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Violating a sovereign nation

Posted by hamiltongardener CAN 6a (My Page) on
Thu, Oct 27, 11 at 12:16

Pakistan has been the target of many attacks within their own borders from American drones, special forces units and missiles. Not to mention the number of times Pakistani airspace has been violated for spy missions with no attack.

Yemen has also been violated recently as well as on many occassions in the past.

Sudan, Somalia and a couple other countries which are not at war with America have also had their sovereignty violated...and that's not even counting how many countries America violated by kidnapping people within their borders during the extraordinary rendition flights in the past decade.

I ask "Why?"

Why is the American government behaving in a manner that they would NEVER tolerate from other nations?

And when I say "American government" I mean both Republican and Democrat. Neither one is off the hook on this one so don't try to make this partisan. It's not. By deflecting blame toward the "other" political party you are just trying to detract from your own party's guilt.

The behaviour and decisions made by American presidents and politicians would get other world leaders put on trial for war crimes. Their type of behaviour prompts regime change in other countries...ironically that regime change is usually spearheaded by America.

Let's think about this...if China sent a drone attack into America, dropping a bomb on the house of a some computer geek who hacked into a Chinese govt website, killing his family and the neighbours he had invited over for dinner, how would America handle that?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

I asked a similar question on the other thread HG. Are we looking to go to war with Pakistan? And yes, there are all of those other countries. What I don't understand is what is our justification , or authority, to do it? Is it just, might makes right?


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War

Ultimately, that's true. Might makes right. The strongest will be the ones to write the rules simply because there is nothing anyone else can do about it.

But why would a forward thinking country with a progressive mindset want to set that kind of standard is what I guess I'm asking. Maybe intimidation. Maybe fear of the potential of other countries to overtake them.

Maybe they just don't see the hypocrisy.

Or perhaps you're right. Maybe we are looking at the powers that be trying to goad Pakistan or Yemen into war. What happens as the Afghan, Iraq and Libya actions die down? No war means no money flowing through hands, so a new war needs to be started up?


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

"No war means no money flowing through hands, so a new war needs to be started up?"

Lockheed's $700 million net quarterly earnings are up sharply from its $56 million haul this time last year. Boeing's net income during that time was $1.09 billion, up from $837 million. General Dynamics? $652 million in net earnings this quarter, slightly up from its $650 million last year.

Meanwhile, Lockheed paid CEO Robert Stevens $19.1 million in 2010. Boeing's Jim McNerney made $19.7 million.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Vaseline doesn't come cheap David.

A thing that occurs to me is that there are so many weapons in existence and increasing daily that if this was ever out of control i.e not manufactured and owned mainly by the US there would be mayhem. At this stage of the game the US does have the might to make it right and also claim the right to judge retaliation as terrorism but for how long?


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

The US has issued a justification for their attacks with drones that rests on the ongoing conflict with Al Qaeda and self defense". It was offered by State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh in a speech to the American Society of International Law in March.

Laying out the legal justification for drone attacks, Koh said that the United States was "in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, as well as the Taliban and associated forces, in response to the horrific 9/11 attacks, and may use force consistent with its inherent right to self-defence under international law." Koh added that decisions on whether to target any particular individual would depend on considerations specific to each case, "including those related to the imminence of the threat, the sovereignty of the other states involved, and the willingness and ability of those states to suppress the threat the target poses." And he emphasised that the United States complied in all its drone strikes to principles of the laws of war, notably the principle of distinction (only attacking those who were engaged in hostilities against it) and proportionality (not launching attacks that would cause a level of civilian casualties that was excessive in relation to the importance of the military attack).

Koh also addressed the unease that some critics have expressed about the use of unmanned vehicles operated by handlers far removed from the location where the attack takes place. He argued that "the rules that govern targeting do not turn on the type of weapon system used, and there is no prohibition under the laws of war on the use of technologically advanced weapons systems in armed conflict such as pilotless aircraft or so-called smart bombs so long as they are employed in conformity with applicable laws of war."

Analysis of his speech notes that:

There is a strong argument that, when the state has sufficient control to target individuals outside battlefield conditions, human rights principles must also form part of the equation in determining when the deliberate taking of life is legitimate. Although the United States has historically resisted the idea that human rights apply outside a state's own territory or during armed conflict, these positions are now rejected by mainstream legal opinion around the world, though there is little consensus about the precise way that human rights obligations apply in such circumstances. Human rights principles would impose a much higher threshold for the use of lethal force than is generally thought to apply under the laws of armed conflict: for instance, the taking of life would have to be absolutely necessary in every case, rather than merely being allowed under the military law concepts of distinction and proportionality.

Here is a link that might be useful: Obama's legal basis for drone attacks


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It's true... war IS extremely profitable for some, and greed seems to have hit the world hard. This is the base cause that I would say keeps us in constant turmoil somewhere on the planet. Other causes might be a sense of righteous entitlement, a sense that we need to protect petroleum sources for ourselves, or perhaps we just need to throw our weight around, force feeding our version of society to peoples who don't hold the same views... I don't really know. But I would place plain old greed first as a reason... that one surely fits best.


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I think it's inevitable. The question is...what lucky country gets attacked next?

Iran is a perennial favourite but it seems destined to be forever a bridesmaid, never a bride.

China is a rising power and a possible threat to the economic welfare of the western world. But China isn't some wimpy kid to be kicked around. China's got a black belt in butt-kicking and ICBM capability. The west could never take them on their own soil but could never provoke them to attempt an attack. Just continue with the trash-talking and sabre-rattling when it comes to China.

Pakistan seems content to be kicked around by its overlord without retaliating. They'll take almost anything as long as the money keeps flowing. It's no fun beating up the kid who is already curled up in a ball on the floor.

Yemen is the quiet kid in the corner that nobody really pays attention to. He's not backing down from the bully but he's not as strong. Might be a nice easy target if you can provoke him enough to give you a reason to swing.

Syria...now here is an opportune target. This one can be exploited because of the current situation. It has to be done...brutal dictator, etc etc. But it would be a short conflict, not enough to justify massive amounts of defense spending for the next decade or so. And there aren't many natural resources to exploit...however, the area would be a prime place for a new military base. A nice jumping off point.

So who do you think will be the next target?


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Well there's terrorism. Taking out individual terrorists is better than invading whole countries, but both are violations of sovereignty. What do you propose be done in a case like Bin Laden in Pakistan?


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It's a stretch but Bush & Obama admins claim that IHL permit them to defend themselves in a military action that is not bound in space or time (ethereal)
As the combatants/unlawful combatants are not specific to any nation & as those nations may not be forthcomming in their efforts to bring to (justice?) the targets of thes drones. A further stretch would be article 51 of the UN charter that permits a nation to defend itself. Since We the people through the votes of our representatives authorized the Commander in Chief to Us military force & have not as yet with drawn those extraordinary powres we have ourselves (we Usians) to blame. You Candaians are off the hook. Change the law that authorized whomever is in office or put up with what our representatives entrusted the commander in chief with the authority to judiciosly use military force to take out the enemies of the great & free people of the US. It's very simple take back what the president any president will fight tooth & claw to maintain. AT least we haven't reached the barracks emperors stage yet.


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RE: sovereign nation

'Terrorist' was never defined satisfactorily so it's meaning, together with 'enemy' is subjective and this bothers me. If the power to annihilate an enemy, both it's meaning and it's execution is in the hands of one we are calling the Commander in Chief we need to hold that fella's feet to the fire. If on the other hand this is all done on a 'cloak and dagger' basis with zero transparency couldn't he just be clearing out a few 'undesirables' and if so extend this to someone you might consider fits that bill because as we have seen being American offers no immunity.


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The U.S. is using Shamsi airfield in Baluchistan for drone attacks in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) although both the U.S. and Pakistan deny what photographic evidence confirms. Hard to make a case of violating national sovereignty when the aggrieved country is hosting the drones and personnel of the alleged violator.

While the U.S. is busy developing all sorts of drones, it's only a matter of time before others have the same technology and arsenal. Another case of blowback in the making?

Special Ops' Latest Drone: A Russian Doll of Death

...it's wild: essentially one deadly drone shoved inside a bigger, more benign one. The petite, 13-foot Tigershark drone, already used for surveillance and reconnaissance, will be outfitted with an even smaller drone -- developed by Air Force researchers under the Precision Acquisition and Weaponized System program -- that doubles as a warhead. The baby drone would detach from its Tigershark mother and relay real-time video to ground support as it was directed toward a target and then detonated on impact.

It's an idea that U.S. Special Operations Command (SOCOM) has been interested in pursuing for years. In 2007, SOCOM's Col. Jim Geurts expressed an urgent need for smaller, more targeted weaponry, so that "the guy in the truck evaporates and the two trucks next to him don't get blown out and the windows in the house don't get blown out."

But now, it finally seems for real. A $12 million design and assembly effort is supposed to be done in the Spring of 2012. After that comes testing at Eglin and at the Army Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona. Then, if all goes well: Afghanistan.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Exactamondo nancy: imagine combining this modern technology with a primitive form of killing, the poisonous blow dart. So instead of blowing the whole village away we target the organiser of the Occupy Oakland demo and ever so quietly blow an undetectable but poisonous dart into her and she mysteriously dies. Another problem solved.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

the 25mm XM 1060 round creates a small explosion that disperses fine metal particles in an enclosed area, such as a room/car/truck The metal then instantly reacts with oxygen in the air to create a shock wave of lethally hot gas that kills anything alive.
Laws need to be change president needs to be stripped of this authorization for the use of military force. I can almost guarantee if that happened there would still be drones used. We need to spend hundreds of millions to protect the US from terrorists.
A couple of thosand die in the WITC horrible a couple of thousand die waiting for medical treatment without insurance horrible. As scrooge said if they are to die let them be quick about it & decrease the surpluss population.
If we are to use such weapons we can also decrease the surplus ppopulation incease our debt and sell US military technology.
Thats so cynical but I call em as I see me. I have no love of any one who wants me dead so if the US get them first bravo. I do have problems with the set up & the expenditures.

Here is a link that might be useful: Change


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Now we'll have to build a system to guard us against drones!! Wonder who'll get that contract?


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Mrskjun, thats going to be difficult. They are making these drone things smaller and smaller these days - even insect sized. I'm trying to remember the name of that movie where little flying smart bullets (robots?) were programmed for a particular DNA and when fired searched them out before exploding on contact.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

"Why is the American government behaving in a manner that they would NEVER tolerate from other nations?"

Self defense is not provocative.

We gave terrorists and the countries that harbor them fair warning. While they celebrated the killing of 3,000 people on 9/11, we warned them that they can run, but they can't hide. GW Bush said "You're either with us or with the terrorists." It's a clear, straightforward message, impossible to misunderstand. Much like the consequences.

FTA: "In 2007, SOCOMs Col. Jim Geurts expressed an urgent need for smaller, more targeted weaponry, so that "the guy in the truck evaporates and the two trucks next to him don't get blown out and the windows in the house don't get blown out.""

Good news for communities. Bad news for the terrorists hiding in them.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

  • Posted by ohiomom 3rdrockfromthesun (My Page) on
    Thu, Oct 27, 11 at 22:18

Simple Answer: Follow the money.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Self defense is not provocative.

You still haven't explained how killing those two teenagers in Yemen was self defense.


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Ohiomom has it right... follow the money and ye shall find the answers.


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I still think the bottom line is American greed for oil, despite the excuse that the rules of war changed after 9-11.

I was impressed by the interview with Ron Paul when he said he was against this sort of drone usage of invasion of sovereign nations when they have done nothing to us.


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Until there is an international test case that once and for all determines that the rules have war have been violated (what a snicker)then the status quo will be maintained.
Each case will have to be presented to news hounds/reporters as a case of an important terrorist taken out. Reports of dead women & children collateral damage will be take up later on by the relatives of those collateral when they visit the us with documents in order & revenge in their hearts is it seeking justice or revenge.
Raised with too many Iris Revolutionary musical albums to decide which is which. Dead British soldiers or black and tans = victory for poor mother Ireland & all that tearful cry in your beer stuff Like the Patriots Game.

Come all ye young rebels, and list while I sing,
For the love of one's country is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear with the speed of a flame,
And it makes us all part of the patriot game.

My name is O'Hanlon, and I've just turned sixteen.
My home is in Monaghan, and where I was weaned
I learned all my life cruel England's to blame,
So now I am part of the patriot game.

This Ireland of ours has too long been half free.
Six counties lie under John Bull's tyranny.
But still De Valera is greatly to blame
For shirking his part in the Patriot game.

They told me how Connolly was shot in his chair,
His wounds from the fighting all bloody and bare.
His fine body twisted, all battered and lame
They soon made me part of the patriot game.

It's nearly two years since I wandered away
With the local battalion of the bold IRA,
For I read of our heroes, and wanted the same
To play out my part in the patriot game.

[extra verse I found]
I don't mind a bit if I shoot down police
They are lackeys for war never guardians of peace
And yet at deserters I'm never let aim
The rebels who sold out the patriot game

And now as I lie here, my body all holes
I think of those traitors who bargained in souls
And I wish that my rifle had given the same
To those Quislings who sold out the patriot game.

Never was a party that I did not hear this either played or sung when I was growing up. Never knew a relative who did not kick up some cash for NORAID...I got a lot well off relatives. That money may have helped kill some British mothers son.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

I really don't think it's Americas greed for oil that is responsible for her aggression. I think it has much more to do with a sense of being the "leader of the free world" , ego and a seriously misplaced sense of self righteousness mixed with a need for power and control.

Afghanistan was not for the oil, Libya provides very little if any oil to the US. Pakistan and Iran are for sure not major sources of oil for America. Iraq was ego, of that I am dead sure, Bush Jr. had a debt to settle.

Almost all foreign oil imported to the US is from Canada, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Venezuela. Not from the countries that have felt the wrath of American "justice".

When confronted with this argument many will start saying they should withdraw foreign aid to the ungrateful unwashed masses they send billions to. Facts are most of the aid is sent to ensure that the recipients act in the best interests of the US, not for altruistic reasons.

I don't say that Americans aren't generous to those in dire need from natural disasters and internal strife, they are incredibly generous.

That is not the foreign aid I'm talking about. I'm talking about aid to countries like Egypt, Pakistan, Palestine and lets not forget Israel.

I truly do not believe it's about oil, it's about power and control.


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We are "behaving" by sending in unmanned drones in order to save thousands of lives and billions of dollars to keep us safe.
Assume, arguendo, that Bush was justified in toppling Saddam Hussein (which he wasn't) because he was cooperating with terrorists, had WMD etc..
Compare the cost in human lives and suffering in Iraq to what our cost was to get Bin Laden and Gadaffy, notorious terrorists, killers of Americans and mass murderers.

Bin Laden sent 4 drones to attack us on 9/11, Gadaffy brought down PanAm 103 and AlAwaki helped the Christmas bomber try to take down a plane.. so they can all rot in holy he11 as far as most Americans are concerned.
As far as innocents who have been unintentionally killed or injured, there are fewer casualties with smart weapons than with dumb weapons and dumb wars ala Bush's invasion of Iraq.

We have to be cautious not to abuse our war technology, but that has always been the case. Too bad we didn't have drones before we dropped A-bombs on Japan.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

We have Nikoleta and Heri who both believe "We have the right to kill anybody" philosophy. Collateral damage, sovereign rights be damned. They ain't 'Murrican anyway (well, not real Murricans)

Extreme right wing and extreme left wing aren't so different I guess.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

"You still haven't explained how killing those two teenagers in Yemen was self defense."

We had no control over who the terrorist was hiding behind, and no way of separating them. If we could have, we would have.


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Might makes right again

We had no control over who the terrorist was hiding behind

What terrorist? You mean the guy who had been fighting against the American invasion of Iraq?

By your logic, every American soldier is a terrorist who deserves to be assassinated without a trial.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

There is more than oil in the Middle East... there is heroin, which is quite profitable and serves a purpose. Weapons and military equipment sales is also quite profitable, and keeping a skirmish or two alive keeps the demand intact. I still think greed is a very large part of why the USA does the things she does. Though, she does have a very large ego and an inflated sense of self righteousness. She sees herself as the world's authority, and has a need to spread her brand of Christianity and Democracy wherever she goes.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Though, she does have a very large ego and an inflated sense of self righteousness. She sees herself as the world's authority,

here's a part I don't understand though. Most Americans I talk to do not believe in these things. They do not reflect the actions of the government, very few do anyway. Even on this thread there are only two people who are "Rah rah, screw sovereignty, yay for assassination drones".

It's not America. Not the citizens, anyway. Most of the citizens are able to see through the patriotic brainwashing yay capitalism go america stuff.

For me, it comes back to the question of how Americans would view this exact same situation if the tables were turned? Would America be OK with another country conducting airstrikes into America to kill people?

Who would be the evil people then?


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

"By your logic, every American soldier is a terrorist who deserves to be assassinated without a trial."

Get back to me when you can spot the errors in your own argument and rephrase it to reflect your corrections.

Personal observation: The courtesy and logic that make Hamilton Gardener a long time stand out on this forum are nowhere to be found in recent posts under that name. I hope everything is OK with her/him.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Please ignore that Hg. There is absolutely no point in getting into it wit Nik.

As I said in an earlier thread that I am sure she read the attack that killed the two innocent teenagers was aimed at people who had left the house some hours before so We had no control over who the terrorist was hiding behind, and no way of separating them. If we could have, we would have. is pretty hollow.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

We had no control over who the terrorist was hiding behind.

Sounds like the justification a terrorist might make. Just change one word. It could be a missive from a cave in Waziristan.

We had no control over who the terrorist imperialist was hiding behind.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

"By your logic, every American soldier is a terrorist who deserves to be assassinated without a trial."

Get back to me when you can spot the errors in your own argument and rephrase it to reflect your corrections.

Gotcha. By your logic, every American soldier who has taken up arms against another country could be considered a terrorist and assassinated without a trial.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Oh pooh pooh! Complete & utter pooh pooh!


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We have Nikoleta and Heri who both believe "We have the right to kill anybody"

I only speak for myself here, You surely do not speak for me, so please stop trying to attribute quotes or thoughts to me.
You have enough trouble trying to maintain consistency and coherency in your own arguments.

If you cannot understand the justifications for violating Pakistans sovereignty to conduct a strike against Bin Laden that's fine, but most Americans would have agreed with President Obama on that mission. As far as Ghadaffy, he forfeited any kind of protection from external force when he attacked his own people with his military and vowed to kill protestors with house to house raids. It was his own people and countries in the Arab League that invited NATO to help the freedom fighters.
With Alwaki, he plotted to take down a commercial jet with Americans on board. Very sorry for innocent victims in any of those missions.

No country has the right to kill anybody for any reason.
However, we will and we should use track enemies over any border into any place on Earth and use deadly force to prevent them from killing American citizens.

Too bad we did not have a drone to violate Germany's sovereignty and kill Hitler before he slaughtered millions.


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Yes drones would certinly have spared the fire bombing of Dresden & Hombur or maybe not Britain wanted payback for her flattened cities.
No matter how polished the nails are we still ahve them & with words or drones or hijacked planes we sick to make our marks. That include Mil Ink Me & Ham. Dress it up nice as you want take your positions & maintaine them at any cost. Why be coy on a battle fields is what Krishna told Arjuna. Ah well nice myth I got the pint & am never shy about sticking it in.
Could be Krishna could be the Bronx but when someone is comming at you with a knife it's good to have a gun.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Most logical thinkers do not condone war as a necessary or wanted action... but most average citizens who think logically do not make the rules or declare wars. We have very little say in what our government does at the behest of those it dances for. You can bet that those who profit from war are continually whispering in the ears of those that do control such actions.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Read the attached to get to this final sentence


There's something corrosive, corrupt even, about having a covert program that is covert only for purposes of accountability and public debate but can be discussed freely,if anonymously,with all major news organizations whenever credit is to be claimed.

Here is a link that might be useful: lawfare


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

HG, on a prior thread you wrote, "One Muslim Iraqi who was a pro-American student before the invasion now hates Americans and just wants to see dead American soldiers."

Now you write, "Would America be OK with another country conducting airstrikes into America to kill people?"

Are you serious, where were you on 9-11-01?

This flagrant anti USA sentiment is disgusting.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Stop it with the "flagrant anti USA" nonsense Pauline. Can't you see that these violations of sovereign nations by the US bring about a little more than a mere sentiment of anti USA ism?


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Are you serious, where were you on 9-11-01?

And you honestly can't see that this sort of behaviour is only increasing the chances that someone will try another 9/11?

Let me try to explain something to you and Nik and Heri:

9/11 did not happen because the terrorists hate your freedom. It happened because of this type of behaviour. America, and I will be fair, other western countries violating the sovereignty of other nations. Installing puppet governments, interfering in the business of other people and determining what is best for other cultures.

Every time you strike against the freedom of other countries, every time you shrug off the collateral damage, every time you show off the muscle and power of your country at the expense of someone else's, you create another 9/11 hijacker.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

HG, I find the fact that you've tried to rationalize the murder of 3,000 innocent people offensive.

These terrorists are of the same ilk that brutalize their women and enslaved their own people. They hate the US people, among others, and need no valid reason for their brutality.

Their leaders are twisted, power hungry egomaniacs. They do what they do because they can.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

I find the fact that you've tried to rationalize the murder of 3,000 innocent people offensive.

We've murdered more innocent people than that in airstrikes alone. You don't find the rationalization of their murders as "collateral damage" offensive?

To them, you are the terrorist. You are the invader, the brutal, twisted, power-hungry egomaniacs.

And your words simply provide proof of that.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Horse puckers. Pure brainwashing still does not make the wash water clean.


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RE: Blowback for Violating a sovereign nation

I forgot to mention that I agree with HG that "blowback" is getting darker and darker.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

"9/11 did not happen because the terrorists hate your freedom. It happened because of this type of behaviour."

Hamilton,

The "Blame America First" crowd has lots of believers who promote that stuff.

Enjoy.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Paulines as much as I am horrified and heartsick with what happened on 911. HG is right. Think about Iraq.

We have killed way more than 3,000 innocents in Iraq, way more than 3,000, more than 30,000. People who were innocent of any wrong doing towards the US.

What did the Iraqi people do to the States? What did the Iraqi government do? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Mothers lost their children and their husbands, children lost their mothers and fathers. Why?

They died and were maimed because our " leaders are twisted, power hungry egomaniacs. They do what they do because they can"

Think about it what is the difference?

Just like the attacks of 911 galvanized the American people to feel the need for revenge so do the attacks on innocent Iraqis who had zero to do with 911 galvanize their youth.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Think about it Nik.

Who has killed more innocent, defenseless people? Muslim terrorists on 9/11 or western forces in muslim countries?

We believe ourselves to be above these filthy terrorists but a dead civilian in Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq or Afghanistan is just as important as a dead civilian in America.

American terrorism is just as bad as Islamic terrorism.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Fred Reed just sent out his latest screed, the content of which is appropriate here.

He begins:

"I read frequently among the lesserly neuronal of the supposed honor of soldiers, of the military virtues of courage, loyalty, and uprightness--that in an age of moral decomposition only the military adhere to principles, and that our troops in places like Afghanistan nobly make sacrifices to preserve our freedoms and democracy. Is not all of this nonsense?

Honor? A soldier is just a nationally certified hit-man, perfectly amoral. When he joins the military he agrees to kill anyone he is told to kill, regardless of whether he has previously heard of the country in which he will kill them or whether the residents pose any threat to him or his. How is this honorable? It is cause for lifelong shame.


It is curious that so many soldiers think that they are Christians. Christianity is incompatible with military service, if any Christianity is meant that Christ would have regarded with other than repugnance."

[[[snip]]]

"Nowadays a high moral pretext for war will be contrived, embodying saccharine goodness and nauseous piety. We kill them to make them free, butcher their families because they must be democratic. The race has accumlated just enough fragile decency to want a noble pretext before burning children. Yet the pack's hostility to outsiders remains the primary drive behind wars, with reasons hung on later like Christmas ornaments.

Most profoundly, wars are not about anything. They are just wars. Aggression trumps substance. Note that in politics, the content of debate often matters less than the visceral pleasure of antipathy as, for example, when greens and capitalists exchange irrational insults like savages working themselves up for battle. The posturing is just foreplay."

[[[snip]]] and he concludes:

"While soldiers quickly come to hate their assigned enemies, as do fighting cocks, they also know that what they are doing will not play well back home. The entrail-dripping gut-shot, a woman keening over a mound of red mush that is no longer precisely her child; these could interfere with the flow of contracts. Consequently militaries try furiously to suppress photographs of those they torture and mutilate, to package routine atrocities as "isolated incidents," to keep pictures of garishly altered soldiers off the pages of newspapers. The extreme sensitivity suggests moral uneasiness, oo-rah or not. During Vietnam, the damning photos poured out. The controlled press of today poses no similar problem.

If this is honor, I'll pass. Oo.rah."

Here is a link that might be useful: ooh-rah: War and the Free Will of Pool Balls


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All things being equal Ham based on that rational drones are an acceptable & reasonable response. Think about it we are not above these filthy terrorists tit for tat. Sunni for Shia and all that care to way in on a reasoning of that. It's unreasonable ain't it idnit, dontcha see or dontcha.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

I think Fred Reed's piece should be mandatory reading for every adult in this country and especially for anyone planning on joining any branch of the Armed Forces.


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Evoking 9/11 victims to justify killing for revenge is in itself arrogant and offensive to many who were directly affected by those events and continue to put those who live in the targeted area in danger. It is time to stop using these people for your own agenda. It is so easy to spew hate knowing that you are safe and sound.

It is simple. War begets war and killing begets killing. I don't want to continue to put my family or my neighbors in jeopardy just to satisfy some people's need for revenge. Many of those who are calling for retaliation sit in their armchairs far away with their crocodile tears while their words continue to incite.

Stop using the victims of 9/11 as an excuse for your bias.

Andrea Leblanc

On Sept. 11, 2001 my husband, Robert LeBlanc, was killed on the second plane that was flown into the World Trade Center. Added to the numbing reality of shattering loss was the sure knowledge that our government would retaliate and countless other innocent lives would also be shattered - and I could do nothing to stop it.

Bob taught Cultural Geography at the University of New Hampshire for 35 years. He was an obsessive traveler and was always planning the next four or five trips to places he had never been, but was eager to experience.

Bob believed that it is important to go to the places where people live their daily lives, to speak with them, walk in the marketplaces, taste the food, smell the smells, hear the music, stand in the holy places, and try to understand the problems people struggle with and the joys they celebrate. He believed, and I believe, that trying to know and better understand people in this way makes our common humanity undeniable.

At his memorial service on Sept. 21, 2001, our daughter said "I know my Dad would not want another person to be harmed for what happened." She had listened and learned well in her young life. Bob's colleague and friend read a quote from the Quran which said in essence, "I have created you man and woman, tribes and nations, not that you may hate one other, but that you may know one another."

Bob spent his life trying to understand people. He delighted in the differences he found in the world. He did not judge or condemn. He would have been the person we, his family and friends, students and colleagues, sought out to help us understand why people would be compelled to commit such horrendous acts as the attacks on 9/11. He would have known. And so without him we found ourselves even more bewildered and bereft.

There are very few things in this world that I know to be absolutely true. One of them is that violence always begets violence. Another true thing is that we always have choices.

I have not always thought that I had a choice. Terrible things happen to us over which we have no control.

Feelings of anger and profound sadness which, like the sun, rise and over which we also have no control. But we still do have a choice about what we do with those feelings.

Rather than being angry after 9/11, I was in grave danger of being lost in hopelessness and despair because of the sadness and helplessness I felt. We can lash out against those people and forces we think are to blame for our pain or we can be consumed by our pain. Either way the suffering continues. Anger and despair can both destroy life. But we can choose not to let either destroy the life we have before us.

We have a choice, and I believe a responsibility- at every turn and fork in the road- to not only choose to remember what has happened in the past and to try to understand the causes, but also, and more importantly, a responsibility to choose to seek a nonviolent way to respond- to choose life.

On Sept. 11, I not only knew our government would retaliate, but I also knew I had been handed a responsibility to do something, to somehow act, to speak out against the fact that 9/11 was being used as an excuse to cause more pain and violence. It was a lonely and difficult time. I did not know at that time that other 9/11 family members were saying the same thing.

Then I began to hear that some 9/11 family members were speaking out against the violence that had been brought down upon the people of Afghanistan and that some had gone to meet Afghans whose family members had died and whose lives had been reduced to rubble by our bombs. I was so profoundly grateful for the actions, the compassion and wisdom, of these strangers.

Andrea LeBlanc lost her husband, Robert G. LeBlanc, Professor Emeritus of Geography, on UA#175 when it was flown into the second WTC tower. Together Bob and Andrea parented 5 children and have nine grandchildren. Andrea is a retired veterinarian, having practiced small animal medicine and surgery for 37 years.

The family created the Robert G. LeBlanc Memorial Scholarship at the University of New Hampshire which is awarded to undergraduate students for study abroad.


Phyllis and Orlando Rodriguez

In 2001, our 31-year-old son died in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Besides our being distraught and grief stricken, we were frightened by what we thought the govenment of George W. Bush would do in reaction, justifying it in the name of the victims. We wrote an open letter, "Not In Our Son's Name", calling on President Bush not to resort to a military retaliation against Afghanistan.


John Titus

I often ponder the mystery of life and this journey I'm on. Even though I am but a finite being trying to understand the Infinite, it is vitally important to me that I continue to search for truth and understanding to guide my love and compassion toward making this world better. I strive to understand how good and evil coexist, how all of this works together under a loving God and my own purpose in life; but, in many regards, it remains a mystery. I have learned to expect change, to embrace change; but, I was not prepared for the horrific events that turned my life upside down on September 11, 2001!

Life had suddenly become an oppressive journey and my soul ached. My daughter had just been violently murdered and the repercussions would be felt around the world.

On that fateful morning, my daughter Alicia was working as a flight attendant on United Flight 175. She had a burning desire for travel and to experience life's adventures, a joyfulness that emanated from her soul and a love that reached out to all of life. Alicia had developed the innate ability to look deep into the soul of another and bring forth the goodness that resides within. Amazingly, she always had heartfelt compassion for others and an understanding of the mystery that intricately connected her with all of life. Her friends called her an "old soul" because of her wisdom; and she had a smile that was said by many could, "light up a room". Alicia was our firstborn, the oldest of four, and always seemed to live life at a higher level than most people do. Thus, the striking contrast with the hate-filled and malevolent forces that took her life!

Grieving the loss of a child is perhaps the most debilitating of all losses. As a parent, we pour our all into our children. They are deeply connected with us and bring us abundant joy, love and enduring hope for a better future. My children have enriched my life immeasurably and I would sooner give up my own life if I could spare them. I have always felt this interconnection with my children at a soul level, beyond the external senses. It is as if they are extensions of my own soul; separate, yet a part of me. My wife, Bev's connection goes even deeper. As a mother, our children' lives began in her womb.

Our journey of grief has been long and arduous. The pain has been immense; the sadness, deep and resonant; the feelings of desolation and despair, overwhelming at times. My heart felt as if it had been completely shattered.

Where do we find strength to go on after such a horrendous loss? How do we reconcile the violent murder of our child at the hands of religious zealots, politically motivated by hatred and revenge? This was our dilemma and these were unchartered waters. We now had the unwanted distinction and notoriety of being a 9/11 family with all of the political ramifications and raging controversy about war and all of its injustices! For us, we could not fathom more violence and more innocent people dying because of our tragedy. Early on in our grieving we chose the path of peace and justice in response to the 9/11 attack; sadly, my country chose the downward spiral of war and more violence.

Our choice was not easy! The dilemma we faced was what to do with such powerful, potentially destructive feelings that come from the murder of your child? Do we let our anger and the burning need for revenge direct our course, ultimately destroying our own souls? Do we deny the feelings of grief and despair through escapism or denial? Grief is different for each of us. I knew I could not deny the intense emotions of grief that churned inside! If suppressed they become like an active volcano, eventually exploding with a destructive force! Within grief lies the potential to yield greater understanding and deeper compassion, a regenerative force that can be used for good; or a destructive force that can direct our course with hatred, anger and vengeance. Ultimately, we choose which we will give power. In a moment of clarity, I soon realized that I not only needed to allow myself to grieve but also strive to understand all that I could about the underlying conditions behind terrorism and this heinous crime against humanity.

Consequently, I began speaking out against the pending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The thought of more civilian casualties as a result of our warring action was unbearably painful. In my eyes, justice would not be served by destroying homes, villages and more innocent lives. Those responsible for the murder of Alicia and the nearly three thousand others on 9/11 needed to be brought to justice in an internationalcourt of law for all to see. Immediately after September 11th, the whole world expressed compassion and support for America. There was a willingness on their part to join with us to overcome terrorism and bring those behind this heinous crime against mankind to justice. But, because of our government's campaign of "shock and awe", driven by a need for power and vengeance, we alienated many who supported us. In our rush to war, we destroyed hundreds of thousands of innocent lives and devastated two countries in the process; one of which had no connection to 9/11! Our government had been given an opportunity to build stronger relationships with other countries, to join together with a prevailing sense of justice; and we fell short of our ideals. We could have responded in a way that demonstrated respect for human life, the sovereignty of other nations and justice based on higher principles of understanding; but, the leaders of our country were hell-bent on demonstrating to the world how mighty and powerful the United States of America was. After all, we have the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in the world.

Grief can be debilitating; but, succumbing to its powerful forces for vengeance would not bring my Alicia back, nor would it help to improve the underlying conditions behind the violence that took her life. To paraphrase Robert Frost, I chose "the road less traveled" and my hope is that it will "make all the difference". At Alicia�s Memorial Service, over five hundred people joined hands and sang, "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me". This has been my credo since 9/11, as the words of Mahatma Gandhi echo in my mind, "Be the change you wish to see in the world".

John Titus is the father of Alicia, who was a flight attendant onboard United Flight 175 on September 11, 2001. He recently retired from higher education where he served as an administrator, counselor and faculty in Michigan and Ohio. He and his wife, Bev divide their time between Ohio and Michigan, love to travel and spending time with family. Their work in creating a more peaceful and just world is a lifelong commitment in honor of Alicia and all who have suffered from human violence.

These are only 3 of hundreds of 9/11 families that are tired of people using their loved ones as an excuse to call for revenge and to justify their need to incite others to use violence against those they hate.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Unfortunately, Steve, few even on HT will read the whole liked piece, just maybe the first few lines and then fill in the rest according to their biases and preconceived opinions.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

We had a thread earlier about recent surveys in AFghanistan - only 10% had even heard of 9/11.

But they sure hear about NATO blowing up some Afgan family by mistake.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

"American terrorism is just as bad as Islamic terrorism."

You're free to promote whatever opinions you like. Thanks for sharing.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

There is no point in argument - those here will believe what they will believe.

But what an excellent thread, really gives food for thought - perhaps some thoughts are planted to grow after a resting period.

It's very hard to give up what one has been brought up to believe and hold dear as honorable and true - lets not forget this. This is true with peoples of all nations. It's very simple to believe that we are the most powerful, led by God and blessed by God and most honorable of all nations who are justified in most that it is we do.

Once we give that belief up, something has to take it's place and that something is not straightforward, simple and pure. It's complicated and messy and no sure thing.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

After the Iraq debacle costing tens of thousands of lives and a trillion dollars, our country will never again be cow-towed by another Bush running us into a ground invasion of a sovereign nation on false pretenses.
Chasing down a known mass murderer and terrorist like Bin Laden, especially without committing a great amount of ground forces or later occupying a foreign country is something we can never take off the table as an option.

As far as the OP, it is simply too general to simply agree or disagree with.
Which invasion of another country is being challenged?
Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Beka-beka beka stan-stan?
What kind of force, if any, would be appropriate against a known mass murderer and terrorist using the cover of an uncooperative sovereign nation to avoid justice?
For example, should Obama have called the Pakistani President for permission before sending in the Navy Seals?
Was Gadaffy entitled to rely on his nations sovereignty for protection from foreign invasion after he began acting like a rogue madman and his own people begged for protection?


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Heri, read Fred's full piece. Of course this country will accept more military actions on any pretenses our Masters deem appropriate and the full glare of captive media and marketing expertise is brought to bear on the the "right" people.

You just don't love America enough, dude. (sarcasm)


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

epi, thank you for posting that. I understand exactly how those people feel. One can either seek revenge, or one can seek healing. Of course in those first moments, revenge is one of the first emotions one feels. But with time, the healing becomes much more important. Revenge is an empty plate.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

We had a great opportunity post 9/11 to show the world what justice really means... and we blew it. We stooped to the very same level as those terrorists thought to have perpetrated the attacks. We could have joined our allies in bringing the criminals to justice, but we didn't. We could have held them up as an example of what our world would not tolerate, but we didn't. We could have shown the world why America is a great nation... but we didn't.

Instead, we chose the low road of revenge and retaliation... and not just against the faction(s) involved. We took innocent lives in places that had nothing to do with what happened on 9/11. We threw around our military weight, forcing innocents to pay the price for what a very few extremists had done.

There is no reasonable way to justify the actions of our leaders in this, which is why it's always been my contention that there was, and is, a lot more involved than the public will ever know.

Might is not always right... but that hasn't stopped our leaders, and those who support or apologize for their actions, from trying very hard to prove it.

What have we really gained by our aggressive invasions? And what have we lost?


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Of course in those first moments, revenge is one of the first emotions one feels.

You may speak for yourself - but please don't make that assumption about everyone.


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////RE: Violating a sovereign nation

I was speaking for myself nancy. I have been there, have you?


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Might is not always right... but that hasn't stopped our leaders, and those who support or apologize for their actions, from trying very hard to prove it.

I think we are looking at the reality vs idealism problem again.

The idealist in me says the world should not be this way but the reality is that the mightiest one will set the rules, the parameters, rewrite the history and it seems even rewrite the definitions (see: torture) to make itself right.

Yes, that IS reality... but it's also a reality that the mighty one who forces his will upon others will face backlash from those people who suffer from the "collateral damage" that we find acceptable. It's not acceptable to them because it's their children, their parents, their neighbours and their friends dying.

It's an unending cycle. Time to build a big, impassable wall between the west and the middle east. No contact with each other until several generations have passed and everyone forgets who killed who and all the revenge that needs to be taken.

We obviously can't play nice together. Time for a 200 year time-out.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

When will we figure out that we all belong to the same species, and we only have one planet to share? When it's too late?


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

I have been there, have you?

Yes, several times.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Talking of revenge: Unesco has granted membership to Palestine against the wishes of the dynamic duo, so what does the US do? It is withholding its annual payment to the organization, bully politics to add to the equation.

Here is a link that might be useful: UNESCO


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Yeah for Palestine! and so what does Canada do? We were as complicit as the States in the denial of membership...booooooooooo Harper!


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Of course this country will accept more military actions on any pretenses our Masters deem appropriate

Not any time soon, certainly not until George Bush Marching us to War based on false pretenses is long forgotten.
People will not forget, even oldsters with early onslaught of memory loss and dementia.
Looking at how this was done in the linked film (which you can stream for free) makes me wonder why Bush was not indicted.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leading to war


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Well now we know. The US has declared it will no longer fund UNESCO for recognizing Palestine as a member in UNESCO.

We'll see what Canada does. My bet is that PM Harper will puppy dog follow the US with a wagging tail and begs to be patted.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Heri,
There was a time I might have agreed with you, but not now.
In my lifetime we have fought in Korea which ended in a stalemate, not victory, and how many troops do we have stationed there now and what does it cost to keep them up?
I and others who post on this board fought in Vietnam which was a definite defeat for us. That cost us 50,000 in family and friends who didn't return plus untold sums of money, resources, and sickness from agent orange.
Then, we have our recent adventures into Iraq, Afghanistan,(Pakistan). We're not done there and the costs haven't been tallied yet. Does anyone think the results will be better than Korea? I don't! They will go right back to what they were doing before we showed up, but they will be poorer and their hatred for the US will be greater.
Obviously, we have some kind of national amnesia when it comes to our military adventures. Tell me if I'm wrong, but it seems we can't go 30 years without invading someone. They ought to rename the Dept. of Defense to the War Dept. because that is what it is.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Right on, Steve. The last wars we won easily were Granada and Panama.

The Department of War was the designation up until modern times.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Chase,

I bet you're right. Harper is happy to do whatever he is told.

I have a few thoughts on the Palestine/ UNESCO situation today.

Last week Hamas became heroes to the Palestinians by negotiating the release of a thousand prisoners.

To Israel and America, it would be better for Palestinians to support Mahmood Abbas than to support Hamas.

This move by UNESCO might swing Palestinian favour back to Abbas, the statehood bid has been very popular with them.

America and Israel may not want Palestinian statehood, but at the same time this may actually work in their interest.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

If you watch the free film I linked to for 10 minutes your jaw will drop as you revisit Bush and his full court pres to invade Iraq. Then tell me that a con job like that to invade a country with 100,000 plus troops will be easily accomplished by any administration any time soon.
Why? It's because people like you won't stand for it.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

So, first the US reaction and now it is Israel's turn. This is bound to assist the peace process no end, would it be safe to say that Israel is not playing fair?

Here is a link that might be useful: more settlements


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

I just read Labrea and Inkognito's almost simultaneous posts about US, UK and Israel all warming up their engines to stop Iran from developing nukes.
Are we feeling a vacuum now that Iraq is winding down? How many other countries have nukes? Why do we feel we have a mandate to be the worlds top cop?
I'm sick of our hypocrisy!


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

A different approach by Israel would be to do another Gelatinous swap, i.e., their numerous nukes for whatever Iran has deveoped thus far, plus verification that neither country will pursue nukes or any WMD, ever.

Attacking Iran could really trigger events that would bring us into a world war and into an economic Depression that would ruin our country for decades. We need the oil so my support for Israel only goes to the water's edge on this one. Settle up and keep the oil flowin'.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

nancy, I'm so sorry that you lost several children at the hands of others. You are far stronger than me, that your first thought wasn't punishment.


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

hamiltongardener: there are many out here in the Rest of the World who would dearly love to interfere in the political, cultural, and financial systems of the USA - simply for self-protection of our equally valid customs.

And there are many IN the USA who would love to as well, judging from comments read.

Trouble is - the nation's a republic still chasing the vague notion of democracy, in its spare time and without much conviction. But it (the evangelising of democracy in reluctant places) makes a great excuse to try out the latest toy from the demented minds of the war techs...


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RE: Violating a sovereign nation

Vetivert8, well said!


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