Title: all of it
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> Isn't part of the reality of the military, that you may be trained/educated in one way,
> but when they return to their homeland, they have to conform to what their superiors want.
> Therefore, they may be trained in US but conform to South American standards

True.  It's also important to understand that the SOA isn't in a vacuum; it's only part of the process.  There are also efforts to bring the senior members together.  It isn't perfect, but does that mean we shouldn't try?  If we make it even marginally better--if the good that results outweighs the bad--is it worth it?  Just like intelligence and covert operations, you never hear about the successes.  You only hear the failures, so it's hard to gauge the net result.  Perhaps because of my training and education, I tend to say engagement is better than isolation.  Like Maree said, change has to start somewhere.

> Religious Politics in Latin America, Pentecostal Vs.
> Catholic   by Brian H. Smith

I've heard of it.  I'll have to get a copy!  I'm also interested in your thesis--please post any material you find that's relevant to the list!

> If we are going to arm people, we should pay far more
> attention to their
> culture, which defines their perception of reality and
> values.

I can agree with this.  Unfortunately, in an environment of scarce resources--funding in the government--some things are prioritized in a manner with which some people disagree.  Like the corrolary of Lincoln's fools, you can't please all the people all the time.  But I agree with the statement above.

> Germans, did however, take Rome's
> religion and
> became the seat of the Holy Roman Empire, after causing Rome to fall.

Could you be more specific in how they took their religion but not their culture?

> After we defended the Germans, Bush, proudly
> announced we are the New World Order.

Not quite sure what you're talking about here.  Bush said that regarding Desert Storm.

> I question the military solution., and what we are doing with our military technology.

As well you should.  I question it everyday, lest I become complacent and abuse my position.

> within our own country there are those who play military
> games just because they enjoy the game, and they do so with no qualms
> about how they use the means of destruction so long as things go their
> way.

In 10+ years of personal experience with the military at several locations, I've never met anyone who fits this description.  I'm not saying this makes it untrue, just that it's certainly not as prevalent as you make it sound.  Perhaps you have some experience to support your conclusion?

> Does anyone remember when we thought the oceans were our best national defense
> and know what changed this?

Isolationism didn't work the last two times we tried it.  Remember WWI and WWII?  Now, ICBMs make it unpractical.

> but as long as we hold religion where we need an understanding of democracy,
> there is little hope for the world.

Does this mean that religion and democracy cannot coexist?

> Must human societies revolve around military threat and military might?

Life is nasty, brutish and short.  It's easy for us to overlook how horrible life is in the rest of the world because the hardest part of our day is worrying how we'll get out of bed, what traffic is like on the way to work, and it's a major inconvenience if the power goes out and we have to reset all the clocks.  If you have to wonder if your kids will die because they're in a certain ethnic group, or if someone will kill you because you have more food than them, you tend to have a different view of "military might."  Some nations are more developed than others--should we disband our military because we _may_ be at that point?  Then we'd be vulnerable up-and-coming second-tier nations.

You've never answered my question--do militaries offer ANY benefit to the world?

> I also wondered how long you would stay in the discussion.

Oooohhhh, goad me on.  I Like It!  Thank you for discussing the issue rather than brushing it off as the difference between men and women!  This is becoming a full-fledged forum!


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