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Time: 1:36:07 PM
I don't understand why the opinion of a Canadian on American politics and social issues would not be welcomed. What affects us usually affects you and the kinds of things we talk about should concern everyone. You live closer to me than anyone else I have ever corresponded with on the Internet. You are closer to be than the nearest state. Moreover, there are just too many ways in which the interests of the United States and Canada are entwined for your opinions on our affairs not to count for as much as any American's and sometimes more.
Okay, so I'm a little biased. You are my hero and my friend. That doesn't mean we agree on every significant issue of our time. We don't.
I think Clinton is the worst thing to happen to the entire world since George Bush - and George Bush. I'm a liberal Democrat, which means I am philosophically inclined to agree with Jean and Kari on most legal, social and economic issues. Notwithstanding my personal antipathy for Clinton, I think that Jean and Kari are right about the damage done to the country and the world by the right wing focus on the Presidential penis when far more important issues needed to be address. But I think they are way off base when it comes to issues of war and peace - and the practical necessity of sometimes choosing between two great evils.
The last thing I wanted to see on this board was a discussion that broke down so rigidly along ideological lines that no rational discussion could take place. I'm not talking about the razor sharp logic I see on both sides when the facts on the table are on their side. I'm talking about the absolute refusal to put all of the relevant facts on the table and go from there. The reason I haven't been to this board in so long is because I got to the point where I could predict what position each side was going to take on ANY subject just by knowing what the subject was.
If I wanted to hear a terrific argument about dirty-dealing Republicans and venal motives for American action in Afghanistan, I could always count on Jean or Kari to supply not only the argument but the documentation. Charlie and Diane were the people you wanted to go to if you wanted dirt on the Democrats - but they also presented the best cases for why the war in Afghanistan was necessary.
Where I wanted to throw up my hands was when I put up a post about an American Intelligence officer - an Army General, no less, explaining why the military didn't take down the terrorists responsible for the embassy bombings in Africa. It wasn't because they lacked the intelligence required for an effective military campaign. It was because they were viewing the terrorists as criminals and need more information for a successful legal prosecution.
This mindset alone unquestionably bought time for the same people responsible for the African attacks in '98 to prepare and carry out the 911 attacks here. But, somehow, this point was completely lost on a spokesman for the new "peace movement" who was leading a protest march against American bombing in Afghanistan. Sure, he said, the U.S. had to do something in response to the attacks, but we could and should do it with out resorting to war. We had to stop doing all of the terrible things that gave people good reasons to hate us so much. And we had to recognize that this was not a job for the Armed Forces, but for the international law enforcement community. We had to peruse the terrorists as criminals.
Good grief…. --Jasper