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BrentAllen,

Communism n. A theoretical economic system characterized by the collective ownership of property and by the organization of labor for the common advantage of all members.

       You never did answer my question which I put in bold type so you couldn't miss it. You criticize others for not answering direct questions but you repeatedly refuse direct questions yourself.

       I'm not looking to find common ground.   I'm trying to discuss political and ideological view points based on facts.  I'm trying to find out why you are so predisposed to kill anyone who disagrees with you but fault the same characteristic in others.

LongHaul

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So, Longhaul, why did you leave out the rest of the definition. You know, the part where it says communism is A SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT!!!

 

What was your question again? Let's see, something like "You do realize that Communism is an economic reference and not a form of political government, dont you?"

 

Communism

A system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, often authoritarian party holds power, claiming to make progress toward a higher social order in which all goods are equally shared by the people.

The Marxist-Leninist version of Communist doctrine that advocates the overthrow of capitalism by the revolution of the proletariat.

 

Democracy represents freedom, based on a capitalistic society. Communism is the opposite of capitalism.

If we are justified in trying to stop the spread of Communism was Russia justified in trying to stop the spread of Western Economics? No! Russia had to invade countries and force them into communism. Freedom-loving people around the world have fought against communist takeover (SW Africa/Namibia for example). Who wants to fight against freedom? Dictators and tyrants, to use your word.

No, they were not justified in trying to stop the spread of freedom and democracy. Do you disagree? Do you think communism is a better form of government? Why didn't communism survive in Russia?

 

Beaver - we invaded Iraq because our intelligence, British intelligence, UN intelligence said they had WMD's. Did Bush manipulate Downing Street as well as the CIA? Democrats and Republicans agreed. Go back and read the quotes. Especially the one from Hillary.

 

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological

weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program.

He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

 

This was the day before the vote on the resolution authorizing the use of force. Comprende'?

 

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BrentAllen,

      Havent you realized yet that your brand of smoke and mirror debate wont work with me. My definition was for what we are discussing communism with a small c your definition is for communism with a capital c. If you want to discuss that then I say it does not exist, what Russia practiced was socialism. United Social Soviet Republic remember, when they were in Afghanistan they were still the USSR. You glossed over the part where Russia didnt invade Afghanistan, or Hungry in 1955 or Poland in 1968 or Cuba in 1962! They were invited by the recognized government. Being of Polish decent and having relatives in Prague I have strong feelings about whether we should have assisted the Poles who objected to what their recognized government was doing but that doesnt change the facts. I doubt that you have actually read any of Marx or Lenin and only believe what you have been told, thats why you cant discuss the concepts. You may even believe that merly reading Marx or Leinin is anti american.  Who wants to fight against freedom? You do, youd have us fighting to keep the Iraqis from having free choice if it didnt conform to your definition of freedom. The recognized government is the one we set up not the one they had in place. If Saddam was so bad to his people why didnt they overthrow him after Desert Storm when his army was at its weakest? Why hadnt there been a mass revolt and terrorist bombings against Saddam? The Iranians over threw the Shah so its not all that foreign to the region. As for Russia having to invade countries and force them into communism, please show me the US territory or protectorate where we were invited in. America, as a country, has been invading foreign countries since this country was founded. It was the way things were done thats all. Look up Manifest Destiny. Today we dont use invading armies we use invading industrialists. We convince governments to allow us into their markets without the consent of those governed because most of these countries dont have a democratic form of government. You blew right past my questions on the governments of Saudis, Kuwaitis, and that of the Emirates. You still havent answered the question I put in bold type. If we are justified in trying to stop the spread of Communism was Russia justified in trying to stop the spread of Western Economics? Western Economics ! Capitalism is what Russia feared just as we feared communism. McCarthy was not worried that the Communist Party of the United Statesof America was going to over throw the government. He wasnt worried that it would succeed in changing our form of government. He was afraid that it would affect the economic balance and put more power in the hands of minorities and blue color working people. The CPUSA was a prominent force in the early labor movements organized most of the industrialist unions. Big money just didnt want this to continue after the war and with the Cold War with Russia they had their 911. Disagree all you want but learn about what you are disagreeing with, look farther than what you are told by those in power.

 LongHaul

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What, are you blind?? I didn't answer your question?? Try looking at the post right above your last one. It was only up for 2 hours before your last post. (posted at 6:35 PM)

 

Call it what YOU want, but the Russians were Communists until August 21, 1991. Big C, little c, it doesn't matter - they were Communists.

 

"If Saddam was so bad..." You really have to ask that? You don't believe he was so bad? Did you not see the film of the poor Iraqis being thrown off the roof of a two-story building, with their arms tied behind their back? Did you not hear about the Kurds and Shia's trying to overthrow him, only to be gassed? Did you not hear of the torture chambers, mass burials, etc...?

 

We have let the people of Iraq vote on and form the government they want - an option they never had under Saddam. We are not shoving our government down their throat - we are letting them choose.

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BrentAllen,

No I'm not blind but I guess you are, "No, they were not justified in trying to stop the spread of freedom and democracy." is not an answer to whether Russia was justified in trying to stop WESTERN ECONOMICS. But hey forget it. Your statement that Russia was communist and Communist and thats all that matters says it all. You have no idea what either word means just that it's AMERICAN to be opposed to it. Wrap yourself in the flag and sleep in peace.

LongHaul

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Ahem, for what it's worth the USSR was the 'Union of Soviet Socialist Republics', if anyone cares.

 

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Wikipedia: In the mid 1980s, the reform-minded Mikhail Gorbachev came to power. He introduced the landmark policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring), in an attempt to modernize Soviet communism.

 

March 26, 1989: the first free elections are held for the new Congress of People's Deputy's. Boris Yeltsin along with 1,500 others is elected leaving the Communist party only 500 seats.

 

June 12, 1991: Boris Yeltsin is elected president of the Russian parliament. Gorbachev remains head of the Communist party.

 

August 21, 1991: The Coup leaders try to flee but are arrested. Gorbachev is freed and flown to Moscow. Yeltsin declares that the Communist party is ended and suspends all party structure and seizes the party papers.

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Gern,

 

You said, " Morally wrong to question our foriegn policy? Wow."

 

I think I've made myself pretty clear but maybe my earlier statements got lost in the furor. Let me say it again succinctly... I disagree with the Bush foreign policy then and now. I did not think that we should have invaded Iraq the first time or the second time. But, once our democratically elected representatives decided that we would go to war and committed troops I think it is time for all of us to shut up and get behind the effort until it is successful. It is morally wrong to increase the danger that our troops are in by giving encouragement to the enemy. Don't twist that to mean anything else.

 

packsaddle,

 

Unlike others I don't think that I've resorted to name calling. If anyone has taken my statements to be so I apologize. I've been critical of others (particularly Gern's) statements and possibly their beliefs but I don't think I've called anyone a name.

 

SR540Beaver,

 

We'll just have to agree to disagree. Respectfully, of course. For what it's worth I consider myself to be a conservative also. Not one who supports going to war except under dire circumstances but one who believes that once we have it should be done without hesitancy, second guessing, and in the absence of political maneuvering. Let me add that I am certain in my belief that many politicians who are now opposing the war are doing so for political reasons. Such people are beneath contempt.

 

You said, "Toppling Saddam and "bringing democracy" to Iraq is not defending this nation. It is forcing a foreign policy thru the use of troops." War is part of foreign policy - the part that takes over when diplomacy fails. When have we really gone to war to defend our nation? I don't think that we ever have. An argument can be made for WWII but you have to ignore a lot of facts and include some that were not known at the time to make that argument.

 

 

 

 

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Brent,

 

Since you've opened the door to using Wikipedia as a resource, allow me to answer who we are fighting in Iraq. Your strongly held belief that we are fighting al Qaeda is somewhat myopic. It is much more complex than that.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iraqi_insurgency

 

The Iraqi insurgency is composed of at least a dozen major guerilla organizations and perhaps as many as 40 distinct groups. These groups are subdivided into countless smaller cells. Due to its clandestine nature, the exact composition of the Iraqi insurgency is difficult to determine. Because most of these insurgents are civilians fighting against an organized domestic army and a foreign occupying army, many consider them to be guerrillas. The overall insurgency is often divided by analysts into several main ideological strands, with some overlapping:

 

Ba'athists, the armed supporters of Saddam Hussein's former nomenclatura, e.g. army or intelligence officers;

 

Nationalists, mostly Sunni Muslims, who fight for Iraqi self-determination;

 

anti-Shi'a Sunni Muslims who fight to regain the prestige they held under the previous regime (these three categories are often undistinguishable in practice);

 

Sunni Islamists, the indigenous armed followers of the Salafi movement, as well as any remnants of the Kurdish Ansar al-Islam;

 

Foreign Islamist volunteers, including those often linked to al Qaeda and largely driven by the Sunni Wahabi doctrine (the two preceding categories are often lumped as "Jihadists");

 

Patriotic Communists (who have split from the official Iraqi Communist Party) and other leftists;

 

Militant followers of Shi'a Islamist cleric Moqtada al-Sadr;

 

Criminal insurgents who are fighting simply for money;

 

and Nonviolent resistance groups and political parties (not technically part of the insurgency).

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packsaddle,

You are of course correct, I responded in the heat of the moment and should have looked up the title just to be sure. I really don't think it would have made a difference though, my point missed it mark anyway.

LongHaul

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(shuddering at the use of wikipedia as a legitimate source...)

 

The question of whether or not we're fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq is complicated even further by two or three other matters.

 

1. Did we go to Iraq in order to fight Al Qaeda in the first place, or did Al Qaeda members migrate to Iraq in the ensuing chaos, with the result that NOW we're fighting them there even though that's not how things started out? (there is a fair amount of evidence to suggest this, including bin Laden's own writings in the late 1990s, in which he excoriates Saddam Hussein as being just as bad as the Saudi government. People who automatically equate Al Qaeda with Hussein's Iraq just because both were anti-US, Middle Eastern, and "bad guys" fail to understand Al Qaeda's ideology. Don't believe me? Read bin Laden's own statements and interviews on the matter - transcripts are available in English on the web and elsewhere)

 

2. Al Qaeda never was, a truly coherent organization. It was/is a loose affiliation . So if SOME people with Al Qaeda ties are in Iraq, which may well be the case now, that does not necessarily mean that Al Qaeda, Inc. has decided to take on the US in Iraq.

 

3. There is a group known as "Al Qaeda in Iraq" these days. Their exact connection and ties to the "original" Al Qaeda are not distinct. Some experts believe that this is actually a whole separate group with its own motives that has conveniently glommed onto the Al Qaeda "brand" because it gets attention. Others believe it is a loosely affiliated group that has reached some kind of "policy" coordination agreement with the rest of Al Qaeda. Still others believe it has always been part and parcel of the main branch of Al Qaeda, and just wasn't visible as such before because there was no room to manuever in the open.

 

Even if we suppose that we are now fighting Al Qaeda on the streets of Baghdad, the situation is such that there are plenty of other groups - some with views inimical to Al Qaeda's - that are reaping the "benefits" from this chaotic and unstable situation. We're fighting against them too.

 

Who is right here? Does it really matter?

 

We can fight against Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda in Iraq, a wide variety of other terrorist groups of various skill and technical savvy, groups of angry Iraqi nationalists, Ba'athists, ex-communists or ex-Communists, or what have you. The question still comes back to whether or not we're better off for doing so and the answer, in some respects, is almost independent of exactly who these groups are.

 

If we are unsuccessful at "winning the peace" as we certainly seem to have been so far, we'll leave Iraq and the wider Middle East less stable, more violent, more unpredictable, and more dangerous for the entire world. I don't see how that makes us more secure, NO MATTER what name we give to those we are now fighting against.

 

(shuddering some more at the thought of using wikipedia as a legitimate source...)

 

Lisa'bob

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Aw, come on Lisabob! Using wikipedia isn't any worse than informing a person's world view with elementary and simplistic "news and analysis" pablum from Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity. ;) Talking points make life easier.

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Lisabob,

I don't understand.

Wikipedia (IPA: [/ˌwɪkiˈpiːdi.ə/] or [/ˌwiki-/]) is a multilingual Web-based free-content encyclopedia.[1] It exists as a wiki, a type of website that allows visitors to edit its content; the word Wikipedia itself is a portmanteau of wiki and encyclopedia. Wikipedia is written collaboratively by volunteers, allowing most articles to be changed by anyone with access to a computer, web browser and Internet connection.

What's not legitamate about that? It's democracy in action! :)

LongHaul

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yellow_hammer, my comment about name-calling was not aimed specifically at you, nor at Gern, but merely a general comment (one I and others have repeated, often). No offence intended, it just seemed time to say it again.

LongHaul, point taken and I agree regarding USSR, it was a technicality.

I think I see LisaBob's point regarding wikipedia. I confront this from my students almost daily. In one sense it is a wonderful, evolving source of basic information. And when someone submits an edit to wikipedia, I understand that some process of verification is engaged although I have no idea what the process is. BUT, it is merely a place to begin for many topics and there is no substitute for sampling it and many other diverse sources to gauge a variety of views by different authorities. Believe it or not, a LIBRARY is still a great place to visit to learn something.

Since the topic of this thread relates to Rooster7 (thinking bibliothecally here), I confess I was sometimes reminded of the question 'Q' once asked Worf on an episode of STNG, "Eat any books lately?"

I still laugh when I think of that episode. Worf just glared. OK, maybe you had to 'be there'.

Nevertheless, I have to agree with Beav and Lisa regarding who we're fighting, NOW, in Iraq.

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