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View Poll Results - america's worst disaster in recent history

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Default america's worst disaster in recent history

March 6th, 2007, 15:44
Getting George W. Bush as president for eight long years is by far the biggest disaster. Economy going down, thousands dying, schools and hospitals deteriorating, diplomacy with the rest of the world down the drain. I'm not saying Bill was the greatest guy in the world, but the overall impression of the US was a whole lot better back then, and the country was trusted by the rest of the world to act as a representative for democracy.
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March 6th, 2007, 16:49
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
So then, Spain' leadership, making such a big deal about not taking part in Iraq, sure made their citizens safe, right? Those train bombs didn't happen because the nutcases were so impressed with the peaceful approach. Could that massive loss of life been prevented had Spain taken a more proactive approach to the problem?
What got Spain the bombs wasn't their role in Iraq but the fact that they were part of the "coalition of the willing". Not only that. They were screaming "We are with the U.S. and we're part of the coalition" from the top of their lungs back in 2001/2002, using the same rhetoric as the Bush administration ("if you're not with us then you're against us" and all that blabla). That's why they became a prime target of Al-Kaida.
Well, that… and the fact that Spain is a very liberal country where it's relatively easy to work in the underground to pull off a bombing. Also, I'm pretty sure that the geographic location of Spain helped a lot as well. Spain is quite easily accessible from Northern Africa. The country has a lot of problems to keep the illegal immigrants from the Canary Islands and Northern Africa at bay. If there is one European country (that openly advertises its alliance with the US, that is) where you would most expect that Al-Kaida terrorists will slip through the cracks occasionally then it's Spain. With Italy a close runner-up.
It's not surprising at all that Spain got hit. What's more surprising is that there haven't been more bombings across Europe yet (especially in Italy).
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March 6th, 2007, 17:08
I personally don't believe in war being a very productive solution to any situation, and I have to agree that it is powered by idealism but steered by cynicism.

I also think it's highly questionable to believe that one can invade another country and foist one's own system of government on them and succeed without a massive use of force. As was said in another thread, we all get the government we deserve, unless someone "gives" us another one. The whole operation is a cocked-up nightmare as far as I'm concerned.

But rhetoric and denial aren't going to solve the issues in the MidEast. I would love to see them solved by the people involved—but their solution at present seems to include some rather aggressive behaviour towards each other and many other nations as well as the U.S.

I think we had little choice about Afghanistan, but I also believe that invading Iraq was a very unfortunate decision. The American people(as distinct from the leadership we no doubt deserve ) were manipulated into it— not for the first or last time—and it's obvious the manipulation was motivated by economic factors.

Thus the anger and desire to reject the war that we now have. But because of our responsibility for the very act of aggression that caused the outcry, don't we have a committment to stabilize the situation, not just walk out on a chaotic reign of terror and let the biggest dog win?

Unfortunately, I don't think anybody is very sure on how to do this.

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March 6th, 2007, 17:30
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Getting George W. Bush as president for eight long years is by far the biggest disaster. Economy going down, thousands dying, schools and hospitals deteriorating, diplomacy with the rest of the world down the drain. I'm not saying Bill was the greatest guy in the world, but the overall impression of the US was a whole lot better back then, and the country was trusted by the rest of the world to act as a representative for democracy.
Anyone in the manufacturing sector could tell you that the US economy was headed for an iceberg over a year before Dubya took office. Our media, in typical fashion, chose not to say a word about it during Clinton's reign and then screamed bloody murder two days after Dubya took office.

Slick Willie was, overall, a horrible president, but he was also the most skillful politician I've ever seen. The guy was absolutely brilliant at deflecting trouble and shifting blame. Reagan was the best politican since FDR, but Clinton blew both their doors off.

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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March 6th, 2007, 17:36
Originally Posted by Moriendor View Post
If there is one European country (that openly advertises its alliance with the US, that is) where you would most expect that Al-Kaida terrorists will slip through the cracks occasionally then it's Spain. With Italy a close runner-up.
That would mean a lot more if they weren't savagely blowing up their own children in schools, women in markets and peace seekers in mosques …

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March 6th, 2007, 20:47
Originally Posted by magerette View Post
I think we had little choice about Afghanistan, but I also believe that invading Iraq was a very unfortunate decision. The American people(as distinct from the leadership we no doubt deserve ) were manipulated into it— not for the first or last time—and it's obvious the manipulation was motivated by economic factors.
I agree on most of what you're saying, but on Afghanistan I have to disagree. You always have a choice. War is a terrible thing. We tend to push the horrors of war away, because its not happening here - not in modern western countries. It's happening in the middle east or somewhere even further away. But fact is, just because the media doesn't show the dead or wounded it doesn't mean they don't exist. How do you want to explain to a child that just lost her legs due to a cluster bomb that she was just unfortunate, but that overall the war was just and right?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that getting rid of the Taliban wasn't a good thing. But I had the privilege not to be in Afghanistan when it was attacked by the U.S. What I want to say is - it's easy to say "Let's go to war!" if that war doesn't take place in your own country and you don't have to fight in it. But if you're in the middle of things… I don't know. War is a dirty business, and I'm glad I never had to fight in one.
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March 6th, 2007, 21:00
Originally Posted by Ionstormsucks View Post
I agree on most of what you're saying, but on Afghanistan I have to disagree. You always have a choice. War is a terrible thing.
I feel terrible for the people of Afghanistan - they have spent more than two decades embroiled in conflict after conflict because of their leadership and the choices they have made to play on the world stage.

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March 6th, 2007, 22:06
ISS, what would you say would have been an appropriate response to 9-11 if going after the Taliban was not the right choice?

Sorry. No pearls of wisdom in this oyster.
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March 6th, 2007, 22:17
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
ISS, what would you say would have been an appropriate response to 9-11 if going after the Taliban was not the right choice?
The problem is this - the 'Bush Doctrine' as stated after 9/11 was to go after terrorists wherever they are hiding. I support that well enough, so long as it is properly tactically executed and justified. Problem is that has turned into nation building, which I do *not* support.

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March 6th, 2007, 23:18
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
ISS, what would you say would have been an appropriate response to 9-11 if going after the Taliban was not the right choice?
Mate, I'm not saying I have answers to all questions. I'm just saying it's easy to call for war if you're neither a soldier that has to fight in that war nor is that war fought in your own country.
I would have prefered if the U.S. had at least tried to use other options first (like economic pressure, etc.). I'm not quite sure if just getting rid of a system (no matter how bad it might actually be) is enough in such a complicated case like Afghanistan.
The world is damn big and there will always be a country that will hide terrorists. You cannot fight them all. You drive them out of Afghanistan and they'll go to another country to continue their fight. Even after the U.S. got rid of the Taliban various bombings all over the world happened.
Do you believe that the world is a safer place that it was before 9/11? I don't.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not pointing with fingers here and saying it's all your fault. I like the fact that the Taliban and Saddam and his Bath party are no longer in control of these countries. I'm just not sure if it had not been better to try a non-violent solution. After all violence breeds more violence and that seems to be exactely what happens in Afghanistan and Iraq at the moment.
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March 7th, 2007, 06:47
Originally Posted by dteowner View Post
ISS, what would you say would have been an appropriate response to 9-11 if going after the Taliban was not the right choice?
I would say going after the actual terrorists themselves rather than obliterating an already devasted country. I am convinced the attack on both Afghanistan and Iraq were motivated by political expediency (with bonus points in nation building and a nice profit for Haliburton) rather than actual necessity because neither even attempts to address anything remotely connected to the root problems and the second is largely built on a rickety platform of misinformation (WoMD).

As far as I know, Saudi Arabia continues to pump out brainwashed west-haters from government funded madrassas…what has the US done about that? Isn't that where most of the 9/11 terrorists actually came from? I can appreciate it's a minefield that is just too difficult to tackle in practice but that just underscores the reality: the courses of action were designed to show action rather than redress the problem or undertake real justice. And to divert attention from the fact that Bin Laden remains at large.

Just on a side-issue (and I'm sorry to smack you over the head dte) but I noticed your snide reference to the UN earlier in the thread…it is indeed a lame duck on many issues (although more effective on others) but the US is one of the obvious problems. You don't want me to bore you with a list of treaties that other countries accept as basic tenets of law or human rights (a simple example: UN Charter on the Rights of the Child) that the US won't sign. So, the UN is forever doomed to fail in some areas because our various countries (mine included) don't like to be told what to do, even for the greater good of humanity.

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March 7th, 2007, 09:15
In my opinion, war is never a good option. The only thing you achieve is to make even more people angry - terrorism has gone up quite a lot since the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the terrorists have never had an easier time to recruit lots of members. So how to fight it?

Enlightenment is one way to go. These people do not have the medias we do, they do not have access to any source of information about anything other than what they are told.

Scenario: Your child dies from polluted water because of bombing in the area. Because you have no computer, internet or TV, you have no idea why these strange people just bombed nearby areas, causing the pollution. Suddenly, you get approached by a friendly man who not only offers you the chance to avenge your child, but also pay you well enough to get out of poverty.

Is it so hard to understand that this man, with no knowledge of why his child was killed, will take this opportunity? Will further bombing really solve the problem and stop scenarios like this from occurring? If these people had access to proper schools, liberated medias and internet, things would have been very different, but the fact of the matter is - they don't. They consider the US the big enemy because that's all they see - they see American soldiers and bombers invade their country and kill innocent people, without having the slightest idea why.

Like I said, enlightenment is the way to go. Helping the world become a better place by giving people education will also fight terrorism in the process - it is a lot harder to turn an educated man with a good job into a suicide bomber than someone with nothing to live for.

I know this is not exactly a flawless plan, but the consequences will never be as horrible as those of a war, it certainly won't cost more money, and it won't get as many people killed. For 10.000 years we have been fighting each other, without any good coming from it, maybe it's time to try a new approach?
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March 7th, 2007, 13:40
Originally Posted by Maylander View Post
Enlightenment is one way to go. These people do not have the medias we do, they do not have access to any source of information about anything other than what they are told.
It is a great thought, but idealistic and - I think - naive. Look at this week - Sunni Muslim savages blowing up peacefully praying Shiite Muslims. These are people who have access to everything they need to be enlightened, but choose to mass-slaughter innocents instead.

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March 7th, 2007, 15:05
They are religious fanatics, not your average terrorist. All religions have such fanatics, and there is very little to do about that I'm afraid. However, if we can reduce their access to resources and recruits by enlightening everyone around them, they'd be less of a problem themselves.

Fanatics are, and always will be, a problem, whether it's sports fanatics rioting, religious fanatics on various crusades or political fanatics who so strongly believe their way is best they are willing to kill for it.
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March 7th, 2007, 15:09
On a more uplifting note, here is someone who is trying to do something positive about the situation—you youngsters probably haven't got your issue of AARP magazine handy :
http://www.aarpmagazine.org/people/b…peacetalk.html

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March 7th, 2007, 15:12
Always good to see that some people still prefer a non-violent solution. The world definetly needs more Gandhis.
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March 8th, 2007, 18:10
I choose the Hurricane as worst dissaster. It made painfully clear that in response to environmental dissasters the US isn't prepared at all. A similar thing(don't know for sure it's the same hurricane) happened to Mexico, but like 3 months later most of the stuff was rebuild. There was some logic however a very cruel one. In New Orleans most of the people are Collored if I'm not mistaken. Now I know for whom they usualy vote for -> Democrats. The President is of the Republican party and cares less (I don't say that he doesn't care at all) for people that don't vote for him anyhow.
In this dissaster precautions could have been taken and off course you can't fprsee everything, but in this perticular event almost none were taken. This lead to a storm of protest against the Bush administration.

9/11 had a serious impact, but now when I look back, I think it was suspected. I mean by this that a terroristic attack on US soil was just waiting to happen. It strikes me as odd that Al Quaeda used the planes like Tom Clancy(Jack Ryan series) described it. Still it's not something one can really protect himself from.

so very, very tired (Star Trek XI quote according to the Simpsons)
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March 13th, 2007, 11:56
The boxing day tsunami killed what, 250 000 people?

I would have voted Iraq if it had been on the list. Among the two 9/11 is the more damaging in terms of lives (3000 vs how many?) and in terms of fallout.

It could have been managed better if it had stopped with Afghanistan, but at a minimum suspect regimes like China, central Aisan -stans, Egypt, Russia, and various tinpot middle east regimes have been given a carte blanche for their own little "wars on terror", generally persecuting any kind of opposition.
If you include Iraq the process also severely undermined American leadership of the world and hurt unity among the western countries that should be allies.

[qu0te]
9/11 had a serious impact, but now when I look back, I think it was suspected. I mean by this that a terroristic attack on US soil was just waiting to happen. It strikes me as odd that Al Quaeda used the planes like Tom Clancy(Jack Ryan series) described it. Still it's not something one can really protect himself from.[/quote]

Very much correct. Some form of attack was pretty much unavoidable. Increasingly spectacular attacks were carried out (or sometimes foiled) ever since the gulf war (I recall the first major Al-Quaeda bomb against a US base in Saudi in 91 or 92). The middle east is in a mess and a lot of people have an interest in blaming that on the biggest guy in the world rather than dealing with their own corruption and shortcomings… And dont discount Clancy He is a patriotic pulp writer, but he has a very good grasp of what kind of scenarios the military and intel community actually consider.

By comparison Katrina mainly caused material damages and a (huge) temporary relocation of citizens. Luckily the US society is strong enough to handle that, and I doubt any significant fallout will remain five years from now. More Americans had their daily lives affected by it compared to 9/11, but the long terms effect will be far less problematic.
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March 18th, 2007, 20:31
Re-electing George W. Bush is not on the list.
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March 30th, 2007, 08:14
Originally Posted by JemyM View Post
Re-electing George W. Bush is not on the list.
Why should it be? He's the only one with enough stones to face fundamentalist islam, oh and I'm sorry, but violence is the only language these folks understand. So if we're going to get our point across, violence is going to be a necessary evil.

The democrats want to run away like little girls and not face some DAMNED serious issues.
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