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John Simkin

Just War

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The idea is based on a false premise that Bush wants a democratic government established in Iraq. What Bush wants is a government that runs Iraq in the interests of American capitalism. You have to ask the question why Bush is less keen to bring democracy to other countries. For example, Uzbekistan. Elections took place in this country in December, 2004. However, opposition parties were not allowed to take part and President Karimov was allowed to maintain his control of  Uzbekistan. Not one member of the US administration criticised these elections. On the surface this may seem surprising as Karimov is a former member of the Communist Party. However, Bush does not mind communists when they are his communists.

I think Bush wants both. He just doesn't want people to know about American corporate imperialism. It's a side of history that I'm not proud of and one that needs to be addressed by Americans. I think it's a bit more serious issue than what Americans realize because westernizing the globe loses cultural identity.

Regarding "communists," I think another reply hinted that Bush (and administrations in the past) deal with 'the lesser of two evils' all the time. John, I see your point as well though because it obviously is best not to work with any of them if at all possible.

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Any objective observor would agree that Communism, certainly under Stalin, was a very vicious dictatorship that certainly fit the defintion of "evil empire".

And yet on another thread someone (perhaps even John) pointed out that the Soviet Union played an important role in the allied victory in WWII. Sometimes realism, unfortunately, requires alliances with regimes that would not meet our definition of a perfect system.

But I think Bush sincerely wants to build regimes that are democratic. That it is not always possible in no way denigrates the existence of or the validity of the objective.

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I am sympathetic to Tim's point of view.  I joined the Marines to fight in Vietnam because I believed that we were fighting for their freedom.  When Ronald Reagan referred to the war in Vietnam as a "noble cause" he was exactly right - as far as those of us who fought in it were willing to sacrifice our lives for the freedom of people we had never even heard of before.

However, the South Vietnamese did not regard us a liberators, but as invaders.  So, in reality we were not fighting for their freedom but for our own self-interest - at least as it was perceived then.  And so, we lost.

Iraq is not the same as Vietnam, but one disturbing similarity is the insurgency.  It forces allied troops to be suspicous of every single Iraqi, which in turn leads to the killing or injuring of innocent civilians, which in turn leads to an increase in insurgency, which in turn leads to greater suspicion....  "My name is Jon Johnson, I live in Wisconsin...."

According to my understanding of "Just War", neither Iraq nor Vietnam qualify as Just Wars.  The point may be irrelevant, because we are, in fact, at war and at that point all bets are off.  Unlike John, I hope the situation in Iraq does turn out well, despite the boost it may give to clowns like Bush and Rove.

I think all of the opinions expressed are articulate and well thought out. I happen to agree mostly with Stephen Turner view. I would also point out that I believe 50 years from now the world will look back and see that the doctrine of pre-emption while sounding noble, will be viewed as the trap-gate of history which resulted in a milieu of war of which Afghanistan and Iraq were only the beginning. Some time in the next few years I think it is very realistic to see China invade Taiwan using the issue of pre-emption ala the Bush administration. I also believe if the United States is stupid enough to invade Iran the administration will discover that China and Russia will not be sitting idly by watching. Obviously none of us has a crystal ball but I feel that the current state of affairs is just the beginning of sorrows.

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You would think that the groundswell of opposition in the US - indicated by the success of Cindy Sheehan and the hysterical attacks on her by Fox News - plus the demonstrable fact that the US is bogged down in Iraq would persuade any sane person to avoid a "military option" in Iran.

Incidentally Amy Goodman's broadcast from "Camp Casey" on http://democracynow.org which anyone can view on realplayer is well worth watching.

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You would think that the groundswell of opposition in the US - indicated by the success of Cindy Sheehan and the hysterical attacks on her by Fox News - plus the demonstrable fact that the US is bogged down in Iraq would persuade any sane person to avoid a "military option" in Iran.

Incidentally Amy Goodman's broadcast from "Camp Casey" on http://democracynow.org which anyone can view on realplayer is well worth watching.

Democracy Now are dispised by many US feminists who are engaged in the anti-war movement.

Edited by Gregory Carlin

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That is very interesting, could you give us chapter and verse on their objections? Certainly they seemed very positive in the program which I saw.

Among those who participated in the program were:

* Mona Parsons, Son to be Deployed to Iraq

* Caron, Son to be Deployed to Iraq

* Catherine Bonney,Daughter in the Army

* Deb Hagerman,Wife of Iraq War Veteran

* Beth Lerman, Son Serving in Coast Guard

* Theresa Dawson, Son in National Guard

* Karen Merideth, Mother of Soldier Killed in Iraq

* Cindy Sheehan, Son Killed in Iraq

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Gregory was going to give us chapter and verse on the American feminists who despise Democracy Now!

"Despising" is neither here nor there but I would be interested to hear their arguments.

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Gregory was going to give us chapter and verse on the American feminists who despise Democracy Now!

"Despising" is neither here nor there but I would be interested to hear their arguments.

I don't think I promised chapter and verse.

I was given a mention (unflattering) by Joe Arpaio in this broadcast. As far as I am aware I have no other connection with DN.

http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/04/07/024257

DN are (thought to have) the corporate view that the feminist movement allegedly collapsed because of its opposition to pornography.

http://www.hustlingtheleft.com

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To return, briefly, to the idea of the "just war", I do believe that such a thing exists, that there are situations in which failure to fight may be considered a greater evil than fighting. I haven't expressed that well, but I am referring, for example, to the situation here in Spain in 1936. When the fascist elements in the military organized their coup, supporters of the legitimate, elected government, had several alternatives, and these were all adopted to a greater or lesser extent.

Some simply changed sides for pragmatic reasons.

Some assumed that they could continue their opposition to the Right through "normal" means. They ended up in jail or dead.

Some retreated into diplomatic silence, continued to live and work in Spain, but kept their heads down.

Some fled abroad, either seeking safe refuge, or to attempt to organize opposition.

Some took up arms.

I cannot find it in me to condemn those to adopted the last option.

I can also imagine a time when it would be necessary to resist Islamic fundamentalism by ALL available means, including violence. It's difficult to imagine just how inimical to Western beliefs Islamic fundamentalism is if you haven't lived in a country where it's in charge. I admit that my views are colored by the five years I spent living in Iran in the 70s. I saw fundamentalism at first hand. The decoration of road bridges with the hanged bodies of "drug addicts" and homosexuals. The vicious persecution of the Bahai and Jewish minorities. The complete absence of any sort of legal recourse for the accused. The widespread -- scarcely even denied -- use of torture. The physical elimination of "leftist" elements such as the Fadayyeene Khalq and Mojaheddin-e-Khalq.

I don't want to live in a state based upon such practices. Many fundamentalist leaders are committed to the extension and imposition of their version Islam to the West. I think resistance to such an imposition could certainly be classified as a "just war"...

Now, whether any of that justifies preemption in the case of Iraq is another question. I suspect that history will find that Iraq was the wrong war against the wrong people...

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One of the problems with pornography is that the state will use laws against pornography to suppress dissent. The Czech government banned Milan Kundera not because of his mildly erotic prose but his full frontal opposition to the Soviet invasion.

And it is disingenuous mendacity to say that the antiwar movement rejects the support of Democracy Now! because of genuine and principled differences of opinion over this issue.

A war of the working class against its oppressors is a just war. And that is about it. Both the pacifism (when appropriate) and the militarism of the ruling class serve the same ends.

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One of the problems with pornography is that the state will use laws against pornography to suppress dissent. The Czech government banned Milan Kundera not because of his mildly erotic prose but his full frontal opposition to the Soviet invasion.

And it is disingenuous mendacity to say that the antiwar movement rejects the support of Democracy Now! because of genuine and principled differences of opinion over this issue.

A war of the working class against its oppressors is a just war. And that is about it. Both the pacifism (when appropriate) and the militarism of the ruling class serve the same ends.

DN is hated by many feminists who are also opposed to the war. Pornography is as important to many feminists as any other problem.

Now the communists have gone the Czech Republic has teddy bears in the brothel windows of Cheb, how much progress is that?

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Confusing two issues.

One: to oppose the Stalinist regime was seen (by them) as believing in a return to capitalism. I certainly do not believe that. I doubt Milan Kundera did either but he can speak for himself!

Two: to have a genuine difference of opinion with other people in the anti war movement does not weaken your opposition to the war. Moreover Democracy Now! is used as a platform by many of the main opponents of the war. They were virtually alone in the craven American media in giving a platform to Nader despite the vicious opposition of the Democrats.

Amy Goodman is the first to acknowledge that there are different opinions in the anti war movement but to allow that to prevent us from acting together would be to play into the hands of Bush and Blair. (and to suppress those differences of opinion would be equally undemocratic)

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Confusing two issues.

One: to oppose the Stalinist regime was seen (by them) as believing in a return to capitalism. I certainly do not believe that. I doubt Milan Kundera did either but he can speak for himself!

Two: to have a genuine difference of opinion with other people in the anti war movement does not weaken your opposition to the war. Moreover Democracy Now! is used as a platform by many of the main opponents of the war. They were virtually alone in the craven American media in giving a platform to Nader despite the vicious opposition of the Democrats.

Amy Goodman is the first to acknowledge that there are different opinions in the anti war movement but to allow that to prevent us from acting together would be to play into the hands of Bush and Blair. (and to suppress those differences of opinion would be equally undemocratic)

Democracy Now is used by pornographers and pro-prostitution fanatics. Public sex is a key indicator of a propensity to offend against children.

The definition of authentic solidarity should not require a campaign to keep the right-minded collaborating with pornographers.

The Czech state has major issues with paedophilia and its school system, a culture of toleration has contributed to the unsatisfactoriness of the problem.

Edited by Gregory Carlin

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I recommend anyone who believes that to watch one Democracy Now! program and make up their own mind.

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I recommend anyone who believes that to watch one Democracy Now! program and make up their own mind.

I do not measure stuff as right/left or whatever, I wrecked Joe Arpaio's jailcam & COPS link-up business without blinking over the electoral college aspects.

I meet mothers who have 8 year old daughters who want to be lap-dancers or porn stars when they grown up. DN is for the pro-pornography camp.

I am often asked to find girls who are dead. I work with young girls forced by pimps to make sex films in Prague, Budapest etc. for '18' content in the USA.

Edited by Gregory Carlin

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