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Commentary: 'Fahrenheit' 98, 2000, and XP

By Jay Lyman on July 13, 2004 (8:00:00 AM)

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<ed by cp 7.12> Seeing Michael Moore's thought-provoking "Fahrenheit 9/11" has given me a much greater appreciation of the disdain -- dare I say the hate? -- that many Microsoft Corp. foes feel as they face off against the powerful, politically connected software giant.

"Fahrenheit" places most of the blame for the Iraq mess, of course, on the Bush administration and some major corporate interests -- mostly The Carlyle Group and Halliburton. There is scant mention of Microsoft; it hosts a conference where some of the biggest defense and other support contractors get together to talk about how much money they can make off the war with statements such as "It's the biggest financial opportunity on the planet;" and "It's good for business, but it's bad for people."

Although it sort of beat you over the head -- okay, Dubya is dumb, so enough already -- I came away from the film with a gut ache, and it wasn't from the super-size popcorn and soda I shared with the wife.

For one, I was appalled that all of those American and Iraqi men, women, and children had been killed or injured for what appears to have been a big joint business venture among greedy America corporations; I was horrified by the blank look on President Bush's face as he learned of the 9/11 attacks and sat in front of a group of schoolchildren for nearly 10 minutes, waiting for direction and looking like it was time to go see the principal.

What really turned my stomach was the hypocrisy of the whole thing. We go to Iraq looking for weapons of mass destruction; not finding them, then ostensibly we're there to liberate the Iraqis for freedom and democracy.

But what are we doing about genocide in Zaire, to cite just one of many international problem areas? What support could we give those beleaguered, hungry, and sick African people with just a fraction of the resources we're dumping into Iraq -- which has become, in some respects, worse than Vietnam? How can we continue to send our unrested soldiers out on neighborhood raids that terrify the Iraqi locals? How's that for winning hearts and minds?

We actually are winning hearts and minds -- but for the other side.

I thought it was sad that a U.S. soldier questioned in the film had to ask why he is being paid $2,000 per month to do the same truck-driving job as an $18,000-per-month private contractor. A National Guardsman with whom I saw the movie -- who spent seven months in Baghdad and a year away from family -- said the Iraq scenes looked familiar. He agreed with the point about the money and recalled how U.S. troops are guarding the private contractors across Iraq.

For those who think that Moore is either full of himself or hot air, I can relate. This is where Microsoft comes in. I have never understood the pure hatred some people hold for one company, particularly when they have not been the actual victims of monopoly preying or pushing. But I now equate it to my disdain for the Bush administration. And when you think about it, there are parallels between the two targets of our collective distaste.

Size: Here you have the candidate who said he would do away with big government going with another big -- Big Business. Supporters of Bush, along with many of the Democrats who have failed to balance executive or judicial power for the past five to seven years, are made up of the nation's biggest businesses. One of the world's biggest businesses, Microsoft, is certainly among the most influential corporate -- and political -- interests in the world.

Relationships: In "Fahrenheit," Moore draws strong lines between the Saudi royalty and the Bush "royalty," with George W. Bush and Osama Bin Laden both portrayed as silver-spoon renegades who rose to power while their families helped each other. So in the movie, it's the Bushes using the Saudis for capital gain, and vice versa. For the IT industry and Microsoft, the big, filthy, dirty-work relationship is with The SCO Group. Both the Bush administration and Microsoft have plenty of other suspect dealings according to those who don't care for them, and their respective relationships center on partnerships for power.

Fear, uncertainty, doubt (FUD): Here's where the connection really clicks. This explains to me how many of the more-technical/less-political people I speak with day in and day out perceive Microsoft. I've reached a point where I don't really believe anything the Washington administration is saying. When I hear about the national terror alert going up from yellow to orange, for example, I'm now thinking FUD.

Fear is a central theme for Moore, as it was in his Academy Award-winning documentary (or, as some say, gun-umentary) "Bowling for Columbine." In "Fahrenheit," fear is used to bully the American people into higher Bush approval ratings and to back the Bush administration's desperate need to go to war.

We all know about the FUD factor from Redmond. Some of this came to light during the company's federal anti-monopoly lawsuit three years ago. But most of it is well-hidden in the corporate back rooms of America and doesn't leak into the public domain. A recent example is the Dell/Linspire news story from last week. Even if you don't disbelieve everything Microsoft spins out, the suspicion the company's enemies harbor is similar to what many citizens now have for Bush and his international business comrades.

There are other connections here. We don't even need to go into the fact that the Bush administration let Microsoft off easy in the 2002 DoJ antitrust case, allowing the world's largest software company to continue its monopolist ways. And there is the fact that Bill Gates, Paul Allen, and Steve Ballmer are all major Bush campaign donors. Who knows what other connections there are between Microsoft and the Bush administration?

That's meat for a future column, perhaps.

The bottom lines here: Let's keep informed on our own, try to identify government and corporate FUD, and be proactive about rejecting it. Let's also try to understand each other's viewpoints and agree we should protest those in public or corporate office who are misusing their power and leverage the ballot box -- or buying power -- to unseat them as soon as possible.

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on Commentary: 'Fahrenheit' 98, 2000, and XP

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I agree...

Posted by: Randall McFarlane on July 14, 2004 12:26 AM
Maybe just maybe if we get a new and "better" president maybe M$ will get slapped hard. But with Financial backing from m$ the bush administraton needs that for this upcomming elction. why bite the hand that feeds you?

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Re:I agree...

Posted by: smurfnsanta on July 14, 2004 06:23 AM
You'd better take a good look at the list of $ contribs to Kerry before you assert that a change in presidency will make any difference in who gets executive consideration.


As a pissed off conservative, I'm switching to Kerry - Edwards this election, but I have no illusions that they're less politically adroit than the Republicans. They'll soak up $ like a sponge will soak up water in the desert, and the biggest contributors will always get the most 'consideration'. No news here.

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Re:I agree...

Posted by: Randall McFarlane on July 14, 2004 11:05 AM
But I'm going with any one who is not funded by M$. I don't care were else its get it as long as its not m$

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Re:I agree...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 06:03 AM
Good luck, I don't think anyone running for national office doesn't at least have MS + Office donated by the Mangling Smurfs, but I could be wrong.

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Re:I agree...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 02:34 PM
if the communists run a candidate<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...

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Re:I agree...

Posted by: Mandrake Magician on July 16, 2004 01:41 PM
Microsoft will be a major campaign contributor. MS covers ALL the bets for all possible victors. Kerry's sheets are no cleaner than Bush's.

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You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 12:48 AM
Dont believe all that F/911 crap. Its just a fat man who cant get laid trying to stir up attention for himself.

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 12:55 AM
Amen. Even the democrats have acknowledged that this "documentary" is a pack of lies.

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 12:58 AM
Even Moore doesn't call it a documentary. Its little more than an editorial, and has never tried to be anything but. Its the masses of undereducated viewers preaching it as gospel that give it a bad name.

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:03 AM
well he may not call it a documentary but everyone else is including the news outlets. This lends credibility to the lies and distortions that exist in this movie.

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:20 AM
Why do you keep replying to yourself?

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:37 AM
Hahaha you called it.

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 08:17 AM
"This lends credibility to the lies and distortians that exist in this movie."

For instance?

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:20 AM
Sounds to me like what used to be called a "historical novel", except this one didn't go very far back in history. The interesting thing about the historical novels I have seen, is that while they are not strictly true, they often include a lot of truth that would/could be embarrasing to some very powerful people.

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:36 AM
What it really is is a way to spread falsehoods and discredit someone in an election year and do so while skirting the equal time laws. It's little more than a two hour political bashing.

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:49 AM
Totally. Anyone can take snapshots and quotes out of context, string them together, and paint any picture they desire. The sad part is that there are people so naive that they believe all that spin as if it were hard facts.

Unfortunatly, since the majority of media in this country is pretty far left, they are unwilling to call Moore on his lies and misleading garbage.

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: CJ Preimesberger on July 14, 2004 01:57 AM
Man, are you out of the loop. How can people like you be so blind?

<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/cp

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 02:00 AM
Watch a lot of FAUX news -- doncha...

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: jh77 on July 14, 2004 08:05 AM
The majority of the media in this country is pretty far left??? What country do you live in?

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 11:28 PM
Media far left? What decade are you living in? The media is so far right these days that it make me want to puke when watching it.

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Ignore this thread...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 07:04 AM
It's just a troll who is trying to legitimize what it is saying by posting a bunch of supporting responses to his Moore bashing.

I'm not a supporter of Moore, but I don't like Shrub either. All I know is Shrub via the Patriot Act has effectively ended the 1st Ammendment, by and far the most important Right we have. In the act they have passed a law that makes speech about a dangerous and very un-American law illegal. Normally, free speech is seperated into what you can say and what is dangerous to say, such as yelling fire in a crowded theater or joking about a bomb being on a plane. The act protects this unpopular law by making it illegal to talk about it. Unpopular laws should not be protected as dangerous speech and this sets a precident that is by and far a clear and present danger to all Americans and anyone who believes in freedom.

BTW: the law I'm talking about allows the FBI to compell business access to your personal information without judicial permission or review. Nice, huh?! What in itself is a travisty, turns out to be merely the salt in the wound. I hate Shrub.

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: CJ Preimesberger on July 14, 2004 01:59 AM
Ya, that's why he spent two years and millions of dollars in production funding. To draw attention to himself.


Geh.

<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/cp

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 04:16 AM
Wow. That's an extremely insightful commentary on the movie.

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Who has been fooled?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 05:32 AM
So Fox News told you not to believe it, eh? I guess you skipped the movie on that basis. Yep, that's about typcial of what I've seen of people who make posts like yours, so you're not alone.

How much do you weigh, BTW? Getting laid much lately? Have you ever? Didn't think so. Why should we believe you again?

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Re:Who has been fooled?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 10:42 AM
Funny you should mention Fox News. Because all Moore has done is given a "liberalized" version of a Fox News treatment to some very serious subjects. What really is the problem are "agendas" when substituted for practical, workable, and sustainable solutions -- regardless of what part of the political spectrum they come from. Both liberals and conservatives alike have their fair share of "pet strategies" which seldom produce the results they are supposed to.

The true lesson of Open Source is to use what works (Linux, etc.) and is beneficial and to suppress that which doesn't (Microsoft) and is corrupted. That should be the only agenda for both politics and technology.

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Re:You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 10:07 AM
Give us a point by point analysis of what's wrong with F 9/11.

There is nothing wrong with the movie. All of the critics and critiques I have read are full of hot air and do what just did, character assasination.

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Bring The War On Terror Home!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:16 AM
Vote Kerry-Edwards.

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Assumptions about readership

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 02:09 AM
"And when you think about it, there are parallels between the two targets of our collective distaste."

I am not part of your collective. I have some disagreement with the Bush administration on many things (Patriot Act, etc.) but I do not have distaste for it. I see the current administration as the better of the choices presented at the time. And as the better of the current choices being offered for the November election.

That said, I find the article amazingly out of place on a geek news web site. The first half is purely a positive review of the movie and rant against the Iraq policies of the current US administration. The rest is an attempt to create some sort of connection between the movie, the administration and Microsoft.

I guess it is assumed that I will take my feelings of agreement, sympathy and energy for Mr. Moore's "documentary" and apply them to Microsoft. What if I don't agree or sympathize with Mr. Moore? What if I don't see any bigger connection between MS and the Bush administration as between [insert liberal minded organization here, like the UN or ACLU] and the Democratic Party.

Politics and FS/OSS often cross paths and collide and we must pay attention to that. This movie has nothing to do with it and it is a reach to try to tie them together.

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The difference between MS and the Bush Admin

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 03:26 AM
The difference between Microsoft and the Bush Administration is that Microsoft doesn't care who is in power they will throw money at any politician just to get what they want

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Re:The difference between MS and the Bush Admin

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 04:42 AM
Agreed. They will.

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Re:Assumptions about readership

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 03:39 AM
I wasn't aware that the UN was now being lumped in with those filthy liberal organizations. I suppose that would make sense. What, with trying to help humanitarian causes and what not. Damn hippies.

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UN == Liberal

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 05:07 AM
Most any program, proposal or effort by the UN is targeted to do one thing:

Extract more power and money from the US and the western world and redistribute to the diplomats and dictators of the poor countries.

Obviously, helping the poor is good. Also obviously, providing handouts to every dictator or society that wants to a quick fix to poverty is bad. Look at the Iraq oil-for-food program. Corruption, diversion of funds and obstruction that would make Halliburtan blush.

The UN does it "for the children" or "for the environment" but their goal is the same: "You have too much wealth and must give it to these here poor people. I'll be happy to skim off the top as it goes through my hands."

It's the classic liberal argument: "You are down trodden and need help. I am the one that can solve it for you. Keep me in power and I'll make sure the rich keep providing you your fair share. You can't do it but I can."

Look at Africa. That continent that once had and has provided seats of learning, treasures of knowledge and culture; full of natural resources; full of intellegent people; full of poverty and bondage. Perpetuated by warlords and dictators who hide behind UN programs crying about poverty and pocketing the change.

The UN does many great and good things. The proposed goal of the UN is laudable but it has been twisted into a power broker and money making machine for diplomats and dictators that hampers the poor class by telling them that they can't create their own wealth but they must be dependent forever.

(This discussion is so political. I should not be a part of it. This is the wrong forum for it.)

Flame away!

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Re:UN == Liberal

Posted by: gustaw on July 16, 2004 04:52 AM
Buddy:

Nobody funded dictators as much as the old USA (don't care to distinguish among Dems and Reps).

Videla
Pinochet
Castillo Armas
Trujillo
D'Aubisson
Castelo Branco
Fujimori
Perez Jimenez
Saddam Hussein
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi
Franco
Oliveira Salazar

Must I go on?

Gustavo
Third World

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by definition, yes, liberal

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2004 05:08 AM
From one entry found at dictionary.com:

liberal


      n. One who favors greater freedom in political

        or religious matters; an opponent of the

        established systems; a reformer

compare to (from same source):

conservative


      adj. Favoring traditional views and values;

        tending to oppose change.


    Therefore, if you think there's something wrong,
and you want to fix it, you are, by definition, a
liberal. If you tend to want to make anything
better, you are a liberal.


    If you don't want to fix anything, regardless of
whether you think there's anything wrong, you are,
by definition, a conservative. Although, personally,
if you _do_ think there's something wrong, and
you _don't_ want to fix it, I think you're also
nuts.


    To boil it down to really simple terms: liberals
give; conservatives keep.


    Note that either of these things is reasonable
and admirable in its own time and place. Right
here, right now, I think there's something wrong,
and I, for one, feel pretty liberal about it.

yours,

idfx

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Re:Assumptions about readership

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 04:10 AM
"And when you think about it, there are parallels between the two targets of our collective distaste."

I am not part of your collective.


You are if you have a distaste for either one. Please look up the adjective form of "collective" in your dictionary.

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Definition: collective

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 05:16 AM
Taken blatently from dictionary.com:

col·lec·tive adj.

      1. Assembled or accumulated into a whole.

      2. Of, relating to, characteristic of, or made by a number of people acting as a group: a collective decision.

I will grant that definition 1 meets your definition.

However, I was thinking of definition 2. My distaste is not directed at *both* the administraction and MS. I am therefore outside of the authors collective since I don't share the "two targets" for my distaste.

Semantics. What fun.

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Re:Assumptions about readership

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 06:18 AM
yes i absolutely agree, i'm both a strong supporter of FS/OSS and President Bush.

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Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: bbpursell on July 14, 2004 02:30 AM
Upon seeing the title and by-line for this piece, I thought that it may be an interesting take. Upon reading the piece, I was sorely dissappointed.

This is one of the dumbest pieces of "journalism" one could imagine. Moore's "documentary" has been widely discredited as being full of lies, deceit, and untruths. His "Acadamy Award winning documentary" from a few years ago may have been given the award, but if memory serves, the award was later revoked because it was later realized that what he presented was not a documentary at all, but a fictional comedy framed around some tragic events and presented as a documentary.

If there is anything to be learned from Moore's hate-filled "documentary" it is how not to deal with the current FLOSS advocacy. While you say that Microsoft has probably donated money to the Bush administration, in reality, most large corporations, with few exceptions, donate similar amounts of money to both major parties. What Moore's film teaches is that one-sidedness and hatred can lead one into making up the truth as one goes along by ignoring that which doesn't support one's point of view, assuming far-fetched theories are true, and in some cases manufacturing facts.

Moore's sophmoric rant which ended with a quote from George Orwell is nothing more than what Orwell himself described in 1945:

The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States …

What needs to be remembered in FLOSS advocacy is to make sure to not be completely one-sided, to maintain a full view of the facts, do not view the other side as pure evil (remember that they are human too, and are not demons trying to drag us all into hell), to avoid presenting conspiracy theories as facts, and mostly to avoid hateful mudslinging.

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 03:35 AM
You said:

(snip)<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...is to make sure to not be completely one-sided<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...(snip)

Benjamin Franklin said at signing of the Constitution:

(snip)<nobr> <wbr></nobr>...In these Sentiments, Sir, I agree to this Constitution, with all its Faults, if they are such; because I think a General Government necessary for us, and there is no Form of Government but what may be a Blessing to the People if well administered; and I believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a Course of Years, and can only end in Despotism as other Forms have done before it, when the People shall become so corrupted as to need Despotic Government, being incapable of any other.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.... (snip)

SOURCE: http://www.nv.cc.va.us/home/nvsageh/Hist121/Part2<nobr>/<wbr></nobr> franklin.htm

Question: What part of "a Course of Years" do you not understand?

Historian Lord Acton said:

"Liberty is not a means to a higher political end. It is itself the highest political end...liberty is the only object which benefits all alike, and provokes no sincere opposition...The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to to govern. Every class is unfit to govern...Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Question: Did you know, according to a member of Congress interviewed in F-9/11, that Congressional members _don't_ read MOST of the Bills they sign? I didn't.

Question: Have you read the Patriot Act I or II? I haven't -- but, I don't like much of what I've heard about it. Do you?

"He Who Would Sacrifice Freedom For Safety Deserves Neither" - Benjamin Franklin

I worry that the mainstream press does not give _all sides_ and that you might want to consider that many people, myself included, don't find the daily news feeds a source of insight or enjoyment. Rather we learn through discussion/debate and the occasional 'Sophmoric drivel'. Taking what helps us and leaving the rest. Do you?

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: flacco on July 14, 2004 05:33 AM
i love quotes. there is always a witty, thought-provoking quote to support any position someone wishes to take. they're like 'think-tanks' in that regard.

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They can't possibly read them all

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 05:38 AM
The US government these days does far too much. Everyone runs to the Feds and asks that their pet problem be solved. This was never the intent of the founders of the USA. The federal government was to be strong, yes, but was not supposed to provide for every little wrong or need. That's what state and local governments and PRIVATE citizen groups are for.

Go look at this list of the current bills introduced in only the Senate and only this session:

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/d?d108:0:./<nobr>l<wbr></nobr> ist/bss/d108SN.lst:|TOM:/bss/d108query.html|

Read some of the titles. You are surprised that your Senator, who should be voting on every one of these 2637 bills, does not read them all? How could they? When would they sleep and eat? Is there any question how lots of bad, stupid or unwise spending laws get passed? And then, each of these bills can have any number of ammendments attached to them, that may or may not be related to the bill they are riding on.

Thus, even good intentioned, honest(?) legislators are dependent on their staff, lobbyists and bureaucrats to tell them how to vote. They are thus thwarted from doing any good by the very system in which they are buried.

Because the people are not willing to solve their problems for themselves, their representatives cannot do their job of protecting our freedoms and the country. Want a library? Go ask Congress. What an after-school program? Go ask Congress. Want your business model protected? Go ask Congress. Need a new roof for your town hall? Go ask Congress. We are burning our freedoms on the alter of victimhood.

It is pitiful and a shame.

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Re:They can't possibly read them all

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 11:23 AM
Agreed -- well put -- I was definitely *HOT* when I made my reply(I posted the initial response in this thread)

Self-governance, personal-responsibility, 'The Golden-Rule', and basic ethical common-sense are terms that come to mind.

Thanx for the follow-ups!

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: bex on July 14, 2004 03:38 AM
True. Both Microsoft and some FOSS advocates are both guilty of spreading FUD. People advocating OSS should be doing it on it's merits, acknowledging it's weaknesses and not slinging mud at the opposition.

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 04:07 AM
This post is full of it. Sophomoric drivel, that is.

Moore's "documentary" has been widely discredited as being full of lies, deceit, and untruths.

I have not read a single criticism of this film that credibly accuses it of lies. The worst criticism one can make is that it presents only part of the truth, something not unknown in political speech. I'd call this statement of yours name-calling with no factual basis.

His "Acadamy Award winning documentary" from a few years ago may have been given the award, but if memory serves, the award was later revoked because it was later realized that what he presented was not a documentary at all, but a fictional comedy framed around some tragic events and presented as a documentary.

Memory does not serve. It was not revoked. Further, there is no requirement that a documentary film be unbiased. Bias, in fact, is usually the motivation for making a documentary film. Perhaps you should see a few before deciding what the state of the art is. This statement is outright nonsense.

While you say that Microsoft has probably donated money to the Bush administration, in reality, most large corporations, with few exceptions, donate similar amounts of money to both major parties.

If, by "similar amounts" you mean in the same order of magnitude, then you are probably right. However, Republicans receive the lion's share of this money, as any visit to a site like Project Vote Smart will quickly show.


Moore's sophmoric rant which ended with a quote from George Orwell is nothing more than what Orwell himself described in 1945: The majority of pacifists either belong to obscure religious sects or are simply humanitarians who object to taking life and prefer not to follow their thoughts beyond that point. But there is a minority of intellectual pacifists, whose real though unacknowledged motive appears to be hatred of western democracy and admiration for totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one looks closely at the writing of the younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States …


And here we have the old right-wing bullshit about anyone who disagrees with them - that they hate America and everything it stands for. [Forgive the obscenity, but the implication of the quoted paragraph is, to me, obscene.] If you knew anything at all about Michael Moore, you'd know that, whatever his faults, he is someone who loves his country and its people as much as anyone. He hates greed, corruption, and stupidity in aid of greed and corruption. He is more critical of America than of other countries, I think, because he lives here and stupidity, greed, and corruption in this country affects American lives more than stupidity, greed, and corruption in other countries. Is that such a difficult concept to wrap your mind around?

Personally, I find Mr. Moore to be rather irritating - grating at times. That's partly because he's so sure he's right, but partly because he is right much of the time.

What needs to be remembered in FLOSS advocacy is to make sure to not be completely one-sided, to maintain a full view of the facts, [blah, blah]

What you need to remember is that you haven't managed this yet, yourself.

I haven't seen this movie yet, but if the quality of its critics are any indication, it's bound to be terrific.

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:11 PM
I don't mean to make this partisian, but the Gates family politics are admittedly liberal (in terms of political statements and finanacial contributions). The ONLY time that their contributions ever swung towards the republicas was during the whole anti-trust fiasco (since conservatives are generally more suspicious of the types of anti-trust remedies that were being proposed).

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 04:40 AM
I agree with you to a certain extent on your distaste with Michael Moore but you're missing the point. Moore is just counterbalancing the right leaning bias in the main stream media. I am horrified at just how misleading and biased all media around the world really is. Only the BBC and The Times still practice fair and balanced journalism.

In defence of Moore though, he doesn't say anything directly wrong in his publications. He may state something that may be only 80% true or he may not tell the whole story just to get his point of view across but the Bush Administration and Blair did lie about Iraq having WMD and Iraq having links with Al Queda and 9/11.

In Moore's book, "Dude, Where's My Country?", Moore says that the Democrats are just as bad as the Republicans. He's not totally one sided. Fahrenheit 911 is just a brief synopsis of Dude, Where's My Country?

I didn't find Moore's film too astonishing. He basically said that the American started the Iraqi war for money and that the proletariats of America are the ones who have to pay the price. What's new?

BTW, Moore sounds pretty silly when he speaks about the situation in Northern Ireland. He should stick to what he understands, America.

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 04:57 AM
If you were adopted as an infant and were never told that you were adopted, would you be a liar of you told others that the people who brought you up were your parents??

A lie is an untrue statement with INTENT to deceive (go look it up.)

The French, Russians, the UN, and every other country that was providing intel was saying that Iraq had WMD. Bush and Blair made untrue statements, but they were not lies. Moore's entire film is an attempt to deceive by telling half truths and taking things out of context. (yes I DID see the movie - waste of money.)

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What did he know and When did he know it?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 05:54 AM
I have been following the WMD debate / cover-up for a while and the main question seems to be, "Can the US administration show some reports which justify the pre-determined decision to go to war was in any way justifiable?"

parl

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Re:What did he know and When did he know it?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 05:56 AM
Ask John Kerry.

He was on the Senate Intelligence Committee. He saw the evidence. He voted authorization for war in Iraq. Maybe he knows?

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Re:What did he know and When did he know it?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 05:12 AM
Unfortunately the SIC got to see the information released to them by the Bush administration. In other words, they made their decision based upon information filtered through Bush colored classes.

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 07:12 AM


Intelligence at the time said that there might be WMD in Iraq. There was no proof that there were WMD in Iraq. This is why the UN inspectors were going around Iraq. Both the UK and US Governments actively tried to twist the "evidence" in order to bolster their argument for invading Iraq. These governments said that there was evidence of WMD in Iraq. There was no evidence whatsoever. There may have been hints, or maybe people thought they had a good idea that there were WMD in Iraq but the truth is that there was no concrete proof that there were WMD in Iraq.



Wasn't it pretty obvious that they were lying when they started to try and tie Al Queda in with Iraq? They had absolutely no proof of this either.



Here's a little example.



Bush said that there was a definite link between Iraq and the attacks of 9/11. This is a lie because it was untrue and there was absolutely no evidence to back this ludicrous claim.



Moore correctly said that 15 of the 19 hijackers in the attackers of 9/11 were Saudis and he then suggested that there is more of a link between Saudi Arabia and 9/11 than Iraq and 9/11. Here, Moore hasn't twisted the truth at all. He states a fact and then gives his opinion.



Of course, the glaring truth which Moore's critics seem to miss is that Moore has no duty whatsoever to everyone to be completely unbiased. He uses facts to bolster his opinions. Bush uses half truths at best to sell his opinion but Bush has a duty to the people of his country (and the people of the world since he doesn't bomb the US) to be as up front with the truth as possible.

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:40 PM
Well you aren't quite correct. Iraq has pretty much been in continual violation of the cease fire for the better part of a decade, but no one felt bothered enough to send troops back to enforce it. Too many more pressing things (in our minds) at that time. Even though, after the first Gulf War they discovered that Iraq was much closer (within a year of having nuclear weapons) than previously thought. (Of course 9/11 caused many to reevaluate those aforementioned priorities.)


The weapons inspectors WEREN'T in Iraq as you claim, as the cease fire agreement of 1991 required. In fact they hadn't been in Iraq since 1998, gone almost 5 years continuously, and this wasn't the first time Saddam had refused to cooperate. Only after the US was ready to go to war did Iraq let inspectors in briefly for a couple months, even then they did not recieve "full cooperation" (their words, not mine). Basically, Saddam did a great job gaming the system, Lots of promises of cooperation, but he avoided actually having to deliver on any of them over the course of about 13 years.


That's why I personally don't buy that Bush drummed up this whole thing. Do we now have proof that Saddam had (at least at the time of the invasion) a massive stockpile of WMDs? No, but the prudent assumption, based on a combination of limited intelligence, past behavior, and current behavior was to assume that he still had stockpiles and was continuing to expand his program. History will be the ultimate arbiter of whether this turned out to be the correct course of action.

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 03:11 AM
They WERE in Iraq. Hans Blix and his team were in Iraq in 2003. They were making slow but steady progress. They checked out all the places the US told them to go and they found no WMD.

I hope, for the sake of the Iraqis that this does eventually turn out well. It still doesn't detract from the fact that Bush didn't invade Iraq to protect either Iraqis or US citizens. He did it for money.

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Re:Sophmoric drivel

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 04:42 AM
From your own little blurb:
"What needs to be remembered in FLOSS advocacy is to make sure to not be completely one-sided, to maintain a full view of the facts, do not view the other side as pure evil (remember that they are human too, and are not demons trying to drag us all into hell), to avoid presenting conspiracy theories as facts, and mostly to avoid hateful mudslinging."

So why are you taking a biased opinion as evidence about pacifists and using it to sling mud at a movement you clearly know little or nothing about? In a culture whose primary myth is built on the idea of redemtion through violence and superior combat ability (take a look at almost any non-comedy or drama film) it takes a very conscious, critical mind to conclude that most instances of violence are either wrong or innefective in the long term.

Take a brief look at WWI leading to WWII, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., Jesus if you've got the inclination, and then explain again what makes our ideas poorly thought out, ineffective, or anti-anglo-saxon.

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I don't think you understand Orwell.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 06:07 AM
Orwell wasn't a pacifist, no, and he was strongly anti-totalitarian. He was, however, a committed socialist. 1984 was a broadside against his fellow British socialists who were reluctant to criticize the Soviet Union, because they didn't want to criticize "fellow socialists" despite the clear (and mounting) evidence that Stalin was a murderous despot who'd simply clothed himself in Marxist rhetoric, without having any interest in following it. (If you actually look at what Marx wrote, he was just as strongly anti-totalitarian, and considered socialism a step toward putting both economic and political power were in the hands of the people, not a small number of elites -- which relied, of course, on the absurdly idealistic notion that once a small number of elites had taken over all power in the name of the people, they'd voluntarily cede it.)

One of the points of 1984, though, is the danger of "perpetual war for perpetual peace" -- essentially, Oceania and Eurasia in the novel were in a state of war that had no obvious ending condition, a Cold War with actual battles. By maintaining a "war footing" in perpetuity, Big Brother had the pretext for reducing civil liberties, encouraging nationalism (as distinct from patriotism), concentrating power, stifling dissent -- the dystopia in the book is taking all these things, none of which are intrinsically unthinkable in times of war, and taking them to their extreme. In some ways, he was predicting the Cold War; in others, the "War on Terror" is an even better match. And even if you're politically conservative, this should be worrisome.

You're making the mistake of implicitly assuming that because Orwell would have hated the openly totalitarian governments of the Middle East (including a few we're allied with!), he would approve of the way the Bush administration has conducted the war and, particularly, the way they've dealt with the "home front" during this war. There's nothing in his writings to suggest this.

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Socialism - Totalitarian

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:17 PM
Orwell was smart enough to get it half right. He saw stalin and hilter, avowed socialists, acting in ways that he found contrary to his beliefs in freedom and liberty. And even though they were supposed to be on the same side, he had the courage to say that he didn't agree with their actions.


Of course, if you have ever read Hayek, then you might think that Orwell was nuts to believe that socialism could ever be compatable with individual freedoms. But that is a discussion for another time.

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wow, now that's an opinion!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 04:30 AM
I liked it.

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Re:wow, now that's an opinion!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 07:05 PM
No matter how wrong it is.

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wtf is this?

Posted by: flacco on July 14, 2004 05:28 AM
what the fuck is this drivel doing on a techie news site?


please, for the thousandth time - STOP mixing non-tech politics with tech. you are only HURTING our common cause by intertwining it with these utterly unrelated issues.


if you want to write a movie review, or a political treatise, there are places where that's appropriate. it's not appropriate here.

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Re:wtf is this?

Posted by: smurfnsanta on July 14, 2004 06:45 AM
please, for the thousandth time - STOP mixing non-tech politics with tech. you are only HURTING our common cause by intertwining it with these utterly unrelated issues.


I'm not sure I get your hypothesis. Paralleling the way M.M. attacks the establishment with how FOSS should attack Redmond is harmful how? I wish to hell we had a Michael Moore waddling around making millions by espousing the strength of FOSS vs. the weakness of MS to the masses. It's a fun comparison, and an entertaining movie, (wrong in many respects probably), but high edu-tainment none the less.

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The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 06:10 AM

First of all, Michael Moore is an established liar (see <A HREF="http://www.lileks.com/bleats/archive/04/0704/070804.html" title="lileks.com">James Lileks</a lileks.com>). Citing him as an authority on anything shows nothing more than a partisan bias and willingness to cite anything to support your position. It does nothing but discredit you and, rather unfortunately, newsforge. I will now seriously question anything of a political nature published by this site, which is set as my homepage.



For you dopey leftists that seem to have no competent understanding of history beyond your personal feelings and wimpiness, please let me explain to you why we went to war.



In 1990, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The United States and Britain, with support from some other countries kicked him out. We pleaded with him diplomatically and Saddam refused to leave, so we forced him out. However, before we took him out completely, he negotiated a cease fire (there was no surrender or peace treaty so both sides were still engaged in a state of conflict). A condition of the cease fire was that Saddam had to dismantle his weapons of mass destruction programs under the eyes of International inspections. Until Iraq completely complied with the terms of the cease fire, the UN imposed certain restrictions upon Iraq.



The refusal of Saddam to comply resulted in even more horrible conditions for the Iraqis than they already endured, and so the UN decided to introduce the oil for food program. Remarkably, due to the undeniable corruption of the UN (which I am sure you admire) the aid was diverted from the Iraqi people, worsening their condition, and was used to further enrich Saddam and help him bypass the UN embargo.



Incidentally, in 1998, France and Germany would openly admit that they were violating the United Nations embargo, which they were doing because it was good for them. They cared not for the Iraqi people.



Meanwhile, the United States and United Kingdom were spending billions to patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones, which were inceidentally imposed after Saddam used Weapons of Mass Destruction on his own people. The United States under President Clinton was continuing to demand Iraq disarm and come into compliance. Our troops were shot at by Iraqis everyday. We repeatedly were forced to bomb Iraq under President Clinton. Iraq was publicly funding terrorism (He was paying $25,000 to the families of successful Palestinian suicide bombers). We had all kinds of intelligence of known terrorists visiting Iraq. It is a fact of life that many, many international terrorist organizations cooperate. Just look at the old terrorist training camps in Libya. Things were coming to a head.


During the campaign, President Bush repeatedly warned of the dangers that Iraq posed (incidentally some of the very same dnagers that President Clinton remarked upon). Among these were the failure of Iraq to comply with the cease fire agreement and their association with international terror (remember that this cannot be denied because Saddam publicly acknowledged it).

The nightmare is that these two things would result in terrorists acquiring WMD from Iraq. In fact, this has been a major International concern where ever their may be WMDs. Look at the massive amount of internation funds expended to prevent old Soviet weapons from falling in the hands of terrorists.


Now the left hand of diplomacy is credibility, and the right hand is military action. For any country's diplomatic effort to succeed, its interlocutors must believe that is has the ability to impose its will or make that interlocutors effort extremely expensive. This is not a new theory. George Washington even said that the grreatest ensurer of peace was a strong defense.


It is our credibility that has kept China from invading Tawain. Perhaps if we had not liberated Kuwait, that crediblity would be gone. It is our military presence combined with credibility that has kept the North out of South Korea. It is our crediblity that forced Libya to clean up its act. With the terrorists, because we had not been able to find an effective response, and Iraq we were losing crediblity.


Then came September 11. The stakes were raised, and we had no choice but to begin establishing crediblity. Iraq had nothing to do with September 11, but they had plenty to do with Al Qaeda and international terrorism. They also were a representation of weakness in American, British, and UN credibility. France and Germany sold their credibility by violating the embargo to which they had agreed.


Now people like you seem to confuse the words terror and Al Qaeda, as in the war on terror is synonymous with the war on Al Qaeda. Following your logic, we should have only gone to war with Japan in World War II and left Germany alone. I wonder how the French would have felt then. Instead, we have resolved to combat it everywhere. As part of that, we realized that credibility being gone with Iraq (diplomacy exhausted) we needed the right hand and we resumed hostilities.



That is why we went to war. We went to account for the WMDs that almost everyone knew existed. We went to depose Saddam (which many on your side of the aisle demanded to know why we did not do the first time we were there), we went to take out a principle supporter of terrorism (and I do not mean in the Al Qaeda sense). We went to send a message and establish credibility that we were not going to idly accept terrorist agression against Americans anymore. And we are doing that. Libya, a huge backer of terrorism, has now backed down. Hello IRA.



As for your statement--

I was horrified by the blank look on President Bush's face as he learned of the 9/11 attacks and sat in front of a group of schoolchildren for nearly 10 minutes, waiting for direction and looking like it was time to go see the principal.
--just what would you have him do--panic in front of a bunch of elementary-age children. I was on a college campus that day and overheard a phone conversation after the first plane hit. I asked if Bin Laden was involved and then walked to the library to see if I could get some more information. The amazing thing to me is that on a college campus, supposedly the home of enlightened intelelctuals such as yourself, that most everyone I saw was in some stage of shock or panic, and I was completely amazed at the number of demands for the United States to drop nuclear bombs on the Middle East--this before we even knew for sure where the attack had come from.



I suppose that you were so much smarter than President Bush that you expected it and were not surprised when we were attacked (I guess you were the one who prompted Oliver North to give his warnings in the early eighties or perhaps you inspired Tom Clancy) If you knew so much, why did you not tell the rest of us so that we might get our friends and family out of harm's way? I suppose you knew exactly who had done, and what we should do. I suppose your urgent attention was needed because the highly trained people who were responsible on the tactical level for dealing with this situation immediately needed your brilliance to micromanage them.


Not President Bush. He knew instantly that no one was launching nuclear missiles at us, and so there was absolutely nothing that required his attention that second. President Bush had enough faith in the people in charge to handle things as best they could. Though he was surprised (as often happens during a surprise attack), President Bush remained calm and avoided needlessly upsetting the small children who were in his presence. He was mature enough to not cause them to panic. I wonder how other presidents have reacted to surprises with this magnitude? I guess we will never know, but we surely know how petty lesser people such as yourself can be. Thank God George W. Bush is president and you are not. I for one am proud of the way he handled himself. I think it shows just how much of man he really is.

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 06:41 AM
- Who supported Bin Laden with biljons of dollars when fighting USSR occupation of Afganistan?

- Who supported and provided Stinger - SAM (Suface to Air) missiles and other efficient weapons to Bin Laden?

- Who supported IRAK and Saddam Hussein with biljons of dollars, with his attack to IRAN?

Was it US governament - NOT?

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 08:15 AM
- Who supported Bin Laden with biljons of dollars when fighting USSR occupation of Afganistan?

Ah yes, Soviet domination of Afghanistan is preferred to a free people. Incidently, we were not supporting bin Laden, we were fighting Soviet expansion. It is sort of like the same thing we did when we fought Iraq to get them out of Kuwait and the same sort of protection we give to Tawain.



- Who supported and provided Stinger - SAM (Suface to Air) missiles and other efficient weapons to Bin Laden?

Many countries have done this.

Here is another question: if we have been so helpful to Usama, why does he want to attack us so much now?



- Who supported IRAK and Saddam Hussein with biljons of dollars, with his attack to IRAN?
Who bailed the French out during WWI so that they could start Vietnam? Who gought with the Soviet Union in order to liberate France? Here is a real application of politics to computers. DO you leave alone a minor bug in order to fix a critical one, or do you focus all your resources on the little one and go after the critical one once you have all the minor bugs fixed? Hmmmm, I guess you never have a bug pop-up in any of your fixes. The point is that nations sometimes have to support the enemy of their enemy in order to combat the greater threat. I note that during the Iran-Iraq war we did not have much trouble out of either one because they were wrapped up in one another.

Was it US governament - NOT?

Who has repeatedly helped to establish a nuclear infrastructure in the Middle East? It was not the U.S. Quite blaming the United States because we have helped the free world remain free and have consistently opposed totalitarianism at any cost.

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 04:42 PM
Not the original poster, but this one cracked me up a bit:


Here is another question: if we have been so helpful to Usama, why does he want to attack us so much now?



Because he is inheritantly EVIL?? Yeah, must be it. *L*

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 09:14 PM
> Who has repeatedly helped to establish a nuclear infrastructure in the Middle East?

Oh, you mean Israel. I think the USA is doing<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... NOTHING<nobr> <wbr></nobr>... against it. Probably helping Sharon to do it actually.
Don't be so false please.

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2004 05:02 AM
Where is your evidence of this, or are just an anti-Semite? There is nothing like a an anti-Semitic biggot in liberal clothing.

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 07:13 AM
Please. At least Moore has levered himself to crackpot pundit status based on political commentary -- Lileks is aspiring to crackpot punditry based on his ability to mock processed food.

Frankly, I agree with a lot of criticisms made of Moore. He's careless with facts and is far more interested in being an entertaining ranter than a genuine source of news and thoughtful commentary -- he's often little better than the Rush Limbaugh of the left. Unfortunately, the people who make criticisms of Moore from the right tend to get up in arms when that obvious comparison is made. (They also tend to ignore the fact that Moore does get criticized from the left, frequently.)

However, Moore's tinfoil hat about Bush-Saudi connections doesn't really have much relevance to whether the war was fought on a valid pretext, or whether the peace -- arguably more important than the battle against Hussein, whose conclusion was all but forgone -- has been managed well. Both of these are critical questions that must be asked in a democracy. The question isn't whether we thought Iraq had WMD, the question is, given that we did think that, whether dismissing the UN inspections after they'd barely gotten restarted was the right approach. The question is whether preventive, not merely preemptive, attack is a good foreign policy doctrine or a dangerous one. And the question is, ultimately, whether the actions the current administration has taken since 9/11 make America more or less safe. There is legitimate disagreement on this, and dismissing people who think the answer is less safe as "dopey leftists" is just as arrogant as it is for us to dismiss you as "stupid neocons." And, ultimately, it's just as toxic to democracy.

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 08:26 AM
I am sorry, but I do not subscribe to the conspiracy theory of life. This is not a novel. There is no pretext or subtext for going to war. There are reasons why. I am sorry, but anyone, left or right, who subscribes to the conspiracy theory to explain anything in order to advance their political perspective is dopey. It is sort of like the black helicopter wackos.

As for the comparison between Limbaugh and Moore. Limbaugh's opinons may be wrong, and they often are, but there are very few examples of him knowingly and willfully lying. If you want to compare the two, look at Limbaugh's criticisms of Clinton versus Moore of Bush. Both are just as harsh, but Limbaugh did not invent the facts to support his criticism.

A free society cannot remain free if it cannot tolerate people asking hard questions. The problem is that questions are not being asked and answers not being given. People are just making indictments without asking anything because it advances their political call.

This has resulted in the Bush administration talking about preemptive war and preventative war. This was no such thing. We merely resumed active hostilities.

By the way, what is a neocon? Are you making a weak attempt at calling me fascist?

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 07:34 PM
By the way, what is a neocon? Are you making a weak attempt at calling me fascist?


I'm not the dude that wrote what you responded to, however I do correspond to a few of these guys. The answer is yes. He is trying to associate you, if not define you as a fascist. They do that to me as well. Somehow if you are on the right they think of you as a fascist. This is a lot like saying if you are {pick a group} you are a thief because they saw one that was one time. Utter nonsense that doesn't require thinking. They are partisan to the nth degree and then accuse our very valid attempts to work with them as partisan. They are the partisans.


I salute your work here. You put what has happened well. You should run for office. Displace a democrat or two. God knows we need more people with real ethics out there.


Speaking of non ethics - did you see/hear about the star studded gala at the Radio City Music Hall in NYC? The stars that appeared there were very disrepectful and a few were just outright putrid and vulgar. Whoopi should realize that her name can be made fun of that way too. How unfortunate that such a great place got stained with disgust like that. Of course they don't care, "their President" had illigit sex in the oval office!

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 07:15 AM
James Lileks? THAT mental defective is your source of record?

  *ROFL*


  Man, what the hell happened to the conservative movement in this country? Were they always dipshits, cause I thought they really had it together for a while there.

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 07:33 AM
Man, what the hell happened to the conservative movement in this country? Were they always dipshits, cause I thought they really had it together for a while there.

Being liberal myself, it's hard to judge. But most people I work with who call themselves conservative seem to have a lot more on the ball than your average conservative pundit.

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 07:26 AM
Well, if you call several thousand words that can mostly be charactarized as name-calling and irrelevance posing as research sufficient to establish anything, than yes, Lileks' screed could be termed establishing Moore as a liar.

Principle lessons learned about Michaal Moore from this piece:

* He hates America. Well, not really. He just hates Americans. Especially those he disagrees with, whom he's inevitably unfair to.

* He can't remember whether seven or nine people (maybe) from his high school were killed in Vietnam, or whether maybe they're people he met in college or on the job.

* When angry, he makes statements that sometimes contradict the other things he's said on the spur of the moment.

I stopped halfway, so no doubt I missed some even more telling points. I can only stand so much idiocy at one sitting, however.

If you can judge a man by the enemies he makes, then I'd say Moore's doing pretty well.

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 07:46 AM
Sigh, so many errors so little time.

Bush - Iraq - 9/11 - Osama - Afghanistan - WMD - Oil

Where to start?

First Saddam Hussein, the CIA in 1963 helped put Saddam in power in IRAQ, just as we were supporting the shah of Iran. After the Iranian revolution the US under Reagan moved to re establish diplomatic ties with Iraq, they had broken off ties with the U.S. during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and in February 1982 the State Department removed Iraq from its list of states supporting international terrorism.

When Saddam invaded Kuwait leading to what we now call the First Gulf War the USA ended its policy of accommodating Saddam Hussein, which had existed since the Iran-Iraq war. General Schwarzkopf lead the coalition forces that swept accross Iraq, in a hundred hours it was all over except the mopping up. George Bush senior, most likely to avoid antagonizing the Arab contingent, ordered Schwarzkopf to stop chasing Saddam's forces. Some speculate that this was a major reason for his subsequent retirement. This decision by George senior, left Saddam in power with large amounts of military hardware to harrass the coalition and brutally suppress his own people. So in a way George junior may have felt the need to remove this black mark from his family's name. George senior was a one term wonder, he rode in on the coat tails of the wildly popular Reagan, and even his "success" in the Gulf couldn't keep him in office. He left Clinton to manage the mess that was Iraq, which he did for 8 years.

9/11, it was a terrible day for this country. Many good people lost their lives. Perhaps we were just too trusting, terrorists had tried to bomb the World Trade Center several years earlier, to no lasting effect. Perhaps though it was the fact that Bush junior had taken his eyes off the security of this country. Pre 9/11 anti terrorism under funded, war on drugs over funded, etc. Worse still, Bush junior turned 9/11 into the United States own Reichstag fire. You remember the Reichstag fire of 1933 don't you? A tragedy in Germany lead to Hitler's rise to power coupled with the suspension of many of their civil liberties.

Post 9/11 we have the Patriot act, a law enforcement wish list that someone just "happened" to have handy. We have the rhetoric from the administration that anyone who questions the President is unpatriotic, and is giving comfort to the enemy. Giving comfort to the enemy is supporting terrorism. Supporting terrorism is no different than being a terrorist yourself. Terrorists are a threat to our way of life and therefore deserve none of the protections of the rule of law. They aren't criminals, because then we would have to give them their day in court, they aren't POW's because then the would be protected by the Geneva convention, and the myriad of other treaty's we had signed, they are "enemy-combatants". "Enemy combatants" are incarcerated, questioned, tortured at the whim of the executive branch. They never need to be charged with anything, they don't have to actually be guilty of anything, and we can keep them, or have them killed on good ol'George Bush's say so. Yep, looks like he's doing a whole heck of a lot of good for the country.

We traced 9/11 to Osama Bin Ladin, crackpot/visionary? who knows, but definitely a terrorist. A Saudi Arabian terrorist, backed by the same Saudi royal family that is on such good terms with the Bushes. We mobilize, hundreds volunteer, and off we go to Afghanistan to hunt the "little bastard" down. Who knows, we might have actually succeeded, except that your man George started diverting people and equipment to prepare for his invasion of Iraq. Even the 9/11 commission found no evidence that Saddam was directly supportive of Osama. Sure he was probably routing for him, as was most of the Arab world, but he wasn't actively supporting him. With the millions of Saudi money behind him, and US supplied military training and hardware (we trained many of the people that would eventually become Al Qaeda for use against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan), he didn't need Saddam.

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) yep, a whole lot of nothing. For more than eight years Saddam supposedly had these WMD. He could have probably gone on for another eight without being a credible threat to the United States. He was a threat to Kuwait, to Saudi Arabia, to Israel, to his own people, but the United States? Bush's handling of Saddam reminds me of Waco. In both cases the authorities got tired of waiting, rushed in and caused the needless loss of life. In both cases neither was a serious threat to us. In both cases it came down to posturing, trying to show people that "we" shouldn't be messed with. After we have invaded Iraq, defeated Saddam, just where are these deadly WMD? Buried in the Gulf, secreted off to Syria? France and Germany were lining their pockets, flouting the UN resolutions, so? Countries, including the US have done so before, and will do so again. Where's the reason to send so many of our troops to Iraq?

Let's see, Al Qaeda and 9/11? Nope, no ties there. WMD, nope must have been mistaken. To force Saddam to comply with the UN and stop murdering his own people? Well if that was the case what are we still doing there? The US could have done a repeat of the the first Gulf War. shown up, kicked Saddam's backside from Baghdad to Geneva (and actually finish the job this time) and left with a stern warning that if anyone else in the region has any ideas about trying something similar, "We'd be back." Instead we are retaining troops beyond their enlistment, prohibiting people from retiring, and mobilizing the ready reserve. Why? Because Bush needs more troops to occupy Iraq. The US used to be the one country that would never start a fight, but would always be there to finish one. No matter how badly the rest of the world thought of us, there was always that. Now, Bush's policies make Stalin, Castro, and even Saddam look good by comparison. Secret detentions, torture, forced occupation, etc. etc. etc.

Seems rather telling that in the anarchy that was the fall of Iraq, the only ministry with US armed forces protection was the Oil Ministry. I'm not sure why George junior decided to invade Iraq, and occupy it. Perhaps it was to control its vast oil reserves, perhaps it was all the money that he could funnel to himself and his big business buddies, perhaps it was simply to "get back at Saddam" for the humiliation he placed upon the Bush family name in the first Gulf War. Whatever the reason it was wrong. It was wrong to go there, and it's even more wrong to stay there. Actually I was unsure when the war started, but with every day that passes I become more sure that the public was hood-winked.

George Bush junior is probably the worse thing that could have happened to the United States in 200 years. Destroyer of liberty, sower of fear uncertainty and doubt on a scale that should make Bill Gates envious. He's a greedy, power hungry megalomaniac with if not delusions of godhood, then a really over developed messianic complex.

Oh, I haven't watched Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. Perhaps if it ever comes to a theater in my neck of the woods I might stop in just to see what all the hubbub is about. You think he's the best thing since sliced bread, I think he's closer to the botulism that you get from eating food from spoiled meat in dented cans. Luckily, in the United States we are still entitled to our respective opinions.

Just my $0.02 (Canadian, before taxes)
someone247356 _at_ yahoo.com

#

We almost agree

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 02:17 PM
You are right, in hindsight it would have been better to have gone all the way in 1991 and taken Saddam out of power instead of meerly praying that his own countrymen would do the dirty work so we didn't have to upset arab allies in the coalition, especially Turkey, a member of NATO. Ironically, some of the very same people who criticized Bush I for not "going all the way" now are upset that the US upset some of it's allies by trying to "finish the job" now. Now you are free to believe whatever you want, but it's not intellectually honest to hold both positions at the same time. Most likely the people that do are engaged in partisanship for it's own sake, which is a dangerous and foolish game. Just like it's silly to absolve Clinton (or Bush I) and blame 9/11 all on GWB. An apathetic public and congress were also contributors to this. Some would argue that we still are.


Enemy Combatents are a whole different matter. See, they are by legal definition neither criminals nor POWS. Now you can argue what the proper treatment SHOULD be, but there is no treaty or law here binding the US in terms of what they MUST do. I really don't mind a legitimate debate over what is and is not acceptable treatment for these people, but I can't agree with the claim that the US is violating their rights under the Geneva convention (or under domestic law).


You have made one or two other claims here that were better addressed by other posters, so I won't respond to those, especially given the length of these posts!!

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 07:46 PM
Why mention oil? You make a very lame attempt to connect it. We controlled those oil fields, have since the 1970's. You are buying into the left's lame argument that they started to make in the vietnam era with vietnam. Today vietnam isn't even on the map, THEY (i.e. Ralph Nader and company) lied and many people still believe it today.


Al Qaeda and 911 - are you daffy? There is an admitted connection there. The recent congressional investigation proved there are ties between Saddam and Al Qaeda, just not between Saddam and 911. There is a difference you know. It is like the connection between Germany and Japan in WWII. Hitler didn't plan or do Perl Harbor but they are connected. Same here, why do you absolutely refuse to "connect the dots" as the left loves to put it?


As for your charaterization of Bush JR, the restrictions he has imposed pale in comparison to what Lincoln and even Roosevelt did. Roosevelt rounded up Japanese needlessly you know! Bush will probably go down in history as one of the best Presidents we ever had, right up there with Lincoln and maybe George Washington. Too bad you don't even understand why. Your teachers failed you.


Funny what you say about the patriot act. Obviously you have no clue what you are talking about. Try reading Senator Dianne Feinstein's report on it. Get a clue dude!

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Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 08:06 AM


I have never heard anything that proved that Moore was a liar.




Remarkably, due to the undeniable corruption of the UN (which I am sure you admire) the aid was diverted from the Iraqi people, worsening their condition, and was used to further enrich Saddam and help him bypass the UN embargo.

First of all, why the hell would I admire corruption in the UN? Why is it that people on the right always try to put things into black and white, patriotic and anti-american? You've completely ignored the fact that the US and the UK were instrumental in enforcing the UN sanctions that resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent women, children and men.




Meanwhile, the United States and United Kingdom were spending billions to patrol the northern and southern no-fly zones, which were inceidentally imposed after Saddam used Weapons of Mass Destruction on his own people.

Interestingly enough, the earliest recordings of the use of chemical weapons were of the British forces using them on the Kurds in Iraq in the 1930s. Secondly, the US provided Saddam with the technology to create these weapons. It's no secret that Saddam was a brutal dictator but that's not the reason why the US and the UK wanted the UN to invade Iraq.




Our troops were shot at by Iraqis everyday. We repeatedly were forced to bomb Iraq under President Clinton.

How many US troops were killed during this time? How many Iraqis were killed during this time?




Among these were the failure of Iraq to comply with the cease fire agreement and their association with international terror (remember that this cannot be denied because Saddam publicly acknowledged it).

The Iraqi government was never involved with Al Queda. However, the US government did fund and help train the Taliban who in turn helped out Al Queda.




George Washington even said that the grreatest ensurer of peace was a strong defense.

Invading a country the other side of the world is not a defensive move, you idiot. You just proved the anti-war point, well done.




It is our credibility that has kept China from invading Tawain. Perhaps if we had not liberated Kuwait, that crediblity would be gone. It is our military presence combined with credibility that has kept the North out of South Korea. It is our crediblity that forced Libya to clean up its act. With the terrorists, because we had not been able to find an effective response, and Iraq we were losing crediblity.

OMG! I'm beginning to wonder if you're a troll! Do you really think China are afraid of a war with the US? It is China who have kept N. Korea out of S. Korea because China want to get lots of foreign investment. Libya hasn't cleaned up it's act. It's still got a terrible human rights record. Just because they struck a sweet deal with Shell, doesn't mean they're good guys. Bush has flushed all credibility the US had down the toilet. At least Clinton could play the sax.




Iraq had nothing to do with September 11, but they had plenty to do with Al Qaeda and international terrorism

There are no links between Iraq and Al Queda. Bin Laden has, on many times condemned Saddam.



The Bush Administration had ample evidence that Al Queda was planning to attack the US on US soil. The US knew about AL Queda for years and did nothing about them. At best it was a mixture of incompetence and arrogance. At worst, it was simply down to greed.



If I was a president and was told my country was under attack. I'd want to take control, find out more of what's going on. I would want to make sure that everything is being done that should be done. I wouldn't sit there like a scared little puppy and wait for someone to tell me what to do next. This is a non-issue anyway. It's more important to find out what Bush was doing before and after the attacks.



If I have proved anything in this post, it's that things are infinitely more complicated than Conservatives would like us to believe. The rest of the world isn't against the US. Just because people disagree with what the leaders of your country are doing, it doesn't mean that we hate everything American.

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Not quite right..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:58 PM
"There are no links between Iraq and Al Queda. Bin Laden has, on many times condemned Saddam. The Bush Administration had ample evidence that Al Queda was planning to attack the US on US soil. The US knew about AL Queda for years and did nothing about them. At best it was a mixture of incompetence and arrogance. At worst, it was simply down to greed."


I'm going to disagree with two things that you say here. One, there is documented intelligence that high ranking members of Saddam's government met with Al-Queda leaders. No one has been able to prove any direct links between Saddam and 9/11, and no one is making that claim, not even Bush. What Bush et al. have claimed is that Saddam, though high level members of his regieme, if not personally, has sponsored, harbored and collaborated with terrorists in general and to some degree with Al Queda specifically. The logical mistake that you make is that Saddam not being involved in 9/11 attack does not equal Saddam not being involved with Al Queda at all.



  While they certainly were not in agreement about many things, they did share many similar aims when it came to terrorism and the US. Thus it is not hard to see why they might have agreed to a sort of truce in order to further goals they found to be more important to both of them.


As for the "ample evidence" about terrorism. Yeah I agree, we should have known after the USS Cole incident, I mean the African embassy bombings, I mean the foiled 1997 airplane attacks, I mean the first WTC attack, I mean<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.........
People have, rightfully, been warning us for years that a major terrorist attack on US soil was imminent. Heck, we experienced a bunch of them, maybe not with quite the same death toll. But for some reason it wasn't a priority for either party. (So if you are gonna fault Bush you have to fault Clinton too and the majority of people in Congress and the public.) We KNEW this would probably be the biggest threat to the US and probably the EU to after the fall of communism. But apparently we needed something of this magnitude to happen to make it our top priority.

#

Re:Not quite right..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 03:15 PM
You can disagree with him, but no proof has ever been found to link Bin Laden to Saddam, aside from his hate for Saddam.

What HAS been documentent and proofed is that Bin Laden hated Saddam. When Iraq invaded Kuwait Bin Laden had returned from Afganistan and was looking for something "to do". He offered his services and "soldiers" (what later became Al Queda) to the Saudi goverment to fight Saddam. The Saudi goverment refused and instead went to bed with the US. This pissed Bin Laden off beyond anything that had angered him before. Not only was he refused, but "heathen" troops where on his beloved home nations -holy- soil.

There are serveral tapes in which Bin Laden speaks of his hate for Saddam. Because he didn't see Saddam as a good muslim at all (which he wasn't). He was Saddam for what he was, a cruel dictator who did not care for religion, unless it served him. And this is something Bin Laden hated in Saddam.

Get your facts straight. Saddam did fund "terrorism", but not Al Queda. What he did was pay the families of Palestinians who had blown themselves up in Isreal compensation money. This infact means he encurages poor families to get a member to commit an act of terrorism. He was however never involved with Bin Laden, 9/11 (even your own senate hearings prooved this) or to my knowlage any large international terrorism. Only terrorism funded at targeting Isreal.

Also note that one of the terrorist groups who did opperate hin Iraq where opperating on the Iran/Iraq border and activly hunted by Saddam's troops. Al through with the support of Iran (they felt back to Iran mostly and where funded from Iran) and due to being weakend after the first gulfwar his own troops hardly dared to go into those area's anymore.

Saddam was a cruel dicator, but nothing to do with Al Queda. Luckly the US invading has made Iraq a breading ground for Al Queda now, where they where first oppressed due to Saddam, now they are florishing. Well done Bush...

#

Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 09:04 PM
Pity, even the current administration has stated that there were no links between Saddam and Al Qaeda or terrorism, Bush has just admitted that there were no WMDs (and they had every opportunity to know it), and that Bush Sr. himself warned that invasion of Iraq was a terrible idea.

I don't know what leftist college campus you were attending, at mine we worried about who was going to take the fallout, invited different people with different perspectives to speak (including right winger Anne Coutier, whose solution was to deport all the students who weren't white or american and go to war with non-christian countries), and ultimately people came up with their own asessments.

I was surprised by being attacked, but can say that as far back as the Clinton years the real left (sorry Dems, but it is true you've abandoned us) were busy trying to convince our government to quit supporting the Taliban on the grounds that they were oppressive and anti-democratic, and we tried to convince our government to stop doing things directly and indirectly that supported Saddam. If the we lived in a culture that took the ideas of the left seriously, 9/11 would likely not have occurred.

There were a lot of objections to the war, among them - if Saddam did have WMDs, he'd be more likely to use them if we attacked, would be more likely to give them to terrorists if attacked, the war would cost a lot more than was being claimed, would have a much longer and costly re-construction effort that was being claimed, would probably not convince the Iraqis (who had been long suffering under Saddam as a result of our actions) that we were their friend, and would reduce our standing and credibility in the world. We appear to have been wrong on one count - there were no WMDs.

The idea that our "diplomatic credibility" has been enhanced is silly. The one lesson other countries seem to have learned (been following North Korea) is that we will turn on our friends the moment it becomes expedient, and the best defense a country has is to develop WMD's and be prepared to use them or hand them over to terrorists. If the US is responsible for China deciding not to invade Taiwan, it's because Bush publicly told them we wouldn't support any democratic efforts that China didn't approve, not because they feared we would attack. (Which will never, ever happen. Why? Because they actually DO have WMDs. Duh.)

Right now, the left's contention is that what we're doing in Iraq and the world will make things worse in the long run. Don't be surprised.

#

Re:The Real Reason We Went to War

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 08:21 PM
Pity, even the current administration has stated that there were no links between Saddam and Al Qaeda or terrorism, Bush has just admitted that there were no WMDs


Don't read the papers do you? The Congressional comission DID find links between Saddam and Al Quaeda - lots of them! If you read the misleading papers carefully, they said no link between Saddam and 911. There is a difference. As for WMD's, they were there. They were moved to Syria as they told us (and showed us via satalite photo's and such) last year, or did you miss that part too?


Your second paragraph about Ann Coutier is laughable. You have been smoking too much weed man! She has never said that. The closest thing she may have said is to deport people who are in violation of their visa's. That is, uphold the laws we already have. You should listen to her, she is a lot smarter than you think.


Your paragraph on the left and the talliban, etc is an outright lie. The left supports terrorists and engages in it directly. Maybe you are unaware of what they have planned for NYC at the Republican convention. They are going to endanger the lives of many people and without even a political point, just like terrorists do. If the left is as you say, how come they didn't support the overthrow of Saddam? Why are they critical of Bush? He did what you say should have been done by the clown... er rather Clinton administration.


The diplomatic credibility paragraph shows a fundamental lack of understanding on how international relations work. Lybia has disarmed their WMD's totally, they are now at the Oak Ridge national lab (Bush was there yesterday to show it off). It amazes me that you think that WMD's would stop us from attacking. It hasn't since WW-I when they came about, why now? N. Korea would be very quickly dispatched if they tried that. I'd do one better and take out most of China too. Two for the price of one. Much to Bush's credit, he solved that impass diplomatically. China really should be more interested in N. Korea not having Nukes. A crazy man with a weapon is very dangerous. He could use it on them!


Right now, the left's contention is that what we're doing in Iraq and the world will make things worse in the long run. Don't be surprised.

If they have their way it will. They are trying as hard as they can to make it a reality. You need to understand that the left lies. They do it all the time. They are almost never right, when they are it is by accident. Remember the years and 10's of thousands of lives it would take to conqour Iraq? We did it in record time and it was yet another stunning victory for Bush after Afghanistan. The left also told us that Bush is stupid - never mind that Bush got better grades than Gore did AND has a masters in business where Gore doesn't have a masters (Bush attended Harvard and Yale). Gore is just a glorified newspaper reporter that rode into the Senate on his father's coattails. The left along with Clinton pushed through the DCMA that clearly benefits Hollywood's interests (guys like Michael Moore - a "stupid fat rich white man"). Take a turn to the right, it will do you good.

#

We need a sign...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 07:45 AM
A sign that says "Don't feed the trolls."

#

Re:We need a sign...

Posted by: flacco on July 14, 2004 10:24 AM
A sign that says "Don't feed the trolls."


yeah - we can drive the pointy end through the chest of the newsforge editor who allowed this irrelevant crap to appear on this site.

#

Lies all Lies..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 08:49 AM
Anyone wondering why Michael Moore made that film should look at the 59 deceits in Fahrenheit-911.

<A HREF="http://davekopel.com/Terror/Fiftysix-Deceits-in-Fahrenheit-911.htm" title="davekopel.com">http://davekopel.com/Terror/Fiftysix-Deceits-in-F<nobr>a<wbr></nobr> hrenheit-911.htm</a davekopel.com>

Do you morons actually believe that Bush *caused* 9/11???

#

Re:Lies all Lies..

Posted by: smurfnsanta on July 14, 2004 09:32 AM
Being a moron somedays, I'll happily field that.

No, I don't believe that Bush caused 9/11. I did wonder why Bin Laden's family were flown out of the US when he was being batted around as a suspect. No questioning, no interviews, just 'get your ass on the jet maam'. Moore attempts to find reasons for this, which may amount to nothing more than wild speculation on his part, but as a Republican, I was more than a little angry at the time, and the Executive branch has never sated it. Are you simple minded enough to trust not just bad reasoning, but no explanation at all? We morons aren't.

#

Re:Lies all Lies..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 01:03 PM
They were afraid to be areb and be in the US.. thats understandable.

George Bush personaly dident aprove the flights, they were aproved by Richard Clarke.

They also dident really get any speical treatment because by the time they left.. almost anyone else could have too..

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Re:Lies all Lies..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 07:57 AM
George Bush personaly dident aprove the flights, they were aproved by Richard Clarke.


Clarke had the authority to spirit 20+ family members out of the US without questioning? It's more likely he was ordered to do so by his superiors, or he would have been brought up on charges of dereliction of duty. Who were his superiors then?

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Re:Lies all Lies..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2004 03:22 AM
They dident all leave on the same day, they left over the course of the week and just about *anyone* else could have too.

Sep 13 - Certan comercial flights were allowd.
Sep 14 - All comercial flights resume.

I also think yes Clarke did have that authority. The nation was freaking out and I'll be betting the President couldent be bothred with some -areb- yet inocent airline passengers.

#

Re:Lies all Lies..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 09:44 PM
There is a simple answer for that, and I will phrase it simply as a question:

What would be the world reaction if they had been killed while in the U.S. (by anyone for any reason)?

#

Re:Lies all Lies..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 07:51 AM
What would be the world reaction if they had been killed while in the U.S. (by anyone for any reason)?


Total # of US Muslims killed since 9/11 as a result of a hate crime: 0. Some idiot kkk types have killed a couple of Hindu's, but so far, no Muslim deaths. Where are these assassins? Where are the car and suicide bombs in Muslim churches? Actions speak louder than words, or in this case, the lack thereof.

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Re:Lies all Lies..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 03:20 AM
This article reads like every other article which tries to paint Moore as a lier. It waffles about things that could have been taken up in a different way. It does not point out one single piece of film as a definite lie.

#

Re:Lies all Lies..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2004 03:06 AM
I think you should read that<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:: cough<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:: again.

That none-sence about the pipeline is the biggest lie.

#

Re:Lies all Lies..

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 11:12 PM
Yes, moron.

Or, to be precise, the Mossad and CIA sponsored and allowed 9/11 to occur to give Bush his "Pearl Harbor" requested in the PNAC documents.

There's no PROOF Bush ORDERED 9/11 - there's plenty of EVIDENCE that the senior members of the intelligence community deliberately IGNORED the threat.

And of course by now everyone knows how Cheney and Bush pumped the CIA for crap intelligence to justify Iraq.

You want to see how far the US government will go to fake justification for war? Google for the "Northwoods documents". Ignore the fact that most of the sites carrying them are rightwing conspiracy nuts. Look for the ABC report on them. The documents themselves are legit.

#

This just in:

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 09:09 AM
...Michael Moore is an idiot.

Film at eleven.

#

This has no place on this site.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 09:30 AM
This is a tech site. You have a right to your opinions, and you certainly have the right to express them. But there are other forums that are more appropriate for that purpose.

I would object if someone posted an article here about the correct way to barbeque pork, or how to rebuild an old Toyota. But I especially object in this case because it's political. This crap has no business on a OSS geek site.

Don't pull crap like this again. As other posters here have pointed out, all this will do is polarize people when we're trying -- HARD -- to get F/OSS adopted in our places of business.

If you want the F/OSS movement to be associated with radical, leftist politics, then you can kiss it GOODBYE, because you will have IMMEDIATELY run off about half your potential market.

I'm trying desperately to get our company, which happens to be a conservative radio group, to adopt OSS. You are making my job MUCH more difficult.

This was completely, utterly uncalled for. Write a personal blog. Go onto one of the rant forums and let your voice be heard. Information wants to be free (and all that).

But this was just plain STUPID.

#

Well said.

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 03:43 PM
I agree.

This has no place on here.. I think the guy just wanted to hype this cool show he saw on tv.<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:: yawn<nobr> <wbr></nobr>::

#

Well said!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 02:12 AM
Enough said.

#

Help with Domain Name Resoultion!!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 11:05 AM
I need help! I keep trying to get to www.newsforge.com, but I get the site for the Democratic Undergroud! It looks like NewsForge. Oh, wait, Im sorry! it's NewsGore!

In the words of another VIABLE candidate (Dean)
WAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!

#

Request for NewsForge...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 11:14 AM
PLEASE!!! PLEASE!!!

Monitor your posts (both "News" and replies) There are many of us that are getting fed up with the political banter when we are looking for Open Source News.

Advocate Open Source!

I cannot wait until summer is over. All of these childish games will end when the posters are back in school getting thier beliefs spoon fed to them.

#

Politics in the soup

Posted by: Sean Champ on July 14, 2004 11:30 AM

When something (so hugely) political gets mixed in with something technical, in a NewsForge article, then I think we can expect that such sort of flame-war comment threads, inevitably, will occur.


I'm not calling an issue about it. Political strife is easily overlooked, for oneself, if one would just not try to join up with it.


but, maybe it can be avoided that NewsForge would become quite like<nobr> <wbr></nobr><tt>/.</tt> ?

#

Does this belong here?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 12:27 PM
Nobody would deny that Farenheit 9/11 is a blatant piece of anti Bush political propaganda. Moore has said so himself in a number of interviews. So why is this comment about such propoganda even appearing on a website about Linux and open source? We can all make our minds up about the political situation in November or in the mean time seek out the many other websites/talk shows and radio programmes that continue the same tired old nonsense.

#

Umm, well. Allow me to retort.

Posted by: ThoreauHD on July 14, 2004 03:50 PM
Since this is a politcal article, and a fairly gullible and transparent one, I'm going to ride along with a counter-point. Then I'm going to actually try to get back to what this site is about, which is Linux.

Democrats and Republicans are one and the same. They both get money from Microsoft. Democrat's get money from Hollywood(CNN/MGM/etc.). Republican's get money from Defense contractors(Loral/Haliburton/etc.). None of them give one drop of piss for you. It's that simple. You mean nothing in every political sense of the word. Your vote cannot compete with PAC money. Now, doesn't it feel better knowing you have no alternatives other than doing something yourself?

None of these parties represent anything resembling the people of the US- Including that fat pile of crap called Michael Moore. It's been this way since the military began trumping the political.. around the time of Eisenhower if you'll recall. Or maybe you don't, because his farewell address isn't in Michael Moore's movies. But, trust me on this.

You may have slao noticed, had you been paying attention, that Mr. Moore disproves his own theories with every film that he has made. Maybe you haven't. Maybe you like to be told a story without thinking about the reality of it.. I don't know. Doesn't really matter, because Michael Moore isn't standing between you and half a billion intolerant and angry Arabs. And GW being friends with the Bin Ladens doesn't explain why they blew up 4000 of GW's people. Friends don't typically do that, do they.

This has nothing to do with Microsoft in either case. And it definitely has nothing to do with Linux.

In fact, I don't read newsforge for listening to Utopian Clueless Democrats or Golden Parachute stuffing Republicans. If you remember the purpose of government, in and of itself, you will find that we are way hell and gone past it's useful purpose. Linux, in contrast, is not.

It's time for Darwin to start livin large. Too many people blaming others for how worthless they are as human beings. I think you'll really enjoy the next 15 years, if you survive. In either case, Linux will survive and Microsoft will not.
It's not a feeling. It's inevitability because of the path we have chosen. It's that simple. Now, on to some real news...

#

Bill Gates hired Tommy Franks

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 06:54 PM
The same general that invaded Afganistan and Iraq.
That's the real connection between M$ and war.

#

only in the great US of A

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 08:00 PM
can something called "a conservative/right-wing" Linux fan be found (nb: I did not write 'GNU/Linux' since anyone understanding and endorsing the GNU values *cannot* therefore be conservative/right-wing anyway).

for someone like me, who learned GNU/Linux in a European squat, this is quite amazing and very funny!

this entire thread about F911 something truly uniquely American

cheers boys!

#

Consevative at GNU fan!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 02:07 AM
"can something called "a conservative/right-wing" Linux fan be found (nb: I did not write 'GNU/Linux' since anyone understanding and endorsing the GNU values *cannot* therefore be conservative/right-wing anyway)."

You found one. Me.

I don't consider myself "right-wing" but I am certainly "right of center."

I am conservative in that I would love so see less government meddling in everything! I do have a strong libertarian bent, even though I am registered as a Republican.

And, I like GNU and Linux. Why? Because I have a strong belief in personal freedom and the power of choice.

If I write software and want to give it away, that is my choice. If that damages your business model based on propietary software, tough. Find a new business model.

If I write software and want to keep the code secret, that is my choice. If that locks you into my business model, I am not making you buy it (assuming I don't have an illegal monopoly). Don't want to be locked in, don't use it.

I dislike vendor lock-in and legislated protection of invalid business models. I dislike zealots who claim rights to my work simply because I wrote it.

But, I like the idea of volunarily sharing efforts within a community because I benefit from the sharing too. And the sharing makes me more efficient at my capitalist endevors too. Sharing and profit are both good and both founded on freedom.

#

How about sticking to the topic?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 09:01 PM
I come to NewsForge to read about current news in open source/Free Software, not to read rants about President Bush. When I want to hear that, I just turn on any of the major news stations or read the NY Times and get my fill of it. I do not agree with your politics, but I hold open the possibility of finding your ideas about technology useful.

You are helpful, when you stick to the topic; you dilute the usefulness of your thoughts about Microsoft and software in general, when you indulge in political diatribes of any flavor.

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Re:a *really* good and intelligent review of F911

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 09:03 PM
It always make me laugh when people put tech and politics together and others moan and whinge about there being no link. There IS A LINK BETWEEN TECH AND POLITICS. Ok, it can be tenuous at times, but there is a link.

I was following the recent decision by Chinese manufacturerers to forge new WIFI and DVD standards - and a drive by the ASIA pac to adopt linux. These decisions and the discourse that came about were 99% to do with politics - not even market share !!!

So - give the guy a break already !<nobr> <wbr></nobr>:)

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You have been fooled

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 14, 2004 11:58 PM
Mr. Lyman,

What is your job description? Editorial license run amuck.

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Re:a *really* good and intelligent review of F911

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 01:42 AM
Hussein Ibish is the president of something called the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, which, incredibly, uses the acronym ADC. A Google search on that name yields a fascinating trove of lunacy.

This is no more intelligent, IMHO, than the other screeds quoted here. To sum up this article - Micheal Moore hates Saudis, and rather than writing his movie to the script Hussein Ibish would use, he decided to use his own. Of course, since it critisizes Saudi Arabia, it's wrong, and foolish, and hates all Saudis, who had nothing to do with 9/11.

Perhaps Mr. Moore, like perhaps a third of Americans, remembers that most of the people who hijacked those planes and flew them into buildings full of people were Saudis, financed by Saudi money, and led by a Saudi. (The remaining two thirds, of course, blame Iraq. IOW, the remaining two thirds are ignoramuses.) Certainly there are millions of Saudis who had nothing to do with this, but the people who run that country are as responsible for 9/11 as anyone. They run their country absolutely, and it is named after them. Forgive us if we sometimes get that confused with them being Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is probably the country I would least like to visit. It reviles anything that is not Muslim, barely tolerates the foreigners who largely make their country work. It "educates" its people in religious schools that teach nothing but their particular interpretation of Islam and to hate everything Western. Ironically, Mr. Ibish himself could not visit there without fear. As an atheist, or at least as someone who is labled an atheist, he could be put to death for apostacy. To my way of thinking, Saudi Arabia is the most needlessly brutal country on earth. It certainly doesn't deserve the status of victim.

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I think you are missing the point

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 04:08 AM
the article is not an apology of the Saudi Regime, but points towards the fact that the "Saudi theory" serves as a smokescreen for the real culprits (who are very cozy with the Saudis BTW) to hide.

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Re:I think you are missing the point

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 04:59 AM
[from OP]Rather than investigating the actual and well-documented agenda that led to the rapid shift away from a war against Al-Qaeda to a war against Iraq, Moore proposes an implausible and extremely confused conspiracy theory.

Guess I shouldn't have read that paragraph. It obviously led me to believe that he didn't think that this particular aspect of the Saudi-US oil relationship had anything to do with it, and that Moore should have paid attention to Ibish's pet rock, instead. Silly me.

Note, Ibish may have a point. It might actually be that Moore would have been wiser to pay attention to that, instead. But he didn't, and saying that the script should have featured your favored point of view rather than his isn't much of a criticism, in my opinion. And if he stopped there, I might have thought of this as a halfway intelligent analysis. Unfortunately, he goes on:

[from OP]At the heart of Moore's film lies the malevolent influence of "the Saudis," a phrase that in the US is increasingly spat out with utter contempt, reminiscent of the tone reserved for "the Jews" in anti-Semitic discourse, ascribing to millions of otherwise heterogeneous people the same menacing and hostile essence. In a great deal of contemporary American discourse, any group of Saudis - including the government, security services, and any collection of citizens, not to mention Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and the hijackers of Sept. 11, 2001 - all represent "the Saudis."

Which seems to assert that Moore (among other wrong-thinking Americans) just hates the Saudis, largely because he's not really careful to distinguish between the people who run the country with an iron fist in conjunction with some of their friends and a few religious fanatics, and all those other Saudis who don't seem to be able to affect the course of their society toward a less brutal or demented direction. To me, this is like saying that someone is anti-Semitic because he criticizes Isreal's policies toward the Palestinians. Ironically, Ibish has been accused of being anti-Semitic, I believe, for that reason.

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ironically or idiotically? [anti-Semitism?!]

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2004 03:24 AM
Ironically, Ibish has been accused of being anti-Semitic

To accuse an Arab of anti-Semitism is essentially calling him a self-hater (also a term used by zionist to label those Jews who happen not to share their racists beliefs).

Besides, being anti-anything does not say anything at all about the validity of an argument. For example, calling someone anti-Peruvian does not say anything at all about the views expressed by that person. In fact, calling somebody something proves *nothing* about that person besides that somebody is more comfortable labeling him/her than engaging his/hers arguments.

Basically anybody using the senseless concept of "anti-Semite" is either an idiot, or dishonest, or both.

Letraiot!

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"I wanna be just like Mike", eh?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 02:17 AM
How entirely appropriate that the moron author uses Moore's favorite technique - DECEPTION. I thought I was going to read something with an intriguing spin based on the article's title. What did I get instead? A naive juvenile clearly writing for the wrong site. How did I get roped in? By the use of deception, just like Mike...

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Moore might be wrong sometimes....

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 03:16 AM
But not always. People who jump up and down and scream that he's completely false are either blinded by misplaced "patriotism" or very out to lunch. I've read so many "The real reason we went to war" type responses to those who agree with Moore (to agree with a message does not necessarily mean to accept all of it's reference points). Almost everyone one of the "We're the good guys because we bombed" idiots seem to forget that you aren't a good guy to the people under the bombs you're dropping. All those none-of-the-American-government's-business bombings (like Vietnam, Korea, etc..) are WHY so many (if not most) of the world feels anger toward the American government. Let's remember that killing someone is never the answer - they have friends and family you'll enrage doing so and the cycle perpetuates. That being said, anyone who hates the American people for the flaws in it's government are just as stupid, and anyone who resorts to terrorism is completely Braindead, obviously. Microsoft acts exactly the same way as the US government, opportunistically taking over any venture that competes with it, and the fact that M$ won out as the computing company who gets the biggest "Homeland Security" sticker doesn't surprise many - I think is the point of the article. Kudos to the author. I'm not saying the Capitalist "American Dream" is bad or wrong, but it does require a certain amount of stepping on toes to get to the top, which will generate enemies; such is the way nature goes.

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Re:Moore might be wrong sometimes....

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 04:41 AM
For whatever reason, possibly so that you can be "right", you don't understand what the issue is. It is NOT Mi. Moore's "facts" - it's his deceitful presentation of only some of the facts. THAT's the problem with that loser (and saps that buy into it without bothering to check).

No one can argue Mi. Moore presents facts - they're on-screen for one and all to see. The problem is that he purposely leaves out the highly relevant "nuisance" facts that don't fit the agenda he's pushing and then spins the remaining facts. Get it? Jeez, check any of the dozens of sites/editoritals exposing his selective and deceitful use of some of the "facts"...

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Re:Moore might be wrong sometimes....

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 09:07 AM
No, the reason we are antagonized is that at this moment, we are the ones in power. History is replete with challenges by lesser states against the powerful. The main reason the Arab world has a problem with us has nothing to do with who we are, except that as the most powerful nation in the West, the United States is semiotic of the entire West. Many years ago, Arab culture was dominant. It was surpassed by the West, largely because we borrowed from them and capitalized upon the knowledge gained. They refused to borrow from the West and their society has been festering for hundreds of years. What they resent is Western success when they rejected almost everything in our society that led to it.

Incidentally, the main reason France likes to antagonize us is that they were once a dominant power and we are an ever present reminder of the fact that they no longer are, while they thrive on illusions of becoming once again the dominant power. They are so American-phobic that they outlawed the use of the word "e-mail" in official government publicaitons.

The problems in the Middle East wer not caused by the United States. They were caused by the ARABS, the Ottomans, the Germans, the British, and the French. We have done nothing but try to achieve a stable Middle East. We have worked hard to maintain open lanes of commerical communication, because that is the first step to introducing societies to the concepts of individual liberty. We have worked to help Israel remain secure as well as a variety of other Arab countries in the region. We have worked to improve life conditions, and though we have had some successes, we have also had failures.

Finally, for those of you that want to portray the United States as the great aggressor in the Middle East, I might remind you that it was the Arabs that created the conflict with us to begin with. Ever heard of the Tripolitan Conflict? Yeah, we fought a war with them because they were exacting tribute from us and enslaving our citizens. Just who was picking on who?

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Re:Moore might be wrong sometimes....

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 11:23 PM
"[The French] are so American-phobic that they outlawed the use of the word "e-mail" in official government publicaitons."

 
And what about "freedom fries"?

 

  "We have done nothing but try to achieve a stable Middle East."

 
Even if it is not wanted, which is why there's a problem. The overall sentiment from them is "Go Away".

 

  "We have worked hard to maintain open lanes of commerical communication, because that is the first step to introducing societies to the concepts of individual liberty."

 
...to the western way of thinking - don't confuse capitalism with liberty (the ability to do what YOU WANT). I may agree with you, but they don't have to. If they wanted to live in the US they'd move there!

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Have you read no history?

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 16, 2004 06:22 AM

<A HREF="http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/f/fe/fernand_braudel.html" title="brainyencyclopedia.com">Fernand Braudel</a brainyencyclopedia.com> tells us that one of the primary means of peaceful cultural exchange is commerce between different cultures.


I am sure that Kuwait appreciates us stabilizing the Middle East. I care not if all of them want us there or not. A peaceful Middle East is undisputeably in the interest of the entire world. All industrial and post-industrial economies are built upon energy supplies. What happens to the cost of energy in even developing countries when crap flares up in the Middle East?

Besides, democracies tend not fight, so I am all in favor of spreading a little democracy.

Oh, and I do not remeber the Federal government outlawing the use of "French" fries in favor of freedom fries in government materials. If memory serves that was brought by a lot of Americans protesting France's antagonism of our country. There is a huge difference.

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Get informed, then talk...

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 10:20 AM

This editorial is an attempt to destroy FOSS

Posted by: jchilders98 on July 15, 2004 09:29 PM
Every time one of these American-hating screeds appears, potential new believers become convinced that supporting FOSS means you have to support American's enemies as well.


I have a suggestion: let's keep politics separate from our technology goals. That way we won't turn off 75% of the people before they even have a chance to consider FOSS.


Furthermore: this author should be permanently banned from posting on any FOSS forum, because he is manifestly working against FOSS interests.

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Your whole article is based on a

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 15, 2004 11:13 PM
very doubtful premise:

Seeing Michael Moore's thought-provoking "Fahrenheit 9/11" has given me a much greater appreciation of the disdain -- dare I say the hate? -- that many Microsoft Corp. foes feel as they face off against the powerful, politically connected software giant.

The first part is all subjective blabla (not my preference to start with as an article. I prefer to start with facts, eventually with a source), the second one i'm wondering: what makes you think so? Why the analogy?

Not that i agree or disagree or something, but if you draw a line between software industry and politics do it thoroughly and not overly broad. For example, InTheBeginningWasTheCommandLine does something similar but the nice aspects are:
* Its a minor part of the whole point
* The whole point doesn't depend on the political premise. Its merely an argument to support the end conclusion.
* It is thoroughly written
* The political premise is not the premise with which the author started. It comes way later.

As a result it is more thought-provoking because people who agree with the war, disagree with F9/11, agree with Bush, disagree with Kerry, are Republican, Christian, etc etc etc are gonna be ticked off when they read that first few sentences. That's not what you want, is it?

Next time i suggest you either:
* Learn something from what i pointed out above
* Don't post this on a website where reps, dems and people from all over the world are supposed to surf in harmony.

I prefer you'll chose the former.

(I'm not an American btw.)

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korporate fascism alive and well!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2004 06:04 AM
Whoopi Goldberg punished over Bush remark
www.chinaview.cn 2004-07-16 19:50:30


        BEIJING, July 16 (Xinhuanet) -- Famous American actress Whoopi Goldberg has become the latest victim of political backlash because of her remarks criticizing President Bush at a recent political rally.


        A diet food company called "Slim-Fast" has dropped the comedy queen from its advertising campaign because the company's executives were unhappy with anti-Bush remarks Goldberg made at a recent political rally. CRIENGLISH.com reported Friday.


        Goldberg said protecting a business and being an artist couldn't be mixed in America and she refused to be interviewed about the matter.


        The Slim-Fast Foods Co. is based in Florida, where President Bush's brother Jeb is governor.


        Earlier, Walt Disney Films refused to release Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" because the CEO, Michael Eisner, said the company did not want such a film in the middle of the presidential election campaign.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2004-07/16/cont<nobr>e<wbr></nobr> nt_1607232.htm

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Off topic, twice removed!

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2004 07:09 AM
The main article here is off topic for the this site to begin with and now, Whoopi Goldberg, Slim-Fast and Jeb Bush are in the discussion!?!?

To who posted this:
GO AWAY! And take your tin-foil hat and xinhuanet "news" site with you!

To the editors of Newsforge:
Do you see what this stupid article has opened up? Don't post an article like this one again if you want to maintain a high quality, FS/OSS related news web site!

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xinhuanet news

Posted by: Anonymous Coward on July 17, 2004 07:10 PM
you moron! did you know that your stupid american flags are also made in China?

hahahahahahahahahahaha

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Off-Topic and Counter-Productive

Posted by: Russellkhan on July 20, 2004 06:52 PM
Not sure if anyone is still reading this article's comments, but I sure hope at least the editors see this....

While I'm pretty much in agreement with the author regarding F9/11, our current administration and probably a lot more, There is one thing I agree with the conservatives about this article. This article does not belong here. On my first read through of the article and the comments, I thought the standard 'how stupid' stuff about those whose political beliefs are obviously different than mine. I even posted a comment or two (as an AC, I beileve), and I read the comment or two complaining that this stuff didn't belong here, and dismissed it as more conservatives trying to squelch stuff they don't like to hear. But now I'm realizing not all of those posts said anything about whether they agreed or disagreed with the article - they merely said that it didn't belong here or that this was not what they came here to read. Well, let me say that I do agree with much of what the author says, but still think this article should never have been posted - and that if NewsForge is actually interested in promoting Linux and Open Source, the editorial staff should take extra care to make sure similar article do not get posted.

I don't think posting this article helps to advance the interests of Open Source/Free Software. If anything, it serves to alienate those users/admins/managers/whatever who are using or considering Open Source software if their political views are different than those of the author. As much as I disagree with the politics of many posters here, I would much rather they were Open Source and Linux users than not, so let's try to avoid mixing politics in in ways that are very likely to alienate them.

If you really want to publish this sort of thing, perhaps it would be best to start a new site dedicated to Open Source and politics.

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