Daniel Eran Dilger
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The Power of Nightmares

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Google Video is hosting Adam Curtis’ “The Power of Nightmares,” a powerful BBC documentary on the rise of radical fundamentalism and how it has changed the world.

  • http://murrquan.livejournal.com Murrquan

    Ah yes, and I hope Mr. Dilger’s face recovers!

  • Realtosh

    @ danieleran

    “Your WTC experiences, related at least twice in too much detail, have nothing to do with the series I linked to that you refused to even evaluate.”

    My experiences are exactly material because they inform the discussion of terrorism. Nor I nor anyone that I know had anything to do with the terrorists BEFORE they killed so many New Yorkers here. So, my point is that I am offended when someone suggests that in some way these innocent people somehow contributed to the causality of these terrorists. You are belittling in our attacks, but I see it as blaming the victim. Why can’t others accept that I don’t see eye to eye with every single person who happens to read and or post here, but at least I have relevant personal experience for my views that most others here do not.

    I am watching the series. I am not of the type to stick my head in the ground and ignore the discussions. I’m quite happy to have others share their opinions even if they differ. I don’t question the documentary’s right to exist. In fact, it has been quite informative and I’m enjoying it. But I am not forced to agree with all of its’ conclusions to watch it and learn from it.

    Thanks for sharing. Thanks for making this forum available. No need to trash and burn honest commentary that can generate good discourse.

    I have no beef with the folks that disagree with me.

    This writing has been somewhat cathartic. I have not spoken much, no I have previously written about these events in 2001, but they are real. Some folks my find it more convenient to ignore them or pretend that they are not real.

    But alas, I think we can all learn more from good honest discourse.

    And no I don’t see myself as a NeoCon. I often find myself disagreeing with them on policy. At no point here or anywhere else am I defending our going to war in Iraq. I disagree with NeoCons on Immigration policy. on and on.

    The reason I don’t want to get lumped in with NeoCons is because we depart significantly. I’m pro alternative energy and conservation, but I also want to see explore all energy options including nuclear and drilling. Whatever it takes to get us independent of all foreign oil. I tend to see NeoCons policy directed at the need of oil corporations. I consider oil corporations another special interest.

    You ought not so easily easily set aside what I write or try to pigeon hole me. Please don’t offend my sensibilities by sticking me with the NeoCons.

    In fact I highly recommend an American PBS Frontline presentation that reviews the Bush administration’s handling of the run up to the Iraq war. I found it much less flattering to NeoCons. I also found it to be fairly dead on.

    I highly recommend that folks search it out and watch it. I would imagine that it is available at pbs.org

    There are many places that we agree. There are some that I strongly disagree. I have spent years doing community service and teaching when like Obama I could have been earning big bucks on Wall Street or wherever. So, I would be the person who would be the hugest Obama supporter and recruiter if I saw that he was actually more centrist than his record is showing.

    For example, one huge beef that I have with liberalism in the US is its’ association with trade unions. Not to belabor the point, I find that these organizations had worthy beginnings but that have lost their way and are associated directly with many problems that I see as contributing to decay in this country. That would be an article in itself and would be willing to do the research if you’d like to post a guest article. You obviously would be free to write another article that gives another view if you wish. Let me know if you’d like me to do so. It doesn’t make sense to go on and on in a commentary. Feel free to email me if you’d like to take up the offer, you’ve got the email on file.

    I’ve been following you for years and am one of the folks that supported you strongly when Digg has there way with you a couple of years ago. You have a gift for writing.

  • Realtosh

    dan

    I am justifiably upset when others blame Americans for Islamist rage. The attacks against Americans were not justified. Nor were the attacks against the people of London, Madrid, or Jerusalem.

    [well you are not upset justifiably because that hasn’t been suggested.]

    The subtext of the entire documentary by looking at things in parallel is implying both moral equivalency and causality. The documentary says much without saying it. Plus read the posts. They not only imply that America deserves it, but had it coming to them. That thinking is offensive.

    [There is absolutely no implication whatsoever that America “deserved it.” There is also no subtext of moral equivalency. Very clearly, the theme is that, as a reaction to the failure of liberal attempts to solve all the world’s problems, the world was left disillusioned and two radical elements emerged to use fear as a way to draw a following.

    The fact that you insist that you are not a neocon, and then take great umbrage at the rise of neocon ideology being portrayed in parallel with radical islamic ideology, says a lot about your credibility.

    Everything you comment on is framed by a world view where facts are discarded until every subject in the world can be put into two bins: “liberal/European/GSM” and “conservative/American/CDMA”. That is simply not a sophisticated enough model for intelligently approaching subjects ranging from current events to technology. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to break out of that extremely myopic slant and start seeing reality as the complex, nuanced, and context-sensitive truth it is rather than the convenient set of good vs. evil pigeon holes you’d like it to be. ]

  • enzos

    Never an idea
    but keyboard diarrhoea

  • patriot

    Daniel,

    Thanks for the link to this excellent series. It follows another excellent BBC series “Century of Self” which is also available on Google Video.

  • Realtosh

    The fact that you insist that you are not a neocon, and then take great umbrage at the rise of neocon ideology being portrayed in parallel with radical islamic ideology, says a lot about your credibility.

    NO, I disagree. highly recommend the us pbs Frintline documentary which torched the NeoCons. It didn’t imply, didn’t do parallelism, didn’t even dance around moral equivalency.

    They just torched the NeoCons and blamed them outright for our going to war in Iraq. I’ve watched it multiple times and learn more each time. I will likely watch the Power of Nightmares series multiple times because I am not afraid to read or watch commentators with whom I may not agree 100%.

    Trust me that I am not a NeoCon supporter.

    Someone above got it right. By not calling out the evil in terrorism unequivocally, we fall into the hands of the NeoCons who offer us solutions to our obvious inappropriate sympathetic comments about terrorism. I rather avoid both the sympathetic liberalism, and the reactionary NeoConism that comes riding in on a horse to deal with the sympathetic liberalism.

    I am equally happy to torch both.

    I am quite content to say terrorism is evil. I do not very easily go from that point to say that we should invade Iraq. The NeoCons got one over on us there. I do not dispute that. Anyone who does should watch the Frontline documentary who has access to everyone but Bush and Cheney, EVERYONE.

  • Realtosh

    Don’t be a reductionist.

    “liberal/European/GSM” vs “conservative/American/CDMA” seems an overly simplistic reduction of quite complex issues.

    I am both American and European. I have both GSM and CDMA, and as an centrist, many of my positions will be supported by both moderate liberals and moderate conservatives.

    Sorry to burst your bubble but your reductionist formulation doesn’t fit. As much as you’d like, I’m not an anti-daniel. I don’t hold all opinions opposite of yours that exist in the world. I am a very rational person. Your rational discourses is part of why you have such an amazing following.

    We just disagree on maybe 10-20%. I don’t support the most liberal positions, the same way that I don’t support the most NeoCon positions. I disagree with them at least that much.

    As far as CDMA, I see Apple going there only as a solution to dealing with much success and trying to make their phone available to as many subscribers, on as many networks, in as many countries as possible. It is only a natural progression of their changed iPhone strategy. If 4G were to become widely deployed in the next 2-3 years, than Apple may sacrifice some sales to go to where the puck is going. Short of that they will eventually broaden their product line-up to capture as many iPhone sales as possible.

  • LuisDias

    Realtosh,

    I find your diatribes easy to describe as the rants of someone slightly right-winged (and I’m perfectly okay with that, I also don’t subscribe to some liberal incompetence, as in the FM/ FM business), but unable to discern precisely what you really believe and really disagree with. You are in need of venting, and that’s obvious. I’m afraid though that 95% of your accusations are meaningless and straw mans. Like Dan is saying, you just grabbed NeoCon doublespeak against “liberal thinking” and whitewashed it into a so-called “centred” position. The problem is that most of that NeoCon babble is hyperbole and outright lie. I’ll list some of your strawmans:

    1. The blame on the victim of 9/11. There is no democrat that has done such a thing. This is an hyperbole of the position that even Ron Paul (a conservationist) and later on Rudi Giuliani admitted: the CIA theory of blowback. This theory is in clear odds with what the Bush administration did as a reaction to 9/11. To call a democrat or any left-winged as someone who “blames the victim” whenever he speaks of this widely recognized phenomenon is playing the polarizing game of NeoCons and denying the reality of things;

    2. Remember that McCain was one of the first public individuals to speak out against Rumsfeld and his tactics in Iraq and lack of cohesive strategy, this is true only if you discount democrats!

    3. In stead of that courage, Obama has shown political opportunism. As I stated above, Obama’s only sin was to be coherent from the start point as against the war (even when polls were heavily in favour of it). McCain just went with the polls. How brave of him!

    4. Obama had nice rhetoric against this partisan balkanizing of our politics, yet virtually all of his policy is entirely one-sided and just not coincide with the rhetoric. And yet, you do not provide any backup to these claims. Remember that bi-partizanship is not equal to lack of partizanship. It means that people maintain and defend their own stance, but are willing to cooperate and dialogue to reach a solution. Those are different things altogether. I would never trust a president that promoted bi-partizanship in the form of not having any partizan idea whatsoever, those folks rarely have a clue of about anything.

    And apart of these strawmen, you state many problems with your own country that Obama has addressed more than McCain and still you end up choosing the latter.

    But that’s my two cents.

  • Realtosh

    @ luisdias

    I think you can understand my frustration.

    I have really like many of Obama’s advisors that have spoken or written about one issue or another.

    I am disturbed by 2 things mostly:
    1) Obama’s platform is a very traditional standard Democrat platform. It has little overlap with many the best things that many of these issue experts are talking about in the media.

    I’m sure McCain’s platform is likely equally skewed right, as he is a Republican nominee. So if one discounts the platforms as product of political expediency, then what else is there, the record.

    2) Obama’s record is considered the most liberal record by those liberal organizations that evaluate legislators and give out liberal friendly score cards. That’s never been my politics. Never as. Never will.

    I wish Obama’s record showed that he was post partisan. A small part being post-partisan would be not voting with your party 100% of the time. There’s no way to discern judgement if you’re just a sheep in the flock.

    I’ll grant that I’m not thrilled that McCain has voted 90% with Bush. But McCain has been very vocal against many ultra-right-wing initiatives. I do not know of many or any memorable times that Obama broke from the party bloc.

    One of those times that I wish Obama had broken with his party and spoken up for our country was when the Democrats blocked the bill, co-sponsored by McCain, that would have curtailed FM/FM being able to get into risky mortgage products, 3 years ago at the moment that they were accelerating their involvement in risky mortgage products, and just after both FM and FM had been caught with fraud in their earnings statements/ balance sheets.

    Then in 2005 would have the right time and right place to have nipped this financial catastrophe in the butt, just before it started to get serious.

    Liberals love Obama.
    Conservative don’t love McCain.

    Conservatives tolerate McCain with their noses pinched closed. That speaks volumes to each man’s willingness to challenge others, including those from their own “supposed” sides of the political divide.

    My position is that we don’t need partisan politics. At this moment we need to get beyond partisanship for the good of America.

    That’s why I love Obama’s rhetoric so much. But unfortunately, Obama’s record does not match his rhetoric. That is a source of my frustration.

    Plus, I’ve always liked McCain. He was one of the few running for the Republican nomination that I liked. I’m glad that he won the nomination. But I had liked him, even before he lost to Bush in 2000 and before he swung to the right for reasons of political expediency. But even with a slightly more conservative record, McCain was still vocal in support of voters and taxpayers, at the expense of special interests from both parties. The conservatives hate that he has his own principled positions on issues like campaign finance reform and immigration policy that does not match those that are more right wing.

    That’s why I’m frustrated with Obama and supporting McCain.

    I hope that whomever wins in November shows that he is truly post-partisan, by staffing Washington with the brightest minds from all political walks of life, not just from one party or other.

    Although I’ve made up my mind, in theory either candidate still has the opportunity to sway me. I still read and watch coverage f both candidates voraciously. McCain need to continue being reform minded. I like that. Obama on the other hand needs to show that he is actually more centrist than his record and platform imply.

  • http://www.geoffrobinson.net geoffrobinson

    “and has instead coddled the neocons and their fantasy of swaying evangelical fundamentalists with moralistic rhetoric and has supported 100 year occupation of Iran and now wants to attack Iran and probably start a war with Russia.”

    McCain, who I’m not an uncritical fan of, has said nothing about occupying Iran, nor attacking Iran. And while he has warned about Russia’s imperialistic intentions (with an actual track record of imperialism not like leftist attacks on America), he has not advocated starting a war with Russia.

    You need to get out of your echo chamber. For that reason alone, this blog is probably worthwhile for you.

  • greendave

    realtosh:

    You seem to think that your proximity to 9/11 adds credability to your opinion and justifies your rants. It doesn’t.

    As I said before, the challenge is to understand your enemies. This is not achieved through constant transmitting and attempting to prove your opinion is in some way correct or of more value than the opions of those that hate you.

    If you can’t listen and seek to understand, you will do nothing but foster hatred and loathing. Winning some philosophical arguement based on your own principles of right and wrong is just arrogant in the extreem.

    Oh, in case you think I am one of your liberals, I was bombed in Germany in 1986, my house shook, with my family in it, my children used to search under their beds for bombs before going to sleep. I despise terrorism but I know the solution is to listen and to understand why it is happening. Then seek resolution. Soon, you will not be able to afford a military solution and hopefully will have to start trying more diplomatic routes.

  • Realtosh

    @ greendave

    Thank you.

  • nelsonart

    I saw a great documentary with Richard Dawkins on Religion. In an interview with one of these extremists, the muslim grew impatient and all manner of frustrations with America tumbled out of his mouth. Turns out they really hate boobs. America, with our women showing everything, why…. that’s why America deserves to be annihilated.

    It’s basic emotions of jealousy and envy. Our standard of living and the way we prosper in America drives them nuts. Our god seems to reward us while theirs does not.

    I actually have a great article written by an Israeli that goes into this as well.

    I haven’t seen the video yet so can’t comment on that, but it did bring flashbacks to some other stuff I’ve watched before.

  • Realtosh

    @ nelsonart

    “Turns out they really hate boobs. America, with our women showing everything, why…. that’s why America deserves to be annihilated.”

    YES. The 2 Islamists that I met in my neighborhood were very concerned by such things. The one guy was just beside himself. The emotion he was radiating was intense.

    (At the time I lived in a neighborhood that had many beautiful young Brazilian women. If any of you know Brazilian culture, these girls are just as free-spirited and comfortable with their sexuality; as much as the Islamists are exactly the opposite.)

  • nelsonart

    Don’t forget, the 1st terrorist attack on America was at the bright, early dawn of our country. We didn’t have a presence in these countries.

    When children are taught to hate, it stretches out far into the future any possible resolution. These extremists only understand a firm hand. Anything else is perceived as weak. We don’t need to ‘understand’ their position (they hate us and want us to die). We need to get rid of them.

    Most muslims (and xtians) and other religious people practice religion-lite, thankfully. They hope they go somewhere when they die and that’s about as deep as they go.

    Maybe as eons pass they will forget why they hate us and grow disinterested in fanaticism. Free trade and a growing economy and a willingness to join the 21st century nations in prosperity is probably the best hope we have.

  • LuisDias

    @nelsonart:

    It’s basic emotions of jealousy and envy. Our standard of living and the way we prosper in America drives them nuts. Our god seems to reward us while theirs does not.

    I’ve seen that as well on youtube. But you don’t understand the issue. That there are fanatics is a truism, that there are jealous fanatics is another. Hell, those even live inside the very States and call themselves christian! Those are constantly deriding the “modern” style of life. What’s that but jealousy?

    The problem is that by bombing these countries, by pillaging them, by using them, etc., the US is giving reason to these fanatics, and hence they are followed by the big majority that could otherwise be easily swayed to a moderate position.

    This is the key point. If the US wasn’t so busy destroying and bombing innocent people’s house (and I’m not doing any moral judgment in here, I’m talking mostly of “collateral damage” of their wars) and doing nothing else, these fanatics talk would have no echo whatsoever in the general population and would therefore be void of any political power.

    This is what the CIA refers to as Blowback. The hatred towards america is perhaps born as jealousy by some few fanatics, but the unnecessary destruction and havoc that the States bring to these countries is the fuel and oxygen that allows the fire to spread.

  • LuisDias

    @nelsonart

    Don’t forget, the 1st terrorist attack on America was at the bright, early dawn of our country. We didn’t have a presence in these countries.

    What 1st terrorist attack is this that you are referring to? Your remark seems incredibly misleading, if not outright false. Are you trying to rewrite history? The US interests have been in the middle east since there was oil in there.

  • Realtosh

    @ nelsonart

    “Maybe as eons pass they will forget why they hate us and grow disinterested in fanaticism. Free trade and a growing economy and a willingness to join the 21st century nations in prosperity is probably the best hope we have.”

    We could only hope so.But I doubt there is anything we could ever do to change the thinking of the most radical thinkers. At best economic expansion could provide jobs for all those unemployed young men, giving them something to do, keeping them out of trouble, and making them less fruitful recruiting prospects for the more radical types.

  • airmanchairman

    I seems that the only tangible thing that can learned from history is the frighteningly paradoxical fact that MANKIND LEARNS NOTHING WHATSOEVER FROM HISTORY.

    You would think that, for instance, given the frightful horrors of the historic rise of Christianity from Lion-and-Gladiator persecution in ancient Rome through the gory Inquisition period (please read the “Malleus Maleficarum”, an ancient instruction manual officially sanctioned that detailed the means of extracting confessions from witches and other practitioners of religions not sanctioned by Christianity) to the Reformation and the bloody rise of Protestantism, that any new religion that arose in its wake would understudy these growth pains and eschew violence in the implementation of its faith?

    Not so, I am afraid. This comment may ramble on a bit, but I find it necessary in order to try and get to the bottom, to the origin, the source of this conflict rather than putter along at the surface of things and repeat the endless cycle of intolerance and hatred, erupting into periods of bloody reprisals from time to time.

    One curious historical fact I’d like to point out is that those Europeans known as Bosnian Muslims, and possibly Albanians as well, were former Christians that as a people converted en masse, throwing themselves at the mercy of the Ottomans (Turks) in order to seek protection from the terrible torture and persecution of Roman Catholicism (in those days, they had grim arithmetical fomulae like “kill a third, exile a third, convert a third”).

    Another possibly off-topic observation I have made personally considering the Religions of “The Book” (Judaism, Christianity and Islam)” is the curious correlation of important personages from the scriptures – Moshe, Moses, Musa; Abram, Abraham, Ibrahim; Yakov, Jacob, Yakoub; Solomon, Solomon, Sulaiman;
    or consider the claim by some Islamists that the Holy Quran was actually handed to the Prophet Muhammad by, wait for it, Malaika Jubril (Angel Gabriel, recognise the name from Judaism or Christianity, anyone?). Can’t explain that personally, but would anyone like to offer one, and doesn’t that seem to bear a message to all sides of the religious divide?

    To the neocons: I say please learn from history…
    To the Islamic fundamentalists: ditto

    Enough said for now.

  • LuisDias

    air, the connections between the koran, the talmud and the bible are well known for ages. Your comment is extremely off-topic. What’s the point of your diatribe? To make the feeble undemonstrable point that mankind “never learns”?

    What’s next? You’re going to argue we actually live worse now than our great-great-great-great-parents? If that’s somewhat your point, we’re through.

  • airmanchairman

    @LuisDias: if these connections have been known for centuries, and we actually live better than our forbears, then there actually is no problem is there?

    I withdraw my comments then, the Heavenly Millennium is already here, and no-one told airmanchairman about it.

    Rejoice!!

  • LuisDias

    air, it was you that made the claim that “MANKIND LEARNS NOTHING WHATSOEVER FROM HISTORY” with big caps to assure everyone would read it, so stop whining about being misinterpreted. You’re the one hyperboling.

  • nelsonart

    I’ve heard ‘blowback’ being used to explain why they hate us. Meanwhile they mistreat their women and strap bombs on children.

    We don’t need to understand these people. They leave few options available as they don’t reason. Unfortunately, blowback occurs because they think nothing of operating from homes and churches and schools.

    No one likes war. I don’t like nation building. We can’t afford it. Our response to terrorism has to be rethought. But that doesn’t mean bending over and picking up soap.

    Some religions are better. We can and must judge. These fairy tales are used to recruit and justify terrorism.

    Luckily, most muslims (and xtians) practice religion-lite. If their economy improves, they’d have skin in the game. They wouldn’t want to lose the good life. It’s not a pure solution, but it sure would help. Playboys and Britney Spears CDs would go a long ways to occupying young men.

    Extreme liberals have nothing but excuses for these animals and most of them also blame America. Speaking about blowback, where was the indignation when Saddam killed and tortured so many?

    I see a small group of fanatics that want to be relevant. They want attention. They have no idea what, but something. As Tony Robbins said in a recent lecture, everyone wants to be important. These animals have no desire for political discourse… so they blow stuff up, including their own women and children.

    I’ve heard a few moderate muslims outright denounce these animals. I’ve yet to hear some liberals do the same.

  • LuisDias

    nelsonart, you are fighting straws. Extreme liberals are, as you say, extreme. Extreme right wing nuts are, as is obvious, extreme. They are equally nuts. The problem is that while the former are always in the fringe of politics, the latter controlled the white house for years now. So to equal them as if they are equally responsible for the events is bullshit. To whine with indignity on how “some” extreme liberals don’t denounce some animals is petty and ridiculous. If they don’t that’s their problem, not mine.

    No one likes war. I don’t like nation building. We can’t afford it. Our response to terrorism has to be rethought. But that doesn’t mean bending over and picking up soap.

    I fully agree. I still think that the former is a lot more wasteful than the latter, but it’s equally money-in-the-garbage can. I also agree with you when you say we must judge them accordingly to their morals and actions. That doesn’t mean however we can BOMB them, bokay?

    These animals have no desire for political discourse… so they blow stuff up, including their own women and children.

    This is completely ridiculous, it could only come from a person that has no idea whatsoever what he’s talking about. These people that kill, these animals, usually don’t know anything about civilization, about politics, about anything at all. They were taught medieval morals and how america is the “great satan”. And then planes come in and bomb their family, “proving” their thesis. Guess how these people react?

  • nelsonart

    I wasn’t aware Bush was an extreme right wing nut. I also wasn’t given the memo that these extremists stopped blowing up their own children.

    I don’t make the rules, I just live here and call it as I see it.

    As far as how they react… I’m not so concerned about that. I’m glad we have justice, no matter how it makes someone feel.

  • comanche

    Dear All,

    I feel the need to express that I’m grateful for Realtosh’s rants (tho’ frankly Realtosh, people were right when they said they went on a little too long…) I’m grateful because he echoes my sentiments pretty closely.

    I’m quite accustomed to not responding on blogs like this when they turn political because I don’t see the need to be publicly flogged for merely possessing a conservative viewpoint. I was appreciative that there was less name calling of conservatives on your comments than I’ve experience elsewhere. Thanks!

    If you start from the assumption that if someone doesn’t agree with you they are idiots (in my experience, the usual stance when discussions like this turn political) then you are, plainly and simply, a bigot. I’ve observed bigots on both ends of the spectrum, but I’d have to say, the left seems to have more of them.

    BTW, Daniel, thanks for letting this “get out of hand.” (I contacted Daniel separately a few months ago because I differed from something political he had written, and he was a complete gentleman about it! As I recall, he even proposed a line a research. I wish I’d had the time to pursue it!) Anyway, thanks.

    I’m a registered Republican, for pragmatic reasons: you can’t vote in our primary without declaring. But like a huge majority of Americans (including, apparently, Realtosh) I consider myself an independent, somewhat conservative, leaning a bit toward libertarianism. I, too, like McCain for his courage to do what he thinks is right. I don’t always agree with what that is, but I can get behind a man or woman who does what they think their conscience is telling them.

    Question: I hear the word “fundamentalist” use pejoratively more and more. Some on the left equate “fundamentalist” Muslims with “fundamentalist” Christians as though they were equally dangerous. I think this is superficial at best, and very probably dishonest. Do you think that the religion is really the *cause* of their behavior? One’s religion, I suppose, may give rationale for behavior, but something tells me these people are acting out of some other place. If they didn’t feel justified to politicize their immoral actions, I think it is probable, they would be immoral in some other way. In other words, let’s stop glorifying them with the title “terrorist.” How about “criminal,” “thug,” or “villain”?

    Comanche

  • pdwm

    Hi,
    Have you guy’s heard of Roy Harper also your very own “Bill Hicks” had a good take on the situation.
    http://www.royharper.co.uk/shop/display_page.php?page=diary/entry22

  • LuisDias

    nelsonart, bush isn’t extreme, he’s an idiot. What would you call Cheney then, a “moderate”? I think the nickname “Darth Vader” is quite apropriate if you ask me.

    And to the islamic idiots, you are forgetting one small detail. It’s their fucking country. You know, like “sovereign” stuff? What do you feel when some smug european laughs at your american ways? Now imagine when some neanderthal people get bombed just by being the way they are.

    But it gets worse. The US is now “defending”, policing Iraq. Which means that US is defending people that have exactly medieval morals! Where’s your outrage at that? It’s been widely known how iraqi treat the woman and children.

    Comanche,

    I not only respect your line of thought, it also resonates with me. Still, I’d like to answer this:

    Some on the left equate “fundamentalist” Muslims with “fundamentalist” Christians as though they were equally dangerous. I think this is superficial at best, and very probably dishonest. Do you think that the religion is really the *cause* of their behavior?

    There are some people that do think so, but they are, in my opinion, letting their atheism go too far. I rather see religion as a fuel. But fires don’t need only fuel. They need oxygen and a match. Geopolitical tensions, weapons market, a lot of cash involved and collateral damage provide such. Religion is what drives people to define the “other” as “not human”, it allows that some extremists convince the population that they won’t be fighting people, but “animals”, and hence should not feel guilty towards simply kill them, but on the contrary, should be proud of it.

    Interestingly enough, you can see this rationale in nelsoart’s comments. That’s what offends me about his thinking. He thinks he’s above these things because he belongs to the “civilization”, yet he has no problems in calling these people “animals” because they had the bad luck of being born in countries that are still in medieval times.

    How about “criminal,” “thug,” or “villain”?

    “Sith Lords”? :p

  • Realtosh

    You guys are killing me with all of this StarWars imagery.

    80-90% of all peoples in all society’s can be reasoned with, and are concerned just about the well being of their families and friends.

    It’s that last 10-20% that we need to be concerned about. That is, you have these islamists, neocons, and the more extreme liberals/ socialists that live in their own echo chambers and believe that only their point of view can be correct.

    We are in danger of having our national agenda, that has been hijacked by neocons for the last several years, soon to be hijacked by the socialist-types (trade unions, liberals, entitlement advocates).

    [Are you equating the NeoCon agenda of state sponsored torture and the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq and the destruction of 3,000 American troops (and tens of thousands of seriously wounded US soldiers) in an illegitimate war on the same level as the threat that “trade unions” might raise employee’s standard of living? You are disgusting.

    And when you bluster about entitlements, are you aware that you are speaking about Social Security and Medicare? Or are you just parroting off words that sound good when they’re repeated by right wing bullshitters?]

    I always said that the US system was by far the best because it has created centuries of stability.

    At this moment I am jealous of the Parliamentary system where strong moderate sentiment of a majority of the populace isn’t subverted by a system that pushes all candidates, even those who are known moderate such as McCain, to one extreme or other in order to be acceptable to our primary election voters.

    All of these attacks that try to associate McCain with the neocon-appeasing Bush, just kill me. McCain has been a champion of campaign-finance reform, a rational immigration policy, and even co-sponsored legislation to limit Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ability to get into trouble, by reducing their diversification into the very risky mortgage products that have led us to this financial catastrophe.

    [In the areas that matter, McCain has not been a maverick, as Biden noted in detail. You can keep bringing up a few times when McCain voted back and forth on some issues, but 90% of his voting record has been with Bush’s failed policies.]

    Why do people blame deregulation of Wall Street, when it was FM & FM that created the liquidity for these toxic risky mortgage products with their implied backing by the United States government. The “regulated” European banks are getting into financial messes, as are US banks.

    It was Democrats who defended the known-to-be-fraudulent FM & FM institutions against appropriate regulation, and who received many $100’s of thousands of dollars in political contributions; with Obama, Clinton, and Senator Dodd (chairman of banking committee) the highest beneficiaries of this dirty FM & FM special interest money.

    [Not true, but the democratic congress isn’t running for president. Obama is. And Obama is not working to deregulate FM/FM in the way McCain has worked his whole career lock step with Phil Gramm as “fundamentally a deregulator.” Trying to copy paste McCain into an agent of regulatory reform is a lie and you know it. ]

    McCain’s primary cause, which is to try to separate special interests and their money from the legislators who write and vote on our laws seems prescient, and exactly what we need.

    [Except that McCain has made a 180 on all of his principles of 2000, and has turned into a Bush clone in order to get the Republican nomination. He is currently losing, and thank God for that. I only hope his Bush Machine doesn’t tamper with votes enough to steal the election, as that would be extremely divisive to the country at a time when it needs strong leadership, not a 73 year old angry man riddled with cancer and propped up by a cheery but ignorant, fundamentalist wingnut. ]

  • nelsonart

    “Interestingly enough, you can see this rationale in nelsoart’s comments. That’s what offends me about his thinking. He thinks he’s above these things because he belongs to the “civilization””

    Thank you for the morning chuckle. :o)

    Well… don’t be offended. My view is merely different that your view. We live on a planet where some of us don’t judge, to their detriment. “It’s their @#$@#$ country” sounds really cool, but it’s just not the way the world functions today. The Earth is a big sandbox and we all like to play our way. But there are rules.

    I don’t make excuses for animals. I don’t even want to try. We should do our best with all the means at our disposal to get these people to rise up against their rotten 10%, with the same indignation they show those (ahem) who are trying to HELP them.

    I’m an optimist. Maybe over time this will actually be done. Then we’ll have new friends, literally in a sandbox, that we can live and trade with.

    PS… I love Europe. I’m glad we have such a great ally and trading partner. Ditto for Japan. Between the 3 of us, there’s much proof that ‘blowback’ isn’t reason enough to fester in hatred. The world is too small.