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Author Topic: A Poem For France
Kilrati
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Getting back to the actual issue of France and the war. Many people said that we should only go to war with the help (permission) of ours allies. This is a very odd statement to make since allies are historically defined as the people who help each other during a war since it fits their petty interest at the moment. But leaving that aside. Why is France, particularly, define as an allies?

Alliances come into being to fight common enemies in a war. So we were allied to the French in our revolutionary war, against their enemy, and in ww2. Since then we have repeatedly boosted their failing economy, bailed them out in Viet-Nam, and defended them for 50 years from the Soviets.

My question is “What do we owe them? Why should’nt we go to war against the will of our so-called allies, if we believe it fits our interest? ” Please remark that this implies nothing about the Iraqi war, by which I mean that an American might object to the war in Iraq, argue that this war does nothing good, and plenty of bad for the us, but still point out that our going to war is our decision..


Kilrati

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Unusual Elfin Lights
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Kilrati,

I dno't think any one is saying that permission must be sought from your allies before you go to war. However, I think the point most are making here is that if I do not want to support your war, do not denigrate me because we were brothers in arms in previous conflicts.

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Actually, the point I'm making is that the people making that point are intentionally ignoring the much longer history of mutual denigration of each party by the other, so that they can feel better about their short-term pseudo-outrage.

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Canuckistan
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I was irritated by the arrogant tone of the whole poem, saying that anyone who doesn't want to start a war in Iraq is an enemy of freedom and the U.S. (since, obviously, the two are the exact same thing), but one passage in particular made my blood boil:

quote:
It wasn't just our citizens
you spit on when you turned,
but every one of yours
who fell the day the towers burned.

Can we stop this trying to connect Sept. 11 with the war in Iraq already? There is no connection between Iraq and the attacks on the Twin Towers. Even senior U.S. officials have admitted this. Trying to use 9/11 to denigrate the French refusal to go to Iraq is dishonest, and does a great disservice to the people who lost their lives on that terrible day.

I hope the writer of the poem will issue a corrected version. Or does he wish to continue with his distortion of history?

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny Slick:
quote:
Does the author of this post really think that we would still be under it had it not been for what France did more than two centuries ago?
I do. Canada stayed with the UK until very recently, despite several attempts at revolution of their own. One huge reason why they didn't split up is that all the Tories in what became the USA packed up and left (many were forced off their land, an episode of US history that is never told by US historians). John Adams once commented that roughly a third of the people of the US wanted to revolt, a third wanted to stay with England, and a third didn't care. If a third could have been kicked to Ontario after the war, I see no reason why a third couldn't have been kicked to Louisiana.

Okay, apparently this little bit of Canadian history where we "stayed with the UK until very recently" must be somehow referring to the Canadian non-involvement in the war in Iraq, and not anything else. Canadian Confederation was in 1867, and this was in general a peaceful secession which happened through political forces and not bloody revolution. Aside from the Louis Riel rebellion, I'm not aware of any violent revolt in Canada - the Winnipeg general strike and the Rocket Richard riots in Montreal were hardly motivated by politics.

Canada has been its own nation since 1867, with close ties to the UK as most former colonies. Canada was involved in WW1 and WW2 right from the beginning. All of the land which is now known as Canada was absorbed in stages - starting in 1867 and not ending until 1949 when Newfoundland ceased to be a British colony and joined Canada after a referendum.

I'm afraid that far too many people are choosing to re-write history to their own purposes. I'm fairly sure that to claim that Canada was "very recently" a UK dependency is a little bit of a stretch. It may be 91 years less than the US, but it is still 138 years. I think that's not "very recent", unless you are a paleontologist.

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"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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Oualawouzou
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Nitpick: There were violent troubles in Quebec in the years 1837-39, caused by the Patriotes who were asking for independance from the UK. Although the current sovereignist movement in Quebec likes to use them as a symbol, it's important to note both groups are not fighting for the exact same cause.

Quite frankly, revolution-wise, our history isn't terribly exciting, eh...

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Le champignon arrive.

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Oualawouzou:
[QB] Nitpick: There were violent troubles in Quebec in the years 1837-39, caused by the Patriotes who were asking for independance from the UK. Although the current sovereignist movement in Quebec likes to use them as a symbol, it's important to note both groups are not fighting for the exact same cause.
/QB]

I should have been more clear and said that we haven't had any violent rebellion in Canada which resulted in the country becoming indpendent in 1867. The Quebec problems you mention were not only unsuccessful, but they were also localized by comparison. I had really forgotten about them, mostly because of those two reasons. It certainly gets a lot less publicity than, say, Louis Riel.

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"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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karamazoune
I Am Curious, Yellowtail


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quote:
Originally posted by Hero_Mike:
I should have been more clear and said that we haven't had any violent rebellion in Canada which resulted in the country becoming indpendent in 1867. The Quebec problems you mention were not only unsuccessful, but they were also localized by comparison. I had really forgotten about them, mostly because of those two reasons. It certainly gets a lot less publicity than, say, Louis Riel.

This shouldn't be a tread about canadian history but here are two nitpicks:

1- The 1837-1838 rebellion was not as localize as one may think
2- though the british north america act gave Canada a certain sovereignty in 1867, it was still a dominion up until 1982

and we still have the queen face on our currency... I can't wait for Charles to be on our loony [Roll Eyes]

and now back to french-bashing!

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Well whatever you lot think about the war in Iraq, and I don't think many people reaslise just how opposed most British people are to it, I think France is a bloody lovely place. The people are nice, the food is gorgeous, it's beautiful and wine is cheap and good.

So there.

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It's been a while but I'm back!!

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tennesseine
The Red and the Green Stamps


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As an American living in France, I find all this diatribe directed at the French from my compatriots fairly tiresome. The message is essentially the same, though, as the one directed at all critics of the Bush administration: if you disagree with us, you hate freedom and are traitors to our values. I find this disturbingly ironic: those who wish to preserve free speech and basic civil liberties are traitors, while those who wish to grant to the terrorists their greatest wish (an America stripped of freedom and enslaved by theocrats) are the patriots! The only difference I see between the Taliban and the Republican party is the particular brand of theocracy desired.

Going back to the start of this infantile anti-French movement, though: so the French opposed invading Iraq while we pressed ahead because of all those WMDs and links to terrorism, and in the end we failed to find the former and CREATED the latter by spawning an insurgency that immediately jumped into bed with our enemies. Saddam was a sick b*stard, but at least his philosophy of secular 'Arab socialism' was against (and despised by) Al Qaeda...at least until his 'deathbed conversion' right before the invasion, a transparent, last-ditch effort to get allies.

So, who, in the end, was right? Of course now, Bush has done a 180 and says it was to bring about democracy. Well, if you believe that, you have a very short memory of the stated motivations back in 2002-2003. You also have a very narrow understanding of the world. There are by my count about 50 countries that lack democracy and many of them are considered important allies and/or trading partners by Washington. Some of these regimes are very brutal indeed. But most lack oil and didn't 'try to kill my daddy!'

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by tennesseine:
Going back to the start of this infantile anti-French movement, though: so the French opposed invading Iraq while we pressed ahead because of all those WMDs and links to terrorism

Except that we've conclusively demonstrated that that's NOT the start of the French v. American nastiness. You're off by 300 years.

But don't worry, you can still have some good cheese with that whine. [Razz]

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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tennesseine
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I was refering to the most recent round, but we're all well impressed with your display of pedantry. [fish]

I'll be careful to spell these things out in monosyllables in future.

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by tennesseine:
I was refering to the most recent round, but we're all well impressed with your display of pedantry.

I'm a pedant in America, but in France, you're the genius.
 -

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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tennesseine
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Well, you've got me on that one! I could live a thousand years in France and never understand their fascination with Jerry Lewis. But then, I don't really get French humor at all.
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h2olillies1
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I don't believe it is so much fascination as it is appreciation for slapstick comedy, Jerry Lewis was good in his day, like the modern day Kramer from Senfield. However, when he and Dean Martin teamed, they were very dynamic for their day...
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Gerard Morvan
Deck the Malls


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In fact, the whole Jerry Lewis thing comes from a misunderstanding. Ameicans see him as only the comedian (and frankly, I prefer the Marx Brothers, or Laurel and Hardy). But the french intellectuals (not the french audience, mind you) saw him as a movie director, and it's the movie director that they idolized.

BTW, his so-called popularity has long since gone. His movies are rarely, if ever, seen on TV or in theaters. I guess his reputation suffered through the two awful movies he played in in France, probably because he had some taxes to pay.

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"Kentoc'h Mervel !"

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tennesseine
The Red and the Green Stamps


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I didn't know he directed films. But then, I was always more a Three Stooges man myself;)
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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Ah.

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"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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tennesseine
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Good one! Speaking of Chirac, he's about to be handed a huge embarrassment today . Though a big supporter of EU integration, I can't say I will regret it: it's a bad document. Of course, the French have a habit of saying one thing in polls to scare the powers that be, then voting another way when push comes to shove at the ballot box. No matter. If the French don't kill it, the Dutch or British will.

Back to your cartoon, it's a little odd that the American investigation is focusing on every possible alleged oil-for-food fraud except the ones involving Americans. Seems to me we should be smoking out all the rats in that nest, be they foreign or domestic. Of course, that might make people curious about other rip-offs in Iraq, such as those being pulled off by Cheney's buddies. But that discussion is better suited to another section of the forum.

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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Let me introduce myself. I am the web master and founder of the web site (9th Infantry Division Society) that chose Michael Marks as our Poet Laureate and posted his poem “Who Stands Alone.” (http://15thengineer.50megs.com/poems.htm) Actually, I asked him to take that position.

The main web site is http://15thengineer.50megs.com/. The 15th Engineer Battalion (Combat) was the TO&E combat engineer battalion of the US 9th Infantry Division which was last deactivated in 1991. Anyone wish to expound on the activities of the 9th ID during WW II?

Over the last six and a half decades I have been teethed on WW II, admired Korean War veterans in my pre-teens and served in combat in Vietnam. I have an Electrical Engineering degree so my English composition may reflect my over abundance of technical courses. So forgive my less than perfect grammar.

I have followed this forum thread since the first hit from it on my web page back in December 2004. By the way, one of the early posters stated “I can’t wait for the Airbus 380.” Well, wait you will.

Airbus 380 – give me a break. It will be a success on long haul routes and at airports that will upgrade their facilities. If anyone believes that Airbus will blow Boeing away with the 380 is living in a dream world.

I well remember 9/11/01. My oldest son, a US Marine Sergeant, and I watched as the second tower was hit. My statement to him was this was the start of WW III (or IV if you accept the Cold War as WW III).

The French, Germans and Russians have been linked to the Iraq UN Oil for Food program at the highest levels. Some Americans, businessmen, have also been cited. All are corrupt. The difference is that the corruption is at the highest levels of the French, German and Russian governments. Hmmm. Wonder why the UN never backed the US when we went after Saddam Hussein. Never mind that he had for years ignored UN “demands” that he allow inspectors back into Iraq. Whimpish UN declarations had no impact and Saddam laughed at the impotent UN. Saddam was a student of Stalin – does that give anyone an idea of how he ran his country? Think about wood chippers as a means to end the life of your opponent – turn it on and immediately turn it off while your subject is partially devoured (feet first) and screaming in pain. This is Saddam’s Saturday night delight.

Gitmo is Club Med when compared to being a prisoner in Saddam’s Iraq. Hey, try and flush a Koran down a toilet – duh, it DOES NOT FIT inside the plumbing!

Forget about who owes whom what regarding the French and the USA. (French and Indian war verses the French help during the American Revolution). De Gaul entered Paris in 1944, from his impotent lair in England, as the French savior because Eisenhower decreed it – US forces had already liberated Paris. French arrogance started that day.

The French were crushed by the Germans early in WW II. The Brits, Americans and Russians saved their bacon – and their attitude is ARROGANCE. The old joke of WW II French rifles for sale – never fired and dropped once – has a modicum of truth. The French soldiers are not at fault as they fought bravely as did the French Resistance to defend/free their nation. French leadership, both civilian and military, was then, and is still today, at fault. The French DID NOT free their nation from German occupation in 1944 and that gauls the elite French leadership, then and now, to no end. The Allies managed that task and in 1944 when the French were in no position to provide substantive military support to the Normandy landings and the breakouts that led to Paris.

During the early 1970s a ski club (Valley Forge Ski Club) that I belonged to took a two week ski trip to France. They were continually given delayed service when they entered the French restaurants; Americans were not welcome - French arrogance again.

The (EU) Europe is in decline. Socialism has sapped its economy and unemployment is rampant. They have signed their own death warrant. Birth to death socialism guarantees mean nothing if the economy cannot support the theory.

Does anyone remember Neville Chamberlain? Appeasement never helped when faced with a dictator (Hitler) bent on conquest. Appeasing terrorists will lead to the same result today as happened in 1939. We can hide behind our 2005 “Maginot Line” and leave our Ardennes flank open as the French did in the late 1930s or we can take the battle to the terrorists wherever they are.

Enough for today. Should anyone respond please do your research and should you present facts that dispute what I have stated above I will respond. Sophomoric knee jerk reactions will be ignored.

Please visit http://15thengineer.50megs.com/Web-itisthesoldier.jpg It is a sobering statement that well directed (not aspiring to conquest - imperialism) military power and not appeasement is our salvation as free people.

Freedom is NOT free!

I am a combat veteran of Vietnam. What have you done to secure/maintain your/my freedom? Words are cheap. Tell me what you have done to secure your freedom!

Regards,
Essayons

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Essayons:
Let me introduce myself. I am the web master and founder of the web site (9th Infantry Division Society) that chose Michael Marks as our Poet Laureate and posted his poem “Who Stands Alone.” (http://15thengineer.50megs.com/poems.htm) Actually, I asked him to take that position.

The main web site is http://15thengineer.50megs.com/. The 15th Engineer Battalion (Combat) was the TO&E combat engineer battalion of the US 9th Infantry Division which was last deactivated in 1991. Anyone wish to expound on the activities of the 9th ID during WW II?

Over the last six and a half decades I have been teethed on WW II, admired Korean War veterans in my pre-teens and served in combat in Vietnam. I have an Electrical Engineering degree so my English composition may reflect my over abundance of technical courses. So forgive my less than perfect grammar.



First of all, welcome to the board.

quote:
I have followed this forum thread since the first hit from it on my web page back in December 2004. By the way, one of the early posters stated “I can’t wait for the Airbus 380.” Well, wait you will.

Airbus 380 – give me a break. It will be a success on long haul routes and at airports that will upgrade their facilities. If anyone believes that Airbus will blow Boeing away with the 380 is living in a dream world.

Hmm, okay. I'm not really qualified to talk about the business of the aviation industry, so I'll demur on this point.

quote:
I well remember 9/11/01. My oldest son, a US Marine Sergeant, and I watched as the second tower was hit. My statement to him was this was the start of WW III (or IV if you accept the Cold War as WW III).


I see. Do you in some way link the war in Iraq with the War on Terror. Perhaps you believe that Saddam Hussein was in some way involved in the attacks on the World Trade Centre? Please expand.


quote:
The French, Germans and Russians have been linked to the Iraq UN Oil for Food program at the highest levels. Some Americans, businessmen, have also been cited. All are corrupt. The difference is that the corruption is at the highest levels of the French, German and Russian governments.


Hmm. You know how I said "welcome to the board?" I should make sure that you understand what the board's all about. This is the sort of website where we demand evidence of sweeping allegations of this sort. Until such time as you provide them, they will be considered to be without merit. Name these people, and show me the evidence that they have in fact received anything.

quote:
Hmmm. Wonder why the UN never backed the US when we went after Saddam Hussein.




Because the UN tend not to support pre-emptive wars, and because the evidence that Saddam was in violation of the specific UN resolutions cited by the US was simply not good enough, I'd guess. I would also imagine that increasing hostility to the US' dismissive and agressive attitude towards the UN didn't help. And they suspected George W Bush's motives.

quote:
Never mind that he had for years ignored UN “demands” that he allow inspectors back into Iraq. Whimpish UN declarations had no impact and Saddam laughed at the impotent UN.
Lots of people ignore UN demands. We don't invade them. Saddam Hussein was not the only dictator in the world, and by no means the most egregious.


quote:
Saddam was a student of Stalin – does that give anyone an idea of how he ran his country? Think about wood chippers as a means to end the life of your opponent – turn it on and immediately turn it off while your subject is partially devoured (feet first) and screaming in pain. This is Saddam’s Saturday night delight.
Again, on this board we're really hot for a thing we call "evidence." If you can display authoritatively that such a thing took place, then by all means do so. If you can also direct me to the speech or address where George W Bush used this as a basis for invasion, I would be grateful.

quote:
Gitmo is Club Med when compared to being a prisoner in Saddam’s Iraq. Hey, try and flush a Koran down a toilet – duh, it DOES NOT FIT inside the plumbing!

I see. You're telling me that you know for an absolute fact that there is not a Koran available for purchase that can be flushed down the toilet. I didn't realise all Korans were exactly the same size, but stand corrected. I should point out that pretty much all these allegations specify that the Koran was flushed down the toilet on a page-by-page basis, so your objection, as well as being inane, is irrelevant. And you shouldn't want to be compared to Saddam's prisons. You should want to be compared to, oh I don't know, the Geneva Convention, or your country's own constitution.

quote:
Forget about who owes whom what regarding the French and the USA. (French and Indian war verses the French help during the American Revolution).


Yes, that's right. And it would be a much stronger argument if you then didn't go on about how much France owes the US.

quote:
De Gaul entered Paris in 1944, from his impotent lair in England, as the French savior because Eisenhower decreed it – US forces had already liberated Paris. French arrogance started that day.


You really don't understand how liberation works, do you? You can't really liberate someone else, they have to do it themselves.

quote:
The French were crushed by the Germans early in WW II. The Brits, Americans and Russians saved their bacon – and their attitude is ARROGANCE.


The Russians would be grateful to you for the credit you are giving them in the liberation of France, but it would be rather unfair glory. I'm starting to wonder if you know where France is...

quote:
The old joke of WW II French rifles for sale – never fired and dropped once – has a modicum of truth. The French soldiers are not at fault as they fought bravely as did the French Resistance to defend/free their nation.


So who did drop the rifles that they didn't fire? Your last two sentences are ridiculously contradictory. One or the other can be true, not both.

quote:
French leadership, both civilian and military, was then, and is still today, at fault.


Actually, I'll give you that one. I would blame Petain largely for the French defeat.

quote:
The French DID NOT free their nation from German occupation in 1944 and that gauls the elite French leadership, then and now, to no end.


I don't think you meant that, but it's quite a clever pun.



quote:
The Allies managed that task and in 1944 when the French were in no position to provide substantive military support to the Normandy landings and the breakouts that led to Paris.


For the last time, "The Allies" included France. And lots of other countries other than the US. By the way, when France fell to the Nazis, what was the United States doing to quell the scourge of Nazism?

quote:
During the early 1970s a ski club (Valley Forge Ski Club) that I belonged to took a two week ski trip to France. They were continually given delayed service when they entered the French restaurants; Americans were not welcome - French arrogance again.
It's rather unfair to base your assessment on a country on how its hospitality professionals treat you. There's any number of reasons why these waiters were unpleasant to you, if indeed they were. For example, you might be a prick.

quote:
The (EU) Europe is in decline. Socialism has sapped its economy and unemployment is rampant. They have signed their own death warrant. Birth to death socialism guarantees mean nothing if the economy cannot support the theory.


I'm genuinely not seeing that, and I'm in Europe. I would suggest if you want to look at struggling economies that are all out of ideas, you don't have to go as far as Europe to get them.

quote:
Does anyone remember Neville Chamberlain? Appeasement never helped when faced with a dictator (Hitler) bent on conquest.


And was Saddam Hussein bent on conquest? One unsuccessful invasion of another country thirteen years prior is not convincing evidence of an existing threat to neighbouring countries. I believe that was one of the issues that the UN had with the US' crackpot invasion plan.

quote:
Appeasing terrorists will lead to the same result today as happened in 1939. We can hide behind our 2005 “Maginot Line” and leave our Ardennes flank open as the French did in the late 1930s or we can take the battle to the terrorists wherever they are.
What? In the first instance, the Maginot line was only completed in February 1940, and didn't fall until May 1940, but that's by the by. Your analogy simply does not work. We are not France, and the terrorists are not Nazis. And only a nincompoop thinks the answer to controlling terrorism is to invade more Muslim countries, which is what you appear to suggest.

quote:
Enough for today. Should anyone respond please do your research
The audacity!

quote:
and should you present facts that dispute what I have stated above I will respond. Sophomoric knee jerk reactions will be ignored.


In demanding evidence from others, while at the same time presenting none yourself, aren't you demanding higher standards from them than you're willing to live up to yourself? Isn't that somewhat hypocritical?
quote:
Please visit http://15thengineer.50megs.com/Web-itisthesoldier.jpg It is a sobering statement that well directed (not aspiring to conquest - imperialism) military power and not appeasement is our salvation as free people.

Freedom is NOT free!

I am a combat veteran of Vietnam. What have you done to secure/maintain your/my freedom? Words are cheap. Tell me what you have done to secure your freedom!

You're right. If you hadn't gone to Vietnam, who knows how powerful those pesky Vietnamese might have become. Some people would want to point out that your experience in a pointless war that achieved none of its military goals and only served to worsen the US' standing in the world might not be exactly the best framework in which to tout your endorsement of the Iraq war. But I'm not going to.

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This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


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Dark Rikku
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Thank you, Dara.

That was a good debunking of his claims ("arguments" would require more logic than was available in his original post).

Okay: I am French, born to an American mother and British father. Both my grandfathers fought during WWII. I am usually extremely critical of French people and of the French idealised vision of history, but this time, I will be on the side of the defence, for once, because this is going too far.

First, Essayons can't spell the name of the French general who was in charge after WWII: Charles de Gaulle. A bad start for someone who wants to lecture us all on our myopic view of history.

De Gaulle definitely had his shortcomings, but he certainly wasn't "made" a savior by the US: 1) he started the Resistance well before the US actually got involved in the war, he did so pretty much alone and at great personal risk. 2) the American's didn't really like him, and tried until the last moment to put forward another resisting officer who had been-- how should we say?-- less opposed to Pétain's regime than most of the Resistance, and significantly later. The US didn't really have a choice.

Second thing: without the information sent by the Resistance to the allied forces, many more American and British lives would have been lost trying to liberate the country. French Resistants who actually went to the UK to fight (the FFL) with the British army were sent on a suicide mission in Britanny a few days before D-Day to ensure a diversion. It is true that the French army lost in 1940; but it is silly to pretend that the French weren't instrumental, and in many ways crucial, in the liberation of their own country.

What is even more silly is to say that because France was liberated with the help, eventually, of the US, it should owe an everlasting admiration to the current administration (incidentally, my gratitude goes to the UK more than to the US for WWII).

Despite some annoying comments from the radical left and radical right conerning "these filthy Americans and their oil" we are in no position to criticize the American interests in that war, since we have ours too), France's decision not to go to war with Iraq this time was the product of a long reflexion, and is backed on a very serious political analysis along the same lines as the United Nations.

Th United states has a long tradition of democracy, and it has defended democracy in a few countries (mostly during WWII- I really don't think Vietnam qualifies). But it would be shoddy logic, at best, to infer from that that the causes it defends are necessarily the causes of freedom and justice; OR indeed that there is such a thing as a "god" and "bad" side in every single conflict.

Saddam was a dictator, not the worst, though; but getting rid of him by force can be counter-productive, especially if the expedition sent to do so has no backing of the UN, no regional legitimacy whatsoever, and is based on inaccurate information and inept military planning.

Many lives have been lost that shouldn't have been lost in the first place, and soldiers are risking their lives every day to defend an occupation force that is not democratic, completely incapable of curbing the violence and islamist fundamentalism brought about by the bombings. A military coup by the US to get rid of a dictator, sure… but what if the state crumbles and gives birth to an even worse regime? Are you really sure the soldiers will have died for democracy and freedom in that case? I believe that is the stuation we have reached. Congratulations on such a wonderful victory.

As for your ranting concerning the poor state of France (probably a third world country) and the EU, suit yourself: I don't care about your opinion. Especially since it isn't backed by any shred of evidence, not even a simple factoid, except your- anecdote, was it?- "experience" in a restaurant (i had very bad restaurant experiences in the US, does that mean all Americans are rude and sloppy?). Look at the poverty statistics in the US: oh yes, Americans have one or more jobs, certainly, but more of them live below poverty level, and their health care system is less efficient AND more expensive for the common man or woman than in France. If that is European decadence, le me wallow in it!

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Dark Rikku
Santorum happens
Hail bloody marys

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First of Two
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Saddam Hussein was not the only dictator in the world, and by no means the most egregious.

And if you can't make the little wuss-dictators listen, how are you ever going to make Hitler Jr. comply?

quote:
I should point out that pretty much all these allegations specify that the Koran was flushed down the toilet on a page-by-page basis,
And now it also seems that they also specify that it was the detainees who did the flushing. Really, this part of the argument should be moot.

quote:
And was Saddam Hussein bent on conquest? One unsuccessful invasion of another country thirteen years prior is not convincing evidence of an existing threat to neighbouring countries
Two. You've forgotten the Iran-Iraq war in the 80's.

Not to mention that I believe the original rationale behind "Desert Shield" was to keep the Iraqis from going into Saudi Arabia.

--------------------
"Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for western civilization as it commits suicide." - Jerry Pournelle

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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Rikku: I had a Freudian slip and took the Gaul out of de Gaulle – pun intended. Actually I screwed up and did not check the spelling.

Regarding your statement:

“Look at the poverty statistics in the US: oh yes, Americans have one or more jobs, certainly, but more of them live below poverty level, and their health care system is less efficient AND more expensive for the common man or woman than in France. If that is European decadence, le me wallow in it!”

Please click on http://ferret.bls.census.gov/macro/032003/pov/new39_001.htm for clarification that “more of them live below poverty level” as you state above is bogus.

As far as the state of US verses French health care and cost, I will research your allegation further. I am not sure what you mean when stating that US health care is less efficient than French health care. Obviously, the cost of socialized medicine has less impact on the common working person than the free enterprise system of health care in the US. I’ll get back to you regarding this issue.

Dara: Should you have problems with what I posted then simply go to a search engine and find and post a rebuttal to my “sweeping allegations.”

You posted:

“quote:
________________________________________
I well remember 9/11/01. My oldest son, a US Marine Sergeant, and I watched as the second tower was hit. My statement to him was this was the start of WW III (or IV if you accept the Cold War as WW III).
________________________________________


I see. Do you in some way link the war in Iraq with the War on Terror. Perhaps you believe that Saddam Hussein was in some way involved in the attacks on the World Trade Centre? Please expand.”

Huh? Perhaps? Don’t read between the lines of my commentary and try and draw conclusions to provoke an argument. 9/11/01 happened long before Iraq became a focus of US policy. There is no connection, that I am aware of, between 9/11/01 and Iraq.

You posted:

“quote:
________________________________________
During the early 1970s a ski club (Valley Forge Ski Club) that I belonged to took a two week ski trip to France. They were continually given delayed service when they entered the French restaurants; Americans were not welcome - French arrogance again.
________________________________________
It's rather unfair to base your assessment on a country on how its hospitality professionals treat you. There's any number of reasons why these waiters were unpleasant to you, if indeed they were. For example, you might be a prick.”

If they were professionals they would not show a bias night after night. BTW I was NOT on that trip. Notice I used the word ‘They” and not “We.” I was skiing Jackson Hole at the time. But it sure did not stop you from extrapolating what I posted to infer I might be a “prick.” Nice touch but totally meaningless unless you want to divert attention from what I posted.

You posted:

“quote:
________________________________________
The French were crushed by the Germans early in WW II. The Brits, Americans and Russians saved their bacon – and their attitude is ARROGANCE.
________________________________________


The Russians would be grateful to you for the credit you are giving them in the liberation of France, but it would be rather unfair glory. I'm starting to wonder if you know where France is...”

And you have no clue to history. The Russians tied up a significant a number of German Divisions (men, materiel, airpower) on the Eastern front that could not be used by the Germans to defend the Atlantic Wall. Got that? It’s not hard to understand that Russia was a significant factor in allowing the Brits and Americans to pull off D-Day. Your ignorance is pathetic.

You posted:

“quote:
________________________________________
The old joke of WW II French rifles for sale – never fired and dropped once – has a modicum of truth. The French soldiers are not at fault as they fought bravely as did the French Resistance to defend/free their nation.
________________________________________


So who did drop the rifles that they didn't fire? Your last two sentences are ridiculously contradictory. One or the other can be true, not both.
quote:
________________________________________
French leadership, both civilian and military, was then, and is still today, at fault.
________________________________________


Actually, I'll give you that one. I would blame Petain largely for the French defeat.”

You are pathetic. You agree that the French leadership was the problem as I stated. Poor leadership and preparation for war was the reason that French soldiers had to surrender. The French soldier’s willingness to fight for their country is not in question – they never had a chance due to the ineptness of their military and civilian leaders.

You Posted:

“quote:
________________________________________
De Gaul entered Paris in 1944, from his impotent lair in England, as the French savior because Eisenhower decreed it – US forces had already liberated Paris. French arrogance started that day.
________________________________________


You really don't understand how liberation works, do you? You can't really liberate someone else, they have to do it themselves.”

Ah, try that one again. What do you call the liberation of Paris by American troops? By your definition the French must have liberated Paris as well as the rest of France from German occupation all by themselves. That is total BS. When you figure out how the French pulled off this miracle of self liberation please let me know.

You posted:

“quote:
________________________________________
Appeasing terrorists will lead to the same result today as happened in 1939. We can hide behind our 2005 “Maginot Line” and leave our Ardennes flank open as the French did in the late 1930s or we can take the battle to the terrorists wherever they are.
________________________________________
What? In the first instance, the Maginot line was only completed in February 1940, and didn't fall until May 1940, but that's by the by. Your analogy simply does not work. We are not France, and the terrorists are not Nazis. And only a nincompoop thinks the answer to controlling terrorism is to invade more Muslim countries, which is what you appear to suggest.”

As you observed, what I stated is an analogy – nothing more. The point I was making is that defense is not an answer to dictators or terrorist – seeking them out and destroying them is the answer. Terrorists are not necessarily aligned to a country – Afghanistan was the exception and we easily (with no disrespect to our military) neutralized the Taliban. We have helped the Afghanis establish their own non dictatorial government. We are doing the same in Iraq. What they do with the resulting freedom of choice will be their legacy.

Naysayers such as Rikku state that the current situation in Iraq is untenable and will lead to a worse situation than when Saddam was in power. Could be but I will place my bet on the Iraqis and freedom. Notice I did not use the word Democracy. It is their choice and the UN had nothing to do with giving them this choice. The US did.

For those who believe we (the US) should get out of Iraq now – look at how long we have been in Europe and protecting their nations. Or Japan. Or Korea. Did we dictate your form of government by imposing a colonial government? NO!

And now to the final insult:

“quote:
________________________________________
Please visit http://15thengineer.50megs.com/Web-itisthesoldier.jpg It is a sobering statement that well directed (not aspiring to conquest - imperialism) military power and not appeasement is our salvation as free people.

Freedom is NOT free!

I am a combat veteran of Vietnam. What have you done to secure/maintain your/my freedom? Words are cheap. Tell me what you have done to secure your freedom!
________________________________________
You're right. If you hadn't gone to Vietnam, who knows how powerful those pesky Vietnamese might have become. Some people would want to point out that your experience in a pointless war that achieved none of its military goals and only served to worsen the US' standing in the world might not be exactly the best framework in which to tout your endorsement of the Iraq war. But I'm not going to.”

But you did. Pathetic as usual. Wars such as Korea and Vietnam were proxy wars pitting the US and its allies against the communist Soviet Union and/or the Chinese for domination of third world countries. Whether you believe it or not, each transgression of the communists was met by US intervention – with support from our allies. The loss of Vietnam was not due to the US military losing any battle, it was due to the US Congress withdrawing ALL support of South Vietnam in 1973/4. South Vietnam fell in April 1975.

The US had to go into Bosnia because the UN (Europe) was impotent.

That’s it for tonight.

Regards,
Essayons

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:

Dara: Should you have problems with what I posted then simply go to a search engine and find and post a rebuttal to my “sweeping allegations.”

I don't have to. You're the person making the assertion, the onus is on you to back it up. That's how debate works.

--------------------
This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


Posts: 2794 | From: London, UK | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Essayons
Wars such as Korea and Vietnam were proxy wars pitting the US and its allies against the communist Soviet Union and/or the Chinese for domination of third world countries. Whether you believe it or not, each transgression of the communists was met by US intervention – with support from our allies. The loss of Vietnam was not due to the US military losing any battle, it was due to the US Congress withdrawing ALL support of South Vietnam in 1973/4. South Vietnam fell in April 1975.



None of which takes away from my point that the Vietnam War achieved none of its strategic goals, and served to diminish rather than enhance the US' standing internationally. Not to mention causing internal divisions that still exist, as seen by the most recent Presidential election. I'm not saying you did anything wrong in Vietnam, nor do I wish to cast aspersions on the conduct of US soldiers in Vietnam; I'm just saying it probably wasn't a good idea. I possibly inferred from your post some sort of subtext along the lines of "I fought in Vietnam, and I recognise a just and winnable war when I see one." I feel there are weaknesses in that debating position.

But then, our personal experiences necessarily inform our positions. My stance on the Iraq war, for example, could possibly be summed up as: "I'm from Northern Ireland, and I can recognise a vicious internecine tribal struggle, exacerbated by cack-handed and cynical foreign occupation and the collapse of long-standing albeit oppressive and corrupt institutions, which in turn fuels the injustices that lead to the rise of political extremism and terror, when I see one." There's no reason to suppose my position is any more valid than yours.

quote:
Originally posted by Essayons
quote:

During the early 1970s a ski club (Valley Forge Ski Club) that I belonged to took a two week ski trip to France. They were continually given delayed service when they entered the French restaurants; Americans were not welcome - French arrogance again.

It's rather unfair to base your assessment on a country on how its hospitality professionals treat you. There's any number of reasons why these waiters were unpleasant to you, if indeed they were. For example, you might be a prick.


There was no real need for that, and it did nothing to strengthen my argument. I apologise.

--------------------
This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


Posts: 2794 | From: London, UK | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Dara:

BS! You are a whiner and wimp.

Debate my arse. You could not debate a six year old if your rebuttal is "I don't have to. You're the person making the assertion, the onus is on you to back it up. That's how debate works."

Obviously you have never had to debate anyone.

Pony up with rebuttals or shut up!

I answered most of your rediculous statements with facts. Disprove them as you see fit - if you are able.

Hiding behind a statement that the onus is on me is - well, just hiding.

You have a big mouth (keyboard driven) that is easy for a shlep who has no defense for their arguments.

To paraphrase Bush: Bring it on!

Get the picture?

Answer with facts that dispute my statements and I will respond. Debate is give and take regarding what each debator presents - factual or not.

You are such a wonk. Put up or shut up! Your choice.

Regards,
Essayons

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Unusual Elfin Lights
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Essayons, you have a rather interesting moniker.

So "let's try" to understand what you are trying to say:

- Did the US did help out in WWII? Yes

- Is there a debt to pay today? No

- were the French defeated in 1940? Yes

- was it the fault of the French people? No

That is about as much as we are getting out of you before the personal mudslinging started.

As far as backing up information, and debate, I have debated much and making bald faced assertions without the ability to back it up will only serve to demonstrate poor ability to research. To wit

Assertion: the American soldier when faced against another soldier equally equipped and trained as he is will likely run than fight.

Now prove me wrong.

A few thoughts about some of your assertions...

- the US did enter WWII, and started fighting 4 years after the rest of the world.

- the US did enter WWI, and started fighting 3 years after the rest of the world.

- the US did enter the Balkans, and started working five years after the rest of the world (and the UN there was not completely inept, google Medak pocket and expand your mind)

- the US did not enter Rwanda, while the rest of the world did

- the US is not the only player in Afghanistan, and is likely the least popular

Personally, I think you should lighten up, meet people here, engage in healthy discussions, share your experiences, and state your opinions. This should not be a time to pick fights, call names or berate others.

Thanks

Posts: 2064 | From: New Brunswick, Canada | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Oualawouzou
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Essayons, please lay off the personnal insults. This is very much frown upon on this board.

--------------------
Le champignon arrive.

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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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To all:

Tomorrow I will respond.

Tonight I am just monitoring input to this thread. Insults? I have been labled a "prick" and relegated to a loser for being a VN vet. Before I respond tomorrow I would ask what have each of you done to support freedom.

BS is cheap, defending freedom is the goal of a warrior - are you a warrior? Debate is fine until you have to make a choice. Most wonk out when the freedom rubber meets the road. Thank God there a few of us to cover your chickrn shit ass so you can live in your delusion of freedom that is guranteed by those who protect your ass.

Regards,
Essayons

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Unusual Elfin Lights
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Essayons,

You are not the only one who values, or has earned Freedom.

But you are the only one here who claims freedom as a personal reward.

I daresay I am a Warrior. I protect your ass.

Yet, I do not demand, nor expect, your thanks. I do expect civility, especially from someone who has "been there".

Have a good evening, and we'll chat tomorrow, no doubt.

Ubique

BTW, we should move this thread to Petty Bicker...Oh wait, we're here. [Big Grin]

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Dark Rikku
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Quick answer to Essayons:

the World Health organization (WHO) ranks France's health system way above the American one. An "efficient" health system is one in which you get good equipments and doctors without having to pay obscene amounts of money. I stand by this statement: I'd rather be sick in France than in the US, as do most Americans living in France.

Concerning poverty: your link just goes to show that 12% or so of Americans live below poverty level (according to the census bureau). The French equivalent of the Census Bureau, the INSEE (Institut National de la Statistique) gives France's poverty level around 6%. Two to one. Therefore, your "rebuttal" is invalid: I meant that despite the unemployment level, higher than in the US, France still has less people living below poverty level than in the US. By the way, if you plan to question the French definition ofhe "poverty level", let me assure you (and please check the definitions given by the INSEE) that it is less restrictive than the American one (i.e.it covers a broader range of "poverty")

http://www.insee.fr/fr/ffc/chifcle_fiche.asp?ref_id=NATCCF04405&tab_id=58

and for the health system, if you want to avoid the tedious lines of purely domestic statistics on the INSEE website, please check on the WHO website, or on this page, made by American expats in France:

http://www.understandfrance.org/France/Intercultural.html

and especially the part headed "Anti-French America", which corrects a few common misconceptions about France.

Being a VN veteran does not make you an expert in terms of politics and economy. Nor does it make you a supreme moral authority before whom we all should cower in fear. Do you believe you are helping the democracy you feel you have protected when you try to push your point not with logic and arguments, but simply through your position as a veteran? Democracy *is* tough, but we are also defending democracy when we argue and compare facts and disagree with you: that is practically the very definition of it. You claim that this is what you protected: why try to shut us up through a "who here has fought the way I have?" ploy?

If the democracy you feel you've protected is a democracy in which all countries should shut up and obey to the military forces that helped in the past, even when they are doing something wrong, then it is no better than the "democracy" of the so-called "people's republics".

If the democracy you feel you've protected is a democracy in which only veterans and soldiers have their say, how is that different from a military dictatorship?

I respect you, but I disagree with you; please stop being disrespectful to us by using your veteran status as some kind of utouchable superiority we young 'uns can never hope to attain.

--------------------
Dark Rikku
Santorum happens
Hail bloody marys

Posts: 148 | From: Paris, France | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Dark Rikku
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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(previous post edited for typo)

By the way, and since you ask: I am not a warrior in the military sense, but many in my family were; and i am indeed defending democracy on an everyday basis:

I'm part of the supervised and selected volunteers who look after the election proceedings. I am president of a polling station, which means that when there is a vote I spend all day from 7 AM to midnight, usually, making sure that everything is in order, that no-one will be unfairly denied the right to vote and that no-one will be be cheated of his or her vote. I do this entirely for free and I don't think it makes me a better person.

I look after a school, at local level, on behalf of my city, to make sure that chldren will have adequate learning conditions, and this, once again, is for free and doesn't entitle me to anything in particular.

I do my part in society to help protect democracy, both by being extremely vigilant on civil liberties issues and by trying to keep poverty and violence, the two things that are most harmful on the long run to a democratic society, as low as possible, through my political and social action, by helping others less fortunate than me.

It's not much, in fact it is extremely small. But this is the way in which I can help, and I believe most of us, in a way, are trying to defend democracy in whatever way they can. Some do so by becoming soldiers, although not all conflicts are about democracy, and not all soldiers care about democracy. But it is only one way of defending democracy, and I believe one which cannot, if left alone, succeed in this goal: you do not establish democracy by getting rid of a dictator; you must also ensure he will be replaced by a democratic regime, and that this regime manages to create some kind of legitimacy for itself through popular support.

Maintaining this democracy alive, and not an empty shell of a word, is what we civilians do, and no military force can ever replace us in that field. So, yes, i'd say I am doing my part, thank you very much.

--------------------
Dark Rikku
Santorum happens
Hail bloody marys

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Jay Tea
The "Was on Sale" Song


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ooops

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This is where I come up with something right? Something really clever...

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Dara bhur gCara
As Shepherds Watched Their Flocks Buy Now Pay Later


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quote:
Originally posted by Essayons:
Dara:

BS! You are a whiner and wimp.

Debate my arse. You could not debate a six year old if your rebuttal is "I don't have to. You're the person making the assertion, the onus is on you to back it up. That's how debate works."

We appear to have gotten off on the wrong foot, which is something I regret, and it appears you are wounded by my refusal to accept without verification everything you've said on these boards, which again I regret. I do, however, stand by my understanding of how debate works, and its role in this sort of discussion.

quote:
Obviously you have never had to debate anyone.


Obviously.

quote:
Pony up with rebuttals or shut up!


If you insist. My rebuttal is as follows: You have, in defending a poem which I understand you commissioned, which lambasted the conduct of the French during various historical points and now, made several bald assertions regarding French governmental corruption and an unverified woodchipper incident, which seems redolent of a scene from the motion picture Fargo. I have asked for evidence to back up these assertions, which has not been forthcoming. I regretfully must conclude that you have no such evidence, and therefore remain unconvinced.

quote:


I answered most of your rediculous statements with facts.



I'm afraid I disagree.

quote:
Disprove them as you see fit - if you are able.
It is a logical impossibility to prove that something did not happen, or someone did not do something. That's why, if you say something did happen, or someone did something, and people don't believe you, you need to have evidence to back it up. At the risk of sounding patronising, this is really "Arguing on the Internet 1.01."

quote:
Hiding behind a statement that the onus is on me is - well, just hiding.
I'm right here, and I'm not going anywhere.

quote:
You have a big mouth (keyboard driven) that is easy for a shlep who has no defense for their arguments.
This probably comes under "Arguing on the internet 1.02." It is a good idea in these sort of fora to avoid hurling ad-hominem insults that could just as equally apply to you as your opponent. People will notice that your ad-hominem applies just as equally to you as your opponent, and they're not at all shy about letting you know about it. And they'll probably be a little ticked off, and say something mean and patronising.


quote:
To paraphrase Bush: Bring it on!

Get the picture?



No, I honestly don't.

quote:

Answer with facts that dispute my statements and I will respond. Debate is give and take regarding what each debator presents - factual or not.

So, if I understand this, I am to give equal credit to an argument not backed up with evidence as to an argument that is? I profoundly disagree. I do not need to produce evidence that your allegations are unproven, they just are, until such time as they are proven. That's just the way things are.

quote:
You are such a wonk. Put up or shut up! Your choice.

Regards,
Essayons

I'm not sure what a 'wonk' is, either, but I suppose this is me putting up. If possible, let's try to do this without the name-calling, eh?

--------------------
This wrinkle in time, I can't give it no credit, I thought about my space and it really got me down.
Got me so down, I got me a headache, My heart is crammed in my cranium and it still knows how to pound


Posts: 2794 | From: London, UK | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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