Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME ENTER FORUMS OUR BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:42 pm





Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Blaming Clinton First 
Author Message


Post Blaming Clinton First
Franken's chapter on Clinton addresses an argument I've heard numerous times, apparently from Fox viewers: that Clinton "did nothing" about terrorism. Franken, citing Time magazine, says Condoleezza Rice denied having met with Clinton's national security advisor to discuss the issue of terrorism. Franken then says the New York Times mentioned Rice agreeing with Sandy Berger at a meeting that terrosim was a key issue. Was either the New York Times or Time magazine in error, or did Rice play down the efforts of the Clinton Administration to encourage Bush to focus on terrorism?




Tue Nov 18, 2003 11:37 pm


Post Re: Blaming Clinton First
the chapter on "operation ignore" shouLd make you sick.

"I've often wondered, what if all of us in the world discovered that we were threatened by an outer -- a power from outer space, from another planet. Wouldn't we all of a sudden find that we didn't have any differences between us at all, we were all human beings, citizens of the world, and wouldn't we come together to fight that particular threat?"
- Ronald Reagan




Sat Nov 22, 2003 12:10 am


Post Re: Blaming Clinton First
What's shocking about Operation Ignore isn't that Bush was aloof from the issue until it was too late, but that Clinton is now perceived as "soft on terrorism" even though the Right criticized Clinton's actions whenever he used military force.




Sun Nov 23, 2003 7:50 pm
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Gaining experience


Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 77
Location: Bellingham, WA
Thanks: 0
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Blaming Clinton First
The conservatives control the monopoly media, and the minds of infovision dumb Americans.

Clinton could do no right and Bush can do no wrong. That is the message I am getting, though I am intelligent to know better. They both have their good and bad points and moves.

I didn't see Clinton as my savior or Bush as the "Devil incarnate", they are both just ordinary humans.

I am just personally against the overall philosophy and direction of the conservative movement, and Democrats are just the "lesser of the two evils" that slow down the dangerous and misguided philosophy and goals of the conservative rights. I do not agree much with the Democrats either, but at least they are not so driven to destroy democracy or our environment.

I would prefer a third party, but our present election system guarantees that will never happen. So we realistically have only two choices. A vote for a third party is a vote for the opposite major candidate who would be your last choice. It is worse than a "throw away vote"; it actually harms your political direction.

Monty Vonn
Meme Wars!




Sun Nov 30, 2003 1:35 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
BookTalk.org Hall of Fame

BookTalk.org Owner
Diamond Contributor 3

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 16079
Location: Florida
Thanks: 3437
Thanked: 1292 times in 1021 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: Blaming Clinton First
Monty

Quote:
A vote for a third party is a vote for the opposite major candidate who would be your last choice. It is worse than a "throw away vote"; it actually harms your political direction.


You're so right...and what a shame. 3rd party candidates have very little chance of winning in an election. Don't laugh, but I was planning on voting for Ross Perot, but I knew it would be throwing my vote out. Ross was a bit odd, but the man is a successful business man and it sure would be nice to have a change in the White House.

Chris

"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward,for there you have been, and there you will always want to be."



Sun Nov 30, 2003 10:03 pm
Profile Email WWW


Post Re: Blaming Clinton First
Originally posted by Meme Wars
Quote:
I am just personally against the overall philosophy and direction of the conservative movement, and Democrats are just the "lesser of the two evils" that slow down the dangerous and misguided philosophy and goals of the conservative rights. I do not agree much with the Democrats either, but at least they are not so driven to destroy democracy or our environment.


I used to feel exactly this way, but now I'm actually quite the opposite: I usually vote Republican, even though I don't agree with all (or even most) of their platform.

Back when the far right - Pat Robertson, the AFA, and the Christian Coalition - had real power I usually voted Democrat just to counter that scary theocratic movement. But since the early 90's the religious right has been more or less ostracized and the trend is only increasing (John McCain is Bush's likely successor for the RNC nomination and he makes no bones about being a secularist). With the theocrats effectively neutralized (and civil rights well established) I feel free to support the Republicans for a strong national defense and the dissolution of the nanny state.

I do wish that Republicans had a better environmental policy (and McCain is better on it than Bush is), but I know I'll never get everything I want. And if the Democrats would nominate a genuine leader of moderate leaning they could get my vote back ... but I certainly don't see that happening in 2004 (and probably not in 2008 either, considering the frightening state of affairs in that party).


S




Tue Dec 02, 2003 6:17 pm
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
I dumpster dive for books!

Bronze Contributor

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1790
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 18 times in 13 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post American War Crimes
Masters of War
Militarism and Blowback in the Era of American Empire


edited by Carl Boggs

Routledge, 2003, paper


p191

"The historical reality is that the U.S. drive for economic, political, and military domination has led to massive and horrific war crimes, to repeated and flagrant violations of international law-a legacy easily documented but one which has been obscured, covered up, or simply ignored within the national c ethos of denial.

The U.S. record of war crimes has been, from the nineteenth century to the present, a largely invisible one with no government, no political leaders, no military officials, no lower-level operatives held accountable for criminal actions.

A culture of militarism has saturated the public sphere, including academia, endowing all U.S. interventions abroad with a patina of patriotic goodness and democratic sensibilities beyond genuine interrogation. Anyone challenging this mythology is quickly marginalized, branded a traitor or Communist or terrorist or simply a lunatic beyond the pale of reasonable discussion.

After 9/11 this situation has worsened: a nominally liberal-democratic system has moved ever more ominously along the road of corporatism, authoritarianism, and narrowing public discourses. American society today exhibits every sign of ideological closure, one-dimensionality, and erosion of civic culture accompanied by the rise of national chauvinism and hostility to foreign influences, exacerbated by the spring 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Recent ideological trends involve a steadfast refusal to confront the larger context of U.S. foreign policy or to reflect upon the far-reaching consequences of U.S. empire, as if the terrorist attacks occurred in a historical void. Of course psychological denial has profound ramifications, for with it a siege mentality can readily appear-and such a mentality seems to have gripped much of American public life.

As Chalmers Johnson writes in Blowback: "What we have freed ourselves of . . . is any genuine consciousness of how we might look to others on this globe. Most Americans are probably unaware of how Washington exercises its global hegemony since so much of this activity takes place either in relative secrecy or under comforting rubrics. Many may, as a start, find it hard to believe that our place in the world even adds up to an empire. Nowhere is this proposition more evident than in the sphere of war crimes discourse.""




Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:49 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
I dumpster dive for books!

Bronze Contributor

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1790
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 18 times in 13 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post American Humanitarianism
The Logic of U.S. Intervention - Michael Parenti


p21

"While claiming to be motivated by a dedication to human rights and democracy, U.S. Ieaders have supported some of the most notorious right-wing autocracies in history, governments that have tortured, killed, or otherwise maltreated large numbers of their citizens because of their dissenting political views, as in Turkey, Zaire, Chad, Pakistan, Morocco, Indonesia, Honduras, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, the Philippines, Cuba (under Batista), Nicaragua (under Somoza), Iran (under the Shah), and Portugal (under Salazar). Assistance is also given to counterrevolutionary groups in leftist revolutionary countries.

These groups have perpetrated some of the most brutal bloodletting against civilian populations, as have Unita in Angola, Renamo in Mozambique, the Contras in Nicaragua, the Khmer Rouge (during the 1980s) in Cambodia, the counterinsurgency ethnic slaughter in Rwanda, the mujahideen and then the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the right-wing Albanian separatist KLA in Kosovo.


p34

... U.S. politico-corporate elites have long struggled to make the world safe for the system of transnational corporate capital accumulation; to attain control of the markets, lands, natural resources, and cheap labor of all countries; and to prevent the emergence of revolutionary socialist, populist, or even military nationalist regimes that challenge this arrangement by seeking to build alternative or competing economic systems.

To achieve this, a global military machine is essential. The goal is to create a world populated by client states and compliant populations completely open to transnational corporate penetration, on terms that are completely favorable to the penetrators. It is not too much to conclude that such an activist and violent global policy is produced not by dumb coincidence but by conscious design."




Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:54 am
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
I dumpster dive for books!

Bronze Contributor

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1790
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 18 times in 13 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post American War Criminals
On December 3, 1996, the Justice Department issued a list of 16 Japanese citizens who would be barred from entering the United States because of "war crimes" committed during the Second World War. Among those denied entry were some who were alleged to have been members of the infamous "Unit 731", which, said the Justice Department, "conducted inhumane and frequently lethal pseudo-medical experiments -- on thousands of ... prisoners and civilians," including mass dissections of living humans. (1)

This action appeared to be rather hypocritical in light of the fact that after the war the man in charge of the Unit 731 program -- whose subjects included captured American soldiers -- General Shiroshii, along with his colleagues, had been granted immunity and freedom in exchange for providing the United States with details about the experiments. Moreover, their crimes were not to be revealed to the world. The justification for this policy, advanced by American scientists and military officials, was, of course, the proverbial, ubiquitous "national security".{2}

There is another reason the 1996 policy is hypocritical. The Japanese, if they wished to, could issue a list of Americans barred from Japan for "war crimes" and "crimes against humanity". Such a list might include the following:

George Bush, for the murder of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, including many thousands of children, in attacks upon Iraq and Panama.

Colin Powell, for his prominent role in the attacks on Iraq and Panama.

General Norman Schwarzkopf, for his military leadership of the Iraqi carnage.

Ronald Reagan, for the death, destruction, and torture inflicted upon the people of El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Grenada by his military and political policies.

Elliott Abrams, for his key participation in Reagan's obsessive and paranoid "anti-communist" crusade.

Oliver North, for being a prime mover behind the contras, whose atrocities are legendary, and for his role in the invasion of Grenada, which took the lives of hundreds of innocent civilians.

Henry Kissinger (who has successfully combined two careers: socialite and war criminal), for his Machiavellian, amoral, immoral roles in the US interventions into Angola, Chile, East Timor, Vietnam, and Cambodia which brought unspeakable horror and misery to the peoples of those lands.

Gerald Ford, for giving his approval to Indonesia to use American arms to brutally suppress the people of East Timor.

Robert McNamara, for his responsibility in the slaughters in Indochina and the suppression of popular movements in Peru.

John Deutch, for his callous coverups of Gulf War Syndrome at the Defense Department and drug complicity at the CIA.

Bill Clinton, for his unprovoked rocket attacks upon the people of Iraq and his continual military aid to the governments of Turkey, Peru, Colombia and Mexico, which use the weapons to arm death squads and to carry out wholesale massacres of their own people.

NOTES
1. Washington Post, December 4, 1996, p. A1
2. Leonard A. Cole, Clouds of Secrecy: The Army's Germ Warfare Tests over Populated
Areas (Maryland, 1990), pp. 12-14
Written by William Blum, author of Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions
Since World War II; email:b blum6@aol.com




Wed Dec 03, 2003 1:02 am
Profile


Post Re: American War Criminals
Dissident Heart, I'm not really sure what the aim of your last three posts was. Are they related to the "Blaming Clinton First" topic in some way I can't see? Or did the anti-americanism within just build up to the point that you had to vomit it forth somewhere?

Either way, you're citing papers written by people who have a political agenda. Just because Boggs and Parenti say "this is the way things are" it doesn't mean that is, indeed, the way things are. I'm a fairly bright guy with a good education, and I've seen hundreds of papers like "Masters of War" and "The Logic of US Intervention", all of them filled with elitist rhetoric about how America is responsible for everything bad that happens in the world, how our leaders are the worst kind of war criminals imaginable (if they're anything but far left liberals, that is), and how any attempt to refute such claims amounts to "repression of dissent". The language used is rife with alarming words and phrases like "idealogical closure", "culture of militarism", and "psychological denial", all of which sound impressive and scary and point to the conclusion that the author must know what he's talking about because he uses such powerful terms.

But the truth is that most academic papers like those you posted are nothing more than anti-right, anti-American rhetoric mixed with a healthy dose of liberal ideology. Are they all? No, of course not. I've read papers that presented a well-reasoned case for greater international oversight of American foreign policy (I still utterly disagree, but I found the arguments to be nonpartisan and authoritative). If time allows I might look up Boggs' and Parenti's work on the Internet (and check their credentials while I'm at it) to give them a more comprehensive reading, but judging from the excerpts posted I'm not overly hopeful that they amount to much more than propaganda.

And no, I'm not dismissing the "points" raised by either paper out of hand. But I'm not going to respond to any of them right away either, because I have no idea which you consider to be the strongest arguments (and I have little doubt I'd be accused of straw man tactics if I picked one you considered weak). If you'd like to present the three you think are the best points made by Boggs and / or Parenti I'd be happy to give you a refutation (or concede the point, if I find it valid).

In the mean time - and as a simple "rhetoric or insight" litmus test - why don't we take the term "empire" as used by Boggs. Dissident Heart please explain in which ways modern America is an empire. And I don't mean "go find an academic paper on the subject and post a link to it". I mean go get out your dictionary, look up the word "empire", and then draw parallels between the definition and the United States as it exists today.


S




Wed Dec 03, 2003 11:09 am
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
I dumpster dive for books!

Bronze Contributor

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 1790
Thanks: 2
Thanked: 18 times in 13 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: American War Criminals
spandor,

My borrowing of these snippets from Parenti, Boggs, and Blum relates to two concerns for this thread.

First, the idea that 'blaming Clinton' for 'doing nothing about Terrorism' as addressed by Franken is absurd, but not because Clinton was doing his best, or at least wasn't as negligent as the Bushies argue...it is absurd because Clinton, like Bush Sr., Reagan, Carter, Ford, Nixon, et al were not negligent in defending terrorism, but were terrorist perpetrators. State terrorists, equipped with the largest military and media arsenal in world history. Franken is still part of the problem if he thinks Clinton and the Democrats are somehow exempt from this FACT.

Second, your support of a Republican commitment to a "strong national defense and the dissolution of the nanny state" sparked a need to respond with a short delivery of unwelcome facts concerning a massive military state and its driving economic and political forces.

As for your hesitant identification of my quotations as "anti-right, anti-American rhetoric mixed with a healthy dose of liberal ideology" which reflexively and uncritically claim that "America is responsible for everything bad that happens in the world, how our leaders are the worst kind of war criminals imaginable"...I would ask that you indulge my quotation fetish with a statement by Noam Chomsky (the guru of anti-americans) regarding his incessant desire to constantly critique and expose American abuses:

"The main reasons for my concern with U.S. foreign policy are that I find it, in general, horrifying, and that I think that it is possible for me to do something to modify it, at least to mitigate some of its most dangerous and destructive aspects. In the concrete circumstances of my own society, where I live and work, there are various ways to do this: speaking, writing, organizing, demonstrating, resisting, and others. Over the years, I've been engaged in a variety of such activities.

The foreign policy of other states is also in general horrifying -- roughly speaking, states are violent to the extent that they have the power to act in the interests of those with domestic power -- but there is not very much that I can do about it. It is, for example, easy enough for an American intellectual to write critical analyses of the behavior of the Soviet Union in Afghanistan and Eastern Europe (or in supporting the Argentine generals), but such efforts have little if any effect in modifying or reversing the actions of the U.S.S.R. Rather, such efforts, which are naturally much welcomed by those who dominate the ideological institutions here, may serve to contribute to the violence of the American state, by reinforcing the images of Soviet brutality (often accurate) that are used to frighten Americans into conformity and obedience.

I do not suggest that this is a reason to avoid critical analysis of the U.S.S.R.; in fact, I have often written on the foreign policy of the Soviet state. Nor would I criticize someone who devotes much, even all his work to this task. But we should understand that the moral value of this work is at best very slight, where the moral value of an action is judged in terms of its human consequences. In fact, rather delicate judgments sometimes arise, for people who are committed to decent moral values. Suppose, for example, that some German intellectual chose in 1943 to write articles on terrible things done by Britain, or the U.S., or the Jews. What he wrote might be correct, but we would not be very much impressed.

The same comments hold for a Soviet intellectual who devotes himself to a critical analysis of U.S. atrocities in Southeast Asia or Central America (or to the American support for the Argentine generals). What he says may be correct; its significance, for people being bombed or terrorized or tortured within the domains of American power and influence is negligible, possibly even negative. These are truisms, constantly denied by intellectual servants of state power who, for obvious reasons, pretend not to understand them and typically criticize those who act in accordance with decent moral principles as having a "double standard" or worse.

I try to concentrate my political activities -- writing included -- in areas where there is some moral significance to these activities, hence primarily in areas where people I can reach may act to change policies that are abhorrent, dangerous and destructive. Of course there are other factors that influence my choices, facts about my personal history, etc., which are of no interest here. One can have many reasons for engaging in political action. If the reasons are to help suffering people, to avert threats or catastrophes, and so on, then the criteria are fairly clear. For an American intellectual, these criteria dictate a prime concern for policies undertaken and pursued here, whether in the international or domestic arenas.

In some intellectual circles, it is considered naive or foolish to be guided by moral principles. About this form of idiocy, I will have nothing to say."


Excerpts from Noam Chomsky's written responses to questions from Celia Jakubowicz
Source: C.P. Otero, ed., Language and Politics (Black Rose, 1988) , pp. 369-72

monkeyfist.com:8080/Choms...asons_html




Edited by: Dissident Heart at: 12/3/03 12:58 pm



Wed Dec 03, 2003 12:19 pm
Profile


Post Re: Imperial War
What's interesting about the "America number one" attitude is that it is a mirror image of the self-esteem movement in schools which is often denounced for its promotion of a "be proud of yourself no matter what" mentality.




Thu Dec 04, 2003 10:59 pm


Post Re: Imperial War
>>One thing that many, many Americans are finding increasingly tiresome is the habit that certain individuals



Thu Dec 04, 2003 11:03 pm


Post Re: Imperial War
"Effete" and "elite" are both buzzwords used to dismiss criticisms of conservative administrations in a knee-jerk manner. They say nothing about the real concerns of real people. What made you choose those words?




Thu Dec 04, 2003 11:05 pm


Post Re: Imperial War
Michael says:

Quote:
Surely a noble nation is not one that parades its virtues and ignores its flaws? That would be the opposite of humility, a quality George W. Bush, during the 2000 campaign, said was necessary for America to have in its relations with the world.


Surely not, which is why in the same post I said:

Quote:
But despite being such a high civilization and having such an excellent foundation of law, America still experiences many of the same problems as her predecessors. The men and women elected to office are not always honest, and there is corruption. Alliances are not always chosen wisely, and American guns end up in the wrong hands. Sometimes wars need to be fought and far too many innocents die along with the genuine enemies. Often America's enemies are dirty, scary people and her agents have to do dirty, scary things in order to get them.


and also:

Quote:
...most of us realize that it's good for our flaws to be pointed out every so often



Thu Dec 04, 2003 11:14 pm
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 21 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.  Go to page 1, 2  Next



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:



Site Resources 
HELPFUL INFO:
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!

IDEAS FOR WHAT TO READ:
Bestsellers
Book Awards
• Book Reviews
• Online Books
• Team Picks
Newspaper Book Sections

WHERE TO BUY BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

BEHIND THE BOOKS:
• Great resource pages are coming!

PROMOTE YOUR BOOK!
Advertise on BookTalk.org
How To Promote Your Book





BookTalk.org is a thriving book discussion forum, online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a community. Our forums are open to anyone in the world. While discussing books is our passion we also have active forums for talking about poetry, short stories, writing and authors. Our general discussion forum section includes forums for discussing science, religion, philosophy, politics, history, current events, arts, entertainment and more. We hope you join us!


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSOUR BOOKSAUTHOR INTERVIEWSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICYSITEMAP

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism Books

Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2019. All rights reserved.
Display Pagerank