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FORUMS General Discussions Open Forum I need an answer to this John Kerry question
TOPIC: I need an answer to this John Kerry question
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"The world is a better place and the US is safer now that he is not in power. Do you disagree?"

perfectmatch - I think you're asking the wrong question. I don't think we can ever expect to be "safe" in the traditional sense from here-on in. Frankly, I think the idea of "safety" is a ruse. Life is not safe and when we think it is, it's because we're likely ignoring something.

The "war on terror" (to use Bush's terminology) is not a traditional war and will likely span multiple presidencies. I don't believe we had a choice to enter it by virtue of the native soil attacks. Fighting terrorism requires the US to use strategies that defy population-placating newsreel reporting. And it will be characterized by not being "safe", regardless of how we approached it, whether we went into Iraq or any country suspected to be friendly to islamic militants. I *do* wonder if Americans have the tenacity required to see it through.

An interesting sidenote... I've heard Islam is gaining a formidable following in Europe through refugees as well as converts. I've not heard any reports regarding how much of this growing population is sympathetic to militant ideology. With a US population in decline (in spite of my wife and my best efforts to the contrary! LOL!), this multigenerational clash of cultures may peter out in a very short time (historically speaking) through lack of strength on our side.

Baltimore MD
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perfectmatch One need not resort to harshness and name calling to make their point clear.

"And to comment on your lame analogy with T. McVeigh, even though it doesn't deserve comment: McVeigh no longer has the rights we have "

I do beleive McVeigh had rights while he was arrested and tried for his crimes.

"this is just my opinion, it sounds to me like you wouldn't consider anyone an immanent threat unless they shoved a WMD up you bottom."

May I refer you to my previous post which I'm sure you thoroughy read: "None of that amounts to an immanent threat (unlike the nuclear missiles North Korea has). " I would prefer North Korea doesn't shove them up my bottom.

CuriousNew

You sound like John Kerry. (JK 9/9/02) "If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region, breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots, and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed. "

East Greenville PA
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perfectmatch

Who said life was a movie? The movie simply raises questions of what may happen when the ends don’t justify the means.

“ --- So if someone plots an assassination, kills thousands, shoots at our planes, and ignores the UN - He has the same rights as us - That is INSANE”

Please correct me if I’m wrong. But none of that was in the resolution to authorize the use of force in Iraq. Right? Now if congress wants to pass a resolution to authorize the use of force (for “those” reasons) in Iraq, we can discuss that. Does he deserve the same rights? I don’t know. Did Timothy McVeigh deserve the same rights as us?

“And you think he probably wanted a fight with us, probably wanted WMD's, had them at one time and intelligence pointed that he still did, and think that one cannister of sarin gas can kill 'pretty darn many' people and you still don't think it was an immanent threat????? - I don't even know how to respond to that!!!!!”

Well given that I’m not Saddam, I can’t say for sure. Hence the use of “probably”. I haven’t seen any evidence of an immanent threat. Potential threat yes, but not immanent. There are potential threats all around the world. That amounts to suspicion and reason to keep a tight leash. Reason to prepare our military for action. Reason to develop war plans. Reason to vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary.

East Greenville PA
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perfectmatch, I would never agree to waiting for the UN on anything. I think the UN is a dangerous organization that has become so politicized that it has outlived its usefulness.

My question would be - is it proper to apply principles of internal justice to external foreign relations? If it is, then Bush was wrong to go to war without substantive proof of what he believed to have been Hussein's weapons cache and his intent to use them on the US (as opposed to having them for a regional balance of power - which is best pronounced "Iran"). If internal principles of justice do NOT apply to foreign affairs, his actions in Iraq remain an open question for me.

Frankly, I have not yet adjusted in my mind what responsibility the US has in being a world police force. I think we're on shakey ground, constitutionally speaking. I know, it's self-preservation in the wake of multiple terrorist attacks. Terrorism is a touchy subject, one in which, I think, far to little philosophical groundwork has been laid in this country for us to interpret what proper actions are constitutional.

This becomes even more aggravated by terrorism that I believe is religiously motivated. How does a tolerant society (which we at least pretend to be) deal with an intolerant aggressor (which, I believe, militant islam to be)? I think it would not be difficult to establish that militant islamic terrorists feel justified in wiping out even innocent non-military human targets simply because they do not believe in the same god. I'm willing to give SOME credence to the idea that our actions in the middle east have aggravated foreign hatred toward us, but I think the religious (as opposed to the economic) motivation is at the heart of it all.

Baltimore MD
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I would love to hear GWB say he made a mistake based on the what we know now. Perhaps Kerry can do the same for his errors. Please don't be so black and white. they have all made errors in their past. If you believe that only one has serious errors in their past that they have not atoned for, then you are being more naive than I would expect. either that, or I am giving you all too much credit for reasonable intelligence.

Morgantown PA
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Guess I’m a liberal republican. Anyway, labels aside. The ends don’t justify the means. Ever see the movie Minority Report? When you begin ignoring the means to justify the ends, you lead down the path to corruption. This is why we have things like illegal search and seizure, Miranda rights, “innocent until proven guilty”. Yea yea, Saddam is a terrible man who doesn’t deserve the same rights we have. Phooey. We have standards and need to adhere to them.

Do you think Hussein was looking for a fight with us? Not at the moment “immanent”. Maybe someday. Do you think that he had intentions on obtaining WMDs? Not sure. Probably. Would you rather have fought him now or after he had more WMD's? Would rather not fight him at all. Do you know how many people one canister of Sarin can kill? No. Pretty darn many I’d imagine.

None of that amounts to an immanent threat (unlike the nuclear missiles North Korea has). What that amounts to is suspicion and reason to keep a tight leash. Reason to prepare our military for action. Reason to develop war plans. Reason to vote to give the President of the United States the authority to use force, if necessary.

I suggest reading a speech Kerry gave 2 days prior to voting for the authorization to use force if necessary. It contradicts everything said about his flip-flops and eerily predicts what will (and has) happened in Iraq if the force isn’t used properly.

www c-span org/vote2004/kerryspeech.asp "Let me be clear, the vote I will give to the President is for one reason and one reason only: To disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, if we cannot accomplish that objective through new, tough weapons inspections in joint concert with our allies. "

"If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community, unless there is a showing of a grave, imminent--and I emphasize "imminent"--threat to this country which requires the President to respond in a way that protects our immediate national security needs. "

"If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region, breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots, and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed. "

"Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances."

East Greenville PA
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perfectmatch - As much as I *don't* want Kerry to win the presidential election, I have to agree, at least on the surface (i.e., with the information that's been presented) that it's not just, according to American principles of justice, to attack a party on their *intentions*, as opposed to their provable actions. This gets us into the fallible (in my opinion) concept of hate crimes - i.e., charging a person not on their actions but on their thoughts.

For my part, I think the civil sphere in the US needs to rise to a higher level of integrity overall. A friend of mine used to quote "we have the best politicians money can buy!" I've come to understand that statesmanship is largely a matter of learning how to compromise between opposing positions. The question in my mind is whether it can be done with integrity, or if the process itself of rising to an office at the federal level (or any level) virtually guaratees the loss of integrity. I respect GWB more than Kerry, but I'm under no illusions that he's squeaky clean.

I suspect anyone who ever made it to any level of power *with their integrity intact* would likely be assassinated before he/she had any opportunity to act upon his/her intentions.

Baltimore MD
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"Who cares at this point why we went after him?"

Ummm me. Also many millions of other Americans. And many millions more worldwide.

The Ends Don't Justify the Means.

East Greenville PA
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My thoughts on Kerry. I am a bit uneasy with the 'why do you want to look at my voting record?, just listen to what I am saying" attitude. It is my experience that all politicians try to say what you want to hear, and often have no intention of follow thru. If we all agree on that, we MUST look at their history to get a read on the person and how they will perform.

Secondly, In regards to Sen. Kerry. He made a name for himself and forged a career by driving a spike thru America in tumultuous times. He helped facilitate the onset of one of our lowest points in world standing. This was done at the tail end of a war with a large percentage of the nation against the conflict. Political futures were made by taking shots at the powers that be. Much of the flak fell upon those putting their lives on the line for a nation that became divided. The results were great damage to our credibility throughout the world. My great concern of Sen. Kerry is what lessons he learned from these times.

If you think he learned that forcing a pullout quickly will give himself greater prestige and power, then you cannot vote for him.

If you think he learned that their was incredible damage done to world standing, home strife, damaged economy, and military morale due in part to his efforts after Vietnam, then he is your guy.

Morgantown PA
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I rarely get into these discussions. It's easy. The devil you know. or The devil you don't know.

I must admit to thinking, "We can teach everyone to be nice"...is crap. No where in history does that occur. Me, myself, and I? I'll carry a BIG stick. Negotiation is much easier when you have the power/upper hand.

Regarding terrorists? They win when we stop living. I will not live in fear.

College should be very inexpensive. It should be subsidized. Virtually nowhere else will you here me say that.

The problem with taxing the rich? I'm considered rich. I'm planning to work less very, very, soon. Why work for taxes? They don't tax me to sleep under a tree.

Never tax productivity. Tax everyone the same. Otherwise, poor "rich" people like me will stop working. I can't afford Kerry's fleet of accountants, tax lawyers...etc..That keep his $ off the tax roles.

Mischief

Glen Burnie MD
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TOPIC: I need an answer to this John Kerry question