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TOPIC: Time - Person of the Year
Created by: dzzyred
Original Starting post for this thread:
Vlad Putin...

In a year when Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize and green became the new red, white and blue; when the combat in Iraq showed signs of cooling but Baghdad's politicians showed no signs of statesmanship; when China, the rising superpower, juggled its pride in hosting next summer's Olympic Games with its embarrassment at shipping toxic toys around the world; and when J.K. Rowling set millions of minds and hearts on fire with the final volume of her 17-year saga—one nation that had fallen off our mental map, led by one steely and determined man, emerged as a critical linchpin of the 21st century.

Russia lives in history—and history lives in Russia. Throughout much of the 20th century, the Soviet Union cast an ominous shadow over the world. It was the U.S.'s dark twin. But after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia receded from the American consciousness as we became mired in our own polarized politics. And it lost its place in the great game of geopolitics, its significance dwarfed not just by the U.S. but also by the rising giants of China and India. That view was always naive. Russia is central to our world—and the new world that is being born.

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Hey Joe, GREAT post. I wholly agree with you on the CIA aspect. I find it very disturbing that people want to have our methods and protocols put out into the public.

Liberals do talk a lot about our civil liberties, but they also talk a lot about Putin and what he has done with Russia. Putin has done a lot of very good things for Russia - he has modernized it and rebuilt a lot of relations that have been strained for the last half century or so. I think it makes good sense to have someone who has done so much for their country to be considered for position as Prime Minister. His peak popularity was at 81%, which is AMAZING for any leader in any part of the world. I believe this is mostly due to his role in helping modernize Russia and improve living conditions. On the other hand, he stopped a protest march by Other Russia, but independent polls showed that the Russian public had little support for that group. Though I strongly believe that freedom of speech is important and that no legal protest be stopped, it seems from multiple sources that the reason that they were taken from the streets was because they were IN the streets and stopping major traffic. I can see why they would detain them. I just hope for their sake that the next time they organize a protest they do so in a way that will give the police no excuse to stop them.

The founding fathers say in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." They do NOT say that these rights are limited to certain people or to citizens of our country alone. I realize that since the Declaration of Independence is not a part of the Constitution, it is not law, but if you transfer this fact to the rights outlined in the Constitution, you will see that these rights extend to every born man, and that they too are protected by due process and everything else we have our soldiers protect. Sure, they may spit at our soldiers, but can you blame them? If you look at things from their point of view, you may find yourself a little more compassionate to them. Also, not everyone in Guantanamo is a terrorist. Of that, I am sure.

Also, if you look at it from a detached perspective, the founding fathers were almost terrorists themselves against Great Britain. I am positive the hundred plus body would have thought of how terrorism could potentially affect our nation.

People in our jails also get 3 meals a day, prayer time, exercise, etc. It is not the fault of the people in Guantanamo that the sad state of our prison system focuses more on what seems to be quarantine than any sort of rehabilitation. I wish that our prisons were in better shape and that these people had better chances upon release, but I believe that that is a seperate issue. The point I am trying to make is that Guantanamo is a breach of unalienable human rights, and that there is little excuse for what is being done. If Guantanamo was within the continental US, I am sure that there would be even more exposure and more debate, but the move that the government made in giving it status outside of most US law keeps things out of sight and out of mind for most of the American public.

Thanks, hope to hear a great counter soon,

Jae

Falls Church VA
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Poly, I took as as understood that spy agencies around the world do similair operations to the KGB international spy operation. I was focusing on the different things the KGB does. This was in response to your assertion that the KGB was an equivalent to the FBI.

Indianapolis IN
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Well Poly the CiA, maybe they are not officially a government organization from what I understand. The FBI is to by the book, maybe in the old days Hoover you had things like that taking place. Now the FBI are more like commissioned officers in the military compared to regular police. The CIA are supposed to do secretive shit, else they wouldn't be very good spies now would they. It dismays me a little to see so much of what they do and how they work exposed. There are some things we are safer not knowing about. Because if the public knows, our enemies know as well. How many people here really believe that our "allies" don't waterboard or otherwise torture to get info from a terrorist? They're just smart enough not to put that kind of shit out into the media. Every country will get dirty if it means protecting their country, and believe me in order to protect any country, it's necessary to do bad things in the dark.

Now That being said, Putin had managed to slowly kill civil liberties that many Russians wanted to see flourish. Anytime you jail opposition and control the media with an Ironfist, you are not doing your country any good. Putin IS doing what the Bush administration is only accused of doing. That what I find so funny when Liberals whine about our civil liberties being taken away. Russia is showing us how it's really done.

And show me in the Constitution where Guantanamo is Illegal? I'm not sure the framers of the Constitution ever envisioned foreign terrorists attacking this country. The constitution doesn't deal with every new issue, this is something we are going to have to deal with ourselves, and try to stick to the spirit of the constitution as much as possible. When people say that Guantanamo is a bad place where people are being tortured. They are really spiting in the faces of the soldiers who work there. It's a prison. The prisoners get 3 square meals a day, Korans, prayer time, exercise, in fact they are treated better than many in American Jails and Prisons. Hell we could learn something from Guantanamo. Liberals get so outraged over how prisoners are treated in Guantanamo, but could care less about Americans in our prison system who face life and death everyday and gets stuck in a revolving door system not designed to deter crime or rehabilitate criminals.

Arlington TX
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I am sure KGB had arrested their own, or worse. If one was suspected of not being loyal to the communist party, that was reason enough to arrest and send to the gulag. That is not the kind of info they would freely share.

Indianapolis IN
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Uru when was the last time you heard of a KGB arresting their own?

Sanford NC
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"Great! since you seem to be informed, educate me, tell me what the difference is (besides the fact that one deals with outside issues and the other with internal issues). While you're at it, tell me if you can without a shadow of a doubt claim that the FBI or CIA get 100% perfect score for honesty, having the interest of the people only, and if they always do things legally :). "

The FBI and CIA both have had their issues. The CIA was involved in assassination plots of foreign leaders and the FBI was run by an autocrat who used it as his own personal dirty tricks machine for the first several decades of it's existence.

The KGB was used as an instrument of totalitarian rule to keep the people of the Soviet Union in line through any covert means the leadership thought prudent. The KGB also did spying on foreign governments and attempted to turn foreign agents into agents for the Soviet state. The KGB was more like the CIA, the FBI, secret police, and death squad rolled into one agency.

Indianapolis IN
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Destin, I'm just saying that instead of wikipedia we should get our facts from text published from reputable sources.

Poly, I understand, just saying. You know what, you're right. There is basically very little difference between the two agencies' aims.

Falls Church VA
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LOL, then ya want to talk to a KGB agent then??? lol youth is wasted on the young. Hopefully their minds will mature.

Destin FL
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Wikipedia is great for some things, but it is NOT a reliable source. It is somewhat peer reviewed, but it can be changed/edited by anyone with an account. I've seen it in the form of pranks across many pages, and that just shows that anyone can spin any article in any way.

Falls Church VA
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There you go, all the research I am going to do for you...the brutal and above and beyond concept is way over the top as to what the CIA could do. Also the KGB was more like the FBI, CIA, NSA, DIA, Protective services and many other agencies all combined that in the US have much less power as they are separated not combined. The medical experiments to cause death un detectable and Stalinistic methods make them particularly brutal as compared to any US agency..

Destin FL
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TOPIC: Time - Person of the Year