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How to Forget
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Two fairly recent movies, one a feature-length Hollywood production (Hotel Rwanda), and another, a Canadian documentary (Shake Hands with the Devil), have drawn attention back to the Rwandan genocide in 1994 that the world initially ignored.

Why is it so easy to forget about the lives and conflicts on the African continent? We can sit idle and hope that movies and a re-examination of history will serve to prevent incidents like these in the future, but the truth is, humanity is capable of incomprehensible evil (as well as good).

How many times do we see reports in the news of "warfare" or "fighting" in some obscure African nation and write it off as a "tribal conflict"?

Has anything really changed? Or have we simply convinced ourselves that they have?

How the world paid its[url=‘http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/africa/04/07/rwanda.genocide/’]respects[/url] to Rwanda:

quote:KIGALI, Rwanda — World leaders and survivors of the 1994 Rwanda genocide have observed three minutes of silence in the capital Kigali as part of memorials marking the 10th anniversary of the slaughter….But to many Rwandans, the small showing of dignitaries from outside Africa at the Kigali memorial is a further sign of continuing Western indifference to the turbulent region.

What we [url=‘http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/4239888.stm’]ignore[/url] now in Niger. Click on it and move past it. It’s easy.

From a Medecins Sans Frontiers report on the events leading up to the cessation of MSF work in the Democratic Republic of Congo, August 2005:

quote:"…the violence carried out by the large number of different armed groups is felt mainly by the civilian population. Direct confrontations between rival factions are not the most common type of clashes. Quite the contrary. Looting, murder, massacre, kidnapping, rape, torture, and humiliation are the kinds of violence inflicted by armed fighters on all sides.…being forcibly displaced, having their belongings searched, being kept from farming or fishing, and being forced to flee into the forest and live there in unimaginably precarious conditions."

A [url=‘http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/publications/speeches/2005/testimony_sudan_7-2005.cfm’]speech[/url] given about the Humanitarian situation in Darfur by an MSF doctor, July, 2005:

quote:How can I convey how a woman living in a camp feels when she goes out each day to fetch firewood knowing that she may be attacked, robbed, beaten, or even raped?…The humanitarian situation in Darfur today has recently been described as at an "equilibrium" point – but if you ask the people living in one of the crowded, unsanitary, and unsafe displaced camps in Darfur whether they feel they are experiencing an equilibrium, I have no doubt they will more likely tell you that their lives are dangling by the thin thread that is humanitarian aid. Simply because mortality rates in Darfur are now just below the emergency threshold level, in certain locations, doesn’t mean that the living conditions for the displaced in Darfur are in any way humane, safe, adequate, or acceptable. There is no such thing as reaching an equilibrium when people’s lives are still hanging in the balance.

[url=‘http://www.trumanlibrary.org/photographs/72-3220.jpg’]Europe, 1944[/url]
[url=‘http://www.padraiggrant.com/rwanda26.htm’]Rwanda, 1994[/url]
[url=‘http://www.nathanking.tv/Refugeecamps1.htm’]Darfur, now[/url]
[url=‘http://us.news3.yimg.com/us.i2.yimg.com/p/nm/20050903/2005_09_02t234745_450×296_us_mayhem.jpg?x=380&y=249&sig=86ZjIS9jDbjIwKhpwa.DRg—’]USA, 2 weeks ago[/url]
[url=‘http://us.news3.yimg.com/us.i2.yimg.com/p/ap/20050910/capt.wx10409102235.katrina_calculating_costs_wx104.jpg?x=380&y=263&sig=7ormjUBNezu54UBVPLOE4g—’]USA, 2 weeks ago[/url]

What has changed? Maybe we like to tell ourselves that we’re more aware and have more accountability, but is that true?

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Hope, I aplaud your concern for humanity which is more than I can say for most people. The average person is not up late at night studying the Rwandan genocide, but don’t you think you’re going a bit overboard in posting New Orleans evacuee photos next to holocauset survivors and genocides?

Not trying to pick a fight with you, but I really don’t see the comparison.

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it’s more about how the hesitation on the part of a body that can intervene is still ever-present and has to do in part with efficacy and also with some sort of disconnect between the human conscience and the will to act. pretend that the 4-5 days of nothing being done about NO is the 3 months of Rwanda and the ongoing hesitation with Sudan.

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The Herr concurs how lopsided views are portrayed between the suffering that has gone on for many years and is still currently going on in Africa and the rest of the world.

Isn’t it phucked up that the world has or are willing to pledge millions to billions of aid to the U.S. (the wealthiest country on Earth, besides the oil-rich Gulf states) after the Katrina disaster that can easily more benefit the starving people of Africa?? How phucked up is that???? Insurance companies can bail out the costs to re-store New Orleans and surrounding areas, but the world can bail out the suffering taking place in Africa!!!!!!!! So phuck giving money to the American Red Cross, give it to aid agencies trying to assist disease ridden, starving children of Africa!!!!!!!!

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you all are blind, completely missed the point. i’m not saying you should donate money to africa. i’m saying that the world still has a long way to go before the lessons from the past sink in.

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oh, btw, Herr, just stfu

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LHMFAO!!!!!!

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yes, i am in that mood so just back off!

as an aside Modulis, I’m not "up studying the Rwandan genocide". These are all links I have compiled in the past, just posting them now. Sometimes feel motivated to go on these rants.

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quote:
it’s more about how the hesitation on the part of a body that can intervene is still ever-present and has to do in part with efficacy and also with some sort of disconnect between the human conscience and the will to act. pretend that the 4-5 days of nothing being done about NO is the 3 months of Rwanda and the ongoing hesitation with Sudan.

I don’t think the N.O. situation was deliberate. I think it happened because we had some guy running FEMA that had no idea what to do because he wasn’t qualified to be there. Most Americans seem to think it was outrageous that it took so long to respond. I don’t think much about the character of the American was revealed, but to me it was more an issue of beaurocracy, disorganization and incompetence.

Rwanda and Sudan were allowed to happen because they are remote countries of little strategic interest. If massive oil fields were discovered under Rwanda, the world might look at the place in a different way. Not saying I’m defending that, but it is what it is.

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quote:
Sometimes feel motivated to go on these rants.

Must be that time of the month…

BAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

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quote:
yes, i am in that mood so just back off!

as an aside Modulis, I’m not "up studying the Rwandan genocide". These are all links I have compiled in the past, just posting them now. Sometimes feel motivated to go on these rants.

So the stresses of her waitressing gig at Hooters is gett’n to the Hopee, eh????

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Sorry, hope, that you had to dumb down your Q’s and A’s for these guys. I totally see what your intentions were. You merely asked a humanitarian rhetorical question(not necessarily expecting an answer), am I correct?

Like Modulis, I applaud you for your concern, not just on this topic, but also for your previous posts about the situation in Africa. Sadly, Africa, resource-wise, has a lot of potential for development and progress. I really don’t know that much about current African(there are so many countries with unique agendas) politics. Africa’s problems are so complex, so misunderstood, that it is much easier to forget about the people there. In this country(and others, too), we always think, "Damn! That’s terrible.", but go about our daily lives.

The political situation is different from country to country, but one thing remains certain and constant: every nation in the supercontinent is poor. Much heated debate shall follow as to why, but the fact is, it’s the common people……….everyday people, with no particular agenda other than to live……that is suffering. Millions are suffering.

Have you ever thought of traveling to one African country, just to see some of the current essence, in person? I have. When I’m done with my studies, I’d like to visit Kenya, South Africa, Senegal, and Rwanda, perhaps others(time and money willing). Europeans are more knowledgeable about Africa than are Americans. That’s shameful. If we’re the Big Player of the world, we can at least come and visit Africa.

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quote:
Sorry, hope, that you had to dumb down your Q’s and A’s for these guys. I totally see what your intentions were. You merely asked a humanitarian rhetorical question(not necessarily expecting an answer), am I correct?

Like Modulis, I applaud you for your concern, not just on this topic, but also for your previous posts about the situation in Africa. Sadly, Africa, resource-wise, has a lot of potential for development and progress. I really don’t know that much about current African(there are so many countries with unique agendas) politics. Africa’s problems are so complex, so misunderstood, that it is much easier to forget about the people there. In this country(and others, too), we always think, "Damn! That’s terrible.", but go about our daily lives.

The political situation is different from country to country, but one thing remains certain and constant: every nation in the supercontinent is poor. Much heated debate shall follow as to why, but the fact is, it’s the common people……….everyday people, with no particular agenda other than to live……that is suffering. Millions are suffering.

Have you ever thought of traveling to one African country, just to see some of the current essence, in person? I have. When I’m done with my studies, I’d like to visit Kenya, South Africa, Senegal, and Rwanda, perhaps others(time and money willing). Europeans are more knowledgeable about Africa than are Americans. That’s shameful. If we’re the Big Player of the world, we can at least come and visit Africa.

Syd, just stfu!!!!! Yes, the Herr is in that mood so just back the fuck off!!!!!

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What, Herr, are you smiling cause your stupid and have nothing else to quip, or what?

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This month (or possibly the last) has a really good special on Africa.

I think part of the problem is that we are conditioned to look at Africa as a basketcase. Sure there are starving people in some places, civil war in others, which is about all that they show. That is highly inaccurate, as it is such a large and diverse continent.

But to the viewer at home seeing the same scenes over and over again starts to feel that is just the way it is, and that’s that.

Makes a person feel really sad Frown

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quote:
What, Herr, are you smiling cause your stupid and have nothing else to quip, or what?


It’s "you’re" you phuck’n phlam’n idiot!!!!! Go back elementary school, moron!!!!!

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He might as well learn the difference between the words "two", "too" and "to"!!!!!!!

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Don’t forget Armenia.

The Holocaust memorial in D.C. has an ongoing exhibit on Sudanese genocide. Didn’t see many visiting that part of the museum when I was there.

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Yes, it’as all rather Jewcentric.

I mean, the suffering is over, all the Jews I know are driving big SAABs and BMW’s, nice houses and pots of cash.

Who gives a fuck ??

You all (and Hope fails to see it too) can’t grasp that someone has to be trodden underfoot so others can live in obscene opulence. Modulis has arged for the free market… and what has it produced? Bill Gates & Warren Buffets, who’s very own presonal wealth could wipe out the poverty in two medium sized African nations.

By design the free market is enslavement, it’s no different from colonialization… same misery and disproportionate distribtuion of wealth. Capitalism needs poverty, the system of usuary we’ve been using for 100’s of years needs debt victims to work.

Therefore charity is a waste of time, any meaningful change requires a new economic system, that’s the only way we’ll end the worlds woes!

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quote:Have you ever thought of traveling to one African country, just to see some of the current essence, in person?
Yeah, actually, I plan on trying to work for Doctors Without Borders in some country in Africa for a couple of years during my lifetime. Mostly I’m interested in international medicine in third world and under-served countries. I’d also like to do work with an inner city population in the United States. A couple of years ago, I worked in a clinic for a few days in Calcutta with some of the Sisters of the Poor; it was shocking, but it confirmed to me that this is probably something I’d like to pursue futher.

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quote:don’t think the N.O. situation was deliberate. I think it happened because we had some guy running FEMA that had no idea what to do because he wasn’t qualified to be there.
I don’t think the world deliberately ignored Rwanda, or that it deliberately ignores Africa right now. It something that happens because of the way priorities are. And do you really think that the NO situation happened simply because of Michael Brown? It’s pretty clear to me that it’s the system, on all levels, for which many people should be held accountable, is to blame.

quote:Most Americans seem to think it was outrageous that it took so long to respond.
I think most people who watch something like Hotel Rwanda and learn more about the genocide that occured there (and other ‘hidden’ ones, like the Armenians in Turkey) are "outraged" that there was little (or too late of a) response at the time. Does that mean people in power will rise up to stop this from happening in the future? Probably not, unless it benefits them.

quote:I don’t think much about the character of the American was revealed, but to me it was more an issue of beaurocracy, disorganization and incompetence.
What about the issue of prioritization?! In 1994, the UN sent thousands of troops to Yugoslavia. THAT was the UN priority. In 2005, the US has sent thousands of troops to Iraq. That money and that manpower has been directed to something other than preventative measures such as levee repair, urban decay, health care, and education. It’s all very similar. No one deliberately set out to trap thousands of poor black people in New Orleans. No one deliberately set out to let 800,000 people die in the middle of Africa. Intervention is a function of bureaucracy, disorganization and incompetence, yes, but it’s also a question of priority, and to me, it’s obvious that priorities in the world won’t change, even though many people I know like to think that everyone is more forward-thinking now and wouldn’t let moral atrocities like both of these occur.

quote:Rwanda and Sudan were allowed to happen because they are remote countries of little strategic interest. If massive oil fields were discovered under Rwanda, the world might look at the place in a different way. Not saying I’m defending that, but it is what it is.
GEE, thanks for the WAKE UP CALL, Mr. "We’re going into Iraq to stop genocide and act as a moral force in the world and to stop the weapons of mass destruction"! Change your tune now, but we know what you, and most of America, believed, going into Iraq. And I for one know what most Americans will believe in the future about future US interventions abroad. Vietnam apparently wasn’t enough to stop Iraq.

The world, not just the USA, turns a blind eye to genocide and suffering and moral atrocities unless they somehow threaten power, money, or political interest. And we all like to believe that somehow civilization has &quotrogressed" and we’ve all "learned a lot" from the Holocaust and the like, but the truth is, it’s just going to keep happening again and again.

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quote:
I don’t think the world deliberately ignored Rwanda, or that it deliberately ignores Africa right now. It something that happens because of the way priorities are. And do you really think that the NO situation happened simply because of Michael Brown? It’s pretty clear to me that it’s the system, on all levels, for which many people should be held accountable, is to blame.

It’s hard to assign any responsibility to something as nebulous as "the system". Blaming the system is useless as far as I’m concerned, I need names. And btw, I don’t only place blame on those in charge, but at least SOME of those in NO were there because they ignored warnings to leave. I keep hearing that nobody had cars to get out, yet I turn on CNN and see reports of carjackings at gunpoint the next day. Well, somebody must have had cars in order for there to be carjackings in the first place. Why they didn’t drive their cars out of town before the storm hit is something you’d have to ask those individuals.

quote:I think most people who watch something like Hotel Rwanda and learn more about the genocide that occured there (and other ‘hidden’ ones, like the Armenians in Turkey) are "outraged" that there was little (or too late of a) response at the time. Does that mean people in power will rise up to stop this from happening in the future? Probably not, unless it benefits them.

True, because most people have no interest in getting involved in a conflict unless it’s perceived as a threat to them. The same reason why most people probably aren’t going to jump in a bloody fistfight in the street to break it up. They figure that it’s none of their business, the fight doesn’t threaten them, so why risk getting yourself hurt over something that’s doesn’t threaten you. Now let me ask you this, you seem to be saying that we have an obligation to stop genocides and such, yet you also seem to be very anti-war. How do you propose to stop killings like that without the use of armed forces? Would you have supported an invasion of Iraq after the massacre at Halabja?

quote:
What about the issue of prioritization?! In 1994, the UN sent thousands of troops to Yugoslavia. THAT was the UN priority. In 2005, the US has sent thousands of troops to Iraq. That money and that manpower has been directed to something other than preventative measures such as levee repair, urban decay, health care, and education.

This is all in hindsight. I don’t even think the biggest hawks in the administration had any idea that the bill for the war would end up being even a fraction as big as it is. Most thought the war would be a slam dunk. But once we got entrenched in this expensive war, it became more difficult to pull out without creating a worse situation than was there in the first place. At the same time, we’ve spent 6 trillion dollars on "the war on poverty" since it began a few decades ago. I don’t consider that an insignifcant sum of money. Education? I don’t think we need to spend a dime more on education, we need restructuring.

quote: It’s all very similar. No one deliberately set out to trap thousands of poor black people in New Orleans. No one deliberately set out to let 800,000 people die in the middle of Africa. Intervention is a function of bureaucracy, disorganization and incompetence, yes, but it’s also a question of priority, and to me, it’s obvious that priorities in the world won’t change, even though many people I know like to think that everyone is more forward-thinking now and wouldn’t let moral atrocities like both of these occur.

I don’t agree with you that NO was a "moral atrocity". To say that implies that there was maliciousness somewhere. I don’t believe that. I believe there were the means to evacuate people as there were hundreds of buses in NO sitting empty that could’ve been utilized, but the mayor and and governor failed to use them. I’m not going to imply that the lives of their state’s citizens weren’t a priority.

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quote:t’s hard to assign any responsibility to something as nebulous as "the system". Blaming the system is useless as far as I’m concerned, I need names.
Such a weak argument. Okay, you want names? How about Michael Chertoff? How about Michael Brown? How about Ray Nagin? How about George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld? Honestly, what should have happened in the Greatest Country in the World, is Michael Chertoff and Brown and Bush all calling Blanco and Nagin to find out what their plans were and setting up a system to get the national guard and supplies in there by Tuesday! How about some communication and delegation? No, instead Chertoff says he "didn’t know" about the people at the Convention Center until THURSDAY and Bush flies from his ranch to San Diego. Nagin didn’t organize an evacuation and then the Red Cross is now saying that they were turned away from New Orleans. See how it’s the system? Failures around 9.11 were explained in the Commission Report as a failure of the security and intelligence system.

quote:And btw, I don’t only place blame on those in charge, but at least SOME of those in NO were there because they ignored warnings to leave.
Fine, that’s true, but the majority of the people who were trapped in the convention center/superdome were there because they had nowhere else to go.

quote:I keep hearing that nobody had cars to get out, yet I turn on CNN and see reports of carjackings at gunpoint the next day. Well, somebody must have had cars in order for there to be carjackings in the first place. Why they didn’t drive their cars out of town before the storm hit is something you’d have to ask those individuals.
If you want stats on cars, according to the Houston Chronicle, an estimated 50,000 people in New Orleans didn’t have cars. Furthermore, if you think about the demographics in the area, most of the poor people there probably were born and will die there, meaning that they probably don’t have "friends in far off places" that they could just pick up and leave and go stay with, like most other people. Affording a hotel room is another story.

quote:I don’t agree with you that NO was a "moral atrocity". To say that implies that there was maliciousness somewhere
Sorry, but I think it was morally wrong to put people in the Superdome and Convention Center and tell them that help was on its way but no one came with any food or water for days. That’s morally wrong, although it was more out of miscommunication/ineptitude/unorganization than malice.

quote:Now let me ask you this, you seem to be saying that we have an obligation to stop genocides and such, yet you also seem to be very anti-war. How do you propose to stop killings like that without the use of armed forces? Would you have supported an invasion of Iraq after the massacre at Halabja?
I’m not totally anti-war. I’m anti-"wars that are fought for false reasons", i.e. most wars waged by most countries. The public will never buy self-interest as a motive so you have to feed them lies. Intervention after Halabja? Sure, I would have supported that. Too bad Rumsfeld and company knew Saddam was doing that but it didn’t matter until the money spoke.

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quote:
Such a weak argument.

No it isn’t weak, Hope. There are always specific individual that must be hung out to dry that are behind everything. "The System" doesn’t come about on its own.

quote:
Okay, you want names? How about Michael Chertoff? How about Michael Brown? How about Ray Nagin? How about George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld? Honestly, what should have happened in the Greatest Country in the World, is Michael Chertoff and Brown and Bush all calling Blanco and Nagin to find out what their plans were and setting up a system to get the national guard and supplies in there by Tuesday!

I don’t know if having all that stuff in there by Tuesday was realistic. I was listening to a radio show where they were talking about all the intricacies of planning such. I had no idea how much the National Guard has to do logistically. But I’ll tell you one thing, as outsiders, I don’t think either you or I could say whether having all that relief in there by Tuesday was doable, especially when the news was reporting on Monday that New Orleans had been spared the damage they thought it would have.

According to the article I posted the other week, there was communication and the President declared a state of emergency.

http://www.eurotrip….

"The federal government does not have the authority to intervene in a
state emergency without the request of a governor. President Bush
declared an emergency prior to Katrina hitting New Orleans, so the only action needed for federal assistance was for Gov. Blanco to request the specific type of assistance she needed. She failed to send a timely request for specific aid."

quote: How about some communication and delegation? No, instead Chertoff says he "didn’t know" about the people at the Convention Center until THURSDAY and Bush flies from his ranch to San Diego. Nagin didn’t organize an evacuation and then the Red Cross is now saying that they were turned away from New Orleans. See how it’s the system? Failures around 9.11 were explained in the Commission Report as a failure of the security and intelligence system.

The 9/11 Commission report was incomplete. The blame for 9/11 can clearly be layed at the feet of attorney Jamie Gorelick who refused to nab Mohammed Atta and the other throat cutters. It’s easy to say it’s "the system’s" fault where blame gets spread around so thin that no one blamed, but if this one dufus Gorelick hadn’t let Atta roam around this country, the twin towers would still be standing.

http://www.humaneven…

quote:Fine, that’s true, but the majority of the people who were trapped in the convention center/superdome were there because they had nowhere else to go.

I’m sure some also thought that the storm would be not as big a deal as they were making on the news. I mean how often has a storm come through your town and the news is reporting it like its the end of the world when it’s no big deal? The news blows everything out of proportion. I don’t know how many times my mother has called me to see if I’m okay in the latest quake she saw on the news in California, and I didn’t even know a quake happened to begin with. I’m willing to be that the boy cried wolfing of the news had something to do with some of the people staying behind.

quote:Intervention after Halabja? Sure, I would have supported that.

So if a full scale invasion by the US(as we saw in 2003) to topple Saddam had taken place right after the Halabja massacre, it would’ve had your blessing? I want to be clear where you stand.

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I would only support an intervention after Hallabja if the USA launched interventions into other nations that were experiencing similar suffering at the time. Why can’t you understand that the problem I have is with lies and hypocrisy? The USA says it went into Iraq partially because of genocide. Well, genocide was clearly taking place well in advance of the US invasion, but it never seemed to be an issue worthy of troops until recently. Similar nasty and threatening regimes (i.e. North Korea) were in full swing, so clearly other reasons were motivating the invasion (and not WMDs). If you wanted to invade Iraq, at least be honest about the political strategy, rather than trying to use morality as an excuse.

At any rate, this is really fucking useless. Haven’t we argued this bullshit countless times?

quote:I’m sure some also thought that the storm would be not as big a deal as they were making on the news. I mean how often has a storm come through your town and the news is reporting it like its the end of the world when it’s no big deal?
You’re grasping at straws. The people who got really shafted were the ones at the freakin convention center and the superdome and they are the ones who took the evauation mandate seriously! I have sympathy for those stranded in their homes, but like you said, they were warned.

I don’t for the life of me understand why you’re defending "the system" when you’re one of the people who spoke up about how it was screwed up in the first place re: New Orleans.

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What’s clear are that there were some serious problems regarding how it was handled and that just should not have happened, end of story. Relating this back to Rwanda, same case, except it involves the entire world and the United Nations.

Sometimes I feel like you argue the toss just to have something to argue about.

Re: your stuff about the 9/11 Commission Report, have you even read it, or just read articles about it? If you’ve actually read it, you probably wouldn’t be making this comment, because there were countless other times during both the Clinton and Bush Administrations that the whole thing could have been prevented. This Gorelick incident is merely one of them.

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quote:
I would only support an intervention after Hallabja if the USA launched interventions into other nations that were experiencing similar suffering at the time.

So what do you think of people like say…Pat Buchanon(also opposed to the war in Iraq of course) who says it’s none of our business to nation build across the globe or intervene in conflicts that are none of our business?

quote:
Why can’t you understand that the problem I have is with lies and hypocrisy? The USA says it went into Iraq partially because of genocide. Well, genocide was clearly taking place well in advance of the US invasion, but it never seemed to be an issue worthy of troops until recently.

I don’t think the US hyped up the genocide and human rights issue nearly as much as the WMD issue. Personally, I do think that Bush believed there were WMDs there, but that his cabinet and the neoconservatives hawks he consults like Richard Perle wanted to go in for ideological reasons, like regime change across middle east hoping that Iraq would fall, then Syria and Iran after them, which would then put pressure on the Saudis. I think it’s more than one reason that we went in there.

quote:
I don’t for the life of me understand why you’re defending "the system" when you’re one of the people who spoke up about how it was screwed up in the first place re: New Orleans.

I’m not defending the system, to reiterate the point I already made…we need individuals who made bad decisions leading up to these events to blame.

quote:
What’s clear are that there were some serious problems regarding how it was handled and that just should not have happened, end of story. Relating this back to Rwanda, same case, except it involves the entire world and the United Nations.

I still don’t agree with your Rwanda analogy, but I guess we’re at an impasse and we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

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quote:So what do you think of people like say…Pat Buchanon(also opposed to the war in Iraq of course) who says it’s none of our business to nation build across the globe or intervene in conflicts that are none of our business?
I think that’s unrealistic.

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Unrealistic on OUR part, hope, or that Buchanan is isolationist?

Remember, the old school conservatives are anti-interventionists with respect to other nations’ affairs, unless there’s a big chance for winning a conflict AND getting something out of it. I don’t doubt this in Pat Buchanan and others of his ilk.

The thing with Bush is that, he hides his true imperialist/bullying tendencies behind idealistic(and Liberalist) values. "Regime change" and "Democratization", are not true conservative tenets. They belong to the Woodrow Wilson shool of positive change for a democratic world. The problem is, WE get to choose how OTHER countries should behave. That’s a problem with the rest of the world. And, understandably so. What’s more, democratization is a Western ideal. That does not mesh with Muslim(indeed, most other) cultures. There is this HUGE credibility gap that Bush and his admin canNOT explain, and among the issues are:

1)The Saudis are our "allies" and friends, but they are among the farthest from being democratic in any way possible.
2)Pakistan, another Muslim country, is our close ally. Musharraf got his seat by a coup. Democratic partner? Hahaha!!!
3)Turkey is our ally, but they have a history of um…….suspending democracy, and installing martial law at various times.
4)Egypt. Egypt has been our ally since Sadat signed the peace treaty with Israel in ’78. But, M.Hosni Mubarak has been in power for, oh….24 years! Yeah, he’s been in office since Sadat was assasinated. Problem is, his National Democratic Party miraculously just keeps winning! Imagine that. What a "lucky" party, they just keep winning.
5)Jordan. Jordan is a monarchy—-not a democracy. King Abdullah seems very nice, like his father. Yeah, but not a democracy.

So, you see folks. This is where I’ve had the biggest bone to pick with Mr. Bush’s supposed cry for democracy and reform in the Middle East/North Africa realm. Our best friends in the region are years away from anything WE and the Western world call a democracy.

Simply, he’s full of shit, and it’s all about maintaining a foothold in the region to exploit for a little longer the black gold that runs throughout the region. The only reason we haven’t exploited Africa is because that region, on the whole, is even MORE unstable than the Middle East. The only way we can maintain the status quo in the ME is to support and make business with undemocratic rulers who have a knack for stifling free speech and making people disappear. That way, everybody in business is happy…… For a while, at least.

Boy, but the 1979 Iranian Revolution scared the West! Oh, don’t get me started talking about Iran…….

Sorry, to hijack your thread, hope.

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Syd,

I’d differ in my analysis, we’re at that point where the wealth and influence of the financial sector (Wall Street, The City) eclipses that of the domestic industrial sector (Detroit, Manchester). The
focus of state policy formulation, which inearlier phases (50’s-60’s) was essentially the maximization of domestic industrial growth,
becomes in the phase (2) the maximization of financial-sector
investment returns. Domestic industrial and infrastructure
development must now compete with other investment opportunities.

Because of all the international relationships that financial
institutions have established in the course of supporting
industrial trade during phase 1, the financial sector is well
able to pursue its investment opportunities on a more-or-less
global scale. Investment in a less-developed state economy,
one on the up-curve of phase 1, can offer far greater returns
than investments in an aging domestic industrial sector.
Domestic industry deteriorates, unemployment rises, and the
domestic economy goes into decline – while the financial
sector continues to amass wealth. We see this in the rotting
smokestack industries of America’s north east, and we saw it a
century before in the decline of once-proud British industry.

In phase two the mission of diplomatic and military
initiatives naturally shifts in alignment with overall state
priorities – supporting the interests of the domestic
financial sector. The mission is no longer to obtain raw
materials for domestic industry, but rather to open up
economies to investment, to control resources which have value
on international markets, and other objectives.

I’d say that we’re entering the final third wave of Globalization, socio-politically stable regions have been embraced, new growth cannot be realized unless we demilitarize and democratize these areas.

Think about it. There was no real need for Iraqi oil resources right now, in fact the liberation of Iraq should have seen the price of oil down down as output increased (Iraq was only allowed to seel a fraction of it’s oil in the UN program) but it’s the exact opposite prices have went up as can happen in fiat system that can be manipulated and played in the face of a glut.

Why did oil prices rise before the hurricane had blew itself out, is it really that "hand to mouth"? Nope, it’s blatent profiteering

The primary purpose of the war on terror was to save the global economy, it was about to collapse…we now have two new capiatlist markets to grow, an Iraqi one and an Afghan one their contribution to globalism was nil till then and even now the rebuilding program is boosting profit sheets on wall street.. public funds in tax payment being re-routed to foreign lands and skimming of profits by privately own companies… Americans need to wake up!

BTW: the Chinese are investing heavily in Africa already, I think they know the end game.. South America & Africa will be the final global financial battlegrounds.

Financiers and Industrialists run the world, probably the two most powerful (and corrupt) men the world has ever seen were John D. Rockefeller and JP Morgan, the diddies in the whitehouse are but just puppets being played.

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I’m saying that Pat Buchanan is unrealistic if he thinks that ‘superpower’ nations in the world can get by without interventions in other countries. Economies are connected. Politics are connected (half the regimes that exist in the world, the USA and other western countries fostered in the first place) and history is connected. Resources are also limited. Therefore, it’s unrealistic to think that we can be isolationist.

quote:Simply, he’s full of shit, and it’s all about maintaining a foothold in the region to exploit for a little longer the black gold that runs throughout the region.
Of course. The main reason government was created in the first place was to maintain the status quo and subjugate those not in power. If you look at the history of governments and nations in the first place, most of them were set up and created by the "haves" in order to maintain their elevated places. The United States government was founded by men who desired to maintain their statuses as wealthy and powerful landowners. Many of the compromises and democratic ideas put forth in the Constitution were crafted to keep the peace in order to maintain the structure of these men on top and farmers, peasants, women, small landowners, etc. on the bottom.

So what you’re saying is true and always has been. That’s the point of this post for me, really. What happened in the past is being repeated now and will be in the future.

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Of course. The main reason government was created in the first place was to maintain the status quo and subjugate those not in power.

Wow, that’s a rather grimm outlook. Gee, I always thought the purpose of government was to provide an alternative to anarchy and mobocracy. If New Orleans after Katrina is what a society looks like when government disappears, I think I’ll take the "status quo" and "subjugation."

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quote:Wow, that’s a rather grimm outlook.
Unfortuately it’s a more realistic one. Yes, government protects against anarchy, but a careful examination of the history of government, spanning from Greek and Roman times up until now will generally prove that those in power create structure in order to maintain their places in it.

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quote:
quote:
Of course. The main reason government was created in the first place was to maintain the status quo and subjugate those not in power.

Wow, that’s a rather grimm outlook. Gee, I always thought the purpose of government was to provide an alternative to anarchy and mobocracy. If New Orleans after Katrina is what a society looks like when government disappears, I think I’ll take the "status quo" and "subjugation."

Wow, that’s a a rather grimm outlook. Gee, I always thought the purpose of the politburo was to provide an alternative to anarchy and mobocracy… but obviously you didn’t Modulius.

Why is your overwhelming childish admiration of your own countries modus operandi so beyond ridicule and dissection? It’s so sickening the way you prick up (excuse the pun) for the socio-political cognoscenti each time they’re attacked which you will NEVER EVER be a part of ??

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quote:
Wow, that’s a a rather grimm outlook. Gee, I always thought the purpose of the politburo was to provide an alternative to anarchy and mobocracy… but obviously you didn’t Modulius.

Why is your overwhelming childish admiration of your own countries modus operandi so beyond ridicule and dissection? It’s so sickening the way you prick up (excuse the pun) for the socio-political cognoscenti each time they’re attacked which you will NEVER EVER be a part of ??

I don’t have any desire to be a part of the any socio-political "cognoscenti". I just want to live my life and have to ability to shape my own future. No "cognoscenti" is stopping me from doing that.

So what superior alternative do you propose to having a government, Jboy? I take it anarchy is not an option, you don’t like the concept of a government. What the hell do you want?

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quote:
Simply, he’s full of shit, and it’s all about maintaining a foothold in the region to exploit for a little longer the black gold that runs throughout the region. The only reason we haven’t exploited Africa is because that region, on the whole, is even MORE unstable than the Middle East. The only way we can maintain the status quo in the ME is to support and make business with undemocratic rulers who have a knack for stifling free speech and making people disappear. That way, everybody in business is happy…… For a while, at least.

Let me ask you a question. Before I ask though, I’ll say that nobody in this forum knows what the final outcome will be in Iraq, it may be good, it may be bad, we truly don’t know. Whether we should have gone in there in the first place is a seperate issue, we’re there now and there’s no going back. The on to my question…

If Iraq is a success and if we’re still here 15 years from now on Eurotrip squabbling over politics(hope not, but you never know) and Iraq is a modern democratic nation with checks and balances in government, a modern economy and infrastructure, and model Arab democracy. Will you still have an unwavering hatred of the decision to go to war?

One thing I tend to notice amongst people who were opposed to the war from the start for ideological reasons is that they seem to be unwilling to budge or modify their position in any way no matter what the outcome. I’m not necessarily saying this is you, because I don’t know, but I’m talking about people I’ve talked to in the real world. I think one can hold the position that they think the war was a bad decision to make based on the reasons given, but if the final outcome is that region of the world becoming a better place, then perhaps the world is better off because of that decision. What do you think, Syd?

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quote:
quote:
Simply, he’s full of shit, and it’s all about maintaining a foothold in the region to exploit for a little longer the black gold that runs throughout the region. The only reason we haven’t exploited Africa is because that region, on the whole, is even MORE unstable than the Middle East. The only way we can maintain the status quo in the ME is to support and make business with undemocratic rulers who have a knack for stifling free speech and making people disappear. That way, everybody in business is happy…… For a while, at least.

Let me ask you a question. Before I ask though, I’ll say that nobody in this forum knows what the final outcome will be in Iraq, it may be good, it may be bad, we truly don’t know. Whether we should have gone in there in the first place is a seperate issue, we’re there now and there’s no going back. The on to my question…

If Iraq is a success and if we’re still here 15 years from now on Eurotrip squabbling over politics(hope not, but you never know) and Iraq is a modern democratic nation with checks and balances in government, a modern economy and infrastructure, and model Arab democracy. Will you still have an unwavering hatred of the decision to go to war?

One thing I tend to notice amongst people who were opposed to the war from the start for ideological reasons is that they seem to be unwilling to budge or modify their position in any way no matter what the outcome. I’m not necessarily saying this is you, because I don’t know, but I’m talking about people I’ve talked to in the real world. I think one can hold the position that they think the war was a bad decision to make based on the reasons given, but if the final outcome is that region of the world becoming a better place, then perhaps the world is better off because of that decision. What do you think, Syd?

You see, Modulis, I never bought the bait……the ideological bait, (not to mention the WMD’s)that the admin waived in front of the masses years ago, about going to war for freedom and democracy in Iraq, et al. It’s not that it isn’t a noble idea, but you just don’t see the fatal flaw in the logic: another country(us) are attempting to imprint OUR ideal into another country/region(Iraq). Do you see where I’m coming from? It will not work.

You see, if you understand the region and its longtime, back-and-forth rivalries between Shiits, Sunnis, Kurds, Azeris, Armenians, Turks, Arabs, etc., then you’ll realize that our "foreign" goal of uniting them, is impossible. Ok. Say you’re right. Say, by some miraculous way, Iraq bypasses civil war(we are talking fictionally, because, as you must now know, my brutha, it’s happening right now), and just suddenly forgets it internal historical discontent. Do you think that will last? How long? Remember also, that the poor people will stay poor, if not poorer. And, as all democratization goes, there will be an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor. How long do you think before the mullahs in the mosques start calling for the overthrow of the government and mobilizing the poor among the masses? Can you say, Iran, 1979?

As foreign to democracy as Muslim culture is, it’s for THEM to reform, not us to MAKE them.

Modulis, it sounds to me that you still have hope for this affair. I never did, and that’s why I was so opposed to it in the first place. Middle East experts and analysts in the government were overwhelmingly against this war. I feel so bad for the troops and personnel fighting in Iraq, because overwhelmingly after they come back, they often say ‘how different’ everything really is over there. They are the people we should pay the most heed to. If our soldiers don’t feel so sure about making a difference over there, why should we believe our policy-makers?

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Also, it’s kind of funny that a country that is just over 200 years old in a democracy itself, and that took 100 years of democracy to free its own slaves, and 150 of democracy to give women the right to vote, wants to implement a democracy in a civilization thousands of years old in a matter of months to years!

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quote:
Also, it’s kind of funny that a country that is just over 200 years old in a democracy itself, and that took 100 years of democracy to free its own slaves, and 150 of democracy to give women the right to vote,

Gimme a break! Slavery existed on every continent on the entire planet at the time it existed here. Some enslaving other races, some enslaving even their own. Most African slaves in fact went to the Arab world, moreso than America. We were one of the first nations on the globe to ban it. Not THE first, but ONE of the first, and launched itself into a civil war sparked by the slavery debate. Please don’t pull out that card, Hope. As for women, in what country were women NOT second class citizens up until last century? In much of the world they still aren’t.

quote: wants to implement a democracy in a civilization thousands of years old in a matter of months to years!

They may be thousands of years older than us, but they are also a good thousand years BEHIND us. They created the Zero, and since then, I’ve been waiting for some great advancement to come from that region.

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You see, Modulis, I never bought the bait……the ideological bait, (not to mention the WMD’s)that the admin waived in front of the masses years ago, about going to war for freedom and democracy in Iraq, et al. It’s not that it isn’t a noble idea, but you just don’t see the fatal flaw in the logic: another country(us) are attempting to imprint OUR ideal into another country/region(Iraq). Do you see where I’m coming from? It will not work.

How do you know that the majority of Iraqis don’t want democracy? Most of them went out and voted despite all the predictions that there would be a bloodbath. I thought they’d all stay home given that the terrorist Sunnis were determined to carbomb every polling booth they could find. But it went on largely without incident, and a higher number of Iraqis went to vote than Americans did. So maybe we could say they want democracy more than we do?

quote:
You see, if you understand the region and its longtime, back-and-forth rivalries between Shiits, Sunnis, Kurds, Azeris, Armenians, Turks, Arabs, etc., then you’ll realize that our "foreign" goal of uniting them, is impossible.

It might be necessary to make a second nation just for the Sunnis.

quote:
Ok. Say you’re right. Say, by some miraculous way, Iraq bypasses civil war(we are talking fictionally, because, as you must now know, my brutha, it’s happening right now), and just suddenly forgets it internal historical discontent. Do you think that will last? How long?

I don’t know, but I think eventually there will probably need to be a two state solution there.

quote: Remember also, that the poor people will stay poor, if not poorer. And, as all democratization goes, there will be an ever-increasing gap between rich and poor.

Why would a free and democratic Iraq make people poorer? I’m not saying it’s going to turn into Switzerland overnight but I see no reason why you think it would become poorer than it would living under a dictator.

quote:
How long do you think before the mullahs in the mosques start calling for the overthrow of the government and mobilizing the poor among the masses? Can you say, Iran, 1979?

Al-Sistani says that democracy is compatible with Islam. He is widely respected there.

quote:
As foreign to democracy as Muslim culture is, it’s for THEM to reform, not us to MAKE them.

I don’t buy this. The same could’ve been said of Imperial Japan. Do you think Japan is better off because the US IMPOSED democracy on it? And I do think you can have a Muslim democracy. Look at Turkey.

quote:
Modulis, it sounds to me that you still have hope for this affair.

I’m about 50/50 on it. I don’t think it’ll be easy and I think we’ll need two seperate nations for Sunnis and Shiites. I honestly don’t know why they are trying to put the two together or why there isn’t more debate about creating a seperate state for Sunnis.

quote: I never did, and that’s why I was so opposed to it in the first place. Middle East experts and analysts in the government were overwhelmingly against this war. I feel so bad for the troops and personnel fighting in Iraq, because overwhelmingly after they come back, they often say ‘how different’ everything really is over there. They are the people we should pay the most heed to. If our soldiers don’t feel so sure about making a difference over there, why should we believe our policy-makers?

Seems to be a mixed bag. I’ve talked to soldiers that believe in what they’re doing there. Some are opposed to it of course, but given that the overwhelming majority of the soldiers voted to re-elect the man that sent them into the line of fire, I take it most of them must support the war.

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Modulis, you’re still missing the point. You make some minor comebacks in your previous response, but you’re overlooking the big picture: WE ARE IMPOSING ON THEM, OUR VALUES, OUR WAYS OF LIVING, AND OUR IDEAS!!!!!

That may have worked for a while, during the Cold War, but even that is debatable. You see, there’s this thing called blowback. For every action there’s a reaction, right? Ok. What involvement we’ve had in the region in the past was NEVER for the people of the Middle East! Ok? So, why should the majority of them believe our sincerity now? Of course, many want change in Iraq, and many Iraqis are voting(as well, they should). But, it’s not going to be the same democracy. You think Al-Sistani’s democracy is gonna be like ours? Japan? Ha! You cannot, my friend, compare Japan with Iraq. You make it sound as if one cookie-cutter formula of foreign policy is going to work on ALL. That’s not only ignorance on your part, but also demeaning of all other countries; you’re basically assuming that we can control how other countries behave after we manipulate and change them, following defeat. We didn’t give Japan any alternative as to how and what type of government they wanted. We basically told them, "You are free to have any government we give you."

I soooooo hope that I’m wrong, but by removing the Saddam regime in Iraq, we’ve left a power vaccum in the region that will destabilize and cause more bloodshed for some time to come.

Uh, as for soldiers voting Bush back in. Sure, I wouldn’t be surprised that more of them voted. He’s promised them a lot of material, Modulis. I only hope for their sake that he’s delivered(and will continue delivering). What’s more, the soldiers could be in support of the war……….but I’m sure as shit, they ain’t supporting the occupation and rebuilding effort as much as you’d like to think. Hey, but what the hell do I know…..?

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Modulis, you’re basically a well-intentioned though somewhat naive (although not as naive as he once used to be) idealist.

Sometimes it’s like you are in a sort of social vacuum. Generally by maturing, growing up, going through life experience, people realize that most individuals are not naturally altruistic regarding money or power, therefore groups of people (i.e. nations ruled by government) definitely aren’t.

I don’t know, I guess it’s good that there are some people out there who will stand up and defend the USA regardless (I know a lot of people still think that the original colonists came over from Europe with eyes brimming of democracy and religious freedom when in fact the American Revolution was instigated and propagated by a minority of settlers…take a guess which ones…) of the situation, but it definitely makes me wonder.

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Well Hope, I’m sorry to hear that you think I’m naive. Guess we’ll just have to disagree on that too. I’ll tell you one thing though, an idealist I am certainly not.

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Perhaps one day Iraq can become a one party state like Japan!

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Well Mod,

Vietnam, the outcome shows it was a waste of time and the short term narrown view taken to go in was wrong. In fact Communism, Vietanm and China are on very good trading terms with the USA.

Bottom line is the war wasn’t fought for democracy, but bcoz of trade and goods, contracts were signed with the Russians & French and oil was being paid for in euros.

If it was good deeds, we’d be in Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Lybia, and Vietnam, Burma but we’re not.

So ditch the good samaritian part, we’d invade Saudia Arabia as there are many injutsices going on in there, womens rights, no political freedom of speech, law and order etc.

You are so selective in your nit picking !

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YAY! Romeo Dallaire, the UN general left in Rwanda during the genocide (and also the character off of which Nick Nolte’s was based in Hotel Rwanda, and about whom Shake Hands With the Devil featured), is coming to Rochester to speak on Nov. 9th. Guess who will be there!!! Should be interesting.

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General Dellaire is probably one of the only westeners who went out of that situation with a bith of honour left. Enjoy yourself – and be ashamed on behalf of the french government, the american government and the UN.

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That’s a Canadian for ya!

I am interested in checking out his book, but waiting for a paperback.

Should be cool hope!

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Isn’t he french ?

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French-Canadian, from Quebec.