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      08-29-2014, 09:34 PM   #463
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Originally Posted by Dalko43 View Post
Hamas was democratically elected, but they engaged in illegal and terrorist activities to oust the Palestinian Authority to consolidate their power in Gaza. Certainly Fatah and Palestinian Authority were no better in many aspects, but to suggest Hamas was the innocent victim defending itself back in 2008 is a pure nonsense.

Hamas has also routinely conducted public executions (no trials) of its own citizens for supposedly being "Israeli collaborators" and have generally stamped out any kind of political opposition to their rule. Their actions have been declared illegal and immoral by many human rights watch groups. And they have routinely instigated conflict with Israel and Egypt over the last 6 years. Let's not even get into the fact that they aren't signatories to the Geneva Conventions.

Conversely, the actions and diplomatic efforts of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank have resulted in a largely peaceful and stable atmosphere there. Israeli West Bank settled areas have been shrinking over the last 10 years because the Israeli government has more of a reason to trust Abbas and the PA.

But other than all of the above, I agree with you: Hamas is a "democratic" government with "democratic" intentions.
Not sure where the straw man arguments are coming from but i never said that Hamas was "the innocent victim" defending themselves. When they won the election and the PA didn't step down, Hamas forcefully removed them. Just stating facts.

Hamas is not the ideal government. I agree with you there but its amusing that you mention their human rights violations without mentioning Israel's. Israel right now is preventing the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International from entering Gaza to conduct their investigations. This would not be tolerated from any other country. The last time I remember this happening, the country was bombed and overthrown.
http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomac...emium-1.611015
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      08-29-2014, 09:46 PM   #464
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Speaking of borders: in 2011 Obama proved his uselessness in foreign affairs: http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/05/....palestinians/ in reading that article, I am actually surprised that coming from CNN, it's accurate.

Add to that his recent condemnation of Israel defending itself... is he trying to piss off our only ally in the Middle East? Or does he have ulterior motives?

Condemning Israel for defending itself is like telling Texas it shouldn't defend itself if Mexico (also a 'democracy') started launching rockets across the border. However if that ever happened, it would be a pretty short conflict... might even get Obama off vacation?? nah.

His response to the beheading of James Foley?? Very weak. And then it was right back to golf. How ridiculous. No wonder the world has lost so much respect.
I have heard that phrase a lot - " Israel is our only ally in the middles east".
Are you forgetting Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Morocco etc.

IMO they are our ally, true. But the relationship is the most dysfunctional of all the middle east allies. They constantly humiliate, insult, and defy the United States without ever facing any repercussions. The other countries mentioned above would never dare too. They just take our money and nod their heads and do as they're told. Israel on the other hand takes our money and then bitch slaps us across the face.
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      08-29-2014, 10:19 PM   #465
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Originally Posted by direwolfM3 View Post
I have heard that phrase a lot - " Israel is our only ally in the middles east".
Are you forgetting Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Morocco etc.

IMO they are our ally, true. But the relationship is the most dysfunctional of all the middle east allies. They constantly humiliate, insult, and defy the United States without ever facing any repercussions. The other countries mentioned above would never dare too. They just take our money and nod their heads and do as they're told. Israel on the other hand takes our money and then bitch slaps us across the face.
Those nations you mentioned are suspicious after the way Libya was double-crossed by the West. Egypt tossed out the Muslim Brotherhood, IMO religious governments aren't the best forms of democracy, its akin to the US being governed by a Christian Brotherhood or a Buddhist Sisterhood etc.
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      08-30-2014, 12:03 AM   #466
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Israel on the other hand takes our money and then bitch slaps us across the face.
Maybe because of the way our figurehead "President" treats them.
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      08-30-2014, 02:02 AM   #467
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The US should ditch Israel as an ally, its not like they're going to not do as they please anyhows.
The US have enough issues to deal with domestically.
Its a tiny nation on the other side of the world, they don't have oil, little to no natural resources, although a decent diamond, software/electronics industry, but nothing to write home about. Befriending Iran would be more purposeful IMO.
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      08-30-2014, 07:19 AM   #468
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The US should ditch Israel as an ally, its not like they're going to not do as they please anyhows.
The US have enough issues to deal with domestically.
Its a tiny nation on the other side of the world, they don't have oil, little to no natural resources, although a decent diamond, software/electronics industry, but nothing to write home about. Befriending Iran would be more purposeful IMO.
I see you live in Australia. Are you an expatriate of the U.S.?
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      08-30-2014, 07:49 AM   #469
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Originally Posted by direwolfM3 View Post
Refuted? That's using the term rather loosely. Anyways, I respect your opinion as well.

But how is it exactly that Israel has done more to minimize civilian casualties? The international community thinks otherwise.
Leaflets, phone calls, text messages, roof knocks.

What is Israel supposed to do when Hamas makes civilians stay in areas that Israel has warned will be targeted?

It is well known that there is a double standard when it comes to Israel. Why is it that you don't see any of these human rights groups protesting in the streets the genocide of the yazidi people and beheadings by ISIS but when Israel defends itself all these people who are "pro human rights" show up out of nowhere? Where are all the rallys condemning ISIS around the world?
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      08-30-2014, 09:46 AM   #470
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Originally Posted by direwolfM3 View Post
I have heard that phrase a lot - " Israel is our only ally in the middles east".
Are you forgetting Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Morocco etc.

IMO they are our ally, true. But the relationship is the most dysfunctional of all the middle east allies. They constantly humiliate, insult, and defy the United States without ever facing any repercussions. The other countries mentioned above would never dare too. They just take our money and nod their heads and do as they're told. Israel on the other hand takes our money and then bitch slaps us across the face.
Israel "defies" us? As if we have some authority over them simply because we are bigger and give them money? Seems kind of presumptuous on your part. To be fair, Israel really only started "defying" us, if that's the term you want to use, since President Obama took office. His foreign policy, which has been ambiguous at best, has shaken their confidence, as well as the confidence of many of our other notable allies (Saudi's, Egypt, Kuwait).

The Saudi's are wondering when President Obama is finally going to cement a deal or reengage sanctions on Iran and its nuclear program.

Egypt is wondering why it is them and not the US that is not negotiating the Israeli-Hamas peace agreement.

The Middle East in its entirety is wondering when the US is finally going to do something about ISIS and the instability in Iraq and Syria.

And of course it's not like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, among others, haven't repressed political movements within their countries and sponsored terrorism abroad, despite receiving nearly as much US aid as Israel does. Somehow that's not acting "defiantly" in your eyes though.
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      08-30-2014, 10:00 AM   #471
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Originally Posted by direwolfM3 View Post
Not sure where the straw man arguments are coming from but i never said that Hamas was "the innocent victim" defending themselves. When they won the election and the PA didn't step down, Hamas forcefully removed them. Just stating facts.
You were very clearly implicating that Hamas is a democratic government, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of their actions and procedures have been anything but. Having a simple majority in elections doesn't mean #$*...the Nazi's came to power in Germany with overwhelming support, but no one tries to argue that they were "democratic."

Also, Hamas did win a majority of the legislative elections, but they refused to be incorporated into the then unified Palestinian military and government hierarchy...which set the stage for conflict between them and the Palestinian Authority.


Quote:
Originally Posted by direwolfM3 View Post
Hamas is not the ideal government. I agree with you there but its amusing that you mention their human rights violations without mentioning Israel's. Israel right now is preventing the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International from entering Gaza to conduct their investigations. This would not be tolerated from any other country. The last time I remember this happening, the country was bombed and overthrown.
To say Hamas is not the "ideal" government is a huge understatement. They deny Israel's right to exist and they conduct blatant terrorist acts (they are recognized as terrorists by many internationally)....why is anyone surprised that Gaza, controlled by Hamas, has been engulfed in conflict these last few months while the West Bank, controlled by the PA, has been relatively peaceful?

If you had taken the time to read my previous posts, you would have seen that I acknowledge Israel's past wrongdoings. I don't place them on the same level of moral depravity as Hamas, but I know they haven't always been in the right.

The difference between the 2 is that Israel is willing to negotiate and co-exist with Palestinians, and have done so in the past. Though a minority, there are Palestinians who actually live in Israel and practice their religion freely (in fact many more are trying to emigrate to Israel for better lives). Hamas refuses to acknowledge that Israel has a right to exist...and for some reason I don't hear of Jews/Israelis trying to move into Gaza, Iraq, Egypt for better lives.
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      08-30-2014, 01:24 PM   #472
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I also don't hear of Israel blindly lobbing missiles into Gaza, randomly killing innocent civilians...
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      08-30-2014, 03:33 PM   #473
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Most ridiculous thing I heard was the UN condemning Israel for not sharing the iron dome technology with Hamas. If that doesn't show how biased the UN is than I don't know what will. Maybe that could be a reason why Israel refuses to cooperate with them
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      08-30-2014, 04:34 PM   #474
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Speaking of semantics...
I wouldn't exactly call it a democratic process.

I think one of the saddest parts of the whole Middle East situation is the $1 TRILLION+ wasted, and 4,500+ US Soldiers killed over there, and now Iraq is worse than it was before, and we left our enemies with functional tanks and such.

I'm sure US intervention there has resulted in very poor side effects. We just don't understand this culture in a way that we can influence it or correct it in a positive way and still remain politically correct. Until we can, I think we should just let it go. Defend Israel, yes. But that is all.

...
I don't think all of the trillion dollars was a waste, but enough of it was that I don't disagree with the theme of your statement. I'm sure too that our efforts yielded some positive results.

There are, IMO, several sad aspects to our spending over there:
  • The positive outcomes are for a very few, relatively speaking, individuals and companies. Spending that much of the public's money, money that largely hasn't yet been earned, to benefit only a few concerns is just plain fiduciary malfeasance dereliction of duty in my mind.
  • That our government finds the will to spend that kind of money abroad to "protect and defend" what isn't at risk for all but a few, but won't find the will to spend similar -- or even half that -- directly in the U.S. to rebuild or create our own infrastructure is shameful. If a proposal were made to spend a trillion dollars to enable people to re-tool their homes to be uber-energy efficient, make sure every qualified student got a free college education, make sure nobody is hungry or homeless, restore the nations bridges, or host of other things, all we'd hear would be cries of "it's too expensive." What was too expensive was a war to find WMDs that didn't exist and deposing a dictator who, despite being a tyrant toward his own people -- a wrong that really wasn't the U.S.' to right -- was a major factor keeping Al Qaeda at bay in the region.

    Indeed, were we to have spent that money on energy upgrades and infrastructure as suggested above, we really wouldn't need to give nearly as much damn what's going on in the Middle East. Sure, we'd still need oil, but the need would be minor enough that the oil countries there would need a stable environment and thus act to provide it more than we'd need to buy their oil as opposed to anyone else's.

    What we are doing in the Middle East right now, and for as long as I can remember, is supporting a strategy that maintains the status quo whereby the seller's ability to sell and make a profit is less than our need to buy what they are selling. The U.S. is one of the wealthiest nations on the planet. Whether one is an individual or a nation, the benefit of wealth isn't that one can buy lots of stuff, its that one has lots of options about what to buy. The U.S. and other wealthy countries are misusing their wealth by failing to use it to create options. What I'm saying is that just as you and I use the money we earn to make more money and create options for ourselves and our families -- Mercedes, BMW, Chevy, something else, for example -- nations need to use their wealth to create options -- other than military ones -- for it's people.
All the best.
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      08-31-2014, 08:29 AM   #475
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Agreed 100% Such a waste of $, and no tangible gain. In fact only tangible LOSS.

Imagine instead, putting a TRILLION dollars toward education. Or infrastructure for high speed rail, or electric/natural gas/hydrogen fueling stations, vehicle advancement, etc. Or like you said, housing efficiency. A trillion would go a long way. Another THREE trillion dollars more is estimated to be pissed away before our illustrious leader finally departs the White House.

So short-sighted is our government... Suspiciously short-sighted. You'd almost think it is all part of a plan...
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      08-31-2014, 09:25 AM   #476
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Originally Posted by GB-335xiCoupe View Post
Agreed 100% Such a waste of $, and no tangible gain. In fact only tangible LOSS.

Imagine instead, putting a TRILLION dollars toward education. Or infrastructure for high speed rail, or electric/natural gas/hydrogen fueling stations, vehicle advancement, etc. Or like you said, housing efficiency. A trillion would go a long way. Another THREE trillion dollars more is estimated to be pissed away before our illustrious leader finally departs the White House.

So short-sighted is our government... Suspiciously short-sighted. You'd almost think it is all part of a plan...
This current administration has been coughing up Billions of $ each month in order to keep the economy going as part of their quantitative easing program (bond buying). The debt and deficit issues we face now, will easily 2x as bad in 7-8 years when interest rates have gone up again....but I wonder if anyone will have a long enough memory to blame President Obama and Yellen for that.
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      08-31-2014, 10:44 AM   #477
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I will. It's not just Obama. It's a corrupt political system in its entirety.
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      08-31-2014, 03:30 PM   #478
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Originally Posted by bkM3 View Post
Most ridiculous thing I heard was the UN condemning Israel for not sharing the iron dome technology with Hamas. If that doesn't show how biased the UN is than I don't know what will. Maybe that could be a reason why Israel refuses to cooperate with them
Yeah, I agree. The fact that some UN bureaucrat got away with saying that tells me all I need to know about the current state of world affairs.

RIP common sense. We are doomed.
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      08-31-2014, 05:59 PM   #479
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Israel "defies" us? As if we have some authority over them simply because we are bigger and give them money? Seems kind of presumptuous on your part. To be fair, Israel really only started "defying" us, if that's the term you want to use, since President Obama took office. His foreign policy, which has been ambiguous at best, has shaken their confidence, as well as the confidence of many of our other notable allies (Saudi's, Egypt, Kuwait).

The Saudi's are wondering when President Obama is finally going to cement a deal or reengage sanctions on Iran and its nuclear program.

Egypt is wondering why it is them and not the US that is not negotiating the Israeli-Hamas peace agreement.

The Middle East in its entirety is wondering when the US is finally going to do something about ISIS and the instability in Iraq and Syria.

And of course it's not like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, among others, haven't repressed political movements within their countries and sponsored terrorism abroad, despite receiving nearly as much US aid as Israel does. Somehow that's not acting "defiantly" in your eyes though.
You raised some good points here, the world has become a more level playing field in recent times, North Korea, India, Pakistan, China, Russia are nuclear powers.

Iran hasn't invaded a country for over 1000 years.
Russia is basically going to invade/move into Ukraine and no nation will dare touch them,
the U.N has become a name sake organisation that keeps people in well paid jobs.

The entire geopolitical caper is becoming a bad joke of late.
I mean the U.S and Australia are having military collaboration down-under in an event of a Chinese invasion!
Haha, without Chinese manufacturing and buying our natural resources we'll be living the dark ages
China also has the U.S by the balls, Walmart is basically Chinamart etc..
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      08-31-2014, 07:30 PM   #480
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First off I agree with your nuclear powers list, with the exception of North Korea. They may have nukes, yes, but not nearly the quantity nor quality of anyone else. Not a "power". They could not hit the U.S. directly. Delivery is the problem. They'd have to do it by hand, most likely by carrying it right across our southern "border". Can we even call it a border any more? Sometimes I wonder.

As for the Wal-Mart comment, I'd dare to go one step further and say just about every retailer is China-Mart. Very few things are still made in the USA, no matter where you shop. Makes me ill. But what are you gonna do? You can't avoid it, even in the produce section...

Try to buy all "Made in USA" once. You'll come home from the store practically empty handed.
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      08-31-2014, 10:31 PM   #481
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Originally Posted by TS135i View Post
Iran hasn't invaded a country for over 1000 years.
You need to do some more thorough reading on this subject. Iranian tribes and ethnic groups (since Iran didn't exist as a country until recently) have waged war and invaded neighboring states quite often, all the way up to the late 1800's. I'm not singling them out for special admonishment, because everyone else was doing the same thing, but to say that Iran hasn't invaded anyone in the last 1000 years is idiotic.

Also, from the 1980's on, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has been heavily involved in sponsoring and coordinating terrorist attacks abroad (Lebanon sticks out as the obvious example, but there were other incidents attributed to them). So ok, maybe not invading per say, but I think we arguing over semantics at that point....they exported violence, and some suspect they still do.

Oh and the Iranians did attack and temporarily conquer Iraqi territory during a conflict in the 1980's as well.


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Russia is basically going to invade/move into Ukraine and no nation will dare touch them,
No one needs to touch Russia, and nor has anyone ever had the desire to do so....why? Because Russia is a world power with nukes. Nuclear deterrence is the whole reason why the US and Russia never directly fought each other during the Cold War despite having conflicting interests.

What needs to happen is for the US (under Obama's leadership) and Western Europe need to level credible and effective sanctions at Russia's economy, which is paper thin at the moment (as it exclusively relies on exporting natural resources abroad). But that seems to be a bridge too far at the moment.

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Originally Posted by TS135i View Post
the U.N has become a name sake organisation that keeps people in well paid jobs.
Agree there. The UN was designed and built to act as a world peace keeping organisation, but with the exception of Korea, they have been absent or ineffective in every major conflict and humanitarian crisis since its inception. Mostly because China/Russia veto anything that the US wants to do and vice versa.


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The entire geopolitical caper is becoming a bad joke of late.
I mean the U.S and Australia are having military collaboration down-under in an event of a Chinese invasion!
Have you been reading the news lately. China has been conducting an intensive modernization of its armed forces, especially its navy, in an attempt to have more of a power projection capability. THey have also been arbitrarily claiming international sea and airspace as their own.

Australia has been training with our Armed Forces out of precaution, and Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, among others, are eager to follow suite.

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Originally Posted by TS135i View Post
Haha, without Chinese manufacturing and buying our natural resources we'll be living the dark ages
China also has the U.S by the balls, Walmart is basically Chinamart etc..
More like the other way around, without the US buying Chinese products, China's still infant economy would lose much of its growth....and the US would be forced to buy its crappy toys and electronics from Mexico or Brazil.
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      09-01-2014, 12:00 AM   #482
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On the last point the world is really using China as a manufacturing whore. A time will come when political conflict of interests will outweigh trading partnerships.
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      09-01-2014, 11:55 AM   #483
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yup, they sure want peace.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/0...n_5745498.html

I wonder how any other country would respond to their neighbor basically stealing about 1000 acres.
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      09-01-2014, 03:15 PM   #484
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^^ Well I suppose if the Palestinian people retaliate over the land grab, Israel can then justify bombing the crap out of them for firing the first shot.
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