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Re: Books That Have Changed My Life

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  • Ram Lau
    ... Sadly enough, I agree. ... Thanks Tony. Actually it s been just about 5 years. I didn t come until the Gore machine destroyed Bill Bradley and the Bush
    Message 1 of 15 , Mar 13, 2005
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      > Wow, you guys read?
      > Damn I'm funny.

      Sadly enough, I agree.


      > Anyway, nice piece, Ram. I didn't know you were from Hong Kong.
      > Welcome to America, 8 years late.

      Thanks Tony. Actually it's been just about 5 years. I didn't come
      until the Gore machine destroyed Bill Bradley and the Bush machine
      destroyed John McCain.


      > Ram made a good point about the doublethink. It's scary.

      Jon Stewart once jokingly suggested that it's the "political Bible"
      of the Bush adminstration. I'm not surprised.


      > Did anyone else read Orwell's short story about shooting an
      > elephant? He once lived in India. I don't know if it had any big
      > symbolic value, it's just an interesting story.

      I did the same thing that Greg did. Will read it later.


      > Now that I'm thinking about books, the perverse little society in
      > Lord Of The Flies always seemed very plausible to me. People are
      > capable of some sick sh**.

      When I get pessimistic about what the world of the next generation
      will look like, I always think about the 48-9% minority who rejected
      Bush last year. There is always some hope.


      > And what's with Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn and all the 'postr'phes's?

      I was just saying that Tom Sawyer and Robin Hood deserve at least an
      honorable mention. Done. Huck Finn caused some controversy lately,
      by the way.


      > Paine would read like the constitution, so I want to see if they
      > have "Thomas Paine For Dummies." If they do, I'll give it to

      Both Reason and Liars are very easy to read. Sure Reason isn't a
      laugh-out-loud type, but it's definitely one of the most thought-
      provoking masterpieces ever written in human history.

      Ram
    • Jesse Gordon
      ... Symbolic value, a bit, but political value much more. It describes how imperial representatives are limited in their power by being hated by their imperial
      Message 2 of 15 , Mar 13, 2005
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        --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "tonymaloley" <am7788zz@m...>
        wrote:
        > Did anyone else read Orwell's short story about shooting an
        > elephant? He once lived in India. I don't know if it had any big
        > symbolic value, it's just an interesting story.

        Symbolic value, a bit, but political value much more. It describes
        how imperial representatives are limited in their power by being
        hated by their imperial subjects. Orwell, as an imperial bureaucrat
        in a British colony, had to shoot an elephant even though he didn't
        want to, because the colonials expected him to do it. Orwell explains
        how the colonials hate their overseers, too.

        The relevance for today is to replace "Britain" with "America" and
        replace "imperial" with "military" (or something). America now rules
        the world like Britain did then, and is equally as hated by
        our "colonial subjects". The biggest difference is that we don't have
        any clearly defined empire, like Britain did. Our "colonies" mostly
        revolve around oil, and our unwilling subjects are those people who
        happen to live in areas that have the misfortune to supply oil.

        We use the pretext that "democracy is on the march" and blah blah
        blah, but that doesn't change that our colonial subjects hate us as
        much as Britain's subjects hated Orwell. (Britain DID democratize
        their colonies, and "improve" them in all sorts of other ways, so
        they could just as well have said that democracy was on the march).
        That hatred is the single most important basis for al Qaeda's
        existence, and hence the single largest cause of 9/11.
      • Ram Lau
        I can t help but wonder what the next superpower will do. Oil will be a lesser issue since we are running out in the whole world anyway. Are we talking about
        Message 3 of 15 , Mar 15, 2005
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          I can't help but wonder what the next superpower will do. Oil will be
          a lesser issue since we are running out in the whole world anyway. Are
          we talking about outer space yet? It will be interesting to see what
          kind of role the next hegemony will play.

          Ram
        • greg
          I guess it depends on how long the U.S. remains a superpower. We seem to be declining economically, and eventually we might be overtaken in that regard by
          Message 4 of 15 , Mar 15, 2005
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            I guess it depends on how long the U.S. remains a superpower. We seem
            to be declining economically, and eventually we might be overtaken in
            that regard by China, India, and the EU. Or maybe not, who knows? Our
            military is still very large, well-trained, with all the latest
            technological gadgets and isn't likely to be overtaken by anyone
            anytime soon, but it now has a problem finding enough recruits.

            I'm not sure we really are running the world as much as it appears we
            are, or as much we would like to be. But we are trying, for sure.

            About outer space- well, I should admit I'm a big Star Trek fan and
            thus have romantic notions about space exploration. But I imagine in
            the next century or two colonies will be built on the moon and Mars.
            To do much more than that would probably require incredible
            technological advances. Population is growing very fast and some
            countries are running out of room, so starting a colony on another
            planet might seem like a good solution. And in the very long run, when
            the sun dies it'll probably take the Earth with it, so it might be a
            good idea to colonize other places before then.

            I remember last year the president of India was suggesting that India
            and the U.S. build a joint colony, on either the moon or Mars, I
            forget which. I don't remember if he got a reply. If and when we do
            start colonizing, will it happen in the same way that the Europeans
            colonized the Americas? There won't be any natives to fight, but how
            long before two colonies on the moon are competing for room or for
            natural resources of some sort, and then start fighting each other? Or
            rebel against their parent country back on Earth? What do you all think?

            --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Ram Lau" <ramlau@y...> wrote:
            >
            > I can't help but wonder what the next superpower will do. Oil will be
            > a lesser issue since we are running out in the whole world anyway. Are
            > we talking about outer space yet? It will be interesting to see what
            > kind of role the next hegemony will play.
            >
            > Ram
          • Ram Lau
            ... We haven t really found anything useful on the moon... or have we? And which founding father would be most likely to be the one who goes to the moon to pay
            Message 5 of 15 , Mar 16, 2005
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              > long before two colonies on the moon are competing for room or for
              > natural resources of some sort, and then start fighting each other?

              We haven't really found anything useful on the moon... or have we? And
              which founding father would be most likely to be the one who goes to
              the moon to pay a visit? Ben Franklin again?

              Ram
            • tonymaloley
              It is only logical to look at why the crazies want to kill Americans. It hurts a lot of people s feelings to hear this stuff, but Osama didn t just pull our
              Message 6 of 15 , Mar 16, 2005
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                It is only logical to look at why the crazies want to kill
                Americans. It hurts a lot of people's feelings to hear this stuff,
                but Osama didn't just pull our name out of a hat. The crazies don't
                want any infidel encroaching on their sovereignty/land/wasteland or
                their religion or homes or their lives. I hate to admit it, but the
                bombs that used to blow up civilians in the west bank and in Lebanon
                not too long ago do really say "made in USA." I criticize bombings,
                but that reminds me, it has been a while, so I guess I appreciate
                Israel's progress in the field of diplomacy.

                On to Lebanon. Does anyone else think it looks a bit strange for the
                UN or Nato or whoever to all of a sudden consider freedom for Lebanon
                to be a huge priority? Wasn't it around 1982 that the crazies bombed
                the marine barracks, and we pulled the hell out of there? Before
                this year, have you heard any American who wasn't Lebanese indicate
                that they ever gave a rat's ass about Lebanon, for over 20 years? I
                guess it's better late than never. I'm skeptical about the
                gloriousness of Lebanon's new era, though.

                PS I'm half Lebanese. Maybe I'm a little sensitive to this stuff.
                All the angry young men that used to throw rocks at soldiers, and get
                themselves shot, well, I think it means more to an American when the
                people getting shot year in, year out, look like their cousins,
                instead of seeing them as just the kind of people who drive the taxis
                and talk funny with rags on their heads.

                - Tony


                --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Jesse Gordon" <jesse@j...>
                wrote:

                > We use the pretext that "democracy is on the march" and blah blah
                > blah, but that doesn't change that our colonial subjects hate us as
                > much as Britain's subjects hated Orwell. (Britain DID democratize
                > their colonies, and "improve" them in all sorts of other ways, so
                > they could just as well have said that democracy was on the march).
                > That hatred is the single most important basis for al Qaeda's
                > existence, and hence the single largest cause of 9/11.
              • greg
                I remember hearing once there s quite a bit of uranium on the moon, but I don t have a source to back that up, and there doesn t seem to be a great lack of
                Message 7 of 15 , Mar 17, 2005
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                  I remember hearing once there's quite a bit of uranium on the moon,
                  but I don't have a source to back that up, and there doesn't seem to
                  be a great lack of uranium around here.

                  I can see Ben Franklin enjoying a visit to the moon. He seemed to like
                  to travel and to experience new things.
                  --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Ram Lau" <ramlau@y...> wrote:
                  >
                  > > long before two colonies on the moon are competing for room or for
                  > > natural resources of some sort, and then start fighting each other?
                  >
                  > We haven't really found anything useful on the moon... or have we? And
                  > which founding father would be most likely to be the one who goes to
                  > the moon to pay a visit? Ben Franklin again?
                  >
                  > Ram
                • greg
                  Could you fill me in on what exactly was happening in Lebanon in 1982? I was born that year, and wasn t paying very close attention to politics. I suspect that
                  Message 8 of 15 , Mar 17, 2005
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                    Could you fill me in on what exactly was happening in Lebanon in 1982?
                    I was born that year, and wasn't paying very close attention to politics.

                    I suspect that a big reason why so many people, particularly in
                    Washington, seem interested in Lebanon right now is more to do with
                    having a chance to deal a blow against Syria, who they've ticked off
                    at pretty much ever since the official end of the Iraq war. What do
                    you think will happen in Lebanon if the Syrian troops really do
                    withdraw? Will there be a glorious new free Lebanese democracy? Will
                    it return to civil war?
                    --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "tonymaloley" <am7788zz@m...>
                    wrote:
                    >
                    > It is only logical to look at why the crazies want to kill
                    > Americans. It hurts a lot of people's feelings to hear this stuff,
                    > but Osama didn't just pull our name out of a hat. The crazies don't
                    > want any infidel encroaching on their sovereignty/land/wasteland or
                    > their religion or homes or their lives. I hate to admit it, but the
                    > bombs that used to blow up civilians in the west bank and in Lebanon
                    > not too long ago do really say "made in USA." I criticize bombings,
                    > but that reminds me, it has been a while, so I guess I appreciate
                    > Israel's progress in the field of diplomacy.
                    >
                    > On to Lebanon. Does anyone else think it looks a bit strange for the
                    > UN or Nato or whoever to all of a sudden consider freedom for Lebanon
                    > to be a huge priority? Wasn't it around 1982 that the crazies bombed
                    > the marine barracks, and we pulled the hell out of there? Before
                    > this year, have you heard any American who wasn't Lebanese indicate
                    > that they ever gave a rat's ass about Lebanon, for over 20 years? I
                    > guess it's better late than never. I'm skeptical about the
                    > gloriousness of Lebanon's new era, though.
                    >
                    > PS I'm half Lebanese. Maybe I'm a little sensitive to this stuff.
                    > All the angry young men that used to throw rocks at soldiers, and get
                    > themselves shot, well, I think it means more to an American when the
                    > people getting shot year in, year out, look like their cousins,
                    > instead of seeing them as just the kind of people who drive the taxis
                    > and talk funny with rags on their heads.
                    >
                    > - Tony
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Jesse Gordon" <jesse@j...>
                    > wrote:
                    >
                    > > We use the pretext that "democracy is on the march" and blah blah
                    > > blah, but that doesn't change that our colonial subjects hate us as
                    > > much as Britain's subjects hated Orwell. (Britain DID democratize
                    > > their colonies, and "improve" them in all sorts of other ways, so
                    > > they could just as well have said that democracy was on the march).
                    > > That hatred is the single most important basis for al Qaeda's
                    > > existence, and hence the single largest cause of 9/11.
                  • tonymaloley
                    This is from a nice site : http://timelines.ws/countries/LEBANON.HTML (I m just trusting them that it s accurate, I was a kid myself!) To sum it up, all hell
                    Message 9 of 15 , Mar 20, 2005
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                      This is from a nice site : http://timelines.ws/countries/LEBANON.HTML
                      (I'm just trusting them that it's accurate, I was a kid myself!)
                      To sum it up, all hell broke loose there for a few decades. Here are
                      a few events concerning US troops.


                      1982 Jul 6, President Ronald Reagan agreed to contribute U.S.
                      troops to the peacekeeping unit in Beirut.
                      (HN, 7/6/98)

                      1982 Aug 20, Some 800 US Marines landed in Beirut, Lebanon, to
                      oversee the withdrawal from Lebanon. In 1983 some 250 Marines and
                      sailors were killed in two different car and truck bombs.
                      (MC, 8/20/02)

                      1983 Apr 18, At the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, 62
                      people, including 17 Americans, were killed by a suicide bomber. In
                      1996 sixteen Islamic militants were ordered to stand trial by a
                      military court in Lebanon. Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh was
                      suspected of involvement.
                      (WSJ, 3/26/96, p.A-1)(AP, 4/18/97)(WSJ, 9/19/01, p.A14)

                      1983 Oct 15, US Marine sharpshooters killed 5 snipers at
                      Beirut Intl. Airport.
                      (MC, 10/15/01)

                      1983 Oct 23, A truck filled with explosives, driven by a
                      Moslem suicide terrorist, crashed into the U.S. Marine barracks near
                      the Beirut International Airport in Lebanon. The bomb killed 241
                      Marines and sailors and injured 80. Almost simultaneously, a similar
                      incident occurred at French military headquarters, where 58 died and
                      15 were injured. Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh was suspected of
                      involvement.
                      (TMC, 1994, p.1983)(USAT, 6/26/96, p.1A)(WSJ, 8/1/96/p.B1)(AP,
                      10/23/97) (HN, 10/23/98)(WSJ, 9/19/01, p.A14)

                      1983 Dec 4, US jet fighters struck Syrian anti-aircraft
                      positions in Lebanon.
                      (MC, 12/4/01)

                      1984 Feb 26, Last US marines in multinational peace-keeping
                      force in Lebanon left Beirut.
                      (SC, 2/26/02)



                      --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "greg" <gregcannon1@y...>
                      wrote:
                      >
                      > Could you fill me in on what exactly was happening in Lebanon in
                      1982?
                      > I was born that year, and wasn't paying very close attention to
                      politics.
                      >
                      > I suspect that a big reason why so many people, particularly in
                      > Washington, seem interested in Lebanon right now is more to do with
                      > having a chance to deal a blow against Syria, who they've ticked off
                      > at pretty much ever since the official end of the Iraq war. What do
                      > you think will happen in Lebanon if the Syrian troops really do
                      > withdraw? Will there be a glorious new free Lebanese democracy? Will
                      > it return to civil war?
                      > --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "tonymaloley"
                      <am7788zz@m...>
                      > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > It is only logical to look at why the crazies want to kill
                      > > Americans. It hurts a lot of people's feelings to hear this
                      stuff,
                      > > but Osama didn't just pull our name out of a hat. The crazies
                      don't
                      > > want any infidel encroaching on their sovereignty/land/wasteland
                      or
                      > > their religion or homes or their lives. I hate to admit it, but
                      the
                      > > bombs that used to blow up civilians in the west bank and in
                      Lebanon
                      > > not too long ago do really say "made in USA." I criticize
                      bombings,
                      > > but that reminds me, it has been a while, so I guess I appreciate
                      > > Israel's progress in the field of diplomacy.
                      > >
                      > > On to Lebanon. Does anyone else think it looks a bit strange for
                      the
                      > > UN or Nato or whoever to all of a sudden consider freedom for
                      Lebanon
                      > > to be a huge priority? Wasn't it around 1982 that the crazies
                      bombed
                      > > the marine barracks, and we pulled the hell out of there? Before
                      > > this year, have you heard any American who wasn't Lebanese
                      indicate
                      > > that they ever gave a rat's ass about Lebanon, for over 20
                      years? I
                      > > guess it's better late than never. I'm skeptical about the
                      > > gloriousness of Lebanon's new era, though.
                      > >
                      > > PS I'm half Lebanese. Maybe I'm a little sensitive to this
                      stuff.
                      > > All the angry young men that used to throw rocks at soldiers, and
                      get
                      > > themselves shot, well, I think it means more to an American when
                      the
                      > > people getting shot year in, year out, look like their cousins,
                      > > instead of seeing them as just the kind of people who drive the
                      taxis
                      > > and talk funny with rags on their heads.
                      > >
                      > > - Tony
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Jesse Gordon"
                      <jesse@j...>
                      > > wrote:
                      > >
                      > > > We use the pretext that "democracy is on the march" and blah
                      blah
                      > > > blah, but that doesn't change that our colonial subjects hate
                      us as
                      > > > much as Britain's subjects hated Orwell. (Britain DID
                      democratize
                      > > > their colonies, and "improve" them in all sorts of other ways,
                      so
                      > > > they could just as well have said that democracy was on the
                      march).
                      > > > That hatred is the single most important basis for al Qaeda's
                      > > > existence, and hence the single largest cause of 9/11.
                    • greg
                      I read the whole timeline, it was very interesting. It seemed like during the period of Syrian occupation that the number of violent incidents did go down, but
                      Message 10 of 15 , Mar 21, 2005
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                        I read the whole timeline, it was very interesting. It seemed like
                        during the period of Syrian occupation that the number of violent
                        incidents did go down, but never really stopped. So when and if the
                        Syrian troops leave, will the level of violence remain about what it's
                        been the last few years, or will it rise or fall?

                        Reading this reminded me of something I read a few days ago in that
                        "History of the Middle East" book. In the late 50s and early 60s,
                        there were several attempts to unite Egypt and Syria into one country.
                        After the Baathists took power in Iraq, they also tried to include
                        Iraq. But none of the attempts worked, apparently because Egypt (ruled
                        by Nasser at the time) wanted the new country (I think it was to be
                        called the United Arab Republic) to be ruled from Cairo and dominated
                        by Egyptians. That might've made sense since their economy was better
                        and they were a bit more politically stable, but the others didn't
                        like it. I was very surprised when I read about it, I'd never heard
                        that had happened. Things probably would be quite a bit different
                        today if it had worked out.
                        --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "tonymaloley" <am7788zz@m...>
                        wrote:
                        >
                        > This is from a nice site : http://timelines.ws/countries/LEBANON.HTML
                        > (I'm just trusting them that it's accurate, I was a kid myself!)
                        > To sum it up, all hell broke loose there for a few decades. Here are
                        > a few events concerning US troops.
                        >
                        >
                        > 1982 Jul 6, President Ronald Reagan agreed to contribute U.S.
                        > troops to the peacekeeping unit in Beirut.
                        > (HN, 7/6/98)
                        >
                        > 1982 Aug 20, Some 800 US Marines landed in Beirut, Lebanon, to
                        > oversee the withdrawal from Lebanon. In 1983 some 250 Marines and
                        > sailors were killed in two different car and truck bombs.
                        > (MC, 8/20/02)
                        >
                        > 1983 Apr 18, At the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, 62
                        > people, including 17 Americans, were killed by a suicide bomber. In
                        > 1996 sixteen Islamic militants were ordered to stand trial by a
                        > military court in Lebanon. Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh was
                        > suspected of involvement.
                        > (WSJ, 3/26/96, p.A-1)(AP, 4/18/97)(WSJ, 9/19/01, p.A14)
                        >
                        > 1983 Oct 15, US Marine sharpshooters killed 5 snipers at
                        > Beirut Intl. Airport.
                        > (MC, 10/15/01)
                        >
                        > 1983 Oct 23, A truck filled with explosives, driven by a
                        > Moslem suicide terrorist, crashed into the U.S. Marine barracks near
                        > the Beirut International Airport in Lebanon. The bomb killed 241
                        > Marines and sailors and injured 80. Almost simultaneously, a similar
                        > incident occurred at French military headquarters, where 58 died and
                        > 15 were injured. Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyeh was suspected of
                        > involvement.
                        > (TMC, 1994, p.1983)(USAT, 6/26/96, p.1A)(WSJ, 8/1/96/p.B1)(AP,
                        > 10/23/97) (HN, 10/23/98)(WSJ, 9/19/01, p.A14)
                        >
                        > 1983 Dec 4, US jet fighters struck Syrian anti-aircraft
                        > positions in Lebanon.
                        > (MC, 12/4/01)
                        >
                        > 1984 Feb 26, Last US marines in multinational peace-keeping
                        > force in Lebanon left Beirut.
                        > (SC, 2/26/02)
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "greg" <gregcannon1@y...>
                        > wrote:
                        > >
                        > > Could you fill me in on what exactly was happening in Lebanon in
                        > 1982?
                        > > I was born that year, and wasn't paying very close attention to
                        > politics.
                        > >
                        > > I suspect that a big reason why so many people, particularly in
                        > > Washington, seem interested in Lebanon right now is more to do with
                        > > having a chance to deal a blow against Syria, who they've ticked off
                        > > at pretty much ever since the official end of the Iraq war. What do
                        > > you think will happen in Lebanon if the Syrian troops really do
                        > > withdraw? Will there be a glorious new free Lebanese democracy? Will
                        > > it return to civil war?
                        > > --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "tonymaloley"
                        > <am7788zz@m...>
                        > > wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > It is only logical to look at why the crazies want to kill
                        > > > Americans. It hurts a lot of people's feelings to hear this
                        > stuff,
                        > > > but Osama didn't just pull our name out of a hat. The crazies
                        > don't
                        > > > want any infidel encroaching on their sovereignty/land/wasteland
                        > or
                        > > > their religion or homes or their lives. I hate to admit it, but
                        > the
                        > > > bombs that used to blow up civilians in the west bank and in
                        > Lebanon
                        > > > not too long ago do really say "made in USA." I criticize
                        > bombings,
                        > > > but that reminds me, it has been a while, so I guess I appreciate
                        > > > Israel's progress in the field of diplomacy.
                        > > >
                        > > > On to Lebanon. Does anyone else think it looks a bit strange for
                        > the
                        > > > UN or Nato or whoever to all of a sudden consider freedom for
                        > Lebanon
                        > > > to be a huge priority? Wasn't it around 1982 that the crazies
                        > bombed
                        > > > the marine barracks, and we pulled the hell out of there? Before
                        > > > this year, have you heard any American who wasn't Lebanese
                        > indicate
                        > > > that they ever gave a rat's ass about Lebanon, for over 20
                        > years? I
                        > > > guess it's better late than never. I'm skeptical about the
                        > > > gloriousness of Lebanon's new era, though.
                        > > >
                        > > > PS I'm half Lebanese. Maybe I'm a little sensitive to this
                        > stuff.
                        > > > All the angry young men that used to throw rocks at soldiers, and
                        > get
                        > > > themselves shot, well, I think it means more to an American when
                        > the
                        > > > people getting shot year in, year out, look like their cousins,
                        > > > instead of seeing them as just the kind of people who drive the
                        > taxis
                        > > > and talk funny with rags on their heads.
                        > > >
                        > > > - Tony
                        > > >
                        > > >
                        > > > --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Jesse Gordon"
                        > <jesse@j...>
                        > > > wrote:
                        > > >
                        > > > > We use the pretext that "democracy is on the march" and blah
                        > blah
                        > > > > blah, but that doesn't change that our colonial subjects hate
                        > us as
                        > > > > much as Britain's subjects hated Orwell. (Britain DID
                        > democratize
                        > > > > their colonies, and "improve" them in all sorts of other ways,
                        > so
                        > > > > they could just as well have said that democracy was on the
                        > march).
                        > > > > That hatred is the single most important basis for al Qaeda's
                        > > > > existence, and hence the single largest cause of 9/11.
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