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Political discussions and other rants about useless things like culture

Discussion in 'Dark Tranquillity' started by Matse, Aug 9, 2009.

  1. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    It is fairly likely that this is too late to stop the government from ending the rebellion. Fingers crossed for democracy in the Middle East though.

    The worst case scenario is that this minor intervention serves as the gateway drug for American hawks and leads us to execute the rare triple-war-on-the-other-side-of-the-world maneuver. Fortunately, Obama seems to have less of a taste for blood than President Cheney.
     
  2. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    That's not my impression. Qaddafi's dudes just got hit by hundreds of cruise missiles and French / British planes own their skies. They pretty much have no air support and are unable to mass their armor anymore.
     
  3. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    True, but the rebels went from holding a HUGE chunk of the country to pretty much Benghazi. While it's hard to see what the situation is on the ground, we can't know what kind of manpower, weapons and equipment the rebels have at this point. While I am very hopeful that they will win, the course of the war and the remaining territory that they have under control is disheartening. Every time I went to check headlines this last week, there was always something about Qaddafi having reclaimed something else.

    That said, we'll see how France decides to handle this. My impression was that we were absolutely not getting into the ground war, but destroying tanks seems to be a fairly loose interpretation of a "no-fly zone." That said, there are something like $32 billion of seized Libyan funds outside of Libya; we should cash that in in exchange for weapons for the rebels.

    The really shitty thing about Libya is that it would prove that the Jasmine Revolutions could be stopped by simply blasting protesters apart. Qaddafi seems to have inspired the U.S. pet governments in other Arab countries, and I hope that they tone down the civilian slaughter now that the West has gotten involved.

    I really wish that my government would support leftists...
     
  4. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    I don't know about inspire. They voted to let NATO destroy Qaddafi, essentially, by sacrificing him in exchange for the U.S. turning a blind eye to their own violations of sovereignty (such as Saudi Arabia literally invading Bahrain with no UN or Arab League resolution, which should permanently shut up any complaint by any Arab government about the US invading Iraq, regardless of how stupid that war was).

    It's interesting that Obama spent his first 2 years in office trying to cool heads about Iraq, and then when he walks the walk and refuses to intervene in Libya without international support, people balked. But it forced the Arab League, EU and the UN to authorize the US to unleash hell on Qaddafi. You can't have it both ways. You either have collective security that matters and protects democratic governments or foments them, or you say that sovereignty is the end all of human relations. This is a good lesson in why sovereignty is, in itself, not a sacred or useful concept for the dispossessed. It's the language of dictatorships and pre-globalization notions of human relations.

    Maybe now that the rest of the world can get over Iraq and realize what keeps people like Obama in power in the US is the acceptance that the US can have a legitimate role as the primary enforcer of democracy in the world. But the lesson that the US did not learn until Iraq, and the rest of the world didn't learn until now, that the arsenal of democracy can't be imposed by the United States and MUST occur under the auspices of international law, otherwise you end up with a shitshow like in Iraq, and by extension of the political damage caused by that war, Afghanistan.

    Wouldn't that be quaint, moving the US from an empire to the engine of collective security. I think that was one of the original notions in creating the UN, but sovereignty got in the way. Russia is more comfortable with this than they were when Bush was around... not sure if China is going to allow this business to go too far, considering that political sensibilities at home are tender over these issues.
     
  5. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    It is indeed rather late for the world to act, since Qaddafi has been practically murdering his own people for a few weeks now. Let's look on the bright side of it all though: at least something is happening. This matter is all different than Iraq as well. Sure, Saddam Hussein was a dictator. But there was no popular revolution going on there, and Hussein didn't brutally murder his own people in the way that Qaddafi does at the moment. Libyan citizens asked for the west to help. As far as I remember (Iraq started in 2003, I was 9 at the time) Bush didn't have UN permission to invade Iraq, whereas there is permission to destroy military targets in Libya now.

    Furthermore, the character of this invasion is way different. Clinton already said there will be absolutely no US ground troops deployed in Libya, and I hope other countries will refrain from doing deployment as well. The revolution was almost over a short while ago, Tripoli was the only city left in the hands of Qaddafi, until he started to bomb his own people. That shows how desperate he was, and how strong the people of Libya are. Over the past days, Qaddafi has continued to reign only because he was feared. Benghazi is euphoric over the coalition attacks on Qaddafi, and I suppose other cities will be so as well as they fall back into the hands of the protestors.

    This way, the west can simply assist in destroying military targets, leaving Qaddafi powerless to do anything big anymore. His people will finish him off. This will likely become his grave as well, since he's the kind of dictator that stays or dies. The only thing he could do is flee to probably one of the only friends he has got left: Chavez. I don't think that is likely to happen though, I think he's more likely to end up like Ceaucescu.
     
  6. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    No, I believe the Coalition got there exactly in the nick of time, right when they were needed. I wonder, though, why they just don't kill the guy and period. Considering the military knowledge/power of the Coalition that should be easy, but I guess they haven't done it for a reason I don't know.

    Yeah, WTF is up with Saudi Arabia? They just went and did that when all these crazy Jasmine Revolutions (love the name!) are happening. No, everyone will remember the stupid invasion of the US for the almighty petrol.
    I don't think that'll happen with the US, they're a military empire, period. However, I think that they're finally doing something which is actually good for someone else.

    Even if it's late and I'm not sure I agree with it, I'm glad they did it. Now they should do the same with Chávez (hahaha half kidding there). I wonder what the Coalition's share will be, I guess peeeeeeetroooooool. But who knows, it's all pretty insane/exciting right now; I just want the guys to kill Gadaffi. Or better yet, let him live and send him to jail.
     
  7. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    Saddam was worse than Qaddafi. He killed a lot more of his own people than Qaddafi has, and this included gassing and mass murder by small arms.

    This didn't justify the war, imo, but just saying... he was a bad dude.
     
  8. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Oh sure, you won't hear me deny that. Every dictator is a bad dude. Period.
     
  9. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Political mayhem everywhere!

    Gbagbo has been captured, and Gaddafi "agrees" with the peace plan. Wonder if the latter will stay in power or not.

    However, I'd like to have a discussion on France's "veil ban" and it's subsequent application (two women were detained for participating in protests against the ban).

    I think this take us to the "how much liberty is allowed" issue. I'm not sure how I feel about this because (1) I think people can pretty much do whatever they want, but (2) under certain norms. If the veil is a representation of how women are treated in the Middle-East, shouldn't it be banned? But what if the woman wants to wear it because of "cultural" (albeit male chauvinistic) reasons? What if she's doing it on her free will, and not because his husband made her?

    These are the questions over which I now ponder.
     
  10. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    So I wrote a whole comment and then accidentally deleted it. Right now I can't be bothered to write it again.

    About Gaddafi: he will not stay in power. He will either have to kill all of the rebels by himself or go. If he kills the rebels there will not be a ceasefire and NATO will hopefully not accept any of such actions.
     
  11. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    A veil ban would make sense if there were absolutely no reason whatsoever to wear one. Two things, though. 1) A "veil culture" has the advantage of decoupling prettiness from one's personhood. While they should never be mandatory, I could see someone choosing it. 2) It's a little bit cruel to strip any cultural garment that someone was raised in. I can't imagine the on-rush of "nakedness" that one would feel to be so exposed in a part that should, according to ones upbringing, be covered.

    That said, for administrative purposes, I think that it should be illegal to have ID photos taken with a veil, and I believe that they should be removed under certain circumstances. i.e., any instance in which you might be required to show ID, you should show the face to match it.

    That said, banning them outright is a complete load of crap, and I think it has more to do with France's bizarre ethnic conflict.
     
  12. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    The discussion is familiar to me, we've got the same thing in The Netherlands. Veils shouldn't be banned, not in the last place because it simply doesn't work for the main reasons to ban it. One of the reasons is that it would be a sign of males oppressing females. But think about it: if they're not going to be allowed to wear a veil even though their husbands would make them do it, are they ever gonna get out of their house anymore? Probably not.

    Now, the other reason is that you cannot see who is behind it. Who says it really is a muslim woman, and not some bank robber? That's a good point there, but bank robs happen usually without veil, so this won't really be effective. No, veils should not be banned. Police officers or other officials must be able to ask a woman to show her face so she can identify herself though, but I think that's completely normal.

    This discussion is a lot more ridiculous in The Netherlands though. We got mr Wilders here, and he wants to ban the headscarf as well. It doesn't matter that many elderly christian women have worn headscarfs for decades, now there are muslims and the headscarf is a sign of oppression of females so they should be banned. A question was raised on how to distinguish between muslim and non-muslim women, and the PVV said there should be some kind of sign to distinguish between that, so headscarfs could be banned in public areas such as buses, trains and town halls. Smells like WW2 to me.
     
  13. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Furthermore, it'd be nice to have someone here who strongly disagrees with us. These discussions aren't too exciting because we usually agree :lol:
     
  14. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    I am so lonely here.
     
  15. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    :lol: I was pretty much waiting for someone to disagree with us, but yes, we seem to agree on most things.
     
  16. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    it's cuz lefties are for the underdog and americans don't think anyone has the right to tell you what to wear (although not wearing anything at all can get you in trouble)
     
  17. Siren

    Siren Active Member

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    I can disagree. What's the topic?
     
  18. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    ^ Hmmm something abou the banning of the veil in France. I think.
     
  19. Naglfar

    Naglfar As Naglfar devours us all

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    We disagree plenty but since we know what is disagreeable to each other, we stay away from it.

    To be controversial for a moment to give an example, and let me say this without the intention of being a shitstarter, Mr. Defiance often exhibits a reflexive, casual anti-Americanism he knows pisses me off because I consider it clear-cut prejudice. So in the past when we've butted heads over it, we snarled at each other. Now we just leave it be. He keeps it veiled, I ignore it, being Latin American myself and having familiarity with that variety of "friendly fire" (as in, its a reflection of popular attitudes in South and Central America towards their northern neighbors).

    Part of getting along is tolerating other peoples' eccentricities and prejudices. I have my own, I'm just far, far more careful about exhibiting them. In fact, I prefer that people not know at all what they are in most cases. I like to force arguments when I feel I'm in a position to make my point with maximum effectiveness. And if I want to know what someone thinks, suspecting they think differently than I do, I try to solicit their opinions without tipping off my own view.
     
  20. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    To be fair to Defiance, I sometimes exhibit some "Ugly American" tendencies because I think they're funny. You know, like getting confused over the Farenheit/Celsius thing, or misunderstanding ethnic or political distinctions in nations that I don't live in.

    That said, and this is very similar to how I view musical critique: if you're intellectually honest, you have to at least concede that the other guy has a valid position or point.

    Take the issue at bar, veils. Impeding liberty by banning something is always a decision with consequences. However, sometimes we constrain actions to create a greater degree of liberty (i.e., I'll trade my right to murder someone for a legal deterrent against being murdered). Anyone looking out for liberty and egalitarianism in this debate is clearly correct; however, they may agree with or oppose the ban for different reasons. I have done some reading on the issue, and it appears that due to some aspects of French culture (that I don't fully understand), this ban may make perfect sense towards the preservation of French culture and social norms. In the U.S., we tend to lean towards simpler interpretations of liberty: government has no place restricting one person's right to engage in a particular behavior that is itself seen to restrict liberty. Think of the massive war over civil rights: some people (Rand Paul) still think that it is wrong for government to force businesses to follow civil rights laws; at the same time, those laws obviously exist to ban many forms of discrimination which are not fully merit-based.

    Progressives in the US have a major problem when it comes to prostitution: it ought to be legal, in a liberal society, to sell one's sexual services the same way that you would sell massage or artistic performance. However, prostitution in reality is mostly a form of slavery, with drug addictions, physical abuse and financial manipulation inflicted on young women. So, in the interest of egalitarianism, do we allow it or ban it? Depending on your perspective, whether you put sexual liberation or protection for young women first, you aren't wrong. You're making two really good points about a complicated situation that lead to opposite conclusions.

    It's not necessarily that we never disagree, but more that we don't have much to fight about. Conclusions vary, but everyone on this board is entirely too smart and too mature to actually engage in a good, violent fight with the smart and mature person who reached a different conclusion.

    That said, you're all a bunch of sub-human monsters and my country can beat up your country. DING DING!!!
     

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