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  1. #26
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    The United States does not engage in nation building. We can't just roll in and take over becuase it will create a power vacuum that will/could be devastating! So as soon as the UN/rebel factions get there act together and come to an agreement on transitional gov't, I'm sure some of the things you have mentioned will happen. Until then, we can't let the Taliban recover and that is what would happen with a one time bombing. Consistent bombing keeps them off balance.

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  2. #27
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    On the contrary, Sketch, it is when we do become involved in nation building that we are best off in the long run - Germany, Japan, and Korea to name a few.

    The fact that we cleared out of Afghanastan is in large measure the reason for problems today. However, are original goal there wasn't so much to help Afghanastan, but to hurt the Russians.
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  3. #28
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    I'm not arguing pros and cons, for or against. I'm just saying that we don't, as a matter of policy, engage in nation building...not unilaterally. We participate in UN and NATO nation building missions, Bosnia, Kosovo, etc, but as a matter of policy, we don't have anymore MacArthur era Japan's....

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  4. #29
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Why is it “Them” and “Us”?
    Well, because “Them” says it’s “Them” and “Us.” Of course, form “Them”’s perspective it’s “Us” and “Them.” Besides, “Them” and “Us” are perfectly valid, if a bit generic, pronouns. How would you describe it?

    The terrorists call themselves Muslims; a lot of people in America take them at face value. I don’t, though. I’d have preferred if we never acknowledged that they call themselves Muslims—they’re not to me. The American bombing lets up slightly on Fridays. I think that’s a mistake. Many want the bombings to stop over Ramadan. I’m glad the administration chose not to do that.

    I, really, don’t think that most Americans blame Islam for this. We recognize that Muslims form a very important part of the global society. Islam is the fastest growing religion in America—it forms a very important part if the American society, as well. Something else you may know about, is that at every opportunity, President Bush, Mrs. Bush, and just about everyone else has made clear that the 9/11 attacks had little to do with Islam. No one that anyone else listens to is seeking to use the attacks as an excuse for xenophobia and religious “crusades”—quite the opposite, actually.

    And, to be perfectly, honest (like I haven’t been), the U.S. gives Muslims in general and our enemies much more credit than the international community seems to. We figure that the Taliban are big boys and girls—oops, just big boys—and they are well equipped to cope with the “hardships” we inflect on them. Otherwise, there’s an easy solution: turn over Al Qeada. As for Muslims, you seem to think that the entire religion is just one big happy family. Muslims aren’t as monolithic as you’ve portrayed them to be. Frankly, I don’t think that most Muslims, really, care about “Israel's 34-year illegal military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza” as much as it’s been suggested. Don’t people have more important things to worry about?

    As for comparing the I.R.A. and Al Qeada, I’d like to quote you: “Luckily no one was hurt…” The I.R.A. is mainly a group of disenfranchised teenagers and adults with severe mental illnesses. They’re pretty inept, too. How many has this group killed in the passed few decades? About 1,000 if my facts are straight, I could be wrong, though. How many have Al Qeada killed in half that time, try nearly 7 fold what the I.R.A. has been able to muster up. They don’t compare at all. They’re both terrorists and vile, but they just don’t compare.

    …the only muslims that get any publicity are the fanatics, which just makes things worse.
    Well, we agree. Though, I think this phenomenon is much more prevalent in international media as American media is trying pretty damn hard to prevent hysteria and hatred. Then again, most of the people that get on the news are fanatics and militants—fanatic Muslims, fanatic Americans. That’s the nature of the news.

    BTW, the Great White Infidel is just one of the many names that bin Laden and his gang has given the U.S. There’s also the White Satan, or the Great White Satan, Satan Incarnate, among others. I think that’s funny since were the most diverse country on Earth, but I guess only the white people count.

    “None of us here in America, with the exception possibly of Jigga, want to have civilian causalities.” — That’s not the impression I get, as Apen said he “could care less”.
    Indifference and intention are two different things. Most Americans know that causalities are an inevitable side effect of war. War’s ugly. Still, it doesn’t mean that Americans want civilian causalities, as evidenced by the fact we’re doing everything in our power to avoid civilian causalities.

    Ooh that’s the fist time I’ve been called a foreigner…
    Sorry, Kamran, I didn’t mean to offend you or anyone else. From my perspective, here in the U.S., you are a foreigner—you don’t live in America. From your perspective I’m probably a foreigner, too. Anyway, it wasn’t meant as in insult; it was more of a flip remark than anything else. I was, also, trying to highlight the fact that you really can’t know how Americans feel about this.

    For two weeks after the 9/11 attacks, Americans spent a lot of time drawing direct lines to the victims. You’d be hard pressed to find an American who can’t find that line(s). In my case, I can draw a line to a victim in the Pentagon (a child).

    BTW, the numbers 9, 1, 1 are important to Americans, too. That’s our emergency phone number to get fire, police, or E.M.T. (I don’t know if it is in the U.K.). That takes on even more significance since so many of the victims were these special civil servants.

    Another thing that you probably don’t understand is the fact that America has just been through one of the most tragic events in our history. We expect that the international community to be supportive of America right now, however, many are any thing but supportive. And when that lack of support comes from our closest ally in the form of “well, you brought it upon your self” especially since we didn’t… Well, it’s like putting salt into an open wound—it hurts. So you can see now why we Americans have been a little defensive right now, can’t you?

  5. #30
    SitePoint Zealot Kamran's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Rkuhle – What I meant by the government was have a coalition (I should have written it better) – with representatives of each group in Afghanistan. There are people who have beliefs from one extreme to another; they need a government that represents all these.

    Ian Glass – First thanks for taking the time to write that.

    I would prefer (and I’m sure many other Muslims would) you call them fanatics – rather than just Muslims. That’s what they are; they are taking their “beliefs” to the extreme.

    The thing with the IRA is, they do target civilians too – it might be on a smaller scale, but it’s the same thing. The bomb in Birmingham didn’t cause as much damage as it could of, because it didn’t detonate properly (thankfully). Although that was meant to be the work of the Real IRA.

    The UK use 999 rather than 911.

    I can see why your defensive, but it doesn’t give certain people (not you) the right to say/do some of the things I’ve heard/seen.

    I’ve tried my best to try and see things from both sides. I am a Muslim, yet I was born and raised in the UK. When it happened on September 11th, I was in shock, as were most people. On the Friday, (our equivalent to Sundays for Christians) I went to the Mosque, and we all did a prayer for all the victims as well as the usual one for the Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine etc (as I’m sure the majority of Mosques did in the UK).

    I could not see how anyone could do something like that. That’s what got me trying to find out why the terrorists hate America so much. I’ve read a lot over these past few months – and have seen views by a lot of people – from one extreme to another. I’m trying to understand each side.

    But I do think the American Foreign policy issue needs to be addressed – I’ve heard it mentioned so many times. I’ve even heard British aid agencies talk about it is – so I will not accept “they just jealous of us”.

    I’ll just finish off with this;

    I remember thinking (before Sept11) how the world was becoming more integrated – no matter what race, colour, culture – people were working, eating and socialising with one another. It was nice to see, and I thought in another 100 years, I bet the world would be a much better place (less prejudice etc). I really thought peoples views had changed from the ignorance that was once widespread. How wrong was I! I’ve seen people say some of the most ignorant/racist remarks over the last month, some disguised as being patriotic, others just blatant racism. This act was committed my a few terrorists – yet certain people feel the need to blame an entire religion and its followers.

    I still stick by my original post, and thank those that took part.

    I’ll still look back, in case anyone’s posted anything, but it could go on forever

  6. #31
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    So it sounds like you want to storm in and tell them what kind of government to have. Am I reading this right? Yet you say the US has foreign policy problems!

    I will not support this at all. Who do you think you are trying to decide what type of government a certain country or nation should have? Have you lived in Afghanistan? Do you know the literacy rate? Do you know what it takes to run a successful representative government?

    All of this boils down to education. If you haven't noticed, the people of Afghanistan are hardly educated. Very few can actually read. They don't know how to boil water for purification. They won't even bathe their babies when they're born, in fear of them catching colds (reminds me of the Middle Ages). Yet you think they'll be able to run a representative government, I highly doubt it.

    The larger tribes would win any and every election. Making life on the other people even harder.

    About the Muslim fanatic thing, don't worry, we do refer to them as Muslim fanatics. I just refer to them as demented fanatics. I don't feel that religion has anything to do with it, it's just being used as a tool to win over the peoples opinion. It's so unfortunate that the people (hardly educated) are being brain-washed into believing something that is so far from the truth.

    But I do think the American Foreign policy issue needs to be addressed – I’ve heard it mentioned so many times. I’ve even heard British aid agencies talk about it is – so I will not accept “they just jealous of us”.
    Why won't you accept it? It's the truth. Everything psychologically points to it and nothing else. What other reasons would they hate us so much? Do they hate us because we send them food and aid? No, they hate us because we don't send them enough for everyone.

    The people of the third world countries are jealous. They see us with computers, cars, food, and new clothes and they wonder why they don't have any. They see our troops coming into their countries (when requested) and they become scared. They see the soldiers shooting and fighting with their own people and begin to hate us. It's called relative deprivation, the Pakistani leader even admits this.
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  7. #32
    SitePoint Zealot Kamran's Avatar
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    "Who do you think you are trying to decide what type of government a certain country or nation should have? "

    Its called a suggestion.

    "The larger tribes would win any and every election. Making life on the other people even harder. "

    Thats why I said there should be a representative government.

    I still stand by everything I said. We'll have to agree to disagree.

  8. #33
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Kamran

    But I do think the American Foreign policy issue needs to be addressed – I’ve heard it mentioned so many times. I’ve even heard British aid agencies talk about it is – so I will not accept “they just jealous of us”.
    I'm calling your bluff, Kamran....

    Can you tell me what the American foreign policy is or are you rattling off heresay mumbo-jumbo from the press? Can you cite the policy's weaknesses and strengths? Can you tell me what the purpose is of the American Foreign Policy? Can you tell me what the perspective is that implemented the foreign policy?

    Frankly, I don't think you can answer any of these questions. All except the first are really not so important to my point. My point is, you have no idea what the American foreign policy is. If you do, let's hear it...

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  9. #34
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    American foreign policy is, in short, to try and do things that benefit America. In foreign places.
    There's more to it, and humanitarian sideshow stuff of course, but that is American foreign policy in a nutshell.
    Anyone who thinks this is just about foreign people being jealous of the US is being laughably under-informed and ridiculously over-simplistic about the situation. And foolishly arrogant.

  10. #35
    SitePoint Evangelist thewitt's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Polymath
    American foreign policy is, in short, to try and do things that benefit America. [clip]
    Talk about being ridiculously over-simplistic!

    -t

  11. #36
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Polymath
    American foreign policy is, in short, to try and do things that benefit America.
    This is the foreign policy of every government including the UK, to benefit themselves. Be more specific.

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  12. #37
    Digital Warrior Renegade's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Sketch

    This is the foreign policy of every government including the UK, to benefit themselves. Be more specific.

    Sketch
    Yeah, America is not the only one. Time to get off your high-horse
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  13. #38
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    No reply to my answer, Kamran? Didn't think so. Ignorance is bliss, ain't it?

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  14. #39
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    American foreign policy is, in short, to try and do things that benefit America.
    So what. What country is completely and totally altruistic in their policies? Do we deserve to be hated because we give to good causes and not all?

    …I will not accept “they just jealous of us”.
    Neither do I. I don’t think most people in the world care about the U.S.’s wealth until someone says “Hay, they’re rich because their holding us back!” They’d have reason to dislike us if it were true—but it’s not.

    The people who say that sort of thing use it to advance political ambitions. Either to cover their own ineptitude at running a country, or to wage crusades in order to fan their Napoleonic complexes. It’s not a matter of “they’re jealous” but, rather, they’re told to be. That’s how Al Qeada recruits troops; it’s how the Saudi royal family stays in power. And, it’s a poly that’s been used for millennia.

    The U.S. isn’t a target because we’re evil imperialistic infidels. We’re a target because we’re here; we’re convenient. That’s all there is to it. America is, simply, not responsible for the state of other countries—those who live in them are.

  15. #40
    SitePoint Zealot Kamran's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Uni work comes first.

    Sorry I didn’t realise there was a 3hr time limit.

    If you read my previous posts, you would have seen some of the issues I have with America’s foreign policy.

    Basically the idea of the foreign policy is to keep an eye on foreign countries, in regard to America. This can involve issues such as any threats, alliances, humanitarian issues etc. Obviously any actions taken due to “threats” can come under this too – i.e. sanctions

    I know that isn’t the best definition, but I’m not very good with words. Anyway that’s my perception of it.

    Weaknesses? (taken from various sources)
    * The U.S. has supported hard-line Islamic movements and governments, such as the Saudi Arabia regime, which have encouraged extremist movements elsewhere.

    * U.S. support for repressive governments makes democratic and non violent options for the Islamic opposition extremely difficult.

    * Neo-liberal economic development strategies—vigorously encouraged by the U.S.—have resulted in widespread economic dislocation, which has in turn encouraged the growth of radical Islamic movements.

    * America’s backing of the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

    America has used the threat of Islamic fundamentalism as a justification for keeping a high military, economic, and political profile in the Middle East. Yet it has often supported Muslim hard-liners when they were perceived to enhance U.S. interests, as they did in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.

    My main problem is that many of the sanctions on countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan effect the civilians but not the leaders. Some starve to death, others die through lack of medicine.

    “American support for Iraq in its eight years of war with Iran (1980-88) in which hundreds of thousands of people died. Many Iranians believe Washington encouraged Saddam to invade Iran in order to puncture the Islamic revolution, and provided him with intelligence and other help for many years.
    When Saddam later invaded Kuwait and threatened US oil interests, the picture changed. The US sponsored and invoked UN resolutions to cover a massive Western intervention, having ignored many other resolutions relating to Palestine and Israel's invasion of Lebanon. The image of cynicism and double standards is widely held.”

    America have helped Osama, Saddam and Israel, yet who are the people paying for it? Civilians.

    I’m sure there are positive aspects to the policy, as I’ve said before, but when it comes down to it, human rights violations matter more (to me anyway).

  16. #41
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    Kamran, I knew you couldn't stay away from a good debate...

  17. #42
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    What are the sources? What perspective are they champining?

    Let me answer the points you have made:
    * The U.S. has supported hard-line Islamic movements and governments, such as the Saudi Arabia regime, which have encouraged extremist movements elsewhere.
    The US gets involved where asked to intervene. They also look out for their interests and allies, as does every government on earth.
    * U.S. support for repressive governments makes democratic and non violent options for the Islamic opposition extremely difficult.
    The U.S. Does not have a policy that says either you are an ally or you are an enemy, with the exception of this war on terrorism. Just because we don't impose sanctions, or bomb the life out of them, etc, does not mean that Uncle Sam is in bed with thjese countries either. We only get involved when our interests or our allys require attention, again...same as every other country on earth.
    * Neo-liberal economic development strategies—vigorously encouraged by the U.S.—have resulted in widespread economic dislocation, which has in turn encouraged the growth of radical Islamic movements.
    I'm not sure what you are saying here? Are you talking about the incredible economic growth of the last decade? If so, how has that affected the growth of radical Islamic elements?
    * America’s backing of the illegal military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.
    How is it illegal occupation? There is no such thing as a Palestinian state and according to the 1948 UN agreement, the Gaza Strip and West Bank, and the Golan Heights for that matter (which Israel gave up, but didn't need to) are all part of the Israeli state. That makes it legal. What makes it illegal? Yasser Arafat saying so? I don't think so. If that's the case, I want Puerto Rico as America's 51st State and Washington DC as it's 52nd.

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  18. #43
    SitePoint Wizard Ian Glass's Avatar
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    I've already said this before, but I’m happy to say it again. The United States is not responsible for the status of other countries. That’s the responsibility of their people and their governments. I, for one, refuse to be held responsible for some leaders ineptitude and some people’s unwillingness to do something about it.

    And as for the argument “…U.S. support for repressive governments makes democratic and non violent options for the Islamic opposition extremely difficult…” That’s a bunch of hogwash! I’d like to point out America’s revolutionary war. Repressive regimes always make democratic and non-violent options difficult—not America. If these peoples need to escape from oppressive regimes, go ahead—fight away. But, fight the regime, not America. BTW if these freedom fighters ask nicely, they may even be able to get American support, but ask nicely, now.

    The U.S. does support our interests. Stability is in our interests. The CIA fronted money through the Pakistani intelligence service, who supported the Taliban after the previous government faltered. The Taliban was the only viable option on the table at the time.

    The Iranian government was an uncooperative threat to America. Why should we have gotten involved in their battles? That’s not the U.S.’s job. The Kuwaiti government, on the other hand, was responsive to America and—this is key—asked us to help. It’s not shocking to me that we’d defend our friends and do nothing for our enemies. That’s common since, and something you, on a personal level, do every day: You’re in school, if someone, who has been antagonistic to you all year, were to suddenly need your help on a question during a test, would you take that risk? How ‘bout for a friend?

    It’s not that we like fanatical and abusive regimes. It’s that those were either already present, or they were the only viable regimes at the time. It’s all about stability--period; end of sentence. For more on my feelings on American policy, I’ll direct you to what I’ve already said in this thread, aptly entitled US Foreign Policy: http://www.sitepointforums.com/showt...threadid=35889.

  19. #44
    Fried Gold Polymath's Avatar
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    thewitt: "Talk about being ridiculously over-simplistic!"
    Nope, it's a fact, it doesn't matter how simple it is.

    Renegade:"Yeah, America is not the only one. Time to get off your high-horse."
    Who said the US is the only one? I'm not on any kind of horse. I'm stating the obvious - which is that 'Good for America' doesn't mean good for everyone, and some people will get pissed off, rightly or wrongly.

    Sketch:"This is the foreign policy of every government including the UK, to benefit themselves. Be more specific."
    No need, the point is obvious. Sure you back your friends up and do what you need to, but at the same time you make enemies. This has nothing to do with other nations being jealous. My entire point.

    But no, obviously it's because these foreigners are jealous, yah, sure. American foreign policy surely can't be anything to do with it, can it? Tsch!

  20. #45
    SitePoint Zealot Kamran's Avatar
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    Hi,

    Ian – To be honest, I hate debating Its just since Sept 11th, I’ve read so much info online, and this is something I feel very strongly about (never felt like this with anything else before).

    I deliberately used American/UK sources, as anything else wouldn’t be good enough.

    Sources:

    http://www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org...slam_body.html (main source for my previous post)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/wor...00/1552900.stm
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/wtccrash/s...551086,00.html

    Sketch – I wouldn’t expect you (or Ian) or any other American to understand the Palestine/Israel conflict, as all the US media is completely one sided on that matter.

    “Worst of all is the US media, completely cowed by the fearsome Israeli lobby, with commentators and anchors spinning distorted reports about "crossfire" and "Palestinian violence" that eliminate the fact that Israel is in military occupation and that Palestinians are fighting it, not "laying siege to Israel", as the ghastly Mrs Albright put it. While the US celebrates the Serbian people's victory over Slobodan Milosevic, Clinton and his minions refuse to see the Palestinian insurgency as the same kind of struggle against injustice.”

    (Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Sto...380919,00.html )

    That’s not the only place I’ve seen criticism of the US media, regarding the Israel/Palestine issue – I’ve seen it on numerous sites.

    It IS illegal, because Israel have taken over land that was not supposed to belong to them. Palestinians had no choice in the matter – they were forced out. The UN Security Council Resolution 242 requires Israel to withdraw to pre-1967 borders and return all captured land in return for peace with its Arab neighbours. However, the US has vetoes any effective action to follow up, leaving the UN powerless.

    I recommend you reading the following (if you can handle the truth):

    http://www.globalissues.org/Geopolit.../Palestine.asp

    Kam
    Last edited by Kamran; Nov 9, 2001 at 12:34.

  21. #46
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy TheOriginalH's Avatar
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    I am no longer engaging in this debate (honest), but this quote from the front page of the site referenced by Kamran applies equally to us all, so I thought I'd share:

    "If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence." -- Bertrand Russell, in "Roads to Freedom"
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  22. #47
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    The Taliban also said they would hand him over to a neutral country for a trial, but the US government refused.
    Hand over to Switzerland a man suspected for crimes against the United States? That's quite possibly the stupidest idea I've ever heard.

    It IS illegal, because Israel have taken over land that was not supposed to belong to them. Palestinians had no choice in the matter – they were forced out.
    Technically true, but misleading. Israel took over territory from surrounding countries because THE COUNTRIES INVADED THEM. And the Palestineans were forced out because the invading countries told them to leave temporarily while the invading countries 'drive the Jews into the sea'. Too bad their plans for Holocaust #2 didn't work out, and they lost some territory in the process.

  23. #48
    Fine Tuned silver trophy KC's Avatar
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    I don't see any solution or answers when we're talking about war, killing, destruction.

    The AL Queda's primary goal is destruction, period. When they talk about nuclear war, biological and chemical warfare, they're talking about the destruction of the world. When the first nuclear warhead hits it's target, the ramnifications will be far greater than what we're dealing with now. When the first attack of biological/chemical warfare strikes, many, many, innocent people will die.

    I'm sad too at the thought of innocent people dying, regardless if its in war or even a car accident. But this is a fact of life, and so will be as long as you and I live. One thing is for sure, nuclear war heads exist, biological/chemical warfare exist, war is inevitable and death is imminent.

    Now if there was only a way to brainwash people into being kind.....

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    Originally posted by URAlly
    Now if there was only a way to brainwash people into being kind.....
    We could play reruns of The Brady Bunch.
    Ryan Kuhle - A Proud Advisor - Got Questions? Just Ask!
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  25. #50
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    Wait a minute. I didn't say anything about brainwashing people to be nerds.


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