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How interested in the US elections are you?

Discussion in 'UK and Ireland' started by GreenMunchkin, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Hugely important

  2. Taking a casual interest

  3. Meh...

  4. There's an election?

Multiple votes are allowed.
Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Alexander Nevsky

    Alexander Nevsky friend of the Huns

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    I am pretty much indifferent to the US elections. Not only to the 2008 elections as I felt the same as far as I can remember myself. It makes no difference if a black person, someone who belongs to a minority, is elected for many reasons. Obama represents the interests of the oligarchy and he does not really give a toss about black people or minorities or working people and so on. If he did care about them, he would have never participated to the drollery we know as ‘elections’ in the West. Or he would have chosen instead the hard way, leave big-business parties and join a party who really cares for the lives of ordinary American people. This is not the case. Obama represents the fat cats in Wall Street and this is why he is elected (just look at the people who funded his campaign). It seems that in Western democracy this is the only way to get elected.
     
  2. Assyrian

    Assyrian Basically pulling an Obama (Thanks Calminian!)

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    It is certainly an attitude that has appealed to the church in the past, especially when they have powerful armies and are convinced of the righteousness of their cause.

    But I don't think it quite fits being a follower of Christ who said, Matt 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Of course pacifism has always been a controversial idea in the church, But even is you are not a pacifist, surely this statement says it is better talk to your enemies instead of killing hundreds of thousands of men women and children in a bloody war that probably won't solve anything?

    It doesn't even fit what Jesus thought of as sound practical advice.

    Matt 5:25 Come to terms quickly with your enemy before it is too late and you are dragged into court, handed over to an officer, and thrown in jail.

    Luke 14:31 Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2008
  3. shout2thelord

    shout2thelord adopted aussie :)

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    Its hard to negotiate with someone when their aim is your destruction. The aim of hamas is the destruction of Israel. Now when that is their end goal your not going to get anywhere. Christianity is offensive to millitant islam they want to destroy it.

    Once again there are many regions in the world like china there is no war there but torture and abuse by the government is common. So there is no peace there for those people. same in north korea and all are negotiating has made no difference. There is still no peace for those people.

    If it wasnt for ww2 we wouldnt have the freedoms we have today, negotiation didnt work it brought for chaos and discord than peace.

    Another example is rwanda there were UN peacekeepers there but they were peacekeepers so couldnt shoot anyone so they just watched as people were slaughtered - 1 million people. Military intervention could have saved so many lives.

    Peace can come from war or negotiations. but we cant stand back and do nothing.

    How many people were tortured died in Iraq while we negotiated with saddam?

    All this negotiating with kim jong il has left 2 million dead too.

    Sometimes more people die while we negotiate than when we intervene. No war is not always the answer but it has its place.

    Many christians beleive in just war. Out of my class of about 500 at Bible college only 5 people beleived you could be a complete pacifist and a christian.

    So from what ive said above i dont think that being a peacemaker means being a pacifist. so what Jesus said does fit and supports the need for just war.

    Luke 14:31 shows that first we should negotiate and then if it does not work there is reason to go to war. How many years did we negotiate with saddam while he ignored us?
     
  4. ScottishJohn

    ScottishJohn Contributor

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    You are dead wrong.

    Negotiation is the only tactic which has ever had any success against a terrorist threat.

    Force has never resolved a terrorist threat in the long term. Not once. In all of history. Most often force increases the scale and life of the problem.

    Negotiation is the only possible avenue for Israel and the Palestinians.

    Your point about WWII is also wide of the mark. What failed prior to WWII was appeasement not negotiating. That is the whole point. Giving in to Hitler and giving him exactly what he wanted was not negotiating.

    In Rwanda it was the failure of the nations of the UN to agree a mandate which tied the hands of the peacekeeping mission there.

    In Somalia when the US decided to act outwith the UN and throw it's weight around, they got torn to shreds, and the aftermath of their failure is still having repercussions in Somalia today.

    Sending in the tanks solves no problems. If it is done properly, all it does is buy time and force your opponent back to the negotiating table. Every war ends with a negotiated peace treaty. If the victor imposes terms then war is likely to break out in the future (WWI to WWII). However if both sides negotiate a peace settlement which both sides can live with, peace is more likely to follow.

    War has a place, but we resort to it far too often, and we don't follow it through properly. Iraq and Afghanistan are evidence of that. It is better to do nothing, and therefore do no harm, than to batter in and cause more trouble than existed prior to your intervention.
     
  5. shout2thelord

    shout2thelord adopted aussie :)

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    Do nothing does do harm - look at rwanda - we are responsible for a million people dying because we did nothing. The Rwandans call it the time the world forgot us.

    I think it showed us with Hitler that speaking to someone who has an aim which is against your values ie killing innocent people. you will never suceed. It was ww2 that brought peace not negotiating.

    Once again its hard to negotiate when Hamas aim is to make Israel an Islamic state. When the end goal is destruction there will be no sucess. I guess though you are sort of right the anti christ will bring a false peace in Israel before Christ returns so i presume that will happen through negotiation.

    Negotiation has its place but there is a time to use force. You forget millitant islamists want to make the world islamic and they dont care how they do it. since when has hamas or hezbollah stuck to a cease fire.

    Another example is when the phillipines prime minister tried to negotiate with terrorist group Abu Sayyaf, the wanted an area that was predominately islamic to become separate, she asked if the phillipines gave them that would they stop the terrorism, they said no we wont stop until the whole of the phillipines is a Muslim state.

    Also there hasnt been a terror attack in the US since 9/11 and im pretty sure that had nothing to do with negotiation.
     
  6. Assyrian

    Assyrian Basically pulling an Obama (Thanks Calminian!)

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    I think they have been busy in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bali, Madrid, London...
     
  7. ScottishJohn

    ScottishJohn Contributor

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    We didn't do that. Rwandans did. Since when did it become our responsibility to babysit the rest of the world? This is part of the problem we are terrible at taking care of other peoples problems. Many of the problems exist in the first place because of our previous botched attempts to fix things or run things. In Rwanda we at least did not make the situation worse. Which is what we have done elsewhere, like in Somalia.

    We could have done more in Rwanda, we certainly should have done more, but when countries like the US and the UK choose to stick their head in the sand and undermine the UN, what is there to be done. However our failure to prevent the slaughter does not make us responsible for it. That responsibility lies with the men and women of Rwanda who chose to pick up machetes and set about their neighbours.

    It was our failure to negotiate peace at the end of WWI which created hitler, and the climate in which he could come to power. WWII did not create peace. No war can create peace. WWII created the cold war, and we all spent 50 years under the threat of nuclear war. Hitler was stopped by Stalin, who was arguably worse, but happened to be on our side.

    Going in with a big stick just changes the scenery. Whatever you do in terms of force you always end up back at the negotiating table, either closer to a settlement, or further away.

    :doh:

    The IRA's goal was a united Ireland free from British rule. They negotiated away from that position, and now we have peace.

    FLQ wanted a free Quebec and negotiated away from that position. Now there is peace whereas before there were bombings and kidnappings.

    Hamas has said it would be willing to change it's charter. However any change in Hamas has to be matched by a corresponding concession from the Israeli regime.

    The goal of any terrorist group is destruction.

    To say that there will be no success is just letting yourself off the the hook.

    I already said that there are times when force is necessary. The point is that force does not resolve anything. It brings people back to the negotiating table against a changed background. The negotiation is still key to any peace.

    Some of them do.

    That doesn't really matter because they will never be successful in those aims.

    What negotiation does is cut off the support for the nutters you will never change.

    All terrorist organisations consist of extremists leading the way, and more moderate people funding and supporting. The key grievances are what draw the moderates to the cause. In the case of Ireland it was British aggression and brutality. In the case of Hamas it is Israeli oppression and illegal occupation. When these issues are resolved the support dries up and the extremists are left cut off from resources and support.

    About as many times as Israel has!! (pretty much none but this is a two way street and both sides consistently lower the bar Israel is no better than Hamas or Hezbollah.)

    It is of course easy to find example when negotiation has failed. Nooone has claimed that it is 100% successful. What you will not be able to find is an example of force providing a long term solution to a terrorist threat. Not even one example. And I have already provided two examples of success from negotiation. So even if negotiation is successful one time in a hundred, that is better than the 0 out of 100 that force can lay claim to.

    There weren't very many on that scale prior to 9/11. How often would you expect them?

    As Assyrian rightly points out, terrorist have been busy elsewhere. We could add Glasgow to that list. Pakistan.

    The fact is that as a direct result of the war on terror international terrorism has risen by a factor of thousands.

    In 1999 there were 392 Terrorist attacks worldwide, 233 people were killed.
    In 2000 there were 423 terrorist attacks worldwide, 405 people were killed.
    In 2001 there were 355 terrorist attacks worldwide, 3295 people were killed.
    In 2002 there were 195 terrorist attacks worldwide, 725 people were killed.
    In 2003 there were 208 terrorist attacks worldwide, 625 people were killed.
    In 2004 there were 651 terrorist attacks worldwide, 9321 people were killed.
    In 2005 there were more than 11,000 terrorist attacks worldwide, more than 14,500 people were killed.
    In 2006 there were more than 14,000 terrorist attacks worldwide, more than 20,000 people were killed.
    In 2007 there were more than 14,000 terrorist attacks worldwide, more than 22,000 people were killed.


    http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2000/2420.htm
    http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/20109.pdf
    http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2003/33771.htm
    http://wits.nctc.gov/reports/2004nctcchronology.pdf
    http://wits.nctc.gov/reports/crot2005nctcannexfinal.pdf
    http://wits.nctc.gov/reports/crot2006nctcannexfinal.pdf
    http://wits.nctc.gov/reports/crot2007nctcannexfinal.pdf

    This graph gives you a visual idea of the scale we are talking about. (you need to click on it!)

    (Sorry about the quality - had to get it into some kind of file CF would accept and bitmap became my option!)

    chart.jpg

    2003 was when we invaded Iraq. Between then and 2006 terrorism rose by 6730% and has yet to show any decrease. The next report will be due in April 2009 and should show a decrease based on the awakening councils in Iraq and Al Sadr's decision to continue his ceasefire. However that is more than 60,000 deaths which are in the main due to us following the policy you espouse of using force against terrorists, despite the fact that it has never worked and never will.

    This is what I mean about doing nothing meaning that we at least do no harm.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  8. MarcusHill

    MarcusHill Educator and learner

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    This illustrates another reason why I'm glad McCain and Palin lost (I'm not that fussed about Obama - he's too right wing to be electable in Europe). They are more likely to be influenced in their Middle East policies by their interpretation of their favourite book of apocalyptic prophesies. I have no problem at all with them holding their unprovable beliefs, but I have a big problem when those beliefs cause stupid foreign policy errors such as the constant and unflinching support that Israel gets from the US. I doubt that Israel would be the world's worst offender for flouting UN resolutions if it weren't for that support.
     
  9. ScottishJohn

    ScottishJohn Contributor

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    As a Christian the whole revelation interpretation thing drives me nuts.

    It is the most abused book in the bible and is consistently used to justify ridiculous actions and support for horrendous regimes like the Israeli government.

    What galls me most is that there are so many other things which are so clearly marked out as important priorities for Christians, like taking care of the sick, feeding the hungry, and so on, that are so chronically rejected while these other issues based on tenuous interpretations of a cryptic vision garner so much interest.

    Jesus did not say we would be judged on the quality of our interpretation of revelation. He did say we would be judged according to our treatment of the poorest and most vulnerable people.

    As for Palin, I don't get that at all. She is almost totally ignorant of everything a good Vice President should know (like what a Vice President does for example!) yet she seems to have gained idolatrous status for some Christians.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  10. GreenMunchkin

    GreenMunchkin Likes things. And stuff. But mostly things. Supporter

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    :eek: I had no idea! It's weird, the world feels so messed up at the moment, but it's primarily financial. It feels like terrorism is this peripheral problem that's sort of bubbling away, but isn't a real danger. Those numbers, though, are really, really bad.

    Not to derail, but why have we not heard about these 22,000 people? Or the 20,000 before that? And what about the 14,500 before that?
     
  11. MarcusHill

    MarcusHill Educator and learner

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    So it should. I think those sorts of people are definitely harming the good public image of decent, sane Christians like you. Although Palin's own statements clearly mark her out as an ill informed anti-science creationist who thinks of the conflicts in the middle east as a "holy war", I think that many people, myself included, might be put off politicians who are devout Christians simply because of the danger that they might be as nuts as she is - and the possibility that I might be unfairly prejudiced disgusts me. If that keeps good people out of power, it's bad news for all of us, Christian and otherwise.
     
  12. ScottishJohn

    ScottishJohn Contributor

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    Because a high proportion of them are Iraqis and Afghans. It would be a totally different story if they were American or even European. After all this most recent chapter was kicked off with an attack that killed less than 3000 Americans

    22,000 is just the most conservative figure. In countries like Iraq and Afghanistan there is no way of knowing an exact total, all we know is that we will find out about a fraction of the whole.

    Bear in mind as well that these figures come from the US, and have been through their mill of definitions etc etc and are likely to under represent the scale of the problem.
     
  13. shout2thelord

    shout2thelord adopted aussie :)

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    Most of these deaths occured in Iraq and Afghanistan where we are at war. sorry missed Johns post. we do here about it but obviously this is amassed over a year so you hear it each day or week. There have also been over 4000 us servicemen killed and 30,000 injured in iraq.

    It will be interestring to see this years statistics as the troop surge began last year in Iraq and has had an impact.

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2008/11/25/obamas-plan-withdraw-troops-iraq-faces-skepticism/

    Also you notice how in 2003 terrorism was down thats when there was more support for the wars. Now the terrorists see all the pressure to withdraw and they thought they could win again. which is why attacks have gone up there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  14. shout2thelord

    shout2thelord adopted aussie :)

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    sarah palin is not a literal creationist, its just one of the lies spread about her by the mainstream media.

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_Sarah_Palin_believe_that_dinosaurs_were_alive_4000_years_ago
     
  15. shout2thelord

    shout2thelord adopted aussie :)

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    The interpretation is from revelation but Daniel, you make a judgement and you dont even know the Bible :doh:

    Once again you cite more media lies about palin. you really have been watching to much BBC or CNN. It was Joe Biden that got it wrong http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,433314,00.html

    The reason why i like sarah palin on what she has actually done in government. She was willing to stand up to her own party when they were behaving unethically and resigned from her position because of it. she actually stood up to both parties and broke the power of the oil companies who were buying votes from politicians in alaska. she has been attacked for a being a woman with children who runs for office, there have been so many false rumors including attacks on her teenage daughter, the lies that trig wasnt sarahs, people saying she should have aborted trigg. she still attends church every week (which is not a racist one) not like obama who thinks he shouldnt go to church anymore. when she went home to vote did you see all the people running to hug her? Sarah seems so normal, she went to a public school didnt have much money, i can relate to her.

    On the other hand Obama has links to corruption and wont even talk about it. If you do the campaign refused to speak to those networks anymore. Also why did Obama send 500 investigators to alaska to try and dig up dirt on sarah palin. Personally i dont know how somebody can attend a racist church for 20 years and still not renounce the man who made those statements. To me it is just as offensive as having a member of the KKK as president.
     
  16. uberd00b

    uberd00b The Emperor has no clothes.

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  17. GreenMunchkin

    GreenMunchkin Likes things. And stuff. But mostly things. Supporter

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    Apparently there were only ("only") 45 terrorist attacks in the west... so, to the west, they aren't an issue. I feel so ashamed that I didn't know. What are we saying about the world? That life is somehow of less value if the life isn't western. Ugh :( So messed up.

    Hey. No, if you read the document for 2007, it specifies what they consider terrorist attacks, and the war isn't included... (although, not to regress the debate 7 years, but it's still valid to debate whether the entire war isn't one massive terrorist attack.)

    But you raise an intersting point: we can hear about tens of Iraqi citizens being killed, and we barely bat an eyelid; we hear about one soldier being killed, and it hurts. Why do we have that disconnect?

    As to the amount of soldiers our contries have lost, it's just time to bring them home now.

    The document said something that's very relevant to an earlier part of the conversation, too:
    We can never underestimate the value of peace talks. They will ALWAYS be better than going in with "shock and awe" :(
     
  18. ScottishJohn

    ScottishJohn Contributor

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    As far as I can see the surge has had very limited impact. There are two other major factors which have had some impact. One is the Sunni awakening councils, which are likely to disappear as soon as the Americans dissappear, and the other is Al Sadr's ceasefire which correlated 100% with a drop in violence in Iraq. The surge started in January / February, the violence continued until Al Sadr called a ceasefire in August. His ceasefire was self imposed and nothing to do with his ability to operate as we say at the beginning of this year. He is biding his time until the US lose patience and wander off leaving the job half done like they did in Afghanistan.

    lol.

    No, that was before the terrorists began fighting in Iraq. Read up on the Chronology. Lok at the casualty and statistics for Iraq. The fight didn't really start until 2004 - after bremer had dissolved the police, the military, left arms dumps unguarded all over Iraq and handed out $18 billion to anyone who held out their hands. The US created a power vaccuum and then armed and funded their oponents!

    The attacks have increased steadily year on year, and by a factor of almost 7000% since we invaded.

    I don't think the terrorists watch fox. Noone told them they would fail. I don't think people who believe they are going to get huge rewards from Allah if they die fighting for him are too bothered about whether some of us several thousand miles away think they can win or not.
     
  19. ScottishJohn

    ScottishJohn Contributor

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    lol

    Well, first of all, I was resonding to Marcus who I assumed was referencing revelation when he spoke about the 'favourite book of apocalyptic prophesies' of the Christian right.

    Secondly, if I had been addressing your post, it would demonstrate my lack of comprehensive knowledge of wacky off the page interpretations, not with the Bible.

    Thirdly, you didn't really give us much to go on as to where you were drawing this particular interpretation from. I am quite happy with my familiarity with the bible, for example, I can inform you that the only books in the bible in which the word antichrist appears are 1 John and 2 John - the word doesn't appear in Daniel.

    That's hilarious - media lies and then citing fox. Fox is owned by a man who has admited using his news empire to try and influence world events.

    As for Biden, maybe he did get it wrong, maybe he was actually making a point about the role of the VP and got some details wrong, like it was article two and not article one! O my goodness! He at least did not stand there and ask what the VP did! Which is what Palin did.
     
  20. shout2thelord

    shout2thelord adopted aussie :)

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    If we bring the soldiers home now then many more Iraqis will die the whole war will have been for nothing, they will go back to living under opression. we dont really hear much about servicemen killed on the news we only hear about Iraqis.

    how many years of negotiation did we have with iraq while people continued to be murdered every year.

    I did look at the statistics and most of the deaths came from Iraq and Afghanistan, they may have been terror attacks but they are still war zones and that is the kind of war we are fighting now, against car bombs.

    I do think we were responsible for rwanda because we had the power to stop the deaths of a million people and we didnt.

    "The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing." Albert Einstein

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

    In terms of social justice i dont think thats the governments responsibility but the churches. I sponsor a child through compassion and hopefully when i earn a bit more will be able to sponsor another. Through my former church in australia we sponsored a village of children through compassion. There are many examples but that is just one.
     
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