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  1. #41
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by DaSharkie



    I am not asking for much out of you, just a pleasant, non hate filled conversation about politics (yes everyone, it can be done), and the questions posed to you to be answered, as those posed by you are answered. Not a whole lot to ask is it?
    Not at all. Here's one you might like.



    The Conservative Case Against George W. Bush
    William Bryk

    Theodore Roosevelt, that most virile of presidents, insisted that, "To announce that there should be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American people." With that in mind, I say: George W. Bush is no conservative, and his unprincipled abandonment of conservatism under the pressure of events is no statesmanship. The Republic would be well served by his defeat this November.

    William F. Buckley's recent retirement from the National Review, nearly half a century after he founded it, led me to reflect on American conservatism's first principles, which Buckley helped define for our time. Beneath Buckley's scintillating phrases and rapier wit lay, as Churchill wrote of Lord Birkenhead, "settled and somewhat somber conclusions upon... questions about which many people are content to remain in placid suspense": that political and economic liberty were indivisible; that government's purpose was protecting those liberties; that the Constitution empowered government to fulfill its proper role while restraining it from the concentration and abuse of power; and that its genius lay in the Tenth Amendment, which makes explicit that the powers not delegated to government are reserved to the states or to the people.

    More generally, American conservatives seek what Lord Acton called the highest political good: to secure liberty, which is the freedom to obey one's own will and conscience rather than the will and conscience of others. Any government, of any political shade, that erodes personal liberty in the name of social and economic progress must face a conservative's reasoned dissent, for allowing one to choose between right and wrong, between wisdom and foolishness, is the essential condition of human progress. Although sometimes the State has a duty to impose restrictions, such curbs on the liberty of the individual are analogous to a brace, crutch or bandage: However necessary in the moment, as they tend to weaken and to cramp, they are best removed as soon as possible. Thus American conservative politics championed private property, an institution sacred in itself and vital to the well being of society. It favored limited government, balanced budgets, fiscal prudence and avoidance of foreign entanglements.

    More subtly, American conservatism viewed human society as something of an organism in itself. This sense of society's organic character urged the necessity of continuity with the past, with change implemented gradually and with as little disruption as possible. Thus, conservatism emphasized the "civil society" - the private voluntary institutions developed over time by passing the reality test - i.e., because they work - such as families, private property, religious congregations and neighborhoods - rather than the State. In nearly every sense, these institutions were much closer to the individuals who composed them than the State could ever be and had the incidental and beneficial effect of protecting one's personal liberty against undue intrusion from governments controlled by fanatics and busybodies, that which Edmund Burke presciently called the "armed ideologies," and thus upheld our way of life as flying buttresses supported a Gothic cathedral.

    But the policies of this administration self-labeled "conservative" have little to do with the essence of tradition. Rather, they tend to centralize power in the hands of the government under the guise of patriotism. If nothing else, the Bush administration has thrown into question what being a conservative in America actually means.

    Forty years ago, when Lyndon Johnson believed the United States could afford both Great Society and the Vietnam War, conservatives attacked his fiscal policies as extravagant and reckless. Ten years ago, the Republican Party regained control of Congress with the Contract with America, which included a balanced-budget amendment to restore fiscal responsibility. But today, thanks to tax cuts and massively increased military spending, the Bush administration has transformed, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a ten-year projected surplus of $5.6 trillion to a deficit of $4.4 trillion: a turnaround of $10 trillion in roughly 32 months.

    The Bush Administration can't even pretend to keep an arm's length from Halliburton, the master of the no-bid government contract. Sugar, grain, cotton, oil, gas and coal: These industries enjoy increased subsidies and targeted tax breaks not enjoyed by less-connected industries. The conservative Heritage Foundation blasts the administration's agricultural subsidies as the nation's most wasteful corporate welfare program. The libertarian Cato Institute called the administration's energy plan "three parts corporate welfare and one part cynical politics...a smorgasbord of handouts and subsidies for virtually every energy lobby in Washington" that "does little but transfer wealth from taxpayers to well-connected energy lobbies." And the Republican Party's Medicare drug benefit, the largest single expansion of the welfare state since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, was designed to appeal to senior citizens who, as any competent politician knows, show up at the polls.

    None of this is conservative, although it is in keeping with the Bush family's history. Kevin Phillips, whose 1969 classic The Emerging Republican Majority outlined the policies that would lead to the election of President Reagan, describes in his American Dynasty the Bush family's rise to wealth and power through crony capitalism: the use of contacts obtained in public service for private profit. Phillips argues the Bushes don't disfavor big government as such: merely that part of it that regulates business, maintains the environment or aids the needy. Subsidizing oil-well drilling through tax breaks, which made George H. W. Bush's fortune, or bailing out financial institutions, such as Neil Bush's bankrupt Silverado Savings and Loan, however, is a good thing.

    This deficit spending also helps Bush avoid the debate on national priorities we would have if these expenditures were being financed through higher taxes on a pay-as-you-go basis. After all, we're not paying the bill now; instead, it will come due far in the future, long after today's policy-makers are out of office. And this debt is being incurred just as the baby boomers are about to retire. In January 2004, Charles Kolb, who served in the Reagan and George H. W. Bush White Houses, testified before Congress that, at a time when demographics project more retirees and fewer workers, projected government debt will rise from 37 percent of the economy today to 69 percent in 2020 and 250 percent in 2040. This is the sort of level one associates with a Third World kleptocracy.

    Even worse than this extravagance are the administration's unprecedented intrusions into our constitutional privacy rights through the Patriot Act. If it does not violate the letter of the Fourth Amendment, it violates its spirit. To cite two examples, the FBI has unchecked authority through the use of National Security Letters to require businesses to reveal "a broad array of sensitive information, including information about the First Amendment activities of ordinary Americans who are not suspected of any wrongdoing." Despite the Fourth Amendment's prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure, the government need not show probable cause: It does not need to obtain a warrant from a judge. And who can trust any law enforced by John Ashcroft, who single-handedly transformed a two-bit hubcap thief like Jose Padilla first into a threat to national security and then, through his insistence that Padilla, an American citizen, could be held without charges, into a Constitutional crisis?

    All this stems from Bush's foreign policy of preemptive war, which encourages war for such vague humanitarian ends as "human rights," or because the United States believes another country may pose a threat to it. Its champions seem to almost joyously anticipate a succession of wars without visible end, with the invasion of Iraq merely its first fruit: former Bush appointee Richard Perle, from his writings on foreign policy, would have us war against nearly every nation that he defines as a rogue. The ironic consequence of this policy to stabilize the world is greater instability. It reminds me of the old FDR jingle from the Daily Worker:

    I hate war, and so does Eleanor,

    But we won't feel safe until everybody's dead.

    To be sure, there's more than enough blame to go around with the Congress' cowardly surrender to the Executive of its power to declare war. The Founding Fathers, who knew war from personal experience, explicitly placed the war power in the hands of the Congress. As James Madison wrote over 200 years ago:

    "The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war... The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted."

    But since the Korean War (which the Congress defined as a "police action" to avoid using its war powers), war has been waged without its formal declaration. Thus Congressional power atrophies in the face of flag-waving presidents. Perhaps Congress is too preoccupied with swilling from the gravy trough that our politics has become to recall its Constitutional role as a co-equal branch of government, guarding its powers and privileges against executive usurpation. The Congress has forgotten that the men who exacted Magna Carta from King John at sword point instituted Parliament to restrain the executive from its natural tendency to tax, spend and war.

    Moreover, there is nothing conservative about war. As Madison wrote:

    "Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. [There is an] inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and...degeneracy of manners and of morals...No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."

    By contrast, business, commerce and trade, founded on private property, created by individual initiative, families and communities, has done far more to move the world forward than war. Yet faith in military force and an arrogant belief that American values are universal values still mold our foreign policy nearly a century after Woodrow Wilson, reelected with a promise of keeping America out of World War I, broke faith with the people by engineering a declaration of war within weeks of his second inauguration.

    George W. Bush's 2000 campaign supposedly rejected Wilsonian foreign policy by articulating both the historic Republican critique of foreign aid and explicitly criticizing Bill Clinton's nation-building. Today, the administration insists we can be safe only by compelling other nations to implement its vision of democracy. This used to be called imperialism. Empires don't come cheap; worse, "global democracy" requires just the kind of big government conservatives abhor. When the Wall Street Journal praises the use of American tax dollars to provide electricity and water services in Iraq, something we used to call socialism, either conservatism has undergone a tectonic shift or the paper's editors are disingenuous.

    This neo-conservative policy rejects the traditional conservative notion that American society is rooted in American culture and history - in the gradual development of American institutions over nearly 230 years - and cannot be separated from them. Instead, neo-conservatives profess that American values, which they define as democracy, liberty, free markets and self-determination, are "universal" rather than particular to us, and insist they can and should be exported to ensure our security.

    This is nonsense. The qualities that make American life desirable evolved from our civil society, created by millions of men and women using the freedom created under limited constitutional government. Only a fool would believe they could be spread overnight with bombs and bucks, and only a fool would insist that the values defined by George W. Bush as American are necessarily those for which we should fight any war at all.

    Wolfowitz, Perle and their allies in the Administration claimed the Iraqis would greet our troops with flowers. Somehow, more than a year after the president's "Mission Accomplished" photo-op, a disciplined body of well-supplied military professionals is still waging war against our troops, their supply lines and our Iraqi collaborators. Indeed, the regime we have just installed bids fair to become a long-term dependent of the American taxpayer under U.S. military occupation.

    The Administration seems incapable of any admission that its pre-war assertions that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction were incorrect. Instead, in a sleazy sleight of hand worthy of Lyndon Johnson, the Administration has retrospectively justified its war with Saddam Hussein's manifold crimes.

    First, that is a two-edged sword: If the crimes of a foreign government against its people justify our invasion, there will be no end of fighting. Second, the pre-war assertions were dishonest: Having decided that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, the policymakers suppressed all evidence that it did not. This immorality is thrown in high relief by the war's effect on Iraqi civilians. We have no serious evidence of any connection between Iraq and 9/11. Dropping 5000-pound bombs on thousands of people who had nothing to do with attacking us is as immoral as launching airplanes at an American office building.

    To sum up: Anything beyond the limited powers expressly delegated by the people under the Constitution to their government for certain limited purposes creates the danger of tyranny. We stand there now. For an American conservative, better one lost election than the continued empowerment of cynical men who abuse conservatism through an exercise of power unrestrained by principle through the compromise of conservative beliefs. George W. Bush claims to be conservative. But based upon the unwholesome intrusion into domestic life and personal liberty of his administration and the local governments who imitate it, George W. Bush is no conservative, no friend of limited, constitutional government - and no friend of freedom. The Republic would be better served by his defeat in November.



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Copyright © 2000-2004 Agora Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Last edited by scfire86; 10-03-2004 at 03:32 PM.
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  2. #42
    Forum Member DaSharkie's Avatar
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    I probably should have clarified my request that you answer a question with your own thoughts and opinions instead of just posting an article. I recognize your tactic from previous posts, but you tend to refrain from poasting your own thoughts and answers.

    It does seem like too much to ask.
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  3. #43
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    While I agree with the premise George W. isn't true to traditional conservative values, let's put it in perspective that the article first appeared in a weekly free newspaper in New York, and the author quoted the American Communist Party's newspaper ("It reminds me of the old FDR jingle from the Daily Worker:") -- which albeit could just show you a particularly well-read author, still raises a red flag (no pun intended).

    That difference between Conservative and "Right" as I mentioned before is what is at work here -- unlike "conservatives" the "Right" are people in government and who seek as much as practical government solutions -- for instance instead of refining investigative techniques, let's write a "Patriot Act!"

    And while the budget deficit has ballooned, it is an application of Keynesian economics to use Federal tax & spend policies to goose the economy -- in this case instead of taking out of one pocket and putting in the other, we're leaving more of it in the pocket to begin with and letting companies and citizens decide where to spend it.

    If you're going to make a big deal from Bush's deficits, explain to me how Kerry offers fiscal conservatives a better option -- here's a person best I can tell who wants to repeal the tax cuts so that revenue can be spent for new and expanded programs -- net effect, we still have deficits just as large and the government has grown in size.

    ‘‘Neither campaign has released a detailed and realistic plan . . . to cut the budget deficit in half," said Brian Riedle, federal budget analyst for the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank. ‘‘Neither candidate has a realistic plan to deal with runaway (federal) spending or the looming crisis in Social Security and Medicare."
    (Good article I googled looking for facts on this matter from today: http://www.columbusdispatch.com/elec...003-C1-01.html )

    So the fiscal conservatives, who may not like the way's Bush has grown the government, are faced with an even worse choice in Kerry whose stated goal is repeal much of the tax cut and place it towards new spending.
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  4. #44
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90

    So the fiscal conservatives, who may not like the way's Bush has grown the government, are faced with an even worse choice in Kerry whose stated goal is repeal much of the tax cut and place it towards new spending.
    I'll take my chances. If it means raising taxes to start paying off this debt, so be it.

    I'm willing to do that so my heirs aren't forced to bear the burden of our indifference.

    Like the article stated. We went from a plan of debt reduction and surplus to a plan of ever increasing deficits and mounting debt.

    If that is the work of fiscal conservatives I would hate to see your idea of fiscal liberals.

    First thing we do is get a President who has command of the English language.
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  5. #45
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    Where has Kerry laid out SPECIFICS of reducing the deficit?

    He talks about rolling back the tax cuts to spend on new programs...

    Which means the next time the economy declines, the deficits will be even bigger since we now have a higher level of spending committed to.
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  6. #46
    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Originally posted by scfire86


    I'll take my chances. If it means raising taxes to start paying off this debt, so be it.

    I'm willing to do that so my heirs aren't forced to bear the burden of our indifference.

    Dude...really....were do you get your rock?...."bear the burden...."...give me a break!!!! How exactley are they going to bear the burden?....You talk about your heirs not having to pay off the debt....but you are ok with Kerry raising taxes so you can pay of the current one.....don't you think you'll go throught the same "debt recovery" process...and if so what will you have left to leave to your heirs?
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  7. #47
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    Which means the next time the economy declines, the deficits will be even bigger since we now have a higher level of spending committed to.
    And who committed us to that increased level of spending?

    Um, lemme think, oh yeah it would be the 'fiscal conservatives'.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  8. #48
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by VinnieB


    Dude...really....were do you get your rock?...."bear the burden...."...give me a break!!!! How exactley are they going to bear the burden?....You talk about your heirs not having to pay off the debt....but you are ok with Kerry raising taxes so you can pay of the current one.....don't you think you'll go throught the same "debt recovery" process...and if so what will you have left to leave to your heirs?
    What are you talking about? Here's a piece of free advice. Take it for how much you paid for it.

    Stay away from the Agent Orange.
    Last edited by scfire86; 10-04-2004 at 01:32 AM.
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  9. #49
    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Originally posted by scfire86


    Stay away from the Agent Orange.

    ROTFLMAO!........


    HA!...As soon as you answer our questions instead of either changing the subject or just posting some long, drawn out, expected article to avoid answering....

    Sure free advice from you...right..ok ...well here's mine...put down the crack pipe and step away from the Kool-Aid...
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  10. #50
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    And who committed us to that increased level of spending?

    Um, lemme think, oh yeah it would be the 'fiscal conservatives'.


    What kind of Orwellian double speak is that?

    My comment was very specific at Kerry -- who wants to repeal the tax cuts IN ORDER TO FUND NEW SPENDING. Not cut the deficit -- to fund new and expanded programs. So you would still have the same deficit, just this time accompanied with higher federal spending to boot. So when you have the next slow down, you're starting from a higher base level of spending to run deficits up on.

    Fiscal Conservatives may not agree with what Bush & Congress have done with rampant pork barrel & social welfare expansion (although they may begrudge some of that as necessary to goose the economy through weak times). But they'll take Bush over someone whose answer is to raise taxes -- not to control the deficit, but to fund even more new spending.
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  11. #51
    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Originally posted by scfire86
    And to quote the immortal Olson Johnson, "who can argue with that?"
    Soon he'll be calling me an Oscar Wilde "Fellow".....
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  12. #52
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    Fiscal Conservatives may not agree with what Bush & Congress have done with rampant pork barrel & social welfare expansion (although they may begrudge some of that as necessary to goose the economy through weak times). But they'll take Bush over someone whose answer is to raise taxes -- not to control the deficit, but to fund even more new spending.
    I found out a lot about this from 'W' during the debate. He clearly stated He works hard. He is a hard worker. He is working hard. They are working hard. We are working hard. We couldn't be working any harder. Believe me, we are working hard.

    It's great filler when you don't know what to say.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  13. #53
    Forum Member BCmdepas3280's Avatar
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    Originally posted by scfire86


    I found out a lot about this from 'W' during the debate. He clearly stated He works hard. He is a hard worker. He is working hard. They are working hard. We are working hard. We couldn't be working any harder. Believe me, we are working hard.

    It's great filler when you don't know what to say.
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  14. #54
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    Default Substance over style

    But then, how many times did the Senator say, "My position on Iraq has been consistent." Me thinks he said that too many times as well.

    Okay, Bush did a lousy job on style. But let's look at the substance not just style.

    Highlighting the "consistency" of his position, over the course of 90 minutes Kerry managed to say the war with Iraq was a "colossal error of judgment" on the part of the President and referred to the war as a "distraction" from "the real war on terror," but he managed to add that he believed Saddam was a threat when he voted to authorize the use of force, that the Iraqi people deserved to be free, and that he could "win the peace," while beginning to withdraw U.S. forces within six months, making our "bribed and coerced" allies, whose contributions he "respects," pick up the slack. He also implied he'd build a real coalition for Iraq, including France and Germany, and open reconstruction contracts to those nations -- the very ones who profited most (illegally under UNSC sanctions) from Saddam's rule, and who have both refused (as recently as this week) to be a part of any such coalition, even in the eventuality of a Kerry presidency. I ask you, where's the consistency?

    On the subject of our troops engaged in Iraq, Kerry remarked, "I understand what the president is talking about because I know what it means to lose people in combat. And the question, 'Is it worth the cost?,' reminds me of my own thinking when I came back from fighting in that war. And it reminds me that it is vital for us not to confuse the war -- ever -- with the warriors. But of course who was so instrumental in promoting that confusion in 1971?

    Back to the war at hand, Kerry relentlessly attacked President Bush, saying, "Saddam Hussein didn't attack us. Osama bin Laden attacked us." Then, when asked about the most dangerous security threat in the world today, Kerry didn't hesitate to reply, "Nuclear proliferation," to which President Bush added, "in the hands of terrorists." Kerry doesn't understand the true threat of terrorism. Islamic fundamentals don't want to negotiate with us. They want to KILL everyone of us who don't believe as they do.

    Talk about flip-flop; The Senator apparently thinks he can publicly ridicule Russian President Vladmir Putin as a tyrant one minute, then vow to secure all fissile materiel in the former Soviet bloc within four years the next minute. Does Kerry really believe we can do this apart from Russian cooperation? Who's the brazen unilateralist now?

    The Senator suggested giving nuclear material to Iran. On the subject of Iran, Kerry was obviously confused on the whole issue of nuclear technology, as well as the historical facts concerning the sanctions against Iran.

    By way of contrast, on the subject of North Korean nuclear armament, Kerry bemoaned the President's decision to abandon bilateral talks with dictator Kim Jung Il in favor of multilateral pressure -- a coalition, some might say -- involving China, Russia, South Korea and Japan. For some reason, when President Bush employs multilateral diplomacy it's a bad idea; Kerry would return to Clinton's tried-and-failed diplomacy of appeasement -- the same diplomacy under which North Korea was able to advance its nuclear program in secret, even adding enriched uranium to its plutonium-based weapons development.

    But the entire debate I believe was put to rest with the following response and reply, and shows just how wrong Senator Kerry is about our nations security. "No president through all of American history has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to pre-empt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you've got to do it in a way that passes the test. That passes the global test [original emphasis] where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing. And you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons."

    Mr. Bush replied, "I'm not exactly sure what you mean: passes the 'global test.' You take pre-emptive action if you pass a global test? My attitude is you take pre-emptive action in order to protect the American people."

    Game, set, match.

    Kerry talks and looks good on TV but when you get right down to the substance, he didn't do a very good job.

  15. #55
    Senior Member Dalmatian90's Avatar
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    I found out a lot about this from 'W' during the debate

    So that's why you're using meaningless filler when you don't have an answer based on facts?
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  16. #56
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by glowpop

    Game, set, match.

    Not quite. All that substance has put us into one of the worst foreign policy decisions in the history of our nation.

    By claiming stability as a reason, the region has been made more unstable.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  17. #57
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Dalmatian90
    I found out a lot about this from 'W' during the debate

    So that's why you're using meaningless filler when you don't have an answer based on facts?
    Same as 'W'. Maybe I'll run for President.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Default Should we have...

    Originally posted by scfire86


    Not quite. All that substance has put us into one of the worst foreign policy decisions in the history of our nation.

    By claiming stability as a reason, the region has been made more unstable.
    Should we have gone to Somolia? Should we have gone to Rywanda? Should we continue to let the genocide continue in Sudan or should we send troops to stop it?

  19. #59
    Forum Member scfire86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should we have...

    Originally posted by glowpop


    Should we have gone to Somolia? Should we have gone to Rywanda? Should we continue to let the genocide continue in Sudan or should we send troops to stop it?
    The better question to ask is why we haven't gone there, but invaded Iraq instead? If humanitarianism is now part of our foreign policy as it relates to military force.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

  20. #60
    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should we have...

    Originally posted by glowpop


    Should we have gone to Somolia? Should we have gone to Rywanda? Should we continue to let the genocide continue in Sudan or should we send troops to stop it?
    Damn straight we should be. We should have been in Europe in 1939, should have been in the Balkins in 1991, we were 6 months late to Somlia, we abondoned and allowed the deaths of a million people in Rywanda, and we should have been in the Sudan 9 months ago.

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