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Gerald Lange's picture
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LOL

I suppose the good thing is that everyone here on this thread is here on this thread voluntarily and that there is no obligatory membership that gets all this in their email box.

Still, why do this to Typophile? Remember what TYPO-L turned into? Cross-word puzzles for a bunch of good old boys sitting around in the village gathering hole.

Gerald

Claudio Piccinini's picture
Joined: 11 Jan 2003 - 9:32am
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Hrant wrote:
"As I said in another thread, there is the darkness in all of
us, and it comes out due mostly to circumstances beyond
our control. But we’re still all human, and most of all we
need to see the darkness as human."

"Darkness" and "beyond our control"...
Written this way it leaves me with a taste of negative fatalism and the temptation to consider mostly conglomerates instead of the single individual. "What injured us".
Now, I'm surely not implying you should "follow" a pre-ordained doctrine ("Darkness" is necessarily one side of free will), I'm just questioning how resentment can ever be useful. Since nature is paradoxical, people assume faith is irrational. It surely is, as it's just "followed" like an ideology, or expected to work like magic. People find many forms of slavery, no matter how painful, ultimately reassuring. But this is sinister. What do you do when your intellect stops working? What do you do when your perception of sense is suppressed? What's the use of talking?
Even William Burroughs realized talking abstractly is often pretty useful, shortly before he died, in his book "Last Words".

Gandhi was unfortunately exploited in an advertising campaign of Italian Telecom. Something like "what kind of world would be if he could have had the communicating tools we have today"?
What is, truly, progress?

ER's picture
ER
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Joined: 10 Jun 2006 - 11:32pm
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Hey guys, the party's moved! It's over here now!:

http://typophile.com/node/20761?from=50&comments_per_page=50

ER

Lorenza Pavesi's picture
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For fuckssake, grow up, Edel. You are the one taking your silly "me vs typophile" overthere, making sure everyone knows about your parent's background and how great they are despite of that ( and why shouldn't they?). In my view all you've done since you entered here is defending yourself like you were on some sort of trial.

And who told you I think you don't have a "thick skin"? All this talk about victims and then you come with your "oh, I thought it was a honourable thing to bomb kossovo" crap.
That really made me SICK. Since when bombing a country is a honourable thing to do?

As I said overthere: you have been criticised. So what? Take it on the chin and move on, no need to take your cv everywhere you go. And no need to go all "oh well, you might think my work is crap but I am on the CA cover, what about you?"

You said you were bored when you came across an illustrator that was talking about his family problems. I don't get bored when people talk about personal stuff on forums, just please don't use them to make you look interesting and to justify everything you say: this is attention seeking behaviour.

Know what? I really had to tell you that: you sound spiteful. Sorry!

William Berkson's picture
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> Since when bombing a country is a honourable thing to do?

When it stops genocide.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Damn shame that's only the case when it's a fringe benefit.

After all, all genocides are equally bad, but
some genocides are more equal than others, eh?

hhp

Lorenza Pavesi's picture
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How many Jews were brutally killed or burned in cremation chambers before the US woke up and did the "honourable" thing?
Are you going to tell me the US didn't know what was going on in Auschwitz way before 1945? And isn't it true that the US woke up only after Pearl Harbour? Did it avoid a genocide? No, it didn't. Between saying that it was a solution and saying that it was a "honourable" thing to do there's a BIG difference. It's the "honour" thing I'm having a problem with, all that it implies and the way it was put in the context of Kossovo: "Europeans were just talking and talking while watching a bloodbath in their backyard but then we came and did the honourable thing", that's the sort of stuff that make me want to puke.

ER's picture
ER
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L O R E

The posting guidelines do say to "Be prepared for some lively banter"

>“me vs typophile”

actually, it's me vs. hipocrisy

>"like you were on some sort of trial"

Read this thread, some have said I should be more more irate, I've actually tempered my comments.

>“oh, I thought it was an honourable thing to bomb kossovo” crap."

I was actually sincerely asking for your point of view when I asked that, and I wanted it, but you were too busy being indignant to try and inform.

>“oh well, you might think my work is crap but I am on the CA cover, what about you?”

hmmm..., don't think I ever said that. Are quotes something you just throw around, or is that what's just been in your head for a while?

">please don’t use forums to make you look interesting and to justify everything you say: this is attention seeking behaviour."

May I ask, what the heck does Hrant, yourself and many other people here do if not the above? Have you actually read some of the things people say in all these threads. But of course, you love it when they call attention to themselves, especially if you agree with them. You looove them!

>"you sound spiteful. Sorry!"

I've had my views way before I came to this place so I don't need to be spiteful towards anyone in particular. Many designers, not you perhaps, have views about the public that I disagree with and I'll talk about it here or anywhere, because I feel like it.

You sound petty. Oh, and jealous. And again, I don't think I'm alone. Sorry!

ER

William Berkson's picture
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>“Europeans were just talking and talking while watching a bloodbath in their backyard but then we came and did the honourable thing”, that’s the sort of stuff that make me want to puke.

Why, because it's true? What did Italy do?

The US had a shameful record in the WW II holocaust, but relatively honorable one in the Bosnia wars. Both Europe and the US were far too late in intervening, and yes bombing. Europe was worse.

Should the US have stayed out and let the genocide proceed further? You are ducking the hard question.

In my opinion, vilification of the US is a cheap substitute for thinking about the complexities and difficulties of using power responsibly and effectively. Neither the motives nor the results of US policies are simple and uni-dimensional. This is even true with our current pathetic excuse for a president.

Paul B. Cutler's picture
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… so it comes as no surprise that studies show fishing is good for the family…

peace

ER's picture
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William,

At the risk of using more of my "attention seeking behaviour" by posting my feelings and opinions, I want to thank you for hanging out and not making me feel like I'm all alone on this stuff.

ER

Dennis Hill's picture
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It is always interesting how some people can be so bent in some direction that they even actually read things backwards, or take it wrong.

Anyway, I don't have much problem with anything you say. Especially since you warned us you are a liberal. So immediately I don't expect you to be too accurate.
; ) - wink)

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For the record, since I keep being put "on trial" about my statements from long ago, here is my actual post on Kosovo. Notice the last sentence, where I actually freakin' state that I may be wrong, and seek a different opinion, since I get all my information from the TV that lies to me. Never did get an answer:

"Lore: Give me your pov on Kosovo. I thought America did a good thing there. As Europeans watched slaughter of innocents occur in their backyard and talked and talked about it, the U.S. got NATO together and did an honorable thing. I could be wrong, not in Europe, so I’d like to know if my perception is not correct."

ER

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> You are ducking the hard question.

Quite the other way around, William.

hhp

ER's picture
ER
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>"Especially since you warned us you are a liberal"

Not sure what I am. Libertarian, Liberal, Independent, and Fiscal Conservative, if you can put all those in a bottle and shake it up then something like that.

ER

Dennis Hill's picture
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if you can put all those in a bottle and shake it up then something like that.

Hey, throw in some goofy and mischievous and I'm with you!

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>"Quite the other way around, William."

hhp,
I will write in the form of questions so as to not offend. Do you think that the fact that we have presidents that change all the time, new congresses, etc. affect why we have dealt with genocides in different ways throughout the years? Or do you think this is all controlled by the same folks all the time in the background as a master plan?
In my opinion, both the U.S. and Europe should have done something in Rwanda, and they didn't. Why? because they're black and in Africa, and no one cares. So, yes, there have been many screw ups throughout the years, and many times it's been convenient to ignore genocide. It's still happening in the Congo, Sudan, and many other places.

er

ER's picture
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>"Hey, throw in some goofy and mischievous and I’m with you!"

What do you think gets me in trouble around here all the time. Most people just don't see it I guess.

ER

Dennis Hill's picture
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What do you think gets me in trouble around here all the time.

I remember as a kid at music camp we used to sneak into the girls cabins and steal their underware and run it up the flagpole. Almost a half-century later, I am only slightly more "grown-up".
: )

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William,

>"In my opinion, vilification of the US is a cheap substitute for thinking about the complexities and difficulties of using power responsibly and effectively. Neither the motives nor the results of US policies are simple and uni-dimensional."

For some reason the complexities of U.S. power reminded me of Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men". I know, I watch too much of the TV:

"Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lieutenant Weinberg?
I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives.
You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline.
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand at post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."

ER

Paul B. Cutler's picture
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…responsible dog ownership is incorporating your dog into the community successfully and providing for the needs of your dog…

peace

William Berkson's picture
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Thanks Edel. I just need a regular break from my labors, so I go to Typophile, learn and occasionally mouth off on political topics. I once read that one of the greatest threats to civilization is "boredom with established truths", such as the superiority of liberal democracy. That's why I make it a point to answer the haters.

Many people seem to get their jollies by hating and feeling superior to the 'other', and these days the US is a favorite object of the hatred. Obsessive hatred often becomes a substitute for realistic analysis of the issues. Frightening.

I don't like the macho tone and absolutism of the Nicholson character's speech. Reminds me too much of Bush--the character seems to feel that he has no need to think, to do self-criticism, to have in depth understanding before taking a major risk.

One of the earliest discussions of the moral problems of exercising power is the Talmudic discussion of an incident of King Saul. He met with a foreign power, and ignored their insults. As a result they thought he was weak. This emboldened them to start a war against the Israelites, in which many were killed and eventually King Saul himself died. The Talmudic conclusion is something like 'if you start by being kind when you should be cruel, you will end up being cruel when you should be kind.' This is quite contrary to the usual love-and-peace tone of the sages, so it is particularly startling and thought provoking.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> there have been many screw ups

You're not giving the powers that be enough "credit". It's not a bunch random successes and screw-ups, it's a collection of largely predictable manifestations of a central premise. Not some conspiracy by a central fixed cabal of shadowy figures, but simply a result of a decrepit core philosophy.

Case in point: a few years before the Balkan conflict, Azerbaijan carried out mass pogroms (ethnic massacres) of its Armenian population. Now there are almost no Armenians in that country. "Ethnic cleansing". What did the US do? Made sure you didn't even see it much on TV. Why? Caspian oil, baby!

And it has nothing to do with race. Capitalism is not racist, it's not even politically ideological. Capitalism is inherently "even-handed" in whom it enslaves. In Nepal for example (it's pretty ironic that William used that as an example) the US is on the side of Maoist "terrorists". The same in Angola's oil wealthy Cabinda province.

And virtually all aspects of life in the "free West" are simply weapons in the arsenal of Capitalism - if they weren't, they would be phased out. Democracy for example is simply a means to an end. And I do mean End. If voting could work, it would be illegal (and it is in fact shut down when needed). Why do you think the US wanted Palestinians to adopt democratic reforms? Well, the results speak for themselves!

--

It's not that the US is any worse than your average country in the way it treats the world, it's that Americans don't realize/admit that neither is it any better. Furthermore, its superpower status gives it a special responsability of behaving a certain way towards the planet. "Honorable" is not even close to being a suitable adjective.

And Edel, really, don't quote from Hollywood movies, come on.

hhp

Tim Daly's picture
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Let's be clear, aerial bombardment is never as surgical nor effective as propagandists and apologists might claim, see the Blitz, Dresden, and too many recent examples.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/342324.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/nato_targets/default.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/339313.stm

Tim

ER's picture
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hhp,

When I say that Capitalism won, I'm not cheerleading. Just stating reality. It's not just the U.S. that's greedy and corrupt, every other country is, everybody's making deals, on and on. So it's all the same.
Yes the U.S. has a special responsibility to the planet and it fails over and over again, to my dismay. I agree with most of what you said here anyways, so I think we have a lot in common. Except the quoting from Hollywood movies thing. Something tells me, "I'll be back".

ER

Dennis Hill's picture
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It all goes back to what I said long ago and far away, the problem isn't the systems, it is man himself. In our state we can corrupt any system. Period. Not much more to say, but that doesn't mean you all won't realize I am right, as usual, and will keep going on...
; )

William Berkson's picture
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Tim, your examples are dated. The bombing in the Kosovo was in the end successful--in combination with the threat of ground force--contrary to the doubters in the press, including the one you cite, who were just wrong.

I don't have any expertise on this stuff, and find bombing morally repugnant in any case. It just that it seems that there are horrible situations in which not doing it seems worse, and that, it seems that Kosovo was one of them. Of course had Europe acted sooner it might not have been needed to stop the genocide.

Currently 'smart bombs' have become more accurate, so I think the issue is now somewhat different. They are more like artillery--such as when they recently were used to kill Al-Zarqawi. They still horribly kill a lot of innocents, but they are far from being like Dresden.

Kristin Dooley's picture
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Edel wrote:

"Give me your pov on Kosovo. I thought America did a good thing there.”

William wrote:

"Of course had Europe acted sooner it might not have been needed to stop the genocide."

To me, the problem with asking such statements (is bombing X country right if they are commiting genocide?) is that it seems ignorant of history. My basic response, well, yes, if you are going to ignore reality until it turns into a predictable blood bath, then somebody needs to do something to end the bloodbath.

Tragedies like mass killings in Kosovo don't just appear out of nowhere like a Jack-in-the-box. Deliberate policies led to the dismembership of Yugoslavia, including manipulation by the World Bank and inter-capitalist competition between Germany, France and the U.S. The tragedy resulted from capitalist international infighting and it probably won't be the last time we see such events.

Also, don't forget what the U.S. won in that war: Camp Bondsteel. While Kosovarans are struggling with few resources to rebuild their country, U.S. soldiers are relaxing in one of the most modern and luxurious military installations in the world:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/camp-bondsteel.htm

"The Bondsteel PX offers soldiers the latest CDs, DVDs, electronics, souvenirs, clothing, uniforms and everything to make your stay in Kosovo comfortable. With two stories of merchandise, the PX draws lots of multinational soldiers from throughout Kosovo. Also located at CBS are Burger King, Anthony’s Pizza and a Cappuccino bar."

I wish the U.S. did more with it's skilled tradespeople and humanitarian aid workers rather than sending the military. Our soldiers are trained to kill, not build, and it's absurd to expect them to do so. Meanwhile, thousands of Americans are ready, willing and able to help our their fellow human beings, once a method for doing so is created. I hope we don't wait too long.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> Deliberate policies led to ...

And how did Iraq/Kuwait and Syria/Lebanon end up as enemies, when in the past they were essentially single entities? The Stalinesque partitioning of land at the hands of the West. Take a region and split it up into a small rich coastal country and a large desert continental one, and you've got decades of super-fun strife you can make gobs of money from! Go ahead, bomb us, but please don't say you're fixing something we messed up, and then on top of that expect the world not to rightly hate you for it.

hhp

William Berkson's picture
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>Tragedies like mass killings in Kosovo don’t just appear out of nowhere like a Jack-in-the-box. Deliberate policies led to the dismembership of Yugoslavia, including manipulation by the World Bank and inter-capitalist competition between Germany, France and the U.S.

Kristin, I have a problem with ascribing all disorders to the powerful countries, and no responsibility at all to the people who directly messed things up themselves.

Let's start with the 'World Bank'. In the first place nobody gets loans from the IMF (it was not the World Bank but the Fund who was the big actor here) unless they ASK for them. And they only ask for them if they've gotten themselves into debt first. You leave the people in the former Yugoslavia, and especially their leaders completely out of the picture as key causal factors. But in peace time locals and their culture and institutions are in reality are the biggest influence on their fates.

This whole 'its all a conspiracy of the USA' thing is extremely patronizing to other countries, and presumes that we are so much smarter and more powerful than they, that they have nothing to do with their fates. Aside from its insulting and arrogant attitude, it fails to explain why some countries outside the West--such as in Asia--have prospered and others--such as in the Middle East and Africa--have done so much worse. If the USA were manipulating everything rapaciously, they should have controlled and destroyed all of them alike.

I am not saying that the US government hasn't done a lot of stupid and immoral things; it has. The whole 'enemy of my enemy is my friend' thinking has caused one disaster after another. This blundering and badness is one important factor, only one. And it ignores what the US has done right, which is also a lot. Fixating on blaming the US neither captures the reality of complex economic and social causes, nor helps anything.

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Almost had me, but lost me with "the Empire is expanding so that our soldiers can eat at Burger King" theory.

ER

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Neither Kristin nor any reasonable person thinks in such absolute terms. But avoiding the reality that powerful entities have more say in the world is either ignorant or manipulative, or both. And for some reason it's often accompanied by the avoidance of the human necessity of linking power and responsability...

Your bit about "nobody gets a loan unless he asks for one" sounds just like something a mafia loan shark would say in such a situation. Ask South Americans what they think of your claim. And have you considered that Asia might be doing better than the Middle East because the West has never conquered it? Except for Japan, where btw for some reason gender equality is completely whacked, but the West doesn't mind it there, it only minds it in Iran et alia. You're only fooling people who are already fooled (which means you're wasting your time).

Ascribing blame (not fixating on anything) to the guilty party is a key means
of improving the future. Please don't act like that's some outlandish concept.

hhp

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William, I wonder where one gets the data that demonstrates how accurate ‘smart bombs’ are, there are no reliable figures for civilian casualties, and it should be said precious little effort to gather those figures. Even your example demonstrates their failings on the ‘surgical’ front.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/5064590.stm

I won’t pursue this as I believe we both find bombing revolting, but I do believe other avenues should have been taken in recent conflicts before resorting to bombing, it seems our governments turn to that option far too easily, I won't go into motive.
Tim

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linking power and responsibility

I've always linked responsibility to power. Where much is given much is (and rightly so) required. It is incorrect, imho, to think otherwise.

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William, I'm not blaming the U.S. for everything. Why would you jump to that conclusion? Would that be considered patronizing? However, you are correct: it was the IMF not the World Bank. I erred.

The topic was foreign military invasion into a sovereign nation, which is why I confined my comments to the actions of the U.S., France, Germany and the IMF rather than internal Slavic politics.

In addition, I believe that creating huge U.S. airbases like Bonesteel will lead to more problems. The citizens of the U.S. seem oddly complacent about accepting massive disparities in poverty and wealth, but Europe has not been as sanguine over the years. I'm thinking the Kosovars may want a chance at all those VCRs and Big Macs sometime soon.

William Berkson's picture
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>The topic was foreign military invasion into a sovereign nation, which is why I confined my comments to the actions of the U.S., France, Germany and the IMF rather than internal Slavic politics.

No, you raised the question of the lead-up to our intervention, and you ignored their part in the mess and war that was there. You only talked about what the NATO countries had done; that's what I think is partronizing. They were killing each other before NATO intervened, and now NATO is keeping the peace. I fail to see how that makes NATO the bad guys here.

I agree with Tiffany that with power comes responsibility. I am just emphasizing that locals have much more power in many ways than outsiders--as has even finally dawned on our Idiot-in-Chief in Iraq.

For example, you say "I’m thinking the Kosovars may want a chance at all those VCRs and Big Macs sometime soon." Hopefully they have better taste. But who is going to bring about their prosperity? Do the members of NATO have all the responsibility to develop their land, and they have no responsibility?

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Everybody loves movies and burgers, (or cappuccinos, or ipods, or nikes). That is the problem, look in your closet or fridge. Why should the world be denied the same crap we all have?

ER

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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> They were killing each other before NATO intervened

Again you skirt the issue of what external power-player precedent actions
led them to that. Like how WWII was largely a result of how the victors
handled Germany after WWI.

And calling a puppet an idiot doesn't get you off the hook.
In fact it helps perpetuate the true problems at the core.

> who is going to bring about their prosperity?

The people who hold the power, as always. The implication of
your stance is that the "locals" are virtually all lazy and stupid.

hhp

ER's picture
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>"Again you skirt the issue of what external power-player precedent actions led them to that. Like how WWII was largely a result of how the victors handled Germany after WWI."

How far can we go back? Is there a statute of limitations? For example, should I be blaming Communism in Cuba on Christopher Columbus?

>"Asia might be doing better than the Middle East because the West has never conquered it?"

I thought Britain colonized Hong Kong, India, etc., would that count as Asia?

Also, let's say the "superpower" or the "west" takes blame, yes, they (England, the U.S., France, The Netherlands, Spain, Portugal) admit it's all their fault. What next? O.K., so we all change to monarchies. What King should the U.S. pick, do we go back to the British throne? I'm trying to figure out your solution really.

ER

Chris Lozos's picture
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Pick Elvis

ChrisL

ER's picture
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Chris,
We're almost at the point of solving the world's problems here, please refrain from jokes.

ER

Paul B. Cutler's picture
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I don't think he was joking…

peace

Kristin Dooley's picture
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"No, you raised the question of the lead-up to our intervention, and you ignored their part in the mess and war that was there."

I *know* you have my point of view ass backwards, William. I'm not sure why you are misreading my posts. This might be a good point to bring up Edel's words:

"How far can we go back? "

On Kosovo, we need to go to a time before the mass killings began. The question is often posted, "Should NATO have intervened once the mass killing occured?" as if NATO and its member countries had no involvement BEFORE the killing occurred. Of course NATO was involved and NATO needs to take responsibility for what it did or did not do. No, William, I'm not blaming NATO for everything. But there is plenty of blame to pass around. NATO was never a disinterested bystander in Yugoslavia.

The Balkans are a warning about future international battles in which capitalist powers compete against each other, rather than the old-fashioned (!) Cold War battles between capitalist and communist nations. It's important we learn some lessons.

"For example, you say “I’m thinking the Kosovars may want a chance at all those VCRs and Big Macs sometime soon.” Hopefully they have better taste. But who is going to bring about their prosperity? Do the members of NATO have all the responsibility to develop their land, and they have no responsibility?"

Again you misunderstand me. I believe Kosovars getting VCRs and Big Macs is a GOOD thing. I want them to prosper. I want them to have access to the same decent housing and opportunities for food and entertainment that U.S. GIs are enjoying at Camp Bonesteel.

The U.S. has created isolated bases of wealth and prosperity in the middle of areas that have been devastated by warfare (Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan). Isn't it logical that at some point the locals are gonna stop peering over the armed parapets at wealth and the good life enjoyed by U.S. troops and take action? Don't they have the right?

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Elvis is already King and he is already dead. Already being King, he needs no war of succession to get started; already dead, he can't start wars and he doesn't have to worry about the "Burnham Woods come to Duncnane" thing and the blood bath that kind of stuff brings.
The best choice would actually be the "King of Comedy" Groucho Marx. He is already king, already dead, and already very funny--something we can't say about any other king or president in history for that matter.

ChrisL

Dennis Hill's picture
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If we're going this route, why not a queen?

For that matter, maximize the entertainment value by choosing someone whose reputation wouldn't be screwed up by indiscretion. Like Anna Nicole. And keep the reality show. Then we'd all finally get our money's worth for our cable connection.

Who wouldn't want to watch her meet with the Iran's government officials?

William Berkson's picture
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Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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Kristen, I'm sorry if I am misreading you, but what did I misread?

I never said that you thought Kosovars prospering was bad. I said that you did not make clear that it was to a great extent their own responsibility to do the work to prosper. Of course NATO should do what it can to create a stable framework for them to do that. But I thought that is what they are trying to do. I think our armed intervention and peace keeping now gives them a shot at building a better life. Do you think that once the civil war started we shouldn't have intervened? What do you suggest we do now? Withdraw? What do you suggest they do?

>international battles in which capitalist powers compete against each other

You still seem to me to be putting all causation on the 'Capitalist' powers, and nothing on the locals. You still don't assign any blame to the locals, like Milosovic, except to say that 'there is blame enough to go around'.

You seem to be saying--correct me if I'm wrong--that the world's problems are a simply a byproduct of capitalist powers competing. I think this leaves out a critcal factor: lot of the problems are because poor countries have rotten governments that keep them poor.

The problems of the rich countries--and indeed not so rich ones like China is how to deal with these rotten states, like North Korea. It is not actually an easy problem.

The point I have been trying to make from my first post here is that the method of starting with blame is a bad way to understand social problems. The first thing is to try to understand the causes. The causes are complex, and only when you start to understand the mix of social conditions, culture, economics can you really see what needs to be changed. Assigning blame is part of this, but only when you understand the bigger picture do you get a realistic picture of who is right and wrong when.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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> our armed intervention and peace keeping now
> gives them a shot at building a better life.

Sure, after you ruined it to begin with.

> poor countries have rotten governments that keep them poor.

With many of them propped up by the west.
And at least they're not rotten governments
that make/keep other nations poor...

North Korea?! FYI: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/5077984.stm

> The first thing is to try to understand ...

Pure, classic, western formalistic escapism.

> who is right and wrong when.

And you are wrong, right now.

hhp

Kristin Dooley's picture
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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William, you have a point you want to make, so make it. Stop insisting that I am arguing with you on your point which you want to make. It's not all about you. You don't get to determine what I must say or must not say to remain in this discussion.

"You seem to be saying—correct me if I’m wrong—that the world’s problems are a simply a byproduct of capitalist powers competing."

You are wrong. That is not what I believe nor is it what I said. Would you please stop pretending you have a clue what my political beliefs are? I have no problem with you stating your own position, but pretending you know what my thoughts are is really irritating.

"The point I have been trying to make from my first post here is that the method of starting with blame is a bad way to understand social problems. "

I did not place blame. Not once. Why are you determined to see blame when it is not there?

"You still don’t assign any blame to the locals..."

Didn't you say we shouldn't blame? And then you disagree with me because I do not properly blame the people you blame?

William, seriously, take a break. Re-read my posts without your filter of blame and your erroneous assumptions. Feel free to contact me off line if you need clarification. Nothing good can come of your continued misinterpretation of my statements.

ER's picture
ER
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Joined: 10 Jun 2006 - 11:32pm
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Kristin,
With all due respect, I intently read your posts and at times it is very difficult to figure out what you are trying to say.

And boy, I hope that BBC is always right, because it gets a lot of play around here.

ER

William Berkson's picture
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Joined: 26 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
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>Stop insisting that I am arguing with you on your point which you want to make. It’s not all about you.

Sorry, I don't take orders, especially when followed by a gratuitious insult. You started your posts on Kosovo above (June 22 1:03 pm) by quoting me and Edel saying our views were "ignorant of history." You may be right or wrong about my ignorance but you were certainly arguing with me.

>I did not place blame. Not once. Why are you determined to see blame when it is not there?

This is what you wrote that I read as blaming:

"Deliberate policies led to the dismembership of Yugoslavia, including manipulation by the World Bank and inter-capitalist competition between Germany, France and the U.S. The tragedy resulted from capitalist international infighting and it probably won’t be the last time we see such events."

If you did not mean to say that the World Bank, and infighting between Germany, France and the US were primarily responsible for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia--that they were primarily to blame (blame=responsibility for a bad thing)--then I'm sorry for misinterpreting you. Though it may not be what you intended to say, I must say that I don't think my reading is a distortion of your text.

>Didn’t you say we shouldn’t blame? And then you disagree with me because I do not properly blame the people you blame?

No, I said we shouldn't start out blaming, but first trying to understand. And I said that after making that effort, assignment of blame would be part of the outcome of an effort at understanding. My problem is with *starting* with blaming before analyzing the multiple causes of a situation.

And I said that in my opinion that after such analysis you would generally find locals have a much larger role in the causality of what happens in their countries and the policies of international powers less of a role than often assigned (though of course an important one). So localities, in my view, deserve much more of the praise or blame for their own fates than much political commentary assigns.

I thought that you were assigning too much responsibility for events to the international powers, but you say I simply repeatedly misread you. I don't know what your views are, then, and I'll leave it at that.