FoRK digest, Vol 1 #1585 - 10 msgs

Bill Kearney Bill Kearney" <
Sun, 19 Jan 2003 19:24:15 -0500

> >It seems Owen's got his "let's all hate America" hat on again.  It seems to
> >cinched a bit too tight for rational thinking however.

> The numbers aren't all that debatable - the study discussed in the
> article seems to draw a pretty clear  number
> out of all the misinformation out there.

Right, yet the underlying cause of those deaths is the fault of their government
to act in a fashion expected by international agreements.  How is this anyone's
fault but the government of Iraq?

> As I remember the quid pro quo that finally defused the conflict was an
agreement to remove
> US missiles already in place in Turkey. There was no Turkish Missile Crisis
because everything
>  is seen through an American lens.

Ignoring, of course, the tensions of the day.

> >The Irish resistance to British colonialism is quite a bit different than
> >conflicts of today.  Drawing parallels is weak at best.
> >
> >
> Why? Because its resistance to American colonialism?

That's where you're completely wrong.  There isn't an effort on the part of the
US to act or extend itself in manners that can even remotely be described as
colonialism.  The Irish resistance was borne out of the long standing oppression
put upon them by the British.  Much like most of the world that suffered from
abuse at the hands of the Crown.  A little side effect of US dominance in world
politics was the collapse of most foreign colonialism.  The French keep clinging
to the idea but the words "British empire" mean nothing anymore.

> All this talk of hatred and anti-americanism - its just an excuse to
> avoid the issues. Do you hate Iraqis? I doubt it. But you support a
> government policy that will result in many of them dying.

Hardly, but when pressed to pick one other the other as a citizen of the US; the
most open country in the world, I'm going to have to chose the home team.

> I have been pretty quiet lately basically because there is little point
> preaching to Americans, and because my feelings are
> pretty well mainstream outside the US - not among politicians, at least
> in public, they in general have to deal with power relationships and
> thus they are mostly doing their best Neville Chamberlain acts. The
> recent extended discussion on US military might, plus the baseless
> claims that this is a war about human rights finally pushed me beyond
> control.

You?  Beyond control?  Now that must truly be a desperate situation.

> If I hear another bozo claim Amnesty International says this
> about Iraq or that about Iraq - first of all go see what they say about
> the US, and especially about the US using human rights as a pretext for
> war.

Right, be sure to get that subtle conflation of things going.  Amnesty sez this
horrible thing about Iraq, Amnesty sez this bad thing about the US.  Both things
said aren't good so both countries must be bad.  Greatly simplify the situations
and conflate the two.  While there's certainly issues worth taking, to try to
tie the US into the same bad light is a crock of shit.

> Especially since we constantly hear about Saddam gassing his own
> people, how about this:

> This is the context which has informed the contemporary movement for
> human rights. The laws and mechanisms we have now were developed
> precisely to respond to these appalling abuses.
> Amnesty International vigorously condemned the chemical attacks on
> Kurdish civilians in 1988.

Ah yes, those vigorous condemnations.  Look how effectively they've changed
things... not.

> The failure of the international community to
> address these violations at that time was not due to a lack of options
> within the human rights system, but a lack of political will. In fact,
> rather than publicly condemning the Iraqi government and pressing for a
> UN investigation, many countries continued to sell weapons to the Iraqi
> government despite widespread knowledge of the attacks.

And then there's the canard of conflating what companies do with what countries
do.  I'd well imagine the German government is quite worried about what truths
about their industrial corporations particpation has been in the Iraqi armaments
build up.

> And guess what - the countries that sold weapons to Iraq after they
> gassed their own people -the US was one of them - how come I knew that
> wouldbe so?  Because the US doesn't actually care if you kill everyone
> in your own country - see Cambodia -  just as long as you don't threaten
> our strategic interests.

> And while you're at the Amnesty International Site - see what
> they think of capital punishment, and especially capital punishment of
> children. See what they think of  Guantanomo Bay, and the Geneva
> Convention being another inconvenient international agreement that the
> US has decided - doesn't apply to us.

Sure, sure, toss out those convenient jabs to deflect attention when your
argument starts failing.  The heck with sticking to one argument when you can
run off starting others!

> If you're going to be imposing your morals on the rest of the world - at
> least they could be a little less suspect.

When you deal with shit don't expect your fingers not to stink.  Look what the
world asks of it's leading countries.  Clean up after their messes, feed their
starving populations, but if issues like establishing free governments
(unattached to religion) and the like aren't to their liking they bitch about
oppression.  Please, the world's a horrible place that vigorously refuses to go
willingly toward nirvana.

> The last war was sold to the liberal (i.e. thinking) part of the US
> populace as a war to liberate Afghan women - how's that going?

Far as I can tell pretty well.  It seems they've stopped shooting them for sport
at public stadiums.  I'd venture that's a plus in their book.

So tell us Owen, what would you suggest be done?

-Bill Kearney