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Current Topic: War on Terrorism

What Bush actually said...
Topic: War on Terrorism 2:02 pm EST, Dec 19, 2005

Of course, we want this to be solved diplomatically, and we want the Iranians to hear a unified voice.

What Bush actually said... Visit from DHS!
Topic: War on Terrorism 12:06 am EST, Dec 19, 2005

10 used & new available from $9.89

Cheap! Visit from DHS!

New Army Rules May Snarl Talks With McCain on Detainee Issue - New York Times
Topic: War on Terrorism 4:38 pm EST, Dec 16, 2005

The Army has approved a new, classified set of interrogation methods...

The techniques are included in a 10-page classified addendum to a new Army field manual...

Army and other Pentagon officials raised concerns that Mr. McCain would be furious at what could appear to be a back-door effort to circumvent his intentions.

"This is a stick in McCain's eye," one official.

Mr. McCain's measure, which the Senate has overwhelmingly approved, would require that only interrogation techniques authorized by the new Army field manual be used on prisoners held by the military....

New Army Rules May Snarl Talks With McCain on Detainee Issue - New York Times

Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts - New York Times
Topic: War on Terrorism 10:48 am EST, Dec 16, 2005

Months after the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.

Bush Lets U.S. Spy on Callers Without Courts - New York Times - Bush takes responsibility for invasion intelligence - Dec 14, 2005
Topic: War on Terrorism 3:01 am EST, Dec 15, 2005

"It is true that much of the intelligence turned out to be wrong," Bush said during his fourth and final speech before Thursday's vote for Iraq's parliament. "As president I am responsible for the decision to go into Iraq.

Bush's position sounds a lot stronger to me when he acknowledges its weaknesses. This is not a paradox. It shows objective consideration of alternatives. - Bush takes responsibility for invasion intelligence - Dec 14, 2005

Sympathetic Vibrations
Topic: War on Terrorism 9:12 am EST, Nov 28, 2005

Just three of 10 adults accept that Democrats are leveling criticism because they believe this will help U.S. efforts in Iraq. A majority believes the motive is really to "gain a partisan political advantage."

Sympathetic Vibrations

Don't Bomb Us - A blog by Al Jazeera Staffers
Topic: War on Terrorism 12:25 pm EST, Nov 27, 2005

These are the men and women who bring you the news at Al Jazeera. We have a diverse staff complement. Our people are made up of dozens of nationalities...Come and have a look at who we are (here is our flickr photoset). We are not afraid of your threats.

This is interesting. The English seems, ehm, western. Would someone from Al'J named "mohammed" really say "You guys rock?" It might be true. It might not be true. Same thing can be said for the accusations in question. Is it possible to know if anything is real anymore?

Don't Bomb Us - A blog by Al Jazeera Staffers

Editors are threatened over TV station bombing claim...
Topic: War on Terrorism 10:45 pm EST, Nov 22, 2005

NEWSPAPERS editors were threatened with prosecution under the Official Secrets Act last night if they published details of a conversation between Tony Blair and George Bush in which the President is alleged to have suggested bombing al-Jazeera, the Arab news network.

Please somebody tell me they are lying! More here. I really hope this is a misunderstanding. It sounds like it is...

Some partisan Republican out there is thinking "If it's true, well good, Fuck Al Jazeera."
Some partisan Democrat out there is thinking "if it's true, well fine, Fuck Bush."

I implore that you're both wrong. If this is true... for the President of the United States to seriously suggest something like this... it will do irreperable harm to the credibility of this country on an almost unprecidented level. No one who cares about the United States should wish this.

Editors are threatened over TV station bombing claim...

RE: - Iraqi leaders call for withdrawal schedule
Topic: War on Terrorism 9:58 pm EST, Nov 22, 2005

Elonka wrote:
Works for me. If they want a timetable, there should be a timetable. If they want us to stay, we stay. If they want us to leave, we leave. It's their country, and if the democratically-elected leaders make a request of us, we should honor it. It's their call.

This is one of the most rational things I think I have ever read thus far about the Iraq war. Frankly, they are our allies now. If they request our assistance in dealing with the insurgency then we would be remiss to fail to offer it. We may not have been in the right to create this mess in the first place. However, as they are a democratic government, its now a different deal. The Iraq War just became something it hasn't yet been ... moral.

RE: - Iraqi leaders call for withdrawal schedule

Francis Fukuyama - A Year of Living Dangerously
Topic: War on Terrorism 2:03 pm EST, Nov  3, 2005

Since van Gogh's murder, the Dutch have embarked on a vigorous and often impolitic debate on what it means to be Dutch, with some demanding of immigrants not just an ability to speak Dutch, but a detailed knowledge of Dutch history and culture that many Dutch people do not have themselves. But national identity has to be a source of inclusion, not exclusion; nor can it be based, contrary to the assertion of the gay Dutch politician Pym Fortuyn who was assassinated in 2003, on endless tolerance and valuelessness.

Messy. As recently as 1995 it was the predominate view of the U.S. Embassy to Canada that Canada would break into multiple separate countries within 20 years. Today that outcome is no longer considered likely. The reason is that from the 50's through the 90's the Canadian government engaged in a serious effort to make its various constituants feel as if their national identity represented them. Canada is a lesson in both how to succeed at this, and how difficult it is. This is why I don't have great hopes for Isreal. The jewish identity of Isreal as a state cannot provide a meaningful identity to it's muslim citizens. This will inevitably and perpetually cause tension, unless all of the muslims move out, or the state changes it's identity to become more inclusive, or the state is destroyed. Unfortunately, I don't think Isreal has the cultural maturity to choose the middle path, and I think the other outcomes are terrible in terms of their human costs, and I don't find the status quo acceptable either. I see problems in every direction there.

Can Holland create an inclusive national identity like the United States? I think so. I think England can too. I'm more worried about France.

On the other hand, I bristle at the thought of people being exhiled for preaching. If they advocate violence, then yes, but to attack tolerance as the issue is to invite the requirement that a national identity requires that 3rd generation Englishmen have the same culture as 50th generation Englishmen. This is impossible, and it will create more strife, not less. At the same time I don't think that people who are citizens of a country should operate their own "cultural" legal system. Democratic states should not allow communities to practice Sharia. It is the legal system of the country, and the people's equal footing before it, that makes a binding national identity meaningful. This is the lesson of American history. The constant accumulation of federal power in American history happen precisely because one nation could not exist with radically different legal systems in different regions. There is a balance. Its important for states to be laboratories of democracy, and to reflect slight regional differences, but American history has consistently shown that erring on the side of too much "legal diversity" results in significant tension and perhaps war.

The result must be that what it means to be English must be defined by who England's citizens actually are today. Not who they were 200 years ago, and not who they would like to be, but who they actually are. That identity must be one which every citizen can accept as his or her own identity.

It took Canada 5 decades to get French and English people to live together as a single nation and the project is far from complete. I fear getting Islamic fundamentalists to feel French is a far more daunting task.

Francis Fukuyama - A Year of Living Dangerously

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