Monday, January 30, 2012

Fair Play is for Sissies

Fair Play Fire Co by paynehollow
Fair Play Fire Co, a photo by paynehollow on Flickr.

Okay, moving away from that fruity-loopy "poetry" garbage, let me post this:

How in the world did I miss this last week...?

During last night's Republican debate in South Carolina, Congressman Ron Paul was booed for advocating the "Golden Rule" in foreign policy.

"If another country does to us what we do others, we're not going to like it very much. So I would say that maybe we ought to consider a 'Golden Rule' in foreign policy. Don't do to other nations what we don't want to have them do to us," said Paul, who was greeted with boos.


International Business Times

In an audience composed of conservative (presumably largely Christian) GOP members, Ron Paul advocates the Golden Rule ("Do unto others as you'd have them do unto you") and gets booed??

Here it is on the Youtubes

Wow.

What is the world supposed to make of that? Have any conservative Christians addressed this point? Have they taken the Fox Audience to task or defended the booing?

I will say this: I like Ron Paul. I'd much rather have a legitimate and honest Libertarian in office than a standard GOP flack. Ron Paul is consistent and I appreciate that.

Don't get me wrong: I wouldn't want to see Paul as president, I'm just saying he's easily my favorite of the GOP candidates for president. He's still got some loopy opinions, but at least they're consistent and rational from a Libertarian worldview...

Shame on you, South Carolina. It's a good thing Jesus H. Christ isn't running for President, Lord knows what they'd do to Him.

88 comments:

Parklife said...

The audiences at the GOP debates have had some stumbles. Funny that they boo the golden rule. Im pretty sure that a guy with a family history from the Middle East, preaching kindness and love would have no shot at the GOPs nomination.

I think its been mentioned by conservatives that Obama paused to contemplate if the US should take out OBL. This pause is more than understanding given the complicated relationship between the US and Pakistan. While nearly every American feels taking OBL was the right choice, Pakistan's response has been less than surprising. I highly doubt that Americans would appreciate being invaded the way we descended on OBLs compound.

Ron Paul is a bit of a nut. I guess you could call him a reformed racist libertarian.

Alan said...

Jesus Christ talked about the Golden Rule. Ayn Rand talked about the "virtue of selfishness."

It isn't surprising that Republicans would value Rand over Christ, after all, they're miserable sinners like anyone else. It is only surprising that 1) they're so open about it and 2) it is no longer bad politics to be so open about it.

As for the audiences at GOP debates, the Democrats could win an election just playing clips from GOP audiences booing Jesus, US soldiers, cheering old people dying without insurance, cheering Newt for putting an uppity black guy "in his place.", etc., etc., etc.

The Republican primaries season is like Lord of the Flies this year.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

"The Republican primaries season is like Lord of the Flies this year." - with Obama, no doubt, as the pig.

That's a great line. Alas, it isn't intelligible to the common folk, Alan. You west coast elitist.

Oh, and I quoted both Milton and Nietzsche in a blog post yesterday, which I suppose is further evidence I'm one of those oppressive elitists.

Perhaps Bismark's quip, "No state can be governed according to the Sermon on the Mount", was floating around the room? He was a conservative, too.

Marshall Art said...

How incredibly shallow and deceitful to suggest that the audience was booing the Golden Rule, when anybody who pays attention knows that people are booing Paul's position on foreign policy. It is stupid to regard his comments separate from the response it provokes. He clearly insinuates what isn't true about our involvement in these wars, as if we were just sitting around with nothing better to do than go bomb Iraq and Afghanistan. That's a pretty simplistic understanding of the situation and dangerous for a potential president to hold.

Dan,

Your delight in Ron Paul lends more credence what I've said many times, that you have no true conception of what conservatism is and thus your claims to have been one are only claims.

As to whom Republicans show more allegiance (Christ or Rand), it is clear that on issues of morality and virtue, Christ, who has no middle name, is our guide. Rand's understanding of market forces is not without merit and "selfishness", if she truly supported it, has more to do with what it takes to have a successful economy. There's a balance between doing for one's self by doing for others that is the heart of creating a successful business. Democrats believe business should serve everyone BUT the one who creates it, but none of them put in the effort to do so or, should they endeavor to create a business, find that it doesn't work that way.

Furthermore, Dem audiences aren't smart enough to do anything BUT vote on foolish emotion rather than on reality and fact. That's why they supported Obama in the first place. But Dems don't vote alone. Right-wingers and independents do as well and they are not so stupid as to believe that GOP audiences are "booing Jesus, US soldiers, cheering old people dying without insurance, cheering Newt for putting an uppity black guy "in his place.", etc., etc., etc." because they know none of that is true in the least, having never happened.

Alan said...

"That's a great line. Alas, it isn't intelligible to the common folk, Alan. You west coast elitist."

Let them eat cake. ;)

Alan said...

On second thought, meh, forget it. From a humor standpoint, it is better to let MA's statement sit without a response from me. :)

That sh*t is comedy gold right there.

Parklife said...

"That sh*t is comedy gold right there."

+1

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

How incredibly shallow and deceitful to suggest that the audience was booing the Golden Rule, when anybody who pays attention knows that people are booing Paul's position on foreign policy.

I stand corrected. They weren't booing Jesus' teachings, they were booing Jesus' teachings being advocated as a reasonable foreign policy, when clearly, we can't expect to live out Jesus' teachings in the real world at the international level because that'd be crazy. And probably socialist.

Comedy gold, indeed.

Marshall Art said...

Comedy gold? There's some of that "ad hom" crap you would surely accuse me of had it come from me. Hypocrite.

Alan said...

"I stand corrected."

Yes, you do. But then, when have you, like the rest of us, ever in your entire life been correct about anything ever, Dan?

What could I possibly know what Ayn Rand thought about selfishness, for example? It's an indecipherable mystery completely unanswered by the book she wrote (which, I'll wager I'm the only one here unlucky enough to have read) with the title "The Virtue of Selfishness."

If only she hadn't been so circumspect. Why, oh why, did she have to be so cagey? Why couldn't she just come out and say what she meant?

But then, I suppose even if she had done ... ya know ... that readin' crap is too deep for normal people. ;)

Yer a pip, MA.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I never read "The Virtue of Selfishness". In fact, I tried reading "Atlas Shrugged" and after fifty pages I realized why he did that. Boring, boring, boring.

Another thing should be mentioned about Ms. Rand. She believed in free love, and had the crazy idea that women enjoyed rape. If you look at her works - film scripts, stage plays, novels - the women seem to enjoy being treated like sexual objects.

Her writings are a moral lime pit.

Alan said...

"I never read "The Virtue of Selfishness"."

Ah, well, as an human being, I am envious you never had to wade through that drivel and as an elitist I am contemptuous that you never waded through that drivel.

I'm guessing at least some of that general weirdness -- including as you say -- her swinging open relationships with several married men while she was married -- may have had a little something to do with her snorting mountains of coke large enough to frighten an olympic skier. Just a guess.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

And for someone who insisted on an individual's freedom of thought and action to be the highest good (kind of like the Marquis de Sade), she was none too pleased when erstwhile disciples criticized this or that small portion of her "philosophy".

I hate the fact we're even having this conversation. Ayn Rand . . . just ick.

Parklife said...

"if she truly supported it"

Ma has never read Ayn Rand? I thought that was required reading for the far right.

Alan said...

Yeah, ick indeed. My bad; I brought her up. But that's because I'm an elitist. ;)

Dan Trabue said...

Marshall...

Comedy gold? There's some of that "ad hom" crap you would surely accuse me of

It's an ad hom attack that I find your points ironically (and sadly) humorous? What am I attacking, Marshall?

As to this earlier comment...

Your delight in Ron Paul lends more credence what I've said many times, that you have no true conception of what conservatism is

It's off topic, but I'll allow it: Are you thinking Paul does NOT represent traditional conservatism? Being for truly (across the board) small gov't? Being against military adventurism? Being anti-taxation? His anti-criminalization of drugs? His opposition to eminent domain?

I disagree with many of his positions, but Paul is arguably the most authentic and consistent conservative of the group, based on traditional conservative tenets. Are you saying Paul does not represent "real" conservatism?

Marshall Art said...

I won't deny that libertarians have similarities, Dan. But they are the truly extreme in their philosophies. As to Paul himself, he, like you, believe ANY military action is unjustified simply because. And of course, he thinks we are attacked because we're the bad guys. This is stupidity in foreign affairs and pretty freakin' dangerous for anyone to believe who seeks the White House.

As to the Golden Rule, this is not applicable to foreign affairs when the affairs are dealing with Islamic despots. He's an idiot for thinking people are itching to go to war. This is stupidity. And he's a bigger idiot for thinking that if we're nice guys and don't bother the despots that they'll never dream of messing with us or our allies. Or should we cut ties to all our allies so as not to piss off our enemies?

"It's an ad hom attack that I find your points ironically (and sadly) humorous?"

No. It is when I do it to YOUR ludicrous comments. THAT was the point. I don't care if you think my comments are silly. It would be nice if you guys would explain why, once in a while, like I do when pointing out YOUR goofiness.

Marshall Art said...

Alan,

I wouldn't call you an "elitist". Certainly not the first thing that comes to mind.

I also wouldn't bank on your understanding of Rand. But of those on the right who have read her work (I'm not one of them), it's doubtful that all of them find her without shortcomings. I don't believe I've ever heard anyone speak of her as perfect in any way, but only right on specific things. It is typical of those like yourself to make blanket assumptions about what people on the right believe, given your poor understanding of anything we believe.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Hee-hee.

Just like he has never read Bonhoeffer but insists I don't really understand him, Alan, Art insists that even though he hasn't read Rand and you have, you don't understand her, and he does based on what other people have said.

Awesome. You can't make up stuff like this.

Alan said...

Geoffrey wrote, "Awesome. You can't make up stuff like this."

Well, *we* can't. Obviously *someone* can... eg:

"It is typical of those like yourself to make blanket assumptions..."

And another one! LOL The laughs just keep a-comin'!!

Try the veal folks, and don't forget to tip your waitress!

Parklife said...

"As to the Golden Rule, this is not applicable to foreign affairs when the affairs are dealing with Islamic despots."

:)

Nothing beats a Ma comment like another Ma comment.

"My bad; I brought her up"

Seriously.. a bit of a Voldemort moment there. Alan, I suggest not reading any more books. We all know the side effects.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

As to the topic at hand, there is this notion of what at least some in foreign policy circles call "enlightened self-interest". It takes for granted the assumptions of realpolitik, that nation-states are motivated by self-interest in their dealings with one another, rather than any prior commitment to any arbitrary moral code.

It defines "self-interest", however, in a near-term, even long-term set of categories, rather than the more traditional short-term notions of political realism. Thus, for example, it might well be in the interest of the United States to cultivate better relations with democratic India, as a counter-weight to despotic and unstable Pakistan, our traditional ally in the sub-continent. Or, to take another case, it might well be in our self-interest to work with Egypt and Jordan, the two Arab states with formal relations with Israel, to make the case for a final settlement of the Palestinian question. While I realize this riles some folks who think that Israel is our only ally in the region, this just isn't the case. It would have the added benefit of shutting out the medieval monarchy in Addis Abbaba, with whom, for some odd reason, many American administrations have felt some weird kinship.

One can, I think, in a weird way, apply certain principles rooted in a Christian understanding of justice and fairness to foreign affairs. It requires patience, thick skin, and the ability to ignore people who scream absurdities at their TV screens.

John Farrier said...

Well, Jesus is Constitutionally disqualified from the Presidency. So making that argument alone should be enough.

Ron Paul has some good ideas. But if he wrote those racist and conspiratorial newsletter articles, then he's morally and mentally unfit for the office of President. And if he didn't write them and was suckered by someone else for years, then he's too incompetent for the job.

Marshall Art said...

"...and he does based on what other people have said."

At some point it would nice to see just a little truth when you boys speak of me. My sentiments about your collective ability to understand what you read is based on things that YOU BOYS have said, not what others say. If you've shown poor understanding before, failing to even accurately restate MY positions (and with Geoffrey, a few cases of him misunderstanding highlighted excerpts of writings of people who impressed him---no, I won't go find them for proof), I have little faith that anything you read will be properly understood.

more later...

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

"more later"

At least I have the chance to pop some popcorn. I am breathlessly awaiting Art's analysis of how I've misunderstood things I've read that he hasn't.

Will the "more later" be on topic? Just curious . . .

Alan said...

"At least I have the chance to pop some popcorn."

Popcorn is elitist, Geoffrey. I'm going to watch some NASCAR and pop open a cold, frosty PBR.

Indeed, Geoffrey, in spite of his "little faith that anything you read will be properly understood. ..." I'm sure he'll keep blathering on anyway.

"more later..."

Yup. Oh. Joy.

If we just say now that we agree that we won't understand anything he writes, do you s'pose that he'll shut up?

Let's take a vote. How many of us promise to not understand anything he writes if he agrees to stop writing?

Me!

(BTW, see what I did there? I split an infinitive just to show what a "regular guy" I am!)

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I abhor split infinitives.

Parklife said...

"I abhor split infinitives."

Marshall is a split infinitive.

"promise to not understand anything he writes"

I think he said we dont have any other option but to misunderstand all his well supported arguments. I would offer support for this but I'm not going to bother finding proof... that.. and Geoffery has popcorn.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

A lady friend of mine took a class from the late, great New Testament scholar Reginald Fuller. The only comment on her final paper for that class was those four words scrawled on the last page. Going through, I realized most of her infinitives had a marvelous little adverb sitting between the "to" and the verb.

I've kept that phrase in my repertoire ever since.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Art wrote: "to even accurately restate".

English grammar fail.

Why don't we understand what he writes?

Alan said...

Me fail English? That's unpossible!
-- Ralph Wiggum

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I'd actually love to read more of Art's thoughts on why it's OK to ignore the Bible when it comes to killing all those dusky folks overseas who, according to him, are despots who want to kill us; all the while, if I were single and put my penis where he told me I didn't belong, I am always and forever worse than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Chuck E Cheese combined.

Alan said...

"Art's thoughts"

Reality fail.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Oops.

Also, I wrote the word "penis", which in and of itself should drive folks like Alan to distraction.

Alan said...

Well, you know us queers, I was already thinking it before you wrote it.

Dan Trabue said...

Silliness is okay, but please leave Art out of it. He's had enough of us pointing out the irony/humor in his comments, as far as I'm concerned.

Alan said...

Apparently not.

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

Your defense of me is unnecessary, though I'm sure you mean something less than to defend the likes of me. But consider that the best your three cohorts can do is mock me and they pretty much validate my statements about them. I don't lose any sleep from reading their "clever" rejoinders.

Alan said...

Like I said ... apparently not.

Marshall Art said...

So I'm going to be lectured about grammar by one guy who says "if I were single and put my penis where he told me I didn't belong", and by another guy who apparently fancies himself some kind of purist in the realm of grammar, but not the realm of God's teachings about human sexuality. Wow. I'm cut to the core.

Of course, splitting infinitives is not necessarily a grammatical faux pas in modern English. Of course, it isn't surprising for those who reject the rules of God to pick nits over such things. But the rules over split infinitives aren't as hard core these days as the boys wish it were in order to cast aspersions. To do so is quite acceptable if it sounds better to do so. Think "to boldly go where no man has gone before" and pretend it would flow better without splitting the infinitive.

But then, desperate people cling to anything when they've nothing real to hold.

Parkie chimes in with "Marshall is a split infinitive." What a knee-slapper that was! He then goes on to say "I think he said we dont have any other option but to misunderstand all his well supported arguments." While that may be true, I've never said it. My opinion is that understanding is simply never demonstrated with any great frequency by any of you, and the Parkster never provides enough substance to gauge any ability in that regard. The quote above is more evidence of that.

As to the topic, what falls under the heading of "national interest" cannot be specifically defined as it is largely a matter of subjective beliefs. What is in our interest to Ron Paul might not be the same as it would be to, say, John Quincy Adams. How directly our national interest is impacted is also a matter of subjective tolerance. A direct attack on our cities is pretty clear. An attack on our allies is less so as it regards our national interest. Even what constitutes an ally is somewhat subjective. We may have relations with a Pakistan, which might make them "technically" allied to us, but we have relations with China, too. I don't know the extent of any treaties we might have with Pakistan, for example, but I suspect it does not go as far as what we might have between us and Great Britain, or Israel, for example.

Ron Paul's notion of national interest is more isolationist with more than a touch of "what goes on" in a country like Iran has no impact on our nation whatsoever until such time as they decide to attack us directly.

more...

Marshall Art said...

Geoffie insists:

"I'd actually love to read more of Art's thoughts on why it's OK to ignore the Bible..."

Again, as if he does it on purpose, he misses the point entirely. But before I get to it, I find it quite interesting that in matters of the mythical "marriage equity", Geoff is content to ignore Scripture in the crafting of civil law, but the above quote indicates that it is essential in foreign affairs.

I don't advocate ignoring the Bible at all in any area of life, including how I vote, what laws are enacted and how we engage with the rest of the world. But a primary purpose of government is to protect the governed. And when the lives of its citizens are threatened, I don't see that there is any Biblical basis for allowing the threats to become actions against the people. Dan might call for turning the other cheek. Unfortunately, I don't think there is justification for trying to apply that to foreign affairs between governments. "Oh! You just murdered 3000 of our citizens! We'll just invite you to murder 3000 more, because we want to turn the other cheek!" I don't think so.

Secondly, I don't advocate killing anyone overseas, dusky or otherwise. I'd much prefer there was some means of persuading assholes like Mahmoud Ahmadinajad to act in a more Christian manner with his neighbors. Got any ideas on how that might come to pass before any more people die at his hands?

But then, Geoffie doesn't believe Mahmoud is serious when he insists he wants to destroy anyone, be it us, Israel or anyone. He doesn't believe that any of the mullahs in the Middle East (and some here) who are on tape speaking of our destruction would take any chance that arises to accomplish their desires. So obviously, he doesn't believe any of the thousands who chant and cheer along with these types of true despotic madmen are also willing to get it on.

"all the while, if I were single and put my penis where he told me I didn't belong, I am always and forever worse than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Chuck E Cheese combined."

I never compared you to any of those people. God won't either, so it certainly wouldn't matter if I did. But really, the fact that you think there is a "right place" to put your penis when you are single is more indication of just how morally corrupt you are. But OH! You've got those grammar rules down pat, don't you Sparkie?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I tried to understand that comment but Babelfish doesn't have a "Gibberish" button.

Dan Trabue said...

End of comments ABOUT each other, fellas. No more.

If you want to make an argument about how it's neat and smart to boo at the notion of implementing Jesus' words on a national, real-world level, make your case. If you want to laugh at the atrocious irony of those who do so, laugh on. But no need to pick and snipe at one another.

Marshall, this is not about defending you, this is defending my blog from being a snipe zone. Given your frequent use of name-calling and childish rants, you probably deserve whatever grief people might want to give you as in-kind payback. What goes around comes around. Sow the wind and reap the whirlwind. That kind of thing. I'm not defending you, I'm asking that personal sniping go somewhere else.

I'm demanding it, actually. My blog, my rules.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Fair enough, Dan.

Art, I'm being quite honest here. In re your on-topic comments, I didn't understand a word of what you were trying to say.

Your guess as to what I might or might not perceive regarding the intentions of Iran were wrong. Please stop thinking you know what I believe or don't believe about pretty much everything, because you are wrong each and every time.

Alan said...

Sorry Dan, if I have to take MA seriously, I have nothing else to add to my previous on-topic comments.

I'm afraid I simply have not been smoking enough of whatever you guys are passing around that would allow me to take anything he writes seriously.

Some people are buffoons. Treating them like they're not buffoons doesn't make them any less buffoons. Nor does it, apparently, encourage them to change their stupid, clownish behavior. As I've said before Dan, you enable his bad behavior.

Ridiculous arguments about LGBT people having sex with animals or other bullshit? Dan thinks that's just fine and such comments are allowed to go on for pages and pages. Mocking such stupidity is out of bounds however.

Your blog, your rules. But those are some interesting rules, Dan.

Dan Trabue said...

You don't have to take anyone seriously. You certainly don't have to take stupid or immoral ideas seriously. You are free to mock stupid and/or immoral ideas all you want. I just ask that you end the mocking at the idea. Leave the person(s) who make stupid/immoral comments to stew in their own muck after having exposed their ideas to mocking or just the light of decent bright day.

I'm sorry if you think that my prefering not to mock people somehow enables them. I think mocking/exposing the bad ideas is sufficient and prefered.

Parklife said...

"Some people are buffoons."

Im not sure how he goes from 3000 dead to thinking conversion of Mahmoud Ahmadinajad starts with Christianity. Or his blatant hate for the LGBT community. But, Marshall presents himself as a person that does deserve some level of respect.

The prodding of Marshall wasnt that bad. That said, I wish he would lay off the name-calling and grow some thicker skin. Or at the very least wish he would find a more accurate world view.

Oh.. and second paragraph, on splitting infinitives, is straight from a lesson in Wiki.

Alan said...

" I just ask that you end the mocking at the idea. "

Which we did. No one here mocked him as a person, in spite of the fact that *he* never does anything *else* and yet you continue to approve of him and admonish us.

Double standards are no standards at all, Dan.

And you know perfectly well that I don't believe that not mocking someone is the same as enabling them. Really Dan, that's a pretty lame rejoinder and a false dichotomy and you know better.

You provide these fusspots, tattletales and scolds with a platform for lies and anti-Christian behavior. That's the enabling. Then you scold the rest of us for mocking their stupidity, knowing that we're the only ones with enough manners to actually abide by your blog rules. So, you enable their bad behavior and allow their lies to fester while silencing us.

There is no other reasonable, intelligent response to such stupidity other than to point and laugh at it.

Alan said...

By the way, lest you think my comment is off topic, the title of the post is about fair play. ;)

Marshall Art said...

Dan,

I don't know any other way to say it, as I've said it over and over again in many different ways already. I don't really care about what these people say about me. I'd just like to hear something akin to a counter argument from them. I'm well aware by this time that you all think my positions are, to say the least, wrong. What I'm constantly denied is any rationale for saying so. I give YOU props for some semblance of an attempt, though such attempts go the distance. The three boys don't do anything but make accusations of all sorts, never defending a one of them. For example:

From Alan, accusations of "lies and anti-Christian behavior", "stupid, clownish behavior" and charges of making "Ridiculous arguments about LGBT people having sex with animals or other bullshit". Never has he presented anything that would explain where I've put forth lies, engaged in anti-Christian, stupid or clownish behavior or made any arguments stating people like him have sex with animals.

From ParkLIFE, who has always been eager to give it, but just hates getting it,

He accuses me of possessing "blatant hate for the LGBT " and never presenting any evidence of such ever in all his worthless and substance free comments since he first soiled the blogosphere with his presence. He has a problem with my worldview (no kidding), but has never explained where it goes wrong in any way. And now, after past suggestions that those like me should do research before commenting, now mocks me for using Wiki in regards to the use of split infinitives. I research on what I don't know and to confirm what I do know before I post and often use what I find to compose my comments. He could certainly appear less shallow-minded if he would do the same and just steal what he finds.

From Geoffrey, I've already mentioned quite a bit of what he has accused me, and still he goes on. Exactly what he finds too dicey to understand about my last comment he makes no effort to explain. In this case it isn't so bad as my last was a rather general statement. However, why he thinks Iran is not part of the equation since Ron Paul referred to it, and Geoffrey's comments about me were in reference to Middle Eastern despots of which I include Iran's leaders, I have no idea.

And you, Dan, have come up a bit short yourself, not explaining anything in the way of what you think constitutes irony and hypocrisy in my comments, what about them constitutes "muck" in which I must stew, nor have you taken a moment's time to illustrate how my comments are "childish rants".

Marshall Art said...

So let's look at the post again.

Like Paul, the first comment made a suggestion about "how would WE like it" stated this way:

"I highly doubt that Americans would appreciate being invaded the way we descended on OBLs compound."

Are we knowingly harboring anyone like bin Laden against those trying to bring him to justice for masterminding a plot that targeted and took 3000 civilian lives? Would we, as a nation, be more or less appalled by our gov't doing so than the people of Pakistan?

The arguments Paul makes are ludicrous. We don't simply go bombing countries willy-nilly. We ALWAYS spend lots of time, usually years and years, in diplomacy and talks before we call out the military, having put up with numerous attacks on our soldiers and civilians overseas as well as on our allies, before a major attack on our own soil moved us to go anywhere to do anything. I've linked to the Congressional approval for our actions against Iraq which listed many reasons for doing so and which came after about a dozen years of UN resolutions that were ignored. The idea that we engage in military adventurism is outrageously false and for a presidential candidate to say otherwise is enough reason to reject him as a viable candidate for anything that might deal with foreign affairs.

I don't know how much else we can do to be more "Biblical" in our dealings with foreign aggressors than we are doing currently. Consider who they are:

Islamists who treat their women like chattel and their homosexuals worse. They have a hatred for Israel that is openly manifested in a variety of ways with regularity, even in their official positions. They foment hatred against us for our alliance with Israel. Many of them control large reserves of resources upon which we still depend, which if cut off will further disrupt our attempt to turn around our economy.

So how does it get done? What Biblical tenets can work against a culture that despises our Bible and what it teaches? And if we're to pull back to a "national interest" standard, is that not "self-interest" of a kind that is unBiblical? What has been tried that has worked? Ever?

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

OO! A Question!

"Are we knowingly harboring anyone like bin Laden against those trying to bring him to justice for masterminding a plot that targeted and took 3000 civilian lives? Would we, as a nation, be more or less appalled by our gov't doing so than the people of Pakistan?"

Henry Kissinger. Donald Rumsfeld. To name just two persons in whom international prosecutors have taken an interest over many years. Considering Kissinger's roles in Cambodia, Chile and the CONDOR countries, and Cyprus (including the death of the Cypriot leader, a Greek Orthodox cleric), the number of nations who have legal proceedings against Kissinger is actually quite small - Spain, Chile, and the Netherlands.

On September 21, 1976, a car bomb exploded in Sheridan Circle in Washington, killing Orlando Letelier and Ronni Moffitt. Letelier was a Chilean exile working at a US think tank; Moffitt was his assistant. The assassination was one of dozens known to be carried out by CONDOR, a joint group from the intelligence agencies of Chile, Argentina, and Paraguay, whose then dictators were supported - the Chilean dictatorship was created - by the US government. It has long been suspected that Kissinger, who was US Secretary of State at the time, was aware of the operation.

One would think that would be enough to not need to worry about what other countries might want him for. All the same, because there were murders in Spain and The Netherlands, they have long-standing requests for Kissinger and official documents related to similar incidents.

The situation in Cyprus is simple enough: a long-standing UN brokered power sharing deal fell apart, and when the Cypriots appealed to the US for help, they discovered not only that Kissinger didn't care, he had engineered it to punish the Greeks for overthrowing the military dictatorship in 1975. The leader of Cyprus was killed, and for 35 years, the island has been divided with hundreds of UN peacekeeping troops on a long term mission to keep the island from sinking in to civil war.

So, yeah, Art, the US harbors terrorists, and if any country decided to send commandos to come and get them, I do believe we might have issues with them.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Which does not mean I think the US did something bad and wrong in going after bin Laden. On the contrary - I praised it then, and still do.

The point, rather, was the protestation of American innocence.

Folks have grievances with us, or American officials. Many of them are frivolous. Some, however, are not. As the hegemonic power for the past half-century and more, we have a lot of blood on our hands, some of it innocent. If we were really interested in justice, we'd cooperate with those people who have real grievances and assist them in bringing to justice those people who have wronged others.

We don't, and we won't.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

In 1983, with the assistance of Soviet minesweepers, the Nicaraguans discovered their largest port had been seeded with mines. They discovered those mines had been put in place by the CIA. Taking their case to the World Court, they got a verdict of guilty against the US for Acts of War. The US didn't recognize the Court's jurisdiction and has consistently denied any relevance to the decision.

In 1985, a bomb exploded in a West German disco, killing two American service men. The Americans insisted it was Libyan intelligence that was responsible. The Germans weren't sure. In 1986, several American F-111s flew from Great Britain to Libya, bombing the capital and the home of Col. Moammar Qadafi, killing one of his daughters.

Later, it was determined by both the Germans and the Americans the bomb had been planted by locals working for Syrian intelligence. In the meantime, an Easter Airlines flight from Frankfurt to NY exploded in midair over Scotland in 1988. The bomb, planted by Libyan agents was a direct retaliatory strike for the 1986 bombings, which were a horrible mistake.

The cycle of violence in international affairs will never be broken as long as the main world power doesn't shoulder some official responsibility for the death and destruction it has caused. Protestations of innocence fall on too many deaf ears around the world, because those ears were rendered deaf by American bombs.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

In 1983, with the assistance of Soviet minesweepers, the Nicaraguans discovered their largest port had been seeded with mines. They discovered those mines had been put in place by the CIA. Taking their case to the World Court, they got a verdict of guilty against the US for Acts of War. The US didn't recognize the Court's jurisdiction and has consistently denied any relevance to the decision.

In 1985, a bomb exploded in a West German disco, killing two American service men. The Americans insisted it was Libyan intelligence that was responsible. The Germans weren't sure. In 1986, several American F-111s flew from Great Britain to Libya, bombing the capital and the home of Col. Moammar Qadafi, killing one of his daughters.

Later, it was determined by both the Germans and the Americans the bomb had been planted by locals working for Syrian intelligence. In the meantime, an Easter Airlines flight from Frankfurt to NY exploded in midair over Scotland in 1988. The bomb, planted by Libyan agents was a direct retaliatory strike for the 1986 bombings, which were a horrible mistake.

The cycle of violence in international affairs will never be broken as long as the main world power doesn't shoulder some official responsibility for the death and destruction it has caused. Protestations of innocence fall on too many deaf ears around the world, because those ears were rendered deaf by American bombs.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

As for the current government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, my feelings are complicated. While still allowing for elections, as long as the Supreme Ruling Council measures all laws by their interpretation of the Holy Q'uran, I have little doubt that we can see liberalization any time soon. This despite the reality that the majority of the population, born since the 1979 Revolution, is clamoring for it. Whoever holds the Presidency is always at the whim of the Council.

That being said, that doesn't mean the US cannot have dealings with them. We have relations with China, and now Burma, and Uzbekistan, and Burkina Faso, and Saudi Arabia, and any number of countries that are dictatorial. The interests of the Islamic Republic do not always coincide with ours. On the other hand, sometimes they do.

Are the Iranians pursuing nuclear weapons? I have no way of being sure. They insist their nuclear research is for peaceful purposes; the IAEA has consistently found little evidence they are doing so. Ten years ago, the Israelis said they'd have a bomb in under five years. They've left that marker intact - so we're now still five years away from an Iranian nuclear device, should one come about.

Am I worried about Iran attacking the US? Of course not. What is they attack Israel. Considering the consequences would be catastrophic (the Israelis have consistently denied having any nuclear weapons; most folks who know this stuff say they have about 15 to 20), I'm guessing probably not. They might use such possession as a bargaining chip, but even then, they wouldn't have much leverage.

The point is, I think we should have adult, normal relations with Iran, same as any other country. When we disagree, we disagree. When we agree, we can work together. Little different from our relations with most of the rest of the world.

That's what I think. You are free do disagree.

Marshall Art said...

"So, yeah, Art, the US harbors terrorists, and if any country decided to send commandos to come and get them, I do believe we might have issues with them."

Geoffrey,

You have presented us with a story that does not parallel the bin Laden case in any way. Hints and allegations of the involvement of Kissinger and/or Rumsfeld is hardly on par with the admitted planning and scheming by bin Laden, who later publicly admitted the falling of the Twin Towers was a better result than he had anticipated.

In the case of Kissinger and/or Rumsfeld, we have a situation where they were dealing with factions of the countries in question, not working to purposely attack civilians who were simply living and going to work. If their actions were criminal based on AMERICAN notions of such, I say we should be giving them up, if not arresting them ourselves. Giving up documents dealing with the events is another story if those might also impact our own intelligence services in a negative manner. Thus, you are comparing one clear-cut case of evil against one or two questionable acts of which neither of us have clear facts. I, for one, do not have confidence in the claims of Soviet accusers or the international courts that are not always dealing in blind fairness between nations.

As to Iran, again, we have a nation that has a history of bad behavior, their fingerprints showing up in many areas where they seemingly have no direct involvement, from AQI IEDs to assorted other incidents of their complicity or help against our forces or our allies. And the difference with dealing with them as opposed to dealing with a country like China, is that China does not continually threaten the existence of other nations. China does not seem to want to enter into a global nuclear party in order to bring about some religious myth.

Marshall Art said...

"Marshall, the LGBT hate drips from your blog. If you dont see it, despite the chorus of people telling you, its not my fault."

If that chorus is comprised of people who support the free engagement in sinful sexual behavior, one can understand why accusations from that group require some explanation to substantiate the claims of "hatred". The reason I don't see it is because it isn't there and you haven't the capacity to make that figment of your imagination a solid reality. Of course, you're always welcome to try as you have always been.

"You causally dismiss nearly every comment that differs from your own view."

That would be your modus operandi. There's nothing casual about my consistent willingness to go through all the reasons why the opposing opinions have no merit. After that, I get mockery only from the likes of you and Alan.

"Again, not my job to point out your flaws."

That pretty much sums up what you HAVE been doing, though very poorly and with no accuracy whatsoever.

"By having a problem with your world view, I mean that you factually mistake or choose to omit historical events."

Not that YOU'VE ever been able or willing to demonstrate, which is all I've ever hoped for, from the likes of you.

"Worse, you leave no room for cultures different than your own."

Of course I do. But cultures being different is no excuse for tolerating bad behaviors. Perhaps you don't have issues with sex-specific abortions in China and other countries, or female genital mutilation and execution for homosexual behavior in Middle Eastern countries, not to mention "honor killings" of women. I recall the case of a British military man governing in India who allowed the cultural burning of widows as long as they honored his cultural arrest and execution of those who burned the widows. I totally concur with that attitude.

As you should be able to see, though I don't you are capable of seeing, I have responded to Geoffrey in the usual manner, showing how his response doesn't exactly equate as he'd like it to.

One of Obama's campaign speeches indicated his willingness to enter into Pakistan for whatever reason he felt justified in doing so. His opposition complained that Pakistan was allied with us and this would be a bad idea to even threaten such a thing. Now, we're to believe he was torn between giving the go ahead and not giving it? He was either blowing smoke during the campaign or doing so now. I'm not so convinced he makes any decision on the merits of doing so as opposed to how it might elevate public opinion of him. But then, I'm not a chump for all things Obama like you are.

Alan said...

So Dan ...

I take it you have no problem with these lies? "If that chorus is comprised of people who support the free engagement in sinful sexual behavior"?

Just wondering exactly who gets reprimanded and for what reasons.... ;)

Parklife said...

"If that chorus is comprised of people who support the free engagement in sinful sexual behavior…"

Marshall, you have an enormous blind spot in your life. Perhaps this allows you to justify your positions.. I don’t know why you hate LGBT but you hardly denied my statement. A statement I might add that is supported by a simple visit to YOUR blog. Imagine that.


“I get mockery only from the likes of you and Alan.”

It must be tough being Marshall. First you make derogatory comments then people make fun of you. Terrible.

“Not that YOU'VE ever been able or willing to demonstrate, which is all I've ever hoped for, from the likes of you.”

The likes of me? Sooo.. you’re saying you really DO like me!

Seriously. Marshall, and I hope you’re paying attention to this, you do not make it very easy to converse with you. Just look at how you responded to Geoffrey. There is zero self refection in your comments. Ever heard the expression, “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes”? You appear incapable of doing this. You have, yet again, responded by thrashing about making excuses for death and murder.

“Perhaps you don't have issues with sex-specific abortions in China…”

Wow.. Marshall.. talk about wondering off the path and into a ditch.


“I'm not so convinced he makes any decision on the merits of doing so as opposed to how it might elevate public opinion of him. But then, I'm not a chump for all things Obama like you are.”

LOL.. Marshall.. The President.. like all the men before him that sat in that chair.. is a politician. Get over it. Obama does create the impression that he is thoughtful at the very least, very different from that other guy. Obama is a 50%+1 guy. Like it or not, he is in the middle. And, like it or not, with the economy on a roll, he will be re-elected. Its just life.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Because this is Dan's blog, I'm going to act according to his preferences. I am only going to address what Art has written.

"I have responded to Geoffrey in the usual manner, showing how his response doesn't exactly equate as he'd like it to."

"Doesn't exactly equate"? What, precisely, does this mean? "Equate" to what? The topic is foreign policy. I offered, in several long comments, my thoughts on American complicity in acts of terrorism and other violence that make any protestations of purity or innocence hollow. It would be far better, one would think, to begin with the only country whose policy we can directly effect - our own - than another, whose behavior is beyond any kind of control.

"We don't simply go bombing countries willy-nilly." As I noted in one of my above comments, I think the 1986 attack on Libya counts. In the air-campaign against Serbia in the 1990's, the United States bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. As this is sovereign Chinese territory, that counts. No one - certainly not the Chinese, and few else - think this was "an accident".

In 1998, the United States bombed Afghanistan and Sudan using sea-launched cruise missiles. The attacks were "retaliation" for the bombings of the US embassy in Kenya. The target in Sudan was claimed to be a chemical weapons plant. Actually, it was a pharmaceutical company, making inexpensive medications for people in Sudan and other countries. I think that counts, too.

"The idea that we engage in military adventurism is outrageously false . . ." We are currently engaged in a very dangerous, undeclared war in western Pakistan. The list of countries the United States has invaded, or undermined through covert means, is long. Pretty much every country south of the Rio Grande. Haiti and The Dominican Republic. Cuba. Iran in the 1950's. Lebanon. Indonesia. Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. Canada at various times in the 19th century. The United States waged an undeclared war against France in the 1790's; during Thomas Jefferson's Presidency, the US Navy fought what became known as The Barbary Wars against pirates in the Mediterranean based in northern Africa; again, undeclared. Hundreds of American soldiers died trying to overturn the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia.

cont'd . . .

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Cont'd . . .

"Hints and allegations of the involvement of Kissinger and/or Rumsfeld is hardly on par with the admitted planning and scheming by bin Laden . . ." No hints and allegations. Just as a fer-instance, during the "Christmas bombings" of North Vietnam in 1972, carried out after Hanoi understood the US wasn't serious about the recently finished Paris Peace Talks (diplomatic treachery is still treachery), the US targeted dikes in the north of the country. Some of the most fertile, productive agricultural regions found themselves underwater, the rice crops destroyed. Such acts were outlawed by several treaties and conventions to which the US is a ratified signatory; the Constitution is explicit: a ratified treaty is the law of the land. These bombing were specifically ordered by Henry Kissinger.

The overthrow of the elected government in Chile, the military coup in Greece - both directly the result of acts of then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger.

The details of the Cyprus mess are in Christopher Hitchens' lovely little book The Trial of Henry Kissinger. Details of his involvement in undermining PRes. Johnson's attempts at a cease-fire are well known, and included in Seymour Hersh's The Price of Power.

(cont'd . . .)

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Cont'd . . .

"As to Iran, again, we have a nation that has a history of bad behavior, their fingerprints showing up in many areas where they seemingly have no direct involvement, from AQI IEDs to assorted other incidents of their complicity or help against our forces or our allies. And the difference with dealing with them as opposed to dealing with a country like China, is that China does not continually threaten the existence of other nations. China does not seem to want to enter into a global nuclear party in order to bring about some religious myth."

I don't know what you're talking about in that last sentence, to be honest.

As to Iran's involvement in Iraq, obviously they have an interest in what goes on in a country directly to their west, with which they fought a very long, very bloody, inconclusive war through much of the 1980's, and which was invaded by the major world power, bringing more chaos and instability to their doorstep.

Iran is a Shi'a nation. So is Iraq. Al Qaeda in Iraq is a Sunni organization (as is Al Qaeda). Iran would no more be involved with them than they would with Jewish militants on the West Bank. So, um, false.

As to the rest, is it surprising that Iran, acting out of its self-interest, supports groups and organizations in other countries that would further those interests? The US does this all the time! This doesn't make them bad, or evil, or the biggest threat since the Soviet Union, or anything else. It makes them . . . a country.

In general, I view all countries, whether long-standing allies like Canada or Great Britain, or recent or current rivals, such as Iraq, Iran, China, or whomever, as neither "friends" nor "enemies". For example, I love Great Britain. I find it to be a marvelous country, with a wonderful history. That doesn't mean I believe, for one moment, the US and Great Britain are buddies. If a time came the US threatened a vital interest of the British, I have little doubt it might well come to blows.

The case with Israel is much the same. More Americans have been killed by the Israeli military than the Iranian military, Art. The Israelis are cold, realistic, and brutal in dealings with every country. They have compromised American security repeatedly over the years, exploiting the sentimentality of parts of the American population to further their own ends. There is nothing inherently wrong with this; the US does the same kind of thing, albeit not, for some odd reason, with the Israelis (at least that we know of).

In short, Art, sure the Iranians do stuff against US interests. We do stuff against theirs. The same is true with pretty much most of the 200-odd countries in the world. Neither surprising nor even all that interesting. The question, it seems to me, is whether it might not be in our interests, over a number of years, to deal with them, always recognizing we won't be joining them in a chorus of Kum-Ba-Yah any time soon. I see no reason why not.

Marshall Art said...

First, I'll address the silly stuff.

"I take it you have no problem with these lies? "If that chorus is comprised of people who support the free engagement in sinful sexual behavior"?"

This puts Dan in a tricky spot. He is a fallible human being and cannot say with certainty what is or isn't sinful sexual behavior, but only render his hunch based on his fallible study of Scripture. So the first task is to determine if the acts are or are not sinful, then determine if another person Dan considers fallible is free to believe they are sinful, and if so, try to explain how they can be lies. As I understand it, because Dan truly and sincerely believes what he does, to the extent that his fallibility allows him certainty, he cannot be accused of lying, even if his beliefs are truly false. Thus, it would only logically follow that I also cannot be a liar or accused of lying if my beliefs are also sincerely held. What a conundrum!

"Marshall, you have an enormous blind spot in your life."

One that thus far has not been pointed out, without which this statement has no meaning whatsoever.

"Perhaps this allows you to justify your positions.. "

No. Truth and facts allow me justify my positions. In fact, they compel me to hold those positions as to otherwise would make me a liar and reprobate.

"I don’t know why you hate LGBT but you hardly denied my statement."

You mean you've missed the other billion times I've insisted I don't hate anyone? Once more wouldn't matter then, would it? Especially to someone who, as if it has become an obsessive hobby, continues to make such statements without a bit of proof. Visiting my blog, reading my comments, none of it qualifies unless you can point out where the hatred lies. No one else will be able to see it, unless their own hatred for opposing opinions, those based on Scriptural truth and fact, results in their seeing it everywhere opposition exists.

"It must be tough being Marshall. First you make derogatory comments then people make fun of you."

Actually, you should be so lucky. It's not even tough when supporters of sinful lifestyles accuse me of making derogatory comments OR make fun of me. It's not even tough when I point out simple facts like “I get mockery only from the likes of you and Alan.” and you pretend I'm whining or being defensive. Talk about comedy gold!

"The likes of me? Sooo.. you’re saying you really DO like me!"

Nope. Didn't say or suggest that at all.

"Seriously. Marshall, and I hope you’re paying attention to this..."

Of course I am. That's where the laughs are.

"...you do not make it very easy to converse with you."

How would you know? You've never tried. Even Geoffrey has been trying. Dan does all the time. Like Alan, you do not. Unlike Alan, I doubt you are capable as you've never stuck your neck out. That's all I've ever hoped for from such as you.

"There is zero self refection in your comments."

???? Maybe you could copy and paste an example of how this looks in any of YOUR comments.

"You have, yet again, responded by thrashing about making excuses for death and murder."

Which of my comments does this? I have not even thought about attempting such a thing. From what I can see, we've been talking about Ron Paul's notion of foreign affairs, Geoffrey's attempt to compare the bin Laden situation with Kissinger and personal attacks. If I find there's a reason to "make excuses" for death and murder, I'll point it out for you so you'll know what it looks like.

Marshall Art said...

Now for Geoffrey's comments, which I will say constitute a discussion, a conversation, something about which one person lacks the slightest clue.

First of all, Geoffrey, I have to say that you are now engaging in moral relativism by your reference to every nation acting in its own self-interest. That is to say, this obvious condition is not the issue at all, but whether or not all interests are equally benevolent or even benign. I don't believe that we or most of our true allies, when acting in their own self-interest, intentionally seek some kind of domination or influence that would be harmful to other nations. Our self-interest is primarily defensive, to insure we are not endangered on any level, and or attempts to improve our situation, often with our neighbors for mutual benefit if possible.

Iran, on the other hand, is headed by those who look forward to, and hope to help bring about, the coming of the 12th Imam, for the benefit of Islamic world domination. This isn't a secret conspiracy theory. Ahmadinajad has stated this intention publicly. What's more, as this article indicates (and it is hardly a lone voice on such things), there is no great divide between Sunni and Shiite that would not be put aside for the cause of eradicating Israel and/or America.

What seems so incredible to me is this seeming amnesia regarding past events and how they led to today's. It is apparent in Ron Paul's belief about why we're hated by such countries. But the Islamic world has been at this since their inception. You mentioned Jefferson and the Barbary pirates. They were capturing and scuttling American merchant ships, holding the crews for ransom. We didn't even have a real Navy until then and Jefferson developed one in order to kick some ass and put a stop to the Muslim actions, who, like all gangsters, run rampant when there is no law to stop them. Worse, if you do some research into the history, you will find the Muslim leader of that time speaking in precisely the language spoken by bin Laden and other modern day terrorists.

Iran is free to have their own self-interests and to work on behalf of them. But when those threaten us or our allies, their self-interests become more than about themselves.

more later...

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

"First of all, Geoffrey, I have to say that you are now engaging in moral relativism by your reference to every nation acting in its own self-interest."

Relativism? Seriously? Every country acts in its relations to other country out of its self-interest. This is the principle that has guided international relations in the west for almost five hundred years. The great statesmen, from Cardinal Richelieu through Metternich and Bismark to Theodore Roosevelt, Churchill, DeGaulle - this is the core of real politique. It isn't something I invented, or I think is good or bad or anything else. It isn't "relativism" to say that countries act this way. It is a description of what actually happens, Art.

"That is to say, this obvious condition is not the issue at all, but whether or not all interests are equally benevolent or even benign. I don't believe that we or most of our true allies, when acting in their own self-interest, intentionally seek some kind of domination or influence that would be harmful to other nations." The the interests of nations clash is obvious; whether or not they are "benign" or not is immaterial. As for the rest, "true allies" is meaningless. Disraeli said that no nation has permanent allies, only permanent interests. Few better maxims should be kept in mind. As for whether or not you "believe" the United States has sought to dominate other countries, there is actual, factual evidence - a very long history of it, in fact - that says otherwise. Not anti-American propaganda. Not relativism. Not one person's interpretation of facts as opposed to another's.

Actual facts. All sorts of them. Events, the decision to bring those events about, the thinking process behind the decision-making, arguments, rhetoric, letters, memos, on and on. The historical record is overflowing with the United States intentionally seeking to dominate other countries. Happens all the time. Whether you choose to believe this to be the case doesn't change this.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

In re the Foreign Affairs article, I find it interesting, not least because it demonstrates, in the second paragraph, the principle of which I speak: "Perhaps more disturbing, Iran appears willing to expand its limited relationship with al Qaeda. Just as with its other surrogate, Hezbollah, the country could turn to al Qaeda to mount a retaliation to any U.S. or Israeli attack. To be sure, the organization is no Iranian puppet. And the two have sometimes been antagonistic, as illustrated by al Qaeda in Iraq's recent attacks against Shias. But both share a hatred of the United States." Iran holds some al Qaeda leaders. It offered assistance in the run up to the attack on Afghanistan because the Taliban on their eastern border posed a threat; having a militant Sunni organization stirring up the kind of trouble that led to 9/11 was not something Iran needed.

What do they share, at least according to the author of this article? A "hatred" of the US. In other words, they can set aside their differences to become allies working for the goal of limiting US influence and power.

That is precisely what I'm talking about.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

After three seconds of digging, I found this pretty thorough take-down of the Jones article in FA.

As this post at Think Progress makes plain, the alleged links - and that is all they seem to be; Iran holds some senior al Qaeda officials under house arrest, and may or may not be working with them at some level - should prompt American caution.

From the article: "Finally, the United States should think twice about actions that would push Iran and al Qaeda closer together — especially a preemptive attack on the country’s nuclear program. Thus far, Iran and al Qaeda have mutually limited their relationship. It would be a travesty to push the two closer together at the very moment that central al Qaeda in Pakistan has been severely weakened."

Sound advice, granting the premise is true.

Marshall Art said...

Well, either they are opposed to working together or they are not. You seem to agree that they can be pushed to working together by actions we might take. How does this not confirm the sentiment already made that they can set aside their differences in order to combat us or Israel?

And for what purpose would it be to work toward limiting America's influence and power? How have we used that power to force anyone to do anything, other than to stop acting badly? It would seem clear to most that a nation that continues to spew harsh rhetoric against our nation and our allies that stopping the spread of our influence and power is necessary in order to more easily exert theirs.

In our case, we have moved against the spread of Communism in the past, but not to force our will, but to allow for free choice to accept our willingness to do business and be mutually beneficial neighbors. This seems to be at the heart of much of your concerns, and Ron Paul's, that we have interfered with other countries. Though it can be reasonably debated that the means in which our actions were the best, I don't think you can point to any "proof" that our intentions were in any way a form of domination on our part. Remember, we totally defeated Germany and Japan and we do not control those nations today. We did not take over the oil reserves of Iraq and there's little doubt that we very well could have.

To exert influence is not a sinful goal. We look to do that as Christians all the time in a variety of ways. No force takes place and I don't see that we, as a nation, have worked to force anything, except as I have said, an end to despotic activity.

This is what I meant by moral relativism in your comments. To simply say that each nation concerns itself with its own self interests is one thing. To pretend that each set of interests is equally benign is another. There is little reason to believe that Canada, for example, would be a cause for concern because what constitutes their self interest is not overtly threatening. This cannot be said for Iran.

Marshall Art said...

I wanted to touch back on your perception of the so-called "Christmas bombings" of North Vietnam, so called in order to incriminate the US gov't. No bombings actually took place on Christmas.

But the bombing runs were ordered by Nixon, who was pissed off that the North Vietnamese walked out of the peace talks. These runs were very surgical and marked a significant accomplishment in achieving the goal of hitting military targets and leaving avoiding civilian casualties. This article, with many citations from which it culled its info, shows the casualty rate was very low and much of it from Vietnamese ordinance missing their targets and falling back down upon themselves, as well as hits distorting the targeting of bombs in the process of being dropped.

In any case, this was a poor example of a criminal act as a war was in progress and there is nothing that compares to bin Laden's actions against civilians in the US. The only crime, in fact, is that the success of the bombing, in terms of the lowering of the enemy's will to go on fighting, was squandered.

As to Cyprus, I couldn't find anything that spoke of Kissinger doing much more than not acting or doing enough to prevent the Turkish invasion. There was a threat of communist influence in the area, we did have bases that would have been at risk had we been on the wrong side of the equation, and I've found nothing more than those hints and allegations regarding "allowing" arms to move to one side or the other. Again, our involvement wasn't to dominate, but to influence in a manner that would have maintained our interests in the area.

That, with the rest of your examples, does not show anything that equates to bin Laden or why Pakistan's harboring of him should have been respected. bin Laden's clear intention was to inflict as much death on American civilians as possible. Nothing Kissinger ever did could be said to have been intended to do anything like that, regardless of how many civilians may have suffered. (Though Parkie chooses to look at this as justifying civilian deaths by our actions, it is not, no matter how much he'd like it to be.)

Two or more nations each seeking to serve their own interests can indeed clash. I have not been denying this. I'm speaking about those nations whose interests include harming their neighbors.

It is incumbent upon every nation of character to oppose such activity for the sake of the world. And as the last superpower (while we still are), we can't sit back and let the despots of the world run freely. It would be as if one was to let a bully beat up another when one has the power to stop him. It's a risky business to be sure, but nothing worth having is not and that includes world peace and balance.

Finally, we do have friends in the world. The UK, Israel, and many others. They are our allies. We all won't agree on every issue, but we don't need to. Yet, to lose, say, Canada as an ally would not be good for our own interests, would it? To maintain our friendships and alliances require our involvement on some level. The isolationist views of a Ron Paul do not serve our interests.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Just a couple things before I give up on this thread, mostly because I'm bored. It would be nice if Dan or someone else came along and actually said something intelligent, factual, and thoughtful.

Nothing that I wrote about anything the US has done in the past is controversial. Neither the facts themselves nor the reasons for these acts are under dispute by anyone.

The things I've written aren't about me. No one would be the least interested in the things I think or believe, and so I don't write things that way. You keep hinting or insinuating that my comments say things that are my own opinions, or reflect my own views. Neither is the case. I only wrote these comments rooted in what people who actually know what they're talking about say.

Disputing the naming of the Christmas bombings over North Vietnam in 1972 is, I must say, one of the funniest things I've ever read. I didn't make that name up. If you click this link you'll discover they were called that by the person who ordered them, President Richard Millhouse Nixon.

So, please. Stop while you're behind.

Dan Trabue said...

Geoffrey, I don't know that I have anything to add. This post had one simple point: How classless and sadly ironic - and telling - it was that these good Christian folk in South Carolina actually booed the teachings of Christ. It was as if to confirm what it seems like to many of us: That there are a good number of religionists who REALLY dig Jesus, but have less use for his actual teachings. They like the NOTION of Jesus, but let's not get too serious about his teachings.

Now that is not to say that good Christians can't disagree on points like this. I recognize that there are Christians of good faith who don't believe that the State ought to hold to the same teachings that apply to us as individuals. I tend to disagree and think that Christian teachings are for all Christians, including those who might work in gov't, but I get that Christians can disagree on the point.

What is horrifying is the actual BOOING. Of someone daring to suggest we ought to implement Jesus' teachings in the real world.

Disagree if you must, but booing Jesus' teachings is just poor form and a sure sign of the times and an ugly portion of today's "conservatives."

I don't really have much to say beyond that, and most of the comments have not been on this topic. Yes, of course, you are right, Geoffrey: our nation has misbehaved and NOT behaved as we'd like others to treat us. That is just the historical record, clear to any except those who want to delude themselves.

Does that mean we are "as bad" as other nations? That's not the point. It means we have not treated others as we'd want to be treated and I happen to think Ron Paul is quite rational on this point. And, disagree or not, booing someone desiring to implement and advocate Jesus' teachings is just ugly.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

I agree that the whole "BOOing" business was pretty nasty. At the same time, why be surprised? No one really wants to implement that Sermon On The Mount in our dealings with other countries. Even as big a loon as Paul understands this; he was baiting the audience as much as anything.

The larger discussion, I think, is right on topic. On the one hand, booing Jesus is bad. On the other hand, I don't see any possibility of acting toward other nation-states that way that would do anything but threaten our national integrity. Which only means that international relations are fallen, like the rest of creation.

Marshall Art said...

Geoffrey,

My only point about the "so-called" naming of the bombings was simply to point out that it didn't actually take place on Christmas. I don't know that it is accurate that Nixon named it that way or not. Perhaps you have a link. But it really doesn't matter. It was just an aside.

Marshall Art said...

As to the "booing", it is simply bullshit to suggest that they were booing at the concept of using Christian principles to conduct foreign affairs. Absolute bullshit, just as it was absolute bullshit when another crowd booed the question of the homosexual soldier in a previous debate, as if they were booing him rather than the implications of his question. It is typical of you lefties to spin such things in a way that is less accurate than favorable to your twisted ideologies. It is dishonest. Perhaps one of you guys has a link to an interview with one of the audience members that supports your spin. In the meantime, you are making a judgment you don't have the psychic ability to make.

Dan Trabue said...

Praytell, Marshall, what exactly were they booing?

From where I read the story: Paul references the Golden Rule as an apt measure for foreign policy, then the crowd responded by booing.

What WERE they booing, if not the suggestion that the golden rule has no place in foreign policy?

Parklife said...

"At the same time, why be surprised?"

Many reasons not to be surprised. The conservative audiences have, as even Marshall points out, made it a habit of being an embarrassment. While Marshall thrashes about trying to justify their poor behavior, that voter that sits squarely in the middle gets to see the nature of those supporting the Republicans in the election. Silly conservatives complain and cry that the lefties have twisted the facts and are dishonest, the undecided independent is left with the video of the debate running loops in their head. As Dan points out, the replay is very clear.. Paul makes a statement about the golden rule and the audience boos. Simple. Easy. Marshall can whine and curse all he wants, but in the end its not about leftist or his precious opinion. Its not even about how the American Thinker or Rush Limbaugh justifies the crowd.

But, I wont hold my breath for Marshall to gain a perspective much the same way I dont hold my breath waiting for conservatives to gain a conscience.

Marshall Art said...

"What WERE they booing, if not the suggestion that the golden rule has no place in foreign policy?"

I can't speak for the crowd at large, but as I also boo Paul's statement, I can say that it is because of what it implies. And that would be that we don't already, at the very least, attempt to deal in a "win-win" manner in our foreign affairs. That's insulting. One can legitimately argue the manner in which we make these attempts, the logic or practicality of a particular proposal. But the suggestion that our actions are based on selfishness and/or some imperialism is nonsense unworthy of one who seeks the presidency. On top of that, he more than implies that the hatred toward our country emanating from some corners of the globe is a result of actual evil on our part, namely 9/11, which shows an incredible ignorance of world events and history.

Geoffrey sought to support this notion with his poor examples, none of which were the parallel I sought in asking for whom we are harboring that is akin to bin Laden.

I simply can't account for those who lack the intelligence or honesty to see how something like the spread of communism or islamism can be a threat to our nation. Some didn't see Hitler as a threat until it was too late, but later understood what should have been easily seen warning signs.

What's more, despite Geoffrey's claims otherwise, I've seen no example of anything that looks to be a history of American despotism or imperialism since our westward expansion in the 1800's.

We have an obligation as the last superpower to be more than simply a bank giving out loans no one need repay. We ARE a part of an international community, even if the UN is a major joke. We DO have ties to nations that would not serve us to sever, but would indeed give those nations to view us poorly.

Ron Paul's suggestion was an insult and evidence he is not worthy to lead.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Quite apart from everything else, what follows is precisely why interacting with Art is impossible:

"Geoffrey sought to support this notion with his poor examples, none of which were the parallel I sought in asking for whom we are harboring that is akin to bin Laden.
--snip--
"What's more, despite Geoffrey's claims otherwise, I've seen no example of anything that looks to be a history of American despotism or imperialism since our westward expansion in the 1800's."

Other than the obvious wealth of examples I gave that fit these precise criteria, I'm not sure what else to write. The many Cuban emigres who have engaged in a variety of terrorist acts in their homeland could get mentioned. The School For The Americas at Ft. Benning, GA, where countless Latin American despots learned the tricks of their trade is a fine one.

Just because you don't acknowledge them for what they are, Art, is meaningless. Like people who say they don't "believe" in evolution, or "global warming", the whole construction is nonsensical. Whether or not one "believes" or "thinks" one thing or another is neither here nor there. I answered your questions. I can't do anything more than what I've done.

Parklife said...

"I simply can't account for those who lack the intelligence"

Geoffrey Kruse-Safford said...

Parklife - that is precisely why I don't "argue" with people, especially with those people who insist on arguing with reality.

The only way to deal with people who earnestly and sincerely believe, say, that global warming is either phony or not due to human activity, is to say they are wrong. Period. This isn't a subject open for debate or discussion, or for which "belief" has any meaning.

I know they cry because liberals are so mean to them. I'd pass them a tissue if I cared.

Marshall Art said...

I wouldn't be so smug, especially since YOU haven't been arguing with anyone who says global warming doesn't exist or that human activity doesn't play any role in it. To remind you once again, the argument from the right is that there is NO consensus opinion that global warming is MAINLY caused by human activity or is to an extent that warrants the type and level of gov't regulation suggested by the AlGore-ons like you. It is YOUR side of the issue that displays ignorance by discounting any opposing opinion on the subject merely for being an opposing opinion, totally dismissing the credibility and expertise of the many who question global warming positions.

As for crying, I know of no right-winger who cries because lefties are "mean", but only because of the destruction their goofy positions have and will continue to wreak on society and culture, which is provoked by your own troubles with reality.

Parklife said...

"As for crying"

It just never ends. Marshall keeps crying and crying and crying. Kind of sad really.

"To remind you once again, the argument from the right is"

For starters, its difficult to keep the "argument from the right" straight. First there is not gw, then there is, then they're not sure, then there is no gw, then there is but people can do anything about it.. jeeshh.. its just all over the place. When the right isnt in denial they are making excuses. Really, when they are in denial they are making excuses too.

Second, its not about "the argument from the right" or left. Its science. Marshall, if you're waiting to make your decision based on what American Thinker tells you, then you've already lost. Which to say is.. by your own comments.. you have lost a long time ago. Feel free to cry about it.

Marshall Art said...

Well, if it makes you feel better to think that I'm crying, you go right ahead and pleasure yourself to think so. Doesn't matter to me.

And of course it is simplistic, which is typical, to believe that I get my cues from AT or any other source of conservative opinion. But you're free to believe that lie as well. You believe so many as it is. As I've stated, I use the sources I do for the manner in which like-minded opinions are expressed and the links within their articles providing the facts upon which those opinions are based. Never having read a single AT article, you wouldn't know that.

Parklife said...

"Never having read a single AT article, you wouldn't know that."

Soooo.. close.

I've actually wasted my time over there in the past. Sadly it is you that makes general statements and observations without reading. Marshall, whats the deal with projection on your part?

Just look at the language you use to describe your opinions... its comical.

consensus opinion
AlGore-ons
argument from the right

Seriously dude.. wtf?

Marshall Art said...

Are you so dense? "consensus opinion" is what AlGore insists there is on the subject of AGW. That's not an opinion of mine, but a fact. He says there's a consensus on the matter, that it is a settled situation. Those who believe as he does are the "Gore-ons". The counter argument, which comes from the right-wing (another fact, not an opinion) is that there is no consensus at all, but only a faction of AGW proponents in the scientific world.

So what language would you have me use to describe reality if not the words being used by those in the news? And where in the above can you find an opinion of mine since I've only reiterated the same reality I did in the earlier posted comment?

As to your imagined visits to AT, the reason I don't believe you is because of your penchant for never providing anything at all that suggests you have read anything I've ever posted. You don't argue the points being made in the links I provide (or my own comments provoked by them), OR the links within them used to back up their points. You're just like a bully's lackey minion who just stands behind him saying "Yeah" to everything the bully says, never having a real opinion of thought of your own.

Boohoohoo. I'm crying again. Right.

Parklife said...

You are crying again..

"Al-gorons"? Thats used in the news? This is the sort of "news" that goes on over at FOX?

"consensus opinion"
If Gore uses it, it still sounds lame. Honestly, I dont care what Al Gore says or thinks about GW. But, nice try. I'll give you a gold star for effort.

"the reason I don't believe you"

LOL.. Marshall, I dont care. I really dont care. In the past you've had links, I've clicked on them and read the articles. Some of the articles have been in the AT. A few times, Ive even wondered over to that place without your links. I know, its amazing.

"bully's lackey minion"

Why argue with you? What is the point of it? You lack the ability to objectively analyse. I know my reasons for support. Why share with you? I find you to be lacking in smarts of any kind.

But, I do appreciate your loose grip on reality and you have a wonderful way with words. You have a special gift of being ironical.

"I'm crying again"

Spilled some milk?