15
Sep
08

Talking Points 15th September

It’s an historic day for Zimbabwe today. President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai have just signed a power-sharing agreement after months of intimidation since Tsvangirai’s MDC party won elections in March as well as widespread hunger in the fastest shrinking economy in the world.
You can read more about the crisis in Zimbabwe here.

It’s unclear whether Mugabe and his followers will get immunity for their crimes of violence and intimidation around the disputed elections. So is this an acceptable compromise? There are huge financial gains to be made in investment if they form a stable government but can power-sharing agreements work?

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Also causing a stir is the news that the US investment bank Lehman Brothers is filing for bankruptcy. This huge firm is the latest victim of the credit crunch and is likely to have negative repurcussions for markets around the world. So when should governments step in to bail companies out?

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Many thanks to Katharina and Abdelilah for an excellent job of hosting the weekend’s Blank Page.

The suicide of an American writer  and a Saudi judge’s endorsement of the death penalty for TV producers prompted debate on the blog over the weekend. Zainab in Iraq asked “Isn’t human life the most sacred thing?” – which may seem to be a simple question, but prompted an interesting debate on whether that basic question is affected by attitudes to the death penalty and suicide. Suicide rates are higher in young people in developed countries like Ireland, but in places like Malaysia the suicide rate increases with age while China and India have two of the highest suicide rates in the world. So what can be done to prevent suicide? Or does a person have the right to take their own life?

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And a particular thanks goes to WHYS blogger Kelsie in Houston for posting live updates on the blog from his blacked-out home in Texas as Hurricane Ike hit. Even when he lost power he sent through updates via a friend and gave us all fascinating first-hand accounts of what it’s like to be in the middle of a hurricane. He also got pictures on the BBC news website and i’m sure I heard a “Kelsie Jackson in Texas” speak on BBC Radio 2 news over the weekend, so he’s a real multi-media WHYSer!


134 Responses to “Talking Points 15th September”


  1. 1 Vijay
    September 15, 2008 at 11:32

    We all assume that the situation can not get worse ,only better,however look what happened in Kenya a government won an election based on its anti-corruption stance and then becomes even more corrupt than its predecessor ,that was followed by civil unrest and ultimately tribal conflict.
    All Zimbabwes neighbours have to help in rebuilding the country,the Commonwealth, AU,IMF , World Bank and UN should also step up and offer technical assistance.
    The UK will have to honour promises regarding land reform compensation.

  2. 2 Katharina in Ghent
    September 15, 2008 at 12:02

    Good morning Kate!

    It was fun to take care of the Blank Page, as always. With Kelsie sending updates, we were really on top of things!

    Re. Zimbabwe:

    I heard this morning on the news that Zimbabwe has 1million percent inflation… or was it 11 million %? Anyway, in a place where the money isn’t even worth the paper it’s printed on, it’s futile to call it “economy”. And as long as Mugabe and his friends are in power one way or another, I don’t see how things can ever improve there. Personally, I would freeze their international bank accounts and kick them out of the country, so that Zimbabweans can have a fresh start. It doesn’t even matter so much whether they get immunity, as long as they’re gone.

  3. 3 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 12:27

    Islamic leader in Lebanon gives death threat to Paul Mccartney for planning on having aconcert in ISrael.

    Honestlt, if you don’t agree with Mccartney’s decision, you boycott his music, you don’t threaten to kill him, but i somehow doubt that many muslim fundamentalists listen to rock…

    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1020917.html

  4. 4 Roberto
    September 15, 2008 at 12:34

    RE US crumbling financial world:
    ——————————————————————————————————

    ——– NPR reports the International Monetary Fund may have been asked to do a financial audit on the US economy.

    I guess Ben Bernanke would have done the requesting if true. Just the thought alone is preposterous. Don’t need 15 more economist egghaids to reveal the general corporate fraud that started in the 90s and ironically was first exposed in the aftermath of 9/11.

  5. September 15, 2008 at 12:34

    but i somehow doubt that many muslim fundamentalists listen to rock…

    We should send Lamb Of God over there for them 😉

  6. 6 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 12:48

    @ Brett

    That would be the tofu of God. McCartney is a vegetarian.

  7. 7 roebert
    September 15, 2008 at 12:48

    The pessimistic (but most likely correct) view is that Tsvangirai has been trickily co-opted into the Mugabe regime. The details of the deal don’t signify much because Mugabe has never been one to honour a deal anyway, especially not a democratic deal, such as stepping down when you are voted out. Will Tsvangirai hold out and continue to work (under close and threatening surveillance) for real democratic change? I think the best proof of his long-term bona fides would have been to refuse this undemocratic ‘deal’ outright. As for Mugabe, he has made this ‘deal’ purely from a position of despotic power, so how can he be trusted in any way to back Tsvangirai in the democratization cause?

    It’s all bunkum, designed to fool the world into parting with aid/investment; and to lend factitious credibility to the Mugabe presidency. There is still a long road to stagger along to the end of this dark tunnel.

  8. September 15, 2008 at 12:53

    That would be the tofu of God. McCartney is a vegetarian.

    Haha, maybe Lamb of God could go tour with McCartney over there then? lol He doesn’t have to eat them, just tour with them haha.

  9. 9 Jonathan
    September 15, 2008 at 13:15

    @Katharina and the other mods

    May I add my voice to the chorus of cheers for your managing a truly impressive weekend, with huge comment volume on the blank page, and a dramatic real-time moment-by-moment first-person account of the hurricane. Bravo!

  10. 10 Dennis@OCC
    September 15, 2008 at 13:39

    @ Kate:
    good morning…day…

    Re: Zimbabwe:: it may work, i hope it does….

    Re: Kelsie:: Our thoughts and prayers for all in the U.S. state of Texas following the Hurricane…

    Re: Saudi Judge:: He has too learn, that western world…does not follow CERTAIN rules, about regulating the content on television–with using death for punishments. That is why…countries have regulating bodies to control and…if necessary imposed punishments.

    Re: Lehman Brothers:: NO, the government should not be giving these businesses more money.

    Dennis

  11. September 15, 2008 at 13:56

    @ Zimbabwe, it’s a 50-50 situation.

  12. 12 Nofal Elias
    September 15, 2008 at 14:15

    Mrs Palin was also quizzed on previous comments she made describing the war in Iraq as being a “task from God”.

    Can we say then all the hurricanes that hit USA is act of God to punish the Americans for what evil acts they commited against other nations?

  13. 13 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 14:16

    I fear I don’t rate the chances in Zimbabwe as high as 50/50. There are a couple of obstacles to surmount. First, the power-share agreement has to work and then, assuming success in point one, Tsvangirai has to prove to be a good Prime MInister and not fall into the trap of amassing personal power at the expense of the population.

  14. 14 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 14:18

    @ Nofal

    So what was the Tsunami that devestated asia punishment for if you’re going to go down this line?

  15. 15 Katharina in Ghent
    September 15, 2008 at 14:19

    @ Bob

    You hit a very important point: Just because Tsvangirai is not Mugabe, doesn’t mean automatically that he has to be better. All we can do is sincerely hope so and watch the events unfold.

  16. 16 Venessa
    September 15, 2008 at 14:23

    Does anyone really believe that Mugabe will yield to the agreement given his history of intimidation and violence? I have my doubts.

  17. 17 Nofal Elias
    September 15, 2008 at 14:23

    @Steve

    I don’t believe in they way used GOD in here, mainly commenting on Palin’s comment and how they use GOD to their advantage and to justify illegal war.
    Tony Blair is very religious person, yet he lied to his death about virtually everything, and a man along side Bush responsible for killing 1000’s of people. How can they go to church knowing they committed such a crime.

  18. September 15, 2008 at 14:24

    We all know how credible the act of putting words in God’s mouth and assigning blame for his wrath is…

    *cough* Falwell-bigotry *cough*

  19. 19 Venessa
    September 15, 2008 at 14:25

    Bob ~

    You raise an interesting question about Tsvangirai. Historically has he been power hungry? I haven’t had a chance to do any searching yet.

  20. 20 Nofal Elias
    September 15, 2008 at 14:26

    @Steve,

    I meant , Tony Blair “lied through his teeth”

  21. 21 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 14:27

    @ Steve/Nofal

    As a non-believer, I lend no credence to the “act of god” theory.

    However, how about “act of nature” because of climate change (to which the USA is a major contributor?

    Or, if not that, are the serious effects an “act of government” for subsuming the previously-effective FEMA into the disastrous “Dept. of Homeland Security”?

  22. September 15, 2008 at 14:34

    Well this seems an easier crude way of rogue african leaders to not give up power. Even though our Kenyan grand coalition is working its not a honeymoon. Infact such forming of coalitions should not be encouraged in Africa it will yield strong men cult like dictators. Who see a leeway of hanging onto power even after botched elections its real terrible practice but then again. Like in Kenya they saved us from more bloodsheds but not genuine democracy.

  23. September 15, 2008 at 14:35

    How can they go to church knowing they committed such a crime.

    In their sick minds their God justified the crime, war, killing… It’s been going on throughout history and I’m doubtful it will stop any time soon.
    Heck, God wanted Dubya to be President…. lol Well at least thats what Bush thought…

    Anyone else excited to see that movie? I can’t wait to have a laugh at it.

  24. September 15, 2008 at 14:36

    Hi mates, Don’t you lose any sleep over this new plague taking hold of Africa in the form of power sharing agreements everywhere. if you want to ruminate over it, it might prove detrimental to your health because at the end of the day very little will change the status quo. This is our own nascent form of >African democracy so let’s celebrate that we are still marching in the second millennium while the rest of the world is striding ahead in the third millennium.

  25. 25 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 14:36

    @ Brett

    At least Bush probably doesn’t think he’s getting 72 virgins for blowing up a bus of civilians deliberately. As wrong as the iraq war is you know we don’t target civilians.

  26. 26 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 14:38

    @Come on Steve

    Bush things he is going to walk on streets of gold in heaven (with all the perks) at the right hand of God.

    What is the difference?

  27. 27 Nofal Elias
    September 15, 2008 at 14:38

    @ Bob, Steve

    I am not religious either. I hate people who they claim and prentend they are religious and knowingly committing crimes. I give you good example.
    Here in uk there are some christaines who go to church every Sunday and all talk about Jeasus … etc, yet the work cash in hand and claim benefits. Typical human greed.
    Same goes with Tony Blair

  28. 28 Venessa
    September 15, 2008 at 14:41

    Steve ~

    Both acts are wrong and one seemingly worse than the other does not make it right.

  29. 29 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 14:43

    @ Vanessa.

    I dunno, targetting civilians and thinking it gives you a one way ticket to heaven seems pretty bad to me, especially when they actually believe it. I doubt many politicians in the west even believe in God, even when they claim to. It’s just expected of them to say it. I doubt they mean it.

  30. September 15, 2008 at 14:43

    As wrong as the iraq war is you know we don’t target civilians.

    Your right, we either target everyone regardless, or don’t care if civilians get caught up in the mix. But for the most part we don’t actively target civilians.

  31. 31 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 14:44

    @Steve

    When you drop a bomb in known civilian areas, isn’t that targeting civilians? A rose by any other name…

  32. 32 Nofal Elias
    September 15, 2008 at 14:46

    @Steve,

    Yeh but you don’t care if you hit civillians, US hasn’t invented a missile that will differentiate between civillians and insurgents.
    How many incidents do you want me to list for you when the outcome of a US attack was completely civillians casualties and most of them children, women and elderly.

  33. 34 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 14:53

    @ Selena

    You seem to focus more on what the Us has done (when was the last time compared to the daily terrorist attacks?). I guess it speaks volumes of the terrorists to hide amongst civilians. Do you realize how many attacks they call off due to terrorists being around?

    I know it’s easier to focus on bashing the US, but what would you say the the terrorists that killed scores of people in Dehli this weekend? Perhaps they should be ignored so that we can bash the US for unintentially killing people?

  34. 35 Jennifer
    September 15, 2008 at 14:53

    Re: David Foster Wallace/Suicide

    Suicide can not be prevented by anyone other than the individual who is feeling as though it’s their only option. Noone has a “perfect life” and I think it is selfish to take one’s own life. It goes against my religious beliefs too.

    Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

  35. 36 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 14:55

    What is suicide though? I mean, if you think about it, most cancer deaths technically could be viewed as suicide. It usually comes from willingly going off life support or related to morphine.

  36. September 15, 2008 at 14:57

    Perhaps they should be ignored so that we can bash the US for unintentially killing people?

    No, they shouldn’t but you need to play on a level field if your going to argue civilian deaths and talk about the “War on/of Terror”. The US’ poo doesn’t smell like roses either, no matter how often people want to tell the world how sick they are of the US being badmouthed… Such complaints don’t mean the US should be given a free ride on their mission of botched campiagns because they come under so much scrutiny for their screwups.

  37. September 15, 2008 at 15:00

    but what would you say the the terrorists that killed scores of people in Dehli this weekend?

    I know this was directed at Selena, but I’ll give it a go.

    I’d say the same to the terrorists that killed scores of people in Dehli that I would say to the general or person in charge who chose to drop the last batch of bombs / missiles killing innocent civilians.

    “You mr. Terrorist are wrong. And you mr. General are equally as wrong.”

  38. 39 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:00

    @ Brett

    The only way there will be no unintentional civilian deaths in war is by there being no war. The likelihood of there being no war, since there as always been war, and will always be war due to our animalistic human nature, is about as likely as you winning powerball and megamillions on the same day (even though they aren’t played on the same day) and pigs flying and the bacon from said pigs being kosher, and alcohol becomes permissible in islam.. All of these happening on the same day is more likely than there being no war.

    So given that war is always going to exist, there will always be unintentional civilian casualties. And in each war, the civilian deaths decreases and decreases. Back in WW2, more civilians would be killed than soldiers on the battlefield.

  39. September 15, 2008 at 15:02

    @ Steve:

    But then why are you justifying civilian casualties for one side, but not the other?
    Simply because the US says “Oops, my bad”?

  40. 41 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:02

    @ Brett

    You are equating a deliberate attack on civilians with unintentially killing a civilian?

    That’s like saying a murderer is equally as culpable of someone who kills another driver in a car accident. You’re comparing deliberate, willful and wanton acts with negligent acts.

  41. 42 Nofal Elias
    September 15, 2008 at 15:03

    @Steve,

    You know what I think about terriorst who deliberately setting bombs targeting civilians.
    Why do they do it, I really don’t have a clue, what is their obectives ?
    IRA did exactly same thing in the past, now on the news that omagh bombing could be prevented.
    By the way didn’t USA support the IRA a terriorst organization in the past.

  42. 43 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:04

    So Brett, you really think that deliberation and intent are equal to negligence?

    I have a feeling if you went to law school you’d understand the differences in cupability. I recommend you look up “mens rea” in the model penal code, it will define various mental states for you.

  43. September 15, 2008 at 15:05

    I have a feeling if you went to law school you’d understand the differences in cupability. I recommend you look up “mens rea” in the model penal code, it will define various mental states for you.

    I have a feeling that the dead civilians don’t really care what their killers motives or mixups were.

  44. 45 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:06

    @ Nofal

    No, the US didn’t support the IRA. I think individual Americans did, but not the US government.

  45. 46 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:07

    @ Brett

    So lets give the death penalty to people who kill other people in car accidents. The victim is still dead, so “I have a feeling that the dead [car accident victim] [doesn’t] really care what their killers motives or mixups were.”

    If mental state is irrelevant, then let’s treat all homicides the same, and give the death penalty or life in prison, regardless of the mens rea of the defendant.

  46. September 15, 2008 at 15:08

    @ Steve:

    Your detonating a bomb, your intent is to kill in both instances. You didn’t ‘accidentally’ kill someone. You may have ‘accidentally’ killed the wrong person, but you still killed someone.

    The situation cannot be boiled down to a poor correlation between a car accident and a deliberate killing.

  47. 48 Nofal Elias
    September 15, 2008 at 15:08

    @Steve,

    Very rich americans did, who would have good infulence in US policies, US was a safe haven for allot of IRA members.

  48. 49 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 15:09

    @Steve

    Let me focus on the moral high ground. Terrorists are despicable people, no matter in which country they reside.

    What is more despicable (if one can qualify despicable) is taking the moral high ground while terrorizing people.

    If you give orders to drop bombs that will ultimately kill or maim people you are no better than the terrorist who straps on a bomb and walks into a crowded supermarket but over whom you claim superiority.

    And that, my dear Steve, is what I say to them all.

  49. 50 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 15:09

    @ Steve

    Pushing your analogy a bit farther, one crime is murder and the other manslaughter (or “causing death by dangerous driving” or whatever the charge is called in your jurisdiction).

    Even if we concede one crime is more serious than the other, both are still crimes.

  50. 51 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:10

    @ Brett

    Unless you can find a way to find world peace, ASAP, it’s something you’ll have to deal with, especially since terrorist love to hide amongst civilians. If the US cannot use force, then that’s the perfect way to win a war. I would invade countries and hang out in the cities, attacking the military from cities, so that they cannot retaliate, because civilians would be put at risk.

    That’s a good way to win a war.

    Brett, how do you suppose WW2 would have been won had cities not been bombed? That’s where production was.

  51. 52 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 15:12

    @Steve

    Forgive me for saying that the law is an ass!

    Let’s forget the car analogy and stick with war.

    You really meant to tell me that if you drop cluster bombs there is no intent to kill and maim. Get real, Steve!

  52. 53 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:12

    @ Bob

    Killing someone in a car accident isn’t necessarily manslaughter, it would have to be under extreme circumstances, such as you being drunk and driving recklessly. If you have a regular run of the mill car accident, one person didn’t yield, and a collision, and someone dies, the survivor won’t be charged with any form of homicide. They will have civil liability, for wrongful death, they probably will get a traffic ticket for failing to yield, but not manslaughter except under substantial circumstances.

  53. September 15, 2008 at 15:14

    @ Steve:

    My point is you cannot argue that killing of civilians is bad and wrong, if the side you support, or argue in support of, is doing the same thing but under a different banner, and your willing to support or justify their killings but denounce the ‘evil’ peoples.

    Unless you can find a way to find world peace, ASAP, it’s something you’ll have to deal with

    Funny, the exact same can be said for terrorist bombings as can be said for military-civilian “goof-ups”.

  54. 55 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:14

    @ Selena

    WHy single out cluster bombs? When you fire a rifle, you intend to kill. There are probably no non lethal weapons the military uses. All the weapons are designed to kill.

    Sorry if you don’t like my anology to law, but it shoes the difference between intent and lesser culpable states of mind, such as negligence or recklessness.

  55. 56 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:16

    @ Nofal

    And very poor Americans probably gave money too. Not every Irish-American is rich, nor did every Irish American give money to the IRA.

  56. 57 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 15:17

    Steve,

    So given that war is always going to exist, there will always be unintentional civilian casualties.

    I rest my case. There will always be civilian casualties so stop being lopsided in your blame.

    Unintentional is open to interpretation!

  57. 58 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 15:18

    @ Steve

    But can an act of war ever be considered an accident? Surely it’s a deliberate act–akin to speeding or driving while impaired–that sometimes leads to innocient deaths.

  58. 59 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 15:18

    @Steve

    Why single out anything?

  59. 60 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 15:20

    @Steve

    War is not an accident. It is a deliberate act!

  60. 61 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 15:21

    @ Steve

    Re: cluster bombs.

    I can’t speak for Selena but I would single them out because they are totally indiscriminate and have a nasty habit of leaving dangerous, unexploded ordinance lingering for years for anyone to find.

    Any country that wants and claims the moral high ground shouldn’t be using them.

  61. 62 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 15:21

    @Steve

    Didn’t the Kennedys support the IRA?

    You can’t get much closer to policy making that that.

  62. 63 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:23

    @ Bob

    JFK’s eldest brother died in WW2 when his plane exploded in mid air, not due to enemy fire. That was an accident.

    It’s time to be realistic people. There’s always going to be war, thus there will always be civilian deaths.

    It’s like there will always be automobile fatalities, heart attacks, etc. It’s a fact of life. Wishing for the impossible isn’t ever going to happen. At least far fewer civilians get killed these days compared to wars in the past.

    Did you people know that in wars back until the late 19th century, civilians would pull up chair and watch from the sides of battlefields?

  63. 64 Nofal Elias
    September 15, 2008 at 15:26

    @Steve

    The use of cluster bombs were banned by the united nations just like chimcal weapons.
    What did Israel use against Leabanon in their last war ?
    Old stock of of cluster bombs and high persentage didn’t even explode, causing loads of death to children.

    Anybody condemed Israel ?

    You tell me that these cluster bombs were used against hosballah ?

  64. 65 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 15:27

    @ Bob

    Re: cluster bombs

    Well said!

  65. 66 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 15:28

    @ Steve

    So before you leave the argument can you make a statement about the moral high ground?

  66. 67 Dinka Alpayo ,kampala
    September 15, 2008 at 15:31

    Hi guys.Ironically that Power -sharing was conducted well in favour of Mugabe and people of Zimbabwe, because he(Mugabe) lost the first round as we all have a knowledges about its but is been legitamise in these talks as a president, and he misuse his chances by indirrectly attacking his opponents and so over rather than calling for national reconciliation and healing. Therefore, i think that power sharing was ashame!!!.Because it has calls for much divisions in the country and the regions at large.BARREN WOMAN DO BLAME HER HUSBAND FOR NOT HAVING A CHILD YET SHE ALSO ACCUSE HIM OF IMPOTENCY.

  67. 68 Lauren
    September 15, 2008 at 15:32

    Re: unintentional civilian casualties

    There are no unintentional civilian casualties in war. The military knows that civilians will be killed when they bomb an enemy base that is in an area with a civilian population. How can that be considered unintentional? It’s considered an acceptable loss which says a lot about the human mentality during wartimes. The art of dehumanizing the enemy to make killing easier has been used since the dawn of man.

    What’s happening to soldiers in Iraq, etc, is that their terms of duty have been extended so many times that the stress is overwhelming. The longer the troops are in a war zone, the harder it is for them to adjust when they return home. They are also seeing so much violence, not only against their fellow soldiers, but against civilians as well and that whole “your enemy is not human” mentality is being lost and they are starting to see that people, humans are dying as a result of military actions.

  68. September 15, 2008 at 15:34

    The military knows that civilians will be killed when they bomb an enemy base that is in an area with a civilian population. How can that be considered unintentional?

    *Standing Ovation for Lauren*

  69. 70 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:46

    Funny how you all focus on unintential killings more than you focus on deliberate targetting of civilians by terrorists.

  70. 71 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 15:47

    @ Nofal

    Actually the whole world was condemning Israel, while not condeming hezbollah for invading Israel proper and then launching rockets at Israeli cities, then playing the victim card.

    I’m curious Nofal, when arabs kill each other, do you worry about what weapon is used like when Israel does something? Arabs kill lots more Arabs than Israel ever has.

  71. 72 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 15:54

    @ Steve

    Funny how you all focus on unintential killings more than you focus on deliberate targetting of civilians by terrorists.

    Not at all. We’re just concerned that you focus exclusively on the terrorists and ignore completely the wrongs committed by America and Americans.

  72. 73 Nofal Elias
    September 15, 2008 at 16:00

    @Steve,

    Not sure what are you reffering to, arab killing arab? but who cares, war is wrong, actually when you have unblanced sides, I call it bullying and not war.
    America vs Iraq, Israel v Lebanon, Russia v Gerogia … etc.
    We should have an international law respected by the major power countries first.
    Israel had a slap on the hand for using cluster bombs and thats it. Israel delibartely targeted civilians and the infrastructure of the country, bridges, airports, power stations .. etc.
    How would anybody respond to such an act with an evil intention

  73. 74 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 16:00

    @ Bob

    I have not completely ignored it. I discussed it, and even called it reckless or negligent behavior. You all are ignoring what the terrorists have been doing and focusing SOLELY on what the US has been doing. Or focusing on Israel. Pick one.

    I’m curious, were no civilians killed in the Russia-Georgia thing? I’m curious why that wasn’t brought up, I can only guess becuase the US/Israel wasn’t involved.

  74. 75 ANYNOMOUS
    September 15, 2008 at 16:01

    @evil act of TV producers; My words are to those who are confused by Islamsics law .so what is behind OSAMA- Alqeada war on the WEST was to make them muslim and impose Sharia law at them because other religions are been regarded by Muslims as infidals so donot be astonish by that, as long as you welcome Islam in the west they will be there soon. WATCH ON PLEASE!!

  75. 76 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 16:05

    Demons are created in the mind Steve! There are no demons!

  76. 77 Bob in Queensland
    September 15, 2008 at 16:09

    @ Steve

    I’m curious, were no civilians killed in the Russia-Georgia thing? I’m curious why that wasn’t brought up, I can only guess becuase the US/Israel wasn’t involved.

    On the contrary. If you check back through previous pages of WHYS you will find that I have made posts critical of both the initial Georgian military action in Ossetia and the subsequent Russian invasion of Georgia.

    Others have too.

    I’m afraid your post above is nothing more than a diversion to which I reply (as my mother used to say!) “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

  77. 78 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 16:15

    @ Bob

    Okay, let’s focus on Israel and the US and ignore every other event, including ongoing struggles right now, as it’s a diversion. I have friends of mine who would accuse me of diverting their bash Israel and American fests when I would bring up other conflicts. Unfortunatley the unspoken rule was that we could only discuss the Us and Israel, and had to ignore every other event on earth.

  78. 79 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 16:17

    @ Selena

    You really don’t have to suggest I’m crazy because I don’t agree with you. Not everyone is going to agree with you.

  79. 80 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 16:22

    @ Steve

    It never once crossed my mind that you are crazy.

    It did, however, cross my mind that you see demons in certain people (like suicide bombers) and ignore the same thing in others (like cluster bombers).

    Am I wrong? I did ask you to give some comments on the moral high ground.

    LOL it is a luxury when people agree with me, Steve. It is not an expectation.

  80. 81 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 16:27

    @ selena

    I just said that the US/Israel is reckless or negligent when they do that. You’re choosing not to see what I write, then go back to bashing the US/Israel exclusively.

  81. September 15, 2008 at 16:29

    Funny how you all focus on unintential killings more than you focus on deliberate targetting of civilians by terrorists.

    Funny how seemingly ‘unintentional’ civilian casualties far far far outweigh the terrorist casualties if you want to look at a historical perspective.

    So which deserves more or less focus? They are all wrong.

    You all are ignoring what the terrorists have been doing and focusing SOLELY on what the US has been doing. Or focusing on Israel. Pick one.

    LOL The world conspiracy… Everyone is out to get poor innocent Israel.

  82. 83 Lauren
    September 15, 2008 at 16:33

    @ Steve

    The point I made earlier applies to all conflicts, past, present and future. I don’t care if we’re talking about military attacks in the Middle East, Russia, Georgia, the Blitz in WWII, the bombing of Hiroshima, suicide bombing, other terrorist attacks, drive by shootings where bystanders are killed…. it doesn’t matter who is doing the attack. If they know that people whose only fault is that they live in the country being attacked, are going to die as result, that’s not unintentional. As I said before, the military doesn’t say the deaths are “unintentional” they view it as acceptable losses, an unfortunate byproduct of war.

    I think that mentality is unacceptable and those people deserve more dignity and respect, even in death.

  83. 84 Jennifer
    September 15, 2008 at 17:39

    Suicide is deliberate. Yes, people that smoke know that they will eventually get lung cancer, emphysema, or something else that will kill them. However, they do not buy a pack of cigarettes with the intention of going home, smoking them all, and dying the same day. The same with a person taken off of life support. They are on life support because their body is not able to survive without some assistance. They are already ill and dying will be inevitable. Removing them from life support just makes it happen faster.

  84. 85 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 18:04

    @ Jennifer

    However legally, if you want up to someone on life support and you pulled the plug on them, say someone you didn’t know, you’d be charged with murder. One funny aspect of the law, is that if someone jumped off a building, say the 80th floor, and you shot them while they were down to the 20th floor, by shooting them out the window, you’ld be charged with murder, because you ended their life. Even if you shorten someone’s life by 1 second, it’s murder. Also, if you come to someone’s aid, removing that aid can constitute murder as well. Even if you had no duty to act, you do once you begin to aid. So the lifesupport is similar to that.

    Also, cigarettes are not an automatic death sentence.

    However, life is terminal, we’re all going to die, and many of us die from the cumulative effects of our actions, be it what we have eaten, smoked, or if we went out into the sun.

  85. 86 Shirley
    September 15, 2008 at 18:27

    372 selena in Canada September 15, 2008 at 10:41 am
    actually less than slave wages. Slaves got paid food, clothing and housing. Many of the people working for the rich today can’t afford food, clothing and housing on what they are paid.

    Selena, your comment on the BP raised several points. I think that any society that considers it acceptable to allow for a mininum pay rate that does not even begin to support life’s basic necessities is a sick society. A society in which a small amount of people can own a majority of the available wealth while others rot away for lack of basic life necessities is a sick society. For me, it screams culture of death vs culture of life [my favourite mantra]. I also truly think that the concept of slavery has been expanded. I would have to read up on it, but I know that there are people out there who apply the concept of slavery to things other than shackled, whipped forced labour on plantations.

    376 Jonathan September 15, 2008 at 11:08 am
    sub-slave people (by the way, can you name any of them for me?)

    Mom (historical setting).

    380 selena in Canada September 15, 2008 at 11:30 am
    Now if you think the minimum wage is sufficient, and even that the minimum wage causes unemployment, we will go nowhere fast with this conversation.

    Gramma.

    Now, let’s talk about family politics. *sigh*

  86. 87 Shirley
    September 15, 2008 at 18:31

    25 steve September 15, 2008 at 2:36 pm
    As wrong as the iraq war is you know we don’t target civilians.

    *spit take* *snort*
    Jazeera. Basran ambulances, residential homes. MOABs. White phosphorus. DU. When telling lies, be sure to tell ones that are more difficult to disprove.

    40 Brett September 15, 2008 at 3:02 pm
    Simply because the US says "Oops, my bad"?

    But don’t you know, "Christians" can do just about anything and repent in the end.

  87. 88 Jennifer
    September 15, 2008 at 18:46

    @ Steve

    Yes, we are all going to die at some time. However, if I go purchase a gun and take my own life, I am not living out the course of my life naturally as it should be. I am making the decision to end my life immediately when I pull the trigger. If I smoke a cigarette, I will not immediately die but there is a good chance that in the future if I continued to smoke, I would acquire some disease that would contribute to if not outright cause my death.

  88. 89 Venessa
    September 15, 2008 at 18:50

    Jennifer ~

    I agree that suicide is selfish but I am a believer that we should own our bodies and if one chooses to overdose on drugs, smoke cigarettes or kill themselves they should be able to so long as it does not violate the rights of someone else.

  89. 90 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 18:54

    @ Jennifer

    10,000 year ago just going out to find food could mean you would may have been eaten by a tiger. Would that be any less natural than shooting yourself? You still didn’t live out your life to the fullest but for the violent end.

  90. 91 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 18:55

    @ Shirley

    Back up your point. You said I was lying about the US not TARGETING civilians. So please prove the US targets civilians. Thanks!

  91. 92 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 18:56

    @ Shirley

    “But don’t you know, “Christians” can do just about anything and repent in the end.”

    I guess that’s better than thinking you can blow up a busload of civilians and get 72 virgins.

  92. 93 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 18:58

    @ Selena

    I’m not the one who thinks I get 72 virgins if I kill myself while killing civilians. I would agree, that anyone who thinks they get 72 virgins for murdering civilians is juvenile.

  93. 94 selena in Canada
    September 15, 2008 at 18:59

    @ Steve

    To keep referring to 72 virgins is a bit juvenile, isn’t it?

  94. 95 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 19:02

    @ Selena

    Why? Because you don’t like me talking about certain people’s beliefs? I’m not th eone who holds that belief, but the terrorists do. You don’t have to call me juveline because you don’t agree with me.

    Was the comment about christians being forgiven for doing everything and anything not juveline? But since you disagree with me, what i said had to be juvenile despite the people who blow up busses actually think they get 72 virgins?

  95. 96 Lauren
    September 15, 2008 at 19:28

    @ steve

    Ok, 10,000 yrs ago people needed to hunt and gather food and if they didn’t, they would starve to death. Comparing suicide to the risks that cave men faced is not a very solid argument.
    Suicide is when a person actively takes there own life with the intention of killing themselves. Someone putting themselves at risk by going into a dangerous situation does not count as suicide and shouldn’t even be compared. If it did, every firefighter, police officer, soldier etc who died in the line of duty would fall under your comparison.

  96. 97 Lauren
    September 15, 2008 at 19:33

    I think selena was stating that you keep talking about 72 virgins and ignoring any other beliefs that suicide bombers hold that drive them to kill themselves and others. They believe that what they are doing will grant them entrance into heaven- the virgins are like a consilation prize 😉

  97. 98 steve
    September 15, 2008 at 19:37

    @ Lauren

    Honestly, I don’t care why someone would blow up a bus full of civilians, or what makes them crazy enough to believe they get a reward. But if they believed that they were nothing but wormfood after killing themselves, do you think they would be as willing to blowthemselves up amongst civilians? I think their beliefs are the major reason why they do it, otherwise, why are there no palestinain christian suicide bombers?

  98. 99 Jennifer
    September 15, 2008 at 20:51

    @ Vanessa

    I agree with you regarding people having control over their own bodies 😀 I think they should think very hard about choosing to end their life because suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Not only does it end their life forever, but it also takes them away from everyone who loves them. To each his/her own. 🙂

  99. 100 Jennifer
    September 15, 2008 at 20:57

    @ Steve

    The tiger lives in the forest, right? I go into the forest to find food. I don’t go into the forest to find the tiger so that he can eat me for dinner! haha The tiger is a murderer and I did not commit suicide. I did live my life naturally. It ended, maybe I was young, but still I did not end my life of my own accord. I didn’t want to die; I was just looking for food.

  100. 101 Venessa
    September 15, 2008 at 21:20

    Jennifer ~

    You’ll get no argument from me on the tragedy of leaving loved ones behind. Growing up my mother had 2 friends that committed suicide and had children. That is a shame.

  101. 102 Nofal Elias
    September 15, 2008 at 21:20

    @Steve

    Got eaten by a tiger because I am looking for food, as every body stated is a risk you are taking to go and find food.
    Is the same argument when you take a plane to travel, or walk in the street might be run by a car, or in America might have a lunatic with a machine gun firing at random.

    Is not same as sucide

  102. 103 Jennifer
    September 15, 2008 at 22:23

    @ Venessa

    That is very sad. 😦

  103. 104 Bryan
    September 15, 2008 at 23:05

    US and Israel Bashers (USIB): Look, the USA and Israel are exactly the same as the terrorists.

    US and Israel Defender(USID): Why?

    USIB: Because they kill civilians.

    USID: But they don’t target civilians.

    USIB: Doesn’t matter, they’re still just as dead.

    USID: The terrorists hide amongst civilians and attack other civilians from those hiding places.

    USIB—————————————————

    USID: Why do you single out the US and Israel and never concentrate on the terrorists?

    USIB: We don’t, we don’t. We condemn the terrorists as well all the time.

    Yeah, right. If someone could do a survey over the last two months to see how much condemnation there has been of Islamic terrorism on this site as opposed to Israel and US bashing I’m sure it would be quite instructive.

  104. 105 Jennifer
    September 16, 2008 at 00:16

    @ Bryan

    So very true!

  105. 106 Tom D Ford
    September 16, 2008 at 00:22

    I read yesterday that the US is spending billions of dollars rearming Iraq. Now what possible sense could that make?

    If I recall correctly, before Bush/Cheney invaded and occupied Iraq, Iraq was the fourth largest military in the world. And after the US military beat the Iraqi military there were vast stores of equipment and many many ammo dumps all over Iraq. In other words Iraq was still one of the largest in military equipment in the world.

    So what happened to all of that Iraqi military equipment and all those ammo dumps? There was no need to rearm an already very well armed Iraq after “mission accomplished”, what has happened to all of that equipment and supplies in the five years since then?

  106. 107 Tom D Ford
    September 16, 2008 at 00:28

    @ Nofal Elias

    “Mrs Palin was also quizzed on previous comments she made describing the war in Iraq as being a “task from God”. ”

    She’s just another fanatical radical religious fundamentalist killing in the name of religion. Only she’s a “Christian”.

  107. 108 steve
    September 16, 2008 at 00:31

    @ Tom

    Something tells me that Palin hasn’t killed, nor has she made anyon ekill over religion. And last I checked, there has been no honor killing of her daughter either.

  108. 109 Jennifer
    September 16, 2008 at 00:47

    @ Tom

    Please tell me who Sarah Palin has killed.

  109. 110 Tom D Ford
    September 16, 2008 at 00:53

    Steve, she’s sending her son on her “task from God”.

    Doh!

  110. 111 Jennifer
    September 16, 2008 at 01:58

    @ Tom

    I wonder if you really know anything at all about who Sarah Palin is or if you simply peg her as republican, christian, and woman and equate that with bad. Would you even attempt to learn anything about her or are you just so set to dislike her because of your bias?

    Sarah Palin has not killed anyone! She isn’t “sending her son on a task from God”-he’s going to fight for the freedom of American people. So, if you are from America then it’s for you too. So, be thankful that someone is doing the dirty work fighting for the freedom you have to say mean things on here.

  111. 112 Tom D Ford
    September 16, 2008 at 03:31

    Steve & Jennifer

    Oh and I suppose Bin laden has not killed anyone either, he just sent them on a task from God to do the killing in the name of his religion.

    “She isn’t “sending her son on a task from God”-he’s going to fight for the freedom of American people. So, if you are from America then it’s for you too. So, be thankful that someone is doing the dirty work fighting for the freedom you have to say mean things on here.”

    There is no American Freedom in Iraq, there is only Oil. Nobody is fighting for any American Freedom in Iraq.

    And like Bush said, America is addicted to Oil. So we should fight against our addiction, not for it.

  112. September 16, 2008 at 03:51

    @ Tom:
    Nobody is fighting for any American Freedom in Iraq

    Yea, I’m sorry, but I’m going to have to agree 100% with this statement. Those claiming that American armed forces are fighting for our freedoms in Iraq have played right into the hands of the White House and the Press Corpse… Whops, I mean Corps.

    It’s a disgrace to the word to have it associated with such a preposterous notion.

  113. 114 Tom D Ford
    September 16, 2008 at 03:58

    Brett

    Disgrace.

    Yeppers!

  114. 115 Bryan
    September 16, 2008 at 07:39

    Jennifer September 16, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Thanks for that. It always amazes me how little criticism the most despicable acts of Islamic terrorism get among the “liberal” left intelligentsia of the West. For some reason that is totally beyond me, there is a conspiracy of silence. Where was the outrage when the terrorists strapped bombs to two mentally disabled Iraqi women and sent them to a market where carnage resulted when the bombs were blown up by remote control? Where was the outrage when Gaza terrorist instructed and equipped a fourteen-year-old boy to cross into Israel and blow himself up? Where was the outrage when terrorists at the Beslan school shot fleeing children in the back? I recall that the BBC scoured its PC dictionary to describe them as anything but terrorists.

    In the absence of any condemnation of these bestial acts of extraordinary brutality with the sole aim of spilling innocent blood, the vitriolic attacks on Israel and the US seem hypocritical in the extreme.

    And in the rare instances where Islamic terrorism is discussed, the blame is invariably laid on someone else or something else. Why does the left tiptoe so delicately around the issue of Islamic terrorism? Why the PC paralysis?

  115. September 16, 2008 at 08:54

    Bryan~

    I think that American understanding of The War on Terror has been lost in a blizzard of misguided nation-building adventures. American attitudes have been politicized and propagandized into total confusion.

    America had the world’s support to chase Osama and the Taliban right into Pakistan and crush them. But we didn’t do that.

    When Bush @ Co took us into Iraq, we lost. We lost the respect of the world. We lost our grip on the Taliban. We lost our mission. What are we doing over there? When will we know we have won?

    I believe that perhaps Americans don’t freak out at Islamic terrorist’s horrible murders is because we have lost the moral high ground. Abu Grabb and Guantanimo are unAmerican to many of us. Our whole involvement has become suspect. McCain says he would keep America in Iraq for a hundred years, rather than lose. Lose what?

    I believe that at this late date the Bush Administration has finally figured out that the only way to win (anything) is to get Osama bin Laden.

  116. 117 Bryan
    September 16, 2008 at 09:41

    portlandmike September 16, 2008 at 8:54 am,

    I agree with much of what you say but I don’t think it explains the reluctance of the left to condemn Islamic terrorism. Look at the near-total lack of outrage from feminists of the left concerning Islam’s oppressive treatment of women. If white Western men were behaving like that feminists would be demonstrating in their thousands in the streets of Western capitals.

    I believe that the extraordinary tolerance of Islamic terrorism is based to a large extent on the perception the left has that there must be genuine grievances motivating (and fully justifying) acts of terror by Muslims. It appears to be beyond their understanding that much of Islamic terror is completely independent of outside influences and is derived from the attitude and goals of Muslims themselves.

    What grievances can Shia Hezbollah terrorists possibly have against Lebanese Sunnis and Christians that drives them to attack and kill them? Or against Israeli civilians after Israel’s complete withdrawal from Lebanon?

    Do Iraqi Christians somehow deserve their slaughter at the hand of Iraqi Muslims? Do they deserve to have their churches destroyed and to be driven out of Iraq?

    The same point about Muslims can be made from Sudan to Indonesia. It is high time the left acknowledged this fact.

  117. September 16, 2008 at 10:41

    Bryan~

    I am a liberal, and I condemn Islamic fundamentalism.

    I believe that the left, and the right for that matter, don’t really understand where and who is brutalized by Islamic fundamentalism. Americans believe that some women are treated badly in some countries, but they don’t know what countries, and they have no concept of how the women actually live. They don’t get it. Not once has our president mentioned the desparate and depressed lives that millions of women are living under Islamic fundamentalist leaders.

    America is fighting to protect itself.

  118. 119 Jennifer
    September 16, 2008 at 14:52

    @ Tom

    Like I said, just be thankful you have the ability to say the things you do. It is a freedom and someday you may realize that it is possible to loose it. Think further than the end of your nose.

  119. 120 John in Germany
    September 16, 2008 at 15:03

    Can someone kindly tell me what was wrong with my piece ref Zimbabwe.
    John in Germany

  120. 121 Tom D Ford
    September 16, 2008 at 20:28

    Jennifer

    I grew up in a military family living on Air Force bases most of my young life, many of my relatives fought in WW2, and some in Korea. Too many of my friends died in Vietnam.

    I grew up in the time of Joseph McCarthy and Domino Theory and so I recognize that sometimes our freedom is threatened from within by fear-mongering people like Joe McCarthy and Sarah Palin.

    So you can try and guilt-trip me all you want about being thankful for freedom but I have far more experience with fighting for freedom than you do; and what our country loses when our right wing extremist American “friends” are allowed to take control of the levers of power in our government.

    By the way, did you know that American Conservatives supported and funded Adolph Hitler in the 1930s? Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford. And the grandfather of our current President Bush supported and financed Hitler through a company named something like Brown Brothers Harriman.

  121. 122 Jennifer
    September 16, 2008 at 21:01

    @ Tom

    That wasn’t what I was trying to do at all. I just wanted to see if you had any sense of decency.

  122. 123 Tom D Ford
    September 16, 2008 at 21:14

    Jennifer

    “I just wanted to see if you had any sense of decency.”

    It would be indecent of me to vote for Palin or any other radical religious Fundamentalist fanatic who kills for their religion.

    We need to return to the moderate center, not take our nation further to the far right extremism.

  123. 124 Jennifer
    September 16, 2008 at 21:21

    @ Tom

    Yes, we need to take it back to the far left where people are not responsible for their actions and anything goes. That’ll make all of our problems go away for sure!

  124. September 16, 2008 at 21:24

    @ Jennifer:

    Tom:
    We need to return to the moderate center

    Jennifer:
    Yes, we need to take it back to the far left where people are not responsible for their actions and anything goes. That’ll make all of our problems go away for sure!

    Brett: ?

  125. 126 Jennifer
    September 16, 2008 at 21:26

    @ Brett

    I am sorry, I was being sarcastic. 😀

  126. September 16, 2008 at 21:27

    Lol ah….. gotcha 😉

  127. 128 Jennifer
    September 16, 2008 at 21:34

    @ Brett

    I should have made that more clear! 😉

  128. 129 Bryan
    September 16, 2008 at 21:35

    Jennifer September 16, 2008 at 9:21 pm,

    Yes, leave it up to the far left and we’ll live in a world where the lowest common denominator rules and where nobody is better than anybody else and there is nothing to strive for because you can dream you life away as long as you remember which day of the week you have to be in the dole queue with your hand out palm upwards to be filled by the benevolent father-substitute of a state.

  129. 130 steve
    September 16, 2008 at 21:39

    @ Tom

    “It would be indecent of me to vote for Palin or any other radical religious Fundamentalist fanatic who kills for their religion. ”

    Do you have proof that Palin has killed for her religion?

  130. September 16, 2008 at 21:48

    I should have made that more clear! 😉

    Not your fault… I had just gotten home from work and was still in super-serious-mode. I’ve got some Southern Comfort and Diet infront of me now though. So of course I’m in non-super-serious-mode now 😉

  131. 132 Tom D Ford
    September 16, 2008 at 21:53

    Steve, Palin believes that the war against Iraq is “a task from God”, that means that she supports killing the people of Iraq in the name of her Fundamentalist Christian religion. And that makes her just like Bin Laden.

    We need to marginalize all religious extremists and get back to the moderate center.

    The Muslim world needs to marginalize their Bin Laden types and the western world needs to marginalize our Palin types.

    Nobody is benefited by having religious wackos on their side, nobody.

  132. 133 steve
    September 16, 2008 at 21:54

    @ Tom

    That’s different than what you said before. You compared her to people who KILL for their religion. Now you say she “supports” rather than kills herself for God.

  133. 134 Jennifer
    September 16, 2008 at 22:02

    @ Brett

    I wasn’t sure my fingers would allow me to type that but they did! haha It’s great to have a chance to relax and not always be serious. After the egg, embryo, fetus baby conversation discussion, I had had enough of that for a little bit.

    I find Tom’s opinions interesting.


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