ESAG to air TV ads in Norway

The European Security Advocacy Group has been cleared to send three anti-terror ads on TV2, Norway's largest commercial broadcaster. The ads will air in the first week of October, and the message will be similar to that of the newspaper ads they've published over the last year: There's no future in terrorism.

Political advertisement is illegal in Norway, but TV2 believes the ad won't violate any regulations. The Norwegian law of broadcasting bans advertisements for "religious worldviews or political messages". In a sense, being against terrorism is political, in the same way that raising funds for humanitarian assistance to disaster areas is political. But I take the phrasing to mean that you can't advocate any particular course of political action in a TV ad: "Invade this country", or "support the American war on terror", or "vote for this guy". ESAG's newspaper ads have refrained from doing this. They've only tried to create awareness about the problem, international terrorism, without saying what to do about it. I expect TV2 is within their rights here.

That won't make ESAG any more popular, however. The media angle remains unchanged: ESAG is still a "secretive and wealthy American organization". And Anders G. Romarheim from NUPI, an "expert on propaganda and the war on terror", remains suspicious because ESAG's donors are anonymous.

When you have a political opinion you want to present in the public sphere, you have to be open about it. I want to know who's telling me this. The newspaper ads they've printed have certainly been propaganda. If they choose the same style for this TV ad, then it too will be propaganda.

What Romarheim is asking for would make it impossible for any organization to do what ESAG has done. Imagine if Coca Cola has given money to ESAG, and this is made public. ESAG is strongly associated with the American war on terror, which is unpopular in most of Europe. What would that do to Coca Cola's sales? They could face a boycott. No sensible company with a presence in Europe would make such a donation openly. The stockholders wouldn't approve - and shouldn't. The donations must be anonymous or not made at all, that's common sense. Secrecy is a shame, but so is silence.

I actually met with Norman Vale, who's behind ESAG, at the airport this morning. He and his wife were on their way to Sweden. We've kept in touch over the last year, and took the opportunity to meet. Norman Vale is a nice old guy, very friendly. Nothing sinister about him. I have no problem believing that he is what he says he is, a man with a long career in advertising who has pulled on his extensive network of associates for idealistic reasons, and that he is the driving force behind ESAG, not the American government or any groups connected to it. He was in central New York on 9/11. He felt compelled to do something. I don't find that hard to believe. I felt compelled to do something after 9/11 myself. You're reading it right now.

And Vale is certainly no right-wing extremist or neo-conservative. He was against the Iraq war, snorts at the "spin" coming out of the Bush White House, and though he wouldn't reveal how he'll vote in November, he told me he didn't vote for Bush in 2000, and won't vote for him this year.

My suggestion for the Norwegian media: Tackle the message of ESAG's ads, don't cast suspicion on the messenger unless you have good reason to. Take this as an opportunity for a debate. Is ESAG's message true? If so, what does it mean for us? That's what we should be asking. But we prefer to have "experts" assure us that we can dismiss it all as propaganda. No need to think or respond. Move along, there's nothing to see here.




Comments

But they can't tackle the message, they have to discredit/shoot the messenger.

Start watching the US polls, has Norway been paying attention? Suicide watch for Europe's clueless moonbats. 48 days to go.

The Dems' October's surprise had better be good.


Sandy P,

Though its a bit off thread, I want to make one comment regarding what the reaction to a Bush landslide is likely to be. It will be confirmation that the Americans are stupid and ignorant (and the fact that they are fat and lazy probably helps Bush too) and that in this context it makes sense. Thank goodness we in Europe are so smart, sophisticated and advanced... we know thats true because we are told every day that we are as long as we think in the nuanced way we are so privelaged to be party too.

I may be a bit rhetorical there... but I think that will pretty much be the gist of it. In fact.... over the next few weeks as it becomes clearer that Bush will remian in the White House, I predict we will begin to see various flavors of this meme floating down from the top of the intelligensia aristocracy so that by the time of the fateful day, the unwashed masses will be well and truly inculcated.

Meanwhile, our friend Anders... the expert "on propaganda and the war on terror" (I note with wry irony THAT particular label), considers the ads to be propaganda. It is a shame that we don't actually define in metaphysical terms... what "propaganda" is and how you deal with it. In order to do that though... we would need a free and open discourse... where there would be more people to argue openly with Anders for example. Alas, failing that, definitions of what "propaganda" is, are well nigh meaningless.

In my opinion... the media et al here in toto, is virtually a propaganda machine. And I would love to have that debate. It would be good... and clarifying... and illuminating... but I suspect that it would be unhelpful and ideologically "unhealthy" for the herd... according to those who frame the debate in this free land.

So it won't happen.


Bjørn:
"What Romarheim is asking for would make it impossible for any organization to do what ESAG has done."
No. Not impossible, just more demanding, coragous and trustworthy.

"don't cast suspicion on the messenger unless you have good reason to"

True. And when millions of dollars are pouring out over the bulk of the continent, and no one knows where the funds are coming from the reason is good.

"Take this as an opportunity for a debate."
Sure. I'd love to. I'd simply love to debate ESAG over their views on terrorism in any radio/tv show or whatever. Who do I call? Oooops...the guys with the money won't talk.... There goes our debate....darn. (This said: I have had an interesting and pleasant discussion with Norman Vale about these kinds of issues...but that was on the phone.)
I like transparency, I like public debate. I like to discuss viable strategies to counter terrorism.

My top two definitions of propaganda:
"the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behaviour to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist" (Jowett & O'Donnell)

"Propaganda is a set of methods employed by an organized group that wants to bring around active or passive in its actions of a mass of individuals, psychologically unified through psychological manipulation and incorporated in an organization." (Jaques Ellul)

Here are seven more: http://www.strath.ac.uk/Departments/History/m_williams/h2.htm

The "expert" tag is silly. It's what the press likes to say. They think their program is better if they call the people who appear 'experts'. I sometimes ask not to be labelled as such. As you all know I'm just a normal sod like everyone else :-)

"according to those who frame the debate in this free land" Give it a whirl...anyone can do it! Bjørn: Why don't you ask Mr. Vale if you can be the ESAG-office of Norway? I guarantee you media coverage? The establishment of Norwegian media despise secrecy. I believe that ESAG will have a credibility problem untill they loosen up.


Anders: Propaganda is a style as well as a method. If we refer to the method, ESAG is a propaganda organization. They pay money to have their views presented so they can influence people. But referring to the style, ESAG scores very low on the propaganda scale, far lower than propagandists who don't need to pay their audience. Michael Moore is the most striking example of someone who gets his propaganda out for free, but any number of Norwegian journalists (Eirik Veum, in one well-documented case) also rely heavily on propaganda as a style.

No matter how much ESAG opens up, they will still be a propaganda group in the method sense, and no matter how secretive they become, they still won't be a propaganda group in the stylistic sense. So I'm not sure the propaganda angle is relevant.

Much more relevant would be to scrutinize the factual claims they make. But by telling everyone what they want to hear, that ESAG can be safely dismissed as a propaganda group, you help to make that less likely. Don't you see that's the story everyone wants to hear? ESAG is telling us something we don't want to hear. So the media goes looking for an expert who'll tell us we don't need to listen. And there you are.

I haven't followed every statement you've made about ESAG, or every debate you've been in. But the next time you're given the opportunity, I'd appreciate if you at least cautioned against such an abuse of your views. "I may be suspicious of ESAG's motives, but we still need to face their arguments independently of that." You're now the unofficial ESAG guy at NUPI. If you don't say this, nobody will.


Anders,

"The establishment of Norwegian media despise secrecy. I believe that ESAG will have a credibility problem untill they loosen up."

I feel that I am justified, at least in asking... for compensation for the keyboard you just ruined. You see I was drinking coffee at my desk when I read the above and involunarily gasped, gagged on hot coffee, and spit it up on my poor innocent keyboard which now exists only as victim of your sweeping rhetorical statement.

Life isn't fair.

Regarding this comment I would like to bring your attention to a string of posts that Bjørn has been recently making regarding NRK and the PFU. (Note that I have my own acronym in English for the latter organization, but thats something else.)

I also would pont out that there is VERY little true discussion in the printed press. My friend, if there were a way to accurately define the rhetorical/philosophical/political "location" of media outlets in that very small and controlled crucible which is Norways "Public Discourse", I am certain that a strong case could be made that it manifests itself as ""the deliberate and systematic attempt to shape perceptions, manipulate cognitions, and direct behaviour to achieve a response that furthers the desired intent of the propagandist".

Having said that, I have no doubt that you are at some level, quite sincere in your desire to see and participate in open debate on the wide variety of issues and their implications that truly define the so called War on Terror. But I think it is artful of you in the extreme to intimate that the fact that there aren't any, is the result of some lack of availablity, or an unwillingness to participate, on the part of those who might do so.

Anyone can do it? Anders... please. Ester for example gave it a whirl... and I have seen several others whirled as well. Except they were spun as they whirled, and recast in ways that used to boggle my mind. (I've become jaded now... much like my Russian friends used to feel about the media in Soviet times.)

Transparency you say? Ok... lets see the original interviews frm NRK. Oops... not likely. People will think they are being duped... and we can't have that now can we.

Finally, one last point:
"True. And when millions of dollars are pouring out over the bulk of the continent, and no one knows where the funds are coming from the reason is good."

Umm... what the hell are you talking about there?


Cheers,

Kevin McDonnell


Don't you see that's the story everyone wants to hear?
Nope... The story everyone wants to hear is who is spending millions of dollars to propagandize Europe on their views on terrorism. And yes untill ESAG step forward from the shadows and give people that story, they will have problems getting through.

If someone wants to change my ideas on terrorism they bloody-well do at least owe my the courtesy of telling me who they are. Any intelligent being would ask that question.... aren't you the least interested in who's paying for this??
Is this just...sure...this message fits me so nicely (Bjørn & Kevin) I don't care who's pushing the agenda?

It's very unlike your normal style. Once your attention and curiosity is aroused Bjørn, your digging like there's no tomorrow.(like on SAIH). With ESAG, on the other hand, you seem to be perfectly OK with the argument: Norman Vale is nice, message is "good" so I don't care who the people with the big money are.
In this we differ. I care about that, and I think that the people of Europe deserve to know that. But we've been through this before.


Anders,

Its distressing that after the replies to you, you remain focused solely on your concerns over sources of the money for the campaign. This money, regardless of its source (which would be attainable I'm sure if that message is somehow anathema to Norwegian sensiblities) is being used to propogate a message in the form of advertisements... yes, and this is where you completely miss the point. I tried to make it in the above post with a description of the pulic discourse, but since you have skipped that, I'll spell it out directly.

The real issue here is why anyone needs to raise millions of dollars in order to address a perspective that is absent... I say again ABSENT from the public discourse here.

Note also that this BIG campaign ... in relation to the relentless saturation of the walls of "Platos Cave" here... will be little more than a tiny flicker relative to the force of the collective media message... but we live in hope. Maybe the fact that it is so new and fresh(it shouldn't be) in the minds of those who see it, will maginify its impact. Dare I bring up the Swift Vets?

((No, way too emotive... much too much negative conditioning there. I imagine images of neo cnservative cabals and Karl Rove conspiracies are dancing in your head even as I finish this sentence. Forget I brought them up. The MSM had covered everything quite farily and there is no reasonable explanation for what these men did other than they were "in" with the Republicans. Forgive me for the comparison.))

In any case, are you concerned that they have done this?

I'm concerned that it had to be done.

They should "Step forward from the shadows?" you said. Whats your point really? Do you really think that there is a cabal of world gripping capitalists, or imperialists, or.... whatever, who are fronting the money for this campaign, and that THATS the real story?

The STORY is Anders, that there is very little deference to a meaningfully free public discourse in this country and that this is similarly the case, or fading perilously in many other places across the West.

The STORY is you don't get to have that debate you crave, because instead your opinions are made in a sounding chamber where it becomes part of a mono-dimensional speech... not a discussion.

The STORY is that this campaign is a tiny speck as far as the volume of that sounding chamber, and should be relished as a chance to validate the suppositions in that speech... but ironically, is disdained and called a violation of open discourse.

If the arguments of the academic punditry that frame what we hear day after day after day are sound... what will this little speck be to it Hmm?

It should be as I said..."proof" of many things upon which their "argument" stands. Things like the idea that it is the arrogance, imperialism, money grabbing, oil focus... etc etc etc ... of the imperialist Bush led Americans and the Zionist Israelis has led us to the so called war on terror and it would be much better for everyone if we just stopped all this resolve and defense of freedom baloney and went away.

That seemingly unassailable philosophical position should be able to stand a little challenging shouldn't it?

Am I being too hyperbolic? Sadly I don't think so.

Where is the journalist who will explore this story Anders? The story that a man, decided that he had to garner resources from any number of places... in order to break into a discourse about issues of the utmost importance... because there was not other way to make those points.

Will you explore that idea as a valid one for at least a teensy bit of inquiry?

What is your "normal style"?


I think what Anders said is a perfectly valid and very important point.

Often people tend to have someone they want to trust, or not. Why do you think the american vote system is focused mainly on one person instead of the party? Or if you think about it in another way, why does the public figures in hollywood step in to help the democrats?
It is because when the normal people dont have the time or resources to find out about all the different positions, they would rather have someone they can trust who do the job of finding the right path for them. I think I am not alone in being suspicius of such advertisment when I cant even know who is paying for all this.

Kevin: It is clearly a natural step for people to be suspicious when they are being presented (in a very expensive manner) with political ideas, and they dont even know who is behind this campain.

By the way, was it on this blog I read that the sponsorship from that organisation of tellhim.no project was such a bad thing because it got involved _politically_ in US? What if that organisation wanted to remain anonymous? Well, now it is the other way round, are we not entitled to know whether there are any charity organisations in the US who are giving money to a political statement in other countries?


Allan,

I agree with you... but in reverse. (How do you like that?) I frankly didn't give a rat's patooty about that advertisement in the US from whatever organization it was. Mainly because I know that it is engaging itself in a public discourse that while still skewed (though in the process of self correction with regards to the MSM) is diverse enough and transparent enough where the marketplace for ideas would give it due consideration. (which would incidentally, probably have been far more than it bargained for, nurtured as it was in the conformist and non confrontational environment that spawned it... but I digress... I'm a digresser)

In fact, its my observation that it is a rather pathetic self indulgence on the part of many Europeans, when they tend to believe (as they are told) that most of their cherished "ideas" which are utterly ubiquitous here, are "missing" in the US market.

The fact is that their ideas are very much there... along with pretty much every other one. But they get discussed, in fairly broadly visible venues... and openly.

Many rightly perish.

It is thus ironic how many of the self declared "freethinking" international minded people of the free world cling rather tragically to the blatant prejudice of a society of widespread ignorance, laziness etc and so forth ad nauseum as the model for what America is.

As a consequence I would like to see MORE of the most (Ahem) "passionate" activist groups go and make their play in the US market. I think it would be a very very good thing.

But it won't happen.

As to the suspicion thing... which I STILL do not at all think is the point. My take is let the suspicions run rampant... let them raise the profile of the whole thing in the minds of the dozing many. Perhaps their angst about this unworthy incursion on their internal reverie, will have some precious few of them shaking thei heads, rubbing their eyes, and actually thinking about the issues raised... in spite of the fact that they will be repeatedly exhorted by the intelligensia to avert their eyes in disdain, protest, and self righteous indignation.

Who knows...we live in hope.


km


What Norway needs, Anders, is American-style financial reporting and requirements, although Not-For-Profits get away w/much more than corps.

Opensecrets.org is good for campaign contributions.


Anders: "It's very unlike your normal style. Once your attention and curiosity is aroused Bjørn, your digging like there's no tomorrow.(like on SAIH)."

Not for curiosity's sake. I am satisfied with the explanation I wrote in the post, the one beginning with "What Romarheim is asking for would make it impossible for any organization to do what ESAG has done." Honestly. I am curious, but I don't find that curiosity relevant to understanding ESAG. ESAG is Norman Vale's creation. The donors are just donors.

But I think you missed my point here. The way you talk about this issue to the media is like that of a single-issue activist, who has one single priority they'll champion to the exclusion of anything else. Yes, ESAG's anonymous donors are an interesting. But do you believe this is the only aspect of ESAG that in any way is worth discussing? Because that is the message you're sending, and it strikes me as disproportionate.

Also, you are being used by the media here. They want a particular story when they call you. They don't call you because they're curious about what you have to say today, but because, when it comes to ESAG, they know what you're going to say today. So who's the expert, you or the reporter? I mean, the last time I discussed these ads, you wrote that they were an improvement over the first ads, but that "they still preach a few inaccuracies". Now that's analysis, that's nuanced thinking a journalist wouldn't expect to hear. But I don't recall hearing that view quoted in any media. Why not?

Allan: "By the way, was it on this blog I read that the sponsorship from that organisation of tellhim.no project was such a bad thing because it got involved _politically_ in US?"

No. It was on this blog you read that the tellhim.no project was a moronic waste of money. I never said it was wrong to buy an ad in the Washington Post to explain to Bush that Norway's against his foriegn policy. I just said it was - correction, I just mocked it for being - stupid. That has nothing to do with their method, and everything to do with their message.


I am glad to see that you spot the hypocrisy going on here too Allan:

SAIH: 20 NOK,- From a few students into one Anti-Bush ad: BIG COMMOTION!!!!!
ESAG: Millions of dollars from who knows who into a myriad of pro-Bush ads all over Europe: Great let's help'em out, this is fine, more of this. Don't ask questions...address the issues! (To use your on style: nothing to see here...moving right along) Hypocrisy, J'Accuse!'

Your political agenda and bias on this one is open for all to see Bjørn. Just as open to see as my rejection to let anynomous foreign groups set the agenda for the discussions we should have about terrorism in this country.

As for your suggestion "we still need to face their arguments independently of that". I don't discuss politics with windmills. It's not my job to make sure that ESAG's messagre gets through. That's ESAG's and Tibe-Inferno's (Advertising company) job. Or even some of you....If you could get out of the "Oh.. the media is so biased and none of my opinions can make it to the surface" whining.

Could there be other reasons than "evil media conspiracies" for this lack of US style views in Norway's media environment??? Think about that one...get pissed.... and write a damn fine newspaper chronicle where you slander me/NUPI/the MEDIA (not the one you send it to, of course), and state that we should listen to ESAG...not the "so-called experts of NUPI etc.. Are you capable of that? It's a challenge. (If you do it Kevin...you must skip the digressions :-))


Anders: "SAIH: 20 NOK,- From a few students into one Anti-Bush ad: BIG COMMOTION!!!!!"

That had nothing to do with them supporting an ad. Here's the original post. Show me where I say that it is wrong in general to buy political ads in American newspapers. The problem was that SAIH donations were used for a purpose the donors never intended them for.

"ESAG: Millions of dollars from who knows who into a myriad of pro-Bush ads all over Europe"

Why do you call them pro-Bush ads? I told you, Norman Vale is not a Bush supporter.

"It's not my job to make sure that ESAG's messagre gets through."

No, but you have a responsibility, as the de facto expert on ESAG, to treat them fairly. But, as I said, you're acting more like a single issue activist than a fair analyst.

Openness is important, but not at the expense of silence. That is why, for instance, I allow you to post here as "Anders" instead of your full name. I assume you don't want everything you write in some blog attached to your permanent Google record. That's fine. I wish all commenters here would sign their full name, but I worry that if I forced the issue I would scare many of them away. So I don't. I'm curious, and I even think it's important to sign blog comments by your full name, but I'm pragmatic about it.

"Think about that one...get pissed.... and write a damn fine newspaper chronicle"

A waste of time. I doubt it would be published, and I'd have spent a lot of time writing something that I'd have to translate and rewrite to make interesting for the blog. The day I'm asked to write something for a newspaper, I will. But I'm not going to waste my time doing a lot of hard work when there's only a tiny chance of it actually getting anywhere.


Bjørn, if you were to write such a chronicle and it was posted, I think it would be well worth the time. Chances are you would reach more people than through this blog. Then again, as you say, chances are it would not be published at all.

Anders' assumption, seemingly by default, that the ESAG ads are pro-Bush is symptomatic, and disappointing. It would be interesting to learn why he said so. Perhaps also for himself.


Baard, aka 'Evil Paul'


"Why do you call them pro-Bush ads"

I do so because, the ads have been preaching a perception of the war on terrorism that is close to a blue-print of how the Bush administration perceives it. I'm not suggesting Bush administration involvement in it. There is generally a European view of the war on terrorism and a US view. ESAG belong firmly in the latter category.

It's sad that you've given up on getting a voice in the Norwegian media environment. Nobody likes working in vain.

Now regarding partiality. There is no doubt that my comments on ESAG have been more critical, than praising. (Btw praise is not what the media wants. That's just how it is. Live with it. They want criticism and disagreement.) But I have from time to time said positive things about ESAG. One example is that I have said that I find their main slogan "There is no future in Terrorism" quite good. And I agree to that part of their message. But their message is a lot more than the good bottom-line slogan.

Now I must work!


Anders: "I do so because, the ads have been preaching a perception of the war on terrorism that is close to a blue-print of how the Bush administration perceives it."

They, and almost everyone from center-left to far-right in the American political landscape. 9/11 was not something that happened to neo-conservatives. It happened to all Americans. This is one of the most underappreciated facts about 9/11 in Norway.

"It's sad that you've given up on getting a voice in the Norwegian media environment."

I haven't given up. This blog and all the others are also part of the Norwegian media environment. I've just given up trying to reach the rest of the media through the channels of their choice - letters to the editor and opinion pieces. Maybe it would work, maybe it wouldn't. Why waste my time? Amateur media on the internet is a Good Idea that'll eventually subvert the media structure we have in Norway today, not in the revolutionary sense, but in the sense it has happened in the US. I'd rather do my best to make that happen than waste my time playing the mainstream media's game by their rules.

"Btw praise is not what the media wants. That's just how it is. Live with it. They want criticism and disagreement."

No - "live with it" is a choice, not an inevitability. You've chosen to live with the media's shortcomings, by phrasing yourself (or allowing yourself to be quoted) in black-white soundbites ("this is propaganda") without any of the nuance I know from what you've written here. That's your choice. Don't push it on me.

And of course the problem is not that you criticize ESAG, but that you focus exclusively on what is essentially an ad hominem, encouraging your audience to ignore ESAG's message based only on your own belief that it would be a good thing if they were open about their donors. Criticize their message, by all means. The sooner you start, the better.


"You've chosen to live with the media's shortcomings"
This is true, and very well spotted. I respect your analysis and choice on that one. If you see what comes out of the written media involvements I have done, they tend to be more nuanced. This is due to lovely invention of "Quote check". Tv and radio is soundbites-soundbites-soundbites. You say a number of things and hope their focus is at least bodering to fair... They can edit you into a laughing stock.

"encouraging your audience to ignore ESAG's"
I've never encouraged ignorance. I encourage awareness of what kind of a phenomenon we are dealing with here. The ESAG ads is a new phenomenon in Norway's media picture. Because of technique, content and the anynomous sender. I encourage open debate. Who could be set up against my (and other's) view to argue ESAG's position? No one. That is ESAG's problem, not mine. That's a shortcoming they have actively chosen to operate under. Secrecy is also not inevitable. It is a matter of choice.


Anders,

That you could make this statement in all seriousness, is proof that when it comes to the real issues, you are not serious: "Btw praise is not what the media wants. That's just how it is. Live with it. They want criticism and disagreement."

Do you really believe that what motivates the media elite to cast ESAG in a negative way... is an abstract desire for criticism and disagreement that is general and neutral.

Is this really the position you are maintaining in order to validate everything else?

That Anders, is quite typical... of a groups about whom we will now speak.

I'm sure it assists you in maintaining balance when you write about the "evil media conspiracies"(I never said that, whom do you quote?) as though such caricatures are dismissible as absurd, but in truth, you are clinging to a strawman in the middle of a red herring.

To wit: The idea of chuckling over a media "conspiracy" is an easy out, but it does not address the crisis. The media does not need to conspire, it is virtually monochrome ideologically. No conspiracies are required, and nor could any be maintained, I don't beleieve in them... human nature being what it is, they fly apart. Vast groups of people in conformist lockstep engaging in an intellectual circle jerk on the other hand... is documented. I have had ad hoc debates and engaged in other ways with a fairly broad swathe of journalists here now, and any fears I had before over how bad it really is when it comes to their knee jerk indoctrination, have been increased by several orders of magnitude.

I think this observation of a state of affairs that is inherently dangerous to a free society and innately elitist is existentially true, and can be seen empirically on any day in virtually any venue.

You say its not worth discussing.

I suppose you're right Anders... because its so ya know... absurd as to be dismissed... immediately!

Hmmm.

You say you don't discuss politics with windmills. Thats very good Anders! But I wonder how you would view that statement if the windmills were actually completely dominant, and by the way utterly intolerant of any true argumants to their positions, and also arrogantly repeating relentlessly hpow this amounts to freethinking and open-mindedness.

Wait.... but that IS the present situation!

So who are the windmills Anders?... scoffing and sniffing in disdain is posturing... it doesn't make the thing you sniff at, in any way different from what it was before you sniffed.

It is what it is. And you choose to avoid addressing it except as something to be NOT looked at.

There are some who would say that this is all they need to know.

Finally, you said:
"Could there be other reasons than "evil media conspiracies" for this lack of US style views in Norway's media environment???

To which I reply... what do you mean by the choice of words in "US Style views"... I'm sensitive to people sub rationally employong a turn of phrase that shows their own doctrine... Style? Forgive me I find that whole sentence curious, but in any case whether there are other reasons is a very good question. Why isn't anybody asking it Anders? Because it begs the question as to why there IS only one real message in the media... which is actually NOT something the unwashed masses are led to believe is it? In their opinion... because they are relentlessly told so.... their "media environment" is a garden of diveristy, a virtual rainforest of intellectual liberty.

The truth is, that the free discourse in Norway is a desolate wasteland... but hey, perception versus reality right?

Its not sustainable Anders.


KM


PS Bjørn is quite right. It is well nigh impossible to get a piece published in the Norwegian press that addresses any of those "other perspectives" in an effective way. Its interesting... you could do it badly and get in, I'm quite sure of that. You could for example, fit the caricature of what you are supposed to be, and make the innane argumants that the intellectual elite says you really make.. and then you could get published...so that you could be scoffed at... as it should be.

Do you see this?

I've observed it.


Kevin:
Of the 715 words you shared with us the ones I find interesting are these eight:
"free discourse in Norway is a desolate wasteland"

The rest of the mail was mostly paraphrases and sub-arguments to this one very precise tenet.
You're operating under this great idea that Norway is a disillusioned nation, where no one (except perhaps you) know what is really going on.
I find it amusing with your denounciation of all intellectual thinking in Norway. Now I am waiting for the post where you tell me that I don't understand anything. PLeases note that I was able to decode and understand 8 words.


A final point...which is not a digression though some may be tempted to think of it as such.

The ESAG ads have, you say Anders, a "Pro Bush" slant becasue they are so close to the "perception" of the administration.

This is a fallacy. It is based on the very premise upon which all of this "nuance" revolves. In the end, the so called War on Terror and what it will reult in comes down to this:

What is the War about?

The US overthrew the Hussien regime because it was a danger to the stability of the world, and the security of the US. Iraq would NOT allow itself to be scrutinized as per its own commitments, to ensure that it was not a potential source for support, supply, and quite possibly equipping with WMDs, any groups with the agenda of employing terrorism as a means of attack.

That this "threat" existed is inarguable, and quite frankly it has NOT been established clearly that there was not a threat. It seems more likely to me that the recent evidence of WMD "testing" in Darfur by Syrian forces is the result of the year of squabbling in the UN which resulted in a great deal of opportunity for the WMD question to be "answered" with subterfuge.

But regardless... it DOES NOT MATTER.

The primary crisis at hand is the Muslim world, which is indeed a hotbed of terrorism, mainly because it is the domain of regimes that are ruthless, oppressive and despotic. THIS is the war Anders. It is a big war. Planting the tree of liberty there is not imperialism, it is hope.

The idea that the ideology of Islamo-fascism having begun to spread its tendrils through these places of fear and violent repression, was going to go away without being confronted, is not merely worng, it is madness. It doesn't work that way.

What say you on this Anders? Has all the engagement with Iran ammeliorated the problem that they are relentlessly pursuing nuclear weapons? That "coup" last year, which was touted as a victory all across the European media spectrum as an example of how the "soft approach" to Iran, as opposed to the unhelpful "axis of evil" approach of the US... was not much of a coup was it? I don't think I am being too fluffy when I say that this was VERY much akin to "peace in our time", am I?

The US is bearing the brunt of a struggle which does not in fact, belong to only it. 9-11 was an attack on the Free world Anders, do you really argue this?

Iraq is instead cast as an "imperialist war" which is absurd on its face, and confronting ex-Baathists and Al Queda-esque imported thugs is made out to be one big slaughter by Americans who are alternately bloodthirsty savages or bumbling fools depending on which way the wind is blowing.

You are the expert Anders, what is the US fighting for really? And what is the position of Europe in relation to that? And if this is an "argument"... why do we not see the issues laid out in toto? (I am waiting for the Oil for food scandal to even come on the radar, even as the idea that the US is after Iraqs Oil is STILL being floated.... I am waiting for someone to actually address the implication of there being an equivalence between US forces and the "resistance"... instead of merely alluding to it darkly and moving on to the next point... which is Goebbels-esque... I am waiting for a lot of things which should be at the heart of a free and open discourse... and I am still waiting.)

You said you that you found the Caption "There is no future in Terrorism" to be quite good. I disagree. I think that is a very bad caption, constrained as it is by a political correctness that hasbecome outright bizarre in its unwillingness to speak openly about issues of import. Better ones would be, "The Future of Terrorism Depends on us All", or "Who will Stand Against a Future for Terrorism", or "Terrorism's Future is ensured only when it is legitimized". Or how about: "Be on Terrorisms side NOW! And maybe they will leave you alone".

Who are "the Terrorists". Who gives them succour and why? These questions are not discussed Anders... they are pronounced upon. (Root Causes, Western Imperialism, Capitalist exploitation and so forth... I would LOVE to debate these points with you or anybody else.)

As things are Anders, all it would take is one WMD in a major Western City, to begin the unraveling of the international system. Just One.

What will all the nuanced prognostications and frothing Bush hatred be worth then as economic institutions fly apart, financial interdependencies based on trust crumble, crises of confidence reach down even to you and I, and we find ourselves in a balkanized world with nowhere to turn... but to "authority".

The answer is, we will be right where some people want us to be.

Oddly... George Bush isn't one of them.


Anders,

Ok. You got me. "Free discourse in Norway is a desolate wasteland" is a charged sentence that is too hyperbolic to be reasonable. It would only be a "wasteland" if one considers a monochrome desert with a sparse diveristy of ideas able to compete, a wasteland. For those who see sparse deserts, or controlled laboratories, or "media environments" of tightly framed debate to be inherently beautiful, I apologize.

Perhaps you should answer my post based on the other line I used to describe it: Contrived and Monochrome.

It might be less "amusing".


"As things are Anders, all it would take is one WMD in a major Western City, to begin the unraveling of the international system. Just One."


Cardinal: Terrorism is the fourth world war


Kevin: Interesting post

"The US is bearing the brunt of a struggle which does not in fact, belong to only it. 9-11 was an attack on the Free world Anders, do you really argue this?"
I don't argue against this. I only argue (like many other people) that the War on Terrorism , which the US is fighting on behalf of many, is being fought in an ineffective possibly even conter-productive way. Part of this is due to the fact that "the unraveling of the international system" has already begun. The first blow was the illegal and divisive War in Iraq.

We have no consensus across the Atlantic anymore. I like the saying: When Europe and the US don't agree they can accomplish little. When they agree the sky is the limit.

This has been discussed in earlier threads. And I argue that the need for consensus must not be met by Europe adopting the approach of the US.
Btw. There was a meeting in Barcelona two days ago, where Solana and others discussed what will probably be issued as: The EU's human security Doctrine. The documents from this high-level conference are very interesting. Regretably, I suspect the US (maybe rightly) will interpret it as criticism of GWOT (global war on terror).


poorly structered I submit that the debate about propoganda is off tge mark and agree with Kevin. According to the definitions used one might say that urging the use of deodorant is propoganda that body oder is bad. The current debate seems to be that if one can identidy the messenger then one is free to disregard the message without analyzing it. It seems to me that the message stands or falls on its own merits. Today people are obsessed with the "kill the messenger syndrome. The identity of the messenger has little utility.


--Now regarding partiality. There is no doubt that my comments on ESAG have been more critical, than praising. (Btw praise is not what the media wants. That's just how it is. Live with it. They want criticism and disagreement.) But I have from time to time said positive things about ESAG. One example is that I have said that I find their main slogan "There is no future in Terrorism" quite good. And I agree to that part of their message. But their message is a lot more than the good bottom-line slogan. ---

As long as it agrees w/their view.... Can't show the Emperor has no clothes.


--Criticize their message, by all means. The sooner you start, the better.--

I agree, loud and long, Anders. They need the P/R.

What better way to give it to them.


--And I argue that the need for consensus must not be met by Europe adopting the approach of the US.--

Give us something concrete and we'll discuss. Europeans fail to realize that.

Throwing more money is not the answer.


"kill the messenger syndrome"

I'm baffled by these claims. Since there is no messenger to kill!!


Anders,

I have to work late now because of all this discoursing... so this is my last point for a while.

I appreciate that you grant certain points, and as a gesture of good will and respect, I am going to call you on them. :-)

You say that the while you agree that the "War", whatever its appropriate name might be, is indeed a War, and that 911 marked an attack on the free world. (I am wondering whether you consider that label to be a geopolitical distinction, or an existential/metaphysical one... because I am inclined again to agree with Bush's comment on the actual day that it was an attack on "Freedom itself") but that what you object to is that it "is being fought in an ineffective possibly even conter-productive way." Indeed, you say that the first blow to the fabric of the international system was the "illegal and divisive War in Iraq".

This is astonishing, and seems quite counter-intuitive. The attack on 911 exists in a vacuum then? It represented no threat to civilisation, where the war in Iraq does???

What would have happened Anders, if the "free world" had been concerned with the fact that Iraqs odious regime was flaunting their own agreements at a time when the issues at hand were deadly serious. Was European intransigence somehow noble because it stood athwart the US positions? Conversely, would a resolved position of seriousness in the issue, have made it some sort of poodle to American bullying... even if the issues were real?

Are we children here?

Further even... do you think that the posturing and intransigence that Saddam displayed was the result of his principles, or that his cause was just... or was it MUCH more the result of the prancing posturing of empty UN rhetoric weavers who incredibly, were focused far more on stymying the US, regardless of its validity, then on addressing the so called legal issues you cite. (International Law Anders, has in the last years, become quite the conveniently malleable clay to the very same ideological morass that I claim dominates the public discourse... therefore you win no points with me, when you declare the war to be "illegal" as though it were somehow inarguable.)

What does that mean then for the validity of your propositions, that Hussein actually scoffed at UN threats... BECAUSE they were UN threats? He scoffed then at US resolve... because the US was engaged in the UN. Indeed, according to his own seized records, he was surprised that the attack came when it did because he had been given "reassurances" that the US would be bogged down in the UN for several more months at least, and he planned to throw up a few more meaningless gestures for appeasers to seize upon.

Meanwhile many of those instrumental in declaring the war "illegal" are the same people who are now known to have been enmeshed in the absolutely disgusting Oil for food scandal.

Have I said anything absurd here so far?

Even further: What happens in the Middle East, and in the world, if the coalition is indeed able to bring about a free and stable democracy in Iraq? Are these efforts worthy? How much are those in Iraq who would like to see the country either returned to the old days, or converted into a Talibanesque place, actually EMPOWERED and LEGITIMIZED by the endless apologisms for acts of groteque violence that come from the high discourse of the so called "free" world?

If this question is asked, then one needs to follow it with:
How deeply odious is the hypocrisy in Europe that claims to be speaking in the name of the oppressed in Iraq who are " suffering under American occupation", while empowering and legitmizing those who would kill as many innocent men women and children as necessary to secure total power over the remainder???

These are all questions Anders. They have to do with Liberty and the direction of history. They require some judgements to be made. Many of then are easy to make... but making them honestly means that there may be required some resolve and sacrifice to defend the resulting principles. It brings me back to my wondering upon which perspective you accepted the idea of an attck on the "FREE" world.

What is that really?

Freedom, what is it good for, absolutely nothing?


Kevin McDonnell . . .

You said: "The US is bearing the brunt of a struggle which does not in fact, belong to only it. 9-11 was an attack on the Free world Anders, do you really argue this?"

Thank you for putting the crux of the matter so succinctly.


Kevin Well said


Kevin:

"What is the War about?

The US overthrew the Hussien regime because it was a danger to the stability of the world, and the security of the US. ...That this "threat" existed is inarguable, and quite frankly it has NOT been established clearly that there was not a threat. It seems more likely to me that the recent evidence of WMD "testing" in Darfur by Syrian forces is the result of the year of squabbling in the UN which resulted in a great deal of opportunity for the WMD question to be "answered" with subterfuge.

But regardless... it DOES NOT MATTER."

First regarding the Darfur incident, there are as far as I know, not yet reliable sources that can confirm Syrias connection in this matter. Please refrain from using that as a fact until its established.

You make me confused on this point "That this "threat" existed is inarguable, and quite frankly it has NOT been established clearly that there was not a threat." If its really inarguable, how CAN it be proven as a non-threat. Your contradicting yourself. This war is a series of proving negatives.

1. How can you prove you do *not* have WMD ?
2. How can you prove youre *not* a world threat.

Now take that and mix in "preemtive warfare" and you get a mixture of rethoric that can be applied to any nation of the world to create any war you want.

Its also interesting to look at the track record in Iraq. Two major military operations and a 12 year long embargo and UN inspections, and still there is a "clear an imminent threat".
Im amazed to see how the pro-war evangilist ignore all the factual evidence and when they are confronted with them they do as you do, simply say: "it DOES NOT MATTER."

How can you accept that ? If the reasons your leaders gave you for going to war dont apply anymore, do you simply accept that the reasons change to better fit the current political climate ?

What if there was no threat, and you applied the notion of "innocent until proven guilty" on Iraq ?


Pål,

Have had beer... may ramble... that could be something. Will do my best.

Focus....

Ok, you said:
"First regarding the Darfur incident, there are as far as I know, not yet reliable sources that can confirm Syrias connection in this matter. Please refrain from using that as a fact until its established."

I think its quite clear that I didn't establish it as fact. Indeed, my point was that we are likely to know more and more as time goes on, because subterfuge is just that, and fogs the issues. Thus I need no more "refrain from using" the possibility than you for example would need to refrain from stating that there were no WMDs as fact... since we do not know that. But you can address it as a possibility. Frankly, I am not stubbornly clinging to some hope for WMDs, for reasons I will explain presently... but I do think it takes a folly or sheer denial for someone to ignore that many MANY questions that remian on this issue. I have not "moved on" yet... and am not likely to be pushed there by a relentless media.. until I am satisfied the truth is reasonably established.

However,

I would add that I don't think it makes much difference if there were no stockpiles, since it was the THREAT of their existence which was one of the important (and upon which most agreed) foundations to the cassus belli, and Husseins refusal to submit to the complete confirmation on that point which was the trigger (though not the only issue.)

On the other hand if there were WMDs in Iraq in 2003, and Syrai has them now, it makes a very big difference indeed.

I hope that clears up the confusion you had.
(Based on your entreaties of "How can you prove you do *not* have WMD" and "How can you prove youre *not* a world threat" I think I can guess some of the sources of your confusion comes from... but I wanted to reassure you that its not me).

As to any "pro war evangelism" (thats rich!) I may be posessed of, I'm quite certain that the scenarios you have envision, where any nation can be subject to a preemptive strike... while appearing clever to you, is also absurd. (Except when applied to Terrorist attacks.)

You have grouped "2 major military operations and 12 years of sanctions" where they do not belong grouped. And addressing the history they encompass in a clear eyed manner may help illuminate for you why this is so.

The first military operation (I shall use the standard of my "pro war evangelism" for clarity's sake), was a disaster and a moral outrage. It was this, because of convenient but legally specious definitions of "Sovereignty" for Iraq, which dictated that in spite of the regimes horrendous nature and its abrogation as a responsible leadership through its actions in Kuwait... it's regime would survive. This was the Essence of UN justice.
The natural result was the sanctions, a product of the cynical realpolitik of an elitist body, and which resulted in 12 years of suffering for the people of Iraq, and none for its despots.
The perfect manifestation of that naked cynicism, ever basking in self righteousness, was the Oil for Food scandal.
The Oil for Food program itself being a bizarre attempt to redress the ideological stupidity which had necessitated the sanctions in the first place... they were of course the obvious magnet for the worst examples of human nature, since the aforementioned clothing of self rightousness was then (and STILL is... even now!) the perfect cover for utter disgrace.

But then we have the latest action... and that is something else indeed. And I disagree that there is still an imminent threat. What there is is open strife, and the forces that are arrayed against that countries true self determination and the liberation of its people, are just who they ought to be. I hope you are rooting for the right side, are you Pål?

As to the reasons my "leaders have given" me I accept them... in all their glorious "simplisme", as valid ones for the future of the world where my children will live. The conduct of the war is in line with its stated principles and I am satisfied that there is hope, where there was none before. You seem fixated on the myth, that the fact that we have not found WMDs, is the endgame of the premise for the War. I believe that it is you that should check with your own leadership sources. This is indeed a high risk venture, but it may very well turn out to be the absolute best way to have prosecuted the so called War on Terror... which was always a problematic issue in any case.

We shall see.

As to "innocent until proven guilty on Iraq".

Innocent of what Pål?

Who was... and who is ... Iraq?

What do you think the war there is ABOUT?

When will you all LOOK at it?


KM



--and still there is a "clear an imminent threat".--

W never said that, PK - that's spin. 2002 or 2003 SOTU - State of the Union address, IIRC.

--How can you accept that ? If the reasons your leaders gave you for going to war dont apply anymore, do you simply accept that the reasons change to better fit the current political climate ?--

Unfinished business. W didn't need to give a lot of us reasons, we already knew, and WMD was 1 of many. And one doesn't need WMD for Beslan to happen in the US.

Korea, Iraq, Iran - unfinished international business.

VietNam - unfinished domestic business.

All biting US in the rear at the same time. And now we're forced to finish them.


Man, Kevin, its hard to keep up with your way of writing sometimes.
What my view is, is that breaking the international law should not be this easy. Because that is what the US administration has done, they have broken the law. And, one cannot put oneself above the law just because it sounds right in the moment. Thats why we have laws right? To prevent people with "good" causes to do whatever they want?
The other problem is that the Bush administration has gone to a war, because they thought Iraq was a threat to the free world, NOT because its so good to free the people of Iraq, (if that was the reason, then why was that not given in advance?). And where was this threat, is it currently in Syria? So should we invade Syria as well? What if the WMD's are not there either? Are they in Saudi Arabia? NAH! Because Bush has to much at stake for atticking Saudi Arabia.. Look, what I'm saying is, a country cant just make up a threat, and invade another country just like that, that is the whole point of international law. Just like we have national laws as well, to stop people from doing what they want just because they think they have good reasons for doing whatever they want to do.
In any arena where there are laws, the people who break them are considered as criminals. And I consider the Bush administration as criminals.


"As to the reasons my "leaders have given" me I accept them... in all their glorious "simplisme", as valid ones for the future of the world where my children will live", Kevin, you never stated why you have accepted them. I thought that was the point of having open discussion, that we can doubt whoever it is, and question them, or accept them if we find that what is being said is true and valid. Now, where is the validity in what this administration has done?

Terrorism is definately a serius issue which should be addressed, however, I think that by taking the law in your own hands is not the way to go.


Bjørn:
I re-read the mentioned post about tellhim.no, and I still wonder why you mock _what_ they wanted to say as such a stupid thing to say. So I know you are very passionate about fighting terrorism, so may I ask in what ways you think terrorism should be fought, since that is basically what the difference between you and them are in this matter? -- Yes, I know some of the american readers will say "IN EVERY POSSIBLE WAY!!!" But surely there must be some kind of idea and method behind it.. What is allowed in these methods, and what is not allowed? hmm, think I am digressing here, but I thought I should ask you since you took the effort to answer my first comment. Anyways, it is quite straight to the heart of the blogs topic, I think.. :)


"where any nation can be subject to a preemptive strike... while appearing clever to you, is also absurd. (Except when applied to Terrorist attacks.)"

Nonsense. This is not absurd. This is well spotted Pål and the present modus operandi of the Bush administration. How do you know where the lightning bolt of the US military will strike down next Kevin?

Btw it's not pre-emptive war were talking about, it's preventive war. Mainly, because of what Sandy stated (which is true): the Bush administration neither perceived nor referred to the threat as 'imminent'. Here is the article of Freedman who has published on this since the seventies: http://www.twq.com/03spring/docs/03spring_freedman.pdf


Allan,

Again, you cite these international laws that have been broken by the war in Iraq.

Which one(s)?

I dispute this "truism" of the "International Laws" that were broken by the criminal US, for what it is: Malleable imagery that leverages loathing and fear on the part of those who are enemy to what the US is attempting to accomplish. (Note that I found your explanation of "why we have laws" to be nicely revealing of the addling nature of relativism in personal and collective cognition. To wit: "Thats why we have laws right? To prevent people with "good" causes to do whatever they want?" Is that why Allan?)

Furthermore I submit that the other countries you mentioned (Saudi Arabia and Syria for example),which you cite as though it shows that this struggle cant possibly be about freedom, will be absolutely impacted by the acheivement of success in Iraq. Indeed, while Saudi Arabia for instance, will be irresistably stressed by their neighbors freedom. Indeed, I predict that if in two or three years, the Sauds have not transitioned wisely into a new government(Constitutional Monarchy perhaps?) it will mean Civil War there. Likewise Syria's regime, being major players in the 'terrorist as a form of strategic weapon' game, is also very much "under the gun". This is how this war will play out... if freedom triumphs.

Therefore your (Ahem) "moral" objection to the liberation of Iraq not being about the "Iraqi people" is... rather unfounded. Of course its about them. Their freedom, and the restoration of their faith in true government by the people, will make the free world far safer, will make the whole world more free, and in any case... will have freed the Iraqi people. (Its should be noted mind you, that the government "by the people" that the US must nurture there, will be one based on meaningful truths, as opposed to the deconstructed definitions of "democracy" that the UN would rubber stamp for convenience, or the fatuous leftist flavors of social justice ala the "The 'People's' Republic of Iraq").

"(if that was the reason, then why was that not given in advance?)" It was Allan. You can see it cited repeatedly by numerous members of the administration including in several famous BBC interviews. The problem was, every time it WAS cited, all of progressive intellectual society went collectively apoplectic and in perfect unison (freethinkers that they(and you?)are), began citing 52 flavors of "International Law". The WMD issue was artificially depicted as the only reason, simply because it was the only reason acceptable in the context of "international-law-which-you-can-get-the-tyrannies-in-the-UN-to-sign-on-to". When the US went into the UN, I note that my own predictions were borne out.

Allan, that is a manifestation of a great wrongness in these law you cite... not its supremacy.

You say: "I consider the Bush administration as criminals."

Yes well... the Soviet State considered Solzhenitsyn to be a criminal, and Nazis considered Jews to be criminals one and all... in neither case did it make it so. It was merely image over substance as a manifestation of the few over the many. So it is now.

Regarding reasons for accepting the Bush Administration's appraoach, you say: "Kevin, you never stated why you have accepted them."

Of course I have Allan, and I have again in this post. I have repeatedly... perhaps they do not compute in your mind. Look for sentences that include the word Freedom or Liberty in my posts, and you will find it there. Generally they will more clearly state my position if they do not include the words "international law" or "UN" in them.

Finally, I had to note this: "Terrorism is definately a serius issue which should be addressed," (I love that.)

KM



Anders,

It is absurd on its face. ANY country will be subject to attack in the brave new world? This sounds like something that a literary critic would proudly display as a sign of cleverness... which was my point. Whether it is preventive or preemptive, the idea that you cannot harbor, goive succor to, or otherwise deploy terrorism without it being considered an act of war, is the position of a grown up. The meanderings of those who say that such a proposition means we are all "living in fear from America", are the artful posturings of a juvenile.

Could say... Norway be Next on Americas hitlist Anders? (Perhaps the rationale could be "unacceptable obtuseness as to the existential threat to civilisation).

Its absurd.

There is another recent thread where a poster called Ex-Christian cites Norway as possibly next on the mass murder agenda of terrorists because Norway has "Muslim blood on its hands".

Think such twisted logic, or arrogant deference to rationalization applies to US policy makers Anders? Do you consider there to be a rational equivalence between the idea of where Islamofasist terroists could "strike" and where the US ever would? If so, lay off the Chomsky for a while... for your own sake.

KM


Kevin:
"Any country" is, of course, an exaggeration. But, the US "defines all the missions" and I'm sure that some people in Libya, Grenada and Haiti laughed off the idea of a US invasion. And voila! Here they come! Thing is Kevin, there is little predictability for when the Bush administation decides to invade a new country. (There is some, since the "being greeted as liberators" job in Iraq makes the US bogged down there) Whole lotta greeting going on Cheney!!

But rather than ravelling on about war against Norway, you could consider the more realistic options such as Iran, North Korea, Syria.

You have a tendency to do ad hominen attacks of the patronizing kind in your posts. (are we children, 'juvenile') That's not very mature... (ooops I responded in kind :-))

You have great disrespect for international law, as had Saddam, and the Bush administration.

Chomsky...please... You don't have to go to the extreme left to find people who are less than impressed with US foreig policy. Why not try the political advisor and speech writer of JFK? Ted Sorenson is partly responsible for lines like: "We all cherish our children's future" and "we want to build a world of peace where the weak are secure and the strong are just." http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0621-13.html


Allan: "I re-read the mentioned post about tellhim.no, and I still wonder why you mock _what_ they wanted to say as such a stupid thing to say."

Partly because I disagree with the message, but that only makes it wrong, not moronic. The moronic part comes from the assumptions the message are based on - that the American people is ignorant about what Norwegians think about Bush, and that they would respect our opinions if they knew - and also the confusion I detect about its purpose. What are they trying to achieve? Who are they talking to? The ad speaks to Americans, but they seem to believe that it will affect Norway, somehow. To me this looks more like doing something expensive and loud just for the sake of doing something, without any thought to what they want to achieve, and how.

Agree or not with the way Bush handles American foreign policy, this is a dumb way to achieve .. whatever it is tellhim.no wants to achieve.

Anders & Kevin: Your discussion is moving off from ESAG and political advertising. Try to limit the off-topic stuff.


Anders,

The US does NOT claim to "define all missions" that would involve international action against any state. In fact, the US went to the UN on the basis of the UN being about something which it ought to, by its own definition, be about. The UN, which is in truth an unweildy collectivist construct home to tyrannies along side free conutries under the auspices of defining international "justice" (note that in my opinion, an objectively better future when looking back on its sordid history, will be amazed at the doe eyed awe that the "progressive" minds paid to it), being faced with so "unhelpful" a prospect, which would naturally have also resulted in it being unmasked for what it was (see UN Oil for Food), responded by doing what the UN tragically does best(See Darfur resolution where the US use of the words "Shall Take" regarding action against Sudan in the face of genocide... was forced to be changed to "Shall Consider" which means nothing at all to the screams of thousands more being raped and murdered.).

As far as who "the people" were in Grenada, Libya and Haiti who laughed off the idea of an invasion"... these were the people who it would be better if they were not laughing, since their laughter usually contrasts the weeping of the actual people of those countries.

Is that relevant in a sophisticated and nuanced discussion? Regardless of whether it is said to be by those who want to frame an "open and freethinking" discussion, it IS yet relevant. And I think when you say that there is "little predictability" in when the US might "invade a country"... you discount that relevance. That's tragic.

You mentioned in disdain the US being greeted as liberators, so I invite you to broaden your sources. (We can naturally return to the fact of skewed messages of what IS at this point) It is certainly true that they are not liked in places like Fallujah, which was made a bastion of the few, who profited greatly from the Saddam regime; and among certain people in Najaf, who are supported by Iran among others, and infiltrated by the most ruthless of Jihadists.

If you dismiss the idea completely that the US is rightly generating much goodwill in Iraq, consider the recent dicussion group on the BBC website which resulted in an astonishing number of postings from Internet Cafes across Iraq (the BBC Radio has great reach, and many knew of it). It is I'm afraid, rather disturbing reading for those who ostensibly live in freedom but who yearn for the feeling of sensational triumphalism they get from every image that can validate their twisted desire for a "quagmire".

Also note that every measure of morale among US soldiers in Iraq, is up. Re-enlistments have actually risen IN Iraq (fairly unprecedented in a combat zone). Is this because they are so bloodthirsty that it's pure heaven there? (I exchange emails with a few guys I know there, and you will lose ALL credibility if you even distantly float this as "reasonable".)

With regard to the "more realistic options such as Iran, North Korea and Syria", I submit that you have just finished proving my point regarding the debate over the absurdity of Allans position. Furthermore you are coming, albeit via the back door, to the place where we must agree if we are to be standing for anything meaningful in this discussion. Namely that these countries are "realistic targets" because of what they are, and that they must be held accountable for what they do.

Intelligence efforts must be relentless (as in during the cold war, not politically correct as it was after) and it must be so that rogue nations cannot cavort in impunity with terrorism, relying on the shadows of nuanced denials in a corrupt venue to protect them.

If they do so act, then they must be met, and in being met they must be defeated as though civilization's survival depends on it. If and when such action is taken, it cannot be done in the vein of realpolitik, which has been rightly exposed for the cynical elitist PR obscenity that it was... but for Freedom. This by the way we must agree is one thing that binds us all, and is an unambiguously BETTER state in which human beings live.

I think that sums it up.

I'm sorry if you think my attack was ad-hominem Anders, but I disagree. I said that such a "position" was juvenile, and that is a meanigful distinction in the same way that telling someone they did something stupid, is not the same as calling them stupid. Let me explain what I meant by the comment in some detail (and for that you must forgive me in advance, but it is for clarity's sake.):

I do think that the rhetorical/faux philosophical phenomenon we blithely call "nuance" among other things in the discourse, has become the artful domain of deconstructive cleverness and emotive imagery that is often utterly divorced from reality. I think that this is an unambiguously bad thing and that it has ceated a state where recasting what IS, is done without the slightest inkling of shame, and indeed is more of an ego rush for its practitioners (who as such people always do, have some justification that they say to themselves about "greater good" or some such nonsense... see NRK and the Action Buss).

I believe that the intellectual enabler for this is in the ubiquitous language of relativism, which encourages mass solipsism to the point that if you relay outright facts that to someone who is enmeshed in this glazed eyed phenomenon, ultimately you always receive lines like "well that YOUR truth, I have my reality" as though such nihilistic sophistry is somehow profound.

I bleieve this is all depressingly adolescent, and more or less masturbatory intellectually. I beleive it allows people to claim moral superiority in virtually anything at all... even if it is something that results in unspeakable ugliness. I bleieve thats its pre-eminance in the public discourse is a great enabler of elitist deceit and intellectual tyranny, and that this presages worse things... and I am opposed to it in the name of liberty.

Thats the opinion I hold behind the juvenile comment, and I stand by it.

You said, "You have great disrespect for international law, as had Saddam, and the Bush administration."

I disagree that these things are at all the same, and I direct you to what I wrote immediately above for an explanation why.

Finally, you said "Chomsky...please... You don't have to go to the extreme left to find people who are less than impressed with US foreig policy."

That may be true perhaps... but as they say in many places on the common dreams website, I am interested in the, dare I say it... "root causes" of things.

KM


Sorry Bjørn... but it was a coherent digression at least, in that the Ads themselves are about the things that we are discussing.

The relationship is in the fact that I think the objection to the ads is in the message that they are trying to convey (which is absent in the discourse... and which consequently necessitated the Ads), and that for the most part, objections to the "way" that message is being brought, is subterfuge.


Cheers,

KM


There is no one world government, there is no one set of laws, Allen. I haven't voted on this.

International law is a set of treaties and understandings. Things change, world changes, vision must change with it and the documents created must have that flexibility.

NOTHING is above the US Constitution. The treaties we sign become part of our law.

Article II, Section 2:

Clause 2: He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

---

That's how we agree on treaties.

Article VI:

Clause 2: This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

---

That's how it becomes law in our country.

However, The Constitution is not a suicide pact, as one of our esteemed USSC judges once wrote.

-----

Anders, this is for you, from the AFP re that little Barcelona meeting:

"Missions should be aimed at protecting individuals through law-enforcement with the occasional use of force, rather than at defeating enemies or just separating warring parties," the authors said.

--

We can't stop the killing, so we'll just have to live w/it. Europe could start practicing what it preaches, say in Darfur?

Gee, sounds like a political ad I heard:

...Kerry’s comment that we cannot fight Communism all over the World and I think we should have learnt that lesson by now.

Wrong then, wrong now.

---

The funny thing, it seems to me, is that parts of Europe just want to give up, give in to ideology(?) which has been disproven. Can't fight it, so learn to live w/it. Except where the US concerned.

---

Guess we'll just have to live w/being splodydoped.


Salinger?

Common Dreams??

Please.

Libya - took Big Mo almost 20 years, but he's getting it. Still trying to pull his fast ones, but we're getting wiser.

Haiti - talk to France, just because it's near us...

Grenada, ahhh, from a RR disliker at one point. Let me pull something from my file:

...And Squirt probably was thinking also of a family vacation we had taken in Grenada. Bored with the beach and curious to learn how the war there had unfolded, I hired a cab driver to tour the tiny island's battle sites and taken my son along for the ride. The driver had shown us where the Cuban engineers held out, where the bleached carcass of a shot-to-pieces Soviet transport plane still sat by a tropical clearing, the beach where SEALS slipped ashore.

"A SAINT." A glorious victory of America arms? No, in military terms, a pathetic joke, and I had written with no small joy for foreign audiences about the invasion's snafus and murderous incompetence, and of the red faces it prompted at the Pentagon. Marine choppers mistook the lunatic asylum for military headquarters and repeatedly rocketed the howling unfortunates. What should have been a couple of hours of easy work for the U.S. turned into days of chaos, collateral damage, and friendly-fire casualties.

"So you must really dislike the Yanks," I said to the cabbie.

The look he shot me said that I was mad.

"Please, don't call it an invasion," he began. "It was a rescue mission. Mr. Reagan saved us." For the rest of the tour, he recounted horror stories of life and death under the Marxist academics and petty thugs whose best efforts had produced a bloody coup. He told of terror and mutilations, the rule of the machete, hunger, shots and screams, neighbors disappearing in the night.

Every other Grenadan echoed the same thoughts. "Ronald Reagan," said a service manager at our hotel, "bless him for a saint." Even the tourist-trap touts at the waterfront had only good words to say. "Reagan, bless the man," was the common refrain. Somewhere on Grenada there may have been someone on Grenada who didn't like Reagan, but I couldn't find him....

From a Business Week article 6/04 by Roger Franklin.

As to Iraq, well, Winds of Change, Belmont Club, Arthur Chrenkoff, an interesting very recent post at Captain's Quarters, and if you have the stomach for it, Rantburg, besides the Iraqi bloggers should give all of us more than enough fodder for both sides.

But I digress.

---

While the ESAG might be American in looks and manner, it just might catch peoples' eyes and turn into water cooler talk. Any talk would be helpful at this time. And if it gets more on the web even to just trash it, well, who know where they'll end up and just what info they might find out?

It could be like this Menthos commercial we had, to me very European feel, drove me nuts, didn't buy the product, but I do know the product, which is the point. And it gives a point of reference for everyone to talk about. After all, certain parts of Europe do love jaw-jawing! ;) - Isn't that the code?


OMG, Anders, you agreed w/me?

Mark this day down.

---

Sept 19 - International Talk like a Pirate Day in blogosphere.


Anders,

I don't want to get into a pissing contest where we fire off links at each other that each of us consider more credible than the others.

However I would like you to read through this guys letter from Iraq:
http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/002544.php
... and then ask yourself a question, because the answer, the REAL answer, has implications that are broad and deep, far more than the mere question of whether what is happening there demonstrates a clear failure or a worthy struggle that must succeed... but also to the question of why we relentlessly see on the walls of our great mass media "stereo-opticon", a reality that is unambiguously "bad", when that may be simply a lie.

The question is, What if he is telling the truth?


KM

PS I will now refrain from digressing if possible... and perhaps also get some "paying" work done.


You could have a separate thread for the main standings of this blog Bjørn, that way we could be discussing these things in there :)
I dont know if it is wise to still reply to what Kevin and Sandy have said, but they did ask for a validation of why the war is illegal, so here it is:

Kofi Annan said:
"When pressed on whether he viewed the invasion of Iraq as illegal, he said: "Yes, if you wish. I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter from our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/3661134.stm

Thats all I need to know to determine that the invasion was illegal, hence, I consider the US administration as criminals. And I consider the other parties of the 'coalition of the willing' just as bad. The only excuse they have is that they have a big bully threatening them that they better help, or else.. I think they did it as a sign of good will. Anyway, what the other parts of the the coalition has contributed (except UK) was of so small measure, only proving that it is just a sign of good will to big brother.

"The Bush administration and its supporters in Congress say Saddam has kept a stockpile of chemical and biological weapons in violation of U.N. resolutions and has continued efforts to develop nuclear weapons. Bush also has argued that Iraq could give chemical or biological weapons to terrorists"
http://www.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/11/iraq.us/

I think this is the reason for going to war. NOT because he is so nice and want to make Iraq such a good country. Anyway, if it really is his intention to free the world of bad regimes, would it not be easier to start with some smaller countries, and learn that way? But I think.... he lied, or had some shitty intelligence. I do not however doubt the competency of the american intelligence(or millitary for that matter) so its more likely that Bush lied.

Kevin, in regards to your disdain of nuance.. what your'e basically saying is that we dont need to provide reasons for what we do, and you dont believe in the small things(nuances if you will) that might change the whole course of an idea or whatever it is. At least thats my understanding of what you wrote.
I think that is wrong, because I believe one cannot make any good decision without knowing all the facts, no matter how small they are beforehand. That is not to say I know everything about the Iraq war, or know everything about anything at all actually, thats why I'm here, on this (and other) blog(s), because I am more interrested to know more about these issues, so that I will have a better foundation for any standing I have.


By the way Bjørn. I am not sure whether I think the tellhim.no ad was stupid or not. On one hand, yes, I doubt the americans would care in any way what a small country like Norway mean. On the other hand, they do care about what France and Germany thinks, and if they got to know that there are more countries that have the same view, perhaps they would at least look more into the matter? Well, that is far fetched though.. :)
The main content however, that they think terrorism should not be fought with invasions, I dont think is so stupid. I actually think they are right.


Allan,

I see. So Kofi Annan has pronounced, and that's "all (you) need to know all to determine that the invasion was illegal, hence, (you) consider the US administration as criminals."

Well that is a pronouncement that surely sends chills down the spine of the goddess of liberty. Kofi Annan (you should look into him a bit more closely by the way) makes a determination, and you fall in line like a good little freethinker Allan?

I actually barely have enough interest in even replying to this concept... but its Sunday and what the heck.

This mentalilty you convey Allan is the very reason why the US has begun to question the value of the UN even as a forum for airing views, never mind as a fair arbiter of justice in the world. The mind addled contradictions you lay out in the rest of your post, are I'm sorry to say, riddled with the irrational prejudices and quaint little hatreds that seem right out of a third level Humanities Class that could come from, quite tragically, most Western Universities of the last generation.

The US as "big brother", the "big bully" and the worst terrorist of them all and so on and so forth.

Still, you revisit the questions for going to war, and you state the obvious. Yes, it was a question of National Security first and foremost since 911 had already unequivocally demonstrated that this was at risk. The only morally consistent and far reaching approach that could be taken in response to this existential threat to the US and indeed the world as we know it (and thus the one nobody would expect a modern politician to consider)) was more or less the one Bush took. To respond to an attack on Freedom, with freedoms best defense. Iraq's regime was a perfect example of all the things that have given rise and helped to thrive, the murderous nihilism that is Islamofascism: a tyranny of the first order, surreal in its cruelty. The US believes that Freedom is a state for which people... all people yearn. Perhaps you, like many other coddled and petulant "progressives", so enamored of the giddy sensation of moral superiority one gets from projecting self righteous indignation, have forgotten this... or just don't believe in it. Since the positions on the left are so fluffy it can be hard to tell.

Is it the case that universal human rights is a meaningful concept? Or is it a multiculturalist (postmodern racism is the word I use to describe that) dilemma where the US is foolishly trying to bestow Liberty in Iraq, when any "accredited" social "scientist" will tell you that "those people" can't have it.

In any case, I think they can. And I think they must if our very small world is going to be able to turn this exploding nihilism into something else before it consumes millions in fire and perhaps brings down civilisation.

If you think it is "progressive" to sniff in disdain at this, I submit that progressivism is to you, a solipsistic idea, and while you pleasure yourself with illusions of sophisticated thinking, the pains of the world are on display in all their vulgar tragedy, in plain sight.

But... like many ensnared in the creeping nihilism of relativist thought, perhaps faced with that question you will retreat to the idea that what Ive said is merely "my truth" and so who am I to interrupt your self indulgent reverie. And you have your own Truth... and their is no objective one to which we owe our attention.

So why should we bother talking?

One more thing. You said "Kevin, in regards to your disdain of nuance.. what your'e basically saying is that we dont need to provide reasons for what we do, and you dont believe in the small things(nuances if you will) that might change the whole course of an idea or whatever it is. At least thats my understanding of what you wrote."

Really, Allan? Is that what I did? Or is that your fantasy of what it means to be "nuanced"...

We don't need to provide reasons? I said that? I don't understand how you could get anything but virtually the opposite from what I've said. Our reasons should be meaningful and about what they are about... rather than coated with mist raising banter and PC platitudes. (see UN pronouncemnts on the non genocide in Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur etc.)

Which leads me to think instead, that what you've done here is create a strawman so that you could ponteficate what followed. And who could have argued with any of that? Certainly not me.

Why... it was almost one big cliche in its truisms.

So...is THAT where you think your "philosophy" automatically places you?.... as opposed to those ignorant Americans?... or right wing nuts (like me)? Is that where you anchor your self perspective?

It seems illusory to me.

KM


I think you've spotted Kevin quite accurately Allan. It's about aversion for nuance. It is an easy pit to fall into since one of the underlying propaganda strategies in GWOT is "nuance elimination". This is how the Bush administration wants all of us to think. And yes, many of you in this forum buy it. And ESAG's ads are also to a degree operating under this worldview. (On thread...hooray!!)

Nuance elimination takes the form of "Undue identification" and "two-valued thinking." These mechanisms perform a linguistic twist in order to enable the propoagandist to portray the world in good or bad; to Force a complex reality into a truth/false, black/white good/evil friend/foe. Terrorist/freedom-lover etc... dichotomy. The extreme version resembles the zero-nil language
computers operate with.

This does not mean that there is no such thing as 'evil' in the world. (9-11 was an act of evil) It only means that a lot of things are forced into the categories of good and evil, which don't necessarily belong in those categories.

Saudi-Arabia has for a long time (due to its oil) been happily residing in the category of "good". Now we might see a change of this, once the US don't drool oil while talking about them. That's a change for the better. Cuba on the other hand is 'bad', and has been 'bad' ever since Castro.

A final off-thread comment. I have been in contact with the people who produced and pay for the tellhim.no ad. The ad is done for PR-purposes in Norway, they don't care if it has no effect in the US. I'm somewhat shameful for not spotting this on my own. But consider the media-coverage their ad has had, and will have in Norway? And compare the effect, and type of media coverage you would get in Norway for the same amount of money. It's quite clever actually! The Nowegian media are doing their marketing by covering their "foreign" ad. And such coverage is a far better way to enter the minds of the audience than advertising.

That last part isn't completely off-thread actually. Do keep in my mind that every time I or anyone else criticise ESAG in the media it has some positive benefits for ESAG. An awareness of their existence is established. Theri identity is recognized by the mere fact that they are talked about. (This is the marketing strategy of the German company LIDL)Good PR is better than bad PR. But bad PR is sometimes better than no PR at all. In this argument I'm ESAG's useful idiot, not only the media's as you have suggested! :-)
Maybe you could set up a separate thread over whose idiot I really am? I would argue that it is better to be a useful idiot than just a plain and not very useful idiot. :-)


I think you've spotted Kevin quite accurately Allan. It's about aversion for nuance. It is an easy pit to fall into since one of the underlying propaganda strategies in GWOT is "nuance elimination". This is how the Bush administration wants all of us to think. And yes, many of you in this forum buy it. And ESAG's ads are also to a degree operating under this worldview. (On thread...hooray!!)

Nuance elimination takes the form of "Undue identification" and "two-valued thinking." These mechanisms perform a linguistic twist in order to enable the propoagandist to portray the world in good or bad; to Force a complex reality into a truth/false, black/white good/evil friend/foe. Terrorist/freedom-lover etc... dichotomy. The extreme version resembles the zero-nil language
computers operate with.

This does not mean that there is no such thing as 'evil' in the world. (9-11 was an act of evil) It only means that a lot of things are forced into the categories of good and evil, which don't necessarily belong in those categories.

Saudi-Arabia has for a long time (due to its oil) been happily residing in the category of "good". Now we might see a change of this, once the US don't drool oil while talking about them. That's a change for the better. Cuba on the other hand is 'bad', and has been 'bad' ever since Castro.

A final off-thread comment. I have been in contact with the people who produced and pay for the tellhim.no ad. The ad is done for PR-purposes in Norway, they don't care if it has no effect in the US. I'm somewhat shameful for not spotting this on my own. But consider the media-coverage their ad has had, and will have in Norway? And compare the effect, and type of media coverage you would get in Norway for the same amount of money. It's quite clever actually! The Nowegian media are doing their marketing by covering their "foreign" ad. And such coverage is a far better way to enter the minds of the audience than advertising.

That last part isn't completely off-thread actually. Do keep in my mind that every time I or anyone else criticise ESAG in the media it has some positive benefits for ESAG. An awareness of their existence is established. Theri identity is recognized by the mere fact that they are talked about. (This is the marketing strategy of the German company LIDL)Good PR is better than bad PR. But bad PR is sometimes better than no PR at all. In this argument I'm ESAG's useful idiot, not only the media's as you have suggested! :-)
Maybe you could set up a separate thread over whose idiot I really am? I would argue that it is better to be a useful idiot than just a plain and not very useful idiot. :-)


Anders,

Obviously you were a bit irked my disdain for so called nuance. Yet ironically, there was a great deal of sleight of hand in your post and I would like to address it.

First of all though, lets be clear that I beleive the nuance objection is a red herring. I have no objection to nuance per se, if by that we mean a careful analysis of all available facts and perspectives. This is in theory, what the word would MEAN with regards to a discourse or a debate. What I object to is what the word actually "means" with regard to discourse AS IT IS. Let me explain. "Nuanced" has become, like many other words that have a form and an emotive character (like tolerance, diversity social justice) very much disconnected from its own character... or at least from any useful one. It is a word of arrogant posturing that is used quite cynically in order to (as I said in some long ago post), make things become not about what they are about. The interesting thing about nuance the word itself, is that if you research its etymology, it literally means "to make as fog" ... which is tragically ironic. I object to nuance as it is perpetrated on the "masses" today, because it has a two fold impact. On the one hand, it is used again and again to simply slide over issues that are absolutely in need of critical concern and immediate scrutiny. It is for example, the often sniffed catch all deployed by politicians, academics and media elites to imply that "What I am now discussing is too complicated and thus frustrating for the "average" person to grasp so just agree that it is PRO tolerance and diveristy and so forth and leave the details to the experts."

This is a great vehicle for arrogance and elitism acting as a rationale for outright subterfuge. (Because you know... the issue is nuanced and thus we can only give the public that which they can understand... or they might get wrong ideas.) To put it bluntly, it is used, along with winners like "social justice", in ways that are odious and intellectually tyrannical.

In the second place, the corrolary of the accepted "form" of the word today, is to (on the part of the aforementioned masses/herd) permit an easy out. It is a cop out word where one can hold the conformist satisfaction of inherent superiority, and when faced with rigorous challenge to the resulting positions, proclaim that the issue is very nuanced and thus "move on"... and gain... nothing.

So let us be CLEAR gentlemen, it is not nuance as YOU have literally (and conveniently) defined it, to which I object. But rather the usage of the term as it IS being used (which interestingly may be, as I said, a more literal definition...but I digress) by meaninglessness weavers who profit from the reflexive knee-jerkism of a dangerously uncritical "audience" who accordingly, respond to emotive imagery with predictable self righteousness, indignation, and anger as well as much nodding of the head.

--Here is a 'slight' digression for the record, I just got off the phone with someone who told me that on Thursday, her entire school went to see (as part of the school curriculum for History!)the movie F911. Interestingly, she told me that of 70 students who went in, not even ONE had anything but praise for Michael Moore who they feel has enlightened them as to the way things are. They plan to collectively write a letter to him thanking him for having the "courage" to do the movie. It is deeply depressing to me that not even one wondered whether he or she, rather than being enlightened, was instead having already emmbedded prejudices stimulated with clever editing and getting relentlesssly reinforced illusions of innate superiority pleasantly stimulated. Not even one!!! Is this a concern to anyone here?---

Moving on Anders, when you say that this is how the Bush administration wants us to think, alluding to a Nietzchean flavored mind control game of forced dichotomies, I have to ask you: By what meidum do you think this vast propaganda twist is being perpetrated on our unsuspecting world. (Not to mention that details on execution of the concepts you refer to would be FAR more likely to be found in a Humanities course of in fact a Journalism Class at the University... than on anyones desk in the Bush Whitehouse... but we'll set that aside for the moment.)

Could it be that globe straddling media machine controlled by the Classical Liberalism and American Conservatism forces, who have co-opted those who convey images of the world to us (and would otherwise be telling us the "truth")... to fall into line and tow their party line? Uh huh.

The naked absurdity of this even being suggested by you aggravates me to no end. It is with a great big helping of Chutzpah that you can cite two-valued thinking as a meme the Bushies errr... "impose"... somehow... when the truth in plain sight is that the ideological conformity of the mass media is almost apocalyptically opposed to EVERYTHING the US under Bush does.

It is even more galling that you cite undue identification when even as that media still, STILL!!!, both in Norway and elsewhere in the "mainstream", VERY SPECIFICALLY presents itself as an unbiased authority to the people it represents. Two valued thinking indeed!!!

I believe you have projected a sub-rational call for help sir. You are speaking truth, now speak it to where it belongs!!!

Even vague notions of primitive "ethics" (never mind trifles like truth), are little more than puff words to throw at the masses when someone pipes up about an inconsistency or two here and there. You speak as though things are not as they are. I am hoping that you may be able to discover something true from the ridiculousness of this claim... something you yourself must already know. Alas... we live in hope.

In any case, after you comleted your "point" borne of what appears to me to be literary criticism meeting chaos theory, you go on to immediately state that none of those things (which seemed a bit nuanced I note... in the current sense I mean) implied that there is no such thing as straightforward good and evil. Well thats a relief. I presume that the implication is that what they did mean then... right up to the "zero-nil language computers operate with" was that... well as far as evil goes... Bush is it. I'm glad you cleared that up for me.

It was also a relief that you considered 911 worthy of the "evil" label, but you know, the problem is that that is not really what any of this is about. I've never had a question that 911 was evil... in fact Ive never had to call it "evil". Its just a day. I am far more concerned with the ideological mayhem and years of nihilistic doctrine that was behind the abroagation of all things true and beautiful in the men who committed an act of unmitigated evil, at the behest of others who have an agenda (as such men always do) far removed from any rhetoric they spout.

Is that nuanced?

Calling 911 an "evil thing" is pretty easy isn't it Anders?

But what does that mean?

Saying I'm for peace! is a pretty easy thing to jump on board with.

But what does that mean?

There's the nuance I'd like to see in the free and open discourse... but I won't.

Because its not free and open... its "nuanced".

Also I not that you cite Saudi Arabia as "good" in the "Bush View" (whatever that is) as though that simply validates this perception over reality point. Don't bother, its a strawman. NOONE among the "evil" neo-Conservatives has ever written a pro Saudi position, except as an OPEN hattip to short term realpolitik.

Iraq, was the more legitimate target, and if it is successful, five years from now, in addition to Iraq itself being a free and independent member of the community of nations, Arabia will either be a Constitutional Monarchy, or there will have been civil war which is far less desirable. In either case, I assure you the Oil production will be secured for the WORLD market. That is Bush or any presidents repsonsibility.

Is that nuanced?

Finally Anders... regarding the whole ESAG thing. I swear I think you are on the cusp at times of really moving in a new direction. I am not posting any of this in order to get an ego rush from winning an argument, or a self esteem boost because I belong to a "team". I think these issues are critically important, and in many ways deeply frightening. You never answered my question to you about the link I sent, but I truly hope you read it and ask yourself that question. What if...?

The implcations are shattering are they not?

They go well beyond Iraq and force you to ask many "Why's"... and to cut through a lot of "nuance" as well.

I don't want you to be anyones idiot. But I would prefer you to be useful to something good. I still cling to the (perhaps naive) position that it IS possible for EVERYONE to discern (if they are willing to look in earnest and humble enough to see past their prejudices)... if not the "Truth"... at least goodness... some of the time.

Cheers,

KM


Avast, Mateys! I think this answers so many questions on this thread, I just have to post it:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml;sessionid=4BDJLPE2TRFGNQFIQMGCM54AVCBQUJVC?xml=/opinion/2004/09/18/do1801.xml&sSheet=/opinion/2004/09/18/ixopinion.html

Why Americans hate foreign policy
By P J O'Rourke
(Filed: 18/09/2004)

...Americans hate foreign policy. Americans hate foreign policy because Americans hate foreigners. Americans hate foreigners because Americans are foreigners. We all come from foreign lands, even if we came 10,000 years ago on a land bridge across the Bering Strait.

America is not "globally conscious" or "multi-cultural." Americans didn't come to America to be Limey Poofters, Frog-Eaters, Bucket Heads, Micks, Spicks, Sheenies or Wogs. If we'd wanted foreign entanglements, we would have stayed home. Or - in the case of those of us who were shipped to America against our will - as slaves, exiles, or transported prisoners - we would have gone back.

Being foreigners ourselves, we Americans know what foreigners are up to with their foreign policy - their venomous convents, lying alliances, greedy agreements and trick-or-treaties. America is not a wily, sneaky nation. We don't think that way.

We don't think much at all, thank God. Start thinking and pretty soon you get ideas, and then you get idealism, and the next thing you know you've got ideology, with millions dead in concentration camps and gulags. A fundamental American question is: "What's the big idea?"

Americans would like to ignore foreign policy. Our previous attempts at isolationism were successful. Unfortunately, they were successful for Hitler's Germany and Tojo's Japan. Evil is an outreach programme. A solitary bad person sitting alone, harbouring genocidal thoughts, and wishing he ruled the world is not a problem unless he lives next to us in the trailer park.

In the big geopolitical trailer park that is the world today, he does. America has to act. But, when America acts, other nations accuse us of being "hegemonistic," of engaging in "unilateralism," of behaving as if we're the only nation on earth that counts.

We are. Russia used to be a superpower but resigned "to spend more time with the family." China is supposed to be mighty, but the Chinese leadership quakes when a couple of hundred Falun Gong members do tai chi for Jesus.

The European Union looks impressive on paper, with a greater population and a larger economy than America's. But the military spending of Britain, France, Germany, and Italy combined does not equal one third of the US defence budget....

---

Anders, that we cut thru the "nuance" (Crap) is a feature, not a bug. Europeans are so nuanced, they've paralyzed themselves. I guess a European insult is, "You argue like an American." Can't figure out the insult, kind of like "cowboy."

Free yourself of your baggage, life's too short.

Oh, sorry, there goes that infernal American optimism again.

-------

So, Allen, when did you vote for Kofi as president of the world?

When he tells you that he and/or his son had nothing to do w/Oil for terrorism, you'll believe him?

Have you heard of the Friends of Saddam site?


CIA - oxymoron, got many things wrong. Didn't know USSR was going to go poof, amongst other things.

State Dept. is a nest of vipers which must be purged.

CIA funds anti-republican conferences, over the past few years to the tune of $15 million.

----

As to intel, the CIA/State and other military things, if you can handle Rantburg, Allen, both sides might learn some things.


--On the other hand, they do care about what France and Germany thinks,---

Yes, that's why there's sites like pavefrance and f***france and more.

Allen, there was a recent Rasmussen (polling co.) poll of 1000 people, IIRC, - 18%(?) thought of frogistan as an ally

27% thought of frogistan as an enemy

48% weren't really sure.

75% either actively distrusted them or weren't really sure, that's a lot of people, Allen.

No Pasaran's a pip, too.

---

Anders, we only get 11% of our oil from SA. Are you sure we're just protecting America? What about our allies who are more dependent on their oil?

We have oil above US - Canada 5th largest reserves, IIRC, below US - Mexico, off either coast, in the Gulf and even in my state - IL. It's not the sweet, wonderful stuff SA has, but it'll do in a pinch. However, 40% of our country is officially offlimits to a lot of things, including drilling - they're called, "federal lands." They let the timber, oil and other cos do a little here and there, but.....


BTW, Allen, this is from Strategy Page via the American Blogfather, Instapundit:

September 19, 2004: Anti-government forces are desperately trying to shatter the morale of police and reconstruction personnel. But suicide bombing attacks on police facilities, and gun battles against police patrols in Sunni Arab areas have not worked. The police continue to recruit, and police patrols grow larger and more aggressive as they move into Sunni Arab neighborhoods in cities like Baghdad, Kirkuk and Mosul, and arrest known, or suspected, terrorists and armed anti-government activists. There is less aversion, among the majority of Iraqis, to playing rough with the Sunni Arabs who comprise nearly all the anti-government forces. A growing network of informers in Sunni controlled areas provide targets for daily bombing attacks on buildings the anti-government forces are using. The government has said that it will hold national elections, as scheduled, even if voting is not possible in some Sunni Arab areas. It's thought that an 80-90 percent vote is better than a delayed vote. This is because a national vote will be concrete proof, to dubious Shia Arab Iraqis, that Saddam is truly gone, even if thousands of Saddam's thugs are still running around killing people. The vote will also make it clear just how much power the Kurds hold, on a national scale, and get started negotiations to sort out how much autonomy the Kurds will have in a predominately Arab country.


Oh, goody, the fascists and commies are on the upswing in the Fatherland.


Been there, done that, and we really don't want to have to come back again, just to let you guys know. We're kind of busy right now.


Candy:

"--On the other hand, they do care about what France and Germany thinks,---
Yes, that's why there's sites like pavefrance and f***france and more."

Excacly, what you say confirms what I said as well. If people did not care, then there would not be sites like this.

"Oh, goody, the fascists and commies are on the upswing in the Fatherland.
Been there, done that, and we really don't want to have to come back again, just to let you guys know. We're kind of busy right now."
Who are you calling commies and fascists?
Do you think I wish for the Iraq project to fail merely because I dont agree with the way it is handled? Do you really think I am that cynical Candy? I wish just as much as you(I suspect even more, since I dont bear the same hate towards muslims) Candy, for the free election and hope for a good future for the Iraqees. So dont use stupid tactics of trying to think we are loosing in some way just because Iraq _might_(thats to say I doubt that things are going great in Iraq, because I distrust your source).

Kevin:
"Well that is a pronouncement that surely sends chills down the spine of the goddess of liberty. Kofi Annan (you should look into him a bit more closely by the way) makes a determination, and you fall in line like a good little freethinker Allan?"

Okay, lets turn it the other way around Kevin..
-- Well, that is a pronouncement that surely sends chills down the spine of the goddess of liberty.
George Bush (you should look into him a bit more closely by the way) makes a determination, and you fall in line like a good little right-wing neo-con rasict Kevin? --

Do you see how stupid and provocative your argumentation is?

By the way, I dont know where you got your twisted version of nuance, I am born and bred in Europe, and the way I described nuance was not taken from some dictionary, but from the way I have learned to think, namely by the help of a European style education system. Do you guys really look at nuance in this way? We don't..

"The name "United Nations", coined by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt"
http://www.un.org/aboutun/history.htm
To me it seems like the Americans was one of the driving forces behind UN. Did you guys vote for that when UN was created?
What I get at is that you cant say that because you did not vote for Kofi Annan, then his credibility is lousy. I would guess that he would be one of the more qualified for stating what is according to the charter than any other, since he is the leader of UN.


OOPPS! Seems like Candy and Kevin are crashing in regards to nuance:

Kevin:
"So let us be CLEAR gentlemen, it is not nuance as YOU have literally (and conveniently) defined it, to which I object"

Candy:
"Anders, that we cut thru the "nuance" (Crap) is a feature, not a bug. Europeans are so nuanced, they've paralyzed themselves"

I actually think Kevin might be more of a European than American sometimes, by the way he argues.. Candy on the other hand... he is an American all right :p


Candy:
"Anders, we only get 11% of our oil from SA. Are you sure we're just protecting America? What about our allies who are more dependent on their oil?
We have oil above US - Canada 5th largest reserves, IIRC, below US - Mexico, off either coast, in the Gulf and even in my state - IL."

Where did you find that Candy?
Norway, UK and Russia are quite big producers of oil as well, I doubt Europe would really need the SA oil. Oh, and BTW. You think you have friends in Canada and South America? WRONG! They can''t stand your guts.. The Canadians and South Americans have an even more strained relationship with US than Europe..


I dont mean to spam, but so many things to say and when I'm not in the same timezone as you guys, then I need to reply everything at once.
Anyways, yes, I agree Anders, I feel stupid as well for not spotting that on my own. I could not understand how they could think that the Americans would care in any way to such an ad. But hey, that was not their intention either :)
I just wonder whether it will have the wanted effect in Norway, time will tell.. (I cant really see myself cheering for this kind of ad, even if I read about it in the newspaper.) But alas, I'm definately not an expert on PR, usually leave that to our american friends, because they're the ones who need it :p


Allan,

"Okay, lets turn it the other way around Kevin..
-- Well, that is a pronouncement that surely sends chills down the spine of the goddess of liberty. George Bush (you should look into him a bit more closely by the way) makes a determination, and you fall in line like a good little right-wing neo-con rasict Kevin? --"

Well... see the thing of it is... I don't. And its interesting to note... that neither do the so called "neo cons", who, as Øyvind rightly pointed out, is a very difficult thing to pin down becasue it is a very broad marketplace for ideas. In fact... its the only domain of ideas in my opinion, where there seems to be a fearlessness to address the true meaning of ideas, and their implications in the real world.

So that assumption... in spite of being "turned around" as it is... is simply wrong.

You will find by the way, that among the neo cons is a HUGE amount of criticism about George's policies both foreign and domestic. In fact, I suggest Allan, that if you want to find criticism that is grounded in reality rather than emotive and caricatured ala Bush is Hitler!; Bush Lied-People Died!; Bush is a War Criminal!; Bush kills for Oil!... and the rest of that ilk which is dominant among the "smart" people... then I suggest you go to these sources. There you will find EVERYTHING that is the source for public policies that spring from them, on public display for all the world to see. (As opposed to say.... Brussels or Turtle Bay.)

So... with regard to the so called War on Terror, the fact that I think Bush is addressing the struggle with the true nature of Islamo-fasicsm in the way that is most likely to actually address it and derive goodness from the strife... is based, rather simply... on the fact that I think the way Bush is addressing the struggle with the true nature of Islam-fasicsm in the way that is most likely to actually address it and derive goodness from the strife.

Thats pretty much it.

Is that nuanced? ... according to that presumably NON-twisted kind that you derive from the from the way you have "learned to think," with the "help of a European style education system" I mean. (That was just delicious Allen... and I couldn't resist it.)

As for your reference to the UN at its creation, and its charter... well... has it been that? Or has it become a slouching doppelganger of that, miserably enabling and even legitimizing the very things it is ostensibly there to address. Is that nullification of its own meaning the fault of the Americans? Does the fact of its decrepitude matter? Or is it really there to be a big PR firm for us coddled Westerners so that we can feel good about our intentions and desires being enshrined somewhere, and go back to our fatuous and self righteous solipsism while despicable things grow in the shadow of its monstrous corruption.

Seems like thats the question we should be asking in the wake of what we can see in plain sight. (and I know I framed it in a loaded way... but I think it was also a fair way based on what is in plain sight.)

But maybe its all relative.



Allan,

Regarding-

"Kevin: "So let us be CLEAR gentlemen, it is not nuance as YOU have literally (and conveniently) defined it, to which I object"

And...
Candy: "Anders, that we cut thru the "nuance" (Crap) is a feature, not a bug. Europeans are so nuanced, they've paralyzed themselves" (note from me... heh heh, I loved that.)

Which was followed by your apparent Eureka! moment of...
"I actually think Kevin might be more of a European than American sometimes, by the way he argues.. Candy on the other hand... he is an American all right :p"

All I can say is... Huh?

Regardless of the apparent style parsing you've done, you should know that I read Sandy's posts and most of the tme get a huge kick out of them. I also think it is glaringly obvious that Sandy and I are pretty much describing the same exact things nine times out of ten. If you think that style is above message, than I guess it follows that image is over substance.

My condolences.

KM


Regarding neo-cons Kevin:
"the only domain of ideas in my opinion, where there seems to be a fearlessness to address the true meaning of ideas, and their implications in the real world."
This is fantastic. You make one of the greatest congestions of die hard realists, with a insatiable will to power and preventive warfare, sound like a neat cub-scout meeting.
You must have mixed the neo-cons up with someone else Kevin.

Let me quote from two of the neo-con arch-angels (Kagan & Kristol) in the editorial of the lovely little pamphlet called "The Weekly Standard", in which these pleasant people think freely and peacefully about...war:

"hand over more responsibility to Iraqis, responsibility above all for doing more of the fighting and dying."
http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/004/056mvrqy.asp

Yup. These are fine ideas indeed.
Can't you just hear them on the Intercom?:

"Houston, We have a problem here. Our guys are actually dying."

"What? Can't you try to get the Iraqis to do more of the dying?"

"Sure, What a great idea! The Iraqis definitely need to do more of the dying. After all we are so busy eradicating evil and rebuilding ...ehhmm...Iraq"

So Iraqis need to do more of the dying in the war that was forced upon them to liberate themselves. No nuances here at least! Easy solutions!


Well... that was a bit hyperbolic Øyvind! You commit a few fallacies there which I won't be pedantic enough to quote the Latin names of, but suffice it to say the statement: "You make one of the greatest congestions of die hard realists, with a insatiable will to power and preventive warfare, sound like a neat cub-scout meeting"... is I think... shall we say... arguable. (One thing I will confront prima fascie is the you blithe reference to "realism" as a truism.... because that's just bull**it.)

As to the "Angels" you reference (we don't do the idol worship thing too much by the way... except maybe for Hayek.... and for having a soft spot for Reagan... but no digressions!)

Did you read the whole article?

Actually you have taken that quote very much out of context.

"Among the biggest mistakes made by the Bush administration over the past year has been the failure to move Iraq more rapidly toward elections. It's true that many, inside and outside the administration, have long been clamoring to hand over more responsibility to Iraqis, responsibility above all for doing more of the fighting and dying. But the one thing even many of these friends of Iraq have been unwilling to hand over to Iraqis is the right to choose their own government. This is a mistake."

Their point (and the article is very open and direct), is that Iraq has been treated with too LITTLE respect for the people within it who are natural allies of a free and democratic country, and that there has to be a sharing of EVERYTHING to do with the nurturing of Liberty, especially when it comes to fighting against those who would replace it with tyranny.

It has DIDDLY squat to do with some cynical approach to shifting casualties from one column to another so that the NY Times gets less of a body count jump to harp over (which is impractical anyway), and everything to do with making this thing about what its about.

In other words... It ain't colonialism Øvyind, nor is it charity... its promoting self determination. So let it be done as quickly as possible.

Would you like me to express my disdain for this skewed "evidence" you have of what I am "about"?

I'll refrain.


As to all the emotive and self righteous cartoon like caricature sentences you churned out as follow up to the "evidence", I'll leave it anyone who reads them to decide if they cast light on anything true.

I think they were mostly to satisfy your own notions.


KM


Took US 13 years to get from the Declaration to The Constitution, IIRC.

But if it can't happen yesterday to a people not imbued w/Western philosophy, well, forget it.

---

Anders, you finally get it. You might even be beginning to understand US. Congratulations!

Have you been reading our Founding Fathers? THe Revolution?? Did one or more of Jefferson's statements start making sense? Franklin's? Whose?
Who was your influence?
---

and let's clarify via the American Blogfather from Strategy Page - and start perusing The Professor every day if you haven't, his site is chock full of bloggy goodness:


STRATEGYPAGE looks at the media dynamics of the conflict in Iraq:


Now you would think that this bunch of cutthroats, whose favorite tactics are kidnapping or threatening unarmed civilians, would be widely reviled. Nope. They are the underdogs, and have been labeled in the media as "insurgents." Since many countries, and their media, opposed the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, the "insurgents" get favorable press. Very favorable press. Iraq's problem with its armed anti-democracy groups is described as "widespread unrest," despite the fact that it is confined to that third of the country (most of it desert) that is dominated by the Sunni Arab minority (about 20 percent of the population). The Baath Party and Islamic radical leaders can read, and make the most of their status as "freedom fighters." OK, that last tag isn't used very often, as even most journalists gag at so describing two groups so openly dedicated to restoring dictatorship.


But they don't gag hard enough. *****this is from today and from yesterday:

IRAQ UPDATE: StrategyPage reports:


September 19, 2004: Anti-government forces are desperately trying to shatter the morale of police and reconstruction personnel. But suicide bombing attacks on police facilities, and gun battles against police patrols in Sunni Arab areas have not worked. The police continue to recruit, and police patrols grow larger and more aggressive as they move into Sunni Arab neighborhoods in cities like Baghdad, Kirkuk and Mosul, and arrest known, or suspected, terrorists and armed anti-government activists. There is less aversion, among the majority of Iraqis, to playing rough with the Sunni Arabs who comprise nearly all the anti-government forces. A growing network of informers in Sunni controlled areas provide targets for daily bombing attacks on buildings the anti-government forces are using. The government has said that it will hold national elections, as scheduled, even if voting is not possible in some Sunni Arab areas. It's thought that an 80-90 percent vote is better than a delayed vote. This is because a national vote will be concrete proof, to dubious Shia Arab Iraqis, that Saddam is truly gone, even if thousands of Saddam's thugs are still running around killing people. The vote will also make it clear just how much power the Kurds hold, on a national scale, and get started negotiations to sort out how much autonomy the Kurds will have in a predominately Arab country.

---

Jane's is also a good place to go, I understand. The Command Post, Belmont Club. And Debka's always fun and so is Rantburg. Hope this helps if people want to discuss the small stuff.

---

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-- Thomas Jefferson

"God grants liberty only to those who love it, and are always ready to guard and defend it."
-- Daniel Webster

"We're in a war, dammit! We're going to have to offend somebody!"
-- John Adams


"Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God!"
-- Patrick Henry

"Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursue it."
-- Thomas Jefferson



Anders... the above comment addressed to Øyvind... was of course.... actually meant for you.


Cheers,


KM


I propose moving the media debate forward.

While I do not speak Norweigan and cannot participate on your end, most if not all here do speak and read English.

So, a big Euro/world (Allen) complaint is that the US doesn't listen to you because if we did, Cabana Boy would be crowned king of the US on 11/2.


Why aren't you expressing your opinion to the great unwashed masses?

Why aren't you listening to American talk radio? You can, you know, it's quite easy, I think. I know I can listen to the Beeb.

We have this wonderful Al Gore creation and you're not using it to to move the debate forward.

If you need self-validation, Pacifica Radio and others on the West Coast would be right up your alley, you can commiserate w/them and also Seattle and probably even New Mexico. Madison, WI is lefty. East Coast is, especially the college towns of Harvard, Princeton, those names. This also means, however, you're going to have to understand US demographics/geography and some political lingo red/blue state divide, that kind of thing. A little homework will be in order.


If you want alternative views, you can listen to Rush, Hugh Hewitt, and a host of locals on the station you tapped into to get your opinion out to the masses as to how unhappy you are your bubble burst.

News is now a conversation, as Jeff Jarvis of Buzzmachine coined.

WLSAM - the 50K watt powerhouse in Chicago has the 12th(?) most listened to program via the net in the US and 31st(?) in the world. At least it did earlier this year, The Roe Conn show. He's irreverant. However his show went international a few weeks ago, got an American from Paris and another city. They listen to him thru their computers. They called in. They can also email. You don't think a station would read an email they received from Norway? Or Australia, Allen? That's good PR.

You complain we don't listen to you, but you don't realize you haven't been listening to us. You throw something out there, it could be challenged quite ferociously (sp). Keep at it. Both sides might learn. which is the point of all this, isn't it?

Take a lesson from hans ze beeman, formerly of cum grano salis.

You might also find out certain parts of Europe (UN) have a serious PR problem. You might actually have to start asking yourselves why we hate you and maybe even look to root causes. ;)


Heh heh heh.

Ya see Allan?

Its things like this: "So, a big Euro/world (Allen) complaint is that the US doesn't listen to you because if we did, Cabana Boy would be crowned king of the US on 11/2." ... that remind me of some of the many things that I love about America...

And the rest of Sandy's post flies in the face of the view that America is ignorant by, ironically, pointing out that we have a vibrant discourse that includes everything the Euro discourse has... except not only that. Its even more ironic because it seems to me that the only way the smug little assumptions of the closed minded discourse in America could survive (which is necesary to explain their "unacceptable" wa y of thinking)... is in the closed little discourse of "open minded" Europe.

Kinda makes ya think... don't it?

Or... do it don't.

KM


I also want to make the point that we censored Janet's boob.

We did not slap John Gibson of FoxNews - like the Brits or Oprah - like the Swedes.

What they said was too inflammatory for your sensitive ears. Might actually make you start thinking.

Now the Hollyweirds think they're being censored, they're not. We just choose not to pay money or spend time to hear them. Or even more arrogantly, answer them back. How dare the great unwashed do that, don't you know who they are?

Dumbcelebs is a fun site.


hehe, its easy to move the debate forward when you are proven wrong. Yes, I think we pretty much established that the war was illegal already, so let me go back to my original statements: You cannot break the law because it is convenient, or you think you should, because it is just not right.
By the way, I do not have an impression of you being neo-con, actually because I dont really have a perception yet of what being a neo-con REALLY is. I merely used the expression to show that there is little constructive to get from calling other small and playing what they say down instead of having good arguments.

And no, I dont think Bush is Hitler, for the simple reason (like Bjorn stated so nicely) that he is not Hitler. I dont consider him or his administration as terrorists or not even aliens :) either.
The main view I have about the war is.. like stated earlier.. that it is illegal, because it breaches the UN charter. And that makes the US administration criminal. Simple as that. Not really complicated is it?
Then, if we move into if UN is an organisation enabling dictators and others alike to operate freely, thats actually for the simple principle of not intervening in other states internal affairs. (dont go into the fact that we should remove dictators, because I think they should be gone as well, only thats NOT the reason why Iraq was invaded) And when the US administration starts to break the law, to do things without the support of the organ they themselves has been active in creating, then that shows what dangerous path that lies ahead, right? The UN is basically there to try to stop wars, and what the US-administration does is to undermine the UN authority, insead of trying to back it up.
You also seemed to (conveniently) side-step the issue I brought up that Bush actually did say that Iraq posed a considerable threat to the free world with weapons of mass destruction, and as such, needed to be invaded. Thats the main reason.

"Regardless of the apparent style parsing you've done, you should know that I read Sandy's posts and most of the tme get a huge kick out of them. I also think it is glaringly obvious that Sandy and I are pretty much describing the same exact things nine times out of ten. If you think that style is above message, than I guess it follows that image is over substance"
Of course its obvious that you and Sandy have the same view (I guess its also nice to encourage one another in the face of truth as well, right).. And no, I dont think style is above message, I would think thats obvious from my own style..

Regarding nuance: I suggest you do some more thinking, and find out whether you like or dont like nuance Kevin, then perhaps you could describe to me in layman term (or perhaps not, makes it easier for me to catch the lies, not that it makes much difference) whether you like nuance or not. Do you think nuance (the way that we europeans(which in this instance is me) describe it) is crap as well? Because thats what Sandy meant.. after my description of nuance, he went on and said that nuance is crap.

And let me repeat for clarity.. I never got the impression that nuance is the way you described it earlier during my growing up in Europe, and I would bet you most of my european friends would describe nuance in the same way as I described earlier. Therefore I still wonder where you got that view of nuance..

By the way, Sandy never replied on who he called Commies and Fascists.


Ah, and for the topic of letting the Iraqis do the dying for themselves, what the hell is that?
Is it not US invading to make Iraq a stable country? So should not US take responsibility for their own actions?
Do you really think that by giving the Iraqi police force some M16's and tell them "go get them!" the problem of the terrorists will be gone?
Should it not be better to have your own troops handle the terrorists? Would at least be a more secure way of handling (or killing) the terrorists in my mind. After all, the american military would be better(a lot!) at the fighting than the Iraqis. And the american administration would also have better control.


Whenever I demonstrate a right-wing nut job saying something that is ghastly you holler: "out of context, out of context!!!

How the F###c is "responsibility above all for doing more of the fighting and dying" taken out of context. Don't you understand English?? Please note "above all" that's an expression which indicates the importance of the following part about fighting and dying. I gotta stop this. I'm giving high-school lectures in text analysis here.


You don't get US Allen, freedom/liberty is not handed on a platter, especially silver. This is what puzzles a lot of Americans. Until they start putting their foot down nothing's really going to change. We've given it to them, but it's up to them to keep it.

I seem to recall the Brits leaving Ozland high and dry in the mid-20th century. Took us about 6(?) weeks to get there.

---

BTW, I haven't been proven wrong. There is no 1 world gov't w/Kofi at the top. There is no 1 international law. When did you vote? This country seems to have missed it.

BTW, Kofi himself called Colin the next morning after his BBC interview. Colin's looking forward to having a little talk w/Kofi. Have you looked at any of the sites I've suggested?

Well, as to us doing the killing, we've killed more than everyone knows. But also that's what one gets when one is culturally sensitive. That's why the Iraqis are better suited for this. They also need the confidence they can handle this.

Pay attention to where our soldiers are dying.

So, what radio station are you going to listen to and participate in?

I'm sure your views on the UN will make for a lively show. We could also use some input on Ozzie health care.

Who called whom commies and fascists?

And BTW - I'm female.


Well Anders... because in truth it WAS taken F###cking out of Context... and I beleive the post I wrote... if you read it through... makes that quite clear. I also suspect that you did not read the entire article... but probably read that snippet of a sentence from the website of a "left-wing nut job" which you frequent... and took it as confirmation of all that you love to believe... like the 70+ people I cited earlier, who went see F911 the other day and could find nothing to think about from the experience.

Again... and perhaps you should think in terms at least, of a college level lecture, before you sit on your laurels. Since such laurels are illusory, I fear you might injure your back when your ass hits the ground.

The man said:
Among the biggest mistakes made by the Bush administration over the past year has been the failure to move Iraq more rapidly toward elections. It's true that many, inside and outside the administration, have long been clamoring to hand over more responsibility to Iraqis, responsibility above all for doing more of the fighting and dying. But the one thing even many of these friends of Iraq have been unwilling to hand over to Iraqis is the right to choose their own government. This is a mistake."

The responsibilities for maintaining ones self determination, include, oh yes it does include.. defending it from the ruthless who would seize it.

Now... read my post above, and even read the article! Believe me Anders... I read ALL the articles I get linked to by you and others... and lots of others bound to similar ideas all on my own.... its just that I don't stop there...smugly satisfied that I'm covered in glory for my freethinking ways.

Cheers,


KM


Anders, what are you talking about?

If that comment was directed at me, I never said it was taken out of context. I said you're finally getting it. The head clutter's being cleared.

You're studying text analysis, maybe you should be studying American history instead.

But that can't be, we Americans have often been told that Europeans know our history better than ourselves.

Must be that "nuance" thing. ;)

No, well, nuanced to Europeans, but a basic American understanding.

And there's the difference. Our differing histories.


--The responsibilities for maintaining ones self determination, include, oh yes it does include.. defending it from the ruthless who would seize it.---

Sometimes defending it ruthlessly.


I read the whole article. Btw, I check what's in the Weekly Standard regularly. I'm no left-winger.

I have also studied American history at university level. But what I read, and what I have studied is not (and sgould not be) the topic of this thread. (or indeed any thread!??)


I read the whole article. Btw, I check what's in the Weekly Standard regularly. I'm no left-winger.

I have also studied American history at university level. But what I read, and what I have studied is not (and sgould not be) the topic of this thread. (or indeed any thread!??)


Anders, with all due respect, you need to get your money back.;)

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-- Thomas Jefferson

He thought every 20 years or so, IIRC.

LIBERTY:

If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.

Samuel Adams


And I find your comment interesting, because you say you're not a left-winger, but you write this -- Whenever I demonstrate a right-wing nut job-- . Maybe you're not a European left-winger, but US???

I can understand you not wanting to talk about it, but when that 2nd plane smashed into the WTC we knew. This is black or white, US or them. Beslan reinforced it. That's another reason why W's numbers are up.

While you might not think so, what we're doing is the hard way. Once again, we send our future away from home to effect a change in a people so they stop their destructive behavior. We won't know for at least 30 years if this worked. If we can turn them into frogistan, where they snipe and attack us by surrogates, then we'll be OK. We can handle the "constructive criticism."

I'm beginning to think that I have things reversed, that we really are the nuanced ones and certain parts of Europe are not. That we fight and die for an intangible, esoteric(?) vision is a very nuanced approach, one that most of the world is incapable of understanding. However, to most of US, and those Americans by heart, as USS Clueless wrote (you should read it) it is basic, we hold these truths to be self-evident. Why we fought and still fight are listed in The Declaration of Independence, and verified/certified by our Constitution. As a reminder, we have The Gettysburg Address and FDR's 1941 speech, among others.

When we forget, take for granted, stray from the path what we have that millions have died for, fate has a very bloody and abrupt way of reminding us who we are, what our core, our vison, this grand experiment is.

What Europeans also fail to realize is that while we come from you, we are not you. That's why we left 400 years ago, and still continue to leave. We know your history, and we know what you think of us. We can go back 200 years and a lot of the things that were written and said about US then are still being said and written in some form or fashion about US today.

You think we don't listen to you, and after 400 years of the same thing over and over, we don't. However, as I have said before, you haven't been listening to US. And I realized formulating this post, is that where, while you talk at/to US, our response to you was/is in deed, not word. With this wonderful invention of Al Gore's, we are now giving you the word.

We are loud, boisterous, obnoxious. And we are optimistic. You might not believe it, but we aren't really confrontational. Look at the differences in how we queue v. the Germans, Austrians and South Americans. They are rude and pushy. We wait for our turn. If someone thinks they are more important than we are, they are put in their place. If we have a bad experience at a restaurant, we usually don't say anything, we just don't return. The majority do not protest, do not rabble-rouse, cause arson, terrorism. We're too busy working.

Things are changing because the left's time is done here, it's been over 50 years. The Wall fell 15 years ago, communism was discredited, but only now is the dream finally dying here, hence the screaming from the 60s boomers. Then 9/11. The next few years are going to have quite a few fireworks and not all terrorism will be from islamofascists. The Left is losing and the only thing they can do to keep their religion alive is make every suffer as they suffer because they can't make the ignorant unwashed masses agree w/their vision. They cannot make their case to the proles, so they use the courts by fiat to promote their anti-American agenda. And some of their agenda will agree w/Europe, and once again, Europe will not -- cannot -- understand why the great unwashed don't agree. You study our history, come visit, but after 225++ years, you still don't understand US. Yet, as Jefferson's quote shows you, it's right in front of your faces. The means can be nuanced, but the end is black and white.

If you don't already, you might want to peruse National Review Online. And you should stop by Roger L. Simon's place. I'd think you'd enjoy it.

You might also go to C-Span or W's site and listen to his acceptance speech. Most of it was SOTU - State of the Union stuff, the laundry-list, but the last 15 or so minutes is the vision. The 90s was one long frat party, 2000 almost coma-inducing hangover, the 1st jolt of consciousness was 9/11. Hangover is almost over, time to get to work, but these last few weeks are going to be brutal in Iraq. The speech really good spin, which means this post can also go under Bjorn's newer thread. What better way to analyze W than by watching his acceptance speech?

Remember, "fascism is always descending upon the USA, but somehow always seems to land in Europe". ;)



With all due respect, you need to do American History all over again if you think that preventive warfare is an integrated part of US doctrine historically. What W said in his acceptance speech is not really important. His Presidency has been defined by 9-11. Apart from withdrawing from a bunch of treaties his first eight months were not really "eventful".


Anders,

In case you missed it... ALL my "derisive" pseudo ad-hominens, including the "College Level" and the "left-wing nut job" comments, were merely direct allusions to the screedy and innapropriately self righteous post of yours to which I was answering.

It seems you have taken my measured response as though it were an unprovoked pre-emptive strike... eerily reflecting the "nuanced" European view of everything Israel and the US does.

In any case... you can refrain from getting defensive about your actual educational credentials. They don't matter to me anyway. I respond only based on what you say... much like Jimmy Carter's Nobel, hasn't given his recent "certification" of "democracy" (along with the UN) in Venezuala any more legitimacy in my eyes... than it ACTUALLY did... which isn't very much.

Cheers,

KM


Kevin:
Why ask if we voted for UN? Did you vote for the creation of UN? Afterall, US was QUITE instrumental in its creation from my understanding. But I guess its too much to ask for that this country of yours actually start taking the responsibilities (which it happilly accepted) serious. We see this all the time, you guys make Saddam, you make Bin Laden, you make Pinochet..(all of that was wrong by the way) But is it really that hard to stay by what you have earlier? People will start to doubt your commitment and trustworthiness you know.. John Kerry himself is a great example of the zig zag approach you guys have to politics. And no, before you start jabbing about me wanting to keep these dictators, NO, I would not want them to be in place, and the sooner they are gotten rid of, the better. What I mean is, when you finally really do something good (except saving the world from the nazis) like the UN, at least you can give it a proper go and not abandon it at first crossway.

Sandy:
"I'm beginning to think that I have things reversed, that we really are the nuanced ones and certain parts of Europe are not."

Hehe, well, Sandy, so you suddenly think nuance is not crap anymore? well, you're right, and you should have listened to us straight away instead of putting up such a fight. In the end you will understand that we are right, and you.. well you're not...

"What Europeans also fail to realize is that while we come from you, we are not you. That's why we left 400 years ago, and still continue to leave"
Unless you are an American immigrant (the one who are born in another country), I really cant see what the glory(?) is by taking your father or grandfather or whatever ancestor it is, and claim the responsibility for that. I guess you will also claim the responsibility for how the American natives and the blacks were treated?
You know Sandy, what you're basically doing in this last post is.. well, Kevin said it better than I can, he called it "I bleieve this is all depressingly adolescent, and more or less masturbatory intellectually". He did say it for a different context, but it is just so much more fitting in this.
Actually, I did use to admire the US attitude of individualism, but the more I read of posts like this, just makes me more and more convinced that I was wrong and that you guys have just as bad collectivistic thinking in your society as any other of the Old-Communist states (including China, which is still communistic though).

Now, I dont have the time to listen to these radio stations you talked about. Anyways, I'm not really interrested in taking any more of my time than I currently do with these matters. I have a life I try to live on the side as well, you see.
Good thing you told me you are female, I might have continued to adress you wrongly. Sorry about that. Don't think I will go more softly on you for that reason alone though. :p

remember, "the day US forgets its path to freedom, Europe will be there to help you along" :p


Admit it Kevin, your style of writing is provocative at best, and no, its not because it "challenge" our way of thinking or any crap like that, its just because you can be quite rude and give off hand comments about your 'adversaries' while argumenting. You should try not doing that, and you might suddenly be taken seriously one day.


Anders, you have my sympathies.. :)

"The man said:
Among the biggest mistakes made by the Bush administration over the past year has been the failure to move Iraq more rapidly toward elections. It's true that many, inside and outside the administration, have long been clamoring to hand over more responsibility to Iraqis, responsibility above all for doing more of the fighting and dying. But the one thing even many of these friends of Iraq have been unwilling to hand over to Iraqis is the right to choose their own government. This is a mistake."

HeeeHeee.. HOW can this be taken out of context is what I am thinking as well. It just cant be clearer than that.. Actually what I did realise while writing here is that the 'bad' nuance(make like fog) that Kevin has argued was European (which we Europeans did not recognise).. well, I think that definately is a construct of either his own mind.. or more dangerously, where he gets his ideas. It is clear that whatever he sets his eyes on and argues about, suddenly becomes... Clouded? (but very nicely written I must concede). HOW the hell can one take a sentence like: "It's true that many, inside and outside the administration, have long been clamoring to hand over more responsibility to Iraqis, responsibility above all for doing more of the fighting and dying" and claim that it is something else besides, well.. fighting and dying?


Oh, yes... just to remind you, you seemed to forget (its dangerous to use such strong words to easily, you might loose your credibility, and the word looses its power)

"Sandy P | 2004-09-20 03:08 | Link
Oh, goody, the fascists and commies are on the upswing in the Fatherland.
Been there, done that, and we really don't want to have to come back again, just to let you guys know. We're kind of busy right now"

Thats why I asked who you called fascists and commies..


Oh, yes... just to remind you, you seemed to forget (its dangerous to use such strong words to easily, you might loose your credibility, and the words loose their power)

"Sandy P | 2004-09-20 03:08 | Link
Oh, goody, the fascists and commies are on the upswing in the Fatherland.
Been there, done that, and we really don't want to have to come back again, just to let you guys know. We're kind of busy right now"

Thats why I asked who you called fascists and commies..


Allan,

Well, if you are saying that you would like to believe you can dismiss my comments as "offhand", and simply not relevant and case closed, I would respond to you that it is simply because you don't want to address them. The "crap" is not about my "adversaries" personally, but about where they argue their positions from. Not only do I think that this is relavant to the thread, I think in many ways it IS the thread... especially today, when such truly nuanced and earnest discussions are ABSOLUTELY missing from the discourse... and it does NOT serve the people that they are.

The debates we usually have here, and the issues they revolve around, like it or not Allan, are quite fundamental and touch on the very core of the collective strife we are presently engaged in. Raising awareness to a level where you can see that the "forms" that drive you and motivate you may not be quite what they appear is an unambiguously good thing. If you find yourself wanting to claim a ready rationale for immediately (and comfortably) rejecting such observations on their face (Hey...that's not allowed!... Who are YOU to question that? etc.)... then I submit to you Allan that this is because you sense they undermine the foundations of your philosphical positions... by giving you an actual glimpse of them. Indeed, I submit that this, in the macro sense, is why such debates over, if you'll pardon the conceit, the REAL ISSUES... are never heard.

And by the way Allan. I think I am very rarely, if ever rude. That is, if by rude you have some meaningful definition... rather than simply meaning a direct challenge to the onerous orthodoxy that is "freethinking" today.

Cheers,


KM


PS Obviously... you take me very seriously indeed.


Okay, okay.. my last comment for today, sorry for sending so many messages at once, but you know the timzone difference and all.

Sandy:
Who is telling you that Europeans know your history better than yourself? If thats Europeans, then they're just plain stupid. Its like asking for you guys to know more about Europe than we do ourselves.. hmmm, that makes me think...


Hehe, I basically do this for fun. Not because I have a need to 'convert you from your evil ways'. I just think it is damn interresting, and yes, Kevin.. you and Bjorn actually have stimulated my thoughts, and actually I have begin to question certain philosofies. But sadly, or not.. my perception so far actually has moved further away from yours, but weirdly.. more in line with Bjorns (actually I was thinking earlier today, that if Bjorn was ever to try to be prime minister, I would vote for him, of course its just fast thinking, dont put to much into it).. I dont know if that is something you find as bad or good(I suspect you find its good), but hey, its all good fun. And you're all good people, the only truly evil people I so far have made up my mind about are those terrorists that attacked Beslan. Yes.. I feel more for the people of Beslan than New York, its not because of any kind of political thinking or any other bias. Its just basically that I think what those bastards did is much more horrendous than 9/11. And again, no, I dont sympathise with terrorists AT ALL, its just basically if I could give it a range from 1-10 on a scale of evilness then the Beslan attack is easily 9.5. (reserving 10 for what I hope will never happen)


I should look through my replies before I post, perhaps I could fit it all in one post instead. Anyways, I forgot to mention that in spite of it all being for fun, no I dont like for other people to try to downgrade me, which you have done. Obviously something you say is wrong since both me and Anders react to it. For instance calling people 'good little freethinker'. That reminds me that you also have a habit of taking words that originally are positively loaded and stating them in a manner which is intended to be insulting (like nuance, freethinker). Makes other words of yours also have a bad smell.(like freedom, liberty, etc). And the best statement that comes to mind are what Anders said, "are we juveniles, Kevin"?


Allan,

In spite of the risk of you perceiving I am rude... I have to say that all in all... your last several posts were fairly muddled and disjointed... and at times disturbing.

Nevertheless I take you out your word that you are challenging your own thinking, and compliment you directly in that you demonstrate this by consistently visiting this site.

As a courtesy, "heehee" is not a very effective vehicle for establishing an amused disdain of floating above at all... it looks like reaching.


All the Best,

KM


Ohh, Allen, David's Medienkritic. He and his merry band of subversives translate German articles to show the anti-American spin. If you understand German, it's a good place to brush up because the comments are in English and German, and God help me, I'm beginning to understand a few more words than I already knew from growing up and watching US pound the krauts - hehehehehehehehe. Of course the "Shoot-Fire" sequence from Sink the Bismark is particularly apt.;)

You also might want to visit No Pasaran for france - however, they usually link to the frog article and you have to throw it into an online translation program.

Not me, it's who the Germans voted for last weekend. No kidding, that is something to be very, very wary of.

Glad you're getting out, you might want to start your America review day at Instapundit, the blogfather of the American blogosphere, and then just surf away! Listening to American talk radio of course, while you're doing so. hehehehehe

I think you're going to be surprised, Allen, part of your US-view will be challenged. I really enjoy Roger L. Simon's blog because there are very intelligent people there who know a lot more about a lot of stuff than I do. But they have 1 thing in common, their world-view changed. Some views started changing before 9/11, because views do change as one gets older, and 9/11 just drove it home. Others changed because of 9/11.

If you're feeling particularly feisty - Rantburg.

Know your stuff. Or you will be an appetizer.


--With all due respect, you need to do American History all over again if you think that preventive warfare is an integrated part of US doctrine historically.--

Already discussed in the American blogosphere, we did. Not all the time, but when called for, Anders. Different situations require different approaches, isn't that nuance?


--Hehe, well, Sandy, so you suddenly think nuance is not crap anymore? well, you're right, and you should have listened to us straight away instead of putting up such a fight. In the end you will understand that we are right, and you.. well you're not...

Oh, no, Allen, we are right. It's history, even recent history, something about sacrificing a fewer amount of men upfront...around the 30s, IIRC.

It's still basic to US. But nuanced to you. Sorry I didn't make it clear.


--- We see this all the time, you guys make Saddam, you make Bin Laden, you make Pinochet..(all of that was wrong by the way)

--

Boy, where do you get your information from?

Ever hear of SIPRI? Osama? How do you know he didn't puff up his resume? You need to review postings from John Cole(?) He's been in that area for 30 years, now as a media person. If I told you what he did before, I'd have to kill you.

As to Pinochet, Val E-Diction -- it's long:

val.dorta.com/archives/000343.html

The Allende Myth:

..There occurred many important episodes leading to the coup, but I have chosen those that most clearly present the myth in all its falseness. To support the post I have selected four diverse books, one by a right-wing author (Moss), another by a trio of Marxists (Roxborough) and two by recognized scholars (Sigmund and Alexander); all of them knew Chile well and had first-hand experience of the Allende period....


remember, "the day US forgets its path to freedom, Europe will be there to help you along" :p


They've been trying to help us along for 200 years, Allen, that's my point.


--Actually, I did use to admire the US attitude of individualism, but the more I read of posts like this, just makes me more and more convinced that I was wrong and that you guys have just as bad collectivistic thinking in your society as any other of the Old-Communist states (including China, which is still communistic though).--

You've contradicted yourself. One could argue that we are acting individually, the majority of the collective agrees and that's why once again, the world is in a snit because the greater collective statist view is once again being challenged. As to the UN, I'm not the same as I was in my youth, I don't think you are either, but you're holding onto the dream, reality has intruded. It will reform or die. Actually some proposals are being put forward as to alternatives. Instapundit's archives has a link or 2 to some discussions.

And if you have time to blog, you have time to open another window and listen while you're blogging.


---

Anders, I don't the The Revolutionary War could be considered defensive on our part when we actually engaged the lobsterbacks. And technically, maybe we should have attacked Japan first instead of Germany, since they did actually attack us, discounting Doolittle's Raid. There's a couple of others, I'm just too lazy to look them up.


Via Omar/Iraq the Model:

Some good news!
A group of Iraqi citizens in Al Karkh/ Khidr Al Yas arrested 6 Syrian terrorists after placing a land mine at the gate of Bab Al Mu’a dam bridge from Al Karkh side.

According to New Sabah newspaper, after a road side bomb exploded missing an American convoy that was patrolling in the area, a group of citizens who happened to be there noticed a bunch of young men who looked foreigners (turned out to be Syrians) that were gathering near the place and that looked suspicious. The citizens found their atittude very suspicious and they were not from the area, so they jumped on them and kicked them until some of them started to bleed and then turned them on to the American forces. Eyewitnesses said that the citizens were shouting “Terrorists. You are targeting our children and families. You are killing our youths”

This incident that took place near Haifa street comes after many attacks that terrorist Arabs were accused of carrying against American forces and Iraqi police stations.


Anders, Oslo . . .

You said: "I have also studied American history at university level. But what I read, and what I have studied is not (and sgould not be) the topic of this thread. (or indeed any thread!??)"

Did you have many courses in American history, or just one? I took a course in American history at a French university, and they did not give much information beyond the U.S. college introductory level--very superficial.


Anders and Øyvind et al.,

Just a little piece from the NYT which I think speaks to that definition of nuance which I apparently so disdain.

Really, read this and then tell me that my disdain is absurd. Tell me that my objection to words like "unilateralism" as being anything unapproved by the "UN" is unwarranted.

To wit: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/25/opinion/25brooks.html?n=Top%2fOpinion%2fEditorials%20and%20Op%2dEd%2fOp%2dEd%2fColumnists%2fDavid%20Brooks

KM


Kevin: Interesting read. The UN is far from effective these days. The US is far from innocent in bringing this about. Both you & Brooks seem to operate under the misperception that telling the UN what it ought to do is a fine example of American multilateralism.


Anders, correct me if I'm wrong (and somewhat oddly... I sort of hope that I am) but are you saying that the sad "state" of the UN (as in the morally bankrupt, almost completely inverted doppelganger of everything it projects as being about, cesspool of shadow mongering, and otherwise perfect cover for tyranny and oppression of every flavor.)... is somehow the result of AMERICAN actions?

"The US is far from innocent in bringing this about."

This diplomatic mortal enemy and ideological vandal of all things American is OUR monster!!!???

Yet if this is so (!!!???)... you seem to be simultaneously taking the position that the US pressure on the UN in the last few years... even if it be just about doing the bloody right thing... is really about American unilateralism disguising itself in the UN!

Once again, the depth, irrationality and yet pervasiveness of anti-Americanism holds me fascinated in horrified thrall (probably a bit like the way French existentialists get fascinated by staring into the wide obsidian emptiness of the abyss).

If I have not misjudged your curt post above Anders, here is my very firm news-flash for you: Everything you read in that article, and the very essence of the position taken by Brooks as he wrote it, cries out to the fact that the UN opposses for virtually everything that the US is stands for these days... and the UN "stands for" virtually nothing, regardless of what is meaninglessly stated in the charter (whose words are taken much more seriously be that cabal of neo-conservative Americans than by the smarmily sniffing elitists of Turtle Bay anyway... who see it as PR leverage over useful idiots).

You do NOT get a free pass to shake your head disdainfully, and dismiss that article as an example of one of the world's many complexities as though a heavy helping of "nuance" will make it go away. And you most assuredly will get no pass from me if you propose that the UN ... being a thing that IS what it IS... can be somehow rationally construed as yet another reason to loathe America.

Oh it is connected to the loathing of America alright... but not that way Anders.

KM


"the UN ... being a thing that IS what it IS..."

I can't argue with this one with you. It is what it is. Fine, with such great insights shared with us all, we may consider discussions over.


Anders,

Well Ok then... since you have deigned to say so... it must be so.

KM


Bjørn,

In your article you write:

Norman Vale is a nice old guy, very friendly. Nothing sinister about him. I have no problem believing that he is what he says he is, a man with a long career in advertising who has pulled on his extensive network of associates for idealistic reasons, and that he is the driving force behind ESAG, not the American government or any groups connected to it.

The world is a big place. You can find individually inspired projects on just about anything. But what gets funded reflects the interests of those who have the means to provide that funding. It reflects the distribution of economic power at that point in time. ESAG may be a project inspired by a cosy and entirely loveable Santa Claus type figure but it only has the possibility to do what it does because of the financial support it receives from “undisclosed” sources. The fact that they remain undisclosed should arouse immediate suspicion.

IMO this is sufficient reason to ban these adverts completely. The only way they should get air time is if it is clearly stated who is funding them. Then fine, no problem at all. Of course that would be bad for American business if you then see a list made up almost exclusively of American corporations but the viewing public have the right to that information so that they can express their views democratically as consumers.

To deny them that right because alleged media bias has prejudiced the public and made them “anti-American” is positively Orwellian. In other words: the information that suggests these ads are propagandist must be suppressed because if the people express a negative opinion to that it has to be because they have been brain washed by propaganda. The notion that the viewing public might actually have formed their opinions on American foreign policy on the basis of events simply cannot be entertained. The people are also not to be trusted to have the right responses to issues they do not fully understand.

The WAR ON TERROR is far more important than the rights of the people to truthfulness and honesty -- that is self evident.


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