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This room is for the discussion of current events,cultural issues and politics especially in relation to Catholic values.

Saint Thomas More was martyred during the Protestant Reformation for standing firm in the Faith and not recognizing the King of England as the Supreme Head of the Church.
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May 18 new
Because democracy so far has led to better lives for minorities in Iraq and Egypt. Coptic Christians are worse off now under the Muslim brotherhood than they were before. And in Iraq you have Christians who have been ethnically cleansed, and the Sunni and Shia still fighting. Because the Shia aren't exactly giving the Sunnis full rights. The situation in Iraq is actually escalating again.

Not everyone's idea of democracy is our idea of democracy. And what rebel groups can you determine are good. And how is a group of rebels arming against their government democracy either. Assad apparently enjoys significant support in Syria, because many Syrians are extremely worried that Assad going means a Fundamentalist Sunni government. Under Assad's regime, women had equal rights and everyone had full citizenship under Syrian law no matter what your religion was. That's not exactly the "democratic goals of the rebels". And can we control exactly what rebel group ends up in power. The most powerful one are the sectarian ones.

Look I'm not saying lets support Assad. He's a bad man. But I am saying supporting armed rebellions isn't the answer too, and I have no doubt we have fueled that fire. Reports are a lot of those "rebels' are really foreign fighters.

Personally my feeling is I don't support funding dictators or groups that abuse people and minorities. And you know what that feeling transcends to a lot of groups in the Middle East including a lot of our allies. Our Assad is bad but Saudi Arabia is perfectly fine only shows hypocrisy to the folks in the MIddle East.

And Assad isn't perfect but he's kept a lid on a lot of things.
May 18 new
(quote) Rebecca-654746 said: Because democracy so far has led to better lives for minorities in Iraq and Egypt. Coptic Christians are worse off now under the Muslim brotherhood than they were before. And in Iraq you have Christians who have been ethnically cleansed, and the Sunni and Shia still fighting. Because the Shia aren't exactly giving the Sunnis full rights. The situation in Iraq is actually escalating again.

Not everyone's idea of democracy is our idea of democracy. And what rebel groups can you determine are good. And how is a group of rebels arming against their government democracy either. Assad apparently enjoys significant support in Syria, because many Syrians are extremely worried that Assad going means a Fundamentalist Sunni government. Under Assad's regime, women had equal rights and everyone had full citizenship under Syrian law no matter what your religion was. That's not exactly the "democratic goals of the rebels". And can we control exactly what rebel group ends up in power. The most powerful one are the sectarian ones.

Look I'm not saying lets support Assad. He's a bad man. But I am saying supporting armed rebellions isn't the answer too, and I have no doubt we have fueled that fire. Reports are a lot of those "rebels' are really foreign fighters.

Personally my feeling is I don't support funding dictators or groups that abuse people and minorities. And you know what that feeling transcends to a lot of groups in the Middle East including a lot of our allies. Our Assad is bad but Saudi Arabia is perfectly fine only shows hypocrisy to the folks in the MIddle East.

And Assad isn't perfect but he's kept a lid on a lot of things.
Rebecca: It seems that there is total upheval going on in Syria and no matter what
happens, no good is going to come out of it.

I do agree with you, that in the case of Syria, Assad was the lesser of two evils,
and probably the best case senario for those people. He was not as bad as his
Father, and maybe things would have gotten better for them over time.

It is just an unfortunate situation over there.
May 18 new
I don't know if Assad is the lesser of two evils. Its possible a better government could come out of Syria. However there is a very good chance a better government may not come out of it. The point is instead of taking sides in this conflict and painting some as the good guys and some as the bad guys. (And I don't think Assad is necessarily a good guy but many in Syria support him because they are convinced he's the lesser).

Rather we should be calling or peace and attempting to address the concerns for all.
May 18 new
And taking sides in what is becoming a very sectarian war may be very bad too because then the conflict doesn't end. I look at Lebanon and while obviously the country still has problems. That civil war there was terrible and so many lost their lives. But eventually enough people of all religions there got tired of it, and they all realized they needed to come up with a way they could all live together. And the now have a tentative power sharing solution. I think this could eventually happen in places like Iraq, Syria and yes I will say Israel (right now we take sides pretty well and Israel isn't exactly fair to the Palestinians). But it won't if a greater power comes in and takes sides.

I'm not saying lets support civil war, I'm saying we should be calling for peace and trying to be a neutral actor that offers solutions for that peace.
May 19 new
(quote) Steven-706921 said: No, John, I'm not reading tea leaves, fortune cookies, or horoscopes to say any of this. Not only are those against the Catholic faith (CCC 2115-2117, http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c1a1.htm ), but we need only look at who supports the rebels, what they want, and what has occurred in places where the "Arab Spring" has succeeded in the past.

The problem is you are very selective in your vision when you are looking at who supports the rebels; you ONLY see al-Queda. There ARE other actors.
May 19 new
(quote) Rebecca-654746 said: And taking sides in what is becoming a very sectarian war may be very bad too because then the conflict doesn't end. I look at Lebanon and while obviously the country still has problems. That civil war there was terrible and so many lost their lives. But eventually enough people of all religions there got tired of it, and they all realized they needed to come up with a way they could all live together. And the now have a tentative power sharing solution. I think this could eventually happen in places like Iraq, Syria and yes I will say Israel (right now we take sides pretty well and Israel isn't exactly fair to the Palestinians). But it won't if a greater power comes in and takes sides.

I'm not saying lets support civil war, I'm saying we should be calling for peace and trying to be a neutral actor that offers solutions for that peace.
It's very easy to sit back and "call for peace." Ultimately actions speak louder than words. What solutions would you have a neutral actor offer?
May 19 new
(quote) Rebecca-654746 said: Because democracy so far has led to better lives for minorities in Iraq and Egypt. Coptic Christians are worse off now under the Muslim brotherhood than they were before. And in Iraq you have Christians who have been ethnically cleansed, and the Sunni and Shia still fighting. Because the Shia aren't exactly giving the Sunnis full rights. The situation in Iraq is actually escalating again.

Not everyone's idea of democracy is our idea of democracy. And what rebel groups can you determine are good. And how is a group of rebels arming against their government democracy either. Assad apparently enjoys significant support in Syria, because many Syrians are extremely worried that Assad going means a Fundamentalist Sunni government. Under Assad's regime, women had equal rights and everyone had full citizenship under Syrian law no matter what your religion was. That's not exactly the "democratic goals of the rebels". And can we control exactly what rebel group ends up in power. The most powerful one are the sectarian ones.

Look I'm not saying lets support Assad. He's a bad man. But I am saying supporting armed rebellions isn't the answer too, and I have no doubt we have fueled that fire. Reports are a lot of those "rebels' are really foreign fighters.

Personally my feeling is I don't support funding dictators or groups that abuse people and minorities. And you know what that feeling transcends to a lot of groups in the Middle East including a lot of our allies. Our Assad is bad but Saudi Arabia is perfectly fine only shows hypocrisy to the folks in the MIddle East.

And Assad isn't perfect but he's kept a lid on a lot of things.
I don't think anybody here is saying that we can waltz in and install a functioning western-style democracy.

The notion that "Assad isn't perfect but he's kept a lid on a lot of things" is exactly the attitude we took towards any number of dictators in Latin America during the Cold War. We are at least as hated in Latin America as we are in the Middle East, probably more so.
May 19 new
(quote) John-336509 said: I don't think anybody here is saying that we can waltz in and install a functioning western-style democracy.

The notion that "Assad isn't perfect but he's kept a lid on a lot of things" is exactly the attitude we took towards any number of dictators in Latin America during the Cold War. We are at least as hated in Latin America as we are in the Middle East, probably more so.
And we are far more hated now in the Middle East before the 'War on Terror.' Things weren't much different there back then- mostly monarchies, military governments and tribal-level stuff. Go back to the 60s and before and they were even friendlier, or at least less hostile. The Latin America analogy doesn't work.

The 'Assad isn't perfect' attitude is the correct one. I'm not sure what the real-world alternative would be. The 'rebels' have already shown their spots, in Libya, Egypt, and Iraq...the pattern is undeniable. The mythical 'nice-guy' faction never ends up taking power after the revolt. No one can possibly say that those countries are better off now.
May 19 new
(quote) Chris-906154 said: And we are far more hated now in the Middle East before the 'War on Terror.' Things weren't much different there back then- mostly monarchies, military governments and tribal-level stuff. Go back to the 60s and before and they were even friendlier, or at least less hostile. The Latin America analogy doesn't work.

The 'Assad isn't perfect' attitude is the correct one. I'm not sure what the real-world alternative would be. The 'rebels' have already shown their spots, in Libya, Egypt, and Iraq...the pattern is undeniable. The mythical 'nice-guy' faction never ends up taking power after the revolt. No one can possibly say that those countries are better off now.
I doubt that we are much more hated now than before the War on Terror. The whole reason why there is a "war on terror" is because people in the Middle East hated us so much they made a point of coming over here and killing a few thousand people. They've hated us ever since we stopped them from driving the Israelis into the sea. Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan has changed that.

Your claim that in the decades past they were friendlier is groundless (at least after we began our support of Israel). Egypt in particular was far more hostile to us under Nasser than Mubarak. One obvious exception is that Iran under the Shah was far friendlier than it is today, but that just proves my point. Supporting hated dictators just gives us a share of the hate.

I see no reason to accept your unsupported assertion that the Latin America analogy doesn't work. Especially since it fits hand in glove with what actually happened in the ME vis-a-vis Iran.

Whether one can say that Libya, Egypt or Iraq are better off now depends entirely on your cherry-picking. If you were in the groups that had been in power and are now out, I suppose not. If you were in one of the groups being merciliessly persecuted under the old regime and now have much more freedom and no less security, it's a different question.
May 19 new
Your idea about addressing peace is a very good one. I am not too sure that it is
possible at this point considering all the upheaval that is going on in the Arab world.

I am sure the world has not seen the many results of the "Arab Spring" changes.

Personally, I fear what is going on in all the individual countries in Northern Africa.
I think it is not an easy place to live even though they all feel they have attained
freedom from a dictator. It should be a long time before any kind of harmony will
be felt there for all concerned, and I mean for the different sects of Muslims, and
of course for Christians. Jews were either killed and/or driven out of Northern
Africa many years ago.
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