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December 31, 2004

Comments

Jeff

Chrish, don't lecture me about the severity of the tsunami tragedy. I don't know where you live, but I'm at ground zero and have already seen some of the devastation with my own eyes. It's had a direct impact on me, some people I know are still missing.

I haven't made much comment about it here because it's not the place, but there are two things that I should make clear. Firstly, I am not jumping up and down ranting and raving about Bush, but there's little doubt that the initial $35 million offer of help was lame. Initial reports of only 6,000 dead? Isn't that like twice the death toll of 9/11?

It may or may not be a big deal, but just because there is great tragedy doesn't mean that there isn't room for criticism, particularly of China's lack of action. Do I hate China just because I criticize their lack of role? No, in fact, that criticism has spurred a lot of action.

Again, there are nut jobs of all types... why you and Jim focus on those wack jobs is beyond me, especially while your President lies and is otherwise incompetent, not with the tsunami, but with so many other things. You asked me for more time to read Iraq On The Record... take all the time you need. You're already years too late.

Yes, the critique of the U.S. is not fair, but that's what happens when you create the amount of distrust and dislike that Bush & Co. have accumulated the past few years. That's what the expats have to offer to you, a window into what the great majority of the population of the world think of us. Again, I'm not saying that it's right... in fact, this time, it's dead wrong. But such is life when you have a leader that's held with such low regard. Get used to it.

Jeff

Oh, I missed Jim's posts... "freedom, stopping oppression and scaring the shit out of dictators?"

Tell me Jim, where is this? Where's the freedom, say to walk on the streets of Baghdad without having dozens killed every day? Where's the freedom of Fallujah... to exist? How about the freedom to believe what your leader says before going to war? How about the freedom of 10,000 of our troops not to be wounded and 1,300 not to be dead? Which dictator is scared? You mean by the army which Lt. Gen. James R. Helmly, says is "rapidly degenerating into a 'broken' force"? Gosh darn those details can be so bothersome!

Incidentally, of all the horrible analogies you've presented before, equating American expats with Iraqi defectors takes the cake. Please enlighten me, Jim, what info could we possibly have that Bush would consider so important that I would get to sit next to his wife at the State of the Union even if I had been convicted of fraud?

rodi

I haven't chimed in on the discussion because I've actually had to work hard for the last 2 days, but having read all the usual arguments, here's an example I think is in line with the entire discussion:

Initially, my comments were very critical of the miniscule amount that the US pledged in the face of a real disaster and the fact that they spend $35 million in any given day fighting insurgents.

OK, so they stepped up the amount, but once again, listen to the way they turn even a tragedy into a political agenda:

On NBC News, Brian Williams was reporting from Indonesia last night and he interviewed Powell. Rather than allow an opportunity to see how the relief effort is going, the VERY FIRST SENTENCE he says to Powell is:

"Indonesia is home to the largest Muslim population in the world. How does it feel knowing that so many people with an anti-American sentiment will finally get to see the US in another light?"

Holy shit, even in the case of a massive disaster relief mission, the US media chooses to take on opportunity to justify a Bush re-election. There is ABSOLUTELY no need to inject a political statement into a report about the relief efforts. Who gives a shit if the victims are Muslim, Jewish, Christian or atheists? They are all human beings.

So it seems understandable why us "leftists" (ie: anyone who does not support Bush) would criticize. As others pointed out, the actions of the past 4 years have made the entire world question the motives of US policy and therefore the media feels compelled to remind everyone how compassionate Americans are.

To me, it's a god-damn shame that America should ever have to point out that the people they’re helping harbor anti-American sentiments. Powell even went so far as to say that this catastrophe will probably end Muslim insurgence in Indonesia.
Wouldn't that be convenient?

Yeah, Jim, to quote your analysis:
It's almost like Bush called God and asked for a tsunami to take everyone’s mind off the election. Now everyone can forget the dozens of deaths that happen every day in Iraq and focus on how "compassionate" America is.

Of course corporate America will step up and donate millions, as will many individual Americans. It's not the American people that the world has a problem with; it's the current administration's unilateral quest to conquer the world in the name of "freedom"

And I still can't believe any of you can possibly link Hitler and Hussain in the same sentence. With my Jewish last name, I'd already be dead. Get real, man. Hitler wanted a "final solution" to the entire Jewish race. Saddam only cares about controlling his little piece of the Middle East. Evil, yes, but comparing him to Hitler is so unbelievably dumb that it offends me.

Jim

Ya who would believe anyone who actually lived in the country. How stupid is that.

Jeff, it's January 6th. Call up the University of Oklahoma and give them the game plan that would have beat USC for the national championship. In fact I'll bet your plan has USC gaining no yards and getting no points. U R Genius!

Jim

I can't believe you found out that America caused this disaster. I thought the RNC had covered that up. You're right, we don't care what religion these people are we don't even care if many of them hate us. THey need help and most of the world is helping. I'm sure everyone on this blog has helped already.

Of course NBC is going to pull the one quote to make Powell look bad. But you know after America has been hated for so long, can you blame Powell? I'm sure he said 100's of other things that did not make the air.

By the way, what have , Saudi Arabia, Iran and other Muslim countries given? What has N. Korea given? What has China given? And I like China.

Chrish

Then Jeff, if you're at ground zero than you, of all people, should be more aware of
that whole tragedy than anyone else here, including me, so how is it that anything the US does or Bush does is instantaneously turned into an attack on the US or on Bush?

Read back through these posts and you will find nothing but the usual spit wads being thrown about.

jj, this is all your fault. You started the whole thing. :o)

My point on this is that how much is pledged shouldn't be that big of a deal. What should really matter is that those people and places are receiving all the help they humanly need.{period]

The news media and other's have turned the whole thing into a pledging circus. This country gave that much{shame on them}, that country gave this much{that's better}, that country gave more{aren't they grand}, this country gave even more{arent they grander}.
Meanwhile, over on that side, they're still bitchin about Bush and the US.

For one moment in time can anyone think solely of the suffering over there rather than the hatred of the US and Bush? Just put the hatred aside, for one moment it won't go anywhere and will still be there when you get back, and focus on just the suffering of those people and the help they need? For crying out loud drop the hatred thing for a moment and focus on what's going on over there.

You Jeff, of all people, should be more aware of the need over there than anyone else and you still can't, for just a few moments of your time, drop your hatred?

rodi

Chrish:

I agree with your comment that everybody should stop turining this into a "pledge game" and focus on the immediate needs. But my point is that is simply not the reality of the American media. So why do the network news writers insist on making anchors ask questions revolving around Muslim-American relations during a humanitarian mission? If Americans demanded better, they might cut that shit out. But it goes in one ear and out the other to most Americans.

Jim:
Actually, I wasn't blaiming Powell; I was asking why NBC feels the compelling need to focus the immediate attention of the interview on becoming a justification of American compassion combined with a declartion of our "noble cause" to the Muslim world ???

And it's not often that I agree with you, but in this case I couldn't agree more about the conspicuous lack of public coverage about pledges from oil rich nations.

OTOH, Jeff makes a valid point. Don't Iraquis have the right to a governor that doesn't get shot to death in cold blood? Or the right to an election that doesn't have to occur under martial law? 1300 dead Americans have not achieved this goal and 1300 more will not achieve it either. Let them figure it out for themselves like the other 179 nations on Earth.

Jeff:
I do not view your views as hatred nor do I think we should all forget about Iraq in the face of a disaster. Only the networks and the GOP want us to do that. As Jim said, I'm sure everyone on this site did their part to contribute to the tsunami.

Jeff

Jim, yeah, we all need hindsight to do things competently, right? That way, we're accountable for nothing we do. Brilliant.

Chrish, I resent you saying that I'm participating in hatred. Reread what I wrote again. The only two points that I made were that the original monetary offers of help were pitiful and damaging to our country's image and that the damage was much greater due to the reputation that Bush has carved out for us.

That's it, no more. How can you construe that as hatred? I think you're way out of line on this. Other than those comments, I've been busy... already been to the hospitals in Thailand twice volunteering and doing what I can.

jj

guys,

call me names if you want, but I feel I'm justified to bitch if we can only scrounge up $350M when we have no problems blowing (up) billions in other places. It seems like such misdirected priorities. (rumor has it that Bush will ask congress for $100B for 2005 for Iraq!)

{When I took math, I learned that $100B >> $350M.}

I am keenly aware of the good things the Navy is doing out there and like so many others, America's private individuals and institutions have really done their share.
Our government is capable of so much more good, but we have this tendency to screw things up. In 2002, Bush pledged $5B to help Africa cope with AIDS, but to date - 2.5 years later - not one single dollar has been given. Any surprise I am cynical?

I am sure that the $350M will increase, but it will likely still be a miniscule amount compared to what we waste in other places.

I am not in the business of criticizing the Gulf States, they can kiss my ass. I don't care about them. The country I care about is the one I focus my attention to, and that would be the US. I'd like to see a permanent change in our attitude and behavior towards the rest of the world, that is why I bitch incessantly.

How many of the Jim's of this country bitched non-stop when Clinton was in office? But now, all of a sudden, you can't criticize anymore.

Anyways, as Luke is no longer maintaining this website, I think I am more or less done debating on here as well. But don't for a second think that I won't bitch every single time we fuck with other people for our own benefit/oil.

jj

good-bye

Jim

Good-bye JJ. Sorry you got censored and told you couldn't say anything any more.

http://www.roadstoiraq.com/?p=154

t

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