All those folks now asking for civility ere preaching just the opposite when Bill Clinton was President.
Limbaugh counted down the days to the USAs salvation with Bush, jr, Who he said had gravitas.
They were fining Kenneth Starrs to grind down to a halt the business of the USA.
Even a slut from Arkansas and one from Washington, D. C .
Now when the opposites are raising total malice with their man, Bush, jr. they consider it inappropriate!
Even scooter, and Jose the AG were perfect people. (among a host of others).
The days of respect for others are gone, due mostly to a lack of trust.

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Submitted by Nitpickers on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 8:11pm.

I know the Bible is full of wars and predicts more wars, but it is hard to correlate with pious people!
The Old Testament full of it, the New Testament didn't have Jesus or anyone else leading wars. I got the impression that the New Testament wanted to talk Christianity, and to let Caesar do war!

I don't think there is an atheist or even an agnostic running for President, yet some voters look for just who is more like them.

What has that got to do with what the country needs in the future?
Personally, I think it degrades the candidate and religion for the candidates to be forced to discuss how they will or will not let their religion enter into their proposals and decisions, just to get a vote.

All wars have been about economics, and yet the discussion about the war is generally about religion! Why is that? Can't we ever admit that Japan attacked Pearl Harbor due to the world cutting them out of trade when they had no natural resources; that Germany started WW2 due to being starved to death after WW1; and that Korea and Viet Nam were totally unnecessary!
Oil of course is the thing now, not Christianity or Islam.
Oil means ECONOMICS!

Submitted by bobcat on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:04pm.

When did you become the expert on the bible, from sitting back reading what you write all the time - you act like you dislike anyone who believes in the bible- so which way is it?

other_side_trax's picture
Submitted by other_side_trax on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 11:56am.

Agree that a religious litmus test for presidential candidates is inappropriate and that folks do tend to look for candidates that reflect their own beliefs.

But the reason religion and war are so inextricably linked is based on human history. FACT: More lives have been lost in the history of humankind due to RELIGIOUS INTOLERANCE than any other reason. The Crusades, Holy Wars, etc.

Agree that in recent history, we have more examples of wars fought for economic reasons. That being said, I disagree that OIL is at the center of our current conflict. Because if it was, our nation would have taken over Iraq's oil production right after the fall of Baghdad. Today, religion is at the center of this conflict. Islamic extremists have declared a holy war against America for the purpose of subjugating the entire world under Islam and re-establishing the Caliphate. We are the infidels who must be either converted or eliminated.
So, what we really have here is an ancient society (where brutality and terrorism are commonplace) at war with a comparitively modern civilized western society. And the average American has little understanding of the tribal underpinnings of middle eastern culture, wherein security is derived from having tribal and regional leaders who rule by edict. Iraqis understand, fear, revere and respect their tribal leaders. Therein lies their security and stability - knowing who's the boss and where they stand in the pecking order. To establish a democracy, where power is shared is completely foriegn to their culture and basic belief system.
Our modern society has little patience (focused on last & next qtrs profits) for sacrificing our national treasure (Soldiers and dollars) on a conflict that will take many many years. Cultural and societal changes do not happen overnight. It takes decades. It takes generations.
While opponents of this conflict may argue it is economically based, that is not primarily what is at stake here. Our survival is at stake.

Some of my sentiments are expressed in the following letter from New Jersey woman:

"Are we fighting a war on terror or aren't we? Was it or was it not started by Islamic people who brought it to our shores on September 11, 2001? Were people from all over the world, mostly Americans, not brutally murdered that day, in downtown Manhattan, across the Potomac from our nation's capitol and in a field in Pennsylvania?
Did nearly three thousand men, women and children die a horrible, burning or crushing death that day, or didn't they?

And I'm supposed to care that a copy of the Koran was "desecrated" when an overworked American soldier kicked it or got it wet?...Well, I don't. I don't care at all.

I'll start caring when Osama bin Laden turns himself in and repents for incinerating all those innocent people on 9/11.

I'll care about the Koran when the fanatics in the Middle East start caring about the Holy Bible, the mere possession of which is a crime in Saudi Arabia

I'll care when these thugs tell the world they are sorry for chopping off Nick Berg's head while Berg screamed through his gurgling slashed throat.

I'll care when the cowardly so-called "insurgents" in Iraq come out and fight like men instead of disrespecting their own religion by hiding in mosques.

I'll care when the mindless zealots who blow themselves up in search of nirvana care about the innocent children within range of their suicide I'll care when the American media stops pretending that their First Amendment liberties are somehow derived from international law instead of the United States Constitution's Bill of Rights.

In the meantime, when I hear a story about a brave marine roughing up an Iraqi terrorist to obtain information, know this: I don't care.

When I see a fuzzy photo of a pile of naked Iraqi prisoners who have been humiliated in what amounts to a college-hazing incident, rest assured: I don't care.

When I see a wounded terrorist get shot in the head when he is told not to move because he might be booby-trapped, you can take it to the bank: I don't care.

When I hear that a prisoner, who was issued a Koran and a prayer mat, and fed "special" food that is paid for by my tax dollars, is complaining that his holy book is being "mishandled," you can absolutely believe in your heart of hearts: I don't care.

And oh, by the way, I've noticed that sometimes it's spelled "Koran" and other times "Quran." Well, Jimmy Crack Corn and-you guessed it-I don't care!!

And if you DO clain to CARE - - then don't complain when more atrocities committed by radical Muslims happen here in our great Country! And may I add:

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem" -- Ronald Reagan

"If we ever forget that we're One Nation Under God, then we will be a nation gone under." Also by.. Ronald Reagan

One last thought for the day:
In case we find ourselves starting to believe all the Anti-American
sentiment and negativity, we should remember England's Prime Minister Tony Blair's words during a recent interview. When asked by one of his Parliament members why he believes so much in America, he said: "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in.. And how many want out."
Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you:
1 Jesus Christ
2. The American G. I.
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.

From the other side of the tracks

Main Stream's picture
Submitted by Main Stream on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 1:56pm.

America was attacked on 9/11, because of our past and present foreign policy in the Middle East. And your Christian Talibanist rantings and verbal pooping on Islam and the Koran, are of no help. You are about as level-headed as the 9/11 terrorists. Extremism, on either side, will get us nowhere.

The analyses that I have read, state that the motives behind the 9/11 attacks, were based on: “American foreign policy towards Israel, as well as U.S. aggression against the Iraqi people (pre Iraq war), the ensuing sanctions against Iraq, as well as the continued presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia after the Persian Gulf War. The fatwa also specifically condemns the U.S. for "plundering" the resources of the region, oppressing the people by supporting abusive regimes in the region, and dictating policy to legitimate leaders. It also opposes the presence of U.S. military bases and installations in the region, especially on Muslim holy land, which are used to "threaten" Muslim countries, while fomenting disunity and strife. By a similar token, it decries the continued refusal to address the occupation of Palestine. The fatwa uses Islamic texts to exhort violent action against American military and citizenry until the alleged grievances are reversed, stating "ulema have throughout Islamic history unanimously agreed that the jihad is an individual duty if the enemy destroys the Muslim countries."

Until we re-evaluate our foreign policy in the Middle East, and make necessary changes, we will continue to be seen as an oppressive regime, in the eyes of many Arab nations.

You trivialize the fundamental reason why we were attacked in the first place, by reducing it down to Islam vs. Christianity – IT IS OUR FOREIGN POLICY! Get it?!

(Even Huckabee mentioned it is time to sever ties with Saudi Arabia - a fascinating foreign policy stance, that I find intriguing, being a Democrat myself.)

Submitted by bobcat on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:04pm.

Why don't you pack you bags and move to Iraq since you think it's so horriable here- you would get along great with some of the people, the ones that fight and won't stop. I think you would be much happier there. Don't you?

Main Stream's picture
Submitted by Main Stream on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:36pm.

just keep throwing out those stupid barbs. You sound like a child... how old are you?

You are part of the problem, since you continue to vote for more of the same.

Be part of the solution, and vote for change!

other_side_trax's picture
Submitted by other_side_trax on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:51pm.

Hardly. I agree with you on many points.
You said, "Until we re-evaluate our foreign policy in the Middle East, and make necessary changes, we will continue to be seen as an oppressive regime, in the eyes of many Arab nations."
I agree our foreign policy must be re-evaluated. Our military is NOT the LONG TERM solution to this conflict. Stability is the key. The reason Bush senior did not go on to Baghdad at the end of ODS is because he knew it would set up Iran as the regional hegemon (power). And who is doing all of the sabre rattling today? Iran. We are where we are in Iraq. And we cannot just pull out willy-nilly. To do so would dishonor the Iraqis, our nation, our coalition partners, and the Soldiers whose lives were either forfeited of changed forever.
I also agree it is not just “Islam vs. Christianity”. It is far more complicated than that. And your points on the root cause of the 9/11 attacks are right on track. But it will take generations for Iraq to evolve into something other than what it is today.
I believe this clash of civilizations (and religion) will most likely be overcome in the distant future by a means we have not yet fully leveraged - - INFORMATION. It’s what brought down the Berlin Wall. The free flow of information is the best tool to bring the Middle East into the 21st century. Then they can choose on what kind of government they want. Until then, we owe it to our own security to support regional stabilization efforts.
America seen as an “oppressive regime”? Absolutely. Our pre-war intent to install a democratic government in Iraq was naïve, at best (from a cultural standpoint). Especially as the world’s lone superpower. Anytime you use the military trump card, the rest of the world regards you as a bully. We have become an international pariah. Again, it is what it is. The question is, where do we go from here?
From the other side of the tracks

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:22pm.

Here's a little bit information to chew on. It comes from correspondence between Eleanor Roosevelt and the then President Truman;

Eleanor writes,

The question between Palestine and the Arabs, of course, has always been complicated by oil deposits, and I suppose it always will. I do not happen to be a Zionist, and I know what a difference there is among such Jews as consider themselves nationals of other countries and not a separate nationality.

This correspondence was dated November 20, 1945.

It’s interesting that “those in the know” had insight like this. Guess what drives our policy there today?

Here’s the link to the rest of correspondence.

Eleanor Roosevelt - President Truman Letter

Scroll down to the November 20, entry.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

other_side_trax's picture
Submitted by other_side_trax on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 3:31pm.

This letter from a great American Soldier, who has been given the unenviable task of leading our efforts in Iraq, provides a sobering dose of reality, humility, and superb leadership. ost
Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and Civilians of Multi-National Force-Iraq:
As 2007 draws to a close, you should look back with pride on what you, your fellow troopers, our Iraqi partners, and Iraqi Coalition civilians have achieved in 2007. A year ago, Iraq was racked by horrific violence and on the brink of civil war. Now, levels of violence and civilians and military casualties are significantly reduced and hope has been rekindled in many Iraqi communities. To be sure, the progress is reversible and there is much more to be done. Nonetheless, the hard-fought accomplishments of 2007 have been substantial, and I want to thank each of you for the contributions you made to them.
In response to the challenges that faced Iraq a year ago, we and our Iraqi partners adopted a new approach. We increased our focus on securing the Iraqi people and, in some cases, delayed transition of tasks to Iraqi forces. Additional U.S. and Georgian forces were deployed to theater, the tours of U.S. unites were extended, and Iraqi forces conducted a surge of their own, generating well over 100,000 more Iraqi police and soldiers during the year so that they, too, had additional forces to execute the new approach. In places like Ramadi, Baqubah, Arab Jabour, and Baghdad, you and our Iraqi brothers fought-often house by house, block by block, and neighborhood by neighborhood-to wrest sanctuaries away from Al Qaeda-Iraq, to disrupt extremist militia elements, and to rid the streets of mafia-like criminals. Having cleared areas, you worked with Iraqis to retain them-establishing outposts in the areas we were securing, developing Iraqi Security Forces, and empowering locals to help our efforts. This approach has not been easy. It has required steadfastness in the conduct of tough offensive operations, creative solutions to the myriad problems on the ground, and persistence over the course of many months and during countless trying situations. Through it all, you have proven equal to every task, continually demonstrating an impressive ability to conduct combat and stability operations in an exceedingly complex environment.
Your accomplishments have given the Iraqi people new confidence and prompted many citizens to reject terror and confront those who practice it. As the months passed in 2007, in fact, the tribal awakening that began in Al Anbar Province spread to other parts of the country. Emboldened by improving security and tired of indiscriminate violence, extremist ideology, oppressive practices, and criminal activity, Iraqis increasingly rejected Al Qaeda-Iraq and rogue militia elements. Over time, the desire of Iraqis to contribute to their own security has manifested itself in citizens volunteering for the police, the Army, and concerned local citizen programs. It has been reflected in citizens providing information that has helped us find far more than double the number of arms and weapons caches we found last year. And it has been apparent in Iraqi communities now supporting their local security forces.
As a result of your hard work and that of our Iraqi comrades-in-arms-and with the support of the local populace in many areas-we have seen significant improvements in the security situation. The number of attacks per week is down some 60 percent from a peak in June of this year to a level last seen consistently in the early summer of 2005. With fewer attacks, we are also seeing significantly reduced loss of life. The number of civilian deaths is down by some 75 percent since its height a year ago, dropping to a level not seen since the beginning of 2006. And the number of Coalition losses is down substantially as well. We remain mindful that the past year's progress has been purchased through the sacrifice and selfless service of all those involved and that the new Iraq must still contend with innumerable enemies and obstacles. Al Qaeda-Iraq has been significantly degraded, but it remains capable of horrific bombings. Militia extremists have been disrupted, but they retain influence in many areas. Criminals have been apprehended, but far too many still roam Iraqi streets and intimidate local citizens and Iraqi officials. We and our Iraqi partners will have to deal with each of these challenges in the New Year to keep the situation headed in the right direction.
While the progress in a number of areas is fragile, the security improvements have significantly changed the situation in many parts of Iraq. It is now imperative that we take advantage of these improvements by looking beyond the security arena and helping Iraqi military and political leaders as they develop solutions in other areas as well, solutions they can sustain over time. At the tactical level, this means an increasing focus on helping not just Iraqi Security Forces-with whom we must partner in all that we do-but also helping Iraqi governmental organizations as they endeavor to restore basic services, to create employment opportunities, to revitalize local markets, to refurbish schools, to spur local economic activity, and to keep locals involved in contributing to local security. We will have to do all of this, of course, while continuing to draw down our forces, thinning our presence, and gradually handing over responsibilities to our Iraqi partners. Meanwhile, at the national level, we will focus on helping the Iraqi Government integrate local volunteers into the Iraqi Security Forces and other employment, develop greater ministerial capacity and capability, aid displaced persons as they return, and, most importantly, take the all-important political and economic actions needed to exploit the opportunity provided by the gains in the security arena.
The pace of progress on important political actions to this point has been slower than Iraqi leaders had hoped. Still, there have been some important steps taken in recent months. Iraq's leaders reached agreement on the Declaration of Principles for Friendship and Cooperation with the United States, which lays the groundwork for an enduring relationship between our nations. The United Nations Security Council approved Iraq's request for a final renewal of the resolution that authorizes the Coalition to operate in Iraq. Iraq's leaders passed an important Pension Law that not only extends retirement benefits to Iraqis previously left out but also represents the first of what we hope will be additional measures fostering national reconciliation. And Iraq's leaders have debated at length a second reconciliation-related measure, the Accountability and Justice Bill (the de-Ba'athification Reform Law), as well as the 2008 National Budget, both which likely will be brought up for a vote in early 2008. Even so, all Iraqi participants recognize that much more must be done politically to put their country on an irreversible trajectory to national reconciliation and sustainable economic development. We will, needless to say, work closely with our Embassy teammates to support the Iraq Government as it strives to take advantage of the improved security environment by pursing political and economic progress.
The New Year will bring many changes. Substantial force rotations and adjustments already underway will continue. One Army brigade combat team and a Marine Expeditionary Unit have already redeployed without replacement. In the coming months, four additional brigades and two Marine battalions will follow suit. Throughout that time, we will continue to adapt to the security situation as it evolves. And in the midst of all the changes, we and our Iraqi partners will strive to maintain the momentum, to press the fight, and to pursue Iraq's enemies relentlessly. Solutions to many of the tough problems will continue to be found at your level, together with local Iraqi leaders and with your Iraqi Security Force partners, in company and battalion areas of operation and in individual neighborhoods an towns. As you and your Iraqi partners turn concepts into reality, additional progress will emerge slowly and fitfully. Over time, we will gradually see fewer bad days and accumulate more good days, good weeks, and good months.
The way ahead will not be easy. Inevitably, there will be more tough days and tough weeks. Unforeseen challenges will emerge. And success will require continued hard work, commitment, and initiative from all involved. As we look to the future, however, we should remember how far we have come in the past year. Thanks to the tireless efforts and courageous actions of the Iraqi people, Iraq's political and military leaders, the Iraqi Security Forces, and each of you, a great deal has been achieved in 2007. Thus, as we enter a new year, we and our Iraqi partners will have important accomplishments and a newfound sense of hope on which we can build.
As always, all or your leaders, our fellow citizens back home, and I deeply appreciate the dedication, professionalism, commitment, and courage you display on a daily basis. It remains the greatest of honors to serve with each of you in this critical endeavor.
David H. Petraeus
General, United State Army
From the other side of the tracks

Submitted by bobcat on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 2:01pm.

I have been reading your response to people. Do you even have a job? Is this what you do all day? Glad you listen to Huckabee he might help you! Have a goood day!

Main Stream's picture
Submitted by Main Stream on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 5:32pm.

do you really think I could afford to live in PTC, in this beautiful 3,500 sq ft home overlooking the lake, if I WASN'T employed?? Do you have another unintelligent question?

Submitted by bobcat on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 6:52pm.

You think everyone believes that????????????????????????

BTW I just moved to PTC my home overlooks the lake, I rented for a while, thanks to suggestions on moving here, if you live here I don't ever see such a angry person jumping all over everyone all the time. Get a life besides being cranky.

Main Stream's picture
Submitted by Main Stream on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:15pm.

I don't care what you or others believe, really. You are the one who threw out the nasty comment to me, and I wasn't even conversing with you in the first place. If you can't contribute intelligently to a cyber conversation, then go find another outlet for your stupid comments. You are being a troll.

And if you must know, my intense anger began on 9/11, when I watched the 2nd plane slam into the WTC, while I held the hand of my 5 yr. old daughter, who still remember that vision. And that anger grew over the years as I watched the Bush adminstration squander the global backing we had at the time, to go after al-Qaeda and Bin Laden and instead go after Saddam.

And y'all keep voting for the same.... that is what angers me.

Submitted by bobcat on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 7:47pm.

You with a daughter and she's 5 , ha, ha, ha, you would be much much kinder if you had a child- sir- you learn alot from them and that is not to be hateful all the time. Keep us laughing.

Submitted by bobcat on Wed, 01/02/2008 - 6:59pm.

I will have to keep a close look after my two small kids, they are 2 and 4 - PTC was suppose to be a safe place, that is why I moved here, I should have asked where you lived before I moved. (NOT) Ha. Give us another line of your wealth and what you have - sorry it does not make you happy.

bad_ptc's picture
Submitted by bad_ptc on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 9:45pm.

Religious Values at 2%

When it reaches 0% I'll feel better.

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