Debate and Discussion

Scary times. IS the U.S.A. making the same mistakes as the U.S.S.R.?
ozoneocean at 2:29AM, Aug. 6, 2008
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Please DO NOT bring up 9/11 conspiracy stuff here. PLEASE discuss it in THIS thread instead.
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I read a lot of alarming things in the news now, more and more. The U.S.A. used to pride itself on freedom and yet now the government there have made it ok for officers to freely confiscate people's phones, laptops and anything else of that ilk without any warrants and keep them for as long as they like. (I don't know the period, but it seemed indeterminate).

And around the globe we have people that go “missing” only to turn up in detention camps years later on very silly and obviously invented charges. During that secret detention they're regularly tortured and beaten, their families don't know where they are… If they're “lucky” they end up transferred to Guantanemo where the torture isn't quite as nasty. These are the sorts of tactics once regularly used in places like the U.S.S.R. fascist Chile etc, and decried in the United states.
The latest victim is Aafia Siddiqui

Before:


After:


What is shocking to me, is now that the U.S.A. is virtually “openly” using these practises, on a large scale, there's no outcry there? I'm drawn back to that classic example… You know the one: Germany in the 1930's. A country full of sane, good, wonderful, educated people, and we wonder how they let those things start to happen, how did they accept those actions as normal and just go on like it was no big deal without too many people being upset about it?

This is NOT the same thing, but it does make me wonder that a people once to proud of real freedoms and so horrified at transgressions of personal freedoms in other countries have become so numb to that happening to themselves.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
StaceyMontgomery at 7:34AM, Aug. 6, 2008
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I am afraid i agree with you. I live in the US and am slowly losing my faith in the essential strength of American culture, something I have always prized.

My fellow Americans just shrug at news that we've been using old Soviet torture facilities to torture people. They don't seem to care that we've based our torture techniques on those developed by the old USSR - techniques that were specifically developed to make people sign false confessions (which is all torture ever gets you anyway). Oh, BTW - the tortured people all confessed! (Do you feel powerful now?)

Americans, I think, are turning away from the idea of individual liberty and dignity and are becoming simple authoritarians. It's easy to blame this on the conservative half of the country (since they are leading the march into the swamp) but I think the liberal half of the country share the blame (since they are following along so enthusiastically).

Mostly, I just hope that I am wrong and this is all just a sort of glitch. It may be that the Baby Boomer generation (who currently dominate everything) are an aberration in American history. (By “aberration” I mean “cowardly jack-boot lickers” but “aberration” is a lot more polite) The future might be a lot brighter than the present.

The things that make America great (liberty! Democracy! the dignity of the common person! The drive to move forward and do better! Boundless optimism! Political and economic freedom!) are growing all over the world, I think. “Americanism” may leave America behind in the 21st century.

And if we won't carry that torch, others certainly will.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:55PM
kyupol at 7:18PM, Aug. 6, 2008
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Ozone is a conspiracy theorist. HAhaha. Look at him post up these baseless made up allegations. For all I know he photoshopped that picture. Being the good artist that he is. :)

Hey Ozone. Stop listening to that moron named Alex Jones. Stop visiting Infowars.com and Prisonplanet.com. Those sites are terrorist sites!!! That's why Britain censored them.

Just listen to Fox News ok. Everything is all right. There's nothing to worry about.


NOW UPDATING!!!
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ozoneocean at 1:01AM, Aug. 7, 2008
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Unfortunately Kyupol, unlike the those enjoyable conspiracies espoused by the sources you suggest, this is just the stuff reported every day by BBC world service, CNN, associated Press, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and even Fox. :(

——————–

Stacey, I think you're right about the Boomers. For all a person grows up and rebels against the ideas of their parents, they eventually long for those simpler times of childhood Boomers grew up in the 1950s, that bizarre period of certainty and crisply parted hair after the turbulence of the previous decades. They're trying to drag us back there. McCarthyism didn't just affect a few stroppy celebrities, normal people were affected too just like they are now.

Look at that poor bastard Salim Ahmed Hamdan. Nothing but a menial worker… A mechanic, a driver. Just because of who he knew that means he deserves a few life terms after being held prisoner or tortured… And people think that's right. What next? Cleaners? Maids? The guy who cooks for Osama… Actually I think I heard something about them arresting his cook… Being a menial worker these days is a “War Crime” apparently.
 
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Aussie_kid at 2:04AM, Aug. 7, 2008
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It's really unfortunate that paranoia has settled in so strongly after 9/11. It wasn't the worst attack to ever happen, but it still affected people very greatly, even now almost seven years later. This is evidence of that. Terrorist suspects are not cared about because what if they really were going to blow someone up? The government is only trying to protect people. I don't agree with it, but that's the mentality.

Now, you might be saying “That's impossible. Why would everyone be so afraid?” but I'm afraid it's true. Quite possibly the best thing to happen to politicians and the media were the terrorist attacks. It now gives them an excuse to do or say whatever they want and then blame it on a specific topic everyone fears. Terrorist attacks.

Randy Milholland of Something Positive once said “I swear to God, most politicians must get erections at 9-11 footage” and after what I've seen, I'd say the man is on to something.
Insanity Complex: We may not be insane, but we like to think we are
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cartoonprofessor at 2:07AM, Aug. 7, 2008
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ozoneocean
Unfortunately Kyupol, unlike the those enjoyable conspiracies espoused by the sources you suggest, this is just the stuff reported every day by BBC world service, CNN, associated Press, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and even Fox. :(

And yet it was sites like those Kyupol suggested that ran these stories long before they were ‘picked up’ by the mainstream media.
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ozoneocean at 3:19AM, Aug. 7, 2008
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cartoonprofessor
ozoneocean
Unfortunately Kyupol, unlike the those enjoyable conspiracies espoused by the sources you suggest, this is just the stuff reported every day by BBC world service, CNN, associated Press, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and even Fox. :(
And yet it was sites like those Kyupol suggested that ran these stories long before they were ‘picked up’ by the mainstream media.
QUITE the contrary. Those sites generally tell you that the government was behind terrorist attacks to begin with, among other things.

What the conspiracy nuts do is make it ok and acceptable to dismiss all genuine atrocity as fantasy as well as the bilge they come up with. They help to disguise, undermine, and trivialise the facts with a sea of fakes.
 
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cartoonprofessor at 6:01AM, Aug. 7, 2008
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That is a pretty broad generalization, Ozone.
Conspiracy theorists do NOT dismiss atrocity, they take note and look deeper for possible truths behind the mainstream media's one-sided viewpoints (there have been many editors and journalists who have expressed their frustration at having their hands tied by the media owners).
If anything it is people like yourself that so quickly label conspiracy theorists as ‘nuts’ that create that perception which devalues atrocity by putting it in the same ‘basket’ as the ‘bilge’ from said nuts.

And these sites and others like them DID report the atrocities you spoke of when starting this post, long before it became ‘acceptable’ for the mainstream to report on these incidents.

By your statement I take it to mean you believe there is no way a government could be involved with terrorist attacks?

Surely you are not that naive?

Many governments have been involved with and even instigated ‘terrorist’ actions… it is commonly documented and accepted fact. How many countries has the US tried to, and successfully, destabilised over the decades? There have been at least a dozen, documented attempts on Fidel Castro's life alone initiated by the CIA.

It is commonly accepted historical fact that the Reichstag fire was purposely started by the Nazis to create an atmosphere of righteous anger that allowed Hitler to assume massive power in the years leading up to WWII.

Unfortunately most people who achieve the heights of power do so for their own agendas, very few do so for the ‘good of the people’. If Bush was not an ‘oil man’, do you seriously think he would have dragged his country into the quagmire that Iraq became? A war that to date, has cost the US taxpayers $543,132,963,899 ?
And at the same time has provided an astronimical boost to the bottom lines of the big oil companies?

If you are seriously that naive, sadly it is sheeple like yourself that allow these people to maintain their devastating power and greed.

By your posts I know you to be an intelligent person, Ozone. Yeah, sure there are some ‘nuts’ out there (reptilians, etc), but there are many more who do intensive research and make very valid, intelligent points (like the fact that jet fuel cannot possibly burn intensively enough to melt steel).

“When we stop questioning authority and using our intellect we are no better than slaves, and deserve to be enslaved by those who would do the enslaving.” (I cannot remember who said this and am too tired at the moment to look it up)
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ozoneocean at 7:11AM, Aug. 7, 2008
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You totally misunderstood me I'm afraid.

What My post meant was: Regarding the terrorist attacks of the 11th of September, among other things conspiracy theorists like to lump in the U.S. government as being directly responsible for it.

It's THOSE sorts of silly ideas and many more that make it so easy for the mainstream to look at all the stories of “government being naughty” and dismiss them.
-The REAL stories like Freedoms being taken away without normal things like warrants. Menial workers, children, and ordinary people being snatched away in secret, imprisoned, tortured, tried and convicted or WAR CRIMES.

Instead these solid, horrific artefacts of reality are buried under a flummery of speculation based on primary school science knowledge and general distrust of authority.

The conspiracy theorists may sometimes have some glimmerings and they approach government with a cynical eye, but what they end up doing is throwing up a smoke screen that hides the reality from the outside world. Not deliberately, just because they're so earnest and naive.

———————————————–
And the same thing will happen to this thread in the end I fear ;)
So I've made a new one:

Please DO NOT bring up 9/11 conspiracy stuff here. PLEASE discuss it in THIS thread instead.
 
last edited on July 14, 2011 2:32PM
lothar at 8:34AM, Aug. 7, 2008
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i left the USSA a few years ago and have NO intenetion of returning .
the nation is sliding towards ruin and i think the boomer generation is to blame , but not because they wish to return to some idilic 1950s world . remember that is the world against which they rebelled . then their rebellion was quashed and they turned inward . they are the most self centered and immature generation ever. they DON'T care !
a good documentary on this trend is here
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=century+of+the+self&sitesearch=
(the century of the self - it basically cronicals the breakdown of the citizenry into consumer)

i am reminded of an image i saw in the newspaper today ; a protestor holding a sign that read along the lines of “ NO OBAMA. white america will drive suv , eat as much as we want, keep our homes at 70 degrees farenhiet , and desperatly cling to guns and religion ! ” INSANE ! they think they can WILL reality to be whatever they want it to be. if you just beleive hard enough , everything will be fine. they are living in a dream . a dream of american omnipotence created by the media . it's like the Nazis or 1984. “reality is what WE say it is”
and .. Terrorism is their nightmare

another BBC documentary -
http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk1WkmioQvA
(the power of nightmares)

anyway , it's too far gone at this point. it probably has to run its course
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arteestx at 2:32PM, Aug. 7, 2008
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ozoneocean
What is shocking to me, is now that the U.S.A. is virtually “openly” using these practises, on a large scale, there's no outcry there? I'm drawn back to that classic example… You know the one: Germany in the 1930's….
To me, a closer example would be the Japanese internment camps of the 1940s. Our nation was attacked in Dec 1941, and we rose up and did something bout it, but in the process our fear of Japanese led us to voiding the rights of many citizens. We eventually came to our senses and rightfully realize in hindsight that it was a mistake.

I think W, and conservatives who defend him, care more about party than about the Constitution. They have done godawful things in the name of protection, including violating the inherent rights of people. But I want to believe that the lack of outcry comes from a “they're only doing it to terror suspects so it's ok” mentality, and at some point we're going to come to our senses as a country and realize it was all a horrible mistake.

Xolta is not intended for anyone under 18 years old.
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cartoonprofessor at 4:52AM, Aug. 8, 2008
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Congress no longer chooses to read new legislation before voting it into law. Bills are switched at the last minute for unread, substitute legislation. New laws say ANYONE can now be followed and watched - for ANY reason… or for NO reason. …. and the list goes on…
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bravo1102 at 11:46AM, Aug. 9, 2008
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It depends if the USA is willing to sacrifice liberty for a little security. It would seem the US is.

As far as torture goes; what the USA does is minor compared to the gulags, Kristalnacht, Saddam's rape rooms, Saudi law, China etc. Does that make it right? No, but there's that liberty for security argument again.

What is now torture was once considered normal treatment of prisoners even in the USA, we've evolved beyond that… or have we? Or are we just seeing finally what has always been there because there is more freedom of access to information? More freedom is allowing us to see what liberties have always been abused, so over time liberties will be extended and reinforced and the opposite of what is forecast will occur? I seem to recall similar things happening with prison and ayslum reform and abolitionism. Could it just be happening again? I hope so because that is the trend I see in the long cycle.

OT: What liberal, freedom-loving utopia is lothar living in that the USA is so oppressive? I'd like to move there.
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Hawk at 2:22PM, Aug. 9, 2008
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bravo1102
OT: What liberal, freedom-loving utopia is lothar living in that the USA is so oppressive? I'd like to move there.

Lothar is living in a completely different reality than the rest of us. I can only imagine it's very unhappy there.
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lothar at 10:05PM, Aug. 9, 2008
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bravo1102
OT: What liberal, freedom-loving utopia is lothar living in that the USA is so oppressive? I'd like to move there.

The USA IS oppressive !! and there are many places on this Earth with more freedom than the US . sure there are more places that are worse than America. but is that realy how you want to evaluate your country ? “well at least we're better than Angola ” “we get a C+ in democracy and a B- in Freedom ” hurray for America ! hurray for mediocrity !@!!


Hawk
Lothar is living in a completely different reality than the rest of us. I can only imagine it's very unhappy there.

maybe i am . but i don't feel unhappy here . maybe you're the one that's unhappy Hawk ! or maybe you're living in the blissful disneyland of ignorance ?
Someone
if you're not angry , you're not paying attention
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Skullbie at 11:11PM, Aug. 9, 2008
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Hawk
Lothar is living in a completely different reality than the rest of us. I can only imagine it's very unhappy there.



lothar
The USA IS oppressive !! and there are many places on this Earth with more freedom than the US . sure there are more places that are worse than America. but is that realy how you want to evaluate your country ? “well at least we're better than Angola ” “we get a C+ in democracy and a B- in Freedom ” hurray for America ! hurray for mediocrity !@!!
lothar
again america is confusing itself with the World ! they don't own the internet ! if they do this they are no better than china and they will simply drop out of the free world
lothar
to those who say USA can never descend into facism , a few words to google -
Diebold
Blackwater
Executive Directive 51


lothar
the benefits of the modern system of “education” are overrated . compulsory schooling is more of way to control young people and indoctrinate them. it doesn't teach you how to think and in many ways retards the process , much like religion. so , in closing , the kids at your school are myopic and slightly hypocritical for raging at the religionists when they are every day the victims of the same kind of massive social control machine as christianity .
lothar
my point Skull , was not to be a sarcasm ,
if you are already in a conformist concentration camp called high school , what is the difference between what these xians are doing and what your instructors are doing ? they herd you into an area , often locking you inside , and then proceed to tell you what to think ! the public education system is just more ingrained in society than these loose cannon relgionists .


His posts fill me with joy.

 
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lothar at 4:54AM, Aug. 10, 2008
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thanks Skull



consensus reality
if we don't start looking arund behind the curtain now , this may very well be our future
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bravo1102 at 10:28AM, Aug. 10, 2008
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Skullbie
His posts fill me with joy.



Lothar's the angry young man who keeps the rest of us on our toes and looking behind that curtain. I loved Zardoz, that was a good movie. Mark Twain and other greats also have kept us on our toes.

Seems he also looks to Howard Zinn's view of American History rather than Arthur Schlesinger. (just to use loose examples)

There is an oppressive system in the USA, but Americans have the freedom to use it to their advantage (The Bill of Rights). Life is a banquet and most people are starving to death or turn up their nose because the food isn't cooked to absolute perfection. Well if it isn't, go into the kitchen and make it better.

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Hawk at 2:57PM, Aug. 10, 2008
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So in our future a giant penis-hating head vomits weapons at us? :D Forgive me for laughing at our future. I guess I'm just going to have to watch the entire movie to understand the context of that clip.
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ozoneocean at 9:47AM, Aug. 12, 2008
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Another example of the role reversal. The garbage about Russia's tiff with Georgia.

That is being SPUN by the U.S. administration (and the right wing French administration too), as Russia unjustly invading a sovereign country with no provocation, even going so far as to claim that Russia MADE Georgia attack the civilians and Russian peace keepers so then the Russians could take military action. It's astonishingly bizarre logic designed to support the evil behaviour of an ally.
-ie. it was OK for NATO to attack Serbia for doing the same thing, the U.S. to invade Iraq and Afghanistan, Israel to batter Lebanon without any word of censure for weeks.

It's the kind of strange and hugely obvious sophistry and lies that Russia used to be accused of back in the day… Perhaps the Russians are right and there IS a lot more behind the “missile defence” programme?
 
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bravo1102 at 3:03PM, Aug. 13, 2008
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ozoneocean
Another example of the role reversal. The garbage about Russia's tiff with Georgia.


It's the kind of strange and hugely obvious sophistry and lies that Russia used to be accused of back in the day… Perhaps the Russians are right and there IS a lot more behind the “missile defence” programme?

I just heard the following quote on ABC news: “Vice-president is quoted as saying that this is the 21st Century and nations don't go invading other nations.” LOL!

Someone once described Russia as a people with an inferiority complex which oftens leads to paranoia. Is it paranoia when someone really is plotting against you?

Won't get fooled again. Seems Russia is back to being Imperial Russia. If you have a country next to Russia don't ever give Russia any reason to feel threatened because they will use it as an excuse to invade and annex you. Talk about the prevailing pattern in Russian history; it is the history of Russia.

Someone pointed out the other day that the southern border of Georgia may give the Russians the perfect position to intervene in Iraq/Iran/Afganistan.

And the USA is talking trash about Russia for protecting its own interests? Okay lets roll out Raglan and Cardigan, the light and heavy brigades and send an army to the Crimea to stop Russian imperialism.

The best I heard about this was when told the Russians were driving on the Capitol of Georgia someone asked when they would reach Atlanta.

NO the USA is not becoming the Soviet Union, we're just being our own dim-witted stubborn, we-know-better, do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do; holier-than-thou selves. Everything would make so much more sense if all the diplomats would wear frockcoats and muttonchop whiskers, because then they would look as ridiculous as they're acting. And rather than tanks and armored cars the Russians should be lined up with neat green uniforms and tall pointed helmets.

I just woke up in the the 19th Century.
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Ronson at 8:17PM, Aug. 13, 2008
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bravo1102
I just heard the following quote on ABC news: “Vice-president is quoted as saying that this is the 21st Century and nations don't go invading other nations.” LOL!

CORRECTION: That quote is directly from the mouth of John McCain, Republican Senator and presumptive Republican candidate for President. John McCain, who voted to go to war with Iraq just a few short years ago, in THIS very century.

Yeah, he has all his marbles. *eyeroll*

______

The Russians and Georgia have been uneasy with eachother for a while now. The Russians have been trying to get Georgia to overreact, and Georgia has been acting tough for a while now.

Since the United States virtually funded Georgia's army (so that they would then send their soldiers to Iraq), they are very Pro-USA and one of the few countries that are pro-Bush.

By siding with them, Georgians felt we had their back when they tried to annex a disputed territory. The Russians, were waiting for this and invaded on a day when the world was distracted by the olympics.

What is the root cause? Ownership of Georgia's pipeline, of course. If the Russians get Georgia, then the pipeline will be theirs and they will control oil flow in that region. If not, then American oil companies will retain possession.

Yay! Another war for oil.
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bravo1102 at 6:40AM, Aug. 14, 2008
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Ronson
CORRECTION: That quote is directly from the mouth of John McCain, Republican Senator and presumptive Republican candidate for President. John McCain, who voted to go to war with Iraq just a few short years ago, in THIS very century.

Yeah, he has all his marbles. *eyeroll*

That's what I get for listening to the news while writing. That makes it worse. really makes it worse. And of course he has all his marbles, they're the wrong marbles, but he has all of them.

You see invasions are always okay in the first person “our invasion” they're only wrong in the third person “their invasion” *rolls eyes* The USA was also going to overthrow a oppressive regime with possible WMDs. Russia is invading a democratically elected etc. etc. If Georgia was equipped by the USA ,how come all their equipment is ex-Soviet? (it was mostly left-overs, though we sent them money) Russia has enough oil without Georgia. This is more about strategic position and the Russians being Russian. You see all Eurasia from Poland to China belongs to them.

Welcome back to the 19th Century. Putin=Tsar Vladimir I of all the Russias.
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Ronson at 5:11PM, Aug. 14, 2008
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From what I've been able to find out, the Georgian soldiers are using our surplus uniforms and our guns, not the Russian stuff. That could be wrong, or overstated. We did fund the creation of Georgia's army though. That was the deal to get their help in Iraq.
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ozoneocean at 9:57PM, Aug. 14, 2008
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Ronson
What is the root cause? Ownership of Georgia's pipeline, of course. If the Russians get Georgia, then the pipeline will be theirs and they will control oil flow in that region. If not, then American oil companies will retain possession.

Yay! Another war for oil.
Not quite. Russia isn't on for taking over Georgia, they have no blame for invasion plans here, it's all down to Georgia and their scheming nationalist pro-U.S. president. All Russia has done it pushed them back out of the disputed territories and then destroyed Georgia's war making capacity. The pro western press has blown it up to be a bad Russian act when it's nothing of the sort. Georgia were the ones that thought they could act with impunity because of the Olympics and tacit U.S. and NATO backing. They thought wrong: Russia has always stood ready to defend those disputed areas and that's all they did. All the rest is propaganda of the dumbest sort.

If Russia is sending a message it's: Don't try anything, we're as powerful as we always were.

As for oil, there's that and more but not in Russia's sights. They know they can't take Georgia, but the reason NATO and the U.S. back Georgia and so supported them in their failed military action is because they want Georgia's oil: it gives European allies an alternative source to Russia, as well as any other former Soviet republics that want to join them. That oil and the pipeline routes are already lost to Russia and not their objective, you were looking at that the wrong way around. :)
But Russia won't sit back and let any military action happen against it, even disputed territories containing their population on their borders.
 
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cartoonprofessor at 2:41AM, Aug. 15, 2008
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Well said, Ozone. You got it exactly.
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bravo1102 at 12:11PM, Aug. 15, 2008
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Someone
All Russia has done it pushed them back out of the disputed territories and then destroyed Georgia's war making capacity.

Georgia didn't have any war-making capacity compared to Russia. It's all overseas. ;) It's a much more one-sided fight than Iraq versus the USA. Russia is right next door as opposed to half way around the world. As for disputed territory, well that's been disputed since Georgia was annexed by the Tsars and the ethnic Russians are being like they've always been. Governments change, but peoples do not.

Russia is the power, and by all rights everything on Russia's borders belongs to Russia and is free only because in Mother Russia's infinite grace and compassion she lets them remain so.

( Did I ever mention that I'm half Russian? :) )
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cartoonprofessor at 4:23AM, Aug. 16, 2008
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This makes for interesting reading on the issue
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:36AM
bravo1102 at 7:28AM, Aug. 16, 2008
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cartoonprofessor
This makes for interesting reading on the issue

It does but it is a pity that the writer's rational outlook is obscured by jargon and personal venom. There's also a lack of historical perspective and understanding of Realpolitik.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:33AM
Ronson at 9:34PM, Aug. 16, 2008
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I bow to Ozone's superior grasp of the issue, as I've only read a few stories and listened to a few articles.

The idea that it's the US and NATO defending Georgia because of oil and Russia maintaining control over disputed territories makes more sense.

Though I do think that Russia isn't completely innocent in this, but that the conflict wouldn't have occurred had the Georgians not escalated the situation.
last edited on July 14, 2011 3:10PM

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