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blewaway5

Food for thought...just to warn ya it's political

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"Patriotism is patriotism. Calling it Fanaticism cannot degrade it; nothing can degrade it. Even though it be a political mistake, and a thousand times a political mistake, that does not affect it; it is honorable--always honorable, always noble--and privileged to hold its head up and look the nations in the face."

Also,

"Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war in which his nation is engaged, no matter whether right or wrong, occupies no enviable place in life or history. Better for him, individually, to advocate a war, pestilence, and famine, than to act as obstructionist to a war already begun."

These are both quotes from good old Sam Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, and since they seem so timely to me I thought I'd post them and see what you all think. Does this fit the current political climate here in the states or not?


Truman Sparks for President

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Hmmm, the rules say 'don't feed the Trolls'.

<
"Does this fit the current political climate here in the states or not? "

I dunno about that, cos I don't live there anymore.
I would like to add that war in the era of Mark Twain was an entirley different concept to the thing we know today. We have an entire arsenal of options available to us that should preclude the requirement for war, economic sanctions being high on that list.

All this talk of war.....Who are we (I speak as part of the coalition here, as the UK is inexorably behind America on this) waging this war on....Terrorism? Saddam? The Iraqi people?
Terrorism is, as we have recently realised is not just limited to a select number of people, or countries, and besides, you can't wage war on an abstract noun.

Can you go to war because you think someone is 'bad', and who do you replace this person with?

If we are going to invade Iraq, we had better get our objectives clear before we commence. We do not want to be in the situation we found ourselves in at the end of the Kuwaiti conflict.

So who are we fighting, and what is the objective? I would just like to know the reasons to send a great many good and brave people to their death in a far off land?
--------------------

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson

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You are correct.

The time of war, such as now is not a good time to dispute the wise decisions made by der fuh ^H^H^H president. I know deep in my heart he has our best interest in mind in his fight against evil. All attempts at aiding the enemy by protesting the war is treason and should be treated as such.
Hopefully Reich^H^H^H^H^H Attorney General Ashcroft will step up his fight against such anti-freedom, anti-God, anti-"our way of life", anti-patriot and anti-American tendencies.
---
PCSS #10

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"Can you go to war because you think someone is 'bad', and who do you replace this person with?

If we are going to invade Iraq, we had better get our objectives clear before we commence."

Personally I think that this is the vital point. None of our esteemed leaders have told us what their intended final situation will be. "Getting rid of Saddam" IS NOT a final situation.

There was good reason for the tanks to stop after the Kuwait police action (and it had nothing to do with them running out of petrol:S). For over 30 years the Ba'ath party has enjoyed the ruthless exercise of power in Iraq, supported and encouraged throughout by various western powers including the US and the UK. In that time, any possible political opposition has been wiped out, many on the basis of potential competence rather that any suspicion of disloyalty. As such Saddam Hussein has made himself irreplacable(?) as the leader of Iraq.

If Saddam is removed, then who will replace him. I believe that Tariq Aziz was entirely accurate when he stated that the Iraqi opposition was non-existent. Iraq is in effect the rump 3 disparate countries; in the north is the Iraqi part of Kurdistan, which in itself is presently split betweenIraq, Iran, and Turkey (itself a NATO member with all that entails). In the south, the "Marsh Arabs" are Shi'ite moslems with a lot more in common with Iraq than with their present country (or did everyone think that Saddam had them gassed for fun in the Iran/Iraq war!?).

In effect, the only thing holding Iraq together as a country in the ruthless exercise of power by Saddam and as such the likely consequences of his removal are:

1. In the North, Kurdistan will secede forming an independent state, moreover it'll be a state which doesn't accept it's present borders - expect a war between Iran, Turkey and Kurdistan - remember that Turkey is a NATO member so the US and UK ARE bound to support them - we'll probably end up fighting and attempting to oppress the people we've just liberated from oppression!!!

2. In the South, the people will join with Iran, giving this country total control over the former Iraqi oil production! Now while it's true that Iran has recently dropped the words "DEATH TO AMERICA!" from their morning prayers I personally doubt that control of such a large proportion of a strategic asset will be acceptable to "The West".

3. Incidentally the central / western part if Iraq is nice country for growing olives, unfortunately they're not a strategic asset just now...!

In short, the removal of Saddam Hussein will leave any coalition force with what could be described as "Full Employment" for the next 20 years or so... I prophesise (if that's the right word) the US and UK left flailing around the middle east first removing Saddam and restoring democracy to Iraq, then joining turkey and Iran in fighting the resurgent Kurds WHILE simultaneously fighting Iran in southern Iraq while trying to keep a coalition together with the saudis, keepint the Israeli's out of it to keep the Moslem nations with them.......

Rest assured, I am no supporter of Saddam Hussein and his regime in Iraq, but I'm certain that he is the lesser of the available evils.

Mike D10270.

Taking the piss out of the FrenchAmericans since before it was fashionable.

Prenait la pisse hors du FrançaisCanadiens méridionaux puisqu'avant lui à la mode.

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Mark Twain also wrote "The War Prayer:"
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.

Wendy W
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Ok, this is slightly off topic, but I really like Ab's quote about making your enemy into your friend.
Having said that, I would not like to be George W and face all the decisions he is facing!


Quote


Enemies

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." -Napoleon Bonaparte

"Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names." -John F. Kennedy

"Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate." -Thomas Jones

"The best way to destroy your enemy is to make him your friend." -Abraham Lincoln

"A man cannot be too careful in his choice of enemies." -Oscar Wilde

"He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, and he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

"You have heard it said, 'Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemies.' But I say unto you, 'Love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to those that hate you, and pray for those which despitefully use you and persecute you." -Matthew 5:43-44

"I no doubt deserved my enemies, but I do not believe I deserved my friends." -Walt Whitman

"It is easier to forgive an enemy than to forgive a friend." -William Blake

"You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you." -Eric Hoffer

"Above all things, never be afraid. The enemy who forces you to retreat is himself afraid of you at that very moment." -Andre Maurois

"In taking revenge, a man is but even with his enemy; but in passing it over, he is superior." -Sir Francis Bacon

"Rejoice not at thine enemy's fall-- but don't rush to pick him up either." -Jewish proverb

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you." -African proverb

"It takes your enemy and your friend, working together, to hurt you: the one to slander you, and the other to bring the news to you." -Mark Twain

"Mankind's worst enemy is fear of work." -unknown

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Are you sure Mark Twain wrote that..
It looks more like something Sven Hassel might have penned..:S:P
--------------------

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson

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From the web page I got the particular quote from (the web IS accurate, isn't it?)

"Twain apparently dictated it around 1904-05; it was rejected by his publisher, and was found after his death among his unpublished manuscripts. It was first published in 1923 in Albert Bigelow Paine's anthology, Europe and Elsewhere.

The story is in response to a particular war, namely the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902, which Twain opposed.
"
Wendy W.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Sven Hassel... Now there's a name I haven't heard since I got out of the army. Appropriately, the battalion library had a good amount of his books. I don't know if it was actually the quality of the translation, but I read two of his books, and I wouldn't have believed they were by the same author.

"The Legion of the damned" was fun to read, with the guys almost too busy with their other antics to fight the war.

Then I read one of the books he wrote much later(I can't remember the name), and it was pretty much just a splatter movie turned into a book. I really don't recall but I may have not finished the book at all.

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A person could get the idea that Mr. Twain thought war was a bad idea from all these quotes. I think Mark Twain and all his satirical wit is one of the coolest things to come out of the US, and I love the way his words can still make people think. Seems to me that slowing down and thinking can be nothing but good for people.


Truman Sparks for President

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"Patriotism is patriotism. Calling it Fanaticism cannot degrade it . . ."

So do you think Clemens would admire the chechen rebels who took hundreds of hostages in russia recently? Or those patriots who were willing to die for their cause, the ones that flew the jets into the WTC? After all, if it's always honorable to die for one's cause, and calling them fanatics can not degrade it . . .

"Experience proves that the man who obstructs a war in which his nation is engaged, no matter whether right or wrong, occupies no enviable place in life or history. Better for him, individually, to advocate a war, pestilence, and famine, than to act as obstructionist to a war already begun."

I agree, it is the warmongers who will end up in the history books. Two hundred years from now, Mussolini will be remembered by more people than Martin Luther King. Doesn't mean we should aspire to be like Mussolini, though.

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Sorry, maybe I wasn't totally clear in my post. Actually, no maybe, I just plain wasn't. I don't think Twain is advocating war and aggression and patriotism, I think that he is advocating the individual using a little common sense and really thinking about things before they act. It was, afterall, Mark Twain writing these words, a man that was famous even in his own time for saying things that weren't always popular but tended to at least make people think about themselves.

Anyway, point is, I do think Twain was right, but then I'm reading it from the point of view that involves him saying these things in a sort of "what's wrong with this picture" way.


Truman Sparks for President

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