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There is at least some truth in thisFollow

#1 Feb 01 2012 at 11:29 PM Rating: Good
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLv8c2nlF0E

Imagine that, like picture it, if Chinese soldiers were in your backyard calling you a "terrorist" or "insurgent" would you wear that name in pride or in shame?

I don't know about you, but I'd wear that badge with pride. Hell, I'd announce on the top of my lungs that I was an insurgent and a terrorist.

I know because of American ignorance that such a situation couldn't happen, but what if it did? That's what I ask you ye reader. What would you do?

I think this video really quite deftly, quite succinctly, and adequately put our foreign policy in its place. Our foreign police does not promote peace; it promotes war. America is sadly Imperialistic and Warmongering, the conclusion is inescapable. We can change, and no I'm not talking about Big Ears version of "hope and change" I'm talking about actual change.

We need to stop sending our youth, our future of hopes and dreams, into the endless bloodshed of interventionism. We can no longer afford to send our youth into endless conflict, we can no longer afford our shortsightedness. We need to be conservative, we need to defend our shores, we are no longer the worlds sole superpower. We must act defensively or be caught with our pants down to an offensive enemy.

In the end our interventionism will fuck us in the ass.


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#2 Feb 01 2012 at 11:58 PM Rating: Good
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All I could think through the whole thing was "Where have I seen this 'fly-in, rotating text' technique before?"

I feel like it was some scholarly dude talking about writing or something like that, and that someone here linked to it...
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#3 Feb 02 2012 at 12:03 AM Rating: Good
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Ok, that's done in a very propagandist way, with lots of effective tugs on emotion. But I agree with what it says anyway.

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#4 Feb 02 2012 at 12:58 AM Rating: Decent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
Ok, that's done in a very propagandist way, with lots of effective tugs on emotion. But I agree with what it says anyway.




Rhetoric shouldn't automatically be assumed as irrelevant. In some cases, such as that I presented, emotional rhetoric can and should prove a point.

Don't feel bad Ari; you are looking at things objectively, which is human nature.

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#5 Feb 02 2012 at 1:40 AM Rating: Good
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Actually I believe it's hard for humans to look at things objectively. But I do believe in good rhetoric being very necessary to spread good and correct
ideas.
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#6 Feb 02 2012 at 2:39 PM Rating: Good
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You know who also liked the U.S. taking on an isolationist stance?
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#7 Feb 02 2012 at 2:41 PM Rating: Good
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You know who also liked the U.S. taking on an isolationist stance?
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#8 Feb 02 2012 at 2:53 PM Rating: Good
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There's this logical fallacy that floats around pure isolationists that somehow, throwing water on a house will cause it to catch fire. The cause of terrorism is not fighting terrorism. It's not possible. Don't get me wrong, most of the arguments for interventionism are equally as fallacious, but the core point is this: We have a big group of individuals in this world (big enough to cause problems)which hate and wish to dismantle the very foundation of western society, and I don't think they deserve an inch of wiggle room. The best way to go about this in my mind, though, is to support the revolutions occurring internally and don't force it on anyone. I'm even open to an extent to the idea of regime change strategies in the event of international law being violated. The biggest problem the United States had with its intervening past is that it always defined stable as a trade partner that wouldn't allow uprisings, rather than a free society that benefits all.
#9 Feb 02 2012 at 3:10 PM Rating: Good
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I'm oddly ok with China taking over Texas.

Seriously, that's one piece of propaganda. It shows one side, perhaps not the side we usually see, of a multi-faceted issue.

I'm typically the pie-eyed fool to first suggest a peaceful solution, but even I'm not naive enough to think that the world would automatically be a better place if the US simply sold off it's military or forbid it from leaving the back yard.

One family may indeed be fearful and hateful and angry that there are foreign soldiers in their back-yard. Another family might be thankful that a hostile regime is no longer in power, or simply that some US soldiers have provided some degree of safety to their community and their day-to-day lives.

Is there ever a justification to use military force on foreign soil?

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#10 Feb 02 2012 at 3:16 PM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
I'm oddly ok with China taking over Texas.

Seriously, that's one piece of propaganda. It shows one side, perhaps not the side we usually see, of a multi-faceted issue.

I'm typically the pie-eyed fool to first suggest a peaceful solution, but even I'm not naive enough to think that the world would automatically be a better place if the US simply sold off it's military or forbid it from leaving the back yard.

One family may indeed be fearful and hateful and angry that there are foreign soldiers in their back-yard. Another family might be thankful that a hostile regime is no longer in power, or simply that some US soldiers have provided some degree of safety to their community and their day-to-day lives.

Is there ever a justification to use military force on foreign soil?

Yes, I'd say. In cases of genocide or other mass human rights violations, to shift the balance away from incumbent despots under very specific qualifications, and to (obviously) counteract direct threats.
#11 Feb 02 2012 at 3:19 PM Rating: Good
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LeWoVoc wrote:
Elinda wrote:
I'm oddly ok with China taking over Texas.

Seriously, that's one piece of propaganda. It shows one side, perhaps not the side we usually see, of a multi-faceted issue.

I'm typically the pie-eyed fool to first suggest a peaceful solution, but even I'm not naive enough to think that the world would automatically be a better place if the US simply sold off it's military or forbid it from leaving the back yard.

One family may indeed be fearful and hateful and angry that there are foreign soldiers in their back-yard. Another family might be thankful that a hostile regime is no longer in power, or simply that some US soldiers have provided some degree of safety to their community and their day-to-day lives.

Is there ever a justification to use military force on foreign soil?

Yes, I'd say. In cases of genocide or other mass human rights violations, to shift the balance away from incumbent despots under very specific qualifications, and to (obviously) counteract direct threats.
Once you agree that there are situations that justify military intervention you've tacitly agreed to allow force to solve problems.


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#12 Feb 02 2012 at 3:23 PM Rating: Good
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Wrong question. Imagine that the US government didn't have a constitution which protected its citizens. Imagine that it routinely used secret police to round citizens up and torture and then disappear them. Imagine that it used constant fear of what it could do to its citizens to keep everyone in line and doing whatever it wanted. Then imagine that in this alternate universe the Chinese had a century long history of intervening in situations like this, helping create or restore governments where liberty and rule of law reign rather than rule by fear. Imagine that they found some excuse to invade the US, remove its government from power and were then working to create a better one where we wouldn't be subject to constant fear and pain.

Imagine that what is holding up that process is a relatively small minority of people who decide to attack and bomb the Chinese soldiers. Imagine that their reasons for doing this range from a desire to return the old regime to power, or to create a new regime where they're the power, to just irrational hatred of the Chinese themselves. I imagine that I would also view them as terrorists and/or insurgents, and I'd want them to stop so that the same pattern of rebuilding our country and then leaving it in charge of itself that had happened many times before could occur.



And yeah. I imagine that I'd blame those idiots for the violence occurring all around me. Sure. I'd be upset when some Chinese soldiers overreact to an attack on them and innocents get killed. But I'd still place the lions share of the blame on the idiots who are trying to fight them and prevent them from doing something that is ultimately better for me.


And I imagine that if there were people in China who took the side of those insurgents keeping the bloodshed going and were demanding that their government stop what it's doing and leave us at the mercy of our old leaders (or new ones who are just as bad), I'd think those people were freaking morons. I'd look at how much freedom and liberty they have. I'd look at their constitution and their rules and how prosperous and successful they are. And I'd wonder how such a free and prosperous and wonderful nation could produce people with their heads so firmly wedged in their own nether regions that they can't see that the rest of the world doesn't have the same freedoms they do but would really like to. If only someone cared enough to help us.
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#13 Feb 02 2012 at 3:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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Imagine if the Koreans took over and you had to fight your way through a blown out White Castle to access a big tank-drone-robot thingie.

How would THAT make you feel, huh?
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#14 Feb 02 2012 at 3:47 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Imagine if the Koreans took over and you had to fight your way through a blown out White Castle to access a big tank-drone-robot thingie.

How would THAT make you feel, huh?


I'd be pissed.

White Castles are hard enough to find without the damn Koreans blowing them up.
#15 Feb 02 2012 at 3:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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Jophiel wrote:
Imagine if the Koreans took over and you had to fight your way through a blown out White Castle to access a big tank-drone-robot thingie.

How would THAT make you feel, huh?


They'd be all like "Ramirez! Defend the Burger Town!" and I'd be all "My name's not Ramirez!"
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#16 Feb 02 2012 at 4:08 PM Rating: Good
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Eske Esquire wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Imagine if the Koreans took over and you had to fight your way through a blown out White Castle to access a big tank-drone-robot thingie.

How would THAT make you feel, huh?


They'd be all like "Ramirez! Defend the Burger Town!" and I'd be all "My name's not Ramirez!"


That burgertown had the weirdest layout...
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#17 Feb 02 2012 at 4:30 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
Once you agree that there are situations that justify military intervention you've tacitly agreed to allow force to solve problems.
Welcome to the entirety of human history, past present and future.
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#18 Feb 02 2012 at 4:45 PM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Once you agree that there are situations that justify military intervention you've tacitly agreed to allow force to solve problems.
Welcome to the entirety of human history, past present and future.

This. I'm not sure if my memory is 100% on this, but in the entirety of human history, about 230 years total were spent war-free.


So I ask you this: How do you talk someone out of genocide? How many economic sanctions does it take to prevent a madman from invading a neighboring country? The thought of absolutely every world problem being solved with talks and treaties is ridiculous. Once you agree that force is never a justifiable option, you tacitly agree to never have the worst of human problems solved.

Edited, Feb 2nd 2012 3:47pm by LeWoVoc
#19 Feb 02 2012 at 5:48 PM Rating: Good
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Yeah. I always thought the saying that "violence never solved anything" was up there with the most moronic of things that could come out of someone's mouth.
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#20 Feb 02 2012 at 6:30 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
Eske Esquire wrote:
Jophiel wrote:
Imagine if the Koreans took over and you had to fight your way through a blown out White Castle to access a big tank-drone-robot thingie.

How would THAT make you feel, huh?


They'd be all like "Ramirez! Defend the Burger Town!" and I'd be all "My name's not Ramirez!"


That burgertown had the weirdest layout...


iknowright

They had oddly large parking lots too. I've never seen a fast food joint with that much available parking space.
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#21 Feb 02 2012 at 7:47 PM Rating: Good
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LeWoVoc wrote:
There's this logical fallacy that floats around pure isolationists that somehow, throwing water on a house will cause it to catch fire.

You know what the best part of this analogy is, you change aggressive force from being water to fire in the same sentence.
#22 Feb 02 2012 at 7:54 PM Rating: Excellent
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Allegory wrote:
LeWoVoc wrote:
There's this logical fallacy that floats around pure isolationists that somehow, throwing water on a house will cause it to catch fire.

You know what the best part of this analogy is, you change aggressive force from being water to fire in the same sentence.


Well, he was pretty steamed.
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#23 Feb 02 2012 at 8:09 PM Rating: Good
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Samira wrote:
Allegory wrote:
LeWoVoc wrote:
There's this logical fallacy that floats around pure isolationists that somehow, throwing water on a house will cause it to catch fire.

You know what the best part of this analogy is, you change aggressive force from being water to fire in the same sentence.


Well, he was pretty steamed.

I sea the error of my waves. I'll bay shore to be careful next time.

Edited, Feb 2nd 2012 7:10pm by LeWoVoc
#24 Feb 02 2012 at 8:10 PM Rating: Good
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Well, I wasn't going to coddle him.
#25 Feb 02 2012 at 8:26 PM Rating: Excellent
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Just try not to poach is metaphor.

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#26 Feb 02 2012 at 9:07 PM Rating: Good
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Samira wrote:
Just try not to poach is metaphor.

I'm not trying to scramble on for too long, but this post was eggselent.
#27 Feb 03 2012 at 12:57 AM Rating: Good
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LeWoVoc wrote:
There's this logical fallacy that floats around pure isolationists that somehow, throwing water on a house will cause it to catch fire. The cause of terrorism is not fighting terrorism. It's not possible.

In all arguments, differences of opinion, and situations in which one person wants to change another person's behaviour or mind, there are behaviours that will escalate tension, and behaviours that will de-escalate tension.

Terrorism is on an extreme end, but on the spectrum of "arguments, differences of opinion, and situations in which one person wants to change another person's behaviour or mind"

Fighting terrorism (using violence) is on the extreme end of "behaviours that will escalate tension."

It is also on the extreme end, but on the spectrum of "arguments, differences of opinion, and situations in which one person wants to change another person's behaviour or mind".
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#28 Feb 03 2012 at 1:09 AM Rating: Excellent
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Resorting to physical battles may be necessary to protect innocents in a complex situation, but strategically, battles and war are not tools that will prevent further terrorism. Terrorism is a technique that people resort to. It is not a thing in itself. Every-one thinks they are the good guys, or they are justified, in what they do. In the short term policing methods detect people who are resorting to terrorist actions. The justice system is there to deal with successfully carried out acts of terror. In the long term, winning hearts and minds, through the processes of a civic society or diplomacy, is the only preventative.

In some cases, military personal are used to police a population, detect criminal (terroristic) behaviour, and detain and deal with criminal suspects. I question the training and effectiveness of military personel being left alone to do so. Terrorism is a technique that is used in many different situations, and only in a minority of situations is it appropriate that the military forces of one nation police the actions of citizens of another nation. Those situations usually involve the two nation-states already being in a state warfare with one another.

Granted a situation of warfare and eventual occupation, one is still left with the fact that military violence is a likely escalator of tensions, rather than de-escalator. People are inclined to side with extremists if they feel unsafe, alienated, and unaccepted. People are inclined to side with governments, and live in peace with diverse fellow citizens, if they feel safe, enmeshed, and accepted. So it is VERY IMPORTANT to apply holistic approaches to preventing acts of terror. Note that this does not include acquiescing to and appeasing extremist ideologies.

Edited, Feb 3rd 2012 2:13am by Aripyanfar
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#29 Feb 03 2012 at 1:48 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Wrong question. Imagine that the US government didn't have a constitution which protected its citizens... If only someone cared enough to help us.
BUT THIS IS NOT THE REAL REFLECTION OF THE RECORD OF INTERNATIONAL ACTS OF THE USA IN THE PAST 60 YEARS.

The USA, in at least 70 cases in the past 60 years, has intervened to help DEPOSE democratically elected governments where liberty and rule of law reigned rather than rule by fear.

The USA, in at least 70 cases in the past 60 years, has intervened to help INSTALL dictatorships which didn't have a constitution that protected its citizens. That routinely used secret police to round citizens up and torture and then disappear them. That used constant fear of what it could do to its citizens to keep everyone in line and doing whatever it wanted.

In almost all these cases the USA has done so to further the monetary interests of itself or an oligarchy of businesspeople with contacts in the government or bureaucracy. In the minority of cases the USA has done so out of Cold War strategic moves against the Totalitarian governments of the USSR and PRC. Or out of sheer distaste for nations of no threat to the USA democratically electing their own Socialist governments.

In almost all these cases where the USA has helped depose democratic governments in favour of totalitarian dictatorships that rule through fear it has managed to keep the majority of its own population, and most of its best allies' populations happily ignorant of these world events. But you can be sure the rest of the world has taken note.

In no case has the USA itself intervened when foreign nationals alone were suffering under a dictatorship. The "First Gulf War" in the 1990's was a case of treaty alliances activating when a second nation invaded a third nation, and the treaty alliance was in place with the second nation in the first place because it furthered the monetary and strategic interests of the USA. Do not bring up the "Second Iraq War" as a case of the USA going in to protect the Iraq citizens from Saddam Hussein. Just don't. It is clearly counter-factual on so many levels.

So, given its recent past history, (recent as in living memory), foreigners are NOT going to Imagine that the US military has come into their country to liberate them from fear, torture, and oppression. Foreigners would not regard such claims cynically, but with outright disbelief. The onus is on the US to prove that disbelief wrong.
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#30 Feb 03 2012 at 1:55 AM Rating: Excellent
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I agree that violence is sometimes necessary. But violence alone will never bring about peace.
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#31 Feb 03 2012 at 10:14 AM Rating: Excellent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
I agree that violence is sometimes necessary. But violence alone will never bring about peace.
Very well put, Ari. I should be careful to emphasize this point.


Edit, since this doesn't need it's own post really:

The problem with saying we have to win the hearts and minds of potential terrorists as the only option is what they demand to win their hearts. Whether it's Danish cartoonists, a former Muslim novelist, or some ignorant pastor in Florida, governments have been quick to apologize for the perfectly legal actions of citizens in free countries. How exactly do you win the heart of an individual who demands the capitulation of free expression and threatens violence if it is not given?

Edited, Feb 3rd 2012 9:23am by LeWoVoc
#32 Feb 03 2012 at 10:18 AM Rating: Excellent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
I agree that violence is sometimes necessary. But violence alone will never bring about peace.
You're just not using enough violence if you believe that.
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#33 Feb 03 2012 at 10:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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LeWoVoc wrote:
The problem with saying we have to win the hearts and minds of potential terrorists as the only option is what they demand to win their hearts. Whether it's Danish cartoonists, a former Muslim novelist, or some ignorant pastor in Florida, governments have been quick to apologize for the perfectly legal actions of citizens in free countries. How exactly do you win the heart of an individual who demands the capitulation of free expression and threatens violence if it is not given?

Terrorists demand these things. Potential terrorists rarely do. The potential ones are simply looking for a decent way of life and are driven to the brink by our actions, most often.
#34 Feb 03 2012 at 10:48 AM Rating: Good
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Majivo wrote:
LeWoVoc wrote:
The problem with saying we have to win the hearts and minds of potential terrorists as the only option is what they demand to win their hearts. Whether it's Danish cartoonists, a former Muslim novelist, or some ignorant pastor in Florida, governments have been quick to apologize for the perfectly legal actions of citizens in free countries. How exactly do you win the heart of an individual who demands the capitulation of free expression and threatens violence if it is not given?

Terrorists demand these things. Potential terrorists rarely do. The potential ones are simply looking for a decent way of life and are driven to the brink by our actions, most often.

The problem is, this sort of analysis is extraordinarily difficult to quantify. In a real dialogue concerning international terror, the numbers for "potential terrorists" versus terrorists have to be viewed as mostly subjective conjecture. Don't get me wrong, if we simply stopped @#%^ing with things for profit, I completely agree that we'd be much better off on the terrorism front, but it's not that simple. It is, on the other hand, being portrayed as that simple. I think the middle ground is to support and further existing human rights movements as we did in Libya--trying to minimize casualties during a natural transition.
#35 Feb 03 2012 at 11:21 AM Rating: Good
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#36 Feb 03 2012 at 2:56 PM Rating: Decent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Wrong question. Imagine that the US government didn't have a constitution which protected its citizens... If only someone cared enough to help us.
BUT THIS IS NOT THE REAL REFLECTION OF THE RECORD OF INTERNATIONAL ACTS OF THE USA IN THE PAST 60 YEARS.


I think you quoted the wrong section of my post. That part is imagining if the US was more like Iraq or Afghanistan. Which is valid for the comparison that is being made here. Did you mean this:

Aripyanfar wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Then imagine that in this alternate universe the Chinese had a century long history of intervening in situations like this, helping create or restore governments where liberty and rule of law reign rather than rule by fear.
BUT THIS IS NOT THE REAL REFLECTION OF THE RECORD OF INTERNATIONAL ACTS OF THE USA IN THE PAST 60 YEARS.


Isn't it? The US is well known for involving itself in military action to help liberate other nations and then turning control of those nations over to their citizens after helping to establish a government based on liberty rather than fear. We did this in Europe after WW2, remember? We're one of the few (only) superpower in the history of the world which has *ever* done this. Recall that after WW2, the Soviets placed the nations they'd liberated behind an Iron Curtain and oppressed them for 40 years.

Quote:
The USA, in at least 70 cases in the past 60 years, has intervened to help DEPOSE democratically elected governments where liberty and rule of law reigned rather than rule by fear.


You have a source for this? And let's not compare apples to oranges. We're talking about soldiers in the streets, not CIA guys working behind the scenes. The case being made is that it's the soldiers occupying these countries during the process of tearing down the old and building the new government that makes people rise up an form insurgencies and terrorist cells. That's the Ron Paul argument. I don't recall him speaking about secret ops run by the CIA.

Quote:
The USA, in at least 70 cases in the past 60 years, has intervened to help INSTALL dictatorships which didn't have a constitution that protected its citizens. That routinely used secret police to round citizens up and torture and then disappear them. That used constant fear of what it could do to its citizens to keep everyone in line and doing whatever it wanted.


Again, do you have a source for this? Because while I'll agree that in a couple cases in South America, this may be true, 70 seems like a nutty high number (unless you're arguing that the US has managed to depose the governments of like 1/3rd of the worlds nations over the last 60 years). Also, we have to look at intent versus result. When we use small CIA teams to topple regimes, we kinda don't have nearly as much control over what replaces them. One can argue that the direct military approach used by Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq (which Paul so strongly disagrees with) was designed to put sufficient force in place to deal with the inevitable rise of equally or more ruthless replacements for the guys we'd just deposed.

Yes. It costs a lot more. Yes, it puts our soldiers in harms way. But absent that cost, as you seem well aware of, the result is more often a worse condition for the people of those countries than before. You get that it's the insurgencies which you have to fight through to prevent a dictatorial outcome, right?

Quote:
In no case has the USA itself intervened when foreign nationals alone were suffering under a dictatorship.


A whole lot of people in Europe would disagree. The Belgians were not suffering under a dictatorship in the 1940s? A while lot of people in Eastern Europe would also disagree. The Romanians were not suffering under a dictatorship during the cold war? An interesting side note to the whole war on terror thing. Did you ever take a look at the list of nations in the "alliance of the willing"? Lots of folks dismissed it as a list of smallish and unimportant nations, but if you looked close you'd have seen that nearly all the former Soviet Satellite states were on the list. Funny that. Perhaps their liberation as a direct result of US foreign policy actions (not invasion in that case, but still) was recent enough that they remembered what it was like to live under such oppression and thus supported action to end it in other nations.

Perhaps those nations who dismiss such attempts have forgotten something?


Quote:
So, given its recent past history, (recent as in living memory), foreigners are NOT going to Imagine that the US military has come into their country to liberate them from fear, torture, and oppression. Foreigners would not regard such claims cynically, but with outright disbelief. The onus is on the US to prove that disbelief wrong.


A whole lot of Iraqis would disagree with you there as well. They certainly were happy when US forces removed Saddam from power. And even during the worst periods of insurgent fighting, polls in Iraq consistently showed that they viewed themselves as better off as a result of the US action than they'd have been otherwise. I imagine that this view is even stronger today. Nothings perfect, but I think it's foolish to focus only on the negatives.
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#37 Feb 03 2012 at 3:02 PM Rating: Good
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Majivo wrote:
Terrorists demand these things. Potential terrorists rarely do. The potential ones are simply looking for a decent way of life and are driven to the brink by our actions, most often.


I disagree. The outrage and anger about those cartoons went far far beyond the number of people who are already terrorists, and even those who are "potential terrorists". The angry public looks the other way at the actions used to obtain the results they want. And that's what feeds things like terrorism. What makes potential terrorists decide to be terrorists is that appearance of broad support for what they want among their own group and opposition to those things by those outside the group.

Not very many people would become willing to strap bombs to themselves and make a statement if they didn't believe that what they did benefited a whole bunch of other people. Public support for the outcome, if not the methods, is what makes people turn to terrorism. They use it as a last resort, but they have to first believe that what they are trying to accomplish by using it is something that many many others want, but are denied in some way.
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#38 Feb 03 2012 at 9:54 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Wrong question. Imagine that the US government didn't have a constitution which protected its citizens... If only someone cared enough to help us.
BUT THIS IS NOT THE REAL REFLECTION OF THE RECORD OF INTERNATIONAL ACTS OF THE USA IN THE PAST 60 YEARS.


I think you quoted the wrong section of my post. That part is imagining if the US was more like Iraq or Afghanistan. Which is valid for the comparison that is being made here.
And you'd want someone to come in and liberate you like the US did for the citizens in Iraq and Afghanistan? Sorry. You didn't go into Afghanistan to liberate oppressed citizens from their governments. You went into Afghanistan because the government of Afghanistan refused to extradite the criminals complicit in the 9/11 terrorist plot to the USA. This created an argument that the Afghani government was complicit in the 9/11 terror plot, and thus attacked the USA, giving cause for the USA to retaliate against the Afghani nation while seeking the 9/11 terrorists.

You didn't go into Iraq to liberate the oppressed citizens from Saddam Hussein. You went in the first time to protect your Ally, Kuwait, who was attacked by Iraq. You have oil, monetary and strategic interests in being allies with Kuwait. The second time you pretended there was evidence of WOMD, (in violation of the peace treaty from the first Iraq war) two weeks before the UN was going to deliver a report, after 4 years of intensive international investigation, saying that no WOMD had been found in Iraq. As, indeed, after the USA and allies INVADED A SOVEREIGN NATION, occupied it, and eventually left it after a decade, the USA and it's allies formally admitted no evidence of WOMD were found during that entire second war, and indeed, the "evidence" for WOMD which provided the reason for invasion in the first place was erroneous and misrepresented to the various senates and parliaments of the USA and allies.



Edited, Feb 3rd 2012 11:01pm by Aripyanfar
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#39 Feb 03 2012 at 10:34 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Did you mean this:
Aripyanfar wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Then imagine that in this alternate universe the Chinese had a century long history of intervening in situations like this, helping create or restore governments where liberty and rule of law reign rather than rule by fear.
BUT THIS IS NOT THE REAL REFLECTION OF THE RECORD OF INTERNATIONAL ACTS OF THE USA IN THE PAST 60 YEARS.


Isn't it? The US is well known for involving itself in military action to help liberate other nations and then turning control of those nations over to their citizens after helping to establish a government based on liberty rather than fear. We did this in Europe after WW2, remember?
No, no you didn't. While there were a lot of private American citizens sympathetic to the Allies form the start of WW2, for just over a year you sold weaponry, industrial machinery, food and supplies to both sides (Allies and Axis) of the war, while committing no troops either way. Then the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour. You joined the Western Allies in defence of your own nation. It's true that after the initial attack on USA soil the rest of the war was fought overseas. And it's true that after the war finished you stationed troops overseas. It's true that many Australians and Europeans will be forever grateful for the part America played in liberating them from Axis conquerors. But America didn't commit the lives of it's own citizens in pure selflessness. It came in when it had a vested interest.

You helped Japan with food aid, democratisation and allowed peasants to buy land from Landowners, in the decade in which you helped Japan recover from the war. Because you had learned after WWI that if you beat an opponent into the ground, and then left its citizens to starve and die of injury and disease, and demanded war reparations to recoup some of your own costs, all you'd get for leaving a thoroughly militarily-beaten but starving enemy behind you was a bitter populace who was ripe for a Hitler to blame all their problems on everyone else, a populace ready to take up arms in revenge afterwards. So helping Japan after WW2 was laudable enlightened self-interest.

You liberated Jews, homosexuals, the disabled, Gypsies and other minorities from death camps as part of winning WW2. But the ghettos and death camps were known about well before Pearl Harbour in late 1941, well before the start of WW2 elsewhere in 1939. And the USA government sent no official forces to smuggle Jews and others out of Germany, or to invade Germany to liberate the Jews.

You kept troops around Europe and Asia after WW2 because you feared the huge power block the USSR and PRC became during the war. Their Totalitarian versions of "Communism" had a stated manifesto of liberating the citizens of other nations from the tyranny of Capitalism. Liberating workers to own the fruits of their own labour. The USA was completely resistant to the idea of the USSR (Russia) and the PRC (China) invading America to depose the American government in order to liberate its citizens. It feared the USSR and PRC had the ability as well as the will to do so. So it fought the Cold War in it's own defence, and it shored up it's democratic allies world wide as valuable military allies against the USSR and PRC.

It was certainly nice, and helpful, of you to keep troops around democratic Europe. But you had a self interest for them to be there also, so we'll never know if you would have kept them there just for the European's sake if the USA wasn't under threat itself during that period.


Edited, Feb 3rd 2012 11:35pm by Aripyanfar
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#40 Feb 03 2012 at 10:38 PM Rating: Good
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We're one of the few (only) superpower in the history of the world which has *ever* done this. Recall that after WW2, the Soviets placed the nations they'd liberated behind an Iron Curtain and oppressed them for 40 years.
See above.

Edited, Feb 3rd 2012 11:38pm by Aripyanfar
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#41 Feb 03 2012 at 10:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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Isn't it? The US is well known for involving itself in military action to help liberate other nations and then turning control of those nations over to their citizens after helping to establish a government based on liberty rather than fear.


It sure is. In the US.

Everywhere else in the world, the US is well known for involving itself in military action to ruthlessly protect it's sphere of power and interests.

Also, more recently, we've become increasingly well known for killing thousands of innocents with our flying killer robots. On balance, that's probably an improvement.
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#42 Feb 03 2012 at 11:05 PM Rating: Decent
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The USA, in at least 70 cases in the past 60 years, has intervened to help DEPOSE democratically elected governments where liberty and rule of law reigned rather than rule by fear.


You have a source for this? And let's not compare apples to oranges. We're talking about soldiers in the streets, not CIA guys working behind the scenes. The case being made is that it's the soldiers occupying these countries during the process of tearing down the old and building the new government that makes people rise up an form insurgencies and terrorist cells. That's the Ron Paul argument. I don't recall him speaking about secret ops run by the CIA.
You know those famous shovels and hammers and electronics and hardware supplied by private contractors to the military at 10 times the cost as you can buy the same stuff for at the local hardware, tech store and manufactory? Yeah, no. That's actually creative accounting hiding black-ops missions and hardware. Black ops missions that run during peace time and war time, all over the world. Black ops missions that account for perhaps half the total US military budget. No, my sources would not appreciate being named, nor would it be legal for me to name them. Yes, my computer has been swept out by the US military, and yes, your military now has a boring little file on me.

Your CIA and military working "behind the scenes" during the last 60 years at least equal the troops it has "openly" put on the ground. The amount of military hardware sold by private Americans and public US governments to dictators and despots at least equal the amount of stuff you keep for yourselves. (You would think you'd be safer keeping everything military to yourselves, but apparently you feel safer with more money. Don't worry. Australia is just as short-sighted.) Do you think this massive amount of covert operations go unnoticed by the people affected? That they don't care when they figure out the USA is saying one thing publicly, and doing another thing really?

I don't think the USA is a bad nation overall. Most Americans are wonderful, lovely people. It's just a nation as complex and messy as any other one. But it's really dangerous for me and you to overlook the short-sighted, dubious, stupid, or immoral things our governments have done in our names, because we are so happy with the great things about our nations. If at any time you want to spend time looking at things Australia has been doing hideously wrong as a nation, look at our recent track record with refugees, and our past record with our native blackfellas.

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#43 Feb 03 2012 at 11:11 PM Rating: Good
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The USA, in at least 70 cases in the past 60 years, has intervened to help INSTALL dictatorships which didn't have a constitution that protected its citizens. That routinely used secret police to round citizens up and torture and then disappear them. That used constant fear of what it could do to its citizens to keep everyone in line and doing whatever it wanted.


Again, do you have a source for this? Because while I'll agree that in a couple cases in South America, this may be true, 70 seems like a nutty high number (unless you're arguing that the US has managed to depose the governments of like 1/3rd of the worlds nations over the last 60 years).
The USA was the Western Superpower in a world-spanning Cold War with the Sino-Soviet Superpower. Then after 1980 it was the remaining World Superpower.

What did you think that meant? What do you think it continues to mean? yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

If you were simply the richest nation in the world, you'd turn up in Word's Richest Nation lists. And academics would write treatises on how your economic size affected the currency, trading and economics of the world. Alright, you got that bit anyway. But you were also called a Power. A Superpower. Not the Economic Powerhouse. The World Superpower. You got that from military power, and that got noticed because it was always in play all around the world. If it wasn't actively in play overtly, or actively in play covertly, then it was in play as an unstated but understood threat to everyone else. Again: the USA spends more on its military than the rest of the world put together. If you were simply holding a force ready and willing to defend yourself and your allies, you would not need to so thoroughly outspend everyone else.

By the way, you didn't depose 1/3 of the world's nations. You just helped depose 1/3 of the world's nations. Your statistic, not mine. I'd be surprised if there are only 210 nations in the world.

Edited, Feb 4th 2012 1:13am by Aripyanfar
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#44 Feb 03 2012 at 11:31 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Also, we have to look at intent versus result. When we use small CIA teams to topple regimes, we kinda don't have nearly as much control over what replaces them. One can argue that the direct military approach used by Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq (which Paul so strongly disagrees with) was designed to put sufficient force in place to deal with the inevitable rise of equally or more ruthless replacements for the guys we'd just deposed.
In all cases I'm thinking about, the "small CIA teams" were sent in topple "regimes" consisting of democratically elected governments. In any objective moral judgement, the USA government or bureaucrats had no right to do so in the first place. As to the outcome, since the USA usually sold arms before and after the coups to the organisations that replaced the elected governments, you certainly did have quite a degree of control over what replaced them. You simply had no interest in the subsequent actions of the replacement dictatorships, unless they started to impact US interests.
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#45 Feb 03 2012 at 11:50 PM Rating: Good
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Yes. It costs a lot more. Yes, it puts our soldiers in harms way. But absent that cost, as you seem well aware of, the result is more often a worse condition for the people of those countries than before. You get that it's the insurgencies which you have to fight through to prevent a dictatorial outcome, right?
Simplicity and common sense are extremely useful when solving single problems. When you get to the human race, humans, the ecology and biology, things are complex. What seems like the obvious common sense state of things aren't true at all. Sorry, that musing comes from the Polyamoury thread. Insurgencies have to be solved to prevent dictatorial outcomes, yes. Dictatorships also arise in other ways. Like from a very very slow, unnoticed erosion of citizen rights, done in small steps over many years. The USA spent 10 years fighting insurgencies in Afghanistan. I cheered you and us on when you fought insurgencies in Afghanistan. Since you HAD gone into Iraq that second time, I cheered you and us on when you fought insurgencies by extremists and fundamentalists in Irag. No use invading then leaving the place worse off than before. You were on the side of angels in many of those mini situations in Afghanistan and Iraq the past decade. I can agree with that. Still think the whole thing needed better worldwide funding and intervention to rapidly build the education and basic infrastructure of Iraq and especially Afghanistan, to take away the insurgent's pool of recruits.
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#46 Feb 03 2012 at 11:54 PM Rating: Excellent
America has pretty big balls, what else is new?
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#47 Feb 03 2012 at 11:56 PM Rating: Excellent
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This thread is about 50% Ari.
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#48 Feb 04 2012 at 12:08 AM Rating: Good
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In no case has the USA itself intervened when foreign nationals alone were suffering under a dictatorship.


A whole lot of people in Europe would disagree. The Belgians were not suffering under a dictatorship in the 1940s? A while lot of people in Eastern Europe would also disagree. The Romanians were not suffering under a dictatorship during the cold war? An interesting side note to the whole war on terror thing. Did you ever take a look at the list of nations in the "alliance of the willing"? Lots of folks dismissed it as a list of smallish and unimportant nations, but if you looked close you'd have seen that nearly all the former Soviet Satellite states were on the list. Funny that. Perhaps their liberation as a direct result of US foreign policy actions (not invasion in that case, but still) was recent enough that they remembered what it was like to live under such oppression and thus supported action to end it in other nations.

Perhaps those nations who dismiss such attempts have forgotten something?
See above.

The USA was of overwhelming help to many nations across Europe and Asia during WW2 and the Cold War. But it only came into WW2 when it was itself attacked. And afterwards it had it's own strategic defence issues that involved it heavily in the Cold War, which ultimately lead to the economic and political collapse of the USSR. So we'll never know if the USA would have ever helped liberate Western and Eastern Europe out of charity. This doesn't mean that the USA's help is forgotten there, or not deeply, deeply appreciated. Complexity of situation, remember? Black, grey and white. All systems have functional and dysfunctional qualities, all actions have positive and negative outcomes.

Australians in general, and myself in particular, are still deeply aware of the debt we owe America for freeing it from Japan during WW2. And I'm two generations removed from that war. That doesn't stop me from disagreeing with other foreign ventures of America's. Just as there are foreign activities of Australia's that make me sick, and others that I'm proud of.
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#49 Feb 04 2012 at 12:11 AM Rating: Excellent
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This thread is about 50% Ari.
It is now. Smiley: glare
There's more than one reason I stopped arguing with gbaji. Sorry to inflict Ari vs. gbaji on you again.
But I'm not going to stop right now because this is a precious variation in my present routine. >_<
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#50 Feb 04 2012 at 12:29 AM Rating: Good
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So, given its recent past history, (recent as in living memory), foreigners are NOT going to Imagine that the US military has come into their country to liberate them from fear, torture, and oppression. Foreigners would not regard such claims cynically, but with outright disbelief. The onus is on the US to prove that disbelief wrong.
A whole lot of Iraqis would disagree with you there as well. They certainly were happy when US forces removed Saddam from power. And even during the worst periods of insurgent fighting, polls in Iraq consistently showed that they viewed themselves as better off as a result of the US action than they'd have been otherwise. I imagine that this view is even stronger today. Nothings perfect, but I think it's foolish to focus only on the negatives.
I'd be happy to do you a deal. I won't talk just about the negatives, if you alert yourself to the fact that there are some negatives. And that how nations view themselves in general is very different from how other nations in general view them.

Australians generally think we live in an awesome place. Safe, happy, we've got it good and we're very friendly, open-minded, relaxed people. But we've got a world reputation for racism, and that reputation is justified. Because things are complex. On one hand, by several measures, we're one of the most successful multi-cultural nations in the world. By and large we're a happy salad of many cultures within a meta-culture. We love to eat each other's food, attend each other's festivals, wear each other's clothes and buy each other's crockery, furnishings and artwork. Most Australians of minority heritage marry out of their background heritage and race. So many Anglo-Australians marry non-Anglos. And that's not counting mail-order brides. On the other hand, so many Aussies think migrants "take our jobs" "disrespect our women" and "don't assimilate". We elected an MP who got up in parliament and said "Australia is being swamped by Asians". (We're really not). Our government and universities banded together to take as much advantage of overseas paying students as possible, while leaving them to sink or swim in so many ways. Overseas students have been specifically targeted for hate crimes by Aussies. The onus is now on us to prove we're not racists.

Edited, Feb 4th 2012 1:32am by Aripyanfar
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#51 Feb 04 2012 at 12:51 AM Rating: Good
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Majivo wrote:
Terrorists demand these things. Potential terrorists rarely do. The potential ones are simply looking for a decent way of life and are driven to the brink by our actions, most often.


I disagree. The outrage and anger about those cartoons went far far beyond the number of people who are already terrorists, and even those who are "potential terrorists". The angry public looks the other way at the actions used to obtain the results they want. And that's what feeds things like terrorism. What makes potential terrorists decide to be terrorists is that appearance of broad support for what they want among their own group and opposition to those things by those outside the group.

Not very many people would become willing to strap bombs to themselves and make a statement if they didn't believe that what they did benefited a whole bunch of other people. Public support for the outcome, if not the methods, is what makes people turn to terrorism. They use it as a last resort, but they have to first believe that what they are trying to accomplish by using it is something that many many others want, but are denied in some way.
Complexity, complexity. It is also true that many, many people who strapped bombs to themselves only did so because US$25,000 would be paid to their families after they had detonated the bomb. Most of these bombers were young people who were fundamentally suicidally depressed, not fundamentally religious. They had no hope for their own future, but they suddenly had a shining beacon of hope that they could acquire a fortune for their own loved family.

While there are many privileged, educated, white, Anglo and other people resorting to terrorism, they usually decide they can be useful organising things, and recruit others to put themselves in harm's way. Most terrorist recruits come from a trifecta population of: illiterate, poverty-striken, and fundamentally religious. The last can be addressed by dialogue and literacy(I'm not guaranteeing any success here.) The second two can be massively addressed through education-aid up to junior high school. Poverty won't be wholly addressed through literacy, but literacy will go a long way to helping. And access to a world of written thoughts, not currently available, will challenge many people's fundamentalism. Internet access, heck, even radio and TV access, can be massive challenges to some people's fundamentalism, while it can cement other people's. But on balance, I think freedom of information generally makes for more tolerance of difference.

I know I haven't really addressed everything you brought up there. Just some of it, about some of the things that feed terrorism.
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