Author Topic: What's So Great About America?  (Read 2627 times)

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Offline Chronos

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #58 on: October 18, 2011, 07:49:17 PM »
Well the Worldwide Press Freedom Index, the Democracy Index, the UN rankings, just to name a few. How many say otherwise?

The millions who have come and stayed. I guess they didn't read those indices.

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Offline pianodwarf

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #59 on: October 18, 2011, 08:16:48 PM »
But... who elects the president?

Contrary to what almost everyone these days seems to think...

The President of the United States is not elected by the people.  The President is elected by the Electoral College.  One of the purposes of the Electoral College's creation was, in fact, to avoid having the President be elected by a popular vote.
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Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #60 on: October 19, 2011, 07:12:16 AM »
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I don't think there's much to this one either.  In Iraq, gun ownership rates were high in 2003, prior to the invasion.  And yet coalition forces were still able to take over the country.  The fact that they had this high rate under Saddam Hussein's rule also demonstrates that there may not be much to the claim that an armed populous would somehow help us avoid or resist tyranny.  The same is true for other countries, such as Saudi Arabia.  You can read about this here.

It was not just that simple, you have to remember there is a big different in uses for their weapons. The majority wanted the US to take over Iraq, where as in the US we will not be taken over by another because for the most part we love this country. So for someone to invade America it would be a different story. There is more thought to this idea then you’re giving it.

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Guantanamo is an 'injustice',

I would love to know how this is an injustice? We did it with the Japanese and the Nazi but this is a “injustice”? We do it more than any one will ever know. What about the drug cartels that we are fighting in South America, I would not say that it is an “injustice” that we hold then in the same manner we hold the rebels in Iraq or in Afghanistan. I do not see this as an injustice, I see the Patriot act as an injustice.
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

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Offline screwtape

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #61 on: October 19, 2011, 08:19:11 AM »
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Guantanamo is an 'injustice',

I would love to know how this is an injustice? We did it with the Japanese and the Nazi but this is a “injustice”?

Do you consider the gitmo detainees POWs?  If so, was war delcared by congress?  Against whom was war declared?  Will they (the enemy against whom war was declared) be able to sign a peace treaty declaring the war is over?  If not, what conditions end the war?  How do we know the detainees are soldiers, per se, and not civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time, or just innocents sold to us by their enemies?  If they are POWs, then the Geneva Conventions must be followed, and unless I am mistaken, they forbid torture, which pretty clearly went goes on in gitmo.


We do it more than any one will ever know.

That does not make it legal or moral.

What about the drug cartels that we are fighting in South America,

Also not legal.

I would not say that it is an “injustice” that we hold then in the same manner we hold the rebels in Iraq or in Afghanistan.

irrelevant what you would say.  Our laws and constitution say it is illegal for us to just snatch foreigners and to hold people without any due process. That is faith based justice.

I do not see this as an injustice, I see the Patriot act as an injustice.

What do you think the distinction is?


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Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #62 on: October 19, 2011, 09:01:25 AM »
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Do you consider the gitmo detainees POWs
Yes I do
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If so, was war delcared by congress?  Against whom was war declared?

If you remember the onset of the war it was against the Taliban. The goverment of afganastan. Then it was changed to war on terror due the fact that there are other groups that supported this idea.

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How do we know the detainees are soldiers, per se, and not civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time, or just innocents sold to us by their enemies?


How do you know that one day they decide to pick up a gun and fight then the next when you give them food and water they like then the next they are part of the fight again. I consider if you pick up a weapon to engage in a fight you are soldie.

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If they are POWs, then the Geneva Conventions must be followed, and unless I am mistaken, they forbid torture, which pretty clearly went goes on in gitmo.


I agree that torture should not be allowed, But it is not going to stop. It is one of the most effective way to get importent information.

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Also not legal

Yes it is, when the goverment of those counties ask for our help and when they are not with the UN it is completely legel.

[quote Our laws and constitution say it is illegal for us to just snatch foreigners and to hold people without any due process. That is faith based justice.

][/quote]

Unless they changed that i am not aware of it is not illegal for them to snatch people that are assoited with a goverment that they are at war with and hold them for due process. Mistakenly due process is for American citizen NOT any one else
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

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Offline screwtape

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #63 on: October 19, 2011, 11:10:17 AM »
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If so, was war delcared by congress?  Against whom was war declared?

If you remember the onset of the war it was against the Taliban. The goverment of afganastan. Then it was changed to war on terror due the fact that there are other groups that supported this idea.

Does not answer my question.  Here's a hint: War was not declared by congress. 

In any event, if it was against the government of afghanistan, is the war now over?  If so, then the detainees POWs should be returned to their home or sent to the Hague for war crimes.  We did not keep nazis or Japanese POWs indefinitely.

How does this explain Iraqi detainees?  How does it explain everyone captured outside afghanistan and after the taliban was ousted? 

How would one wage war against "terrorism" in any way other than metaphorical?

Also, you skipped these questions:

Will they (the enemy against whom war was declared) be able to sign a peace treaty declaring the war is over?  If not, what conditions end the war?


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How do we know the detainees are soldiers, per se, and not civilians in the wrong place at the wrong time, or just innocents sold to us by their enemies?


How do you know that one day they decide to pick up a gun and fight then the next when you give them food and water they like then the next they are part of the fight again. I consider if you pick up a weapon to engage in a fight you are soldie.

Does not answer my question.  And what you consider is irrelevant. These are legal terms. 

How do we know the people who have been detained have actually engaged in fighting?  This is plausible, so how can we know otherwise?  We are supposed to have principles and a moral high ground.  Detaining and torturing people indefinitely just because we suspect they are guilty and they cannot prove otherwise does not live up to those principles and forfeits the moral high ground.

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If they are POWs, then the Geneva Conventions must be followed, and unless I am mistaken, they forbid torture, which pretty clearly went goes on in gitmo.

I agree that torture should not be allowed, But it is not going to stop. It is one of the most effective way to get importent information.

You have been fooled by liars and sadists. 
http://blog.nola.com/guesteditorials/2009/04/how_effective_is_torture_not_v.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2302-2005Jan11.html
http://terrorism.about.com/od/issuestrends/a/TortureTerror2.htm
http://thinkprogress.org/report/why-enhanced-interrogation-failed/  <--most comprehensive

And even if it were effective, it is still illegal and immoral.

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Also not legal

Yes it is, when the goverment of those counties ask for our help and when they are not with the UN it is completely legel.

No.  It is still not legal for us to do under our laws.  It is also a betrayal of our principles.

[quote Our laws and constitution say it is illegal for us to just snatch foreigners and to hold people without any due process. That is faith based justice.


Unless they changed that i am not aware of it is not illegal for them to snatch people that are assoited with a goverment that they are at war with and hold them for due process. Mistakenly due process is for American citizen NOT any one else[/quote]

You clearly have no clue what you are talking about.  The men held in gitmo are from all over, not just afghanistan.  They are not associated with the former afghan government.  They have not received due process.   Show me where the constitution says it is only for citizens.


this might help you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_United_States#War_on_Terrorism
it has links to sources.
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Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #64 on: October 19, 2011, 12:28:11 PM »
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then the Geneva Conventions must be followed

This only apply in wars between two or more sovereign states.

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War was not declared by congress

It does not have to be it is call an "Executive Order". That is anything the president wants to do without the approval of congress.

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is the war now over

No, there are plenty of middle eastern and terrorist group that still claim that they are part of the Taliban

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We did not keep nazis or Japanese POWs indefinitely.


Yes we did. We offered them a trade which was work for us or you go to jail for war crimes. The Japanese, when they were moved from the west coast in WWII and put in "Non-POW camps"  they lost their homes and many other things that they had did they get them back afterwards, No they did not. In 2000 the got reparation for there loses years after the fact. In time so will the innocent of the middle east.

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Will they (the enemy against whom war was declared) be able to sign a peace treaty declaring the war is over?  If not, what conditions end the war?

They have been stated numerous time how to end this. It was for the Taliban and other terrorist origination to disband and stop the attacks. So have they?

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Does not answer my question.  And what you consider is irrelevant. These are legal terms.

How do we know the people who have been detained have actually engaged in fighting?  This is plausible, so how can we know otherwise?  We are supposed to have principles and a moral high ground.  Detaining and torturing people indefinitely just because we suspect they are guilty and they cannot prove otherwise does not live up to those principles and forfeits the moral high ground.

Wow, you could not see a more bias opinion in that article to try and make a point. I have never issued payment for a member of the Taliban. Let me tell you a little story from when I served as a soldier. We went into a little town, which we dropped pamphlets to let them know we were coming. After we got there we setup and did our thing, we also brought a pallet of food and a pallet of water. Everything went great; we ate with the locals and such. Later that night we received mortars and small arms rounds. The unit on the other side that the locals did not know about located them and caught them. Among these members, from the ones that were not killed, were two of the elder that we ate with earlier that night. This is when; they themselves claim to be Taliban.  Legal terms As the "ROE" Rule of engagement state anyone that has a weapon and engages a fight. Insignia inside the clothing that they wear. I could go on and on about what these ROE states but i am sure you will try to twist it to say what you want it to say.

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Detaining and torturing people indefinitely just because we suspect they are guilty and they cannot prove otherwise does not live up to those principles and forfeits the moral high ground
 

You make it seem like we just pick people up off the street and torture them. This is completely wrong, we have prison inside Iraq and Afghanistan, we monitor  their mail and other things that leads us to believe if they are innocent or not. There is a lot more to it then YOU know about.   

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You have been fooled by liars and sadists.
http://blog.nola.com/guesteditorials/2009/04/how_effective_is_torture_not_v.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A2302-2005Jan11.html
http://terrorism.about.com/od/issuestrends/a/TortureTerror2.htm
http://thinkprogress.org/report/why-enhanced-interrogation-failed/  <--most comprehensive

And even if it were effective, it is still illegal and immoral.

Yet I have been fooled? There is more to it then is revealed in these articles. The outsider always thinks that they know best.     



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No.  It is still not legal for us to do under our laws.  It is also a betrayal of our principles

Your right principles made for the AMERICAN PEOPLE. There are amnesty law that prevent us from getting into "trouble". It may betrays your principle, but for the people that are to defend this country those are out the window.

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You clearly have no clue what you are talking about.  The men held in gitmo are from all over, not just afghanistan.  They are not associated with the former afghan government.  They have not received due process.   Show me where the constitution says it is only for citizens.

No, I do know what I am talking about it is called the PATRIOT ACT, TITLE VIII--STRENGTHENING THE CRIMINAL LAWS AGAINST TERRORISM which states basically they can do what ever they want to whom ever if they can prove a link between them and a terrorist organization.

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Quote from: violatedsmurf80 on Today at 09:01:25 AM

    [quote Our laws and constitution say it is illegal for us to just snatch foreigners and to hold people without any due process. That is faith based justice.



Unless they changed that i am not aware of it is not illegal for them to snatch people that are assoited with a goverment that they are at war with and hold them for due process. Mistakenly due process is for American citizen NOT any one else

You clearly have no clue what you are talking about.  The men held in gitmo are from all over, not just afghanistan.  They are not associated with the former afghan government.  They have not received due process.   Show me where the constitution says it is only for citizens. [/quote]

Due process is for Americans that are on trial, UCMJ does not state the POW or UNLAWFUL COMBATANT have the same rights. It does not matter if the had an associated with the afghan government or not, when our government changed it to TERROR that left it open for any one that is a terrorist, domestic or foreign.

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this might help you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_the_United_States#War_on_Terrorism
it has links to sources.
 

Why who cares about human rights, do you think that terrorist care about human right when they capture you? Just because we are civilized does not make us any better then them. Morals, you try to dissolve peoples religious moral when they preach to you about GoD, but when it come down to a sovereign country(s) fighting a group with no morals, your against it.   



« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 12:38:44 PM by violatedsmurf80 »
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.

Offline screwtape

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #65 on: October 19, 2011, 03:09:15 PM »
how old are you? 

You have posted an unbelieveable amount of stupid in that last post.  You cannot keep clear whether we are at war or not, whether they are POWs or not.  You don't even understand how government functions.  It would take an awful lot of time and effort to correct everything you got wrong.  Unfortunately for you, I do not have the time and I see no point in the effort.   

So I'm just going to address one of your points.  This paragraph:

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Why who cares about human rights, do you think that terrorist care about human right when they capture you? Just because we are civilized does not make us any better then them.

Who cares about human rights?  That is a breath taking question.  Well, I do.  And you should.  You see, we have this myth about ourselves that we do The Right Thing.  And ignoring human rights is most definitely not The Right Thing.  That is the whole point of this thread, right?  What is good about America?  Your answer seems to be "we don't care about human rights."  Which, I have to say, is a pretty awful position to take.  Frankly, I can hardly believe a fellow American is making such an argument, but maybe that just underscores just how far we have fallen.

Our power globally, our real power, the ability to influence other people, was never our military.  It was our moral authority. This is what made people - not necessarily their governments, but the people - look up to America and want to be like us and come here and be Americans. It was what made other people listen when we said China's human rights record was atrocious.  It was what made other people listen when we condemned brutal regimes.  But that's gone now.  It was squandered by Bush and confused dummies, like yourself.

When we released our latest report on human rights in the world, we were laughed at and derided as hypcrites.  And rightly so.  How can we criticize China or whatever other shitty third rate country for whatever shitty things they do when we torture people?  We buy them from unreliable afghan warlords, do not investigate their circumstances, do not allow them due process, and then torture them, because we are sure, positive, they know something and are holding back.

Behaving like the enemy does not make us better.  It makes us the same barbarians.  And that is not what we have been about.  And that is not just me talking.  That goes back to Washington.
http://www.commondreams.org/views05/1217-30.htm
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Fischer writes that leaders in both the Continental Congress and the Continental Army resolved that the War of Independence would be conducted with a respect for human rights. This was all the more extraordinary because these courtesies were not reciprocated by King George's armies. Indeed, the British conducted a deliberate campaign of atrocities against American soldiers and civilians. While Americans extended quarter to combatants as a matter of right and treated their prisoners with humanity, British regulars and German mercenaries were threatened by their own officers with severe punishment if they showed mercy to a surrendering American soldier. Captured Americans were tortured, starved and cruelly maltreated aboard prison ships.

Washington decided to behave differently. After capturing 1,000 Hessians in the Battle of Trenton, he ordered that enemy prisoners be treated with the same rights for which our young nation was fighting. In an order covering prisoners taken in the Battle of Princeton, Washington wrote: "Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to Complain of our Copying the brutal example of the British Army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren…. Provide everything necessary for them on the road."

So yes, because we are civilize and care about human rights, we are better than them.  That is the only reason we are better than them.  It is not technology, wealth or any of that.  It is our morality.

Seriously man, if you don't care about human rights,  then get the fuck out of my country because you are unAmerican and do not belong here.  Move to china or iran.  They loves themselves some no human rights there.  You'll fit right in.


Here are some more links, in case you are interested in becoming an American again.
http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/0614/p09s02-coop.html
http://www.randompokes.org/pokes/2009/04/george-washington-set-the-standard.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/scott-horton/a-tale-of-two-georges_1_b_41091.html



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Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #66 on: October 19, 2011, 03:41:42 PM »
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then get the fuck out of my country

How about YOU get the FUCK out of MY country I spent 10 years in the Army fighting for this county and lost my leg!!!!


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how old are you? 

31

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You have posted an unbelieveable amount of stupid in that last post.

your showing yours

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You don't even understand how government functions.

Majored in political science

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It would take an awful lot of time and effort to correct everything you got wrong

how so? I dont think i got anything wrong.

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Seriously man, if you don't care about human rights

I never said I didn't not care about human rights, I just made a statement that I should of reworded to say, Why should we care about human right for them when they dont care to use them for us. Their can be exception, but i guess the 10 year bombing that america did to Iraq after the 1991 invasion up till the 2003. OOO.. wait that right you probably never heard of the "No-Fly Zone" war and the thousands of innocent people that died in Iraq from that.

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Move to china

Don't worry China will be here fairly soon considering that China, which owns more about $1.2 trillion in bills, notes and bonds

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You'll fit right in

You sure would fit right in considering you follow the most popular ideas no matter right or wrong.

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the ability to influence other people, was never our military

I would love to see the proof of this. In my opinion, it was more so our military then anything else, no wait was it the trade embargo's, or wait was it the threat that we may not send them money, or wait is it that.... I could go on and on and on... The simple fact is we do not always use our military but other things to influence others.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 04:04:30 PM by violatedsmurf80 »
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #67 on: October 19, 2011, 04:17:32 PM »
Remarkably patient of you, Screwtape, in the face of such confusion. Three excellent posts.

The US and Britain seem to suffer from the same problem; we believe (for historical reasons) that we occupy the moral high ground, but we are selectively blind to all the evidence which contradicts that perspective in the present day.

In violatedsmurf80's case, he wraps himself up in knots trying to justify the unjustifiable; incoherence is the result.

Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #68 on: October 19, 2011, 05:08:13 PM »
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himself up in knots trying to justify the unjustifiable

By no means was I trying to Justify these acts I am simply stating a fact of life. Just because one believes it is wrong, does not mean it will stop. The government believes as long as the public does not know there wont be a problem and there was not a problem until some one leak the pictures out, then it became a problem.

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incoherence is the result
 

I was simply not following the route one wants to hear, hence his confusion, not mine. Executive order was placed so that they would not have a due process rules.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Executive_Order_13425

The facts are out there he just need to look and read them.



When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #69 on: October 19, 2011, 05:59:43 PM »
violatedsmurf80:
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By no means was I trying to Justify these acts I am simply stating a fact of life.
What nonsense. Your opening post on this thread said:

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Guantanamo is an 'injustice',
I would love to know how this is an injustice? We did it with the Japanese and the Nazi but this is a “injustice”? We do it more than any one will ever know. What about the drug cartels that we are fighting in South America, I would not say that it is an “injustice” that we hold then in the same manner we hold the rebels in Iraq or in Afghanistan. I do not see this as an injustice,

So you haven't been trying to justify Guantanamo, yet you don't think it's an injustice?

As I said, incoherent.


Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #70 on: October 19, 2011, 07:28:41 PM »
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So you haven't been trying to justify Guantanamo, yet you don't think it's an injustice

To clear this up, I think that in times of war human rights go out the window. I would rather one man be tortured until he dies if he give information about an attack or if he is linked to a terrorist organization to save American lives or any life. In war, human rights have no place!!! Outside of war I agree, there should be human right!!!

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incoherent

Only thing that is incoherent is your opinion on the matter, were you place a label on anything you decide is inhumane as a violation of human rights. When in war takeing precedence for some ones "Human Rights" will get someone killed. With respect I say your one sided opinion would stem from were you DID NOT actively participate in a war were you had to choose. With this in mind I understand were you are coming from. The Executive Order to silence war protester is something that should not allowed or trying to outlaw the group Occupy should not be allowed nether because they violated the 1st amendment. 

When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.

Offline shnozzola

Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #71 on: October 19, 2011, 08:10:14 PM »
Our power globally, our real power, the ability to influence other people, was never our military.  It was our moral authority. This is what made people - not necessarily their governments, but the people - look up to America and want to be like us and come here and be Americans. It was what made other people listen when we said China's human rights record was atrocious.  It was what made other people listen when we condemned brutal regimes.  But that's gone now.  It was squandered by Bush and ......

Nice that, Screwtape.   So well said.

We went into a little town, which we dropped pamphlets to let them know we were coming. After we got there we setup and did our thing, we also brought a pallet of food and a pallet of water. Everything went great; we ate with the locals and such. Later that night we received mortars and small arms rounds. The unit on the other side that the locals did not know about located them and caught them. Among these members, from the ones that were not killed, were two of the elder that we ate with earlier that night............
Smurf, although I am against the war, I respect you folks that are going through it.  My cousin was a sniper in the army – went to Afghanistan twice and Iraq once.  I can’t imagine how hard it must be when the enemy blends back in and disappears.

For the main thread, I’m thinking about whether the US is considered great because of freedoms.  Freedom for  individuals vs. society is a balance. Thinking how much the founding fathers of the US were respected for many of their beliefs about freedom, but wondering about Native American's view of American freedoms.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2011, 08:14:04 PM by shnozzola »
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Offline screwtape

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #72 on: October 20, 2011, 08:46:08 AM »
How about YOU get the FUCK out of MY country I spent 10 years in the Army fighting for this county and lost my leg!!!!

Is that supposed to mean you are more American than me?  That makes you a higher status American?  Sorry, Sonny Jim. I'm not going to reflexively lionize you just because you were in the military.  If you had the consideration or courage to read the links you would see that this country was based on the principles of human rights.  You don't care about them.  Thus you are against the principles of this country.  To me, that makes you not just unAmerican, but antiAmerican. 

Go back and read my links, particularly the ones about George Washington.  Those are particularly germane to the topic.

And by the way, you weren't fighting for this country.  You were fighting for corporate interests and fringe right wing political strategies.  I know that is a tough thing for you to believe. I understand that you guys have to dress up your awful experiences in patriotic garb.  But the fact is, you were used.  That is also a national embarrassment and I'm sorry that is so. 

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how old are you? 

31

So, old enough to know better.  I asked because you sounded about 13.  That's not meant as a dig.  I genuinely thought you were a kid.

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You don't even understand how government functions.

Majored in political science

Well, your professors would weep if they read your posts. 

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It would take an awful lot of time and effort to correct everything you got wrong

how so? I dont think i got anything wrong.

Of course you don't.  Nobody thinks what they think they know is wrong. 

For starters, the Japanese American citizens interned in WW2 were not POWs, and that was a classic example of unAmerican bigotry triumphing over principles.  Second, gitmo detainees are not legally classified as POWs.  They are "enemy combatants".  Third, the president cannot declare  war by executive order.  He may initiate combat via the War Powers ResolutionWiki, but he is required to consult with congress within 48 hours. So we are not technically, legally at war.  We were de facto at war.

That is just skimming.  There ismore, but I doubt it will sink in.  You are so fundamentally misinformed and stubborn about it, I am not willing to give it any more effort.

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Seriously man, if you don't care about human rights
I never said I didn't not care about human rights, I just made a statement that I should of reworded to say, Why should we care about human right for them when they dont care to use them for us.

Because that is when human rights matter the most. If they only apply to a privileged class of people during certain times, then we cannot actually say we care about civil rights.  They matter most in times of stress and turmoil because that is when the temptation is greatest to throw them away.  It is like when my old grandad said "criminals shouldn't have any rights, goddammit!"  Well, grandad was wrong.  Our Bill of Rights was made specifically for accused criminals.  Citizens not under arrest or investigation have no need of a 5th amendment.

Their can be exception, but i guess the 10 year bombing that america did to Iraq after the 1991 invasion up till the 2003. OOO.. wait that right you probably never heard of the "No-Fly Zone" war and the thousands of innocent people that died in Iraq from that.

I think you have not been paying attention to the fact that I know more than you.  I know about the No Fly Zone.

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You'll fit right in
You sure would fit right in considering you follow the most popular ideas no matter right or wrong.

I know you are but what am I?  It is replies like this that make me think responding to you is a waste of my time and effort.  Please, do better than this.

As for what I "follow", you haven't a clue.  Going to war in Iraq was the popular idea from 2001-2007.  I was against it from the start.

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the ability to influence other people, was never our military
I would love to see the proof of this. In my opinion, it was more so our military then anything else, no wait was it the trade embargo's, or wait was it the threat that we may not send them money, or wait is it that.... I could go on and on and on... The simple fact is we do not always use our military but other things to influence others.

Incoherent.  First you disagree with me.  Then your last sentence sort of agrees.  Make up your mind.

If the military is our greatest tool for promoting America, our best method of persuasion, that means our best method of persuasion for the last 65 years has been the threat of violence

There are two problems with that.  First, threatening people does not make them respect you.  If someone told you to do something - go to the store, take a shower, give them a dollar, vote them, whatever - and if you didn't they would hurt you, how would that make you feel?  I would feel afraid, resentful, hateful.  I would not respect that person because he is a thug and an extortionist. 

The second problem with that is oppressed people throughout history have never been "broken".  It seems to be a predictable human quality to resist oppression.  Always.  So, if one person (or country) is threatening another to make the second do what the first wants, smart money bets that eventually the second person (country) is going to fight back in some way.  You see this is the case in Iraq and Afghanistan, both adventures of Bush who operated under the delusion that might makes right.

So our military has only on a few occasions made other nations do what we wanted and it has never made them like us.  A nation that bullies others is a nation of thugs, unworthy of respect.  We call them "rogue nations".  I had a friend who, when I was griping about the Iraq war, revealed he was a republican.  He said "as long as we are there we should get what we can."  With that sentence I lost a lot of respect for him and it affected our friendship deeply.  It meant we were pirates and he seemed okay with that. 

Is that what we are?  Is that what you want the US to be?  Pirates with a nuclear arsenal? 

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Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #73 on: October 20, 2011, 11:16:15 AM »
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Third, the president cannot declare  war by executive order.  He may initiate combat via the War Powers ResolutionWiki, but he is required to consult with congress within 48 hours. So we are not technically, legally at war.  We were de facto at war.

While what you say is true, let’s look at Executive Order 13268, Executive Order 13224. While these are the base line for the USA Patriot Act it also gave the President free reign to fight the war on terror and even invade Iraq without the permission of congress or NATO. Let’s look at some things Clinton did also under an Executive Order. Clinton issued executive order 13088 and used that to go to Yugoslavia.

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You are so fundamentally misinformed and stubborn about it, I am not willing to give it any more effort.

I would not say fundamentally misinformed, I would say that you are against a certain war and I am not, therefore have varied opinion on what’s right and what’s wrong.  I wouldn’t say effort because there is not much information that you can support your claim without going into your own emotional tantrum.

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Because that is when human rights matter the most. If they only apply to a privileged class of people during certain times, then we cannot actually say we care about civil rights.  They matter most in times of stress and turmoil because that is when the temptation is greatest to throw them away.  It is like when my old grandad said "criminals shouldn't have any rights, goddammit!"  Well, grandad was wrong.  Our Bill of Rights was made specifically for accused criminals.  Citizens not under arrest or investigation have no need of a 5th amendment.

I completely agree with you as long as it is not in a military action. When I was in Iraq one of my soldiers was shot and one of the insurgents was also, according to the human rights activist we should of taken care of the insurgent before we took care of our own men. Common sense will tell someone what is right and what is wrong and I do not believe that the insurgent should be taken care before our own men.

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As for what I "follow", you haven't a clue.  Going to war in Iraq was the popular idea from 2001-2007.  I was against it from the start.

As was I, but afterwards I had no choice but to accept it or be ridicule. The Iraq war was a way to G.W. Bush to try to revenge his father, try and prove himself, not to mention all of the fuck up misinformation that was given to him in the process. Now I don’t know if he just ignored the blatantly wrong information or not. As for the Afghanistan war I am for it.

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Incoherent.  First you disagree with me.  Then your last sentence sort of agrees.  Make up your mind If the military is our greatest tool for promoting America, our best method of persuasion, that means our best method of persuasion for the last 65 years has been the threat of violence. 

There are two problems with that.  First, threatening people does not make them respect you.  If someone told you to do something - go to the store, take a shower, give them a dollar, vote them, whatever - and if you didn't they would hurt you, how would that make you feel?  I would feel afraid, resentful, hateful.  I would not respect that person because he is a thug and an extortionist. 

The second problem with that is oppressed people throughout history have never been "broken".  It seems to be a predictable human quality to resist oppression.  Always.  So, if one person (or country) is threatening another to make the second do what the first wants, smart money bets that eventually the second person (country) is going to fight back in some way.  You see this is the case in Iraq and Afghanistan, both adventures of Bush who operated under the delusion that might makes right.

Your disregard for history is apparent; the military is one fact but look at the other strategies that the US used to get what they wanted. Let’s look at the “The Republic of the Congo” and the US relation. We put a trade embargo on them so that they would not embrace socialism. How did the people influence them?  The Russian invasion of Afghanistan in the 80’s we sent troops over there to help them fight off the Russians. Then after all was said and done we, Americans, left them high and dry with no help or anything. Looks were we are at now with them.  How did the people influence them? Let also look at the Iran-Iraq war. We furnished weapons and many other things to the Iraqi people to help them fight. In return we ask them to become a diplomatic country like us, they refused. How did the people influence them? Look at the early American literature about immigration and how they did not like how American dream was not obtainable unless you were born here, now I understand it does not mean the same today per se, but it shows the struggles and the hard ships they had not to mention the oppression.  Our best method of persuasion is whatever work to get what WE want.

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So our military has only on a few occasions made other nations do what we wanted and it has never made them like us.  A nation that bullies others is a nation of thugs, unworthy of respect.

Define “Bullies”. Does taking military action by disregarding U.N. disapproval and on ridiculous and unproven grounds, makes America the bully? This is just a thought.

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Is that what you want the US to be?  Pirates with a nuclear arsenal?

Again don’t twist my word or make claim that are extremely bias

When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

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Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #74 on: October 20, 2011, 01:29:17 PM »
violatedsmurf80:
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In war, human rights have no place!!! Outside of war I agree, there should be human right!!!
Considering you were a professional soldier, this is deeply worrying.

Did your basic training not cover the concept of a war crime? Were you not taught about the Hague and Geneva Conventions which the USA is signed up to, and under which your military (and you personally) are obliged to operate?

It would appear not, if you can say things such as:
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I would rather one man be tortured until he dies if he give information about an attack or if he is linked to a terrorist organization to save American lives or any life.
Torturing someone to death is a terrible crime, whether in peace- or war-time.

The fact that you (speaking as a representative of the US military) condone and justify such behaviour goes some way to explaining why the US is feared but not respected.

The fact that presumably you yourself would have tortured someone to death, if ordered to... well ... let's just say I'm glad I don't know you in real life.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2011, 02:15:30 PM by Gnu Ordure »

Offline Truth OT

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #75 on: October 20, 2011, 01:42:02 PM »
Torturing someone to death is a terrible crime, whether in peace- or war-time.

......... condone and justify such behaviour goes some way to explaining why the US is feared but not respected.

It's not as simple as saying "torture is wrong and terrible and should never be employed" when there a scenarios where the stakes make employing torture to influence behavior a viable alternative.

When the lives and wellbeing of many are at risk and can be saved then employing methods of persuasion that may even include torture should be considered. 

Offline Gnu Ordure

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #76 on: October 20, 2011, 02:10:23 PM »
ToT:
Quote
there a[re] scenarios where the stakes make employing torture to influence behavior a viable alternative.
Any country that wants use institutionalized torture in war-time should at least have the integrity and decency to withdraw from the treaties they've voluntarily signed agreeing not to engage in such behaviour.

But then again, countries that want to use torture probably don't understand the concepts of integrity and decency...

Offline screwtape

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #77 on: October 20, 2011, 02:11:02 PM »
While what you say is true,

Stop there, while you are ahead.  The rest of what you said was irrelevant.  The executive orders were not delcarations of war (like you said) and they were followed with use of force authorizations by congress, like I said.

Screwtape: correct
violatedsmurf: not

I would not say fundamentally misinformed,

But you are.  The facts I laid out were independent of whether anyone is for or agains the war.  They do not depend on perspective.  You got them wrong.

Many of the reasons you are for the war are due to your misconcpetions and misunderstandings. 

I wouldn’t say effort because there is not much information that you can support your claim without going into your own emotional tantrum.

This from the guy who has given no support for his positions.

I completely agree with you as long as it is not in a military action.

Then you are anti-American.  I guess you didn't read the George Washington links.  He disagreed with you.  We have rules for war.  I understand the enemy is not going to follow them.  Too bad.  That has always been the case and that has always been what made us better.  What next, should we adopt terrorist tactics?  What would that make us?  How could we justify our actions when we behave exactly like them?


according to the human rights activist we should of taken care of the insurgent before we took care of our own men.

I call bullshit.  I have never heard of such a thing.  Show me.  Give me evidence.

As was I, but afterwards I had no choice but to accept it or be ridicule.

Aw, poor you.  Had to conform or have your feelings hurt. 

Hey, wait a minute.  Weren't you the guy who just told me I "follow the most popular ideas no matter right or wrong"?  Yes.  Yes, it was you.  And now here you are saying you had an opinion - a righteous one, too - which you changed because it was unpopular, disregarding right or wrong.  You unprincipled hypocrite.  How dare you.  Had everyone else been wiping their ass with the constitution or a picture of your mother, would you have done it too?


Your disregard for history is apparent;

I don't know what is so difficult for you to understand.  I said our main strength was not in military might, it was moral authority.  The only reason why we could get away with helping afghanistan against the russians was we had the higher moral position than the russians.  And note, it was not our military might, it was not us crudely threatening another country with war, that was used.  It was a moral argument - the russians were illegally invading an impoverished, backward country - and aid.  Sneaky aid, but aid and not our military outright, never the less.  Leaving them high and dry was a moral failure.  Had we stuck it out then - built schools, roads, plumbing - we might not have had to be at it with them now.  Which is kind of my whole point.

Nothing you pointed out was the US using the military as a blunt instrument to successfully get its way.  Your incoherent post had done nothing whatsoever to damage my point.


Define “Bullies”. Does taking military action by disregarding U.N. disapproval and on ridiculous and unproven grounds, makes America the bully? This is just a thought.

A person (or country) who tries to coerce other people (or countries) to do what they want through threat of violence or retribution.  Hitler was a bully. Sadaam Hussein was a bully.  North Korea is a bully. The Bush administration was a bully.  China is a bully, using economics as their weapon.  Unfortunately, the Obama administration is following Bush precedent.


Again don’t twist my word or make claim that are extremely bias

Don't think of it as twisting, so much as it is providing clarity for you.

I've said about all I can say.  You can have the last word if you want.

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Offline pingnak

Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #78 on: October 20, 2011, 02:12:12 PM »

http://artoftrolling.memebase.com/2011/10/20/irl-troll-our-lord-and-savior-wont-save-your-grade-2/comment-page-1/

Why, you can answer a test like this... and not get ZERO!

And at a bible college, that's an A+!

Football and fuckwits!  USA! USA! USA!

Offline screwtape

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #79 on: October 20, 2011, 02:15:49 PM »
It's not as simple as saying "torture is wrong and terrible and should never be employed" when there a scenarios where the stakes make employing torture to influence behavior a viable alternative.

When the lives and wellbeing of many are at risk and can be saved then employing methods of persuasion that may even include torture should be considered.

I disagree.  I think it is that simple. 

You make two assumptions.  The first is such situations exist or could exist.  They don't and they cannot.  They are pure fantasy.

Your second assumption is torture works. It doesn't.  The experts - FBI and CIA - who have used torture have said it does not work.  I posted links regarding that a few posts up.  Using torture, you will get an answer, but the likelihood of it being true is low, particularly when there is no way to validate it.

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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #80 on: October 20, 2011, 02:57:54 PM »
Torture does not give you good information. Besides being morally wrong and illegal, it is useless. A tortured person will say anything to make it stop. Anything.

The Spanish Inquisition got hundreds of peasants to confess that they had sex with the devil and flew around the town on brooms at night, casting spells. Pol Pot's minions got hundreds of Buddhist monks, shopkeepers, factory workers and high school students to confess to high crimes against the communists. Was this actionable intelligence? Of course it was. The torturers got what they wanted, info that confirmed what they already believed. Then whatever they did to the confessed criminals was justified.

That is the same thing that happened at Gitmo. Everyone there would end up being a high level terrorist, if tortured long enough. Even the Canadian 16 year old and the illiterate 75 year old Pakistani cab driver.

If you torture an innocent person who knows nothing about terrorism, at what point do you believe him when he says, "I don't know?" If you only stop when he confesses to personally knowing Osama's grandmother's bodyguard's cocaine dealer, have you gotten the truth? How could you possibly tell? With enough torture, nobody is innocent.[1] Not you and not me. That is why successful dictators always have that in their arsenal....

The last issue with torture is what it does to the people who torture. When we look at the aftermath of the Nazi regime, of the Apartheid regime, of the slave era in the US south, the view is not pretty. Being violent and inhumane as part of the job creates inhuman robotic people with serious psychological problems. These folks have to somehow go back to families and friends who expect them to be normal empathetic dads and moms and kids. They become perpetuators of domestic violence, drug and alcohol users, self-destructive, shut down silent people. Some end up as mentally ill homeless who live in a world of self-torture.

Do you want to marry and have children with a person who tortured others?



 1. Isn't that what the Christians tell us about god's right to torture everyone in hell? Because we are all basically born sinful terrorists who deserve to be killed.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline Truth OT

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #81 on: October 20, 2011, 02:59:58 PM »
So ST, if you have a child that has been kidnapped and you happen to catch one of the people that helped the kidnappers and may know where they are holding your child, wouldn't using any means necessary to get them to squeal be employable? If I gotta rub honey on their cock and dip it in an ant pile, I'll do so or at the very least threaten them with such action in order to get to my child.

Torture should not be glorified and admittedly it doesn't always yield the desired result. But in cases where time is of the essense and the stakes are high enough, it should not be ruled out as an alternative. Fear is a powerful motivator ST, real talk.

Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #82 on: October 20, 2011, 03:13:02 PM »
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Stop there, while you are ahead.  The rest of what you said was irrelevant.  The executive orders were not delcarations of war (like you said) and they were followed with use of force authorizations by congress, like I said.

Screwtape: correct
violatedsmurf: not

Wrong, they are relevant because if that was the case then I guess Kosovo and many of the other conflicts that was not approved of by congress was not an act of aggression. I guess you live in a bubble were the world make since and nothing can happen without congresses approval, well wake up it a new age if you have not figured it out yet, as time goes by there will always be a way to get around congress to do what the president wants.

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But you are.  The facts I laid out were independent of whether anyone is for or against the war.  They do not depend on perspective.  You got them wrong.
You did not lay out fact you laid out the base for what the country was built on. As times change so do rules, laws and morals. 

Many of the reasons you are for the war are due to your misconceptions and misunderstandings

If they were independent of whether anyone is for or against the war then how come they leaned to what you want to say?  Once again different opinion.

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Then you are anti-American. 

Not agreeing what it says does not make me Anti-American that is a label that you place to make your self feel as though you are right.

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I guess you didn't read the George Washington links.  He disagreed with you.

As I stated earlier, times change, situation changes, If we did not change you would not be able to do many things that you are allowed to do now because of the Blue Laws that were in place from the bible.

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We have rules for war.I understand the enemy is not going to follow them.  Too bad.  That has always been the case and that has always been what made us better.

Yep sure did prime example was Vietnam. That made so much better then them didn't it

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What next, should we adopt terrorist tactics?  What would that make us?  How could we justify our actions when we behave exactly like them?

Guerrilla warfare or “Terrorist Tactics” has been around since the beginning of time without it we would not have gained our freedom.  Why should we have to Justify anything we do in war? unless civilians are effected.  It is war the more people that died for there cause is usually the losing party, in which case we lost more nonconvental wars then we won. 

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I call bullshit.  I have never heard of such a thing.  Show me.  Give me evidence.


When I find my ROE I will scan it and show you.

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I don't know what is so difficult for you to understand.  I said our main strength was not in military might, it was moral authority.  The only reason why we could get away with helping afghanistan against the russians was we had the higher moral position than the russians.  And note, it was not our military might, it was not us crudely threatening another country with war, that was used.  It was a moral argument - the russians were illegally invading an impoverished, backward country - and aid.  Sneaky aid, but aid and not our military outright, never the less.  Leaving them high and dry was a moral failure.  Had we stuck it out then - built schools, roads, plumbing - we might not have had to be at it with them now.  Which is kind of my whole point.

Nothing you pointed out was the US using the military as a blunt instrument to successfully get its way.  Your incoherent post had done nothing whatsoever to damage my point

Really, well I guess you really know nothing about the “The Republic of the Congo” and the US relation thing were the seals were dispatched to the area, or how we sent troops to train the Iraqis. You had no point you side step the question. Just like this one: Define “Bullies”. Does taking military action by disregarding U.N. disapproval and on ridiculous and unproven grounds, makes America the bully? This is just a thought. The difference then use a full scale military invasion and using lite military Guerrilla warfare or “Terrorist Tactics” is no difference. it is still a military presences.

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Don't think of it as twisting, so much as it is providing clarity for you

there was none.

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Did your basic training not cover the concept of a war crime?

Big difference between human rights crime and a war crime, but yes.

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they've voluntarily signed agreeing not to engage in such behaviour.

Like  many other legal paper work and other document there are amendments.

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The experts - FBI and CIA - who have used torture have said it does not work.  I posted links regarding that a few posts up.  Using torture, you will get an answer, but the likelihood of it being true is low, particularly when there is no way to validate it.

Were is the .gov website that has an FBI or a CIA agent on it saying it does not work. Other wise it is just anther Bias opinion.
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

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Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #83 on: October 20, 2011, 03:19:19 PM »
Quote
These folks have to somehow go back to families and friends who expect them to be normal empathetic dads and moms and kids. They become perpetuators of domestic violence, drug and alcohol users, self-destructive, shut down silent people. Some end up as mentally ill homeless who live in a world of self-torture.

Such a sweeping statement. 90% of the Vietnam, American POWs, who came back showed signs of PTSD and lead successful live. I would love to see figures on this
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perpetuators of domestic violence, drug and alcohol users, self-destructive, shut down silent people
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #84 on: October 20, 2011, 03:34:32 PM »
So ST, if you have a child that has been kidnapped and you happen to catch one of the people that helped the kidnappers and may know where they are holding your child, wouldn't using any means necessary to get them to squeal be employable? If I gotta rub honey on their cock and dip it in an ant pile, I'll do so or at the very least threaten them with such action in order to get to my child.

Torture should not be glorified and admittedly it doesn't always yield the desired result. But in cases where time is of the essense and the stakes are high enough, it should not be ruled out as an alternative. Fear is a powerful motivator ST, real talk.

You have watched too many episodes of 24 or whatever it is called. First of all, in real life, that scenario is so rare as to be almost mythical. Secondly, being smart trumps being scary when trying to solve crimes-- and terrorism is a crime, not an endless war.

This is a case where the research in the field is diametrically opposed to what we might want to think. The professionals in real life know that the way to get good information out of an informant (who is, after all, a human being, maybe uneducated, maybe coerced into joining a terror group, and expecting the worst from the evil infidels) is to use psychological pressure, read body language, create a relationship, get them to trust, befriend the person, figure out what they need and give them something in exchange.[1]

A turnaround can happen fairly fast if the interrogator is good. And the person gives up useful, true information, if they have it. You already have them in custody, so they have something positive to lose if they lie--a lessor sentence, good treatment, privileges, etc. If they know they will be abused no matter what, why would they want to help you? And in this scenario where they are risking losing something good that they want, "I don't know" is probably the truth.
 1. People who are successful at getting Muslim terror subjects to talk offer Qurans for them to read, a chance to meet with an imam, a phone call from a relative or friend, a meal of traditional foods, videos in the person's language, etc. I know this stuff is too cheap and easy, not macho enough, and does not make as good tv as dipping their cock in an anthill, but it has actually proven to work.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

Offline violatedsmurf80

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #85 on: October 20, 2011, 03:42:31 PM »
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befriend the person, figure out what they need and give them something in exchange.[1]
A turnaround can happen fairly fast if the interrogator is good. And the person gives up useful, true information, if they have it

That is true, I have heard of military doing something like this a  few years ago. They did the same thing to Saddam and his last words before he was given back to his country for court procedures was "You will never be able to control this country". I heard this from a colleague so i dont know how true it is. 
When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross.”--- Sinclair Lewis

I believe there is something out there watching over us. Unfortunately, it's the government.

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: What's So Great About America?
« Reply #86 on: October 20, 2011, 04:09:41 PM »
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These folks have to somehow go back to families and friends who expect them to be normal empathetic dads and moms and kids. They become perpetuators of domestic violence, drug and alcohol users, self-destructive, shut down silent people. Some end up as mentally ill homeless who live in a world of self-torture.

Such a sweeping statement. 90% of the Vietnam, American POWs, who came back showed signs of PTSD and lead successful live. I would love to see figures on this
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perpetuators of domestic violence, drug and alcohol users, self-destructive, shut down silent people

It does not take long to find data on the effects of war participation on families of soldiers, even generations later. Germany has done a lot on this as so many families had to deal with the fact that dad or grandad was a de facto war criminal and torturer.

Problem is that it is often hard to get numbers because many families think it is just them and old dad is just being a macho guy who won't go to therapy. I have many anecdotal examples from my own family and acquaintances of men who "were never the same after the army" dating to WWII, Korea and Vietnam. A couple of the guys never held jobs again and lived off what their wives made' some became violent alcoholics; some ended up divorced; others became virtual recluses, silent and angry men.

It has to be more than coincidence that these were fairly well-adjusted happy young guys before they went off to war. It is the families, esp the women, who have to pick up the pieces. The guy ends up living with mom or sis when his wife can't take it anymore, and the next step is the shelter or the street.

http://dartcenter.org/content/germany-and-post-war-trauma
http://pewresearch.org/databank/dailynumber/?NumberID=1340
http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Battles-Unseen-Fronts-Traumatic/dp/1935149407
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.