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Atwood: America is selling itself out

jleaderPerson was signed in when posted
01:55 PM ET (US)
I'm sorry I wasn't clear, Papaya. I was just answering your statement that Bush must not be in it for oil because he's after Iraq and not Saudi Arabia; as I said, that argument is flawed.

I don't believe that it's _only_ about oil, but that's certainly a factor. And the _perception_ that it's about oil makes a lot of people less willing to give Bush et al the benefit of the doubt when they put forth bogus arguments.

The difference from your MLK example is that MLK was doing things that a lot of people thought were good, and benefitted others at least as much as himself and his friends, so his motivations weren't such a big issue. Maybe he was in it just to get babes, but he did a lot of good, so most people didn't mind so much. Bush is doing things that a lot of people think are wrong, and saying "trust me, I'm doing what's right even though I can't tell you exactly why."
PapayaSFPerson was signed in when posted
07:23 PM ET (US)
*Sigh*.... Well, it's hard to argue against a position of total cynicism, except to point out that there's little to no evidence to support it.

If someone said something like: "Martin Luther King was just in it for the babes", and pointed out his indiscretions, what would be the best way to respond? I suppose to point out that it's a narrow-minded point of view, illogical to the point of silliness, and that the totality of the evidence doesn't support it.

If Bush were trying to make money for oil cronies, there are lots of better ways to do it than invading Iraq. For example, why not just destroy all the Iraqi oil fields? Price of oil skyrockets, cronies get rich.

Sorry, you have to present some evidence, or at least some logical argument, rather than just make wild charges.
jleaderPerson was signed in when posted
04:50 PM ET (US)
Papaya, if Bush's cronies made as much money from Iraq as they do from Saudi Arabia, I'd be much more convinced by your argument.

The fact that Iraq's oil was going to Russia and France, and (I think) was priced in Euros rather than dollars, gives Bush a motive for attacking Iraq rather than Saudi Arabia. Of course, it also helps explain the French and Russian opposition to the war (though not other countries' opposition).
PapayaSFPerson was signed in when posted
03:16 PM ET (US)
Well, caz, it could be a number of things.

Perhaps you've read too much far-left (or far-right) hyperventilating about how the Constitution is being shredded and Ashcroft is going to put us all into concentration camps.

Perhaps you haven't read enough history to know how common such overblown predictions are.

Perhaps you haven't thought logically about the situation. E.g.: "Bush is just out for oil!" Well, if that were true, why go after *Iraq's* oil? Saudi Arabia has more oil, better oil infrastructure, fewer weapons, no WMD, and we already have a couple of bases in the country. That's where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from, so he'd have the perfect excuse.

So why Iraq? Maybe because they really do have illegal WMD, and really are supporting terrorists.

Or maybe you're just paranoid... ;->
cazPerson was signed in when posted
02:15 AM ET (US)
why am i so terrified of my own government than the terrorists?
PapayaSFPerson was signed in when posted
05:54 PM ET (US)
Brian Carnell sums things up pretty well.

Atwood can be a talented novelist (based on the one novel of hers I read in college), but as a political/economic critic, she just sounds trite. I'm old enough to remember how Nixon was going to put all the hippies and protestors into camps (they were "already set up"!), Reagan was going to start a nuclear war, welfare reform would cause millions of poor children to starve, etc., etc. Yeah, sure. *Yawn*.

When there are real, substantial constitutional abuses due to the Patriot Act, let me know. (Sorry, letting the FBI investigate what books a suspected terrorist checked out of the library isn't one, IMHO.)

But remember: 1) your constitutional rights are *very* violated when you are killed by terrorists, and 2) many of the people so worried about the "unconstitutional abuses" of the Patriot Act are the same people who think that large parts on the Constitution (e.g. the 2nd and 10th amendments) are "outdated" and best ignored. So their defense of the document rings a bit hollow....
WilliamAPerson was signed in when posted
03:16 PM ET (US)
Another thread on Iraq on the way!


Good article, though.
Edited 03-31-2003 03:18 PM
Brian CarnellPerson was signed in when posted
12:41 PM ET (US)
Yeah, the next thing you know, the United States will be putting Holocaust deniers on trial for nothing more than their views and passing laws stomping out pornography like another North American country does.

You know I agree with her about Patriot Act, etc., but the U.S. is still ahead of the curve on civil liberties compared to Canada and Europe. In fact a major problem is that we have lobbies in the U.S. who actively want the sort of surveillance and other powers that European states have.

Donut11's point is correct that conservative-libertarians were portrayed as nutball conspiracists for their opposition to Clinton-era activities, but it also seems that conservatives have been less skeptical of Bush's anti-liberty initiatives than they were of Clinton's.

Atwood's complaint about debt is too vague to make any sense out of. If she's talking about consumer debt, then she's off the mark IMO. It's interesting how the Left argument has went from "capitalism is wrong because only the elite have access to capital-generating instruments" to bitching and moaning about widespread debt.
Donut11Person was signed in when posted
12:23 PM ET (US)
Heh, these intrusions of civil liberties existed long before Sept. 11. The federal law enforcement agencies could deprive anyone of life (Ruby Ridge, Waco), liberty (Free Kevin!), or property (ATF and DEA siezures) without any due process, trial, "producing the body", or even charging a person with a crime. Even after the fact, the law enforcement officers were not fired, or even reprimanded. Most were promoted.

It is nice to see the noisy Left finally realize this, but it is a shame to see them think that this is unique to the current administration. These acts (and the laundry list of new "powers" in the PATRIOT act) come from the beauracratic federal law enforcement apparatus, completely seperate from any elected or appointed official. If the president was Hilary Clinton, those people would be there, and the list would be the same.

Of course, when these abuses were pointed out in the 90's - we were conspiricy-hunting backwoods trailer trash with an unatural hate for Bill Clinton. Heh.

I am realizing that the best situation for guarding against a tyrannical government is having a republican president - then the left leaning media and pressure groups will actually pay attention to the abuses that are there under any administration, instead of covering up for their guy. People are actually paying attention, and that is really helping. Watching the FBI get thwarted after all of these years make me feel a lot better for the future.


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