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Thread: Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war

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    Default Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war

    Defector admits to WMD lies that triggered Iraq war

    • Man codenamed Curveball 'invented' tales of bioweapons
    • Iraqi told lies to try to bring down Saddam Hussein regime
    • Fabrications used by US as justification for invasion




    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...-lies-iraq-war


    "The admission comes just after the eighth anniversary of Colin Powell's speech to the United Nations in which the then-US secretary of state relied heavily on lies that Janabi had told the German secret service, the BND. It also follows the release of former defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld's memoirs, in which he admitted Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction programme."
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    Curveball: How US was duped by Iraqi fantasist looking to topple Saddam

    Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi let imagination run wild and became main source for Colin Powell's case for war in 2003


    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...-lies-iraq-war

     
    Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi – codenamed Curveball by the CIA – explains why he lied about Saddam's chemical weapons capability Link to this video In a small flat in the German town of Erlangen in February 2003, an out-of-work Iraqi sat down with his wife to watch one of the world's most powerful men deliver the speech of his career on live TV.
    As US secretary of state, Colin Powell gathered his notes in front of the United Nations security council, the man watching — Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, known to the west's intelligence services as "Curveball" — had more than an inkling of what was to come. He was, after all, Powell's main source, a man his German handlers had feted as a new "Deep throat" — an agent so pivotal that he could bring down a government.
    As Curveball watched Powell make the US case to invade Iraq, he was hiding an admission that he has not made until now: that nearly every word he had told his interrogators from Germany's secret service, the BND, was a lie.
    Everything he had said about the inner workings of Saddam Hussein's biological weapons programme was a flight of fantasy - one that, he now claims was aimed at ousting the Iraqi dictator. Janabi, a chemical engineering graduate who had worked in the Iraqi industry, says he looked on in shock as Powell's presentation revealed that the Bush administration's hawkish decisionmakers had swallowed the lot. Something else left him even more amazed; until that point he had not met a US official, let alone been interviewed by one.
    "I had the chance to fabricate something to topple the regime," he told the Guardian in a series of interviews carried out in his native Arabic and German. "I and my sons are proud of that, and we are proud that we were the reason to give Iraq the margin of democracy."
    His interviews with the Guardian, which took place over two days, appeared to be partly a purge of conscience, partly an attempt to justify what he did. It also seems to be a bid to resurrect his own reputation, which might help him start again in Iraq — a country that eight years later is still reeling from more than 100,000 civilian deaths and the aftermath of a savage sectarian war.
    The man who pulled off one of the greatest confidence tricks in the history of modern intelligence was not easy to pin down. He arrived at a hotel in his adopted home town of Karlsruhe, looking haggard after a sleepless night spent emailing. Heavy set, with plaintive eyes, smelling strongly of cigarettes, and shuffling with nervous energy, he slunk into a chair to begin answering questions, a process he seemed very familiar with.
    "Colin Powell didn' t say I was the only reason for this war," he said. "He talked about three things. First of all, uranium; secondly, al-Qaida; and thirdly, my story.
    "I don't know why the other sources, for the uranium and al-Qaida, remained hidden and my name got out. I accept it, though, because I did something for my country and for me that was enough."
    Since the fall of Baghdad, Curveball's identity had been sought throughout Iraq and Europe. He was finally outed in late 2007 as the main source for Powell's speech, but has tried to keep a low profile ever since, refusing — under the orders of the BND — the approaches of the few reporters who had tracked him downto Karlsruhe.
    The only other time Curveball has agreed to be interviewed was in late 2007, when he told CNN that he had been set up as a fall guy by the BND and had never breathed a word to them about WMD. Last year, he called the police on a Danish documentary crew who came knocking.
    Curveball claims he was granted asylum by the German government on 13 March 2000, less than six months after arriving in Germany and before he had even been asked a question about biological weapons. He emphasises this point, aware that he could be seen as a simple opportunist. "The story about the biochemical weapons had nothing to do with my asylum claim. The German state — well, the BND, or someone from Germany, have said that I told them about the chemicals, because I wanted to claim asylum. That's not true."
    He says that around three weeks after he was granted asylum, a German official, whom he identified as Dr Paul, came to see him. On his application, he had said he had worked as a chemical engineer, a fact that attracted extra attention.
    "He told me he needed some information about my life. He said it was very important, that Iraq had a dictator and I needed to help."
    At this point, according to Curveball, he decided to let his imagination run wild. For the next six months, he sat with Paul — the BND's resident expert on weapons of mass destruction - and calling upon his knowledge of chemical engineering from university and from his work in Baghdad, he manufactured a tale of dread.
    This period was the genesis of Powell's fateful speech; what Curveball told Paul became the key pillar of Powell's UN presentation — the diagrams he displayed of mobile weapons trucks that could dispense biotoxins into the wind.
    "We have first-hand descriptions of biological weapons factories on wheels," Powell said. "The source was an eyewitness — an Iraqi chemical engineer who supervised one of these facilities. He was present during biological agent production runs. He was also at the site when an accident occurred in 1998. Twelve technicians died."
    The effect at the UN was dramatic. Here was a detailed first-hand account from an insider of the sinister and deceptive inner workings of Saddam's regime. It was tangible evidence; far more compelling than the other two elements of Powell's case for war, which seemed scant in detail and unlikely to persuade the invasion's naysayers.
    Even now, Curveball seems bemused that his lies got as far as they did. He says he thought the game was up by the end of 2000. By that point, the BND had flown to Dubai to interview his former boss at Iraq's military industrial complex, Dr Basil Latif, who had told them that his former underling was a liar.
    Several British intelligence officers were present at the meeting with Latif. Their German counterparts left Dubai seeing their prized source in a new light.
    According to them, Curveball had claimed that Latif's son, who was then at school in Britain, was a procurer of WMD. That information was easily proven wrong by the British spooks.
    The BND then returned to Germany and sent an officer to confront their source. "He says 'there (are) no trucks' and I say, ok, when (Dr Basil says) there are no trucks then (there are none)," Curveball recalled in broken English. "I did not speak to them again until (the) end of May 2002."
    By the time the BND came calling again, Curveball says he had fended for himself for almost 18 months. He had been paid a monthly stipend by his handler, but had not been asked to do anything for the state.
    "When he come back to me, he don't ask me (the same questions)," he says of the 2002 meetings. "He ask me, for example, the name of signs, the name of establishment, do you know this person." He admitted continuing to lie to his interrogators throughout the year.
    Curveball suggests that the BND implied that his then-pregnant wife, who was at that point trying to get to Germany from Spain, would not be able to join him unless he co-operated. "He says, you work with us or your wife and child go to Morocco."
    According to his account, there were at least a dozen meetings in 2002. He says none of the new round of questions dealt with a birdseed purification plant, in Djerf al-Nadaf in south-east Baghdad, that he had claimed was where Saddam's bioweapons programme was based.
    This was supposed to be where the mobile trucks were loaded up. "The BND did not ask me about this project, because they knew I was not right."
    But in January 2003, several weeks before Powell's speech, the interrogation returned to trucks and birdseed. "That was the first time they had talked to me about this since 2000." Curveball says it was clear to him that the drums of war were beating ever louder, but he maintains that he still thought his story about the mobile trucks had been discounted.
    Then came the UN speech. He says the BND had told him that everything he had told them would stay in Germany and that he was shocked to see Powell holding up diagrams that he knew had been prepared from his fraudulent descriptions.
    "So I call the person that is responsible for me. I tell him that I see what Colin says, and he says 'ok, this ist ein klein', a small problem. You come ... tomorrow, and you speak with me. (He said) you must go now from this home because this flat is very dangerous for you and for your family. From 9 April you can return."
    For the next two months, Curveball claims he was in virtual lockdown, prevented by the BND from watching TV and having limited contact with anyone outside his hotel. He said he knew the war had begun from snatched conversations with strangers.
    Asked about how he felt as the bodycount among of countrymen mounted and Iraq descended into chaos, Curveball shifted uncomfortably in his chair, then said: "I tell you something when I hear anybody – not just in Iraq but in any war – (is) killed, I am very sad. But give me another solution. Can you give me another solution?
    "Believe me, there was no other way to bring about freedom to Iraq. There were no other possibilities."
    "Saddam did not [allow] freedom in our land. There are no other political parties. You have to believe what Saddam says, and do what Saddam wants. And I don't accept that. I have to do something for my country. So I did this and I am satisfied, because there is no dictator in Iraq any more."
    Curveball's reinvention as a liberator and patriot is a tough sell to many in the CIA, the BND and in the Bush administration, whose careers were terminally wounded as mystery surrounding the whereabouts of the missing bioweapons in the post-invasion months turned into the reality that there were none.
    His critics — who are many and powerful — say the cost of his deception is too difficult to estimate, even now. As the US scales back its presence in Iraq it is leaving behind an unstable country, whose allegiance — after eight years of blood and treasure — may not be to the US and its allies after all. For Curveball though, it's time to reinvent himself. He has returned twice to Iraq and started a political party, winning a modest 1,700-odd votes in the general election last March. He has also written a manuscript about his past 10 years and is looking for a publisher.
    In the meantime, things seem to be turning increasingly sour with the BND. The spooks helped him, his wife and two children get German citizenship in 2008. At the same time they cut off his stipend of €3,000 (£2,500) per month and told him to fend for himself.
    That has proved difficult around Karlsruhe, a medium-sized university town near the French/German border where his reputation as a fantasist travels ahead of him. On the first day of our interviews, an official at the town hall told him he and his family are forbidden from leaving the country.
    He now spends his days in a rented flat on the outskirts of town with a doting wife — who says she only learned of her husband's exploits three years ago — and two young children. He no longer has the Mercedes Benz that the BND had supplied him with. And he is well aware that the secret service — and his new homeland – seems to be fast tiring of him.
    "I will be honest with you. I now have a lot of problems because the BND have taken away my flat, taken my mobile phone: I'm in a bad position. But if I could go back to 2000, if someone asked me, I would say the same thing because I wouldn't want that regime to continue in our country."




    RYU says - Duped? More like..... found a great excuse to do something you already wanted to do. I doubt the Rummsfeld is that concerned about such a 'fabrication'
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    without the nose Cyrano's Avatar
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    This was known even then. I remember reading that foreign intelligence agencies warned us that Curveball was suspicious. This is a non-story. The Bushies have been trying for years to shift the blame to our intelligence agencies. Despicable.
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    mhm
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    I don't know I don't see it as an outright lie or conspiracy, as much as selective bias (selecting facts/reports to fit a pre-established agenda).

    The agenda for the Bush administration was to go into Iraq because they had interventalist ideologies, they were looking for an excuse to do this to legitimize this policy/agenda, WMD's gave them that excuse. I think they could have had doubts concerning the legitimacy of there sources, but since they had a pre-established motive they conveniently ignored these to push through at an ample opportunity. After the war was established and the sources were shown to be false, they blamed it on poor intelligence and said "we have to stay the course though", because the governmental infrastructure had been destroyed. In this way they were able to accomplish their original interventalist agenda and dodge blame.

    Most people realize this in an intuitive form, but the reasons for why the Bush administration has an interventalist doctorine are varied. Some claim its Illumanti/New World Order stuff, others claim economic reasons, and so forth. I'm surprising more simple in my theories, I think the neo-conservative/bush movement is naive. They see democracy as pure and noble and dictatorships as evil and corrupt, so they feel in almost all cases replacing dictatorships with democracy is justified and an act of service to the world. Ultimately this viewpoint is grossly disconnected with the reality of how the world population feels, and is a function of the naivity of the american lifestyle.

    What makes the issue compounded is the fact that many islamic countries see the american lifestyle as negative, because of cultural tensions, which are common globally -- people have criticism to the american system or way of life. The islamic countries though have religious militiant groups focused on bringing down the western/american systems influence on there culture because they see it as evil and corrupt. The tensions between both factions, create paranoia much in the sense of cold-war era paranoia, while most people generally feel ambivalent.

    Ultimately the paranoia and lack of judicious judgement and insight of people makes the neo-conservative interventalist agenda destructive to the global sphere of politics and ultimately naive.

    I don't think its some evil conspiracy, but a naive ideology founded on paranoia, self-righteousness, and a lack of world perspective.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Who cares lol. Aren't there more important things going on right now to be upset over? I'd rather have a dozen Iraq Wars over the current grossness.
    Wars carry economic consequences as well as long term political consequences, its fairly important I think, but in terms of media trends its an old issue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Who cares lol. Aren't there more important things going on right now to be upset over? I'd rather have a dozen Iraq Wars over the current grossness.
    Ashton, the war continues. Over 100,000 dead, a Trillion wasted. Your children will ask you how we could have been so foolish and complacent.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Sure, but it's not economic consequences people are hollering about. They're just being whiny and political; if it had been Obama as president in '03 and he did exactly what Bush did, I guarantee you 99% of the annoying "BUSH LIED PPL DIED" decriers would be zealously defending Obama's actions as righteous, sketchy intel or not.
    Actually I think it wouldn't work like that, if a different president had to go to war, there would be a different attitude towards it, part of people's outrage was concerned with the decision to go to iraq and not just afghanistan and attitudes towards things like torture/waterboarding and lies about WMDs.

    Of course there are always going to be people against war, but a large part of the reaction to bush was how the war went and less the fact it was there.

    The only thing I will say would probably be similar, is that another president would have most likely decided to exercise their power as commander and chief and mobilize the military in some way as a response to the terrorist attacks. Besides that things could have been radically different with a different president/administration, and people would have received it differently.

    One constant however in politics, is that no matter who the president is, someone somewhere is always upset about them and vocal about it.

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    ABOLISH THE STATE

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    the state wasn't always around.

    I wonder how people will govern themselves in the future anyway.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

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    This was definitely known prior to the 2004 election. I distinctly remember being flabbergasted that Americans gave a second term to a president that started a war based on lies. I'm not sure what the rationale of a majority of Americans was, but I can't imagine what a good one would be. Plausible ones: apathy, ignorance, naivete.
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    we need to dig up teddy roosevelt and clone him a thousand times so that we have a badass president into infinity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    With few exceptions, the real driving force behind most opinions on the matter has little to do with legitimate moral/ethical quandaries, and everything to do with self-indulgent political sensationalism rooted in hatred for Bush/Republicans/etc.
    I think that's a jaded and inaccurate sentiment that characterizes a bitter republican party after taking criticism for 8 years.

    I don't remember hearing republicans make such a fuss over this when Bush was in office because they lacked the balls to stand up for what they thought admist the growing public opinion against the war, now they feel resentful and want to lash out against the democrats for there hypocrisy and seek petty revenge because now they hold the growing support admist economic issues. I can understand that, but it accomplishes nothing and seems childish.

    Not you, but this idea that somehow the only legitimate criticism against the war was political sensationalism. I don't doubt that the vast majority of people against/for the war were on the "social bandwagon" but point is what sparked the anti-war movement was essentially a legitimate moral/ethical question that republicans want to ignore in favor of anti-obama/democratic propaganda, it would serve the interest of the republicans better if they actually sincerely and legitimately made a case for why this is a good/necessary thing rather than blame the political opposition as if that alone justifies things.

    While I do agree there were a lot of people who jumped on the anti-bush bandwagon and didn't real have the capacity to make any moral/ethical judgments themselves, that doesn't mean that I don't think its pathetic how republicans are handling it, when they have the support they speak out and get brave, but when they are not holding the public support they cave in so pathetically and start acting politically correct to win votes just like a typical run of the mill politician.

    I think I would legitimately respect the current republican movement more if it didn't seem like they want to obama-bash purely as retribution for being bush-bashed for 8 years, when they could have stood up for what they thought then and not now.
    Last edited by male; 02-16-2011 at 10:13 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Point is, if it'd been Obama instead of Bush, then ceteris paribus these same people crying their emotional anti-Bush hysterics, would have an entirely contrasting sentiment; instead, they'd probably be extolling the virtues of the Iraq War to us right now in spite its shaky pretexts. And being huge Obama apologists, "he trusted we were acting on the best intel available… it's not his fault he was misinformed by our intel operatives, we should blame the CIA… not all info can ever be 100% correct anyway… hey, hindsight is 20/20 you know… give the man a break, he did what he believed was right at the time… besides, the Iraq War did a lot of good, we liberated the country and got rid of evil dictator Saddam, it was totally worth it even if the WMD estimates were wrong…"

    Hence why I find discussions over this to be hypocritically puerile and not worth having. The so-called "moral outrage" cried about this—along with other contentious events generally speaking—is largely disingenuous in nature, and suspiciously concurrent w/ the presence of an R or D affiliation in a leader's title. With few exceptions, the real driving force behind most opinions on the matter has little to do with legitimate moral/ethical quandaries, and everything to do with self-indulgent political sensationalism rooted in hatred for Bush/Republicans/etc.
    Maybe, if you operate purely within the context of framed american politics. But that seems silly to me. Why even bother playing that game, or getting upset about it and saying its puerile.


    I don't even have hard feelings about Bush, increasingly so lately. It's the group of people that wielded more power could do it so freely, could manipulate so much. Like I said, I don't think anybody cared whether or not the iraqi guy was telling the whole truth - he apparently had his own motives and played the US, and the US, or at least some people, got what they wanted.

    Quote Originally Posted by lucid
    Most people realize this in an intuitive form, but the reasons for why the Bush administration has an interventalist doctorine are varied. Some claim its Illumanti/New World Order stuff, others claim economic reasons, and so forth. I'm surprising more simple in my theories, I think the neo-conservative/bush movement is naive. They see democracy as pure and noble and dictatorships as evil and corrupt, so they feel in almost all cases replacing dictatorships with democracy is justified and an act of service to the world. Ultimately this viewpoint is grossly disconnected with the reality of how the world population feels, and is a function of the naivity of the american lifestyle.
    I think it was naive, too.
    I see a sort of cartel of power within the government that had certain objectives - ala, Project for a New American Century. I think that is what was naive. There was a wave of "what to do after the cold war", and, some people, (read The Grand Chessboard), believed American dominance as the only super power was the best thing for the world, being able to fight and maintain wars wherever.

    Whether or not those ideas are founded in reality or not, or how much compassion and how much "world government" influence there is, IDK. But it seems very silly to me. I don't think Iraq or Afghanistan are wars that were particularly fought for the sake of bettering anybody. I think they are a case of things making a lot of sense in a very narrow theoretical framework, and having little bearing in reality: whoever told them that they'd be successful easily in what is going on in the middle east was obviously wrong.... but then again, why not have such a person be another scapegoat, like the article above?

    "Well, the experts said..."

    To me, it doesn't matter - I sort of doubt that setting up a democracy in either country is really 'the goal' - if you take enough good plsc courses you can understand why. In one sense, I feel like democracy building or not, it doesn't matter, because that wasn't really the goal: and what I mean there is, whether "deliberately" or not, a ton of people are making money off of the war economy, but it isn't your average joe somebody.

    What makes the issue compounded is the fact that many islamic countries see the american lifestyle as negative, because of cultural tensions, which are common globally -- people have criticism to the american system or way of life. The islamic countries though have religious militiant groups focused on bringing down the western/american systems influence on there culture because they see it as evil and corrupt. The tensions between both factions, create paranoia much in the sense of cold-war era paranoia, while most people generally feel ambivalent.
    That's true, but, my thoughts that those who didn't see that coming were way too stupid (which is possible), or aren't aware enough to even understand why that would be a factor, or aren't concerned about trying to be aware because ultimately it doesn't matter and they're getting their jollies in some other fashion.
    Pre-2013 post are written with incomplete understanding.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    They're just being politicians. Of course Republicans are unlikely to criticize a war initiated by a Republican president. And even less likely to speak out in direct support on such a polarizing issue. Minds are already made up and long ossified past any point of rational discourse. Attempting to reason about it now would just agitate them, no matter how compelling the arguments.
    True but this is partly why I dislike the current zeitgeist of politics, a lot of it is management of one's media image.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Though curiously, I don't see Democrat congresspeople bashing it anymore. Go figure now that one of their own is in office, involvement in the war conveniently lost moral urgency and isn't so heavily scrutinized. Also since it's increasingly seen as "Obama's War," they start playing nicer with it.
    I'll agree with this also, and I find it annoying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    And had it been a Democrat who started it, I'm sure Republicans would currently be the 'anti-war party'. Respective party positions shift over time as each side bets on which direction winds of political expediency will blow. For example, pre-WW2 GOP foreign policy was decidedly isolationist, whereas Democrats typically advocated greater interventionism abroad to secure American interests. Naturally, the threat and later outbreak of war proved electorally favorable to the latter. Post-WW2 a switch began to emerge, however, such that by the 1960s the roles had entirely reversed, with Republicans championing America as guardian of the Free World against the Red Menace, etc.
    Yea that's true, republicans used to be non-interventionalist, there are still conservatives who are the same but usually those are the more libertarian-conservatives and not the neo-conservatives.

    I think it has a lot to do with WW2, everyone loves comparing any dictator or empire to hitler and then immediately explaining why we must go in and save them and be the police for the entire world in the sphere of global politics. In fact I personally thought this was an idea with some merit at one time, but obviously from experiences in the middle east its clear you can't just go into a nation and kick a dictator out, give them democracy and everyone's happy. In fact much of the fighting actually stems from an ideological war, a misunderstanding between two cultures, and fear and paranoia, which drives the conflict. Being occupied sucks, a lot of people think, "its ok we are trying to help them", but that only works on the global level and on paper, when you get to the particulate level and hear about direct experiences its pretty clear that being occupied sucks, even if we are trying to help. In most cases, it's probably best not to occupy a nation unless your invited to help some rogue faction out.

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    Ashton,

    I think you are mistaken. 30% of the people would love anything their president did just because he is on their team (R or D). Another 40% are indifferent and can be swayed by whatever the media tells them to believe. The last 30% are the ones that pay attention to the facts. In this case, that's the group that opposed the war.
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    conspiracy!!!

    The TRUTH !!!

    911 was an inside job!!!


    oh and aids doesn't exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu View Post
    the state wasn't always around.
    Nor were stone tools.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryu View Post
    I wonder how people will govern themselves in the future anyway.
    I think that society is vastly outpacing the government, in terms of technological progress, general attitudes and beliefs, and ways of self-regulating negative conduct and behavior. I think the only viable future for humanity is self-government.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Who cares lol. Aren't there more important things going on right now to be upset over? I'd rather have a dozen Iraq Wars over the current grossness.
    Hooray for valuing human life!
    But, for a certainty, back then,
    We loved so many, yet hated so much,
    We hurt others and were hurt ourselves...

    Yet even then, we ran like the wind,
    Whilst our laughter echoed,
    Under cerulean skies...

  20. #20
    Creepy-male

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ashton View Post
    Barring another major attack unfortunately, I imagine the US will begin gutting its military and withdrawing from overseas. Defense spending slashed to make way for more welfare largesse and the inevitable decline into a typical Euro-socialist style system.
    Yea I think that's a sensible prediction (minus the euro-socialist style thing), considering the current alliances with libertarians and republicans. Current the focus is on economic issues and libertarians typically want a non-interventionalist military solely for defense, republicans tend to be more pro-military with a particular sect of neo-conservatives that are pro-military, pro-interventionalism. Given the need to band together on the current economic issue to outdo liberals, it may sway the tide of the conservative ethics to temporarily focus back on non-interventionalism.

    However what I also see as potentially possible is that given economic issues, the stimulation in military/corporate government contracts from the bush-era, and the rise of private military forces such as blackwater... that military privatization may become more popular, which I think is a bad bad thing for a whole slew of reasons. If the tide turns towards non-interventionalism, while people are praising privatization it could be a real possibility, contracted soldiers employed by the government becomes common and it gives another element of control for corporations to play the strings on naive civil servant politicians like they are puppets.
    Last edited by male; 02-17-2011 at 03:06 AM.

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