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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 19th 2013 new
John: Do you think that Muslims hate us because of our part in establishing Israel
in 1948? That is interesting because when I watched the twin towers burn from
where I live on the shores of the Hudson River, I saw a man (about 35) approaching
the group of us and he was mesmerized by that great tradgedy happening before
our eyes. As he was approaching he said, "This is because of the Jews and Israel."

I kind of thought he was wrong, but then we did not know anything for sure while the
event was happening. Yet, he related the two incidents in his mind.

I want to say that I think the whole Jew vs. Muslim situation is propelled by groups
of people who are plain old militant and warriors and want to continually have
upheaval. I say that because I have been to countries in the middle East like
Israel and Jordan, and Jews and Muslims live side by side in different neighborhoods,
and they coexist.

I think most people rather live peacefully and worry about life's challenges than
be in perpetual war. So that is why I think there are people who try to stir things
up and make trouble and are causing this turmoil.

Anyway, Israel was a mess even before 1948 from what I hear from soldiers who
were sent there in WW2. You are right though, people from those mentioned
countries hate us and they hate us because we are not them. We are who we are.
That is what people who have lived in those countries say. They hate us for no
logical reason, in other words.

May 19th 2013 new
So if a functioning Western style democracy is not going to be established than we may be looking at another dictatorship... And we were hated in Latin America because we funded those dictatorships, and we often overthrew governments.

Assad is not a dictatorship we fund, and polls say most of the Middle East doesn't think us getting involved militarily is a good idea.


The people of the Middle East are mad because of our support of Israel, because of our support for governments like Saudi Arabia, Jordan etc. Is this going to stop?

And here's the thing many in Syria feel Assad is the lesser of evils. Its not like the people of Syria have been given a vote. Many are quite worried even if not a Al Queda group a more sectarian Sunni Islamicist government. And to say this isn't likely.

Right now minorities have rights as full citizens under Syria. Many are afraid that this will change if the rebels win. The Alawites are afraid they will be slaughtered. And democracy hasn't brought fun for Christians in the Middle East. So what you have is a group the Alawites, who will fight to the death because their very survival depends on it. Then you have many Shia and more secular Sunnis who are also very concerned.

So us getting involved in this mess, and supporting one side, When the result may not be a better Syria is an issue. I don't think Assad should be funded, I don't support funding dictators. But I don't necessarily think the rebels should be funded either. And you think if we go in there and people start dying, or take sides, we won't end up having the other side hating us?

May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Marianne-100218 said: John: Do you think that Muslims hate us because of our part in establishing Israel
in 1948? ... As he was approaching he said, "This is because of the Jews and Israel."

...
I think most people rather live peacefully and worry about life's challenges than
be in perpetual war. So that is why I think there are people who try to stir things
up and make trouble and are causing this turmoil.



In the immediate aftermath of WWII, the U.S. was well regarded in the middle east because we had had no part of the colonialism that occurred there. Our subsequent support of Israel is what tipped many locals against us.

I agree that most people would rather live peacefully than in perpetual war and that the current problems are caused by people stirring things up. This takes us immediately to Assad.

Syria is one of those nations who have spent literally decades stirring up trouble. One can not realistic claim to be working for peace in the middle east while in any way supporting the Assad regime.

Syria has deliberately and intentionally done everything it can to keep the violence and hatred against Israel at high intensity. There are two reasons for this. One, Syria wants the Golan heights back and figures that if a more or less solid peace agreement it made with the Palestinians it can kiss that land good-bye. Second, and this reason is shared with Iran, pre-war Iraq and to a lesser extent other folks, having a perpetual Israeli boogeyman out there is very convenient. It is a lightening rod to draw attention away from domestic problems. It is a scapegoat to blame all problems period on.

There will be no peace in the middle east until the regimes in Damascus and Tehran are destroyed. Or at the very least under go some kind of dramatic epiphany that takes them in a complete 180 course away from what they are already doing. Until that happens, both of those nations will continue to support violence in the region.
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Rebecca-654746 said: So if a functioning Western style democracy is not going to be established than we may be looking at another dictatorship... And we were hated in Latin America because we funded those dictatorships, and we often overthrew governments.

Assad is not a dictatorship we fund, and polls say most of the Middle East doesn't think us getting involved militarily is a good idea.


The people of the Middle East are mad because of our support of Israel, because of our support for governments like Saudi Arabia, Jordan etc. Is this going to stop?

And here's the thing many in Syria feel Assad is the lesser of evils. Its not like the people of Syria have been given a vote. Many are quite worried even if not a Al Queda group a more sectarian Sunni Islamicist government. And to say this isn't likely.

Right now minorities have rights as full citizens under Syria. Many are afraid that this will change if the rebels win. The Alawites are afraid they will be slaughtered. And democracy hasn't brought fun for Christians in the Middle East. So what you have is a group the Alawites, who will fight to the death because their very survival depends on it. Then you have many Shia and more secular Sunnis who are also very concerned.

So us getting involved in this mess, and supporting one side, When the result may not be a better Syria is an issue. I don't think Assad should be funded, I don't support funding dictators. But I don't necessarily think the rebels should be funded either. And you think if we go in there and people start dying, or take sides, we won't end up having the other side hating us?

People have already started dying. They've been dying at a faster rate than when we went into Iraq. Unfortunately, the only time that seems to "count" in the minds of many is when there is a direct connection to the U.S. It never fails to amaze me how many people have no moral qualms about massive death tolls or other human rights violations...as long as they can tell themselves that their country isn't directly involved. But I digress.

Merely over throwing governments is not what got us hated in Latin America or anywhere else. It was the support for oppressive ones.

The odds of Assad being the lesser of two evils (from our point of view) is very small. He is already fully involved in supporting terrorist groups. From his strategic point of view, he wants the terrorist violence in Israel to be perpetual. The Israelis-Palestinian conflict is a wonderful way for him (and other regimes in the region) to blame somebody else for their problems. It is unlikely that whoever replaces him will be markedly worse in this matter.

The only real potential downside is the potential rise of a fundamentalist regime which oppresses other religious views. There are only two semi-realistic ways to avoid that.

One, do nothing and see if somehow Assad survives. Given the legs this rebellion has shown, that seems unlikely.

Two, pick a more moderate rebel faction, and make sure they win.

Refusing to back any of the rebel groups because some of them are bad only maximizes the power of the bad ones.
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) John-336509 said: People have already started dying. They've been dying at a faster rate than when we went into Iraq. Unfortunately, the only time that seems to "count" in the minds of many is when there is a direct connection to the U.S. It never fails to amaze me how many people have no moral qualms about massive death tolls or other human rights violations...as long as they can tell themselves that their country isn't directly involved. But I digress.

Merely over throwing governments is not what got us hated in Latin America or anywhere else. It was the support for oppressive ones.

The odds of Assad being the lesser of two evils (from our point of view) is very small. He is already fully involved in supporting terrorist groups. From his strategic point of view, he wants the terrorist violence in Israel to be perpetual. The Israelis-Palestinian conflict is a wonderful way for him (and other regimes in the region) to blame somebody else for their problems. It is unlikely that whoever replaces him will be markedly worse in this matter.

The only real potential downside is the potential rise of a fundamentalist regime which oppresses other religious views. There are only two semi-realistic ways to avoid that.

One, do nothing and see if somehow Assad survives. Given the legs this rebellion has shown, that seems unlikely.

Two, pick a more moderate rebel faction, and make sure they win.

Refusing to back any of the rebel groups because some of them are bad only maximizes the power of the bad ones.
We can't leave Assad in power because otherwise the wrong rebels will win?

That sounds like what is used to get Americans to vote for one of the two parties in our political system even when both candidates are terrible for the country. "You'll get a lizard in power, but you have to vote for one or the wrong lizard will get in!"

(a paraphrase of a plot point from the Hitchhiker's Guide series, I think "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish," if memory serves)

The wrong rebels are already gaining power precisely because one of our "allies" in the Middle East supports and bankrolls them, name Saudi Arabia. And the other ones are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, a Islamist group bankrolled by Qatar, as I've said already.

Either way, we have a terrorist controlled puppet state that will practice Islamist politics and oppress the Christian community there. If the outcome is similar, the winner is irrelevant among them, and it would have been better for the Middle East for this not to have started at all.
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Steven-706921 said: We can't leave Assad in power because otherwise the wrong rebels will win?
...
The wrong rebels are already gaining power precisely because one of our "allies" in the Middle East supports and bankrolls them, name Saudi Arabia. And the other ones are connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, a Islamist group bankrolled by Qatar, as I've said already.

Either way, we have a terrorist controlled puppet state that will practice Islamist politics and oppress the Christian community there. If the outcome is similar, the winner is irrelevant among them, and it would have been better for the Middle East for this not to have started at all.
No- your first sentence is a contradiction. Assad being left in power (and retaining it) means that all the rebels lose.

More properly structured it would go like this; the odds are that time is running out for Assad. If this is true then some rebel or group of rebel faction(s) is going to win.

We can sit here and whine and cry and wring our hands about how that is going to result in oppression for the Christian community there, or we can get involved and try and prevent that. Those are the options. Period.

If you want to stay out of it, fine. But just know that that is the option that runs the maximum risk for the Christian communities you profess to be so interested in. Don't act like sitting on the sidelines is somehow going to help them.
May 19th 2013 new
How is our getting involved prevented Christians from being slaughtered. Last I checked our "getting involved" in Iraq led to the half of the Christians in Iraq fleeing for their lives. Where did many of those people go-they went to Syria. One of the few places in the Middle East, where Christians had freedom to worship As for Assad and terrorism. Assad is not exactly Israel's friend and has yes funded Hezbollah, but do you really think an Islamic fundamentalist regime is going to be better. Many in Israel aren't convinced. There was an incident where Clinton was having trouble with Hezbollah, they spoke to Syria and Syria got them to stop. Under Assad, Syria and Israel avoided all out war. Once again this is what Al Queda wants. They wanted to get rid of Saddam a secularist. They want to get rid of Syrian President who is a secularist too. They want to eventually get rid of all these groups and unite all of them under one big Caliphate. And this may be very much what the Arabs-might democratically WANT. And please tell that us getting involved might very well lead to that happening. And who do you think these guys will go to war with-when it happens. Either war with the Shiia or war with Israel. Perhaps when one war is done war with the other. Just because Assad isn't Israel's friend- doesn't mean that who comes into power next will be. Nobody whose democratically elected in the Middle East is going to be Israel's friend-for a very long time. Many in Israel aren't so sure they want Assad to go. They aren't convinced the "rebels are their friends" many from what I understand what a "defanged" Assad to stay... Nobody's saying Assad is a nice guy. Nobody. But responsible people can recognize that far worse than him could easily come out of this. At least under Assad all Syrians had rights to live in Syria as citizens, you can't determine that will happen if Assad leaves.
May 19th 2013 new
Fact is say what you will about Assad who is a bad ,bad man. But at least he and his Baathists envisioned a state with separation of Church and state where everyone had rights regardless of religion. You can't say these rebel groups feel the same. Now if there was a legitimate rebel group with broad support and documented ability to provide the same rights for minorities that Assad provided. Okay than we could talk. But instead the opposition in Syria is factored with a lot of different armed groups with different aims. Its irresponsible IMO to support this group. Part of a just war, is the idea that getting into the war you have a very good chance of ensuring that people will be better of before the war, than they were after. Its i.e not enough to say well this person is evil. You have to have a very legitimate cause for success and a better situation later. Right now what I'm seeing is very Pie n the sky with these rebel groups. The Iranian revolution after all you had all kinds of groups from secularists to everyone uniting against the Shah. But then what happened when the vacuum came.
May 19th 2013 new
Israel is sort of between a rock and a hard place here. I think they're bombing Syria because Syria is allied with Iran, whom they consider to be Enemy #1. However, the rebels are allied with the Al-qaeda extremists, which is really no better (maybe worse).
May 19th 2013 new
(quote) Rebecca-654746 said: Fact is say what you will about Assad who is a bad ,bad man. But at least he and his Baathists envisioned a state with separation of Church and state where everyone had rights regardless of religion. You can't say these rebel groups feel the same. ...
Fact is say what you will about Batista who is a bad ,bad man. But at least he and his government envisioned a state ...

Fact is say what you will about Pinochet who is a bad ,bad man. But at least he and his government envisioned a state ...

You are parroting the failed policies of the Cold War. The only difference is that instead of being willing to support any brutal dictator who promises to crush communists, you appear willing to support any brutal dictator who promises to crush Muslim fundamentalists.

We've been down this road before, and it didn't get us anywhere we want to go.
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