Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-31 Thread Doug Pensinger
Dan wrote:
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia does have extensive -- around $100
billion -- foreign assets, which provide a substantial fiscal cushion.
end quote
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/2202781.stm
Saudi investors have threatened to withdraw some of the $750bn (£487bn; 
766bn euros) they have invested in the US after families of 11 September 
victims filed a lawsuit against Saudi banks and charities for damages.

http://www.detnews.com/2004/editorial/0406/21/a11-187286.htm
Terrorist group tries to destabilize economies worldwide in an effort to 
devalue as much as $1 trillion of Saudi investments in U.S. stock markets

http://www.japantoday.com/gidx/news227489.html
Commenting on the unprecedented step taken by Saudi investors, Bishr 
Bakheet, well-known financial adviser, told Arab News that it is estimated 
that Arabs had invested $1.3 trillion outside the Arab world.

This figure is based on the analysis conducted by Merrill Lynch/Gemini 
Consultancy. According to them, it is estimated that Saudis have invested 
more than $700 billion in the United States.

That makes sense to me, given the low production and low price of oil in
the mid-80s and in the late '90s...actually it hasn't been at all high
until just recently.I'd guess that private investment also exists; but 
not $900 billion worth.
No,  1.3 trillion worth.
snip
No.  I'm telling you, with regard to political pressure, there is minimal
that can be done.  You suggest freezing Saudi assets in the US, and 
that's possible, but I'm not sure how much the net leverage is.  The 
next step I
can think of is war.
Which we don't have trouble making on countries that didn't attack us.
If the Saudi government actually ordered it; then we might have to pay a
high price to set an example.  But, we were willing to let the Taliban
slide if they would stop protecting AQ.  We let Pakistan slide with a 
great deal when they offered to cooperate.  It appears to me that the 
Saudi
government has decided that paying protection money is not a good way to
keep AQ at bay and is now fighting them.
That is the front, anyway.
And if we did; we would have much of the world unified against 
us...because we would be acting against their economic best interests.
Now, yes, but in the days and weeks following 9/11 and with Saudi 
participation exposed who knows what we could have done.

snip
Why the Saudi government would work with hand in glove with a group
dedicated to overthrow them in order to attack the country most 
responsible for their defense is beyond me.  But, if you would argue 
that the Saudi
government looked the other way while protection money was being paid,
that's believable.
How about the idea that the Saudi government is divided into factions, one 
of which is overtly pro U.S., the other covertly anti-U.S.?

 I have no doubt that the fact that the Saudi  government
was cowardly in the face of AQ will be very embarrassing to them.  But, I
don't think that this should be a grounds for going to war.  It would be
worth threatening the government over, if the kept on paying the bribe
money.  But, indications are that they have now decided they need to 
fight AQ; which is what we wanted from them.
I'm not so sure.  I have little doubt that every time I fill my gas tank 
or turn on my heater, some of the money I fork over is going to forces 
that are killing and maiming our kids.  They might have gotten better 
about laundering the money, but there are elements of the Saudi government 
that are funneling money to terrorists.

--
Doug
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-27 Thread JDG
At 09:02 PM 10/26/2004 -0700 Doug Pensinger wrote:
On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 20:56:47 -0400, JDG [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 Protecting the Saudi government from what?

The fact that members of the Saudi royal family and Saudi agents ergo the 
Saudi government were directly involved in the planning and funding of the 
9/11 attacks.

Don't you find it just a little implausible that the Saudi government was
providing funding to an organization devoted to the overthrow of the Saudi
government/

JDG

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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-27 Thread JDG
At 09:25 PM 10/26/2004 -0700 Doug Pensinger wrote:
 The world is full of possibilities Doug, but this is a long shot.
 Political pressure comes from leverage.  Who would we get involved in a
 coalition to push on Saudi, and what would be the leverage.

A trillion dollars worth of investments in the U.S. alone, maybe?


 It would certainly not be Europe.  Europe bends over backwards to not
 antagonize the Arabs.  What are they going to use as leverage, 
 threatening an economic boycott of Saudi oil?  If there was a second oil 
 embargo right now, who would be hurt worse: the Saudi government who 
 could wrap
 themselves in Arab solidarity...and gain at least a few months of 
 breathing room, or the Western world who would find themselves very 
 short of fuel?

 It would not be Japan, for close to the same reasons.  The only country
 with any leverage at all is the US...and that leverage is the defense it
 supplies to the Saudi government. But, that leverage is minimal.

 I think there is little argument on this list that the Saudi government,
 before 9-11, played tribute to AQ as part of an agreement to leave them
 alone.  This isn't so much support as submitting to blackmail.

 In short, I'm frustrated with an argument that political pressure might
 work without some detailed discussion of how such pressure can be 
 obtained. Stern notes from all NATO members is really not much 
 pressure.  There has
 to be some significant negative consequences to back up the pressure.
 Otherwise it's not pressure.

So are you telling me that no matter what Saudi Arabia does, they can get 
away with it?  Is there a threshold that will provoke either political or 
military action?  To me, the 9/11 attacks are a pretty high threshold - to 
high to ignore _any_ of the participants.

If Saudis in the U.S. had been detained and interrogated, if Saudis had 
been pinpointed as the perpetrators of the attacks, then, with the world 
behind us in the months after 9/11 then they could have been dealt with by 
the world as long as it wasn't seen by the rest of the world as a grab for 
Saudi oil by the U.S. (the way the Iraqi invasion is seen).

What do you mean by get away with it and military action?

Let me put it another way.   Let's say that it is March of 2002, you are
National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, and you
are presented with evidence that the Saudi Royal Family helped fund 9/11.
What is your policy reccomendation?

JDG

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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-27 Thread JDG
At 07:17 AM 10/26/2004 -0700 Nick Arnett wrote:
 No poster has questioned more people's patriotism on this List than Dr.
 Brin, and no person has launched more overheated insults than Dr. Brin.
 And quite frankly, it is a bit appalling when your only response is to go
 after the *targets* of said comments.

Only response appears to be based on the assumption that you are aware 
of *all* of my responses,

Well, let me see:
 -You have not objected to Dr. Brin's overheated rhetoric publicly
 -In fact, to the best of my recollection, you haven't even really
responded to Dr. Brin's insults in any way
 -You have not sent me any off-list communication to the effect of just so
you know, I think that Dr. Brin is way out of line here, and I wrote him
offlist that he should really try and act more reasonable in List
Discussions.
 -You have asked Gautam for an overly literal clarification of his response
to these insults in a way that struck me as more of a rebuttal than a
clarification.

I'm not sure what you mean by go after.  With my last message to 
Guatam in this thread, my intention was to tell him how his words 
sounded to me, then ask if I heard him as he intended.  I was seeking 
understanding, not to criticize. (Not that I can boast of any great 
skill at that.)

Taking off my list manager hat... Are you saying that there are victims 
of David's criticism who have behaved better than he has, so if I ask 
for clarification from them, I should also ask him?

Yes to the former - Dr. Brin has been over-the-top in tossing around
insults in a way that has been unparalleled on this List - or at least
unparalleled in a long time.   No to the latter - I don't know that his
remarks nevessarily need clarification.   They have been repeated often
enough for all of us to get the message.

It would, however, be nice to see someone other than myself, Gautam, and
Dan to encourage Dr. Brin to at least try and respect the approximately 50%
of American voters who disagree with him.

JDG

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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-27 Thread Alberto Monteiro
JDG asked:

 Let me put it another way.   Let's say that it is March of 2002, you are
 National Security Advisor to the President of the United States, and you
 are presented with evidence that the Saudi Royal Family helped fund 9/11.
 What is your policy reccomendation?

Nuke Mecca and Medina! Blast the holy stone, the Caaba, back to
stardust!

Alberto Monteiro

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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-27 Thread Dan Minette

- Original Message - 
From: Doug Pensinger [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: Killer Bs Discussion [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 11:25 PM
Subject: Re: Br!n: On the Saudis


 Dan wrote:


  The world is full of possibilities Doug, but this is a long shot.
  Political pressure comes from leverage.  Who would we get involved in a
  coalition to push on Saudi, and what would be the leverage.

 A trillion dollars worth of investments in the U.S. alone, maybe?

According to:
http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/saudi.html

quote

On the other hand, Saudi Arabia does have extensive -- around $100
billion -- foreign assets, which provide a substantial fiscal cushion.

end quote

That makes sense to me, given the low production and low price of oil in
the mid-80s and in the late '90s...actually it hasn't been at all high
until just recently.I'd guess that private investment also exists; but not
$900 billion worth.
So, freezing their assets would have noticeable negative consequences for
them, but it would also have repercussions for the US.  I would guess that
OPEC would have a fairly significant response.  Since oil is fungible; it
would take a world boycott to affect the US, but I would think that there
would be a strong negative reactioneven if we had fairly convincing
proof.  We could count on France, I think, to lead the reaction.

So, I think it would hurt them more than us in the short term, but I think
the results would be a bit uncertain overall.  Nonetheless, you did put
forth a real type of pressure that could be applied.


 So are you telling me that no matter what Saudi Arabia does, they can get
 away with it?

No.  I'm telling you, with regard to political pressure, there is minimal
that can be done.  You suggest freezing Saudi assets in the US, and that's
possible, but I'm not sure how much the net leverage is.  The next step I
can think of is war.


Is there a threshold that will provoke either political or
 military action?  To me, the 9/11 attacks are a pretty high threshold -
to high to ignore _any_ of the participants.

If the Saudi government actually ordered it; then we might have to pay a
high price to set an example.  But, we were willing to let the Taliban
slide if they would stop protecting AQ.  We let Pakistan slide with a great
deal when they offered to cooperate.  It appears to me that the Saudi
government has decided that paying protection money is not a good way to
keep AQ at bay and is now fighting them.

And if we did; we would have much of the world unified against us...because
we would be acting against their economic best interests.

 If Saudis in the U.S. had been detained and interrogated, if Saudis had
 been pinpointed as the perpetrators of the attacks, then, with the world
 behind us in the months after 9/11 then they could have been dealt with
by the world as long as it wasn't seen by the rest of the world as a grab
for Saudi oil by the U.S. (the way the Iraqi invasion is seen).

That's an excuse for people to oppose uswe are losing money hand over
fist in Iraq.  Of course people would scream.  European opinion would be
strongly against us...we would risk their prosperity.

 I don't see any country's role as so special that they can get away with
 an atrocity and I bet you don't either.

Why the Saudi government would work with hand in glove with a group
dedicated to overthrow them in order to attack the country most responsible
for their defense is beyond me.  But, if you would argue that the Saudi
government looked the other way while protection money was being paid,
that's believable. I have no doubt that the fact that the Saudi government
was cowardly in the face of AQ will be very embarrassing to them.  But, I
don't think that this should be a grounds for going to war.  It would be
worth threatening the government over, if the kept on paying the bribe
money.  But, indications are that they have now decided they need to fight
AQ; which is what we wanted from them.

Dan M.


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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-27 Thread Robert Seeberger
Gautam Mukunda wrote:
 --- Robert Seeberger [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 wrote:
 The first two sentences above really set me off. And
 I can only hope
 that you can understand why.

 Actually, after everything I've heard on this list, I
 have no sympathy whatsoever, Rob, and I really don't
 appreciate having you compare me to racists.  You want
 a fighting mood?  You'll get one and more fast if you
 ever, ever, ever think you can get away with doing
 that again.

Gautam, I think this is where you are having some trouble. (And not
just with me)
I did not compare you to racists.

No sir...not at all!!

I said that what you *said* reminds me of what racists /and/ certain
flag draped/waving A-holes have said(most of the time they are the
same person), both to me and in front of me.
So when you said I am on America's Side, the obvious implication is
that you think that someone else is *not* on Americas side. Maybe it
is a character flaw on my part, but that kind of talk makes me
unreasonably angry at the best of times, and I will focus on the
offending remarks to the exclusion of any redeeming qualification that
may be present. For that, I will apologise, even though I believe I am
correct in being offended by such (Speaking generally here), but not
in my reaction or how I express my outrage.



 In this case, of course, I was pointing out whose side
 I am on.  I'm not on President Bush's side.  I'm not
 on Senator Kerry's side.  I'm just on America's side.
 Brin has very loudly proclaimed that we're on opposite
 sides.  Well, okay.  I know whose side I'm on, though.

I understand what you are trying to say, but from where I sit, You and
Brin are both on the same side. It is a matter of loyal opposition.
Maybe I'm crazy but I really do believe in inclusiveness.



  He uses abusive language and arm-waving to cover the
 fact that every time someone challenges him, they
 demonstrate that he traffics in inaccuracies,
 conspiracy theories, and paranoia.

I think one has to account for the presuppositions (is that even a
real word?) held by a person one is discussing an issue with. Some of
what Brin says comes across as reasonable to me, but I hold a
different set of assumptions at the onset than you or (Frex) Dan. The
only way to have a meaningful debate is to agree on the terms and
definitions at the beginning of the discussion. But what I think is
happening here is that every person is starting with a different set
and assuming that others are working from the same toolkit, but I
think we have some metric/imperial mixtures confusing the issues
discussed.


 But if we're on
 opposite sides (as he said - not me.) I've never
 claimed to be on the opposite side from him, not once.
  So in our particular dyad, only one has accused the
 other of cowardice (him).  Only one has insulted the
 other's intelligence (him).  And only one has
 proclaimed that people who disagree with him are
 bribed or blackmailed by foreign powers (him).  Only
 one has ranted about NASCAR and the Confederacy (him).


Gary, the problem with you is you're a hack. 

I will continue this discussion if it seems you're
interested in discussing, not lecturing from a
position of Olympian ignorance.

Bob, get one of your surgeon friends to remove the
stick from your ass, okay?  Maybe your head along with
it?

You know, Erik, if you didn't keep reminding us we
might forget what a jackass you are.

There is no monopoly for insulting tone on Brin-L.
G


  And you think _I'm_ questioning people's patriotism?
 That's bullshit.

It may not be your intent, but the language you use sure leads me to
think so.
But like I've said, I'se seen very similar language where that was
implicitly (even explicitlyG) the intent of the speaker. IMO even a
hint in that direction should be avoided if it is in any way possible.


 Like I said, it's just gaming the
 refs, trying to intimidate people into shutting up for
 fear that they'll be accused.  If you accuse the other
 guy of being unfair loudly enough and often enough,
 people might not notice what's actually going on, I
 guess.

I'd agree that some do that and it often works, but honestly, I'm not
interested in that kind of discussion. I see it often enough on USENET
and it lowers my opinion of the speaker.



 I want everyone to know that *that* is unfair to
 Gautam. But I think
 too that there has been a whole hell of a lot of
 this circulating
 onlist lately and I ascribe it to some willfull
 misunderstanding of
 the words of others.me included.

 Well, fine, now that you've said it you take it back.
 I accept that.  But if you really want to take the
 stand of someone trying to make peace, it would help
 if every once in a while you looked at the discussion
 and said, hmm, maybe I could criticize both sides once
 in a while.

My very first post in that regard *was* aimed at both parties.
Neither party responded.
In fact it evoked no comment at all from anyone.


 I'm not even asking that you be
 evenhanded.  I'm 

Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread JDG
At 10:56 PM 10/25/2004 -0700 Nick Arnett wrote:
 Brin has very loudly proclaimed that we're on opposite
 sides.  Well, okay.  I know whose side I'm on, though.

If he said this, and your response was I'm on America's side, it's 
easy for me to hear that as implying that David is not on America's 
side.  Is that what you meant?

Nick:

I can't help but notice that you are asking Gautam this question, and not
Dr. Brin.For example, I don't see you asking Dr. Brin:
 -Are you saying that Gautam is on the side of monsters?
 -Are you saying that JDG is on the side of traitors? 

No poster has questioned more people's patriotism on this List than Dr.
Brin, and no person has launched more overheated insults than Dr. Brin.
And quite frankly, it is a bit appalling when your only response is to go
after the *targets* of said comments.

JDG




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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Nick Arnett
JDG wrote:
No poster has questioned more people's patriotism on this List than Dr.
Brin, and no person has launched more overheated insults than Dr. Brin.
And quite frankly, it is a bit appalling when your only response is to go
after the *targets* of said comments.
Only response appears to be based on the assumption that you are aware 
of *all* of my responses, but I don't see how that's possible.  Perhaps 
you have forgotten that when I perceive an unequivocal personal attack, 
I send an observation of it to the party off-list, as is our list 
policy.  Those matters stay off-list unless the recipient decides otherwise.

I'm not sure what you mean by go after.  With my last message to 
Guatam in this thread, my intention was to tell him how his words 
sounded to me, then ask if I heard him as he intended.  I was seeking 
understanding, not to criticize. (Not that I can boast of any great 
skill at that.)

Taking off my list manager hat... Are you saying that there are victims 
of David's criticism who have behaved better than he has, so if I ask 
for clarification from them, I should also ask him?

Nick

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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Dan Minette

- Original Message - 
From: Nick Arnett [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: Killer Bs Discussion [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 9:17 AM
Subject: Re: Br!n: On the Saudis



 Taking off my list manager hat... Are you saying that there are victims
 of David's criticism who have behaved better than he has, so if I ask
 for clarification from them, I should also ask him?

His flair for the dramatic can be very insulting.  I get by very easy
because I'm a Kerry voter who thinks that his comments on Bush are akin to
those of my dear departed aunt and uncle who were Birchers and convinced
that JFK and IKE were both closet communists. He has pretty well stated
that this is a bit rhetorical.   Standing a bit to the side, it is hard to
imagine statements that the ~50% of Americans who will vote for Bush are

1) Crooks
2) Throwbacks
3) Idiots

or combinations thereof as anything but inflammatory.  I feel that the
overwhelming majority of Bush supporters are patriotic Americans who happen
to be picking the greater of two evils this election.  I think that they
are mistaken.

I don't see how calling those that differ with you idiots is helpful in
maintain dialog.  I know as a fact, I  work extremely hard when I write to
push my dialog with David into a more fact filled area.  Even so, what I
write is called idioticbut at least I am rewarded for my work with some
acknowledgment at the end that it was a bit over the top.  BTW, I took
Erik's comments on this to heart, when I posed an earlier question.

Having argued with alternate thinkers on sci.physics, I really don't mind
this: I find it an enjoyable challenge in many ways.  But, since my ox
isn't getting gored, this is a hill instead of a mountain for me to climb.
I find myself arguing someone I think is a bad president is simply a bad
president, not a traitor...so my stakes are more analytical than heart
felt.  (I'm roughly assigning odds of 10^-6 that GWB is actually a
traitor).

Also, David is an award winning writer.  He has the ability to be very
insulting without technically insulting someone.  If it were someone who
was not so good with words, I'd think that poor writing might be the source
of the problem.  But, I know skill when I see it; and I don't think the
overtones are accidental.  A quick example of this is, after Gautam said he
was a neocon, repeatedly insulting the neocons and then claim that he never
insulted Gautam.

Finally, Gautam is right in that I, at least, treat David differently than
I do any other list member.  After the incident around the time I responded
to his flame like I would respond to any other flame, I decided that I
needed to treat the name member of this list was to be differently than any
other member.  So, I bend over backwards to gently nudge instead of calling
him out.

Dan M.


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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Dan Minette

- Original Message - 
From: Dan Minette [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: Killer Bs Discussion [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 10:14 AM
Subject: Re: Br!n: On the Saudis



 - Original Message - 
 From: Nick Arnett [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 To: Killer Bs Discussion [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 9:17 AM
 Subject: Re: Br!n: On the Saudis



  Taking off my list manager hat... Are you saying that there are victims
  of David's criticism who have behaved better than he has, so if I ask
  for clarification from them, I should also ask him?

 His flair for the dramatic can be very insulting.  I get by very easy
 because I'm a Kerry voter who thinks that his comments on Bush are akin
to
 those of my dear departed aunt and uncle who were Birchers and convinced
 that JFK and IKE were both closet communists. He has pretty well stated
 that this is a bit rhetorical.   Standing a bit to the side, it is hard
to
 imagine statements that the ~50% of Americans who will vote for Bush are

 1) Crooks
 2) Throwbacks
 3) Idiots

I think I mistated 3.  It should be Crazy.

 Dan M.


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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Dan Minette

- Original Message - 
From: Doug Pensinger [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: Killer Bs Discussion [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Monday, October 25, 2004 2:11 AM
Subject: Re: Br!n: On the Saudis



 But, in fact, isn't it just possible that with the right amount of
 political pressure, brought to bear by a coalition of concerned
 governments, that we could have forced greater political reforms on
Riyadh
 than the window dressings that have been altered?

The world is full of possibilities Doug, but this is a long shot.
Political pressure comes from leverage.  Who would we get involved in a
coalition to push on Saudi, and what would be the leverage.

It would certainly not be Europe.  Europe bends over backwards to not
antagonize the Arabs.  What are they going to use as leverage, threatening
an economic boycott of Saudi oil?  If there was a second oil embargo right
now, who would be hurt worse: the Saudi government who could wrap
themselves in Arab solidarity...and gain at least a few months of breathing
room, or the Western world who would find themselves very short of fuel?

It would not be Japan, for close to the same reasons.  The only country
with any leverage at all is the US...and that leverage is the defense it
supplies to the Saudi government. But, that leverage is minimal.

I think there is little argument on this list that the Saudi government,
before 9-11, played tribute to AQ as part of an agreement to leave them
alone.  This isn't so much support as submitting to blackmail.

In short, I'm frustrated with an argument that political pressure might
work without some detailed discussion of how such pressure can be obtained.
Stern notes from all NATO members is really not much pressure.  There has
to be some significant negative consequences to back up the pressure.
Otherwise it's not pressure.

Dan M.


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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Doug Pensinger
Dan wrote:
I find myself arguing someone I think is a bad president is simply a bad
president, not a traitor...so my stakes are more analytical than heart
felt.  (I'm roughly assigning odds of 10^-6 that GWB is actually a
traitor).
So what, to you, are the repercussions if it is shown that Bush is 
protecting the Saudi government - members of the Saudi royal family that 
were directly funding the 9/11 terrorists?

--
Doug
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Doug Pensinger
Dan  wrote:
1) Crooks
2) Throwbacks
3) Idiots
I think I mistated 3.  It should be Crazy.
I think you should add 4. Deluded.  I know people that still think Nixon 
was a good president.
--
Doug
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Dan Minette

- Original Message - 
From: Doug Pensinger [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: Killer Bs Discussion [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 10:49 AM
Subject: Re: Br!n: On the Saudis


 Dan  wrote:

  1) Crooks
  2) Throwbacks
  3) Idiots
 
  I think I mistated 3.  It should be Crazy.

 I think you should add 4. Deluded.  I know people that still think Nixon
 was a good president.

As far as defining your viewpoint, no argument.  But, I was trying to parse
the clearest meaning of David's text. BTW, the scientist in me would like
to see a similar questionnaire with Kerry supporters to see if there is a
significant difference in knowledge.  The questions would have to be
different, reflecting the political prejudices of the left instead of the
right, but I'm sure it could be done.

Dan M.


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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Dan Minette

- Original Message - 
From: Doug Pensinger [EMAIL PROTECTED]
To: Killer Bs Discussion [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Tuesday, October 26, 2004 10:47 AM
Subject: Re: Br!n: On the Saudis


 Dan wrote:

  I find myself arguing someone I think is a bad president is simply a
bad
  president, not a traitor...so my stakes are more analytical than heart
  felt.  (I'm roughly assigning odds of 10^-6 that GWB is actually a
  traitor).

 So what, to you, are the repercussions if it is shown that Bush is
 protecting the Saudi government - members of the Saudi royal family that
 were directly funding the 9/11 terrorists?

It depends on what he got in exchange for it.  If it can be shown that the
protection money paid by the Saudis did fund the terrorists, then I would
expect him to demand as much as possible from the government in exchange
for his cooperation.  But, at the same time, I realize that there is a good
chance that AQ, or fellow travelers, can now topple the Saudi government
and become the new Saudi government.  Thus, in his place, I'd be careful
contributing to the downfall of the present government.

David's theory requires two generations of traitors in the Bush family.  It
requires either

1) That these traitors to convince very bright people around them that they
are actually working for the US

or

2) That a number of other traitors have existed in the government for
years.

Then, one would have to argue what would two generations of an old money,
old prestige family gain in exchange for dropping the Bush name from one of
the premier names in the history of the US to one that will live in
greatest infamy.  Why would Bush Sr. risk his own presidency in order to
have protect Bush Jr. from having embarrassing party photos shown.  The
chance that the Saudi's had these photos, while no one else did, is pretty
long too.

David mentions Occam's razor.  There is no way that I can reconcile his
claims with the use of this principal.  Its like arguing that you found
fractional charge before checking for mundane backgrounds.

Dan M.


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RE: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Horn, John
 Behalf Of Dan Minette
 
  I think you should add 4. Deluded.  I know people that 
 still think Nixon
  was a good president.
 
 As far as defining your viewpoint, no argument.  But, I was 
 trying to parse the clearest meaning of David's text.

I've always got the impression that David thought that 50% who are
going to be voting for Bush to be misled.  They are intelligent
people and he can't understand why they are voting for these guys.
They should know better.  There are always going to be party
faithful who will defend and vote for their guy no matter what.
Heck, I voted for Dukakis.  (Ick.)  He's trying to reach them and
say hey, take off the blinders and really look at what's
happening.  At least in my reading of it.

Maybe that's what you meant by deluded but that's too strong a
word for me.

Yes, David can be a bit over the top.  But it does make for
entertaining reading, even if I never want to get into an argument
with him...  grin

 - jmh
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Nick Arnett
Dan Minette wrote:
His flair for the dramatic can be very insulting.  
I see it that way, too.
I don't see how calling those that differ with you idiots is helpful in
maintain dialog.  
Me, neither, which may reflect a certain idiocy on my part, but I doubt 
it... ;-)

Also, David is an award winning writer.  He has the ability to be very
insulting without technically insulting someone.  If it were someone who
was not so good with words, I'd think that poor writing might be the source
of the problem.  But, I know skill when I see it; and I don't think the
overtones are accidental.  A quick example of this is, after Gautam said he
was a neocon, repeatedly insulting the neocons and then claim that he never
insulted Gautam.
Wisdom that I do well to continue taking to heart.
Nick
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Martin Lewis
On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 10:21:47 -0500, Dan Minette
[EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:


  His flair for the dramatic can be very insulting.  I get by very easy
  because I'm a Kerry voter who thinks that his comments on Bush are akin
 to
  those of my dear departed aunt and uncle who were Birchers and convinced
  that JFK and IKE were both closet communists. He has pretty well stated
  that this is a bit rhetorical.   Standing a bit to the side, it is hard
 to
  imagine statements that the ~50% of Americans who will vote for Bush are
 
  1) Crooks
  2) Throwbacks
  3) Idiots
 
 I think I mistated 3.  It should be Crazy.

 You also mistated the number of Americans who will vote for Bush. It
will be nowhere near ~50% of Americans, it will be ~50% of voters.

 Martin
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Damon Agretto
  His flair for the dramatic can be very
 insulting.  
 
 I see it that way, too.

Hate to post a me too message but...

What bothers me is his penchant to post rebuttals to
arguments with words like pathetic rather than
deconstructing the argument and presenting a
counterargument. He could go back and claim he's
attacking the ideas rather than the person, that's not
particularly obvious.

It did bother me a bit that he didn't bother to read a
post he responded to, but instead latched onto the
first sentence I wrote. That to me shows he either
doesn't care or is being to irrational to engage in
debate. FWIW.

Damon.


=

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[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Qui desiderat pacem, praeparet bellum.
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Dave Land
On Oct 26, 2004, at 9:08 AM, Horn, John wrote:
Behalf Of Dan Minette
I think you should add 4. Deluded.  I know people
 that still think Nixon was a good president.
As far as defining your viewpoint, no argument.  But, I was
trying to parse the clearest meaning of David's text.
I've always got the impression that David thought that 50% who are
going to be voting for Bush to be misled.  They are intelligent
people and he can't understand why they are voting for these guys.
They should know better.  There are always going to be party
faithful who will defend and vote for their guy no matter what.
Heck, I voted for Dukakis.  (Ick.)  He's trying to reach them and
say hey, take off the blinders and really look at what's
happening.  At least in my reading of it.
Misled is a nice word for it, because it resonates between two
meanings: to be intentionally deceived and to be led in the
wrong direction.
At the risk of putting words in David's mouth, I would be willing
to bet that he thinks that both meanings apply to the ~50% who will
most likely vote to re-elect the president.
I certainly do: It is increasingly clear that Bush  company
justified the invasion of Iraq with misinformation, possibly
intentional. The failure of the follow-up to that invasion is
evidence enough that the second meaning applies.
Ifni forgive me, but I really have a hard time believing that Mr.
Bush is as stupid as the common criticism of him suggests. I do
think he's a dupe, in both sense of an easily-deceived person and
a person who functions as a tool of another person or power. I
don't know who the other person or power is, although I think
Michael Moore and David Brin are convinced that we need look no
further than Riyadh.
Maybe gullible is a good word for Dan's #3. Or credulous.
Warily,
Dave
Not Lazy, Crazy, or Stupid Maru
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread JDG
At 08:47 AM 10/26/2004 -0700 Doug Pensinger wrote:
So what, to you, are the repercussions if it is shown that Bush is 
protecting the Saudi government - members of the Saudi royal family that 
were directly funding the 9/11 terrorists?

Protecting the Saudi government from what?

JDG

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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Doug Pensinger
On Tue, 26 Oct 2004 20:56:47 -0400, JDG [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
directly funding the 9/11 terrorists?
Protecting the Saudi government from what?
The fact that members of the Saudi royal family and Saudi agents ergo the 
Saudi government were directly involved in the planning and funding of the 
9/11 attacks.

--
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Doug Pensinger
Dan wrote:
As far as defining your viewpoint, no argument.  But, I was trying to 
parse
the clearest meaning of David's text. BTW, the scientist in me would like
to see a similar questionnaire with Kerry supporters to see if there is a
significant difference in knowledge.  The questions would have to be
different, reflecting the political prejudices of the left instead of the
right, but I'm sure it could be done.
I have no doubt that any portion of the political spectrum can get sucked 
in.  I sure as hell didn't want to believe the Lewinski stuff and deluded 
myself for a long time.

--
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-26 Thread Doug Pensinger
Dan wrote:

The world is full of possibilities Doug, but this is a long shot.
Political pressure comes from leverage.  Who would we get involved in a
coalition to push on Saudi, and what would be the leverage.
A trillion dollars worth of investments in the U.S. alone, maybe?
It would certainly not be Europe.  Europe bends over backwards to not
antagonize the Arabs.  What are they going to use as leverage, 
threatening an economic boycott of Saudi oil?  If there was a second oil 
embargo right now, who would be hurt worse: the Saudi government who 
could wrap
themselves in Arab solidarity...and gain at least a few months of 
breathing room, or the Western world who would find themselves very 
short of fuel?

It would not be Japan, for close to the same reasons.  The only country
with any leverage at all is the US...and that leverage is the defense it
supplies to the Saudi government. But, that leverage is minimal.
I think there is little argument on this list that the Saudi government,
before 9-11, played tribute to AQ as part of an agreement to leave them
alone.  This isn't so much support as submitting to blackmail.
In short, I'm frustrated with an argument that political pressure might
work without some detailed discussion of how such pressure can be 
obtained. Stern notes from all NATO members is really not much 
pressure.  There has
to be some significant negative consequences to back up the pressure.
Otherwise it's not pressure.
So are you telling me that no matter what Saudi Arabia does, they can get 
away with it?  Is there a threshold that will provoke either political or 
military action?  To me, the 9/11 attacks are a pretty high threshold - to 
high to ignore _any_ of the participants.

If Saudis in the U.S. had been detained and interrogated, if Saudis had 
been pinpointed as the perpetrators of the attacks, then, with the world 
behind us in the months after 9/11 then they could have been dealt with by 
the world as long as it wasn't seen by the rest of the world as a grab for 
Saudi oil by the U.S. (the way the Iraqi invasion is seen).

I don't see any country's role as so special that they can get away with 
an atrocity and I bet you don't either.

--
Doug
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-25 Thread Doug Pensinger
Gautam wrote:
There's another common thread, Doug, let me help _you_
find it.  Not government agents.  It's kind of a
significant difference.
Except Omar al-Bayoumi, a Saudi agent, who provided extensive assistance 
to two of the hijackers whom he met after meeting one Fahad al-Thumairy, 
later deported for terrorist-related activities.

I'm snipping the Phil Gramm stuff because it's all just speculation - 
not a fact in there to tease out at all.
What you are snipping is the heart of the argument which you refuse to 
address

 Up until about a year ago, the Saudis could probably be best described
 as passive sponsors of terror.
Oh, well, that makes it OK then.  If it's true.  And it's not.
Except it is.
According to Graham there were almost certianly connections between A 
Saudi agent and two 9/11 terrorists.  That's not pasive sponsorship.

You know, arguing with you is remarkably like arguing with Dr. Brin.  
You know
things.  Facts don't really enter into the discussion.
So now, after avoiding the real question again, you launch a personal 
attack.   In reference to facts, please note for the record that Ive 
provided actual quotes from a member of the Senate intelligence committee 
and youve dropped a name.   Youve been asked several times to justify 
the classification of details relating to Saudi involvement in 9/11, 
details that both Graham and Republican Sen. Richard Shelby have said 
could have been released to the public as (quoting Graham) It did not 
represent concealment of national secrets or of sources and methods by 
which information is obtained, and have avoided the question altogether.

 And everyone who disagrees with you is evil.
How do you get that from what I said, Gautam?  We disagree about the 
extent of Saudi involvement and therefore I think you are evil?  Please 
calm down.

It's quite remarkable.  Ask Byman. He helped write the 9/11
report, he probably knows what he's talking about.  There's been plenty 
of scholarship  on this topic - in Foreign Affairs, for example.  Or 
even the report
itself, which you carefully ignore, since it contains
evidence obviously contrary to your beliefs.
What it says is that al-Bayoumi's meeting with the 9/11 terrorists and 
subsequent support was a coincidence.  But as Graham points out, thats a 
real stretch.  Why wasn't the intelligence committee allowed to interview 
the paid informant that al-Bayoumi was living with?  Why did the FBI 
refuse to deliver a subpoena for the intelligence committee?

Well, some of it seems to have come from Germany, but
I don't want to nuke Berlin.
Now you're accusing me of wanting to nuke people.  Sigh  I plod onward.
You're right.  We're finding that out in Iraq, aren't we
Amazing, Doug, you think Iraq is a screw up, so you
want to get into something _even worse_.  Truly that
is policy as the height of rationality.  You think the
Muslim world is upset now?  How do you think they
would react if we occupied Mecca and Medina?  And what
legal justification, exactly, would there be for that?
 What equivalent to 1441 has been passed?  I note that
the ruling that governments are not responsible for
the unsupported acts of their citizens was established
in international law in the 19th century - and a good
thing too, otherwise the British would have invaded us
when American citizens kept stirring up trouble in
Canada.
Except that there seems to be some tangible evidence that the Saudi 
government may have been involved, and the way this administration handles 
intelligence it would have been a snap for them to make the kinds of 
connections they would need to justify attack.

But I agreed with you that it _can't_ be done effectively so your 
hyperbolic diatribe was a waste of effort.

We can't  We can force Iraq, a larger, more
heavily populated, more politically and socially diverse country to do 
our
bidding but we can't force SA?
With an illegitimate government and a large portion of
the population that supports us (even now, after so
many mistakes)?  Yes, that would be an easier task
than attacking the holiest places in the Muslim world.
 If the difference isn't obvious to you, I can't point
it out any more clearly.
The question was rhetorical, Gautam.  We will fail in Iraq and we would 
have failed in SA.

But, in fact, isn't it just possible that with the right amount of 
political pressure, brought to bear by a coalition of concerned 
governments, that we could have forced greater political reforms on Riyadh 
than the window dressings that have been altered?

Thats it for tonight.  I think that these are important questions that 
need discussion in an open forum.  Im open to be proved wrong provided 
convincing evidence.  Intimidation wont work though.

--
Doug
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-25 Thread Erik Reuter
On Sun, Oct 24, 2004 at 09:51:24PM -0700, Gautam Mukunda wrote:

 Congratulations, you're actually _worse_ than Falwell, you're accusing
 the President of treason.  You have completely forfeited the right to
 complain about _any_ Republican tactic or accusation without looking
 hopelessly hypocritical.

Let me be *descriptive* here too. This thread looks rather odd if it
is put next to the writing that says that Kerry would do nothing while
terrorists go about killing Americans; tens of millions of Europeans
wish Americans ill; constant whining about people not respecting the
opinions that are expressed while saying how much respect there is for
others opinions in these writings




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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-25 Thread Gautam Mukunda
--- Robert Seeberger [EMAIL PROTECTED]
wrote:
 The first two sentences above really set me off. And
 I can only hope
 that you can understand why.

Actually, after everything I've heard on this list, I
have no sympathy whatsoever, Rob, and I really don't
appreciate having you compare me to racists.  You want
a fighting mood?  You'll get one and more fast if you
ever, ever, ever think you can get away with doing
that again.

In this case, of course, I was pointing out whose side
I am on.  I'm not on President Bush's side.  I'm not
on Senator Kerry's side.  I'm just on America's side. 
Brin has very loudly proclaimed that we're on opposite
sides.  Well, okay.  I know whose side I'm on, though.
 He uses abusive language and arm-waving to cover the
fact that every time someone challenges him, they
demonstrate that he traffics in inaccuracies,
conspiracy theories, and paranoia.  But if we're on
opposite sides (as he said - not me.) I've never
claimed to be on the opposite side from him, not once.
 So in our particular dyad, only one has accused the
other of cowardice (him).  Only one has insulted the
other's intelligence (him).  And only one has
proclaimed that people who disagree with him are
bribed or blackmailed by foreign powers (him).  Only
one has ranted about NASCAR and the Confederacy (him).
 And you think _I'm_ questioning people's patriotism? 
That's bullshit.  Like I said, it's just gaming the
refs, trying to intimidate people into shutting up for
fear that they'll be accused.  If you accuse the other
guy of being unfair loudly enough and often enough,
people might not notice what's actually going on, I
guess.

 I want everyone to know that *that* is unfair to
 Gautam. But I think
 too that there has been a whole hell of a lot of
 this circulating
 onlist lately and I ascribe it to some willfull
 misunderstanding of
 the words of others.me included.

Well, fine, now that you've said it you take it back. 
I accept that.  But if you really want to take the
stand of someone trying to make peace, it would help
if every once in a while you looked at the discussion
and said, hmm, maybe I could criticize both sides once
in a while.  I'm not even asking that you be
evenhanded.  I'm just saying that every once in a
while it might be nice to see our most prominent
member reigned in by someone other than me when he
decides to abuse people.

 Some of his crew are people I just dislike because
 of their politics.
 (Neocons)

Just out of curiosity, which part of being a neocon
don't you like?  Is it the part about believing in
spreading democracy around the world?  Because that
is, in fact, the only major difference between neocons
and traditional conservatives.  For a lot of people
their particular objection to neocons is that they're
Jewish.  I somehow doubt that's your problem with
them.  But other than Brin's fevered and ignorant
rants, what do you know about neocons that makes you
object to them?  For that matter, why do you think
they have much power?  The most important neocon in
the government is the Deputy Secretary of Defense. 
Can you even name a single Clinton-era Deputy SecDef? 
Can you name a _single_ DepSecDef other than
Wolfowitz?  I can't.  If Paul Wolfowitz's name was
Paul Smith, I doubt anyone would know who he is.

 But what does it matter to you what I think about
 such things?
 Does that prevent us from being friends?
 I'd like to think not.
 I'd like to think that we could vehemently disagree
 about certain
 political realities and other political beliefs, and
 then have a good
 time drinking some brews and watching the Sox whup
 up on the Cards
 with any acrimony set aside for the next political
 round or even
 disposed of altogether.

I would hope so, but I don't know anymore.  I have
posted on more than one occasion on this list on the
importance of not taking politics personally.  I don't
appreciate being insulted by Dr. Brin, but I don't
take him seriously any more, and I'm not likely to be
very offended by someone I don't respect.  I do _not_
like having other people whom I do respect pile on
behind the disguise of some sort of even-handedness. 
I would hope that we could sit around and talk about
the Sox.  I don't know that anymore, though, because
that would have involved different actions in the
past.  Remember what I said when Brin was going after
John - that friends stick up for each other?  Well,
piling on when Brin is on one of his idiot temper
tantrums, instead of (at least) sitting out or
(better) acting like a restraining influence, that
would have been the action of a friend.  This was just
a cheap shot, misconstruing a pretty clear statement
on my part in order to make that old claim about
patriotism.  So how am I supposed to interpret that? 
I don't think that was a friendly act at all.  Your
explanation in the post I'm replying to helped a bit,
I guess, but it seems to me that the very bare minimum
that I'm suggesting isn't much to ask for.

=
Gautam Mukunda

Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-25 Thread Nick Arnett
Gautam Mukunda wrote:
In this case, of course, I was pointing out whose side
I am on.  I'm not on President Bush's side.  I'm not
on Senator Kerry's side.  I'm just on America's side. 
This is a wonderful sentiment when it is a reminder that even when we 
disagree, we have a great deal in common.  It's not so wonderful when it 
seems to imply that those who disagree with me are anti-American. 
Perhaps it will be helpful for each of us to work a bit harder to 
clarify what we mean when we invoke patriotism -- is it a reminder of a 
unity that exists, like the fact that a brother and sister are still 
family in the midst of the most passionate of arguments?  Or is it a 
tearing of clothes and pronouncement that the other is no longer part of 
the family.

Brin has very loudly proclaimed that we're on opposite
sides.  Well, okay.  I know whose side I'm on, though.
If he said this, and your response was I'm on America's side, it's 
easy for me to hear that as implying that David is not on America's 
side.  Is that what you meant?

 He uses abusive language and arm-waving to cover the
fact that every time someone challenges him, they
demonstrate that he traffics in inaccuracies,
conspiracy theories, and paranoia.  
In my experience, generalizations, especially about misbehavior -- from 
any partisan -- do a lot of damage communities and friendship.  I used 
to always generalize.  I'm getting better.  (Yes, there was a deliberate 
bit of humor in that -- I'm always doing that, too, but I'm never serious.)

I'm beginning to think that we are entering a period of cultural chaos 
in which we will struggle mightily with how to deal with the sudden 
availability of millions of points of view, from which likely will 
emerge greatness... quite likely accompanied by a dramatic erosion of 
power from longstanding institutions.  Our community's list dramas may 
reflect this a bit, I suspect.

Nick
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-24 Thread JDG
At 05:02 PM 10/24/2004 -0700 Doug Pensinger wrote:
The 9/11 attacks were planed financed and carried out mostly by Saudis.  
Why haven't we made them accountable for their atrocities?

Because the ones who flew the planes are dead, and the remaining planners
are still at large?   And because group punishment sort of fell out of
favor around 2000 years ago.

JDG
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Re: Br!n: On the Saudis

2004-10-24 Thread Gautam Mukunda
--- Doug Pensinger [EMAIL PROTECTED] wrote:
 There's a common thread, Gautam, let me help you see
 it.  Planning: 
 Saudi's and some others, Saudi in charge. 
 Financing: Saudi.  Terrorists 
 involved 15 Saudis, 4 others.

There's another common thread, Doug, let me help _you_
find it.  Not government agents.  It's kind of a
significant difference.  

I'm snipping the Phil Gramm stuff because it's all
just speculation - not a fact in there to tease out at
all.

  Up until about a
  year ago, the Saudis could probably be best
 described
  as passive sponsors of terror.
 
 Oh, well, that makes it OK then.  If it's true.  And
 it's not.

Except it is.  You know, arguing with you is
remarkably like arguing with Dr. Brin.  You know
things.  Facts don't really enter into the discussion.
 And everyone who disagrees with you is evil.  It's
quite remarkable.  Ask Byman. He helped write the 9/11
report, he probably knows what he's talking about. 
There's been plenty of scholarship on this topic - in
Foreign Affairs, for example.  Or even the report
itself, which you carefully ignore, since it contains
evidence obviously contrary to your beliefs.

 I repeat; 9/11 was funded by Saudis.  Whether or not
 it the government was 
 involved is open to question, but the money came
 from Saudi Arabia.

Well, some of it seems to have come from Germany, but
I don't want to nuke Berlin.

 Yes, they policed them so well that 3000 people are
 dead.

Well, perhaps we can try to get them to do it better.
 
  We can't do it.
 
 You're right.  We're finding that out in Iraq,
 aren't we

Amazing, Doug, you think Iraq is a screw up, so you
want to get into something _even worse_.  Truly that
is policy as the height of rationality.  You think the
Muslim world is upset now?  How do you think they
would react if we occupied Mecca and Medina?  And what
legal justification, exactly, would there be for that?
 What equivalent to 1441 has been passed?  I note that
the ruling that governments are not responsible for
the unsupported acts of their citizens was established
in international law in the 19th century - and a good
thing too, otherwise the British would have invaded us
when American citizens kept stirring up trouble in
Canada.  

 We can't  We can force Iraq, a larger, more
 heavily populated, more 
 politically and socially diverse country to do our
 bidding but we can't 
 force SA?

With an illegitimate government and a large portion of
the population that supports us (even now, after so
many mistakes)?  Yes, that would be an easier task
than attacking the holiest places in the Muslim world.
 If the difference isn't obvious to you, I can't point
it out any more clearly.

 Ask yourself why the pipeline has been such a
 success, Gautam.  What if 
 environmentalists had not raised a stink and it had
 been left up to the 
 industry to build it any which way they could?  We'd
 have the cheapest POS 
 they could get away with.  The environmentalists are
 the reason it has had 
 minimal impact.

Yeah, but the defeat of the environmentalists is the
reason we built the thing.  They wanted it stopped,
not made better.  So gee, forgive me if I'm not
impressed.

 I don't disagree that Nuclear power might be a good
 stop gap alternative 
 to fossil fuels, but I think that the political
 reality is that they will 
 never be accepted by the general public.

Political reality is what you change through political
leadership.  As long as people prefer politicians who
will pander for votes to leaders, then that's what you
get.

 
 The requirements should be much stiffer, and I fault
 the Clinton 
 administration as much as anyone for this lapse.

I see.  Were they in the pay of the Saudis as well? 
That's quite a conspiracy.

Sadly, Yahoo has (again) snipped the rest of the
message.  I think my point is made, though.  And my
last comments weren't personal insults, Doug.  They
were (again) observations.  I've seen you make excuse
after excuse for the most outrageous behavior on the
part of Democrats, and do everything you possibly can
to claim that Republicans you disagree with are evil.
If you stand by your words you should accept that
characterization.  Heck, you should embrace it. Isn't
that what you believe?  That President Bush is an evil
man.  Well, if it's so obvious to you, it should be
obvious to everyone else.  I'm not less intelligent
than you are, so what you can see, I can see.  I guess
I'm evil too.  It's not as much fun as it is in the
movies, somehow...

When I pointed out stuff that Wes Clark or Teresa
Heinz had said, you were fine with it.  You talk about
shutting down dissent, but that's nothing more than a
tactic to protect yourself from criticism that you're
just not willing to handle.  As soon as anyone
challenges a Democrat's judgment, it's oooh mommy
mommy, help me, they're questioning my patriotism. 
But if you say, well, people who disagree with me are
un-American. that's fine.  Well sauce for the goose is
sauce for the