31 August 2006

We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty

Keith Olbermann has one shining "Edward R. Murrow" moment, and delivers a great response to a recent blistering attack by Donald Rumsfeld. It was a great piece, but it's about four years too late. Still, it's commendable, and I'm going to reproduce the transcript here:
The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis—and the sober contemplation—of every American.

For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as “his” troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld’s speechwriter was adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis. For in their time, there was another government faced with true peril—with a growing evil—powerful and remorseless.

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the “secret information.” It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. Rumsfeld’s -- questioning their intellect and their morality.

That government was England’s, in the 1930’s.

It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone England.

It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all treaties and accords.

It knew that the hard evidence it received, which contradicted its own policies, its own conclusions — its own omniscience -- needed to be dismissed.

The English government of Neville Chamberlain already knew the truth.

Most relevant of all — it “knew” that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile, at best morally or intellectually confused.

That critic’s name was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

History — and 163 million pounds of Luftwaffe bombs over England — have taught us that all Mr. Chamberlain had was his certainty — and his own confusion. A confusion that suggested that the office can not only make the man, but that the office can also make the facts.

Thus, did Mr. Rumsfeld make an apt historical analogy.

Excepting the fact, that he has the battery plugged in backwards.

His government, absolute -- and exclusive -- in its knowledge, is not the modern version of the one which stood up to the Nazis.

It is the modern version of the government of Neville Chamberlain.

But back to today’s Omniscient ones.

That, about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused is simply this: This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely.

And, as such, all voices count -- not just his.

Had he or his president perhaps proven any of their prior claims of omniscience — about Osama Bin Laden’s plans five years ago, about Saddam Hussein’s weapons four years ago, about Hurricane Katrina’s impact one year ago — we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept their “omniscience” as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own arrogance, and its own hubris.

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire “Fog of Fear” which continues to envelop this nation, he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies have — inadvertently or intentionally — profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer’s New Clothes?

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused the United States of America?

The confusion we -- as its citizens— must now address, is stark and forbidding.

But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and obscured our flag. Note -- with hope in your heart — that those earlier Americans always found their way to the light, and we can, too.

The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought.

And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country faces a “new type of fascism.”

As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that -- though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.

This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.

A tremendous speech. Bravo!

One irony Olbermann missed was that the Nazis themselves used Rumsfeld's very same arguments and tactics to stifle any opposition to their policies before they became strong enough to just eliminate opponents.

More people will come across this story via the internet than watch MSNBC (even though I believe Olbermann's Countdown is the most popular show on the network), and I'm sure a vicious dittohead, neoconservative sycophant and/or Bush loyalist counterattack will be launched to smear Mr. Olbermann. So if you like the spirit here, even if you disagree with the content, let MSNBC know:

  1. viewerservices@msnbc.com
  2. letters@msnbc.com
  3. countdown@msnbc.com
  4. KOlbermann@msnbc.com
  5. dabrams@msnbc.com


Comments

Naum, I love the last few articles you've posted. All merit lengthy discussions and healthy debate.
Unfortunately, my time over the next few months will focus solely on flour mills, waterwheels, and canals.

So please allow me to briefly summarize my opinions of these articles:

I will vote Republican for the congressional races. I need only conjure the words and rhetoric of Pelosi, Dean, Lamont, Biden, Schumer, et al. to make this decision. Unlike the venerable, glib Bruce Jacobs (laugh please), I have no serious problem with Napolitano (or even Goddard coinsidering his success with Colorado City). Aside from a few political maneuvers (no surprise, Napolitano is a politician), she's done nothing to warrant voting for Munsil (I applaud his unwavering views, but he'd polarize and paralyze government processes). And don't you think it interesting that hannity is publicly supporting Liebernman, and not the GOP candidate for Connecticut? I surely do.

Olbermann is once again wrong and off-base. I don't have an issue with his criticism of Rumsfeld, but quoting historical events to support his thesis is frankly equally blasphemous to O'Reilly's ignorance (you continued to accuse me of defending O'Reilly, when I was trying to say that O'Reilly was as stupid as any other commentator who misquotes the historical record). A better "vicious, sycophant" site that focuses solely on Olberman: http://www.olbermannwatch.com/

It's interesting that "fascist" has come under proprietorship of liberal dialogue. When conservatives adopt "islamofascist" in their rhetoric, the dictionary defintion is read to expose its erroneous and exagerrated use. Lefties like Olberman and Indys (yourself, Naum)-then casually reflect how our country is falling into the great abyss of a Fascist state, negating dictionary defs and real historical record.
Fascism, Fuhrer, Regime, Nazis.....the liberals have misused and misconstrued these connotations, just as they have completely destroyed the historical significance and record of "imperialism".

While I can see the point that comparing the radical thought of Islamism to Fascism is by and large apples to oranges, it's even more so with our Democratic Republic.
Here is an interesting letter by Muslim and non-Muslim academes regarding abuses in Europe. Notice how they use "totalitarianism" to describe the hijacking of their religion by radical dickweeds:
http://www.meforum.org/arti...

A few alternatives perhaps: Islamodespot, Islamocaliph-wannabee, Islamoshitwad...
Have a great weekend everyone.
1. Understood, while we disagree, I respect your sentiments and I will say I am no fan of Biden & Schumer. I do like Dean and respect Pelosi, though I don't agree with a lot her policy stances...

2. You guys keep bashing Olbermann like he's some Democratic tool, but the reality is, and what makes his speech here special is it is apolitcal. And that's the vein of that anti-Olbermann and other scary ultra right wing, racist loving sites (like freerepublic).

3. His analogy to Churchill & Chamberlain is most apt, given the current administration painting of any dissent as "appeasment". Once we had a president that told us that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Now, we're led by a bunch of kleptocrats telling us we need to be afraid of the big bogeyman, and that any dissent on their operation or the fraudulent manner in which they have ruled is akin to being a terrorist, or a Nazi sympathizer. Olbermann is dead on the mark - Bush/Cheney KNEW this, KNEW that, etc..., but it was all puffed up propaganda that even many insiders like Colin Powell back away from now and consider "a stain" on their career. And Rumsfeld argument is exactly the same as the Nazis in 1930s.

4. 9/11 didn't have anything to do with Iraq, and even the president, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz all have stated as such when queried. And I doubt that most of the "insurgents" in Iraq right now are actually fighting under a global jihadist banner. So that kind of spikes the whole "fighting terrorist" thing - yeah, they maybe using terrorism as a tool but the scope is limited to factions fighting for power there.

5. Now you can play the "at war" card, but this isn't a war of "self defense", it's an elective war (Iraq) of a country that did not attack us nor did threaten to attack us. Then the response is "what about 9/11", but didn't the successful invasion of afghanistan solve that? oh, wait, the taliban is back in afghanistan, but maybe it wasn't about chasing evildoers down, it was a pretext for a radical depature away from a "kinder, gentler form of imperialism" to a Pax Americana new world order.

6. You are correct in asserting Islam has been hijacked but many that share your political stripes go further and enter into the realm of the enemy by clinging to belief that ALL Muslims are evil incarnates and should be eliminated. Please don't tell me that that isn't so, just read the comments at freerepublic or any other right wing forum (including the one i have a stake in - http://www.phxnews.coM).
2. Olberman is a Dem tool; why would he only mention Nixon, McCarthy and LeMay over darkened flags, when he could have mentioned Wilson, FDR, even Johnson?
Strange, but revealing nonetheless. Besides, Naum, would you expect me to defend O'Reilly as apolitical? What a joke. Come on now.

6. Please don't play this card, Naum. I haven't heard any GOP conservative leaders, or commentators claiming all muslims must die (Savage will be the closest). All you have to support this insane idea are a bunch of stupid commenters?
I deliberately ignore and leave out of discussions like this the asshole leftist comments on sites like DemUnderground, HuffingtonPost, and other leftist blogs. Do you know how easy it would be to claim how racist, stupid, and violent the left was if I used only comments from these idiots? Hell, Michelle Malkin has written a book on this lunacy. I've a feeling you wouldn't like it. But if you rely on these posts to feed your opinion, why shouldn't we? Bad news, and Bad idea.

I think recent revelations now show that Powell had alterior motives as well in the State Department; his career is even more tainted now from his own actions, not from Bush.

Since when was Imperialism ever a "kinder, and gentler form". PaxAmericana World Order? I don't think so. When the leftist demagogues get a firm grasp of the "World Order" between 1500-1954, they may choose to stop abusing the word, and even dump the new one. Events from this period continue to affect the world at large, like ripples in a pond. The Third World hasn't fully recovered and portions may actually never recover.

You and Olberman take issue of Kleptocrats having accused dissenters of being sympathetic to terrorists, and Nazis; yet you turn around and accuse Rumsfeld directly, and supporters of this war indirectly of being jack booted thugs, SS cheerleaders and bloodthirsty fans of the annihilation of Islam in the quest of a PaXAmerican Global Empire.
What exactly is the difference between the Rumsfeld and Olberman speeches, besides polarization? They both hate, they both spew, they both rely on faulty interpretation of the historic record and diplomatic events that shaped Europe between 1919-1939.

Have a great weekend, again. It's nice talking with you again, Naum.
Difference is (addressing your dichotomoy of Olbermann v. Rumsfeld) is that one is a cable news talking head while the other is the overseer of our defense department, and the Nixon comparison is apt, given Rumsfeld history (it was his administration that brought him, Nixon himself applauding him for being "one ruthless bastard"). Stupid journos can pontificate on whatever wackiness and we can all take a sip and say "look at the funny clown"... ...when Rumsfeld postulates it, it indeed smacks of fascism, due to his position...

2. Not true on GOP conservatives calling for all Muslims to be "eliminated"... ...true, they don't represent the party leadership, but they are in existence and I will cite them when I get a chance...

3. On the Pax Americana, you may be correct.. ...I will concede that...

4. Also, Powell, even with the "saintly" halo that our media has painted over him, has not been the most ethical of leaders, I grant you... ...and he's played politics as down and dirty as civilian leaders (imagine, that a general politically inclined :))...

Have a great weekend!
Oh, and points for knowing who Curtis Lemay was... ...I doubt that more than a few Americans can place that reference...

...on the omission, Wilson, perhaps, but definitely Johnson fits in there like a glove (with Nixon, Lemay, McCarthy...)...
Okay, I'll concede your point on Olberman and Rumsfeld (journo vs poli); however, I'll still disagree over the "fascist" comparison.

I included FDR, because of his attempts to mess with the Supreme Court. I'm sure the GOP was creatying a lot of buzz in the New Deal era of FDR as an emperor, trying to force his programs down America's throats when there was no clear Constitutional clearance for regulating economic parameters. The Court cleared up the mess by the late 1930s.

Damn it Neocon, get your ass back to work! Enjoy the long weekend.
What alarms and angers many on the left (and right) is how the Bush administration ostentatiously and uniformly dismisses any and all dissent or even skepticism regarding its security policies. Calling those in disagreement “morally confused” is to deny that two reasonable people can possibly disagree on these issues - nuanced, complicated issues. It is indeed to deny the presence of nuance or moral ambiguity.

Whether or not you agree with the reasons for invading Iraq or the fact of compromising the privacy of American citizens in the interest of preventing terrorism (the issues we’re talking about here - not whether Islamic regimes are good), you surely must realize that reasonable people can reasonably disagree with these policies. To call these people “morally confused”, though, just belittles and angers them. To compare them with Nazi supporters is much worse. It’s counterproductive to helping solve the very real issues and controversies that surround these policies. These issues require and deserve real and thoughtful debate and discussion. The last thing we need when dealing with issues of this magnitude are unilateral decrees.

Although he obviously has them, Olbermann never voiced an opinion about any specific Bush policy in this piece, which is appropriate because this doesn’t involve any specific Bush policy. This is about the attitude of the Bush administration toward its opposition. If Bush were a democrat this would be just as bad, and conservatives everywhere would be up in arms.
There are valid points to be made by conservatives about these policies. They can honestly defend them with real points and facts. But the attitude they have, and what Rumsfeld is doing here, is undermining their own arguments by substituting valid debate with hollow rhetoric.

This is in many ways similar to what Michael Moore and Al Franken (in my opinion) do for the left. What I always think when watching a Michael Moore documentary is, “You have an honest and good point to make! Why are you undermining it with emotional manipulation and twisted facts?”
What is amazing is how this rhetoric is not new. Through out our entire history our politicans have attempted to paint each other as the enemy. I remember reading about how, at the turn of the 18th to 19th century, war hawk politicans were painting other more moderate politicans as being lackies of the French, who we almost went to war with. So many examples since then spring to mind.

Our American Legal History teacher said the first day of class to be careful of historical analogies.

I read Neocon's letter he posted above: http://www.meforum.org/arti... What complete trash. Remember, we are facing off against people who last time attacked us with box cutters. Some how third world disgruntled Arabs are a threat to the greatest superpower every built.

REALITY CHECK:

HOW FUCKING RIDICULOUS DOES THIS SOUND PEOPLE.

Step back for a second and think about it. My god. What a joke.

Another professor says that some people argue that our war on terror is simply another excuse to meddle and overthrow government which do not support our policies.

Using Colombia as an example, I have written in my law school paper that this threat excuse has been the rationalization since the end of WW2 to invade third world countries. http://geocities.com/travba...

The complete absurdity of this threat is absurd.

Arabs kill 3,000 Americans, and we respond by killing 10 times as many Arabs, at least, and invading and completly taking over two countries. I just read that over 90% of all Iraqis--nearly 100% want the US the hell out. So much for democracy. What a sham.
Pray tell, what does the letter you called "complete trash" have to do with your Reality Check thesis statement? It was co-written by moslem scholars; I'm sure they're more in touch with the "Disgruntled arab" situation than any of us. I cited it specifically to let Naum know that some Muslims consider the use of Islamofascism quite rational; true, Totalitarianism is the principle term, but you get the point.

So let me get this straight...your first professor says to be careful of historical analogies....
But your letter started with one; you then finished with another. Isn't it abundantly clear that historical analogies are very important to contemporary political discussions? That's what History is all about. It's also why political discourse can be so vicious; History isn't written by the victor, or one witness after all.

Forgive me for conjuring historical analogies, but I doubt Rome was concerned about the "Disgruntled barbarians" (specifically the Celts, Goths and Vandals); just ask Augustus after the loss of his three legions. Rome collapsed in part, because of their disdain for the Barbarian Horde and not comprehending their motives and abilities. "Disgruntled turks" managed to topple the Byzantine Empire, triggering the Crusades and forming a major superpower through WWI (Ottoman Empire).
"Disgruntled Americans" shook off the British Army in 1781; true, they didn't fight with full force, and we had the help of the French Navy, but why split hairs? And of course, the "Disgruntled serbs" triggered the First Great War that killed 10 million and left Europe a complete wreck (there's much more to the root causes, but the Serbs had been a sore for Austria for many years). And then there's the "Disgruntled Russian Peasants" (ca1917) that shaped the 20th century.

The historical record, Trav has many examples of "Disguntled" groups, who make significant, if not horrific impacts on the world at large.
I've had my reality check. It doesn't sound ridiculous to me at all....

Have a great weekend, Trav, Naum and MrDowns.
I think History has allot to do with exactly why the terrorists were able to do what they did with only boxcutters and knives. Historically when a plane was "hijacked" it was then flown to some third world country or sat on a tarmac waiting for negotiations to be held over hostages traded for prisoner releases. Historically there was no episode of them being used as flying BOMBS to strike at an intended target. The passengers were not sure what their destiny would be. The knives and boxcutters were only tools, like the ignorance of the passengers to their fate and the lack of historical precedence to what was about to occur. The real weapons that hit us so hard that day were the passenger jets loaded with fuel and used as bombs, that is what did the damage. The fact that airport security was lax, tracking suspected terrorists was almost non-existent, and the whole mentality of American policy makers and their lack of imagination as to what exactly could be done to hurt us enabled these guys to carry out a brilliant and stunning strike against the greatest superpower every built.

A germ, bacteria, or a virus can do the same thing to the human body, if the body is not protected effectively. 9/11 was just waiting to happen and if it didn't happen then, it would have happened sooner rather than later given our own failings in being able to perceive a threat where many could hardly imagine one existing, and in fact many still fail to scope exactly how vulnerable we are today. Our war on terror may have been started on 9-11 , that may have been the very thing needed to put this mess on everyones radar screen, but its not about retribution for any past attacks not even 9-11, It's about protecting against future attacks, and there is where Iraq came into play, and there is where we need to be looking today, remembering the deeds of the past, but not limiting our imaginations as to how they could attack us again, by what they have done in the past and who they have allied with in the past as well. I hate all the worry people have today in America, all the false alarms and foolish things we have done since 9-11 might just serve to lull the public back into the brain numb state we were in pre-9-11. I think we should be aware of what can be done, but not fear it, not let it dictate our lives, simply let it make us wiser and open our eyes a little to what goes on around us, a little fear is a good thing to have, but terror is destructive to our ability to act and react, and that is exactly why they use it as a most effective weapon, you don't need a weapon, or even to do anything to cause terror, simply the threat of terror is enough to make people react and lose their brains when it is actually the time they need to relax and start thinking. If you don't believe me, look at what happens when some Delbert dumbbutt calls a bomb threat in to anywhere...what happens next?

One man is smart, a group of people can be brilliant, but the mob, more often than not is only as intelligent as it's lowest common denominator.
Neocon wrote:

So let me get this straight...your first professor says to be careful of historical analogies....
But your letter started with one; you then finished with another.

He, He, good point.

Neocon wrote:

Isn't it abundantly clear that historical analogies are very important to contemporary political discussions? That's what History is all about.

I agree. I was only stating you need to be careful to use them--I need to follow my own advice...It is so easy to use historical analogies.

Neocon wrote:

"Pray tell, what does the letter you called "complete trash" have to do with your Reality Check thesis statement?"

Statment from Middle East Quarterly:

After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.

We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity, and secular values for all. (end quote)

To put a small group of islamic fundamentalist in the same league as fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism is patently absurd.

Come on, your Rome example is ridiculous. Where are the hordes that are on the borders of the US? We are surrounded by allies.

(cont)
The fact remains that we are the world's sole superpower and we are threatened by a small group of people who have nothing. To say that this small group of people are as big of threat as Nazism, Communism, or the barbarians of Rome is patently absurd. In the case of terrorism, their are small groups of people spread throughout the world, who can inflict damage, but nothing on the scale of Nazism, Communism, or the barbarians of Rome. This is my reality check people.

Throughout American history or politicans have used minor threats or hyped up threats to frighten the American population.

A great example is Plan B, with Rumsfield and the other neocon flunkies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

"If we don't stop the Reds in South Vietnam, tomorrow they will be in Hawaii, and next week they will be in San Francisco." Lyndon B. Johnson, 1966. (Kaiser, 2003).

The Nicaraguan Sandinistas are "just two days driving time from Harlingen, Texas." Ronald Reagan, 1986. (Cannon, 1986).

"Our military is confronting terrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan and in other places so our people will not have to confront terrorist violence in New York or St. Louis or Los Angeles." George W. Bush, 2003. (Kaiser, 2003).

http://geocities.com/travba...

As I wrote in my paper (link above):

Throughout US history, it has been a reoccurring theme of US politicians that enemies from abroad are about to overwhelm the United States. "The exaggeration of American vulnerability—in the most basic sense of the vulnerability of the North American homeland to direct attack form outside—has been a recurring feature of debates over American foreign and defense policy for at least a hundred years." (Thompson, 1992). When US politicians stir up American's to fear poor third world countries, the absurd irrationality of this fear is best illustrated, whether it be Reagan frightening Americans about a Russian airfield being built in Grenada (a small country of 110,000 people whose largest export is nutmeg) or the conflicts listed above. ("Decision", 1983). The most recent entry to this list is the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Despite the fears created by the Bush administration, Iraq, a poor third world country which was crippled by over 20 years of war, was not a legitimate threat to the US, the world's sole superpower. WMD were never found. There is a pattern here. The same members of the Bush administration are the same neoconservatives who had destroyed Détente in the 1970's and were behind the massive arms buildup of the Reagan administration, based on assumptions that were later found to be "ludicrous" "fantasies" which were "all wrong". ("Team B", 2005). The Iraq war was a "preventive war, an attack that responds to a distant danger, a matter of foresight and free choice." Preventive wars are acts of criminal acts of aggression. (Walzer, 2000, p. 75). The Neoconservative Project for the New American Century, signed by some of the most powerful Bush administration officials, shows that the US is determined to be the unchallenged hegemon in the world. (Fisk, 2003).

Lets look at the forces aligned against us vs. our military power and might:

See: http://bailey83221.livejour...

The Pentagon currently owns or rents 702 overseas bases in about 130 countries and has another 6,000 bases in the United States and its territories. etc...

vs. a small group of Arabs, less than 10,000 strong (I am guessing about the numbers). PLEASE ANSWER TWO QUESTIONS: Is our republic really in danger of collapse? Do you think that the Arabs will overrun Washington like the barbarians overran Rome? Indeed, "historical analogies are very important to contemporary political discussions" but comparing terrorists to the barbarians of Rome is absurd.

Remember our conversation about if an extraterrestial were to observe the world, which country would this extraterrestial see as the most war like?

By the sheer numbers and power of America, the idea that the terrorists pose a threat like communism and facism is patently absurd, just as my other quotes show the absurdity of past presidents statments. I don't have to be an Arab intellectual to see this.
Why does America continue to invade poor third world countries? Hundreds of times in our history?

See the list I helped build:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wik...

The continuity in American foreign policy

Both liberal and conservative mainstream foreign policy analysts and the majority of International Relations academics hold an orthodox interpretation of American post-Cold War policy as fundamentally different from the earlier Cold War period, called the "discontinuity thesis". Bristol University Politics Department professor Doug Stokes argues forcefully that the "discontinuity thesis" is flawed. Stokes contends that post-US Cold War policy, which is anti-democratic when US elite interests are threatened, is no different from earlier Cold War policy. [25] This revisionist position argues that the Cold War was principally about Northern Hemisphere competition to control and exploit Southern Hemisphere natural resources, in other words, "the maintenance of a world capitalist order conducive to US economic interests". [26] Even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, this competition for third world resources continues, thus there is "continuity" in US foreign policy. Stokes uses the US policies in Colombia to test this thesis and concludes US foreign policy has been consistent in Colombia.

Is our government really concerned about erradicating illegal drugs in poor third world countries?

During the early to mid-1990s, the Clinton administration ordered and funded a major cocaine policy study again by RAND. The Rand Drug Policy Research Center study concluded that $ 3 billion should be switched from federal and local law enforcement to treatment. The report said that treatment is the cheapest way to cut drug use, stating that drug treatment is twenty three more times effective than the supply-side "war on drugs". [111] This was completely contradictory to what Clintons predesessor, George Bush Sr. had said, "The logic is simple. The cheapest way to eradicate narcotics is to destroy them at their source....We need to wipe out crops wherever they are grown and take out labs wherever they exist." [112] Despite asking for the study, President Clinton's drug czar's office "balked" at slashing law enforcement spending. [113]

From: http://geocities.com/travba...

Why does our country continue to invade poor third world countries? The justifications change, but the invasions continue, for two hundred years.

In 500 years are historians going to write about our desire for "freedom and democracy" in the US invading Iraq? Or will they write about the global fight for infinite resources? I remember reading for fun a college history book about European history, and it was amazing how every war was explained as a war for resources, every war.
Trav, I made no analogy between Rome and the US; only between disgruntled, disorganized barbarians that later brought down a military machine (you asked, I answered). Again, the authors of the letter are Muslim. They know better than any of us what is happening to Islam.

I like your last question:In 500 years are historians going to write about our desire for "freedom and democracy" in the US invading Iraq? I feel strongly the answer is yes....

Global fight for infinite resources...that defined the period between ca1480-1954-the era of European Imperialism. This period is also responsible for the chaos and poverty of the Third World. The United States' part in this was miniscule to that of France, Britain, Spain, Portugal, Russia, Netherlands, etc....

Stay focused on European History, Trav. It's amazing how much the modern world has been affected by it.

The Neoconservative Project for the New American Century. Wow.

Have a great weekend,all.
Well have a great week all. Thanks for the comments.

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