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Reflections of an Iraq War veteran as "combat mission" ends

Mark Mardell | 08:06 UK time, Monday, 30 August 2010

This week the mission in Iraq officially changes, combat is over.

On Tuesday night, President Obama will give an important speech marking the end of the conflict. I am talking to a number of people who were involved in the war about what it means to them and where it leaves the notion of American military might. The result will be broadcast on the Ten O'Clock News on Wednesday night but I'll be posting some fuller versions of the interviews here.

Boston

Tim McLaughlin is flicking through an album of photographs he took in Iraq as his tank made its way to Baghdad - part of the invading American forces in 2003. They are not your average snaps.

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He shows me one of a burnt-out tank they passed on the way. An American tank. He says that's a bit worrying. His comrades-in-arms, smiling in front of their tank. They all lived, but he remarks the sergeant is blind, but doing well, running for Congress in California.

The narrow view from inside the tank, a slit that shows road and desert. In one a body, a dot on the ground, an Iraqi soldier who got too close.

Perhaps you've seen one of Tim McLaughlin's photos too. You've almost certainly seen a picture of his flag. It was the stars and stripes that was raised as the statue of Saddam Hussein came tumbling too the ground, with a little American help. Some saw the moment as a defining and damaging image, one of conquest not liberation.

For Tim, now a solicitor in Boston, it was not a exactly a moment pregnant with meaning at the time.

''What I remember is not very much. It wasn't a particularly memorable moment for me and I don't think it was intended to be. I truly didn't feel anything about the flag - I was more concerned about posting the tanks around the embassy for security. To the extent that there was a crowd gathered around the statue trying to pull it down and to the extent that Mike 88 (motor transport operative: the guy driving the crane) was trying to help them I remember my company commander said: "Hey Mac, go get the flag, get a picture of it." That's very different from the way the world perceived it but that doesn't mean that they didn't perceive it correctly. I understand it symbolises a lot of things for a lot of people."

I said that as far as it symbolised a moment of victory, what were his reflections on that?

"I would disagree with you. It was not my moment of victory. Corporal Gonzales was killed three days later. So if you are sitting at home watching it on TV, wars have endings just like movies on TV have endings but there was no ending for me there. There was a flag that went up, that was perceived as something other than it was at the time. My friend Andy Stern died 18 months later. There was no victory for me.

"When the flag went up that was perceived in the minds of people who watched at home as victory. But as time wore on it was clear from our perspective the enemy didn't want to quit, didn't want to give up. They put up resistance and in fairness to them they did develop a very good strategy, very good tactic for defeating what would otherwise be a superior military force."

He says Petraeus is a smart man, who had a smart plan and the Iraqi people are "getting there".

So what are his thoughts before this official change of mission?

"Makes me kinda proud of my experiences. The opportunity to give them a chance to let their country be whatever they want it to be."

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He has talked about those who died, so was it worth it?

"Of course I think it was worth it. But I think you are asking two separate questions. Was the question of invading Iraq right? At the time it appeared to be the right decision, in retrospect things were not as they were said. But that conversation is different from 'Should we have stayed or should we have gone, 2004 to 2010?'. However mistaken the decision to invade, the stubbornness - as some people saw it - of George Bush in not leaving, I think that was a courageous decision on his part. I had the experience more recently of working in Bosnia (for the International War Crimes Tribunal) and Bosnia was a country where we didn't intervene and truly horrific consequences resulted. If we had simply run away from Iraq the way some people wanted, we would have seen truly catastrophic consequences - not 25 people dying in a bombing one day but entire villages wiping out other villages.

I quote something he wrote a couple of years ago:

"No-one has to convince me that there is a difference between the way the world is and the way it should be. I'll stand for the way the world should be every time" - what implications did that have for the use of American military might?

"I'm writing as someone who had been in the military, not as a politician who makes a decision to go to war. One of the things you will find among almost all of those who become servicemen is that one of the primary reasons we join is the notion that we are making a difference in the world and frequently the military is the right place to make that difference. You see the military's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also in places like Haiti. So my decision to join the military was an opportunity to make the world a better place somewhere. Of course military force never makes the world a better place for the people who experience the military force, or people who apply the military force like me, but over the course of history I think Europe is a better place for the application of military force, Japan is, South Korea clearly is.

Iraq? I interrupt.

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"I think it's too soon to tell. I think one of the difficulties people have in this world of drive-thrus and 24-hour instant news feeds is that the military will go in in September and by the end of the year we will have a functioning democracy. But they are having elections, they are having the same sort of honourable gridlock in their politics that we have in ours. Germany is the third-largest economy in the world, but it's taken 60 years."

So while some would only use force to defend, he would agree with those who want to get rid of the bad guys?

"No, that's not what happened in Iraq. At the time at least what was reported to the public by the president's administration and the media was that Iraq had some responsibility (for 9/11) so to that extent that's not getting rid of the bad guy, but getting rid of the guy who attacked your country."

I remark afterwards that in Britain the focus was all on weapons of mass destruction and I didn't know anyone who believed that Saddam had anything to do with 9/11.

He said in the US it was different. I ask him about lessons for the future about the uses of war.

"It is up to the people. I think the president and government is obligated to defend this country whether it is the borders or energy policy. I think we would be fooling anybody to believe that there wasn't defence of energy policy. Given that our energy policy means we consume about 25% of the world's natural resources then we have to engage and defend those resources where they are."

How would he sum up?

"I am incredibly proud at what I see over there. I really see good things. I hope one day I can go back to a functioning country, however they want it to function. I am incredibly proud of the American servicemen over there - they do an extraordinary job. As for what I miss, I miss the people, not getting rained on for a month, getting shot at, shooting other people. My experience was a particularly violent one overall, but it gives me perspective that you can't get at an Ivy League school and that's my take on the world."

Comments

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  • 1. At 11:56am on 30 Aug 2010, HabitualHero wrote:

    Around a million Iraqi civilians have been killed since america decided to.....ahem......liberate Iraq. Your hero doesn't mention them - americans never do. The only casualty figures that americans care about are their own.

    One question - has that statue of dubya been erected in Bagdad yet?

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  • 2. At 11:59am on 30 Aug 2010, HabitualHero wrote:

    " Given that our energy policy means we consume about 25% of the world's natural resources then we have to engage and defend those resources where they are."


    Straight from the horse's mouth.

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  • 3. At 12:16pm on 30 Aug 2010, xpat73 wrote:

    "It is up to the people. I think the president and government is obligated to defend this country whether it is the borders or energy policy. I think we would be fooling anybody to believe that there wasn't defence of energy policy. Given that our energy policy means we consume about 25% of the world's natural resources then we have to engage and defend those resources where they are."

    There I was thinking it was about "freeing the Iraqi people."

    It is interesting that this soldier, like most Americans, frames any hostile attack by the United States as "defending America." I think Iraq, Afghanistan, Gulf War I, Panama, and Vietnam were all attacks on sovereign countires for pure greed, money and respurces and had little if anything to do with "defending America."

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  • 4. At 12:34pm on 30 Aug 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    The war in Iraq was an unqualified success. Whether entirely justified because the WMDs were actually there and disappeared into Syria or merely remain hidden or never existed, there is no doubt that the threat to the US from Iraq whether mistakenly perceived or real that Iraq presented to the US is gone and the realities in the middle east have changed drastically as a result. It is unfortunate the insurgency that occurred in the aftermath preventing the rebuilding of Iraq to the degree we'd hoped and expected and the violence it brought occurred and could not be quickly and efficiently supressed but that was not the war Ameria went there to fight. It really shouldn't have taken it on. After the glorious victory, the US should have pulled out and left the chaos to be sorted out by the UN, regional powers, or Britain which invented the imbecillic construct of Iraq in the first place (Saint Winston Churchill said it was the worst mistake he'd ever made but only one among many many others.)

    Had we pulled out much sooner far fewer Americans would have died, far less American money wasted. The Iraqis could have then decided to rebuild their country or to continue killing each other. They still have that choice. As for the Iraqis who died, most were killed because they were combatants or were killed by the insurgents. The number of non combatants who were killed by Americans either inadvertently in the crossfire or by honest mistake or deliberately by criminals was a relative handful, a very small percentage of the number which actually died whatever the real number is. These are the consequences of all wars which are why they are to be avoided.

    Even with the self defeating self restraint the American military habitually displays, war against the United States is carries dire consequences and is invariably a form of national suicide, certainly for a government. Even when America nominally lost as in Vietnam, the enemy's victory comes at a horrific price. Vietnam remaind among the handful of poorest countries in the world and suffered the consequences for generations until they gave up the economic system they fought to impose on others because it completely failed them. Had they come to the same conclusion in 1963 that they came to in 2003 there wouldn't have been a war in Vietnam.

    America's focus on foreign policy now shold be on the threats of Iran, North Korea, and the war Islamic terrorists continue to wage against us. A far more forceful response is called for, we have been far to complacent because events have not been in the headlines of the news. This does not mean there aren't malovalent forces gathering strength and lining up against us planning new attacks. The time to strike them is at the earliest possible moment, to pre-empt and neutralize them. Waiting and reacting in the aftermath as we did in Afghanistan is a very bad mistake but we don't seem to have learned out lesson. It's the same lesson Japan and Nazi Germany taught the world in the 1930s.

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  • 5. At 12:48pm on 30 Aug 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #3
    It is interesting that this soldier, like most Americans, frames any hostile attack by the United States as "defending America." I think Iraq, Afghanistan, Gulf War I, Panama, and Vietnam were all attacks on sovereign countires for pure greed, money and respurces and had little if anything to do with "defending America."
    _____________
    You are not thinking, the first Gulf war Saddam invaded Kuwait and was poised to enter Saudi Arabia and thretening the world's oil supply.

    afghanastan and the Talibian war crinals were haboring al Quada

    Well never know about WMD becuse El Barerdi conspired to give Iraq time to move them

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  • 6. At 12:50pm on 30 Aug 2010, matt-stone wrote:

    Mark Mardell....has it taken Germany 60years for their economy to be where it is now ?? Don't kid yourself. I served in Germany in the Sixties, and believe me West Germany, as were then, had over two million guestarbeiter drafted in from all over Europe to man their thriving industries, including a lot of Brits in the construction industries.
    And as for the Iraqi invasion, its just the continuation of what we, Brits like to do most of the time, invading foreign land and killing their citizens, whether justified or not.

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  • 7. At 12:59pm on 30 Aug 2010, Tinkersdamn wrote:

    Thanks for reporting the interview, I think it's something we need to hear. Every few months I encounter troops shortly after their return to civilian life. They tend to have a good natured and good hearted attitude beyond what I find in our general population. But often when they tell me why we invaded, or Iraqi history prior to our invasion, I'm amazed at the misinformation and sometimes disinformation that they have received. Many of our active troops are just out of high school and beginning adulthood. When I find instances they've been deeply wrongly informed, it's hard for me not to feel it is for the older Americans who have conveyed false information to them who are the ones that really need to grow up.

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  • 8. At 1:27pm on 30 Aug 2010, DCHeretic wrote:

    1. At 11:56am on 30 Aug 2010, HabitualHero wrote:
    Around a million Iraqi civilians have been killed since america decided to.....ahem......liberate Iraq. Your hero doesn't mention them - americans never do. The only casualty figures that americans care about are their own.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    How many of those Iraqis were killed by foreign Islamic insurgents? While I do blame the Bush administration for not taking the threat of an insurgency seriously, despite prescient warnings from the State Department and Pentagon, I continue to be baffled by the reluctance of the left to acknowledge the large number of casualties racked up by Islamic militants.

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  • 9. At 1:34pm on 30 Aug 2010, Tokunboh Akinbiyi wrote:

    xpat73

    US has the right to develop new technologies that will reduce/eliminate its dependency on forign oil/resources like you are now doing with Obama's adminisitration but do not have the RIGHT to invade another country to DEFEND your energy policy. Do unto to others..

    MarcusAureliusII (interesting one)

    I dont consider gross prisoner abuse ''self defeating self restraint''. The war is unqualified success? ..are you referring to Bush & Cheney's profits? And finally; ''The number of non combatants who were killed by Americans..was a relative handful, a very small percentage of the number which actually died whatever the real number is the number of non-combatants who died''. This sounds insensitive and aloof. Does human life have value to you? How are you different from OBL that ordered 9/11? I'm Nigerian & Christian.

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  • 10. At 2:26pm on 30 Aug 2010, _marko wrote:

    To DCHeretic #8

    So you agree with HabitualHero when he says: "Your hero doesn't mention them - americans never do" and continue to be baffled by the reluctance of Americans to mention casualities on the other side.

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  • 11. At 2:45pm on 30 Aug 2010, Secret Civil Servant wrote:

    Around a million Iraqi civilians have been killed since america decided to.....ahem......liberate Iraq. Your hero doesn't mention them - americans never do. The only casualty figures that americans care about are their own.

    http://www.iraqbodycount.org/ cites the upper level of civilian deaths at approx 106, 348. The figure of 300,000 was banded about 6 months after the invasion. Of course we will be told that there are 'many others we don't know about', which begs the question 'how come you know about them then?'

    And as DCHeretic rightfully states the majority of these deaths have been from foreign Islamic insurgents.

    I look forward to an oil-free future. Not only will it bring an end to foreign policy like this but hopefully and end to the SNP up here in Scotland too: without North Sea Oil they will revert back to being a group of pointless activists wishing to restore a country they have invented in their minds and has never existed in reality.

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  • 12. At 3:02pm on 30 Aug 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    Wow, #4! Elagabalus! You have really excelled yourself today. What a mangled mess of dangerous nationalism and sheer disregard for human life (except for American, of course)! Well done.

    You go from: "there is no doubt that the threat to the US from Iraq whether mistakenly perceived or real", which sounds like you have no real interest in whether the danger was there or not, to: "These are the consequences of all wars which are why they are to be avoided". Sounds like a wee nip of lip service to help convince yourself you are a reasonable and balanced person, no?

    The following quote is classic, however: "until they gave up the economic system they fought to impose on others because it completely failed them" Hmmm. Sounds rather familiar doesn't it? A nation imposing its values and economic systems on others... Maybe that's just me.

    And as for "the self defeating self restraint the American military habitually displays"??? What on God's green earth are you talking about? Do you know nothing of war? Do you get all your news sugar-coated from Fox? American soldiers are no better than the savage tribesmen from BC. When men are at war they are no longer the proud soldiers you see on the parades. You claim to be experienced in life yet demonstrate an utter absence of understanding about the battlefield. Even aside from Abu Ghraib and cases such as Steven Green's, the men have admitted it themselves on return to the US (and, I'm sure, the UK). Thousands and thousands of innocent men, women and children were slaughtered at the hands of blood-thirsty American soldiers. It is one of the reasons for the abnormaly high suicide rate among veterans of Iraq: the guilt. It is also one of the reasons many veterans cannot readjust to society. Just go and look it up.

    In the meantime I suggest you take off your rose-coloured spectacles, wipe the inevitable tear you have in the corner of your eye from the mere mention of your military, and start seeing the world, including the US, as it is, not with the over-simplistic, over-sentimental approach you and many of your type tend to take.

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  • 13. At 3:07pm on 30 Aug 2010, KB_AustinTX wrote:

    We should have stuck with the policies of the eighties .... send in quick strikes (Libya?), keep them rebuilding. Terror groups exist because they are tolerated by the people in the region.

    It would be interesting to see what our relations with the middle east would be if we currently had fusion power.

    It would be doubly interesting to see what the middle east will turn into once we have fusion power .....

    Lastly, get out of NATO and move the UN to Brussels and quit trying to be the world's police department. Didn't we watch the English go broke in the 1800's by trying to do the same?

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  • 14. At 3:13pm on 30 Aug 2010, BluesBerry wrote:

    This week the mission in Iraq officially changes, combat is over, but the American military is still there, American contractors are still there, that humungous embassy is still there. In short, the Americans are still there.
    Tuesday evening’s Obama speech should be interesting; I wonder if he will mention the alarmingly heavy presence of American personnel who are still in Iraq. I wonder if anyone will have the guts to ask him about the alarmingly heavy presence of American personnel who are still in Iraq.
    This is the hardest part, Mark, talking to individuals who were involved in the war - what it means to them and where it leaves the notion of American military might. I’m glad you’re taking it on. I have nothing but respect for the individuals who honestly believed they were fighting a rightious war.
    I remember the stars and stripes as the statue of Saddam Hussein came tumbling down, and I wondered: What next for the Iraqi people? I knew the war had not been sanctioned by the United Nations; I knew that George W. Bush had lied; Tony Blair had lied. And for the sake of these lies Iraqi civilians, American grunts = real people would die. To me this illegal/criminal scenario stunk of American imperialism.
    Tim McLaughlin: "So if you are sitting at home watching it on TV, wars have endings just like movies on TV have endings but there was no ending for me there…" and none for the Iraqi people whose women are giving birth to deformed babies in extrmely high and unusual numbers, whose men and women are still experiencing suicide bombers, and the Iraqi Nation that does noit even have a secure government.
    So, what, what, WHAT HAS REALLY BEEN ACCOMPLISHED , and what are the Americans planning now out of their mighty embassy – the size of which exceeds the entire Vatican?
    Tim says Petraeus is a smart man, who had a smart plan and the Iraqi people are "getting there". Getting where? More death, more amputees, more deformed babies, more bombers, more disruption…i.e. getting everything bad and very little good?
    “However mistaken the decision to invade, the stubbornness - as some people saw it - of George Bush in not leaving, I think that was a courageous decision on his part.” Courageous, or too cowardly to admit he was wrong? At the time, the president's administration and the media was reporting that Iraq had some responsibility (for 9/11); so this was getting rid of the guy who attacked your country.
    Oh my goodness, is there, was there anyone actually believe that Iraq had been part of 9/11?
    Given that our energy policy means we consume about 25% of the world's natural resources then we have to engage and defend those resources where they are. Really? What gives the Americans the mandate to invade and literally steal the resources of other countries; here’s a different principle for the Americans: Try paying for what you use, like most other countries do. It's called capitalism - supply and demand.
    Tim mentions Bosnia, the non interference. Not true.
    During the first year and a half of the Clinton administration, the United States became increasingly more deeply involved in an attempt to achieve a diplomatic solution; the US felt compelled to consider more forceful measures to end the fighting and associated humanitarian disasters. 1995, The United States eventually asserted foreign policy leadership in seeking to end to the war which involved the use of COERCIVE DIPLOMACY and NATO AIRPOWER against the Bosnian Serbs.
    One of the things, Tim says, you will find among almost all of those who become servicemen is that one of the primary reasons we join is the notion that we are making a difference in the world and frequently the military is the right place to make that difference. Please tell where in this God-forsaken world, anyplace is better off because of American intervention and imperalism?”
    Please list them for me - list even one!

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  • 15. At 3:38pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Ref #1 - 1 million Iraqi deaths? Ofiicial figures have it at approximately 106,000, mostly killed by Iraqi's bombing their own people.
    Ref #3 - The invasion of Vietnam was an attempt to hault the spread of Communism, a move which in the middle of the Cold war was seen as necessary, we can't really understand the reasoning as we've been raised in posty cold war times with different ways of thinking, but my point is also that there was no money or resources there that the Americans wished to obtain.
    As for Panama, that was to oust a drug trafficing military leader who overthrew the functioning democracy, had begun to allow his troops to kill unarmed off duty American servicemen and threatened to bring instability to the region, which includes one of the worlds most vital shipping lanes.
    Ref #6 - Drafting in foreign workers and "guestarbeite" is one of the prudent steps to speed up development of the nation and increase the productive workforce, we can see it in Britain today with the large foreign workforce from the EU that we have here, it is a common and sensible step to boosting the economy, so yes it did take Germany 60 years to get where they are as it doesn't happen over night and they could only so far during the cold war.

    I appreciate that it's the in thing at the moment to slate America and that the invasion of Iraq is in hindsight questionable, but shouldn't we take into account that if America wasn't the dominant power in the world then Russia, China or extremist Islam (which we are combating in Afghanistan) would be, so it's not perfect, but surely, better the devil we know?

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  • 16. At 3:40pm on 30 Aug 2010, DCHeretic wrote:

    @BluesBerry

    Please tell where in this God-forsaken world, anyplace is better off because of American intervention and imperalism?”
    Please list them for me - list even one!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'll take the challenge.

    Western Europe (WWI, WWII, Cold War)
    South Korea (Korean War)
    Panama (canal period that left the country a tremendous legacy and created independence from Colombia))
    Kosovo
    Kuwait (Gulf War 1990/91)
    Northern Ireland/UK (diplomatic intervention)

    By the way, I'd like to know where the "stolen oil" and resources are. The US does pay for its energy supplies on the open market and several nations in the Middle East have become quite wealthy as a result of American oil consumption.

    I'm all for ending American reliance on oil and sourcing new green energy supplies. I worry, however, how the Middle East will cope with a loss of demand of oil. Those countries do not have very many resources beyond energy and millions of people in the Middle East have built their livelihoods on the oil industry. I do care about the average person in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc. and their future well-being should be part of the energy debate.


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  • 17. At 3:43pm on 30 Aug 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    The young men and women that have served in the Middle East can be justifiably proud of their service: dulce et decorum est -- for the survivors, anyway. Their perspective on "was it worth it" will mellow as they age, if they allow themselves to think about it at all.

    Our professional soldiers can enjoy a different, more questionable pride. Many of them knew going in that Iraq was a fraud that had to be pimped for sale to the American people (see Powell, Colin, for example). And a great many of them knew that Afghanistan would prove to be a quagmire: such knowledge goes with being a professional soldier, attending the military's War College and such. Yet the professionals did their duty, kept their opinions to themselves and mainained their loyalties to the troops. You can't fault that.

    The American political class in power at the time -- Bush, Cheney, Pearl, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz etc. -- have no cause for anything but abject,
    limitless shame. Would that we were ancient Greeks and could ostracize the lot of them.

    As for the British political leadership, Blair et al, I don't know. At least the people there have had the good grace to mount a serious inquiry into the selling of the Iraq war, and Mr. Blair has tried to explain his position. That's more than we'll ever get from Mr. Bush.

    There. That's a lot of unvarnished opinion. I feel better now.

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  • 18. At 3:45pm on 30 Aug 2010, Secret Civil Servant wrote:

    BluesBerry what 'diplomatic solution' would there have been to the genocide and forced evictions in the Balkans? The scale of that problem dwarfed the situation in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict and a fraction of the noise was made about it.

    Even in other parts of the World there is/has been genocide and forced evictions taking place (Burma and Congo) to say the least, we don't hear anything from the usual left-wing brigade because these attrocities give no forum for the usual anti-USA/Israeli vitriol that has become commonplace in amongst the extreme-left in the West.

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  • 19. At 3:51pm on 30 Aug 2010, becrocke1 wrote:

    BluesBerry also forgot the women and girls in Afghanistan, previously held under the thumb of the Taliban. But good job on the righteous anger and ignorant indignation! Lound NOISES!

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  • 20. At 3:59pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    DCHeretic #16 - Exactly the list i would have made, good call.
    I might add Japan as well maybe, but otherwise i like to think you have set BluesBerry straight, well done.

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  • 21. At 4:04pm on 30 Aug 2010, andrewdok wrote:

    No offense but to all you Brits complaining about the US's foreign policy, you guys have been conquering large swaths of the planet for natural resources for centuries.. It doesn't make it right, but it happens and you are just as (if not more) guilty of the offense.

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  • 22. At 4:08pm on 30 Aug 2010, AndreaNY wrote:

    18. Secret Civil Servant:

    "Even in other parts of the World there is/has been genocide and forced evictions taking place (Burma and Congo) to say the least, we don't hear anything from the usual left-wing brigade because these attrocities give no forum for the usual anti-USA/Israeli vitriol that has become commonplace in amongst the extreme-left in the West."

    ****************
    On the contrary, we hear demands to do something and complaints about the lack of action. And always the criticism that the US should be doing more.

    "Caring" about the plight of people has never been enough to rescue them from brutality. Yet, many people believe their "caring" has accomplished something. If only.

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  • 23. At 4:24pm on 30 Aug 2010, HabitualHero wrote:

    " As for what I miss, I miss the people, not getting rained on for a month, getting shot at, SHOOTING OTHER PEOPLE."

    Nuff said.

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  • 24. At 4:29pm on 30 Aug 2010, HabitualHero wrote:

    "No offense but to all you Brits complaining about the US's foreign policy, you guys have been conquering large swaths of the planet for natural resources for centuries.. It doesn't make it right, but it happens and you are just as (if not more) guilty of the offense"

    No offense taken. I couldn't agree more.

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  • 25. At 4:42pm on 30 Aug 2010, _marko wrote:

    To Secret Civil Servant #18

    "for the usual anti-USA/Israeli vitriol"

    Think of it more as sloppy posting, where the vitriolic language should be more precisely directed towards specific actions by those countries, rather than the countries themselves.

    Perhaps you can list some examples of actions carried out by USA/Israel where you feel directing vitriol in response would in your opinion be justified.

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  • 26. At 4:54pm on 30 Aug 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    #21 Yeah well, andrewdok, no offence but the empire is long gone, was only ever controlled by a few wealthy people collectively known as the aristocracy, never benefitted the average British person and is now generally acknowledged to be a negative thing. There are also very few people left who have even the faintest memory of it.

    There are plenty of historical records, though, and I'm sure you are well acquainted with the story of the US's war for independence. I'm surprised that a nation and so many of its people who celebrate July 4th so proudly and patriotically react so nonchanlantly to your government and military attempting to control the world to suit them. I'd have expected a little more empathy, not a 'Well you did it, too. It happens.' schoolboy type of attitude.

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  • 27. At 5:46pm on 30 Aug 2010, carolinalady wrote:

    All y'all: put your hands down and step away from your keyboards! Repeat, step away from your keyboards.

    You are not going to convince anyone of long held, ingrained BELIEF with any barrage of your spurious facts. Tim McLaughlin is entitled to whatever solace he can take from whatever he believes he and his mates accomplished in Iraq. He seemed pretty clear-sighted and insightful to me, as I read his take on doing his job under difficult -- not to mention dubious -- circumstances. Give the man credit for intelligence and honor.

    I came of age in the time of VietNam...also a nasty war of dubious necessity and high political passion on both sides. The difference -- when one strips away all the extraneous junk -- was that our soldiers were NOT the all volunteer force of today. Not only was injustice committed by drafting the poor, the black, the dropped-out and the un-connected, but then We The People reviled them when they came back.

    Give ME credit for learning something from the past and for changing a belief in the face of fact. It is hard to do.

    We now return to the melee already in progress...

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  • 28. At 5:48pm on 30 Aug 2010, BuckyOHare wrote:

    16. At 3:40pm on 30 Aug 2010, DCHeretic wrote:
    @BluesBerry

    Please tell where in this God-forsaken world, anyplace is better off because of American intervention and imperalism?”
    Please list them for me - list even one!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'll take the challenge.


    Northern Ireland/UK (diplomatic intervention)


    ------------------------------------


    With all due respect, and trust me I am not one of the many US haters that post here, but your assumption or belief that the US helped in NI is incredibly rich when it is considered that the IRA was funded for many many years by individuals, groups, and businesses in the USA.

    That is a simple fact. The US funded and sponsored the slaughter of many thousands of UK and NI civilians and military personel.

    I would look at your list again.

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  • 29. At 6:22pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    ''What I remember is not very much. It wasn't a particularly memorable moment for me and I don't think it was intended to be. I truly didn't feel anything about the flag - I was more concerned about posting the tanks around the embassy for security.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I highly doubt this lawyer's version..The flag meant to him a whole lot than he has expressed while flicking his photo album. The war has ended as the movies end for the soldiers who are returning home, and it ended for Tim a long time ago..He is a solicter, very nice ending..I just wonder who sponsored his education..The war has not ended for the millions of iraqis who have not yet returned home..Atleast the soldiers should have waited for the iraqis to return home before their return...Its the very least they could do..The world ended for many iraqi lawyers, doctors and engineers, teachers, ordinary men, women and children..Like a clever lawyer, he has put blamed on bush, mentioned also that energy policy was one of the cause of the war, mentioned the hindsight opionion of the war, an opinion he shares with many "anti war but supportive of brave soldiers" americans.And insists that he is proud to have served.If he is not already in politics, he will enter it..Another kerry in the making.He has said everything to please everyone, by everyone i mean americans...Telling iraqis about hindsight, and the war was started on half truths or streched truths, due to energy policy is admitting the crime..Americans sue even mcdonald for the size of bigmac, or doctors for messing up a mere toe operation, and here they are generously admitting about mistakes that were made in a whole country, that had done nothing to americans...Pity he went to iraq as he was ruining it..He should have gone before...if he wanted to see a functioning iraq..

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  • 30. At 6:24pm on 30 Aug 2010, elcej wrote:

    Thanks Mark for an interesting/revealing interview.

    What scares me the most is when he says Given that our energy policy means we consume about 25% of the world's natural resources then we have to engage and defend those resources where they are.

    Is it arrogance or just stupidity.
    That is, does he really think the USA has a right to 25% of the world's resources and doesn't care about the rest of the world..... or does it not occur to him that the rest of the world have rights too.

    Please, someone tell me this is not the majority view in the USA

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  • 31. At 6:32pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Ref #1 - 1 million Iraqi deaths? Ofiicial figures have it at approximately 106,000, mostly killed by Iraqi's bombing their own people.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    None of which had to die if the brave soldiers werent put there..They were killed by bombs of their own people but died because of americans and its allies forces. The mission is over for the americans, who have carfully counted their dead, injured and the living..Each dead's cause of death carefully logged, and name carved on that wall...5000 american soldiers death, names written on the wall, 3 million vietnamies dead..no one really care about that genocide...no one remembered that when they created saddam-kurd genocide rhetoric. Each american soldier injured, injuries carefully logged..But the people who were supposed to be liberated..the question of how many killed and how..Hindsight is, a simple old fashion coup would have been much more life saving..and much less life wasting.

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  • 32. At 6:48pm on 30 Aug 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    The death toll in Iraq is a matter of dispute - Johns Hopkins counts 650,000 Iraqi deaths (security forces and civilian).
    http://www.npr.org/news/specials/tollofwar/tollofwarmain.html
    Not to mention the destruction of schools, hospitals that were the best in the Mideast, food sources, cities as modern and thriving as Baltimore...good thing the oil is secured.

    It is sad that these soldiers have to think about the reason for the war being perhaps not justifiable - that is a lifetime of torture.

    "The Bush administration and its supporters in Congress say Saddam has kept a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons in violation of U.N. resolutions and has continued efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Bush also has argued that Iraq could give chemical or biological weapons to terrorists."
    Iraq has denied having weapons of mass destruction and has offered to allow U.N. weapons inspectors to return for the first time since 1998. Deputy Prime Minister Abdul Tawab Al-Mulah Huwaish called the allegations "lies" Thursday and offered to let U.S. officials inspect plants they say are developing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons."
    "If the American administration is interested in inspecting these sites, then they're welcome to come over and have a look for themselves," he said.
    The White House immediately rejected the offer, saying the matter is up to the United Nations, not Iraq."

    http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/11/iraq.us/

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  • 33. At 6:52pm on 30 Aug 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    #30 - "...majority view..." - No comfort for you from here. One in five Americans believe President Obama is made of 'muslin'.

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  • 34. At 7:00pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Please, someone tell me this is not the majority view in the USA
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This view is too scary to even reflect on for the time being..so the americans dont even know if they should view this view and how they should view it..However, its going to be a view much debated and discussed in time to come..Since I can predict the side which the camel finanly sits down while he is in the process of sitting, so I have predicted..

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  • 35. At 7:11pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    colonelartist: -
    You seem to have a fixed opinion, and you are entitled to it.
    What worries me is the fact that your opinion seems to be resentful of a) America, and b) anyone who has fought and died wearing a Western nation uniform.
    Based on your first comment it seems that you expect every allied soldier to remain based in Iraq until the entire nation is as it was, there are still 50,00 troops there to support and protect redevelopment, as for Tim McLaughlin, his tour ended, he went home and looked for life outside the army (and judging by the way you write about him i think your anti-lawyer too), oh and maybe he paid for his own education, think of that? thought not!
    There was no Saddam-Kurd rhetoric created, he gassed thousands of them, fact, not a creation of the American press, and the Shia Si'ite reivalry, which has been the reason behind much of the civillian bombings by other Iraqi's, runs much deeper than the invasion, they would have been killing each other anyway if it wasn't for Saddam's iron fist.
    It's all very well fobbing off hindsight as well, but without it how will we learn from our mistakes? i don't ever expect this ugly episode to be remembered fondly, but i am confident that in time Iraq will be a better place than if Saddam had remained, and that we (the Western nations) would have learnt something as well, all be it at great expense in human life for all involved.

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  • 36. At 7:21pm on 30 Aug 2010, DCHeretic wrote:

    28. At 5:48pm on 30 Aug 2010, BuckyOHare wrote:

    Please tell where in this God-forsaken world, anyplace is better off because of American intervention and imperalism?”
    Please list them for me - list even one!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'll take the challenge.


    Northern Ireland/UK (diplomatic intervention)


    ------------------------------------


    With all due respect, and trust me I am not one of the many US haters that post here, but your assumption or belief that the US helped in NI is incredibly rich when it is considered that the IRA was funded for many many years by individuals, groups, and businesses in the USA.

    That is a simple fact. The US funded and sponsored the slaughter of many thousands of UK and NI civilians and military personel.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bucky, there is no doubt that Irish-American nationalists funded and otherwise supported the IRA. But it certainly was not a majority of Americans. The majority of Americans were squarely on the side of the British, not only because of their natural love of the UK, but also because of anti-Catholic sentiment. Anti-Catholic sentiment has been quite intense at times during America's history.

    The first terrorist attack I remember was the atrocity at Harrod's. I was ten years old at the time, but was so moved by the news reports that I sent a letter to Margaret Thatcher expressing my sympathy.


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  • 37. At 7:36pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    #30 - "...majority view..." - No comfort for you from here. One in five Americans believe President Obama is made of 'muslin'.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hindsight #1. if his father had taken him to kenya, he would have been raised as a muslim. so if truth steched, he could have been or should have been a muslim..Use of pre-emtiveness of the highest order..thankyou very much.

    Hindsight#2,if he had met a muslim girl, he would have changed his religon...
    I am very comfortable to hear that one in five believe obama is muslim and use it as a negative way... I would be discomfortable if this hadnt happen..G-d is extremely kind to me, somehow or the other, or perhaps He knows that i hate to be discomforted.Since He is the creator, so He knows exactly what I dont like..Extra five minutes alloted to Him in my night prayer today...

    All those anti-muslim and anti-islam rhetoric finally producing some result in terms of discrimination and hatered..Its a blow back effect..When a society starts to religize other societies, they tend to do it to their own society as well. For 10 yrs, you have focused on the division of other societies..taking for granted, that your society is free from such things..Your mind has become more receptive to such differences, and more sensitive to them as well..

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  • 38. At 7:39pm on 30 Aug 2010, Linds wrote:

    When I was growing up, wars were something of stories. My parents told me I was lucky that I would never have to know the pain of war. We knew that the most powerful military in the world guaranteed that no country would ever attack us, communism had lost its ability to threaten the world with its imperialism and we were set to return to our isolationist roots (as much as possible) in a globalized world.

    The towers fell when I was 21 years old. Nine years later, it still hurts. To think about the attack is to feel perfect grief. I think it is important for every American to remember that pain whenever we hear that our military is bombing buildings in some other country. They feel the same pain we do. Justified or unjustified, we are causing other human beings physical and emotional pain.

    At the same time, the September 11th attack was just that... an attack. It meant that somewhere, out in the world, someone hated my country, wanted to destroy it and meant to end everything I know. My survival instincts told me that the only response was to fight back. The war in Afghanistan was an act of self-defense. In American law and culture, murder is justifiable if it is committed in self-defense. It is clear that either we end Al Qaeda or they will do their best to end us.

    I won’t speculate as to the reasons for the war in Iraq. All I know for sure is that we did not find WMDs. I have always been deeply suspicious as to the real motivations for that war and I never agreed with it. That being said, once we had started the war, there was no going back. What I didn’t want to happen was for us to leave a complete power void in our wake. So, even though I didn’t support the war, I do support the decision to attempt to leave Iraq with a trained fighting force, a government and some semblance of a new beginning. If history tells us that staying was a bad decision, I will rescind my support.

    Finally, I have a more philosophical question for this international audience.
    Is it ever justifiable for the US (or any country) to overthrow another government for the sake of liberating its people from abusive rule?
    Or, do you believe it should always remain the battle of that country and that the international community should mind their own business?

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  • 39. At 7:49pm on 30 Aug 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    #36 - Interesting you should say that, according to this op-ed, US weren't squarely on the side of the 'British'
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/29/opinion/29abunimah.html

    #37 - Not glad to hear stupidity, division and war pleases and amuses you, especially over something as trivial as the minute differences between Christian and Islamic dogma. "God has no religion" - Ghandi. God or Gods existed long before Jesus, Bhudda or Mohammad (peace be upon them) 'wrote' their books.

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  • 40. At 7:50pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    colonelartist #37: -
    In response to hindsight #1, if he would have been taken to Kenya there is nothing to say he would have been raised and a Muslim, only 10% of Kenyans are Muslim, this is the same percentage as "indiginous beliefs", nearly all of the remaining 80% are Christian, majoritively protestant, and the last few percent are of "other" religious belief.
    In response to #2, you don't have to change religion if you marry a Muslim, no more than if you marry someone of any other faith, it's a gesture, which would vary from case to case.
    The rest of your post is a little incohesive.

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  • 41. At 8:00pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Jack Hoedemaker
    My opinion about this guy's (scraping a little bit of skin of his left hand's little fingure and standing in the line of martyr) version of the flag, and the rest is fixed..Before I give any soldier a credit, I need to see his file of heroism..Otherwise, every soldier's story is the same..loosing a friend, or your tank driver, or the gunner..Its their part of the job they signed up for..And also, leaving your injured gunner behind in the enemy's line and saving your own life..Since I know that many ex-soldiers have made or are making fantastic careers sponsered by the military in return for their participation in war, so every soldier has to prove whatever non military career he has made didnt come out of the package deal..If I started them credit, I would go bankrupt..and crash like your banking and housing credit crash. I expected them to stay as a common courtesy til those million iraqi refugees had returned..the world has already far too little place for refugees..That kurd genocide rhetoric was created in the west...there are no facts, or the facts are much more fuzzy and doubtful than the question of how many iraqis were killed due to occupation..If that rhetoric had been allowed to be disected in details, lots of by facts doubting the fact had emerged..3 million vietnameese were genocided in war with vietnam..no one really care, and the world goes crazy at the menttion of outdated by 20 yrs genocide of kurds in 2003..when things dont make sense and no one seems to be interested in making sense, then the thumb rule is, things are lie..and truth is being hidden.

    About your troop number and return of millions of iraqis..I generously point to you the debate about how many troops should be deployed in iraq for the invasion..too few back then, and too few now.. Clarification notice, I am not saying troops should have stayed, I am saying is that troops should have made the return of iraqi refugees its first priorty since the day they were told they were going home..But again..neither the invasion was carried on because of iraq nor the withdrawl..they came, they conquer and they left. Because for 11 yrs they had been preparing for it...Nothing else nothing more..Went with big bangs and returned with a mere thud.

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  • 42. At 8:01pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Linds #38:-
    I doubt i can answer your philosophical question, but will put my opinion forward. I believe that if an oppresive regime would threaten other nations or seize power in a democratic nation then intervention is necessary, if a nation may be invaded by an oppresive regime then intervention may also be necessary.
    As for existing oppresive regimes, i believe it is best to stay out of it, but at the same time, surely the world should stop turning to nations like the US first for help, as their presence is nearly always resented.

    On a seperate note, i agree very much with your post.

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  • 43. At 8:09pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    In response to hindsight #1, if he would have been taken to Kenya there is nothing to say he would have been raised and a Muslim, only 10% of Kenyans are Muslim, this is the same percentage as "indiginous beliefs", nearly all of the remaining 80% are Christian, majoritively protestant, and the last few percent are of "other" religious belief.
    In response to #2, you don't have to change religion if you marry a Muslim, no more than if you marry someone of any other faith, it's a gesture, which would vary from case to case.
    The rest of your post is a little incohesive.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    It wouldnt have been father this or that of the chruch he was going to be taken by to kenya, it would have been his biological father..You have to change the religon if you marry a muslim woman..otherwise, you are not considered married....Or it could be that he was named this name, because he was born in the 60s, blacks, muslims, etc etc..

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  • 44. At 8:14pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    #37 - Not glad to hear stupidity, division and war pleases and amuses you, especially over something as trivial as the minute differences between Christian and Islamic dogma. "God has no religion" - Ghandi. God or Gods existed long before Jesus, Bhudda or Mohammad (peace be upon them) 'wrote' their books.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ironically speaking the war and religon especially one of them has been pleasing and amusing your country for the past 9 yrs...Its not all that pleasant to be on the receving end, is it? Its a case of a hindu pilgrim in the revered river trying to get rid of the blanket he grabbed..

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  • 45. At 8:17pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    colonelartist #41: -
    For the most part your last post aimed is a bit of a poorly worded ramble, but there a few points that are clear, but still full of holes.
    Firstly, Tim McLaughlin made no mention of any injuries and doesn't claim to be a martyr.
    Secondly, what do you expect from heroism? seeing your friend killed isn't enough? that is heroic, if you want something more like an action film then can i suggest you keep watching them and acknowledge the difference between reality and hollywood, also where in that report did it mention anyone left behind?
    A soldiers actions are part of the job they signed up for, but he's not after thanks and i'd like to see how anyone could just accept the loss of a friends life just because it's "part of the job"?
    The Kurdish massacre was the late 80's, not 2003!!!
    Also, it seems that you are saying it is a complete fabrication then you are up with those who deny the Holocaust, blinded by an irrational hatred and unable to see the flaws in your arguments.

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  • 46. At 8:17pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    As for existing oppresive regimes, i believe it is best to stay out of it, but at the same time, surely the world should stop turning to nations like the US first for help, as their presence is nearly always resented.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    The world didnt turn to usa regarding iraq, usa turned to the world..It forced itself on iraq..Iraq presented no threat to anyone. Not one single country..

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  • 47. At 8:30pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    colonelartist: -
    I know that no one turned to the US over Iraq, but i never said they did, but when the mess does hit the fan, it's always to America they turn first, remember George Clooney addressing the UN and the USA over Dharfur?
    Also, what does it matter it it's his biological father or not who took him to Kenya? that point lost me, as did the one about being born in the 60's and being black.
    I know several couples where a Muslim is married to a non-muslin, i invite you to tell them it doesn't count.
    Some areas of the muslim faith may not recognise their union but they can still get married in a multi-faith or non-faith marriage.

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  • 48. At 8:34pm on 30 Aug 2010, BuckyOHare wrote:

    36. At 7:21pm on 30 Aug 2010, DCHeretic wrote:
    28. At 5:48pm on 30 Aug 2010, BuckyOHare wrote:

    Please tell where in this God-forsaken world, anyplace is better off because of American intervention and imperalism?”
    Please list them for me - list even one!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I'll take the challenge.


    Northern Ireland/UK (diplomatic intervention)


    ------------------------------------


    With all due respect, and trust me I am not one of the many US haters that post here, but your assumption or belief that the US helped in NI is incredibly rich when it is considered that the IRA was funded for many many years by individuals, groups, and businesses in the USA.

    That is a simple fact. The US funded and sponsored the slaughter of many thousands of UK and NI civilians and military personel.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Bucky, there is no doubt that Irish-American nationalists funded and otherwise supported the IRA. But it certainly was not a majority of Americans. The majority of Americans were squarely on the side of the British, not only because of their natural love of the UK, but also because of anti-Catholic sentiment. Anti-Catholic sentiment has been quite intense at times during America's history.

    The first terrorist attack I remember was the atrocity at Harrod's. I was ten years old at the time, but was so moved by the news reports that I sent a letter to Margaret Thatcher expressing my sympathy.

    ---------------------------------------------------

    DC - I do not disagree that this was not down to the majority of Americans, as I said earlier I am far from being an Anti-US poster.

    Whilst I respect the sentiment you have shown and thank you for your wishes (the town I was brought up in - Warrington - was victim to one of the most repugnant of IRA attacks), the fact remains that the majority of IRA funding was due to backing by those in the US. This being the case it is disingenuous to include the case in a list of succesful interventions by the US in matters such as these.

    I dont disagreee with many of the others included in that list (I would have included Japan - probably the most succesful intervention and rebuilding project in modern times). Its worth bearing in mind that when you create these lists it is easy to detract from the whole with one erroneous inclusion.

    Other than that, I agree with you. :)

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  • 49. At 8:46pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Also, it seems that you are saying it is a complete fabrication then you are up with those who deny the Holocaust, blinded by an irrational hatred and unable to see the flaws in your arguments.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last part first.. Kurd genocide happened in 1980s, it was brought up for war propoganda purposes two decades later...Most had forgotten about the circumstances under which it happened...And fortunately for the kurds and the rest, it happened in iraq not in europe, where europeans had to change the whole history behind genocide of jews and gypsies and renamed it a few yrs later after everyone was liberated from the germans as holocaust...and its debate is not restricted to, "deny holocaust and not deny holocaust" Iraq was at war with Iran at the time of kurd massacre..Period.

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  • 50. At 8:55pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    A soldiers actions are part of the job they signed up for, but he's not after thanks and i'd like to see how anyone could just accept the loss of a friends life just because it's "part of the job"?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    See the word, typed before "artist" its not done for decorative purposes..Killing and be killed or watch his friends or fellow soldiers killed is the part of the job description..The art is to come from a battlefield...as a human with all emotions intact..You respect the enemy that is killed, with a slight amount of thank to G-d that it wasnt you..and pathetically enough, you feel slightly the same, a bit more towards sorrow side, but still thanking G-d, it wasnt you, when your friend or fellow soldier is killed by the enemy..There is no difference between the sadness of a friend lost on the battleground, or by collateral damage, or by an accident or due to illness...No one dies more and no one dies less.

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  • 51. At 9:01pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    I know that no one turned to the US over Iraq, but i never said they did, but when the mess does hit the fan, it's always to America they turn first, remember George Clooney addressing the UN and the USA over Dharfur?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    When mess hits the fans, the americans leave the room first.. George Clooney is an enterainter...Not representative of american government..He makes a lot of money when his movies are shown internationally...He sees darfur refugees very clearly, however the palestinians refugees still remain invisible to the naked eye of the americans..If you want to pick and choose, just say openly without any rhetoric...

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  • 52. At 9:02pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    The Genocide of Iraqi Kurds was referenced in the run up to the invasion of Iraq as evidence of the murderous nature of Saddam Hussein.
    I'm not too sure what you're trying to say about the holocaust in post war Europe, but no history was changed.
    Once all were liberated and the evidence of the events was collated the number of casulties justified the use of the term Holocaust, a term which had been hardly used up to that point.
    Yes Iraq was at war with Iran, but the attacks were on Iraqi Kurds in Iraq, so the war with Iran isn't relevant "PERIOD"!!

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  • 53. At 9:05pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Some areas of the muslim faith may not recognise their union but they can still get married in a multi-faith or non-faith marriage.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am a muslim and I say its not possible..the religon doesnt allow it..those who do that, do not follow this part of religon..In order to do the ritual of islamic marriage, you recite some verses, to recite these verses, you have to believe in G-d and his prophet...because thats what you recite..." I witness that.....etc etc etc"..

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  • 54. At 9:06pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Seriously colonel what are you on about? in comment 50 you say a soldier feels glad it wasn't him who got killed and sorrow for his commrade, of course he would!!! but earlier you were saying it's part of the job they signed up for, either make up your mind or be clear.
    As for the world before "artist" in your log on, yes i see it, are you in saying that it's not for decoration saying that you were in an army and achieved the rank of colonel?
    Is "artist" for decoration?

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  • 55. At 9:11pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    OK, so when the mess hit the fans the Americans leave the room first? but at the same time you say they impose themselves on everyone, they can't be isolationist and imperial at the same time, please don't contrdict yourself.
    I know George Clooney is an entertainer, but his appeal was reaching out to the American government and the UN, also, the plight of the Palestinians is well addressed in many places, America included, i wasn't picking and choosing, i merely used Clooney's address as an example of pleas to the US, i have no rhetoric, you have referenced the Palestinians first and i'm sure you have many anti-semitic comments to follow.

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  • 56. At 9:14pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Like i said, some areas of a faith may not recognize a marriage in matters like a non-muslim marrying a muslim, but in most countries the state sanctions the marriage as well, we do so here in Britain, as long as that is cleared then the marriage will be recognized legally, ergo they are married. If a faith does not recognize it then that is a seperate issue to be dealt with seperately, without sounding silly, surely religion should not be a boundry for love?

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  • 57. At 9:17pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Yes Iraq was at war with Iran, but the attacks were on Iraqi Kurds in Iraq, so the war with Iran isn't relevant "PERIOD"!!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Comma, and the sentence continues..kurds rebelled against the state of iraq during the time when the state was at war..A treason. Insurgents, rebelian, terrorists..the sentence will continue...there is some evidence which puts Iran as a culprit..Back in 80s when that happened..that was the working hypothesis as well...

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  • 58. At 9:19pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    term Holocaust is a very interesting...Not used for people who were really holocausted within hours..the japanese in heroshima and nagasaki and adopted to the genocide of gypsies.

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  • 59. At 9:23pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    OK, so when the mess hit the fans the Americans leave the room first? but at the same time you say they impose themselves on everyone, they can't be isolationist and imperial at the same time, please don't contrdict yourself.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Allow me, the americans create the mess, then switch on the fan and then leave..Then they control the swtich of the fan from their turf..

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  • 60. At 9:26pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    i have no rhetoric, you have referenced the Palestinians first and i'm sure you have many anti-semitic comments to follow.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    In this time and age, a pure semite is hard to find..And I cannot be anti to the muslims, me being muslim and all that.

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  • 61. At 9:29pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    I believe the scale of the Jews losses cause the term holocaust to apply, but yes i agree where a genocide stops and a holocaust begins isn't very clear.
    Your explaination of the Kurdish genocide / holocaust references the rebellion against the Iraqi government, i was aware of this, but the rest of your post seems to justify the actions due to that fact and also tries to relieve the Iraqi's of some blame by mentioning Iran as joint protagonists, in either case surely the actions are not in any case justifiable?

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  • 62. At 9:33pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    but in most countries the state sanctions the marriage as well, we do so here in Britain, as long as that is cleared then the marriage will be recognized legally, ergo they are married. If a faith does not recognize it then that is a seperate issue to be dealt with seperately, without sounding silly, surely religion should not be a boundry for love?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In every country you have to register yourself after getting married...In your britian, faithful marry according to their faith and then register with the state..or sometimes opposite..However, in islam, the state can santion a marriage, but untill you havent done those rituals you are not considered a married couple.Love is a boundry for religon, if someone doesnt want to convert to islam then he or she should (she is given linecy when married to muslim, and not when its the other way around) find somone else to fall in love with..

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  • 63. At 9:35pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Ref #59: -
    So the Americans are the cause of all the worlds problems?
    If it helps at all, i think the Americans should stay out of all the worlds issues, but as a result i think they should refuse all requests for help as well, i would like Britain to adopt this stance as well.
    All i ask of the world is, if you don't want us involved, just stay away from our doorstep and don't threaten it either.

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  • 64. At 9:37pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Ref #60:-
    Anti-semitic means anti Jewish, i never suggested you were anti-muslim.
    Also, in a world where people are in sonstant search for an identity and stick rigourously to it, a pure anything is hard to find.

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  • 65. At 9:46pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    but the rest of your post seems to justify the actions due to that fact and also tries to relieve the Iraqi's of some blame by mentioning Iran as joint protagonists, in either case surely the actions are not in any case justifiable?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Actions are justified..the state in the act of war cannot afford to have a rebelian or insurgency or treason..With iraqi soldiers at war, if the state had pulled out its soldiers from the fronts to quell the rebellian, it risked of loosing important fronts at the hands of its enemy..The state quelled the rebellain the only way it could...There I have justified that which seems so difficult to justify...

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  • 66. At 9:48pm on 30 Aug 2010, Curt Carpenter wrote:

    38. At 7:39pm on 30 Aug 2010, Linds wrote:
    ...
    Finally, I have a more philosophical question for this international audience. Is it ever justifiable for the US (or any country) to overthrow another government for the sake of liberating its people from abusive rule? Or, do you believe it should always remain the battle of that country and that the international community should mind their own business?

    --------

    There is a huge body of literature that deals with just war. If you're seriously interested, see Jean Bethke Elshtain, ed. _Just War Theory_ for a modest introduction. Don't expect pat answers though: the debate is an ancient and complex one.

    Terms like "liberating" and "abusive rule" are and always have been dangerous in the extreme. At a very individual level, it hasn't been that long ago that we in the West burned witches to liberate them from the abusive rule of Satan. So when you hear the "L" or the "A" words, you'll do well to immediately look for the allegorical witch and Satan. You can be sure there hidden in the rhetoric somewhere.

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  • 67. At 9:51pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    So the Americans are the cause of all the worlds problems?
    If it helps at all, i think the Americans should stay out of all the worlds issues, but as a result i think they should refuse all requests for help as well, i would like Britain to adopt this stance as well.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Can a leopard change its spots, or tiger its stripes or americans or british their favourite pass time of forcing some countries to make them come for help?

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  • 68. At 9:54pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Colonel,
    We seem to have our opinions, and we are both entitled to them, although somone having to find someone else to love just because of religion seems a little narrow.
    It is late here, so i am going to retire, i have enjoyed our exchanges, it was nice to have a discussion that didn't descend into petty argument.

    Just for the record, i looked up the term holocaust and it is derived from the Greek "holo" meaning whole and "kaustos" meaning burnt, which implies that since the European holocaust of Jews was an attempt to exterminate them ALL, the term applies, and in the case of Hiroshima and other events we have referenced the term Genocide would apply as it was not an attempt to kill an entire race.
    This however would suggest that the term may apply in the instance of the Kurds as they are largely localized in a particular region and the killing of them may possibly have spread to the populations in Iran and Turkey, but all this is of course is no doubt the subject of debate somewhere.
    I hope this helps,
    good evening to you sir.

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  • 69. At 10:00pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    I know i said i'd retire but i've just seen your post justifying the Kurdish genocide and i couldn't let it go.
    The massacre of 182,000 people nearly all civillians is never justified, even in war time, you yourself were slamming the Americans for deaths in Iraq, (which were once again, perpetrated largely by Iraqi's) but all of a sudden it's ok to target an entire people?
    That is dispicable, you are as bad as the Americans you have spent so long hating if not worse!

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  • 70. At 10:03pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Anti-semitic means anti Jewish, i never suggested you were anti-muslim.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Anti semitic means that who is anti to semites...You are aware of the fact that semitism is not limited to the people who believe in judaism..it goes long before judaism was born...all the way back to Abraham and even before that..Lots of middle easterns in lots of muslim countries fall into this ethinic group..And this anti semtism rhetoric is limited to the west...In middle east, they divide themselves into muslims and jews as in religious terms..Because over there, jews semtism become redudent..Because the other side will then claim to be more semite than the semites of europe..ethically speaking... ashkenazis. and more closer to the arab or the middle eastern jews, aka mizrahi.

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  • 71. At 10:15pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    I was scanning for people who were trying to kill me. Turns out the bad guys were a few blocks to the northeast where my friend Chad’s platoon was. My American flag was placed on the statue of Saddam Hussein that day so I could take a picture of it. People watching on their televisions at home saw it too.

    They liked it. Or didn’t. Or changed their minds later on. I told a reporter, “I know Iraq didn’t have anything to do with Sept. 11, but I think that given the opportunity, a person like Saddam Hussein would certainly be capable of trying to hit London or Paris or New York.”

    http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/18/from-911-to-fall-of-baghdad-an-ex-marine-explains-what-it-means-to-him/
    Tim's version two yrs ago.

    His version while flicking the album as a solicter, some days ago?

    I was more concerned about posting the tanks around the embassy for security. To the extent that there was a crowd gathered around the statue trying to pull it down and to the extent that Mike 88 (motor transport operative: the guy driving the crane) was trying to help them I remember my company commander said: "Hey Mac, go get the flag, get a picture of it."


    Two yrs ago,he said, "so that I could take a picture of it" and now he says, I remember my company commander said: "Hey Mac, go get the flag, get a picture of it." ergo, from he could take a picture, to someone telling him to take the picture, and that someone his CO, now which lt would dare to not follow the order of his CO in the middle of the war...

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  • 72. At 10:21pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The massacre of 182,000 people nearly all civillians is never justified, even in war time, you yourself were slamming the Americans for deaths in Iraq, (which were once again, perpetrated largely by Iraqi's) but all of a sudden it's ok to target an entire people?
    That is dispicable, you are as bad as the Americans you have spent so long hating if not worse!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I slammed usa because it claimed to be different, a higher civilization..And when a higher civilization does what lower civilization has done..then the higher needs to be slammed..unless ofcourse it admits that everything it claimed was lies..then I will slam both equally..If usa can justify its nuclear bombs, its chemical weapons in vietnam, its uranium depleted missiles in iraq and afghanistan, then, there is a justification for the other side too...which needs to be brought to light..

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  • 73. At 10:22pm on 30 Aug 2010, mabelwhite wrote:

    #44 - 9 years? I am guessing you mean 9 years from 9/11/2001? You say a war or a religion, one of them, is especially pleasing and amusing my country?

    I don't get what you mean exactly. Personally I don't think Islam is any more bright, stupid or enlightened than Christianity - about the same as far as I can tell, and equally susceptible to corrupt mis-leaders

    Anyway the US has had religion issues, wars, deaths, etc, for more than 9 years - poking the hornets nest a little bit won't earn you a seat in heaven or even much of a page in the history books. If you are saying Islam is intentionally provoking US 'Islamaphobia' - perhaps certain mideast demagogues can't maintain power without such a foil - then said religious leaders are perverting their religion (again).

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  • 74. At 10:43pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    29. At 6:22pm on 30 Aug 2010, you wrote:
    I highly doubt this lawyer's version..The flag meant to him a whole lot than he has expressed while flicking his photo album.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I personally hate it when I am correct, but what can I do I am always correct, even though I try my best to let others take that honour...

    It was Lieutenant McLaughlin’s Stars and Stripes flag given to him by a friend in the aftermath of the Pentagon attack that a marine briefly draped over the statue’s head that day.

    http://atwar.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/18/from-911-to-fall-of-baghdad-an-ex-marine-explains-what-it-means-to-him/

    Lesson learnt, next time I say something..consider it to be correct and absolute truth..or use your own common sense..

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  • 75. At 10:47pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    We're not talking about the USA and it's claims, i'm talking about your defense of the massacre of 182,000 civillians, it's exactly the same as all the actions you listed, whether they are justified or not, which puts you in the same basket as the Americans and also makes you out to be a first class hypocrite.

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  • 76. At 10:48pm on 30 Aug 2010, snowboarderf17 wrote:

    Just read the bbc article on rebuilding the Iraqi airforce. The same sentiment applies - Iraq needs a new airforce and guess who's their to train pilots and sell them insanely expensive planes? America...The whole war was about American industry and it's need for oil. Im so sorry for the Iraqi's who have suffered because of Dubya's lies.

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  • 77. At 10:54pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Anyway the US has had religion issues, wars, deaths, etc, for more than 9 years - poking the hornets nest a little bit won't earn you a seat in heaven or even much of a page in the history books. If you are saying Islam is intentionally provoking US 'Islamaphobia' - perhaps certain mideast demagogues can't maintain power without such a foil - then said religious leaders are perverting their religion (again).
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    All I was saying is, when one society use certain narratives about the other societies, it adapts the same one to its own issues...You be honest to yourself and tell me, if usa has not become more extremist internally, than it was 9 yrs ago? Liberals and consveratives they disuss the issue in a very low level...thats a change only an outsider can see..Americans have in their zeal and enthusiam taken anti islamic rhetoric to the extreme...so much so, that it no longer remains an anti islamic rhetoric, they have internalised it and its becoming a solid attitude...And once developed, attitudes cannot be pushed under the carpet..There is a simple saying...if you play with islam, it plays with you with the same intensity and velocity..

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  • 78. At 11:00pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

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

  • 79. At 11:17pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    On the hindsight, if I had bothered to click on the link provided by Mark Mardell, I would not have to waste my time trying to locate the link..about the truth behind the flag...

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  • 80. At 11:18pm on 30 Aug 2010, Philly-Mom wrote:

    I enjoyed this post very much. I'm glad Mr. McLaughlin is home and I very much wish his friends had come home, too.

    I find that hearing the stories and perspectives of on-site folks very helpful -- especially if we're going to be mouthing' off with our own heady opinions about war and actions of war.


    And so, I will now throw my 2cents into the hat (trans: IMHO):

    I appreciate that some kind of action had to take place in Iraq, but I really wish it hadn't been a prolonged war to oust a jerk of a ruler whom we left in office after "Operation Desert Storm" (The Gulf War, 1990-91).

    The subsequent embargoes let far too many civilians die and served only to worsen the animosity between Iraqi people groups.

    Overall (and I really hate to say it, but) I'm inclined to say that too many people died. I think that much of this could have been avoided if we had avoided meddling, and I am very glad we are getting out of there.

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  • 81. At 11:23pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Just read the bbc article on rebuilding the Iraqi airforce. The same sentiment applies - Iraq needs a new airforce and guess who's their to train pilots and sell them insanely expensive planes? America...The whole war was about American industry and it's need for oil. Im so sorry for the Iraqi's who have suffered because of Dubya's lies.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First they destroy its military, dismantling its army, airforce and navy in a criminal way, then they make them buy weapons from them....Nice..They should be court martialled..and then forced to train iraqi military free of charge and supply them with weapons also free of charge..Another reason for iraq invasion, to develop a market for their weapon export...Next they will keep the spare parts and we will see what we saw in iran during iran iraq war, F14s on the trucks, redudent because americans refused to give them the necessary parts..

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  • 82. At 11:29pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    We're not talking about the USA and it's claims, i'm talking about your defense of the massacre of 182,000 civillians, it's exactly the same as all the actions you listed, whether they are justified or not, which puts you in the same basket as the Americans and also makes you out to be a first class hypocrite.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I neither defended it nor offended, I justified it...Just as the world has justified every massacre before this, and every massacre after it...Why I think it was pathetic for usa to bring out old dusty file of kurds from some back shelf and use it against it 20 yrs later, is because rumsfeld back then visited saddam..with not a whimper against this massacre, and 20 yrs later, he was thumbing his chest and shouting kurd massacre, kurd genocide..They abused the dead kurds for their own purposes..and then they committed similar atrocities, Like in fallujah and over all in afghanistan...If this makes me a first class hypocrite and be it..

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  • 83. At 11:48pm on 30 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    80. At 11:18pm on 30 Aug 2010, Philly-Mom wrote: Read post 80
    Step 1) praise the military...
    step 2) justify the war with same old justifications.
    step 3) show gladness that troops return.

    No remorse, no apology, to iraqis.. no mention of on going occupation in the guise of mission the new dawn..G-d knows if the new dawn is for the americans returning home or for the americans to learn from their expearnces and not lie anymore..thats the context of the reflection that will be reflected... Americans have to remind themselves that they went for the iraqis not for themselves..

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  • 84. At 11:51pm on 30 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Well justifying the massacre of the Kurds is impossible, and it's also hard to compare that to incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan, no where near that many people were killed by direct action or through collateral damage, the only comperable figure is the overall Iraqi geathtoll, which still falls well short and (as has been said already) is mostly the work of inter-clan violence.
    Also, saying that the killing of civillians to avoid loosing control of one of your regions would (using your logic), justify the Russians in Chechnya, the Chinese in Tibet, UK in Northern Ireland, the Serbs in the Yugoslav civil war, the Gerogians in South Ossetia.
    All of these are either atrocities or questionable domestic policy.
    How about you just admit that you are so filled with hate for the US that anything they do will be seen as bad but the same actions by any one else is ok.
    One of your later posts seemed a bit paranoid, suggesting that the world is out to get Islam, then your tone turned a little aggresive with your final statement.
    I wish i had seem these posts before i said it had been nice talking with you, i would now like to withdraw that comment.

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  • 85. At 00:07am on 31 Aug 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    37. colonelartist wrote: Since He is the creator, so He knows exactly what I dont like..
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Do you think that God has caused one in five Americans to believe Obama is secretly Muslim just for you? That must be that 'exalted mind' you were talking about...

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    51. colonelartist wrote: however the palestinians refugees still remain invisible to the naked eye of the americans..
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Hello! USA supports Palestinians, but the situation is complicated by the fact that Hamas, a designated terrorist organization, has representatives in their govt. If Palestine kicked out all members of Hamas, they would gain more support from USA and Western nations. But as long as Palestine chooses to harbor Hamas, there is not much sympathy for them from many Americans. Why? We do not have sympathy for the terrorist organization Hamas. That being said, I hope things get better for Palestinian/Israeli innocents who get the rough end of the deal and that one day Palestine and Israel can have peace. But to do so, there must be compromise on both sides...not just one...

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I am a muslim and I say its not possible..the religon doesnt allow it..those who do that, do not follow this part of religon..In order to do the ritual of islamic marriage, you recite some verses, to recite these verses, you have to believe in G-d and his prophet...because thats what you recite..." I witness that.....etc etc etc"..
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This may be your version of what Muslim is, but that doesn't mean all Muslims feel the way you do...course' I know all Christians don't necessarily feel the way I do either.

    As a Christian, my beliefs are those from the Bible. I believe that marriage should only be between a man and woman, because that is what God of the Bible blesses and the Bible says he is against two men or two women together, adult and child together, adult and animal together and multiple marriages...


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  • 86. At 00:51am on 31 Aug 2010, MagicKirin wrote:

    ref #72
    colonelartist wrote:
    The massacre of 182,000 people nearly all civillians is never justified, even in war time, you yourself were slamming the Americans for deaths in Iraq, (which were once again, perpetrated largely by Iraqi's) but all of a sudden it's ok to target an entire people?
    That is dispicable, you are as bad as the Americans you have spent so long hating if not worse!
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I slammed usa because it claimed to be different, a higher civilization..And when a higher civilization does what lower civilization has done..then the higher needs to be slammed..unless ofcourse it admits that everything it claimed was lies..then I will slam both equally..If usa can justify its nuclear bombs, its chemical weapons in vietnam, its uranium depleted missiles in iraq and afghanistan, then, there is a justification for the other side too...which needs to be brought to light..

    ________________

    Quite honestly in terms of enlightenment tolerance and contributions to humanity, the U.S is superior to any country that use islamic sharia law to govern any aspect of their society.

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  • 87. At 01:32am on 31 Aug 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    String-a-ling;

    "The following quote is classic, however: "until they gave up the economic system they fought to impose on others because it completely failed them" Hmmm. Sounds rather familiar doesn't it? A nation imposing its values and economic systems on others..."

    The USSR imposing its values on the world, the EUSSR imposing its values on Britain, Islamic militants imposing Sharia law on everyone. Yes very famliar.

    "American soldiers are no better than the savage tribesmen from BC."

    I don't think the people in British Columbia would appreciate that.

    "When men are at war they are no longer the proud soldiers you see on the parades."

    "Thousands and thousands of innocent men, women and children were slaughtered at the hands of blood-thirsty American soldiers."

    I think you have them confused with some other army. Sudan's? Russia's? certainly not Britan's. Brit's are far more likely to cut and run. Must be the French influence.

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  • 88. At 01:46am on 31 Aug 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    String-a-ling;

    "I'm surprised that a nation and so many of its people who celebrate July 4th so proudly and patriotically react so nonchanlantly to your government and military attempting to control the world to suit them."

    Your intense jealousy is showing, every bit as bad as the French. 150 years ago it was Britain and not America that ruled much of the world. (Do we Americans really control the world? What a pleasant fantasy.) But Britain managed to throw it all away with remarkable speed to the point now where it has even ceded much control over its own little islands to the EUSSR. I can't say I feel sorry for it though. How could it have happened? I must ascribe a new factor the C.O.D to it. That is the Coefficient of Dumbness. It's not easy for a nation to give up control over one quarter of the world against its will in a matter of just three or four generations but somehow not so great anymore Britain managed it. Small wonder Brits don't want to study history. For them it doesn't have a very happy ending. Meanwhile we in America can rejoice in our victory in Iraq. As for the Iraqis themselves, framkly I don't give a ......

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  • 89. At 06:46am on 31 Aug 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    MAII said:

    Meanwhile we in America can rejoice in our victory in Iraq. As for the Iraqis themselves, framkly I don't give a ......

    What victory and even if you consider it to be one, are you proud that a country with over 10 times the population and and infinitely more wealth was able through various means, mainly corruption, of establishing the order they had destroyed?

    It is analogous to stomping a kitten to death, do you get off on that Ol' Philosopher King? Bad,bad Rambo America.

    The USA, other than Grenada ...whoop-ti-doo ...hasn't won a war since the conflict with Japan during WWII.The Red Army did the heavy lifting on the European front.

    Wonder where this myth concerning American invincibility came from? Not from historical happenings, that's for sure.

    I'd love for you to share with us on what actually caused your bizarre opinion of the French. Gotta be a real gutbuster.

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  • 90. At 08:09am on 31 Aug 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "Does human life have value to you? How are you different from OBL that ordered 9/11? I'm Nigerian & Christian."




    So why don't you oppose abuses of your own regime and a persecution of Christians in Nigeria?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

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  • 91. At 08:20am on 31 Aug 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    "The USA, other than Grenada ...whoop-ti-doo ...hasn't won a war since the conflict with Japan during WWII.The Red Army did the heavy lifting on the European front. "





    Nonsense aside (cf. e.g., Balkan War), this poster wishes that Soviet Red Army was allowed to 'liberate' European Continent all the way to Lisbon and Athens, as Stalin originally planned.

    This way we would not not have to at least read such comments here, for they'd have to be be written in Cyrillic and posted to Russian blogs.

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  • 92. At 08:29am on 31 Aug 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Re "one quarter of Americans believe Obama is Muslim"

    [it's actually 18%]


    http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-08-13/ground-zero-mosque/full/?obref=obnetwork

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  • 93. At 08:54am on 31 Aug 2010, PartTimeDon wrote:

    The flag on the statue issue is a symptom of behaviour that US soldiers have eventually learned not to repeat as the actions needed to win hearts and minds became clear.
    In 2001 and 2003 the initial forces which invaded Afghanistan and Iraq were not the battle hardened and wisened troops that they are now.
    40 years of the troubles has taught British soldiers to do their job as best they can without projecting triumphalism whether deliberate or not.
    Putting the flag around Hussein's statue may have played well at home, but in the Middle East it projected conquest - whether intended to or not. As such was a colossal PR own goal.

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  • 94. At 09:06am on 31 Aug 2010, powermeerkat wrote:

    Napolean has famously remarked that "an army which has not fought for five years is no longer an army".

    So let's discuss various present-day European nations' armies (EUSSR has not been able to create a unified force so far) and the military hardware they proudly advertise, although it has never passed an actual combat test.

    [I do not consider UK a part of Europe]

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  • 95. At 09:16am on 31 Aug 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    Re. #88 Elagabalus:

    I'm 34 and subsequently not nearly old to feel anything about the empire, let alone feel sorrow for its demise. Hailing from Newcastle I don't suppose my ancestors would have benefitted much from the plundered riches, anyhow.

    I'm also unsure as to what you imagine I am jealous of. From the way you talk it is as though you feel the British leaders of the empire should have acted more ruthlessly to keep hold of what they had. You give us clue after clue as to your character, Ellie!

    Your supposed 'rejoicing' in your 'victory' does seem a little far-fetched, even for you. I know the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths will not concern you in the slightest, but anyone rejoicing over the loss of over 4000 of their compatriots' deaths and $900 billion of their own money wasted needs to seriously re-examine their outlook on life. I'd love to hear your definition of 'victory'. I bet it doesn't match mine, or any other contributor's here.

    I am not confusing your military for Sudan's or any other nation's. You are merely demonstrating the typical misty-eyed, movie-inspired view of your armed forces, many nationalists in the US share. If you want me to provide evidence and direct quotes, for you, I can.

    Btw, I commented that your government and military were 'attempting' to control the world, not actually controlling it. You even quoted me.

    As for your feelings on the 'liberated' Iraqis, I never assumed anything other than the sentiments you expressed.

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  • 96. At 10:00am on 31 Aug 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    I must say string-a-ling it is you who have a dewy eyed view of war. People die in war, lots of them. There are inevitably atrocities on both sides, lots of them. All wars in all eras. No piece of paper written in Geneva can change that.

    Are the Iraqis liberated? In a sense yes, they are free to kill each other now whereas before they were all subject to being killed by Saddam Hussein's goon squads.

    To those who lament that a large number of Iraqis have died since the invasion, (we've seen numbers here from 100,00 to 1 million) it should be obvious that most of them were killed by the insurgents or were insurgents themselves. My personal view is that the number is closer to 100,000 although we'll never know the real number. If a million people had died in 7 years, that would have been close to 400 a day every day. I don't think that happened simply because it would have left mountains of corpses we never saw. Kind of like the Lancet's imbecillic report in 2006 which claimed 600,000 dead in three years or about 600 a day. Equally absurd. Had Saddam Hussein remained in power, at the rate he was killing them over 350,000 of them would have died at his hand. So its six of one a third of a million of the other.

    I think the American military does make an honest effort to avoid unnecessary enemy civilian deaths. For example, when Saddam Hussein placed his anti-aircraft guns on the roofs of apartment buildings, Amerians had to fly attack routes to avoid them when they easily could have been taken out. Let's not forget that from Afghanistan to Iraq, Islamic fighters whether sectarian or non sectarian commonly use innocents as human shields. In the end when confronted with it and the only choise is whether it's you or them who is going to die...it's going to be them.

    "I'm also unsure as to what you imagine I am jealous of. From the way you talk it is as though you feel the British leaders of the empire should have acted more ruthlessly to keep hold of what they had."

    Rest assured, the creation and demise of the British empire did not occur for lack of ruthlessness on the part of those in command of Britain either at home or around the world. Their atrocities were as heinous as anyones and when taken over the centuries and put together, probably every bit as numerous. There were few crimes against humanity that compared in scope or brutality to the British empire. One example was what many regarded as the fire bombing of Dresden which was every bit as devastating to the civilian population as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some say it was completely unnecessary from a military standpoint but I don't recall anyone at the time lamenting it, at least no on our side.

    It was unfortunate that around 4000 American soldiers died and many more wounded in the seven years of fighting in Iraq. They were all volunteers and those are about the number who are killed killed and injured as the result of motor vehicle accidents in the US on average every month. We lament that too but it is hardly something we are up in arms about. In war people die. On our highways people die. It's all part of life.

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  • 97. At 11:02am on 31 Aug 2010, hms_shannon wrote:





    96. At 10:00am on 31 Aug 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:



    There were few crimes against humanity that compared in scope or brutality to the British empire. One example was what many regarded as the fire bombing of Dresden which was every bit as devastating to the civilian population as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some say it was completely unnecessary from a military standpoint.

    BTW Marky Dresden was hit by both the RAF & USAF on the 13&15 feb 1945.

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  • 98. At 11:02am on 31 Aug 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    Re #96.

    I agree with much of what you say, Ellie, especially about the empire and its atrocities. But, you see, as a species we are meant to be still evolving. We know that the battlefield changes men. We know what apparently rational and reasonable men are capable of in certain circumstances, yet we seem intent on maximising the opportunities for these characteristics to manifest themselves.

    Hundreds of years ago men and women would be decapitated and have their heads impaled on a pike and stuck in the ground for all to see, after battles. You'll agree that generally we, as a species, have left that type of behaviour behind. I'd guess the generals of the empire did, too. You use the empire as some kind of point-scoring device, whereas I'm saying why not continue to use past examples to help us improve. You seem to believe we've arrived at our optimum level and that's that. i.e. Anything that happens in these modern times is simply unavoidable.

    When you refer to the empire you seem to be continually labouring under the misapprehension that we here in the UK are immensely proud of it and miss it terribly, and you are giving us a big reality check. Everyone knows what happened, and no one is proud.

    One could also be forgiven for taking your words as a suggestion that your own military's level of morality is somehow reduced because of what Britain did 150 years ago. That somehow appalling deeds carried out in the past mean that US soldiers can be given a little leeway because their behaviour isn't - in your eyes - quite as bad as some of the stories you've read of the British military in the 19th century.

    I'd say it matters little to the Iraqi father whose daughters and wife were raped and murdered that generally the US's strategy is to avoid civilian deaths, or that the British military carried out many dreadful acts, too. I believe the attitude you represent here impedes humankind's progression. I also believe that despite your occasional and cursory attempts to sound sympathetic, you take satisfaction from the slaughter of thousands of Iraqis at the hands of your well-armed military.

    That is hard for many people to stomach.

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  • 99. At 11:23am on 31 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    48. At 8:34pm on 30 Aug 2010, BuckyOHare wrote:

    "Whilst I respect the sentiment you have shown and thank you for your wishes (the town I was brought up in - Warrington - was victim to one of the most repugnant of IRA attacks), the fact remains that the majority of IRA funding was due to backing by those in the US. This being the case it is disingenuous to include the case in a list of succesful interventions by the US in matters such as these."

    With regard to your last sentence, in fairness it is widely held - certainly in Ireland - that the US and the Clinton administration made a significant contribution to the NI Peace Process, eg the chairing by Sen Mitchell of the various talks and talks about talks, not to mention the personal interventions made by Clinton and his people.

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  • 100. At 11:32am on 31 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 97 ukwales wrote:

    "96. At 10:00am on 31 Aug 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "There were few crimes against humanity that compared in scope or brutality to the British empire. One example was what many regarded as the fire bombing of Dresden which was every bit as devastating to the civilian population as Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some say it was completely unnecessary from a military standpoint."

    BTW Marky Dresden was hit by both the RAF & USAF on the 13&15 feb 1945."

    Ukwales - you are correct - just looked it up on Wiki.

    However, I think you will find that in MarkyWorld, the British bombing of Dresden was a crime against humanity, incomparable in scope or brutality, and absolutely typical of the evil British and their Evil Empire.

    While the US bombing of Dresden was of course brave, selfless, militarily necessary and a shining light unto all the nations....

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  • 101. At 1:08pm on 31 Aug 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    John_From_Dublin I reckon A E Housemam had experienced his ilk when he said

    Nature,not content with denying him the ability to think,has endowed him with the ability to write...

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  • 102. At 1:36pm on 31 Aug 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    "96. At 10:00am on 31 Aug 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "There were few crimes against humanity that compared in scope or brutality to the British empire. One example was what many regarded as the fire bombing of Dresden.

    It was a joint RAF and USAAF operation. Cant you do a little research if your historical knowledge is that bad? Basically, you've said that the US committed a crime against humanity of the scope and brutality of the British Empire. How magnanimous of you.

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  • 103. At 4:04pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Also, saying that the killing of civillians to avoid loosing control of one of your regions would (using your logic), justify the Russians in Chechnya, the Chinese in Tibet, UK in Northern Ireland, the Serbs in the Yugoslav civil war, the Gerogians in South Ossetia.
    All of these are either atrocities or questionable domestic policy.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And so it does..Look closely, usa's policies to attack and occupy countries have given a new support to oppression....Just as pro usa and pro brave soldiers posters quickly and generously tell everyone to "look at korea, look at sharia, muslims are killing muslims etc etc" arguments in their defence, all those regimes you have mentioned say exactly the same thing to usa or uk if they critisize russia, or if russia critisize uk and usa for invasions and wars..and then they start counting the deads to prove that their massacre or genocide or killings is lesser and more humane than the others..The point is, if someone rebel against the state, the state takes punitive actions..if some group rebel against the state when its war, the group is doomed..its the kurds who rebelled against the state which was at war, who are responsible for killing of their civilians..Saddam did what the americans did to fallujah because their four contractors were lynched..Nothing more and nothing else..

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  • 104. At 4:09pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The flag on the statue issue is a symptom of behaviour that US soldiers have eventually learned not to repeat as the actions needed to win hearts and minds became clear.
    In 2001 and 2003 the initial forces which invaded Afghanistan and Iraq were not the battle hardened and wisened troops that they are now.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The flag on the statue was a symbol of ignorance that these volunteer brave soldiers exibit..according to Tim the flag was given to him by someone from pentagon where he worked after it was hit by the plane used as missile..the soldier took this flag all the way to iraq..and then put it on saddam's statue...Thats symbolizes what every american believed..saddan liken to ben laden or saddam a threat to usa...thats pathetic..was pathetic and will always remain pathetic..

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  • 105. At 4:23pm on 31 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 101 ukwales wrote:

    "John_From_Dublin I reckon A E Housemam had experienced his ilk when he said

    Nature,not content with denying him the ability to think,has endowed him with the ability to write"

    I do appreciate a good literary putdown. Here's one I dimly remembered from my long ago school days - prophetic words from the poet Dryden

    "Marky alone my perfect image bears,
    Mature in dullness from his tender years.
    Marky alone, of all my Sons, is he
    Who stands confirm'd in full stupidity.
    The rest to some faint meaning make pretence,
    But Marky never deviates into sense.
    Some Beams of Wit on other souls may fall,
    Strike through and make a lucid interval;
    But Marky's genuine night admits no ray,
    His rising Fogs prevail upon the Day"

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  • 106. At 4:27pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Are the Iraqis liberated? In a sense yes, they are free to kill each other now whereas before they were all subject to being killed by Saddam Hussein's goon squads.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And that was the main goal of invasion..break down the state and infrastrucutre and then blame the people...Remember the defination of democracy that rumsfeld gave when the looting started as americans dismantle the police? Once there was saudi arabia which was supposedly being threatened by iraq, and now looks like even saudi arabia has a better military than iraq, so in a few yrs, usa will invade saudi arabians to protect iraq.

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  • 107. At 4:32pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    All of these are either atrocities or questionable domestic policy.
    How about you just admit that you are so filled with hate for the US that anything they do will be seen as bad but the same actions by any one else is ok.
    One of your later posts seemed a bit paranoid, suggesting that the world is out to get Islam, then your tone turned a little aggresive with your final statement.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    First of all, I dont waste my hate feelings on every tom, dick or harry... I am filled with disgust for the usa...because thats the correct feelings to describe what usa has done and how it has done.. The world is out to get islam..otherwise islam would not be on the world's tongue tip so readily...The world cannot even have a three sentence conversation about the mess usa has creating without bringing in islam and then getting hyper..

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  • 108. At 4:35pm on 31 Aug 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re. #102. At 1:36pm on 31 Aug 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:
    "96. At 10:00am on 31 Aug 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:

    "There were few crimes against humanity that compared in scope or brutality to the British empire. One example was what many regarded as the fire bombing of Dresden.

    It was a joint RAF and USAAF operation. Cant you do a little research if your historical knowledge is that bad? Basically, you've said that the US committed a crime against humanity of the scope and brutality of the British Empire. How magnanimous of you.

    -----------------

    Other than the degree of damage and casualties, what is the difference between the bombing of Dresden or Tokyo and that of Rotterdam, Coventry, Shanghai or London? The intent was the same in each case, the RAF and USAAF were merely more efficient than their opponents. Once one side adopts the premise that cities are legitimate military targets civilian caualties are inevitable as is retaliation in kind.

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  • 109. At 4:40pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Putting the flag around Hussein's statue may have played well at home, but in the Middle East it projected conquest -
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    No. in the middle east it projected what the people had feared, that invasion had just one goal, topple saddam and weaken the country...well projected by the flag..when kuwait was liberated, the kuwaiti flags were put on everywhere not american...

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  • 110. At 4:50pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    85. At 00:07am on 31 Aug 2010, LucyJ wrote:
    37. colonelartist wrote: Since He is the creator, so He knows exactly what I dont like..
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Do you think that God has caused one in five Americans to believe Obama is secretly Muslim just for you? That must be that 'exalted mind' you were talking about...

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And I was talking about my hate for discomfortness.

    All I know is that G-d has created american mind to be higly receptive of lies and rumors..Being liberated, humane and the whole package country, why should americans be bother about religon of their president..its something the inhumane and uncivilized people..

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  • 111. At 5:06pm on 31 Aug 2010, Scott0962 wrote:

    re.# 96. At 10:00am on 31 Aug 2010, MarcusAureliusII wrote:
    "There were few crimes against humanity that compared in scope or brutality to the British empire."

    One could also argue that there have been few empires which have left such a rich legacy as the British Empire; language, culture, law, government, railroads, industrialization to name a few. If the British were so deserving of being hated and reviled by their former subjects how do you explain the British Commonwealth of Nations to which most former British territories still voluntarily belong?

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  • 112. At 5:18pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    One could also argue that there have been few empires which have left such a rich legacy as the British Empire; language, culture, law, government, railroads, industrialization to name a few. If the British were so deserving of being hated and reviled by their former subjects how do you explain the British Commonwealth of Nations to which most former British territories still voluntarily belong?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And how many african countries are celebrating their independence this yr? Its about time you stop romantising the british empire, if it was so good for the humans it ruled on, they would still be gladely under it..People say the same thing about the muslim rule in spain, iraq and india..

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  • 113. At 5:31pm on 31 Aug 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    Colonelartist you often appear to have too much to say without full consideration of the point you want to make. "Its about time you stop romantising the british empire"

    No one is romanticising anything. Scott was merely making the point that everything the British Empire did was not automatically evil because it was created under the empire. Some positives came out of it.

    Do you deny that?

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  • 114. At 5:33pm on 31 Aug 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #112 re #111

    The point was clearly made. Why would 54 countries maintain a wholly voluntary relationship with Britain, in no way subservient, via an organisation with the British monarch as head? All those states could sever their ties with this organisation at any time. But they dont...why?

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  • 115. At 5:39pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    No one is romanticising anything. Scott was merely making the point that everything the British Empire did was not automatically evil because it was created under the empire. Some positives came out of it.

    Do you deny that?

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Like I wrote, many postive things came out of muslim rule in spain, in india and in iraq...but who cares...So many hundred yrs of ruling a few positive things always come up...even in occupation of iraq by usa will have some minute positive things, and even in afghanistan, like "girl's schools" here and there...the camp anaconda that usa military will leave give back the swimming pool back to the iraqis in a first class condition, a very positive thing..

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  • 116. At 5:42pm on 31 Aug 2010, commonsense_expressway wrote:

    #112

    "And how many african countries are celebrating their independence this yr?"

    All of them, seeing as they celebrate their independece every year....

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  • 117. At 5:50pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    "And how many african countries are celebrating their independence this yr?"

    All of them, seeing as they celebrate their independece every year....

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    golden inependence days.

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  • 118. At 6:54pm on 31 Aug 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    Re. #115

    "Like I wrote, many postive things came out of muslim rule in spain, in india and in iraq...but who cares..."

    Well, if you took away everything the British empire gave to the world, I'd say a fair few people would care. And it's all very well for you knocking everyone from your pious, position as you play the role of perpetual victim, apparently you are not judged by many on here, on the actions of the ancestors of some of our compatriots, so we care too. It becomes not a little tiresome after a while, and it helps to remember that, despite the atrocious manner they went about things, many of the empire's objectives were positive and also achieved.

    OK with you?

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  • 119. At 7:03pm on 31 Aug 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    105. At 4:23pm on 31 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:
    # 101 ukwales wrote:

    "John_From_Dublin I reckon A E Housemam had experienced his ilk when he said

    Nature,not content with denying him the ability to think,has endowed him with the ability to write"

    I do appreciate a good literary putdown. Here's one I dimly remembered from my long ago school days - prophetic words from the poet Dryden

    "Marky alone my perfect image bears,
    Mature in dullness from his tender years.
    Marky alone, of all my Sons, is he
    Who stands confirm'd in full stupidity.
    The rest to some faint meaning make pretence,
    But Marky never deviates into sense.
    Some Beams of Wit on other souls may fall,
    Strike through and make a lucid interval;
    But Marky's genuine night admits no ray,
    His rising Fogs prevail upon the Day"
    --------------------------------
    Excellent,& forgive me just one more,

    If I say that he is extremely stupid.I don`t mean that in a derogatory sense.I simply mean that he`s not very intelligent.

    Alan Bennett.

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  • 120. At 7:13pm on 31 Aug 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    John_From_Dublin,& this will be the very very last,

    He was born stupid,& greatly increased his birthright.

    Samuel Butler.

    Have a good evening over there in Dublin`s fair city...

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  • 121. At 8:53pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Well, if you took away everything the British empire gave to the world, I'd say a fair few people would care. And it's all very well for you knocking everyone from your pious, position as you play the role of perpetual victim, apparently you are not judged by many on here, on the actions of the ancestors of some of our compatriots, so we care too. It becomes not a little tiresome after a while, and it helps to remember that, despite the atrocious manner they went about things, many of the empire's objectives were positive and also achieved.

    OK with you?
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Like I said, stop romantizing and glorifying the empire..Saddam did a lot of good work for iraq, even after the gulf war 1, he managed to hold the infrastrucutre in intact and reconstructed without the aid of any contractor and never needed any trainer to train the army...But who mentions...and who cares what he did..

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  • 122. At 10:25pm on 31 Aug 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    USA is here for a reason and Great Britain is here for a reason, too.
    We are both awesome allies and friends, although at times we both have very different perspectives.

    Can't imagine life without Beatles, Stones, Bond, Dr. Who, etc.

    I am glad that Great Britain exists...we are a better world for it.

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  • 123. At 10:29pm on 31 Aug 2010, wolfvorkian wrote:

    powermeerkat wrote:

    This way we would not not have to at least read such comments here, for they'd have to be be written in Cyrillic and posted to Russian blogs.

    Keep the day job, you'll never make it as a demagogue. Following your convoluted response, this blog should then be in Vietnamese. We got it handed to us there, remember?

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  • 124. At 10:44pm on 31 Aug 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    Re. #121

    "Saddam did a lot of good work for iraq, even after the gulf war 1, he managed to hold the infrastrucutre in intact and reconstructed without the aid of any contractor and never needed any trainer to train the army...But who mentions...and who cares what he did.."

    Um... You, by the sound of things.

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  • 125. At 11:15pm on 31 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Hi all, i just popped back in to see what had been added since last night.
    Firstly, it's good to see colonelartist posting again, but a shame to see that there is a clear paranoia in his posts, he says that the world is actually out to get Islam, nothing but cold war paranoia adapted for a new age.
    Why does no one care about the influence of Islam around the word colonel?
    Actually, here in Britain we are often being reminded through various mediums what Islam has contributed, as for the rest of the world, i can't say and neither can you, how do you know how much the Spanish recognize the Islamic influence? they could acknowledge it plenty and no one outside Sapin would know, why? because we're not exposed to Spanish media all the time.
    Why do former colonial nations celebrate their independance? because everyone who is free celebrates that fact, why do the still volunteer to be in the Commonwealth? well apart from it being good economically, they have achieved freedom and wish to move on in the world, co-operation, even with former colonial masters is how that is done.
    It was also a shame to see MarcusAurelisII say that nothing compares to the atrocities of the British empire. Well Marcus, our record is far from spotless, but here are a few for your consideration:
    The annihilation of Coventry by the Nazi's.
    The Holocaust agains the Jews.
    The genocide of Iraqi Kurds.
    The Nanking massacre.
    The treatment of allied and Eastern POW's by the Japanese forces.
    The Spanish Conquistadores wiping out many indiginous people in Latin America.
    Stalin's purgesof Soviet Russia.
    The "disappearing" of political opponents in Chile and countless other military dictatorships, i could go on believe me.
    I'm not "glorifying the empire, but i refuse to condem it entirely also, without a crystal ball i can't say if these nations would have been better or worse without us, but the fact is these histories shape the modern world and our actions today will shape the future, and probably be debated like this as well.
    The middle East has had many Islanic or Arabic empires i their rich history, many of which have commited acts similar to the Romans, British, French empires ect, to keep control. This doesn't justify anything but it shows that nearly all the world is guilty of things readily condemed (often rightly) on boards like this.
    On that note, yes the invading forces have had incidents of an unjustifyable nature, but ask yourself, seriously for a moment, if Iran, Syria, Israel, Canada or any other nation invaded another would all the armed forces be honourable and just? i think not, once again, i am not trying to justify anything, i am just saying that we are all often blind with hate for certain thing and this clouds our vision, making us unable to see the smae happening elsewhere.
    I've gone on too long, thank you very much for reading.

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  • 126. At 11:24pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    The most pathetic thing is, that now when usa talks about iraq its about training its military and police...the credit of dismantling it goes to usa...Next time you break things, remember your invasion iraq, 7 yrs and still cannot raise a functional police...

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  • 127. At 11:29pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Saddam did a lot of good work for iraq, even after the gulf war 1, he managed to hold the infrastrucutre in intact and reconstructed without the aid of any contractor and never needed any trainer to train the army...But who mentions...and who cares what he did.."

    Um... You, by the sound of things.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is a difference between reminding those who glorify and romantize the positive things of dictators and empires and caring about what saddam did in his country...Next time, when such thoughts come across your minds, about your empire, remind yourself that every empire and dicator does some good things...remind yourself of saddam, and you will be cured from your glorifying the empire.

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  • 128. At 11:30pm on 31 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 113. At 5:31pm on 31 Aug 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    "Colonelartist you often appear to have too much to say without full consideration of the point you want to make"

    Stirling222, you have a wonderful gift for understatement ;-)

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  • 129. At 11:34pm on 31 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    # 120. At 7:13pm on 31 Aug 2010, ukwales wrote:

    "Have a good evening over there in Dublin`s fair city..."

    I'll do my best. Have a similar one over there in the land of the dragon

    [Always nice to get on with the next door neighbours ;-) ]

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  • 130. At 11:37pm on 31 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    #121 Colon

    "Saddam did a lot of good work for iraq, even after the gulf war 1, he managed to hold the infrastrucutre in intact and reconstructed without the aid of any contractor and never needed any trainer to train the army...But who mentions...and who cares what he did.."

    What's that old saying - 'well, at least he made the trains run on time'...

    [In case anyone isn't familiar with it, it's used sarcastically, eg 'say what you like about Hitler/Mussolini/Other Dictator - at least he made the trains run on time" - as if that was important...]

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  • 131. At 11:57pm on 31 Aug 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    usa, iran and shah, this is the pattern on which usa will rule iraq...for as long as it can...Eventually some opposition leader of iraq will have to go to exile because of the way usa will rule iraq through its puppet governments...and we will have an ayatollah khomeni like come back..The non combat soldiers and every american in iraq has more rights in iraq than the iraqis..There was this status of forces agreement, the capitulation law signed by shah and the usa, which gave all sorts of rights to american military and others, in iran, and there was such a an agreement passed by iraq and usa in 2008 before obama came. the status of forces agreement between usa and iraq...I dont even know if obama had announced his candidancy back then..the time line set for the forces to start returning was 2009 complete withdrawl by december 2010..obama managed to keep almost half of his forces in iraq for an indefinte period..

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  • 132. At 00:03am on 01 Sep 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    # 113. At 5:31pm on 31 Aug 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    "Colonelartist you often appear to have too much to say without full consideration of the point you want to make"

    128. At 11:30pm on 31 Aug 2010, John_From_Dublin wrote:

    Stirling222, you have a wonderful gift for understatement ;-)


    Thank goodness someone else feels this way.
    Thanks guys, please see my previous chats with the colonel to see the difficulty there has been.

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  • 133. At 00:23am on 01 Sep 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    hey, the colonel has an 'exalted mind'...I think he might be able to see the future...
    not!

    the colonel may have some insight, but we all have insight- just different kinds- and none of us can claim to know the future with certainty unless we are psychic or have special powers/gifts...
    the future is wide open, wild and free to interpretation...

    what the colonel may not want to admit is that he is just like everyone else on this Earth...another human with humanly physicality, feelings and emotions...

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  • 134. At 00:25am on 01 Sep 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    It's not like some humans are monkeys and some are apes...we humans on Earth are all humans and none of us are perfect, anyhew...

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  • 135. At 7:19pm on 01 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    what the colonel may not want to admit is that he is just like everyone else on this Earth...another human with humanly physicality, feelings and emotions...
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Unlike all of human beings I can channlize my feelings, and emotions where they deserve to be channlised to..My monkey and ape ancestors evolutionsed not for just the sake of evolution..They did so to best adapt and embrace the change..


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  • 136. At 7:22pm on 01 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Thank goodness someone else feels this way.
    Thanks guys, please see my previous chats with the colonel to see the difficulty there has been.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    This is just to enlighten you, I have my lackeys here too..And mine are way better than yours, because I do not have to even lean on to them to get some support, their lackeyness is unconditional..

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  • 137. At 8:16pm on 01 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    On that note, yes the invading forces have had incidents of an unjustifyable nature, but ask yourself, seriously for a moment, if Iran, Syria, Israel, Canada or any other nation invaded another would all the armed forces be honourable and just? i think not,
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I cannot say anything about things which have not happen...only the things which are happening by the civilization that claims to be extremely civilized and better than the two mentioned by you, iran and syria...israel has invaded and the invasion is right in front of everyone..canada is one of the invading allies in afghanistan and the things are infront of those who want to see them..

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  • 138. At 9:11pm on 01 Sep 2010, stirling222 wrote:

    Colonelartist "I have my lackeys here too..And mine are way better than yours, because I do not have to even lean on to them to get some support, their lackeyness is unconditional.."

    I hope you're not referring to me as a 'lackey', and no one leant on me either, FYI. I merely call it as I see it my irrational friend...

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  • 139. At 9:24pm on 01 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    I hope you're not referring to me as a 'lackey', and no one leant on me either, FYI. I merely call it as I see it my irrational friend...
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rest assured. No. I said and I quote, "my lackeys are better". My lackeys are not any tom, dick and harry..

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  • 140. At 11:22pm on 01 Sep 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Crikey Colonel, give it a rest.
    No one here is anyone's lackey, we are all strangers to each other, so these "Tom, Dick and Harry's" are just people who share an opinion.
    Your attempt to counter my point in post #137 once again missed my point, i was asking if anyone thought any invading nation would be different to the US, you skirted around that and said who was invading where, epic fail.
    I also find your quote in point in post #135 highly laughable "My monkey and ape ancestors evolutionsed not for just the sake of evolution", what so they evolved solely for the purpose of creating you?, you who according to your other posts, is never wrong, can channel his emotions where no one else can, has lackeys whose loyalty it unconditionally to you and seems to know what know one else does?
    Please climb down from that pedestal and stop being so irratic.

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  • 141. At 00:11am on 02 Sep 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    Mustard, Tabun, Sarin, and VX (ten milligrams of VX on the skin can cause rapid death), Anthrax,Botulinium toxin, Afla toxins, Ricin. Just some of the things manufactured in Iraq but what does MI6 still have classified? Would Iraq under Saadam us these, ask the Kurds that survived Halabja. When UN inspectors left Iraq, they couldn't account for 360 tons of VX alone.... Was it worth it? Face it Saadam was a Stalinist type butcher of human beings. I sure as hell won't miss Saadam, I am sure another will spring up somewhere else for those that need them.
    By the way this information was from a report from British Intelligence as an assessment for the British government (I mean really who trusts the British?). I do, and I am not even a UK citizen. I'm sure
    the US and other have some also.
    I think next time a dictator acts up, just do what you have too and forget nation building. If they like dictators and enjoy living under the iron fist it is their choice, their country. I don't feel any nation has to liberate any of them, let them do it themselves. Don't waste time, money, and people on these countries.

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  • 142. At 00:50am on 02 Sep 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    The difference between the Islamic world is many adored Saadam. While in the western world we air our dirty laundry and make an attempt to police ourselves. How much of the murderous acts are portrayed in the Muslim media about what Muslims do to each other, never mind what is done to non-Muslims.
    I quote from the Sahih Al-Bukhari Vol 8, Book 82, Hadith 795 "The Prophet cut off the hands and feet of the men belonging to the Tribe of Uraina and did not cauterise (their bleeding limbs) till they died." If you read the Quran,Hadiths and the history of Islam. You will find that Mohammad beheaded himself some 600 to 700 Jews, some claim 800 to 900. During his later years as the Verse of the Sword kicked in so to speak.
    This is what some Muslims pattern themselves after, radical? The peaceful writings of Mecca seems were abrogated (abolished, superseded)by the later writings in the Quran which are more violent in nature of how non-believers are to be treated or dealt with.

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  • 143. At 01:13am on 02 Sep 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    I find it interesting that the BBC removes quotes from the Quran and Hadith when it mentions the beheadings and killings by the Prophet Mohammad? Is there something wrong with this? Relating what is written in the Hadith or Quran? Or why Mohammad is considered the model of the perfect man that all Muslim should strive to emulate? Or is there an Imam who selectively censors what is written as far a questions. The BBC rules claim to remove offensive things, when everyday offensive things are written daily about Americans, and certain parties that are affiliated with such. So much for governmental control. I guess the BBC just doesn't like to allow anything from these ancient texts, or questions that pertain to them. So Allah is protected, but Jesus and Moses, Buddah are acceptable target by the BBC.

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  • 144. At 01:20am on 02 Sep 2010, american grizzly wrote:

    Twice comment are removed for consideration when the Quran or Islamic natured questions are raised. You should fire your supervisors who fail to follow up when you put a blanket statement of "refered for futher considration" to we are not going to publish it because we can't decide so we hope it goes away attitude.... But with the British government controlling the BBC , it figures.

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  • 145. At 02:48am on 02 Sep 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

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

  • 146. At 03:03am on 02 Sep 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Seeing what was posted at 139 by the Colonel himself, I submitted a Limerick at 145, largely quoting from the Colonel's own words. Somehow or other, although much humorous poetry has been accepted here before, somebody in the central committee is now a poetry critic.

    There is a significant freedom of speech issue here, because there is no possible way that the Limerick could have broken the House Rules.

    I will now post my Limerick again, in two parts, in the following posts

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  • 147. At 03:04am on 02 Sep 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    There once was a Colonel from Quetta
    Who said "my lackeys are better"
    There's no Tom, Dick, or Harry

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  • 148. At 03:04am on 02 Sep 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    But they're bearded and scary,
    And at prayer they sing operetta.

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  • 149. At 03:56am on 02 Sep 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    Unbelievable.

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  • 150. At 03:57am on 02 Sep 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    They're bearded and scary, and from Londonderry

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  • 151. At 03:57am on 02 Sep 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    And at prayer they sing operetta.

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  • 152. At 4:07pm on 02 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Twice comment are removed for consideration when the Quran or Islamic natured questions are raised.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Einstein, this is not a koranic or islamic naturistic blog. If you want to raise koranic and islamic naturastic questions, go to a koranic or islamic blog..However after blair's revelation about his religious nature, I suggest generously and whole heartdely that you tone down the religous attitude..unless ofcouse you share his, bushes and ben laden's religious zeal and fanatisism.

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  • 153. At 4:12pm on 02 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    There once was a Colonel from Quetta
    Who said "my lackeys are better"
    There's no Tom, Dick, or Harry
    They're bearded and scary, and from Londonderry
    And at prayer they sing operetta.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Scared of the beards and scared of the burkas..

    Now, rhyme something with parachinar.




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  • 154. At 4:20pm on 02 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    "My monkey and ape ancestors evolutionsed not for just the sake of evolution", what so they evolved solely for the purpose of creating you?,
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yes. Otherwise what was the whole point of evolution, if I would be doing what they had been doing..All that evolution down the drain, had I not been passed the correct and context appr. emtional channel..although i still retain one of their genes as it was, climbing trees..

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  • 155. At 5:52pm on 02 Sep 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Ref post #154.

    WHAT???
    What are you trying to say, none of this makes sense!!!

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  • 156. At 6:59pm on 02 Sep 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    153. At 4:12pm on 02 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    There once was a Colonel from Quetta
    Who said "my lackeys are better"
    There's no Tom, Dick, or Harry
    They're bearded and scary, and from Londonderry
    And at prayer they sing operetta.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "Scared of the beards and scared of the burkas..

    Now, rhyme something with parachinar."

    ____________

    The moderators didn't like it until I slagged the Northern Irish. Sorry state of affairs when it comes to that.

    Now, as for beards, burkas, and Parachinar, here goes:


    Sardar Shireendil Khan and I
    Once drove by car to the Durand Line.
    From Khost to Tora Bora and then,
    To Peshawar, and back again.

    At twilight he finally stopped the car,
    "Let's spend the night at Parachinar."
    "At the last turning did you not see
    Bin Ladin resting by a maple tree?"

    "Be not afraid, we're safe and sound.
    Bin Ladin's men are not around.
    They're watching cricket, don't you know
    In the valley, far below."

    "Do not be scared of the beards and the burkas,
    In those clothes they can still dance Mazurkas."
    (Though I would bet a fig or mango
    That they cannot in them dance the tango.)

    Even now, when comes first light of dawn
    I think of Sardar Shireendil Khan
    And how he wished for nothing finer
    Than breakfast tea at Parachinar.

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  • 157. At 8:44pm on 02 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Too bad that ben laden is on your mind like WMD in iraq prior to the non discovery of such weapons.Otherwise, people usually always mention two cities, kohat and derra when asked about parachinar..Parachinar is a shia majority city..and they dont take kindly to anyone else especially on a bad day. On their good days, the local sunnis dont take kindly to them..Lots of very unkind people with a collective interest for four wheel land cruisers with airfreshners and guns...Airfreshner is an interest picked from the west, and guns from their own..a very nice integration of two cultures..

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  • 158. At 8:57pm on 02 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Ref post #154.

    WHAT???
    What are you trying to say, none of this makes sense!!!
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    You asked me a question about the purpose of my ancestors moneys and I gave you an answer. Unlike rest of the mankind, I do not dissociate from my ancestoral monkeykind.they and their early human like desendents and early human descendents have made a lot of emotional sacrifices and mistakes so that I would be able to channelize the emotions without making the mistakes they made..I dont know about you, me being muslim, believe in the day of judgment..where everyone will meet their ancestors and I dont want my ancestors telling me what was the whole point of their evolution, if i was as emotionally incorrect as them..

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  • 159. At 9:09pm on 02 Sep 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Ref #157:-
    How is it an integration of 2 cultures?
    If the airfreshners are Western (all though why they don't want to smell nice is strange), and the gun isn't a middle Eastern invention then it isn't an integration of Squat if Paranchinar or even Iraq is involved.
    Also, the way you portray Paranchinar says they don't like anyone from the outside, so they're essentially Rascists?

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  • 160. At 9:32pm on 02 Sep 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Ref post #158:-
    What i asked was if you were under the impression that the whole purpose of evolution was to create you, who according to your other posts is adorned with many gifts the rest of Mankind do not have.
    Your answer initially suggested that it was and then went on a further irrelivant rant (as usual) and then when i asked for clarification you fed me some line about emotional sacrifice and doomsday, i for one also happily acknowledge the fact that we are descended from apes, you once again seem to think only you think that way, please stop using such sweeping statements.
    Also, evolution is mostly a physical thing, your channeling of emotions is a personal thing, also you're not special, there are millions of people who are the same as you, sorry to burst your bubble there.

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  • 161. At 10:10pm on 02 Sep 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    159. At 9:09pm on 02 Sep 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    Jack:

    Parachinar is on the Durand line, which defines the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is mountainous, dry country. The hill tribes have a reputation for being fiercely proud and disinclined to back down from a fight, and, in the times or Sher Khan and the Anglo-Afghan wars, something of a reputation for brigandage, if I am not mistaken.

    Parachinar is where it is thought that Osama bin Laden crossed into Pakistan to escape the pursuit of US forces. For a time he was thought to be hiding there. The name itself apparently means something like "Big Maple Tree".

    I would gather from a number of his postings that the Colonel is not unfamiliar with this part of the world, both as a function of his upbringing and as a function of his subsequent career.

    The Colonel is, I believe, writing in a humorous vein, and one must make allowances that humour does not necessarily always translate well from culture to culture.

    His characterization of the local folks remind me of the phrase "You all ain't from around here, is ya?"

    It also reminds me of the rather parochial character Agecannonix in the Asterix series who says something like "Je n'ai rien contre les etrangers. C'est seulement qu'ils ne sont pas d'ici."

    [i.e., "I have nothing against foreigners. It's just that they aren't from around here."]

    Given his educational background I was rather hoping the Colonel might, in a somewhat lighter manner, write back in verse. I will, however, get over the disappointment.

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  • 162. At 10:12pm on 02 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    If the airfreshners are Western (all though why they don't want to smell nice is strange), and the gun isn't a middle Eastern invention then it isn't an integration of Squat if Paranchinar or even Iraq is involved.
    Also, the way you portray Paranchinar says they don't like anyone from the outside, so they're essentially Rascists?
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nothing smell more nicer to a pathan than a smell of niswar..the non pathans cannot stand its smell.. Lets just suppose there were two people A and B, A bought a new landcruiser.white. so he invited B who happened to be there on some private matters to ride the cruiser..So when B climbed into the vehicle, a lethal dose of airfreshner greeted him. B asked, A what was that for, and A smiled, "its what the westerners like in their cars, and then B saw some ak47,polished and deocrated with some carvings of the sort I will not mention, and asked what was that for, and A replied with again with a smile, "this is what we like".. And in that land cruiser east and west blended without any problem..The word racists do not exist in parachinar..People just like themselves..and dont like strangers..And I think they dont like to be called racists..as they are very religious..Every muslim is a muslim..however since every muslim cannot be from their tribes..so blood and tribal relations are given priority..

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  • 163. At 10:17pm on 02 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Also, evolution is mostly a physical thing, your channeling of emotions is a personal thing, also you're not special, there are millions of people who are the same as you, sorry to burst your bubble there.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    While everyone was busy evolutionsizing physically, my ancestors, not only physically evoluted, but also socially, and emotionally. Thats why your fear most of the time is irrational..and mine, if i ever become afraid is very rational..like fear when finding yourself standing on a poisonous snake's neck area by mistake and trying to figure out what to do next is a very frightening situation.

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  • 164. At 10:21pm on 02 Sep 2010, McJakome wrote:

    125. At 11:15pm on 31 Aug 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote righteously.

    You have written a balanced and fair but not scathing counter to the blame-game propagandists [on all sides]. Keep this up!

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  • 165. At 10:29pm on 02 Sep 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    153. At 4:12pm on 02 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:
    There once was a Colonel from Quetta
    Who said "my lackeys are better"
    There's no Tom, Dick, or Harry
    They're bearded and scary, and from Londonderry
    And at prayer they sing operetta.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Scared of the beards and scared of the burkas..

    Now, rhyme something with parachinar.
    -----------------------------------------------

    The biggest tree of Chinar,
    In the region of Parachinar
    The tribe known as "Parikhel,
    Would debate,argue,heckle
    On issues both near & afar...

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  • 166. At 10:56pm on 02 Sep 2010, Jack Hoedemaker wrote:

    JMM, post #164: -
    Thank you very much.

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  • 167. At 11:17pm on 02 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    Its all in the names of people and their khels..if you would come to know the meaning of the name, sheerindil and parikhel..you would understand the the beautiful imagination of the pathans, whom the west is busy genociding because they are scared of their beards and burkas.

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  • 168. At 00:24am on 03 Sep 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    livin' in colonial times wrote:

    if i ever become afraid is very rational..like fear when finding yourself standing on a poisonous snake's neck area by mistake and trying to figure out what to do next is a very frightening situation.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yeah, but that's natural instinct. Every human and animal on Earth has natural instinct and intuition. Whether they choose to follow or ignore it...is another question. So in that aspect, you are no different...

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    and their early human like desendents and early human descendents have made a lot of emotional sacrifices and mistakes so that I would be able to channelize the emotions without making the mistakes they made..I dont know about you, me being muslim, believe in the day of judgment..where everyone will meet their ancestors and I dont want my ancestors telling me what was the whole point of their evolution, if i was as emotionally incorrect as them..
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    How do you know they were emotionally incorrect? Perhaps they are not what they seem they are to you...perhaps it was all animal instinct?
    Well, going by the colonial one's feelings, that would mean that our ancestors all evolved just for us? Well, there you go...so, see, colonel, we are meant to exist just as much as you are meant to exist or we wouldn't exist, eh? Okay...and BTW, Christians like me also believe in judgement day and it is about what matters to the trinity- God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, not necessarily about what matters to us...

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    colonial man who loves burkas wrote: because they are scared of their beards and burkas.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ya, ha ha! Maybe that is because to you it represents religion and to many of us, it represents dictatorship and loss of freedom for women/inequality...the difference is that in certain Middle Eastern countries, women and men will be looked down upon and perhaps much worse if they do not wear appropriate attire while in USA you can wear practically anything you want. If you want to dress like a ballerina one day, a clown the next, a rocket scientist the following and a chimpanzee, sure, you can do it...why not? Is life not for livin'?
    Sometimes we can focus on negative things, but when it comes down to it, we should all be happy just to be alive...I know I am.

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  • 169. At 00:57am on 03 Sep 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    Some from the East like to say that they are the best
    Especially when challenged from some people from the West
    While neither want to concede or accept defeat,
    They realize that at some point the two diverging lines will meet.

    From one, sweet smells to freshen the air,
    The other prefers smells de au naturel
    But they both can agree on what really smells great
    A cloud of Zzz's goes up in the air not a tad bit too late.

    What could bring these two sides to declare a truce?
    A delicious brownie, a can of mixed juice?
    How do we accept that both sides have a beautiful imagination?
    How do we accept that both sides have a right of creation?

    The best way is reason, love and compromise,
    When there is none of those, it can be filled instead with lies.
    But how does each side know what to take and give?
    There is no manual, no Idiot's Guide to Live.

    So we live in interesting times
    With many a person merely mimes.
    In the beautiful countryside, the sun is about to set,
    Where pinks and blues and yellows all have met
    But we do not know where our destination will take us humans yet...

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  • 170. At 01:19am on 03 Sep 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
    People should work, but we need to have fun, too.

    We should live every once in a while, in which whatever that is to each person, to thine own self be true. Don't give up on your dreams, no matter how young or old you are. A soul has no limits and knows no bounds.

    Life is a gift...

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  • 171. At 01:33am on 03 Sep 2010, LucyJ wrote:

    A slip of paper is all it takes...
    For one to reach near completion to ride the waves of the universe.
    For one to see about the beautiful colors radiances God makes.
    For one to shout at the top of their lungs, "I am alive, so alive! No, I don't need a nurse!"

    What Pink Floyd called "Comfortably Numb,"
    Some people call dumb...
    Myself, I find Pink Floyd to be the truest of true.
    Their music expands, contracts, discovers, rejects, creates, decides, loves, acknowledges, accepts and laughs, too.

    It sure stays with you.
    Not something to do every day.
    But lots o' fun to hang with the crew.
    Then let the chips fall where they lay...

    The law is the law.
    But it's not nature's law.
    Nature has its own path to enlightenment.
    Some things you see you never forget what you saw,
    But did you really say what you thought you meant?

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  • 172. At 11:02pm on 03 Sep 2010, Interestedforeigner wrote:

    And there I was just writing about it yesterday ...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-11152136

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  • 173. At 01:25am on 04 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    so, see, colonel, we are meant to exist just as much as you are meant to exist or we wouldn't exist, eh? Okay
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And there was this person, who thought he had a gem of an idea when he said and i quote, "I think there I am" little did he know that there were millions of people who didnt think but they too were...HOwever, there was a qualitative difference between the him and the people who also were but didnt think....Apply the same theory to your above mentioned sentence.

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  • 174. At 01:27am on 04 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    And there I was just writing about it yesterday ...

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-11152136

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    But you still dont know the meaning of the name, Shireendil khan..You would still see the beard..

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  • 175. At 01:43am on 04 Sep 2010, McJakome wrote:

    I would like to recommend, on this topic, an apalling read [one that will be appalling to Americans who respect the Constitution and tend to trust their government].

    "DISSENT: Voices of Conscience"
    by US Colonel (ret.) Ann Wright and Susan Dixon

    If the Bush and Blair regimes did even 20% of the illegal, immoral and unconscionable [for a US official unconstitutional] things referred to in this book about the planning of the Iraq War, then there are a lot of criminals in and recently retired from political office who should be put on trial for their actions.

    I did not have a very high opinion of Bush and Cheney anyway, I now wish them and their cronies in a cell in Leavenworth. The notion that an imprisoned president would be bad for the country is false. A president [or any US official charged with the prescribed oath] who has betrayed his oath of office, trampled the Constitution underfoot, caused the destruction of the US economy, eviscerated America's alliances, undermined America's standing in the world, and ordered illegal actions MUST be brought to justice in order to prevent more of the same in the future.

    Mr. President, arrest and charge those criminal Neocons for the good of the nation.

    I now understand why some of the posters often misspell the name of their former PM as "Bliar" and/or call him GWB's poodle. We Americans have to retake our government from the corporatists and the "Congressional Military Industrial Complex."

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  • 176. At 8:04pm on 04 Sep 2010, hms_shannon wrote:

    The Durand line
    Complex sublime,
    All sides take no sop,
    colonelartist`s twisted
    Before time thats misted,
    Why not let it drop ?..

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  • 177. At 8:54pm on 04 Sep 2010, colonelartist wrote:

    I will drop it if you get the name of the khel correct..to add i instead of a, changes the whole meaning of the tribe..

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