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MayorMeanBeans

Fatah al-Islam

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As most of you who read the news have prolly seen, the nytimes came out with a story about this new group, who for the most part subscribe to the ideologies and methods of al qaeda. significantly however, they don't belong to a higher organizational framework, and instead rely on themselves for intelligence, facilitation etc etc. the article can be found at http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/16/news/lebanon.php

 

this kind of reminds me of what happened after napster got shut down, and all these other, smaller programs sprang up that were impossible to control compared to napster. is this the transitioin of the War on Terror? Does this make America more defendible because of a lack of coherence, or more susceptible to smaller scale attacks because of the increased difficulties in intelligence gathering? i dont know, but id be interested to hear what you 12ozers (conspiracy theories welcome) have to say about it.

 

peace.

 

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the reality is such small groups will likely never attack american soil because they don't have the finances or wherewithall to do so. with that being said, this is the way that al qaeda set itself up to be: more of a motivator than a centralized organization. if you've read any of the transcripts of bin laden's videos you'd know this: no conspiracy theory about it.

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i agree whole hardedly, i dont accept any conspiracy theories (except for ones that blame stupidity). furthermore, i agree that small groups dont have the organizational capacity to commit acts like 9/11. but they definitely can hit at our embassies like tanzania, our boats like the cole, and the Oklahoma City bombing was made out of fertilizer and piss. i think a small group could get their hands on that stuff without getting the scrutiny that money trails to saudi arabia and dubai create, and what the fbi relies on.

 

taking the ideological goals of extremism- which organizational structure is more successful. the small unconnected insurgency structure (utilized by most successful rebel movements), or one that takes advantage of the Communication Revolution, which allows people from one of the most barren regions in the world (northwest passage in pakistan) to grab center stage?

 

which is easier to win? a worldwide struggle, or a series of small scale low level struggles?

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i think these so called terrorist attacks are horrible. the bombing of the murrah building, the twin towers, etc.

however, i think for the most part, these small groups who are inflicting damage on america are reactionary. they are doing it is direct reaction to US policy. I believe that the twin towers wouldnt of been attacked if we werent over seas in the middle east in the first place. and that counts with foreign aid missions too. i believe the oklahoma city bombing wouldnt of occured (assuming mcveigh did indeed blow up the building ) if the federal government didnt attack the civilians at waco.

 

THe US government needs to start re-thinking its foreign and domestic policy. this will dramatically decrease these reactionary movements.

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"Don’t Abuse the Concept of Jihaad"

 

RIYADH, 22 August 2003 — Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority urged Muslims yesterday to shun extremism and avoid waging unjustified jihaad as the Kingdom cracks down on militants.

 

In a lengthy statement, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh told Saudis to listen to their religious authorities and ignore fanatical interpretations of Islaam.

 

“One of the fallouts from extremism in understanding Islaam is that some people call for jihaad for the sake of God without justification,” Sheikh Abdul Aziz said.

 

“These people raise the banner of jihaad to draw the young into their ranks and not to fight for God,” he added.

 

Militants like Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden have often called for jihaad against countries they consider “infidel” such as the United States, urging his followers to target Western interests in Saudi Arabia and abroad.

 

Other militants have also used Islaam as a rallying cry, justifying attacks by saying they are doing God’s will.

 

“Young Muslims must try and better themselves and their country but not through violence, because Islaam is not a violent religion, it is a merciful religion,” he said.

 

“A Muslim must understand his religion. It is the duty of the young and the whole Muslim world to know that violence is not a way to achieve reform,” Al-Sheikh said.

 

The grand mufti emphasized that the struggle against a perceived evil should not lead to a greater evil.

 

“The Prophet (peace be upon him) told us to combat evil. But there is a general rule to look at both advantages and disadvantages. And if fighting an evil leads to a greater one, then that fight is forbidden,” he said.

 

The grand mufti said one of the reasons some people attacked and frightened others was ignorance.

 

“Ignorance is a killer disease because a person thinks that he is right when he is wrong,” he said and stressed the importance of right guidance. “One of the reasons also is mistrust of our scholars. It is people’s duty to trust their scholars and leaders,” he said.

 

Last week, the Kingdom’s highest Islaamic authority denounced terror attacks in the Kingdom, describing them as “serious criminal acts,” and pledged its full support for the government.

 

“Acts of sabotage such as bombings, murder and destruction of property are serious criminal acts and an aggression against innocent people... which warrant severe and deterrent punishment,” the Council of Senior Islaamic Scholars said in a statement.

 

The 17-member council, headed by the grand mufti, declared its support for the actions being taken by the state to track down terrorists in an effort to shield the country from their actions.

 

The Islaamic body had called on the Saudi people to “stand behind the country’s leadership and their scholars,” at these difficult times in the fight against “evildoers.”

 

The statement dubbed “misguided and ignorant” those who claim that terrorism was part of jihaad, or holy war. It said people who provide shelter to suspected militants were committing a “grave sin.”

 

..........

Arab News

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^what ppl dont understand is that JIHAD is a daily struggle against the temptations of life...in essence a "holy war" but no to bomb and blow shit up!!!!

 

nowhere in the QU'RAN does it say that ppl should kill each other over religious differnces!

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no offense dawood but fuck the apostate saudi govt.

them telling people not to abuse the concept of jihaad is like the bush administration telling people not to kill civilians.

don't knock stuff you're personally involved in:

it makes for good P.R. but nothing else.

 

and it sounds like what they're speaking of as "abuse" is the people within their own country trying to overthrow their corrupt govt.

i'll never believe that people who live the most extravagant of lives are pious religious folks.

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ha, ha, R3ader called the saudi govt. apostate. Who gave you the authority to make religious rulings on people? Youre not even a muslim and youre calling them apostates.

They might not be the most pious folks on earth, but Apostates?? that's a serious claim. Not to mention, nowhere in the article I postd did it mention the saudi govt. so I don't know what youre talking about. It only mentioned the Kingdom’s highest Islaamic authority , meaning the scholars, the scholars and the rulers are two different entities.

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Dawood i agree with the message of your article wholeheartedly, as al qaeda is more an object of political science than religious studies.

 

angelofdeath- i understand that what you are saying is not a justification of terrorism, but can we agree that we must fight fire with fire, and that out of an appeal to all humanity, that there are certain actions that are completely unacceptable (killing of civilians, to be sure is one of them. however, the deliberate targeting of civilians i would argue, is even worse).

More over, i agree, America does need a massive scaleback of operations. But i feel that often america can and is over looked. Where is the appreciation of the help we offered to Indonesia following the Tsunami?

 

Surely that isnt an instance of American imperialism is it? and shouldnt that be weighed alongside the collosal disaster that Iraq is? Also, based upon basic political logic, Saddam=Milosevic. In terms of what happened to the Kurds, the willingness to expunge his populations right to well being, etc. Do dictators in the Middle East get a free pass, whereas in Europe its okay to intervene?

 

I am not attempting to say we invaded on humanitarian grounds, that would be an exercise in futility. But what i am saying is that this present conflict must be put into a context, and that the context is not nearly as simple as another comparison to vietnam.

 

In terms of US aggression, i am the first to say that our intervention in Afghanistan was justified. As in IRaq, it has been mired by stupidity and dishonesty, but if those are the reason for opposition, then i encourage opponents to say,

 

"We do not disagree with the intent. We disagree with the conduct that attempts to accomplish such objectives."

 

Every single Middle Eastern state, with the exception of Syria and perhaps Palestine, i would say could agreeto the above statement. and its bullshit for the states to take the heat in the meantime.

 

What is your prescription for the betterment of the Middle East? Can it be done independent of external pressure, does such pressure make goals such as democratization more or less likely? Is it okay for the US to stand back while the children of the Saudis, the Assads etc. get rich and fuck around in Hilton Hotels their whole lives while Palestinians squander in misery, and no Arab has any right to voice their collective minds?

 

 

 

 

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this kind of reminds me of what happened after napster got shut down, and all these other, smaller programs sprang up that were impossible to control compared to napster.

 

wow.....thats an excellent fucking analogy...so true.

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Dawood i agree with the message of your article wholeheartedly, as al qaeda is more an object of political science than religious studies.

 

angelofdeath- i understand that what you are saying is not a justification of terrorism, but can we agree that we must fight fire with fire, and that out of an appeal to all humanity, that there are certain actions that are completely unacceptable (killing of civilians, to be sure is one of them. however, the deliberate targeting of civilians i would argue, is even worse).

More over, i agree, America does need a massive scaleback of operations. But i feel that often america can and is over looked. Where is the appreciation of the help we offered to Indonesia following the Tsunami?

 

Surely that isnt an instance of American imperialism is it? and shouldnt that be weighed alongside the collosal disaster that Iraq is? Also, based upon basic political logic, Saddam=Milosevic. In terms of what happened to the Kurds, the willingness to expunge his populations right to well being, etc. Do dictators in the Middle East get a free pass, whereas in Europe its okay to intervene?

 

I am not attempting to say we invaded on humanitarian grounds, that would be an exercise in futility. But what i am saying is that this present conflict must be put into a context, and that the context is not nearly as simple as another comparison to vietnam.

 

In terms of US aggression, i am the first to say that our intervention in Afghanistan was justified. As in IRaq, it has been mired by stupidity and dishonesty, but if those are the reason for opposition, then i encourage opponents to say,

 

"We do not disagree with the intent. We disagree with the conduct that attempts to accomplish such objectives."

 

Every single Middle Eastern state, with the exception of Syria and perhaps Palestine, i would say could agreeto the above statement. and its bullshit for the states to take the heat in the meantime.

 

What is your prescription for the betterment of the Middle East? Can it be done independent of external pressure, does such pressure make goals such as democratization more or less likely? Is it okay for the US to stand back while the children of the Saudis, the Assads etc. get rich and fuck around in Hilton Hotels their whole lives while Palestinians squander in misery, and no Arab has any right to voice their collective minds?

 

 

 

 

 

mayor, i definately think that the people who bombed the twin towers should be pursued and brought to justice. without a doubt. to me, afghanistan is/was justified.

 

The US's name isnt well recieved cross the globe because of its militaristic actions, even though we give the most foreign aid of any other country in the world. foreign aid is just as imperialistic as any military aggression. what it does is, it benefits favored business interests here at home, the money/goods benefits the elite classes overseas in third world countries. the dictator/govt gets 98% of the money. its called the 3 m's. a mansion for the dicator, a mercedes to drive, and machine guns. foreign aid also leads to tensions, if say, we aid israel but dont aid palestine, or vice versa.

 

foreign aid must fail the way all socialism must fail. the way it failed at walter reed hospital. foreign aid essentially is US control. he who supplies the money controls everything. which is why it is a scary proposition in my eyes for the american people to be clamoring for more federal money, when in the end it just means more federal control.

 

there are some good people on here who are against getting involved in foreign affairs. they must however realize that this applies to foreign aid as well, and applies to intervention on the domestic front too.

 

i think the best policy for the middle east is for the US to withdraw. there is not any american interest there. i believe we should follow the policies of switzerland. be armed, vigilant and neutral. we should be ready to fight at a moments notice, but we shouldnt go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. trade with all nations, and have entangling alliances with none. no special preferences. no embargos, no protectionist tariffs, etc.

 

at one point in history america prided herself on staying out of the worlds affairs. i wish we would return to that stance.

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mayor, i definately think that the people who bombed the twin towers should be pursued and brought to justice. without a doubt. to me, afghanistan is/was justified.

 

The US's name isnt well recieved cross the globe because of its militaristic actions, even though we give the most foreign aid of any other country in the world. foreign aid is just as imperialistic as any military aggression. what it does is, it benefits favored business interests here at home, the money/goods benefits the elite classes overseas in third world countries. the dictator/govt gets 98% of the money. its called the 3 m's. a mansion for the dicator, a mercedes to drive, and machine guns. foreign aid also leads to tensions, if say, we aid israel but dont aid palestine, or vice versa.

 

foreign aid must fail the way all socialism must fail. the way it failed at walter reed hospital. foreign aid essentially is US control. he who supplies the money controls everything. which is why it is a scary proposition in my eyes for the american people to be clamoring for more federal money, when in the end it just means more federal control.

 

there are some good people on here who are against getting involved in foreign affairs. they must however realize that this applies to foreign aid as well, and applies to intervention on the domestic front too.

 

i think the best policy for the middle east is for the US to withdraw. there is not any american interest there. i believe we should follow the policies of switzerland. be armed, vigilant and neutral. we should be ready to fight at a moments notice, but we shouldnt go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. trade with all nations, and have entangling alliances with none. no special preferences. no embargos, no protectionist tariffs, etc.

 

at one point in history america prided herself on staying out of the worlds affairs. i wish we would return to that stance.

 

In light of what has happened in the past 5-6 years, i can see the benefits of your world view. However, i am a little bit more optimistic than that, that 1. there are smarter people militarily than this Administration. 2. there are positions that people on all sides can agree upon (such as the Palestinian issue, i think everyone agrees the world would be a better place if it would resolved). Furthermore, in my opinion there are serious dangers of isolationism. First, the last isolationist period ended with Hitler. I think we can all agree that if a certain degree of humanity is being violated (by this i mean that foreign policy should be based on suffering, ie we should have fixed up darfur, intervened in rwanda, and the case of iraq is debatable), then the world has a responsibility to end such suffering. we have the ability to do so most of the time, and sovereignty should not take precedence over suffering. Regarding this im talking about unprovoked war, i think that the concept of just war is universally accepted the world over. i have enormous sympathy for those in places such as zimbabwe today, where they are blatantly suffering for the sake of a few power hungry individuals, and the world could care less. Going back to isolationism, im not the type of person to sleep at night knowing that others are suffering for my benefit. In that sense, im all about foreign aid (of course, the very notion of aid needs to be seriously reformed, but just the idea that the rich should hook up the poor when they need it). if we look at politics as merely interactions between individuals, as many do, then i would argue that if your neighbors house caught on fire, you would probably let them sleep at your house (i hope). why can't this be translatable to the international level? and when it is, why is it viewed so cynically as it is, an "expression of us imperialism?"

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the US was never an 'isolationist' country, nor am i advocating isolationism. im advocating, not choosing sides in fights, no entangling alliances, no involvement in world government organizations, no invasions of countries because they require woman to wear a veil, etc. i believe trade should exist between all nations, and it should be as free as possible. this is hardly isolationism.

 

all charity, should be private. not government based. you make a good case, about helping out your neighbor, which i agree with, but the government is not the people. government by its nature violates rights. (individual, not collective rights. collective rights are non existent) if people voluntarily wanted to give money to another country, then fine. if the government had someway of giving money to another country, without robbing its citizens of thier wealth to give away, then so be it. but this is not the case. the government creates no wealth, only that which is steals from its citizens. americans are charitable people. they just dont want the government taking thier money without thier approval and being told what to do.

 

after all it is not right in my opinion to force a muslim US citizen to pay aid to israel, for example.

foreign aid is socialist intervention and it will fail.

 

the just war theory is generally accepted worldwide, but very few actually follow it. the swiss are a bright shining example of true believers in just war. for instance, they will not fight, unless they are invaded, and will not pursue outside of thier borders. this is just war. if someone aggresses against you, you must defend yourself but shouldnt use force greater than the threat and should cease fighting when the threat is over.

 

check out what the great murray rothbard had to say on foreign aid:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard95.html

 

"One of the agreements between classical liberals and the new left used to be their opposition to foreign aid. Foreign aid is a system by which the American taxpayers are mulcted, in the name of national security or defense of the "free world," to subsidize US export companies and prop up client states (often ruled by dictators maintaining their regimes through systematic torture). It is, in that sense, a gigantic racket, and it was exposed with gusto by old-right classical liberals, and following them, by the new left.

 

 

 

But I am not sure that the left still opposes foreign aid with its former enthusiasm. It was not long ago that the left argued vehemently for continuing economic aid to the leftist regime in Nicaragua. And Alan Wolfe in his manifesto calls not for the scrapping of foreign aid, but rather for a "concerted effort to provide foreign aid through international agencies not committed to strategic and capitalist interests." Shades of Henry Wallace and the liberal imperialism of the 1940s! The left wants to overthrow American imperialism without touching one of its major props, foreign aid. The taxpayer is still to be robbed, but this time the looting is to be cleansed of "strategic and capitalist" interests through some sort of UN agency. Yet, as a good Marxist, Wolfe should surely know that there is no such thing as a neutral state agency, national or international, devoid of strategic interests or power politics. Some power group is going to control it, at the expense of the taxpayer and of genuine freedom of enterprise. And since the United States will be doing much of the taxing to support any such agency, it presumably will have at least something to say in the division of the loot. "

 

and ron paul furthers the point:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True Foreign Aid

 

 

 

by Ron Paul

 

A recent Hudson Institute study found that, last year, American citizens voluntarily contributed three times more to help people overseas than did the United States government. This should not surprise us at all, as Americans are generous to those in need, whether here or abroad. There are so many moral, religious, and human reasons to help our fellow men and women in need. It is only when government gets in the way and tries to crowd out private charity that problems arise.

 

 

There are good reasons why the US Constitution does not allow our government to send taxpayer money overseas as foreign aid. One of the best is that coerced “charity” is not charity at all, but rather it is theft. If someone picks your pocket and donates the money to a good cause it does not negate the original act of theft.

 

 

There are also practical reasons to oppose governmental foreign aid. Though it may be given with the best intentions, government agencies simply cannot do the kind of job that private charities do in actually helping people in need. Government-to-government assistance seldom helps those really in need. First, because it comes from governments it usually has political strings attached to it, and as such is really a cover for political interventionism. Take our own National Endowment for Democracy for example. The “aid” money it spends is usually spent trying to manipulate elections overseas so that a favored foreign political party wins “democratic” elections. This does no favor to citizens of foreign countries, who vote in the hope that they may choose their own leaders without outside interference.

 

 

Likewise with the so-called Millennium Challenge Account, which sends US aid to countries that meet US-determined economic reform criteria. The fact is, countries that enact solid economic policies will attract many times the amount of private foreign investment on international capital markets than they receive through the Millennium Challenge program.

 

 

Another problem is that when a government gives aid to another government there are so many layers of middlemen involved that by the time the actual aid trickles down to those in need it is a small fraction of the original amount given. Not to mention that much of this aid finds its way into the pockets of corrupt foreign leaders.

 

 

Private assistance organizations, on the other hand, are more subject to market forces and thus much more effective. When Americans feel motivated to part with their hard-earned money to help someone overseas, they want to make sure it goes only to the most effective charities. Bad news travels fast, and private charities are unlikely to send their resources where they are likely to be wasted because their contributions would soon dry up. We all recall what happened several years ago when it was revealed that the top management of a major charity organization was paid extremely high salaries: people stopped sending money. The problem corrected itself.

 

 

Sadly, this does not happen when government aid is mismanaged. More often than not, the very government agencies that mismanaged the assistance in the first place come back to Congress for a budget increase to solve the problem they created.

 

 

So we should be happy to hear that Americans are willing to give so much to help those less fortunate in foreign lands. And we should think hard about all the good we could do both at home and abroad if our government did not take so much from us for its ineffective and wasteful foreign aid priorities. True charity is never coerced.

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from old right constitutionalist, howard buffett:

 

Representative Howard Buffett, pointed out the domestic consequences of foreign policy in his cogent attack on President Truman’s plan to aid Greece and Turkey, a plan many historians regard as a turning point in the Cold War.

 

 

 

"After we have spread ourselves in Greece and Turkey," Buffett told the House in March 1947, "and our leaders are patting themselves on the back for their successful firm stand, a new alarm will come in. Communistic outbreaks will be reported serious in another area. We will rush to that alarm. A billion-dollar call will come from Korea. There will be renewed demands from China."

 

 

 

"All over the world we would soon be answering alarms like an international fireman, maintaining garrisons, and pouring out our resources."

 

 

 

"In the meantime, what will have happened at home? Economy plans will have generally gone up in smoke… Attempts at economy would again be smeared as reactionary efforts to save dollars at the cost of the lives of American boys. Patriots who try to bring about economy would be branded as Stalin lovers."

 

 

 

"The misery of the people, from continued militarism and inflation, would soon become unbearable. As their anguished protests become vocal, the shackles of regimentation and coercion, so lately thrown off, could be refastened in the name of stopping communism at home."

 

 

 

Buffett envisioned that a policy of globalism would bring in its wake "totalitarian tactics of smear, censorship, and lying propaganda" to "overwhelm those who resist," and demands for military conscription "to fill the ranks of garrisons for Palestine and the Near East oil fields."

 

 

 

"Even if it were desirable," Buffett concluded, "America is not strong enough to police the world by military force. If that attempt is made, the blessings of liberty will be replaced by coercion and tyranny at home. Our Christian ideals cannot be exported to other lands by dollars and guns. Persuasion and example are the methods taught by the Carpenter of Nazareth… We cannot practice might and force abroad and retain freedom at home. We cannot talk world cooperation and practice power politics."

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Angelofdeath though we disagree on somethings, i believe we have an interest in seeing things get better (who doesnt). I dont think i am articulating myself well enough, so i will try to say again what im thinking.

 

First, the argument that Americans should provide charity privately, that they already do, and that governmental aid is therefore not only theft but redundant is in a sense inaccurate. Government foreign aid theoretically (it would take math way out of my league to figure this one out) only comes from those who don't contribute, and those that do contribute otherwise apply for taxable deductions. Therefore, people do have a choice to contribute to the charity of their choice, but if they choose not to, the government steps in and contributes. this means that Americans only contribute 75% of what the government has decided is apropriate for aid to the world.if the majority of the population truly felt as you do, then the best way to combat it would be for everyone to contribute to their favorite charity. this would force more oversight and transparency in the budget (military aid to israel is a defense expenditure, not "foreign aid" in the sense that it is charitable, and the budget reflects that).

 

i think libertarian objections (im not labelling you, i just see a lot of those arguments enbedded in yours) are beneficial at the end, though they are based on an inherent mistrust of government. so, thinking theoretically, if govt. is no longer malicious, would libertarian arguments for limited govt. suffice? i believe that your main objection is the use of foreign aid as political capital, and i agree that that is wrong. my point was, had aid been giving irrespective of politics (consider post ww2 germany and japan), would groups like al qaeda proliferate? if aid was purely need based, i believe that appreciation would be much more substantial, and aid would reach the poorest, not the most politically significant (does pakistan need our support while the congo continues as is?).

 

i have a couple problems with private charity, mostly out of personal experience (which in no way reflects the greater picture). i was in india, and i got sick, and i was in a pretty rough spot, far from the technological development we hear about. the best hospital was a lutheran missionary thing. I am not Lutheran, but I am religious (i dont believe which religion is important here). However, service to me was refused unless i listened to a lutheran sermon, and prayed with them (in my opinion a violation of my faith). This charity was private, yet it was being used not for compassion but for what i believe contributed to their benefit, to make them feel good that they had "saved" me. My vision of a secular govt. giving aid isn't conditional in the sense i just spoke of. thats where bush's people have gone wrong. why in hell would we only give money for abstinence programs when condoms work better? the purpose of aid is not to judge, or to accomplish political goals, it is to help.

 

As for your position (as well as those you quoted), the idea that aid is theft is fairly accurate. I agree. But which is worse- theft from rich to the poor (in this case, from America to pretty much anywhere else is that sort of redistribution), or the needy being left out to dry. i am not socialist, but i do believe that no one deserves to die because i didnt give, and my government coudlnt because i considered it theft. as for your point that citizens gave more than the govt., i dont see what the problem is then? the implication is that private charities reach citizens better than a politically interested govt. would.

 

In this case i dont think the question is whether or not its coerced theft cuz it is. Instead, i would argue that in fact the govt. should represent the people, and if it doesnt (as many people say now), then it is the peoples job to fix that, not to abstain from governance. Would you recommend that agencies like FEMA be decommissioned, or strengthened? Furthermore, i would argue that a more appropriate question is whether or not such missions are just, not whether or not they are theft.

 

is it possible to create another agency within the government that would be apolitical, one that would be given funds for foreign aid? they determine based on humanitarian considerations, not political ones. would this change the perception of America in the world? basically, i believe that disdain for aid comes not from the aid itself, but the political objectives that are acheived through such aid. can we depoliticize such aid somehow?

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i'll address this more if need be, but let me suffice it to say... i dont think we NEED a federal government. it wouldnt bother me if the whole government was abolished today and we went back to the articles of confederation.

 

it is always nice to think that aid will only go to the poor and the people who need it. but if you know the nature of government, this is not the case. we have huge domestic spending. domestic spending has double and tripled since lbj enacted his great society, yet poverty is still the same. the market is the only way to bring about prosperity.

 

but it simply boils down to this:

 

coerced charity isnt charity at all. you cannot simply make it someones problem to help someone else. i know this sounds harsh, but this is liberty, this is freedom. it is maximizing choices. if you dont want to give money to the homeless guy with a sign, you dont have too.

you shouldnt have 40% of your pay taken from you for the government to squander. doesnt it strike you as odd, that government is known as the great humanitarian and is benevolent? yet, its employees are unionized? its all a big racket to squander tax money. government should exist to protect private property and that is it.

 

there is not a doubt in my mind, private charity would do a better job than any government subsidized handout. when the govt intervenes, it subsidizes whatever 'problem' it is trying to fix. it is in thier best interest not to fix the problem or the whole beauracracy they created to fix the problem, will go under, along with its funding, and its employees. it is in the US governments best interest not to catch osama bin laden or any of those other dudes.

 

when the govt takes peoples money, some simply pass by the poor people on the street instead of helping them, because they feel that thier share of thier money was already taken by the govt to give to the poor.

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On the whole issue of the govts. best interest not to fix the problem etc. I was listening to a talk radio program on my way home today and there was a police officer talking about an organization of cops that is lobbying and pushing for the legalization and govt. regulation of drugs (not just weed) but stuff like blow and heroin too so that they can end the war on drugs, regulate the production of drugs to stop many OD's. He was saying that it's not drugs that causes crime it's the PROHIBITION of drugs that causes crime. I was thinking of the screeching halt the american justice system would come to if that happened. Damn.

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angelofdeath i must admit im slightly disappointed in your response...

 

First and foremost, freedom is not as important as another human's life. thats where im coming from. and that is in my opinion the biggest problem with libertarianism. It basically says, im free to let someone else starve. or Im free to stand by while my neighbor is murdered. Or im free to put my headphones on while a woman is raped. Extremes? definitely. but they highlight the lack of protection that libertarianism offers (i am extending these horrific circumstances to the systemic level... obviously local police would step in. my point is that people have an obligation to help others in need, if not for the reason that if they were in trouble, they would hope that others would help them. this implies a certain benefit to aid due to reciprocity, and in a sense government guarantees that reciprocity (i am not a libertarian).

 

And again, is theft as significant crime as injustice in the form of standing by while a huge number of people suffer unnecessarily? even if you value freedom more than any other principle, is justice not a closer byproduct of freedom than theft?

 

i jsut read something in the news from afghanistan. an italian journalist was freed after being subjected to watching his interpretor decapitated, while kidnapped by the taliban. Italy is voting this week on whether or not to leave (theyre in even though they werent attacked, due to an entangling alliance). according to angelofdeath's position, its okay to leave, in fact they should considering they have a politically feasible opportunity (in the form of the journalist to shape public opinion). should they? is it morally permissible to abandon afghanis to people willing to commit such atrocities? i dont think so.

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think about it mayor, what is slavery?

what made slavery bad?

 

was it the cotton picking, the work, or the singing of spirtuals? no, it was the fact that they were forced to work, by whips or death threats. is working bad? no, everyone should do it, but should you be forced to do it?

coercion is a horrible thing. i think everything people do should be on a voluntary basis and this extends to all areas of life. just because someone isnt forced to help someone else, doesnt mean they wont. being responsible for someone else on a coercive basis is a partial slavery if not outright slavery.

 

society would do just fine if govt was limited to the protection of private property. society would still exist without a central plan.

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i think these so called terrorist attacks are horrible. the bombing of the murrah building, the twin towers, etc.

however, i think for the most part, these small groups who are inflicting damage on america are reactionary. they are doing it is direct reaction to US policy. I believe that the twin towers wouldnt of been attacked if we werent over seas in the middle east in the first place. and that counts with foreign aid missions too. i believe the oklahoma city bombing wouldnt of occured (assuming mcveigh did indeed blow up the building ) if the federal government didnt attack the civilians at waco.

 

THe US government needs to start re-thinking its foreign and domestic policy. this will dramatically decrease these reactionary movements.

 

I agree. And they attacked the World Trade Center for a reason. US Business and US foreign policy are identical in the eyes of people around the world. People must also realize this. Of course, as you said, none of it is an excuse to kill hoards of innocents, just reasons.

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Angelofdeath slavery and living in a government controlled state are two very different things. Theoretically, if you hated the government that much, you could pull a unabomber and live in the woods. furthermore, slavery was bad because it denied the humanity of the slaves. it was universally acknowledged that humans could not be enslaved, so slaves weren't deemed human, they were property.

 

now, the contractarian approach is not 'slavery' in the allusion that you believe. taxes are for a variety of reasons. yes you were 'coereced' into paying taxes, yet you were not coerced into walking down that sidewalk today. theoretically, if you hate the menace that is government that much, you can go pull a unabomber and live in the woods. however, whether or not it is evident every single day, you benefit from the government, and the government exists out of coercion. when you were sick and didnt have health insurance, you could go to the govt. hospital. when your house was on fire the fire dept. came. slaves did not benefit from slavery.

 

on another note regarding entangling foreign policies, the us is claiming that insurgents used children to get past checkpoints. who knows if its true, propaganda is everywhere. if it is true though, and along the same lines i was saying about the italian journalist/taliban yesterday, are these not people we should be fighting for moral reasons (that they are doing things that are universally unacceptable). decapitation and child-suicide bombs seem like huge no nos to me.

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it doesnt matter if one 'benefits' from taxes that are stolen from them. after all perhaps a woman 'benefits' from someone who rapes her? (invades her property, just like the govt invades your property when it takes money from you)

 

slaves could of 'benefited' from slavery, after all, they had something to eat and a roof over their heads. so it was justified right? fuck no. the same way it isnt justified if govt takes your money to pay for something that doesnt go to protection of private property.

your point about taking away a slaves humanity is valid, however it still boils down to coercion. what was done to take away thier humanity? coercion.

 

there are many different forms of slavery. in soviet russia, the people were slaves. they had no other choice to give the govt their whole paycheck. if having your paycheck taken from you to pay for something else, if this is not slavery, then i dont know what is.

 

surely, i could pull unabomber and live in the woods. its actually what im want to do. move as far away as possible from the menace on the potomac.

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If rape and taxes are the same thing (as you have said), then why would the average person in our society be repulsed if i spoke of a rape victim "as being taxed"? its because that would belittle what rape is.

 

What about issues of immigration? A government that you describe surely couldn't justify closed borders correct?

 

Finally, slavery is a very good example that exposes the contradictions of libertarianism. On the one hand, the government's main role is to protect private property. Yet slaves were private property? so in emancipating the slaves, the government was violating the private property rights of slave owners. The government decided that the wellbeing of the slaves trumped the property rights of the slave owners. do you disagree?

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if slaves are 'property' your analogy is proper. however under libertarian law, you cannot 'own' another adult. each adult owns themselves.

 

rape and taxation are invasions of property. you own your body, it is your property, if you dont consent to sex, your property has been violated. if you have money, and you dont consent to it being taken, your property has been violated. this is slavery. rape is obviously more unjust than taxation because it violates someones person.

 

as for immigration, in the libertarian utopia (which i am not a 100% advocate of) all property would be privately owned. so government would have no legitimate purpose to restrict 'immigration.' it would be done by property owners. if you wanted to invite someone on your land, if you wanted to allow people to cross it, then fine. if not, oh well. under this scenario, there is no such thing as a 'right to immigrate' because all property would be privately owned.

 

however, in reality, i believe in nations. i believe in countries. i believe a country is not a country unless it can control its borders. im not an anarcho capitalist, i believe the constitution can still work, if people followed it.

this is where the conflict comes in. which one trumps the other? defense of a nations borders and national soveriegnty? or the right of anyone to enter the US reguardless of who they are. you have to not believe in national soveriegnty to believe in totally open borders.

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