Democrats & Liberals Archives

A Middle East Conference

The Middle East is on fire. Iraq is in the middle of a sectarian civil war, with America caught in the middle. Israel is fighting a two front war: with Hamas and Hezbollah. Lebanon is being torn apart. Iran and Syria are arming Hezbollah. It is also believed that Iran is building nuclear weapons. This fire is set to spread. How do we extinguish the fire?

As far as Iraq goes, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), on Face the Nation, said:

"Are we going to put our troops in the middle of a civil war? This will be a slaughter of immense proportions."

No, we don't need more troops. We must look for a way to get out of Iraq. Yet, we must do something to tamp down the flames. Hagel's suggestion:

"I would--I would get the first President Bush, President Clinton involved and try to impanel a--a regional security conference, a regional diplomatic conference. The UN can be part of that."

This sounds like a good idea. Why not apply it to what's happening in Israel and Lebanon as well? Sure, it will take time to calm things down, but eventually some sort of cease fire will be in place. And we all know that the cease fire will not last. To avoid a replay, all Middle East belligerents - at least U.S., Iran, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestinian Authority, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Jordan - must participate.

All the pundits say we can't put out the fire with military means. Why not try diplomacy? Why not try talking? I know, U.S. does not have relations with some of the belligerents. However, this is no time to stand on ceremony. To solve a problem that has been festering for more than half a century, all those involved in any way must get together and talk.

We must have a conference. Not for a weekend. Not for a week. Not for a month. We must have a Middle East conference that lasts as long as it takes to resolve the major problems roiling the Middle East. All issues should be on the table: arms, economics, religion, development. The goal should be the building of a peaceful and prosperous Middle East that all participants may enjoy.

Hagel recommends the first President Bush and President Clinton should lead the way. I'm for it. Let's do it. Let's start a talkfest.

Posted by Paul Siegel at August 7, 2006 5:11 PM
Comments
Comment #173861

Sounds good to me! Call everybody up and have them meet in Damascus to talk things over. They can sit back with a beer or whatever and solve the worlds problems.
This many players with so many opposing views all in the same room. I can’t say I have a better idea, but the UN, Congress, nor any other political body can solve even the smallest problems with that approach. This global conflict has been festering for decades not years. It would take a mastermind to get all the players in the same room. Your right about leaving the new Bush out of it though.

Posted by: fuzzwart at August 7, 2006 5:40 PM
Comment #173874

Paul, whatever you’re smoking keep lighting up as it would appear that it provides you with grand illusions.
Let’s see, get all the belligerents into one room and begin reasoning with them! Well, gosh, isn’t that just swell. That has worked so well with N. Korea (just one nasty customer) it’s bound to work with dozens. Even dumb ole “George” knows how well that wouldn’t work.
Come to think of it, when we get all these terrorist organizations and their sponsors in the same room perhaps someone could accidently leave a gas jet open. One last “HEIL” AND THEY’LL BE GONE.
When all the civilized nations of the world begin to really feel threatened by these A…holes, and their respective news reporting agencies (especially the BBC and CNN)finally figure out that their lives and families may just be in danger a unified course of action will solve the problem for good.
Extreme…Yes, necessary…Yes.

Posted by: Jim at August 7, 2006 6:46 PM
Comment #173875
We must have a conference. Not for a weekend. Not for a week. Not for a month. We must have a Middle East conference that lasts as long as it takes to resolve the major problems roiling the Middle East. All issues should be on the table: arms, economics, religion, development. The goal should be the building of a peaceful and prosperous Middle East that all participants may enjoy.

I’m not against a conference (let’s try everything), but I don’t expect anything from it. I think Hezbollah and Hamas have made it perfectly clear that nothing less than the destruction of Israel and the U.S. will satisfy them.

As far as Iraq goes, I think at this point we need to decide whether to go all in or out. I see nothing short of setting up an American base every couple of blocks working.

Posted by: Max at August 7, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #173876

Here is an excellent account of US behavior during recent negotiations:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HH08Ak01.html

Posted by: phx8 at August 7, 2006 6:54 PM
Comment #173877

Max,
We should insist all participants in negotiations advocate seperation of church and state. Installing secular states for the Middle East would solve a host of problems. Everyone would understand where we stand, why we take that stand, and the benefits which be equally shared by all. It would be fair across the board, and it would be a foreign policy worthy of the US, and worth pursuing.

We are blinded by the word “terrorism,” and blinded by the bias of US media towards the Israeli point of view.

For example, most Americans believe Hezbollah provoked this conflict by “kidnapping” two Israeli soldiers.

Did you know those soldiers were in Lebanon when they were “kidnapped”? Now US media usually just says they were “captured.” But the hook has been set, and most people see the Israeli attack as somehow justified.

Personally, I want nothing to do with Israel, and nothing to do with Hezbollah. I would be happy to see US values such as separation of church and state advocated in the Middle East.

Before we can negotiate, we need to know what we stand for. We need to dump the NeoCon Israel First attitude, and act in our own interests.

Posted by: phx8 at August 7, 2006 7:03 PM
Comment #173878

How do we do this, though, phx8? Exactly HOW would we ‘install secular states’ in the middle east?

Please list the details out here because if you can come up with a way to do it I’ll jump on board as I do agree that would solve everything.

Of course, Jesus himself coming down and making everyone get along would solve it too but I bet that would have about as much likelyhood in happening…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 7, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #173882

Rhinehold,
First, cut off arms shipments.
Second, cut off foreign aid.
Third, work through organizations which share out perspective- such as the UN- and work with countries which share it- notably, Europe, but also Asian countries.
Fourth, reward countries which establish Separation of church and state, and share US concern for Human Rights.

This can be an extremely powerful inducement. Today, the US exports over $18 billion in arms to other nations. Cut it off. Now. The profits made by a few corporations exporting weapons costs us more in lives and treasure.

This is not an approach which can be spread through military conquest, nor can it succeed by fueling arms races between other nations.

I know it sounds naive, Rhinehold, but sometimes naive is practical. The combined economic power of Europe, the US, Japan, Korea working in unison would be a tremendous inducement for countries like Lebanon. Ironically, Lebanon would be a perfect candidate for such a policy.

Does anyone think the current policy is “practical”? We are on our way to a war with Syria & Iran. It does not get much worse than this… A miscalcuation or accident could cause a catastrophe.

Posted by: phx8 at August 7, 2006 7:29 PM
Comment #173883

“Here is an excellent account of US behavior during recent negotiations:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HH08Ak01.html
Posted by: phx8 at August 7, 2006 06:54 PM”

When I went to the website you provided I was reluctant to read it as it is from the “Asia Times” and at first thought it would be like reading the NY Times crappy, one-sided stories. I waded into the article and actually enjoyed it. Hurrah for Amb. Bolten. Hisses and boo’s to the French pansy-asses.
The most revealing sentence in the article attempted to compare the so-called “Jewish Voting Block” in the U.S. with the “Moslem Voting Block” in Europe. What balderdash! I have not read about, or seen Americans of Jewish ancestory marching the streets, planning bombings, demanding special rights, etc. which are becomming much more common in European countries. To suggest that the U.S. is only supporting Israel to win the Jewish vote is nonsense. I do believe however that the Moslem population in Europe is having a significant affect on their policies. I predict the day will come when U.S. forces will be fighting again in the capitals of Europe to rescue them from their own folly. I spent a week in London in May and witnessed two Moslem demonstrations near Trafalger Square in mid-day with closing of main streets. Now…that’s Moslem power and English shame. I sure as hell didn’t see any Jewish demonstrations.
Stupidity and cowardace may be all the rage in Europe, and we sure as hell don’t need to emulate them here.

Posted by: Jim at August 7, 2006 7:33 PM
Comment #173884

The position that we’re taking in the UN is just nuts, The US wants to put international forces on the ground in the middle of the conflict, before there’s a ceasefire.
from the article linked by phx8
That about sums up this administrations middle east efforts.

Posted by: ohrealy at August 7, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #173885

Excellent suggestions phx8. How about President Carter instead of Clinton and Bush I. He brokered the talks between Israel and Egypt and they have worked out fairly well.

Posted by: mark at August 7, 2006 7:41 PM
Comment #173886

Jim

The Israelies do not need to demonstrate, they lobby.

Posted by: mark at August 7, 2006 7:54 PM
Comment #173887

Jim,
AIPAC is one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the country.

The article from the Asian Times does present an interesting point of view. People may agree or disagree- I thought it was a seemingly plausible account of a negotiation.

Mark,
Carter would be a good candidate, based on his success with Camp David. It is ironic that perhaps the most successful & lasting Middle East initiative came through the efforts of Jimmy Carter.

But like I said before, the US needs to know its own mind before it tries to convince others. We cannot advocate invasions and military solutions at the same time we seek to spread peace.

Posted by: phx8 at August 7, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #173888

I am against punishing US citizens/society/gov’t by disallowing our corporations to sell arms if other sides (Russians, French, Chinese, etc.) take away what Americans / American companies / American tax collectors (gov’t) would have otherwise benefited from.

I feel this has happened too much re software, security & encryption, aircraft, computers, … THIS IS A **STUPID** POLICY THAT HURTS AMERICA FAR MORE THAN OUR ‘FOES’. Where America/Americans were set up for long-term competitive advantage, we ~permanently destroy this advantage by helping other nations’ competing firms have a monopoly over us/US.

Also, while I also feel US policy is greatly slanted towards Israel and that they should not be treated any better than any other ally, I disagree with and arms embargo which hurts only 1 side (especially when this is ‘our’ side):

- Hurts Israel — though they don’t act like a *great* friend to us, they *are* friends (and Hamas, Hizbollah, Syria, Iran, Iraq Insurgents, … which get no arms from us clearly are not our friends).

Posted by: Brian at August 7, 2006 8:00 PM
Comment #173891

Brian,
Israel is one of the top ten arms exporters in the world.

Posted by: phx8 at August 7, 2006 8:04 PM
Comment #173892
How about President Carter instead of Clinton and Bush I. He brokered the talks between Israel and Egypt and they have worked out fairly well.

Though I thought he was a ‘Nice Guy’ when President, Carter seems to have become a bitter, self-promoting, angry old man.

Clinton doesn’t like him, and I don’t for his occasional comments … though especially for sitting next to Michael Moore at the DNC shortly after Moore stated how he didn’t want Europeans involved in Iraq since he wanted to see only Dead Americans coming back since this country (America) needs to be taught a lesson.

I think anyone who associates with those who encourage killing Americans or hurting America (and who don’t retract their words) should become pariahs and be shunned by decent Americans.

Posted by: Brian at August 7, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #173893

Paul, absolutely. This is an excellent idea, and really anything would be better than Bushco’s ham-fisted, illogical, non-diplomatic approach to foreign policy.

phx8 terrific posts, as usual.

Posted by: Adrienne at August 7, 2006 8:17 PM
Comment #173894

Brian

Where is your proof the Michael Moore ever made such a comment? What does this comment that never happened have to do with President Carter? How do you know that Clinton doesn’t like Carter? As you can see I’m challenging every comment you made in your last post.

Posted by: mark at August 7, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #173895
Brian, Israel is one of the top ten arms exporters in the world.

I am not saying this is a ‘good thing’, but I am not currently seeing how Israel selling arms to these not involved in the conflict is the problem right now.

Posted by: Brian at August 7, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #173898

Seems what we are mainly after is Stability there, yes?

While I don’t have all the answers, I might say we set up the situation so no party has an incentive to add Instability:
- to be Offensive
- to Escalate
- to involve Civilians / civilian infrastructure more than necessary/reasonable.

Seems to me both Hizbollah and Israel are both very guilty of these things recently.

*Relatively* speaking, I don’t mind either side being Defensive, or Responding/Retaliating in non-civilian ways that gives a disincentive to Offensive acts by the other. Making this into the North/South Korea DMZ would not be relatively so bad, yes?

Yes, Dialogue is good. … As would be EFFECTIVE (guess that means non-UN … lol) international peacekeepers separating the fighters.

So, what ‘Leverage’ does the world have over Israel and Hizbollah? Not a lot, but maybe a long-term key/strategy would be for ALL sides (foe and friend alike) to castigate either party (official speeches, protests, UN Sanctions, …anything else we can do) when they are Offensive, or Escalate, or involve Civilians / civilian infrastructure.

The World gives the high moral ground and ‘Winner’ status to the one who learns to Play Nice (play by the Rules).

Killing 100 civilians to kill 1 Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, … might be ‘acceptable’ to the world. Killing 10 civilians to kill 1000 enemy soldiers might be ‘acceptable’ to the world.

Neither randomly firing rockets into another country to kill mostly civilians, nor blowing up residential apartment complexes to kill a few foreign soldiers seems morally/ethically acceptable to me.


Maybe Stage 2 would be to stop killing each other’s soldiers so much…

Posted by: Brian at August 7, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #173900
Brian, Where is your proof the Michael Moore ever made such a comment?

I saw him on TV twice, saying this clearly. However, I don’t think this received even 1/100th the coverage of Mel Gibson’s slander.

You don’t have to believe me, but I will bet you my bottom dollar at any odds you want this is (as best as I can recall) what Moore said. I did try to Google it once, but couldn’t find the video.

How do you know that Clinton doesn’t like Carter? As you can see I’m challenging every comment you made in your last post.

He was supposedly really PO’ed w/ Carter over Haiti, when he repeatedly in private (supposedly) and then publicly asked Carter not to get involved and to let him do it. But Carter loved the limelight, and over days/weeks wouldn’t follow what Clinton and his team repeated asked.

Posted by: Brian at August 7, 2006 9:08 PM
Comment #173902

——-Brian——When you have reached a point in
your life, an become a wise old man, then you might
discover all the millions of people President Carter
has helped since leaving office.

Posted by: DAVID at August 7, 2006 9:32 PM
Comment #173908

Brian

Your opinions of Moore and Carter sound like they are based on a pile of insufficient crap.

Posted by: mark at August 7, 2006 9:44 PM
Comment #173910

—-Paul Siegel—Along with this marathon debate. I
would also begin a world blockade, (Food & Goods)
Within three mo. I would say most all leaders
would be getting a push in the right direction with
each passing month, from their followers! In fact,
just block every thing coming an going,.

Posted by: DAVID at August 7, 2006 10:01 PM
Comment #173912

David

Israel is already doing that to the Lebanese. They will not even let the red cross through with emergency medical supplies. Israel would be in a very good position to withstand such a blockade, while the less developed countries who are already hurting for supplies(the Lebanese and Palistinians) would see much harm done to their people, especially the elderly, children, and those in ill health and in need of medicine.

Posted by: mark at August 7, 2006 10:13 PM
Comment #173913

——mark—- I don’t if you have noticed, but the
Lebanese are now talking about a cease fire, resolution, as we speak.

Posted by: DAVID at August 7, 2006 10:20 PM
Comment #173915

David
The last I heard they had rejected the UN resolution as long as Israel was on Lebanese soil.

Posted by: mark at August 7, 2006 10:24 PM
Comment #173916

——sorry (.*.) typoezzh above—

Posted by: DAVID at August 7, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #173917

—-mark— maybe tomorrow they might get a little hungrier.

Posted by: DAVID at August 7, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #173919

David,

The people making the decisions are not going to be hungry for a long, long time. If they need medicine or medical attention, the’re probably going to get it.

Israel is giving the cease fire resoultion brokered by France/U.S. a luke warm reception also according to the Associated Press.

The people who are suffering the most from the warfare and lack of neccesities(on both sides) have no say in the process.

Posted by: mark at August 7, 2006 10:39 PM
Comment #173920

——mark— Do you think in that case, the Israelis
will stop their aggression?

Posted by: DAVID at August 7, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #173921

Nope

Posted by: mark at August 7, 2006 10:53 PM
Comment #173922

I like the idea, as well. Bush Sr. and Clinton together, as elder statesmen, would garner more respect than anyone in the current administration. And for the folks at home, it is a face-saving bi-partisan approach. Would it succeed? I don’t know, but are there any reasonable alternatives?

Posted by: Trent at August 7, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #173988

Everyone qwants peace in the middle east. Problem is that nobody seems to know what “peace” is.

I’ve asked unsucessfully in other threads if someone can define “peace” for me.

Seems like we should agree on what we want before we go looking for it.

Posted by: tomd at August 8, 2006 5:28 AM
Comment #173995

tomd
As I wrote before, peace means loving your neighbor(not bombing them, not stopping them from getting food and medical supplies, not kidnapping them, not torturing them, get the picture?). It’s really not hard to define peace.
Getting there is another story.

Posted by: mark at August 8, 2006 7:31 AM
Comment #174025

Why do so many people blame Israel as the source of the problems in the MidEast? When allowed to peacably exist with a neighbor who doesn’t want their annihilation, things are pretty smooth despite the basic differences (See Egypt and Jordan as examples). Fundamentally, Israel is a reasonably succesful free market democracy with popular representation and civil rights issues milder than existed during our 60’s. Some of their policies and actions don’t add to the solution but abandoning them to a genocidal adversary who fires 200 missles a day into civilian populations , would be worse-than-Bush.
The problem is the other despotic regimes who require a distraction of their masses from the problems of living in a 14th century dictatorship. They use the fanaticism inherent in deep religious beliefs to cause disruption and enflame their populaces in attempts to increase and entrench their power.
The solution beats the hell out of me. My first step is to get rid of Bush and get some really smart people who don’t believe that the way to win the hearts and minds os to kill the hearts and minds who don’t agree with you. Maybe get Jimmy, Willie, and Georgie I to go on tour. Maybe we should stop pretending we’re in Iraq to “promote Democracy” and just take over the oil fields and stop financing the Wahidists. Maybe we should should just take over Saudi for the same reasons and “ethnically cleanse” the Saudi Peninsula (less people in 5 times the area of Iraq, should be easy, eh George?)

Posted by: Dave1 at August 8, 2006 11:22 AM
Comment #174048
This fire is set to spread. How do we extinguish the fire?

Paul:

One word, unilateralism. The UN has proven they are content with doing nothing, and there are too many questionable interests in the UN anyway (China, Russia, corruption, etc.) The swiftest course of action would be to deal with each rogue nation individually, starting with Iran, the nucleus. Take Iran either monetarily or militarily out of the picture, Hezbollah would soon follow, and Syria would also be hampered.

Iran is the biggest threat to our nation’s security right now. The UN is not going to resolve this conflict b/c China and Russia, countries on the UN Security Council, have political and economical interests with Iran. Bush can rely on the UN for sanctions and economic strangulation (hardly), but he needs to pursuse without their oversight, and he must begin formulating pre-emptive attack plans if Iran doesn’t cooperate (which it appears they won’t).

Iran is too dangerous a country and has its insidious hand in too many cookie jars to not be dealt with. Eradicate Iran, eradicate half the problem…

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at August 8, 2006 1:45 PM
Comment #174054

What is your definition of “eradicate”?

Posted by: Dave1 at August 8, 2006 2:18 PM
Comment #174070

“tomd
As I wrote before, peace means loving your neighbor(not bombing them, not stopping them from getting food and medical supplies, not kidnapping them, not torturing them, get the picture?). It’s really not hard to define peace.
Getting there is another story.

Posted by: mark at August 8, 2006 07:31 AM”

Mark,
As I told you before that is not peace. If you love me and I shoot at you, then you are not living in peace.

If we can’t agree to what peace is, how can we find it?

Posted by: Tom D. at August 8, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #174073

“Iran is too dangerous a country and has its insidious hand in too many cookie jars to not be dealt with. Eradicate Iran, eradicate half the problem…”

This is the silliest notion I think I have ever heard!

The right must be living in a fool’s paradise if this is even thought of seriously.

I guess we can get the money to fund this foolish odyssey with two or three more tax cuts, right?

Posted by: Rocky at August 8, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #174086

Tom D.

When we all loves our neighbors(All of them) we will have peace.

Or would you prefer to try hate?

What is your definition of peace?

Posted by: mark at August 8, 2006 6:37 PM
Comment #174088

Alex, Alex, Alex,

You and who’s army? How do you propose to eradicate Iran? I guess we do have a few(hundred thousand) unused nuclear bombs laying around. So, we eradicate Iran, what about Syria? Nuke them too? Then who? Lebanon? Saudi Arabia? Eygpt? Jordon? How do we nuke all these countries and leave Israel unscathed. You’re dreaming Alex.

Posted by: mark at August 8, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #174096

Alex-

We’ve yet to begin paying for the wars we’ve already started. They’ve cost us every ounce of credibility we had with most of our European allies too. I’m guessing that an offensive against Iran at the moment would probably be the official beginning of the end of diplomatic relationships with Russia and China. The US taxpayer is not responsible for funding the “US World Police Force” and even if you could convince me that there are not more pressing matters to attend to domestically, there is no way the US military/Police force can win anything other than strong popular backlashes in any country where US bombs explode or might explode. Case in point: EVERY arab nation - especially the “democratic” ones.

I love the solution to getting out of the hole: keep digging. Just do me a favor, when you get to China, tell them I want my money back for all the crappy Jackie Chan movies I paid to see. Hopefully while you’re gone the rest of us can figure out a way to unify our voice in such a way as to not piss off 90% of the world…and maybe even begin to solve more problems than we create.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 8, 2006 7:19 PM
Comment #174097

TomD-

“Peace” is the absence of open hostility. Period.

Everything else can be called by another name.

Posted by: Kevin23 at August 8, 2006 7:21 PM
Comment #174101

“Tom D.

When we all loves our neighbors(All of them) we will have peace.

Or would you prefer to try hate?

What is your definition of peace?

Posted by: mark at August 8, 2006 06:37 PM”


If your defination of peace is for everyone to love each other then I’m afraid we will never have peace on this world. We can have peace without loving each other.

My defination of peace is when when we are both confident that we will not attack each other. Peace is a contract negotiated between the affected parties.

The point of my post is that we all have a different idea of what peace is. A cease fire is not peace. It is merely a postponment of war.


Posted by: Tom D. at August 8, 2006 7:31 PM
Comment #174104

Tom D
I am in complete agreement with your last three sentences.

However, I don’t see a lasting Peace until we learn to Love one another. There must be the trust and respect of each other that can only come through Love.

Posted by: mark at August 8, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #174106
Brian Your opinions of Moore and Carter sound like they are based on a pile of insufficient crap.

Mark, I like you asking me/others to justify claims. Good!

However, my opinion of Moore is based what I saw & heard on multiple occasions, so I don’t feel it is “insufficient crap”. I do not think CGI is at a point where video+audio can be well-faked, as CBS News, Reuters, NYTimes, others have with documents, photos, etc.

My opinion of Carter is also based on what I believe is Conventional Wisdom to those who follow this. He has done much for H4H, and I would like to see him or anyone create lasting peace in the MidEast (even a lying racist traitor like Michael Moore).

My point was George I and Clinton would be better suited. If Clinton wouldn’t deal w/ Carter, I am not sure George II will.

I am sorry you do not take my word for what I saw re Moore, but this is nothing to accuse you of. The best I could find was a discussion of Howard Kaloogian and Joe Scarborough both saying Moore said this.

Even if you don’t believe something because you haven’t seen it for yourself, I think you are wrong & unjustified saying others who have witnessed something have opinions based on “insufficient crap”.

Posted by: Brian at August 8, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #174125

Brian

Not only have I not heard Michael Moore make such a statement I don’t believe anyone has. What you are refering to is his criticism of GWB for not allowing photos or film of soldiers killed in Iraq when they are brought home. If you would have seen Fahrenheit 911 you would know this. Instead you quote two far right critics of MM who have taken his words completely out of context, imbelished them , twisted them, so that there is no truth remaining whatsoever.Hence we are left with a pile of insufficient crap. The only thing Micharl Moore wanted America to see was the truth. That people(including young American men and women) were and are getting killed in Iraq even if GWB doesn’t want us to see it.

Posted by: mark at August 8, 2006 9:54 PM
Comment #174143

mark,

No. You are not correct.

I saw Michael Moore twice, played on national/cable TV, stating, ~”I want to see more Americans come home in body bags to teach this country a lesson.”

He was saying this that he Did Not Want Europeans sending troops to Iraq, because he wanted to see Americans die instead of Europeans, and he wanted America to suffer (be Taught a Lesson).

You say it was Out of Context, but Moore talked for awhile. I don’t think this was out of context at all. … and I don’t know how you can possibly claim it was when you never saw it, you know??

While CBS News, Reuters, NY Times, Michael Moore and others have been caught altering documents or still-images to make conservatives look worse, I am unaware of major media doing so to hurt Liberal causes, and I am unaware that the technology to change video and matching audio is available to so well put false words in another’s mouth.

…plus, you might admit, this IS the sort of thing that Michael Moore says and seems to feel based on all else he does/says, yes?

The only thing Micharl Moore wanted America to see was the truth.

You don’t really believe that, do you?? Michael Moore seems to be the most Intellectually Dishonest person I know in the major media. I don’t know who is 2nd. I think his movie was mostly about distorting others’ opinions unfairly.

Would you be willing to watch, with an open mind, Fahrenhype 911 (and maybe Celsius 41.11)?

Posted by: Brian at August 8, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #174288

Brian-
What Moore actually said was:

There is a lot of talk amongst Bush’s opponents that we should turn this war over to the United Nations. Why should the other countries of this world, countries who tried to talk us out of this folly, now have to clean up our mess? I oppose the U.N. or anyone else risking the lives of their citizens to extract us from our debacle. I’m sorry, but the majority of Americans supported this war once it began and, sadly, that majority must now sacrifice their children until enough blood has been let that maybe — just maybe — God and the Iraqi people will forgive us in the end.

The point he makes is responsibility, and who pays the price of the war. He’s a rather partisan guy, to be sure, and he’s always been against the Iraq War. His sympathy, though is with the soldiers. who he sees as being victims of Bush’s policies. To him, and other liberals left of mainstream, this is simply what happens when you stumble unprepared into a major war for the wrong reasons.

On the subject of photo alterations, I guess it all depends on what you call an alteration. The kind of things you can do in Photoshop and similar programs ranges from messing with the color balance and exposure curves (which might be necessary to get something decent out of an under or over-exposed photograph, to the kind of rotoscoping and pattern copying that we see in the photos in the Reuters controversy (I don’t know why they didn’t catch it quicker; there’s an obvious repetition done by the pattern stamp tool. I could do much better in my sleep.)Ultimately, if you’re talking about color correction and exposure alterations, that stuff is done all the time.

I can recall, though, a number of times where the media ran photos from conservative groups where masses of soldiers were filled in behind the president, where signs are painted out, and other things are done. Photoshop is one of the main reasons now that photo evidence is practically inadmissable in court, without documentation of its origins. It’s out there for anybody who wants to use it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 9, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #174405
So, we eradicate Iran, what about Syria? Nuke them too? Then who? Lebanon? Saudi Arabia? Eygpt? Jordon?

Mark:

Don’t you see, Iran is the foundation holding the Middle East terrorist network together. We all know Iran trains and funds Hezbollah in Lebanon, and they have strong connections with Syria and most of the other aforementioned regimes. If Iran falls, Hezbollah will follow, as will Hamas, and other nations, most notably Syria, will be severely hampered.

I’m not suggesting that expunging the Iranian government would eradicate terrosism in the world, but it would be a huge step in the right direction and would greatly weaken the opposition.

Hopefully while you’re gone the rest of us can figure out a way to unify our voice in such a way as to not piss off 90% of the world.

Kevin:

This is not about scoring brownie points with the UN or satisfying the pompous NATO. This is about doing what’s best for America, rergardless of the public relations ramifications. I know you’ll argue that what’s best for America is to try and mend our wounds with other countries, but to be honest, I’m sick of all the multilateralism. It doesn’t work. The UN is corrupt, inefficient, and has to pander to a greater interest.

A unilateral approach to foreign policy is the only philosophy, in my mind, that will allow the US to accomplish its international goals.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at August 9, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #174443

Stephen,

Thanks for your post, and for the quote by Moore which follows some of the same lines of thinking.

I will take you word that he actually said this. However, this quote is not what I was referring to.

Moore’s statement when I twice saw him talking was that he didn’t want other countries to help US out in Iraq, because he wanted to see more Americans come home in body bags to teach this country a lesson.

I believe my recollection is consistent with right-wing Scarborough and his guest. They are commenting on the same thing I saw.

Moore’s sympathy did not seem to be with soldiers when speaking when I saw him (wanting to see more in body bags), and I am not as sure as you are that he cared much for the soldiers in your quote either. Seems his sympathy was with the Iraqis, the UN, and non-American countries.

Right, Left, or Whatever — I advocate openness and honestly in reporting (including reporting Left and Right issues with equal zeal).

I also advocate minds being not closed to what happens to be the truth.

Posted by: Brian at August 10, 2006 3:01 AM
Comment #176946

I don’t think a conferance is a viable solution to the Middle East problem. The various terrorist groups would make sure of that. Untill the terrorist problem is solved there will be no peace in the Middle East. Iran’s leader is revered all over the world by Muslims and he’s growing stronger. Do you honestly think he would give up that growing power for peace? I think not. The civil war in Iraq is getting out of control and is threatening the young democratic government that has been set up. You won’t get them to a conference table. The terroist factions such as the Taliban will wait for the destruction and move in just as they did in Afganistan. To think these countries would sit down at a table and talk peace is very naive.

Posted by: Schyler at August 22, 2006 3:27 AM
Post a comment