Hezbollah

hornetguy

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While some (many?) will disagree, I honestly think this guy has the guts to say what no one is willing to say. I have to agree with him. But can we afford to do this on our own? Doubtful, unfortunately. Feels like a Catch-22.

http://www.nypost.com/seven/05142008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/enabling_hezbollah_110815.htm?page=0 said:
ENABLING HEZBOLLAH
THE FOOLISH, FECKLESS WEST
Olmert: Bumbling Israeli PM remains focused on Gaza chaos.
Olmert: Bumbling Israeli PM remains focused on Gaza chaos.

By RALPH PETERS

May 14, 2008 -- AS Hezbollah's terror army dismantles Lebanon, the world whistles "Ain't That a Shame."

With its heavily funded proxies marching through an Arab democracy's ruins, Iran has arrived on the Mediterranean, outflanking Israel.

Syria's surrogates punish Beirut. Lebanon's crippled government cringes at the whims of Hassan Nasrullah, Hezbollah's strongman. Terror rules.

And not one civilized country lifts a finger.

This doesn't mean that war will be avoided at the "negligible" cost of Lebanese lives and freedom. It just means that the inevitable showdown with Hezbollah will be a bloodier mess when it finally comes.

When will we face reality? Hezbollah can't be appeased. Hezbollah can't be integrated into a democratic government and domesticated. And Hezbollah, whose cadres believe that death is a promotion, can't be deterred by wagging fingers and flyovers.

Hezbollah, our mortal enemy, must be destroyed. But we - Israel, the United States, Europe - lack the will. And will is one thing Hezbollah and its backers in Iran and Syria don't lack: They'll kill anyone and destroy anything to win.

We won't. We still think we can talk our way out of a hit job. Not only are we reluctant to kill those bent on killing us - we don't even want to offend them.

Hezbollah's shocking defeat of Israel in 2006 (when will Western leaders learn that you can't measure out war in teaspoons?) highlighted the key military question of our time: How can humane, law-abiding states defeat merciless postnational organizations that obey only the "laws" of bloodthirsty gods?

The answer, as Iraq and Afghanistan should have taught us, is that you have to gut the organization and kill the hardcore cadres. (Exactly how many al Qaeda members have we converted to secular humanism?).

Entranced by the military vogue of the season, we don't even get our terminology right. Defeating Hezbollah has nothing to do with counterinsurgency warfare - the situation's gone far beyond that. We're facing a new form of "non-state state" built around a fanatical killing machine that rejects all of our constraints.

No one is going to win Hezbollah's hearts and minds. Its fighters and their families have already shifted into full-speed fanaticism, and there's no reverse gear. Hezbollah has to be destroyed.

But we're not going to do it. And Israel's not going to do it. We both lack the vision, the guts, the strength of will. Hezbollah has all three. In spades.

As for Europe stepping in, it's got just enough UN peacekeepers in Lebanon to serve as hostages, but not enough to set up a convincing roadblock. (All the United Nations has done has been to direct traffic for Hezbollah arms smugglers.)

And Europeans won't fight to protect Jews. Even now, Europeans, high and low, wish they could find an excuse to pile on against Israel. The continent's shamelessly anti-Israeli media is doing all it can to give its audiences that excuse - witness the pro-Hezbollah propaganda reported as ground truth in 2006 - but Europe's still a bit too embarrassed by its recent past to actively aid in Israel's destruction.

Meanwhile, Israel's bumbling Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his government remain focused on the chaos in Gaza generated by Hamas - another Iranian tool - while trying to ignore the existential threat metastasizing on its northern border. The "world community" wrings its hands about Tehran's nuclear ambitions, but does nothing - as Iran methodically sets the stage to launch volleys of medium-range missiles into Israel when the hour of reckoning comes.

The extremists running Iran today would destroy Israel. No matter the cost. And Hezbollah's happy to help.

Until that day comes, Tehran and Damascus are convinced that no one will stand up for Lebanon. They're savvier strategically than we are.

Before Israel squandered its credibility in the 2006 war, it briefly looked as though its Sunni Arab neighbors might rouse themselves to action to help thwart Tehran's ambitions. Those hopes have dissolved. Meanwhile, Jordan's rulers seem blithely unaware that they're next: Once Lebanon is under Hezbollah's thumb, Iran and Syria's next step will be to destabilize Jordan, surrounding Israel with active enemies.

Is there a good solution? No. Is there any solution? Yes. Backed by US air and naval power, Israel must strike remorselessly, destroying Hezbollah without compromise and ignoring the global save-the-terrorists outcry.

It's not going to happen. We lack the strength of will to do this right.

Israel or even the United States may feel compelled to intervene at some point. But we'll do too little too late and stop too soon.

Hezbollah would sacrifice women and children by the thousands to win. We rely on that fatal narcotic, diplomacy, as Lebanon shatters and our enemies pick up the pieces.

We're not Hezbollah's enemies. We're its enablers.
 

cadet candidate

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honestly, why don't we just step back and just let em fight it out. Just ignore the middle east and use the oil we have in alaska until we find a clean fuel source of the future? what good is the middle east if not for the oil. if there is enough freedom loving citizens over there, they'll take up arms and fight the oppressors eventually. Until then, i say we have no business being over there. they have no reason to bother us if we have no troops or resources over there. if they try to bother us, nuke em. its a little extreme, but so are the enemies we are fighting.
 

bruno

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honestly, why don't we just step back and just let em fight it out. Just ignore the middle east and use the oil we have in alaska until we find a clean fuel source of the future? what good is the middle east if not for the oil. if there is enough freedom loving citizens over there, they'll take up arms and fight the oppressors eventually. Until then, i say we have no business being over there. they have no reason to bother us if we have no troops or resources over there. if they try to bother us, nuke em. its a little extreme, but so are the enemies we are fighting.
Well I suppose that would be one approach- ignore the whole region. Plan on paying about $20 gal for oil if you are planning on using only domestic oil of which there is not enough to cover the current US demand even if you do sink wells in the ANWR-so watch the economy sink faster than the Arizona and still have a world in flames when Israel reaches out with all of the tools at their disposal to protect themselves from their numerous mortal enemies- which they will do.
Peters is a smart guy but he's writing for a newspaper and tends to gloss over a couple of minor inconveniences. Israel did just what he is now advocating - went into Lebanon in 1982 to "clean it out" - went charging all the way to Beirut and got... stuck there. The US has now done the same thing in Iraq and behold... we're stuck there. There is no such thing as a surgical strike that solves all of your problems in one fell swoop regardless of the promise of technology and all of the "transformation wonks".
Having spent a year in Lebanon about 20 years ago I'm fairly familiar with the whole challenge of Hezbollah and southern Lebanon. The UN is worse than hopeless. However we are players in the mideast -we are there and our most valuable commodity is as well (Oil)- not to mention that our one true ally in the mideast is Israel- they are a real democracy and support us on virtually all of the important issues in the world. So we can neither just abandon ship nor can we just breeze in, solve the problem in a lightning manner then whip on back home. If Iraq has taught us nothing else- it should certainly teach us that you go into these things for the long haul or not at all.
 

Zaphod

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I would like nothing better than for the United States to drill ANWR, drill off the coasts, build every refinery we need, and build nuclear power plants by the dozen, if only so we COULD ignore the Middle East and let them eat there own.

Sadly, however, the environMENTALists won't let us, so we're stuck having to deal with these maniacs. :mad:
 

hornetguy

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We should be smart about nukes. If anything, France actually has this right. Standardize the way we build and operate them and start moving to nuclear fuels. All the environmentalists don't like any other option than pooping in holes and dancing in the sunlight.... Seriously, if climate change is that big a deal for them, I think storing nuclear waste (in small amount considering the energy you get from it) is practical compared to trying to sequester carbon. Modern nuclear technology is nothing like the piece of crap reactors the Soviets built. When was the last nuclear incident we've heard about in the 80% nuclear France? hum....
 

Zaphod

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Don't bring logic into this. After all, nuclear power plants are the Devil incarnate. I saw Jane Fonda in a movie about that, so it MUST be true! :rolleyes:

The bottom line is that all the environMENTAList's fondest wet dreams could come true if we went entirely nuclear and switched over to electric vehicles. I'd love to see that, again, for no other reason than telling Chavez and Company where to stick it. Throw in the cleaner air and you have a near Nirvana.

Granted, we'd still need to drill for fossil fuels because they are used in the manufacture of plastics, chemicals, etc., but if we drilled ANWR and off the coasts, we'd be independent in THAT, too! Then, we could have the farmers start growing corn for FOOD again (instead of a POS fuel substitute that HURTS gas mileage and raises food prices). What a concept! Also, we would be able to use more synthetics to replace the use of wood, since the oil that would be going for fuel could be used for them. Less wood use equals more TREES.

Oh, yeah! And then Israel, Hezbollah, and the rest of that cast of characters could claw each other's eyes out and settle once and for all who's the Big Guy in the region. I put my money on Israel; she has the better track record for kicking *** and taking names.

Unfortunately, the environMENTALists don't care about the environment so much as they do about destroying America or, at the very least, hobbling her so that such notable bastions of freedom as China can put us in our place. :rolleyes:

Sorry for the tirade, but this is one topic that seriously ticks me off because it covers economics, national security, the environment, and freedom in one fell swoop, and the IDIOTS who are claiming to have all the answers are actually SCREWING THINGS UP while darting around the globe in their Learjets and limousines telling you and me that our lightbulbs and SUV's are destroying the planet. :mad:
 
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zachogden

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honestly, why don't we just step back and just let em fight it out.
A Ron Paul fan perhaps? I think one of the reasons for intervening in the Middle East right now (and I'm playing devil's advocate here) is the fact that the U.S. had a hand in creating some of the problems they are dealing with right now... anyone remember the Shah/Operation Ajax/Ayatollah Khomeni? The fact that the U.S. and Britain had a large part in undermining the democratic process in Iran is a big reason why they don't particularly care for us right now (50 years later).

Just ignore the middle east and use the oil we have in alaska until we find a clean fuel source of the future?
Well, we have several alternative energy options right now, the first of which is one many of us overlook: consume less, use less. I got a hand out in Government class last week (originally from Newsweek I think... if I find it online I'll post a link) saying that America consumes 25% of the world's oil. In fact, according to some 2006 statistics from http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/index.cfm, the U.S. was consuming almost 21 million barrels of oil per day... nearly triple that of #2, China. I see dozens of people driving into downtown Cleveland every day in their cars alone. It's without doubt we are, as a whole, a very wasteful people.

Regardless, the oil in the ANWR is not sufficient to grant us total energy independence, and even if the projected amount of oil in the ANWR exceeds or meets what we need or will need in the future, it's not like it will be a cake walk to recover it. This area is on the Arctic Ocean and very desolate and very, very large. It's not like there's a huge pool of oil ready to be refined somewhere... some of this oil is trapped in rocks or deep underground. I'm not smart enough to parse and interpret the data that well, but if you're economically minded, here's some links for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Refuge_drilling_controversy
http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs-0028-01/fs-0028-01.htm

what good is the middle east if not for the oil.
Writing off an entire region and the many cultures within it because it is known for its oil is pretty closed-minded if you ask me. By saying this, you ignore the language, customs, food, music, dance, art, and people that live in this part of the world.

if there is enough freedom loving citizens over there, they'll take up arms and fight the oppressors eventually.
You're assuming here that everyone in the world wants an American-style democracy. I'm not saying people in the middle east all want oppressive theocracies ruling them, but our model of government won't work everywhere, and hasn't.

if they try to bother us, nuke em.
Seriously? Exactly who and where would you be nuking if there was a state-sponsored terrorist attack against us [as I'm assuming this is what you mean]? Are you going to try and nuke just those responsible for the attacks, or would you let the civilian population suffer the fallout as well? Wouldn't that be pretty terroristic of us?

But you might ask "what if the attack wasn't explicitly state-sponsored?" What if there was a large terrorist attack where a large portion of the attackers came from a certain country? Would we attack them?


I'm bracing for a flame war, being called "anti-American," etc.
 
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LineInTheSand

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I have my own feelings about Newsweek...


I read in a different publication, Foreign Policy, that we know of 30% more oil than we did 10 years ago...I'm NOT saying that there is 30% more oil, but that we know of more oil than we used to, aka, there are more known places to drill...

I'll drive in my car by myself. I'll drive my premium gas sports car, I'll drive it fast, without cruise control, and I will drive it over long distances. When Gore tells me to do my part, he can start by avoiding using planes.

It's not about using "cleaner" energy, which the kind of technology that has gone into scrubbers and cars, the stuff coming out of that tail pipe isn't all that bad.
 

Zaphod

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I'm bracing for a flame war, being called "anti-American," etc.
I'll answer the rest of your post later, but you won't get any flames like that from me, at least not based on what you posted above. :smile:
 

Zaphod

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A Ron Paul fan perhaps?
One of Ron's greatest problems: His stance on foreign policy is nothing short of naive. A shame, too, because he's right on a lot of other things. Not a good one to be wrong on, though...

The fact that the U.S. and Britain had a large part in undermining the democratic process in Iran is a big reason why they don't particularly care for us right now (50 years later).
Perhaps, and even if 100% true, it's all the more reason to have taken care of Khomeini back in 1979, and to take care of them now. If we helped make the mess, then let's clean it up already.

Well, we have several alternative energy options right now, the first of which is one many of us overlook: consume less, use less.
That's not an alternative energy option. That's a conservation strategy. There's a difference. One creates energy, the other reduces it's use. I can assure you that we will NOT conserve our way out of this and still be the nation we love.

I got a hand out in Government class last week (originally from Newsweek I think... if I find it online I'll post a link) saying that America consumes 25% of the world's oil.
So what? Look at what we DO with it. We are the engine of the rest of the world. We produce what percentage of the world's wealth, either directly or indirectly? I'll bet it's one hell of a rate of return on that 25%.

In fact, according to some 2006 statistics from http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/country/index.cfm, the U.S. was consuming almost 21 million barrels of oil per day... nearly triple that of #2, China.
I wonder what their excuse will be when China passes us in the next couple of years? :rolleyes:

It's without doubt we are, as a whole, a very wasteful people.
Perhaps, and I'll admit that there is always room for improvement and that I am no fan of wastefulness. However, I would posit that when you consider what we produce, either in actual wealth or in standard of living, with only 25% (assuming the number is valid) of the resources, I think the rest of the planet does a pretty miserable job with the remaining 75% by comparison.

Regardless, the oil in the ANWR is not sufficient to grant us total energy independence, and even if the projected amount of oil in the ANWR exceeds or meets what we need or will need in the future, it's not like it will be a cake walk to recover it.
No doubt, but every bit helps, and the technology to get it already exists. If we drilled ANWR, the coastlines, and anywhere else we could get it, combined with heavy use of nuclear and reasonable conservation/solar efforts, we COULD easily be energy independent.

Writing off an entire region and the many cultures within it because it is known for its oil is pretty closed-minded if you ask me. By saying this, you ignore the language, customs, food, music, dance, art, and people that live in this part of the world.
Very true, but when those people become a threat, their culture becomes a secondary concern. When that "culture" is mostly a 11th-Century pit of decay and human abuse, then it's hardly worth taking seriously. As a culture, they were once a shining jewel, and in isolated areas they still are. Otherwise, I see very little that's worth saving anymore.

You're assuming here that everyone in the world wants an American-style democracy. I'm not saying people in the middle east all want oppressive theocracies ruling them, but our model of government won't work everywhere, and hasn't.
So what's wrong with our system of government that we should NOT want others to enjoy it? What makes US so special? Where does anyone get off saying that it's OK for us, but YOU folks can't have it? Can you compare American democracy to Saudi monarchy, Iranian theocracy, or Iraqi dictatorship under Saddam, and actually find US lacking? Come on!

Are you going to try and nuke just those responsible for the attacks, or would you let the civilian population suffer the fallout as well? Wouldn't that be pretty terroristic of us?
Yes, it would. I must admit in all candor, however, that I have called for much the same thing. I know, deep in my heart, that I would have been severely tempted to unleash a portion of our arsenal on the afternoon of 9/11. I also know that a few days later I would have most likely suck-started my HK.

But you might ask "what if the attack wasn't explicitly state-sponsored?" What if there was a large terrorist attack where a large portion of the attackers came from a certain country? Would we attack them?
They were on the target list I had in mind, believe you me. :wink:

It's just a damned shame that so many lunatics sit astride the prime source of energy for the world. God has one hell of a sense of humor. :frown:

I'm bracing for a flame war, being called "anti-American," etc.
See? Didn't happen. :smile:
 

cadet candidate

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You're assuming here that everyone in the world wants an American-style democracy. I'm not saying people in the middle east all want oppressive theocracies ruling them, but our model of government won't work everywhere, and hasn't.
the middle east doesn't even need an american-style democracy in fact it'll never happen, but the populus of places like Iran and Iraq will eventually overthrow the government when they get tired of the tyranny of a theocracy. even if they don't overthrow the governments of they're respective countries, if they need a dictator to hold them together, i say let those countries have they're dictatorships or theocracies. this war of ideology is not worth fighting, it WILL eventually lead to WWIII and that war will be nuclear. This process will be sped up if we keep backing Israel without thinking of what the consequences in the middle east would be. If we back out of that whole region, all of our problems will be solved. This is of course all pure speculation based solely on my opinion and not really rooted in measurable facts, so take it for what it's worth.
 

cadet candidate

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i'm agreeing i think because what you said is right but a totally separate foreign policy issue that i totally disagree with (mainly the government's cold war policy of spreading democracy where ever they see fit).
 

zachogden

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This is going to take a long time. I went ahead and skipped the Ron Paul bit because that could become a huge long thread in and of itself but I will say at the very least he's the only candidate I felt comfortable voting for... so I did! Also, I'm going through these one at a time so if I sound redundant I apologize.

Perhaps, and even if 100% true, it's all the more reason to have taken care of Khomeini back in 1979, and to take care of them now. If we helped make the mess, then let's clean it up already.
My response becomes twofold: 1) How are we going to "clean up" a 30-50 year old mess without making new ones and 2) Are the taxpayers of 1979 going to be paying for this or will you and I, the taxpayers of 2008 (well, I turn 18 in 4 days so not quite me yet), be paying for it? I'm not sure our economy can handle another war right now.

That's not an alternative energy option. That's a conservation strategy. There's a difference. One creates energy, the other reduces it's use. I can assure you that we will NOT conserve our way out of this and still be the nation we love.
What is so harmful about conservation? I'm not telling you to go buy a hybrid or build a windmill or whatever, but common sense tells me that by decreasing the demand for things like oil and gas and not needing as much, we won't have to import as much and perhaps could help lower prices along the way. Keep in mind I'm a 17 year old high school student and not an economist.

So what? Look at what we DO with it. We are the engine of the rest of the world. We produce what percentage of the world's wealth, either directly or indirectly? I'll bet it's one hell of a rate of return on that 25%...Perhaps, and I'll admit that there is always room for improvement and that I am no fan of wastefulness. However, I would posit that when you consider what we produce, either in actual wealth or in standard of living, with only 25% (assuming the number is valid) of the resources, I think the rest of the planet does a pretty miserable job with the remaining 75% by comparison.
Can't argue with that, but I don't think it's right to put the future of the environment and the planet on the back burner just because we utilize our natural resources more than other countries do. In a somewhat related note, the polar bear is now a "Threatened Species" (as classified by the DoI) thanks to polar ice cap melting due to global warming as of today.


No doubt, but every bit helps, and the technology to get it already exists. If we drilled ANWR, the coastlines, and anywhere else we could get it, combined with heavy use of nuclear and reasonable conservation/solar efforts, we COULD easily be energy independent.
So then my question to you would be why wouldn't we focus our efforts on the latter options you mentioned (nuclear/solar/conservation) instead of drilling for oil in the first place? It seems to me like we're beginning a natural transition away from "dirty" fuels like oil and coal into an era of energy produced in a much more "clean" way. If this is the case, then it is logical to say that drilling for more oil (especially in such a remote, hard to reach place) would be a step in the wrong direction.


Very true, but when those people become a threat, their culture becomes a secondary concern. When that "culture" is mostly a 11th-Century pit of decay and human abuse, then it's hardly worth taking seriously. As a culture, they were once a shining jewel, and in isolated areas they still are. Otherwise, I see very little that's worth saving anymore.
Since my real name is on here, I'll keep some of my opinions regarding this to myself, but I will at the very least agree that the Middle East is no longer as progressive or advanced as it once was many years ago.


So what's wrong with our system of government that we should NOT want others to enjoy it? What makes US so special? Where does anyone get off saying that it's OK for us, but YOU folks can't have it? Can you compare American democracy to Saudi monarchy, Iranian theocracy, or Iraqi dictatorship under Saddam, and actually find US lacking? Come on!
What I'm saying is that you just can't run into a country or region and say "HERE HAVE SOME DEMOCRACY" and expect everything to go great. This brings to mind a quote from John F. Kennedy's inaugural address:

To those new states whom we welcome to the ranks of the free, we pledge our word that one form of colonial control shall not have passed away merely to be replaced by a far more iron tyranny. We shall not always expect to find them [people in other countries] supporting our view, but we shall always hope to find them strongly supporting their own freedom

Rather than forcefeed a new form of government to a people that has either never seen it or hasn't seen it for a very long time, we should help them prop up their own democracies. Could you turn right around and say "well, Zach, Saddam was killing those people! there's no way they could have brought democracy to that country without us!" Perhaps. Could I turn right around and cite instances where a people overthrew an oppressive regime to establish a government for the people? The French, Mexican, Venezuelan (and anywhere else Simon Bolivar helped liberate), Chinese, Russian and American revolutions come to mind, as does, ironically, the Iranian Revolution overthrowing The Shah.

See? Didn't happen. :smile:
I appreciate it.
 
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cadet candidate

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What is so harmful about conservation? I'm not telling you to go buy a hybrid or build a windmill or whatever, but common sense tells me that by decreasing the demand for things like oil and gas and not needing as much, we won't have to import as much and perhaps could help lower prices along the way. Keep in mind I'm a 17 year old high school student and not an economist
What we need to do is become completely independent when it comes to oil. This will lower the prices of oil in the near future, allowing us to spend more on research and development for better, cleaner burning fuels. Like you said it's kinda common sense, you don't need to be an economist to figure that out.

So then my question to you would be why wouldn't we focus our efforts on the latter options you mentioned (nuclear/solar/conservation) instead of drilling for oil in the first place? It seems to me like we're beginning a natural transition away from "dirty" fuels like oil and coal into an era of energy produced in a much more "clean" way. If this is the case, then it is logical to say that drilling for more oil (especially in such a remote, hard to reach place) would be a step in the wrong direction.
This is a one step back to take two steps forward. we gotta take care of business in the present before we think about the future.
 

Soylent

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Writing off an entire region and the many cultures within it because it is known for its oil is pretty closed-minded if you ask me. By saying this, you ignore the language, customs, food, music, dance, art, and people that live in this part of the world.
Few conflicts have been brought about by culture alone. What other geopolitical advantage is there to being involved in the middle east?
 

Soylent

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the middle east doesn't even need an american-style democracy in fact it'll never happen, but the populus of places like Iran and Iraq will eventually overthrow the government when they get tired of the tyranny of a theocracy. even if they don't overthrow the governments of they're respective countries, if they need a dictator to hold them together, i say let those countries have they're dictatorships or theocracies. this war of ideology is not worth fighting, it WILL eventually lead to WWIII and that war will be nuclear. This process will be sped up if we keep backing Israel without thinking of what the consequences in the middle east would be. If we back out of that whole region, all of our problems will be solved. This is of course all pure speculation based solely on my opinion and not really rooted in measurable facts, so take it for what it's worth.
Is a theocracy tyrannical if all of its people practice its religion?

As far as the oil is concerned, haven't some of us forgotten that a huge amount of oil was recently found off the coast of Brazil? This seemingly could solve our problems in the Middle East, but at the same time the problem could just be transferred to a different region that likes us just as little.

Democracy isn't some secret we have locked up in a cave. If a people wants democracy, they can start a revolution and achieve it. I really don't understand why people get so worked up and excited to "spread democracy". I'm not asking for a return of isolationism, but why the hell do we have to get involved in these long drawn out conflicts under the banner of "freedom"? I think we're making the same mistakes we made in Latin America by assuming that other cultures are too incompetent to achieve the way of life that we have.
 

Soylent

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While I'm still on, I have to question why is making the entire world democratic a prime directive for us? It seems like some people are still dreaming of the Cold War.
 
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