policy first hand.

    In addition to being constantly accosted by very loud and aggressive salesmen, I was shocked by the expressions of support afforded to Fidel Castro and Che Guevara by the local population. Shops and T-shirts adorned with their pictures or expressions such as Viva Cuba competed with the presence of army trucks patrolling the streets with soldiers wielding submachine guns. And this all happened in a country that is not only our next door neighbor, but purportedly a loyal ally of the USA!

    My eldest son will have to go there to smoke his beloved Cuban cigars, or do it aboard a ship, because we are not allowed to bring them into the USA as a result of the embargo that remains in effect to punish the people of Cuba because, in truth, the dictators it is meant to target continue to enjoy life at its fullest.

    Well, at least the weather was great...

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  • 94. At 12:50pm on 06 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 92, Magic

    I support President Obama's domestic policies and most of his foreign policy (I am dismayed by his decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan and remain there another 18 months), but I certainly don't consider him a Messiah. I do, however, consider him a great improvement to his predecessor and the right man for the job at a time when so much remains to be done to correct the problems of 8 years of pervasive right wing policies designed to protect corporations and the rich at the expense of the vanishing middle class and the poor, not to mention the interests and welfare of people worldwide.

    It will be interesting to see what happens 3 years from now. I expect good ole Sarah to be transformed into a combination of a modern day Jeanne d'Arc, Mother Theresa, Margaret Thatcher and Emily Dickinson determined to save the USA from the evils of liberalism. My daughter was among tens of thousands of devotees who waited long hours in line to get her autograph. Her book will be a special Christmas gift for my Christian fundamentalist son in law and will, no doubt, occupy a special place in his house. The scary part is that they are not alone...

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  • 95. At 1:34pm on 06 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #94
    SaintDominick wrote:
    Ref 92, Magic

    I support President Obama's domestic policies and most of his foreign policy (I am dismayed by his decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan and remain there another 18 months), but I certainly don't consider him a Messiah. I do, however, consider him a great improvement to his predecessor and the right man for the job at a time when so much remains to be done to correct the problems of 8 years of pervasive right wing policies designed to protect corporations and the rich at the expense of the vanishing middle class and the poor, not to mention the interests and welfare of people worldwide.

    It will be interesting to see what happens 3 years from now. I expect good ole Sarah to be transformed into a combination of a modern day Jeanne d'Arc, Mother Theresa, Margaret Thatcher and Emily Dickinson determined to save the USA from the evils of liberalism. My daughter was among tens of thousands of devotees who waited long hours in line to get her autograph. Her book will be a special Christmas gift for my Christian fundamentalist son in law and will, no doubt, occupy a special place in his house. The scary part is that they are not alone...

    ___________________

    Please note I did not put you in the group with theother two, because although we disagree on most subjects(except the obesity of Americans)you are a rational liberal who realizes you have to work with the other side.

    I do disagree withg you Bush was far wiser and qualified than Obama is.

    Regarding Palin I think since the Repub are pragmatic in their Presidential slection she will not be a factor. Likewise Huckabee who is a phony will be painted by the Willie Horton Brush.

    After the way the Dems have destroyed the economy in4 years of legislative control, the country is ready for a fiscaly intligent republican like a Romeny.

    Romeny who unlike Obama has accomplishments prior to his Whirte House run will be a welcomed mature change.

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  • 96. At 2:41pm on 06 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    lol the liberals of the revolution were just like the ones today

    " I just saw the mini-series called "John Adams", which is about the history of the American revolution. I think it is very telling that EVEN then....liberals from the North East establishment didn't want to do what was required and even "voted Present"...sound familiar?"

    yea do you understand the procedure of democracy.
    there is a vote called to abstain.
    like your "present". It says I am here. but the issue was not clearly enough framed for me o vote at this stage for either side.

    Hardly un democratic. much like the republicans always wanted "none of the above"


    Many want None of the above, as a choice.
    That is the same as "present"

    Gherkin great news you don't believe the birthers. I'll be able to save that quote for the day you forget that;) again.

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  • 97. At 3:23pm on 06 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    fluffytale wrote:
    lol the liberals of the revolution were just like the ones today

    " I just saw the mini-series called "John Adams", which is about the history of the American revolution. I think it is very telling that EVEN then....liberals from the North East establishment didn't want to do what was required and even "voted Present"...sound familiar?"

    yea do you understand the procedure of democracy.
    there is a vote called to abstain.
    like your "present". It says I am here. but the issue was not clearly enough framed for me o vote at this stage for either side.

    Hardly un democratic. much like the republicans always wanted "none of the above"


    Many want None of the above, as a choice.
    That is the same as "present"

    Gherkin great news you don't believe the birthers. I'll be able to save that quote for the day you forget that;) again.


    _____________-

    Fluff brain stop lying, I never said it and you know it.

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  • 98. At 3:24pm on 06 Dec 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    Oh oh - I see that dirty word 'liberal' being bandied about with sneers again. This is the custom when one runs out of merits to debate. But does anyone support the 'status quo' really? Both parties ran on a reform ticket touting 'change' in the presidential election. 'I do not know which makes a man more conservative - to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past." - John Maynard Keynes

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  • 99. At 4:07pm on 06 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 92 MagicKirin wrote:

    "The problem is tags [sic] too many posters like John in dublin [sic] and Fluff Brain see liberal always good, Obama as messiah etc."

    Fluffytale can speak for himself. As for me, this is yet another MK lie, without evidence. Where have I said Obama was the messiah or liberals are always right? Nowhere. All my postings can be accessed here. MK is a stranger to the concepts of 'proof', 'evidence', and 'spelling'.

    "The objection I have is people [sic] insist you have to follow their rigid doctrine in al [sic] things."

    You could not make this up. MK is lecturing the rest of us about our rigid doctrinaire approach. This from the person whose stance on the Middle East never strays from 'Israel Good, A-rabs Baaaaad', for whom any force used by Israel is by definition self-defence, and any criticism of Israel [or indeed MagicKirin] is by definition anti-Semitic and/or Nazi. Pot, kettle.


    "But when you have 3 polarizing idealogical [sic] figures who don't have the ability or flexibility(Obama, Pelosi Reid) you cause major troubles."

    Apparently on MK's planet, you have a Republican party that is non-ideological and non-partisan, which is both filled with ability and noted for its flexibility. If only that were true on Earth...

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  • 100. At 4:45pm on 06 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 99 John_in_Dublin-

    "...you have a Republican party that is non-ideological and non-partisan, which is both filled with ability and noted for its flexibility."

    The Republican party has demonstrated its ability to be flexible. The party bent over backwards and compromised themselves into a losing ticket for the last election. They are still mighty sore from the exercise. Chiropractic treatments and physical therapy must not be included in their health care packages.

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  • 101. At 4:55pm on 06 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #92. MagicKirin: "The problem is too many posters . . . see liberal always good, Obama as messiah etc."

    And some see Israel as always good and Palestine as always bad . . .

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  • 102. At 4:56pm on 06 Dec 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    One for the lefties here.

    So does the Afghan troop commitment really signal the 'defeat of civilian authority' in the U.S.? A gross overstatement, I think. Disengaging from military overreach requires considerable finesse, if one is not to make a bad situation even worse.

    All leaders must deal with the discipline of power: the Great Game of international politics has a way of crushing fuzzy minded good intentions. I am far more hopeful that the calmer and more diplomatic tone and posture taken by Obama in foreign policy will pay peaceful dividends in the mid to longer term.

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  • 103. At 5:01pm on 06 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    "President Obama's top national security adviser, who has played a key part in designing the new Afghanistan and Pakistan strategy, has been trying to clear up some confusion about the exit strategy."

    I accept setting a withdrawal date as an exit strategy (it was about time we did that), but the rest seems to be nothing more than a new military tactic designed to "win" what passes for a war rather than a long term socio-political strategy.

    What exactly are we trying to accomplish in Afghanistan? What constitutes victory?

    If the goal is to kill or imprison anyone that opposes our presence in Afghanistan or our geo-political goals in the Islamic world I suppose the latest "surge" could be construed as a strategy of sorts, but in my book it is nothing more than an extension of Bush's policies in the region...with a greater focus on those that attacked us on 9/11, rather than pursuing vendettas, illusions, distractions and business opportunities in a country that had nothing to do with that tragedy.

    I still support President Obama, but decisions like this are hard to take and may never be forgotten. Hopefully he has enough foresight to select Hillary as his running mate because if she decides to run against him in the primaries he may turn out to be a one term President.

    Ref 95, Magic

    "Regarding Palin I think since the Repub are pragmatic in their Presidential slection she will not be a factor. Likewise Huckabee who is a phony will be painted by the Willie Horton Brush."

    I am not sure I would label the Republicans as pragmatic, more accurate descriptions may be disciplined or dogmatic. They abandoned their traditional electoral discipline last year when they nominated McCain over Romney who, I agree, would have been a much better candidate. An explanation for their decision may have been that considering the mess in the Middle East and the state of our economy they did not really want to win and decided to reward Sen. McCain for his loyalty by nominating him and thus giving him a prominent place in our history books.

    I would not dismiss Sarah Palin so readily, there are enough nuts out there ready to vote for her. I got a heavy dose of Christian fundamentalism a couple of weeks ago when members of my family expressed their horror at the perverse criticisms voiced by us liberals against such a nice person simply because her daughter had a baby, because she is against abortion, and because she had a handicapped child.

    The fact that the criticisms expressed against such a laudable person were made almost exclusively by the media and were influenced by the inconsistency of her expressed moral values and the realities of her family's behavior, plus her efforts to hide what should have been made public without reservation, are either don't understood or don't hold water for those whose values are as fluid as water and vary dependent on which direction the political winds blow.





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  • 104. At 5:14pm on 06 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref 99Apparently on MK's planet, you have a Republican party that is non-ideological and non-partisan, which is both filled with ability and noted for its flexibility. If only that were true on Earth...
    ________

    Never said that they inflexible Republicans but rioght now the dems controll both houses and the Presidency

    ref #101 And some see Israel as always good and Palestine as always bad . . .

    __________

    When have the Palestinians done anything to contribute to peace. They haven't. Israel has.

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  • 105. At 5:18pm on 06 Dec 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The Democratic Party's nightmare scenario is that the US pulls out of Afghanistan before there is victory over al Qaeda and the Taleban, say because Karzai can't curb corruption there, the Taleban takes over, al Qaeda re-estabilishes itself there and attacks the US again. In that scenario the Democratic party in the United States will be finished forever. It will have proven that it cannot fulfill the most important mandate of a government, to protect its own citizens in their own country from foreign attack. It will have proven a slave to insane notions of law and the constitution at the expense of survival of the nation. It may mark an end of democracy itself in America at least for a time as the question of whether or not an open society in an era when terrorists can obtain WMDs and use them against civilized people in the kind of country we know and have come to expect is even possible anymore. America's presence in Afghanistan is not about nation building or creating a government we'd call democratic and uncorrupt (our own government would sometimes fail that test along with all others.) It is about finding and defeating the enemy just as it was in Iraq. That is why a token appeal to the left wing of the Democratic party in Obama's speech last week was empty rhetoric. If the US is not winning decisively in Afghanistan in 2011, America's troops aren't going anywhere except deeper in with more joining them.

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  • 106. At 5:46pm on 06 Dec 2009, _marko wrote:

    To MarcusAureliusII #105

    I disagree. The Democratic Party's nightmare scenario is to be bitten by a flock of scary vampires.

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  • 107. At 6:01pm on 06 Dec 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    re: 103 St. D What exactly are we trying to accomplish in Afghanistan? What constitutes victory?

    The question ... victory will look something like Iraq: the ISAF presence smaller in size, and almost invisible in media profile, this being made possible by a stabilized Afghan regime backed by a (barely?) functional National Army and Police Force. Seems a tall order to expect in just 18 months, eh? Hence the conditional nature of the draw down date.

    So why is it all worth it? I would expect that Afghanistan is being considered as part of a regional strategy, with Pakistan, Iran, and (dare I say it?) Israel as major variables in the equation. Nukes have to be a major priority.

    The real test of Obama's intentions will come in his relations with Israel. If he can achieve meaningful Israeli concessions on, say, settlements and Gaza, detente in the whole region could be possible. Again, it's a tall order.

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  • 108. At 6:03pm on 06 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    St Dom,
    "What exactly are we trying to accomplish in Afghanistan? What constitutes victory?"

    The great unanswered (unanswerable?) question.

    To get out and save at least a bit of face, methinks.

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  • 109. At 6:05pm on 06 Dec 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    Marcus -- enemy? In Iraq? Oh, all those WMD's that didn't exist?

    And it was the previous Administration who thought it would be easy to do a bit of global do-gooding while blowing the crap out of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Turns out, they were dead wrong.

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  • 110. At 6:07pm on 06 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    "When have the Palestinians done anything to contribute to peace. They haven't. Israel has."

    Repeating a falsehood doesn't make it true

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  • 111. At 6:30pm on 06 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    come new year we will see if Israel want peace.
    They insist on the right to attack iran.they said they will wait till the end of the year.
    if they do there is NO hope for Obama to pull it together.
    there is no hope of anyone pulling it togeather.
    But keep insisting that they are to be considered innocent.
    Non confrontational etc.


    They key to the middle east.


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  • 112. At 6:42pm on 06 Dec 2009, _marko wrote:

    To MagicKirin #104

    Please mention to your masters that your approach to political discussion might be more suited to one-way media outlets such as radio and TV. If you pretend and state mistruths it can be effective with these types of media channels. If people use the same style in blogs however, repeatedly posting factually incorrect things without evidence then most false assertions can quickly be dissected and proven to be contradictory, worthless or inaccurate. Repeating mistruths then further reduces credibility, even on the occasion valid information is posted. Do you agree? If you're interested in contributing to the great body of collective human knowledge why would you want to repeat factually incorrect information or not acknowledge false info?

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  • 113. At 7:20pm on 06 Dec 2009, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    [TBAM- TAKE BACK AMERICA MOVEMENT IN [18] MONTHS?]

    [Déjà vu]

    Now, the American-Israeli Empire Secretary of State, Hillary Diane Rodham-[Clinton], un le femme sérieux, woman of precocious aspect and judgment, said and we quote, [We're not talking about an exit strategy or a drop-dead deadline], end quote, the mot juste, the conversation-clinching one-liner. Well, that is not the fact, it was [36] Thirty-Six-months, [3] Three-years ago we were told by the Democratic Party’s now Speaker of The House, elect us and we will get the Empire out of the wars of Economic Stimulus, Blood for Oil, Markets and Resources, on the Islamic Crescent, and [36] Thirty-Six-months, [3] Three-years, later were now being sold a bill of goods about yet another [48] Forty-eight months, [4] Four years of were not talking about an exit strategy or a drop-dead deadline, as the George Walker Bush Surge is showcased as the reason now why it is a sound policy to once again use the same surge strategy used by the Bush Administration in Iraq, in Afghanistan, all this has the sense of déjà vu, already seen, this.

    [Meeting the raison d’être in Af-Pak]

    The [EU/NATO] Think Tanks in [72hs] Seventy-Two hours, in view of the [18] Eighteen-month time table set by Empire Think Tanks, after [95] Ninety-Five Days of decision made without conciliations with the [EU/NATO] Think Tanks, as the Empire Surges, [EU/NATO] European/North Atlantic Treaty Organization Troops will Stand-Down, in [Af-Pak] and will order its troops remaining in [Af-Pak] and new troops to be deployed to take only Defensive Measures/Operations only when fired upon will they return fire, while in the process of the assigned task of training [400K] Four-Hundred-Thousand Military and Police personnel, which operation will be complete on May Day [1st May 2011], the raison d’être, reason for being, involved in nation building [now the new raison d’être in Afghanistan will have been completed. Which means as the [30K] Thirty-Thousand / Corp. Level Surge, at a cost of [$30B/€20B] Thirty-Billion-Dollar/Twenty-Billion Euros, takes place the [50K], Fifty-Thousand, [EU/NATO] Field Army, will stand down from Offensive Combat Operation, any financial or other support beyond [1st May 2011] to be made by the [EU/NATO] nations, will be determined at that time and not in advance.

    [TBAM- TAKE BACK AMERICA MOVEMENT IN [18] MONTHS?]

    This horse is out the Gates, but the damage continues. It is [18] Eighteen Months and out or else, as Hollywood, Republic of California, Actor, Producer Michael Moore said this will have an effect on the younger generation that will be profound, the belief that [ALL] politicians are [LIARS] not to be trusted, that they as citizens are and will be disenfranchised from having any real say in the affairs of their government, that it is and will no longer be a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, but a government of the Elite, by the Lobbyist, and for the [MIC] Military. The present government structure of the Empire is now at stake, this [WILL] lay the foundation of a Third Party Reality. Entering a voting booth the question may now come to mind of a vote, [Why Not Try The Other Guy], at least they have to respond to the people who voted them in, they don’t have a party system to support them, it’s the people who support them from their voting district or they are out of office, the idea of its [either / or] may now be replaced with a wider selection, at one time it was a Sears & Roebuck or Montgomery Ward, until the new kid Wal-Mart offered a new deal. It looks to be [18] Eighteen months until either the Empire is out of [Af-Pak] or a serious [TBAM] Take Back America Movement will be in the vogue.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

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  • 114. At 7:23pm on 06 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 110 Crataegus Monogyna wrote: [re MagicKirin]

    "Repeating a falsehood doesn't make it true"

    No, but there is the theory of The Big Lie, ie if you keep repeating a lie long enough people will believe it.

    Given MK's propensity to hurl around defamatory slurs of anti-Semitism, it's rather ironic to recall who was the most notorious practitioner of The Big Lie...

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  • 115. At 7:27pm on 06 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 103 SaintDominick wrote:

    "I still support President Obama, but decisions like this are hard to take and may never be forgotten. Hopefully he has enough foresight to select Hillary as his running mate because if she decides to run against him in the primaries he may turn out to be a one term President."

    I can't see the Hillary option. She is Secretary of State. If she is completely opposed to the Afghan policy - and I have seen no reports to that effect - surely she should resign and speak out against it. She can hardly try that in 2-3 years - 'I was against it before I was for it'...

    Ironically enough, according to what I've read, possibly the highest-placed sceptic about more troops to Afghanistan was - the current VP....

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  • 116. At 7:39pm on 06 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    105. At 5:18pm on 06 Dec 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "The Democratic Party's nightmare scenario is that ... al Qaeda re-estabilishes itself there and attacks the US again."

    "In that scenario the Democratic party in the United States will be finished forever. It will have proven that it cannot fulfill the most important mandate of a government, to protect its own citizens in their own country from foreign attack."
    _________

    Do you mean just as the Republican party disappeared following the failure in that same basic duty on on September 11, 2001?

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  • 117. At 7:42pm on 06 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #112
    marko wrote:
    To MagicKirin #104

    Please mention to your masters that your approach to political discussion might be more suited to one-way media outlets such as radio and TV. If you pretend and state mistruths it can be effective with these types of media channels. If people use the same style in blogs however, repeatedly posting factually incorrect things without evidence then most false assertions can quickly be dissected and proven to be contradictory, worthless or inaccurate. Repeating mistruths then further reduces credibility, even on the occasion valid information is posted. Do you agree? If you're interested in contributing to the great body of collective human knowledge why would you want to repeat factually incorrect information or not acknowledge false info?


    __________________-

    The Master Slave realtionship was abolished in the U.S over 150 years ago. But it seems you like others throw out slanders and defemation if someone puts out a different view than you.

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  • 118. At 7:44pm on 06 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #110
    Crataegus Monogyna wrote:
    "When have the Palestinians done anything to contribute to peace. They haven't. Israel has."

    Repeating a falsehood doesn't make it true


    ____________

    No falsehood

    Fact Israel made peace with Egypt kept their word
    Fact Israel made peace with Jordan kept their world
    Fact Israel widthdrew from Gaza Palestinians started firing missles int o Israel.

    The Palestinians are more interested in terrorism than peace.

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  • 119. At 8:10pm on 06 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 117 MagicKirin wrote:

    "But it seems you like others throw out slanders and defemation [sic] if someone puts out a different view than you."

    The hypocrisy is staggering - see #52 where he defames another poster as a Nazi and anti-Semite.

    Kirin, buy a mirror. [And a dictionary.]

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  • 120. At 8:43pm on 06 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 121. At 8:51pm on 06 Dec 2009, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    THE EMPIRE SURGES AS [EU] STANDS DOWN IN [AF-PAK]

    [[EU/NATO] THINK TANK VS EMPIRE THINK TANK]

    [NATO] The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, has promised to send at least [5K] Five Thousand not [10K] Ten Thousand more soldiers to Afghanistan. The [EU/NATO] response to the Media Messiah Imperial Messiah and the Empire Think Tank has not only been, well we will think about it, discuss it at the [NATO] conference, we will get back to you after our taught full deliberations. In less than [72hr.] Seventy-two hours, the numbers are dropping in one direction down, in addition too a Stand Down of Offensive Military Action replaced by Defensive Military Action by the [EU/NATO] has been ordered. [NATO] was at first to provide an additional [10K] Ten-Thousand Troops, well not that many, maybe [7K] Seven-Thousand, but not until the [NATO] meeting at the end of January we saw the last [NATO] meeting it will almost warfare in the streets, then it's well maybe [5K] Five-thousand but not until after the [NATO] meeting, maybe a few more, maybe, The question is: Where will they come from? And what’s the catch?

    [Where will they come from?]

    The [NATO] alliance members may send at least [5K] Five-Thousand Troops], this being a tentative figure, with the maximum figure of not more than [7K] Seven-Thousand but with the caveat that they are Trainers of Afghanistan’s Army and Police, in a non-offensive combat role.

    The following nations have or are considering to pledged sending more troops, but more in the lines of a few hundred more not in the thousands, saying that their soldiers can go but will not take part in offensive military operations, the will be of a military trainers, and force defense status;

    BRITIAN: [500] Five-hundred.

    GEORGIA: [900].

    POLAND: [600].

    PORTUGAL: [150].

    SLOVAKIA: [250].

    ITALY: Washington has requested that Italy provide an additional [1.5K] One-Thousand-five-hundred troops. Italy, will send more troops but this decision was again also reviewed both realistically, and in the realm of political commitments, rather than numbers, had determined that Italy will only send around [1K] One-Thousand additional troops, raising its presence troop commitment to roughly [3.7K] Three-Thousand-Seven-hundred. And, that [1.5K] One-Thousand-five-hundred troops extra troops request forwarded to Italy by the Empire would have been, a maximum quota that Italy would never commit to. The other catch again, is the [Standing Down form Offensive to Defensive Combat Operations].

    TURKEY: Is looking at whether if at all it should boost its training role in Afghanistan. However, Turkey has stated clearly that Turkish soldiers will [Not be part of any Offensive combat operations].

    [No Decision until after NATO meeting in late January]

    BELGIANS, DENMARK, FRANCE AND GERMANY: While calling the Media Messiah Imperial Presidents speech courageous, are being more cautious and for the until the end of January, there will not be any increasing of the current number of troops already committed. Until such time a review of what was possible realistically, in the realm of political commitments, rather than numbers, and again [Not beyond Training and Defensive Posture] and until such time would any concrete discussion be made. And once again that review will not take place until after the [NATO] international conference in January. Washington has asked France and Germany to provide an additional [2K] Two-Thousand troops from Germany and [1.5K] One-thousand-five-hundred from France, with both stressing their commitment only to building up local police forces only, and would no longer take part in combat actions of an offense nature.

    [The Catch]

    The [EU/NATO] Think Tanks in [72hs] Seventy-Two hours, in view of the [18] Eighteen-month time table set by Empire Think Tanks, after [95] Ninety-Five Days of decision made without conciliations with the [EU/NATO] Think Tanks, will order its troops remaining in [Af-Pak] and new troops to be deployed to take only Defense Operations, while in the process of the assigned task of training [400K] Four-Hundred-Thousand Military and Police personnel, which operation will be complete on May Day [1st May 2011]. Which means as the [30K] Thirty-Thousand / Corp. Level Surge, at a cost of [$30B/€20B] Thirty-Billion-Dollar/Twenty-Billion Euros, takes place the [50K], Fifty-Thousand, [EU/NATO] Field Army, will stand down from Offensive Combat Operation, any financial or other support beyond [1st May 2011] to be made by the [EU/NATO] nations has not been made.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

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  • 122. At 8:54pm on 06 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 120

    That is to say, you are merely a contemptible liar and defamer, who contemptibly lies and defames

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  • 123. At 9:10pm on 06 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 115, John from Dublin

    I agree with your observations, but the Dems may have no choice but to force Biden out and replace him with Hillary if it looks like Sarah is going to be the GOP nominee.

    President Obama lost most of the support he had from the Independent block when he pushed for healthcare reform, and many disillusioned Dems may not vote in the next election if the current rate of unemployment remains high and the likelihood of good job opportunities remains elusive. It does not matter whether or not the current economic mess was created by the policies of previous administrations, President Obama was well aware of what he was getting into and promised prosperity that, thus far, is nowhere to be found.

    Bear in mind that foreign policy is nothing more than an irritant or a low level concern for most of us. Our priorities are at home and unless President Obama pulls off a miracle and the economy starts to grow at a robust pace within the next few months the Dems are bound to lose a large number of seats in 2010 and he may be in trouble in 2012.

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  • 124. At 9:23pm on 06 Dec 2009, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 123 SaintDominick wrote:

    "I agree with your observations, but the Dems may have no choice but to force Biden out and replace him with Hillary if it looks like Sarah is going to be the GOP nominee."

    Maybe. But to what end exactly? To attract more women voters? Because I don't really see the average Republican/Palin voter voting Democratic just because Hillary is on the ticket. And when Hillary was running, I seem to recall polls that showed her as not being particularly popular with Independents.

    Frankly I am rather dubious as to whether the Veep pick makes all that much difference. Quayle was probably the most widely derided VP in recent history. That didn't stop Bush I winning easily in 88, and I doubt it had much to do with him losing in 92.

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  • 125. At 9:25pm on 06 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:


    The world is and will always be run by force. Poltical force, military force, economic force and moral force. Thinking any differently is not the place for any serious leadership.

    Failure to understand history is not a virtue. Pretending that talking to a man that wants you dead so much he will blow himself up is not just folly it is madness. History is written by those who have the courage to be hated and do what MUST be done. No manner of speach will stop the nature of the human being. Wishing it to be different does not make it so.

    Ignoring the inhumanity of man to his fellow man only allows and permits more destruction. It is far better to understand that Man is an evil beast and institute measures to control and manage his cruelty and corruption. Hence, the gathering of power in the hands of the few (no matter how well intentioned) will ALWAYS lead to misery. Those that say "their" side is to be trused with Power know neither what they speak nor the true nature of man.

    govt is to watch over the common man and the common man is to limit the power the govt. When either has too much the result is tyranny or anarchy, both of which are hell on earth for man.

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  • 126. At 9:38pm on 06 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    Thankfully the majority of Americans are not European in politics nor economics nor culture.....

    We all left you guys over there to your mess to have a fresh start over here.

    Those that try to remake the US to look like Europe just don't get the USA....and thats ok...but have no illusion as to who we are and what we are do with OUR country.

    To your eternal dismay we are far more capable, engaged and willing to push for our national interests than you are. If you find this to be unacceptable then step to the plate and put your money where your mouth is..otherwise your commentary will continue to fall on deaf ears...

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  • 127. At 9:58pm on 06 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #103I am not sure I would label the Republicans as pragmatic, more accurate descriptions may be disciplined or dogmatic. They abandoned their traditional electoral discipline last year when they nominated McCain over Romney who, I agree, would have been a much better candidate. An explanation for their decision may have been that considering the mess in the Middle East and the state of our economy they did not really want to win and decided to reward Sen. McCain for his loyalty by nominating him and thus giving him a prominent place in our history books.

    ( I think the Repub went against romney because there were some (lead by Huckabee who promoted Mormanism as a cult) McCain was considered the best chance to win

    I would not dismiss Sarah Palin so readily, there are enough nuts out there ready to vote for her. I got a heavy dose of Christian fundamentalism a couple of weeks ago when members of my family expressed their horror at the perverse criticisms voiced by us liberals against such a nice person simply because her daughter had a baby, because she is against abortion, and because she had a handicapped child.


    (We should compare notes I had the opposite problem, heavy dose of liberal dogma, pro union everything is Bush's fault.)

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  • 128. At 10:11pm on 06 Dec 2009, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    CuriousAmerican wrote #126:

    To your eternal dismay we are far more capable, engaged and willing to push for our national interests than you are. If you find this to be unacceptable then step to the plate and put your money where your mouth is..otherwise your commentary will continue to fall on deaf ears...

    ******************************************************************

    TRIATHLON REPLYS:

    The [EU] European Union, are of the same gentic stock as the Empire, and are no less capable, and are far more engaged and are in fact flexing their geo-political muscle, without making broad commentary statements about just what and who the [EU] are. This has never been about who has the biggest stick, this is about not having a re-dux, or re-due of the [20th] Century, but entering a new [21st] Century.

    Has the [EU] in fact stepped up to the plate and as you so stated put their money were their mouths are and the answer is YES! The [EU] has decided that [18] eighteen months is the total amount of time they are willing to submit to any futher involvement in the [Af-Pak] War of Stimulus, Blood for Oil, Markets and Resouces, on the Islamic Crescent. The [EU] will provide training for the Military Police Forces of Afghanistan, for that period and will defend its own forces when attacked or fired upon, but will not engage in OFFENSIVE military operations.

    The [EU] has NO DOG IN THIS FIGHT beyond that. This century could once again be a golden age for the [EU] in commerce, technology, art, literature, leaving the American-Israeli Empire period of Economic Wars.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

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  • 129. At 10:22pm on 06 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #127. MagicKirin: "ref #103I am not sure I would label the Republicans as pragmatic, more accurate descriptions may be disciplineI had the opposite problem, heavy dose of liberal dogma, pro union everything is Bush's fault."

    everything is Bush's fault. Well, isn't it?

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  • 130. At 10:44pm on 06 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    everything is Bush's fault. Well, isn't it?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Everything is everybodys fault..it wasnt the angels who got united behind bush outside both within congress and senate and without..Americans did, what socrates i think it was him, who used to say that democracy has the biggest drawback which was shown by the americans, the wrong side got into the majority..

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  • 131. At 10:55pm on 06 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Never start a war without any objectives..And if you lose the sight of the objectives, remind yourselves..your objectives was to smoke ben laden out of afghanistan, capture him dead or alive..free the afghans, give them democracy..not put them under another tyrant and call him the democratically elected, when everyone knows he is not..And finally you americans didnt invade the country at afghans invitation, they did it unilaterly, now they should finish the responsiblity they took voluntarily, dont try to make it sound like as if it was karzai's job..Ever seen or heard farmers blaming a a scarecorw for not managing to keep the crows away from the crops? but thats what obama is doing..If oboma is doing a stupid thing, it doesnt mean that the rest of the people in usa, both in power and ordinary people have to act like stupids just because they can...

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  • 132. At 11:19pm on 06 Dec 2009, redchicken wrote:

    118: Might be more convincing if the Israel government would stop providing support for Israelis building in the occupied territories, like they've promised to. Both the Israelis and the Palestinians have done wrong, and I don't think either group is ready to stop.

    128: Perhaps you've stated it elsewhere (in which case I apologize), but you don't think Europe has a stake in ensuring that Afghanistan - a known haven for militant Islamists - is stable and in a position to effectively fight militants or discourage them from operating there? I would think that Europe would stand to benefit substantially from an Afghanistan that won't harbor al-Qaeda and their ilk. Their hateful rhetoric has already inspired attacks on European soil (London, Madrid, and Istanbul), and the Brits who were recently convicted of conspiracy to murder in the airplane bombing case supposedly had direct links to al-Qaeda. Tell me how I'm wrong.

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  • 133. At 11:52pm on 06 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    126. At 9:38pm on 06 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:
    Thankfully the majority of Americans are not European in politics nor economics nor culture.....

    We all left you guys over there to your mess to have a fresh start over here.

    Those that try to remake the US to look like Europe just don't get the USA....and thats ok...but have no illusion as to who we are and what we are do with OUR country."

    What is your final solution for the people in the "Blue States?" Are you and similar minded people going to nuke us? We are "real Americans"
    too, and one of my ancestors helped pen the Red Coats up in Boston before forcing them out. So what gives you more right to be here, are you a native American [i.e. Indian]?


    And what gives you more right to vent? You have exactly the same rights the liberals you despise do, and the American way to sort out these disagreements is through elections. Seems like we just had one and the losers are spoilin' for a fight over losin'.

    Maybe Abe Lincoln was wrong to keep you all in the Union? I always thought the Red States Blue States map was suspiciously like the old Grey vs Blue maps.

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  • 134. At 11:57pm on 06 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Colonel,

    • "Never start a war without any objectives..And if you lose the sight of the objectives, remind yourselves..your objectives was to smoke ben laden out of afghanistan, capture him dead or alive..free the afghans,"

    Precisely!

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  • 135. At 00:20am on 07 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 127, Magic

    "...heavy dose of liberal dogma..."

    The problem - or strength, dependent on your point of view, is that there is no such a thing a liberal dogma. Liberals are a diverse lot that often disagree on just about everything among themselves. In my case, I oppose abortion, I am very conservative on social matters, and I am a fiscal conservative. I do, however, support government sponsored programs to help the poor and lower middle class, and I am in favor of healthcare and education reform, and I am in favor of government programs to create jobs.

    While I sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians, I deplore their tactics which, in my opinion, have affected their ability to get international support. I oppose our presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, and believe Gitmo should be closed ASAP and the "Patriots" Act should be dissolved immediately.

    As for labor unions, I neither oppose them nor reject them. I saw enough corporate abuse during my professional life to criticize the decision of workers to seek the support and protection afforded by a Union.

    In contrast, almost every Republican I know, including family members, think alike and support or reject the same causes or policies. Another difference is the Dems tendency to break party ranks, like the so-called Reagan Democrats did; it will be a cold day in Hell before a Republican votes for Obama, Hillary or any Democratic candidate. The most that could be expected from a Republican is not voting when their candidate is so unqualified or the circumstances are so dired that they simply can not follow the party line.

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  • 136. At 00:29am on 07 Dec 2009, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    RED CHICKEN # 128 WROTE:

    Perhaps you've stated it elsewhere (in which case I apologize), but you don't think Europe has a stake in ensuring that Afghanistan - a known haven for militant Islamists - is stable and in a position to effectively fight militants or discourage them from operating there?

    TRIATHLON REPLY: Please NO aplolgizies are necessary. It appears and that the [EU} Euporean Union has decided after [8] eight years another approach has to be taken, and that the prospects of decades of continued conflict with the continued lose of lives on both sides must come to and end as other Community of Citizens States have other more pressing items that must be addressed.

    RED CHICKEN # 128 WROTE:

    I would think that Europe would stand to benefit substantially from an Afghanistan that won't harbor al-Qaeda and their ilk. Their hateful rhetoric has already inspired attacks on European soil (London, Madrid, and Istanbul), and the Brits who were recently convicted of conspiracy to murder in the airplane bombing case supposedly had direct links to al-Qaeda. Tell me how I'm wrong.

    TRIATHLON REPLYS:

    We will try to not make this an issue of your right or wrong, rather a discussion of positions with an end point of coming to a common position which will be accepted by both parties, [YOU ARE NOT WRONG], there are questions that have to be asked what started this, Empire Troops in Saudi Arabia, What has prolonged this, the Empires desire to establish a [Foothold] within the Islamic Crescent, the Caspain Sea Basin containing [1/5th] of the worlds remaining oil deposits, the desire to ring the belly of the Russian Federation with military bases, and establish a Naval Presence in Karachi Pakistan to challenge The Peoples Republic China in the Sea of China over the oil reserves beneath it. This [IMHO] In Mine Humble Opinion, is what is in fact going on.

    We believe that in fact the [EU] has chosen to use an economic and political approach rather than an Empire Think Tank approach of use the Marines, which is a bought and paid for decision of those companies that supply military hardware to the [MIC] Military Industrial Complex.

    You need not apologize for having a well defined, and written opinion, expressed without the express purpose of an attack comment. We are express in comments trying to reach common ground.

    Your position is that the Empire and a military solution is the correct one, we on the other hand see the [EU] approach as a much better one without a prolonged loss of life, and a century lost to warfare.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVININE

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  • 137. At 00:34am on 07 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref#135
    In contrast, almost every Republican I know, including family members, think alike and support or reject the same causes or policies. Another difference is the Dems tendency to break party ranks, like the so-called Reagan Democrats did; it will be a cold day in Hell before a Republican votes for Obama, Hillary or any Democratic candidate. The most that could be expected from a Republican is not voting when their candidate is so unqualified or the circumstances are so dired that they simply can not follow the party line.

    _______________

    There is where we disagree, I see a Democrat of long standing like Liebermann abondonded because he dared to support the Iraq war. I see far more tolerance from liberal republicans like Snowe to moderates like McCain to conservatives like Mcconnel.

    Name a blue dog in a major position in the house they are estremists like Pelosi, Rangel etc.

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  • 138. At 00:42am on 07 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    JMM,

    Curious American's Will to be what he is..not like other Europeans OR other Americans is HIS problem.

    And he will survive in his ..way, JMM.

    Remember, just 8 years ago, 'liberal' was a dirty word in America. But, GW Bush changed all that.

    Liberals are in power now, and now is their chance to 'neutralize,' effectively, the 'proud' ignorance of SOME forlorn people who believe in benign naivete.

    Except, the Liberals have to produce, and, then, where will we find all these benign naive people? They will fade away into all the other 'me too' backgrounds as is their right.


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  • 139. At 01:46am on 07 Dec 2009, HERCULE_SAVINIEN wrote:

    MAGIC KIRIN WROTE #137: There is where we disagree, I see a Democrat of long standing like Liebermann abondonded because he dared to support the Iraq war. I see far more tolerance from liberal republicans like Snowe to moderates like McCain to conservatives like Mcconnel.

    TRIATHLON REPLYS:

    We tend to agree with your position with some caviets, like Reagan, Joe Liebermann was left by his own party, Joe never left the Democratic Party as much as the Democratic Party abandoned Joe. But, the tent offered by the Republicans is a small one, and it too is a party of make all the mistakes you can before you find the right thing to do.
    *************************************
    MAGIC KIRIN WROTE #137:

    Name a blue dog in a major position in the house they are estremists like Pelosi, Rangel etc.

    TRIATHLON REPLYS: Agreed and you left out so many others and the top of the list is Hillary Diane Rodham-Clinton, both Clinton and Pelosi line the pockets of their husbands, Nancy has given his hubby a lot of Juicy Defense Funds channeling Defense Projects his way, and we many never know how much is going into Bills Library Fund or others with his Jet Set Friends.

    Again, the only chance for the Empire is more Joe Liebermann, or another party [TBAM] Take Back America Movement Independents. We need people who are more concerned about America and its citizens than the Tryanny of The Bottom Line.

    HERCULE TRIATHLON SAVINIEN

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  • 140. At 01:59am on 07 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    138. At 00:42am on 07 Dec 2009, David,
    Your post might be some consolation to me if I were a "Liberal." I call myself a Radical Centrist. I do not swallow any party line whole and prefer to split my ticket when voting in a [largely vain] effort to set them [the professional politicians] against each other so that perhaps they will be restrained and do no harm.

    I back or oppose causes based on my assessment of their necessity, potential good vs potential harm, fit with constitutional law and broad American values. I dislike left-wing loons as much as right-wing nut jobs.

    I will admit to being a snob when it comes to uneducated, poorly thought out, careless, unscientific, or irrational decisions [and to be frank, the people who make them]. My inability to suffer fools gladly [or at all] is something of a character flaw. I would never be successful running for office. Just as well, people like me often become a Robespierre or Savonarolla if given power.

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  • 141. At 02:54am on 07 Dec 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    fluffster;

    "come new year we will see if Israel want peace.
    They insist on the right to attack iran.they said they will wait till the end of the year.
    if they do there is NO hope for Obama to pull it together.
    there is no hope of anyone pulling it togeather."

    It's a pleasant thought, Israel solving the world's problem with Iran for it but I think that is wishful thinking. I'm afraid that job will fall on American shoulders just as most tough jobs sooner or later always seem to.

    I think people should stop talking about two state solutions and one state solutions. The west bank or what's left of it after Israel annexes what it needs for a border that gives it a suitable geographically defendable buffer should go back to Jordan, Gaza should be administered by Egypt for about the next hundred years, the Golan Heights should stay with Israel and Jerusalem will remain the undivided eternal capital city of Israel. In light of the history of the area and the current situation on the ground, that seems like a perfectly reasonable and practical arrangement to me. And as for 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants, they should make themselves as comfortable as they can right were they are. They aren't going back so they should forget all delusions about it. Time for the world to move on to things that actually still matter.

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  • 142. At 03:48am on 07 Dec 2009, publiusdetroit wrote:

    Ref 141 MarcusAureliusII

    "It's a pleasant thought, Israel solving the world's problem with Iran for it but I think that is wishful thinking. I'm afraid that job will fall on American shoulders just as most tough jobs sooner or later always seem to."

    There are many questions. Does Israel have a trained offensive force and the logistics to carry out an attack against Iran? How can Israel carry on a war with an expeditionary force with very long lines of communication through what will undoubtedly be hostile territory? How will the neighboring States react to an attack on Iran? Will they have to use the nuclear weapons, it is so widely believed, that they have? What will be the international response to use of nuclear force?

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  • 143. At 04:13am on 07 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    In some part of the world it is already December 7th, the "day that will live in infamy" back in 1941. I hope Mark will reflect on what this meant to both America and the United Kingdom since it changed the course of history. It's not observed as 9/11 is, but probably should be, since it shook the world to its very core. For those in the UK who do not recognise the date, it's akin to September 3rd, 1939 - and for those in America, that was when Neville Chamberlain made the statement that "this country is at war with Germany." With all the hoopla about Afghanistan and the Middle East, it's time to remember that most important date in history.

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  • 144. At 04:19am on 07 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    135. At 00:20am on 07 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    In contrast, almost every Republican I know, including family members, think alike and support or reject the same causes or policies. Another difference is the Dems tendency to break party ranks, like the so-called Reagan Democrats did; it will be a cold day in Hell before a Republican votes for Obama, Hillary or any Democratic candidate. The most that could be expected from a Republican is not voting when their candidate is so unqualified or the circumstances are so dired that they simply can not follow the party line.
    ______________________________

    Must be cold there indeed.

    I am lifetime Republican who joyfully voted for Obama, and even regretfully voted for Kerry the time before.

    StDom's posts are generally fair minded and well reasoned, so I wonder why he would make such a generalization. Seems to be either that he is aware that the GOP has pared itself down to its radical core, and he is blissfully unaware that the Dems have a parallel radical core at their heart, or he has defined 'Republican' to mean those who fit his preconception, and that those of us who do not fit his image are not Republicans.

    To the apparent surprize of the Democrats and their more leftist partizans (interesting that we use 'radical' for extremists of any sort when it means 'root', and not 'dextrous' for those most to the right, and 'sinister' for the left-most), gaining a significant majority requires that you admit and are then dependent on many kinds of folks who find party disciplines difficult.

    Here at the end of the millenium the more radical Republicans have taken to speaking for the party and we do not hear much from the moderates, who are always in a much better position to attract the less committed voters who control the balance of power. Although they believe the force of their ideas will persuade or frighten people to join them, I can't see it happening. But then the most sinister Democratic partizans have the same self confidence. Both are blinded by the brilliance of their own ideas.

    KScurmudgeon
    purity is unstable

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  • 145. At 04:22am on 07 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    141. At 02:54am on 07 Dec 2009, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    Time for the world to move on to things that actually still matter.
    ______________________________

    Tell me, august excellency, why this issue always consumes so much of the world's attention?

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 146. At 05:34am on 07 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #145. KScurmudgeon: "Tell me . . why this issue (Afghanistan) always consumes so much of the world's attention?"

    Not the world's attention at all. Except for Mark, a few posters, Afghans and the military on duty, my guess is that much of the world doesn't care.

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  • 147. At 05:59am on 07 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    Cunard -

    Please look at MAII's #141 - the issue he is complaining about is Israel and the Palestinians.

    I agree that only history wonks and scholars of strategy should be interested in Afghanistan.

    Yours for Monday -

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 148. At 08:34am on 07 Dec 2009, squirrelist wrote:

    142. publiusdetroit:

    The USS Vampire may not have sunk as some hoped on its late voyage to Europe, despite the innumerable holes in its 'arguments', and it seems to have avoided the wolf packs somehow, yet again, despite its armament dating from the days of Teddy Roosevelt if not Monro, but there's no reason to help keep the thing afloat.

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  • 149. At 09:35am on 07 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #141
    MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    fluffster;

    "come new year we will see if Israel want peace.
    They insist on the right to attack iran.they said they will wait till the end of the year.
    if they do there is NO hope for Obama to pull it together.
    there is no hope of anyone pulling it togeather."

    It's a pleasant thought, Israel solving the world's problem with Iran for it but I think that is wishful thinking. I'm afraid that job will fall on American shoulders just as most tough jobs sooner or later always seem to.

    I think people should stop talking about two state solutions and one state solutions. The west bank or what's left of it after Israel annexes what it needs for a border that gives it a suitable geographically defendable buffer should go back to Jordan, Gaza should be administered by Egypt for about the next hundred years, the Golan Heights should stay with Israel and Jerusalem will remain the undivided eternal capital city of Israel. In light of the history of the area and the current situation on the ground, that seems like a perfectly reasonable and practical arrangement to me. And as for 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants, they should make themselves as comfortable as they can right were they are. They aren't going back so they should forget all delusions about it. Time for the world to move on to things that actually still matter.

    ___________

    Thanks for putting up a logical solution that makes the most sense for the world. You can't make everyone satisfied but this serve the world as a whole best.

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  • 150. At 09:38am on 07 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #138
    David wrote:
    JMM,

    Curious American's Will to be what he is..not like other Europeans OR other Americans is HIS problem.

    And he will survive in his ..way, JMM.

    Remember, just 8 years ago, 'liberal' was a dirty word in America. But, GW Bush changed all that.

    Liberals are in power now, and now is their chance to 'neutralize,' effectively, the 'proud' ignorance of SOME forlorn people who believe in benign naivete.

    Except, the Liberals have to produce, and, then, where will we find all these benign naive people? They will fade away into all the other 'me too' backgrounds as is their right.

    _________________

    Liberals cooped the word progressive and have been using it in place of liberal for year. A misnomer considering they are ridgid about not discussing: tort reform union entitlements, quotas and energy independence.

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  • 151. At 11:23am on 07 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic – You are partially correct, with this liberal anyway. I won’t discuss tort reform with you, mostly because I don’t even pretend to understand tort issues from a UK perspective let alone a US one. On union rights and wrongs, I am guessing that British unions are significantly different that we would be discussing at cross purposes. Personally I see big unions, such as the RMT as a negative thing, however, to stop corporate abuses of their workforce I believe smaller, less politicised unions as an inherently good things.

    Quotas, well depends on which quotas you would like to discuss, I am guessing fishing quotas in the North Sea are not the thing.

    Energy independence, well that is different I believe that every nation should be as energy independent as possible. How to achieve that is the difficulty, solar and wind energy options don’t seem to be able to supply sufficient results at the moment. Nuclear regrettably does seem the best option, regrettably because first there is the waste issue and secondly if things do go wrong the results can be terrifying. Digging up parts of the countryside to build oil wells is, in my opinion, short sighted and a huge mistake. The world should be looking for an alternative to oil, not rushing around destroying what’s left of the environment to get more.

    As you may guess I am one of those poor deluded fools who believes in climate change. What may surprise you is that this is actually a fairly recent conversion, until I actually looked into the evidence I thought that climate change was green politics hype. I started looking at the evidence to support my arguments, sadly I read enough to show to me that I was wrong. The rapid change is at least partly caused by man. Cutting down rainforest areas the size of countries each day does have an effect, pumping out poisonous chemicals does have an effect (hint they are after all poisonous). The Clean Air Act was introduced to save thousands of lives and it worked, now if London was spewing out enough toxins to kill thousands of its own citizens, imagine what the rest of the world is doing. What poisons us, poisons 90% of all animal life on this planet, we are killing life on the planet through our actions and we don’t fully understand yet what this extinction event will have, since humanity has never experienced one before.

    There is sufficient evidence that we are damaging our planet, simple logic tells us that digging up the ground poisoning the air, land and water will have an affect. Sticking our fingers in our ears humming well the climate has always changed, is missing the point – yes it has but we must be having an effect on that change, we could be making things that much worse. It makes sense to err on the side of caution.

    See Magic we liberals (well me and I am guessing others) do change our minds based on evidence, we don’t all believe in the same things, and we are willing to explain and discuss these views. Now over to you.

    Oh and I agree with Mr Cunard, while this is an important issue surely we can discuss other things as well. After a solid week surely we must have discussed all the viewpoints? I guess that makes me a reprehensible human being as well? I am sure many people would agree with that!

    DRM

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  • 152. At 12:35pm on 07 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    Ref 144, KS

    "StDom's posts are generally fair minded and well reasoned, so I wonder why he would make such a generalization."

    In retrospect, I should not have made such generalization as I know from personal experience that not all Republicans think alike and that many were embarrassed by the ineptitude and behavior of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney's pervasive influence in policy making. I do believe, however, that a very radical shift towards the far right has taken place within the GOP in recent years and that conservatism no longer means what it did decades ago. From my perspective, the GOP has lost direction and is struggling to find a voice and a sense of direction.

    A party that dismisses and goes to great lengths to deny the causes and effects of global warming, a party that changes legislation to facilitate deforestation, one that ignores environmental concerns to ensure corporate interests are not affected, a party that ignores the Constitution our values and rights and puts in place legislation that allows law enforcement to listen to our conversations, a party that uses deceitful means to invade a country for political and economic gain, and a party that supports the use of torture and indefinite imprisonment without access to the protection of international law should not be considered "conservative", in fact, they are anything but conservative.

    I realize that the policies I cite above were promoted and put in place by an Administration and may not represent the opinion or values of all Republicans, but judging by the climate that existed in our country a few years ago and the complacency - and sometimes enthusiastic support - that the previous Administration enjoyed during its first 6 years in power I would say that they were not alone and that they did, in fact, enjoy widespread support.

    In all fairness, many Democrats, both politicians and the general public, were either too gullible or complicit in what was happening and are as guilty as the ones that proposed the policies that contributed to the malaise we are now trying to overcome.

    Yes, the Democratic party also has a radical wing, but judging by most of the policies that are being implemented their priorities don't seem to be too high in the Obama Administration. The GOP, understandably, tries to portray the Obama Administration as extremely liberal - even socialist - but what has been taking place thus far does not support that opinion. A liberal administration would have pulled out of Iraq and Afghanistan by now, would have closed Gitmo the day after Inauguration, would have dismantled the "Patriots" Act immediately, would have pushed for ethnic quotas to guarantee equal opportunity for all Americans, would not have proposed healthcare reform that leaves the insurance industry on the driver's seat, would have reinstituted welfare, would have raised the minimum wage dramatically, would have embraced global warming mitigation policies, etc.

    The left wing of the Democratic party is, in fact, disillusioned by what President Obama has been doing and is having a hard time accepting his centrist policies. This is a factor that should not be ignored and that could prove fatal to President Obama's re-election chances.

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  • 153. At 1:05pm on 07 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #151
    D R Murrell wrote:
    Magic – You are partially correct, with this liberal anyway. I won’t discuss tort reform with you, mostly because I don’t even pretend to understand tort issues from a UK perspective let alone a US one. On union rights and wrongs, I am guessing that British unions are significantly different that we would be discussing at cross purposes. Personally I see big unions, such as the RMT as a negative thing, however, to stop corporate abuses of their workforce I believe smaller, less politicised unions as an inherently good things.

    (I am refering to Unions hear which engage in politically manuerving and fight workers choice)

    Quotas, well depends on which quotas you would like to discuss, I am guessing fishing quotas in the North Sea are not the thing.

    (Racial Quotas)

    Energy independence, well that is different I believe that every nation should be as energy independent as possible. How to achieve that is the difficulty, solar and wind energy options don’t seem to be able to supply sufficient results at the moment. Nuclear regrettably does seem the best option, regrettably because first there is the waste issue and secondly if things do go wrong the results can be terrifying. Digging up parts of the countryside to build oil wells is, in my opinion, short sighted and a huge mistake. The world should be looking for an alternative to oil, not rushing around destroying what’s left of the environment to get more.

    (there is safe drilling and nuclear works quite well in France)

    As you may guess I am one of those poor deluded fools who believes in climate change. What may surprise you is that this is actually a fairly recent conversion, until I actually looked into the evidence I thought that climate change was green politics hype. I started looking at the evidence to support my arguments, sadly I read enough to show to me that I was wrong. The rapid change is at least partly caused by man. Cutting down rainforest areas the size of countries each day does have an effect, pumping out poisonous chemicals does have an effect (hint they are after all poisonous). The Clean Air Act was introduced to save thousands of lives and it worked, now if London was spewing out enough toxins to kill thousands of its own citizens, imagine what the rest of the world is doing. What poisons us, poisons 90% of all animal life on this planet, we are killing life on the planet through our actions and we don’t fully understand yet what this extinction event will have, since humanity has never experienced one before.

    (What is your oppinion of the leaked email from Anglia? Or the demonization of scientist that do not agree?)


    See Magic we liberals (well me and I am guessing others) do change our minds based on evidence, we don’t all believe in the same things, and we are willing to explain and discuss these views. Now over to you.

    Oh and I agree with Mr Cunard, while this is an important issue surely we can discuss other things as well. After a solid week surely we must have discussed all the viewpoints? I guess that makes me a reprehensible human being as well? I am sure many people would agree with that!
    (Oh we should discuss other matters like how much of a carbon footprint the climate summit has and how many delegates are going to carpool.)

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  • 154. At 1:19pm on 07 Dec 2009, redchicken wrote:

    136: Thanks for the response. There are a lot of problems with the justifications used for attacking Iraq and Afghanistan, but I disagree with your assessment of military action in those countries as being basically imperialist in nature. That's a separate issue, though.

    The ultimate solution to this problem will have to be economic and political - there's no doubt about that. The previous US administration failed to understand that. The current one might, but I doubt they've got the political will to push through a comprehensive global strategy for dealing with Islamic extremism directed against the US and its allies. That said, I think a legitimate part of successfully fighting militant extremists involves military actions designed to disrupt their operations and root them out of places they have found safety in, and to try to create conditions that will discourage them from staying in a particular place. Without long-term economic support, of course, it will ultimately be unsuccessful. The Obama administration seems to understand that as it concerns Afghanistan, hopefully they will follow through with economic and political aid to really help develop the country.

    What political and economic strategies do you think would be most effective in heading off the threat from al-Qaeda, both in Afghanistan and internationally?

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  • 155. At 1:57pm on 07 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic - (I am referring to Unions hear which engage in politically manoeuvring and fight workers choice) – All unions are political entities, by their very natures they have to be. As I said previously some UK unions follow a radical politics which I believe only goes to diminish the effectiveness of all unions. By being so openly political and partisan they erode the goodwill the general population feel to the workers cause. Most people are workers they see how large corporations bend and manipulate (where they don’t ignore) laws against the very people they need to make money. There are times when the individual worker needs protection and unions have deeper pockets than the individual to pay to go up against corporate lawyers.

    I would be surprised that any union works against the workers, since unions are made up by the workers. Then again maybe US unions are that different from European ones.

    (Racial Quotas) – I am against racial quotas, why should the colour of someone’s skin mean more than the possible skills they can bring.

    (there is safe drilling and nuclear works quite well in France) – As I said nuclear may well be the best option open to us at this time. Then again I remain concerned regarding the handling of the waste and what happens if/when a nuclear powerstation goes into melt down. As for safe drilling it still maintain the necessity of oil, something I believe we should be getting away from. Any type of drilling destroys the environment it happens in, destruction which should be avoided at all cost.

    (What is your opinion of the leaked email from Anglia? Or the demonization of scientist that do not agree?) – I think that the email should be discussed in an adult fashion, rather than leapt upon by those who wish to ignore the warning signs (such as bleaching of coral reefs). It also should be viewed in context rather than in isolation. No scientist should be demonised, as long as they abide by the empirical methodology. Regrettably not all scientists do. It should be remembered that the majority of scientists do agree that human related Climate Change is happening, little is proved in science it made up of the most likely theories, while all theories should be questioned ignoring them because someone says something different is not logical. There are scientists who disagree with well established theories, while they should not be demonised I would believe them without really substantial data to support their alternative view.

    (Oh we should discuss other matters like how much of a carbon footprint the climate summit has and how many delegates are going to carpool.) – That would depend, if you don’t subscribe to Climate Change, then there would be little point, since if nothing humans do affects the environment then their carbon footprints mean nothing. If you are going to signup to the theory of Climate Change, at least provisionally, then sure we can discuss this!

    DRM

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  • 156. At 3:00pm on 07 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #155

    Workers chice means that workers are not forced to join a union. there should be open competition on public and private projects.

    In regard to climate change I want it to be discussed rationally. but it seems the proponents who will dominate the conference do not.

    and why can't they do this with video conferencing or someone less luxrious and more central than Copenhagen. Same thing with Davos

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  • 157. At 3:29pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    #145. KScurmudgeon: "Tell me . . why this issue (Afghanistan) always consumes so much of the world's attention?"

    Not the world's attention at all. Except for Mark, a few posters, Afghans and the military on duty, my guess is that much of the world doesn't care.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    One of the objectives of invasion was to free the afghanistanis and help them in nation building..After 9 yrs, that has been put aside, because this objective was used for invasion and the intentions werent there..thats why everyone is ready to blame the afghans and each other...the liberal vs conservatives..You are not concerned with the real issue but to prove each other wrong..If you remind yourselves, you will remember that your nation was united behind the invasion..and so you should be united behind the nation building of afghanistan until it is acheived...and acheived according to the wishes of afghans, and not yours..the biggest mistake usa did was to leave them alone after giving them the promises of being their allies during soviet occupation..If you had apporached afghanistan befor ben laden, another ally of theirs during soviet union, they would have helped you the way they help those (now your enemies) who fought with them against ussr..

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  • 158. At 3:43pm on 07 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic – I agree closed shops should be banned. My Father was a union man all his working life and feels passionately that they are a necessary. While left leaning, I don’t feel the same way and it is one of the major bones of contention between us. I do believe that unions can provide vital protections for workers, especially in professions like teaching, I also believe that membership should never be compulsory. Then again I don’t believe in compulsory membership of any organisation.

    I also agree that Climate Change should be discussed rationally, indeed the inability to accept the need for reasonable discussion damages the proponents cause. Simply to turn around, for instance, and ignore that temperature has not increased this century lends directly to those that say pro-Climate Change scientist don’t know what their talking about. Actually it well known that world temperature would not increase in the first decade to fifteen years of this century, due to the Sun. Indeed the world should have cooled slightly, which it hasn’t. This is both a good and bad thing, good because it means that if Climate Change is happening we still have time to do something about, bad since the normal cooling hasn’t happened.

    One of the reasons why this meeting in (wonderful, wonderful) Copenhagen is that we are coming the end of the expected cooling, within the next few years the world will begin to warm, due to the Sun’s activities. If human based Climate Change is happening the world will warm quicker and hotter than it would normally and parts of the warming cycle, such as ice melt are self accelerating – Ice reflects heat due to being white, dark earth and water reflect less heat, areas where the ice has melted become warmer, so more ice melts, so become warmer etc!

    I sort of agree (and hey 2.5 out of 3 aint bad), these things are a good photo opportunity, without these opportunities some leaders may not bother to turn up. Not sure video/phone conferencing would really cut the mustard anyway. And finally is there anyway really central for everyone?

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  • 159. At 3:56pm on 07 Dec 2009, Philly-Mom wrote:

    So, from the continued discussion about the Pros & Cons of Hitchhiking in Afghanistan, is Mark trying to tell us that Americans are obsessed with war?

    Well, perhaps he's right. After all, we have military recruiters setting up virtual killing games in malls in order to demonstrate how fun it is to shoot people. (Doesn't that sound wholesome?)

    I mean, I don't mean to belittle the discussion, as there are many controversial philosophical, ethical and political matters pertinent to this global quagmire...

    But I'm kind of curious to know about what Brits observe about:
    -- our Green vs. Consumer issues (remember Copenhagen's pro-Green pep-rally?),
    -- how do our urban economic issues compare with the rest of the world's (most humans live in cities, after all... though most American voters are rural/sub-urban.)
    -- we have a wicked awful transportation mess here in the states (how in the world can we untangle our car/plane addiction when we're so freakin' big?)
    -- health care. (Look! The elephant in the living room has cancer!!!)

    Ah well. Maybe I'm just expressing my latent desire for a place to bury my ostrich-like head.
    _____________________

    Well then, please let me present, as I attempt to 'stay on target...' and hopefully to tie in some of these tangental matters as they relate to the

    AMERICAN. WAR. MACHINE.
    a spoken work brought to you by a Philadelphia Muther

    [you may begin playing bongos... now.]

    War machines use Gas. Americans use Gas.
    Hospitals use opiates. Druggies use opiums.
    9/11 happened. The OTHER Northern Hemisphere uses oil & drugs, too.
    -- BTW: Happy Pearl Harbor day.

    War is expensive and the piggy-bank is empty.
    EruoAsia is not just 'the other white meat.'
    Lets get it together, folks. Won't you be my neighbor?
    Folks need money 'cause it's not easy being green,
    and we are building bombs & hummers.
    "World Wars" were, like, so... 'last century'.
    The world is smaller now.

    War sucks.
    It sucks money, energy, and blood.
    (and, it's hard on the furniture.)

    Plans are good. Winning is good.
    People don't like Exit Strategies 'cause it sounds like losing.
    No one likes being on a losing team.
    And we don't want our children to have died in vain.

    Just End, don't spend, the war. Dig?

    *snapsnapsnapsnapsnap*


    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    You may leave tips in the jar. I'll be here all night.

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  • 160. At 3:59pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    You dont even know what the afghanistani, the ordinary afghanistani wanted when the world occupied it and you dont even know what they want now..And the first rule of helping others is to find out what the help seeker wants, and the second rule is to help him putting aside your own wants and wishes...the mission has failed because you dont either know how to help others or you wanted to impose the kind of help that is suitable for you..and in doing that you have turned most afghanistanis against the west..Now, all you can do is in reality to pack up and leave..all at once or as obama said, in installments..The mission has totally failed..You can rationalize any which way about the successful conclusion of the mission..You will have your own narrative of the sucess of the sucessful conclusion, just as russians have, and the afghanistanis based on what they saw will have their own narrative of the unsucessful mission..The goal of american policy is now to establish a malaki or karzai like government in iran as well...where the locals will suffer while the west will benefit from the puppet governments..A waring, unstable government does not allow the terrorists to establish themselves in those areas...Even terrorists organizations need the basic secure country to work from..

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  • 161. At 4:16pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    First you destroy the climate, then gather to save it...

    First you kill the animals in africa and and then you put them in endangered lists

    First you make a nuclear bomb and then use it twice, then you put it in the WMD list and destroy countries in its name.

    First you put you smoke the beehives, (terrorists) and then you go after them like wild crussaders.Even now the so called islamists threat is being exagerated to the point of no return...its kind of funny to think that a handful of islamists fighters have been challanging the whole world including the super power in afghanistan..Wouldnt you in private wish that they were on your side..Back in early yrs of Mohammad declation of prophethood when the anti islamists were freely persecuting muslims and they had to be secretive about their conversation, there were two extremely anti islamists, but intelligent,sincere, upfront and brave, and Mohammad used to wish and pray for one of them to convert to islam and be on his side..And lo and behold, one did..and the day he did, Mohammad declared that no muslim should from that day hide his or her belief anymore because now they have that person on their side..

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  • 162. At 4:28pm on 07 Dec 2009, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Okay, that was a long post, but it was a fun edit on an otherwise fairly dreary Monday.

    BTW - I've seen national military counts in the strategy discussed above, but I have not seen much regarding the USA v. American Civilian counts. We have a few Hundred Thousand people in Afghanistan. We are 'Contractor Heavy'. And, it is unclear whether us Americans Abroad are building roads and schools or just shooting people.

    Personally, I'm hoping we're planting farms, breeding goats, digging wells building schools and clinics.

    I support passive aggression*.

    God Bless Everybody.
    _______
    * e.g. Bwa ha ha... don't mess with us or we will empower your poor! Ha! Then you'll have consumerism, inflation, waste-management, urban crime, homelessness, unemployment and energy issues to deal with!!! Ha ha ha!!! [Warning - Passive Aggression is a terrible weapon of mass frustration.]

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  • 163. At 4:28pm on 07 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #160

    You seem to be ignoring that afghnastan under the Tailban was giving sanctuary to Al Quada, they refused to arrest or restrain their activities.

    If they had not been harboring that worldwide threat the U.S and allies would not have gone in.

    But is there any material benefit for the U.S to invade? No. even in Iraq if the U.S was greedy as some claim; why is not all oil production controlled by U.S/U.K companies?

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  • 164. At 4:39pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    He said "these additional American and international troops will allow us to accelerate handing over responsibility to Afghan forces, and allow us to begin the transfer of our forces out of Afghanistan in July of 2011. Just as we have done in Iraq, we will execute this transition responsibly, taking into account conditions on the ground."
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This general clearly has not read any of the books written by brits when they fought in afghanistan..otherwise this general would have known the main problem brits had to face when they used to recurit afghans to fight for them...the favourite sentence of the brits used to be that afghanistanis will fight to the death but they dont have the discpline that makes a soldier..Afghanistanis are not iraqis, iraq had military before the invasion..Afghanistanis can volunteer but they will never do what obama has outlined, that is, to fight their own people on america's behalf..perhaps by july 2011, america will able to raise an army, but that army will not deliever what obama has claimed...And I dont think that obama doesnt know this..His goal is to show the americans that he raised an afghan army...its wrong to link withdrawl with raising of afghan forces..unless ofcource the only goal is to wriggle out of responsiblities..so that when things turn ugly in afghanistan, americans can blame them, instead of blaming themselves for linking withdrawl with afghan forces..that army will do what northern alliance did before taliban came..start fighting with each other...and this time with some new weapons given to them by the Nato and americans..

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  • 165. At 4:42pm on 07 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "Fact Israel widthdrew from Gaza Palestinians started firing missles int o Israel."

    FACT ISRAEL DID NOT LIFT THE BLOCKADE THAT WAS ALSO PART OF THE DEL FACT
    gherkin. they did not stick to the deal. they also carried out "targeted" assassinations.

    So the reality was they did not meet the agreement they signed up for.
    FACT.
    The missiles followed the targeted assassinations and lack of supplies .

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  • 166. At 4:46pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    You seem to be ignoring that afghnastan under the Tailban was giving sanctuary to Al Quada, they refused to arrest or restrain their activities.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    And you seem to be ignoring that afghanistan under taliban was more secure than it was under occupation and the yrs when northern alliance ruled...ergo my point that alqaida became active when it got some sort of stablity in the country. what they refused or not refused comes after wards..After ben laden was forced to eject from his own country..it was the stablity that brought him there, not unstablity..I dont know what you do in this world, but if you look around, you will see that the same startegy of unstablity and division was used by israel when they pitched PLA and hamas against each other, now both of them are busy fighting each other and the occupiars have been having a blast of a time, doing whatever it wants to.. some times declaring that it doesnt have any partner for negotiation and other times telling one side to kill or capture the members of other side...This is how you colonize and opperess nations in the 21st century..

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  • 167. At 4:47pm on 07 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    115 J in D these calls for hillary are a joke I assume. why does anyone think she is genuine cause she has no backbone?

    Biden seems to be doing what he was hired to do. but the focus is on the past for so many. electioneering at this stage is sad. why any sensible person talks next VP is beyond me.. At this stage it would seem that looking atthe present would be good enough.
    Was it Hillery's plan to threaten Iran and build missile shields that got the russians on board.
    Or was it her amazing diplomatic skills and deep bow that got the chinese to talk about helping.

    Nope but they never give up flogging a dead horse.

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  • 168. At 4:55pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    If they had not been harboring that worldwide threat the U.S and allies would not have gone in.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is a lie..the taliban offered to deliever ben laden to a neutral islamic country or back to saudi arabia..your government refused..by saing no negotiations..Taliban followed every sosial and religous rule in this case..You cannot blame this one on them..Blame yourselves, because the military had prepared itself for the war, and there is no way out when the military start its movement and placement for wars..Your government was saying no negotiations while the military was being places in all the strategic places..The same thing happened in iraq..your navy was all ready out even before the insepectors had finished inspecting..

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  • 169. At 4:58pm on 07 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Colonel – Whose the ‘we’ who destroyed the environment? The evil West again I suppose, I would be happy accept that claim if you also accepted the fact that most of the West (the US, mostly due to the neo cons, is lagging behind) is actually trying to do something about it. Lets be frank here Europe might be slightly uncomfortable if Climate Change happens, but we would be in the best part of the world to cope. It is the developing world that would be well and truly knackered.

    So drop the holier than thou attitude, in many, many ways you are just as bad as most of the ardent right-wingers on this blog, blame the other side without ever accepting any blame for actions taken by groups you support. You, like them, are just like a school kid stating their favourite football team is the greatest and that they never cheat or foul. Maybe you would like to wake up to the real world, there are people in Afghanistan who would be willing to cut the head of a woman simply because she dared to voice an opinion or because of the clothes she wore. Who would still be shooting people and planting bombs, even if the US had never arrived.

    The Taliban are not romantic freedom fighters, set upon by an unjust imperial army for no reason, they are a bunch of murderous bigots from the middle ages with weapons they should never have been sold. Should the US have invaded? In the end probably not. Should the Taliban have defended Al Qaeda? Again in hindsight looks like a bad move. Do the Afghanistan people deserve our sympathy? In the main, yes. Do the Taliban? No, the world would be a much better place if they and those like them of all religions no longer existed.

    I for one would not shed a tear if every last patriarchal, misogynistic barbarian was washed from the face of the Earth. The only problem is these people think that they have their god on their side and are willing to place innocents in the way as shields. I may not support the war, but that is a long way from saying I support the Taliban or those like them.

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  • 170. At 5:07pm on 07 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Philly Mom,

    • "we have a wicked awful transportation mess here in the states (how in the world can we untangle our car/plane addiction when we're so freakin' big?)"

    Reconsider the value of hypermobility? Ther is more to life than spending a third of our waking time on the move

    Ivan Illich



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  • 171. At 5:09pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    In 2001, you wanted a war, and you waged one..in 2009 you want withdrawal and you will get one...Nothing to do with ordinary afghanistan, taliban or kazai.Both of them were and are your goals..war was waged on false premises and withdrawl is based on false premises..And two wrongs, infact infinite wrongs do not even make an half right..its your ego vs your ego..and the victims of this are people thousands of miles away from usa..

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  • 172. At 5:09pm on 07 Dec 2009, dceilar wrote:

    #163 Majik

    You seem to be ignoring that afghnastan under the Tailban was giving sanctuary to Al Quada, they refused to arrest or restrain their activities...

    But is there any material benefit for the U.S to invade? No. even in Iraq if the U.S was greedy as some claim; why is not all oil production controlled by U.S/U.K companies?


    The Taliban asked for evidence as per normal extradiction procedures (which is well within their rights to ask for) before they handed bin Laden over to the US. It was also debious whether bin Laden would've had a fair trial in the US.

    There was material benefit for the West in the invasion of Afghanistan. There is a very big pipeline running through the country that makes it very geo-strategically important to the west's interests.

    Also, oil production in Iraq is controlled by the West - the ownership of the oil production is of secondary importance.

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  • 173. At 5:11pm on 07 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    • "You seem to be ignoring that afghnastan under the Tailban was giving sanctuary to Al Quada, they refused to arrest or restrain their activities."

    Au contraire; The Taliban offered to arrest and hold bin Laden for trial, but were unwilling to release him into US hands, unsurprisingly.

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  • 174. At 5:12pm on 07 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    BTW Philly Mom, I like your rap style!

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  • 175. At 5:23pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    So drop the holier than thou attitude, in many, many ways you are just as bad as most of the ardent right-wingers on this blog, blame the other side without ever accepting any blame for actions taken by groups you support. You, like them, are just like a school kid stating their favourite football team is the greatest and that they never cheat or foul. Maybe you would like to wake up to the real world, there are people in Afghanistan who would be willing to cut the head of a woman simply because she dared to voice an opinion or because of the clothes she wore. Who would still be shooting people and planting bombs, even if the US had never arrived.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I come from the part of the world where if you take thousand people (i am being generous here) they dont spend the climate as much as you or your europeans allies do in your one day..If there is anyone who should be lecturing about saving the climate, its should be me..but I dont waste my energy..And there are people in the west who would kill a woman for the same exact reason..Again its necessary for you to focus on this subject, and downplay the murders of women in your own country..the planting of bombs and shooting people has become an every day thing after the usa arrived..not before..usa played a perfect catalyst..And just to inform you, the usa you see, the hyper anti islamist usa of the present, had always supported the islamists for 60 yrs..and it will do it again...to me, 60 yrs of american support of islamist is more important when it comes to judging that country's intentions than these 9 yrs..its already talking to taliban, and I dont know if its true or not, I have yet to confirm it, but rumors are floating that usa is using some members of ben laden to talk to taliban..by 2011 usa will have the support of the local taliban..Guarantee..and then you should ask the question which i used to ask before the war, and that is, " what was the use of all this killing and destruction of past 10 yrs when you could have just talked to taliban at the start"...In 2001 I used to ask, " whats the use of killing when usa will talk to taliban in a few yrs"

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  • 176. At 5:23pm on 07 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #172
    spanners71 wrote:
    #163 Majik

    You seem to be ignoring that afghnastan under the Tailban was giving sanctuary to Al Quada, they refused to arrest or restrain their activities...

    But is there any material benefit for the U.S to invade? No. even in Iraq if the U.S was greedy as some claim; why is not all oil production controlled by U.S/U.K companies?

    The Taliban asked for evidence as per normal extradiction procedures (which is well within their rights to ask for) before they handed bin Laden over to the US. It was also debious whether bin Laden would've had a fair trial in the US.

    (No they said they would not hand over Bin Laden because they did not trust the evidence of infidels)

    There was material benefit for the West in the invasion of Afghanistan. There is a very big pipeline running through the country that makes it very geo-strategically important to the west's interests.

    Also, oil production in Iraq is controlled by the West - the ownership of the oil production is of secondary importance.

    (I am sure the Saudis and Gulf States would agree with you)

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  • 177. At 5:26pm on 07 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #165
    FACT ISRAEL DID NOT LIFT THE BLOCKADE THAT WAS ALSO PART OF THE DEL FACT
    gherkin. they did not stick to the deal. they also carried out "targeted" assassinations.


    (They allowed supplies through checkpoints Israel security superceed Palestinian convenience)
    So the reality was they did not meet the agreement they signed up for.
    FACT.
    The missiles followed the targeted assassinations and lack of supplies .
    (No the missles started as soon as Israel left and Hamas illegaly took over and any Hamas member killed is a benficial thing for the world)

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  • 178. At 5:29pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    The Taliban are not romantic freedom fighters, set upon by an unjust imperial army for no reason, they are a bunch of murderous bigots from the middle ages with weapons they should never have been sold. Should the US have invaded? In the end probably not. Should the Taliban have defended Al Qaeda? Again in hindsight looks like a bad move. Do the Afghanistan people deserve our sympathy? In the main, yes. Do the Taliban? No, the world would be a much better place if they and those like them of all religions no longer existed.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The taliban may be barbarians or whatever you and yours like to believe, but they were the ones who followed all the rules that they were required to follow, the rules set by the world, their culture and their religon..when they told your government about handing ben laden to a third country or his own, provided, america gives them evidence.. and they didnt end there, they also requested ben laden to leave their country on his own accord. and when they said, they dont want war with america and when they said if attacked, they would defend..Worldly rules, cultural rules and religon rules all followed through and through..

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  • 179. At 5:31pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I for one would not shed a tear if every last patriarchal, misogynistic barbarian was washed from the face of the Earth.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And I guess think you are not as extremists as the taliban..

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  • 180. At 5:43pm on 07 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    #119. John_From_Dublin: "Kirin, buy a mirror. [And a dictionary.]"

    And a computer with a spell check!

    Now Mark, moving right along . . . time for another topic. And today is December 7th, yet ignored.

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  • 181. At 5:45pm on 07 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Colonel – No I am as not as extremist as the Taliban, not caring if a group still exists is not the same as killing people, or forcing others to live by my rules. You can use the excuse of culture and religion all you want, in the end it does not wash. Not all Muslims act like the Taliban, not all Afghans do either, these people share a religion and culture yet do not see the need to murder someone simply for believing in something different.

    Likewise I do not do not agree with the actions of some atheists, Mao or Stalin for instance. Saying the stoning of a girl wondering around because that’s their religion is okay, is rubbish.

    The first time I responded to any of your posts I supported your point, I got a verbal lashing from you. Why? Because you cannot get over that huge great chip on your shoulder, ooh the big bad European did horrible things hundreds of years ago. Sorry mate, but I don’t accept the sins of the father line. Yes the British Empire had its faults, huge great massive ones, but the Empire doesn’t exist any more. Rather than condemning people for what their grandfathers might have done, I personally think it is better to try and resolve things today.

    Oh and as for you not wasting energy…… Sorry you are using electricity (energy), to make 3 responses to one post. By my calculations you have wasted three times the amount of energy than I have!

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  • 182. At 6:30pm on 07 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    • "ooh the big bad European did horrible things hundreds of years ago."

    Hundreds of minutes, more likely.

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  • 183. At 7:03pm on 07 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    143. At 04:13am on 07 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    "In some part of the world it is already December 7th, the "day that will live in infamy" back in 1941. I hope Mark will reflect on what this meant to both America and the United Kingdom since it changed the course of history. It's not observed as 9/11 is, but probably should be, since it shook the world to its very core."
    __________

    At the risk of being mistaken for more jingoistic posters, it seems to me that the day is observed, but in August, i.e., VJ Day.

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  • 184. At 7:09pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    The first time I responded to any of your posts I supported your point, I got a verbal lashing from you. Why? Because you cannot get over that huge great chip on your shoulder, ooh the big bad European did horrible things hundreds of years ago. Sorry mate, but I don’t accept the sins of the father line. Yes the British Empire had its faults, huge great massive ones, but the Empire doesn’t exist any more. Rather than condemning people for what their grandfathers might have done, I personally think it is better to try and resolve things today.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your grand fathers resolved the things in the same way you are doing..you may not accept the sins of your father, but the wealth they gathered because of their sin, you hold dear and near..Part with that wealth as easy as you have done with their sins, and then try to be as generours...the west doesnt owe up to what they did a day or two ago, so I think the you should move on from your belief that you are being held responsible for your grand fathers sins..

    The west is in afghanistan forcing them to live by your rules...democracy or die..protect the europeans or die...make europe and usa safe, or die...this is what your leaders are saying..how have they linked your security to afghanistan is a mystery..In a pre-anti islamic world, everyone was responsible for their own security and stablity..I wish I could say, that not all eauropeans and americans are against killing or destruction...

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  • 185. At 7:21pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    since it shook the world to its very core."
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Its a local event now, your grand fathers time. the world is still fighting in afghanistan against taliban because of 9/11..

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  • 186. At 7:37pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Colonel – No I am as not as extremist as the Taliban,
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am telling you, you are..your extremism is latent, if tomorrow circumstances change in your country, you will act like or worse than taliban..the ones your fighting in afghanistan..they dont waste their extremism on every tom, dick and harry, their extremism is resticted to extreme circumstances...they dont go out of their country to fight other people's wars..they remain always inside their country or area..

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  • 187. At 8:11pm on 07 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    (No the missles started as soon as Israel left and Hamas illegaly took over and any Hamas member killed is a benficial thing for the world)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Started before the israeli and the quartet on the middle east's operant condition experiment? the economic sanctions on PLA? or were the rockets after these two entities eased the sanctions on the west bank and more severe sanctions on Gaza?

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  • 188. At 8:42pm on 07 Dec 2009, Philly-Mom wrote:

    170. Crataegus Monogyna:
    Hypermobility? I hear that. Because I have been unable to live near jobs - I have had to drive 45 - 80 minutes EACH WAY in order to afford rent for my family.

    It ain't easy tryin' to provide for a green family in these here "United" States.

    Someday, I'll either work closer to home or open a business near home so that I can commute less.

    BTW - Thanks for the poetic appreciation Honey - but I consider myself more 'spoken word' than 'rap.' I'm more political than social and can't rhyme like our better street poets.
    ______________


    BTW: about guns, drugs, and domestic & international death:

    The fundamentalist Muslims in my town don't do drugs, smoke or drink.
    So, if any of them in other countries sell drugs or shoot people, they're just killing people who don't count anyway. Us people-not-of-their-tribe are all just going to burn in Hell anyway, so who cares?

    It's kind of like Fox News worrying about the fact that making abortion illegal might increase the number of poor black urban babies in our cities.

    Apparently, 'Conservative America' needs Abortion in order to keep the 'Poor Black Urban Population' in check.

    Wow. That's... disturbing.

    See? Fox News Arch-Conservative Commentators and Militant Fundamentalist Muslims -- they're all alike. People who don't agree with them don't matter and shouldn't exist.

    Okay. Did I put the tongue too far in the cheek on that one?
    Oh well. Flame on.
    _________________

    But you know the rules are bent
    When you have to pay your rent
    Just to live on Earth.
    We're talkin' about Justice!

    -- Victor Wooten

    I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees.
    -- Dr. Seuss

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  • 189. At 8:45pm on 07 Dec 2009, KingLeeRoySandersJr wrote:

    No Afghanistan withdrawal in 2011' Yea and no Cost Of Living Allotment ether for the retired and disabled on Social Security. The till is stolen from too to pay the National Debit.

    The Police, Military and Politicians are all given their cost of living increase according the growth of the gross national product. But not those on Social Security they don't get raises till after 2013 says Obama. They don't get raises and the C.O.L.A. is according to what is paid into Social Security greater than the previous year but not again till 2013.

    The retired and disabled have no champion and they can not fight the USA Government. The weak are walked upon by bullies, liars and thieves.

    People wonder why so many nations despise the USA. It is the way they treat their own people and the ever lesser way they treat others in other countries. Economically countries are exploited by big business paying their workers a lesser salary than they are paid in the USA. USA based business even close up factories and transpose them into poorer countries.

    The Afghan people are very poor and hate any other people than their self in their country. The world has exploited them and kept them poor. All they have is their poverty and their hate and they have plenty of that. Life is hard and they welcome any way out of it. They fight tooth and nail to their death and they are welcomed it. It doesn't matter how many troops are sent there. The population is only some 28 million but it will take that many troops to win the war in Afghanistan.

    The very government is a puppet USA one and the people have no voice in it. No honest election just like in the USA only smoke and mirrors with a lot of propaganda. Multiple questions and answers to pick from with only one answer, the one the government (Which by the way is ran by the Pentagon.) wanted to come about.

    The media pumps out only what by majority the citizens are told to think and to do as good citizens and nothing else is heard, thought or can be accepted. Much information is controlled, most is false and no one is able to unprogram, a world thought controlled. Here are some examples of the way citizens lifetimes are abused by their governments..

    Agreed pollution is a problem but Global Warming is a fabrication used to hype prices as if it is good to be exploited unconsciously or economically. Information is controlled by illuminated parts of the truth. Certain crimes people are told not to believe, a government very well may commit. Absolute absurdities exist so as to never to question, and can be used to never to find the answer.

    Stock shares of banks and business are owned by the government today, using credit card companies to steal from the people. Even making laws so they can up the minimum payment and inflate the finance charges. On many credit cards late fee charges exist because the due dates are 22 days and not that of a month with no grace periods for those that live on monthly incomes. They use lawyers, congress and judges to commit their crimes against their own people.

    Governments want to rule the world but they were only found on the principle for the healing of a people and throughout civilizations have fail miserably at it exploiting and abusing the good wishes and information allowed the people. Throughout generation humanity has been cultivated by enlarge to be lesser beings giving them Gods and a world to live in that exist on the failures and mortality of a people.

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  • 190. At 8:45pm on 07 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "No the missles started as soon as Israel left and Hamas illegaly took over and any Hamas member killed is a benficial thing for the world)"

    Israel agreed to stop the blockade but didn't hold to it. Just accept that Israel doesnot always hold true to it's qword. and when they don't they get hit.
    the record is clear .this the "big lie" shouldn't be given the platform you have

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  • 191. At 11:43pm on 07 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    Why would someone be a liberal? What is the pleasure in stealing from other people to fullfill your own desires? If you and I do it..its called theft...when the govt does it..its called liberalism...

    Orwell nailed these guys years ago...given their chance they always run towards tyrannical govt control over the lives of people "for their own good". Orwell called it Big Brother...I call it facism (using the govt. to force your will on the people against their expressed will)

    I am against the collection of power in ANY groups hands...given the nature of humanity..it was always be used to further the goals of the few against the benefit of the many...

    Checks and balances, point and counterpoint, push and pull....when the game is rigged and no matter who is chosen the govt. gathers more control over the lives of the people...the time for the people to challenge the system arises....

    Call me crazy...but I like to keep my money and control how much power my govt has over me....I don't trust people and I don't trust people who want power over others even more...

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  • 192. At 11:49pm on 07 Dec 2009, MariaTee wrote:

    Giving a date of withdrawal was Obama’s blunder, and Clinton’s splitting hair to try to explain what he really meant did not work. The US is behaving like an unpredictable elephant in everybody’s backyard.

    My understanding was that we went to war in Afghanistan to rid the world of the criminals who attacked the US on September 11, 2001, Al Qaida, Ben Laden, their Afghan supporters, whoever. It’s a case of legitimate defense, and the entire western world was on the Americans’ side. It’s absurd to pretend that we went to liberate the Afghans, since previous American governments had actually help set up the Taliban in the fallacious and shortsighted hope that it was going to hurt the USSR.

    The Taliban are withdrawing in Pakistan, then we should pursue them there. I think we have some people quite capable to get an agreement to that effect with the Pakistani government (Clinton for one). This would have the demoralizing effect for the Taliban to see that they have no place to hide.
    But the governments of the region now realize that once again the US is going to destabilize the area and leave them holding the bag. So wisely they are going to do their best not to antagonize the Taliban who are not going anywhere.

    I remember a TV show near the end of 2001, with Charlie Rose and Musharaff, then president of Pakistan, who explained that the Pakistani government had been quite tolerant of the Taliban in Afghanistan next door since they had no support to get rid of them, and they were just doing their best to prevent a confrontation they might not win. They surely would change that if they were getting the US support. I think Obama just told them when that support will go away.

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  • 193. At 11:53pm on 07 Dec 2009, chronophobe wrote:

    Philly Mom -- Far out, man. I'll have some of what you're havin'!

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  • 194. At 05:25am on 09 Dec 2009, syed quadry wrote:

    America/UK are doing a lot. They need help from other countries. They went in to Afghanistan to get rid of Taliban. It has been over 8 years and loss of life is huge. Still the main culprits (Bin Laden and gang) are walking free. The aim should be to kill these evil men. If the top men are killed the Taliban will die out immediately. Please complete the job you went to do there. I wish ordinary citizens of the world like me could help!

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  • 195. At 3:34pm on 09 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "I wish ordinary citizens of the world like me could help!"


    go sign up then they will take you.

    a lot say fight fight what can I do. well if you say fight. go do it.

    let the pacifists carry on not fighting

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  • 196. At 6:15pm on 09 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    • "They went in to Afghanistan to get rid of Taliban."

    No, they went in to get Bin Laden.

    But they've signally failed on boyth counts.

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  • 197. At 06:14am on 10 Dec 2009, amerika_first wrote:

    After reading multiple posts attacking each other, I will try to be polite and refrained. The USSA is making the same mistakes that the USSR made. We missed the window of oppourtunity. Now I am not a democrat or republican, but rather a nationalist. But BHO has not a clue when he asks the fighting men and women to lay down their lives in defense of their country, but only till 2011. if you are going do it then do it right. Total Victory and nothing else or get out. Afghanistan is not winnable and we should get our troops out of harms way right now and let the Afghans slaughter each other to their hearts content and prpare for the big showdown that is coming with China

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  • 198. At 4:41pm on 10 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    syed quadry (#194) "Still the main culprits (Bin Laden and gang) are walking free. The aim should be to kill these evil men. If the top men are killed the Taliban will die out immediately."

    They are not exactly "walking free." They are hiding from the constant threat of being taken out by a remotely piloted plane (drone). Many (perhaps half) of the top echelon of al Qaeda have been eliminated in this way. More will be, but it will take a long time. Not for nothing is this called "The Long War."

    http://www.longwarjournal.org/

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  • 199. At 6:05pm on 10 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    197 AmeriKa first
    "Now I am not a democrat or republican, but rather a nationalist. "

    Well full marks for originality. I am surprised you didn't say "independent"

    well done. truly a first for you.

    So NOW you are not republican or dem what were you Before?

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