T Nation

Death of America

The other day on Hardball I saw a GOP strategist saying that the Dems are condescending towards the American people (hey, never heard THAT before!) – the difference this time is that it was in the same week Bush’s posse accused the few remaining Republicans with a conscience of being “confused”, while Bush himself behaved like an offended spoiled brat in front of the press AND Matt Lauer and gave his it is unacceptable to think […] speech that gave anyone who holds dear everything this country was built on the unstoppable urge to defenestrate himself – from at least the 10th floor.

So basically, according to the GOP not all Americans are stupid; just the ones that disagree with the President.

Elitism vs Fascism. Tough choice, eh? Well, not really: looking at the polls, the American people clearly prefer the latter.

So, personally, I believe the problem here is that the Dems give the American people too much credit. Personally – I guess that’s why I’m the appointed elitist around here – the people in this country are truly a hopeless cause.

What I do know is that sometime in the past 5 years, America slowly died a painful death. And Bin Laden – still alive, still protected, still yet to be found – achieved his ultimate goal – in spades. Well, he couldn’t have done it without this president, or without the blind faith the American people deposited in him (or is it Him?). If Bush and/or the Republicans lied to us is immaterial at this point; everybody lies everywhere, it’s part of the business. The problem is that they betrayed, and continue to betray, day after day, not the people that happen to live within these borders (most of which couldn’t care less), but the United States of America, and what they once represented. With not only the complicity, but the help of millions of American citizens.

I’m reminded that my ancestors fled to this country to run away from Salazar’s regime. This week, more than ever, I’m really glad I do not believe in an afterlife, because honestly the thought that they could be seeing “from above” this country becoming exactly what they fled from is even more disturbing than living in it…


PS: Please try to be a little creative in the barrage of scathing personal attacks that undoubtedly are now going to be posted against me – specifically try to avoid the GOP lines. Those will only reinforce my point, you know…

Wait just a minute there…

You tell us to reply without agreeing with the administration - or use their talking points, as you put it - but you can call on every single one of the ABB talking pionts to form this post?

Hypocrisy anyone?

I will reply when you can post a coherent post that is not a regurgitation of the Deaniac/George Soros left.

This is beyond stupid. America is dead. Democracy is dead.

You guys have really run out of things to say.

[quote]rainjack wrote:

I will reply when you can post a coherent post that is not a regurgitation of the Deaniac/George Soros left.

[/quote]

Blah blah blah.

We regurgitate “ABB” talking points, but you’re not regurgitating Rush Limbaugh talking points?

That shit works both ways, enough with the “looney left” stereotype, because we think you and Michael Savage are the “looney right”, and we have as much right to talk as you do.

I lost faith in people a long time ago. I just can’t decide whether they lost it because the government coddles them or because they’re just idiots.

Certain conservatives I respect, like the ones that insist that imperialism is a part of human nature. The ones that cheerlead for the administration regardless of the policies…well, I don’t like them.

Anyway, don’t pretend like the shit you say isn’t echoed on every Republican station out there. Don’t make us out to be the “wacko fringe”, because at least in New Jersey, that’s you!

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
This is beyond stupid. America is dead. Democracy is dead.

You guys have really run out of things to say.[/quote]

It’s better than W giving the same fucking speech for six years at every goddamn function.

Yet somehow it’s us that ran out of shit to say?

[quote]FightinIrish26 wrote:
It’s better than W giving the same fucking speech for six years at every goddamn function.

Yet somehow it’s us that ran out of shit to say?[/quote]

In all honesty, I’d be much happier if you were 100% right and he, indeed, gave the same exact speech. The scary part is that the speeches have been slowly escalating in totalitarianism – I knew, deep down, that Bush was capable of behaving like he did this week (you know what I’m talking about…), but the fact that he stopped pretending not to is what’s scary – however, not as scary as the fact that this behavior increased his and the GOP’s numbers.

I guess people DO get the government they deserve.

Hspder,

Please go look at a skyscraper, or any other great achievement of Man, and repeat this: “The spirit of Man will never die…not so long as it does things such as this.”

Headhunter

Hmmm.

Hspder writes an emotionally charged post that basically marches in lockstep with the predictably partisan party line.

Then he specifically requests that no one reply to him with an emotionally charged post that basically marches in lockstep with the predictably partisan party line.

Pathetic. Hspder has no interest in debate - he wants an echo chamber.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Hmmm.

Hspder writes an emotionally charged post that basically marches in lockstep with the predictably partisan party line.

Then he specifically requests that no one reply to him with an emotionally charged post that basically marches in lockstep with the predictably partisan party line.

Pathetic. Hspder has no interest in debate - he wants an echo chamber.[/quote]

Looks to me like you judged him before you even read his post. Are you sure you aren’t the one wanting an echo chamber?

[quote]Shoebolt wrote:

Looks to me like you judged him before you even read his post. Are you sure you aren’t the one wanting an echo chamber?
[/quote]

Nonsense. Just read what I wrote. My post specifically remarked on what he said in his post and how there was an inherent hypocrisy in it. I wouldn’t have been able to comment on that without actually reading his post first.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Hspder writes an emotionally charged post that basically marches in lockstep with the predictably partisan party line.

Then he specifically requests that no one reply to him with an emotionally charged post that basically marches in lockstep with the predictably partisan party line.

Pathetic. Hspder has no interest in debate - he wants an echo chamber.[/quote]

So, you clearly miss the contradiction in your post, and I’m the one who is pathetic?

Intelligent debate is not about tit-for-tat. It’s about intelligent conversation, escalating in relevance – if I am, indeed, parroting the party lines, what an intelligent debater would do would be to respond with something more intelligent and original than what I posted. Basically, prove me wrong, and by doing so winning the debate.

Apparently the conservatives around here would rather accuse me of being an hypocrite than rising to the challenge.

There’s two ways to explain that: stupidity or cowardice. Pick one or prove me wrong by rising to the challenge.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Please go look at a skyscraper, or any other great achievement of Man, and repeat this: “The spirit of Man will never die…not so long as it does things such as this.”[/quote]

Yeah! Like the Great Pyramids! The ones that were built by a peaceful, multi-racial, tolerant, democratically elected civilization, on the back of happy, prosperous, free workers!

Oh, no, wait…

[quote]hspder wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
Please go look at a skyscraper, or any other great achievement of Man, and repeat this: “The spirit of Man will never die…not so long as it does things such as this.”

Yeah! Like the Great Pyramids! The ones that were built by a peaceful, multi-racial, tolerant, democratically elected civilization, on the back of happy, prosperous, free workers!

Oh, no, wait…[/quote]

I am pretty sure those that are building skyscrapers are making a nice fat union wage.

[quote]hspder wrote:
Headhunter wrote:
Please go look at a skyscraper, or any other great achievement of Man, and repeat this: “The spirit of Man will never die…not so long as it does things such as this.”

Yeah! Like the Great Pyramids! The ones that were built by a peaceful, multi-racial, tolerant, democratically elected civilization, on the back of happy, prosperous, free workers!

Oh, no, wait…[/quote]

Are you hung over today? We’ll wait’ll you’re capable of cogency, gentlemen that we are.

[quote]hspder wrote:

So, you clearly miss the contradiction in your post, and I’m the one who is pathetic?

Intelligent debate is not about tit-for-tat. It’s about intelligent conversation, escalating in relevance – if I am, indeed, parroting the party lines, what an intelligent debater would do would be to respond with something more intelligent and original than what I posted. Basically, prove me wrong, and by doing so winning the debate.[/quote]

Yes, I love the idea of a relevant conversation. That is why I come here.

But, it’s hard to predict - will you engage in a debate? Or will you - as when I asked how folks of your ideology can square a belief in the irredeemable stupidity of people and a love affair with the concept of democracy - you snivel and say you don’t want to explain yourself?

I’d be happy to respond to the original post - that the usual slur of ‘fascism!’ is overworked, overwrought, overdone, and is nothing more than the cartoonish impulse of a growing Left that detaches itself from common sense. I’d also be happy to point out that this post - by re-establishing your belief that people are too stupid to govern themselves - still begs the question of how you can profess such a love for democratic government.

I’d also be curious to know why, if you truly believed that the US was headed toward a brand of fascism, you aren’t planning on relocating to a different country. I say this, and I am dead serious - if I thought fascism was on the rise in any country that I was living, I would be looking for a way out early. I would also be very hesitant to post on public internet boards about how awful the new Fascist regime was for fear that I would be singled out before I could escape to a Western European country.

I also stand behind my feeling that anyone who insults the so-called ‘common man’ as much as you do, coupled with your suggestion that the American ‘common man’ is complicit in endorsing totalitarianism, cannot possibly be a democrat of any stripe. I think that your democratic credentials are a complete sham and you should at least admit that you have no interest in mindless cattle being entitled to self-government. Doing so may be hard, but at least you would come off as genuine.

The American people tolerate totalitarianism about as much as a Bay Area dandy would tolerate having to share a seat on the bus with a dirty Midwestern pipefitter. Moreover, while Bush has no doubt made tactical errors in the GWOT and in many ways been too soft and indecisive, why would anyone with any sense actually think a member of the Left would have gotten OBL any faster? What it would take is a more ruthless approach to nail him - does anyone think the Left, with its smarmy apologism for OBL’s existence and ideology in the first place and its distaste for all things messy, dangerous, or military, could have been a tougher sheriff than Bush?

I would suggest no. The Left hates hard choices in foreign policy and war - they only want tidy solutions that are cost-free where all sensitivities are appreciated and no one gets hurt. What happens when Lefties are presented not with a choice between something good and something bad, but between something bad and something worse? Dunno - the American people aren’t willing to gamble to let such mushy-headed theorists (“let’s tolerate them into submission!!”) get behind the wheel of foreign policy that includes issues of making war and taking out enemies. In that sense, this directly refutes your thesis of ‘stupid people’ - keeping the Left away from the heavy machinery of making decisions on war is quite wise on behalf of America.

Such a choice is a typical one FDR had to make with the Russians, but current Lefties don’t have his mettle. So while they complain as the world’s most overeducated Monday morning quarterbacks, the rest of the world - conservatives, moderates, and, yes, liberals who haven’t completely been brainwashed by the ideology of the Left’s dogmas - take on the messy work of trying to get an OBL. There is plenty of room for criticism from all angles - but when Lefties get atwitter because Bush has yet to hang OBL’s hide on the wall, I just can’t take it seriously at all.

[quote]Apparently the conservatives around here would rather accuse me of being an hypocrite than rising to the challenge.

There’s two ways to explain that: stupidity or cowardice. Pick one or prove me wrong by rising to the challenge.[/quote]

Well, most us know exactly what you offer, but specifically, you had a glaring hypocrisy in your opening statement.

As for whether we conservatives were being stupid or cowardly for pointing that out, I’d suggest getting away from therapeutic answers - ones that make you feel better about yourself - and offer us a better menu. After all, if you are going to call us stupid, just do it. As for cowardice - no one fears you, and likely no one ever has. I think it had more to do with the fact that you hung out a very weak opening post.

But your response is just part and parcel of your insufferable attitude that can’t resist trying to talk down to everyone (“we must be stupid or afraid!”). But, as I said to you, our resident Stuart Smalley, it really isn’t carrying much currency these days. Try and different tact if you want a better response.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
hspder wrote:

So, you clearly miss the contradiction in your post, and I’m the one who is pathetic?

Intelligent debate is not about tit-for-tat. It’s about intelligent conversation, escalating in relevance – if I am, indeed, parroting the party lines, what an intelligent debater would do would be to respond with something more intelligent and original than what I posted. Basically, prove me wrong, and by doing so winning the debate.

Yes, I love the idea of a relevant conversation. That is why I come here.

But, it’s hard to predict - will you engage in a debate? Or will you - as when I asked how folks of your ideology can square a belief in the irredeemable stupidity of people and a love affair with the concept of democracy - you snivel and say you don’t want to explain yourself?

I’d be happy to respond to the original post - that the usual slur of ‘fascism!’ is overworked, overwrought, overdone, and is nothing more than the cartoonish impulse of a growing Left that detaches itself from common sense. I’d also be happy to point out that this post - by re-establishing your belief that people are too stupid to govern themselves - still begs the question of how you can profess such a love for democratic government.

I’d also be curious to know why, if you truly believed that the US was headed toward a brand of fascism, you aren’t planning on relocating to a different country. I say this, and I am dead serious - if I thought fascism was on the rise in any country that I was living, I would be looking for a way out early. I would also be very hesitant to post on public internet boards about how awful the new Fascist regime was for fear that I would be singled out before I could escape to a Western European country.

I also stand behind my feeling that anyone who insults the so-called ‘common man’ as much as you do, coupled with your suggestion that the American ‘common man’ is complicit in endorsing totalitarianism, cannot possibly be a democrat of any stripe. I think that your democratic credentials are a complete sham and you should at least admit that you have no interest in mindless cattle being entitled to self-government. Doing so may be hard, but at least you would come off as genuine.

The American people tolerate totalitarianism about as much as a Bay Area dandy would tolerate having to share a seat on the bus with a dirty Midwestern pipefitter. Moreover, while Bush has no doubt made tactical errors in the GWOT and in many ways been too soft and indecisive, why would anyone with any sense actually think a member of the Left would have gotten OBL any faster? What it would take is a more ruthless approach to nail him - does anyone think the Left, with its smarmy apologism for OBL’s existence and ideology in the first place and its distaste for all things messy, dangerous, or military, could have been a tougher sheriff than Bush?

I would suggest no. The Left hates hard choices in foreign policy and war - they only want tidy solutions that are cost-free where all sensitivities are appreciated and no one gets hurt. What happens when Lefties are presented not with a choice between something good and something bad, but between something bad and something worse? Dunno - the American people aren’t willing to gamble to let such mushy-headed theorists (“let’s tolerate them into submission!!”) get behind the wheel of foreign policy that includes issues of making war and taking out enemies. In that sense, this directly refutes your thesis of ‘stupid people’ - keeping the Left away from the heavy machinery of making decisions on war is quite wise on behalf of America.

Such a choice is a typical one FDR had to make with the Russians, but current Lefties don’t have his mettle. So while they complain as the world’s most overeducated Monday morning quarterbacks, the rest of the world - conservatives, moderates, and, yes, liberals who haven’t completely been brainwashed by the ideology of the Left’s dogmas - take on the messy work of trying to get an OBL. There is plenty of room for criticism from all angles - but when Lefties get atwitter because Bush has yet to hang OBL’s hide on the wall, I just can’t take it seriously at all.

Apparently the conservatives around here would rather accuse me of being an hypocrite than rising to the challenge.

There’s two ways to explain that: stupidity or cowardice. Pick one or prove me wrong by rising to the challenge.

Well, most us know exactly what you offer, but specifically, you had a glaring hypocrisy in your opening statement.

As for whether we conservatives were being stupid or cowardly for pointing that out, I’d suggest getting away from therapeutic answers - ones that make you feel better about yourself - and offer us a better menu. After all, if you are going to call us stupid, just do it. As for cowardice - no one fears you, and likely no one ever has. I think it had more to do with the fact that you hung out a very weak opening post.

But your response is just part and parcel of your insufferable attitude that can’t resist trying to talk down to everyone (“we must be stupid or afraid!”). But, as I said to you, our resident Stuart Smalley, it really isn’t carrying much currency these days. Try and different tact if you want a better response.[/quote]

Somebody just got fucking owned!

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
I’d also be happy to point out that this post - by re-establishing your belief that people are too stupid to govern themselves - still begs the question of how you can profess such a love for democratic government.[/quote]

The fact that I do not agree or even, to a certain extent, respect the choices of the majority doesn’t mean that I feel that there is a fundamental problem with them choosing their own destiny; I TRULY believe that people should get the government they deserve; if Americans continue to choose to follow the path they have been following in the past 5 years, it IS their prerogative. If they destroy America, it is their country to destroy. If I ever sounded like I questioned that, I must, here and now make it clear: it IS THEIR PREROGATIVE to make bad choices and suffer the consequences – including killing the spirit of the country that is (for better or worse), THEIR country.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
I’d also be curious to know why, if you truly believed that the US was headed toward a brand of fascism, you aren’t planning on relocating to a different country. I say this, and I am dead serious - if I thought fascism was on the rise in any country that I was living, I would be looking for a way out early.[/quote]

I can change citizenship within a week and leave at any time. My family ties with Portugal allow me to do so. I even have a lot of political incentive to do so: Portugal’s prime-minister is a longtime friend of mine (he’s a Social-Democrat and an Environmentalist, in case you’re wondering, and I brokered his deal with a Bay Area company to put one of the biggest and most advanced solar panel arrays on the planet in my family’s home town in Southeast Portugal). But I digress; the thing is: I will rather die fighting for keeping America a true Democracy than to jump ship. And I say this from the bottom of my heart and with full conviction.

I’m not surprised to see that you are not willing to do the same…

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
I would also be very hesitant to post on public internet boards about how awful the new Fascist regime was for fear that I would be singled out before I could escape to a Western European country.[/quote]

I can only add this: I’m glad not everybody thinks that way, or nobody would have been part of the resistance movement in Europe during WWII, and nobody would have taken Portugal or Spain back from their dictators.

By the way, the only reason my ancestors left Portugal was to protect their families; fortunately, I am in a position that if it comes to that, I can send my family to Portugal but stay myself; unfortunately, they were unable to do so (they could not send their families here without being here themselves).

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
I also stand behind my feeling that anyone who insults the so-called ‘common man’ as much as you do, coupled with your suggestion that the American ‘common man’ is complicit in endorsing totalitarianism, cannot possibly be a democrat of any stripe.[/quote]

That means that you are either extremely stupid – and cannot grasp the concept I’ve mentioned above, i.e., that the fact that I do believe most Americans are insanely stupid doesn’t mean I don’t think they should choose their destiny, even if it is fascism – or you simply are spinning it to make your case against me. Which one is it?

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
I think that your democratic credentials are a complete sham and you should at least admit that you have no interest in mindless cattle being entitled to self-government. [/quote]

Mindless cattle IS entitled to self-government. I firmly believe so. It is their fundamental right. I have no intention or inclination than to force them to behave in their best interest. I’m not the one who likes playing God.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
The American people tolerate totalitarianism about as much as a Bay Area dandy would tolerate having to share a seat on the bus with a dirty Midwestern pipefitter.[/quote]

The American people have idly stood by while their rights and liberties have been slowly stripped away from them. Maybe the American people is simply too stupid to realize that – and much like little children they simply do like being told what to think rather than making up their own mind.

Want proof? Look at the most popular “news” programs; that are essentially about telling people what to think, rather than giving them the facts so they can make up their own minds. And the American people eats it all up like a kid in a candy store.

Oh, and by the way ? I share seats on busses and trains with many working people with BO problems every day. So do many of my liberal friends. San Francisco’s Muni system is also BO bonanza, in case you want to come by and try it. It is the conservatives around here that continuously try to block any attempt of diverting Sales Tax to funding more and better public transit, and refer to it as “cattle cars”.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
Moreover, while Bush has no doubt made tactical errors in the GWOT and in many ways been too soft and indecisive, why would anyone with any sense actually think a member of the Left would have gotten OBL any faster? [/quote]

It would surely have tried harder – Bush is barely trying and, at every step of the way, prioritized millions of other things first. It is CLEARLY pretty low in his list of priorities, and everyone should be asking him and themselves why.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
What it would take is a more ruthless approach to nail him - does anyone think the Left, with its smarmy apologism for OBL’s existence and ideology in the first place and its distaste for all things messy, dangerous, or military, could have been a tougher sheriff than Bush?[/quote]

“The Left” is a big tent – I, for one, make no apologies for Bin Laden nor his ideology. If anything I have been previously attacked – left AND right – for advocating solutions that were too aggressive.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
I would suggest no. The Left hates hard choices in foreign policy and war - they only want tidy solutions that are cost-free where all sensitivities are appreciated and no one gets hurt.[/quote]

Again, “the Left” is a big tent – and are you really saying it is possible to actually do worse than this administration has done in the past 6 years? Not going into Iraq would have been 100x times better than going like we did. In all honesty, I’d very much like to invade ALL of the Arab and Persian countries and clean house. Clearly, we do not have such capability, so it is simply smarter to let them all kill each other.

Again, Democracy is about letting people make their own choices, even if it means self-destruction.

I’d pull out of Iraq tomorrow, even if it means looking bad. It’s not like America’s image can get any worse at this point. Let them all kill each other. While they are at it, they won’t be killing Americans.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:
What happens when Lefties are presented not with a choice between something good and something bad, but between something bad and something worse? Dunno - the American people aren’t willing to gamble to let such mushy-headed theorists (“let’s tolerate them into submission!!”) get behind the wheel of foreign policy that includes issues of making war and taking out enemies. In that sense, this directly refutes your thesis of ‘stupid people’ - keeping the Left away from the heavy machinery of making decisions on war is quite wise on behalf of America.[/quote]

WISE? Do you really think there’s anything WISE about this administration’s foreign policy?

As I said above: anything the Democrats could have done could not be have worse than what Bush did. Seriously. You’d have to try REALLY hard to screw up more than Bush did.

And just in case you decide to continue to pretend that all the Left thinks the same about foreign affairs, and/or I haven’t been clear enough before: I truly believe that, with regards to the Middle East, there are only two options: leaving them alone – truly alone, including, but not limited to, completely eliminating any dependency on their goods, oil included – and letting them all kill each other, or go in guns blazing and nuke the heck out of them. There’s no middle ground here, no compromise, no diplomacy, nothing; you cannot negotiate with people that blindly follow dogma.

Religious Fundamentalism – ALL religious fundamentalism – is a cancer, and the only way to get rid of cancer is to either take it out of your body or kill it in place. You can’t change cancerous cells into “healthy” ones, and certainly you cannot simply sit and wait for it to go away while it’s still in your body.

The problem is that Bush is not part of the solution – he is part of the problem.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
I am pretty sure those that are building skyscrapers are making a nice fat union wage. [/quote]

Thanks to who? Who made sure that would happen – and who is trying to get rid of that?

My point exactly.

By the way – considering the danger they are putting themselves into, I’m pretty sure they don’t get paid enough.

[quote]hspder wrote:
completely eliminating any dependency on their goods, oil included[/quote]

What goods? Other than oil, what do they have to offer? Sand? Burkas?

As for pulling out of Iraq, I think that until (if ever) we manage to ween ourselves off oil, it’s better to (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) stay the course. Of course Canada has no troops in Iraq (officially) but the same applies with Afghanistan.

Pulling out now would give Iran a golden opportunity to make a play for the entire region around the Persian Gulf and they could eventually control most of the world’s oil reserves. A big Shia Caliphate controlling most of the world’s oil doesn’t strike me as “better” than the current clusterfuck.

You might power your home with windmills and solar panels, but you try that in a Canadian winter and see how well it works out.

I’ve recently come to think the the US lacked an exit strategy in Iraq for one simple reason: They never intend to leave. Install a “friendly regime” and maintain a number of permanent military bases appears, to me, to be, and always have been, the actual plan. The region is simply too important economically to suffer disruptions from fanatic fundamentalists and petty dictators bent on annexing neighboring kingdoms.

[quote]pookie wrote:
I’ve recently come to think the the US lacked an exit strategy in Iraq for one simple reason: They never intend to leave. Install a “friendly regime” and maintain a number of permanent military bases appears, to me, to be, and always have been, the actual plan. The region is simply too important economically to suffer disruptions from fanatic fundamentalists and petty dictators bent on annexing neighboring kingdoms.
[/quote]

Welcome to my world. I’ve been saying this shit since day one. OF COURSE WE AREN’T GOING TO LEAVE. That’s like taking a hot chick out, spending all kinds of money on her, taking her back to her place, seeing her strip seductively in front of you, and then you walk out the door immediately afterwards.

My beloved USA doesn’t like blue balls.

The above sentence describes in detail exactly why we’ve done what we’ve done in foreign affairs since WWII. Unfortunately, there’s been a couple of times that we’ve stuck it in and found out the chick had the southeast asian herpes, and the stuff the doctor gave us (Vietcong B-Gone) didn’t work like we thought it was gonna, but for the most part, I’d say it’s been working okay so far.

I’d say that some people have trouble visualizing military actions as investments in our future interests and positions, and that leads to them getting all pissed off and making signs saying “No Blood For OIL”. And that’s an admittedly catchy phrase, but it completely misses the point. The interplay of nations in the world is just like a chess game, and if you want to stay ahead you have to think ahead.

It’s just common sense to realize that the more secular/democratic nations we have to deal with, the better. We want folks that aren’t going to go psycho and kill everybody if we show them how to build nuclear reactors and whatnot.

In fact, I started a thread a long time ago about attaining world peace and if anybody could imagine how it might happen. My idea was that the first step would have to be personal liberty and democracy for every single man, woman, and child on the planet. With emphasis on the personal liberty part.