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Old 01-01-2012   #21
Bill Moore
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Default Aum Shinrikyo cult fugitive surrenders

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16377178

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A former member of Japan's Aum Shinrikyo cult has turned himself in to police after nearly 17 years on the run, one of three remaining fugitives.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/0...n_1178735.html

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The cult had amassed an arsenal of chemical, biological and conventional weapons in anticipation of an apocalyptic showdown with the government
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Nearly 200 members of the cult have been convicted in the gas attack and dozens of other crimes. Thirteen, including cult guru Shoko Asahara, are on death row. No one has been executed.
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Old 01-02-2012   #22
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These guys bought the friggin process for the manufacture of Sarin from the head of the Russian Security Council for less than $100,000 in the early nineties. Lord knows what else they got their hands on.
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Old 06-08-2014   #23
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Default Shinzo Abe reveals plans to lift Japan's ban on fighting in conflicts overseas

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Shinzo Abe reveals plans to lift Japan's ban on fighting in conflicts overseas

Japan's prime minister calls for review of way country interprets its pacifist constitution – a move likely to raise tension with China


http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...licts-overseas
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Obama says US will defend Japan in island dispute with China
http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ute-with-china
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China is destabilising south-east Asia, US defence secretary says

• Chuck Hagel says US will not ignore from Beijing's actions
• Chinese general says 'criticisms are groundless'
• Washington pledges to support uneasy allies, including Japan
http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...ecretary-warns
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Australian defence minister backs US on China’s ‘destabilising’ actions


David Johnston says he supports US defense secretary’s view that China is undertaking ‘destabilising, unilateral actions’ in the South China Sea
http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...lising-actions
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Why Russia is bolstering ties with North Korea

Angry with the West's response over Ukraine and eager to diversify its options, Russia is cozying up to North Korea. For Pyongyang, the timing couldn't be better, says Eric Talmadge
http://www.theguardian.com/world/201...es-north-korea
Given the current 'situation' in the South China seas' and these issues that are taking place across the world, how far will the US be able to maintain her prime position as the leading nation of the world.

Apart from China exerting her quest for world supremacy, Putin has a 'Putin Pivot' in place. Is it to counter US' 'Asia Pivot'?

What must the US do to tweak her foreign, strategic and economic policies, given the unfolding circumstances, to be able to dictate the 'fate' of the world as she is still doing?

Last edited by Ray; 06-08-2014 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 06-08-2014   #24
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Ray asked a question:
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What must the US do to tweak her foreign, strategic and economic policies, given the unfolding circumstances, to be able to dictate the 'fate' of the world as she is still doing?
I am not convinced the USA has ever been able to dictate the 'fate' of the world as she is still doing.

There have been a few times when the USA has been the paramount capable nation, after WW1 & WW2 for example. It has not always used that capability, often due to domestic factors and more recently has been obsessed with terrorism to the detriment of many other issues - including its own problems at home.

The USA would have to do far more than 'tweak' its policies to attain the position you ascribe to it - dictating the world's fate.
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Old 06-08-2014   #25
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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Ray asked a question:

I am not convinced the USA has ever been able to dictate the 'fate' of the world as she is still doing.

There have been a few times when the USA has been the paramount capable nation, after WW1 & WW2 for example. It has not always used that capability, often due to domestic factors and more recently has been obsessed with terrorism to the detriment of many other issues - including its own problems at home.

The USA would have to do far more than 'tweak' its policies to attain the position you ascribe to it - dictating the world's fate.
Fair statement.

However, it was touted that US was the supercop of the world. And sure it acted as one and enforced it too.

Was that bogus?

If it were, then how come Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq or even Afghanistan happened or making the OPEC irrelevant to blackmail or pushing the boundaries of Europe to squeeze Russia or Middle East and none complained!?

Does one really believe Egypt, Algeria or Syria is a problem of their own making?

If that is not deciding the fate of the world, then what is?

Then if the US want to retain her primacy, what should it do?

Fade away as a wilted rose?

I do agree that the wily Oriental mind of China has somewhat degraded the US value to keep global equations, but then to see it fade away would hardly 'warm the cockles of the heart' of many nations around the world and in Asia.

What does paramount capable nation, mean?

It means capable to make its writ run!

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Old 06-09-2014   #26
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Ray,

You asked:
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What does paramount capable nation, mean?
I believe that the USA remains the only global superpower, with no nation in a position to be a rival globally. Hence the use of the adjective paramount. I originally used italics for capable to draw attention to the USA having the capability to exercise power, it is simply that it does not always exercise that power.

In a number of spheres the USA has incredible power, notably to coerce, gather information, provide intelligence and apply direct military force. It remain weak in other spheres, in trade, ideology - or "message", info ops and finance.

Around the globe the USA is readily portrayed as a 'cop' with a big stick and little else. One that shelters itself behind walls.

The USA is far more than this. D-Day reminded me of the immense economic and industrial mobilization undertaken; not to ignore the huge Canadian contribution.

In other threads, maybe now old, American members have remarked that the USA has been engaged in a political-military campaign against terrorism (once known as GWOT), but domestically it has been carrying on as normal.
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Old 06-10-2014   #27
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However, it was touted that US was the supercop of the world. And sure it acted as one and enforced it too.

Was that bogus?
Yes, it was bogus. The US, like every country, acts or does not act according to its own perceived interests, and that's not compatible with the "cop" role.

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If it were, then how come Bosnia, Serbia, Iraq or even Afghanistan happened or making the OPEC irrelevant to blackmail or pushing the boundaries of Europe to squeeze Russia or Middle East and none complained!?
I'm not sure what you mean by "making the OPEC irrelevant to blackmail".

The US acts, when it acts, according to its own perception of its own interest. Both perception and interests are subject to revision, so the basis for action (or inaction) is not always going to be the same. Not all of these events are exclusively related to US action in any case: "pushing the boundaries of Europe" owes at least as much to Eastern Europeans preferring to be allied with the West as it does to any US action. It is a mistake to interpret events through an overly US-focused lens: people act on their own initiatives and perceptions, not because on anything the US did. In any event, lots of people complained about all of these, some of them in the US, where there is rarely if ever a consensus on what the national interest is.

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Does one really believe Egypt, Algeria or Syria is a problem of their own making?
Yes. That kind of "problem" cannot be "made" from the outside. Outside forces will inevitably try to exploit and manipulate events once they start, but that's not the same as causing them and the US is not in any way the only one playing that game.

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If that is not deciding the fate of the world, then what is?
It's not.

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Then if the US want to retain her primacy, what should it do?
First, acknowledge that trying to maintain absolute military supremacy without absolute economic supremacy is a one way street to exhaustion and collapse. Trying to be top dog at all times and in all places and to have the final word in every dispute is neither necessary nor sustainable.

Second, stop dissipating energy and resources on efforts not central to US interests. Apply force only when it is necessary to do so, in places and over issues where critical US interests are at stake. Empires and hegemonies are more likely to fail through overextension and overcommitment than through the restrained use of power.
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Old 06-10-2014   #28
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Given the current 'situation' in the South China seas' and these issues that are taking place across the world, how far will the US be able to maintain her prime position as the leading nation of the world.

Apart from China exerting her quest for world supremacy, Putin has a 'Putin Pivot' in place. Is it to counter US' 'Asia Pivot'?

What must the US do to tweak her foreign, strategic and economic policies, given the unfolding circumstances, to be able to dictate the 'fate' of the world as she is still doing?
Our most recent version of the National Defense Strategy was titled "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership," which we have done on an unprecedented scale for the betterment of mankind in my opinion. Yes we're a global power and a global cop, a role that many countries welcome. While Colin Gray a leading UK strategist believes our role as a global cop is indispensable, I don't know if he speaks for the majority of the UK, or if it even matters. The majority of people in the world live in ignorance willingly on what threatens their interests.

The U.S. has a played a leading role globally since the end of WWII, but during the Cold War faced significant competition from the USSR. The Cold War was in many ways a competition for influence to begin with. After the USSR collapsed the U.S. still played a leading role globally in NATO, Korea, Balkans, leading counter piracy efforts, leading counter terrorism efforts, leading the effort to free Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, etc.

It is only natural that other State powers will emerge that will challenge that dominant role, but it is a major exaggeration to state we'll fade away. Our relative power to others may be decreasing, but no other state comes close to wielding the global influence or reach that we do.

Other powers that are starting to wield coercive power, but so far that power has been restricted to their backyards where they have a geographical advantage.

Frankly we have a weak administration that doesn't understand the way the world works, and much like LBJ finds the world a distraction from the work the administration would prefer to do on the home front. After the next Presidential election we'll see if our relative power increases, flat lines, or continues the downward trend. I think the downward trend is temporary, but like the rest of us I don't own a crystal ball so we'll just have to wait and see.
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Old 06-10-2014   #29
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Our most recent version of the National Defense Strategy was titled "Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership," which we have done on an unprecedented scale for the betterment of mankind in my opinion. Yes we're a global power and a global cop, a role that many countries welcome. While Colin Gray a leading UK strategist believes our role as a global cop is indispensable, I don't know if he speaks for the majority of the UK, or if it even matters. The majority of people in the world live in ignorance willingly on what threatens their interests.

The U.S. has a played a leading role globally since the end of WWII, but during the Cold War faced significant competition from the USSR. The Cold War was in many ways a competition for influence to begin with. After the USSR collapsed the U.S. still played a leading role globally in NATO, Korea, Balkans, leading counter piracy efforts, leading counter terrorism efforts, leading the effort to free Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, etc.

It is only natural that other State powers will emerge that will challenge that dominant role, but it is a major exaggeration to state we'll fade away. Our relative power to others may be decreasing, but no other state comes close to wielding the global influence or reach that we do.

Other powers that are starting to wield coercive power, but so far that power has been restricted to their backyards where they have a geographical advantage.

Frankly we have a weak administration that doesn't understand the way the world works, and much like LBJ finds the world a distraction from the work the administration would prefer to do on the home front. After the next Presidential election we'll see if our relative power increases, flat lines, or continues the downward trend. I think the downward trend is temporary, but like the rest of us I don't own a crystal ball so we'll just have to wait and see.
With utmost humbleness and humility at my command, I will state that the statement - we have done on an unprecedented scale for the betterment of mankind in my opinion, is not only condescending but totally misplaced.

While being a supercop of the world is well taken, even if disparaged, solely on the count that the US has the military and economic power to do so, yet given the social and cultural difference that prevails around the world and not taken into consideration by the US, very few would be comfortable to feel that the US speaks for the 'conscience' of the world. Even France, a western nation, is doubtful.

Colin Gray a leading UK strategist does not impress me as to what he has to say since he comes from a nation that its glory is past its shelf life and is solely kept in circulation being the poor relation of the US but totally ignored by the world.

Actually other powers are not being coercive and challenging the US. They are merely stating that they are also around to be reckoned and the free lunch is over. That is why the US influence is waning and not only because the US has a weak administration, though that also plays a role.

It is true that many nations, including India, appreciate the 'global supercop' attitude of the US. But the point to note, is that it is only when it suits their purpose.

In response to your U.S. still played a leading role globally in NATO, Korea, Balkans, leading counter piracy efforts, leading counter terrorism efforts, leading the effort to free Kuwait from Iraqi occupation, etc, I would say there is no ground to moralise and act as the 'saviour'.

Note the behaviour pattern for Kosovo (? or is it some other place) and Ukraine. Speaks volumes of double speak! Not that where I come from is affected or bothered.

India has been wracked by the same terrorism via Pak sponsored Islamic goons and malcontent. The US ignored the same. But woke up only when they were visited by the same on 9/11! So, it is not so moral cause that US took on GWOT. It was merely self interest and self sustenance!

Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait?

You really feel 'Freedom and Democracy' and 'American way of life' is a rationale to go invading nations? Rather cockeyed a rationale. How many nations find US Freedom and Democracy the "Holy Grail" and a panacea to a great life?

If 'Freedom and Democracy' & 'American way of life', then why this mess in both the countries? They should actually be life in peace and harmony.

As far as Kuwait is concerned, please go back to history and see how the western nations with the help of the League of Nations cut up the Middle East to serve their purpose.

Look at history and see how everywhere the British colonised and then were forced out, they left rifts that they could manipulate to still serve their purpose.

Forgive me for being blunt, but all must look at different perspectives to find solution instead of forcing their own.

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Old 06-10-2014   #30
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Yes we're a global power and a global cop, a role that many countries welcome. While Colin Gray a leading UK strategist believes our role as a global cop is indispensable
Global power, yes. Global cop, I don't think so, though it would depend on how you define "cop". To me the "cop" construct suggests that we act to enforce laws or norms that are apart from our own interests, and that we do not do. We act on our own perception of our own interest at any given time, not to enforce some external law or concept of rightness. That is of course normal, but it is not compatible with the role of "cop".

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The majority of people in the world live in ignorance willingly on what threatens their interests.
I'm not so sure of that. Their perception of interests and threats may diverge from ours, but that doesn't make them ignorant.

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Frankly we have a weak administration that doesn't understand the way the world works, and much like LBJ finds the world a distraction from the work the administration would prefer to do on the home front. After the next Presidential election we'll see if our relative power increases, flat lines, or continues the downward trend. I think the downward trend is temporary, but like the rest of us I don't own a crystal ball so we'll just have to wait and see.
That I suspect is an exaggeration. The current administration took office saddled with expensive and unpopular legacy wars that had little or no chance of really favorable resolution. It's been restricted by an electorate that has close to zero appetite for overseas adventurism. Any understanding of "how the world works" has to be balanced by a realistic appreciation of how domestic politics work.

In the long term the fate of American power relative to other nations will depend less on foreign policy decisions than on America's ability or inability to get domestic and economic policy back on track. Global political influence and military strength rest on economic strength and cannot be sustained or increased if economic strength fades.
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Old 06-10-2014   #31
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Ray,

I appreciate bluntness and your insights. Some I agree with, others not so much, but remain open to your perspective.

To some extent I can understand the condescending accusation, but that wasn't the intent. It was to capture what I believe is the general desire of most Americans to do good around the world, an in many cases to do so selflessly. On the other hand we do have national interests that we protect that conflict with our values. I think that is a reality for most countries. I'm both an idealist and realist.

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While being a supercop of the world is well taken, even if disparaged, solely on the count that the US has the military and economic power to do so, yet given the social and cultural difference that prevails around the world and not taken into consideration by the US, very few would be comfortable to feel that the US speaks for the 'conscience' of the world. Even France, a western nation, is doubtful.
France has always had penis envy of the U.S., but moving on to your other points. What if a nation has the means to be a regional or global security providers like India and China, but they don't step up. Does that make them morally superior in your view? Your other point I agree with, we try to push our way of life and do not appreciate prevailing social and economic differences.


Sorry got to run, but great exchange and I'll send more later via Smartphone.
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Old 06-10-2014   #32
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On the other hand we do have national interests that we protect that conflict with our values. I think that is a reality for most countries. I'm both an idealist and realist
That is more truthful than

Quote:
we have done on an unprecedented scale for the betterment of mankind in my opinion
It would be as hypocritical as saying Mahatma Gandhi saved the world with Mandela and Martin Luther King taking his line!

I have no quibbles with the US protecting her interest in whatever way it wants to include actions in Iraa and Afghanistan.

As far as the iraq war is concerned, here is an interesting commentary

Quote:
Although completely suppressed in the U.S. media, the answer to the Iraq enigma is simple yet shocking - it an an oil CURRENCY war. The Real Reason for this upcoming war is this administration's goal of preventing further OPEC momentum towards the euro as an oil transaction currency standard. However, in order to pre-empt OPEC, they need to gain geo-strategic control of Iraq along with its 2nd largest proven oil reserves. This lengthy essay will discuss the macroeconomics of the "petro-dollar" and the unpublicized but real threat to U.S. economic hegemony from the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency.
http://www.rense.com/general34/realre.htm
and

Quote:
The outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War in 1980 followed a decade of rising oil prices and fluctuating oil supplies, both of which had fueled the ascendance of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries). The industrialized oil-importing nations of the non-Communist world and their major oil companies feared that the Iran-Iraq War would compound these trends. But ironically, the outbreak of the war saw the importing nations display a resurgence of initiative, while OPEC�?¯�?¿�?½s bargaining power declined. Despite persistent efforts to maintain the high prices and leverage it had enjoyed throughout the 1970s, the cartel ultimately suffered the consequences of internal disunity and increased caution on the part of the importing nations
http://www.gloria-center.org/2003/12/rubin-2003-12-01/
Good reasons to the Iraq War. No quibbles there.

But the rationale of Freedom and Democracy is totally bogus.

If it were so, then the first to have been attacked was Saudi Arabia, a totally decadent region with weird laws and a financier of terrorism the world over.

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Old 06-11-2014   #33
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Although completely suppressed in the U.S. media, the answer to the Iraq enigma is simple yet shocking - it an an oil CURRENCY war. The Real Reason for this upcoming war is this administration's goal of preventing further OPEC momentum towards the euro as an oil transaction currency standard. However, in order to pre-empt OPEC, they need to gain geo-strategic control of Iraq along with its 2nd largest proven oil reserves. This lengthy essay will discuss the macroeconomics of the "petro-dollar" and the unpublicized but real threat to U.S. economic hegemony from the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency.
http://www.rense.com/general34/realre.htm
Rense is a monumentally unreliable source, and this theory has been debunked so often and so conclusively that it's really not worth repeating.

There is a harebrained conspiracy theory "explanation" for just about everything that happens in the world. Their omnipresence does not mean they have any connection to reality.
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Old 06-11-2014   #34
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That is more truthful than



It would be as hypocritical as saying Mahatma Gandhi saved the world with Mandela and Martin Luther King taking his line!

I have no quibbles with the US protecting her interest in whatever way it wants to include actions in Iraa and Afghanistan.

As far as the iraq war is concerned, here is an interesting commentary



and fi



Good reasons to the Iraq War. No quibbles there.

But the rationale of Freedom and Democracy is totally bogus.

If it were so, then the first to have been attacked was Saudi Arabia, a totally decadent region with weird laws and a financier of terrorism the world over.
As Afghan that theory on why we went to war with Iraq is bogus, but important I can't see how you can deny the goodness the U.S. has done worldwide. Of course if you want to believe we went to war in Iraq to prevent the Euro from becoming the currency for OPEC that may partially explain it. I think some nations only look after their self interests and can't perceive a nation acting to achieve objectives based on moral imperatives. Ghandi was over rated in many respects. He did provide a model for non-violent protest that failed in most cases to include India, but MLK was able to successfully employ it in the U.S. based on a confluence of factors, not the least being that our behaviour was conflict with our stated morals. Every revolution is unique based on local factors.

Just curious since India was close to the USER and remains close to Russia do you think the world would be better off if the USSR model dominated the world?
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Old 06-11-2014   #35
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As Afghan that theory on why we went to war with Iraq is bogus, but important I can't see how you can deny the goodness the U.S. has done worldwide. Of course if you want to believe we went to war in Iraq to prevent the Euro from becoming the currency for OPEC that may partially explain it. I think some nations only look after their self interests and can't perceive a nation acting to achieve objectives based on moral imperatives. Ghandi was over rated in many respects. He did provide a model for non-violent protest that failed in most cases to include India, but MLK was able to successfully employ it in the U.S. based on a confluence of factors, not the least being that our behaviour was conflict with our stated morals. Every revolution is unique based on local factors.

Just curious since India was close to the USER and remains close to Russia do you think the world would be better off if the USSR model dominated the world?
What is this 'goodness' of the US you talk about?

Combating during the Cold War and putting newly independent nations, that were economically struggling to chose sides, 'goodness'?

It was not Bush who propounded the theory - either with us or without. It was John Foster Dulles. He divided the world. Nehru was US centric, but he also wanted to be on his own having come out of the colonial era. Dulles pushed him into the Soviet arms! That is goodness of the US?

Gandhi maybe overrated. But then he got rid of a 300 years plus colonial serfdom without a shot being fired. If that is not something historical, then what is?

Are you suggesting that the white supremacy that MLK using Gandhian tactics is more significant, brutal discriminatory and disgraceful than a 300 year colonial rule? Maybe. I cannot comment since I am not aware if the whites of the US were more brutal and ruthless than the British Raj. Maybe there were and you would know best.

India is not close to Russia as you may like to feel. Initially, as I have explained, the US pushed India into the Russian hug.

Open up your eyes. Check the facts. Is India still in the model of Russia?

We are neither following the US dictates or the US dictates. We are, as also countries try to do, is following the model that suit us best in the circumstance.

Russian model would have been great for USSR, but by a long chalk, it would not have been good for India or any other country since the parameters and cultures are different.

You would know better.

Has the American values and way of life and US concept of Freedom and Democracy worked out in Iraq or Afghanistan?

Why has it not, when it was super for the USA?

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Old 06-11-2014   #36
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Rense is a monumentally unreliable source, and this theory has been debunked so often and so conclusively that it's really not worth repeating.

There is a harebrained conspiracy theory "explanation" for just about everything that happens in the world. Their omnipresence does not mean they have any connection to reality.
No source in the world is reliable.

All have an agenda.

Sooner we realise, the better for all!
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Old 06-12-2014   #37
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Ray

I agree with many of your criticisms and agree we made our fair share of missteps to include Bush's your either with us or against us declaration. There were reasons for it but I think we could have achieved the same by stating we will pursue AQ where ever they seek refuge and accomplished the same thing without an ultimatum. Our foreign policy during the cold war for reasons that were probably rationale thus the necessity of realpolitic that conflicted with our stated values. The excesses pursued by the Dulles brothers was inexcusable and our congress got that under control validating the strength of our political system. The people's congress got our foreign policy more in line with our values.

What goodness came out of behavior writ large? Compare the life styles between Western and Eastern Europe for one. Who championed human rights globally? What country more than any other helped lift millions out of abject policy? What other country has a system that enables it intellectual capital to develop technologies to include the Green Revolution and medical advances that contributed to advance humanity?

We certainly act in our interests and we also act at times in an altruistic manner to promote goodness because the American people determine our national interests also, not just the politicians and military. Again the strength of our system. As all becomes more transparent the greater that strength is.
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Old 06-12-2014   #38
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Ray

My point about Ghandi was he wasn't responsible for the bits leaving India but MLK used Ghandi's strategy effectively.
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Old 06-12-2014   #39
Dayuhan
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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
No source in the world is reliable.

All have an agenda.

Sooner we realise, the better for all!
No source in the world is 100% reliable.

Some are 100% unreliable.

Rense.com is 110% unreliable. Not to be taken seriously,
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Old 06-12-2014   #40
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Bill Moore,

Just see what the goodness of America has done. What the US did may have been in good faith, but that is not how others see it because the consequences for them is more horrendous and horrific.

Quote:
Iraqi soldiers, police drop weapons, flee posts in portions of Mosul

As security forces ran out, militants overran Iraq's second-largest city on Tuesday -- a stunning collapse that heightened questions about Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's ability to hold onto not only Mosul, but his entire country.
Militants seized Mosul's airport, TV stations, the governor's office and other parts, if not all, of the northern Iraqi city.
http://edition.cnn.com/2014/06/10/wo...iraq-violence/
Bush wanted Freedom and Democracy and now we have a huge problem on our hands.

The complete Middle East is reeling because of this 'goodness' that US has spread.

Saddam was maybe a tyrant, but that is what kept these people under check. Can't spread ideology, good that it maybe, to people who don't understand and those whose life has been fashioned through a regimentation enforced by strict codes of their religion, which is contrary to democratic principles.

I shudder to think of this onslaught of these fundamentalist fanatics because India has suffered much from these foreign spawned elements. And to find more running menacingly wild, is really very depressing.

Victor Frankenstein must bottle the creature he has created or soon the world will be devoured!

And soon the US will quit Afghanistan which is another chaotic area.

I feel sorry for the US and I feel sorry for fate of the world.

I was reading an article that stated that if the US had kept Iran on their side, then it would not be blackmailed by Pakistan over the logistic route. It would help the US to circumvent Pakistan, which is the womb and hotbed in spawning terrorists and which they cannot now control and is their Frankenstein. Latest reports of the Taliban action on Karachi airport is horrifying.

No offence meant.

Just to state the old proverb - Think before you Leap!

Last edited by Ray; 06-12-2014 at 10:46 AM.
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