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Obama's Nobel balancing act

Mark Mardell | 06:22 UK time, Friday, 11 December 2009

obamanobel_ap226.jpgThe president of war and peace appears to have pulled off a difficult balancing act, by refusing to bask in the glow of merely being the "anti-Bush". In Oslo, Obama told his European audience what many Americans will see as some hard truths.

One Fox News commentator, I didn't catch his name, said rather reluctantly that he liked the speech, and its insistence that force was sometimes necessary and that American power was an expression of this moral force. Adding: "Of course, I didn't like all that Guantanamo stuff."

But, of course, this was part of the balance: the strong insistence that America, too, had to obey what the president called "the rules of the road", along with the very strong preference that nations should act together.

One news agency went so far as to headline their story "Unlikely support: GOP loved Obama's Nobel speech". For the new bloods of the Grand Old Party (Republicans), love is not the first emotion that springs to their hearts when the president speaks, but some of the older hands were certainly reassured.

ABC's respected White House correspondent Jake Tapper suggested this was an important moment, proclaiming the speech "nothing short of the Obama Doctrine - the most comprehensive view we've been offered yet of how the president views foreign policy".

The speech reads very well and feels very sophisticated, but how does it boil down? Of course, the heart of it is that war is folly rather than something to be celebrated but sometimes a folly that is the only course. International institutions and diplomacy are always better than going it alone.

But what makes a war just? Here the president is as expansively hazy as UK Prime Minister Tony Blair ever was: self defence; preventing an aggressor invading another nation; stopping civil war or slaughter of civilians by their own government.

But he talks also of engaging with bad regimes and developing "alternatives to violence that are tough enough to actually change behaviour", adding that the closer the international community stands together "the less likely we will be faced with the choice between armed intervention and complicity in oppression".

He said that peace is not just the absence of war but democracy and freedom of speech, although he uses fresher phrases: "I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear."

He ended on a rousing flourish of high-minded optimism which is worth quoting in full:

"The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached - their fundamental faith in human progress - that must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey. For if we lose that faith - if we dismiss it as silly or naive; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace - then we lose what's best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass."

It's almost enough to make you think cynicism is not a virtue and it was certainly good enough to warm the hearts of doubters on both sides of the debate.

Yet with the deadline for Iran's compliance on the nuclear issue just a few weeks away, I was left wondering what the "alternatives to violence that are tough enough to change behaviour" would actually look like.

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  • 1. At 06:53am on 11 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:

    The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.

    The implication is that the United States did this for purely altruistic reasons - I don't believe that in the least. As with the British Empire, there has always been a reason to help the folks back home. The word 'helped' doesn't mitigate this at all. It's the same brand of Americanism that tells Europeans that 'we saved your butts' when in reality it was for the benefit of the United States rather than those nations involved. In any case, I don't imagine that a majority of ordinary Americans will have seen or read the speech, and care very little what he actually said, leaving it to the networks to make the judgement, Fox included. As Scarlett said, "tomorrow is another day" and it will be old news by Sunday.

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  • 2. At 07:35am on 11 Dec 2009, Leckie wrote:

    With all due respect to David Cunard, pure altruism had little to do with the meaning of Obama's speech, and he missed the point of it entirely. The Nobel address was based on the ideas of neo-realist American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and it is a shame international media and their watchers and viewers, American and otherwise, simply let Niebuhr's influence and its implications sail right by them. It is not Obama's fault they are too lazy to read and think more.

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  • 3. At 07:46am on 11 Dec 2009, hackerjack wrote:

    "I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear."
    ---------
    Unfortunately this has been proven to be untrue.

    Even in circumstances where citizens have been allowed to speak freely, worship as they please; choose their own leaders and assemble without fear, there is still instability of peace. In fact it is just s likely as in an oppressed regime due to people freely offending each other.

    The notion of "freedom of speech" vs. "protection of charachter" is one that will always be at the heart of conflict and the best we can hope for is a minimisation of conflict via a proper balance. That balance will be different for different societies and there is no reason why a monarchy or other such autocracy can not result in a society just as good as any democracy.

    In an autocracy the right people can be appointed to the right jobs. Why should our last two chancellors have been a History student and a lawyer? Why should we restrict our selection of people to run the country by some ridiculous notion that they also have to be the same type of person who can convince a bunch of people to allow them to speak for their town? Why not the ability to pull in the vast business, scientific and acaemic resources we have in this country to actually run it instead of being filtered by a bunch of people essentially elected in the frist place because they were loud enough to be heard and convincing enough to be elected regardless of their intelligence or background?

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  • 4. At 07:49am on 11 Dec 2009, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Just more hot air - babble. I flashed on My Lai, Calley, and destroying the village to save it when I read some of his comments. Now war is peace.

    The pundits and talking heads will have fun trying to make sense out this nonsense, though. Just like they did with the Bush Doctrine.

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  • 5. At 07:53am on 11 Dec 2009, SuperCritical wrote:

    "The goal is not to win a popularity contest or to get an award, even one as prestigious as the Nobel peace prize. The goal has been to advance America's interests.”

    Obama has used this award to temporarily placate his critics at home. If every country also aims to advance their own interest, then conflict becomes inevitable. The problem is America assumes its interests are the same as everyone else's and then acts accordingly in the name of the pax Americana. If you disagree then you are a target for enforced 'peace'.

    Peace is a journey, not a destination; you have to live it, not achieve it through the barrel of a gun. The point Gandhi was trying to make is that you have to be change you want to see, otherwise where does it start? Just because something isn't 'practical' misses the point.

    He's basically saying "America will be peaceful when conditions allow".

    Obama has gone down in my estimations.

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  • 6. At 07:57am on 11 Dec 2009, KingLeeRoySandersJr wrote:

    Obama's Nobel balancing act?

    This was written to a State Representative after receiving a letter commending the mouth piece of the USA Pentagon as President of the USA in ordering 30,000 troops sent to Afghanistan filling in all the spaces even saying when they are to leave.

    We will not see that, even when it is told the people the military have left because they will alway be there.

    A President of Peace and War? You can't mix the two without a catalyst like oil and water. Propaganda is the catalyst and the media is relentless in the persecute in controlling the minds thought, words and deeds of the people.

    The written message..
    The reasons the military continues war is to increase it's size and dominate in every way possible the US Government deriding democracy by creating a police state that does not have you and others as their smoke screen and mirrors. It is a shame that people sell their souls and lie to their self to have their comfortable lifestyles. The shame is they are used to hide a world of mind controlled zombies fed so much misinformation about what they are and what the world is so to never see reality at all. John Smith, the truth is in your face and you have no idea what this and other World Governments do to their own people to have such a hold on their lifetimes. Civilization exist today on the misfortunes, exploitations and the very mortality of it's people to sustain it's hierarchies.

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  • 7. At 08:07am on 11 Dec 2009, Jumper wrote:

    Mr. Cunard is right on the mark. In a February, 1942, Fireside Chat, President Roosevelt explained that the U.S. could not sit back and merely defend our coasts. If the ship-building capability of Britain fell into Axis hands, they'd have the ability to out-produce U.S. ship building and eventually strangle the U.S. economically. They could then bend the U.S. to its will without invading our shores.

    Not all of us think the U.S. "saved your butts." My father and our teachers made it clear that the tide of European war changed when Britain won the Battle of Britain and the tide of the Pacific war changed when the U.S. won the naval engagement at Midway Island.

    And, Mr. Cunard also seems correct in stating that most Americans will simply to wait and until they hear the media has to say about the President's speech. I didn't spend all day on-line with American media, (I work), but I never did see a common media site offering the entire speech. I found the text of the speech, with your Paul Reynold's guiding remarks, within moments, on BBC on-line.

    "Yet with the deadline for Iran's compliance on the nuclear issue just a few weeks away, I was left wondering what the "alternatives to violence that are tough enough to change behaviour" would actually look like."

    President Obama provided an essential component to answer your question by stating, "... the closer the international community stands together." Just how close-knit will be the international community? We also don't know how stable is Iran's government.

    Like you, one thought that came to mind was this speech read more like a comprehensive doctrine on U.S. use of military force.

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  • 8. At 08:08am on 11 Dec 2009, KingLeeRoySandersJr wrote:

    Obama's Nobel balancing act?

    This was written to a State Representative after receiving a letter commending the mouth piece of the USA Pentagon as President of the USA in ordering 30,000 troops sent to Afghanistan filling in all the spaces even saying when they are to leave.

    We will not see that, even when it is told the people the military have left because they will always be there.

    A President of Peace and War? You can't mix the two without a catalyst like oil and water. Propaganda is the catalyst and the media is relentless in it's persistence to control the mind's thought, words and deeds of the people.

    The written message..

    The reasons the military continues war is to increase it's size and dominate in every way possible the US Government deriding democracy by creating a police state that does not have you and others as their smoke screen and mirrors.



    It is a shame that people sell their souls and lie to their self to have their comfortable lifestyles. The shame is they are used to hide a world of mind controlled zombies fed so much misinformation about what they are and what the world is so to never see reality at all.



    John Smith, the truth is in your face and you have no idea what this and other World Governments do to their own people to have such a hold on their lifetimes. Civilization exist today on the misfortunes, exploitations and the very mortality of it's people to sustain it's hierarchies.



    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/markmardell/

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  • 9. At 08:16am on 11 Dec 2009, Philip Steyn wrote:

    Mr Obama has given America a credible public profile.
    Every political leader that improves public sector
    accountability is a hero.

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  • 10. At 08:19am on 11 Dec 2009, bepa wrote:

    If there had been proactive policies that had stopped Hitler early on or policies that had recognized what al Queda was selling as religious beliefs we could have stopped these conflicts. But we wait too long and then get pulled into wars.

    We ignore the problems until they have surfaced as dangerous to our our own lives and then it appears the only now viable solution is war.

    In order to limit wars we must have better human rights, more diplomacy and more international treaties....but we are not there yet...

    Its a race between the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the ability to solve problems non violently. Climate change will make nuclear power plants more attractive as energy sources..which means more nuclear material available and more knowledge spreading about how to work with nuclear material...

    It just doesn't look good... My guess is that some nuclear weapon will be used and people will be so horrified that then there will be a greater effort to find solutions...

    Pakistan has nuclear weapons and it is next to Afghanistan and has the kind of extremists who commit suicide for their cause...



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  • 11. At 08:31am on 11 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.

    David Cunard said:

    The implication is that the United States did this for purely altruistic reasons - I don't believe that in the least.

    There is no such implication. Obama has consistently acknowledged the failings of US foreign policy. They have screwed up many times, on many levels, but it cannot be denied that they have indeed "under-written global security for decades".

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  • 12. At 08:37am on 11 Dec 2009, shiveringofforgottenenemies wrote:

    Obama is just passing "GO" on his way to collect his $200 (or in this case $1.4M). Seriously, this is simply gamesmanship. Soon his talking heads will be explaining that by a "moral war" he doesn't mean war is moral, war is immoral, black is white, up is down, it's all in how you look at it! He's the nouveau "relativist" President...it's a relatively sad that a lot of people are going to die, but then it's relatively good that America's interests in the region are bled for...and anyway he's done relatively little well all right, relatively NOTHING to deserve this prize but gosh it was still given to him...so obviously the rest of the world supports him (relatively speaking).

    Obama is a criminal! He stands before the world soaked in blood! His ambition is to destroy the American way of life. It's high time Mark stopped being such a fanboy!

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  • 13. At 08:38am on 11 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    It appears that I may be less cynical than some of the respondents here, which for anyone who knows me would be a surprise, but maybe that is because I started from a more cynical point in the first place. I never really expected Obama to be anything more than an American president, all the rhetoric about change and hope was only ever going to be rhetoric.

    Large chunks of the American population are paradoxically conservative, for a nation that gains much of its influence on technological advancement and superiority many Americans seem very wary of change. Americans know what made the US great and more than a few fear that changing any of these aspects will destroy that greatness, keep doing and saying what works and America will continue being top dog. Sadly in the short term these people could be right, the problem is other countries are looking for ways to be a success, since they cannot simply use the US method they have to find new ways. This time round it will not be a two horse race, but probably 4 or more, to survive the US will have to adapt. My hope is that Obama will realise this, my fear is that even if he does the conservatives in the States won’t and will resist change strongly enough that it won’t be possible.

    As for war being a necessary evil and sometimes needed to maintain the greater peace, the sad truth is that it’s true. Ghandi and others gave us the ideal to strive for, but it is at this point in human social evolution not practical or possible for the majority. Just look what happened to India following Ghandi’s death, some of it done by those closest to him. Ghandi and others like him are idealists, which is a good thing.

    Of course America only really does things which benefit itself and its population, altruism is an illusion no one does anything unless there is a payback, even if that payback is only the warm slightly smug feeling you get when you have done something nice for someone else (see I told you I was a cynic). I don’t blame the US for doing this or being more successful, as I said everyone else does, what I do find irksome is when certain posters try and claim altruism and that we non-Americans should be grateful for Americas previous ‘generosity’. Lets be fair here the US never saved Europe because they were the good guys, if the US did ever save Europe (which is a bit difficult without parallel worlds to look at) it did so because saving Europe protected American interests.


    I’ll expect Nero’s legions to attack shortly!

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  • 14. At 08:47am on 11 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Mr. Mardell is completely mistaken. He has indulged in the infamous news media narcissism, whereby news media workers are trapped in the delusion that they are important, and that what they think is influential. The reality is that Mr. Obama's speech and conduct was a laughing stock, and he has merely made himself look like a circus clown, and comfirmed the opinion of the world that the USA is a deranged monster.

    The suggestion that the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan, or Palestine was and is a just war is fatuous nonsense, and no one but a madman would believe something so obviously untrue. If Mr. Mardell honestly and sincerely believes that Mr. Obama has fooled anyone with his pathetic excuses for the tyranny of brute force, then the columnist is simply disconnected from reality.

    What Mr. Obama has done is to prove to the world that he is just like every other American, and that there is no hope for justice in the world while the USA continues to dominate world affairs. We will only know peace when America has been defeated, by a coalition of nations who have finally had enough of being dictated to by psychopaths.

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  • 15. At 09:05am on 11 Dec 2009, bepa wrote:

    #13 D R Murrell
    "it did so because saving Europe protected American interests."

    Yes there is that, but also many Americans have ancestral roots in Europe. We are linked in our heritage and our cultures. There is an emotional connection between many Americans and Europe.

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  • 16. At 09:13am on 11 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    PaganBarbarian – Well nice to see an even and balanced posting, well it balances out the normal posts from Nero anyway! Maybe we should pit you a rabid anti-American against Nero the rabid American, it would be nice to see the Romans and the Barbarians clash once more, a bit like a pre-Xmas showing of Spartacus.

    Firstly I assume that you think that psychopaths are just like what you see in the movies, rather than having any idea about what they actually are. Very few psychopaths are mouth foaming serial killers and since they make up 4-6% of the population you probably know a couple.

    I also like the idea of condemning the US for being a blood thirsty monster invading countries because it can, then suggesting the answer is invading the USA. We can only have peace through war, I assume you would regard this as a ‘just war’. Wow, sorry you just reminded me of the speech I heard recently, apparently it was said by a right old clown, who no one in their right mind would take seriously…. Do you see where I am going with this?

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  • 17. At 09:33am on 11 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Bepa – That is true, my point was more a big really, against those Americans who seem to believe that the US is sole saviour of civilisation best typified by a certain mad emperor. Really the only type of American I cannot stand, sort of the reason I cannot really stomach the film 300, where for some reason the Spartans seem to Marines in tight leather shorts carrying spears. Not really the image that Alan Moore had in mind I think, most because he is a British fruit loop.*

    The other reason is that it holds no real basis in history and ruins a pretty good historical story. The Spartans being pro-communists whose fighting men had such a proclivity for homosexuality that their new brides had to cut their hair short and teach their men in the dark where certain body parts were meant to go to make babies.

    * My favourite Alan Moore anecdote is him seeing a suit of Samurai armour in an antiques shop, then hallucinating that the suit came to life smashing its way through the shop window waving a sword. Personally if I started seeing things, the only person I would tell would be my psychiatrist, not a magazine reporter!

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  • 18. At 09:44am on 11 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    This was definitly Obama best foriegn policy speech.

    He went and confronted these self riteous ignorant hypocrites seem to feel ree to criticize the U.S and other nations for fighting international terrorism while they live in luxury in norway.

    Most people know the Nobel prize has been the bash bush prize for most of the decade.

    I still think he should have rejected it and said that prize commitee should apologize to Bush.

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  • 19. At 09:55am on 11 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    The enthusiastic response of Republican leaders and conservative media to President Obama's speech is very understandable considering that it is a tacit acknowledgment of the need to wage war to protect and advance our interests and what we believe should be important for all.

    What others wish to have or hope for has been inconsequential to every dominant nation throughout history, and we are not an exception to that rule.

    President Obama's speech was not only well crafted, it highlighted the essence of our values, our priorities and the mindset that influences our foreign policy.

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  • 20. At 09:57am on 11 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    How amusing. For data on psychopathy, people are welcome to google "Dr. Robert Hare". In a brief oversimplification, accepted traits of the psychopathy syndrome are: glibness -- lacking effect (i.e., unemotional) -- ahowing no remorse, shame, or guilt -- manipulative -- highly likable and charming -- superb mimicry of human emotion (acting ability) -- inability to recognize consequences of personal actions -- inability to accept responsibility for actions -- extreme grandiose arrogance and vanity -- and so on. Sound familiar? Those traits clearly describe the people who invaded Palestine, and directed the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The circular argument over objections to invading the US is an irrelevant non sequitur, as any 12-year-old would know. Most circular arguments are. What humans reject is the breathtaking dishonesty and deceit of claiming moral justification for egotism and selfishness, vanity and greed, the lust for power, and animalistic bloodlust. Some posters clearly can't grasp the standards of humanity. Dishonesty is a bad character trait. Apparently this is news to some.

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  • 21. At 10:17am on 11 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    PaganBarbarian – Or they could read Dr Hare’s books, which is what I did, as well as a few others on the subject of psychopathy/sociopathy. I also have read books on narcissism, which if you were going to lazily label a country would be a much closer description of the US. Psychopaths do not have the empathy or self control to be good soldiers, they do not do planning very well and prefer instant gratification. A psychopathic nation would not be sending more troops into Afghanistan, because actually trying to resolve the current situation would be too difficult, basically not enough fun. Yes I do actually know what I am talking about, the psychology degree helps that and I am rather interested in aberrant psychology.

    The US is not all good and it is not all bad and simplistic labels are intellectually lazy. If someone wants to make a rational discussion and have their points taken seriously, then they should avoid simplistic and inaccurate stereotypes. If you don’t want to have your point mocked out of hand, then take more effort.

    As I am sure Nero, Curious and a few other US posters here will point out I a lefty liberal European, not some Yankophile, they probably have the same problem with me as you do, I actually prefer balanced arguments based on stupid little things called facts. Emotive rants, get emotive responses simple as.

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  • 22. At 10:26am on 11 Dec 2009, Hugh Parker wrote:

    On Iran: the "alternatives to violence that are tough enough to change behaviour" are the sanctions that China and Russia keep vetoing.

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  • 23. At 10:38am on 11 Dec 2009, Via-Media wrote:

    21 D R Murrell

    Nice post. The U.S. has probably always presented a dichotomy between our best beliefs- and those actions based upon those- and our worst instincts and behaviors. Many Americans seem to focus so much on those ideals, which were radical and amazing and awe-inspiring for their time and continue to be magnificent examples, so much so that they cannot see the base, selfish behavior in which we have sometimes engaged.

    Others (including your undercivilized debating partner of the moment)are so blinded by this occasional bad behavior that they cannot see the good, or summarily dismiss it as hypocrisy.

    It isn't, of course. But it is a very difficult idea to sell in America that we are much like any other nation, with interests and good leadership and bad. If we fail to live up to our high ideals, then this makes many uncomfortable and (sometimes imperially) defensive. But they still call, and so far, at least, the U.S. has been able to self-correct when we've gone to far, and return to a closer pursuit of our ideals. This is what Pres. Obama is trying to do, a huge correction to the ship of state's course; whether he succeeds will be the subject for future historians.

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  • 24. At 10:41am on 11 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #20 and 21

    I think what annoys conservative and moderates is the left and especially the european left(like the Nobel committee) is the refusal to acknowledge that the U.S has been a force for good and has been very generous to the world.

    Why was Reagan never honored by the Nobel commitee? His contribution to peace were far great than Carter's, Annan, El Baradeis and others.

    It's because he believed in American exceptionalism there are certain nations who have done more for the world.

    Bluntly norway has not been one of them.

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  • 25. At 10:43am on 11 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    I think that peace is for an individual to seek. A leader of a country such as Bhutan can choose the enlightened and peaceful Buddhist way as long as or until they are invaded by China. One thing that is great about the United States is the general reluctance to war. America, having achieved its freedom through revolution did not achieve it’s stature through war but through creating opportunity for millions of individuals in the daily struggle for advancement, a dream for each to pursue, better and more practically done when there is peace. In response to right honorable Mr. Cunard, light parlor speech suggesting simple self interest at the root of America’s leadership in the defense of Europe is far from the mark. Millions of young men idealistically signed up to the noble task of the defense of the free world as their freely chosen sense of duty. It is a mistake to trivialize each of those individual sacrifices, nobly and honorably given in the spirit of altruism and in the collective self interest of preserving the dream of freedom for which America stands and fosters as a vision for the world community. Indeed that sacrifice was shared nobly by brave soldiers from all allied countries, Russia especially. The question today is whether the west, America included, yet has the moral courage and force of character to stand against those enemies who currently conspire to introduce the Trojan horse in order to destroy us from within. The courage and moral force of Winston Churchill is the gold standard, a breathtaking and iconic example of the qualities of leadership which the west will require. At best, the moral choice is to prepare for all the eventualities of war but to incline towards peace. Anything less is to pander to unreality, appease savagery, and wallow in narcissistic self doubt as the enlightenment comes to an end.

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  • 26. At 11:08am on 11 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Magic – We get it you’re upset that the Nobel Committee didn’t like Bush. While I will agree that Obama should not have been given the Peace Prize there is no way this side of Hades that G W Bush should have got the prize.

    On a side note, personally I think I would prefer to live in Norway than the US if I had to choose. Without blowing its own trumpet it is a good democracy and regarded as the best country to live in – Oh and before the rubbish about suicide rates comes up again its an urban myth that it has the highest suicide rate in the world, or even Europe.

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  • 27. At 11:10am on 11 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Alexander – While I can guess, which Trojan Horse are you talking about? The one that has had a presence in Western Europe for over a millennia per chance?

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  • 28. At 11:45am on 11 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Just to shed some light on the suicide rate myth about Norway here are some statistic:

    Highest rate in the world – Lithuania 38.6 suicides per 100,000 population
    No. 8 – Japan (24.4)
    No. 15 – Finland (20.1), first of the Scandinavian countries
    No. 20 – France (17.6)
    No. 27 – Denmark (13.7)
    No. 30 – Sweden (13.3)
    No. 39 – Norway (11.6)
    No. 40 – Canada (11.4)
    No. 41 – Iceland (11.2), completing the Scandinavian countries
    No. 43 – USA (11.1), so 4 places or 0.5 suicides per 100,000
    No.67 – UK (6.8), going to show that the British must be just happy being miserable!!!

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  • 29. At 11:57am on 11 Dec 2009, Ravichandran Jv wrote:

    I really did not understand one point in all these comments and the various writings on the Nobel Prize 2009 ceremony - Why has nobody mentioned the inappropriateness of referring to war and violence and the need to accept war if it is the only available alternative on the eve of an award for world peacekeeping?

    Does not anybody think that it seemed such a gross violation of the ceremonial norms associated with such awards? And that, too, by a noted orator! Is this is a slip by the President or a snub at the selection committee? Has everybody hurriedly interpreted the references to his "controversial selection" as humility...?

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  • 30. At 12:35pm on 11 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #26
    Magic – We get it you’re upset that the Nobel Committee didn’t like Bush. While I will agree that Obama should not have been given the Peace Prize there is no way this side of Hades that G W Bush should have got the prize.

    (Certanatly more deserving than Carter(a terrorist and dicatator appeaser and failures like Anana and El Bareerdi)

    On a side note, personally I think I would prefer to live in Norway than the US if I had to choose. Without blowing its own trumpet it is a good democracy and regarded as the best country to live in – Oh and before the rubbish about suicide rates comes up again its an urban myth that it has the highest suicide rate in the world, or even Europe.

    (I was talking contributions to the world which the U.S far surpassed Norway and almost every nation in the world)

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  • 31. At 12:39pm on 11 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Some posters clearly have too much time on their hands, and should get a life. As we all know, idle hands are the Devil's workshop. The desperate need to impose one's own view on an entire thread, and respond to every comment, in a feeble attempt to dominate the discussion, strongly indicates a fragile personality vainly struggling with fatal, terminal insecurity.

    Net line, the commentators supporting Obama and America are the same people who insist that the rapist murderer is really a good person, because he's nice to pets and children. Perhaps it is simple and easy to live in a fairytale fantasy of sweetness and light, but the real world is better. Supporting America is unspeakable and unforgivable. Collaborators are even more evil than those who commit the crimes, because they have chosen to side with evil of their own free will. Denials and excuses are worthless and useless. Evil is as evil does.

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  • 32. At 12:54pm on 11 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    Reply to D R Murrell:

    Sir: The truth of current times is that in the west, in spite of the war and strife of the past century, we live still in a renaissance of science, technology, and of understanding. The extraordinary is so normal as to become almost cliche. The uniting of the world technologically which fosters a new world consciousness evidences the continuing miracle of innovation. It is the passion of Europe; the Renaissance and Enlightenment which has lifted mankind by ever so painfully crucial steps out of ignorance and darkness. America is the product of enlightenment thinking just as is modern Europe. The modern European model of social democracy includes much to be admired. The phenomenon of European generosity and inclusiveness to peoples from throughout the globe is further evidence of enlightenment thinking. Never before in European history has there been a population explosion of Islamic peoples whose very fundamental passion and history respects not the brilliant achievements of Europe. As long as these populations integrate and become part of an order of rational secular democracy, they should be encouraged. But I am afraid that, as these populations increasingly seek political power and reach zenith, the tendency will be to gravitate towards political Islam and Sharia law; leading to the end of an age for Europe. It is fundamental that all right minded people now be ever vigilant; that by having entered western countries peaceably, that Islam does not overtake by stealth what they could not achieve through war. Indeed the very definition of war has to be reassessed. The enlightened high ideals of Europe has possibly let in the seeds of its own demise. This is the Trojan horse of which I speak. This paranoid dream would have the quality of the comical were it not a real concern.

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  • 33. At 1:22pm on 11 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    5. At 07:53am on 11 Dec 2009, super_critical wrote:

    "He's basically saying "America will be peaceful when conditions allow"."

    "Obama has gone down in my estimations."

    __________

    Just how unrealistically high were your expectations?

    Would Jesus Christ have lived up to your expectations?


    I have watched politics all my life, and I have seen and heard a lot of speeches. What never fails to amaze me is how excruciatingly bad most of them are. Poorly written, poorly delivered, vacuous in content, insincere, spin-doctored to death, chock full of fake emotion. And the people in public life who so diminish themselves by giving that kind of speech, ... well, ... most of them leave me with a feeling of nausea.

    And then this guy comes along who gives one brilliant speech after another. What's more, it isn't just the delivery that is brilliant. The speeches have content, context, and insight.

    I am an ever so slightly right-of-center conservative, and this particular speech speaks directly at me and to me, almost as if it had been written in my own hand-writing, right down to the phrasing and cadence. In fact, when I read it, it is almost as if someone has plagiarized my writing. It's that close.

    Is that what it feels like to be bang on the center of the target demographic?

    Who knows whether Barack Obama will eventually turn out to have been a successful President? It's way too early to tell. But in the meantime, for me, at least up to now, he has been a hugely positive surprise.

    He has very difficult challenges on his plate, and so very many of them on that plate all at one time. I wish him well.

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  • 34. At 1:33pm on 11 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No, cynicism is not a virtue.

    Thank you for the perspectives, Mr Mardell!

    You are absolutely right: Iran is the big ticket item on the table right now. How will it play out? Anyone's guess... On the other hand, the way the Iranian leadership is brutalising its own young & dissenters at this very moment -- the impunity with which they are allowed to restrict access to the essential stories of their crimes -- are altogether unacceptable. There is a tragedy already underway there...

    I do not have the answer to this one: it is a fraught moment and a thorny tunnel to be passed through (or as they say so beautifully in the UK, a sticky wicket, indeed) -- at a moment when already military resources are obviously overextended...

    Something will have to be done: no getting around that.

    What reassures me about this President is the very fact that he wrote much/most (or so they say) of this elegant & obviously intelligent speech: this suggests he will not act rashly or from any self-interest.

    No, I cannot agree with anyone who imagines that "This was a speech Bush could give": Bush, and Cheney, and probably their entire respective clans complete with chums, were being fundamentally dishonest, deceitful, insincere, manipulative and self-serving in their warmongering.

    Obama is not a warmonger. But he sees the true complexity of the geopolitical realities in the world today, and recognises the difficulty of doing exactly as much as will best serve the goals without doing too much or winding up creating completely new -- and bigger -- problems: which is exactly what both Bushes & Bill Clinton repeatedly did, in a most wrongheaded way.

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  • 35. At 1:35pm on 11 Dec 2009, PartTimeDon wrote:

    I guess it depends on whether people view the Nobel peace prize as something that should only be awarded to people who promote or practise pacifism or whether the award should recognise a "greater good" - where acts war and violence are necessary to bring to an end or limit further acts of war and violence. For example deploying peacekeepers in the Balkans.
    30# Magic, I get that you think America is great, but it is an aggresive nation that does not act peacefully in the international community. Iraq, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Chile etc.. aside, the US maintains policies that place the value of American lives over and above non-Americans and uses its economic muscle to impose these on other countries (for example compensation for injury or death while flying is doubled if you are American). Carter and Obama rolled this idea back a bit and were rewarded accordingly by the committee, but heartland Americans still look upon foreign lives as having less intrinsic value than American lives.
    Also, I would suggest that an insistence by many American politicians that it's okay for anyone to own an uzi is probably not compatible with the ideals of a peace prize.
    If I had to choose between living in the US or Norway, I'd go with Norway. The standard of living is about the same, but Id be less likely to be shot and I wouldn't have to bury my conscience.
    America has its fair share of wonderful and less than wonderful people. It has made more of a mark on recent world history than any other country for both good and bad, but the Nobel peace prize is not the forum to recognise this.

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  • 36. At 2:02pm on 11 Dec 2009, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    3. At 07:46am on 11 Dec 2009, hackerjack wrote:

    "I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear."
    ---------
    Unfortunately this has been proven to be untrue.

    Even in circumstances where citizens have been allowed to speak freely, worship as they please; choose their own leaders and assemble without fear, there is still instability of peace. In fact it is just s likely as in an oppressed regime due to people freely offending each other.

    The notion of "freedom of speech" vs. "protection of charachter" is one that will always be at the heart of conflict and the best we can hope for is a minimisation of conflict via a proper balance. That balance will be different for different societies and there is no reason why a monarchy or other such autocracy can not result in a society just as good as any democracy.

    In an autocracy the right people can be appointed to the right jobs. Why should our last two chancellors have been a History student and a lawyer? Why should we restrict our selection of people to run the country by some ridiculous notion that they also have to be the same type of person who can convince a bunch of people to allow them to speak for their town? Why not the ability to pull in the vast business, scientific and acaemic resources we have in this country to actually run it instead of being filtered by a bunch of people essentially elected in the frist place because they were loud enough to be heard and convincing enough to be elected regardless of their intelligence or background?

    ________

    Wow.

    "Unfortunately this has been proven to be untrue."

    Ok, I'm game. Show me your proof.

    ----------

    "In fact it [[i.e.,"instability of peace"]] is just s likely as in an oppressed regime due to people freely offending each other."

    Could you please provide so much as a shred of credible evidence to support this assertion?

    ----------

    "... there is no reason why a monarchy or other such autocracy can not result in a society just as good as any democracy."

    Again, could you please provide any objective supporting evidence for this assertion?

    One might have thought that centuries of experience to the contrary, and the strong and direct correlation between almost any measure of human welfare and democracy, from personal disposable wealth per capita, literacy, infant mortality, life expectancy ... would have been hard to ignore.

    ----------

    "In an autocracy the right people can be appointed to the right jobs."

    Well, yes, they can. Early Leninists (and others) believed this, and it is one of the basic premises of a command economy. But we have just gone through a 70 year experiment with command economies, and not one of them has been able, quite literally, to supply the goods.

    What you have missed is that in autocracies the people appointed to the jobs tend to be cronies and placeholders, brothers-in-law and nephews, who are appointed for their loyalty to the regime rather than for their ability.

    Democracies require open economies, and the implicit harnessing of the decision making powers of millions of citizens. It promotes the vigorous contest of ideas, from which the winning ideas, and leaders, emerge on merit.

    While it may not be to your taste, it is starkly evident that open societies protects the right of public dissent, and the right of the public to choose the government, are vastly more successful than those that do not.

    Arguably, the present difficulties in the US (which is still an highly desirable country in which to live), have arisen because the institutions of US democracy are not functioning properly. There is a problem of democratic sclerosis.

    From financial institutions to the oil industry, to health care insurers, to education, particular well-funded interests have the ability to stymie the advance of measures desired by the vast majority of voters. The US has not addressed the problems of redistricting as it should, to make far more contests competitive. It has not addressed the problem of the funding of elections. Those institutions need to function more democratically, not less.

    ----------

    "Why should we restrict our selection of people to run the country by some ridiculous notion that they also have to be the same type of person who can convince a bunch of people to allow them to speak for their town? "

    Clearly, you think voters are too stupid to be allowed to vote. However, the greater the degree of democratic accountability, the better the government: Take a look at how well the Swiss fund public projects, and how little corruption they have.

    ----------

    "Why not the ability to pull in the vast business, scientific and acaemic resources we have in this country to actually run it instead of being filtered by a bunch of people essentially elected in the frist place because they were loud enough to be heard and convincing enough to be elected regardless of their intelligence or background?"

    The premise of this comment is nonsense.

    Your assumption is that only idiots are elected, and that elected officials have no ability to staff their administrations with qualified people.

    Actually, democracies are far, far more effective than any other form of government at placing talented people in positions in which they can have positive effect. Why do you think there is such a huge brain drain of immigration to the democracies from autocratic hell-holes the world over?

    ----------

    You just do not understand democracy. At all.

    You might want to open your eyes and read a bit more.

    You might start by picking up a copy of The Economist's annual summary of world statistics and comparing the performance of democracies against autocracies, on every measure from life expectancy to incidence of poverty.

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  • 37. At 2:10pm on 11 Dec 2009, Philly-Mom wrote:


    It was a great speech.
    I didn't like it.


    I know... it's the government's role to protect her people. I just wish that didn't involve killing people.

    And - I was freakin' annoyed that Obama gave his Peace Award speech by talking about war. Grrr. Yuk. Bleck. Ew.

    That is to say -- I feel absolutely terrible that the Nobel Prize was awarded exactly at the time when Obama was striving to determine an effective military strategy for the withdrawal and effective closure of two military fronts in light of complicated long-term international relations and highly dangerous long-range security measures, especially given that we are in an era of cheap mass destruction.

    If bat-sh1t crazy people want go suicidal and take out as many people as possible on the way out - it is very easy for them to do so.
    If they want to coordinate their efforts strategically - they can. Classical Military Defense is simply no longer effective.
    This seriously sucks, doesn't it?


    Now - why give the Peace Award to Obama? Really Folks? Why?
    -- because he isn't Bush? Dumb.
    -- because he's cool? Dumb.
    -- because he's Black, African-American, and President? Cute, but Dumb.
    -- because he's actually inspired people internationally to work together? Hmmm... lame, but okay.

    -- because his platform represents standing down nuclear weapons and bringing resolution to our two long-standing "War-Type-Military-Theaters"? Okay - now that seems reasonable, except that he hasn't done it yet.

    -- because the Nobel committee wants Obama to represent world peace and to bring an end to all war and to guilt him into withdrawing all troops immediately? Aw, now... surely not. That would be silly. That's almost passive aggressive, and Peace Prize judges wouldn't do that. Right?


    Ah well.

    Congratulations, Barack. I think you were a fine candidate and that if you can accomplish half of what you're trying to do, you won't just have earned that award, but I'll have to adopt another son and name him after you. I'll also bake you a homemade apple pie, with lots of butter and brown sugar. Just for you and your family, honey. Don't even share it with your staff, okay?
    ______________

    "It's almost enough to make you think cynicism is not a virtue and it was certainly good enough to warm the hearts of doubters on both sides of the debate." - Mark

    Well... 'you're lips to G-d's ears,' as they say.

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  • 38. At 2:56pm on 11 Dec 2009, alanskillcole wrote:

    Reinhold Niebuhr, etc...

    http://select.nytimes.com/2007/04/26/opinion/26brooks.html?_r=3
    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1268/reinhold-neihbuhr-obama-favorite-theologian
    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/roadies/2007/11/28/obama_vignette/index.html


    http://culturematters.wordpress.com/2008/02/13/obamas-anthropologist-mother/


    found that the villagers she studied in Central Java had many of the same economic needs, beliefs and aspirations as the most capitalist of Westerners. Village craftsmen were "keenly interested in profits," she wrote, and entrepreneurship was “in plentiful supply in rural Indonesia,” having been “part of the traditional culture” there for a millennium…Based on these observations, Dr. Soetoro concluded that underdevelopment in these communities resulted from a scarcity of capital, the allocation of which was a matter of politics, not culture. Antipoverty programs that ignored this reality had the potential, perversely, of exacerbating inequality because they would only reinforce the power of elites. As she wrote in her dissertation, "many government programs inadvertently foster stratification by channeling resources through village officials," who then used the money to further strengthen their own status.[37]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ann_Dunham
    http://www.eastwestcenter.org/news-center/web-articles/spotlight-on-alumni-ewc-alumna-ann-dunham-mother-to-president-obama-and-champion-of-womens-rights-and-economic-justice/

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  • 39. At 2:58pm on 11 Dec 2009, SaintDominick wrote:

    President Obama is a pragmatist that understands the realities of life, the requirements to be an effecftive President, and what is needed to achieve the goals he is pursuing.

    The admission that war is sometimes necessary to achieve peace, while abhorrent to pacifists like me, reflects the fact that we live in an imperfect world where not everybody thinks alike or shares the same values and aspirations...and where mutual respect is a commodity that is often hard to find.

    The USA has done a lot of good things since it became a superpower, but we have also made many mistakes and have contributed - unintentionally or deliberately - to shaping the modern world into what it is today.

    While foreign policy is, understandably, the main concern for most of the posters on this forum, I think it is important to point out that domestic policies that emphasize a sense of humanity and fairness are as important to the achievement of peace as those that influence our tendency to intervene in the internal affairs of other nations.

    President Obama's agenda, at a macro level, is very much in line with Clinton's, which is why he has become a lightning rod to the far right. Lacking known peccadillos of the flesh, he is consistently demonized with claims that range from being a promoter of death panels, to being a socialist, an appeaser, and an apologist - even when he goes abroad and states, unequivocally, that he will never apologize for the policies and actions of the USA.

    To me, he is an honest and very intelligent man determined to make a difference, solve the socio-economic problems that afflict us, and end the ill-advised adventures we are engaged in abroad, even if doing that requires unpalatable decisions that bring into question the sincerity of his words and convictions.

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  • 40. At 3:04pm on 11 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    America would be first to choose world peace if she could. It is irrational to fight war and against her nature. America did not choose her enemies nor this fight. To choose to respond and to defensively engage in offensive war is rational. There are many fine people working to protect America. Eternal vigilance is indeed the price. As a community activist, the President could afford to be propelled by the ideals of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. As Commander in Chief, a well meaning man is confronted with very unpleasant realities squarely in the face; a perspective over which the Nobel Committee is not forced to loose sleep. Irony is, if not for United States', "war mongering", Norway would have become and possibly would still be a protectorate of either Nazi Germany or a Soviet Russia. Ideals are our compass. Realism is our walk. To embrace both is to be alive and in the world.

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  • 41. At 3:15pm on 11 Dec 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    @PaganBarbarian

    So which nation do you think ought to be the leader in world affairs?

    I'm not sure what your point is, other than that you hate America and Americans indiscriminately and wish we were all put in our places as servants under your demagogic rule.

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  • 42. At 3:16pm on 11 Dec 2009, Philly-Mom wrote:


    31. PaganBarbarian wrote:

    'Some posters clearly have too much time on their hands, and should get a life. As we all know, idle hands are the Devil's workshop.'
    -- oh dear. Actually, I'm a secretary/receptionist/file-clerk who gets bored at her desk. Sorry to offend you for lurking.

    'The desperate need to impose one's own view on an entire thread, and respond to every comment, in a feeble attempt to dominate the discussion, strongly indicates a fragile personality vainly struggling with fatal, terminal insecurity.'
    -- thanks for the advice. Maybe I'll bring it up in my next therapist session. (?!?!?)

    'Net line, the commentators supporting Obama and America are the same people who insist that the rapist murderer is really a good person, because he's nice to pets and children.'
    Um... I'd bet money that Obama isn't a supporter of rape and murder.

    'Perhaps it is simple and easy to live in a fairytale fantasy of sweetness and light, but the real world is better.'
    -- if you think the USA is Disneyland, come on over and visit, baby. I'll show you some real world.

    Oh wait - or maybe us dumb/evil Americans* don't know what injustice, hunger and fear looks like? Right.
    I've had plenty of friends work overseas, bringing medical care to Cambodia, planting crops in the Philippines, teaching children in Haiti and even building schools in Afghanistan. I've seen the glassy look in their eyes as they talk about watching children die from starvation. I feed and clothe my kids, then I support my friends' work. (Heck, I'd be overseas working with 'em - but I only get 2 weeks of vacation each year!!)


    'Supporting America is unspeakable and unforgivable.'
    When they came to take the Jews, where were you?
    When they came to take the Gays, where were you?
    When they came to take the Navaho, where were you?

    If they come for you, I'd try to help you.
    If they come for me, would you just stand aside 'cause I'm just an Evil American?


    'Collaborators are even more evil than those who commit the crimes, because they have chosen to side with evil of their own free will. Denials and excuses are worthless and useless. Evil is as evil does.'

    And it sounds like you have chosen Judgment, Hate and Prejudice.
    Thank you for informing us of your choice.
    If Evil is as Evil does, then 'get behind me, Evil'.

    I'm sorry you consider yourself "Pagan" and "Barbarian".
    Frankly, I would only consider your words to have show you for a bit of a fool.

    If you are Muslim, then perhaps I will ask our local Imam to pray for you.
    I have worn a head covering and prayed in a Mosque.
    The Mosque and my Turkish, Kurdish and Iraqi friends were far more beautiful than your hate and judgment.
    ______________________


    Sigh. You know, it's not easy being an angry pacifist.
    Sticks and stones may break some bones, but words can REALLY hurt.
    I think I need to take a coffee break and log-off firefox a little while.
    Grrr...

    You know, I usually try to stay out of online scrapping.
    Maybe I didn't drink enough coffee this morning.
    But you must admit - it's pretty sad when someone gives themself a bad name.

    Now - back to the filing cabinets I go.

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  • 43. At 3:36pm on 11 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Alexander – Noticed you didn’t answer my Trojan Horse question, so I assume I guessed correctly. Ah another the US rode on its white horse in and saved us poor Europeans posters, just a few facts for you Norway was a Nazi protectorate, in that it was occupied by Germany for its own protection despite being a neutral country. The invasion happened in April 1940 a bit before the US got on its white charger, it fell to initially Britain to offer help, much like we did the French and Polish offering a place for the royal family and parliament to exist in exile.

    We also helped the Norwegian army when they reinvaded Norway, as did the USSR, though sadly I could not find any reference to what the US provided.

    As for the USSR possible, but they would have had to go through Finland (who had already given up 10% of its land to Russia after WWII) and Sweden.

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  • 44. At 3:41pm on 11 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    In actuality, it is probably good that Obama was awarded at this time the highly coveted prize for peace as it might start people thinking with more nuanced complexity about the philosophical problem of Job. What happens when good people are made to suffer; when an idealistic country such as the United States is attacked, and by extension all freedom loving peoples. The west, especially Europe, has suffered an inward shame since both world wars about the futility and human cost of war; and rightly so. But as we have proceeded the next step towards loving our fellow man by throwing down barriers, opening up international trade and intercourse, and fostering world peace; a dark cloud has gathered unnoticed at the horizon. I am afraid that it is axiomatic. The west has to find it's warrior soul again in order to survive; to shake off the malaise of its shamed self-hood, and to draw the sword confidently, without doubt, and unerringly in self protection. No longer do our narcissistic meanderings become us. Just this issue and debate about the philosophy of just war is an indicator of our ethical vigilance with ourselves and evidence of our goodness as a civilization. I am afraid that our enemies suffer no such compunction.

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  • 45. At 3:42pm on 11 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    PaganBarbarian – Oops I did not read all of your post (31) I assume most that diatribe was aimed at me. Sorry old bean I only go on these boards while at work, have better things to do at home. Gives me something to distract myself while I am earning shed loads of cash. Well I am an appeaser to not agreeing with some Americans views and an appeaser for not agreeing with some European views, doesn’t give me much hope does it!?!

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  • 46. At 3:44pm on 11 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    To D R Murrell:
    I answered the Trojan horse question indeed! Please refer to post number 32.

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  • 47. At 3:58pm on 11 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    • "We also don't know how stable is Iran's government."

    As unstable as we have managed to make it with our stirring up internal resistance, sanctions, and demonisation?

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  • 48. At 4:05pm on 11 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    To D R Murrell:
    Indeed I agree with you. The sacrifice and extraordinary courage of the British people, their leaders, and the Throne; the keen intelligence with which the war Britain fought is awe inspiring. By no means can the truth of that struggle be minimized accept by the ignorant. I am sad to say most Americans, especially the young, are unaware of the nobility of this history. Cheers.

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  • 49. At 4:05pm on 11 Dec 2009, KimberlyKaminski wrote:

    The gray area that seems to be the bulk of reality, is far more complex than the categorical black and white that we have a great tendency to perceive and describe the world within. It is simpler to respond to the world and to each other as black and white, and good and bad... but as I grow older, I cannot help a growing awareness of the utter complexity - that gray area - that blurs the easy, concrete judgements one can make in the world. To be able to maintain the tools of 1) keeping it simple, and also 2) responding to the complexity, that gray area - most often, a more accurate description than the stark black and white, good or bad... is a difficult task. It is especially difficult when you are speaking to the entire world's ears - a mix of every node across a great spectrum... you are speaking to the extreme lefts, the extreme rights, and everyone that is situated somewhere in between... I am grateful that the leader of the country that I live in, is aware of the gray area... does not dismiss it... works to understand it, to articulate it to the world, and works within the complexity, rather than making choices that categorize the world as it is not... it is not black and white, it is not good and bad, it is not left and right...not always. How do you work within a social framework that is portrayed in black and white, good or bad, left and right... when the problems you face are not so simply categorized?

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  • 50. At 4:07pm on 11 Dec 2009, D R Murrell wrote:

    Alexander – My apologies so you did and I did guess correctly, the good old bogey man of the Twenty First Century Islam, conveniently forgetting that without Islam the European Renaissance would probably never have happened. No algebra, little chemistry since it is based in large parts on alchemy (Sir Isaac Newton amongst other things was an acknowledged alchemist). Islam makes up a quarter of the worlds population as the religion of birth and choice that is a pretty stonking big horse. If Islam as a whole wanted to bring down western democracy it could, but since other than a few deluded fools it doesn’t I think our way of life is safe.

    I suppose we need a new bogey man every few decades, from the anarchists to the communists, by way of the fascists and now the islamicists. Personally I think it is a bit worrying that for over a hundred and fifty years part of the way western governments have kept people in check is give them something to be scared of. Our freedoms are so precious that we need someone to protect them from.

    Yes parts of the Islamic world do need to be watched regrettably possibly even confronted directly, but this us and them stance that has been so popular since 9/11 is not going to endear us to the other parts of the Islamic world, the majority who simply want to get on with our own lives. To actively turn upon people born within our own countries because of their religion, the way that they dress and their dietary habits is as morally bankrupt when you do it to a Muslim as it is a Jew. If you marginalise someone, tell them that despite the place of their birth they are an outsider and one that cannot be trusted, don’t be surprised if that person eventually accepts the labels and turns out just as you expected. To treat every young Muslim as a potential terrorist is a good way to create a self fulfilling prophecy.

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  • 51. At 4:13pm on 11 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    IF (33),

    • "Who knows whether Barack Obama will eventually turn out to have been a successful President? It's way too early to tell. But in the meantime, for me, at least up to now, he has been a hugely positive surprise.

      He has very difficult challenges on his plate, and so very many of them on that plate all at one time. I wish him well."


    Well said. Seconded.

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  • 52. At 4:20pm on 11 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    Philly Mom (37)

    • "Congratulations, Barack. I think you were a fine candidate and that if you can accomplish half of what you're trying to do, you won't just have earned that award, but I'll have to adopt another son and name him after you. I'll also bake you a homemade apple pie, with lots of butter and brown sugar. Just for you and your family, honey. Don't even share it with your staff, okay?"


    Right ON!

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  • 53. At 4:27pm on 11 Dec 2009, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    DRM,

    I think he sees nasty Islamic folk in his "Trojan Horse"....but I'm sure he isn't at all intolerant

    ;-)

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  • 54. At 4:31pm on 11 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    D R MURRELL,

    I do not like the movie 300, thinking it is a propaganda tool, for apologists for continuous war footing (ie, US since 1980-Reagan),

    Also, it is the most male promoting and is not promoting much in the male. Females take a trophy backseat, way, way, way back---how depressing!

    We now spend almost 800 or more billion dollars on defence, think how that money could have been invested into programs for the poor--one example.

    Or 900 billion dollars for researh and development of hmmmm, medical, health related and more....

    or perhaps into savings accounts for private citizens enabling the entreneurial spirit of these so called American inventors--can't think of anything lately invented here.

    On and on and on... but, (from other posters?)- railing at betrayal of the left? --- Get a Clue.

    Time for the left to go into looking for UFOs again--the big anti social leaning for people during the Clinton years (come save me, Aliens)

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  • 55. At 5:06pm on 11 Dec 2009, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    Mark: '"But what makes a war just? Here the president is as expansively hazy as UK Prime Minister Tony Blair ever was: self defence; preventing an aggressor invading another nation; stopping civil war or slaughter of civilians by their own government."


    Call me a stupid yank, but I thought that the above were the universally acceptable rules for employing the use of force post World War II. But if supposedly only Tony Blair, George Bush, and Barack Obama see these as the reasons for force, then they must not be universal. And if they're not universal, then what are the rest of the international comunity's rules governing the use of force? Or do they simply think that force is bad. Period. What does Sarkozy think? Merkle? Harper?

    I guess conventional wisdom really doesn't exist in the world.




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  • 56. At 5:10pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Thou shalt not speak of war while receiving nobel peace prize..Fisrt they make security council a platform to wage wars and conflicts instead of using it to solve conflicts and stop wars, now obama uses the platform of nobel prize to justify and talk about war...Of all the peaceful options before him he chose the option of war...So much for the Herr Nobel and his wish to solve conflicts through peaceful means...If you give taliban or for that matter alqaida a chance to speak to you, they will say exactly the same things to justify their war which obama said yesterday..

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  • 57. At 5:12pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    What happens when good people are made to suffer; when an idealistic country such as the United States is attacked, and by extension all freedom loving peoples.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Who told you that your side is good? No, it isnt..the idealistic country has attacked other countries, covertly and overtly for decades and decades...

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  • 58. At 5:15pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    America would be first to choose world peace if she could. It is irrational to fight war and against her nature. America did not choose her enemies nor this fight.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    America would never be the first to choose peace...it made a choice between war and peace and it chose war path...Attacking afghanistan, america chose this fight and its chose its enemies...

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  • 59. At 5:26pm on 11 Dec 2009, LucyJ wrote:

    President Obama's speech was smart, to the point and overall, very, very good. He outlined the basic morals that the USA lives by and showed that we want to get out of this war, but doing so the responsible way. President Obama made some very good points about how history has shown that sometimes force is necessary, such as with Hitler and the Nazis. I just watched Valkyrie yesterday and it is a fantastic movie. Usually the Germans are portrayed as evil and heartless, but Valkyrie, which was a true story(or at least based on), proved that there were many Germans who loved their country and did not want to see it or the world taken over by Hitler. I had never heard that story before. Truly amazing. It has given me a newfound respect for the German people who did not want it to happen. It is important to remember this, because we do not want this to happen again. Like the German people in Valkyrie, people in the USA did not like Guantanamo Bay and wanted it shut down from the start. President Obama has distanced himself from George Bush by declaring that Guan. Bay be shut down, which is something I am highly proud of, that Obama has taken the right path, which is what the American people want, as well. That is one of the reasons why we voted for him. We do not want any more prisons like that one again, ever, ever, ever. We want to be a source of good for this world. When I see people in other countries suffering, I feel compassion and emotion. I wish we could help them all, but we must help the ones that we can and do the best that we can. President Obama has restored the USA's reputation in the world. The USA has turned over a new leaf for the better. No more Guantanamo Bay's, the beginning of the end of this war, a new green revolution and a "starting over." The USA is trying to correct her wrongs. We want to do the right thing. Thank you, President Obama, for your great and inspiring speech.
    I also loved Michelle's dress. The First Lady is very classy and polished. She always looks fantastic. I am very proud of our President and the First Lady. This is a new era for the USA. Our primary goal in the next decade is to focus on renewable fuels and not to rely on oil and gas, which the Chinese/ Russians/ect. may be fighting over in the future. To prevent a future oil/gas war, we must experiment with all the renewable fuels we can. Once we find the best ones, we can mass produce the supplies and send them to the poorer nations. Do not count the USA out. The best is still yet to come.

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  • 60. At 5:26pm on 11 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Philly-Mom:

    You can't even spell out God, so everyone knows what you are behind your alias. Slightly biased, or what?

    No sane person could imagine why you would think another poster was referring to you. Only your therapist might be able to tell you. The fact that you think PaganBarbarian is 'a bad name' is all the proof anyone needs that your basic trouble is a massive lack of IQ points. It's people like you who are responsible for all the innocent women and children the USA has murdered over the last 60 years of horror and bloodshed. You clearly believe it's just wonderful for your government to go on murdering them, which says everything other people need to know about your morality and ethics. What's it like to not have a soul, or a human conscience? I guess it's easier to live that way, right?

    As for you other fellows:

    I admit verbose metaphysics is not flowing out of my frontal lobes today. No matter how I try, verbosity doesn't run from my fingertips to the keyboard, for some reason. I still maintain supporting America in its campaign to kill everyone in the world who disagrees with its perspective is not a case of shades of gray or dogmatic liberalism. As Bush said, 'Either you're for us or you're against us,' and America is obviously wrong. Anyone who supports America is a soulless monster, of black, absolute evil.

    Either you're on the side of good, or you're on the side of evil, and America is on the wrong side in this conflict. There is no possible excuse, rationale, or justification for supporting the invasion and occupation of Palestine. That historical fact will never change, no matter how glib and manipulative any American is. As long as the US does support the occupation of Palestine, they will always be the enemy of the entire world.

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  • 61. At 5:29pm on 11 Dec 2009, LucyJ wrote:

    I encourage outside forces, such as Russia and China, to help us fight this global war against Islamic terrorism. It threatens us all. We can use your help. There are times when we can work together to help us all out. Any extra soldiers/forces can be used at this time. Do the right thing.

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  • 62. At 5:35pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Obama is a perfect example of a perfect Jihadi...Maybe if he has read koran as people claim he has when he was in indonesia, then his speech to a muslim is taken right out of koran....

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  • 63. At 5:39pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    His speech has brought the whole clash of civilization back to the center stage..and away from the reality of the war...He chose to side a weak and tyrant person as karzai, and now he is cursed to go to war against Karzai's enemies so that he can make karzai look a strong person..

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  • 64. At 5:57pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    George bush said his wars were justified and the west echoed that it was..he deserved the peace prize as well, I am sure he would not used the peace prize platform to talk to americans and preach for war as Obama did..Imams use mosques and madrasas to preach jihad, obama used this peace platform to preach war...Both use the platform which are sacred to them to preach for war...No difference between the two sides...

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  • 65. At 6:00pm on 11 Dec 2009, LucyJ wrote:

    Pagan, I think you're confused. The land of Israel is just that, the land of Israel, which is known as Jewish state. It has been that way for over fifty years. Israel's not the only country that has fought for land. Just about every country in the world has fought for land, at some point or another. To pick out just one seems completely biased.

    The USA will never apologize for supporting the Jewish people and Israel, as they have had the worst astrocity in the history of the world happen to them during the Holocaust. As for the fighting that took place this year, it only happened after continual rockets being fired from Palestine. So Israel was being attacked and acted in self-defense. Palestine is not an innocent country. If a country fired rockets at China or Russia, that country would expect them to fight back.

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  • 66. At 6:26pm on 11 Dec 2009, Maria Ashot wrote:

    No. 42, Philly-Mom: Bravissima!

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  • 67. At 6:49pm on 11 Dec 2009, bhalomanush wrote:

    A President at war wins a Nobel Prize and quotes someone who won Independence for one-fifth of humanity by peaceful means (Gandhi, who of course, was snubbed for the Award).

    Oh yes, this award was founded by the bloke that invented dynamite!

    More of my thoughts on this vein here:

    http://bit.ly/7ronHr

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  • 68. At 6:49pm on 11 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Invading and occupying another people's country is wrong. No glib, futile denials will ever change that fact. Two wrongs don't make a right, might is not right, and trying to justify invading and occupying foreign countries became passe over 250 years ago. Being pitiful is no longer considered sufficient excuse. Every people of the planet have suffered through conflicts. That isn't the sole perogative of one isolated, insular race. Prosecution is not persecution. If people object to being punished for their crimes, they could always try the novel, radical approach of not committing crimes.

    Fifty years is nothing in the life of a nation. The occupation of Palestine has about 20 years left to go before it is terminated by the world. Any reasonable person can see this inexorable fate approaching. There is no difference in religion here. The difference is in DNA, and trying to justify invading and occupying another people's country is simple racism, like trying to justify the colonization of Africa. That fish won't bite, and that sieve won't hold water.

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  • 69. At 6:50pm on 11 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    The only reason we care about Palestine/Israel area is not the Holy land--it is the oil deposits in the nearby areas.

    If we could find alternative fuels, we could abandon these dictatorship- led nations as partners.

    Oil seems to turn resource rich lands into "parasitic, despairing of purpose societies." (and Im NOT quoting homophobe Pastor Rick Warren, here)

    Males seeking wealth, knowledge and exploitation of resources based on the exclusion from society of some minority (s)---- awww, poor societies withering on the vine. I'd be disillusioned too.

    Dictatorships, led by family names, ruling millions of peoples? It's enough to make you cry for these poor "holy traditional lands." What does one do--instead of working or thinking? Go radical, that is something to do with your life.

    wheeeee:)

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  • 70. At 6:51pm on 11 Dec 2009, PursuitOfLove wrote:

    David_Cunard #1 and Jumper #7. . .

    The quote that David_Cunard refferences does not, in my eyes, imply in any way that "the United States helped to underwrite global security" for purely altruistic reasons at all. It implyed exactly what it said. That we "helped," not completely did all on our own, but helped along with our allies, to underwrite global security over the past 6 decades. Most arguably more so than any other western nation. This is an undeniable fact. It is not blind patriotism; nor is it dismissing as garbage any foreign aid in our efforts. It is merely a recallection of a fact of history.



    As regards altruism, as DavidMurrell (#13) has already said, no leader of any nation ever has acted, or will act, out of pure altruism for the betterment of the world. They always do so because they believe it will somehow benefit their countries/countrymen at home, and the US, of course, is no exception to this rule. However, perhaps the US has been known to act toward the world (despite its many mistakes) with more altruism than previous empires. I was introduced to this way of looking at US foreign policy when I came across a very generous and flattering statement regarding US foreign policy by Winston Churchill, referenced in a speech by Ronold Reagon, which gos as follows: "In Martin Gilbert 's extraordinary biography we find recorded these words from Churchill by his doctor, Lord Moran : “What other nation in history, when it became supremely powerful, has had no thought of territorial aggrandizement, no ambition but to use its resources for the good of the world? I marvel at America's altruism, her sublime disinterestedness.” “All at once I realized,” Lord Moran went on, “Winston was in tears. His eyes were red, his voice faltered, he was deeply moved.” This quote is not a denial of the fact that we always act out of our own self interest first, but merely recognizes that our self interest often incumpuses the well being of the world's citizenry.


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  • 71. At 6:57pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    So Israel was being attacked and acted in self-defense. Palestine is not an innocent country. If a country fired rockets at China or Russia, that country would expect them to fight back.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Occupation doesnt act, it reacts, Palestinie is not a country...Atleast have the courtesy to give them a country before you start treating the people as if they live in an independent country, attacking israel just for fun..

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  • 72. At 7:03pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Ghandi wasnt interested with the rest of the world, his aim was to get rid of the brits, King's life revolved round the segregation of the blacks in usa, not for the betterment of the globe..obama is concerned with his own people, and not with the betterment of the world..He had to mention these things just in passing because after all it wasnt the senate or congress he was talking to...His speech was better suited to senate or congress or address to his own nation..

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  • 73. At 7:26pm on 11 Dec 2009, Barbara wrote:

    The speech highlights the great divide between the U.S. and continental Europe. That divide consists of Europeans insistence on having a more 'perfect' view of the world. With their history dating back hundreds of years which, in their view, gives them an unequivocal stand in...just about anything.

    Americans frustration with this view is understandable. While here in the 21st century you Europeans are allowed to wax interminably about your 'moral' superiority. Let's get one thing straight. How would that morality be IF the Nazi's ruled your world.

    The notion that America had a choice to NOT join the fight seems lost on most anti-American Europeans. The Pacific and Atlantic are the equivalents of 100 English Channels. So self-interest aside, we could still be at war with the Third Reich. Remember, the industrial might of the U.S. won the war -- along with millions of troops and millions back home in the war industry.

    What is tiring to us Americans is the thumb-your-nose attitude that is prevalent in Europe. As if the aggressor in TWO world wars is afforded more clout than the one nation that saved your bacon, TWICE.

    I of course suspect that there are so many levels for this anti-Americanism. One is a need to project superiority (Europeans) in order to mitigate a feeling of inferiority. After all, if one is able to throw sticks at the imperialist giant without fear of retribution, then by all means, throw sticks.

    The better question is; What does the giant (America) represent. Is it uninterrupted power since the end of World War II? Is it relentless American domination in things unrelated to military might, i.e. American culture be it in music, movies, and heaven forbid, the ubiquitous Coca-Cola and McDonalds.

    Perhaps is it the invention of technology and its global reach, i.e. TV, computer, internet, or the IPhone that once again gives rise to a knee-jerk reaction to all-things-American.

    I just hope that the anti-America folks remember that America is accidentally powerful and accidentally successful. America didn't set itself up to save the world. It was an ACCIDENT. An accident which you smug Europeans can scoff at will in the comfort and safety which, incidentally, is brought to you by the unselfishness of America. Most people would be grateful. You guys...pfft.




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  • 74. At 7:32pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I just hope that the anti-America folks remember that America is accidentally powerful and accidentally successful. America didn't set itself up to save the world. It was an ACCIDENT. An accident which you smug Europeans can scoff at will in the comfort and safety which, incidentally, is brought to you by the unselfishness of America. Most people would be grateful.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    America as in usa, did set up itself to save the world, go read the speaches of geroge bush, and his merry men who talked about liberating the people of afghanistan and iraq...and even even his acceptance speech the Jihadi Obama preached this lesson...and gave the message of war..

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  • 75. At 7:41pm on 11 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    The invasion and occupation of an entire continent of the largest, most productive natural resources and the best farmland in the world was an accident!?? The deliberate genicide of millions or tens of millions of native men, women, and children by giving them smallpox infected blankets was an accident!?? The openly criminal robber baron economy and stock market manipulation that caused the Great Depression of the globe was an accident!??

    Ye gods, thank you for the huge belly laugh. Thank you for proving that my view on Americans is the correct one.

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  • 76. At 7:55pm on 11 Dec 2009, J Lee wrote:

    I have certainly enjoyed reading the comments posted. Reading perspectives from non-U.S. citizens is refreshing. As in any country, there are numerous opinions in the U.S. on Obama's speech and receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. D.R. Murrell puts it well and has a good understanding of some of the dynamics of the U.S. We have a vocal conservative and a vocal liberal group both generally at complete odds with each other. However, there is a huge population in the U.S. that are moderates, or realists. Unfortunately, this group gets drowned out by the vocalizations of the left and right. The moderates, the middle, the whatever you want to call them, just don't provide enough hype and interest for the media.
    I would be pegged in this huge group. Most of us look at issues individually and rather than clumping it into an ideology, seek to define opinions after looking at the pros and cons. I don't want War, I don't want the U.S. to send anymore troops, I think it was too early to give Obama a prize....but I'm not going to blast him for getting it. I'd like nothing better than to "mind our own business" and focus more on issues at home. I want every youngster home and healthy from overseas. I don't expect the world to appreciate what the U.S does, sometimes what the U.S. does is stupid...at the same time sometimes what is done is not stupid.
    I get agitated and frustrated with the constant battle of the "democrats" and the "republicans" that seem to consume American politics...when in reality...I wish the politicans would just shut up and get something done rather than finding ways to stay in office. I appreciate the assistance the U.S. has gotten from other countries, though I am well aware there were underlying reasons behind the support.I don't see that as good or bad, just reality.
    I see that Obama has some good ideas, I think some are not so good. Just as any of the past President's we have had....I can see what has been successful and what has not been successful. There have been times I have been extremely embarrassed by what our Presidents have done, there are times I am extremely proud of them. I am well aware that my opinions are only my opinions and I do not attempt to disrespect others as they think differently.
    So...you see...there is no such thing as a typical U.S. citizen. Generalizations are easy, but the fact is, that is all that they are. I appreciate the comments made from those that seem to have some understanding that Americans have many diverse opinions and are not all of ONE mindset.

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  • 77. At 8:02pm on 11 Dec 2009, jobsw32 wrote:

    Winning people over to your side doesn't happen just by ordering them tt takes years of dedicated effort of proving you have no ill intent and showing that there is a good outcome for them if they co-operate.

    But foreigners look at us and they don't see the best of us they see the worst
    I mean why are we doing so much of what we do to prove that we treat people well but we are still at this impassé. The answer has to be we aren't doing as well as we thought. We aren't ever going to convert to Islam whatever our beliefs are but if you want people to believe you mean well then you must do well.


    We should sort ourselves out before we tell others what's right and wrong otherwise they will see it as oppression but to really discern what their true intentions are well, we don't have a great many reasons to trust them either.

    The conflict has got worse over 30 years and it's just going to go that way. We could every one of us if we wanted to right now dispose of everything and anything dangerous in our lives, guns knives or whatever but we all feel compelled by the distrust of others to have a means of self defence.

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  • 78. At 8:06pm on 11 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    colonelartist wrote:
    So Israel was being attacked and acted in self-defense. Palestine is not an innocent country. If a country fired rockets at China or Russia, that country would expect them to fight back.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Occupation doesnt act, it reacts, Palestinie is not a country...Atleast have the courtesy to give them a country before you start treating the people as if they live in an independent country, attacking israel just for fun..

    ____________

    I am glad you finally admitted there are a people who choose to be ruled by terroists and have no claim on the territory they demand.

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  • 79. At 8:15pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I am glad you finally admitted there are a people who choose to be ruled by terroists and have no claim on the territory they demand.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I dont see WMD in empty drums, nor do I see nuclear bombs in the nuclear plants of Iran, and neither do I see a country palestine...as i said, and you ignore, first give them a country and then treat them as if they are have a country...And I add now, or wait till they get the country and then blame them for anything you want,mulitiply it with 2..

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  • 80. At 8:20pm on 11 Dec 2009, U13817236 wrote:

    "The president of war and peace..."???! What peace???! This new 'chickenhawk' president hasn't achieved peace anywhere, or given the slightest indication in reality - only oratorically - that he's the least bit interested in peace. "by refusing to bask in the glow of merely being the 'anti-Bush'"???! In what way is he 'anti-Bush' - he's continued all of Bush's imperial aggression on the ground, merely softening the rhetoric surrounding it. And his feline Sec. of State is just as bloodthirsty as her prez. George Orwell would have a field day with these two paper tigers. But the harm and suffering they're causing in the world is no joke, even if the totally discredited Nobel War-is-Peace Prize is!

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  • 81. At 8:22pm on 11 Dec 2009, bepa wrote:

    #65 Lucy

    "The USA will never apologize for supporting the Jewish people and Israel,"


    You can not speak for America. Many Americans are as upset about what Israel is doing as are upset by Guantanamo. The US and Israel are two separate nations.

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  • 82. At 8:31pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    You can not speak for America. Many Americans are as upset about what Israel is doing as are upset by Guantanamo. The US and Israel are two separate nations.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Countries..They are two seperate countries..just as Afghanistan, a country but inside that, lives different nations..Just as Pakistan, inside the country lives different nations..Obama never once mentioned the plights of afghanistanis, a country where he is waging his so called "just war".

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  • 83. At 8:34pm on 11 Dec 2009, Barbara wrote:

    colonelartist:"America as in usa, did set up itself to save the world, go read the speaches of geroge bush, and his merry men who talked about liberating the people of afghanistan and iraq...and even even his acceptance speech the Jihadi Obama preached this lesson...and gave the message of war.."
    --------------------------

    Hmm. You do realize that the George Bush era is circa 21st century. Do trouble yourself to read early 20th century to the end, aka 1900 - 1999. There, my friend, you will see the true character of the United States. Not perfect, but far from the blood thirty monster that is you imagine.

    I bet you and people like you can't ever envision one good thing that America has done for you or the world. Go back and read my entire post. Its important to get a 'entire' perspective. You've only shown an ability to skip entire trains of thought -- this alone highlights your insincerity to my post, this thread, and Obama's speech.

    I suggest you reread everything in order to at least get the gist of what's going on here.

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  • 84. At 8:36pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Nobel War-is-Peace Prize is!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A prize for a nobel war..Maybe thats what this prize of Obama should be called..Bush started a civilized war, and Obama took it to a higher level, the level of Nobel war..Civil war, ww2 and this nobel war...their history book, chapter number 34, america's nobel war from 2009 to -----

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  • 85. At 8:41pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    aka 1900 - 1999
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    ww2, nuclear bombs, Korean war, vietnam war, chemical weapons, proxy war with ussr, scud missiles, war with iraq, uranium depleted missiles and carpet bombing, same with serbia, cruise missiles in afghanistan, bombings in no fly zones in iraq, that takes care of your 1900-99. i have not forggoten the mess in chile..the covert mess in iran, the covert mess in pakistan...

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  • 86. At 8:44pm on 11 Dec 2009, bepa wrote:

    colonelartist

    The people in Afghanistan are horrible towards women...it is not some kind of wonderful place. The UN has been telling us about not only rapes of women but of children and much of this is hidden because of the shame of rape. In that culture the male predators are not blamed..its the female victims of rape who feel shame...

    You can read about it here:
    http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/11/30/world/international-uk-afghanistan-rape-un.html

    "KABUL (Reuters) - Rape in Afghanistan is under-reported, concealed and a human rights problem of "profound proportions," the United Nations said on Monday.

    Norah Niland, the United Nations' human rights representative in Afghanistan, said field research conducted late last year and early this year found rape affected all parts of Afghanistan, across all communities and social groups.

    "Women and girls are at risk of rape in their homes, in their villages and in detention facilities," Niland said at a news conference in Kabul, as part of a 16-day activism campaign against gender violence."

    PROFOUND PROPORTIONS !

    I don't think war will help them..and I think the wars fought there have made things worse...but Afghanistan is a horrible place...

    Karzai in his drive for votes was willing to institute some terrible laws against women..but was stopped by international outrage...

    I would like to see that place..nation...country...whatever you want to call it...opened up to outside influences...How to do it is the question for me...

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  • 87. At 8:50pm on 11 Dec 2009, Barbara wrote:

    PaganBarbarian,

    You have issues, dude. Serious issues. You need to first get your FACTS right. You are entitled to your own opinion - but not to your own FACTS.

    Let's cut to the quick. America did save present day Europe from the Nazi's, okay. Hitler and his armies held all of western Europe when America entered World War II. Long story short, America along with its allies beat back the Nazi tide.

    The Marshall plan was established (which constituted 30% of US GDP) to
    rebuild Europe, establish a democracy, then the US left. Only leaving troops behind to combat communist Russia.

    Name one imperialist, dictatorial nation that leaves the territory, and its native citizen vote in their own government? Would Hitler let you vote on your own accord? Let me help - NO, N. O., NO. Why?? Because he destroyed German democracy and promptly set out to dominate the world. That's what mad, megalomaniacs do.

    Get your facts straight, then you are able to be coherent. To thine ownself, be true.

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  • 88. At 8:51pm on 11 Dec 2009, bepa wrote:

    The comment I wanted to make was:

    President Obama accurately gave the prevailing views of Americans about America's place in the world and their view of war as a force for change.

    It is interesting that so many who supported Bush liked that speech..and it indicates how those people still do not understand how the Bush presidency redefined American values.

    The most egregious redefinition of traditional American values by the Bush administration was with the attempt to place in the US legal system the legalized use of torture.

    Cheney tried to legalize torture with the result that innocent people were tortured and some died. This is not what America should be doing.

    Now its true that America has not always followed its own value system and terrible things have happened on this land ( slavery for over 200 years, attempts to commit genocide against the native people...) ...BUT...the essential underlying values of America have been to move towards human rights for all people...just as the implementation of human rights has been the goal for Europe also. We are united in that goal.

    President Obama has pulled America back from the precipice and he is still fighting against people like Cheney who imo are evil.

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  • 89. At 9:07pm on 11 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #81
    , bepa wrote:
    #65 Lucy

    "The USA will never apologize for supporting the Jewish people and Israel,"


    You can not speak for America. Many Americans are as upset about what Israel is doing as are upset by Guantanamo. The US and Israel are two separate nations.

    ________________________

    Nor can you, because when the polls asks do youwant terrorist suspected relocated to the main land and given civilian trials the majority say know.

    Most American support Israel and know unlike the EU that the Palestinians are not trustworthy.

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  • 90. At 9:18pm on 11 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    "In Martin Gilbert 's extraordinary biography we find recorded these words from Churchill by his doctor, Lord Moran : “What other nation in history, when it became supremely powerful, has had no thought of territorial aggrandizement, no ambition but to use its resources for the good of the world? I marvel at America's altruism, her sublime disinterestedness.” “All at once I realized,” Lord Moran went on, “Winston was in tears. His eyes were red, his voice faltered, he was deeply moved.” This quote is not a denial of the fact that we always act out of our own self interest first, but merely recognizes that our self interest often incumpuses the well being of the world's citizenry.

    To PursuitOfLove,
    Thank you for this beautiful story.

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  • 91. At 9:20pm on 11 Dec 2009, Barbara wrote:

    Colonelartist,

    You can always find something wrong when you are looking at the world side-ways or upside down. That's your view. If you are okay with that, then fine. As we say over here in the States: If you like it - I love it.

    My work is done here.

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  • 92. At 9:34pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    President Obama has pulled America back from the precipice and he is still fighting
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    President obama has done no such thing..Remember he pardoned all the CIA guys who worked closely with black water guys and any common criminal...President obama is going to use puppet's armies to torture people for him..And back to good old yasir arafat and when he refused to imprison the palestinians which israel had declared immoral and unjust and worthy of torture...It was mccain who worked against torture..obama was i guess, in his dithering or thinking mode when mccain and a few others worked against torture..Gitmo was not taking on new prisoners, and the cost to run it was too high compared to what it was supposed to do...

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  • 93. At 9:37pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Let's cut to the quick. America did save present day Europe from the Nazi's, okay.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saved them from Nazis and gave them to communist ussr...

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  • 94. At 9:40pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    The people in Afghanistan are horrible towards women...it is not some kind of wonderful place. The UN has been telling us about not only rapes of women but of children and much of this is hidden because of the shame of rape. In that culture the male predators are not blamed..its the female victims of rape who feel shame...
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is no infrastructure,i dont blame anyone in afghanistan..They are living in war, your nobel war...and in times of wars no matter how noble they maybe, the civil society collapses...their is a chaos...Its not for fun, the word war means chaos...Obama and his noble chaos..Chapter 34 of american history books.

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  • 95. At 9:47pm on 11 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    What I find extraordinary in these pages full of America bashing is that no one references the Jihadis and calls them wrong. Also the constant bashing of Israel in the same manner is pathological in its one sidedness. If not for America, the world would have been enslaved a few times over.

    Referencing Barbara, by the way, America's greatness is not accidental. It is the genius of the ordering of the Constitution based upon Enlightenment thought, the rights of man, that sets the course for the liberation of mankind's dreams which is the engine of her greatness. It has been said before. But it is not a cliche. It is actually the case. That is why when America acts in her own interest, she is also acting in the interest of the world as a whole. How many of you want Al Queada or the Taliban to run Europe. How many of you want Revolutionary guards patrolling the streets of Europe enforcing public morals. This is not a parlor game.

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  • 96. At 9:48pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    You can always find something wrong when you are looking at the world side-ways or upside down.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No one has to find the wrongs of usa from 1900-99 and then 2001 to still going on...the wrongs are out there for everyone to see...Go to Laos..

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  • 97. At 9:54pm on 11 Dec 2009, bepa wrote:

    #89 Magic Kirin

    Take a look at what Americans are posting over at CommonDreams and the Huffington Post any time there is a discussion about Israel. I think you know what they call Lieberman? the representative from Tel Aviv and he is extremely disliked and considered a traitor because of his opposition to the Democratic Party...although once a Democrat.

    Israel is no longer seen in a positive light by many on the left now..and it was once heavily supported by the left in the US. It looked to me like the information critical of Israeli actions were hidden by the US media...and others are seeing that also. AIPAC is much disliked by the left and seen as interfering in US policies.

    Israel now is getting support from the political right wing and the religious right in the US but I wouldn't count on them...I think they are crazy...literally...crazy

    The religious group that has the most prejudice against them in America today are the Muslims.

    Israeli leaders should start to work with Hillary Clinton if they want financial support from America ...America is running out of money.

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  • 98. At 9:56pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Afghanistan may not be vietnam but Obama is definately going to end up like Lyndon Johnson..the escalater of vietnam war and starter of the hidden war against laos...obama has done the same...I think like Johnson, obama will not run for the next elections...

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  • 99. At 10:09pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Israel is no longer seen in a positive light by many on the left now..and it was once heavily supported by the left in the US. It looked to me like the information critical of Israeli actions were hidden by the US media...and others are seeing that also. AIPAC is much disliked by the left and seen as interfering in US policies.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The left can jump up and down with their anti israelism, but the party which they support, the democratic party is pro-israel...The republicans supported israel in the past 8 yrs because of the cirmcumstances, but even bush wasnt as pro-israel as the world percevied him to be...Its the history of your two parties, the democtatic party is pro-israel and reupublicans not so pro, thats why the muslims and arab world is more pro reublicans than pro- democratic. learn some lessons of affliations of your two parties from me...

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  • 100. At 10:14pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    How many of you want Al Queada or the Taliban to run Europe.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------When has Mullah omar or any taliban ever said they ever want to rule europe or america? Same with alqaida, Show me the direct quotes...When has any non-american or for that matter american muslim group or a country ever said that they want to rule europe or west? While look at america, where are its forces today...

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  • 101. At 10:14pm on 11 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Barbara:

    One more time. I've already expressed I'm in an emotional mood today, not an intellectual or factual one. Really, you Americans cannot dictate to all the other people in the rest of the world what kind of mood they must be in from day to day. There are practical, realistic limits to even your tyranny.

    Second, your theory that America saved Europe from the Nazis is a very amusing personal opinion, not any kind of fact. How do you know what Europe would look like today if the Nazis had won the war? Are you some kind of oracle, mystic or psychic, who can see all the possible alternate futures of Earth? What you sprout is the brainless propaganda claimed by every victor in every war, that you were merely conditioned to believe in elementary school. You are definitely not stating any kind of fact. You have no way of knowing what would have happened if the Germans won the war, and thus you have no basis for your argument.

    In physical, geographic fact, Europe is across an entire ocean from America, in case you've never seen a map. That's part of what some folk call geopolitics. Germany was never any threat to North or South America, and what was happening in Europe was no concern of the USA, or any other country outside Europe. It was not our war. That is a fact.

    The propaganda that America saved the world is silly nonsense. The Russian winter stopped the Nazis, who were never any threat to any nation outside Europe in the first place. Believing the propaganda children are taught about their country in school is just immature. By the time people are adults, they're supposed to know better than to believe the laughably idiotic self-aggrandizing political propaganda they're taught in school.

    Third, there is no such thing as an absolute dictatorship, and there never has been. All sorts of people have power and influence contrary to the best self-interests of even the most depraved authoritarian government, in every country, throughout all of human history. At the very least, people can always vote with their feet, and that has always been a physical, geographical fact. The will of the people is always more powerful than the largest police force any government can afford to maintain to repress dissent, and every so-called dictator must sway with the wind, especially among the wealthy of his nation. Canute demonstrated no king can command the tides, in case you didn't notice, or forget his little presentation.

    Finally, I regret you force me to be petty, but for someone who wants to write about coherence, you should learn some spelling and grammar.

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  • 102. At 10:24pm on 11 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref 97, bepa wrote:
    #89 Magic Kirin

    Take a look at what Americans are posting over at CommonDreams and the Huffington Post any time there is a discussion about Israel. I think you know what they call Lieberman? the representative from Tel Aviv and he is extremely disliked and considered a traitor because of his opposition to the Democratic Party...although once a Democrat.

    Israel is no longer seen in a positive light by many on the left now..and it was once heavily supported by the left in the US. It looked to me like the information critical of Israeli actions were hidden by the US media...and others are seeing that also. AIPAC is much disliked by the left and seen as interfering in US policies.

    Israel now is getting support from the political right wing and the religious right in the US but I wouldn't count on them...I think they are crazy...literally...crazy

    The religious group that has the most prejudice against them in America today are the Muslims.

    Israeli leaders should start to work with Hillary Clinton if they want financial support from America ...America is running out of money.

    _____________________________________________

    I could care less what people who spew hate on the Huffington Post think. Along with the Daily Kos Rachel Maddow, Stephanie Miller Randi Rhodes and the MSNBC they are the biggest haters in the media world.

    Ariana is a phony from her fake accent to her incredible lack of knowledge and her eco hypocricy

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  • 103. At 10:31pm on 11 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    To Lucy, post #65:
    I am afraid you did not catch the meaning of PaganBarbarian, posts #60 and #68, in his diatribe against occupation. He does not mean the recent events but the events of 1948. It is easy for some to sit in self righteous indignation sounding like a glorified flower child, atheist, or peace-nik. But by their words, ye shall know them. He is of the crowd who would throw Israel into the sea, create another Holocaust and call it a good day.

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  • 104. At 10:42pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    But by their words, ye shall know them. He is of the crowd who would throw Israel into the sea, create another Holocaust and call it a good day.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If anyone that is going to create another holocaust, its the ones who created the first holocaust...Millions of people died in your civilization's backyard and all of you didnt have the guts to stop it...when the holocaust ended, your civilization conviently changed the jewish epicenter from west, europe to middle east...Nice trick to get rid of their epicenter from europe..This is what hitler was trying to do before things got out of control...The west acted on Hitler's wish, and they dont even know!...i guess, hitler had the last laugh..

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  • 105. At 10:48pm on 11 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    1. At 06:53am on 11 Dec 2009, David Cunard wrote:
    “the same brand of Americanism that tells Europeans that 'we saved your butts' when in reality it was for the benefit of the United States rather than those nations involved.”

    Mein Herr Cunard, from this statement I understand that Europe derived no benefit from America’s purely selfish intervention. If I had the time machine, I wish I could go back and withdraw all those selfish Americans from harms way that now litter your otherwise pristine landscape wherein “the poppies grow, row on row.” I’m sure you would much prefer the likely outcome, nicht wahr?

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  • 106. At 11:03pm on 11 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    ColonelArtist said in post#100:
    When has Mullah omar or any taliban ever said they ever want to rule europe or america? Same with alqaida, Show me the direct quotes...When has any non-american or for that matter american muslim group or a country ever said that they want to rule europe or west? While look at america, where are its forces today..

    Sad to say, the statements of, "Death to America" are legion. The characterizations as the great Satan are everywhere. The American Congress for Truth is a clearinghouse of information on the threat of radical Islam. They have video links about many of the crazy jihadis who spout their hate both in America and abroad and call it the will of their God. It is all there for inquiring minds to see, to reference, and to silently brood.

    The genius of President Kennedy was evident when he stood in Berlin for all free people and spoke the words, "Ich eine Berliner". America stands for freedom and will stand with all freedom loving people as a bulwark against any insane vision of a second dark age of religious tyranny.

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  • 107. At 11:16pm on 11 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #101

    That anyone would deny that a major factor in rescing Europe from hitler shows a lack of knowledge of history. With one front the Nazis would have eventually overun Russia.

    Not discouting their contribtion but for Pagan to discount the many contributions to the world ( which overshadows anything the U.N or EU has ever done) shows cognitive dissoance

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  • 108. At 11:19pm on 11 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    35. At 1:35pm on 11 Dec 2009, PartTimeDon wrote:
    “…but heartland Americans still look upon foreign lives as having less intrinsic value than American lives…”

    You really do hold America to a higher standard, don’t you? Do the English regard the immigrant as their equal? Do the French, especially Parisians, hold others to be their equal in any sense, especially Metis? I have lived in other parts of the world where foreigners are definitely not considered equals.

    To be honest, I don’t support moral equivalency. The American people do have to try harder to know and understand others better. But if we so devalue others why do we have so many immigrants, why do they stay, are they really treated abominably here?

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  • 109. At 11:19pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Sad to say, the statements of, "Death to America" are legion.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Death to america, does not translate to "we want to rule america" in any language spoken by humans..The spout hate and whatever they spout, but you will never find a quote saying they want to rule america...making up things for noble war, arent we? If americans have this super unnatural ability to embrace and love their enemies than its another thing, normal human beings dislike their enemies and loathe their occupiars...You have your president spousing the same hate and preaching the war...Just because he gives his message in english doesnt mean that he somehow is any different..Sometimes as in vietnam war, you bomb the whole village to save it, and now you wage war to save the peace...

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  • 110. At 11:44pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    But if we so devalue others why do we have so many immigrants, why do they stay, are they really treated abominably here?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    are you a native american? usa is a land up for grabs...you should always remember it...the neo immigrants are just immigrants like the ones who rush to usa from all corners of the world..but especially europe..the opportunists, the lowest status with no future in europe, criminals, and the rejects of europe...Now what can you expect from such people?

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  • 111. At 11:46pm on 11 Dec 2009, bepa wrote:

    #102 MagicKirin

    "I could care less what people who spew hate on the Huffington Post think."


    Well you should care...because you are seeing support for Israel diminish.
    You have posted things that are hateful sometimes...and you are creating antagonistic reactions from others...that will not help you get support for your views.
    Read your own posts and look at hate sir. (sorry to say and sorry to be so rough on you)

    When Americans come to a site like the BBC and speak hatefully with ad hominem attacks it is an embarrassment to the US. Bush created an atmosphere that encouraged this kind of arrogance and it did not help America.

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  • 112. At 00:27am on 12 Dec 2009, bepa wrote:

    #92 colonelartist

    Obama will not support torture. He is trying to hide what happened because it creates such a negative backlash and creates new terrorists who feel justified in killing innocent people. Those people who created an atmosphere that allowed America to commit torture are still in power and Obama has to still work with them.

    #94
    "i dont blame anyone in afghanistan."

    Well you should..Women and children should not be raped...War is no justification for rape.

    #99
    People don't speak up about Israel because they do not want to stir up a hornet's nest and be called anti semitic etc...but there is not the support for Israel there once was.

    "learn some lessons of affliations of your two parties from me..."

    Learn about the reactions from me here on the ground : ) People are learning about what Israel has been doing and reacting negatively...and many people do not want to spend money on another nation.

    Most Jews in the US are liberals and if only Jews had been voting we would have had Gore and Kerry as our presidents. Most American Jews did not support Bush. Imo they remain silent about Israel because they want so desperately for there to be a place that is their own. Also they do not want to be called names like self hating... but imo American Jews are the ones who will have the strongest effect on encouraging Israel to follow human rights.

    #110
    I consider my ancestry to be the rejects of Europe. : ) My great great grand father was hung for stealing sheep in Ireland...and some of my ancestors fought for the British and were used in wars.

    No one is perfekt

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  • 113. At 00:46am on 12 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #111
    bepa wrote:
    #102 MagicKirin

    "I could care less what people who spew hate on the Huffington Post think."


    Well you should care...because you are seeing support for Israel diminish.
    You have posted things that are hateful sometimes...and you are creating antagonistic reactions from others...that will not help you get support for your views.
    Read your own posts and look at hate sir. (sorry to say and sorry to be so rough on you)

    When Americans come to a site like the BBC and speak hatefully with ad hominem attacks it is an embarrassment to the US. Bush created an atmosphere that encouraged this kind of arrogance and it did not help America.

    _____________

    I don't care because the Huffington Post and MSBBC represent a tiny minorirty of intolerant hypocritical extreme liberals who will ignore major human rioght violations as long as the country opposes the U.S.
    The majority of Americans do not support the scum who elected Hamas .

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  • 114. At 01:05am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

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

  • 115. At 01:11am on 12 Dec 2009, Gavrielle_LaPoste wrote:

    RE: PaganBarbarian

    Someone who obviously thinks that the world would have been better off if Hitler had won - if only because it would have left a Jew-free Palestine - his particular hobby horse. Leaving no thought or care for the 5 million non-Jews Hitler butchered. Or the 17,000 political enemies he had executed by guillotine - more than all the people killed during the French Revolution - because he thought it a demeaning way to die. And he says he doesn't know, or can't imagine, what the world would have been like if Hitler had won. I don't much think he cares. If Britain still had an Empire he'd doubtless be ranting about the Evil Kingdom of the United Horrors, or some such nonsense.

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  • 116. At 02:13am on 12 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    I assure you, Ms LaPoste, on another day I might waste my time debating sematics with you. Otherwise, your 'combat veteran' husband might seek me out and kill me for daring to disagree with an American. In the meantime, I'll only take the time to mention that you don't have a point in what you type. It's just a series of assertions, circular reasoning going around and around like a child's toy top, what some people call 'beating around the Bush.'

    People do die, you know, even Hitler, and you have no clue what the world would look like today if the Germans had won World War II. Your apparent assumption you do know is utterly delusional. You cannot predict the future, and you cannot determine what might have happened if something had changed in the past. For instance, if Germany had won the war, it's extremely unlikely Hitler would have remained in power for very long. I trust that's obvious, even to you, don't you agree? And so on. Can you see how foolish your assertions are now?

    Please, stick with debating with people on your own military-wife level. Don't try and criticize what you can't understand. For the times, they are a-changing.

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  • 117. At 04:00am on 12 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    84. At 8:36pm on 11 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Nobel War-is-Peace Prize is!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A prize for a nobel war..Maybe thats what this prize of Obama should be called..Bush started a civilized war, and Obama took it to a higher level, the level of Nobel war..Civil war, ww2 and this nobel war...their history book, chapter number 34, america's nobel war from 2009 to -----

    Colonelartist -

    Your rhetoric is reduced to naysaying and puns. Not much that you say has substance tonight. Did you read or hear Obama's address in Oslo?

    When has Islam renounced war forever? Which Muslim nation has reduced its arms to the levels of western Europe with relation to its area or population? How can you deride any nation because it does not love peace enough?

    KScurmudgeon
    disappointed

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  • 118. At 09:55am on 12 Dec 2009, Abba Ricky wrote:

    I think Obama did send a clear message to Iran and those (allies and foes alike) who may be assuming that he believes or that he may be fooled to believe that diplomacy will always work by making it clear that even when it is clear that war is inevitable the path of peace should still be explored. By that he is saying that the fact that he is engaging in diplomacy does not really mean that he believes it will work, and so, he must be working on the military solution that he thinks is inevitable at the same time, but trying the path of peace will give America the moral high ground that he talked about over its enemy when the inevitable path of war is engaged in against the enemy. In order words, Iran and its allies would be making a big mistake if they think Obama, even for now, is thinking only about diplomatic solution to its nuclear issue.

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  • 119. At 11:37am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    Actually Russia, an authortarian/totalitarian state helped us big time to save Europe from the Nazis.

    How do we reconcile this with the ideology of freedom/democracy/just wars?

    J Stalin was one of the worst, using Terror to control his people.

    That IS weird that that he was a WW2 hero, huh?

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  • 120. At 2:02pm on 12 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    119. At 11:37am on 12 Dec 2009, David wrote:
    "Actually Russia, an authortarian/totalitarian state helped us big time to save Europe from the Nazis.

    How do we reconcile this with the ideology of freedom/democracy/just wars?

    J Stalin was one of the worst, using Terror to control his people.

    That IS weird that that he was a WW2 hero, huh?"

    Among the groups of contributers here are two groups which seem to believe:
    1. America's totally selfish intervention in WWII stopped the Nazi's from completing the liberation the world from its undesirables.
    2. America's totally selfish intervention in WWII and totally selfish follow-up prevented Stalin and the Red Army from liberating Western Europe from selfish capitalism.

    Sometimes the spin is nausiating, but one has to try reasoning with them.

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  • 121. At 2:52pm on 12 Dec 2009, frayedcat wrote:

    IMO big fact of Obama getting the peace prize was the fact of his election. US started with slavery, slowly allowed property rights and voting, racial lynchings lasted until the 1960's. None of us honestly thought we would see a mixed race prez of the US in our lifetimes. The fact of his election resonated throughout the world in terms of overcoming prejudice and giving people hope that our mass stupidity might some day end. I still get all teary eyed about it.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2008/nov/05/uselections2008-usa?picture=339359602

    http://onthescene.msnbc.com/witnessing_history/2008/11/index.html

    Of course it spiked back down to present day reality and he's plowing through the agenda he outlined - IMO pretty well

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  • 122. At 3:29pm on 12 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    Re #1
    Mr. Cunard,

    My previous post was hasty and a bit snide. I probably should have said something like the following.

    For the US to do what others have done is not to excuse blatant misconduct. The constant moaning about the US participation in WWI & WWII ignores political reality. Did Canada have NO thoughts about its own interests when it intervened?

    I am sure you know about the last border dispute between the US and Canada, which was resolved by arbitration. I am also sure you know that Canadians felt betrayed when the British sided with the US. British reasoning was probably:
    1. The US had become too big to consider having a war with over a few trifling islands that weren’t even British.
    2. As a trading nation the US was already a world power and much more valuable to British commerce than Canada.
    3. As a regional power that shared language and culture with Britain, the US was best kept neutral if not actually allied to Britain in her international great power maneuvers.

    So Britain actually sacrificed Canadian interests in its own selfish balancing of interests. So, please, the constant moaning about the US being late to the slaughter for purely selfish reasons is a bit much.
    We could have made a deal with the Nazis [though they would have been as likely to break it as their deal with Stalin], let the US have Japan and Germany can have Europe.

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  • 123. At 5:23pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Your rhetoric is reduced to naysaying and puns. Not much that you say has substance tonight. Did you read or hear Obama's address in Oslo?
    When has Islam renounced war forever? Which Muslim nation has reduced its arms to the levels of western Europe with relation to its area or population? How can you deride any nation because it does not love peace enough?


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    From more close distance than you....That is the answer to your question.You are however allowed to assume whatever you want to, thats your previlage.Like i said, to me, his speech was taken from koran, except that in Koran G-d says to make extremely sure that if you go out to defensive or "just" war, then its not based on lies and reliable intelligence...And genious, which muslim nation has weapons like usa which need to be reduced?

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  • 124. At 5:35pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Obama will not support torture. He is trying to hide what happened because it creates such a negative backlash and creates new terrorists who feel justified in killing innocent people. Those people who created an atmosphere that allowed America to commit torture are still in power and Obama has to still work with them.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    when he supports karzai and northern alliance, he supports torture..The negative blacklash came with the occupation, the torture was just a confirmation...And No. I will not blame any afghanistani...First allow them to develop a civil society, end the chaos, and then I judge them with the same yard stick...But i am not stopping you from blaming the victims or judging them...people can say whatever they want to, democratic party will not move away from its own policies and tell anything to israel...Only the republicans do that..thats why if you pay attention to the trends of jewish and muslim americans voter in usa, you will see, no matter what, muslims vote for republicans and jews the democratic parties..It was george bush the sr, who carried out his promise to palestinies that if they kept quiet during gulf war, he would make israel to start serious talks with PLO...Clinton on the other hand, threatended to move your embbassy to jerusalam when his pathetic attempt to twist arafat into an undignified agreement failed..

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  • 125. At 5:51pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    " So Britain actually sacrificed Canadian interests in its own selfish balancing of interests. So, please, the constant moaning about the US being late to the slaughter for purely selfish reasons is a bit much."

    JMM your logic is as confusing as it gets.

    Nothing you say will take away the fact that america made loads of profit from WW2 and joined up after making so much.
    they were late , maybe millions of lives could have been saved if america had the guts to join in against their economic interest.

    you pretend to be reasonable and fair minded to be intelligent but it doesn't always show.or are you just trying to start anew circle?
    sorry your Threat was not taken seriously.
    nor will I "kow tow" just because you made a long list of silly comments.

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  • 126. At 6:04pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    35 part time dom.

    that point about holding american lives more worthy of living than others is made throughout the Justice thread. it was shown time and time again that at least a couple of posters here from the states do really believe thatto be true.
    I pointed out hte example of no extradition for Waren anderson to Indea for trial.(bhopal) but most americans thought. 'umm not my argument" or they support the lack of justice for the rich american.
    while starting wars fro their justice.
    there are plenty of examples in that thread of Americans double standards.
    now JMM says "to a higher standard"
    when his country is still treated as civilised despite it's death penalty.
    Murder is murder state sanctioned or not.Do we treat america in the same way we treat he talliban for executing people.
    or any other nation Europe derides for their death penalty?

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  • 127. At 6:25pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    bepa

    "Most Jews in the US are liberals and if only Jews had been voting we would have had Gore and Kerry as our presidents. Most American Jews did not support Bush. Imo they remain silent about Israel because they want so desperately for there to be a place that is their own. Also they do not want to be called names like self hating... but imo American Jews are the ones who will have the strongest effect on encouraging Israel to follow human rights."

    well said. now it is time for them to accept the situation and not support Israel and be vocal against the support.
    they as a group were less in favour of going into Iraq than the average american. they have no voice when the likes of Gherkin spout their lies.

    89 gherkin I'm glad to read you think EU is trustworthy;)

    Then alexander likes Lucy's approach and fair mindedness and tolerance. despite that Lucy has written some pretty bigoted view points on these blogs.
    just click the name and see the crud.
    she admits to not trusting any muslim.
    she has made a string of racist comments and Alexander can't see that even writes
    'no one references the Jihadis and calls them wrong"

    alexander if you are blind and deaf then I would understand this comment, but if you ever read Lucy's comments and Gherkins and a host of other anti anyone not Israeli posts you would know that every muslim let alone the terrorists have been called way more names than america or Israel. those name callings get banned.


    "It has been said before. But it is not a cliche."

    It is not just a cliche but more of a toatally fabricated lie.


    barbera" The notion that America had a choice to NOT join the fight seems lost on most anti-American Europeans."
    bull they had taken so much and would be here in the end.
    Britain allowed you to stay out for so long.
    PS you guys were saved from being trashed by Japan by the european led forces of the commonwealth.
    so take more history lessons.

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  • 128. At 6:32pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    108 " You really do hold America to a higher standard, don’t you? Do the English regard the immigrant as their equal? Do the French, especially Parisians, hold others to be their equal in any sense, especially Metis? I have lived in other parts of the world where foreigners are definitely not considered equals."

    AMERICA was founded by immigrants.it CLAIMS to be the most tolerant accepting nation on the planet in the history of the world.
    so if you CLAIM IT -LIVE IT. Or shut up when people say "not so".

    Lucy
    " which is known as Jewish state"

    I have been banned once for suggesting this is the case.
    So whenever a supporter of the Israel says this there is no back lash. When I have tried to say this I have been rounded on by all sorts and banned.
    interesting views

    alexander likes them
    "The west has to find it's warrior soul again"

    Like it has been the beacon of peace:)
    "What happens when good people are made to suffer; when an idealistic country such as the United States is attacked, and by extension all freedom loving peoples."


    lol the talliban are idealistic. do you mean fanatical?

    Attacks on american"freedom" are not attacks on all freedom. but as an american I don't expect you to get that.

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  • 129. At 6:59pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    40 alex
    " It is irrational to fight war and against her nature."
    bull she has done nothing but fight wars.
    your patriotism is blinding you.
    but we could probabl;y guess that from the rest of your posts

    65 " I think you're confused. "

    "If a country fired rockets at China or Russia, that country would expect them to fight back."

    bull complete bull.
    You have pulled the old we'd all react that way.
    well dear fellow blogger you are a liar or ignorant,which is it?

    britain never bombed Ireland

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  • 130. At 7:10pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Lucy
    " which is known as Jewish state"

    I have been banned once for suggesting this is the case.
    So whenever a supporter of the Israel says this there is no back lash. When I have tried to say this I have been rounded on by all sorts and banned.
    interesting views
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    They wont ban anyone for saying that now, the west is now in a process where it is making its people immune to this...nethenyahu has vocalized this idea out in the open, and now its going to take a few yrs where west will allow this to be said again and again without challanging the whole concpet, and when the next serious crises comes, that is complete unilateral jerusalam inside israel in the name of jerusalam the holy capital of jewish state, the west will just accept it as a matter of fact...

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  • 131. At 8:29pm on 12 Dec 2009, Barbara wrote:

    FluffyTale:

    "barbera" The notion that America had a choice to NOT join the fight seems lost on most anti-American Europeans."
    bull they had taken so much and would be here in the end.
    Britain allowed you to stay out for so long.
    PS you guys were saved from being trashed by Japan by the european led forces of the commonwealth.
    so take more history lessons.
    ----------------------------------

    Okay, trashers of America, you are ticking me off.

    Suffice it to say that anyone who selects the name 'FLUFFYTALE' should
    never, ever be taken seriously, but I'm ticked off, I'm mad, and I'm of sick of you people.

    'Commonwealth' forces'? Would that be crumbling British Empire forces such as Indonesians, Indians, Aussies. Not exactly up to speed with warrior characteristics. Especially when they most likely consider themselves under the thumb of tyrants of a dying empire.

    If only there were a time machine. The U.S. should have become an Empire. Assimilate the entire world! Crush every anti-American in our path!

    Instead, America took it by stealth. Exporting the American Way - reaching into every corner of the world.

    Next time we will CRUSH YOU! CRUSH YOU LIKE ANTS!

    BWAH HA HA HA HAAA!!!!


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  • 132. At 8:46pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Next time we will CRUSH YOU! CRUSH YOU LIKE ANTS!

    BWAH HA HA HA HAAA!!!!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You cannot even crush taliban, so I suggest you limit your evil Willy e coyote like laugh to your victory over japan which you got thanks to atom bombs..the american soldiers will withdraw from afghanistan like their withdrawl from iraq, head erects and tail between their legs..

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  • 133. At 8:48pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    so don't take me seriously.

    "Not exactly up to speed with warrior characteristics."

    I suspect some here better educated might help you with some facts.
    not that you will understand.


    " If only there were a time machine. The U.S. should have become an Empire. Assimilate the entire world! Crush every anti-American in our path!"

    you have tried quite a bit so far in that direction .you will fail.


    "Next time we will CRUSH YOU! CRUSH YOU LIKE ANTS!"

    class I do like your humour. I assume that seeing as the taliban and AQ have crushed your greatest efforts that the rest of the world may not have such a hard time.
    You americans have the testicular fortitude of a Eunuch .

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  • 134. At 8:50pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    that exporting of the american way was why your trade towers got hit and why the world isn't enamoured with the USA.
    which they were.
    :)

    keep it up .

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  • 135. At 9:10pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    PS them WARRIOR CHARACTERISTICS

    " http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurkha"

    just so you know america was saved by others.



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  • 136. At 9:21pm on 12 Dec 2009, Barbara wrote:

    Colonelartist:

    Do you ALWAYS insert yourself into comments NOT DIRECTED at you? This only illustrates a desperate plea for ATTENTION.

    But my fiendish friend, your reply demonstrates the breath and veracity of Stealth-Americana.

    All the same, Wile E Coyote never had such laugh that I can recall. And yet you are familiar with an AMERICAN cartoon character, proving my point.

    "..,your victory over japan which you got thanks to atom bombs."

    What does this suppose to mean? American industrial might and intelligence created the atomic bomb. Your statement "thanks to atom bombs" implies that some other country, some other mystical being GAVE us the bomb and that Americans should be thankful. How strange. But I should have expected this from a 'thread hijacker' desperately seeking attention.

    MWAH HA HA HA HAAA!





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  • 137. At 9:28pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    not to mention the airforce bases used by america in pakistan, including one in Baluchistan...

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  • 138. At 9:34pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Barbera so this is a personal conversation is it.

    Americans want to start it but can't handle when others join in.
    HA HAHAHAHA.


    You bring up Nazi. "if they ruled our world"

    they almost did. but Palin was not elected.

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  • 139. At 9:36pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Do you ALWAYS insert yourself into comments NOT DIRECTED at you? This only illustrates a desperate plea for ATTENTION.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Atleast i dont come from a country which insert itself into other countries for some pathological need, yet to be diagnosed..the evil cartoon characters in abundence in my backyard..ergo my familiarity with them..if it wasnt for the asperger syndromed german einstein switching sides, you would not have been given the technology...He came to usa with what he had learnt in germany and gave them the technology...How he was manipulated to leave germany is another mystery, perhaps the americans and their moles took advantage of einsteins disability that comes with asperger syndrome.

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  • 140. At 9:38pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    PS "thread Hijacker"
    whats that?

    or do you only mind if anti americans hijack.

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  • 141. At 9:42pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJJW7EF5aVk
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thats americans the day after they invaded afghanistan to change the regime.....and that is their state even now...

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  • 142. At 10:00pm on 12 Dec 2009, Barbara wrote:

    Hey FLUFF,

    Who says the world isn't enamored with the USA. Did you take a poll or something?

    Empirically, the world has taken to American ways like white on rice.

    I take it even you have seen American TV shows, movies, and music -- which are as powerful as the military might of the LONE superpower in the world. Once we redistribute the trillions fought in abstract wars and redirect to main street USA, we once again, will be the economic superpower of the world. I have faith.

    You speak so casually of the Twin Towers attack. That attack shocked me into how incredibly cruel any human being can be. It was, and is, the closest thing to Devilry one could imagine. And done I might add with no declaration of War. It would have been unimaginable if had struck the Parliament building in London, the church spires in Moscow, or any other symbol with thousands of people going on about their daily lives.

    That is something that I thought we as a people would never recover. But time heals. We have awaken from that tragedy with better leadership, because the Bush administration did fail us.

    If you wish us harm, then that is sad take on YOUR reality. I will take your attempt to bruise my ego with -- what Churchill said of America -- a sublime disinterest.

    courtesy of Alexander: "In Martin Gilbert 's extraordinary biography we find recorded these words from Churchill by his doctor, Lord Moran : “What other nation in history, when it became supremely powerful, has had no thought of territorial aggrandizement, no ambition but to use its resources for the good of the world? I marvel at America's altruism, her sublime disinterestedness.” “All at once I realized,” Lord Moran went on, “Winston was in tears. His eyes were red, his voice faltered, he was deeply moved.”



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  • 143. At 10:15pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    All at once I realized,” Lord Moran went on, “Winston was in tears. His eyes were red, his voice faltered, he was deeply moved.”
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Thats what happens when some grossly overweight person smoking a cigar talks to doctor when the doctor tells him to take a deep breath while he listens to his lungs with his Littman stethoscope...Lesson learnt, when you go to doctor forget your status, avoid talking and do what the doctor says..


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  • 144. At 10:16pm on 12 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    The Nobel Peace Prize has always been a big joke. This time the joke is on us. We elected a president who was going to change Middle East policy and what did we get? Just another arrogant colonialist. The only thing that distinguishes Obama from Bush is his coloring.

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  • 145. At 10:17pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    keep quoting and making no sense.
    I see you cannot argu your point.
    you ignore the taliban beating the USA.
    Don't take the love for Obama the world has for love of america. most of the world see's the two differently. they see Obama representing Americ better than most americans or America itself.
    You go do the polling.
    go see how many just love the USA .

    http://www.worldpublicopinion.org/pipa/articles/views_on_countriesregions_bt/463.php?lb=btvoc&pnt=463&nid=&id=

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  • 146. At 10:23pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    The only thing that distinguishes Obama from Bush is his coloring.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    and excess of words...devoid of passion..

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  • 147. At 10:23pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "that exporting of the american way was why your trade towers got hit and why the world isn't enamoured with the USA.
    which they were."

    "You speak so casually of the Twin Towers attack. "

    8 years on I mention that america's exporting of it's values was part of the reason it was attacked.
    You start trying to paint me.

    Go on but be warned. looks can be deceiving.especially when the looker is blind.

    " If you wish us harm, then that is sad take on YOUR reality."

    typical american if some one says" watch that dog it could bite"
    you stick your hand out moan about the warning and get shocked when you get bitten.
    Those chicken came home to roost.
    Just look at the crud that very honest statement got.


    Ignore your jingoistic encouragement to hate america and just moan that someone would point out that if you put crap on a fan it will fly when you turn the fan on.


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  • 148. At 10:28pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "What other nation in history, when it became supremely powerful, has had no thought of territorial aggrandizement, no ambition but to use its resources for the good of the world?"

    PS winston churchil.
    the one that in the British comedy "between Iraq and a hard place" suggested the gassing of the "swamp folk" with mustard gas.
    that same guy that gave Saddam the game plan?

    That old drunk.
    he was lucky there was a war to make him look good because without it he looked like an offensive drunken american.
    PS his observations were PRE WW2. america if you hadn't noticed has changed a little.
    like after WW2 when it gained military bases world wide and now is sometimes more than a little reluctant to leave.

    but that is not empire building when an american does it. right.

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  • 149. At 10:37pm on 12 Dec 2009, Barbara wrote:

    Colonelartist:

    I get that you are protagonist and have an urgent need to communicate. But this "How he was manipulated to leave germany is another mystery, perhaps the americans and their moles took advantage of einsteins disability that comes with asperger syndrome".

    Oh, okay, let me go out on a limb here and guess that if I were Jewish, with Herr Hitler wanting to kill vermin aka the Jews, with state sponsored persecution followed by genocide -- Einstein left Germany -- with or without asperger syndrome.

    That's what is call a NO BRAINER, genious.

    With that I bid you adieu. Go live in your compartmentalized anti-American world, and when its time, perhaps you can punch your way out of that paper bag and be happy.

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  • 150. At 10:40pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    144 AM

    well I might have lost my marbles ( I know many think so) but

    There is a difference. come now surely you can see it.
    I would agree that the policy hasn't seemed to change much but then I do see there is finally SOME trying too curtail the settlements.
    there is an effort. but every time it does seemt o favour one side still. sentiments of many here would show why a president would best be careful when dealing with the middle east.
    I would say that the bit i the speech that excuses countries attacking unilaterally was something that stuck in my mind as a pathetic excuse to allow someone to bomb another country at the end of the year.
    I hope it was a bluff and just an attempt to get the ahmadinijad moving on de nukeing.
    I'd agree that we have no evidence they ARe yet ready to make a bomb and that if we allowed the aggressive state to attack the wanting to be Nuke state when the aggressive state has nukes we would be quite the most hypocritical nation. And I would do as I have. contacted as one more minion the DNC to tell them it is messed up.


    I would say the difference is there and others have put it very well. Even though I personally find someof them to make comments that are full of it;)

    good to see you again;)

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  • 151. At 10:44pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Bull how was it referred when it was never posted

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  • 152. At 11:05pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Oh, okay, let me go out on a limb here and guess that if I were Jewish, with Herr Hitler wanting to kill vermin aka the Jews, with state sponsored persecution followed by genocide -- Einstein left Germany -- with or without asperger syndrome.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Why would he be afraid of hitler when he lived in switzerland?

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  • 153. At 11:10pm on 12 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    150, fluffy.

    I hate to accuse you of being naive - but there it is. Vis-a-vis the Middle East, our actions have nothing to do with al Qaeda, or bin Laden, or terrorism, or even the Palestinians. It is a long-range policy to subjugate those Middle Eastern countries not under the American umbrella - Afthanistan, Iraq, Iran and Syria, apparently in that order. (Although with Afghanistan and Iran Obama may have bitten off more than he can chew.) The terorism thing was just a handy excuse and the nukes, injustice, women's rights, etc., a smoke screen to obscure the agenda, or should I say, the final solution. I would have thought that Obama, of all people, would have had sympathy for the underdog, but when you come right down to it, he is just an ambitious politician. I am ashamed to have been suckered into supporting him.

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  • 154. At 11:13pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    With that I bid you adieu. Go live in your compartmentalized anti-American world, and when its time, perhaps you can punch your way out of that paper bag and be happy.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    tell me then, Oh, the one who lives in usa, how many alqaida people are in both afghanistan and pakistan according to your pentagon?

    A) between 500-501
    B) 700-800
    C). 100-200.
    If you manage to guss correct, you will understand why your noble warrior has set a date for withdrawl...Another question
    A) Usa is talking to taliban.
    B) Usa is not talking to taliban.

    and the last question.
    Why does USA doesnt want pakistan to talk to its taliban, even though taliban of pakistan want to talk
    Because, Fightting would allow USA to neutralize pakistani nuclear weapons or because USA wants to make a american footbal staduim in pakistan..And an additional question to keep you busy.
    Do americans have
    A) insight
    B) foresight
    C) hindsight
    D) none of the above..

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  • 155. At 11:26pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    149. At 10:37pm on 12 Dec 2009, Barbara
    "is call a NO BRAINER"

    OK here you have it I'm going to grammar troll for a sec
    "That's what is callED a NO BRAINER, genious."

    just cause.

    Barb your comment doesn't seem to make much sense.
    I get that you do not like people saying bad things about ikkle amewica.

    HA HA HAHAHA

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  • 156. At 11:26pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    its not my job to make you aware of the things which are totally american, its your job to make sure you know everything so that when you get things in bits and pieces, like obama's dithering and then his increase in surge only for 18 months, and then to start withdrawing, you are able to connect the dots..
    now the dot...
    Obama makes pakistani army as infantry

    Then he knew number of alqaida in afghanistan, thats why his emphases on taliban,
    Then hidden talks with taliban

    Now connect all these dots and you will without using any brain cell understand his logical decision to send 30,000 and withdrawal in 18 months..Its not just einstein who was given a logical mind, (although he was given this ability in abundance,ergo asperger syndrome) most normal people are also given the logical reasoning...Use it sometimes..or otherwise it will become through evolution just like apendicitis, a redundent body organ..which could turn lethal at times..

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  • 157. At 11:35pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    154 I know D

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  • 158. At 11:39pm on 12 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    153 AM

    sure but I never said terrorism was anymore than a smokescreen. even then I disagree with the war in Afghanistan. .and Iraq.(then you know that)

    I would say that so far the politics are playing in what can be seen in two lights.
    either he is as I maintain just handing out rope to Israel or he is as bad as you say.
    I hope for the first.

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  • 159. At 11:45pm on 12 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I get that you are protagonist and have an urgent need to communicate
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    i am a human being, and one of the qualities the basic qualification of human being species which separate them from their ancestors monkey, communication..And when noble warriors wage wars, the need to communicate becomes urgent..Now i know that you will not understand this, because you being american and all that, your urgent need is to create chaos..aka war..

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  • 160. At 11:50pm on 12 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    80, DouglasFeith.

    Just going through the old posts and came across yours. I am sorry to say that I agree with you.

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  • 161. At 11:56pm on 12 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    158, Fluffy.
    "I would say that so far the politics are playing in what can be seen in two lights.
    either he is as I maintain just handing out rope to Israel or he is as bad as you say.
    I hope for the first."

    Inasmuch as Israel is vital to the US control of the Middle East, and Obama shows no signs of changing Middle East policy, you can work out the rest. Also, look at the people Obama surrounds himself with - Emanuel, the Clintons ....

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  • 162. At 00:40am on 13 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    1, David.
    "In any case, I don't imagine that a majority of ordinary Americans will have seen or read the speech, and care very little what he actually said...."

    I am among those who did not read it. Why should I have? I knew what he would say, or that what he would say didn't matter. He received a prize for peace while advocating war. Don't you love it? And a while before that he had announced he would be withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, but in order to accomplish that he would first have to send more troops in. Rhetoric for the great unwashed! I got the jist from the headlines which saved me the pain of reading his Orwellian text.

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  • 163. At 00:45am on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    hwere's a classic.
    on politics and helping. sort of connected to the obama speech.

    "The British are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats in Islamabad and have raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross". Brits have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies all but ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to a "Bloody Nuisance". The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was during the great fire of 1666.

    The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide". The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender". The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively paralysing the country's military capability.

    It's not only the French who are on a heightened level of alert. Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout loudly and excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing". Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides".

    The Germans also increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbour" and "Lose".

    Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual, and the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .

    The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

    Americans meanwhile are carrying out pre-emptive strikes on all of their allies, just in case.

    And at a local level...

    New Zealand has also raised its security levels - from "baaa" to "BAAAA!". Due to continuing defence cutbacks (the airforce being a squadron of spotty teenagers flying paper aeroplanes and the navy some toy boats in the Prime Minister's bath), New Zealand only has one more level of escalation, which is "Shut, I hope Austrulia will come end riscue us". In the event of invasion, New Zealanders will be asked to gather together in a strategic defensive position called "Bondi".

    Australia , meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be right, mate". Three more escalation levels remain: "Crikey!", "I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend" and "The barbie is cancelled". There has not been a situation yet that has warranted the used of the final escalation level."

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  • 164. At 01:54am on 13 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    163, fluffy.

    Finny, funny!

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  • 165. At 08:34am on 13 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    162. At 00:40am on 13 Dec 2009, Anita Mason wrote:

    I am among those who did not read it. Why should I have? I knew what he would say, or that what he would say didn't matter. He received a prize for peace while advocating war. Don't you love it? And a while before that he had announced he would be withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, but in order to accomplish that he would first have to send more troops in. Rhetoric for the great unwashed! I got the jist from the headlines which saved me the pain of reading his Orwellian text.
    ___________________________________

    Anita, you clearly show us that you have approached this matter with your mind already made up - so much so that you are not even going to consider what the man has to say.

    Even worse - you admit to getting your information from 'the headlines'.

    President Obama has opened more doors to other nations and their governments, improved the USA's standing and respect in the world and so improved our effectiveness, i.e. international power in ten months, than the GOP's leadership in the previous eight years.

    Please do look up the text and read it - as a clear and thorough explanation of America's position on the relationship and meaning of peace and war, and our responsibility to the world.

    I believe it is an accurate statement of our national perspective, left, right, and center across the last century, excepting perhaps the eight years of GWB, and maybe Theodore Roosevelt.

    As we are beginning to see, Obama's words are not just pretty rhetoric - they present a carefully thought out plan to right what has gone wrong, to show the public what we are doing in the light of our nation's history and our commonly accepted principles - and to give every ideology and faction plenty of rope in which to tangle themselves or to demonstrate their usefulness to the nation.

    His greatest challenge is being heard over the prejudice - prejudgement - that you have shown.

    Please read the speech, and compare it to the best you know - I hope to hear what you think when you have the facts.

    KScurmudgeon
    don't discount me as an uncritical Obamaphile - I am a conservative,and was for half a century a Republican.

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  • 166. At 08:37am on 13 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    163, Fluffy -


    Brilliant! I didn't expect the shotgun effect from you
    KScurmudgeon

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  • 167. At 10:04am on 13 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #127

    Onnce against Fluff Brain says if we criticizie Islamic terrorists we are saying racist things about all mslems. If you would open your mind you might have heard about a mosque that is at the 9 11 sight where the Iman is trying to promote peace and understanding. Although most moslems do feel that way, he one of the few leaders who will call out these terrorists.

    As I have stated in other posts international leaders in moslem populated countries refuses to denounce terrorism against non moslems especially Jews.

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  • 168. At 11:14am on 13 Dec 2009, _marko wrote:

    To MagicKirin #167

    Re: people who do not denounce

    Do you believe that people (like Sarah Palin) who do not denounce the Palestinians actually support them?

    Do you believe that people who do not denounce your posts actually support them?

    and people who do not denounce Fox News actually support the network?

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  • 169. At 1:39pm on 13 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #167, _marko wrote:
    To MagicKirin #167

    Re: people who do not denounce

    Do you believe that people (like Sarah Palin) who do not denounce the Palestinians actually support them?

    Do you believe that people who do not denounce your posts actually support them?

    and people who do not denounce Fox News actually support the network?

    _______________

    You are delibritly missing the point. Unlike the Iman I spoke of; too many leaders who are moslem refuses to denounce Islamic terrorism. As this is the nuumber one terrorist threat in the world they do have an obligation to speak out more and they don't!

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  • 170. At 2:18pm on 13 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Magic Kiran:

    You are clearly not rational. I'm not a doctor, but any normal person can see you are deluded. The terrorists are the people who invaded and occupied Palestine by no virtue but brute force, and the Americans whose money and superior weapons make the brute force occupation possible. The terrorists who invaded Palestine started this conflict, and only they can end it, by giving up their senseless aggression, and leaving Palestine. And then paying reparations for their unjustifiable warfare, naturally.

    The Moslems, as you call them, are simply defending themselves, their families, and their homelands from terrorists, using the techniques and tactics of guerrilla warfare, the only strategy open to them. Since you obviously honestly believe what you write, you are obviously disconnected from reality, and no reasonable person will ever pay any attention to your irrational views. You must admit the invasion and occupation of Palestine was and is wrong, and express remorse in a full apology and acceptance of culpability and liability, before you can rationally expect anyone in the world to accept you. No matter what you do, you will never be accepted by good people, because good people don't like bad people.

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  • 171. At 2:54pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    As I have stated in other posts international leaders in moslem populated countries refuses to denounce terrorism against non moslems especially Jews.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    If you notice, the international leaders in moslem populated countries have also refused to comment on the great noble warrior's pro chaos preaching in muslim world, speech.No leader in the non moslem populated world denouce his war mongoring speech...

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  • 172. At 3:25pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    If you would open your mind you might have heard about a mosque that is at the 9 11 sight where the Iman is trying to promote peace and understanding.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I suggest you just shelve the whole 9/11 incidence....and keep your fingers corssed that iraqis and the rest of the moslems who do not denouce terrorism, like this imam dont start talking about blair's confession that he lied to create chaos in iraq...Blair's confession has actually supported ben laden's accusition of what the west does to the moslem populated countries...Obama can hide the pictures of sex games of the american and allies soldiers in the name of negative PR for usa, but its the confessions like blair and noble warrior like Obama who are enough to make even to recruit extremists..

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  • 173. At 3:30pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Please read the speech, and compare it to the best you know - I hope to hear what you think when you have the facts.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I suggest you compare it with the speech of ben laden...He gives as good justifications of his noble war as Obama..

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  • 174. At 3:53pm on 13 Dec 2009, Jack wrote:

    OSAMA,sorry, correction,OBAMA. Well done on the peace prize there.I am glad to see all these 'changes that they can believe in' are coming to fruition, with Guantanamo etc. Small correction I would like to bring to you and your fellow Americans attention, 'Pulling out'means removing, and not adding troops to the war effort. I know, it must be a terrible strain to keep the peace and all that but, I'm sure you can do it.
    Can't understand why these Afghans dont want to see reason, it's just beyond me. Now that Blair is being investigated regarding a joke that he made about 45min. strike capabilities etc., can you not help putting the record straight by telling the rest of us in the world that this was merely a small inteligence error. Can bear to see the man sweating it out on tv.
    Thank you.

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  • 175. At 4:08pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "Pulling out'means removing,"

    no not really that would mean withdraw.

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  • 176. At 4:09pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    sorry bere

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  • 177. At 5:22pm on 13 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #170
    PaganBarbarian wrote:
    Magic Kiran:

    You are clearly not rational. I'm not a doctor, but any normal person can see you are deluded. The terrorists are the people who invaded and occupied Palestine by no virtue but brute force,
    The Moslems, as you call them, are simply defending themselves, their families, and their homelands from terrorists, using the techniques and tactics of guerrilla warfare, the invasion and occupation of Palestine was and is wrong, and express remorse in a full apology and acceptance of culpability and liability,
    ____________________

    No this and other of your posts are deluded. The Balfour declaration was just although Israel had more burdens placed on the Palestinians. The Palestinians engaged in terrorist attacks since 1948. Israel has made peace with Egypt and Jordan and honored it.

    The Palestinians have no desire for peace and proved it by electing the terrorist group like Hamas. they get away playing the victim because for you and many BBC moderators it is ok to attack Jews.

    The people who deserve reperations are the Israeli people.


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  • 178. At 5:40pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    The Palestinians have no desire for peace and proved it by electing the terrorist group like Hamas. they get away playing the victim because for you and many BBC moderators it is ok to attack Jews.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The only desire palestinians have is to have a country...thats why they even go along with the western mumbo jumbo of elections to the stateless country...YOu do know the advantages the west and especially israel have because Hamas or PLA get elected in stateless areas?

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  • 179. At 5:49pm on 13 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    5. At 07:53am on 11 Dec 2009, super_critical wrote:

    He's basically saying "America will be peaceful when conditions allow".

    Obama has gone down in my estimations.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    What did you expect?

    America will look after her best interests...Isn't this the job #1 of every country. We are willing to do what must be done...and you are not...Do not hate us for doing our job, but rather be disgusted with your own representation on the world stage.

    Why does this make us "bad" in the lefty world-view of the world? Do you not read history or understand the nature of man? Wishing gravity does not exist and making laws against gravity and having a UN resolution saying gravity is bad will have NO effect on the facts of nature nor of Man....

    What you and all other must understand is that the history of man is written by those that ACT...be it wrongly or justly...but ACTION is the only instrument in which History allows itself to be written...

    I don't know what is worse...the "hope" that a politican can change the nature of man...or the self-delusion that the world is anything other than what it really is....A street-gang drug war...it is NOT a college debating society...what is the old saying "only a fool brings a knife to a gun fight"..In the case of western secular liberals..you can not even mangage that and instead bring a letter from the school principal telling them to stop being bullies because its not nice...

    ...willfull and openly hostile denial of the reality of man and history is a good description of today's western secular liberalism..its is also a good description of wacked-out religous zelots...amazing how the two are so similar...

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  • 180. At 5:52pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "The Israelis have no desire for peace and proved it by electing the terrorist's like netyeyahoo"

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  • 181. At 5:54pm on 13 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    178. At 5:40pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:
    The Palestinians have no desire for peace and proved it by electing the terrorist group like Hamas. they get away playing the victim because for you and many BBC moderators it is ok to attack Jews.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The only desire palestinians have is to have a country...thats why they even go along with the western mumbo jumbo of elections to the stateless country...YOu do know the advantages the west and especially israel have because Hamas or PLA get elected in stateless areas?
    -----------------------------------------------------
    ....Do you even understand the Arab mind or history...the reason they cannot have a state or country is because they can't even keep from killing each other over political differences. Remember when Hamas ran thru the streets killing other Pals for the crime of being in the wrong political party....Do you honestly believe such behavior allows for a country? You are either blind...or like everyone else only use the sad and terrible human suffering as a way to whip your favorite domestic political enemies (jews and americans).

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  • 182. At 5:55pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "The people who deserve reperations are the Israeli people."

    They got someone else's land what else do you want.
    the Palestinians to be their house servants as well.

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  • 183. At 5:55pm on 13 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #178
    The only desire palestinians have is to have a country...thats why they even go along with the western mumbo jumbo of elections to the stateless country...YOu do know the advantages the west and especially israel have because Hamas or PLA get elected in stateless areas?
    ______________________

    I have asked this hypothetical question several time and Palestinian supporters can not answer.

    If Israel gave in to all the demands move back to the Pre 67 borders and continued to recieve missle attacks from cowards hiding in Mosques and behind children; what recourse would be acceptible and would the Arab nations side with Israel?

    Becuase Israel has kept it's word with Egypt and Jordan, the Palestians have to prove they understand the word peace.

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  • 184. At 6:05pm on 13 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    180. At 5:52pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:
    "The Israelis have no desire for peace and proved it by electing the terrorist's like netyeyahoo"
    ------------------------------------------
    Spoken like a person with nothing at stake....
    Pals want all Israeli's dead...
    Israel wants to live in security...

    This is a non-starter if there ever was one...The only way to resolve this issue is have a war and get it over with...let the best man win...

    The two CAN NOT live next to each other. It has been this way from Biblican times...what has changed?

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  • 185. At 6:07pm on 13 Dec 2009, David wrote:

    When one person here calls Magic not ratinal, THAT person's rationality is called into question.

    And the answer? hmmmmm...shivers running thru body at the idea.

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  • 186. At 6:12pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I have asked this hypothetical question several time and Palestinian supporters can not answer.

    If Israel gave in to all the demands move back to the Pre 67 borders and continued to recieve missle attacks from cowards hiding in Mosques and behind children; what recourse would be acceptible and would the Arab nations side with Israel?

    Becuase Israel has kept it's word with Egypt and Jordan, the Palestians have to prove they understand the word peace.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First give them the country and then compare them with jordan and egypt, Incase you have missed to notice, both jordan and egypt are countries..your israel is not going to go back to 67 borders, the jews are aiming for a jewish state, as in jews the chosen people who have been given the land by real estate agent look alike G-d. Wait for their unilateral "jersuslam is part of israel" unilateral action...

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  • 187. At 6:14pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    If Israel gave in to all the demands

    LIE ALERT


    they did not meet the demand of removing the siege. a tactic of war illegal under international law.

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  • 188. At 6:15pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    wait for it.
    wait for it;)

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  • 189. At 6:22pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Do you even understand the Arab mind or history...the reason they cannot have a state or country is because they can't even keep from killing each other over political differences. Remember when Hamas ran thru the streets killing other Pals for the crime of being in the wrong political party....Do you honestly believe such behavior allows for a country? You are either blind...or like everyone else only use the sad and terrible human suffering as a way to whip your favorite domestic political enemies (jews and americans).
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Compare to your history, palestinians are far more better, look at your history? killing of red indians, stealing their land, then when you had accute shortage of man power, you bought slaves from africa, and the rest of your history to present is full of wars, destructions, atom bombs, chemical weapons , lying, aggression, invasion..So I suggest next time you try to decode arab mind, just do a little mind searching of your mind...if that looks impossible task, just count the brain cells..

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  • 190. At 6:23pm on 13 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Magic Kirin:

    Thank you for proving my contention that you are delusional. England can't give another people's country away to some other race. That is not legimate. The English never had any legitimate, legal or moral authority to do so. You might as well claim that the USA has a legimate right and authority to give away Puerto Rico to their aboriginal population. That fact of international politics is obvious to every sane person. Since invading and occupying another people's country is a crime against humanity and a war crime, the false peace made with neighbors is utterly illegimate and worthless. That fact of the international law of war is clear to every rational person.

    If the Jews want peace, then all they need to do is leave Palestine. As long as they refuse to leave Palestine, then they cannot claim to want peace. They are wrongfully occupying another people's country, by no authority but brute force, like any organized crime syndicate of goons and thugs. Palestine has always been Palestine, ever since the days of the Canaanites, Palestine is only Palestine today, and Palestine will never be anything but Palestine. The Jews have no claim to another people's country. You might as well claim the Italians have a right to invade and occupy England because they briefly squatted on the land 2,000 years ago. Your pretense of legitimacy is deluded. You are wrong, and the Palestinians are right. That fact will never change.

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  • 191. At 6:26pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "Obama's words are not just pretty rhetoric - they present a carefully thought out plan to right what has gone wrong, to show the public what we are doing in the light of our nation's history and our commonly accepted principles - and to give every ideology and faction plenty of rope in which to tangle themselves or to demonstrate their usefulness to the nation."


    165
    I'm with you KS ;)
    PS That joke above was not mine to take credit for just brought it here for laughs.

    "KScurmudgeon
    don't discount me as an uncritical Obamaphile - I am a conservative,and was for half a century a Republican.'

    Those of us that have been reading here for some time will know that you are not a raving Obamaphile.
    I can distinctly remember taking you on over so many things before the election. and Have been really happy to see you giving the man a chance.
    we may disagree on a whole host of issues .

    I am sure you remember some of our discussions during the primaries;)

    Glad to not have to argue with you As much these days;)

    Good health and happy seasonal greetings if I forget later.

    now I have a gherkin to pickle later.

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  • 192. At 6:28pm on 13 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #182
    fluffytale wrote:
    "The people who deserve reperations are the Israeli people."

    They got someone else's land what else do you want.
    the Palestinians to be their house servants as well.

    _______________

    for enduring 60= years of terrorism and being the only one to make concessions for peace

    Free oil from the gulf states
    expullsion from the Arab league of any arab nation giving sanctuary to terrorists from Hezbollah Hamas or anyother Islamic facists terrorist group

    You asked.

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  • 193. At 6:31pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Spoken like a person with nothing at stake....
    Pals want all Israeli's dead...
    Israel wants to live in security...
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    They were secure in europe after the rest of the europeans got rid of nazis, if jews wanted security, they would not have changed their epicenter from the safety of europe and in middle east knowing extremely well the kind of reception the chosen people would receive by the muslims..Israel has no desire to end the occupation..

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  • 194. At 6:39pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    This is a non-starter if there ever was one...The only way to resolve this issue is have a war and get it over with...let the best man win...

    The two CAN NOT live next to each other. It has been this way from Biblican times...what has changed?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Very good, somehow muslims lived even at the time of biblical times? genious, christians kicked the jews out of jerusalam, and since the muslims arrived in this scene, they have always supported the jews, be it in war against crussaders, spain, ottoman empire, and even now, when every muslim leader wants israel to quickly end this process and not dig its own grave by prolonging the whole conflict, because they know that the west which supports israel blindly will just leave the jews when they have used them...The west doesnt care about jews, we have seen what they did to them in europe..and now, by encouraging the western jews who settled in israel, the west is putting the jews in a very dangerous position..

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  • 195. At 6:44pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "As I have stated in other posts international leaders in moslem populated countries refuses to denounce terrorism against non moslems especially Jews."


    Gherkin. seriously you change your goal posts every time. you sad no Muslim. then No muslim cleric . when both those were proved to be a pile of bull you move onto no " international leaders in muslim countries"

    but you do know that we went through a discussion on that saudi talliban diplomatic tensions.
    so you should refine you question to "international leaders in muslim populated countries that are controlled bu... etc or something

    BECAUSE Britain has many muslims it could be said to be populated with muslims. as could Turkey as could so many other nations.
    See america it has Muslims.
    And they all have condemned terrorism.
    apart from the Indonesian's the Indians(muslims there as well) .

    sorry but your basic point that muslims don't denounce terrorism was shown to be bull so you have waited a week and carried on as if nothing was said. As if you didn't have to slip away from that one in embarrassment.

    184 no .
    spoken like someone who believes Israel should stop acting like terrorists if they do not want to be equated with them.
    spoken like someone that sees the war crimes against the palestinians as out weighing the "war crimes against Israel"

    But most interestingly from my point of view spoken as someone that sees hypocrisy in calling Hamas terrorists and not someone who terrorised the gaza strip last christmas with the might of a state. I call state sponsored terrorism.
    If you missed the number of kids that do not want to live in Gaza.
    You missed the number of deaf kids from the sonic booms.
    you miss the number of orphans.


    Them rockets killed 20 people in 8 years previous.

    yet the "targeted assassinations" of the Israeli(which they were not meant to be doing according to the agreements they made. killed more than 20 people.
    If my figures are a little low forgive me I will even say OK so it was 40 people and know I am well within the truth there.

    For a curious person you remain very ignorant of the reality.Is it deliberate?

    But when you say "Spoken like a person with nothing at stake..."
    who do you mean. YOU have nothing at stake?
    LOL did you notice the two wars .

    do you not worry about muslim terrorists?


    or are you just a vegetarian?
    then there is the vampire angle

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  • 196. At 6:47pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    gherkin yea and i'm not surprised with the answer
    glad to see you have yet to claim that Israel has met the agreements. , that it is still in your question mode.


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  • 197. At 7:05pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    or curious do you mean to say"now we have created this mess lets step back and watch the slaughter as the one side uses our very advanced weapons against the other cause it is a fair fight armed guided missiles delivered from planes and unguided missiles that take out as many Palestinians launching them as the enemy.(of theirs)"

    wow I would say that is rather one sided fight. how about we go and reduce the Israel military to the levels of the people of Gaza, oh then we would have to fear their nuke retaliation.


    "The two CAN NOT live next to each other. It has been this way from Biblican times...what has changed?"

    The two could until a bunch of europeans turned up saying "Oi give us your land"

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  • 198. At 7:25pm on 13 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref#195

    Fluff brain the Palestinians are responsible for the deathso n both sides because they chose to be ruled by Hamas.

    This mya be too un P.C for you but they have not earned the right to a homeland especially with no legal claim to it.

    Israel is more important than a bogus nation of people who care nothing about life or honor.
    They had their chance it is time for the world to move on and arrest evey Hamas and Hexbllah leader in the Middle East.

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  • 199. At 7:26pm on 13 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    162,KS.
    "...you clearly show us that you have approached this matter with your mind already made up - so much so that you are not even going to consider what the man has to say."

    I never pay attention to what politicians say. I look at what they do. The two are rarely the same.

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  • 200. At 7:28pm on 13 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    Sorry. that reference should have been #165, KS,

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  • 201. At 7:40pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Fluff brain the Palestinians are responsible for the deathso n both sides because they chose to be ruled by Hamas.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Your problem is that you dont realise that you hate hamas, not the palestinians, its a very common problem of the occupiars, they hate the popular leaders of the oppressed...america elected bush, britian blair, israel, sharon and nethenyaho, if palestinians the stateless people elect hamas, you can simply annul this election drama by pointing out to a simple fact that in order to hold elections, and make ministers and president, one has to have a country...But if you do that, then israel will once again send its army into the occupied places and police it as it used to do before this election joke...that would mean set back to its plans of walling in jerusalam and the best parts of west bank...You wouldnt want israel to have such a set back, wouldnt you?...

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  • 202. At 8:56pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Marbles good to see your back to your old self;)

    Gherkin"Israel is a bogus nation of people who care nothing about life or honor."

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  • 203. At 9:05pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Marbles. the point I think is that America was going to get an american president. they did. but this one is Trying to push back against entrenched possitions on the middle east.
    I am with you if you think he panders to Israel too much. but just look at what they have done with it.
    they have shown a total disregard for peace.
    On Iran He has seemed threatening, and again I am with you in thinking the attention on Iran a smoke screen for more domination.
    I can see no excuse to allow Israel to attack if they feel like it.

    I am not so sure I could support him if he allowed an attack on Iran through american controlled airspace.
    in fact I would be more than miffed and up on the bloody nuisance level.

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  • 204. At 9:09pm on 13 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref 201 and 202:

    some people just will never get it. Israel has a right to exist. When you are attacked as Israel was in 67 an dyou win heroicly without U.S or U.K armed helped you dont give land back.

    There is no difference than the land the U.S won in the Mexican war.



    Why should Israel have to suffer for people who choose to be ruled by War criminals?

    It is interesting that none of you complain about the occupation by Russia over soviergn areas of Georgia or that Syria controll the Lebanese goverment.

    But than since those goverments do not have Jewish leader.

    In all of your cases(Marble,colon Fluff and Dublin) you are prejudiced against Jews, just as the U.N Human Rights council and the Nazis were.

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  • 205. At 9:17pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    marbles thinking about it I would say "bloody Yob level"

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  • 206. At 9:30pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    some people just will never get it. Israel has a right to exist. When you are attacked as Israel was in 67 an dyou win heroicly without U.S or U.K armed helped you dont give land back.

    There is no difference than the land the U.S won in the Mexican war.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Just because usa wont mexican land doesnt not mean that israel can do the same...If you start justifying israel's oppcupation with american winning mexican land, chances are the mexican will also start working to get it back...Give your lecture to the europeans who allowed millions of jews die in europe, you cannot beat the "you are against jews" empty drums anymore.israel cannot survive without hamas...they know it, and the western leaders know it..

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  • 207. At 9:58pm on 13 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Gherkin I was using word YOU used to describe Israel.
    but you find it offensive and accuse me of anti semetism ,again;)

    What word can we use for your hatred. how convenient that anti semetism is used to describe jewish people and not Palestinians of semetic decent.


    So you can call us anti semites and we can just call you a racist bigoted bloodthirsty idiot.
    OK fair enough.


    As to russia and georgia.
    it seems Again you are confused but then you were when it happened so I wasn't expecting any better.

    Again when did UK attack Ireland?
    you never answered that question. we have answered yours.

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  • 208. At 10:11pm on 13 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    fre #206 and 207

    Well neither of you answered the question except to connfirm your and the UNs that different rules apply to Israel in self defense.

    Colon Israel has a vibrant economy based on techology and medical development, non military which the U.S does not subzidize.

    Fluff brain I am not sure what your UK question is to refer to. Are you asking when the U.K attacked the IRA? or did you not understand in the 67 war the U>K did not help in fact the goverment under the infamous Ramsey Clark betray the U.K's honor.

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  • 209. At 10:13pm on 13 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #208"

    Sorry wrong Ramsey.

    I believe the PM was Ramsey O'donnel

    Ramsey Clark is a traitor to the U.S like Cindy Sheehan

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  • 210. At 10:42pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Well neither of you answered the question except to connfirm your and the UNs that different rules apply to Israel in self defense.

    Colon Israel has a vibrant economy based on techology and medical development, non military which the U.S does not subzidize.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The text of Israeli independence reads: “By virtue of our natural and historic right and on the strength of the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, [we] hereby declare the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz-Israel, to be known as the state of Israel.”

    This is not me, who said this, but the guy who is called after the airpport in israel, ben gurion.He refers three things, natural reason, historic and UN...
    Israel has a very vibrant occupation...Any tom dick and harry, monkeys including, would have done more if the world had allowed them to act like what it allows israel to do..

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  • 211. At 10:42pm on 13 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    206. At 9:30pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    ...Give your lecture to the europeans who allowed millions of jews die in europe, you cannot beat the "you are against jews" empty drums anymore.israel cannot survive without hamas...they know it, and the western leaders know it..
    -----------------------------------------------------
    ok...so you are a Palestinian fanatic...we got that part...

    I've meet too many of your type in my life...Never mind the palestinians "stole" their land from the previous inhabitants...that does count...History only goes back far enough to make your point and then mysteriously stops...the Middle east is the most conquered piece of land in human history..how far do you want to take your logic of "only the previous owners have right"

    ...with your logic, only africa should own and control the nations of the earth, since it is where we all are from "orginally"....

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  • 212. At 10:50pm on 13 Dec 2009, CuriousAmerican wrote:

    209. At 10:13pm on 13 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:
    Ramsey Clark is a traitor to the U.S like Cindy Sheehan
    ..........................................
    Broter you are right on the money....

    The only thing I would argue is that to be a "traitor" assumes a pre-existing loyalty...Like all good lefists, the only loyalty they have is to their political ideology

    The only "treasonous" behaviour of leftest is to deny their "cause"...then you will see the outrage and calls for justice that you would expect for treason....

    Don't believe me?....check out what the "true belivers" are saying about Obama now that he is for a "just war" in Afghanistan...you would think he was Bush or Hitler...

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  • 213. At 10:50pm on 13 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    203, fluffy.

    Again, I look at the whole picture. The attitude towards the Middle East has not changed and the details don't matter. Obama is surrounded with some very entrenched, ruthless people. He chose them. He has already made one move that tells agsinst him. He is escalating the war in Afghanistan. I voted for him because he seemed to promise a more enlightened, non-colonial Middle East policy. Instead he is following in the footsteps of Bush. So I view him with a jaundiced eye. And as for what he says, it is doublespeak.

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  • 214. At 11:07pm on 13 Dec 2009, wolfvorkian wrote:

    Magic said:

    Ramsey Clark is a traitor to the U.S like Cindy Sheehan

    What do you call a guy who lets bin Laden escape from Tora-Bora - like George Bush?
    Learn the events of the that day and apply occam's razor and see what you come up with?

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  • 215. At 11:16pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    ok...so you are a Palestinian fanatic...we got that part...

    I've meet too many of your type in my life...Never mind the palestinians "stole" their land from the previous inhabitants...that does count...History only goes back far enough to make your point and then mysteriously stops...the Middle east is the most conquered piece of land in human history..how far do you want to take your logic of "only the previous owners have right"

    ...with your logic, only africa should own and control the nations of the earth, since it is where we all are from "orginally"....
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Its not my logic, its the jewish logic supported by the west..and yes, they should use this logic all the way back, not at a certain period of time...Now, pray do tell me, how many yrs of BBC and also AD have the jews lived there and how many yrs did they actually rule...you can count these past 60 yrs of the christian lord, Jesus Christ..the answer is going to shock you...the jews had been living in those areas, the problem started when they occupied land...and brought jews from all over the world ergo epicenter, on the bases of a jew grand mother clause. And note, in this clause they dont even mention if the clause is applicable to religion judiasm or ethnicity, jewish..Just because middle east is the most conqurered place, doesnt mean that it has to continue...refering to wrong examples and justifying your acts is not what democracy teaches you of which you are so proud of..

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  • 216. At 11:21pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Obama is surrounded with some very entrenched, ruthless people. He chose them.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    And so, the question which he should be asked is how can he call his war a "just" war when he chooses ruthless people as his partners and allies..The just wars do not have any place for such people. Period..However i wasnt born yesterday, so I know everyone will praise him for wriggling out of situation by praising him for balancing the act...and no one will question him about his partnership with ruthless people of his country, the black water which is now working under another name, the northern alliance, and karzai..

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  • 217. At 11:27pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    BBC and also AD
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    I meant BC, as in before christ, and AD, after darkness..I think BBC should add another alphabet so that people dont get confuse...

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  • 218. At 11:31pm on 13 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    With the skewed perception of the Middle East, as represented in this blog, one would think that Israel is a vast country of great natural wealth and intellectual brilliance, and the Moslem nations merely tiny bits of peripheral encroachments, peopled by the uneducated and semi-barbaric, incapable of sophisticated thought.

    In fact Israel occupies only a tiny portion of the area abd has a correspondingly small population. It is a bankrupt nation propped up by American dollars. Yet many of you would trade the vastness of the Middle East for this one basically insignificant nation. It's only significance is that it is the Ulster Plantation of the Middle East, established to safeguard the interests of the West. It is not presented to you that way of course. Instead you are given a romantic story of survival. Politics is not about atruism. It is about dominance and power.

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  • 219. At 01:40am on 14 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    Gherkin your questions have been answered before.
    as to Ireland. not only I have asked you that question. it has arisen many times and consistently you fail to address the fact that Britain (the UK in case you are THAT slow) was attacked by mortars from Ireland and the did not attack back by bombing Dublin. which is what the Israelis would have done given their actions so far.
    in other words, now read the bit in the quotation marks

    " IF all nations would behave like Israel why was Dublin not bombed by the RAF?"

    and try answering it.
    "Terrorists attacked the UK from Ireland, why did the UK not attack back with overwhelming force and big big bombs."

    if that helps



    Marbles sorry but you loose it on N Ireland politics.( I do respect your mid east stance but)
    you go back a long way to justify that comment.

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  • 220. At 01:46am on 14 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

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

  • 221. At 02:46am on 14 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    "Israel has a vibrant economy based on techology and medical development, non military which the U.S does not subzidize."


    ah so you are saying?
    the US does not subsidize the non military parts of the Israeli economy.


    forgetting to mention that they Do subsidize the military part of it's economy. (that bit that is selling drones to russia)
    In doing so they allow the Israeli gov to subsidize their industry while preventing the Americans from subsidising their industry.(because the money for it went to israel.
    So in areas where we compete Israeli companies are given advantage over american companies by the american tax payers.
    Interesting concept to run on.
    maybe Joe should run on that.


    NO cause they need subsidies and Israel can afford it when we can't.
    How many BILLION have we given Israel in the last 50 years?

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  • 222. At 03:22am on 14 Dec 2009, bigwalterhorton55 wrote:

    Ref 39. SaintDominick post "I find this recognition a reason for all of us to rejoice in the knowledge that, for once, we have a President that elicits respect from the world community, instead of those that use force, intimidation and deceit to govern."

    Which "World Community" are you referring to? Could it be the same folks that brought us the following? We have no reason to apologize!

    UK/Derry/Bloody Sunday, China/Tibet/Dalai Lama, Russia/Stalin/Gulag Archipelago, Germany/Hitler/Auschwitz, France/Algeria/Massacre, Spain/Franco/Guernica/, Somalia/Adultery/Stoning, Cambodia/Pol Pot/Killing fields, Iraq/Saddam/Halabja/Nerve Gas, Rwanda/Tutsis/Genocide. Serbia/Milosevic/Sarajevo, Afghanistan/Taliban/Women’s Rights, Japan/Rape/Nanking

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  • 223. At 03:39am on 14 Dec 2009, fluffytale wrote:

    222
    big horton

    You will note that the state st dom refers to is STILL doing what you think the rest are.

    You bring up History and excuse the present day.
    what we are you that you do not have to apologise?

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  • 224. At 06:27am on 14 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    173. At 3:30pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Please read the speech, and compare it to the best you know - I hope to hear what you think when you have the facts.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I suggest you compare it with the speech of ben laden...He gives as good justifications of his noble war as Obama..

    ________________

    In this we agree - we will have to judge between them on some basis other than rhetoric.

    Pope Urban II was a great preacher, and on at least one occasion finished with 'Deus volt.' Things between East and West have not been the same since. All of us should be more humble before using the Name of God.

    And more patient in allowing Him to fulfill His will - to the shame and horror of father Abraham' children.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 225. At 06:50am on 14 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    215. At 11:16pm on 13 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Its not my logic, its the jewish logic supported by the west..and yes, they should use this logic all the way back, not at a certain period of time...Now, pray do tell me, how many yrs of BBC and also AD have the jews lived there and how many yrs did they actually rule...you can count these past 60 yrs of the christian lord, Jesus Christ..the answer is going to shock you...the jews had been living in those areas, the problem started when they occupied land...and brought jews from all over the world ergo epicenter, on the bases of a jew grand mother clause. And note, in this clause they dont even mention if the clause is applicable to religion judiasm or ethnicity, jewish..Just because middle east is the most conqurered place, doesnt mean that it has to continue...refering to wrong examples and justifying your acts is not what democracy teaches you of which you are so proud of..

    _________________________________________________

    No one holds land, to my knowledge, who has not conquered it and subjugated, killed, or driven off the previous inhabitants. It has always been so - Dr. Goodall reports that even the chimpanzees take and hold territory in this way. The only other method I am aware of is through superior technology, which can make a place habitable that was not, or make it habitable for more people, who are then stronger, smarter, and abler than those who had been there in the past.We are told that DNA can map the first progress of humankind across and out of Africa - but that experience lies beyond our memory. Doubtless we took it from some other species, through our strength as competing predators.

    Since there seems to be no other way, will you beat us, join us, or be scattered with the dust of time?

    KScurmudgeon
    student of time

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  • 226. At 09:31am on 14 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    One point in Obama's speech that applies to Hamas and by extension the Palestinians and the Lebanese as long as they allow Hezboolah free reigh:

    Some times talk will not deter an evil like the Nazis.

    Hamas and Hezbollah are the same type of evil as the Nazis but too many on the left including the BBC moderators on the main HYS pages refuse to acknowledge it.

    So when Israel is forced to attack Iran they will fighting a necessary war. And they will do more than just insult Khomeni

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  • 227. At 10:18am on 14 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Just to enter a note of reality into some people's delusions, even the US Feds concede that attacking Iran would, (a), inevitably result in the deaths and injuries of a completely unjustifiable number of innocent citizens, men, women, and children who have no say or control over what their government does, and, (b), perhaps more importantly, could not possibly destroy every hidden military installation before Iran struck back. A surprise attack on Iran, especially from the air, would almost certainly result in the death of tens, possibly hundreds of thousand of Jews occupying Palestine, and the destruction of a great deal of urban property in Occupied Palestine. Even Americans are smart enough to know those facts. Attacking Iran is simply impossible, utterly unrealistic and impractical, a deluded opium-addict's fantasy.

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  • 228. At 10:36am on 14 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #227
    PaganBarbarian wrote:
    Just to enter a note of reality into some people's delusions, even the US Feds concede that attacking Iran would, (a), inevitably result in the deaths and injuries of a completely unjustifiable number of innocent citizens, men, women, and children who have no say or control over what their government does, and, (b), perhaps more importantly, could not possibly destroy every hidden military installation before Iran struck back. A surprise attack on Iran, especially from the air, would almost certainly result in the death of tens, possibly hundreds of thousand of Jews occupying Palestine, and the destruction of a great deal of urban property in Occupied Palestine. Even Americans are smart enough to know those facts. Attacking Iran is simply impossible, utterly unrealistic and impractical, a deluded opium-addict's fantasy.

    _________________

    First Israel and their citzens are not occupying anything Israel is a nation and you and the other naters will have to deal with it.

    It is far more delusional to accept a terrorist nation which Iran is with nuclear weapons. There wil be far greater loss of life untill the Iran threat is neutralized and they can ge a form of goverment which is not run by zenephobic intolerant mullahs.

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  • 229. At 2:40pm on 14 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    More delusional thinking. There is no such state, no such government, no such people. Never has been, is not now, never will be. Only a gang of criminals, occupying another people's country solely by brute force, superior weaponry and the willingness to kill defenseless men, women and children, without the slightest sign of shame, remorse or guilt. Sixty years is an eyeblink in the life of a nation. The world has already had enough. An objective, impartial person can see the global disgust and condemnation growing today. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the Jews have made the entire world their enemy. By 2050, there won't be any more Jews in Palestine, and humanity will be finally free of their infinite vanity and insatiable greed.

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  • 230. At 3:03pm on 14 Dec 2009, MagicKirin wrote:

    Ref #266The world has already had enough. An objective, impartial person can see the global disgust and condemnation growing today. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, and the Jews have made the entire world their enemy. By 2050, there won't be any more Jews in Palestine, and humanity will be finally free of their infinite vanity and insatiable greed.
    _______________--

    Lets talk about thay world that ignore beheading because Ayatollah or mullahs don'lt like a person thought or woman being stoned. Lets talk about mass starvation from African war lords. Let talk about coups in burma and other nations, lets talk about etnic clensing in Zimbabwe which your wolrd ignores.

    The only reason you and your world condemn Israel because the majority of it's population is Jewish.


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  • 231. At 3:46pm on 14 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Well, duh. Yes, the cause is criticized for the effect. That's right. A rational person does not claim that rational condemnation is bad, or wrong. A sane person knows that a sane response is good, and right.

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  • 232. At 4:11pm on 14 Dec 2009, RomeStu wrote:

    131 barbara.

    You're a hoot.....

    "Suffice it to say that anyone who selects the name 'FLUFFYTALE' should
    never, ever be taken seriously."

    So we judge by names now ... still it's better than actually thinking about content!


    "but I'm ticked off, I'm mad, and I'm of sick of you people."

    Bye then. Thanks for coming.



    "If only there were a time machine. The U.S. should have become an Empire. Assimilate the entire world! Crush every anti-American in our path!"

    And then everyone would love you ..... or die.
    Beautiful. This is real life, not Star Wars!

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  • 233. At 4:15pm on 14 Dec 2009, powermeerkat wrote:

    I am not Mr. Obama's aficionado.

    However some reactions beg a question:


    Where where you people, when Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a totalitarian lying lier (Le Duc Tho) and a notorious terrorist (Arafat)?


    Somehow I don't recall much of an outrage then.

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  • 234. At 6:00pm on 14 Dec 2009, GH1618 wrote:

    "Somehow I don't recall much of an outrage then."

    Then you just weren't paying attention. The Nobel Peace Prize has often been controversial, and in those two years it was.

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  • 235. At 6:53pm on 14 Dec 2009, TPaine wrote:

    Traveling throughout the EU in 2009, one gets the sense that the US military presence is still far too large and totally unwarranted. Consider:

    1. Germany has been completely rehabilitated post World War II and it is unlikely to ever pose a security threat to its neighbors.
    1. The danger of the Soviet Union is long gone.
    2. European diplomatic skills are unrivaled, and so the risk of war threatening EU security is practically non-existent.
    3. The EU is quite capable of meeting its own defense needs, in the unlikely event that diplomacy ever fails.
    4. So-called acts of terrorism in the EU are simple police matters - not acts of war between nations - which European police and courts are quite capable of managing. In contrast, the presence of US military bases in Europe does nothing to deter these crimes. Quite possibly, their presence incentivizes criminal acts.

    Therefore, while President Obama's speech again demonstrated that he is a thoughtful - even philosophical - politician, I was greatly disappointed that he did not use the occasion of his "Peace Prize" to announce a timetable for withdrawing US military personnel and equipment from Europe.

    The President's party aspires to have the same things that most Europeans enjoy, such as universal healthcare, better unemployment benefits, stronger job protections, and longer paid holidays, to name a few examples. And the trend of public opinion in America is slowly but surely moving in the same direction. (And why shouldn't it? With the recent recession, the US now has an unemployment rate that more closely resembles traditional rates in the EU, but without any of the benefits.)

    Unfortunately, the President's decision to speak with wisdom but act like every militaristic President who came before him, completely undermines his party's domestic agenda. While appearing wise, the US President is, in fact, being very foolish.

    President Obama - it's high time that your nation started enjoying the fruits of peace in Europe. Every defense dollar you save by not spending it unnecessarily in Europe should be invested directly into a new US national health care plan. That would be the most civilized thing to do.

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  • 236. At 6:58pm on 14 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    No one holds land, to my knowledge, who has not conquered it and subjugated, killed, or driven off the previous inhabitants. It has always been so -
    Since there seems to be no other way, will you beat us, join us, or be scattered with the dust of time?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    i am glad you acknowldge this..As far as that land which jews now rule after all these yrs of BC is concerned..their reason to claim the land back for free is drived from their religon..Anyone who supports occupation actually supports the jewish religous claim that G-d like some real estate allocated this peice of earth to them...Since I am not a jew, so I refuse to believe this...and if party uses religous claims to occupation, then the occupees have the right to fight it back with using their religious claims..the jews were driven out of land by christians, the muslims brought them back after they won crussade..

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  • 237. At 7:05pm on 14 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Where where you people, when Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a totalitarian lying lier (Le Duc Tho) and a notorious terrorist (Arafat)?
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I dont know about le duc tho, but find me anything about arafat where he openly talked about war as an just alternative when he received the award and years he was alive..

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  • 238. At 7:15pm on 14 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Pope Urban II was a great preacher, and on at least one occasion finished with 'Deus volt.' Things between East and West have not been the same since.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    By east if you mean moslem populated countries, then I think you should know that things have not been the same between west and east after the 73 oil crises.One such embargo again, and usa would have to negotiate deals with israel to unilaterally remove its occupation, security or no security...And thats what usa and israel dont want, so their startegy is what you see now..going after regimes can bring about the same situation...

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  • 239. At 04:18am on 15 Dec 2009, Someone wrote:

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

  • 240. At 05:51am on 15 Dec 2009, crash wrote:

    I have to laugh when i read the remarks of a lot of Europeans talking about America.Most talk as if they have been to the states and i am not talking about, Florida or New York.Most americans don't give a damn what some cowardly french man or european says that has been hiding behind the US for the past sixty years.

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  • 241. At 07:39am on 15 Dec 2009, KScurmudgeon wrote:

    238. At 7:15pm on 14 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    By east if you mean moslem populated countries, then I think you should know that things have not been the same between west and east after the 73 oil crises.One such embargo again, and usa would have to negotiate deals with israel to unilaterally remove its occupation, security or no security...And thats what usa and israel dont want, so their startegy is what you see now..going after regimes can bring about the same situation...

    _______________________________

    I wonder if you consider the oil to be a blessing or a curse? It has brought enormous wealth, but to get the wealth the Muslim nations have had to have intercourse (in the sense of extensive contact) with the West, which has challenged your whole society. If it is the nature of human societies to expand their territories, if only to gain access to ever more resources, then We in the west are neither better nor worse than Islam understood as a political unit, nor is either of us any different in motive than the Russians,the Chinese, or, I suppose, the renationalized Jews.

    People have been building empires on a grand scale for about 6000 years. In most of them prosperity is in the growth cycle, poverty and suffering occur as a result of defeat and abuse by the conquerors, or in the inevitable decline as the nation looses it's ability to adapt.

    For now, Israel is holding a piece of the land, and in subtle and not so subtle ways is driving out the previous inhabitants. The Arab nations have tried to run them off by military force and failed. You say peace will only be achieved when Israel leaves - but Israel's strength in the 20th century has always been in the other countries of the West, where Jews have always been a tiny, alien minority.

    If all your accusations of Western Imperialism are true and the Jews are actually only a pawn in that game, I think that militant Jihadism is also only a strategem in the game of power, and at best the competitors are immorally equivalent.

    The mood in the West at the present is saying that the strongest makes alliances, and builds wealth through peaceful trade. The mood in the Middle East that I read from your comments, is that the strongest is master of his neighbors, which would evidently describe Israel as much as any. So right depends only on the side of the line you are standing on.

    KScurmudgeon

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  • 242. At 3:37pm on 15 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    I wonder if you consider the oil to be a blessing or a curse?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    and what i wonder is why everything in the west has to be in an either or, or form...Nuclear weapons in western hands, is a blessing, but G-d forbids, if a muslim country has it or you think can have it, then it becomes a curse..war becomes "just" when obama preaches for it, but is an act of terror, when you are attacked...Either you are with us, or with the terrorists..Ofcourse oil is a blessing..so are all other natural resources hidden or discovered..its the greed that is a curse...Like it or not, jews are just a pawn in this game..the so called newer concept of judeo-christinaity has nothing to do with the sincere wish for jews, the christians have their own agenda for supporting the jews right now in the present in which you live...Otherwise to any tom dick and harry with a bit of common sense, know that judaism has nothing in common with christianity, never had and never will, islam has common principles shared by judaism, and also the so called semitism..thats why historcally speaking ever since the advent of islam, muslims had to come to the rescue of jews both in the middle east, and in europe..in spain, the last muslim of ruler, leaving spain asked the christian winner to spare the lives of muslims and jews, its another thing he didnt, similarily the ottomons gave refuge to the jews both in turkey and middle east and its another thing that some euro-jews abused this refuge and the ergo israel...In jewish history BC and Ad, all those thousands of yrs, the time they actually rules is I think a total of 300 yrs including this 60 yrs of occupation...And occupations always end and they dont end with good result for the occupiars..All the palestinians have to do is to prolonged this occupation, the people coming to israel to settle has dropped over the past years, because the place is no longer is attractive because of unstablity, some more yrs and israel will have sever problems with recuriting new settlers, the result can be a relative peaceful one state or a chaotic one, its up to the jews to choose...And the less they listen to western supporters, the better, because the west can as it does, pretend that nothing is happening...as they did when hitler and his forces killed millions in their backyard...the jews came to middle east, claiming its their G-d given land because G-d told them so, the palestinians retaliate with what their G-d told them, fight the occupation..the holy claim being fought back with the holy claim..You are neither a muslim or a jew, so I dont understand how you manage to support the holy war of one side...You must have your own agenda, its for you to find out or not..There will always be people who support the aggressors and those who support the weak...and as Edward Said, suggested, there is no point or no use discussing the matter with those who support oppression...The british empire with generously divided the land inhabited by muslims to jews, but wouldnt do the same with northern irland, were the descendent of crussaders, and the present day british rulers are the decendent of the british empire...and since leapoard will never change its spots and the ethiopean his skin, the british too will never change their attitudes..they will even lie for the sake of their attitudes, as confessed by blair..

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  • 243. At 4:08pm on 15 Dec 2009, Philly-Mom wrote:

    60. PaganBarbarian wrote:
    Philly-Mom:
    You can't even spell out God, so everyone knows what you are behind your alias. Slightly biased, or what?


    Dearest Pagan:
    Wow. That was really funny! LMAO ROTFL and all that silliness! If you assume I am Jewish because I used "G-d", then you are simply wrong. Good guess, but wrong. I just use the slash out respect for others. I've actually used "G-d/ess(es)" elsewhere, but I kinda' figure that's just a tad excessive. Maybe I should go back to doing that.

    Actually - I'm a Mennonite.
    I decided to become a Mennonite when I decided to become a Pacifist.
    (Ha! I've just 'out-ed' myself online!!)

    In my neighborhood in Philadelphia there are Baptists, Muslims, Jews, Unitarians, Blacks, Whites, Browns... I love it here. There is a Mosque nearby, a Synagogue, Protestant Groups, and Catholics. Some women wear Burqas and some men wear Yarmulkes.
    -- People here worship God, Yahweh, Allah, Jesus, Gaia - and we're all neighbors. Ain't that nice?

    Oh, and of course I'm biased! This is a blog, isn't it? This is exactly the forum where opinions are released to scamper around like the furry little beasts they are.


    BTW:
    Did I guess wrong? Are you truly 'Pagan'? What kind? A dear friend of mine is named Gaia, and I once met some lovely Wiccans in Massachusetts. Lovely eco-femynist-type folks. Great for chatting about local pollution issues and the importance of being Green... Um... that is 'Eco-friendly'. Green Witches only happen in the Wizard of Oz movie.

    Anyway - if you want to be Pagan, that's your choice honey!
    But if you want to be Barbaric, you might not get invited to my BBQ.

    It would be hard for me to explain to my children why the scary naked blue man is trying to kill them. Personally, I prefer these Blue Men. Less death, better music.

    -- G-d/ess(es) Bless You, Honey!

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  • 244. At 4:38pm on 15 Dec 2009, Philly-Mom wrote:

    Hi Folks!

    I have way too much paperwork on my desk to chat much longer (and my little note to Pagan was far longer than I expected)
    -- but since we're all still chatting about "Just War", here's a fun tidbit:


    Hot Military Gossip
    The Army v. Navy Football game was in Philly this past weekend, and a friend's Army-brother was in town from Washington, so I picked his brain a bit.

    He's a Major (career military) who's done two tours in Iraq and a short one in Afghanistan, and is in 'training' to depart again. I asked him about the military strategy he's getting and he told me two interesting things --

    1) Strategy is what the Executives do. Tactics are what the Soldiers do. He's learning "Operations". That's were the leadership on the ground (like him) is taught about how to turn Military Strategy into actual Tactics.

    -- his operational training has largely been about the actual cultural matters at hand (good!) and how to build roads without pissing off villagers. (literally. Farmers like roads NEAR their land, but not ON their land... oops.) He said that some villagers follow the Elders & some follow their Imam. He has to learn how to say 'take me to your leader' and know he's talking to the right leader. Seems reasonable.

    2) He also said (now, get this!) that he's heard career military leadership grumbling that they were raised in Germany and that the US should be building Barracks and schools in Afghanistan for the Soldier's families. My Major-friend thinks that is silly, because der DDR wanted us there after WWII (the USSR was flexing their Arms, remember?). Afghanistan wants us to finish and leave as quickly as possible. He is happy that the current plan is to get-er-done and get-out.

    He has young children. I think he wants to raise his kids over here.
    Interesting, isn't it?

    Love and Peace,
    Your Mom.

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  • 245. At 5:30pm on 15 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Afghanistan wants us to finish and leave as quickly as possible. He is happy that the current plan is to get-er-done and get-out.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No, the afghans dont want you to finish the job, you dont know what the job is...You have to go higher up some ranks to know the stragetgy, the majors just get orders...from their COs..If he wants to build anything and wants to know the dealing and weasling then i suggest he should work for usaid. It took usa 5 yrs to build kandahar airport when their boots werent trampling the country, so quickly can things happen when the americans see a possible enemy, the then ussr...However that was in 50s now and now the usaid builds, meat markets and public latrines. By the way did your friends younger brother mention the luxurious life he had in both afghanistan, at bagram base. Maybe he will bring you back some afghanistani rugs and jewelry from the shops at the base...War no matter how just it is, cannot be won eating burgers of burger king or by pizza hut pizzas, and definately by not going to spa or shopping for rugs and jewelry...Why these americans stationed in afghanistan complain or why their families complain is beyond my understanding...Normal people have such luxuries when they go on holidays, americans do that when they go to war...

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  • 246. At 5:30pm on 15 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Philly-Mom:

    That's two very good posts, that actually contributed to the discussion. I'm humbled and grateful. Well done, and thank you.

    I'm a Saxon pagan. You remember, the people who were virtually exterminated by the Franks and Romans in the 700s AD, because they refused to convert to Christianity. That was one of the first, greatest genocides of European history. The 'barbarian' is a little note of rhetorical defiance, not truly meant to be taken that seriously. Just a reminder that I am definitely NOT a Christian, and that I will always be any Christian's enemy, thirsting for revenge, for the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Christians against my people. Never to forgive. Never to forget.

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  • 247. At 5:40pm on 15 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Bagram Air Field is a boom town

    http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/dec/06/na-bagram-air-field-is-a-boom-town/

    1000 or so people hired to build it, are not all afghanistanis, the usa and the rest beat the drums of trying to better the lives of afghans, and yet, they allow, indians, srilankans to work and better their lives in india and srilanka...while capable afghanistanis have to sit and watch theese starngers taking their work places..And unlike usaid, pentagon is a far better employer when it comes to salaries...it has very many billions of dollars at its disposal to spend in afghanistan on military projects...while usaid I think 1.5 or so...

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  • 248. At 5:53pm on 15 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    And hidden somewhere in this luxury is the guantanobay look alike prison which continues to receive prisoners...and will continue to do so when the one in cuba shuts down, Running two prisons costs, and it gives further headache of who is torturing at whose leased soil...

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  • 249. At 6:14pm on 15 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    An open letter to Islam and other self appointed haters:

    I am sitting back considering good Mr. Mardell’s blog, here on the BBC web, since the day of the Nobel prize ceremony. When I read the hot-heads here, the endless diatribes in a bacchanalia of America bashing, I see nothing but the inevitability of war ahead for all of us. But I think there is another path we may all go down. We are all brothers. Whether you see it as true or not, America is truly a Great country. I will repeat, America is a light to all peoples. Americans all would prefer never to wage war. As an American, one feels extremely uncomfortable when speaking of picking up the sword. But do not misunderstand, Americans sacrifice in order that Americas light burn brightly in the world. Why?

    Why is America great? It was discovered through trial and error in the history of a Europe, emerging from the darkness of religious hegemony, through the Renaissance and the Enlightenment, what works and does not. America discovered that simple peace, commerce, and brotherhood of diverse peoples of the world is the answer to the future. America was and is a gift to the future. And to the world. If Islam is truly a religion of peace, than in America, it will find a valuable allay down the path of brotherhood. What happened to make America so effective and right? The founders discovered that religious truth can be and indeed is understood differently by each individual, and it is counter productive to the destiny of man to enforce through fear any official version of Divine truth. They enshrined the idea that it was for the individual American, as a Christian based country, to interpret how Jesus might set them spiritually free and not for the state to interfere. Similarly then, the founders discovered how to set man politically free from the tyranny of government control of any kind. It is this kind of radical idea, that if you give people the space, the freedom, they will be productive to the song of their own dream. Democracy, freedom, liberty is a messy, rough and tumble path which requires maturity, the practical necessity to rise beyond base instincts, and responsibility; requirements that we do not always measure up to as individuals. Many Americans even if they profess no religious faith are highly ethical; an ethic that has its base in Christianity, (For some Americans, ethics are based in far older more ancient ‘pagan’ roots of profound knowledge.); the idea of universal brotherhood. We as a country would rather love our enemy than to fight him. But if provoked, we have a fundamental idea to uphold, fight, and if necessary to die for. No Hegemony of purported Divine revelation of any kind is going to rule us politically. If people of any religion want to live among us and worship on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, or any other day, we say, be our guest; free to do as what moves you. But subjugation, subjection, submission to the political will of a horde will not stand. If provoked, you will find, for America to be true to itself, America will answer with its own Jihad. The difference will be that the use of force will be just enough to neutralize the threat. I doubt that Muslims worldwide wish either to convert the remaining three billions of the world or else to cut of their heads. But an answer of grace has to be found from within Islam itself to the conundrum of other religions. In America, many people carry out their understanding of Christianity, Judaism, and other various faiths by the reading of their scriptures through the subtle, loving, and forgiving eyes of metaphor. This is how religion in America, as each generation has passed, has slowly evolved from religious hatred, separation, and discrimination towards a path of increasingly shared inter-religious brotherhood; where the religion which you profess is of tangential importance compared to the content of your character as an individual within society. It seems to me that something similar has to occur within Islam or else we will have constant war for hundreds of years to come. From my reading in this blog, there are those here who seem to be anticipating world conquest spanning an age. There is a chance even for you to see more lovingly, rightly, sanely, and yet to come to the table of universal brotherhood, with your religion as proud as it can be, but without the need to cut off my head. There is a philosophic and a practical principle here to be seen, absorbed and put into practice. It arises from the ethic of one of the prophets you embrace as your own in Islam. The lesson, “Love thine Enemy.” Anything less is to fail in your religion and in the face of your own God. Never forget that America defended Moslem peoples from genocide in the former Yugoslavia and that Bush is regarded as a hero in Kosovo. This can only be because America lives by a universal ethic and etiquette and will be always ready for peace when enjoined to it. This is why America is great.
    Salam.

    Alexander

    PS. The Jewish population in America is a fully integrated and invaluable component of the fabric, brilliance, and resiliency of American dynamism. And America is pledged to the future of Israel. In order for anyone to join the table for the future, you have to be able to stop the hatred. Most people are too smug in their judgements to make this kind and simple gesture. In the gesture is a gift to oneself and one’s progeny. It is done in simple, enlightened self interest finally.

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  • 250. At 6:29pm on 15 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    With an open question to PaganBarbarian:

    Why, if your blood memory feud is with Catholic Christianity for its historical genocide of your people in the years 700, why do you have such a hatred for Israel? I think it fascinating and intriguing what you said about being a Saxon, and that people still have such strong feeling for such an ancient historical crime. Are you alone in this or is there a proud contingent? You must have had something glorious and valuable as a people and tragic for it to be lost at the hands of Rome.

    Do you realize the irony here? Jerusalem was glorious and valuable to a people who lost it to pagan Rome and have still a generational transfer of the tragedy. And their historical hope has been realized and historical wrong been appeased. They never forgot either.

    I am not just saying this. I am truly intrigued. I had taken you for a eastern 'pagan barbarian'.

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  • 251. At 6:56pm on 15 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    Or alternately you could have just read, the iron mountain report of 67, in that way, you would also have found out where ombama recycled his Just war concept and the justifaction he gave for such war...quote,“if lasting peace could be achieved in the world, it would almost certainly not be in the best interest of the (american)society because war is an essential part of the system, war is an essential part of the economy”. Period. Same goes for your partner, israel..

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  • 252. At 7:15pm on 15 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    # 249. yes we all know about Doug Coe, and his fellowship or the family. The oconnection between the headquarters of the family,build on acres of land somewhere near whitehouse and Bagram air facility being build on acres of land in afghanistan by pentagon is your politicians... we also know Billy Graham, Jerry fallwell and that texan guy, Evans..Chruch has not seprated from your politics, it has learnt to stay behind the curtains and use the politicians as actors for its play..

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  • 253. At 8:15pm on 15 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    To ColonelArtist:

    Cynicism is as cynicism does.

    You do not proceed but from your judgement.
    If I were to start individually preaching around the world, the likes of you would accuse me of being part of some complex political machine or of being naively used by one when I would just be fulfilling a personal spiritual imperative.

    By the way, the difference between the west and the east possessing nuclear weapons is that in Iran, that nut, the President who is awaiting the return of the twelfth Imam and believes it is his destiny to begin holy war with nuclear weapons in order to pave the way for the coming of new divine revelation. That is expressly why he should not have those weapons. He has pledged to use them in Israel. If he does, he radiates the Dome of the Mosque. All this beration of America and none about the fascist crazy in Iran. Really quite sad if it were not so dangerous, this blindness. Ignorance is a cunning devil. You think he is your friend until you realize what friend you have taken up with.



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  • 254. At 9:00pm on 15 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Alexander:

    Just to be clear, I do not agree with your views on America and democracy, obviously. I sincerely believe you are brain-washed, with a childhood indocrination which is simply wrong and factually false. The image that democracy is a good political system is pitiful nonsense, totally contradicted by all the evidence of Greece and Rome, and the claim that the USA is a good nation is directly contradicted by all the available evidence as well. That belief is plainly propaganda, drilled into you as an innocent, defenseless child. A human child can be conditioned into believing anything, no matter how ludicrous. Witness the many religions of the planet, all claiming to be true. All conditioning requires is a closed environment, such as a family or classroom, the appearance of conviction in the conditioners, and repetition. The news media takes advantage of this fact on a regular basis. We are genetically, instinctively programed to trust, as trust is a species or tribal survival trait, and we instinctively believe what we are told, very intensely when we see something in print. All the news media needs to do is repeat some fairytale often enough, and most people will grow to believe it. That reality allows governments to remain in power, even when they are starkly incompetent and corrupt, such as in the US.

    The major fault of religious indoctrination in the world today is the impositon of monotheism, as opposed to polytheism. The image of one god controlling everything is a truly monstrous evil. Montheism is hostile and aggressive against all other religions by its very nature, while polytheism is peaceful and tolerant of other religions by its nature. Montheism is destructive and hateful by definition, and the direct cause of most of the pain and suffering in the world today. Guess who originated this hideous and sickening religious concept, the first god-sanctioned excuse for hatred and domination.

    Thousands of books and academic papers have been written about the effect of defeat on a people. Before the genocide of the 700s, the Germanic people were peaceful and tolerant of others. Their spirit was destroyed by their defeat, and they have never recovered. If you left them alone, they would leave you alone. The Germans are one of the best people of the world, brilliant scientists and engineers, rational, realistic, pragmatic and practical in day-to-day life. Yet to be German anywhere on the planet outside Germany is to be constantly subjected to discrimination and hatred. An American of German descent arrested in the US doesn't have a prayer of being released by the courts. The subject of his innocence is irrelevant; he will be convicted whatever the evidence supporting his lack of guilt. Of course Germans resent the hatred and discrimination directed against them.

    Yet there is no world-wide German conspiracy, no. Just remember that every Anglo-Saxon is a German.

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  • 255. At 9:54pm on 15 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    By the way, the difference between the west and the east possessing nuclear weapons is that in Iran, that nut, the President who is awaiting the return of the twelfth Imam and believes it is his destiny to begin holy war with nuclear weapons in order to pave the way for the coming of new divine revelation. That is expressly why he should not have those weapons. He has pledged to use them in Israel. If he does, he radiates the Dome of the Mosque. All this beration of America and none about the fascist crazy in Iran. Really quite sad if it were not so dangerous, this blindness. Ignorance is a cunning devil. You think he is your friend until you realize what friend you have taken up with.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    show me where he said that, direct quote saying he will use nuclear bombs on israel...He is not the only one waiting, the jews are waiting the christian all over the world are waiting...I cannot say anything against iran it has not attacked or gone to war, its just busy with itself..iran is not a he, and by he, if you mean the president prisdent of iran, then allow me to tell you which you forget, that none of the opposition leaders in iran have different point of view on nuclear power plants...Do you think america just didnt avail the situation created by protests just because it didnt want to? It has yet to find someone like karzai in iran as well.Meanwhile live with your imagined belief that your politics are free from religious influences...the chruch is even more powerful in your politics than it was ever...

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  • 256. At 10:02pm on 15 Dec 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    #254 Pagan Barbarian--Your comments about the persecution of Germans in the US are interesting to me, and mind-boggling. Many of my neighbors are German/Swiss (primarily Old Order Mennonites) and still speak a dialect of German (albeit with much English mixed in). Even many Pennsylvanians who aren't Mennonite or Amish have some German ancestry, including myself. The thing is, I haven't heard of anyone being denied justice because of German ancestry in PA or any other state since the 1940s. Then again, the Mennonites & Amish are a peaceful sort of people so it's not often that they get arrested in the first place.

    It is true that some were forced to Anglicize their names during World War I and they suffered various other sorts of harassments. Schmidts became Smiths and Brubackers became Brubakers, by and large. But modern day discrimination in America? Towards African Americans, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, and Asians yes, unfortunately, it happens. Towards Germans, never in my life time, that I'm aware of.

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  • 257. At 11:40pm on 15 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote:

    Do you honestly expect any German American to tell you? Germans in the US have learned to keep their heads down and their mouths shut. They've experienced what happens to them when they dare to complain. You would probably need to torture a German American to make him tell you the truth about what living in the US is like for him, because he would know the consequences if he ever talked. His entire family would suffer.

    Look at the court records of your state if you want evidence strong enough to be considered proof. All those records are public, although going through them case by case is admittedly very hard work. I'd lay long odds that you won't find a single case since 1950 in which the German American wasn't found guilty, and I guarantee that you will be staggered by how clear the evidence was in most cases that the German was entirely innocent of the charges. Germans are not an innately criminal people. You don't need to take an anonymous poster's word for it. Take a look at your own state's court records for yourself. Once a German American is arrested in the US, he is doomed.

    I'm not surprised by your lack of awareness about your own justice system. After all, you're an American. Your legal authorities certainly won't volunteer any real insider knowledge about the way your courts actually work. Obviously, no lawyer or judge would ever inform a private citizen of those facts. The less you know the better, as far as your government is concerned. There is one than one method of oppression, and some are very subtle and quiet.

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  • 258. At 06:13am on 16 Dec 2009, Alexander wrote:

    To PaganBarbarian:

    I am keenly interested to respond and to ask you some questions regarding your post #254. Please infer that when I use the pronoun, ‘you’ it is done in the formal address of, “Sie”.

    I am keenly aware of the problem of conditioning and how insidious a hold control has upon an individual. And yes, conditioning through fear in the three ‘great’ monotheisms is embedded. To live a life compelled in such manner is to not live one’s life. It is to become a machine, an instrument, hence our materialistic thinking and a world bereft of its poetry. Therefore some type of transcendence is in order for us all.

    I could proffer that Jesus intended to set people free from 'Religion'; but that is not why I am writing.

    My sincere question to you is: If not Democracy, what form of government would you propose for which people. Is there a form better suited than the perhaps regrettable reality, and weakness of democracy, the general ignorance of the mob, with their their tendency to vote illogically; a problem that riled Rome.

    There is no question that in the courts in the United States there are cases of gross miscarriage of justice historically to the present and that when one goes to court, as one judge said in a proceeding I was witness to, “You want to settle because if the case goes to trial, we will not get it right.” You speak with such bitterness about America’s justice system. If there were ever willful discrimination against Germans as a people, it has to have been in the past. There has been against Native Americans and blacks.

    You speak with authority regarding monotheism. I understand your gripe. It takes somewhat of a scholar or someone with a deep sense of history and thoughtfulness to care about reaching back so far into ancient days to mine the root, the moment when a people turned away from the Goddess, and religion became fear of a vengeful Grandfather guiding their followers to conquer and enslave. Some years back, I read and thought daily about this change and what the ideologies that it inspired have done to people, nations, and now to the mother Goddess Earth. I am not as monolithic in my opinions as my conditioning would have me be. There is no denying that some of the ‘greatest’ (most violent), warrior peoples were given permission historically from their One God. History is just this brutal story of vicious unforgiving conquest. The dark cloud of an unregulated monotheism threatens todays world with vehemence. (By the way, the enemy of your enemy is still your enemy.)

    Peoples of the west historically are wedded to their monotheisms. How could they drift back without a ground to stand upon. In America there is much flexible religious or more properly said, spiritual searching in Wiccan, Buddhism, Native American rituals, etc. Many people will say, “I am not religious, I am spiritual”, to describe themselves. People are searching for a more holistic perspective that encompasses the earth as part of a sacred consciousness and worship. I think the same is true in Europe. The Greeks had a versatile polytheism. And they were free! They were the first scientists we know of, not to simply trust to the temples but to verify the evidence of facts before them. Did not the Germanic people derive something from the gifts of the Greeks within the past two thousand years?

    If the Germanic peoples never recovered from the raping conquest of their soul, what could be done by themselves or that others should know about if one wished to set aright a historical wrong? I do not dispute what you say about the gifts of German people; the language, the art, poetry and the greatest music ever written. As I have some German ancestry from Hessen, I am part of this story too.

    Most people are so harried about what is immediately in front of them to care about history in its grand sweep. You carry a heavy burden of knowledge with regards to the tragedies of the deep past. How does it serve never to forget. If one had the power to make sweeping changes to present reality, how would one create in the present an answer to the historical grief? Not every one soul was totally broken. Here you are carrying the torch of a lost dream. I am utterly intrigued.

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  • 259. At 08:35am on 16 Dec 2009, _marko wrote:

    To Alexander #249

    "An open letter to Islam and other self appointed haters"

    Your letter is just an expression of patriotism and nationalism. You have a simplistic and generic view of non-America and your language is sometimes more suited to supporting sports teams. It's intriguing that you genuinely believe that American culture is superior to other cultures, measured through things like political systems, ethics, religion, intelligence etc. It is just different, with both positive and negative points. You appear to be a victim of marketing propaganda: How can anyone be critical of the USA? If they're non-American it's anti-Americanism, if American they must be self-hating Americans! very convenient.

    Why is my post great? because I believe it is great!

    If I asked you whether American culture could integrate with the rest of the world you would probably be offended. If so why?

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  • 260. At 1:43pm on 16 Dec 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    #257 PaganBarbarian "Do you honestly expect any German American to tell you?"

    Considering the number (over 500) of Pennsylvanian Germans I have met, yes, I would expect one of them to have at least vaguely alluded to the problem.

    "Germans in the US have learned to keep their heads down and their mouths shut."

    Nonsense. They hold their heads as high as anyone else. Many are quite talkative.

    "You would probably need to torture a German American to make him tell you the truth about what living in the US is like for him, because he would know the consequences if he ever talked. His entire family would suffer."

    Here in these grand states, torture by the judicial system is reserved for Muslims and the poor. (I say that bitterly). Germans aren't typically poorer than anyone else.

    "Look at the court records of your state if you want evidence strong enough to be considered proof."

    In PA's court records you will find that many judges and lawyers are German, based on their surnames.

    "All those records are public, although going through them case by case is admittedly very hard work."

    Have you done so? If so, you must be a very old man/woman indeed.

    "I'd lay long odds that you won't find a single case since 1950 in which the German American wasn't found guilty, and I guarantee that you will be staggered by how clear the evidence was in most cases that the German was entirely innocent of the charges."

    Then you'd lose your bet. I googled several popular surnames of German Americans along with the word "acquitted" and found many results.

    "Germans are not an innately criminal people."

    Of course not, as I said the Germans in Pennsylvania are mostly a peaceful people. However, considering the history of Germany 60-100 years ago it would seem that the Germans left in Germany were not such a peaceful lot.

    "You don't need to take an anonymous poster's word for it. Take a look at your own state's court records for yourself. Once a German American is arrested in the US, he is doomed."

    Baloney.

    "I'm not surprised by your lack of awareness about your own justice system. After all, you're an American. Your legal authorities certainly won't volunteer any real insider knowledge about the way your courts actually work. Obviously, no lawyer or judge would ever inform a private citizen of those facts. The less you know the better, as far as your government is concerned. There is one than one method of oppression, and some are very subtle and quiet."

    Your condescending attitude coupled with your lack of facts make me distrust you. I am certainly aware that the legal system has problems, but those problems are mainly for the minorities. And German Americans are hardly a minority in my area. They are, in fact, one of the biggest ethnic groups in PA.

    If you don't take my word for it, I suggest you ask Philly Mom, BePA, Via Media, Chiagirl, Guns & Religion, or any other Pennsylvanian on here. Pennsylvania does not persecute German Americans.

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  • 261. At 1:56pm on 16 Dec 2009, parityisbetterthancharity wrote:

    Oh, by the way, PaganBarbarian, are you superstitious? I heard a great horned owl when I went outside just after I wrote that post for you last night. Of course, it's just the time of year that makes them be especially noisy (they'll hatch their young in January) but if you're superstitious I thought you might be concerned.

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  • 262. At 8:06pm on 19 Dec 2009, McJakome wrote:

    254. At 9:00pm on 15 Dec 2009, PaganBarbarian wrote to Alexander:

    “An American of German descent arrested in the US doesn't have a prayer of being released by the courts. The subject of his innocence is irrelevant; he will be convicted whatever the evidence supporting his lack of guilt.”

    You are delusional. My German great grandfather fled here to Massachusetts from Bismarck’s Unification. He never wanted to even talk about Germany, not because of oppression here but because he didn’t want to relive oppression there!

    I’ve met people in Pennsylvania who were not shy about using the German language in their homes or outside, nor did they fear persecution [though there was some suspicion during WWI and WWII]. If your post is based on stories from the World Wars, they are out of date and you should forget them.

    A colleague was held in Kansas in a POW camp during WWII. He was just a teenager and was given an opportunity to get out of the camp and live and work on a family farm. He was repatriated to Germany after the war against his will. He hated Germany and spent years getting back here.

    He has a very noticeable German accent, but is very comfortable in retirement in Upstate New York. He is a rather nationalistic and patriotic American, but he let me practice my pathetic German on him [however almost always answering in English]. Note, one example does not prove a point, but this rather argues against oppression of Germans.

    Besides, my high school and college classes had more than a few “knaben” with German surnames, none of whom were poor or oppressed. That they did not speak German was due not to oppression but to the assimilation of people welcomed and not excluded. My public school taught us both English and German verses to “O Tanenbaum” and “Stile Nacht.” While I did not attend a kindergarten, I do respond to a sneeze with “gesundheit.”

    So please, if you won’t get treatment, please get some real facts. Danke/thanks.

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  • 263. At 8:23pm on 19 Dec 2009, colonelartist wrote:

    What I would have liked to hear from obama was Mau Mau revolution against the british...instead he justified a war against taliban, I guess he didnt learn anything from his kenyan father...

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  • 264. At 06:28am on 20 Dec 2009, allmymarbles wrote:

    237, colonelartist.
    "Where where you people, when Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to a totalitarian lying lier (Le Duc Tho) and a notorious terrorist (Arafat)?"

    And let's not forget the notorious Menachem Begin, terrorist head of the Stern Gang. He got a Nobel Peace Prize too. The whole peace prize business is a laugh. If Obama had any dignity he would have refused to accept it. But, then, he is a politician....

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