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I don't usually become involved in political discussions here, and I don't plan on starting now. It just doesn't work for me. I do better in person, with real time give and take.
But then again, a few of the more recent "political" threads haven't really been about politics anyway.

I stayed away as long as I could, but feel the need to comment briefly on some of what's being typed about.

The first thing I notice is that there appears to be some kind of indictment of democracy going on. Which is fine - one of the cool things about democracy is that it is able to support differing viewpoints. If, for instance, you consider youself say.........a fascist, communist, member of the American Nazi Party, etc. - that's okeedokee as far as democracy goes. Everybody gets a vote. With this most recent presidential election here in the States, the majority of voters elected George Bush, as did the electoral college. The process - the democratic process, worked. One person received more votes than anybody else. That person is the winner. That's how democracy works. Perhaps the most interesting feature of this election is that, once again, the Democrats coud not field a winning candidate. Which borders on amazing really, considering all they had to do was come up with somebody to beat George Bush. It's almost as if there is some kind of self-defeating plan at work there. I mean, how can you NOT find somebody who could get more votes than Bush?
Regardless, the process worked. To say Bush was elected due to some perceived lack of intelligence of the voting public is similar to picking up your ball after losing the big game and going home in a pout. That's not in any way a statement that the U.S. voting public is particularly bright, by the way. Comments in some of the threads going here discount that thought straight away.

Crying and whining about who won or didn't serves no purpose. This particular game is complete. If your fav didn't win - get over it. Either that or move to a non-democratic country. I hear Cuba is nice this time of year. The rest of us need to work with the results though. This brings to mind recent comments made regarding U.S. involvement in Iraq, for instance. Aside from clearly showing that at least some individual voters are borderline morons...........the bottom line is, we are deeply involved in Iraq. How or why we got there became unimportant soon after it happened. Complaining about it at this point is childish at best, and a complete waste of time. What we need to focus on now is - how do we get out? Yes, it's easy to point fingers and blame everybody for the mess, but again - that doesn't help. And history only repeats itself you know. What in the world were we doing in Vietnam? Korea? etc. etc. etc.
For those of you who may have been in a coma the last two years or so: A brief simplification of our reasons for being in Iraq right now might be.........we had just been attacked on our own soil. The bloodlust of our citizens required we identify and pursue a bad guy. And there was Sadaam, waiting with open arms. Then of course there is the little matter of oil. Oil that we westerners consume at obscene rates, i.e. sometimes that means we have to fight to make sure we can continue our attempts to satisfy our insatiable desires.

Whatever though........oh well. We are there now, and need to figure out how to gracefully leave. I'm assuming most would agree it would be nothing short of insane to just box up our tanks and come home. The vacuum that would cause would throw the entire region into turmoil, likely drawing in neighboring coutnries such as Iran, Syria, etc. That would not be a good thing. Particularly since it would make a very powerful group of terrorists called the Israeli government very nervous. And they are definitely the kind to shoot first and ask questions later.
Our attempts to shove democracy down the throats of a society not used to such a process is proving difficult, to say the least. No, I think we will be there for many years to come.

So how do we eventually get out? I don't know. However, that is what needs to be thought about now, not why we got there to begin with.

But none of this is what these recent threads have been about. Not really anyway. No, I think they have been more along the lines of...........thinly disguised, disappointingly clumsy attempts at provacation. Made by people who need somewhere to point their anger. Their fear. People who somehow get off by tapping into other's latent negative energy. People who are frustrated, angry, and afraid. Looking for easy targets. Certianly U.S. politics and policies maker for easy targets. Part of that is due to the fact that we have the kahonies to actually do something sometimes. Unlike our "friends" the French, who just didn't think it was right to drag the U.N. members into Iraq. Even though they are now begging for U.N. assistance with their own little skirmish in the Ivory Coast (sorry, got off-track there. Two-faced colonialists piss me off though).
Anyway, it's boring looking for someone to blame all the time. Wah wah, it's his fault, it's her fault, it's their fault. Complaining, hating - while offering nothing constructive. No positive suggestions. No ideas on what to do that might actually help. Even going to the length of coming out publicly against democracy. Denouncing democracy - freedom.
All because of their own hate. Anger. Fear. And - lack of courage to propose something that might actually have a positive impact.
What is wrong with society? Easy answer to that one: people. Too many people caught up in their own rage to think of the larger picture. To angry - too afraid, to offer solutions.

History repeating itself. It's always been that way. And always will be.
For those of you who seem opposed to the democratic form of government, tell us when you find something better.
Somehow I don't think we will be hearing from you anytime soon.
 

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You comment briefly in a very lengthy way. Ill try to keep it brief as well. Just two points.

Even though they are now begging for U.N. assistance with their own little skirmish in the Ivory Coast (sorry, got off-track there. Two-faced colonialists piss me off though).
Thing is the French were invited into the Cote D'Ivoire in the first place to keep peace between the rebels and government (i cant think of anything obvious they had to gain apart from security). Of course the wisdom of using the former colonial power to keep the peace is questionable, but the fact remains that the situation vis a vis Iraq is quite different regarding the role of the UN than that of the French mission. The situation would be better compared to the British deployment to Sierra Leone in 1999 (though the French appear to have become more embroiled in events).

Complaining, hating - while offering nothing constructive. No positive suggestions. No ideas on what to do that might actually help. Even going to the length of coming out publicly against democracy. Denouncing democracy - freedom.
All because of their own hate. Anger. Fear. And - lack of courage to propose something that might actually have a positive impact.
What is wrong with society? Easy answer to that one: people. Too many people caught up in their own rage to think of the larger picture. To angry - too afraid, to offer solutions
I would agree that hatred should preferably have no place in this forum (cetainly not hatred between forum members) but complaining is really an integral part of discussing politics and international relations, like it or not. People have different political views and national perspectives and im sure always will. I think its a bit much to expect people in this forum to arrive at solutions for currently intractable problems such as the governance of Iraq. This isnt very likely to be a crucible of new international political theory much as i would love it to be. If people disagree with something then saying so and explaining why is surely an exercise of that 'freedom' you appear to cherish. Whats more, to the extent that intelligent disagreement might even dissuade people of the wisdom of their former views it might even be helpful.

Yes complaining can be helpful, even vital.

Complaints can effect changes in a democratic society and highlight inconsistencies, injustices and ineffective management. What audibly characterises an authoritarian state is a lack of public complaint.
 

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sc said:
But none of this is what these recent threads have been about. Not really anyway. No, I think they have been more along the lines of...........thinly disguised, disappointingly clumsy attempts at provacation. Made by people who need somewhere to point their anger. Their fear. People who somehow get off by tapping into other's latent negative energy. People who are frustrated, angry, and afraid. Looking for easy targets. Certianly U.S. politics and policies maker for easy targets. Part of that is due to the fact that we have the kahonies to actually do something sometimes.
:roll: Where do you get this stuff from? I'm sure none of the invective stems from the fact that what has been going on in the White House for the past 4 years has been an exercise in Luciferian morality. I mean, c'mon sc. Debate people...make your points...but don't play the in-house psychologist.

Oh yeah, and i think it's funny when people associate starting wars with manhood (a reference to "kahonies"). If i go beat up someone does that mean i have big kahonies as well?

Anyway, i don't know what to say here. I agree with what =n wrote (although i have no idea how to read his moniker). Debating issues like this is the very essence of democracy...that institution which you seem to think dissenters would rather do without.

s.

p.s. The whole point of the argument about Iraq is that the US shouldn't have gone there in the first place. I would never presume to suggest a way for them to now "get out cleanly". I frankly don't see how it can be done. Hence, forethought. Hence, alliances. To share the military, economic, and ethical burden. That's why you don't commit your country's military and economy to nation-build in the middle of the [email protected]#$ing desert. I still don't see why anyone would vote for someone, again, who would do this on their behalf.
 

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I don't know what it is, but i have absolutely no desire to see "Alexander". I remember learning about him in history class back in the day and thinking, Damn, i'd love to see a movie about this. But Oliver Stone...Colin Farrel...i don't know, who cares...i think i'll read the book instead.

s.
 

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I don't know why these producers and directors keep casting these Hollywood heartthrobs/pretty boys in these epic roles. I just have trouble taking them seriously. I don't think I've even seen a movie with Colin Farrel in it besides "Phone Booth" and hell of a movie that was...and Brad Pitt in Troy. On both of the TV trailers of these movies you hear some terrible accent from Brad Pitt and an Irish/Greek accent from Colin Farrell. And getting a sneak peek at their golden locks is enough to make me vomit.

Maybe they are trying to make these characters more mythic and god-like than they already are.

Brad Pitt has been good in some stuff. He was good in Twelve Monkeys, A River Runs Through It, and fun stuff like Ocean's Eleven. But, Colin Farrell as Alexander the Great? Whatever. That guy is better known for being a Hollywood bad boy and getting with Britney Spears than any film he's been in.

I'm convinced the only people who fill these epic roles well are actors that are somewhat unknown. There are no pretensions then. Even though Russel Crowe was nominated an Oscar for The Insider the year before Gladiator, he wasn't really a household name yet.
 
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