-Stephen-
> The US maintains that the actions against Iraq do not constitute
> a war of aggression, but are a defense of family and freedoms. 

-Mark-
> Saying it doesn't make it so.

That's beside the point, which is that an argument can be made to 
justify the US actions. The US government is not proclaiming a war of 
vengeance or a jihad or anything of the sort. You may think that's what 
they're doing, and you may be right, but it's hardly obvious on the face 
of the matter.

> As a side note, my extremely limited experience shows that most
> soldiers don't think about whether a war is just or not.  They
> oppose war because it takes them away from loved ones, is
> generally an unpleasant experience and they know they could be
> maimed or killed.  No theory, just self-concern.

Then they ought not to be soldiers.

-Stephen-
> John is convinced that a secret combination involving the
> Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations has
> taken over the US government and coopted its power for their own
> purposes.

-Mark-
> I'm not sure specifically who makes up the conspiracy, but are you
> of the opinion that one does not exist?

I think I've made it clear in the past that I am quite convinced of the 
existence of any number of conspiracies, though not necessarily of the 
CFR/TC idea.

> Have you forgotten what list this is? ;-)

Oops, sorry. I meant to post to Zion. Forgot this was the X-Files list. 
:)  "The truth is Out There. (And how!)"

-Stephen-
> Marc is equally convinced that the US government is corrupt and
> seeks only for its own good, regardless of the needs of the rest
> of the world.

-Mark-
> And you are saying that this is not so?  Admittedly, it does
> depend on what you define as "the goverment".

Yes, I'm saying it is not so. That is, there is certainly corruption in 
the US government, but that is not the only force present. Americans 
have great failings, both domestically and in foreign affairs (though no 
more so than Canadians, or any other nation), but they also have an 
abiding sense of "fairness". Often this leads to interference in matters 
better left untouched, which constitute what Washington (you know, that 
evil invader of Canada, much vilified by all Church leaders since Joseph 
Smith) termed "entangling alliances" and are at least partially 
responsible for the current mess the US finds itself in. Of course, 
there is plenty of self-serving behavior in the US government and its 
policies, but any impartial review of 20th-century history should 
demonstrate that the US does not seek only for its own good, regardless 
of the needs of the rest of the world.

-Stephen-
> Rather, I am defending Elder Nelson's comments against being co-
> opted by others as an endorsement of their political opinions. 

-Mark-
> I agree with you.  Let's carefully understand what he said and not
> twist it to fit any pet viewpoints.  Let's do that with all the
> talks.  We want to understand and follow what they actually said,
> not what we wished to hear.

I'm happy to hear this. Considering the lack of written disagreement 
with John's and Marc's proclamations, for a while I had wondered if they 
spoke the opinions of the rest of the list. (Of course, I hadn't written 
in to disagree until now, so I suppose I shouldn't talk...)

Stephen

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