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.

  • Realtosh

    It is shameful to fail to recognize that some deranged fundamentalist individuals has a sincere desire to kill citizens of America and all industrialized modern society. Their goal is to destroy modernism and replace it with fundamental Islamic states.

    It is not my imagination that the World Trade Center towers that stood in New York were attacked, fell and no longer exist. London’s tube and Madrid’s commuter trains were also attacked with similar intensity and disregard for innocent human life.

    For the past 7 years I have carried in my wallet a World Trade Center visitor pass that was issued the evening of September 10, 2001. As everyone knows, only hours later the towers were destroyed killing many individuals who had no ill will toward the very murderers who were as free to participate in the life of our country as many other millions who have immigrated to our shores over the last 4 centuries.

    It is a shame that these terrorists use the openness of our society as a weakness to attack the very society that was welcoming to their presence and participation.

    To blame radical fundamentalism on innocent Westerners is like blaming rape victims for the actions of their rapists.

    I believe in academic and intellectual exchange, but blaming the victim is outrageous. Targeting and killing innocent civilians through terrorism is even harder to justify.

    I am disgusted by the neocons who hijack our public policy. But I am not less disgusted by spineless liberals who refuse to recognize the real intentions of radical fundamentalists. Trying to appeal to radical extremists of any stripe can be a foolhardy exercise. It seems like a much more pragmatic solution to appeal to the moderates in all political systems and all societies. Neocons, liberals, and fundamentalists are all dangerous and we should be weary of their extremist propaganda.

  • http://www.roughlydrafted.com danieleran

    Where did you get this line: “to blame radical fundamentalism on innocent Westerners” ? There is no blaming the victim going on.

    What is to blame is efforts to invent fantasy evil and chase after it with the single-minded, unreasoning, dogmatic fervor that paints with a broad brush and refuses to examine any facts out of the radical an irrational fear that any facts that might challenge one’s world view are inherently evil and should be destroyed and buried, and that anyone in the way should be taken out to accomplish one’s ideals.

    When you substitute “academic and intellectual exchange” with a sham attempt to beat up on a straw man of your own invention, including “blaming the victim” and “justifying terrorism,” is indicates you are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    How exactly does one “appeal to the moderates in all political systems” when one holds preconceived notions about anyone who might disagree with them, and refuses to consider any facts than can easier just be discarded under a huge steaming pile of jingoistic stereotypes and name calling?

    Before posting books about your opinion on matters, I’d suggest you examine what the three part series is actually about.

  • Realtosh

    I already watched the first part, and will continue to watch the other two.

    I neither applaud the behavior of neocons who try to hijack our public policy nor of liberals who want to coddle the terrorists.

    The demise of the Twin Towers is not invented fantasy. To suggest otherwise is naive.

    [Is it an intentional ploy when you follow a pattern of saying two reasonable things followed by two ridiculously inane lies, or is that just your fantasy view of the world? Liberals want to coddle terrorists? Clinton tried to track Bin Laden down while the neocons were inventing a fantasy involving murder and whitewater fraud and white house sex parties; Bush ignored the terrorism dossier until 9/11 occurred and he decided it could be used to further neocon ideas about Iraq. ]

  • Realtosh

    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. McCain had the judgement to understand the dynamics of our presence in Iraq and to call for the resignation of the standing Defense Minister from his own party. To try to tar and feather him with the very evils, that he spoke out against sems ingenuous.

    [Unfortunately, McCain has dropped all the ‘maverick’ principles that once distinguished him from Bush, 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.]

  • Realtosh

    On the other hand, I am truly troubled that Obama took stands solely for political benefit that seem not be in the best interests of our nation [unsubstantiated] and the brave soldiers who were dying for her. Only weeks before the election does Obama finally concede that the Surge was successful. The Surge together with other contemporaneous anti-insurgency tactics yielded significant levels of security in Iraq [this is not true], which are the basis for further political and economic gains in that country. These successes will allow our troops to come home with their heads held high. [in 100 years, at $10 billion per month? The Chinese can’t lend us that much money] That the losses of their colleagues paid for in blood, may help to create a democratic and moderate ally in the Middle East that can hopefully create real opportunity for young Muslims that the radical callings of fundamentalists may ring hollow. [Radical muslim fundamentalism has failed; stirring up violence in Iraq has only fanned the flames of among the families your policies have destroyed. Remember how the family is the building block of society? What happens when you kill the dad, rape the teen girls, and blow the boys’ legs off? The result isn’t a functional 50’s fantasy of democratic prosperity. ]

    Once we started the war in Iraq we were stuck with the consequences. To cause us to lose the war, against the advice of our generals, in comparable to Rumsfeld going into Iraq in the first place light on actual boots on the ground, also against the advice of our generals. [$10 billion per month and thousands of dead troops = the illegitimate war with false objectives based on lies has already been lost. When something goes bankrupt, you stop pouring resources into it. Fiscal accountability and small government and all that. ]

    Our generals were not eager to go into Iraq, and wanted to do so only with overwhelming force. Rumsfeld was the one who insisted on the lightest of footprints. The actual invasion force was an eventual compromise that was 100’s of thousands of troops short of the requests of our generals.

    Obama has shown similar arrogance which troubles me so. [What? Bush fucked up so Obama is to blame somehow? ]

    I want to be an Obama man. I am a fellow Ivy Leaguer. Fresh from college I took extremely low paying jobs in teaching and non-profits organizing community service in our cities. I also volunteered for local campaigns for Democrat candidates, including that of a young black man who studied at Stanford and got his law degree from Yale, who also like Obama and myself gave up more lucrative opportunities to create something positive in our cities.

    Talk is cheap. Put your money where your mouth is. Give of yourself to create some good in this world. Don’t badmouth me just because I don’t share your same ideologies that you proclaim as dogma. [Are you talking to yourself at this point? Sheesh, you are so all over the place. I get the impression you don’t really believe in anything, but just like to stir up stuff with semi-random stream of consciousness wordage. Very Palinesque]

  • Encolpius

    I’m sorry, but I see no evidence of Democrats “coddling” convicted terrorists or Obama taking stands solely for political benefit. No Democrat would refer to it as the “Democrat” party.

    What’s the McCain campaign paying you, and what do you plan to do once the election is over and you’re on the unemployment line along with your candidate?

  • steve-fun

    I watched The Power of Nightmares some years ago. It was neat to see the Islamist movement put in a historical context. This program once again shows how a small group of dedicated extremist can hijack the conversation between East and West. What is more, the BBC program points to an equally small group of neocons eager to give the Islamists what they want.
    Daniel, hope you are feeling better.

  • Realtosh

    McCain showed courage in calling for the Defense Minister (from his own party) Rumsfeld’s resignation early on. McCain so irked Bush, who wanted to stick by his man Rumsfeld because he believes in loyalty.

    McCain showed courage again in supporting the Surge, when popular opinion was against anything and everything Iraq, including the Surge, even if it might be successful. As a people we were beaten down by the war and its’ casualties, and our spirit had been broken.

    The first action, speaking against one’s party leadership, showed courage. The second action showed courage at the moment when it mattered most, when we lacked a collective backbone to do the right thing and fix what we broke so that our troops could come home took the kind of courage that few of us possess.

    In stead of that courage, Obama has shown political opportunism. He’s showing that he knows how to run a political campaign. I want to trust that he can run our country with just her interests at heart. Obama makes such a belief a leap of faith on our part. Obama has never shown he has the courage to speak against the extreme excesses of his own party leaders.

    I don’t want our country to fly from one extreme ideology to another. The NeoCons can be just as dangerous to our nation as the liberals. I want no part in the ideological battles between the armies of these political factions.

    Our country has serious issues that transcend politics and ideology. It is disheartening to see politicians from both sides avoid substantive and structural long-term direction for our country to focus on pet projects and issues of special interest on both sides of the political spectrum. One one side they speak of reducing government and don’t do it, on the other side they speak of socializing ever increasing aspects of our society.

    In the mean time, we allow ourselves to fall behind as a nation. That Silicon Valley in currently in our nation is a testament to our inventive nature. Where will the Silicon Valley of the 21st century be in the coming decades? We have lost much of our manufacturing base to China, as have the economies of many countries. Our labor costs are much higher than most, and will reduce our ability to provide services cost effectively to other nations.

    Our schools on average are no longer the best in the world. And we fall behind as administrators hands are tied by collective bargaining in dealing with teachers whose heart is no longer in the profession.

    Our auto industry has embarrassed the memory of those who created it. Our competitiveness has decreased, as auto industry managers are too fat from avoiding risk and innovation and from resting on the laurels of an industry that is now rotting from within, and as the productivity of our auto workers is decreased from collective bargaining which imposes arcane work rules that does not materially improve the lives of the workers yet make it harder for them to makes things profitably. These factors invariably lead to companies that are bleeding dollars, closing plants, firing workers, going bankrupt and failing to live up to the promises of retirement benefits.

    Our energy policy is it exists serves to continue the status quo, and sends much of our wealth to foreign nation states, who happily take our money yet despise us and/or speak out publicly against us and in some case sponsor terrorism. Note how the leaders in Russia, Iran, Venezuela and other countries may not be making positive contributions to our global community. We could be taking all those founds to be funding all sorts of 1) alternative energy projects (from solar to wind and everything in between) 2) conservation, 3) new transportation options from new models of auto transportation and new complimentary energy delivery infrastructure, to new magnetic trains, etc, 4) new nuclear power 5) more drilling and 6) anything else that we can think of to reduce our dependence on foreign energy and the messy entanglements that result from these dependencies.

    Our government in stead of being an example of efficiency and effectiveness is becoming yet another drag on our economy. The growth of public sector employment has not been matched by an equal growth in the quality of the services experienced by the citizens who are funding this government growth. Government is becoming the place to get a cushy job, to stick around for enough years and retire on generous retirement benefits that will increasingly eat away at the programs that government was created to get done.

    In stead of creating sensible regulation that creates the ground rules for economic growth and financial expansion, we allow playboy bankers to gamble with our futures because greed has caused them to abandon common sense. London is an example of a reconfigured regulatory scheme that is not as oppressive as Sarbanes Oxley in this country, yet does not have loopholes for investment bankers to have the run of our economy without hardly any supervision. London’s sensible and modern regulation has been netting them ever increasing shares of the global banking business.

    Our immigration policy is another example of our political squabbling, which is eating away at our greatness. How can a great country have over 12 million undocumented foreign nationals, who must skirt the laws of the nation to work and to live. Why did we not have an immigration policy that handled our need for immigration better, so that we would have never reached this situation. We have so many illegal immigrants, whom our economy has come to depend on, and which we cannot therefore easily deport. Our technology companies are having a difficult time obtaining entry visas for some of the best and brightest from around the word. Other disparate industries such as banking and finance and higher education are having similar difficulties. This is resulting in many smart individual going to work in capital markets in other countries and/or teaching in our countries and/or attending colleges in other countries. We are becoming an increasingly closed society. We are pushing away some of the great minds that in the past has contributed to the greatness of this country.

    We are over spending and living beyond our means. We have trade imbalances and current account imbalances that are driving down the value of our currency. We are being complicit in the destruction of our wealth, or economic longevity, and our eventual loss of economic and moral leadership in this world.

    Yet, in stead of working together to find the best solutions for these problems, each side blames the other and draws a figurative line in the sand to protect the special interests of those who support their side.

    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.

    I was hoping for so much more from Obama. At least McCain has a record of giving them all hell in Washington. At this point, the pols in Washington deserve no less than whatever hell the voters of this country can throw at them. I’ve said before, and I’ll say t again. Vote out all of the incumbents. Give us a mostly new batch of legislators. Get rid of special interest financing of politicians and campaigns. And try to get America working again for common man. McCain hopefully can be the one who can fulfill on the promises that Obama’s rhetoric implies, yet who’s actions and policies betrays.

  • Realtosh

    Notice that I’m giving hell to both sides of the political divide. That I’m standing for American greatness and pragmatic solutions to the important problems of our age, not ideological rants for or pro either side. We have so much work to do; to get stuck in promoting or defending ideology.

  • Realtosh

    And please stop cutting into my paragraphs with your ideological slants. Please put your comments at the end of the comment or do what the rest of us do, which is write a new comment.

  • Realtosh

    Obama has shown similar arrogance which troubles me so. [What? Bush fucked up so Obama is to blame somehow? ]

    Yes, exactly. Obama is showing the same kind of arrogance regarding the war, that characterized the Bush administration’s handling of the war during Bush’s first term. Just because his policy stands are at the other extreme of the political divide does not make his arrogance any more acceptable.

    Obama was badmouthing the Surge. He was suggesting that he was going to order the generals to remove our troops from Iraq, “as soon as he was President” “without regard to the conditions on the ground.” He would say these things because they had good traction with the American people, but he had not even had a discussion with his generals, our generals. After he met with the generals, he toned down his rhetoric because he finally realized that his statements were not in the best interests of this country. He did not have the courage to say so publicly because he doesn’t want to anger the move-on gangs of liberal activists who will be a crucial component in his get out the vote campaign.

    McCain had the courage to call out Rumsfeld, even though his own President wouldn’t be pleased. McCain had the courage to advocate for the Surge because he say it as our best hope to fix the country that we helped to break before leaving. it would be a shame to spend so much treasure and so many lives and not try to do the right thing.

    I’ll grant you that I am not convinced that we should have gone to war in Iraq. I lay that blame at the feet of the NeoCons, who this BBC documentary does not meaningfully distinguish from the Islamic fundamentalists.

    Don’t be confused. McCain is not a NeoCon. In fact they hate the man, because McCain is not afraid to speak truth to power.

    We’re rotting from within. Both sides are getting tons of special interest money. From corporations, from unions, from wall street, from Fannie and Freddie, from agribusiness, from oil companies, from military contractors, from lenders, etc. They’ve all got their hand out at the Washington coffers and they’re all contributed heavily to the campaigns and junkets of our capital’s leaders. Many of these are not only looking for government money but looking to create custom laws fo rthemselves that just serve to create drag on the greatness of our country.

    At least one man running for President this year is speaking out against special interests and their influence in Washington, and has been doing so for years. McCain is as known for trying to reduce the influence of special interest in Washington as much or more so than Ralph Nader is known for auto safety. Right now we need to reduce the influence of special interest in government more than we need to promote ideology (from either side).

  • de-villiers

    M. Eran,

    To edit someone’s messages with inserts is really very bad manners. It prevents a reader from understanding properly the meaning and thrust of the message. It undermines the point of a right to reply.

    de Villiers

  • Realtosh

    In my comment #5, you cut into it with your comments.

    As an example, let’s just look at the first paragraph.

    Do you actually believe the slanted ideological partisan comments that you cut into my paragraph. Nearly all generals whether they support McCain or Obama acknowledge that the Surge has had significant effects on the security situation in Iraq. Nearly all political commentators of all kinds of political leanings have agreed with this reality; the most liberal ones grudgingly but acknowledging the facts on the ground. Journalists gave us accounts on an almost daily basis that life in Baghdad is completely different than it was just two years ago. Do you not feel alone with your opinions that defy reality and are held by likely less than 5% of the most extremist in America.

    Even Obama has just recently acknowledged that the Surge contributed positively to the situation on the ground in Iraq, nearly a year after it had become obvious to most and just weeks before the election. That means that you are in such a small minority of leftist liberal thinking that Obama, the most liberal Senator, is no longer with you.

    Why do you repeat 100 years, as if it meant something. It is just a political and partisan attack on a good man. This comment is a purely partisan political attack. There is no good reason for knowingly spreading a false impression about McCain.

    McCain will want to get our troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible. There will not likely be a significant difference in the time it would take McCain to get our troops out vs Obama. Obama has implied that he will take conditions on the ground into consideration as he considers the removal of troops from Iraq — at least since he’s finally met with the generals. Yet he does not state it so unequivocally because doing so would anger the move-on gangs of liberal thugs. These anti-war terrorists would not support his get out the vote campaign, if they felt they he had betrayed them by promising to do what was best in the interests of our country regardless of what the move-on anti war terrorist gangs believed.

    It is not in Obama’s political interest to acknowledge that McCain position on withdrawal made the most sense, is the most in line with the interests of our country and most closely match what our generals have requested. Doing so may sway voters away from Obama. It will certainly create problems with his most extremist anti-war move-on terrorist gangs.

    Had Obama not taken such a hard-line extremist position on Iraq, Obama would likely not have been the Democrat nominee. He just barely squeaked by Hillary Clinton as it is. So at least we can explain where Obama’s lack of courage comes from. It called political expediency.

    Iraq wasn’t McCain’s war. McCain was not part of the NeoCon effort to push us into war. Most Americans at the time of the build-up to war in Iraq were in favor of liberating Iraq (that was they way it was framed for us by the NeoCons at the time). Then after Baghdad fell in weeks if not days of Shock and Awe, many of the reluctant supporters had become enthusiastic supporters.

    Only after the insurgency got ugly, and we were witnessing casualties daily on the nightly news, did we as a country loose our nerve. We had become the paper tiger, that the terrorists had known we were before the 9/11 attack and our invasion of Afghanistan showed otherwise. But we just couldn’t stand to see our boys killed over there. The insurgents and the terrorists were instigating ethnic violence to foment unrest and create an environment where people did not ffel safe. Beyond that they were targeting our troops in daily IED bomb attacks on our convoys just trying to go about their business.

    McCain had been courageous all along to call for changes in civilian military leadership and changes in strategy so that we could change the momentum and outcome of the war. When the Surge seemed like our last best hope to get a good outcome in Iraq, McCain supported the counter-insurgency tactics and the change in strategy in the war that has radically changed the outcome of our involvement in Iraq.

    In fact McCain was one of the first to acknowledge that things weren’t going so well when the insurgency began. Immediately he advocated a change in strategy. When that was not forthcoming he started calling for Rumsfled’s head. The whole time he was angering the NeoCons and embarrassing Bush, who as President is the ultimate buck stop.

    McCain has more in common with Colin Powell than Bush or Rumsfeld. Your attempts to tar and feather McCain with Rumsfeld’s war are wrong and bitterly partisan politics.

    Unfortunately, there are folks in America that had hoped that the Surge had not gone well and that the war in Iraq was a hopeless disaster because it would have been good politically. I hope that you are not counted n this number.

  • greendave

    Shame, I was looking forward to reading peoples views on this fascinating programme, only to find the comments section itself monopolised by Realtosh’s. Perhaps you could go and run your own blog somewhere else and leave us to make some succinct statements in favour or against the views expressed in the programme.

    PS. I didn’t agree with many of the views expressed, but I found it interesting to hear another point of view. The only solution to the problem is to have a greater understanding of why we are in this situation, without seeking to apportion blame. Perhaps then we can all accommodate views rather than seek to kill those who differ.

  • Realtosh

    @greendave

    I am also watching this series with great interest. I like to be an informed citizen. Please tell us what you have taken away from this series. I’m all ears.

    As far as the political commentary, we are weeks from a Presidential election in the US. There are folks from BOTH sides that are spewing lies and partisan ideology. I just want as much as possible to get us to focus on the important issues of our day, that are usually non-partisan.

    Plus, as an Independent I’ve come to the realization that I prefer a moderate Republican to a liberal Democrat. In this case, I especially prefer McCain. He might not be the Republicans’ favorite candidate, but his moderate nature is closer to the views of a majority of Americans. Obama’s rhetoric was postpartisan, but his policies are strongly liberal Dem.

    I’ve made up my mind that McCain is the way to go. I watch every appearance of either candidate that I can, and am open to changing my mind, but don’t expect to. I’ve been following the election for nearly two years. As an independent, I figure they both had an opportunity to sway me. I had been really excited by Obama rhetoric, until I went to an Obama rally. Then he was just like any Dem.

    I don’t want our country to change wholesale from one extreme ideology to another. We need a break to actually get some work of the people done.

    I didn’t appreciate that the Republicans killed McCain’ and Bush’s attempt at Immigration policy.

    Then when Pelosi took over, it didn’t get any better. I didn’t like how the Democrats killed the free trade agreements with Colombia, Peru and South Korea.

    We can be an open flourishing society or a closed protectionist one.

  • Realtosh

    Back to the video tapes.

    Dan said, “Where did you get this line: “to blame radical fundamentalism on innocent Westerners” ? There is no blaming the victim going on.”

    That seems to be the central thesis of part 1 of the series. The seeds of the fundamentalist Islamic thinking grew out of that professor dude, who decided that American society was lacking in values and that we were just a bunch of selfish individuals who cared for our lawns, or some such nonsense. Then over the decades, as individuals who followed this philosophy and acted against secular governments in the Middle East were tortured, these Islamists views got increasingly more radical. Then they spontaneously saw the Muslim people in these countries as part of their problem and decided these innocent civilians could be killed too. A slippery slope if I ever saw one.

    I might be reading a bit much into it. But it seemed that they were showing the seeds of Islamist fundamentalism coming from a rejection of America and its’ society. And I also saw the piece seeing no significant difference between the terrorists and the NeoCons who saw terrorism as an opportunity to gain power. It seemed to equate the NeoCon reaction to terrorism as morally equivalent to terrorism. They just kept bringing up parallels between the two over and over.

    Most Americans couldn’t give two farts about fundamentalist Islamists until they attacked New York Pearl-Harbor-style and brought down the Twin Towers and killed many innocent civilians and heroic first responders in the process.

    I truly hope that we don’t get another major attack like that in our country. The instinctive reaction of our people may lead to further compromise our values upon which we built our country because of fear.

    If that’s not naked honesty, I don’t know what is.

    I may be a bit sensitive on national security, being that I was in the South Tower hours before it imploded. I’m so glad I wasn’t there on Tuesday morning.

    I don’t consider myself reactionary, but I won’t delude myself into believing that Islamists don’t want to kill as many Americans and other westerns as they possibly can. We need to be as tough with terrorists and we are engaging with moderates of the Muslim world.

    I hope that this reality of Islamists sincere desire to destroy us, doesn’t change us as a society and the values upon which we built our great country. I am afraid that another major attack will change our society and its’ values radically.

    Look forward to #2 and #3.

  • Realtosh

    Every time someone says that the terrorists are angry at us and attacking us because we are doing X, Y or Z thing, then they are blaming the victim. It’s being done all the time in relation to terrorism. Rather than accepting that Islamists want to cause us grave harm no matter what we do, we are tacitly accepting responsibility for their criminal activity against civilians. I find that abhorrent.

  • http://marineimage.com Jon T

    I’m an Apple OS X fundamentalist!

    It’s a little known fact that ‘fundamentalist’ was first ascribed to rigid Protestant Christians…

    As for the new Islamist variety, they fear that Islam has failed -politically- in the modern world and like many before them they rally to their cause because ‘Muslims everywhere are being attacked by the West’. Reality is that they kill far more Muslims than the West does trying to deal with them (and Saddam too)…

    People who say it is all ‘our fault’ are utterly nuts, bonkers and crazed!

  • Komor

    I’ve seen it some months ago.
    There is another very interesting document by Alan Curtis: “The Century of Self”
    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8953172273825999151

  • http://marineimage.com Jon T

    Dan, you said: “What is to blame is efforts to invent fantasy evil..”

    Islamists have been at this game long before anyone went inventing anything, if they ever did.

    This is what we can look forward to if it isn’t nailed:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/09/30/dl3002.xml

    Knifing and burning innocent people isn’t fantasy. And note please, it isn’t in response to any invented evil, an invasion or a war, it is in response to freedom of speech. Something you must value, surely.

  • dsect

    Daniel, thanks for helping me save time when reading comments left on your pages. You seem to label all the ones I’d never want to read (because of anti-American, anti-Constitution, pro-Nazi sentiments, oh, and many, many lies) with the heading “Realtosh.” I guess it stands for “Gosh, I don’t understand reality.”

  • http://johnsessays.blogspot.com John Muir

    Adam Curtis knows how tto make great documentaries. Check out as many as you can. The one after Power of Noghtmares was briiliant: The trap.

    I don’t agree with every point he makes, but hold his work in high regard. Reminds me RDM now I think of it!

  • Realtosh

    @ John Muir

    ROTFLOL

    Thanks.
    After last night somber mood from watching “The Power of Nightmares you know just what to say to make everyone smile.

  • http://murrquan.livejournal.com Murrquan

    After watching Why we Fight, I’m not so sure we’re really the good guys in the equation.

    The western world has an extremely long history of, if not invading and conquering (as we did back in antiquity), subverting and overthrowing democratically-elected governments. We’ve messed with both Central America and the Middle East repeatedly, and we’ve helped sponsor both dictators and death squads just because they were ostensibly anti-Communist. We did make the monsters that are fighting us now, and it’s not blaming the victim to say that.

    Progressives’ efforts to point these things out are referred to as ‘coddling.’ But what’s the alternative? Even more nation-building, supporting dictators, and interfering in other peoples’ lives so that they come to hate us? Oh, wait …

    It takes an unbelievably egotistical nation to not only conclude that the rest of the world is insane, but also refuse to listen to it.

  • dobbie

    Couple of comments:

    First off, documentaries are by their very nature well suited to propaganda. The creator controls everything – the facts included and omitted, the images shown, the music, the camera angles (bottom-up for the predetermined bad guys, etc.) . If intellectual stringency is your cup of tea, well, you really shouldn’t be into documentaries.

    Second, the main thesis of TPoN is a game of “find the similarity” that is weak, to say the least. To sum it up:

    -US neoconservatives (well, all conservatives really, but hey!) disliked the Soviet Union, much like the mujahedin. Both groups tried to grab some credit when the Soviet Union came crashing down. Hence they are the same. Sort of. And those secular neocons are really “fundamentalists” deep down – “fundamentalist” of course meaning that they have some sort of belief system (I.e. liberalism).

    [The problem isn’t that Neocons “disliked the USSR” but that they turned a crumbling empire into a demonized all powerful fantasy evil, and once it fell apart, they claimed victory for it. The similarity with Islamists is a fear-based ideology that ignores facts and injects preconceived dogmas in order to make the world black-and-white simple, a very effective way to control the minds of followers. “Liberals” are not a tight group that follows a leader out of fear, they are individuals who criticize groupthink and pursue their own ideas. This makes them weaker and complicates finding a following, as more liberal centrist leaders like Obama have to lead with hope carrots rather than fear sticks. Of course, there are also those who try to lead liberal ideals using fear, such as the extremist left, communism, Jim Jones, etc. These people are as dangerous as the far right fascists, but America isn’t currently in danger of supporting Communism, we’re chest deep in fascism.]

    -US liberals dislike George W Bush. They also oppose Guantanamo bay, much like Al Qaeda. They opposed the Iraq invasion, much like Al Qaeda. Like Hamas, they have endorsed the candidacy of Barak Obama. Hence US liberalism is kind of the same as Islamism.

    [It’s not “US liberals” who dislike Bush and his bind/torture/kill policies. It’s the entire enlightened world community. Trying to find association between the liberal centrism of Obama and a radical fantasy fundamentalism of extremist Islamists makes you look like a non-funny joker.]

    The second point is of course completely made up, but it’s roughly as well-thought through as point number one. Hell, if one wants to make actual direct associations between various Islamist crackpots and US political groupings, point number two would probably be marginally easier to support.

    [I disagree, but more importantly, the entire educated world disagrees with such a knee jerk attempt to associate hateful extremism with non-hateful, non-extremism. Surely if you gave up your extremist bias, you too could see a correlation between hateful violent extremism shaking a Quran that embarrasses those who profess faith in the Quran, and hateful violent extremism shaking a Bible that embarrasses those who profess faith in the Bible.]

  • http://murrquan.livejournal.com Murrquan

    Er, as in, to conclude that the rest of the world is insane without even letting them speak for themselves. We’re xenophobic and isolationist, and the only thing we know about other people’s opinions of us is that they don’t like us. And we think it’s because they’re jealous.

    No one on Earth actually says that they hate us because we’re “free.” If you listen to them, they’ll tell you why they hate us. But I’ve never seen Conservatives respond to the actual charges. Or take responsibility for what they have done. Instead we’re running roughshod over the rest of the world, and telling ourselves we can save more lives spending $700 billion, to pay defense contractors with ties to the administration to make people hate us and want to kill us, than by letting the taxpayers keep it and invest it in charities.

  • dobbie

    “and has supported 100 year occupation of Iran”

    Iraq. I know you meant Iran, but I couldn’t help myself. Seriously though, that just shows how McCain has the wrong conception of Iraq. He thinks it can be molded into, say, post-war Germany, where US occupying forces can hang around for 50-100 years without fighting, while being friendly with the locals. But that’s just not a likely outcome, is it? Even if things have been stabilized somewhat by using non-retarded strategy and through the Islamists discrediting themselves after actually taking power in some parts of Iraq, Iraq just isn’t going to become Japan, or even Thailand any time soon.

    “…and now wants to attack Iran”

    The best argument against McCain, except his age. It is somewhat concerning that Obama isn’t, well, arguing against McCain’s obvious belligerency more stridently.

    “…and probably start a war with Russia.”

    This is another area where I’m a bit concerned that Obama will ape Clinton – in getting involved in various obscure ethnic conflicts around the world. Indeed, when it comes to pissing off the Russian bear by using the US military in a promiscuous fashion, Clinton was something of a pioneer.

    Of course, I have even lower hopes for McCain in this department, but that’s a pretty low bar to jump.

  • dobbie

    “But I’ve never seen Conservatives respond to the actual charges.”

    My guess is you don’t read much written by, you know like, actual conservatives. Other than the snippets quoted on the Daily Kos, that is.

  • dobbie

    Murrquan:”We did make the monsters that are fighting us now, and it’s not blaming the victim to say that.

    It takes an unbelievably egotistical nation to not only conclude that the rest of the world is insane, but also refuse to listen to it.”

    The US didn’t invent Islam, nor what is now referred to as “Islamism”. Nor did it create the modern mujahedin.

    Of course, the US has interered in various ways with the Islamists over time – sometimes to help, sometimes to disrupt their plans. There is obviously much to discuss here – but to say that the US “created the monsters” requires a certain amount of bad faith vis-a-vis the US. Ironically it is the whiff of that bad faith that the neocons have so succesfully ridden for quite a few years. People smell it from far away, and then they stay away from the Democrat.

    Frankly, I think Daniel’s line of arguing is both more productive, and more likely to yield success for US liberals.

  • LuisDias

    To edit someone’s messages with inserts is really very bad manners. It prevents a reader from understanding properly the meaning and thrust of the message. It undermines the point of a right to reply.

    I fully agree with this, but in this case, I think it is warranted. RealTosh is acting like a troll dickhead, flooding the blog with his ridiculously large diatribes that add few things to the discussion at hand. He simply killed the discussion.

    RealTosh, get your act together. And that includes to get some air and get out of the laptop for a minute. Sheeesh!

    No one on Earth actually says that they hate us because we’re “free.”

    Exactly. NeoCons do understand this, but they will never admit it. Americans are hated just like any other bully that comes and destroys your house, kills your family members and you figure out that it was to get some oil for its own companies. If by these actions, they are only advancing “Free Market”, I’ll say then fuck you, you know shit about what’s going on in the world. When 9/11 happened, I was young and naive enough to reason that Americans would then ask the important questions, why are we so hated in the world? What did we do wrong? What can we do better from now on?

    Instead, it provoked nothing but the ire of fundamentalists, either religious or ideologues, sparked the rage of Joe Sixpack and created a war that prolongued and developed said hatred. A pity. Violence only sparks more violence.

    But hey, mind not my angry vent. I’m just probably one more of those people that hate your freedom, so you can shut your brain off and not really think about the things I said.

  • dobbie

    More Murrquan: “We’re Xenophobic and Isolationist…”

    I do believe you need to look up the definition of “Isolationist”. George W Bush & co are many things. But they are most certainly not “isolationists”. Indeed – “isolationist” is one of their favorite curse words. “You don’t want to fight for Georgia?!!? It’s 1938 all over again, you dirty isolationist!”.

  • dobbie

    “When 9/11 happened, I was young and naive enough to reason that Americans would then ask the important questions, why are we so hated in the world? What did we do wrong? What can we do better from now on?”

    That was indeed pretty naive. Indeed, those in the US who expressed similar sentiments immediately after 9/11 most likely just helped fuel the unproductive reaction, by fusing liberalism and islamism in the popular consciousness. What is also touchingly naive is the view that the Islamic fundamentalists are primarily driven by hatred of US oil-company influenced wars.

    Although US liberal mythos and Islamist mythos overlap to some degree (to the electoral disadvantage of US liberals), they are very far from identical (the point I was making above). Here is a suggestion: Do not assume the best of the enemies of the US by default. Doing so will just make you look like a friend of those enemies, even when you don’t want to be their friend.

  • LuisDias

    (sorry for the bold format above, I made a mistake in the caps)

    @RealTosh

    Instead of that courage, Obama has shown political opportunism.

    (Disclaimer. I am not american, so I won’t vote. This is purely the vision of things of an outsider. Take it as you will.)

    When Obama spoke against the war, he was against all the polls. Every joe sixpack wanted to vent the anger due to 9/11 and the neocons somehow linked it to Iraq, although there was no connection at all. Still, the MSM was shouting that message and Michael Moore was portraited as a fringe lunatic. Ironically, even if that was true, the film seen as of today is incredibly more true than anything that was said by the real loonies of MSM.

    The NeoCons can be just as dangerous to our nation as the liberals.

    As a theory, it could be true. Empirically, I simply don’t understand where you can come up with this idiocy. To compare the NeoCons bullshit with the Clinton’s bullshit is beyond mind boggling. Here we are, with an almost impeached president because he lied on his own private affair, compared to a not-so-impeached president because he lied on a matter that made your country enter a full-blown war against Iraq. The MSM brain washing is impecabble. Even today, Clinton is regarded as the liar one! Sheeesh!

    In the mean time, we allow ourselves to fall behind as a nation.

    Good analysis. And to answer this question:

    I was hoping for so much more from Obama. At least McCain has a record of giving them all hell in Washington.

    I simply am amazed. You talk about how energy independence is so important and then embrace a guy that the only thing he has to say about energy is “drill, drill, drill!!”, of course, when he is not saying bomb iran!

    Notice that I’m giving hell to both sides of the political divide.

    It doesn’t read that way. You’re basically saying that all of them are bad, therefore McCain is great. Huh?!? What the hell?

    Obama was badmouthing the Surge. He was suggesting that he was going to order the generals to remove our troops from Iraq, “as soon as he was President” “without regard to the conditions on the ground.”

    This is his plan. Either you like it or you don’t like it. As Obama as pointed out, the war in iraq is draining resources and making the US sufficiently weak so that the afgan war is becoming worse and worse. Obama has said this since 2002, even when polls were against it. That the public supports his vision is not an indicator of populism, but of long term vision.

    Don’t be confused. McCain is not a NeoCon.

    And yet he chooses a creationist to be his mate. Hmmm. Does this mean he’ll pick another “mavericks” to his government, that may include, hmmm, neocons in the defense department?” If not, why not? The man clearly does not like to play nice.

    At least one man running for President this year is speaking out against special interests and their influence in Washington, and has been doing so for years.

    Don’t listen. See. He’s badmouthing the interests. What has he done against them anyway? Nothing. Obama at least as shown the way for the politics of tomorrow: let the common people finance the campaign of politicians and stop lobbyisms. Perhaps he isn’t able to do it 100%. But he has shown the way. McCain has done nothing but talk.

    Nearly all generals whether they support McCain or Obama acknowledge that the Surge has had significant effects on the security situation in Iraq.

    Groupthink?

    Even Obama has just recently acknowledged that the Surge contributed positively to the situation…

    Where?

    Why do you repeat 100 years, as if it meant something. It is just a political and partisan attack on a good man.

    “Good man”? Why do you attack Obama, another “good man”, then? He spoke those words, and those words were political, so he should defend them politically or just take them out, if he is such a “good man”.

    McCain will want to get our troops out of Iraq as quickly as possible.

    Perhaps it was the Dems’ pressure to take out the troops that may have McCain change his own tune? Perhaps McCain is just pandering to the population, oh, like in Populism?

    Iraq wasn’t McCain’s war

    He fully supported it. Period. You’re whitewashing the guy.

    The insurgents and the terrorists were instigating ethnic violence to foment unrest and create an environment where people did not ffel safe.

    And that was quite unpredictable, wasn’t it? Sheeesh! You talk as if there wasn’t any Vietnam in history books!

    In fact McCain was one of the first to acknowledge that things weren’t going so well when the insurgency began.

    Again, populism? At least, Obama was coherent throughout the entire war. When war was popular, here we had mr. Maverick with two thumbs up, claiming that americans would be regarded as liberators. When the war was starting to be a pain, he started to distance himself. What a jerk!

  • Realtosh

    @ LuisDias

    My posts started on topic. But attacking me, though I have a viable but radically different opinion from the blog’s owner is his perogative, but may not be the best way to further calm discourse.

    I was in the South Tower hours before both towers were reduced to a pile of rubble with thousands of innocent people inside. If I have particularly strong opinions on this, it is for good reason. Please allow me the liberty to my own position. I had absolutely no beef with any of these fundamentalists BEFORE they attacked me. I feel justifiably that the attack on the WTC was an attack on me and my neighbors personally.

    I actually met two of these Islamists in the months prior to 9/11. They came into our office requesting our services. I had the pleasure (I use the term very loosely here) of meeting with them to determine whether they could make use of our services. To think that I met with them, including one location that was mere meters from the elementary school I had attended years before sends shivers down my spine. The one fellow seemed normal enough. The other guy seemed like a a loon ranting about some moral shortcoming of American society or other. I don’t remember the topic exactly, but I believe it was something about the freedom of women. That area where I met with them is known for very many young hot Brazilian women who love themselves and are not afraid to share their beauty with the world. I remember saying something about the tolerance of western society or some such conciliatory comment. The hatred that was coming from this one individual was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I will never be able to forget that encounter. I’ve never met anyone with some much hatred before or since, in my 30+ years.

    That America has been reactionary since being attacked is no reason to justify that we deserved the terrorist attacks in the first place. No more than the innocent civilians of London, Madrid and Jerusalem ought to have been blown to bits. I’m so glad that Lisboa has not had the same kinds of attacks yet. I would likely have to make a bunch of calls to make sure a bunch of coddlers like yourself, that I know, were ok.

    Just because I may not agree with everything you or they say, does not mean that I would not be upset if your body was blown to bits across many meters, even though you seem to sympathize with the very criminals that would not hesitate to blow you to bits in your home, workplace, bus, train, or outdoor café in the first place.

    I don’t advocate violence. In fact I said that we need to reach out to the moderate elements in the Muslim world, but at the same time we need to acknowledge the hatred that is walking around in thousands of young men who are willing to give their lives to kill just one of you, but for them hopefully many more. Don’t forget that their resolve is stronger than most of ours.

    I can’t believe you’re from Lisboa. Makes me want to sell my expo apartment, though I can’t yet wrap my brain around getting rid of the summer place up north.

    I feel this topic very personally. That I am not a raving NeoCon is a testament to my rationality and reason.

    I carry the WTC entrance pass, so that I don’t forget these events of 2001. it is a constant reminder that I must be part of the solution. it is also a reminder that I need to remind others of the events of 2001 lest we allow them to be repeated.

    These guys don’t hate America specifcally; they hate all of modern western society in general. The Americans are prudes compared to the folks over in Lisboa. From the sounds of this fellow, he would hate Lisboetas even more than Americans.

    This isn’t about America. This is about radical Islamists hating the whole of modernism. it would be so convenient to scapegoat the Americans and feel guiltless. The reality is that these guys would vent their hatred on the West, whether had America responded to their attacks or not.

    Let me not mince words. LuisDias, the Islamists hate you and everything your society stands for. I do not. They will kill you if they get the chance whether you try to justify their actions or not.

    The defensive or retaliatory actions of the Western nations does not cause their hatred. it just gives them a focal point for their hatred and their recruiting. But they would hate you and me regardless and they would recruit young unemployed Muslims regardless. Having an enemy that strikes back just makes it easier for them. The documentary says that we’re playing into their hands by reacting to their violence.

    But we don’t cause their hatred, and ever be deluded about that fact. At best we’re just making it easier for them to recruit new adherents to their cause.

  • Realtosh

    @ 25 LuisDias

    Thanks for replying. i don’t agree with much of what you write, but I support your right to say it. This is discourse.

    The Islamlists would rather just chop off your head, and would consider it a great victory because doing so would push most of your countrymen into a state of fear.

  • Realtosh

    I don’t like the state of partisan politics in this country. Obama pushes to the left. McCain to the right. McCain has a 90% consistency score with the right. Obama has a 100% consistency with the left.

    [No, McCain has a 91% consistency with Bush. The other 9% he waffled back and forth. There is no left power or president for Obama to side with, so your 100% thing is silly. Obama has only had the opportunity to vote on centrist or right-leaning bills. What “leftist” votes has Obama voted on? Seriously!]

    Obama’s post-partisan rhetoric is not consistent with his partisan record. I have nothing else by which to gauge the inconsistency between the message and the record.

    McCain has swung a bit to the right in order to be electable from the right side. But for McCain, he has a moderate track record by which we can make sense of the inconsistency of his moderate message and his political swing.

    [Or put another way: McCain abandons his principles to serve whoever will get him elected or paid. Just like George W Bush. Recall that Bush got elected on a platform of non-intervention in world politics, promising in 2000 to stop the ‘world building’ that Clinton was doing to stop genocide. Yet when the NeoCons saw an opportunity to get into Iraq and screw things up, Bush ended up being played like a pawn. We don’t need another non-thinking stooge who just sits there and is pushed around by the unelected, radical NeoCon elite. The NeoCons have NEVER WON THE VOTE.

    The US didn’t elect Reagan to battle the USSR, but to fix the economy. The NeoCons swept in and used the attractive Hollywood actor to gain power to pursue their agenda. The US didn’t elect GW Bush to invade Iraq, but to reform the “outrageous impeachable sex” of Clinton and restore morality. The NeoCons swept in and used the attractive, commercial failure of a man to gain power to pursue their agenda. We don’t need another front man elected for a sham promise who will bend over and serve the needs of the radical NeoCons.

    The Republicans need to split from the NeoCons and offer up a true conservative that Americans could vote for. I’d like to see a Ron Paul Republican, an Obama/Clinton Democrat, a Nader Green and and a Cheney NeoCon up for election, so the US could vote on what they really want, rather than a bait and switch choice between two attempts to “elect something” that are overly broad. ]

    Obama has has always had a very extremist liberal record. His message of hope and post-partisan politics is so cool. I was so excited by the message, that I felt cheated when I realized he was just a standard Democrat and a fairly extremist liberal one at that.

    [No you didn’t. Don’t say you almost voted for Obama until you realized how liberal he was. That’s like having to listen to Thurrott say he loves Macs until he learned how plagued with Steve Jobs-ness they were, which forced him to reinvestigate Vista. Please, this is such transparent BS.]

    If Obama were actually center left instead of far left, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. He would be trouncing the solidly center right McCain.

    [Check the polls: Obama *is* trouncing McCain.]

    That the race for President is still a horse race is a testament to how far to the left Obama actually is. Obama is from the opposition party in a year that the current President ha an approval rating that is only slightly higher than that of the Congress. He should be winning by a wide margin. Had Obama actually been center left, he would have huge lead on McCain.

    [Obama is leading among white women and minorities and in general. Calling him extreme left is silly. He’s further right of center than the Clintons. Clinton was the best president for the economy and progress of the US over the last two decades. If that’s what you mean by your leftist scaremongering, then yes, the US is demanding “leftism” to replace our failed fascism at the hands of NeoCons, which has bankrupted the country.]

    I feel cheated. I feel attracted to Obama’s message of hope, but don’t want to be hoodwinked into a leftist political agenda in its’ stead.

    [But that’s a lie Realtosh, and everyone knows it. Don’t cower behind the truth. I don’t pretend to like Vista and the Zune to point out what I think are wrong about them, and you can do the same. ]

  • LuisDias

    @RealTosh

    The Islamlists would rather just chop off your head, and would consider it a great victory because doing so would push most of your countrymen into a state of fear.

    Sorry, that little scary tactic doesn’t work on me. I can see through your islam-jealous mindset all along. Let me be clear about this. I talk to you about these things and I am being cordial and mature, because I also believe in discourse, and free discussion. To an islamic terrorist, I have nothing to say.

    The problem in your mindset is that either people agree with you, or else we are pandering to terrorists! What idiocy! I couldn’t have the most disgust to those life-haters. I disgust when countries bow down to terrorists when some cartoons “offend” them. This doesn’t mean that I should cheer american foolishness, voluntarism and mind-blowing plundering of the world.

    This “Us or Them” mentality is utterly wrong. I despise manicheisms. They are dumb and promote Groupthink.

    If Obama were actually center left instead of far left, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.

    I wonder about that, but I understand what you say. But bear in mind that he didn’t try to fool anyone. He has clearly said innumerous times that his reference in form (not in content!) is Reagan. Well, you couldn’t have a more partisan than that guy!

    That the race for President is still a horse race…

    It’s a testament on american politics. It’s always been like that, though I don’t think you’ve been paying attention lately. Obama is getting 50%, McCain 43%. McCain is melting down heavily, and when Palin enters the stage against Biden, it will be serious hilarious stuff.

    I feel cheated. I feel attracted to Obama’s message of hope, but don’t want to be hoodwinked into a leftist political agenda in its’ stead.

    You shouldn’t feel cheated by Obama, but by the GOP. If you are inclined to the right, then that’s the party that didn’t address you.

  • LuisDias

    PS: I wonder what you mean by Obama being a 100% left guy. What exactly in his program do you see a commie?

  • http://murrquan.livejournal.com Murrquan

    @27 Realtosh

    The Islamlists would rather just chop off your head, and would consider it a great victory because doing so would push most of your countrymen into a state of fear.

    In other words, “You don’t know anything. Be quiet while I burn down this straw man. I have an emotional connection to this issue, and so I refuse to listen to reason.

    Did everyone miss it when Mr. Dilger posted an article on what they actually want to do to us? Has anyone read Bin Laden’s actual statements? Or would that get us in trouble if our online connections are being wiretapped?

    Does anyone know how much money is being spent on the “War on Terror,” who it’s being paid to, and how much money and influence those in the administration stand to gain from it all? Money that’s spent to “support our troops” doesn’t just magically turn into body armor and tanks. There’s an entire industry that only makes money when we’re out there shooting at things, and the fact that nobody thinks about it is one of the big reasons they’re making so much cash.

    I’d personally love for the success of my business to be tied to something like “supporting our troops,” and to never have customers think any more deeply than that. ^.^; Or know my name, or know which politicians used to be on my board of directors.

    And because our troops need someone to shoot at, I’d love it if we had an enemy somewhere that was so vile, so vicious that they’re like the Uruk-Hai: Not people, but murdering things that need to be destroyed, in the name of good people everywhere. And if I couldn’t find such an enemy, I’d want to create one.

  • Realtosh

    @ Murrquan 31

    I include the military establishment in my list of special interests above. We agree on much of that.

    I don’t need to watch a video to tell me what the terrorists want to do or not. Without any provocation whatsoever from America in any way, the terrorists came into country that is my home, and toppled two of the tallest buildings in the world, killing many thousands of innocent civilians. I also met two of these terrorist in the months before the attack on the WTC. I have never experienced the same intensity of hatred ever before or since.

    I’m not a knee-jerk NeoCon and insist that we must go to war.

    But just because I’m not a knee-jerk NeoCon doesn’t mean I need to be naive about this Islamist hatred. I witnessed it personally. Don’t lecture me about Islamists. We need to be especially harsh in our treatment of these terrorists. That does not mean that we need to sacrifice our civil liberties. Hope we don’t have another major attack. Civil liberties will get thrown out the window.

    Just because I believe that America experienced an unprovoked terrorist attack in the destruction of the WTC Towers, is no reason to label me an emotional nut. Prior to 9/11 Bush had a very hands off policy to international intervention. Prior to him Clinton barely acknowledged the terrorist attack on the US Embassies in Africa and the military vessel explosion in Yemen.

    The militant Islamists didn’t come and attack us and kill innocent because raped their women and killed their children. In fact we hardly even bothered to acknowledge their existence. We went about our business; they theirs.

    Having full intelligence knowledge and satellite pictures of their terrorist training camps in Afghanistan, we stood by and did nothing. In all of 8 years of Clinton as President he sent one attack by missiles in retaliation for some terroristic attack. Bush had no preemptive attacks at all prior to 9/11.

    If anything, the terrorists saw us all as a “paper tiger,” who did not care and did not react no matter how the terrorists would attack us.

    I am not a NeoCon. Nor am I naive.

    We should continue to have an open society with free flow of ideas and people. We need not follow the NeoCons into ridiculousness.

    But never can you say to me that these terrorists are harmless and don’t mean any harm. I know better.

    Nor can you ever say to me that we cause the hatred of these Islamists. Their hatred predates any reaction that we may have to their criminal activities. We are reacting to their hatred not causing.

    Notice that I never say that we must hate these terrorists. I just say that they are dangerous as hell, and watch yourself. They desire to kill Westerners and even Muslims that they see as traitors to the Islamist cause. Short of isolating them out of even their own society by befriending moderates in the Muslim world, and killing terrorists outright; there not much we can do to stop their criminal activities and stop them from recruiting new terrorists.

  • Realtosh

    @luisdias 30

    I am straight up centrist pragmatist, with center right leanings. I am a citizen of US and Europe, and come from your parts. I consider myself a citizen of the world.

    I don’t agree necessarily with the NeoConservative worldview at all, so I will not defend them in the least. I am disgusted by some of the stuff these guys pulled in Bush’s first term before Bush realized that they ruined his Presidency.

    We would be having a different kind of discussion had Bush gone with Powell-Rice-McCain for policy instead of Cheney-Rove-Rumsfeld. Our world would be a radically different place.

    [But is wasn’t, because Powell was ignored. Rove put Bush into power with Cheney. WTF? You’re saying if the Republican white house wasn’t corrupt and ignorant it wouldn’t be corrupt and ignorant? And that McCain will somehow change things after doing the same things and saying even more saber rattling stuff that makes W Bush sound non-interventionist? This opinion is not supported by any facts.]

    We likely would NOT have gone into Iraq. If we had, we would have gone in later (possibly the following year, but with overwhelming force). There would have been order in Iraq post invasion. A new Iraqi government would have taken over amid peace years ago, with actually functioning police and military forces, soon after the invasion, within a year or two. A much broader coalition of countries would have been involved. Sergio de Mello wouldn’t have been killed. Iran would not be acting up because of the competent show of force by an overwhelming international coalition at their doorstep. The world would have turned their attention to Darfur, ending the ethnic strife. But that is all fantasy now.

    That Islamists want to kill you and your family is not fantasy.

    [Well certainly the Saudis who blew up the WTC were ready to kill Americans. However, as the films that you refused to consider pointed out, those and their small circle–who were already weak and defeated in their attempts to set up radical islamist states in the middle east–were mostly killed off. The fantasy is that there is some grand association of “terrorists” that act in a concerted network under the rule of Bin Laden, and that they pose a continual threat that requires an abandonment of civil rights. Also fantasy is that Iraq had anything to do with those attacks, or that the secular state of Iraq is now better in the hands of warlords and fundamentalist clerics.]

    I advocate open prosperity rather than closed protectionism.

    [Did Bush’s administration do anything open or resulting in prosperity? No.]

    Openness is being attacked from the left by trade unions and the far left who protest free trade. Openness is being attacked from the right by ultra-conservatives who protest a more open and rather more rational immigration policy.

    [Or you could say that “political opinion varies.” Do you think you have some special right to decree what happens in the US based on fundamentalist ideals about how things should work? The point of democracy is that we try different things based loosely on the collective will of the people. ]

    If we restrict the free flow of people and ideas, we will all lose the opportunities that may have arisen from that exchange.

    Obama seems inclined to follow the leftist agenda of opposing free trade, encouraging increased socialism in more aspects of our lives, and pandering to trade unions who have lost their way in the US. It’s a politics of who is entitled to what, as opposed to a politics of inspirational creativity that could lead to Apple-Silicon Valley type of free thinking, innovation, progress and economic growth.

    [Are you suggesting that Silicon Valley was the product of right wing fascism, and that liberal intellectuals are going to take it down? Because from my perspective as actually living here and following it over my entire life, Silicon Valley was the product of liberal intellectuals, and the biggest failures have been tied to blindered conservative-leaning failures such as Sculley and Fiorina.

    The tech industry boomed under Clinton. The banking industry has pushed California and the nation into recession THREE TIMES with the help of McCain: the deregulation Keating Five S&L failures in the late 80s, Enron and energy deregulation in the early 90s, and today’s deregulation Wall Street collapse. You want to continue with more McCain? ]

  • http://murrquan.livejournal.com Murrquan

    @40 Realtosh

    I’m not a knee-jerk NeoCon and insist that we must go to war.

    Understood, sir. I feel you are sane and honorable. I am not sure you are thinking your talking points through clearly, however.

    When you say that we were barely aware of their existence pre-9/11, you forget that we were also barely aware of our own government’s machinations, and its interventions abroad. We have overthrown popularly elected leaders numerous times in the past, only to install dictators who brought about death and destruction. We didn’t create these monsters, but our elected leaders did.

    Now that they’re here, you insist we must fight them. But our doing so is bankrupting our economy and ruining Iraq’s, getting soldiers and innocent civilians killed, and prompting these terrorists to recruit thousands more to join their cause. Even assuming they’re exactly as evil as you say, and even setting aside the part that we played in their creation, I have to ask: How is this helping anything?

    There have been two winners of the War on Terror so far: Al Qaida, and the American “defense” industry. Both have seen a record leap in their power, and have helped to ruin the economies of the countries they’re based in. Everyone else has lost.

  • Realtosh

    @ Murrquan 42
    “Now that they’re here, you insist we must fight them.”

    Your fight is with someone else. Go find a NeoCon to pick a fight with.

  • Realtosh

    My diatribe is anti-liberal, not pro-NeoCon.

  • Realtosh

    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.]

  • Realtosh

    So many of you are fighting the straw man “Neo.” I want no part in that.

    I was just reacting to the central thesis of this documentary that seems like a warm pile to me, if you get my drift.

    I would throw Islamists, NeoCons and Liberals all in the same pile of dangerous extremists.

    I’ve been saying that for weeks here now.

    [Your position is being associated with NeoCon rhetoric because it is identical. You might not like the brand, but if the shoe fits… Blindly raging about undefined attributes of “liberals” as a catch-all for anyone who might not support the perpetuation of a war that has nothing to do with 9/11 is neocon propaganda.

    If you can articulate ideas or criticism, you are welcome to participate in the conversation. But if all you can offer is three page comments that have absolutely nothing to do with anything being discussed, and randomly pace through the neocon talking points (Obama is dangerously “liberal” without definition of what that even means; fear fear fear of imagined ideas you can’t articulate; war war war jingoism that tries to associate 9/11 with Iraq somehow; a repeated lie about how well the war in Iraq is going, and how hundreds of thousands of needless deaths have resulted in a country that is on the verge of democratic prosperity rather than the reality of a chaotic cesspool of violence that is becoming a breeding ground for seeding radical fundamentalism) then you aren’t welcome.

    You simply can’t pollute discussion with reams of unrelated garbage. 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. You don’t have to watch it, but you can’t bark noise if you haven’t even seen it.

    Repeating this idea that we’re talking about denying 9/11 or blaming America for it is more specious noise. Neither is the case, and neither is suggested in the series.]

  • Realtosh

    I think that we could have done so much more with special forces that with these large land armies that were created for a by-gone age.

  • Realtosh

    In Iraq we were had by the NeoCons and the Iraqi exiles who told us what they thought we wanted to hear so that we would go to into Iraq and remove Saddam.

  • enzos

    Dan,
    Do you think you could add an “ignore this poster” feature to your blog? Blathering runaway point-makers like Rt are a waste of space and reading time on what’s meant to be a discussion thread.

    Cheers mate, and hope your face is feeling better!

  • http://murrquan.livejournal.com Murrquan

    This morning I wasn’t sure I liked the idea of editing people’s comments to put in your own thoughts, but I’m not sure I object right now!