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Tuesday, November 14, 2006 

NATO, winning the respect of Iraqi and Afghanistani civilians



A picture is worth a thousand words.

Buck,

Is NATO in Iraq? I hadn't heard. And where is that picture from?

Also, if you want to play the picture is worth a thousand words game, what about this one>?

Now, which picture is worth more words? Are they equally a thousand?

Yes Olaf - that makes it all so much better! Yes an errand of mercy for the poor people of Iraq and Afghanistan. Bush and Rumsfeld have done such a fine job.

PS. The British consistently refer to their contingent in Basrah, Iraq as a 'NATO mission'.

You're just worried about the fly shit in your pepper.

Olaf - you really LIKE our war in Afghanistan and the American / British war in Iraq don't you?

You actually believe that there is a 'noble purpose' in being there, don't you?

You feel pretty strongly that Canadian and American young men and women should be there don't you?

Hmmm....

Buck,

I was frustrated by the conflation of the Iraq and Afghanistan missions as if there was no distinction between the two.

Essentially, the picture had to be from either Iraq or Afghanistan... and so the thousand words that it conveys should apply to one or the other (I have a feeling I know which), and it's slightly dishonest to claim that those thousand words apply to both.

I don't like either wars, of course, but I support the war in Afghanistan for a number of reasons (and have called for the mission to include more aid, reconstruction and military support as opposed to less), while I do not support the war in Iraq.

But, if you'd prefer to paint me as someone who just "likes" war than that's your prerogative.

Likewise, I could ask you questions like:

"You really want the Taliban to come back into power, don't you?"

"You really want those who don't follow their fanatical creed to be stoned to death, don't you?"

"You really want all of the co-ed schools that don't teach a Taliban curriculum to be burned to the ground, don't you?"

"You really want everyone who participated in or colluded with the fledgling democratic government to be summarily hanged, don't you?"

Those are the kind of questions I could ask you, in a similar vein to your simplistic questions, but I won't. :)

"I was frustrated by the conflation of the Iraq and Afghanistan missions as if there was no distinction between the two."
THERE IS NO DISTINCTION - BOTH ARE MAJOR DISASTERS -IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN WERE BOTH ARMED FOR OLD CONFLICTS BY THE USA. THIS IS A PROBLEM CREATED BY FAILED AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY.
-------
"You really want the Taliban to come back into power, don't you?"THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT IS ONLY MARGINALLY BETTER - WHO ARE WE TO BE CONSTANTLY INTERFEING - SOMETIMES GREAT NATIONS ARE BORN WHEN PEOPLE THROW OFF AN OPPRESSOR - UNFORTUNATELY WE ARE RAPIDLY BEING SEEN AS THE FOREIGN OPPRESSOR.
-------
"You really want those who don't follow their fanatical creed to be stoned to death, don't you?"
I DON'T - I ALSO DON'T LIKE ALL OF THE EXECUTIONS THAT HAPPEN IN THE USA - BUSH NEVER COMMUTED ONE DEATH SENTENCE. THE AMERICAN WAY MAY BE MORE HUMANE, BUT THE MUSLIMS ARE FOLLOWING RULES - DON'T FORGET THAT IN YOUR BIBLE, THERE ARE (IF I RECALL) 11 CRIMES FOR WHICH THE BIBLE SAYS YOU SHOULD BE STONED TO DEATH.
-------
"You really want all of the co-ed schools that don't teach a Taliban curriculum to be burned to the ground, don't you?"
I AM REPULSED BY BOTH FUNDAMENTALIST ISLAM AND FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANITY - BOTH ARE PRIMITIVE. WE ARE A BIT MORE PROGRESSIVE THAN THE MUSLIMS IN THE FACT THAT OUR WOMEN HAVE BEEN PERSONS FOR ABOUT 75 YEARS LONGER THAN THEIR WOMEN. MY GRANDMOTER WAS NOT A 'PERSON' WHEN SHE WAS BORN IN TABER,ALBERTA.
-------
"You really want everyone who participated in or colluded with the fledgling democratic government to be summarily hanged, don't you?
DEMOCRACY AND LACK OF CORRUPTION ARE A HALLMARK OF KARZAI'S GOV'T - NOT!@!! CROOKS, ALL OF THEM. YOU ARE ASKING ME TO SAY WHETHER I PREFER CANCER OF THE LUNG OR CANCER OF THE COLON.
-------
AFGHANISTAN IS QUICKSAND. HARPER IS AN IDIOT. THE WEST (PRIMARILY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICAN) HAS DONE MORE TO DESTABALIZE THE REGION THAN AL QAEDA COULD EVER HAVE ACHIEVED.

Buck,

Tell us what you really think...

The middle east has been plagued with western interference for centuries. After all of the colonial exploits of the British, the French and the Americans, it is no wonder that the current state of affairs is confusing to westerners.

I am not going to even mention the French occupations of Egypt, Algeria and the other Franco-Afrique disasters, I am going to reference, for now, the British/American disasters.

When the Ottoman Turkish empire fell at the end of WW1 (they had been allied with the Imperial Germans and Austria-Hungarians) the British influence blossomed in the areas that are now called Lebanon, Palestine (later Israel) and Iraq. Lines were drawn to create 'borders' that made no sense to the people under the British mandate.

For example, Iraq makes NO SENSE at all. You have ethnic Kurds in the north, Sunni tribes in the central and Shiite in the south. All within the borders of what we call Iraq. Iraqi's consider first of all the tribe they belong to, the sect of Islam the follow and lastly their Iraqi 'nationality'.

Saddam held this illogical nation together through a brutal dictatorial regeime. When he and Iran ended up at war (and don't get me started on how the Americans buggered up Iran TOTALLY by supporting the Shah, who was eventually overthrown by the fundamentalist Shiites), the USA MASSIVELY armed Saddam to fight them.
The Americans had MASSIVELY ARMED Iran during the Cold War because their puppet leader, the Shah of Iran stood against the Soviets.
Later, as you know, the Americans massively armed the Afghanis to fight the Soviets.

American interference has been one of the MAIN contributing factors to the problems in the middle east.

I haven't even talked about how the Palestinian people WERE FORCED into refugee camps in the late 1940's where most of them remain, people without a country, no ability to get a passport, and constantly trying to find justice in their former territory.

The Americans have screwed things up TOTALLY - and right wing dummies like Bush, who have no knowledge of history or culture, continue to screw things up.

Bush wasn't even aware of the differences between Sunni muslims and Shiite muslims. And he is the most powerful dipstick on the planet.

AND .... Olaf ... since you got me started, take a look at the FURTHER and ONGOING totally MENTAL crap that the United States contiues to do in the Middle east.

The guy replacing Rumsfeld is the guy who MASSIVE ARMED SADDAM HUSSEIN in his war with IRAN.

If there is a 'God' in Heaven, He is going to cast ALL Republicans and other Right Wingers into the Pits of HELL!

Can't Bush find EVEN ONE honest Republican who doesn't have either: -his hand in the till (or)
-his hand covered with blood?

Jeff Stein points out in the New York Times, "Few at the top of America's intelligence in the Bush age have the slightest clue who the Sunni and Shia are or why they would be at war now in Iraq:

'At the end of a long interview, I asked Willie Hulon, chief of the bureau’s new national security branch, whether he thought that it was important for a man in his position to know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. “Yes, sure, it’s right to know the difference,” he said. “It’s important to know who your targets are”

O.K., I asked, trying to help, what about today? Which one is Iran — Sunni or Shiite? He thought for a second. “Iran and Hezbollah,” I prompted. “Which are they?”

He took a stab: “Sunni.”

Wrong.
New York Times (NYT)

God , please save us from the insanity of Republican and Conservative Ideology

Haha,

If there is a 'God' in Heaven, He is going to cast ALL Republicans and other Right Wingers into the Pits of HELL!

Would you really abandon me to such a fate? I'm a decent guy. Other right wingers are decent guys. Sometimes we're wrong, sometimes you're wrong. And I'm sure you can distinguish between a conservative ideology and a Republican ideology, which is in many ways not conservative.

I worry when people start equating everything US with imperialism/evil. What about Kosovo? What about Somalia? There was absolutely no material benefit in going there, and yet they did. And we did.

You can disagree with military intervention or peace making or whatever you want to call it (from the historical examples you cited - you seem to think that it doesn't and can't work, which is reasonable), and you can certainly disagree with the particular missions (Iraq, Afghanistan), and how they are being/have been prosecuted.

But I fear that you've fallen slightly off the deep end, where US=evil, and therefore anything they're involved in is necessarily doomed from the get go.

While you can't be blamed for having a memory, it is the exact same mentality which drives the right wing ideologues (among which I don't list myself), when they flatly ignore the UN or international cooperation as futile, which it has proven itself as in the past.

Equating Afghanistan to Iraq, simply based on the fact that they were both started by the US, is intellectually lazy. This is my point. If you have gripes with them both, or with the general principle which governs attempts at peacemaking (which I think the Afghanistan mission more closely mirrors than the Iraq mission), than so be it. Make those points.

But don't try to equate the two disparate situations because they're both associated with the US.

"I worry when people start equating everything US with imperialism/evil."
I AM NOT EQUATING EVERYTHING 'US' - MY PROBLEM IS WITH REPUBLICAN FOREIGN POLICY, NIXON-REAGAN-BUSH-BUSH,

"Equating Afghanistan to Iraq, simply based on the fact that they were both started by the US, is intellectually lazy."
I AM NOT DOING THAT AT ALL. THE PREMISE OF MY ARGUMENT IN THIS POST IS THAT IT IS THE 'OUT OF CONTROL', SELF SERVING FOREIGN POLICY OF RIGHT WING PRESIDENTS THAT HAS CREATED ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS IN THE REGION

Buck,

Stop yelling at me... I get your point. But it would be hard to say that you're not equating Afghanistan to Iraq, when you use a thousand word-worth picture to describe them both, as if they were the same thing...

I am not yelling - I am merely using CAPITAL LETTERS to differentiate my answer from your question... I still cannot believe that you feel being in Afghanistan and Iraq is justified.

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