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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainGonzo View Post
    George...

    You forgot about the Soviet Unions's submarines.. and we did the same thing.. nukes in Turkey and subs actually inside Soviet territory (Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew) You don't think that the Russians had nukes parked just across the Bering Sea? After all it was Sarah Palin on the campagn trail who stated "the first thing that President Putin sees when he comes to the US is Alaska"?

    George.. try flying a Cessna in the ADIZ around DC or in area with a temporary flight restriction involving POTUS... If you don't have a FAA transponder ID or a flight plan well prepared or even deviate a bit from that flight paln and don't respond to hails on.. they have standing orders to shoot down the aircraft.
    Gonzo;

    With all due respect, the US is not a totalitarian dictatorship. That is the ultimate difference.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I guess a simple minded individual could think of it that way. My justification for doing business with CUBA is we broke the seal on doing business with communist countries long ago. It makes our policy towards Cuba hypocritical.

    In my opinion, the only way to bring capitalism to Cuba is for us to change our trade policy. I believe the influx of foreign capital and investment would be beneficial to the Cuban populace.

    It's hard to believe since few are alive to remember. Besides their exports Havana was considered a premier tourist destination for Americans until the embargo. It is a very popular destination with other countries. No sense in excluding Americans and American business from that market any longer.
    I think that you have forgotten a little bit of history. You are correct that Cuba was a premier tourist distination for Americans. That ended not as a result of an American policy to terminate official relations. It ended when Castro overthrew the elected govenerment of Cuba by armed conflict. Castro declared that capitalism and the American government were evil. The United State responded to this new threat by isolating them. Which is still the tactic the United Nations uses today to deal with countries that threaten the stability of a region. At that time in history. The United States and Russia were bitter emenies. Both sides set with nuclear missles aimed at each other with someone posted 24/7 with their finger on the trigger. After Castro overthrew the government Castro immediately became Russia's new best friend. This friendship remained very strong through the late 1980's until the cold war ended. This was when Russian warships stopped making port calls in Cuba as a show of force. That has changed in the past 12 months. The Russian government has again started military depolyments to Cuba and other countries in central and south america that are not friendly to the United States.
    The policy to isolate Cuba was the right decision by then President Kennedy and has remained in place since it was established. It has effectively stopped Cuba from becoming a strong military power in the region. This policy has kept the Cuban threat in check.
    The question now is what is the polictical motivation to terminate the policy. I think it is very simple. Its the same reason the government is considering granting american citizenship to 11 million illegal aliens mostly from Mexico.
    VOTES! Votes equal polictical power. It is to the advantage of the democrats to grant these people american citizenship. History has shown that the majority of Hispanics vote democrat in any election. If you normalize relationship with Cuba. Provide Cuba is willing to accept our offer to establish normal trade relations. You will see a huge influx of immigrations from Cuba. The U.S. Congress will grant citizenship through special laws. Its all about power and votes. The majority of Cubans live in south Florida. If you can through immigration change Florida from a historically republicain state to a democrat state. The face of american politics could change for years to come.
    Its all about votes and power.
    Last edited by cubbie; 04-10-2009 at 05:41 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cubbie View Post
    You will see a huge influx of immigrations from Cuba. The U.S. Congress will grant citizenship through special laws. Its all about power and votes. The majority of Cubans live in south Florida. If you can through immigration change Florida from a historically republicain state to a democrat state. The face of american politics could change for years to come.
    Its all about votes and power.
    It's difficult to counter an argument based upon a hypothetical. Let's assume that is the case. Should we now only allow immigrants who promise to vote equally?
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    I'm a little confuse here. We have a dictator and abuser of human rights who was 10 times worse than Slobadan Milosovic. We were justified in destroying the lives of the Yugoslavs and countryside of the Yugoslav Republic, yet we are going to play buddy buddy with scumbag???? Please, A little consistency. This is partisan BS at its best!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    I'm a little confuse here. We have a dictator and abuser of human rights who was 10 times worse than Slobadan Milosovic. We were justified in destroying the lives of the Yugoslavs and countryside of the Yugoslav Republic, yet we are going to play buddy buddy with scumbag???? Please, A little consistency. This is partisan BS at its best!!!
    Yes. You are confused. I'll stop there.

    And we are now trading partners with folks who were/are more than ten times worse than Castro. I don't know what we might have imported from Milosevic's nation, but his human rights abuses never stopped us from being a trading partner with him either.
    Last edited by scfire86; 04-10-2009 at 09:10 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    It's difficult to counter an argument based upon a hypothetical. Let's assume that is the case. Should we now only allow immigrants who promise to vote equally?
    It is a historic fact that Congress never takes action on any issue without some type of political gain. The two strongest motivational factors that affects every member of Congress is (1) getting reelected and (2) getting their own political party to majority status to make it easier to push forward their own parties political agenda.
    Now that Congress is moving in the direction of establishing official relations with Cuba.

    We need to start looking at what is Congress's motivation to establish official relations with Cuba.
    The motor voter bill that was passed during the Clinton adminstration had everything to do with increasing the number of voters mostly likely to for the Democratic party in any election. The majority of the new voters registered under the motor vote law were not U.S. citizens.

    When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
    "God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
    But when 'tis out and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
    ~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879

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    Quote Originally Posted by cubbie View Post
    It is a historic fact that Congress never takes action on any issue without some type of political gain. The two strongest motivational factors that affects every member of Congress is (1) getting reelected and (2) getting their own political party to majority status to make it easier to push forward their own parties political agenda.
    Now that Congress is moving in the direction of establishing official relations with Cuba.

    We need to start looking at what is Congress's motivation to establish official relations with Cuba.
    The motor voter bill that was passed during the Clinton adminstration had everything to do with increasing the number of voters mostly likely to for the Democratic party in any election. The majority of the new voters registered under the motor vote law were not U.S. citizens.
    Since we're going down the rabbit hole and leaving reality, what do you think the odds of the profit motive being a stronger incentive for congress than voters? As in the contributions that would be received from business interests who stand to gain by normalization with relations with Cuba?
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    Since we're going down the rabbit hole and leaving reality, what do you think the odds of the profit motive being a stronger incentive for congress than voters? As in the contributions that would be received from business interests who stand to gain by normalization with relations with Cuba?
    Sorry...My complete post didn't post last time. Let me try again.

    It is a historic fact that Congress never takes action on any issue without some type of political gain possible. The two strongest motivational factors that affect every member of Congress's vote on any issue are (1) getting reelected and (2) getting their own political party to majority status to make it easier to push forward their own parties political agenda.

    Now that Congress is moving in the direction of establishing official relations with Cuba. We need to start looking at what is Congress's motivation to establish official relations with Cuba.

    We can always look at history for possible answers.
    The motor voter bill that was passed during the Clinton administration had everything to do with increasing the number of voters mostly likely to vote for the Democratic Party in any election. The majority of the new voters registered under the motor voter law were Hispanics. Hispanics historically vote for the Democratic Party. My only issue with the motor voter law is that there is not a requirement that you be a U.S. citizen to register to vote.
    The law made it illegal to ask for proof of U.S. citizenship to register to vote.

    South Florida has a huge Cuban population. They historically vote for Democratic Party. The only motivation I see for Congress to take action to establish official relations with Cube are to increase the number of voters most likely to vote for the Democratic Party. This will in turn help keep the Democrat party in control of Congress.

    If it was to the advantage of the Republican Party to take the same actions they would have taken the same actions. Congress's motivation for any actions on any issue has everything to do with votes and power.

    Congress has no love for anyone but themselves. The law passed during the Clinton administration that allowed mortgages to be sold on the stock market in hedge funds is a great example. Political lobbyist got this law passed by stuffing money into the pockets of Republicans and Democrats alike. Congress was told during congressional committee meetings that there was a huge risk of economical failure if they passed this law. Some members of Congress opposed the law on the floor of the Senate and House because of concerns it could have a negative effect on our economy in the long term.
    Many members of Congress could not see past their next election so they passed the law. Now we are all paying for it.

    When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
    "God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
    But when 'tis out and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
    ~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879

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    Quote Originally Posted by cubbie View Post
    Congress was told during congressional committee meetings that there was a huge risk of economical failure if they passed this law. Some members of Congress opposed the law on the floor of the Senate and House because of concerns it could have a negative effect on our economy in the long term.
    Many members of Congress could not see past their next election so they passed the law. Now we are all paying for it.
    I would agree that both parties share blame in the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that is not the only factor but certainly a major factor in this crisis. Financial firms poured about $5B into influence purchasing over the last decade.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    I don't think that it is a problem doing business with a communist nation. It is doing business with an oppressive dictator with no conscience that bothers me.
    So what about Korea, China, or Iran?

    It's all relative.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I would agree that both parties share blame in the passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that is not the only factor but certainly a major factor in this crisis. Financial firms poured about $5B into influence purchasing over the last decade.
    Influence purchasing has been around as far back as the 1800's when the railroads were being built across the country. Influence purchasing got the american indians moved off their land.
    The first President that I am old enough to have real memories of is Nixon. Nixon's crimes had nothing to do with money. The break into the Democratic headquarters had to do with collecting intel to influence the election. Again "Power and Votes".
    Every member of Congress has outside influences that effects how they vote.
    I think Congress always has secondary motives for anything they do. How they vote is not influenced by the voters until its close to re-election time.
    I don't think normalizing relations with Cuba is necessarily a bad thing. However when it happens there we be a host of new laws. None of which will have a true positive affect on the American people. We will see influence purchasing with members of Congress lining their pockets.

    When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
    "God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
    But when 'tis out and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
    ~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879

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    Not to mention Zimbabwe, Belarus, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dickey View Post
    So what about Korea, China, or Iran?

    It's all relative.
    We don't do business with North Korea. South Korea is essentially a "unitary multiparty republic with one legislative house (National Assembly)."

    We don't do business with Iran.

    We shouldn't be dong business with China.

    But, again, we are not talking about those countries, we are talking about Cuba.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanLoader View Post
    Not to mention Zimbabwe, Belarus, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait,
    This thread is not about policies of the government. It is about the inappropriate behavior of US Congressman paying homage to a vicious dictator.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    This thread is not about policies of the government. It is about the inappropriate behavior of US Congressman paying homage to a vicious dictator.
    George we're both old enough to remember Nixon's trip to China. Why is this different than the effusive dialogue by Nixon about Mao Zedong?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    This thread is not about policies of the government. It is about the inappropriate behavior of US Congressman paying homage to a vicious dictator.
    George,
    I was just trying to focus on their motivation for the inappropriate behavior.

    When fire is cried and danger is neigh,
    "God and the firemen" is the people's cry;
    But when 'tis out and all things righted,
    God is forgotten and the firemen slighted.
    ~Author unknown, from The Fireman's Journal, 18 Oct 1879

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    We don't do business with North Korea. South Korea is essentially a "unitary multiparty republic with one legislative house (National Assembly)."

    We don't do business with Iran.

    We shouldn't be dong business with China.

    But, again, we are not talking about those countries, we are talking about Cuba.
    I understand what you are saying, we are getting off topic.

    However, we buy oil from Iran and buy all kinds of things from China. Not sure about Korea though, gotta research that a bit.

    Anyway, carry on.
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    But, again, we are not talking about those countries, we are talking about Cuba.
    Hey, as long as Rush's humidor is full of Cohibas, right?

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    Interesting take.

    No Holds Barred: Why does Obama smile at dictators?

    Apr. 20, 2009
    Shmuley Boteach , THE JERUSALEM POST
    The picture of the president of the United States smiling broadly as he met President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela startled me. Our president is a nice guy. Chavez is anything but.

    The State Department maintains that Chávez has attacked democratic traditions and has put Venezuelan democracy on life support with unchecked concentration of power, political persecution, and intimidation. Foreign Affairs magazine says that Chávez is a power-hungry dictator with autocratic and megalomaniacal tendencies whose authoritarian vision and policies are a serious threat to his people. In testimony before the US Senate, the South American project director for the Center for Strategic International Studies said that Chavez's government engages in "arresting opposition leaders, torturing some members of the opposition (according to human rights organizations) and encouraging, if not directing, its squads of Bolivarian Circles to beat up members of Congress and intimidate voters-all with impunity."

    In spite of a presidential term limit of six years, Chávez has suggested that he would like to remain in power for 25 years. Hmmm. An autocratic dictator who abuses human rights and undermines democracy being warmly embraced by the American president. There's something wrong with that picture.

    Then there was the incident of President Barack Obama seeming to bow before King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at the G-20 summit in London. The president's people denied it was a bow, but it certainly was a sign of great deference from the American president to the dictator of a country who just six weeks ago sentenced a 75-year-old woman to 40 lashes for having been secluded with her nephew after he delivered bread to her home. This is the same Abdullah whom, when asked why Saudi Arabia prohibits the public practice of religions other than Islam, said, "It is absurd to impose on an individual or a society rights that are alien to its beliefs or principles."

    Obama is also pursuing a renewed relationship with Cuba, a country which engages in systemic human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary imprisonment, unfair trials and extrajudicial executions. Censorship is so extensive that Cubans face five-year prison sentences for connecting to the Internet illegally. And not only is emigration illegal, but even discussing it carries a six-month prison sentence.

    WATCHING ALL THIS, I was wondering what the new standards were. How oppressive must a leader be before we determine that he has not merited a hug by the democratic standard-bearer of the free world, the president of the United States? Yes, I get it. We have to speak to our enemies, and America has to push "reset" on its relationship with many of these countries. We should try and change them through charm. But who said the president himself, rather than a lower-level diplomat, must do so?

    And if Obama feels that he has to be the one to greet a man like Chavez, must it be with the kind of ear-to-ear grin that one might show girl scouts selling cookies? It must surely be disheartening for those who suffer oppression in countries like Venezuela, Cuba and Saudi Arabia to see the American president backslapping their oppressors when these victims have always looked up to the United States as their champions.

    In Turkey, Obama boldly declared that "the United States is not, and never will be, at war with Islam." But the person who was at war with Islam, Saddam Hussein, the man who killed nearly one million Muslims, was removed by a country which has already paid with the lives of 4,500 of its servicemen and women. The same is true of the Taliban, another group whom the Obama administration is considering talking to, who beat Muslim women in the streets of Afghanistan. Yet the president seems reluctant to publicly identify these real enemies of Islam.

    LIKE MANY AMERICANS, I have been awed by our president's capacity to draw those who hate us near. He is a man of considerable charm and grace. But I have to admit that I am increasingly troubled by his seeming inability to call out rogue dictators.

    While he was campaigning for the presidency, Obama promised, "As president I will recognize the Armenian genocide." But in a press conference in Ankara with President Abdullah Gul, he refused to use the word "genocide" when challenged by a reporter on the issue. Yet, it was Obama's early foreign policy adviser Samantha Power of Harvard who wrote A Problem from Hell, the definitive book on the American non-intervention in repeated 20th-century genocides, beginning with the Armenian genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks which killed 1.5 million between the years of 1915 and 1923. When I read the book it changed my life.

    As a Jew who does not want the world to forget the Holocaust, I can only imagine the pain of the Armenian community as it struggles to have modern Turkey acknowledge the crime. And why should modern Turkey not oblige? No one is blaming it for something that happened 90 years ago. It is not today's generation which is at fault. But nations must come to terms with their own history. Could any of us imagine what kind of country the US would be if it denied that it was ever responsible for the abomination of African-American slavery and segregation?

    ALL THIS LEADS to one important question. Suppose Obama succeeds in building friendships with Chavez, Castro, Ahmadinejad and the Taliban. What then? Does America still get to feel that it stands for something? Will we still be the beacon of liberty and freedom to the rest of the world, or will we have sold out in the name of political expediency? And do any of us seriously believe that presidential friendship is going to get a megalomaniac like Hugo Chavez to ease up on the levers of power, or are we just feeding his ego by showing him he can be a tyrant and still have a beer with the president of the United States? Will the Iranians really stop enriching uranium through diplomacy rather than economic sanctions?

    I know that the Bush administration made many mistakes, and I am a fan of President Obama precisely because of his sunny optimism. But Bush was not, as Chavez once called him, the devil, and it could just be that his emphasis on America being the great champion of democracy and freedom, a mantle that was most eloquently articulated by president Kennedy in his inaugural address, is a legacy that ought to belong to Obama as much as it did to his predecessor.

    The writer is the founder of This World: The Values Network. He has just published his newest best-seller, The Kosher Sutra.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GeorgeWendtCFI View Post
    Interesting take.
    I don't recall any eruptions of right-wing outrage when a beaming Richard Nixon shook hands with a man responsible for the deaths of untold millions.

    Or gnashing of teeth when he greeted this sworn enemy of freedom. There were no reports of wingnut tantrums when St. Ronald Reagan was palling around with this dictator. Of course, a mere handshake can't compare to the love and support lavished on this butcher by every Republican president - and this GOP candidate - from Nixon to GWB. Hell, any semi-literate citizen could fill the page with similar examples for the history-challenged, but excitable denizens of right wing nutcases.

    One wishes those making this an issue would see their doctors because their faux outrage hard-ons have lasted more than three days.
    Last edited by scfire86; 04-22-2009 at 09:56 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scfire86 View Post
    I don't recall any eruptions of right-wing outrage when a beaming Richard Nixon shook hands with a man responsible for the deaths of untold millions.
    Would that have been Kennedy or Johnson? Which one sent thousands into an ill-advised battle?

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    Actually Scarecrow, President Eisenhower started Vietnam in 1956. I think the guy they are talking about is Mao Zhedong

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    Quote Originally Posted by idiotboy
    Would that have been Kennedy or Johnson? Which one sent thousands into an ill-advised battle?
    Hey idiotboy. What are you talking about?
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareCrow57 View Post
    Would that have been Kennedy or Johnson? Which one sent thousands into an ill-advised battle?
    Crow, with all due respect, I think your completely confused.
    "Did you check under the bed?" -- Judge Crater, 1930

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    Quote Originally Posted by gamewell35 View Post
    Crow, with all due respect, I think your completely confused.
    He's not due any respect.
    PROUD, HONORED AND HUMBLED RECIPIENT OF THE PURPLE HYDRANT AWARD - 10/2007.

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