26th April 2012

“What is it about faith that makes world leaders like George Bush and Tony Blair – with armies, bombers, missiles, artillery and navies – ignore good advice, abandon good sense and lead their countries to two of the stupidest wars in history? And while they're at it, to radically change the moral positions that their countries adopted just 60 years ago and commit what were then called war crimes: initiating a war of aggression, torture and the failure to provide for the populations of the countries they occupied?”

Larry Beinhart

10 Responses to “26th April 2012”

  1. John Says:

    I think that it has to do with all the money those companies where making. Did the USA elevate the all mighty green back to a god that we should trust?

  2. Capt'Z Says:

    GWB said he thought he was called by God. If one truly believes that then they must also believe anything they decide to do must be God’s will. He also said Saddam “tried to kill my dad”, which while technically true, was a bit like a child throwing pebbles at a knight in armor. As Maureen Dowd put it at the time “I love my dad too but come on!”. I think there’s also a bit of “if the president does it then it’s not illegal” Nixonian theology thrown in there for good measure.

    While no one can know what role faith played in these men’s terrible decisions, it is pretty clear that faith can justify terrible stuff.

    I think Steven Weinberg summed it up really well: “With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

  3. The Heretic Says:

    I think the “called by God” was an off-hand comment. We went to war in Iraq to dethrone Saddam Hussein and take away the money and training facilities of Al Qaeda. Period. It was a pre-emptive war, to be sure. But, we knew that Al Qaeda wants America and other western culture countries dead. They have said so, numerous times.

    They have done atrocious things, suicide bombings at weddings, nightclubs, military vessels, hijacked planes with horrific results…. How much of a blind eye must we turn before we do something about them? How many innocents need to die? They are fanatics and savages. They need to be eradicated.

    You rail against religion on this site. But you always go after the religions that are, by current standards, benign (with a few notable exceptions). Catholics are not waging wars against everyone and gleefully killing their own people as well. Catholics don’t teach their children the virtues of suicide bombings. Catholics allow their woman to walk uncovered without escort, attend school, hold jobs, and the priests don’t gang-rape them when their brother is seen holding a girls hand two cities away. Catholics don’t teach honor killings.

    If you wish to target the ugliness of religion, target Islam, assuming you aren’t too afraid of them. They are the ones, in this day and age, that will happily send you to your graves without another thought, because you are an infidel. Worse, you are an atheist, and they hate them even more than they hate Jews and Christians. Oh, and if you used to be a believer, but now aren’t? Well then you are an apostate and that means death as well.

    What GWB did was correct, whether you like it or not. Further, he made the West safer. You might not like him or his politics, but don’t be intellectually dishonest.

    Now we need to finish what we started, because nothing good is going to come of this “Arab Spring”. The only ones organized going into the rebellions were the Muslim Brotherhood. Those are the militant extremists. And they are going to get bolder once they have power.

  4. Dan Says:

    The Heretic,
    If was the best decision for the USA, GWB wouldn’t have had to lie about it, now would he?

  5. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    John,

    Every time the FED devalues the dollar companies must race to make up the value lost or risk decline. For defense contractors and oil companies that means lots of money, the kind of money that only comes from war. This is why the US has only been at peace for 21 years since 1776, Whether it is full on war or military actions/police actions, occupations the United States has been backing the profitability of its largest and most influential corporations.

    Cap’n,

    The quote “good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” is a good one.

    Heretic,

    At its pinnacle Al Qaeda had aproximately 10,000 members world wide according to the CIA. Today, in Afganistan the the most recent estimate is 50 to 100 operatives. Also noted in a recent article was a statistic that more people have been killed falling off ladders since 9/11 than by terrorists.

    I’d say before we do anything more about terrorism or Al Qaeda we do something about ladders for one, and then the many other things that kill more people than Al Qaeda or terrorists.

    As for the many religions derided on this site and the ones that get most of the attentionL I guess you go with what you know. I’d imagine most people don’t have much first hand experience with Islam.

    As far as benign I would never suggest Catholicism is benign, not with the out of control clergy abuse that seems to occupy the news nearly daily in every major city of the world.

    Nuns are Catholic women and they typically walk around with their heads covered. You might try and say that is some kind of choice, but many Muslim women say the same thing.

    There is also the problem of educating our young. Christians are actively attempting to control what is taught in Americas schools. Recently Tennesee passed law that equates the teaching of creation as an alternative opinion to evolution.

    Islam is foul, ugly, hateful, and in general just plain awful but we must remember it evolved from Christianity and Christianity from Judaism. So it is wrong to pretend that Judaism and Christianity are somehow not every bit as rotten as Islam. For this moment in time they are just less overt in the violence they perpetrate.

    Statistically what George Bush did, did not actually make the United States safer. That is if we are to believe CIA statistics. Simple minded people, the kind who get a sense of comfort seeing a TSA official at an airline gate or who feel a sense of comfort that the government is monitoring terrorism when they see the “Terror alert” on the evening news, do think Bush was right to march headlong into a dumb fight for no other reason than to sell weapons, run up giant contracts, and bill the taxpayers grandchildren for a pre-emptive war that violates the Constitution.

    When we look at the existential threats to Americans, whether we look at what is killing Americans at the CDC website or the CIA website, terrorism isn’t on the list. That is because it isn’t statistically significant. Cancer, heart disease, and diabetes kill more Americans than anything else.

    We ought to start thinking about the real threats because terrorism isn’t a real threat. statistically no one is dying from terrorism. Sure the evening news would have it appear that way but statistics from reliable sources don’t agree.

    Intellectual honesty is about thinking and not just repeating the nonsense blathered on the evening news.

    We don’t need to finsh anything in Iraq or Afganistan, we should have never started anything there.

    It is un-American and un-Constitutional to engage in pre-emptive military action. The US Constitution established a military for defense, particularly the defense of commerce ~ The commerce of the American people.

    It is however highly profitable for the wealthiest 1% to circumvent the Constitution.

  6. The Heretic Says:

    I do believe you are just plain naive. We engaged in a preemptive war, for one reason – we didn’t want one of their people to walk into one of our cities with a dirty nuke and kill millions. We would rather take the war to them.

    As for terrorism not being a threat, I guess that just means that it hasn’t touched your life at all. Doubtless, countless people would disagree with your statement.

    As for Al Qaeda only having a few thousand members. Maybe so. But Islam has about 1 billion members. It is estimated that of those 1 billion, 10-30% are of the Wahhabist, militant Muslim Brotherhood, or extremist variety. That is around 100 – 300 million possibilities of people who would love to bring a dirty nuke into one of our cities.

    Are you willing to take that chance? Are you willing to bet everyone else’s life on that? Are you willing to bet your own?

  7. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Heretic a man convince against his will is of the same opinion still.

    1) Pre-emptive war is un-Contitutional
    2) Terrorism hasn’t touch very many lives according to government agencies that tabulate such thing.
    3) Most Muslims that can afford to travel to the US already live here peacefully.

    As far as a life bet? Yes! The probablity of a US citizen being “touched” by terrorism is tiny compared to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

    Are you willing to go on spending your grandchildren’s future to sustain a war on terror that in all probability you and anyone you know will likely never be affected by?

    Face it, you have been sold a bill of goods that has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with enriching the weathiest people in the country.

    If we were really protecting Americans from death we’d cure cancer, heart disease, and diabetes because that is what is killing Americans.

  8. The Heretic Says:

    You are clearly naive. May your bet never come to fruition.

  9. Sinjin Smythe Says:

    Great response! I’m naive? Facts aren’t necessary for your position apparently. Good luck with that!

  10. Dan Says:

    The Heretic,

    I do believe you are just plain naive. We engaged in a preemptive war, for one reason – we didn’t want one of their people to walk into one of our cities with a dirty nuke and kill millions. We would rather take the war to them.

    And it turned out that the CIA new all along that they didn’t have nukes or the capacity to use them.

    So naive? No, we just know that we went to war based upon a lie.