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My point of view, exactly...

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I hope this is not viewed as "divisive"! If it is, delete it, but in my mind...shame on you. Keep it clean. No cheap shots please. This is "big stuff". November, 1941 and all that.http://www.interglobal.org/weblog/archives...061.html#002061Best to all, Peace on Earth.btPS...I'd pay for AVSIM. Its worth it. To say otherwise is disingenuous...much like the current debate around the war. Sadam is a butcher. You know it. I know it. The WORLD knows it.AVSIM is a GREAT deal for free. To do what it does costs. Who should pay? Tom? Again, to ignore the truth is disingenuous.bt

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I'm sorry, but this site hosts an international community. Do we really need this kind of tendentious nonsense here? Shame on me? Please.Here is a quote from your link:************************************"allies": Nations that we either defeated or liberated six decades ago, and then paid to rebuild half a century ago, and continued to pay for their defense through the Cold War, which has been over for more than a decade, who now feel that they are thereby entitled to obstruct or dictate our foreign policy, which is driven by our own self defense, in the furtherance of the business interests of their corrupt governments and the brutal dictators that they cynically coddle.************************************

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Your point of view is valid. Your opinion is welcome. No "shame on you".OTOH...I as a Canadian who has lived in the US for 40 years, cannot help but agree with the statements that I linked to.The fact that you view it as "tedious nonsense" suggests to me that perhaps you fail to grasp the seriousness of the situation the world faces at this time.Ciao!btPS...this of course, is what "fuels" my "tedious nonsense". Note, OTHER islamics are offering sorrow and condolences...only "Iraq"(Text is extracted in fair use in full context from Reuters)Iraqis Call Shuttle Disaster God's Vengeance Sat February 1, 2003 03:24 PM ET BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Immediate popular reaction in Baghdad on Saturday to the loss of the U.S. space shuttle Columbia and its seven-member crew -- including the first Israeli in space -- was that it was God's retribution."We are happy that it broke up," government employee Abdul Jabbar al-Quraishi said."God wants to show that his might is greater than the Americans. They have encroached on our country. God is avenging us," he said.Iraqis are braced for a possible U.S.-led war to rid their country of any chemical, biological or nuclear weapons it may possess. Iraq denies it has such weapons.Car mechanic Mohammed Jaber al-Tamini noted Israeli air force Colonel Ilan Ramon was among the dead when the shuttle broke up over the southwestern United States 16 minutes before its scheduled landing.The 48-year-old Israeli astronaut was a fighter pilot in the Israeli air force. He was the youngest pilot in a team that bombed Iraq's nuclear reactor in 1981. Israel said the reactor was intended to develop nuclear weapons."Israel launched an aggression on us when it raided our nuclear reactor without any reason, now time has come and God has retaliated to their aggression," Tamini said.There were no such signs of jubilation over the shuttle disaster in any of the Palestinian territories. The official response from the Palestinians was one of condolence."President (Yasser) Arafat and the Palestinian Authority offer their condolences to the six American families and the Israeli family who lost their loved ones in the catastrophe," Saeb Erekat, a senior Palestinian official and spokesman, told Reuters.Erekat said Arafat had sent President Bush a message of condolences over the loss of the NASA space agency's shuttle. The United States, Israel's closest ally, is the chief Middle East peace broker.

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You gotta admit, its an opinion that is completely USA-centric. The world has every reason to view the USA as forcing its culture on them. The US is very rich and very powerful. Its a natural tendency for US folks to assume our culture and values will be admired. 'taint so.Your post seeks to focus on all the USA has done for the world...and as a US citizen, its fun to think that's true, but be a thinker....how altruistic have we been? Would we behave in a generous way if it meant lowering our own standard of living? Notice that we've been careful to protect our standard of living in the face of a worldwide AIDS epidemic...pretty much only wealthy folks (on a world level perspective I mean wealthy...such as having food to eat...not drinking contaminated water...that kind of "wealthy") have access to drugs that can do wonders for quality of life. The US invented and produces those drugs, but profits are our goal, not altruism. The world view is easy to find on the internet, and it opens up your eyes if you get past the flag waving energy that is natural to feel. Much of the world views our concerns about Iraq as about controlling the world's oil prices. Not an impossible concept...the interest shown by our government in alternative fuels over the last 30 years is abominable. The hydrogen vehicle engine still isn't in production...can you imagine that? Why...dollars...power...YEP...dollars....power...but the only problem...Oil is elsewhere...who consumes the most oil...yep...you guessed it. LOLHow DARE we pretend that our mission is moral because Iraq has big bad weapons...Who has the MOST of these big bad weapons. We do, of course. Until we bomb ourselves for position of these weapons, I'll continue to few that position as a ludicrous excuse for some other purpose. For a second, pretend you live in some country...say Syria, or Algeria...not government folks...the PEOPLE..who would they expect they'd get bombed by most likely...Iraq or USA....duh. Wouldn't they be more willing to buy in if we insisted on other countries having no MORE than we do of this stuff, rather than "do as we say, not as we do."Why have we not protected the palistinian people? We're wanting the world to believe we are the great "protector"....how come we forgot those folks? Perhaps cuz they didn't have a voice, perhaps cuz we're only doing it for the gain you get from nation to nation interaction...if a peoples are tribal without national govenmental focus, where's the gain from helping them. And of course when they attained some organizatation, we could fuss about Arafat...but I mean before Arafat....what's up with support for Israel regardless of their behaviour. Did the holocaust, as horrid as that was, provide Israel with a blank check for their behaviour? Ok, rant button is going off. Bob Bernstein, loyal American with eyes and brain open to being (or at least trying to be) a thoughtful world citizen.

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Bob...your opinion is as valid as mine. Just have one correction.I am a "naturalized" citizen. While the US is truly not "all that and a bag of chips", it is not anything equally as polemic on the scale of good and bad, like you describe. For every American atrocity, I can quote you an international incident that smites it in the "big-time serious" category.The US is not alone on this. Look at the world. LOOK AT THE COUNTRIES THAT JUST ESCAPED TOTALITARIANISM, AND HOW THEY FEEL. You know, as a student of history, I never understood how pre-Pearl Harbor America lived the isolationist stance it did. That is the message of my "November 1941" comment. We don't want to take a stance. Well in my mind, the time has come for just that.Cheers,bt

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Bob,Good points, and all beyond the one-dimensional view of these issues often seen. But I wanted to come up with another answer to this question:"..who would they expect they'd get bombed by most likely...Iraq or USA...."The real answer? Themselves.... You see world news, and all you hear about it seems are civil wars, coups, governments gassing their own people, different religions, creeds, and social classes fighting each other in the streets. Neither the U.S. nor Iraq represent the big bad wolf in the world--human hatred and blood lust, which goes far beyond borders--that is the big bad wolf in the world. Fingers will constantly be pointed, and countries will always be scapegoats. It's good to have someone to blame for your internal issues.For the Imams and despots of the Middle East, it's good politics to blame the U.S.--it diverts attention from their exploitation of their own people, such as women (really, treating them on a subhuman scale), and it diverts attention from their persecution of anyone who is not Muslim. Same with Bush's agenda. More than oil, attention is diverted from the economy, from our still divided class structure, and from an agenda of stripping our citizens of basic rights of privacy.I would still argue that the U.S. is more a blessing to the world than an enemy. When we have a disaster, it often seems the more radical elements in the world are out celebrating in the street. If Iraq had a disaster, or North Korea, I guarantee you we would be among the first offering aid (and I mean sincere aid, not the type of aid politicians use for sound bytes).... That's the nature of the average person I know on the streets.... Still, much of what you say rings true. Like it or not, we are in part the cause for our own perception in the rest of the world. Regards,John

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<>I couldn't agree more, BT...the ONLY reason I posted one sided opinions is to balance your post of one sided opinions, because I (as you) want to see a balanced discussion on matters like this.Let me know if I missed the objective world viewpoint presented in the link you included in initial post.B

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You missed nothing B.Points well noted. Ain't good conversation fun?!bt

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