Monday, February 20

I have hit my fucking limit.

http://select.nytimes.com/2006/02/20/opinion/20herbert.html

For this of you not subscribed to the TimeSelect service (the New York Times subscription upgrade) what Bob Herbert's writing about is the Maher Arar case -- the Syrian-born Canadian software engineer who was kidnapped at Kennedy Airport by the US government and flown to Syria, where he was held (and tortured) for 10 months in a rat-infested underground cell the size of a grave.

At which point he was released, because (even under torture) nobody could find any evidence he had any link to terrorists.

So Arar, as the resident of a Western democracy and a believer in due process, sought the kind of legal remedy a law-abiding citizen should: he went to court, seeking redress for the illegal and unconstitutional abuse of his person.

His lawsuit was dismissed yesterday.

Not because it was without merit. That's the thing. Exactly the opposite.

The judge who dismissed it threw the case out because discovery might have, for example, uncovered the Canadian Goverment's complicity in this illegal action, and thus precipitated an international incident . . .

Basically, the judge admits the US Government acted illegally. And that there's nothing the judicial branch can do about it, because revealing the details of this illegal activity might harm US international relations.

You get it?

This federal judge says THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION CAN DETAIN AND TORTURE INNOCENT PEOPLE OPENLY AND AT WILL, AND THERE'S NOTHING ANYONE CAN DO ABOUT IT.


Except whine.

And vote the cocksuckers out of office this year.

Yeah: I'm talking the 2006 Congressional election.

Because if the Democrats can take back Congress, we can impeach the fuckers.


Do it.


Now, finally, I'm a Democrat. Why?



BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT THE FUCKING REPUBLICANS.

44 comments:

Ben said...

This is enraging. Please tell me there's some way to appeal this decision.

Chris said...

The Republicans are a damn joke, if I was in America I would be doing everything I could to see their downfall, so all I can say is hats off to you and keep up the good work.

I thought I was going to get arrested on the plane from Italy today 'cos I unthinkingly wore my t-shirt saying:

"George Bush & Son
Family Butchers
est. 1989"

... then had to take my sweater off when it got too hot. Good job it was just a European flight!

Ryan said...

Fuck. Fuck.

From The Globe and Mail, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2005

Abdullah Almalki says he spent almost two years in squalor at Syrian prisons where he was routinely subjected to physical and psychological torture at the hands of interrogators who knew things that only Canadian authorities would have known. Like his friend Maher Amar, Almaki believes that the federal government was complicit in an international anti-terrorist operation that ultimately resulted in Canadian citizens being tortured in Syria to elicit answers to questions that both Canadian and American authorities wanted addressed.

The third one--that we know of--is Ahmed El-Maati.

One of them was 'flagged' because he had an outdated Ottawa travel map.

One of them was flagged because he had worked for the UN years before, in Afghanistan, with a man named Khadr, who did end up working with bin Laden. But the undercover cop who gauged the man's loyalties exposed absolutely no links in the past decade.

Yeah. That whole 'national pride' thing is spiraling downwards.

Richard Fox said...

Matt,
Can you post the article? I don't care enough for the NYT to subscribe.
Thanks

FK said...

Wow. Surely, surely, something like this will wake up the sheep...please?

Chris, where'd you get the shirt? I think I need one. I'm close enough to Mexico that they might just deport me.

MWS said...

Richard --

I can't post the article; that would be a violation of copyright, and I take intellectual property laws very seriously indeed, for reasons that should be obvious.

However, there ought to be plenty of details on the case available free on the Web; just Google the guy's name -- I know from my Canadian contacts that this story's been all over the press up there for years.

Chris said...

FK, I believe you can buy it right here

CB

Richard Fox said...

Matt,
Right you are. Here are some links with more info for those interested:
http://www.metronews.ca/reuters_national.asp?id=130605
http://www.counterpunch.org/arar11062003.html
http://www.maherarar.ca/

Shevchyk said...

You just got this *now* ?

Damn dude.

HeyRed said...

Unfortunatly I feel it will be found that we have had increasingly more and more involvement in such activities with the USA. Canada has started to sink even deeper into their pocket, to the point WE should have the right to impeach 'W'. The worst part of it is that our gov. refuses to admit we play such an active role, especially seeing how we're not supposed to be involed in Iraq. How many soldiers do we have over there right now? Not including the 4 that accidentally killed by US pilots a few years back.

Shevchyk said...

"The worst part of it is that our gov. refuses to admit we play such an active role, especially seeing how we're not supposed to be involed in Iraq."

You realise, don't you, that the Canadian government has not sent any troops to Iraq? There are Peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan, but not in Iraq. The four soldiers you're referring to who were shot down by a U.S. pilot was in Afghanistan during a bombing raid in South Afghanistan in 2002.

Shevchyk said...

Hey Matt - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4744000.stm

Comments?

I was sort of thinking "No shit!" might be a remotely proper reaction...

Mr Nobody said...

Thank you, Matt. I had not heard of this story, but I'm glad you brought it up. I only wish that more people knew about it. Frankly, I've been disgusted by the things I've been hearing about that are going on south of the boarder (yes, I'm Canadian). If anyone should be brought up on war crimes and crimes against humanity...you all know who I'm talking about...

I hope for the sake of the world, the American economy, and the basic human rights of everyone on this planet that Bush, and whatever trolls he has working for him, gets their collective asses handed to themselves sooner rather than later. This article only goes to show how bad the corruption is....

...and to think some people said the Canadian Liberal government was corrupt for losing track of several million dollars...Bigger country, bigger blunder...

gabe said...

Hey Matt, wanna be an expatriate with me?

I can honestly say that I fucking *hate* being an American these days.

Fortune's Favorite said...

Good, bad its all the same to me. You guys sure are deamonizing America. Yes it is sad that sometimes inoccent people have to pay the man for crimes commited by others, but would you rather see one innocent man be punished so the rest brought to justice or one man go free while the rest do as they please. We do not have a perfect system, nobody ever said we have a perfect system, but we certainly the best one around. You all are looking at this issue in black and white when it is all gray. Just as in Stover's Cain books there is no such thing as good or evil the lines cross over to much. Right now western culture is under attack, our way of life is under attack. These terrorist are using our own system against us. These terrorist do not see themselves as evil, just like America does not see it self as evil. We both have an agenda. While America's is the spread of democracy the terrorist agenda is our destruction. There is no sit down or rationalizing we can do with them. These people are ruthless and will use any means to achieve their ends. They kill their people on a daily basis, women and children included to drive their point home. There is no way but there way. So bad mouth America if you want to it is you right written for you with the blood of our American military men and women. So instead of thinking of the atrocities America is commiting try thinking about the atrocities we are trying to help prevent. Yes mistakes will be made for indeed we are all human and not machines. I would rather make mistakes trying to accomplish something than sit on the sidelines worrying about them. Thats my two cents, I hope everybody has a great. Latter

Shevchyk said...

Nice rant.

Are you done repeating what the US government spoon-feeds you like the little propaganda-sucking chimp that you are?

Fortune's Favorite said...

Wow nicely put. Who's really spoon feading who? This is the real world, bad things happen to good people everyday. That's reality. Let's just hope worse things happen to the others. There is no reason to attack, this is discussion a not a school yard fight.

Ryan said...

We both have an agenda. While America's is the spread of democracy

Yup. No better way to show our commitment to *that* ideal, which is ostensibly about the rights of the individual, than to completely ignore the rights of some individuals.

Wait, that's the opposite of logic!

There is no sit down or rationalizing we can do with them.

Sure, among the extremists. But hey, guess what? Not every person in the Middle East is an extremist. You know what is likely to make them more extreme? Reports of torture of their own. You know what is likely to make them more moderate? Reports of reasonably treated POWs.

You catch more flies with honey than with a year-long beating.

Shevchyk said...

Who's really spoon feading who?

The one repeating what his government feeds him: hating your freedom, western civilisation under attack, ad nauseum.

What is in fact the problem here, that you *are* ignoring is this: An innocent Canadian man was sent to a foreign prison and then tortured. An innocent man. Jurisprudence was completely ignored. The entire concept of innocent until proven guilty was ignored.

And now that man wants to see the laws of both the US and Canada fulfilled, and it's quite possibly being rejected.

See, this is what we're talking about. Not some mindless scree about some civilisation under attack (bollocks). Not an agenda that has your destruction in mind. This is about the pre-conceived notion that the man involved - Maher Arar - has particular rights which are granted to him because the US and Canada both signed UN Human Rights accords after World War II came to a close, and because Canada and the US both have laws of due-process which were ignored in this particular case.

You should be proud that somewhere out there is a man willing to demand that our rights are maintained. And instead, you fling monkey-poo at us, "war of civilisations, destruction! blah blah blah."

Mindless platitudes. So of course I'm going to mock and insult you mercilessly. My patience for people like you is absolutely non-existent.

Commitments to human rights means respecting the laws you claim to uphold. And any back-peddling, any codicils, any exemptions - that's when the law, and possibly the ideal itself - begins falling apart.

Either you uphold the law, or you begin becoming as bad as the people you're at odds with. And the moment you begin your arguments with quantifiers such as "We're not as bad as the enemy!" is the moment when you can know you've lost.

Fortune's Favorite said...

"Fuck it dude let's go bowling." You guys are misunderstanding me. I'm not saying that what happened wasn't horrible and I'm not saying he should not get his justice. The individual is very important, but the needs of the few do not out weigh the needs of the many. When I said you can not reason with them I was talking about the terrorists. You took that out of context and put words into my mouth. What else was there? Oh yea. Innocent people are presumed guilty everyday in this country and in other democratic countries all over the world. I don't hear you crying out for them. Where is your supposed fist of fury for them? I'll tell you where it is. Its busy shaking in the wrong direction. Its because its not what is popular in the news right now and other people like your self will jump on any band wagon that comes along. You people never talk about inner city poverty, discrimination or how brutal murders go on everyday and nobody says a word because you choose to ignore it. I never hear a liberal talk about the schools or hospitals that are being built every day by the men and woman of our military or the praise of the majority of the Iraqi people for America for helping them gain their freedom, which is being jepordized by the insurgents. Do I even need to bring up Afganistan. Freed from a regime that consistintly beat, raped, tortured, and violently oppressed women. You don't hear about these things because it dosen't make good press. Its not what people like you want to hear. You would rather hear something terrible and have it incite your anger and each of you wave your angry fists in the air. Instead of hear something good done by the U.S. because by gosh they are incapable of anything good and wholesome. Give it a rest and wake up. And the dude that said you get more bees with honey. Buddy, please ... give me a break. That was pretty funny though. Here is a analogy for you. Have you every seen a bully on the play ground. Did you see what happened to the kids that thought that was a good idea. They got beat harder. People, playground politics still apply today as they ever did as when we were kids. However, on a much more violent level. If you think that the extremist will be more moderate if they catch wind of POWs getting reasonably treated you need to snap out of it dude. They weren't very moderate when they bombed the Trade Towers in 1993 and they sure as hell weren't very moderate when they finally Knocked them down on 9/11. You know whose really tourturing who. You guessed it the extremist, or have we forgotten the many beheading on the oh so honorable Al Jazier network. Damn you guys for making me type so much, whew this is fun. Now we got a debate on our hands. When supposedly peacefull people like your self lose thier patience at a person like myself is the moment you know you've lost. For someone as compasionate and just as you seem to be you sure are intollerant of another persons right to an opinion. Ding, Ding go to your corner's boys and get ready for the next round. I eagerly anticipate the wisdow of your follow on comments, but as a lowly sheep I may be slow in anwering you because it takes a while to chew and swallow what my government is feeding me.

Shevchyk said...

Are you done? You ready to act like something other than a petulant child?

No? Well, I can wait.







*the sound of crickets*





*the sound of music*


Calmed down?
Had a lollypop?
Taken your ritalin?
Good.

Now stop acting like a silly twonk and listen:

Your government (because you are presumably a Seppo) broke the law. And the Canadian government, where I live, is complicit in this crime. Now, your government claims time and again that it believes in due process of the law, and that means presuming innocence before being found guilty. This means being able to call a lawyer, this means respecting the conventions for human rights. This means giving him a lawyer if he cannot provide his own.

What it does not include is:

A)extraditing him to another country where he can be tortured (a practice the US government is not allowed to legally practice).
B)Extradite without permission from the country where the person lives.
C)Let a country who has no jurisdiction hold him illegally, in violation of both Canadian and US law.

All this culminates in a fine gourmet beverage which declares the following:

The natural rights which you take for granted, are not absolute, and are not natural, and can be revoked, because your government thinks you too might be a terrorist. And there is nothing you can do about it.

It's not about U.S. bashing. It's not about the fact that you're a ranty little motherfucker. It's about the fact that *your rights are no longer absolutely guaranteed* by a government that says it believes in natural rights and freedoms.

This ought to scare the ever-living shit out of you.

Ryan said...

First off, free advice. Paragraphs are your friend!

You guys are misunderstanding me.

Then explain yourself more clearly.

I'm not saying that what happened wasn't horrible and I'm not saying he should not get his justice.

Wait a minute, aren't you the same guy who said Yes it is sad that sometimes inoccent people have to pay the man for crimes commited by others, but would you rather see one innocent man be punished so the rest brought to justice or one man go free while the rest do as they please.

If you're repenting and accepting that you made a mistake, huzzah and rejoicing.

The individual is very important, but the needs of the few do not out weigh the needs of the many.

Yes, but in all constitutionally liberal democracies, they still have, y'know, "Rights of the Minority". Stuff like that.

Its busy shaking in the wrong direction. Its because its not what is popular in the news right now and other people like your self will jump on any band wagon that comes along.

That's me. I'm all hardcore over that man-people-shouldn't-be-tortured bandwagon. But I've been on it a while now, and I eagerly await something shiny and new--perhaps a 'diseases are bad!' bandwagon.

Innocent people are presumed guilty everyday in this country and in other democratic countries all over the world. I don't hear you crying out for them. Where is your supposed fist of fury for them?...

You people never talk about inner city poverty, discrimination or how brutal murders go on everyday and nobody says a word because you choose to ignore it.


Okay, now I'm losing track. You're angry because the liberals aren't venting enough about the domestic issues?

Seriously, you've got me hardcore scratching my head over this one. Well, it's either you or the delousing powder from my hippie commune.

It's sort of like Glass Joe from the first Punch Out game, who just tells you "Here's where it really hurts! Please beat me until I can retire!"

Even the most ardent warhawk I know admits that Bush's domestic policy sucks horrible ass. I'd prefer not to go into it, as this response is getting pretty long as is (and uses paragraphs! LEARN FROM ME!) but in short, you ain't doin' yourself no favors.

I never hear a liberal talk about the schools or hospitals that are being built every day by the men and woman of our military or the praise of the majority of the Iraqi people for America for helping them gain their freedom, which is being jepordized by the insurgents

There's a point there--though 'liberal' is far too general. Things are not as bad as the (general) left would say and not as good as the (general) right would have you believe.

Praise of the majority, though? We'll wait for the chaos to subside before I touch that one.

Do I even need to bring up Afganistan. Freed from a regime that consistintly beat, raped, tortured, and violently oppressed women. You don't hear about these things because it dosen't make good press. Its not what people like you want to hear.

And yet somehow *you've* managed to hear about this secret! Possibly because it was on the front page!

Also, please don't tell me what people 'like me' (whatever the fuck that means--bipeds? Carbon-based? Scorpios?) want to hear. I want to hear facts as unbiased as possible. I can put the rest together myself.

And the dude that said you get more bees with honey. Buddy, please ... give me a break. That was pretty funny though.

We try our hardest.

Though it was 'flies'. Not bees.

Here is a analogy for you. Have you every seen a bully on the play ground. Did you see what happened to the kids that thought that was a good idea. They got beat harder. People, playground politics still apply today as they ever did as when we were kids.

See...again, losing me. Perhaps your uncanny ability to read 'flies' as 'bees' also changes the meaning of 'moderate' to 'terrorist'.

Look, here's a pretty simple bullet-point synopsis that everyone should be able to agree with.

1) We do not want to be killed.
2) Extremists want to kill us.
3) Extremists are therefore antagonistic (that means opposed!) to us.
4) Moderates do not want to kill us.
5) Moderates are therefore good for us.
6) Moderates who get pissed off may become extremists.
7) Torturing their people *will* cause moderates to get pissed off.
8) Torturing people will cause moderates to become extremists.
9) Reasonable treatment of their people will keep moderates moderate.
10) We should try to treat their people reasonably to limit extremism.

Add to this a rather simple Pavlov's Bell that we're, in essence, tying together the phrases 'democracy' and 'being beaten with a hose' and, well, it doesn't look so good, now, does it?

When supposedly peacefull people like your self lose thier patience at a person like myself is the moment you know you've lost. For someone as compasionate and just as you seem to be you sure are intollerant of another persons right to an opinion.

Well, I'm somewhat annoyed at your damned lack of paragraphs (and spell-check, but I guess that'd be asking too much) but angry? Ha! I am King Passive. And I'm not intolerant of your right to an opinion. I've just got this weird habit of wanting justification for it, and the best you've been able to give so far is "Man, you think we suck at foreign policy, check out our domestic!" mixed with a lot of "Yeah, we've done bad things, but man, the other guys? EVEN WORSE."

Shevchyk said...

"Yeah, we've done bad things, but man, the other guys? EVEN WORSE."

When you start saying things like "We're not as bad as the other guy" that's when the argument is pretty much over, because what happens now is:

1) Justification will be sought for illegal actions
2) Rights will be repealed
3) The rhetoric becomes not about maintaining the high-ground, but about not maintaining a higher-ground.
4) Comparing oneself to the enemy is usually an indicator of a certain degree of shared attributes.
5) It's a slippery-slope that gets even more slippery the further you walk. Watch out for that ice-trap!

Shevchyk said...

From the Bill of Rights:

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment XV

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.

Mark said...

Time to weigh in on the flame war. To begin with, allow me, as a serving CF member, to clarify the Canadian contribution to the war in Iraq. It's 4 officers. Doing admin. duties for (If I recall correctly) the Consulate. That is it.

Next, with regards to the Americans and their "Rights", they have none. They lost them all the minute they conceded victory to "The Terrorists". The big brother society which they have formed for themselves in a -ahem- "Post-9/11 world" (stupid term...) is antithesis to the very ideals and values that they may have demonstrated in the past that infuriated their opponents. Love of freedom? Gone. Tolerance of religion? Gone. Cultural melting pot? Gone. These have all now been replaced by a flinch reaction of fear and suspicion.
Consider this for a moment. Who ARE "The Terrorists" that your politicos are always talking about? There is no more a "The Terrorists" group than there is Illuminati secretly plotting to rule the world.
Classed as terrorists by the international police and military communities are such organizations as the IRA (who get most of their money from those of Irish descent living in North America - And thus love it), Greenpeace (Who are an almost entirely G8 funded organization - and who thus therefore love the western way of life), and even some political parties, such as Hamas - Who, running a military now as they rule Palestine, is in fact a legitimate government.

There is no such thing as "Them" or "Us". All there is are a collection of individuals all acting in a manner which is designed to further their own intents. Anything more is anthropomorphisizing mere phenomena of rules in action. It isn't self aware, merely complex.

With regards to the recent change in Canada's political landscape, though I vote liberal (they always promise me a pay raise), the only party that I have any respect for is NDP. Not much, mind you, but some. At least they ALMOST acted like adults in the past election.

But, as opposed as I am to Harper's Conservative Government, to say he's another George W Bush is to do him a disservice. He RARELY mentions religion, and the lack of a theocracy in all but name is the one thing left that separates us from our southern neighbors.

Shevchyk said...

Well, there are many more differences than may immediately come to mind. But I get the feeling as though you were talking about "cultural" differences, which is really such a vague and abstract thing that even discussing it doesn't really seem like a terribly fulfilling idea even to me.

Fortune's Favorite said...

I apologize about the lack of paragraphs. If I used paragraphs I thought it would make it to long and on the lack of spell check I don't have a lot of time so I tend to rush things like this. Its not like I am writing a paper.

Terrorist organizations are very real. Take a look at South East Asia. They are all over the place and killing innocent people everyday. Just because you don't think they exist dosen't mean they are not there.
The only reason I commented on this topic was to address the America bashing by other Americans. I could care less what Canadians think, just keep enjoying our culture and our protection, eh. Your Canada, our annoying little brother that keeps pulling on our shirt to get our attention. I forget you guys are even there sometimes.
If you don't think there aren't terrorists cells working in America wait a while they'll make there presence known. Hopefully they will be caught before then.

I don't believe I ever said "We're not as bad as the other guys." We're not even close. We are the United States of America, we are a beacon of hope and prosparity. If it was not for the U.S. what would the world be like. It would be speaking a lot more German and Russian I'll tell you that. When anybody needs help who do they come to first. The world would be a much a different place with out our presence. We have done countless good things to make this world a better place, of coarse along the way mistakes have been made and mistakes are going to continue to be made, we are only human.
If you don't like the way we do business or conduct our foreign policy why don't you come down here do something about. That would be a huge mistake, a quick and painfull mistake. I'm pretty sure you guys are going blow up at that comment, but thats allright your anger makes me laugh. It only hurts because its true.
Anyway I'm tired and through typing, 18 hour days will do that to you. Ya'll have a good one and I'll talk to ya'll latter. God bless America.

Ryan said...

I apologize about the lack of paragraphs. If I used paragraphs I thought it would make it to long and on the lack of spell check I don't have a lot of time so I tend to rush things like this. Its not like I am writing a paper.

Seriously, thank you. I can usually understand the point without spell-check, but a lack of paragraphs actually makes it that much harder to follow your points--which thus damages your own argument. And, this might seem strange given my general snarky tone, but I do want to understand your point. Otherwise, we're arguing past each other.

I don't believe I ever said "We're not as bad as the other guys."

No, but you've made repeated inferences to the idea that "it's okay for US to torture, because it's a necessary evil to survive their onslaught."

If it was not for the U.S. what would the world be like. It would be speaking a lot more German and Russian I'll tell you that.

Ah. I was unaware Bush had time-travel powers to save the world twice before.

You realize we're complaining about the current administration, right? You realize that this is not an attack on your country in general, but rather on the policies of the current administration? Can you, in your mind, separate the two?

I'm pretty sure you guys are going blow up at that comment, but thats allright your anger makes me laugh.

...Apparently the phrase "King Passive" means nothing, so I'll use a smaller word: Calm. Easy-going. If you still don't understand, google "simple wikipedia."

If I got angry at every wannabe on the internet, my heart a'splode. Seriously. Unless you fuck my dead dog, you're not getting close.

Shevchyk said...

You realize that this is not an attack on your country in general, but rather on the policies of the current administration? Can you, in your mind, separate the two?

Not so much a policy, per se, as a blatant violation of US and international law.

HeyRed said...

I'm sorry, did I just hear we were being protected by the US? From what, exactly?

Shevchyk said...

Man-eating squirrels.

Ryan said...

You realize that this is not an attack on your country in general, but rather on the policies of the current administration? Can you, in your mind, separate the two?

Not so much a policy, per se, as a blatant violation of US and international law.


Touche. You win this round...

Ben said...

Terrorist organizations are very real. Take a look at South East Asia. They are all over the place and killing innocent people everyday. Just because you don't think they exist dosen't mean they are not there.

I seem to recall someone using the same logic in 2003 when he told me that WMDs were in Iraq.

Yes, I do realize that there are terrorist groups (not necessarily organized) in Asia. But I take issue with how you want to stop terrorism. Terrorism has deep roots in poverty. People who are better off and have things are less likely to be willing to die for them. I suggest nonviolent solutions to terrorism like making health care, education, and agriculture viable in Africa, the Middle East, and third world countries. This would be the aforementioned "catch more flies with honey approach."

I would also hope then that fundamentalist religions would have less power over these people, but that does not necessarily follow. The best way to combat religion's hold on the government is to put government back in control of education. Right now Saudi Arabia is run by Wahhabi-controlled madrassas that do not encourage that much free thinking. I would also argue that private religious schools in the U.S., while not as bad, are certainly getting that way with how the government allows religious schools to teach backwards science.

The only reason I commented on this topic was to address the America bashing by other Americans. I could care less what Canadians think, just keep enjoying our culture and our protection, eh. Your Canada, our annoying little brother that keeps pulling on our shirt to get our attention. I forget you guys are even there sometimes.
If you don't think there aren't terrorists cells working in America wait a while they'll make there presence known. Hopefully they will be caught before then.


This is just condescending towards Canadians. While I am an American, no one deserves to be told that their opinion does not matter just because they do not happen to live in America.

The fact that you say "hopefully they will be caught by then" exposes the fact that you have some doubt in the administration's ability to handle terrorism completely. Do we agree on something? Perhaps you have seen the video where Bush looks worse than Brown. This does not inspire faith in me. For someone to have so much access to information that apparently I am not allowed to see, he does not make the best judgements, nor dos he have a good record of telling the truth about it later on.

No, I am not for terrorism. But I am not for losing my liberties that are supposed to be guaranteed to me by the Constitution. I am severely upset that someone could take this inalienable rights away from someone. I want my government to protect me from terrorism, sure, but I want them to support the universal human rights that everyone has at the same time. For someone that talks about life so positiviely all the time, Bush does not seem to care about what happens to people after they are born. I am asking that my government be smarter. That the government catch terrorists without going to war unlawfully, without lying directly to me, without torturing people, without searching my library records, without eavesdropping on my calls. Is being smarter too much to ask?

jo said...

would you rather see one innocent man be punished so the rest brought to justice or one man go free while the rest do as they please.

The individual is very important, but the needs of the few do not out weigh the needs of the many.

Dude, you are so missing the point of what a democracy is, and what justice is. Justice means letting 10 guilty people go if it means the protection of the rights of one - just ONE - innocent. Otherwise we're all fucked.

If you're willing to let your government torture innocent people, where does it end? Who decides what the "greater good" is? The Bush administration? No thanks.

Mark said...

I see that one of my points was misinterpreted. I did not deny the existence of groups of people who use force and terror to try and bring about a change to the world. These are, in fact, what we can call terrorists.
My comment was with regards to a dark and secretive bunch that seems to be lurking in the darker corners of the American psyche nowadays, called "The Terrorists." As in "If we (blank), then The Terrorists have won." or "The Terrorists have to be shown that they do not control our destiny." and so on.
This attitude and approach is all too similar to the concept of Zion in the fanatical right (skinhead, KKK, et c.) in that "The Jews control Hollywood" and whatnot. Certainly, the ARE those of Jewish faith in the movie industry, but not as a conscious beast trying to shape our culture.
Likewise, there are terrorist organizations (plentiful even in Canada - of this I have more than mere supposition or media reporting to go on), but there isn't an all-encompassing "The Terrorists" that the American media seems to enjoy discussing.

It almost appears as if this whole thing is going to continue going down the crapper. After all, the one thing that most foreign nationals deplore most about the US is their apparent drive to empire. And what is the US doing more and more of in response to these terrorists? That's right, they are increasing their global holdings and influence. It is counterproductive.

In fact, the best response that the US could have made to the WTC event would be to stop all international activities for a spell, examine and assess WHY there are fanatics after them, and try their damndest to correct it. A response of civility, not of force.

Now, in regards to the Canada issue:
We are always concerned with the activities of the US for a few reasons. First, our economies are too closely tied together for us to ignore them. Second, far too many nations of the world view us as being one and the same, thus any action that the US takes internationally may impair our treaties, trade, and tourism.
The idea that the US could move north and annex Canada is absurd. Certainly, they have the military strength to do so. Our Navy on both coasts is outnumbered by San Diego alone. Our Army is outnumbered by two or so of their bases. Our Air Force is overpowered by Edwards AFB. BUT. We have far too many mutual defence treaties for the US to ever even CONSIDER the possibility. The Commonwealth alone has enough combined capabilities to easily deal with the Americans.

Plus, if you examine the last conflict between our two nations, we won, and burned the white house to boot.

But enough with the US vs. CA thing.
My central issue is that, over time, the Americans have completely lost any real perspective of their ideals. If Jefferson was alive today, he'd most likely stage another revolution. Every move you make is recorded. Every call you make can be monitored. Everything you buy can be assessed, and everything you voice against those in power is used by others as fuel for a social rift.
Think about this: Racial Profiling is an accepted practice. Yet ALL of those living in North America migrated here at one time or another. So there isn't any way to tell if Achmed came here in the 80s for a better life or if Ahmed over there came a month ago to recruit for a terrorist cell.
Which ethnicities populate the US prisons? Are they flawed genetically, or is there something correctable that has forced them into those circumstances? And if so, what steps are being taken to correct that? After all, the prison populations SHOULD be a microcosm sample of the national statistics. Isn't every culture subject to the law?

Rather than constantly waging international military actions, the US ought to be working on improving the average life in America. If they have international problems, then they should use diplomacy and bargaining to resolve it. Violence causes violence. If you wish to live peacefully, then you must find peaceful solutions to your problems. I may be in the military, but in the past 10 years we've been employed far more domestically than in theatre. Canada always has forest fires, floods, or ice storms to deal with. I'm assured of a job even if the world finally grows up.

Yann said...

Hi everyone,
Here in Europe we have seen that kind of actions from the US republican goverment in the past (specially with Reagan, and of course: George Bush). We have seen them in our own countries, with the implicated injerency in our internal laws and policy, and in close nations in the Mediterranean area, sometimes with local support (massive ultra-right wind parties in France, Spain, Germany, Italy).

They (Bush's team) have been supporting semi-fascist presidents like Aznar, Berlusconi, etc. against inmigrant communities (muslims, etc.) and european aboriginal people (irish, breton, basques, corsians, etc) using the CIA and a lot of Fox-liked mass media. Oftenly without any probe and with a demonstrated fault of human rights.

Now we are really worried about the americans, about the people living in your country: citizens, like you, that they are victims. We all, the civil people in the world, must ask for justice and respect to our governments (specially those who use the word "democracy" as an excuse).
This kind of terrible actions only produces one thing: hate. Terrible and uncontrolable hate from another side of the globe.
They, these fanatics (like Bush, Laden, Hussein, Aznar or Berlusconi) want we to hate each other, and after that, start a new conflict "in our name". Like terrorists do.
The facts you have narrated in this post are terrorism too.
We all, the human race, are so tired of terrorism. They put bombs and we die. Despite if they are christians or muslims o communists or capitalists. They are fascists.

Excuse me for my poor english (it's not my first language, neither the second one) and take care, all of you.

P.S.= I love your work, Mr. Stover.

Sean M. said...

I'm just curious, MWS...how many
"conservative" blogs did you paste this post on as a comment? I saw it on both AoSHQ and protein wisdom yesterday.

Like I said, just curious.

Slartibartfast said...

For lots and lots and LOTS of discussion on this topic (although, curiously, a recent post on this topic doesn't appear in this category; I'll have to see about that) see the Maher Arar category over at Obsidian Wings.

Heavy lifting done by people who are not me, just to be clear.

Slartibartfast said...

I'll have to see about that

Seen about, now. I see that the date on this post is Feb 20, which makes it not all that out-of-date WRT the dismissal, but curiously timed relative to the Protein Wisdom comment that let me here. Anyway, go read.

MWS said...

I never paste my posts. Anywhere. I barely waste my time with THIS blog. You think I'm gonna waste my time with other people's?

Be serious.

Now -- finally, following a serious space-monkey attack -- I have to get back to work.

But watch this space. I will be posting again soon, as it appears I once again have a functioning brain.

me.

MWS said...

Oh, by the way --

Yann?

I appreciate your support, and your comment.

Citizens have to remember we're citizens, I guess. Regardless of who's in charge. There are implications to the word that go deeper than "inhabitant" . . .

Thanks.

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