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


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CPT Cramer was listed on the “Wall” a year after its dedication in 1982 because the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), which is a private and not government organization, changed its rules. There are quite a few names on the “Wall” who are not Vietnam KIAs but their names have been added due to their dying, at a later date, as a direct result of war wounds. That is the prerogative of VVMF but does not reflect US government policy.

Should a veteran wish to enroll in the Veterans Administration health care system, the Veterans of Foreign Wars or the American Legion, then the dates for Vietnam service in my prior post is the guideline.

You may disagree with the US government Vietnam War service dates but they are the official rules.

The inclusion of CPT Cramer's name on the "Wall" is something I am ambivalent about since he died as a result of a training accident and not in combat.

Regards,
Dick

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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Peter H:

I wish to ask a question of you. Did you serve in the US military? You sure were a prime candidate for the draft in the late 60s and early 70s.

Your insistence that I am a whiner really pisses me off. The one thing that people who know me is that they would NEVER claim I am a whiner. Pushy, autocratic, arrogant, disciplined and, yes, a combat leader would be a few of the negatives and positives but whiner - NFW Jose.

You seem to have a problem when I mention the Marshall Plan more than once – therefore you call me a whiner. Hey, buba, get a life and accept reality: the Marshall Plan worked.

Now, Peter H, should you wish to go toe to toe with me I relish the prospect and I guarantee you will go down in flames. Bring it on!

Ghost on Toast:

You are correct to point out that the original reason for this thread was a poem “Who Stands Alone” that I posted on my web site. It was a great French bashing poem.

However, your statement that that a country has a right to not become involved in a war it does not want to become involved in – end of story – is glossing over the “why” of why they do not want to be involved. FOLLOW THE MONEY!

To add some more fuel to the fire, recently “Hanoi” Jane Fonda stated she was opposed to the war in Iraq and would start a US tour, with military veterans, in March 2006. Check out this:
http://smalltownveteran.typepad.com/posts/2005/04/hi_back_bitch.html for a look at how most Vietnam vets feel about Hanoi Jane.

Personally, I do not care about the purists worries regarding how a poem is constructed – I care mostly about the message and Russ Vaughn gets the message straight.

Regards,
Dick
Peter H: Peter H:

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Waffles, damnit.

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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Dark Rikku
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Essayons:
(…)
However, your statement that that a country has a right to not become involved in a war it does not want to become involved in – end of story – is glossing over the “why” of why they do not want to be involved. FOLLOW THE MONEY!
(…)

Personally, I do not care about the purists worries regarding how a poem is constructed – I care mostly about the message and Russ Vaughn gets the message straight.

Regards,
Dick
Peter H: Peter H:

Alrighty then, follow the money, but if you do so, you have to follow American money interests as well. It is true there are French interests in Iraq, and I have personally refused to say that "the US is just interested in the money" for that reason: the same could be said about the anti-war position of France (although I believe this war is foolish and ineptly planned, I also believe most people who decided to start it were genuinely thinking that they were helping mankind).

But (hello!) the US does have its economic interests as well and, strangely enough, they coincide with their decision to start this war: if you are going to use that idiotic argument, then there is nothing you can say against those who use it against you.

And personally, I do care about verse and style, but even just the message of this poem is based on gross over-simplifications and historical innaccuracies. Would you care for some mindless American-bashing drivel? I'm quite sure I could find tons, but I tend to feel such idiocy deserves no praise and little publicity.

I quite understand if you do not share my point of view on keeping the internet (and the ULRP) clean, but do not be surprised if people respond in a way that isn't in awe of the "talent" of the poem.

In justifying the use of the most simplistic arguments ("follow the money"), you are waving your right to a fair and complex assesment of your position, and single-handedly making the debate sink lower than ever.Good going, dude!

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Dark Rikku
Santorum happens
Hail bloody marys

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Chloe:
quote:
Originally posted by Essayons:
Peter H:...Your insistence that I am a whiner really pisses me off. The one thing that people who know me is that they would NEVER claim I am a whiner. Pushy, autocratic, arrogant, disciplined and, yes, a combat leader would be a few of the negatives and positives but whiner - NFW Jose.


This confused me, so I searched for the word "whine" in all its forms on this thread, and the person who used it first was you, to Dara (bad idea, btw). Surely you're not objecting to sauce for the gander?

quote:
You are correct to point out that the original reason for this thread was a poem “Who Stands Alone” that I posted on my web site. It was a great French bashing poem.
I'm afraid not. While it bashed the French, objectively speaking, it was rhyme-governed (and not very good rhymes at that: Paris/spare us?), predictable (a moment dire? Please!), it's rhythmically all over the place, and it's historically inaccurate. I'm reluctant to call it a poem at all: perhaps a piece of doggerel or verse would be more accurate.



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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Okay, I have been taken to task for two things: Using the word “whiner” and the words “follow the money.” I will ignore the position differences on the textbook “quality” of the poem, Who Stands Alone, since all have stated their opinion and that is that. There were some inaccuracies in the poem but overall it was not off the mark – my opinion and I do not care about other opinions at this time.

Yep, as Chloe so stated, I called Dara a whiner. Tell me something I do not know. It turned out she really was not a whiner and I apologized – but you forgot to include that in your “informative” post. Thanks for presenting half the story. Waffles damnit.

Now to Rikku and her problem with my using the words “follow the money” in regard to France’s no show in the Iraq war and I will add Germany and Russia so as not to isolate solely France. She states, correctly, that some US businesses had/have a monetary interest in Iraq. To what level of economic importance she does not state. I am not sure what Iraq owed France, Germany and Russia prior to the Iraq war – maybe Rikku, the researcher, can clarify.

The US monetary interests in Iraq did not stopped the US from toppling Saddam to the tune of $200 billion and that cost will increase. I suspect that Iraq did not owe that much to France, Germany and Russia combined but Rikku should be able to supply a ball park number.

Follow the money! France, Germany and Russia tried to protect their existing Iraq debt and future contracts with Saddam by refusing to help the US topple Saddam. Many say today that Saddam was a “meanie” (the great portrait of Saddam as posed by Peter H) and it is best that he is gone. Hmmm.

Regards,
Dick

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Mistletoey Chloe
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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quote:
Originally posted by Essayons:
Yep, as Chloe so stated, I called Dara a whiner. Tell me something I do not know. It turned out she really was not a whiner and I apologized – but you forgot to include that in your “informative” post. Thanks for presenting half the story. Waffles damnit.

Perhaps it will turn out that Peter H was wrong and she will apologize too. *shrug* And as to the unfairness of presenting half the story--perhaps you'll see what much of the problem is with the poem in the OP. Not sure why you quoted "waffles damnit"--are you not clear on what "waffles" means on this board?

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~~Ai am in mai prrrrrraime!~~

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Pogue Ma-humbug
Happy Christmas (Malls are Open)


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All together now: Dara is a man. Dara is a man. Dara is a man.

Pogue

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Let's drink to the causes in your life:
Your family, your friends, the union, your wife.

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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:
Okay, I have been taken to task for two things: Using the word “whiner” and the words “follow the money.” I will ignore the position differences on the textbook “quality” of the poem, Who Stands Alone, since all have stated their opinion and that is that. There were some inaccuracies in the poem but overall it was not off the mark – my opinion and I do not care about other opinions at this time.


I find it enormously hard to believe that you do not care about the opinions of others. You are, after all, on an Internet message board posting your own opinion. If you didn't care about the opinions of others, what is the point of trying to influence them with your own opinions?
quote:

Yep, as Chloe so stated, I called Dara a whiner. Tell me something I do not know. It turned out she really was not a whiner and I apologized – but you forgot to include that in your “informative” post. Thanks for presenting half the story. Waffles damnit.


Agreed, and your apology was most civil. However, there is probably a legitimate argument to say that, having set the tone in the argument by calling another poster a 'whiner,' you are in a somewhat invidious position complaining when someone else calls you one.
quote:
Now to Rikku and her problem with my using the words “follow the money” in regard to France’s no show in the Iraq war and I will add Germany and Russia so as not to isolate solely France. She states, correctly, that some US businesses had/have a monetary interest in Iraq. To what level of economic importance she does not state. I am not sure what Iraq owed France, Germany and Russia prior to the Iraq war – maybe Rikku, the researcher, can clarify.

I don't think she has to. If you remember our earlier argument, it was because you kept making accusations then defying me to prove you wrong. I didn't have to then, and she doesn't have to now. If you are so convinced that France or any other country opposed the war in Iraq for financial reasons, the onus is on you to back it up. And, when you then concede that you do not know how much money, or what kind of money this is, it makes your argument super shaky. And you seem to be calling Rikku "Rikku the researcher" like that's a bad thing.

quote:
The US monetary interests in Iraq did not stopped the US from toppling Saddam to the tune of $200 billion and that cost will increase. I suspect that Iraq did not owe that much to France, Germany and Russia combined but Rikku should be able to supply a ball park number.


What's your point, exactly? That the US spent a different amount toppling Saddam than Iraq owed other countries? What correlation are you hoping to draw?


quote:
Follow the money! France, Germany and Russia tried to protect their existing Iraq debt and future contracts with Saddam by refusing to help the US topple Saddam.


Prove it. Or at least show me some evidence of the debts and contracts in question. I think it more likely that France, Germany and Russia didn't want to spend their own taxpayers money on a stupid war.

I don't think the UK and the US would have invaded Iraq if they had known at the time how much it would have cost. Of course, I don't have to prove that. I just have to say that, and it's up to you to disprove it. Do you see how frustrating that is?

quote:
Many say today that Saddam was a “meanie” (the great portrait of Saddam as posed by Peter H) and it is best that he is gone. Hmmm.

Regards,
Dick

I think that there was a sound argument for ousting Saddam Hussein from power. I don't think that the Coalition of the Willing made it. I also think that Chirac probably abused his position on the UN Security Council to veto UN support for a war on Iraq. Unfortunately, the United States are about the last country who should be complaining about other countries abusing their power of veto on the UN security council.

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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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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Essayons:
Now to Rikku and her problem with my using the words “follow the money” in regard to France’s no show in the Iraq war and I will add Germany and Russia so as not to isolate solely France. She states, correctly, that some US businesses had/have a monetary interest in Iraq. To what level of economic importance she does not state. I am not sure what Iraq owed France, Germany and Russia prior to the Iraq war – maybe Rikku, the researcher, can clarify.

The US monetary interests in Iraq did not stopped the US from toppling Saddam to the tune of $200 billion and that cost will increase. I suspect that Iraq did not owe that much to France, Germany and Russia combined but Rikku should be able to supply a ball park number.

Follow the money! France, Germany and Russia tried to protect their existing Iraq debt and future contracts with Saddam by refusing to help the US topple Saddam. Many say today that Saddam was a “meanie” (the great portrait of Saddam as posed by Peter H) and it is best that he is gone. Hmmm.

Regards,
Dick

First off, no need to be so combative.

Secondly, those US businesses doing business in Iraq did so under the Oil for Food program. Here is a fascinating article about how US companies used overseas middlemen to thwart Oil for Food regulations.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Essayons,

You are doing very well at impressing everyone by your knowledge of wars past and present. Well done, gold star for you.

However much of this is totally off the original topic. The original topic was about how you commissioned someone to write a xenophobic piece of clap trap about the French.

My arguement is that this was a bloody nasty thing to do, that whatever you thought about the French, that they have the right not to join a war they disagree with.

Follow what money? Who cares who has money invested where. The point is even if France had every penny on a 'sponsor Saddam' project, if they didn't want to joing the war, they don't have to just because YOU think Frances owes the USA.

Have you ever even been to France? I implore you to go, I beg you to go - it is a lovely place and they are a lovely people.

Without sounding like too much of a bleding heart hippy, we should all be pulling together at times like this not nitpicking at each other.

Ghost on 'will this thread ever die?' Toast

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

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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Ghost On Toast:

My knowledge, really only remembering the basics, regarding the history of wars is greatly aided by the use of the Internet. While I have read many books, to use the proverbial statement, I have forgotten more than I currently remember. I have used computers, and designed a few special purpose computers, since the early sixties and I can still well remember in 1980 business people asking what good are small computers until Visacalc (sp) made its debut. The rest is, as they say, history. But the Internet and the World Wide Web over the last 10 years has been the best benefit of computers for the common person.

Now to dispel some myths:

First, I did NOT commission Michael Marks to pen Who Stands Alone. I was familiar with some of his works and asked him to be the Poet Laureate for our humble and less scholastic (reality) driven group. You may consider, and I use “may” since I have no way of knowing your feelings regarding the “grunts” who protect your way of life, but let me tell you they, the grunts, had no problem with Who Stands Alone.

Second, I have stated in a prior post that I do not believe France “owes” the US anything regarding the Iraq War. They made a choice and we will remember their choice. You negate my statement of “follow the money” by stating “who cares.’ Nice brush-off of reality that is a reason for France’s position. When the truth hits the mark just state “who cares.” That is a feeble non-argument for a journalist.

Third, I have never been to France but many of my friends were nightly treated badly when they went to French restaurants while on a skiing trip. I have skied in Austria and Switzerland and have only positive memories of the reception we were given. That was a two week trip and I will never ski in Europe again. Why? Conditions were marginal but the most important item was SAFTEY. Trail hazards were not marked and the local Ski Patrol negotiated their fee before helping a person off the mountain. At the time I was a registered Ski Patroller in the US and if a skier was hurt you attended to their injuries and got them off the mountain. No fee, just help the injured. Besides, the skiing in the western USA was a step above what Europe had to offer.

Fourth, xenophobic (fear of foreigners: an intense fear or dislike of foreign people, their customs and culture, or foreign things) is a presumptuous and pompous label you place on me. You ain’t got a clue. “Clap Trap? Hey, you can believe what you wish and that is your prerogative.

It is my prerogative to publish what I like and my fellow “grunts” like – you do not have a vote. We like the poem and you don’t – to use your words, “who cares!”

Your reference to “pull together” at a time “like this” is quizzical at best. Who should “pull together?” And particularly why you do not answer that question that you pose is interesting. This is sophomoric rhetoric. Should we “pull together” on the war on terrorism? Or should we pull together on bashing the US stance on terrorism?

And to answer your question as to when this thread will end – that is easy, it will end when posters stop posting.

Regards,
Dick

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Dark Rikku
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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An interesting thing with this thread is that when you come back from a few days of intense work, there are either zero or a lot of new posts, never just a few.

Essayons, nobody is trying to limit your free speech, we just have the goshdarn right to express our fundamental disagreement with whatever you're saying. You may be a "grunt" if it pleases you, I will therefore proudly take the part of the kneejerk liberal (and guess what, buddy?I have free speech too!). Without those kneejerk liberals, America'd still have segregation and perhaps even slavery; and it sure as hell wouldn't have its bill of rights. So okay, its safety is in the hands of "grunts", but don't forget your country wouldn't be what it is without the other side of the medal.

You challenged me to an analysis of US interests in the war on Iraq, entirely missing the point of the argument I'd expressed, which was that it is an entirely unwise direction in which to direct the debate.

You seem to think the war on Iraq was indeed a war of liberation and a war on terrorism; you also seem to think France chickened out of this war because of its economic interests in Iraq. This subtle and cunning analysis has obviously impressed us all so very much that you feel you need to use the quintessential "debate-killer": the authority argument ("I saved your life!" Well, you didn't save mine, dude, or if you're speaking metaphorically, then my parents and grandparents have saved your life as well, so that makes us even), universally recognized since Aristotle to be the weakest form of logic.

You are of course entitled to your opinion. I might just suggest that you should go to France before kvetching endlessly on what you claim to be the "facts" about it (which incidentally are based on absolutely no hard evidence, since you have admitted that your knowledge of France is etchy at best, and your arguments have been proved inaccurate on more than one occasion)- also: congratulations on such a brilliant jump from "Austrians don't post enough signs on slopes" to "French people suck". That was smooth).

My opinion is NOT that the US started this war for economic interests: I simply believe the US administration chose to neglect the opinion of the UN and most international security experts in order to start a war it deemed necessary for domestic political reasons ("see, we're doing something about terrorism!" "see? We didn't get him in the Gulf War, but we'll get him in the end"). These reasons may or may not be valid motives: I believe the Iraqi threat was grossly overexagerated, as was the totalitarianism of Saddam Hussein's regim. I do not know or care why: suffice it to say I believed at the time- and still do- that a military expedition might have been justified if properly prepared and backed by international law, lest the "freed" Iraqis rebel strongly against the occupation army and resort to terrorism, and lest neighboring countries feel that the international community tolerates from "allies" of he Western countries (saudi arabia, pakistan) unlawful and violent behavior it does not tolerate from anti-American countries.

Despite the opinion of the UN, despite the reports concerning the existence of WMDs in Iraq- which the US has judged biased without ever giving a shred of hard evidence to back its claims (except a few misty pictures and a report that is strongly suspected in the UK to be a fake).

Whatever you seem to think, Essayons, a UN report and decision may have more legitimacy than a single state's decision, and at the very least, you should try to respect the other countries' decision enough to hear their objections, especially if you want to dismiss them.

A state that feels it alone has the Truth and that it doesn't need to abide by international law is callled a rogue state. A rogue state which declares war on another is usually not considered the best way to "restore" any kind of legitimacy or security in the area.

I guess your "wonderful" gut knowledge of the universe and history is justification enough for you.

It does not impress me.

Here is an interesting analysis of the motives behind the war according to a bunch of respectable political scientists and policy experts:

foreign policy institute


And here is an interesting column by that raging pacifist and anti-military know-it-all John le Carré:

America gone mad

published in that obscure commie newspaper called the Times.

Amazing, innit, the number of people who honestly feel this war has not helped the Iraqi people or world safety one little bit? Amazing, innit, the number of political scientists and diplomats inside them? Ah, but most of them are not American. That explains everything!

Yes, I am a researcher. in political science and government. My stance is moderate on this war, but nothing in what I've learned or read (even in the US) concerning Iraq or concerning WMDs leads me to feel Iraq was a particular threat at that time, or that it significantly harboured WMDs (want countries known by everyone to have them? Pakistan and North Korea. Everybody knows it. Nobody contests it. What are you waiting for?)

I strongly resent the implicaion that not being part of this organised and pointless fiasco was a selfish and cowardly move. Courage implies that you actually know that war always brings death and devastation on both sides. Wanting to wage it on shaky evidence with no UN backing for very meagre expected results is just called being trigger-happy and silly.

Have a nice day

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Dark Rikku
Santorum happens
Hail bloody marys

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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Rikku, you sure did get excited. And truthfully you either misunderstood my words or purposely twisted them. Hopefully, it was the first – a misunderstanding.

Since you brought up the UN as THE defining entity for how the world should operate, please understand that my opinion is that the UN is a debating society that is powerless to doing anything other than issuing impotent resolutions.

You have a right to your opinion and, whether you believe me or not, I do seek out and read opinions of others who do not share my opinion. As Sun Tzu said: Know your enemy. And, no, that is not a slap at you, it is just good advice. Substitute “debate opponent” for “enemy” and maybe it makes more sense.

I have read the first of your two references the article by Michael T. Klare that you introduced as: “Here is an interesting analysis of the motives behind the war according to a bunch of respectable political scientists and policy experts:
Klare starts his tome by stating what he believes are the three reasons that the US decided to slam dunk Saddam Hussein: Eliminating weapons of mass destruction, Combating terrorism and The promotion of democracy. He then debunks all three (at least he tries) and ends up focusing on oil as the real reason by stating:

“And finally, there is the issue of America's long-term energy dilemma. The problem is as follows: The United States relies on oil to supply about 40% of its energy requirements, more than any other source. At one time, this country relied almost entirely on domestic oil to supply its needs; but our need for oil is growing all the time and our domestic fields--among the oldest in the world--are rapidly being exhausted. So our need for imported oil will grow with each passing year. And the more we turn to foreign sources for our oil, the more we will have to turn to the Persian Gulf, because most of the world's untapped oil--at least two-thirds of it--is located in the Gulf area. We can of course rip up Alaska and extract every drop of oil there, but that would reduce our dependence on imported oil by only about 1-2 percentage points--an insignificant amount. We could also rely for a share of our oil on non-Gulf suppliers like Russia, Venezuela, the Caspian Sea states, and Africa, but they have much less oil than the Persian Gulf countries and they are using it up faster. So, the more you look into the future, the greater will become our dependence on the Gulf.”

But how could this bunch of respectable political scientists and policy experts, as you refer to them (him: Michael T. Klare), totally ignore shale oil reserves as described below? Hmmm. Because it would totally blow his argument out of the water! So scratch Klare as being a scientist or expert. He is a junk scientist and an expert of selective facts. He is the type of academic that I loath and I have known many that do as he does in his article. Unfortunately, the likes of Klare make their argument very compelling by intentionally leaving out facts that would negate their core argument – and people not educated enough or willing to investigate, like you, are sucked into a lopsided dissertation that is totally bogus.

http://www.answers.com/topic/oil-shale

Shale Oil Reserves
Estimates vary as to how many barrels of oil are contained in oil shale reserves. The US Office of Naval Petroleum and Oil Shale Reserves are some 1.6 trillion barrels of oil contained in oil shales around the world, with 60-70% of reserves (1.0-1.2 trillion barrels) in the United States. Most US oil shale is concentrated in the Green River Formation in Wyoming, Utah and Colorado. These oil shale resources underlie a total area of 16,000 square miles
Estonia has some five billion tonnes of oil shale reserves.
The Australian Geological Survey Organization estimates that the country has 32-37 billion tonnes of oil shale, equivalent to 220-260 billion barrels of oil.
Canada has 1.7 billion tonnes of oil shale distributed throughout the country.
Germany has reserves equivalent to three billion tonnes of oil.

Klare continues his bogus argument by stating near the end of his tome this:

“For all of these reasons, American leaders would like to reduce America's dependence on Saudi Arabia. But there is only ONE way to permanently reduce America's reliance on Saudi Arabia: by taking over Iraq and using it as an alternative source of petroleum. Iraq is the ONLY country in the world with sufficient reserves to balance Saudi Arabia: at least 112 billion barrels in proven reserves, and as much as 200-300 billion barrels of potential reserves. By occupying Iraq and controlling its government, the United States will solve its long-term oil-dependency dilemma for a decade or more. And this, I believe, is a major consideration in the administration's decisionmaking about Iraq.”
Hmmm. “ONLY?”Lets look at the figures. Klare states that Iraq may have 200-300 billion barrels of oil reserves. But the US has nearly one trillion and Australia has about 250 billion.

And Klare does not address the US coal and natural gas reserves – which are significant.

Klare also brings up N. Korea and Pakistan as more viable WMD countries (atomic weapons) but totally ignores the fact that the US has installed a missile defense system in conjunction with Australia, Japan, and numerous other countries. Why invade N. Korea or any of the other nuke powers who do not have MIRVed ballistic missiles.

Of course the impotent UN debating society could author another impotent resolution.

Rikku, I have not read your second referenced article but I sure hope it is better than the Klare article. As a researcher I would fire you if you worked for me based on your first referenced article.

For all, there was a time in the past when I had enough security clearance to know that the general public ain’t got a clue as to the weapons and defenses that the US has available to defend the United States. And Rikku, you can take that to the bank – you ain’t got a clue! Take whatever poker chips you have left and cash them in because you are in a poker game you have no understanding about. You are a novice “researcher” and have shown your naiveté by using Klare’s writings as your “proof.”

Maybe you’ll go on another sophomoric rant such as your last rant but all it will get you is grief – from me.

Have a nice day.

Regards,
Dick

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Dark Rikku
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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dear Essayons,

do not worry, I wouldn't even hire you as a researcher: statement instead of proof, gross inaccuracies and even spelling mistakes when trying to impress people with your knowledge, absence of evidence raised to an art ("if you had clearance, you would know")… oh, and personal moral dislike of researchers seen as "argument" ("I don't care if they give me figures and such, I know thay can't be right 'cause they don't think like me and I'm always right…")

you do know, of course, that extracting shale oil is a very complicated and expensive business, that would require, for it to be an effective alternative for regular oil, much time and a very different economic reality ( wikipedia article ) . It's practically the first thing they teach you about energy, I'm surprised you don't remember it. So your "debunking" isn't valid.

Plus, if you had really read thine enemy (hello? we're enemies? i do prefer the other version you try), you would have remembered the point I significantly try to make since the beginning which is that "following the money" is an exercise in paranoia that cannot be a valid line of argumentation (your ah- "argment", was it?- being that one should "FOLLOW THE MONEY"-- and follow the caps too, I guess-- to explain why France didn't go to war) .

The article I gave was an example of a fairly serious use of that argument (the foreign policy institute, more than the author that I don't know in particular, was the bunch i was talking about).You, on the other hand, have not given us your probably briliant analysis of how France is particularly motivated by money interests- at least, the article gave arguments, you never did. You just pile up a bunch of unjustified assertions (ah but youre privy to the secrets of the gods, since you have clearance! Do you really think "secret evidence" is conclusive in a democracy? The French had a wonderful time with that in the Dreyfus affair, sorry if I am weary of it).

You feel that "following the money" is something else than yet another conspiracy theory? Then please state your reasons, and also accept Klare's article which you haven't properly debunked since a) you do not address his debunking of Bush's claims and b) your sole argument is that the US has shale oil, which as I have pointed out is an alternative to oil which would require years to put into practive and cost a packet.

You might not like my sophomoric rants, I do not like your pompous lack of self-criticism. To each his own.

My point about the UN is that if we start disrespecting it then we pave the way for a return to secret diplomacy, the variety we have tried to avoid because of its very disastrous consequences in the XXeth century. The UN is the only thing that can be considered an international source of legitimacy. Not playing the game means we have nothing except national big sticks. Legitimacy might not be high in your list of priorities, it is in mine. And I'm afraid you'll never succeed in finding a solution in Iraq without it.

I may not have a clue about the US army but I don't think you have a clue about what a war in your home country means to a civilian and the possible reactions of people to such situations. You feel that defending yours means going abroad and fighting a bunch of soldiers while they keep the home fires burning. I guess we have a different experience in Europe, which I hope America'll never have (and honestly, the civil war doesn't even come close to what it has meant in the XXeth century): we know the anger of losing your home and family to bombings, we know the cost of "unfortunate slips" by soldiers, we know about guerilla-type situations and how it is to not know where your loved ones are or if they're alive, we know how easily such situations can lead to hatred and genocide. I guess that's why many Europeans want serious proof- not just the word of some high-ranking uniformed guy telling us there "is" evidence- before embarking in a war, I guess that's why some of us are a little bit worried about unplanned and shoddy military occupation and its long-term outcomes.

There's an expression in French: "la fleur au fusil" ("a flower in your gun"). War will be over by springtime, that kind of joke. If this war had not been "fleur au fusil", I would have supported it: if there had been more willingness to discuss the plan or lack thereof with different countries, and if there'd been some kind of respect of international opinion embodied or not by the UN.

In that way, I am much more moderate than many French, and I think our president went overboard in some of his statements (he is a populist- in my opinion, at least, and in that particular respect, he's no different than Bush).

But people like you, xenophobic crap like the poem you've treated us to make me understand the more radical positions, and make me glad we kept well out of it.

In that way, I thank you very, very much.

And a good day to you, too

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

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Doc J.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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Thanks Rikku for another thoroughly enjoyable post.

and . . .

quote:
Originally posted by Essayons:

Klare starts his tome by stating what he believes are the three reasons that the US decided to slam dunk Saddam Hussein: Eliminating weapons of mass destruction, Combating terrorism and The promotion of democracy. He then debunks all three (at least he tries)

Feel free to add my name to the list of people who'd like some clarification on how Klare fails to debunk the excuses for war. Be honest essayons, that shale business was a red herring - seriously, you've got nothing have you ?
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nurple
We Three Blings


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I find it very amusing that someone who has been calling others “pathetic” “whiner” “wimp” and “wonk” is now accusing someone else of being sophomoric.

--------------------
"You better respect the Rap or the Rap won't respect you." Ledatru

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BacardiSpice
Deck the Malls


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Just a personal anecdote about the French and “gratitude” (just for the hell of it, chucked into the mix).

My Grandfather was with the ANZACs who fought to defend the village of Villers-Bretonneux in WWI.

Many years later, my family came there to visit. My father, in his stumbling French learned as a schoolboy many years before, managed to make it known to the owner of the B&B where they were staying that he was Australian, and wanted directions to the Memorial and places where his father had fought. The man’s eyes lit up, and he spoke with barely decipherable passion from which the gist could be taken that he knew very well what sacrifices the Australians had made there. He summoned his son, who was instructed to show the family around the village and significant battlefield sites. The son’s fluency of knowledge on the subject made it apparent that the story of what had been done in those days was well remembered.

That meant a good deal to my family, as you might imagine. And it has been an experience shared by many descendants of those who fought on that soil in the past, who didn’t go there expecting ‘gratitude’ for deeds done by past ancestors, but who were deeply moved by the warm reception they received from the villagers.

You can’t generalise about a nation, but – for whatever it’s worth – I love France, and I love the French. I love their passion in debate, a fiery conversation at 2.00 am over a good bottle of red. I love their art, their culture. Don’t know much about their skiing, but I’m not keen on all their scuba diving industry standards – so what? I’m sure they’ve got issues with some aspects of Australian sport. I don’t agree with all their politics, and I haven’t liked every French person I’ve met…any more than I like the politics and personalities of my own nation(s). Whatever my family did there in WWI, I’ve never expected them to back any Australian foreign policy on the basis of it, let alone support us in the War on any such basis. I wouldn’t change a moment of the rich experiences I’ve had in France, or what I’ve learned from them about living well.

The above are just MHO, of course. But I do find stereotypes of French arrogance/ingratitude/cowardice as aggravating, reductive and non-conducive to reasoned debate as that entire ‘ugly American’ rubbish directed at citizens of the USA.

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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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The link below may answer some questions regarding shale oil and its future importance to world economics. Why the Klare article ignored this vast quantity of untapped reserves is egregious. http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/conf/pdf/dammer.pdf

Also understand that I usually hold some information I have available to me in reserve so that when someone takes the “bait” and challenges me I have a viable answer.

Please notice that the break-even point for the production of shale oil reserves happened in the late 1990s (page 25). Economically, this break point was not a trigger to start large scale production – the continuing increase in the pre-barrel cost of oil is the trigger and it has arrived.

Klare, in his article, continually states that the US has a “stranglehold” on Persian Gulf oil. Huh? Do we, the US, pay less for oil than other nations? No! So why his reference to a US “stranglehold” on Persian Gulf oil? Inflammatory rhetoric and nothing more. He correctly states that the Carter Doctrine guaranteed, via US intervention, the world supply (not just the US supply) of oil from the Persian Gulf would not be uninterrupted. Where was the UN? Debating? Possibly trying to “negotiate” a solution?

If you look at the timeframe posed on page 26 for the full commercial production of shale oil fuels you can, without understanding the entire chart, surmise that full scale production of fuels from shale oil is 20 to 25 years in the future. Nada. It is 5 to 10 years in the future.

Should world demand for oil continue to drive up the price of oil due to the diminishing location of new and less inexpensively developed oil reserves verses shale oil, then the US will have a “stranglehold” on the supply of oil. Given that scenario, the US and Canada, could rule the economies of the world.

Think about that scenario a long time. There are only two possibilities, the Persian Gulf nations can keep the price of oil well below 50 US dollars and stymie the full development of shale oil or they can go back to riding camels to work – if they can find any work.

Like it or not, the US is a Hyper-Power and has the energy reserves to guarantee its future independence from Persian Gulf oil. Whether it takes the increasing price of non US generated oil to push us to develop shale oil is not an issue. We have the greatest world reserve of oil (shale oil) that is 4 times any single Persian Gulf nation. We will exploit that natural resource due to the current price of oil. Should the Persian Gulf oil prices stabilize at under 50 US dollars per barrel, then the US will probably not develop its shale oil reserves. But it will always be there to tap into.

“Always be there” think about the Manhattan Project as a reminder of what the US can do when pushed to develop an answer to a problem in a hurry.

Rikku, in answer to your assessment that your forefathers guaranteed my freedom – forget about it. I have seen poverty and deprivation in Vietnam that you have no idea about. And my ancestors freed Europe twice. Get a grip on reality – the US was the balance of power in WW II and we have guaranteed Europe’s freedom for over 60 years. Our troops, our militarist might and our money. Do you really believe European nations could, back in the late 40s and through the 1990s, have defended itself against the USSR? Could the United Nations and NATO secured Europe’s future without the US forces deployed in Europe? If you do believe that, then you are an idiot.

The US has protected Europe’s ass for the last 60 years and I for one am getting sick of getting blamed for every problem in the world – courtesy of the protected.

Personally, I would prefer that the US pull back to an isolationism position and let the rest of the world “duke it out.” We sure do not need your dependence on us as it cost us men and materiel that is castigated by our so called friends.

Let me summarize: The US has fuel resources that eclipse all known world fuel recourses and has the best military in the world. I like that scenario.

Please do not dial 911 if your country has a problem – dial UN for a debate. Dial the US Marine Corps if you really need help immediately! My oldest son is a US Marine and he will pluck your sorry ass “research” body out of the danger zone.

Courtesy of the USA. French Fries are extra. Actually missing – as they are now called Freedom Fries.

Hey world, the economics are about to change – the Persian Gulf dominance is moot.

I like that scenario – the US has the economic power to control the world.

Dial “USA” if you have a problem and if you have disagreed with our recent world policy (like you had a voice) then stand in line and hope we approve your recent dissident position.

The above is theoretical and totally ridiculous because the US is not intending to world domination.

Fire away!

Regards,
Dick

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Ghost on Toast
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


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Essayons:

quote:
My knowledge, really only remembering the basics, regarding the history of wars is greatly aided by the use of the Internet. While I have read many books, to use the proverbial statement, I have forgotten more than I currently remember. I have used computers, and designed a few special purpose computers, since the early sixties and I can still well remember in 1980 business people asking what good are small computers until Visacalc (sp) made its debut. The rest is, as they say, history. But the Internet and the World Wide Web over the last 10 years has been the best benefit of computers for the common person.
To quote a phrase you clearly hate 'who cares' - I don't really need to know how you got your knowledge darling, I really don't. I read and use the web too. Whoop-de-doo.


quote:
First, I did NOT commission Michael Marks to pen Who Stands Alone. I was familiar with some of his works and asked him to be the Poet Laureate for our humble and less scholastic (reality) driven group.
So you did ask him to write a poem.

quote:
You may consider, and I use “may” since I have no way of knowing your feelings regarding the “grunts” who protect your way of life, but let me tell you they, the grunts, had no problem with Who Stands Alone.
What the hell are "grunts"? Who are these "grunts" that protect my way of life? They sound like monsters of some kind - are they monsters? I'm worried....unless of course by "grunts" you mean security forces in which case I think they wouldn't appreciate you calling them "grunts" and also, since you haven't interviewed every one personally I don't think you can say none had a problem with your piece of clap trap.


quote:
Second, I have stated in a prior post that I do not believe France “owes” the US anything regarding the Iraq War.
Jolly good, then we are on the same page.

quote:
You negate my statement of “follow the money” by stating “who cares.’ Nice brush-off of reality that is a reason for France’s position. When the truth hits the mark just state “who cares.” That is a feeble non-argument for a journalist.
Well, hell, yes, maybe money and business were part of it but also France may have had moral objections. You can't just sweepingly blame their disgreement on money only.
And when I became a journalist I didn't receive the rule book that told me I wasn't allowed to use that phrase. Could you forward it to me please? I know that others may find it useful as well. Ta.

Anyway, I left journalism in February. It's PR now - can we use that phrase in this profession?


quote:
Third, I have never been to France but many of my friends were nightly treated badly when they went to French restaurants while on a skiing trip.
Fantastic.So you are going to base your impressions of a whole country on ONE experience ONE set of your friends had. That doesn't seem to fit with the impression I have of you, of an intelligent human being. What? You have one bad Big Mac and never go to MacD's again, that's ridiculous.


quote:
I have skied in Austria and Switzerland and have only positive memories of the reception we were given. That was a two week trip and I will never ski in Europe again. Why? Conditions were marginal but the most important item was SAFTEY. Trail hazards were not marked and the local Ski Patrol negotiated their fee before helping a person off the mountain. At the time I was a registered Ski Patroller in the US and if a skier was hurt you attended to their injuries and got them off the mountain. No fee, just help the injured.
This is completely irrelevant to any discussion about France.


quote:
Besides, the skiing in the western USA was a step above what Europe had to offer.
In your opinion...

quote:
Fourth, xenophobic (fear of foreigners: an intense fear or dislike of foreign people, their customs and culture, or foreign things) is a presumptuous and pompous label you place on me. You ain’t got a clue.
No I got one clue - that poem you placed attacking France. It was nasty and anti-French. And mate, if you don't want people to think you are pompous then don't act like it. You have been acting that way on this thread. We do have the right to disagree with you, you know.

quote:
“Clap Trap? Hey, you can believe what you wish and that is your prerogative.
Thank you. I will and yes, it is.

quote:
It is my prerogative to publish what I like and my fellow “grunts” like – you do not have a vote. We like the poem and you don’t – to use your words, “who cares!”
Fine - just don't get all shirty when people pull you up about it and disgree. As for you and your "grunts". I could not give a flying one about your site but but when I see that kind of anti-French clap trap I will disagree with it.


quote:
Your reference to “pull together” at a time “like this” is quizzical at best. Who should “pull together?” And particularly why you do not answer that question that you pose is interesting. This is sophomoric rhetoric. Should we “pull together” on the war on terrorism? Or should we pull together on bashing the US stance on terrorism?
You think that is "quizzical". Oh dear. Oh for the love of Bob - we should all be pulling together in a world where terorism is rife. Everyone who isn't a terrorist should be helping one and other, not bitching at one and other for who did what or who won't do what.

quote:
And to answer your question as to when this thread will end – that is easy, it will end when posters stop posting.
Your wisdom knows no bounds...

Look, dude, we are just going to have to agree to disagree here. I love France and I see their reasons for not wanted to go to war. You see the other side. We could argue until the cows come home but neither of us is going to change our minds so we may as well cut it dead now.

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

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Doc J.
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Essayons:

Also understand that I usually hold some information I have available to me in reserve so that when someone takes the “bait” and challenges me I have a viable answer.

It's always a pleasure to see a master tactician at work. You remind me of a young Alexander the Great.

[Roll Eyes]

Still haven't addressed my point yet though have you.

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Dark Rikku
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Thank you for this interesting powerpoint-based pdf. Here is another opinion which completes this presentation concerning the feasibility of such a beautiful project:

quote:
With increasing numbers of countries experiencing declines in conventional oil production, shale oil production may again be pursued. One project is now being undertaken in north-eastern Australia, but it seems unlikely that shale oil recovery operations can be expanded to the point where they could make a major contribution toward replacing the daily consumption of 73 million barrels of oil worldwide.

Perhaps oil shale will eventually find a place in the world economy, but the energy demands of blasting, transport, crushing, heating and adding hydrogen, together with the safe disposal of huge quantities of waste material, are large. On a small scale, and with good geological and other favourable conditions, such as water supply, oil shale may make a modest contribution but so far shale oil remains the "elusive energy".

full document available here, on the website of the world energy council (yet another unamerican one-world council).


Thank you for your comment on the use of the word "stranglehold" by Klare- I gather it is your most valid criticism (even though it ignores the basics of political negociation and fundamental economics : the biggest client is also the power that mostly decides what the country can do with its oil).

I don't see how that justifies the assertion that France remained out of this war "for the money". Nor do I understand how that demonstrates the US has no economic interests in Iraq.

Please keep my forefathers out of the picture: my point was even though the military are needed to defend the country, there wouldn't be any democracy to defend without us snivelling human rights advocates. Nor is peace a product of war only, but mainly of diplomacy and politics, and that card is precisely the tool you lost by not even recognizing the validity of the UN- must I remind you that the UN was created after WWII, with the strong support of the US, precisely to give negociations a chance? I believe the most important American help in building peace in Europe was the Marshall plan, more than NATO, whose importance was largely outside of Europe: someone had understood that winning a war meant nothing if you couldn't win the peace as well, and giving occupied European countries a chance to reclaim their national dignity helped tremendoulsy.

I am amazed that you feel the US alone has been responsible for peace in the world and in Europe (how about outer space?). When I read your last post, I couldn't help but be reminded of "It's a small world after all", the Disney attraction where little dolls sing and dance in fairytale costumes from all over the place: that's what I understood your vision of Europeans to be (probably a caricature, but I couldn't help it). I guess there is such a huge gap between our visions of international dynamics that we can never be in agreement. I do not think, for instance, that your horrible experience in Vietnam has kept the world- or even just the US- safe or more democratic. Sorry. I would like to.

And a final thing about the French you know so well that you feel insulting them in a badly-rhymed poem is a good thing: Bacardispice's experience with the French is not unique. My mother's landlords when she arrived in Paris organised a beautiful, elaborate dinner they spent days preparing just to welcome an American, even one who did not fight. As the token American in our city, she received lots of reactions, but most of them were very positive, and one old man even wanted to leave his farm to her because he wanted it to go to an American.

There is anti-americanism in France, of course. In my experience, however, it is trivial compared to the level of hatred and prejudice reached by anti-french feelings in the US. I can be fairly neutral on that, because I'm both or neither. And there is also a very easy anti-american scapegoat in French politics. But these people were an insignificant minority in the opposition to the war in Iraq. Caricatures fare well, of course, in political deate, but many people wo are pretty much pro-American didn't follow you on that one.

If you want to dismiss their claims as anti-american propaganda or cowardice or stubbornness- so be it. You are playing the game of all those who want the debate to be simplistic,and that means populists, whether jingoist or defeatist. I don't think that's a stable or peaceful or intelligent position, and I don't think polarizing the debate on its two most stupid extremes is a help to anyone.

Have a nice day

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

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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Rikku, you find the 2005 US Department of Energy report that I cite is “interesting.” How interesting is it to you? Nice try at blowing off something that does not fit your argument and in fact rips Klare’s apart. Just ignore it and it will go away – or so you hoped. Wrong!

Rikku, you wrote:
Thank you for this interesting powerpoint-based pdf. Here is another opinion which completes this presentation concerning the feasibility of such a beautiful project:
quote:
________________________________________
With increasing numbers of countries experiencing declines in conventional oil production, shale oil production may again be pursued. One project is now being undertaken in north-eastern Australia, but it seems unlikely that shale oil recovery operations can be expanded to the point where they could make a major contribution toward replacing the daily consumption of 73 million barrels of oil worldwide.

Perhaps oil shale will eventually find a place in the world economy, but the energy demands of blasting, transport, crushing, heating and adding hydrogen, together with the safe disposal of huge quantities of waste material, are large. On a small scale, and with good geological and other favourable conditions, such as water supply, oil shale may make a modest contribution but so far shale oil remains the "elusive energy".
________________________________________
full document available here, on the website of the world energy council (yet another unamerican one-world council).

Wrong. I am familiar with the document. Did you realize the World Energy Council (WEC) report you cite as your proof is dated 2001 and the data used to develop the report was gathered 1997-1999 when the per bbl price of oil ranged between $10 and $38 (US)? And today’s price is around $60 (US). Also, the technology to produce oil from shale oil has improved dramatically since that time frame. But don’t let a few facts get in the way of your citing an outdated report to try and validate your (Klare’s) position.

An excerpt from a conversation about a book: http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/pnm/bandn.htm
B&N.com: You point out that, surprisingly, only a very small portion of the oil that America consumes comes from the Persian Gulf. Where does the Persian Gulf oil go?
TB: Only 40 percent of our energy is oil and only half of our oil comes from abroad. Only one-fifth of what we import is from the Persian Gulf. So, the oil we import from the Persian Gulf is only in the single digits. What people need to know is that the Persian Gulf provides oil for the global economy. We get most of our imported oil from Mexico, Canada, Venezuela, West Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Chad, and the North Sea. The important thing is that global energy markets have regionalized. Remember, OPEC includes Mexico and Venezuela. It is important to realize that Persian Gulf oil -- 60 percent of it -- goes to developing Asia. Those countries are overwhelming consumers of oil and Persian Gulf oil.


You state:
Thank you for your comment on the use of the word "stranglehold" by Klare- I gather it is your most valid criticism (even though it ignores the basics of political negociation (sic) and fundamental economics : the biggest client is also the power that mostly decides what the country can do with its oil).

Wrong again! But that at least makes you consistent. Here, http://www.csis.org/energy/041123_Cordesman.pdf, you will find that Japan imports approximately 70% more Persian Gulf oil than the US (2003). So by your definition of fundamental economics, as you understand it, then Japan is the decision maker.

You state:
I don't see how that justifies the assertion that France remained out of this war "for the money". Nor do I understand how that demonstrates the US has no economic interests in Iraq.

Wrong again! Though, I do like your consistency. The US had economic interests in Iraq prior to 2003 as I have stated in previous posts. Why do you have to lie about what I have clearly stated? And I made that statement in the context that those interests did NOT influence our decision to paddle Saddam’s butt.

Some food for thought: Oil is a global commodity where contracts go to the highest bidder. The Klare article ignores the shale oil potential to influence the price of oil. Should, actually when, world demand (price) for oil starts affecting the economy of the US then we will, along with Canada and Australia, start full scale production of oil from shale oil.

OPEC learned this lesson during the 1970s and oil prices dropped to the point where shale oil production became a monetarily losing proposition and was stopped. Yes, shale oil production was underway in the 1970s. And in the 1970s OPEC was jerking us around but soon understood that they would loose to shale oil should they arbitrarily keep the price of their oil artificially high.

Today it appears that the price of oil is being driven by increasing world demand and not by OPEC’s desire to show its world influence by artificially increasing the price of oil by limiting its production as they did in the 1970s.

Should any of you visiting/posting-on this thread not understand the potential of shale oil production as being competitive with normal oil production today, then I would ask that you read the report I cited in an earlier post: http://www.eia.doe.gov/oiaf/aeo/conf/pdf/dammer.pdf

OPEC understands the potential of full scale production of shale oil (alternative oil production). They learned that lesson 30 years ago. The potential of shale oil has kept a cap on oil prices as long as the demand for oil has not exceeded conventional oil production.

The dynamics of the world supply of oil has changed and demand has driven the per bbl price to the point that shale oil production is profitable today. The only question is is there some dynamic that will lower the current price of oil in the future to the point where shale oil production becomes non-profitable in the future as happened in the 1970s.

Rikku: I have responded to your input and have no real choice other than to say you have presented bogus responses and that I will not further respond to your inept “research.”

I understand that you will vehemently disagree with my position but I will no longer debate a liar, who also tries to use outdated data to support an untenable argument,

Rant and rave as you wish but your inept research is your legacy and I have no desire to pursue and destroy your superficial and incorrect “research” any more.

Have a nice day in research chaos. Let chaos begin – you are the epitome of chaos.

Regards,
Dick

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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
Rikku: I have responded to your input and have no real choice other than to say you have presented bogus responses and that I will not further respond to your inept “research.”

I understand that you will vehemently disagree with my position but I will no longer debate a liar,



Now that's just not acceptable. Calling other people liars just because they disagree with you is very poor form indeed. Your evidence for asserting that Rikku is lying is incredibly tenuous, and you are in my opinion mistaken. You must apologise.

quote:
who also tries to use outdated data to support an untenable argument,
Careful now. Aren't you using your experiences of wars past ("outdated data") to justify the invasion of Iraq as a front in the war on terrorism ("an untenable argument?") Chastising others for behaviour you are displaying yourself is the behaviour of a rogue.

Seriously, Essayons, how do you think this debate is going for you? Because I've found, as a general rule of thumb, that the people who start lashing out and getting personal are the ones who are losing the argument. Maybe you're just a bit out of your depth, but round here we expect people to support their arguments with reasoned debate, not vituperative personal abuse, or anecdotes about inadequate safety on the ski slopes in Austria. Not that that wasn't a charming tale, but not really a smoking gun in argumentative terms.

Straighten out and fly right. While you are admittedly defending what is, in essence, a massive ad hominem at an entire nation, it would be appreciated if you didn't descend to ad hominem debate in attempting to justify it.

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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


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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Ghost On Toast:
You are correct that “we” could argue (debate is the politically correct description) and will never convince each other to change our opinions. There is nothing wrong with that and believe it or not I agree that my position is not universal or at times in the majority opinion. I post here where I am a voice of one with everyone else rebutting my opinion(s). I do learn from the experience but not enough to sway what I believe.

And, yes, I did ask Michael Marks to author a poem – actually add a stanza to an existing poem - but I did not ask him to write Who Stands Alone.

And my reference to “grunts” is not a negative. It refers to infantry soldiers in the US Army. They will use that term to differentiate themselves from REMFs which is a very negative term for non-combatant support troops. The RE stands for Rear Echelon and you can figure out the rest. The infantry soldier also will use the term “ground-pounder” but I would guess that “grunt” is more descriptive of someone hauling (“humping” is the word normally used) 60 plus pounds of equipment in the field.

So I would say, let’s end the discussion about the “poem.” As far as I can see, I am in the minority (of one) here and the “poem” has been negated to the trash heap by other posters.

Please do not view my position as my abdication since there are other forums where I am in the majority but just listening to people who agree with me can get down right boring.

Dara:
Hmm.

You state:
“Now that's just not acceptable. Calling other people liars (Rikku in this case – Essayons edit) just because they disagree with you is very poor form indeed. Your evidence for asserting that Rikku is lying is incredibly tenuous, and you are in my opinion mistaken. You must apologise.”

It is not acceptable for Rikku to change my words to mean something the opposite from what I have posted previously. No apology now, not ever.

You stated:
“Careful now. Aren't you using your experiences of wars past ("outdated data") to justify the invasion of Iraq as a front in the war on terrorism ("an untenable argument?") Chastising others for behaviour you are displaying yourself is the behaviour of a rogue.”

I would appreciate you identifying where and when I used my “outdated” military experience “to justify the invasion of Iraq as a front for the war on terrorism.” And, by the way, how do you know my military experience is “outdated?” Just guessing or hoping, maybe?

You stated:
“Seriously, Essayons, how do you think this debate is going for you? Because I've found, as a general rule of thumb, that the people who start lashing out and getting personal are the ones who are losing the argument. Maybe you're just a bit out of your depth, but round here we expect people to support their arguments with reasoned debate, not vituperative personal abuse, or anecdotes about inadequate safety on the ski slopes in Austria. Not that that wasn't a charming tale, but not really a smoking gun in argumentative terms.”

The debate on this forum is demanding of my time and not the normal head nodding of other friendly forums that I post on. As I sated to Ghost On Toast, solely posting on forums of like minded people can get very boring and rarely expands ones knowledge base. Since I am in “enemy” territory – those who disagree with me – I would have to say I ain’t winning any converts. But I am getting a better understanding of how others think, therefore I have gained new knowledge.

You say that my “lashing out and getting personal” is a sign of losing an argument but it is strange that you take no issue with the “hard” information rebuttal I provided for the most recent Rukku posting. Solely restricting your comments on my statement that she lied is interesting.

Of course you earlier stated in a post that I might be a prick – and, yes, you retracted that statement very quickly but it was not an apology – just a correction – you said it was not warranted – possibly that can viewed as an apology

You stated:
‘Straighten out and fly right. While you are admittedly defending what is, in essence, a massive ad hominem at an entire nation, it would be appreciated if you didn't descend to ad hominem debate in attempting to justify it.”

Who Stands Alone is truly an ad hominem poem – a, from the gut, trashing of the French. I admit it. I like the poem and you do not. We agree to disagree.

Why do you believe my remark concerning Rikku lying is ad homenin? It is fact.

To all:
I am waiting for the Oil For Food investigation at the UN to be completed before I comment, other than ‘Follow The Money” regarding why France and other nations opposed the US/UK driven War in Iraq.

As a last thought, war is not an option I would want to advocate as a solution to all world issues. War is “hell’ and a last resort. Whether the “grunt’ faces a dense jungle where the next step could trigger a booby trap or an ambush or cruising on a road could trigger an IED (command det mine in VN terminology), it is the same. I have seen both and prefer a peaceful solution should it be available. My platoon/company and battalion mine swept roads in Vietnam (Mekong Delta) everyday. We were ambushed by the NVA and Viet Cong.

No, Rikku, war has not changed much. Soldiers (grunts) die today as they did in Vietnam, Korea and before. They move into uncharted areas and face the possibility of death every day. Or they move through areas that they have moved through before without sustaining casualties and then BOOM!

Dara, war has not changed that much since I served in Vietnam. We did not have” up-armored” armored vehicles. The M113s (armored personnel carriers) were thin skinned and an RPG round would waste them.

Vietnam was a disaster but not a US military disaster. The Paris Pease accords agreement pulled all US combat units out of Vietnam by March 1972. By late 1974 ALL US support, weapons, materiel was stopped by the US Congress. By April 1975 the war was over.

My hope is that we Americans will not repeat the South Vietnam abandonment that occurred in 1974 and abandon the Iraqis today.

I do not believe that we will abandon the people of Iraq.

Regards,
Essayons

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Felessan
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Essayons wrote:
quote:

So I would say, let’s end the discussion about the “poem.”

This whole thread began with the poem - a mean-spirited, puerile piece of doggerel taking revenge for France's refusal to back war in Iraq. It can't just be shrugged off.

Essayons, if you are angry at France for not aiding the United States in Iraq, fine, but it would have been so much more appropriate to have expressed it in a mature and reasoned fashion.

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You fool! That's not a warrior, that's a banana!
- a surreal moment in a role-playing game

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Dark Rikku
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Dear Essayons,

*important remark: using data from 2005 is inadequate when analysing a decision taken in 2003*

back from a few days of real life, I find your posts. You believe you gave "hard" evidence that the US has no economic interests in Iraq and that it is not the main oil importer in the world.

I beg to differ: in 2004 (according to the eia) the world's most important oil importer is still, remarkably, the US. Is that outdated?

Second: being a "researcher" (since that part of my profile apparently made an impression on you) doesn't mean you know everything, it means you behave in a reasonable and inquisitive way towards data, in other words it means that you know how to ask questions. I am certainly not an expert in oil sales, but I do have a tendency to apply strict logic and to compare sources. You give me one article which claims that shale oil would be an interesting and possible source of energy that could ensure more economic independence. That goes contrary to anything I've ever read if it refers to the notion that the US already is self-sustaining and that shale oil can be efficiently and inexpensively used as of now.What I can come up with concerning shale oil if I search on the Internet today refers to it as an "elusive energy", as in the piece from the WEC.

I am in favour of innovative research, of course, but I am also suspicious of such serendipity. I believe I would have heard of it at least, and that if someone had come up with a really efficient, really demonstrated way to solve the oil problem, it would have been very hard to maintain it as discreet as that.

In other words, I remember Lyssenko, and I remember that some civilian, military and scientific officials throughout the multiverse have been known to not be able to find their collective arse with a map. France had its "avions renifleurs", the US had Reagan's "Star Wars" program. Forgive me if I am very suspicious of your research, but I still don't think the majority opinion in the scientific community is that shale oil will solve the energy problem in the near future.

As for being outdated, the article from WEC I gave is still the only element on oil shale they have on their website- I feel if it had been outdated in the dramatic way that you say, they would have at least suppressed that page.

This is, after all, an urban legends website. What did you expect? I am not inclined to buy something, anything that purports to hold the Truth wholesale.

Anyhow, and to go back to the debate itself:

1) to prove that "following the money" doesn't work for the US, while it does for France (I have not dissented that it may well work for France, but if you are going to deny for the US, then you'd better have really hard evidence), you would have to prove that there is no Iraqi product (such as oil) that is vital to the US economy as it was at the time the decision was taken. research from 2005 is therefore invalid, since the decisionmakers could not have had this data. And it just so happens that the US is, despite any possible future course of events, still the world's top oil importer. It is also the occupying force in the failed oil-producing state that is Iraq. I believe it is completely preposterous to say that this is not an issue.

2) I have said previously, and I stand by what I say, that I believe the "follow the money" thread of analysis is the quintessential slippery slope of this whole debate. Your reactions have proved me right. If it is not oil, then it can be the military-industrial complex: there are many ways to link a country's decision to participate/not to participate in that war to economic interests. I do not believe this was the only driving force behind this war, because I think no self-respecting country would be as openly disrespectful of ethics. I believe many defenders of this war "mean well". But I certainly do not share their assessment of the situation: I believe this war was, predictably, a failure, and that it is very far from having achieved the goals it set itself- indeed, I think it may have made the middle east even less secure and it might still lead to an even less democratic regime in Iraq. If you want to disprove my point, then please give me data concerning how a) weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, b) terrorism has stopped or at least considerably lessened and c) a viable democratic state has emerged in Iraq thanks to this war. I can't wait. And even then, you would have to prove the evidence of WMDs and terrorists in Iraq at the time the war started was beyond reasonable doubt to say that France wasn't justified in keeping out of this war.

3) I do not remember saying that the experience of soldiers has changed over the years. It is quite irrelevant, as are anecdotes concerning anybody's military experience as such. I did refer to cultural and historical memory concerning the occupation of a country, to stress that an unstable military occupation by another state, especially when said state has bombed the civilian population and defended an embargo that, in their minds, kept the whole nation starving for long years (granted, the shortages were more Hussein's fault, but most people there blame it on the West, Americans it particular) is perhaps not the ideal configuration to restore world peace and order, and democracy in the occupied country. I believe countries that have had fairly recent experiences of being occupied realise this better than a country that hasn't had this experience, which may help to explain why France wasn't too keen on going to war. If you must address me about these issues of war experience, please do so on accurate descriptions of my position and please realise I am more concerned with civilians than with the military.

4) I don't think I have called you a liar. The article you gave just seems extremely fishy to me, and it goes in contradiction with everything I've heard or read. It is my right to question it. This is one of those cases where there is no clear-cut division between "the Truth" and "lies": the question here is to evaluate the validity of a scientific theory, and to evaluate it in terms of policymaking. Saying the US could be self-sustaining doesn't mean it actually is, or that it ever will be. And saying the US imports less oil in percentage than Japan does not mean the absolute value of these imports is smaller (remember grade school: 50% of a small pie isn't necessarily bigger than 25% of a big pie).
I believe I am relatively thorough in my questioning, and I believe that the data I have mentioned is no less respectable than yours. I have not called you names (aside from calling you "pompous" when you called me "sophomoric"), and I am not aware of having twisted your arguments. You, on the other hand, have insulted me twice: by endorsing the "poem" against the French, and by calling me a liar. I don't care: but if you are going to sulk-- since you say you do not want to continue debating with me-- please know that I am a persistent little bugger. I do not quit. Ignore me if you want, I can still intervene in this forum which, believe it or not, is not about you and your opinion on the war, but about a vile piece of xenophobic drivel masquerading as a poem.

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

Posts: 148 | From: Paris, France | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Archie2K
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Coming in rather late, but the points about France's economy were partially valid. France has high unemployment, along with Italy and Germany. I can't seem to find any figures more recent than 2002 which doesn't really help much. [Razz]

Germany is I believe the current worst performer for unemployment. A four-year plan announced after the fall of the Berlin Wall has continued for 16 years, pouring money into the East German economy with little success. Immigration from East to West Germany remains at a high level leaving unemployment in parts of East Germany at frightening levels (20%+). Schroeder's Hartz I-IV policies have been unpopular with Schroeder's left-wing voter base and the Christlich-Demokratische Union, a right-wing Thatcherite party have gained considerably, and may take over the country in the September elections.

France is suffering a similar predicament. Chirac's victory was in part because of the socialists wishing to make sure that Le Pen of the National Front did not get into power. As a consequence the socialists do not support much of Chirac's policies. He too is struggling with economic reform and unemployment, and the recent rejection of the EU constitution was put down in part to France's unwillingness to promote laissez faire economic policies (keeping out Polish Plumber as some put it).

The UK had a similar problem back in the late 70s. Industrial strife, a stagnating economy, inefficient businesses, unions making intolerable demands. After the 1978/79 Winter of Discontent, where the dead weren't buried and rubbish wasn't collected due to industrial strife, the voters reacted against Jim Callaghan's government and voted in Margaret Thatcher, probably the most right-wing of all British PMs in living memory. Her economic policies were sweeping and cost many jobs, supporting efficiency drives by the likes of Rupert Murdoch et al, quickly cost jobs in sectors such as manufacturing and by 1983 three million were unemployed. The policies eventually did their bit however and inflation, then interest rates could fall, bringing the economy into a much stronger position. It seems likely that eventually across other countries of Western Europe, this economic model will be followed.

What relation does this have to the war? None. The problems in France and Germany are NOT to do with opposition to the Iraq War. Indeed Schroeders continued support through 2003 was put largely due to his anti-war stance, as opposed to Merkel who said that war was "inevitable".

The only thing that France can LOGICALLY be criticised for is inappropriate use of its UN veto powers. If I remember correctly, France said that it would veto all and any resolutions that Bush put on the table to help combat Iraq. Some countries, Chile for example, would've supported the war WITH a resolution. These veto powers, afforded to five states (Russia, China, UK, US, France) are now being used by China to prevent intervention in Darfur as it has oil interests there.

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Vox populi vox canem

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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Rikku:

While I did state I would not respond to your posts anymore, your most recent post contains so much illogical thought on your part and twisting of my words to suit you position that I have decided to respond.

You posted:
“Back from a few days of real life, I find your posts. You believe you gave "hard" evidence that the US has no economic interests in Iraq and that it is not the main oil importer in the world.”

Rikku, the US IS the largest importer of world oil. My statement referred to Persian Gulf oil, and Japan exceeded our imports by 70%. It was your position that the US imports the majority of Persian Gulf oil. You, however, believed that the US WAS the largest buyer of Persian Gulf oil and therefore the US controlled the Persian Gulf oil policy. Bad imformation - Japan imports more Persian Gulph oil tha the US. So by your position that he who imports the most Persian Gulf oil is the decision maker, then it is Japan!

PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND:
You state:
Thank you for your comment on the use of the word "stranglehold" by Klare- I gather it is your most valid criticism (even though it ignores the basics of political negociation (sic) and fundamental economics : the biggest client is also the power that mostly decides what the country can do with its oil).

Wrong again! But that at least makes you consistent. Here, http://www.csis.org/energy/041123_Cordesman.pdf, you will find that Japan imports approximately 70% more Persian Gulf oil than the US (2003). So by your definition of fundamental economics, as you understand it, then Japan is the decision maker.

Per your comment:
“Thank you for your comment on the use of the word "stranglehold" by Klare- I gather it is your most valid criticism (even though it ignores the basics of political negociation and fundamental economics : the biggest client is also the power that mostly decides what the country can do with its oil).”

To my explicit reference to the Persian Gulf:
“Klare, in his article, continually states that the US has a “stranglehold” on Persian Gulf oil. Huh? Do we, the US, pay less for oil than other nations? No! So why his reference to a US “stranglehold” on Persian Gulf oil? Inflammatory rhetoric and nothing more. He correctly states that the Carter Doctrine guaranteed, via US intervention, the world supply (not just the US supply) of oil from the Persian Gulf would not be uninterrupted. Where was the UN? Debating? Possibly trying to “negotiate” a solution?
You stated:
“I beg to differ: in 2004 (according to the eia) the world's most important oil importer is still, remarkably, the US. Is that outdated?”

Yep, that is true and has been a fact for many decades. What is your point? I was talking about Persian Gulf oil and you decide to change the meaning of my words to mean “world oil” Klare’s article (that you used as your proof) clearly stated that the US went into Iraq solely because of the Iraqi oil. But we do not get but a few percentage points (10% at best) of our oil from the Persian Gulf.

Rikku, do you really read my posts? I suspect not. You just parse or ignore what does not suit you “research.”

You stated:
“Second: being a "researcher" (since that part of my profile apparently made an impression on you) doesn't mean you know everything, it means you behave in a reasonable and inquisitive way towards data, in other words it means that you know how to ask questions. I am certainly not an expert in oil sales, but I do have a tendency to apply strict logic and to compare sources. You give me one article which claims that shale oil would be an interesting and possible source of energy that could ensure more economic independence. That goes contrary to anything I've ever read if it refers to the notion that the US already is self-sustaining and that shale oil can be efficiently and inexpensively used as of now.What I can come up with concerning shale oil if I search on the Internet today refers to it as an "elusive energy", as in the piece from the WEC.

I am in favour of innovative research, of course, but I am also suspicious of such serendipity. I believe I would have heard of it at least, and that if someone had come up with a really efficient, really demonstrated way to solve the oil problem, it would have been very hard to maintain it as discreet as that.”

Innovative research? Research is not “innovative” Good research finds and tells the truth and in no freaking way is it “innovative.” The US company Enron was ‘innovative” and cooked the books.” Exclusive technology? From a 2001 report you hold as “the truth?” Just because you are a researcher and have never heard of the advances of oil shale and sand (tar) oil extraction technology? Just because you are an “oblivion” regarding current extraction technology? You negate a presentation in 2005, to the US Congress by the Department of Energy as “suspicious.” Do the research! Suspicion drives the researcher to spent endless hours (days, months, years) finding the truth.

You have every right to be suspicious but without pointing out and countering the facts I have presented, your position, that what I have presented is “suspicious” is meaningless.

And, no, I was not impressed that your profile stated you are a “researcher.” It made me “suspicious” because I have known too many “researchers” as you state, who could not find their arse with a map. You fit that definition perfectly.

Have a nice day in chaos.

Regrards,
Dick

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Dark Rikku
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Dear Essayons

1) I never said the Us was the main importer of Persian Gulf oil. I just said it was the main importer of oil. Opening the Iraqi oil reserves to the world would mean a considerable drop in the world price of oil. Therefore, since the US economy is largely dependent on the price of oil, imported oil being an important part of its energy needs, it has everything to gain from opening up the Iraqi market. You are the only one who supplied "persian gulf" in the equation.I was referring to basic economics, once again: when a product has a surge in production/accessibility, prices go down. Do *you* read my posts? I find it amusing that you never answer my questions.

2) you somehow failed to notice the important note I put on my last post: you cannot logically use research from 2005 to justify a decision taken in 2003. Who's twisting logic here? The point you set out to prove was that the US did not take into account its economic interests when deciding this war. Then give me things that relate to what programs and data were in existence at the time the decision was taken, thank you very much, and don't hypothesise on the long term based on research that is posterior to the event you claim to analyse.

3)What I said about your "evidence" is that it appears to not have been tried on the large scale as of now. My point doesn't refer to the scientific processes - Chaos forbid- but to the decision-making process, which was the question in point: no sane policy maker is going to put all its chips on a "solution", however serendipitous, whose application is still marginal and has not been tested on the large scale. Therefore you cannot say "the US has no economic interest in Iraq because it has all the energy it needs thanks to shale oil" when the only thing to back up this is a recent, post-decision, experimental progress. I am suspicious of your research, as I said, not particularly in terms of the scientists who did this, but because the scientific community out there does not seem to feel this progress is reliable enough to count on it: the World Economic Council's report "from 2001" seems to still be the position of WEC. Pending that, I don't think either one of us is qualified to say who has the ultimate truth, but as long as what research you give isn't generally accepted (and you have to prove it was in 2003), you can't use it as a strong argument concerning the american interests.

In other words, in terms of your "epistemology": it doesn't matter whether one organism has found "the truth", even if this organism is right, as long as the solution has not been proved efficient in practice- by using it on the large scale. If respectable organisms seem to doubt the "solution", it probably means the outcomes are still theoretical or dubious. Whether it is the truth or one big theory that doesn't work in practice has apparently not been decided yet. "Real researchers find the truth"- yeah, right, OR they are wrong OR the theories they issue cannot be put into practice. Recent research doesn't invalidate previous research unless it has gone through a long and tedious validation process- until then, it is, still, "innovative"; it it really seems that the data you've given us is still a bet on the future more than a current realisation.

In terms of policymaking in particular, even if your research had the Absolute Revealed Truth, since it would be very unwise to bank on what is not yet a large-scale viable production, your article is not a proof that the US interests do not include a drop in oil prices. Oil prices still impact the US economy very strongly, whatever your "Truth" concerning its future energy policy.

You have therefore absolutely not debunked the idea that the US has economic interests in Iraq, and that these interests may have played a part in the decision to start the war. That's the nice thing about the "follow the money" line of thought you started (I did advise you against it).

Have a nice day in Disneyland

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

Posts: 148 | From: Paris, France | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Essayons posted:
quote:
“Always be there” think about the Manhattan Project as a reminder of what the US can do when pushed to develop an answer to a problem in a hurry.
I really don't want to enter the debate about France, other than to note that her soldiers have always fought with heroism and that having had the privilege of working alongside French SF I would not question their quality - and I'd be equally happy to see the USMC if I were in a tight spot.

But I do want to point out that the Manhattan Project was, post 1941, a combined US, Canada and UK project. The UK may be said to have been a little ahead of the USA in nuclear technology when resources were concentrated in US hands; the US repaid this tripartite effort by banning the export of nuclear technology to any nation, including the UK and Canada (the McMahon Act, 1945). The UK, and later the French, nuclear programmes were both born from a belief that the US had let its allies down.

Posts: 2370 | From: Arabia | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Zachary Fizz:

You stated:
“But I do want to point out that the Manhattan Project was, post 1941, a combined US, Canada and UK project. The UK may be said to have been a little ahead of the USA in nuclear technology when resources were concentrated in US hands; the US repaid this tripartite effort by banning the export of nuclear technology to any nation, including the UK and Canada (the McMahon Act, 1945). The UK, and later the French, nuclear programmes were both born from a belief that the US had let its allies down.”

My understanding of the McMahon Act of 1946 is that it only addresses the transfer of US internal control of the responsibility for atomic energy from the US Army to a civilian agency: the Atomic Energy Commission. http://www.atomicarchive.com/History/mp/p6s7.shtml

Should you have any additional information regarding the US blocking both Canada and the UK from information developed during the Manhattan Project, I would appreciate you directing me to that in formation. I am not saying that it is not true, I just have run out of time to pursue finding the information.

Regards,
Dick

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Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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Hi Dick,

Here's a fairly random selection of webpages evidencing the effect of the McMahon Act:
United States Department of State website

Council on Foreign Relations

BBC

Nuclear Weapon archive

French timeline

Another nuclear weapon archive

Turing archive

I found this page to be particularly interesting, especially Mr Bevin's comments:

quote:
ERNEST BEVIN, IN 1946, AFTER THE PASSING OF THE MCMAHON ACT:
“We’ve got to have this (the bomb)…….I don’t mind for myself, but I don’t want any other Foreign Secretary of this country to be talked at, or to, by a Secretary of State in the United States as I have just had in my discussions with Mr Byrnes. We have got to have this thing over here whatever it costs”… “we’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack flying on top of it”.

which suggest that our nuclear capability was initially intended to prevent American, not Russian, bullying. Also Mr Truman's inability to tell friend from foe. Naturally, the web page is French [Big Grin]
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Essayons
The Red and the Green Stamps


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Thanks Rob,

Great links.

I was confused last night and asked Google for the wrong info. I knew about the joint UK/USA nuclear testing during the late 1950s and 1960s but had forgotten, or never knew, about the US playing games with the UK 1946-1957.

Thanks again for helping me learn or relearn what happened,
.
Regards,
Dick

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Zampano
On Her Majesty's Secret Room Service


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I did not read the whole thread, so please forgive any redundance. The French position was not "let those yankees fight alone, we don't give a damn". Rather, it was a friendly advice based on rational geopolitic statements :

1. When you fight for freedom and justice, it is not a good idea to go to war without an obvious casus belli. Do not hope to find WMD along the way ;

2. In a war against non-etatic, world-threatening, integrist lunatics, it makes little sense to attack a local, laicist dictaroship, as evil as the latter may be ;

3. Do not pick a target when there are more obvious ones just because you are allied with them - Saudi Arabia, for example ;

4. It was clear from the beginning that overthrowing Saddam was not the problem, rather the hellbrewed anarchy that would - and did - result, making Irak a brand new terrorist haven.

5. If you want to destroy someone that wants to unite the whole Muslim world behind him, it is not a good idea to pick a target just because it is an Arab country - that's exaclty what he wants you to do. Contrarly to what one may think, Arabia and Mesopotamia have very different cultural, religious, economical, political, etc. issues, like the US and Mexico, or Chnia and Russia. Pretty maps isn't all.

6. The nature of war has changed : you don't fight an informal network with panzers.


So, it was not primarly a moral issue, rather a strategic one. The Iraki Freedom operation was doomed to be counter-productive. Had Bush and co. come up with a sensible plan of action, France would have followed.

As for the casualties issue, the only ones who serve in the French army are volunteers and professionnals, so it's not like we feel we would be "sacrificing our boys to the god of war" in case of a conflict.

I'm far from being a Chirac fan (like almost all the people I know, I hope he'll end up in jail), but is it not said "Learn wisdom from whoever speaks it" ?

--------------------
Dear members of the Nobel academy, you must wonder : is this man a madman or a genius ? Well, I'm both. I'm a mad genius. (proceeds to show how M&M's reverse aging.)

Posts: 103 | From: Paris, France | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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