View Full Version : Your thoughts on this email exchange

04-29-2009, 11:46 PM

04-30-2009, 07:09 AM
I think you did a good job. I get frustrated with people who talk the FOX line on foreign policy, too. The only thing I would have done differently is not opened it up the way you did. If you don't want to continue, just don't but to draw a line and say you don't want to have the conversation and then go off on a rant... Engage :)

04-30-2009, 07:19 AM
When debating it is difficult, but you shouldn't attack the other person.

Also, I've found it helps to delete the last paragraph of my text whenever I'm typing something I'm charged up about...it's almost always something from the gut that becomes the focus as opposed to the meat of the whole thing which tends to be in the middle.

04-30-2009, 07:38 AM
I completely disagree with you. The working citizens of this nation throughout history have made sacrifice after sacrifice to better themselves, their families and others. They do not do this out of arrogance. Peter's grandfather has the story spot on, and if you understood the reasoning why so many free citizens voluntarily join to defend this nation you would appreciate his perspective.

No matter the root reasons for "9-11", the act of destroying innocent lives under any pretext or at any time is evil and is never justified - ever. While there are instances (and always will be instances) where US government leaders have abused their power, this does not translate into condemning the citizens of this nation as being arrogant. No where else in the history of this world has a people been able to be as productive, as giving, as caring and self -sacrificing as the citizens of the US of A- even with all our faults.

Have you spent time overseas for any length of time? Have you compared our freedoms to those of any other nation? We in this country have had it so good due to the sacrifices of others that we have no idea how to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy. This president is the most arrogant of all in my opinion. He has never had to sacrifice anything, never held a real job, never served this nation in her defense of freedom. For this "gifted one" to stand on foreign soil and bash this nation, is despicable and is equivalent to spitting on the graves of every fallen American soldier who has paid the ultimate sacrifice.

04-30-2009, 08:51 AM
I think it helps me to realize that stereotyping goes both ways.

For every American who thinks the entire middle east is a stone-age hellhole full of camel jockeys who want to destroy our way of life, there's someone in the middle east - probably a guy with a wife and kids and a job and a dog, just like the American - who thinks America is full of pig-eating satan worshipers who are bent on wiping his religion off the face of the earth.

However, that guy in the middle east has a much less warped view of his own history than the American. He's got examples going back to 1095 AD to illustrate his point of view quite effectively. For us, regime change (revolution), arbitrarily redrawing boundaries (manifest destiny), changing religion - either converting to a different faith, or converting the faith we belong to from within - these are all perfectly normal to us, where, in most cases, it should probably not at all be considered normal! For him, they are not just abnormal, they are extremely offensive to his sense of justice.

The arrogance comes in three parts that I can see. First, that despite profound ignorance of history, we claim the right to pontificate to the world as to how things should be.

Second, the one-size-fits-all arrogance that we've adopted beginning with the 17 Amendment, and the arrogance that this mentality is so right and so perfect (despite numerous and sundry examples showing the opposite) that we should be exporting our one size to the world through the barrel of a gun.

Third, the preventative arrogance. The arrogance that since "we had to save their butts twice", that somehow supports the ideas that 1) the world outside the US didn't learn anything from the experience, 2) it'll happen again the second we release our grip on the world, and 3) the 64 ounces of prevention we've put into this are somehow economically more desirable than the pound of cure that was WWII.

(And I think Mr. Buchannan did an admirable job of showing how much of the 20th century's violence was at least in part caused by our shift toward an aggressive foreign policy.)

Of course, BHO is never going to say this as he's the most despicable type of self-centric politician, but there is a lot of support for the idea that we are an arrogant people.

Have you spent time overseas for any length of time? Have you compared our freedoms to those of any other nation? We in this country have had it so good due to the sacrifices of others that we have no idea how to appreciate the freedoms we enjoy.

In terms of freedom, I don't see how we have it substantially better than the UK, or Australia, or Germany, or Czech, or France, or Canada, or a lot of other places... or, more appropriately, Switzerland.

I'm free to educate my children as I see fit, as long as I have already paid to educate them as my masters see fit.

I'm free to carry a firearm, just not through the country, and in some places, not even outside my home.

I'm free to speak my mind, just not in a way that is out of favor with those in power.

I'm free to spend my money as I wish, as long as it's not the first third of what I make, and as long as it's not being spent on one of the ever-growing list of vices... also as long as it's not real money, but the stuff they can steal at will.

These reductions in freedom mostly started to occur about the same time we started exporting freedom.

As James Hetfield said twenty years ago, "You can do it your own way... if it's done just how I say." I know you're talking about third world countries... but seriously, what freedoms have your modern-day patriots' blood bought us?

I know you feel pride for what they have done, but I do not. I feel like I've been watching blind men wander on to the interstate, and the few individuals constantly screaming about the overpass have been gagged, or shouted down with the exact same argument you just gave.

I think if you truly love freedom you will recognize that argument for what it is. I also think my argument is punctuated by how much you now wish you could have prevented me from making it.

04-30-2009, 09:00 AM

04-30-2009, 09:06 AM

Behold, ounce number 49.


05-01-2009, 03:04 AM

05-01-2009, 06:41 AM
Putting aside content for a second....
Well, it comes off a little like the collegiate version of "I read, you offer MSM bullet points".
It seems a little denigrating, but then again, that may be your point.

If that doesn't make him question what he's been told, I don't know what will....

One other thing. When I first heard RP, just like most of us, I thought that half his ideas were brilliant and the other half would get us nuked. Seems like you're dealing a lot with that other half here, the hard stuff for "conservatives" to understand.

For me, what turned passing interest in RP into total belief was the freedom message. You talk about the truth a lot, but as my favorite guy pointed out, the truth will set you free. Seems to me that you need to tie the ends together - that knowledge (and principles based on it) of these things will lead us out of bondage.

That's the state most are living in. They're chained, confined, suppressed, silenced, controlled, and then robbed, or sometimes even killed. This guy doesn't realize it. He probably sees the grief the state causes him as the price of doing business, to get it to cause grief to other people.

So I think maybe you should state that you absolutely reject the cognitive dissonance, and that he should, too, because that is not only what prevents you getting through to him, but what prevents him from getting through to people who he opposes as well. I'd pick a topic that he supports, and show how the CD prevents him from making any headway on that issue.

Take a favorite topic of mine, gun control... how much utter disinformation is out there? How much of it has been utterly refuted? Yet how much of it, despite utter refutation, continues to be employed? I don't know any pro-gun non-libertarians (because Fudds aren't pro-gun), but if I did, it would be easy to use that as an example of an issue where people turn off their brains and vomit the party line... and then use that to show how he is doing the same thing with another topic.

Just some thoughts... but in any case, since this is e-mail there's a hope of making contact, so I think I'd take it farther than "here's your reading list" - maybe cite some examples from the list. It's different on a forum because you're never arguing to the person you're addressing: you're arguing to the lurkers. But in e-mail it's just you and him.

05-01-2009, 08:35 AM
I can't resist playing devil's advocate here on a couple of points.

If you had read the 9-11 commission report you would know you are wrong about the reasons for the hijackers actions. They don't want to "destroy our way of life".

It's interesting to cite the 9/11 commission report here, because in that bin Laden is quoted as saying "It is saddening to tell you that you are the worst civilization witnessed by the history of mankind."

The reasons bin Laden says this are because (direct quotes below truncated for space):

1) You are the nation who, rather than ruling by the Shariah of Allah in its Constitution and Laws, choose to invent your own laws as you will and desire. You separate religion from your policies.

2) You are the nation that permits Usury, which has been forbidden by all the religions.

3) You are a nation that permits the production, trading and usage of intoxicants. You also permit drugs, and only forbid the trade of them.

4) You are a nation that permits acts of immorality, and you consider them to be pillars of personal freedom. Who can forget your President Clinton's immoral acts committed in the official Oval office?

5) You are a nation that permits gambling in its all forms.

6) You are a nation that exploits women like consumer products or advertising tools calling upon customers to purchase them. You use women to serve passengers, visitors, and strangers to increase your profit margins. You then rant that you support the liberation of women.

7) You are a nation that practices the trade of sex in all its forms, directly and indirectly.

8) And because of all this, you have been described in history as a nation that spreads diseases that were unknown to man in the past. Go ahead and boast to the nations of man, that you brought them AIDS as a Satanic American Invention.

9) You have destroyed nature with your industrial waste and gases


The list continues.

In the 9/11 Commission Report, Bin Laden concludes with saying that, if the United States did not comply, it would be at war with the Islamic nation, a nation that al Qaeda's leaders said "desires death more than you desire life.

Using bin Laden's own words I think it is entirely acceptable to conclude that yes, he wants to destroy the secular liberalism which defines modern American life and replace it with Sharia law.

Also, I think a valid and overlooked question is not whether our foreign policy creates enemies (it does), but whether we now have any choice but to fight those enemies we have created.

Full source material referenced in the 9/11 commission report is http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/nov/24/theobserver. It's illuminating.

How many books have you read on how the CIA trained, funded, taught and supplied Al-Qaeda?

The CIA did not fund or train Al-Qaeda, since that organization was not really in existence when the Soviets were involved in their Afghanistan campaign. According to Ghost Wars, by Stephen Coll, we never funded bin Laden (largely because he didn't need the money), but we did of course fund other Islamic mujaheddin.

05-01-2009, 08:52 AM
a nation that al Qaeda's leaders said "desires death more than you desire life.

Interesting way to put it, since they're guaranteed to get what they want, whereas we have to work for what we want. Kind of explains why western money is the only reason anything has been built in that neck of the world in the last 500 years.