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support oue military men and women!

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kuntrygirl View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kuntrygirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2003 at 7:33pm
Hi! I''m not going to get in to political arguments...to be honest..I didn''t even read most of the lengthy posts. I just wanted to say, not only do our troops need support...they need our prayers! The troops and their families. I''ve had several people that I know (5 to be exact) be sent overseas..2 of which have already died. they''re families and I (they were really close friends of mine) are absolutely devastated. Pray for the quick and safe return of our troops. I support the president and believe his cause is just, but I hope it''s over soon. God bless you all.
Sarah <3
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Lady Maria View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lady Maria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 25 2003 at 8:51pm
I'm sorry that your friends were killed. Were they killed in a recent conflict?

In this war that is going on now?



I hope the war is over soon too withas few deaths as possible on either side.

I know many of us have friends or relatives over there. It is a difficult time but America has lost people many times before and we always seem to get through it.
Lady Maria
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uzma View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uzma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2003 at 12:25am
My sympathies to you Sarah. I hope this war is over soon with a minimum of casualties on either side.

My sympathies also to the un-named 600 in Guatanamo. Held for over a year without a trial and without hope. They and their families (who must be so distressed not knowing if their sons are dead or alive or how they are being treated) are undergoing a torture I would not wish upon anyone.

My sympathies also to those Americans who have been captured by the Iraqis. I hope they are treated well and sent home to their families. At least we know who they are.

For those who didn't understand my last post - I seem only to be getting through to Lady Maria - Yes - it was sarcasm and cynicism (I had that kind of day).

I am not bitter. I am hopeful.
This life is fairly short. Each of us is heading towards our death and those of us who have faith believe that we will be judged and held accountable for our deeds.
We try and tell the truth and do justice in this world, but if we fail, nothing is lost as Divine justice will be dealt.
That will truly "shock and awe".

May God bless everyone. May He strengthen the righteous and weaken the evil-doers.
You and I may not be able to determine who/what is right or wrong.
We don't know all the "whys", but those who continue to lie, cheat and gamble with the lives of others should know that GOD KNOWS ALL and there is no escape from Him.
Uzi

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lady Maria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 26 2003 at 9:13pm
I was thinking today about America's cultural influence on the world and I have to admit that alot of what we export is junk, especially some of our junk food, which many Americans, including myself, don't actually eat all that much, and some of our pop music, especially rap and heavy metal(which is idiot teenage racket music).

What is disturbing is not so much that America exports this junk, (after all we are a society descended from lower class, crude peasants that immigrated to America because we were the poor unwanted, uncultured, working class of other countries) but that supposedly more cultured and sophisticated people, like the Western Europeans, purchase so much of this junk!If they are so cultured and have produced the Beethovens and Monets of the world, why do they buy so much of this garbage?
And you can't blame it just on big business and advertising alone, after all you have to assume that Europeans actually have minds, and freedom of choice, and the capacity to make intelligent decisions on what to buy.

I'm not saying all of our food and pop music is bad; some traditional American food is very good and healthy, as well as some of our ethnic food.

And some American blues, country/bluegrass music, Latin jazz music,etc. is actually wonderful music, but it seems that the WORST of American music sells the most overseas!( Cases in point ;Emimnen, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Manson, violent Metal and "Gangsta" rap, etc.).

Our great singers and musicians like John Hyatt, Tito Puentes, Los Lobos, Alison Krausse, Vince Gill,etc., many people overseas know nothing about them, but they know our noisy, juvenile, teenage junk music!
Maybe us Americans don't know better, crude people that we are, but these supposedly sophisticated foreigners should know better.

But they buy more of this garbage than many Americans do!

I will defend our movie industry though. Obviously there are many stupid movies made and many uneccesairly violent shoot 'em up action movies made, but there are also some great movies made in America, and I think those movies are popular worldwide for a reason. They are interesting and very entertaining.
I do love the movies! They can be a great escape from the mundane tedium of everyday life!

Of course much of the foreign pop music I have heard isn't a whole lot better than America's. I guess there isn't that much really great pop music.
Lady Maria
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uzma View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uzma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 2:00am
Lady Maria

The reason US pop is sold in large quantites to Western Europe (and I refute the claim that you sell more in Western Europe than you do in the US) is because it targets it's marketing at the pre-teens.
We don't really produce much by way of competetion for this age group (although we have started a good line in boy bands).
Also, US pop is heavily promoted on the junk music channels e.g MTV, which is constantly playing this stuff. Also, other products are sold to these pre-teens that engange them in a lifestyle heaviliy linked to the purchase of certainn clothes, make-up, music, etc.
Nice tidy package.
When they hit their teens and 20s their tastes mature and they start buying better stuff. It's the psychology of marketing.
A very successful strategy with respect to pop music.
Uzi

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uzma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 2:02am
On a more serious note................


LONDON: Suddenly, the government of the United States has discovered the virtues of international law. It may be waging an illegal war against a sovereign state; it may be seeking to destroy every treaty which impedes its attempts to run the world , but when five of its captured soldiers were paraded in front of the Iraqi television cameras on Sunday, Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, immediately complained that "it is against the Geneva convention to show photographs of prisoners of war in a manner that is humiliating for them".

He is, of course, quite right. Article 13 of the third convention, concerning the treatment of prisoners, insists that they "must at all times be protected ... against insults and public curiosity". This may number among the less heinous of the possible infringements of the laws of war, but the conventions, ratified by Iraq in 1956, are non-negotiable. If you break them, you should expect to be prosecuted for war crimes.

This being so, Rumsfeld had better watch his back. For this enthusiastic convert to the cause of legal warfare is, as head of the defence department, responsible for a series of crimes sufficient, were he ever to be tried, to put him away for the rest of his natural life.

His prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where 641 men (nine of whom are British citizens) are held, breaches no fewer than 15 articles of the third convention. The US government broke the first of these (article 13) as soon as the prisoners arrived, by displaying them, just as the Iraqis have done, on television. In this case, however, they were not encouraged to address the cameras.

They were kneeling on the ground, hands tied behind their backs, wearing blacked-out goggles and earphones. In breach of article 18, they had been stripped of their own clothes and deprived of their possessions.

They were then interned in a penitentiary (against article 22), where they were denied proper mess facilities (26), canteens (28), religious premises (34), opportunities for physical exercise (38), access to the text of the convention (41), freedom to write to their families (70 and 71) and parcels of food and books (72).

They were not "released and repatriated without delay after the cessation of active hostilities" (118), because, the US authorities say, their interrogation might, one day, reveal interesting information about Al Qaeda. Article 17 rules that captives are obliged to give only their name, rank, number and date of birth. No "coercion may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever". In the hope of breaking them, however, the authorities have confined them to solitary cells and subjected them to what is now known as "torture lite": sleep deprivation and constant exposure to bright light. Unsurprisingly, several of the prisoners have sought to kill themselves, by smashing their heads against the walls or trying to slash their wrists with plastic cutlery.

The US government claims that these men are not subject to the Geneva conventions, as they are not "prisoners of war", but "unlawful combatants". The same claim could be made, with rather more justice, by the Iraqis holding the US soldiers who illegally invaded their country. But this redefinition is itself a breach of article 4 of the third convention, under which people detained as suspected members of a militia (the Taliban) or a volunteer corps (Al Qaeda) must be regarded as prisoners of war.

Even if there is doubt about how such people should be classified, article 5 insists that they "shall enjoy the protection of the present convention until such time as their status has been determined by a competent tribunal". But when, earlier this month, lawyers representing 16 of them demanded a court hearing, the US court of appeals ruled that as Guantanamo Bay is not sovereign US territory, the men have no constitutional rights. Many of these prisoners appear to have been working in Afghanistan as teachers, engineers or aid workers. If the US government either tried or released them, its embarrassing lack of evidence would be brought to light.

You would hesitate to describe these prisoners as lucky, unless you knew what had happened to some of the other men captured by the Americans and their allies in Afghanistan. On November 21 2001, around 8,000 Taliban soldiers and Pakhtoon civilians surrendered at Konduz to the Northern Alliance commander, General Abdul Rashid Dostum. Many of them have never been seen again.

As Jamie Doran's film Afghan Massacre: Convoy of Death records, some hundreds, possibly thousands, of them were loaded into container lorries at Qala-i-Zeini, near the town of Mazar-i- Sharif, on November 26 and 27. The doors were sealed and the lorries were left to stand in the sun for several days. At length, they departed for Sheberghan prison, 80 miles away. The prisoners, many of whom were dying of thirst and asphyxiation, started banging on the sides of the trucks. Dostum's men stopped the convoy and machine-gunned the containers. When they arrived at Sheberghan, most of the captives were dead.

The US special forces running the prison watched the bodies being unloaded. They instructed Dostum's men to "get rid of them before satellite pictures can be taken". Doran interviewed a Northern Alliance soldier guarding the prison. "I was a witness when an American soldier broke one prisoner's neck. The Americans did whatever they wanted. We had no power to stop them." Another soldier alleged: "They took the prisoners outside and beat them up, and then returned them to the prison. But sometimes they were never returned, and they disappeared."

Many of the survivors were loaded back in the containers with the corpses, then driven to a place in the desert called Dasht-i-Leili. In the presence of up to 40 US special forces, the living and the dead were dumped into ditches. Anyone who moved was shot.

The German newspaper Die Zeit investigated the claims and concluded that: "No one doubted that the Americans had taken part. Even at higher levels there are no doubts on this issue." The US group Physicians for Human Rights visited the places identified by Doran's witnesses and found they "all ... contained human remains consistent with their designation as possible grave sites".

It should not be necessary to point out that hospitality of this kind also contravenes the third Geneva convention, which prohibits "violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture", as well as extra-judicial execution. Donald Rumsfeld's department, assisted by a pliant media, has done all it can to suppress Jamie Doran's film, while General Dostum has begun to assassinate his witnesses.

It is not hard, therefore, to see why the US government fought first to prevent the establishment of the international criminal court, and then to ensure that its own citizens are not subject to its jurisdiction. The five soldiers dragged in front of the cameras yesterday should thank their lucky stars that they are prisoners not of the American forces fighting for civilization, but of the "barbaric and inhuman" Iraqis.

George Monbiot, Dawn/The Guardian News Service.
Uzi

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Lady Maria View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lady Maria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 6:27am
Yeah and the Iraqis have been murdering, in cold blood, American POWs. It's nasty and it's war.
The reason the prisoners have been held in Cuba is that they are Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorists.
Even most Muslims don't care about them.

We are at war, bad things are going to happen. I'm sure there are better Muslims and better people in general to worry about Uzma than Al Qaeda terrorists.

You know who I worry about Uzma? Poor children of the world. Even though my fiancee and I plan on having children of our own after we are marrried in May, we also sponser two children in Hondurous through the Christian Childrens Fund. These children otherwise wouldn't have their necessities of life. Now they do and they have medical care and go to school.

Why don't you help some poor children rather than worrying about some fanatical half-witted homocidal/suicidal terrorist thugs. And don't tell me they are innocent , we know better.
Lady Maria
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Alice in Wonderland (USA) View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alice in Wonderland (USA) Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 6:56am
Prove it Maria.
I haven't seen any proof.
You seen any? Show me?
If those guys in Guatamamo are terrorists why don't we have them up in front of a jury in front of the whole world and prove it?

Or is this the good ol' American way? Is this what our soldiers are upholding?

I don't think we can take the moral high ground while this hypocrisy continues.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lady Maria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 7:07am
And I'm getting a little tired and bored of hearing how terrible the Americans and British are.

American farmers have donated over the years billions of tons of food to starving people across the world, preventing millions from starvation. Hundreds of thousands of our men have died so that people didn't have to live under the tyranny of Nazism and Communism. We have given billions in grants and loans to developing countries, and contrary to the myth, the countries who have used this money responsibility have dramatically improved their standard of living; countries as diverse as Taiwan, South Korea, Ghana, Malaysia,etc.In some cases irresponsible dictatorships have blown or sqaundered the money so they owe debts, but that is their irresponsibility, and these debts usually end up being written off, although the debts shouldn't be.

I've met your type before Uzma,we have many liberal/radicals like yourself in the U.S. would spend their days and nights complaining about how terrible America is. We call them professional protestors.

If not for the U.S., Britian and a few of our allies, the world would have a much lower standard of living, less modern science, technology, and modern medicine. Much less modern agriculture which feed the growing billions, much less international trade and much less freedom and democracy. Whatever bad I'm sure we have done, we have also done much good, which most of the non-Muslim world DOES understand, contrary to what radical Muslims or radical leftists say.

Radical leftists and religious radicals are unhappy, bitter losers Uzma. Al Qaeda and the Taliban are losers. They are not good Muslims. The good Muslims are modern people that know how to co-operate with other people including Americans.

I don't mind some criticism of America and long as people also see our positive side and our numerous positive contributions.

You are beginning to bore me Uzma, you are just a broken record bad mouthing America and Britian. People who bad mouths others constantly without seeing the positive in people are usually losers in their personal life. Who wants to be around a bitter negative, complaining person all of the time?

I am a positive person and I have positive things to do in my life. I work hard, I'm getting married soon, I want kids, I volunteer at my church and my fiancee and I sponser poor children. I think we are good people and positive people. And I really am a little bored about hearing how bad the American government and Americans are. It is a little more complex than that.

You only state the negative about Americans Uzma and I'm tired of it. I don't respect people that only see the negative about America.

The U.S. was built by poor people from around the world. Most of us come from very poor immigrants. America has given more people from more ethnic groups a chance at a better life than any other country, and we have worked very hard to build a very great country. Even today Americans have the longest workweek in the industrial world. We come from good hard working peasant stock.

I feel blessed and privledged to be an American. Millions still immigrate to America, especially the poor hard working people from Latin America. This is still the land of oppurtunity and the land of freedom and an inspiration for many poor countries and poor peoples around the world.

The next time you write try saying something positive about Americans otherwise don't waste my time. I have a very active and positive life and I don't need alot of whiners and complainers around me sapping my energy.


Lady Maria
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lady Maria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 7:10am
Is that your real name Alice in Wonderland? Grow up a little. Of all the many people in the world to worry about, you worry about some thugs in the Taliban.

Get a life, do something for poor people or volunteer in your community.
Lady Maria
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Answer the question Maria.
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Answer the question Maria Dubya Bush.

And don't you dare make assumptions about who I am and how I live my life, Dubya.

Why don't you travel Dubya - go and see how the rest of the world drinks American pop AND burns the Stars'n'Stripes.

Why do you think that is Dubya?

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Amen Maria!!!!! You are so right girl!!!!!

It doesn't matter "Alice in Wonderland" if we can prove they are guilty or not. They are part of the terrorist group and WE ARE AT WAR! We shouldn't even be keeping them alive!!! We are only keeping them alive to get information about terrorists so that they don't knock down more buildings or poison our water supply and kill millions!!!
THIS IS WARTIME! THEY DON"T GET A TRIAL LIKE AN ORDINARY CRIMINAL!
And they kill our POWS !!!! So who cares about them!!! It is wartime!!! Treat them like they treat us! We didn't worry about killin Nazis in W.W.2 did we?????

You ever notice Maria how these "professional left wing radical protestors" are allways from upper class families??? And they usually don't have kids. You ever notice that???
While us Blacks, Hispanics, and blue collar Whites are building the country, fightin the wars and havin the kids, these rich anti-social, anti-American little brat punks think they are so much better than us!!!!
I ain't no Republican and I didn't vote for Bush but I hope we kick the everlovin daylights out of these Muslim lunatics.
Arab cab drivers in America won't pick up Black people in their cabs. Arabs don't like Black people in their stores and give you a dirty look and won't say hi when you say hi to them. What are they even doin in our country?????????? We got other people and other immigrants that will respect Americans!!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lady Maria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 8:11am
Thanks Melba for the compliment. I agree we are at war and different rules apply, although I don't think we should kill POWs, but we have a right to hold them during wartime without a trial. They are not American citizens.
I don't think we need to be mean to Muslims though Melba. there are many good Arabs and Muslims in the U.S.. I'm sorry you have had bad experiences with Arabs. Many are nice people.

"Alice" you are very immature. I am a political independent who didn't vote for Bush I voted for Gore. But I do support our troops. I have a cousin over there. Many of us have friends and relatives there. And yes I do think the people of Iraq would do better under a civilzed government rather than Saddam.

I have traveled in Canada and Latin America. I got along fine with people there and I also get along fine with people from various countries who have immigrated to the U.S. for a better life.

There are 6.2 biilion people in the world. According to the BBC more than 40 million people have attended anti-American, anti-British protests. That is less than 1% of the world. And only a small fraction of them are so immature they would burn a flag.

There were anti-American protests throughout the world during the Cold war against Communism as well. Far more people protested America then. But most rational people agree today that it is a good thing that most of the brutal Communist dictatorships are gone, and that in fact America was right to be against Communist dictatorships.

As Tony Blair said, despite the turmoil now, history will prove us right to remove Saddam Hussein. Just as it proved us right in opposing the Nazis and the Communists.

I may not have voted for Bush but I am proud to be an American. My ancestors were poor people from Mexico and this country has given us a chance for a better life.
And people who burn the flag are immature losers. I have had relatives who fought and sometimes died in World War II, the Korean War,and the Vietnam War , as well as recently. I am proud that they served our country.
Lady Maria
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So neither of you gals believe in **Innocent until proven guilty** unless it suits you?
I suppose justice is un-patriotic huh?
My brother is over there and my father served in Vietnam, unlike George Dubya. Neither the two of them think this war is justified.
The pope doesn't think this war is justified, nor does the UN.
If my brother dies in this war (God forbid), what will he have given his life for?
If its for folks with ignorant attitudes like yours than he will have wasted his life.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lady Maria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 9:51am
I hope your brother doesn't die. I hope my cousin doesn't die either.
But none of our soliders who died fighting dictators in any war died for no reason. Their memory is to be honored.

I'm a lifelong Catholic and I am not thrilled with the Pope or the Catholic leadership. They co-operated with the Nazis in W.W.II. They have repeatedly covered up for pedophile priests and kept them on the job. They still sometimes do. They won't allow priests to marry even though every other religion does. They won't let women be priests. 75% of American Catholics disagree with the Pope's policies.

The U.N. is a joke. It never once stopped a genocide, even though it had many chances to do so. It never once got rid of a brutal dictator.

40% of the U.N. is dictatorships. A brutal dictatorship has equal voting rights in the U.N. as a civilized democracy like Australia, Japan or Canada.
The U.N. couldn't or wouldn't stop the genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo. It didn't stop until the Americans and British sent in their forces.

The U.N. repeatdly voted against the U.S. and Britian throughout the Cold War. If we had listened to the U.N., communism would have won and you wouldn't be able to voice a free opinion today.

No solider fighting for freedom has ever died in vain. I hope my cousin doesn't die over there. I love the guy but he is a brave man who knows what the risks are.

We will win this war, and yes some people will die. But the world will go on as it always does. America will go on, Britian will go on. So will the Muslim world. And slowly but surely the world is developing econmically, and democracy and freedom is spreading. In the 1950s only 25% of the world was democratic. Today it is 60%. And people have a much longer life expectancy now worldwide( about 25 years longer on average), than they did 50 years ago.

Much of this progress is because of the influence of America and the West, as well as allies in other parts of the world like Japan.( Japan by the way is one of 43 countries now backing the U.S. and Britian. And more will follow over the next few months as we win the war and install a better government in Iraq after getting rid of Saddam).

I have to go to work now, I've made my statements. As I said before I hope the war is as short as possible with as few deaths as possible on either side.

As Uzma said, God bless everyone!
Lady Maria
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lady Maria Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 10:01am
As far as the POWs go, when potentially millions of us could be killed by terrorists using chemical or biological warfare, National Security trumps the rights of non-American citizens who have been directly or indirectly involved with the Taliban or Al qaeda.
All countries, including the U.S., have different rules during wartime. Our government has to make difficult decisions, difficult judgement calls. It is not an ideal world and it is good to have very high ideals and we should attempt whenever possible to live up to them but common sense and National security and our survival has to take precedence before all of our ideals, at least in some difficult war and terrorist circumstances.

We will win this war, and it won't be in all ways an ideal situation that is for sure. And there will be other bad things we have to deal with in the future.

But the world goes on.
Lady Maria
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 11:15am
Very well said Maria! BRAVO!
You have a very balanced and mature view of international circumstances and are able to articulate your veiws exceedingly well. You are a bright lady.

A couple of side notes:
I certainly hope no one's brother or cousin dies in Iraq but going by the stats you are actually in more danger and the death rates are higher working a construction job in America or driving a taxicab in a major American city, than being in the U.S. army.
Our major urban centers are also more dangerous than most war zones. We lose 30 thousand to murder every year in the U.S., another 40 thousand in car wrecks, thousands more to drug overdoses or industrial accidents. Your odds, if you are a young man and live in a major American metro, are greater of dying if you stay in this country than if you are in Iraq! The stats back this up. Maybe that is why Americans are less frightened of war than the people of many other nations. We are more accustomed to dealing with death than many western countries.
Because of our fast population growth, despite our higher death rates, we still grow at a faster pace than any other industrial/post-industrial society.
Just a note of interest there.

Another sidenote:
I have a good friend and co-worker, a Frenchman who has been in the States for three years. I have, of course, been avoiding political chit/chat with this fellow recently for obvious reasons.
Yesterday however we finally got into a political chat. He amazed me when he said that the French Government and most French people, deep down inside,agreed with the U.S. policy in Iraq. I was stunned and then asked why the French then were not joining the alliance? He said that it was important for the French to be contrary to the Great Superpower America so that Americans don't get too arrogant. He also said that if it were a Democratic , more politically progressive President like Clinton or Gore, or even a progressive, maverick Republican like John McCain, that the French might have gone along . He said that the French just can't stand Bush and his stances on the environment or his arrogance on this terrorist/war circumstance. He then said of course France knows America will win the war and that Saddam is a terrible man and it will be good to see him go, and indeed the French will help with the rebuilding of Iraq and look to make money on the rebuilding.

I thought this Frenchman's ideas were very intriguing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uzma Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 1:48pm
Lady Maria

I appreciate your astute observations and respect your point of view as much as I disagree with it.
I am not here to entertain you, so if you find my opinions boring so be it.

Yes 40% or so of the UN consists of countries ruled by dictators.
Secular democracy is not universally respected or desired. For most of history, dictatorship or monarchy has been the status quo.
However, the UN is based on the principle of democracy i.e that all countries in the world have representation and an equal vote. I didnt and dont like the way the UN (or the Arab League for that matter) operate. I think they are pretty useless talk-shops. The principle is good but the practice is flawed.
If Bush is going to go from country to country on his openly expansionist mission, is this not the act of a dictator? He is not asking the people what they want he is telling them that they need liberation, democracy etc. I agree that Saddam and his regime need to be ousted, but we (US & UK) grew this monster and allowed him to impoverish his once wealthy country with the help of our sanctions.
Now we go into Iraq in order to liberate the Iraqis from the dictator we installed and the sanctions we implemented. I just can't bear the hypocrisy.
As you say, the war will go on, etc. I am not sure that the US will win in the longer run.
The Muslims really and I cant put this strongly enough we really will not tolerate rule by the US.
I predict that although the weak rulers of various Arab countries will lie down and let Bush walk in, the population will resist and fight to the death against US control of their homelands. Myself included. Proud to do so.
In the news today, the US, UK and UN discussed the task of governing Iraq after the war is over. Kofi Annan wanted the UN to take control and oversee democratic elections. In response, Colin Powell was quoted as saying; We didnt take on this huge burden with our partners not to be able to have a significant dominating control. (Daily Mirror, London, 27th March, Page 2).
This and other comments are openly dictatorial. Openly power-hungry.

Also, the humanitarian faade falls apart.
The British Chamber of Commerce is breathing fire over the lack of contracts for the re-construction of Iraq. Non-US companies have not been allowed to bid for any of these countries. We could understand how other countries were out of the running, but the UK? Your allies? The politicians and corporate CEOs keep reiterating that they want a proportion of those contracts which will pay them via oil revenue.
In other words, the Iraqi oil will be used to pay the people who destroy Iraq, to re-build Iraq. And who decides how much it will all cost? The controlling government. And who will that be? The US.
Another nice, tidy loop. Very clever. Very, very, bad. Not a strategy designed to win hearts and minds of the world who is watching every move in this war, let alone the Iraqi people.
Can you imagine if your child had been killed by an enemy bomb and then those very people became your government and had a strong presence re-building your country for years. And they called themselves liberators. How could you stand it?
If this was truly a humanitarian mission, than even if the US maintained control until a democratic government was installed let the Iraqis re-build their own country. They built in in the first place. Let them keep their oil revenues circulating in the country with the people.
No Bush is going to funnel it away.

Melba
You seem to think that Muslims and Arabs are against Blacks. A lot of blacks are Muslims not only in North/West Africa, but also in the Carribean and in the US. All Muslims of all races stand together as we are commanded to do regardless of race or origin. Any who dont arent Muslims.
You also appear to be very class conscious. The impression I get is that you feel that these groups are putting you down. I have experienced discrimination because of my class (not upper!!) and blatant racism with people calling me names both as an adult and as a child, in Britain.
However, I never thought all white people or all upper class people were racist and classist. I reached out my hand to everyone to try and understand their point of view and confront their fears and ignorance. I made friends, opened dialogue and found a way to co-exist happily with people who would rather I be obliterated from the face of the earth on the one hand, and who want to take me to the movies and have dinner at their houses, on the other. I live with this confusion daily (hehehe).
Anyway, there appears to be a culture clash. If a stranger says Hi to me, especially a male stranger, I do not respond. I look away and walk away. This is religious and cultural. It is nothing to do with being stuck-up or disliking you personally. Also, non-Muslim blacks are rightly or wrongly perceived as being more aggressive and violent, due to gang culture in the US and UK. Arabs and Muslims try and protect themselves from this perceived threat. Sorry if any of this causes you offense, but I have to tell it like it is.
Last year, a gang of non-Muslim blacks had attacked and robbed some Asian Muslim shops. A Muslim man was killed. A contingent of Black Muslims from the community mosque silently organised themselves into a contingent, found the responsible parties and taught them a lesson. We take care of our own. We have to in a society that doesn't undestand us, doesn't want to understand us, and expects us to follow their ways (which are against our religion) to demonstrate our "respect" for them. We have had no trouble since.

Brent
I too am intruiged by what your French colleague said, but find Chiracs decision to go against the US totally baffling. I just cant figure it out. Anyone care to suggest a plausible explanation?

Alice
I totally understand and support your reservations about the obvious absence of justice, but this of course, goes for both sides in this war.
I sincerely hope your brother is returned to you un-harmed, but IF Saddams regime is eliminated, IF the US/UK leave the Iraqi people to determine their own future and IF this war accelerates the implementation of an independent Palestinian state and hence a more peaceful Middle-East (and world) than NO solider from either side has died in vain.

Lets join our hearts together in peace, patience and prayer.
Uzi

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brent again Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 27 2003 at 9:48pm
Uzma:

Yes there is an explanation for Chirac's behaviour in rejecting theU.S./U.K. position. Not only by tradition do the French have to be contrary to the Americans and the British, but I have been informed that there is an actual law in France that whatever position the U.S./U.K. takes on an issue the French have to take the opposite view. If Bush/Blair had opposed a war in Iraq, there is no doubt the French would be marching with their tri-colored flag flying in the sandstorms into Baghdad at this moment. After all, the French are hardly opposed to using their military. Every time you blink the French army is in another French-speaking black African country, either cleaning up, or creating, another mess.

As I mentioned before Uzma, after all of this is over I am convinced that the Arab world and the American world are going to be closer than before. I am serious when I say that Americans have more in common with Arabs, despite our different religions, than with the liberal agnostic western Europeans. America is without a doubt a conservative, traditional, religious, family orientated society in comparison to our west European friends. In these respects we are much like the Arabs. Even the fight being put up by the Iraqis is admired in America. Countries that aren't willing to work hard and fight hard, Americans don't respect.
Why after the second world war did America become much closer to Germany than the French, even though we bitterly fought the Germans. The Germans were seen as more conservative, more traditional and tougher than the French. That is they were perceived as having heart and guts. True there are 50 million German surnames in the U.S., and only 10 million French surnames but that had nothing to do with it.
I personally have great admiration for Arabs and Arab culture. The great architecture, particullarily the mosques, the tradition of philosophy,literature and poetry(Kahil Gibran anyone), the food( the hamburger has nothing on the Felafil), and most of all the beauty of Arab Muslim women. Such feminine and traditional women are so appealing to me, and I think many American men. Muslim women are beautiful without the long dress and headscarf, and just as beautiful with the long dress and headscarf. The headscarved Muslim woman to me doesn't reprsent a fanatic, rather a lovely, feminine, fashionable, beautiful, modest woman! I notice too how many different styles and colors of head scarves and dresses the Muslim women wear. They are actually very chic in thier different traditional yet also modern styles of Muslim clothing. Indeed some non-Muslim American women admire the tradional feminine look of Muslim women, my wife being one of them.
I am a man who is Christian. My ex-wife and three kids are also Christian but I am presently married to a Chinese-American Buddhist woman(inter-racial and inter-religious marriage. But after all we live in the liberal San Francisco Bay area, ).

I know of American Christian men who have married Muslim women, including Muslim women who wear the headscarf, the increasing inter-religious marriages have been well publsized in the American press(3% of American marriages are now inter-religious). Usually when these inter-religious marriages occur the children are raised in the faith of the mother. Since there are more American Christian men marrying Buddhist and Muslim women than before, you have, I believe, a growing inter-religious tolerance. This can only be a good thing.
Muslim women are adorable. Bless you Uzma and may we have peace very soon. I would love to take my wife on a vacation to the Mid-East sometime and meet the wonderful Arab people there. Oh and yes, my wife does sometimes wear a headscarf, she just loves the look and feel of it, and she looks wonderful!!
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