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Re: [existlist] Re: The Practice of Presence

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  • tom
    Mary, Interestingly, several years ago, a survey found over 60% of Iraqis stated that they approved of killing Americans occupying their countries. I d guess
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 5, 2009
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      Mary,

      Interestingly, several years ago, a survey found over 60% of Iraqis stated that they approved of killing Americans occupying their countries. I'd guess the % of natives of Afghanistan who would approve would be similar. I'd also guess that the % of people approving of such killings is actually somewhat higher because some probably reply that they don't approve of such killings because they are afraid the poll take might be affiliated with the CIA or something, and put them on some list for more survalence. Recent surveys have shown about 90% of mideasterners disaprove of recent US foreign policy.

      The article u referred me to closed with

      But when you see two little Afghan girls crouched on the front steps of their new school, clutching tightly with both arms the notebooks handed to them by a U.S. admiral - as if they were their first dolls - it's hard to say: "Let's just walk away." Not yet.

      I recently read that about 1/4 of Iraqi families report having lost a family member because of the Iraqi invasion. There is good and bad in everything, but in my opinion the bad of the US invasion of these places is much more bad than good; and the natives certainly seem in general to agree. Hitler claimed he was invading France to liberate it. It is also interesting that the Bush administration who led both of these invasions was affiliated with the Christian right and ironically favored a return to traditional values at home while ostensibly favoring modernism in the mideast.

      Peace,
      Tom
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Mary
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Saturday, December 05, 2009 9:58 AM
      Subject: [existlist] Re: The Practice of Presence



      Tom,

      I'm not trying to be especially rude, but you need to read more than Wikipedia to appreciate the existential dilemma facing the parties involved. Here is an excellent article:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/opinion/19friedman.html?_r=1

      Mary

      --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:
      >
      > Mary, Bill and all,
      >
      > I understand that the US government was instrumental in either setting up Alchida or Taliban in the 80s to fight the USSR occupation of Afghanistan. Our government and media spun them as freedom fighters when they were fighting USSR. If you read 1984, you recall how Oceana was always at war with either Eurasia or Eastasia, and whoever they were fighting was spun as monstrous. Bill, as a Dylan fan I'd imagine u recall from "God on our Side", "Though they murdered six million in the therir ovens they fried, the Germans now too have God on their side". "I learned to hate the Russians all thru my whole life. If another war comes, its them we must fight. To hate them and fear them, to run and to hide, and to accept it all bravely with God on my side."
      >
      > Considering the US has probably spent a trillion or so in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, for a hell of a lot less i'd suspect they could have put a ransom on Bin Laden's head. I don't think they want him too much. They'd rather have him as a public enemy number one to justify various actions. I think the crime Saddam was convicted of was gassing a bunch of Kurds in the late 80s. I think Saddam had got the gas from the US. During most of the 80s Saddam and US were pretty friendly, and I have seen a picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam around 84 I think. Bush 1 went into Portugal and got Norieaga early in his administration, but senate testimony showed that Norieaga was a part of their Contra arms plan. I also have heard Bush1 and Norieaga were in the same social circles when Bush 1 was CIA Director in mid 70s. Some of Bin Laden's family are busines partners of Bush 1, and I think I heard Ben Laden loaned Bush 2 money for his first oil venture.
      >
      > NO FRIEND OF BIN LADEN
      >
      > I'm no friend of Bin Laden.
      > I think he is psycho and rotten.
      > But the bastards running things over here
      > in my own psyche engender a hell of a lot more hatred and fear.
      > GROOVY MAN
      >
      > The COOLCAT
      > www.thecoolcat.net
      >
      > Peace,
      > Tom
      > ----- Original Message -----
      > From: Mary
      > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      > Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 7:02 PM
      > Subject: [existlist] Re: The Practice of Presence
      >
      >
      >
      > Yes, Bill, I'm a girl who likes poetry and enjoys some of the same kind of shit as you. Afghanistan is very interesting to me on many levels. You remember the essay I wrote about the possibility of Islamic existentialism? Anyway Greg Mortenson has a new book, "Stones Into Schools" which I look forward to reading as much as "Three Cups of Tea." I too look forward to a horribly brutal imprisonment, torture, and death of Osama. A small part of me will recoil, but a larger part will rejoice. When the women and children of Afghanistan are as free as I am to read and write and talk about whatever they choose, I will be even happier. Mary
      >
      > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@> wrote:
      > >Last time I gave you adfvice you ended up with a sword. I just figured you
      > would like the same kind of shit I do. Now I understand you are a girl and like
      > poetry. Still you might get into the demise of Osama Bin Laudin. That part of
      > Afganistan must be buzzing. If we get him I could imagine some ghollish
      > celebrations. It will be hard to top the wacking of Saddam. Saddams brother
      > Chemical Ali was beheaded at his hanging. That will be hard to top but we have
      > some very inventive intelligence people. I have a biker friend who loves to
      > obsess on gory assinations, that includes executions. He has gone off on Osama
      > and ends up sputtering obscenaties and screaming. Those bikers have always had a
      > difficult time with correctness. It seems that desire to go viral just lurks in
      > the young male psyche. It is the fight side ozzing out and can engender
      > remarkable damage and violence. That is why Osama is a figure that needs careful
      > deconstruction. Yes I said it and I mean oblivion level disposal. He is such a
      > special brand of criminal terrorist that we need do something special. Perhaps a
      > chamber on a cyclotron. Bill
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >





      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Mary
      Tom, I think an analogy between Hitler and Bin Laden is more apt. And Greg Mortenson s experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan are completely different than
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 5, 2009
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        Tom,

        I think an analogy between Hitler and Bin Laden is more apt. And Greg Mortenson's experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan are completely different than those you cite. The quality of life for the people of these countries, as well as those of Iraq have definitely eroded with the presence of the US led coalition, but they won't improve under the Taliban and Al Qaeda either. You quote percentages, but I note how individual lives are affected. You probably have a good argument regarding Iraq, but I strongly disagree about Afghanistan and Pakistan. Leaving the region now, without securing and monitoring poppy fields, oil fields, and nuclear weapons might mean be a swifter global catastrophe. Do you honestly believe that left unopposed, the Taliban and Al Qaeda will dissolve the same way Russian communism did? Did you notice how quickly the latter reconstituted in Afghanistan while forces were concentrating on Iraq? Few like this war, but fewer will like the consequences of immediate withdrawal either. A new US isolationism is tantamount to Britain's appeasement of Hitler. He didn't alter his course either. There should have been much more diplomacy and negotiations via Bush II, but that is regrettably in the past.

        Mary

        --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@...> wrote:
        >
        > Mary,
        >
        > Interestingly, several years ago, a survey found over 60% of Iraqis stated that they approved of killing Americans occupying their countries. I'd guess the % of natives of Afghanistan who would approve would be similar. I'd also guess that the % of people approving of such killings is actually somewhat higher because some probably reply that they don't approve of such killings because they are afraid the poll take might be affiliated with the CIA or something, and put them on some list for more survalence. Recent surveys have shown about 90% of mideasterners disaprove of recent US foreign policy.
        >
        > The article u referred me to closed with
        >
        > But when you see two little Afghan girls crouched on the front steps of their new school, clutching tightly with both arms the notebooks handed to them by a U.S. admiral - as if they were their first dolls - it's hard to say: "Let's just walk away." Not yet.
        >
        > I recently read that about 1/4 of Iraqi families report having lost a family member because of the Iraqi invasion. There is good and bad in everything, but in my opinion the bad of the US invasion of these places is much more bad than good; and the natives certainly seem in general to agree. Hitler claimed he was invading France to liberate it. It is also interesting that the Bush administration who led both of these invasions was affiliated with the Christian right and ironically favored a return to traditional values at home while ostensibly favoring modernism in the mideast.
        >
        > Peace,
        > Tom
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: Mary
        > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Saturday, December 05, 2009 9:58 AM
        > Subject: [existlist] Re: The Practice of Presence
        >
        >
        >
        > Tom,
        >
        > I'm not trying to be especially rude, but you need to read more than Wikipedia to appreciate the existential dilemma facing the parties involved. Here is an excellent article:
        >
        > http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/19/opinion/19friedman.html?_r=1
        >
        > Mary
        >
        > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "tom" <tsmith17_midsouth1@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Mary, Bill and all,
        > >
        > > I understand that the US government was instrumental in either setting up Alchida or Taliban in the 80s to fight the USSR occupation of Afghanistan. Our government and media spun them as freedom fighters when they were fighting USSR. If you read 1984, you recall how Oceana was always at war with either Eurasia or Eastasia, and whoever they were fighting was spun as monstrous. Bill, as a Dylan fan I'd imagine u recall from "God on our Side", "Though they murdered six million in the therir ovens they fried, the Germans now too have God on their side". "I learned to hate the Russians all thru my whole life. If another war comes, its them we must fight. To hate them and fear them, to run and to hide, and to accept it all bravely with God on my side."
        > >
        > > Considering the US has probably spent a trillion or so in fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, for a hell of a lot less i'd suspect they could have put a ransom on Bin Laden's head. I don't think they want him too much. They'd rather have him as a public enemy number one to justify various actions. I think the crime Saddam was convicted of was gassing a bunch of Kurds in the late 80s. I think Saddam had got the gas from the US. During most of the 80s Saddam and US were pretty friendly, and I have seen a picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam around 84 I think. Bush 1 went into Portugal and got Norieaga early in his administration, but senate testimony showed that Norieaga was a part of their Contra arms plan. I also have heard Bush1 and Norieaga were in the same social circles when Bush 1 was CIA Director in mid 70s. Some of Bin Laden's family are busines partners of Bush 1, and I think I heard Ben Laden loaned Bush 2 money for his first oil venture.
        > >
        > > NO FRIEND OF BIN LADEN
        > >
        > > I'm no friend of Bin Laden.
        > > I think he is psycho and rotten.
        > > But the bastards running things over here
        > > in my own psyche engender a hell of a lot more hatred and fear.
        > > GROOVY MAN
        > >
        > > The COOLCAT
        > > www.thecoolcat.net
        > >
        > > Peace,
        > > Tom
        > > ----- Original Message -----
        > > From: Mary
        > > To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
        > > Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 7:02 PM
        > > Subject: [existlist] Re: The Practice of Presence
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > Yes, Bill, I'm a girl who likes poetry and enjoys some of the same kind of shit as you. Afghanistan is very interesting to me on many levels. You remember the essay I wrote about the possibility of Islamic existentialism? Anyway Greg Mortenson has a new book, "Stones Into Schools" which I look forward to reading as much as "Three Cups of Tea." I too look forward to a horribly brutal imprisonment, torture, and death of Osama. A small part of me will recoil, but a larger part will rejoice. When the women and children of Afghanistan are as free as I am to read and write and talk about whatever they choose, I will be even happier. Mary
        > >
        > > --- In existlist@yahoogroups.com, "William" <v.valleywestdental@> wrote:
        > > >Last time I gave you adfvice you ended up with a sword. I just figured you
        > > would like the same kind of shit I do. Now I understand you are a girl and like
        > > poetry. Still you might get into the demise of Osama Bin Laudin. That part of
        > > Afganistan must be buzzing. If we get him I could imagine some ghollish
        > > celebrations. It will be hard to top the wacking of Saddam. Saddams brother
        > > Chemical Ali was beheaded at his hanging. That will be hard to top but we have
        > > some very inventive intelligence people. I have a biker friend who loves to
        > > obsess on gory assinations, that includes executions. He has gone off on Osama
        > > and ends up sputtering obscenaties and screaming. Those bikers have always had a
        > > difficult time with correctness. It seems that desire to go viral just lurks in
        > > the young male psyche. It is the fight side ozzing out and can engender
        > > remarkable damage and violence. That is why Osama is a figure that needs careful
        > > deconstruction. Yes I said it and I mean oblivion level disposal. He is such a
        > > special brand of criminal terrorist that we need do something special. Perhaps a
        > > chamber on a cyclotron. Bill
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > >
        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        > >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
      • tom
        Mary, Of course, neither of us can be sure of the future, so I can t tell you unequivocally what the result of a US pullout of Afghanistan would be. However, I
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 5, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Mary,

          Of course, neither of us can be sure of the future, so I can't tell you unequivocally what the result of a US pullout of Afghanistan would be. However, I think a bit of study puts a lot of doubts about the US entrance to various wars that the US was involved in since the Spanish American War. We learned in our history classes the supposed reasons for the US entrance into these wars. However, I suspect people taking history classes in any nation tend to learn the version that makes their nation appear to be only defending themselves.When the Holy Roman Empire overran pagan peoples, the citizens of the Holy Roman Empire were told they were saving their souls etc. As I stated in the previous post, it is interesting to me that the architects of the US mideast invasions, the Bush administration was heavily allied with traditional values forces in the US and yet in regard to the mideast were proponents of modernism etc. Comparing Britan's appeasement of Hitler to a policy of nonintervention by the US in the mideast to me is misleading because Germany had the possibility of defeating the UK, but the Taliban or Alchida has less chance of defeating the US than you have of defeating the current heavy weight boxing champion of the world. If anything, recent US aggression in the mideast has probably resulted in more recruits to Al Quada and the Taliban. I have heard that it is an Islamic principle that any males have a duty to revenge harm done to their family members. I have read in two places that CNN has had a sugar coated version of Afghanistan news coverage for US audiences, and a more realistic one for viewers in other nations. I believe that the last 60 years or so show us that even though a superpowewr can easily invade a third world country, succesful occupation of these places is pretty much impossible. This was true for both the French and later the US in Vietnam, the USSR and later the US in Afghanistan, and the US in Iraq. I believe the main reason for this is that to a large extent the insurgents have the support of the people. Whither in a small village in Afghanistan or Iraq, or in a rural town in the USA, everybody to a large extent knows everybody and what they are doing. If the natives were strongly on the side of the US, it would be easy to find who the insurgents are. You say I talk of percentages, whereas you talk of how individual lives are affected. I suspect the percentages of Iraqis who favored killing invading Americans is a reflection of how hundreds of thousands of lives were affected or in many cases terminated because of the US invasion. I stated that surveys have found 1/4 of Iraqis say that the invasion has resulted in the deaths of some members of their households. If you include family members like cousins, nephews,nieces etc. as well as friends the majority of Iraqis have lost loved ones from the invasion and occupation.I have a friend of mine that was in Vietnam. He told me there was only one person he knew for sure he killed over there. He said often there would be an attack, and they would shoot at guerellas and in the morning there would be dead bodies, but it was impossible to tell if you or one of your fellow soldiers killed them. One time as they invaded a village, a native woman with a long knife came at my friend and he shot her to death.

          General Smedley Butler won two two medals of honor for his heroism, and was the most decorated man in Marine history. However, he retired at 50 and spent the remaining years of his life speakinbg for peace and explaining how citizens are misled into wars to make big bucks for special interests. He wrote a book, War is a Racket, which is very short and is available free online. Here is a an excerpt.

          Mary,

          Of course, neither of us can be sure of the future, so I can't tell you unequivocally what the result of a US pullout of Afghanistan would be. However, I think a bit of study puts a lot of doubts about the US entrance to various wars that the US was involved in since the Spanish American War. We learned in our history classes the supposed reasons for the US entrance into these wars. However, I suspect people taking history classes in any nation tend to learn the version that makes their nation appear to be only defending themselves.When the Holy Roman Empire overran pagan peoples, the citizens of the Holy Roman Empire were told they were saving their souls etc. As I stated in the previous post, it is interesting to me that the architects of the US mideast invasions, the Bush administration was heavily allied with traditional values forces in the US and yet in regard to the mideast were proponents of modernism etc. Comparing Britan's appeasement of Hitler to a policy of nonintervention by the US in the mideast to me is misleading because Germany had the possibility of defeating the UK, but the Taliban or Alchida has less chance of defeating the US than you have of defeating the current heavy weight boxing champion of the world. If anything, recent US aggression in the mideast has probably resulted in more recruits to Al Quada and the Taliban. I have heard that it is an Islamic principle that any males have a duty to revenge harm done to their family members. I have read in two places that CNN has had a sugar coated version of Afghanistan news coverage for US audiences, and a more realistic one for viewers in other nations. I believe that the last 60 years or so show us that even though a superpowewr can easily invade a third world country, succesful occupation of these places is pretty much impossible. This was true for both the French and later the US in Vietnam, the USSR and later the US in Afghanistan, and the US in Iraq. I believe the main reason for this is that to a large extent the insurgents have the support of the people. Whither in a small village in Afghanistan or Iraq, or in a rural town in the USA, everybody to a large extent knows everybody and what they are doing. If the natives were strongly on the side of the US, it would be easy to find who the insurgents are. You say I talk of percentages, whereas you talk of how individual lives are affected. I suspect the percentages of Iraqis who favored killing invading Americans is a reflection of how hundreds of thousands of lives were affected or in many cases terminated because of the US invasion. I stated that surveys have found 1/4 of Iraqis say that the invasion has resulted in the deaths of some members of their households. If you include family members like cousins, nephews,nieces etc. as well as friends the majority of Iraqis have lost loved ones from the invasion and occupation.I have a friend of mine that was in Vietnam. He told me there was only one person he knew for sure he killed over there. He said often there would be an attack, and they would shoot at guerellas and in the morning there would be dead bodies, but it was impossible to tell if you or one of your fellow soldiers killed them. One time as they invaded a village, a native woman with a long knife came at my friend and he shot her to death.

          General Smedley Butler won two two medals of honor for his heroism, and was the most decorated man in Marine history. However, he retired at 50 and spent the remaining years of his life speakinbg for peace and explaining how citizens are misled into wars to make big bucks for special interests. He wrote a book, War is a Racket, which is very short and is available free online. Here is a an excerpt.
          Mary,

          Of course, neither of us can be sure of the future, so I can't tell you unequivocally what the result of a US pullout of Afghanistan would be. However, I think a bit of study puts a lot of doubts about the US entrance to various wars that the US was involved in since the Spanish American War. We learned in our history classes the supposed reasons for the US entrance into these wars. However, I suspect people taking history classes in any nation tend to learn the version that makes their nation appear to be only defending themselves.When the Holy Roman Empire overran pagan peoples, the citizens of the Holy Roman Empire were told they were saving their souls etc. As I stated in the previous post, it is interesting to me that the architects of the US mideast invasions, the Bush administration was heavily allied with traditional values forces in the US and yet in regard to the mideast were proponents of modernism etc. Comparing Britan's appeasement of Hitler to a policy of nonintervention by the US in the mideast to me is misleading because Germany had the possibility of defeating the UK, but the Taliban or Alchida has less chance of defeating the US than you have of defeating the current heavy weight boxing champion of the world. If anything, recent US aggression in the mideast has probably resulted in more recruits to Al Quada and the Taliban. I have heard that it is an Islamic principle that any males have a duty to revenge harm done to their family members. I have read in two places that CNN has had a sugar coated version of Afghanistan news coverage for US audiences, and a more realistic one for viewers in other nations. I believe that the last 60 years or so show us that even though a superpowewr can easily invade a third world country, succesful occupation of these places is pretty much impossible. This was true for both the French and later the US in Vietnam, the USSR and later the US in Afghanistan, and the US in Iraq. I believe the main reason for this is that to a large extent the insurgents have the support of the people. Whither in a small village in Afghanistan or Iraq, or in a rural town in the USA, everybody to a large extent knows everybody and what they are doing. If the natives were strongly on the side of the US, it would be easy to find who the insurgents are. You say I talk of percentages, whereas you talk of how individual lives are affected. I suspect the percentages of Iraqis who favored killing invading Americans is a reflection of how hundreds of thousands of lives were affected or in many cases terminated because of the US invasion. I stated that surveys have found 1/4 of Iraqis say that the invasion has resulted in the deaths of some members of their households. If you include family members like cousins, nephews,nieces etc. as well as friends the majority of Iraqis have lost loved ones from the invasion and occupation.I have a friend of mine that was in Vietnam. He told me there was only one person he knew for sure he killed over there. He said often there would be an attack, and they would shoot at guerellas and in the morning there would be dead bodies, but it was impossible to tell if you or one of your fellow soldiers killed them. One time as they invaded a village, a native woman with a long knife came at my friend and he shot her to death.

          General Smedley Butler won two two medals of honor for his heroism, and was the most decorated man in Marine history. However, he retired at 50 and spent the remaining years of his life speakinbg for peace and explaining how citizens are misled into wars to make big bucks for special interests. He wrote a book, War is a Racket, which is very short and is available free online. Here is a an excerpt.


          "I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."[26]
          Butler wrote this book in 1935, and war is a hell of a lot bigger racket now .

          Peace,
          Tom


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • tom
          Mary, Of course, neither of us can be sure of the future, so I can t tell you unequivocally what the result of a US pullout of Afghanistan would be. However, I
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 5, 2009
          • 0 Attachment
            Mary,

            Of course, neither of us can be sure of the future, so I can't tell you unequivocally what the result of a US pullout of Afghanistan would be. However, I think a bit of study puts a lot of doubts about the US entrance to various wars that the US was involved in since the Spanish American War. We learned in our history classes the supposed reasons for the US entrance into these wars. However, I suspect people taking history classes in any nation tend to learn the version that makes their nation appear to be only defending themselves.When the Holy Roman Empire overran pagan peoples, the citizens of the Holy Roman Empire were told they were saving their souls etc. As I stated in the previous post, it is interesting to me that the architects of the US mideast invasions, the Bush administration was heavily allied with traditional values forces in the US and yet in regard to the mideast were proponents of modernism etc. Comparing Britan's appeasement of Hitler to a policy of nonintervention by the US in the mideast to me is misleading because Germany had the possibility of defeating the UK, but the Taliban or Alchida has less chance of defeating the US than you have of defeating the current heavy weight boxing champion of the world. If anything, recent US aggression in the mideast has probably resulted in more recruits to Al Quada and the Taliban. I have heard that it is an Islamic principle that any males have a duty to revenge harm done to their family members. I have read in two places that CNN has had a sugar coated version of Afghanistan news coverage for US audiences, and a more realistic one for viewers in other nations. I believe that the last 60 years or so show us that even though a superpowewr can easily invade a third world country, succesful occupation of these places is pretty much impossible. This was true for both the French and later the US in Vietnam, the USSR and later the US in Afghanistan, and the US in Iraq. I believe the main reason for this is that to a large extent the insurgents have the support of the people. Whither in a small village in Afghanistan or Iraq, or in a rural town in the USA, everybody to a large extent knows everybody and what they are doing. If the natives were strongly on the side of the US, it would be easy to find who the insurgents are. You say I talk of percentages, whereas you talk of how individual lives are affected. I suspect the percentages of Iraqis who favored killing invading Americans is a reflection of how hundreds of thousands of lives were affected or in many cases terminated because of the US invasion. I stated that surveys have found 1/4 of Iraqis say that the invasion has resulted in the deaths of some members of their households. If you include family members like cousins, nephews,nieces etc. as well as friends the majority of Iraqis have lost loved ones from the invasion and occupation.I have a friend of mine that was in Vietnam. He told me there was only one person he knew for sure he killed over there. He said often there would be an attack, and they would shoot at guerellas and in the morning there would be dead bodies, but it was impossible to tell if you or one of your fellow soldiers killed them. One time as they invaded a village, a native woman with a long knife came at my friend and he shot her to death.

            General Smedley Butler won two two medals of honor for his heroism, and was the most decorated man in Marine history. However, he retired at 50 and spent the remaining years of his life speakinbg for peace and explaining how citizens are misled into wars to make big bucks for special interests. He wrote a book, War is a Racket, which is very short and is available free online. Here is a an excerpt

            Mary,

            Of course, neither of us can be sure of the future, so I can't tell you unequivocally what the result of a US pullout of Afghanistan would be. However, I think a bit of study puts a lot of doubts about the US entrance to various wars that the US was involved in since the Spanish American War. We learned in our history classes the supposed reasons for the US entrance into these wars. However, I suspect people taking history classes in any nation tend to learn the version that makes their nation appear to be only defending themselves.When the Holy Roman Empire overran pagan peoples, the citizens of the Holy Roman Empire were told they were saving their souls etc. As I stated in the previous post, it is interesting to me that the architects of the US mideast invasions, the Bush administration was heavily allied with traditional values forces in the US and yet in regard to the mideast were proponents of modernism etc. Comparing Britan's appeasement of Hitler to a policy of nonintervention by the US in the mideast to me is misleading because Germany had the possibility of defeating the UK, but the Taliban or Alchida has less chance of defeating the US than you have of defeating the current heavy weight boxing champion of the world. If anything, recent US aggression in the mideast has probably resulted in more recruits to Al Quada and the Taliban. I have heard that it is an Islamic principle that any males have a duty to revenge harm done to their family members. I have read in two places that CNN has had a sugar coated version of Afghanistan news coverage for US audiences, and a more realistic one for viewers in other nations. I believe that the last 60 years or so show us that even though a superpowewr can easily invade a third world country, succesful occupation of these places is pretty much impossible. This was true for both the French and later the US in Vietnam, the USSR and later the US in Afghanistan, and the US in Iraq. I believe the main reason for this is that to a large extent the insurgents have the support of the people. Whither in a small village in Afghanistan or Iraq, or in a rural town in the USA, everybody to a large extent knows everybody and what they are doing. If the natives were strongly on the side of the US, it would be easy to find who the insurgents are. You say I talk of percentages, whereas you talk of how individual lives are affected. I suspect the percentages of Iraqis who favored killing invading Americans is a reflection of how hundreds of thousands of lives were affected or in many cases terminated because of the US invasion. I stated that surveys have found 1/4 of Iraqis say that the invasion has resulted in the deaths of some members of their households. If you include family members like cousins, nephews,nieces etc. as well as friends the majority of Iraqis have lost loved ones from the invasion and occupation.I have a friend of mine that was in Vietnam. He told me there was only one person he knew for sure he killed over there. He said often there would be an attack, and they would shoot at guerellas and in the morning there would be dead bodies, but it was impossible to tell if you or one of your fellow soldiers killed them. One time as they invaded a village, a native woman with a long knife came at my friend and he shot her to death.

            General Smedley Butler won two two medals of honor for his heroism, and was the most decorated man in Marine history. However, he retired at 50 and spent the remaining years of his life speakinbg for peace and explaining how citizens are misled into wars to make big bucks for special interests. He wrote a book, War is a Racket, which is very short and is available free online. Here is a an excerpt


            double recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor

            "I spent 33 years and 4 months in active service as a member of our country's most agile military force--the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was part of a racket all the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all members of the military profession I never had an original thought until I left the service."
            Smedley D. Butler (1881-1940)
            This book was written in 1935, and war has become a much bigger racket since then.
            Peace,
            Tom

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Mary
            Tom, Thank you for your engaging and familiar perspective. All I can say is that I hope you re right, and I take some small comfort in the knowledge that NGO s
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 5, 2009
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              Tom,

              Thank you for your engaging and familiar perspective. All I can say is that I hope you're right, and I take some small comfort in the knowledge that NGO's will continue regardless of corrupt motives, profiteering, and propaganda. I think most Americans would rather pay for their services. I still, however, have to err on the side of cautious optimism. The future will arrive, one way or another. I'm glad I won't be here to see it.

              Mary
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