Obama Not Deserving of Nobel Peace Prize; Norwegian Committee Correct to Award It

by Joel on October 9, 2009

I’m quite in agreement with those, seeming to include the Barack Obama himself, who say that Obama is not deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize. The lack of merit doesn’t relate, though, to insufficient progresss on the relevant issues, or a thin record on Obama’s part as much as it does to efforts toward greater diplomacy being a shared undertaking. It is, as Obama says, more a matter that he is representative of a new way of thinking as well as validation of some old ways of thinking — of engaging enemies, of working toward dialogue and understandings, of recognizing that more often than not, peace is won by engagement and real listening, not by the bullet. In so many ways our fragile earth is becoming smaller. Acts of destruction reach around the world in their effect and every single mine that takes even a single life is an impediment to God’s transforming work in restoring God’s creation.

I would also issue a strong rebuke to the Democratic National Committee and its spokesperson, DNC communications director Brad Woodhouse, who said, “The Republican Party has thrown in its lot with the terrorists — the Taliban and Hamas this morning — in criticizing the president for receiving the Nobel Peace prize.” And that’s regardless of any criticism lodged by the Republican National Committee, through its chairperson, Michael Steele. While Steele unfairly mocked the awarding of the Nobel to Obama, nothing Steele said merited the DNC reviving the Bush-era strategy of portraying political opponents as “in bed” with terrorists. RNC Chair Steele had earlier said, “The real question Americans are asking is, ‘What has President Obama actually accomplished?’ It is unfortunate that the president’s star power has outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights. One thing is certain - President Obama won’t be receiving any awards from Americans for job creation, fiscal responsibility, or backing up rhetoric with concrete action.” I don’t agree with Steele’s assessment, but the DNC reaction is out of proportion to the RNC statement and steps on the moment of the day even more than Steele does. Indeed, the DNC should have simply ignored Steele and just expressed pride in the award being bestowed on the U.S.A.’s 44th president, and him in turn helping to cast the award in wider terms and recognition, in terms of struggles past and struggles ahead. This was not simply an “Obama’s” day, but a movement’s day, and the DNC inflicted the worset damage in making the award narrowly about American politics. The whole nature of the peace prize award, particularly this time, requires recognzing those of various nationalities and cultures who are trying to keep this planet from self-destruction. Strong disagreements can still be shared in civility, but there is nothing civil about Woodhouse’s inflammatory words. Steele and the RNC were petty and narrow-sighted, but not uncivil, I believe.

Regardless of whether you think the Oslo committee made the correct decision regarding the Nobel, I hope it will cause each of you to think and re-think how human beings can share this tiny planet without constantly slaughtering each other at the worst, and assaulting each other’s humanity dignity at the least. Part of the re-thinking, I am convinced, requires raising the standard of living around the world, helping to encourage just governments, continuing to advance civil and human rights, giving greater respect to the sovereignty and legitimacy of smaller nations, and enancting, by God’s grace and power, a shalom that is more than the absence of war. Taking all these considerations into account, I believe the awarding of the prize to Obama was correct, even if it represents hope more than accomplishment.

Note: Richard and I have shared different perspectives before. Perhaps our most noteworthy disagreement had to do with Santa Claus.

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1

dh 10.09.09 at 4:31 pm

Interesting, I would say that I too disagree with what the DNC is trying to do but they are so out of touch right now. RNC in bed with terrorist? ridiculous. Amen Joel.

You mention,”helping to encourage just governments” or “giving greater respect to the sovereignty and legitimacy of smaller nations”. Well I personally don’t believe Iran and North Korea to be “just governments”. So for me the US and the Western World should recognize that after years and years of negotiation that they have no desire to change their ways. A high number people with Iran do but not the government. I personally believe that the North Korean government or the Iranian government do not deserve any respect. I think that is the problem I have with Obama and the Peace Prize. The change he is persuing will lead to less peace not greater peace.

2

Steve 10.09.09 at 5:59 pm

The DNC statement is no more reprehensible than Cheney questioning Dems patriotism after 9/11 or large number of Republicans saying the Dems “hate America” during the runup to the Iraq war. Both are reprehensible, but those who did not criticize the first instance have no standing to criticize the second.

3

Joel 10.09.09 at 9:29 pm

Richard,

It might have been better for me to write “Obama Not Deserving of Nobel Prize; Norwegian Committee Not Incorrect to Award It.”

I would not have suggested awarding the Nobel at this early a point, but since it has been done and Obama himself tried to steer away from himself as the focus, I think the awarding can be used for positive purposes. So I may not disagree with you entirely.

Was Al Gore deserving of a Nobel? He brought issues together and to the forefront, but maybe those who have toiled behind the scenes are more deserving. Awarding of Nobel prizes will always be a judgment call. Others worked the long hours and kept the same type of perseverance, although often lacking the stirring words, as Martin Luther King, Jr. In honoring King, the entire civil rights movement was honored, however.

Steve,

I don’t disagree with your comment about the DNC statement being “no more reprehensible” than what has been done against Democrats in the past, and even still, via the ugly and false accusations of the “birthers” and such. But that is the whole problem. These kinds of exaggerated statements need to stop and they need to stop somewhere. A “get even” mentality detracts from matters of real importance.

Cokie Roberts, who is supposed to be a professional journalist, said they could just take Roman Polanski out back somewhere and shoot him. My own opinion is that he should be extradited and face his punishment/sentencing for statutory rape (an actual and horrendous rape, it would seem, by the facts, but that wasn’t the charge). On the other hand, I think it not unreasonable to appreciate Polanski’s fine work as a director, and to view his life in the context of the murder of his wife and unborn child, his Polish ghetto experience, the concentration camp imprisonment of both of his parents, with the loss of his mother at the hands of the Nazis at Auschwitz-Birkenau. One does not cancel out the other. In these days in which so many Americans get their sense of justice only from people such as Nancy Grace, the call for just punishment often moves into a blood lust for vengeance.

I agreed with a good part of the Moveon.org agenda, but declined to support them because of the rhetoric they used to advance their cause.

DH,

I did not have North Korea in mind, and I don’t consider Iran to be a small country.

I am also disturbed that we’ll help to prop up corrupt or illegimate governments but then seek to overthrow them when they have served our purposes, which are usually narrow and/or false. The U.S. has taken the wrong approach to countries such as Cuba and Venezuela, just to name two.

4

John 10.10.09 at 10:00 am

Dh, so you think that Iran and are offensive and have not changed the ways.
Perhaps you had better check out this comprehensive website on “peace”-loving America—most of it written by Americans.

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com

Plus consider the situation Iran is in. It is surrounded by American military bases, and is also the constant target of USA vitriol, and has had many painful years (a century even) of how the West and the USA REALLY do their politics.

5

dh 10.12.09 at 5:04 pm

Chavez and Castro governments don’t deserve to be eliminated? I strongly disagree. I do agree we shouldn’t prop up corrupt governments but if it is an alternative between a corrupt government and Castro/Chavez

Maybe you need to consider that the Iranian government is corrupt, reprehensible, etc. They don’t deserve to have a government with an Ayatollah or Amadinajad as leaders. To make excuses for the Iranian government is reprehensible. Without the American bases around the Iranian government the situation would be much worse. One needs to focus more on the vitriol of the Iranian government.

Steve, we DO have a right to criticise the second. Saddam did NOT deserve to be in power and that is enough of a reason to eliminate the regime. It is reprehensible for people to accept the alternative, to what actually happened, by having Saddam in power.

6

dh 10.12.09 at 5:10 pm

Just because the site is written by Americans doesn’t make what they say any more accurate. This is just as much propaganda and false as the mainstream press often is.

To be honest, Germany and Japan would be under dictatorships if it weren’t for the West and the US, that you so condemn, that came to the aid to eliminate those regimes.

Only an ignorant person would focus vitriol on the US and not focus at all on the vitriol of Hitler, Saddam, Bin Laden, Jong-il, Hirohito, etc. and it is ignorant to think that one could or could have negotiated with these terrible dictators.

7

Tony Buglass 10.12.09 at 9:34 pm

DH: “Chavez and Castro governments don’t deserve to be eliminated? I strongly disagree. I do agree we shouldn’t prop up corrupt governments but if it is an alternative between a corrupt government and Castro/Chavez”

So what gives you the right to write off Chavez, when you had 8 years of a President elected by the dodgiest of elections ever?

“Just because the site is written by Americans doesn’t make what they say any more accurate.”

No, but neither does it necessarily make it propaganda. At least they’ve been there, which is more than you have. My brother lives in the US. He’s quite happy there, and has become a US citizen - but he is scathing about the shallow understanding in the US of world affairs and politics. A few years ago he quoted to me a school history book which said that the US WON the Vietnam War. Sheeeeeeesh!!!

And you really expect us to listen to you on such matters? Until you can demonstrate a deeper understanding, and a better grasp, I am forced to conclude that ‘propaganda’ mean ‘political/historical truth which doesn’t fit DH’s preconceived ideas’.

8

Richard 10.12.09 at 10:16 pm

I’m fascinated by the notion that it’s better to have a corrupt government than an honest Chavez. Is that really what you meant, DH?

9

PamBG 10.13.09 at 12:37 am

The one thing about being a citizen of both the UK and the US is that I have two embarrassing nationalities, not just one.

I was having coffee this afternoon with someone who told me that her geography “students” didn’t know what continent Italy was on. I assumed she meant High School students. But no, she was talking about university students who are studying (majoring in) geography. I laughed so loudly that everyone in the coffee shop turned around to stare. *rolls eyes*

10

dh 10.13.09 at 4:40 pm

What gives me the right is that he tried to make himself a dictator indefinitely. Didgiest of election the last 8 years? Bush elected without any “dodgiest” aspect. No laws were violated and it was confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2000 and in 2004 there was no problem. Full democracy took place. Just because the popular vote in 2000 was different doesn’t make it any less democratic. The majority of states and a majority of the votes proportionately among those states the majority was to Bush.

I DO have a deep understanding. Just because these people have been there doesn’t mean they don’t have preconceived ideas. The fact remains ia that if one looks at the actions of Castro and Chavez it is clear these regimes must be eliminated. Castro worked with the Communist in the USSR, imprisoned people who disagreed with him, promoted terror in Central America and other places with the murder Che Guevera. Chavez has bought weapons and seeked alliances with Amadinajad regime in Iran, formed alliances with other people who are Santanista’s, sought to be in power indefiniately which is a clear violation of the Venezuelan constitution, etc.

The facts speak for themselves. For example I would much rather have a person elected on false pretenses who is for peace than a person like Hitler be in power. People need to be protected from themselves and Chavez and Castro are reprehensible and this is a fact that crosses any politcal party line. That is not to say that being elected under false pretenses is right or should be done but if that is the only way then so be it. Nobody deserves to have someone who murders its own people in power.

You need to have a deeper understanding that the election in the US and no laws were violated in 2000 and 2004. You need to have a better grasp of the American electoral process and how no laws were violated. That isn’t preconceived but an understanding of what the findings from a law standpoint were.

With regard to the book that was written a few years back about America winning the Vietnam War. It is a fact from a military standpoint that eveyr major military battle was won by the US that is not to say we won the war because we didn’t. Nor is this fact contrary to the fact that America lost the Vietnam War. In war there is military, insurgency, political, etc. We won the war because of all of the losses in the small battles and insurgency battles. Those losses and the political will added up to the loss. However, that doesn’t change the fact that every major military battle was won by the US. I think I might have read that book and I don’t think they said that the US won Vietnam. One must look at what the entire book said (if it is the same book it might not be).

11

Tony Buglass 10.13.09 at 8:25 pm

“Just because these people have been there doesn’t mean they don’t have preconceived ideas.”

And you don’t? I read “preconceived ideas” as “more stuff DH doesn’t like”. But can’t argue with.

“Chavez has bought weapons and seeked alliances with Amadinajad regime in Iran, formed alliances with other people who are Santanista’s, sought to be in power indefiniately which is a clear violation of the Venezuelan constitution, etc.”

Then that is a matter for Venezuela, not for the US - you have no right whatsoever to seek to eliminate those regimes. Venezuela has the sovereign right to buy arms from whomsoever they will (and being so threatened by the US, I imagine the’d want to buy as much as they could), and to form alliances with whomsoever they will. As long as they don’t threaten you, you have no right to interfere.

” It is a fact from a military standpoint that eveyr major military battle was won by the US that is not to say we won the war because we didn’t. Nor is this fact contrary to the fact that America lost the Vietnam War.”

Pardon? Do you not see the glaring contradictions in those sentences? Doesn’t it really depend on what you define as “a major military battle”? I suggest the NVA advance on Saigon and its investment would count as such. And the most crucial one, at that.

Please don’t try to defend the indefensible - it only makes you look ridiculous.

12

dh 10.14.09 at 1:37 pm

Tony, we WILL ultimately be threatened and as such the US DOES have a right to eliminate those regimes. They have NO right to form an alliance with the terrorist regimes of Iran that is why there are sanctions for countries who do. They have NO right to aquire qeapons from Iran or any nations which threatens democratic nations. They have NO right to get weapons from North Korea. Your policy only strengthens evil regimes. I totally, unequivically abhore how you can sit there and say that it is okay for nations to obtain weapons from evil regimes. The fact is America stand in protection of the innocent and the people of Venezuela have a right not to live under an evil regime.

With regard to the Vietnam War. I trust military experts and the book I happened to read was written by one. I agree with you that the attack on Saigon was a major loss. You didn’t read the ENIRE quote with regard to that where I said there were “We LOST (I had a typo sorry and said won) the war because of all of the losses in the small battles and insurgency battles. Those losses and the political will added up to the loss.” The book has clear unbiased understanding of what “major” as defined by military experts. I trust them as opposed to you who is NOT a military expert. Another reason we lost the war was because Johnson would not allow SVA and the US to attack with land troops into NVA until it was too late. Also we weren’t allowed to attack unless fired upon when it was the NVA and Viet Cong. Like all military experts say the best defense is the best offense and prior to 1969 the US and the SVA were fighting with one hand tied behind their back.

13

dh 10.14.09 at 1:47 pm

This site from the Army War college by a West Point graduate goes into full detail of how we lost the war in relation to the explaination I gave. Again I’m not a military expert and thought that a quotation from a military Army college professor would better clarify our positions:

http://www.carlisle.army.mil/usawc/Parameters/96winter/record.htm

14

Tony Buglass 10.14.09 at 4:06 pm

I’m not a professional military expert, but I have studied various aspects of military history all my adult life. And there is no way anyone cold ague that the US won the Vietnam War. That is where this conversation started, because that was the book that my brother quoted to me - and he was a professional soldier before moving to the US, and does know what he was talking about.

The comment to which I took exception (one of them…) was “It is a fact from a military standpoint that eveyr major military battle was won by the US …” You clearly failed to appreciate what was really going on. It has often been said that most generals go to war prepared to fight the previous one - so Britain and France were ready in 1939 to carry on where they left off in 1918, and paid heavily for not keeping up. Just so, the US went into Vietnam prepared to re-fight Korea: a conventional war with conventional tactics. North Vietnam didn’t play by those rules: they used non-conventional guerilla tactics, and defeated the US in the same way as Judah the Maccabee defeated Antiochus Epiphanes IV in the Maccabean Revolt in 168 BC. If they had tried to take to the field against the Greeks they’d have been massacred. Instead, they waged a guerilla campaign, including ambushing the Greek columns in the narrow Galilean passes where they couldn’t deploy into their tactical formations, so had to engage in hand-to-hand fighting where the Jews had the upper hand. Similar stories could be told of the defeat of British troops during the US War of Independence. The point is that there was no real distinction between major battles and insurgency battles.

“we WILL ultimately be threatened and as such the US DOES have a right to eliminate those regimes. They have NO right to form an alliance …. They have NO right to aquire qeapons …. They have NO right to get weapons from North Korea.”

Actually, under international law they have every right to do those things, because Venezuela is an independent sovereign state. As to “we WILL ultimately be threatened” - I see no sign of Venezuela threatening war on the US; in fact, if you are typical of American attitudes, I see the US as the potential aggressor, and thus open to charges under international law - the same charges as were brought against Germany at Nuremburg. Surely you can’t mean that?

15

dh 10.14.09 at 4:52 pm

We both agree that the Us lost the war in Vietnam but it is a fact that every major military battle was won by the US as supported, stated and clarified by the url (if you read it). I did make the distinction because one must have a full understanding of the Vietnam War as to how the situation turned out to be an ultimate loss. Also, nothing I said disagreed with what you said about guerrila tactics hense my “small battles” comment. The fasts we can agree on are that all of the small battles, insurgency, political will, etc. added up to a loss for the US. However, militarily one can say and it isn’t a contradiction that the major battles were won by the US. Also if you read the comment I made and the url the limitations put on the military by Pres. Johnson had a negative impact on the situation in the future which was a loss for thr Americans. Tony, did you read the url of the previous expert? He goes into detail of what I originally said. You say “The point is that there was no real distinction between major battles and insurgency battles.” Well there is tht is how one can learn. for the future. I DID make the distinction.

Back to the discussion on dictators and evil alliances:

Under international law they don’t have a right to obtain weapons from terrorirst nations like Iran and North Korea. That is why there are sanctions on those nations that prevent them from doing that sort of thing with Venezuela. Dodn’t you realize that the UN has sanctions on North Korea preventing them from selling weapons to other nations as well as on Iran? It seems you are even against the UN let alone the US. At least my view supports the US helping the UN enforce international law. Yours does not. I’m not saying that America should at this time go in militarily against Venezuela. However, I’m not ignorant toward the intent that Chavez seems to portray toward the US and its Allies. Germany at Nuremberg the same as US? come on. Chavez is an evil dictator and everyone knows it. He seeks alliances with terrorist regimes and buys weapons from terrorist regimes. By the very nature of increasing the military in Venezuela from forming alliances with terrorist nations he is threatening the great ally of the US, Brazil and the current administration in Colombia.

16

Richard 10.14.09 at 5:12 pm

>> “Chavez is an evil dictator and everyone knows it.”

I beg to differ. Chavez is far from perfect, but I’m not convinced he warrants the “evil dictator” moniker. There have been lots of leaders in South America who did deserve the title. Most of them had the support of the US government.

17

Tony Buglass 10.14.09 at 5:54 pm

“Under international law they don’t have a right to obtain weapons from terrorirst nations like Iran and North Korea.”

Clearly they have no right to go against UN sanctions. However, they do very clearly have the right to buy arms, and that was my point. You are in danger defining a sovereign state as a terrorist state, and thereby forcing them into bad company.

” Germany at Nuremberg the same as US?”

Try it the other way round. You said “the US DOES have a right to eliminate those regimes.” That means waging aggressive war, which was one of the principal charges against Nazi leaders at Nuremberg. Now, if you don’t want that sort of charge, moderate your language and your attitude.

And for the record, yes I did read the article. Very good, very interesting. Didn’t hold any surprises…

18

dh 10.14.09 at 6:03 pm

Well I can see how he is not as bad as some others aka Castro. Although I see some similar nature of previous evil dictators in their particular early stages. I know America supported some “evil dictators” before they happened to realize their true colors. However, I don’t know about your “most of them” comment. With the clear nature of Castro in the 50’s and 60’s one can see how America needed to keep some of these nations regimes in check. If these nations weren’t in check the alliances with Castro would have made Castro and those regimes even stronger by the economic trading than otherwise. We all know Cuba is only 90 miles away from Florida. Not a very “secure situation” otherwise as you can see.

I may have overstated my case on this one. I still think he is as close to “evil dictator” without being technically. However, the desire to be in power indefinitely in light of his hostile statements and alliances with evil nations makes him suspect possibility for the near future.The main point I was trying to make (albeit in a goose chase way, my bad American figure of speech)that really “gets my goad” is the fact that Chavez is getting arms from known evil regimes like Iran and North Korea in clear violation of UN and US sanctions. One cannot deny that this threatens the new western type administration in Colombia and the known Western type nation of Brazil.

19

Richard 10.14.09 at 8:08 pm

>> “I know America supported some “evil dictators” before they happened to realize their true colors. “

Let’s see. There was Reagan’s support of a brutal military regime in El Salvador, whose death squads were no secret. There’s Pinochet’s Chile. The CIA have admitted that support was given to his regime despite knowing about systematic human rights abuses. Then there was that nice Somoza in Nicaragua. He was a very nice man.

Both of our nations have a track record of dealing with vicious regimes when it suits us.

20

dh 10.14.09 at 8:19 pm

I not denying that at times this happened it is to the extent that you say or the level of extent that was a surprise in hindsight regarding these particular regimes supproted by the US. We both agree but the level of extent and level of knowledge is where you and I disagree. I rather focus on where we agree and refocus on the issue of the discussion at hand which is Chavez, Iran, N. Korea, etc.

However, I rather stay focused on the main issue of the discussion.

21

Joel Betow 10.14.09 at 10:56 pm

Interestingly to me, one of really big times that Chavez tried for a power grab, 2007, I think, he was over-confident that the public would back him and they didn’t. Chavez, who shouldn’t have sought the additional powers, but was at least wise enough to accept the verdict of the voters without rigging an election.

Chavez is again trying to get voters to allow him to run for president as many times as he wants. I don’t agree with that, but such used to be the law in the U.S. until an ill Franklin Roosevelt successfully sought a fourth term.

Chavez can be a bully at times. He has been known to threaten “get even” economics and politics against regions of Venezuela that resist him. I think that conduct is deplorable but doesn’t make him a dictator or come anywhere close to meriting his removal. He doesn’t threaten U.S. National Security, and attempts to rain on his parade have only made him more of a folk hero.

Chavez has used much of Venezuela’s oil revenue unwisely — but that’s just a South American version of our greatly corrupt Wall Street. One of my disappointments in Obama is his failure, despite his lofty rhetoric, to truly push for market reform.

Should Great Britain, France or Germany have invaded the U.S. because our frontier days were messy or because we slaughtered Native Americans? In fact, the U.S. for years couldn’t even come close to taming organized crime in the U.S.

Chavez is perhaps a bit like the late Gov. Huey Long of Louisiana, a bit of a demagogue, yes, but if he was somewhat corrupt, all the more so were business interests that exploited the poor. He brought hope not just to impoverished whites, but to poor blacks, as well. Yes, to the latter to a much lesser extent, and by today’s standards he was no civil rights advocate. But there were business interests that would “rape” the marginalized and not given it a second glance. Just as Louisiana had to progress, so must Venezuela, but according to its own time table and not that of the U.S.

22

dh 10.15.09 at 2:03 pm

Joel, I repeat (not screaming) HE HAS VIOLATED UN LAW. He bought weapons from Iran and North Korea known terrorist administrations. Has attempted to infiltrate Colombia after the current Colombian administration was cracking down rightly on Santanistas, his acceptance of communism and the forced stealing he attempts to achieve is deplorable. He threatens Brazil, Colombia and other Democratic nations and has made statements as such. These are allies of the US and the Western world and to buy weapons from terrorist nations and attempt to be a bully in South America is deplorable.

FDR never bought weapons from terrorist or deplorable nations. All of your arguments are not connected to each other. You bring up red herrings and things that really do not refute the clearly deplorable Castro like nature that should not be allowed in the world and that DOES threaten national security by attempting to threaten known allies in the current administration in Colombia, Brazil and others.

Like I said I don’t support removing him at this time but I’m not ignorant to what his apparent desires are. The future looks glim for Venezuela and S. America until we prevent Venezuela from obtaining weapons from terrible nations. I’m even concerned about him obtaining weapons from Russia. I think China and Russia are nations that are causing some concern. It would be great if these nations would go along with much of the world in not trading with nations with terrible regimes like Iran and North Korea.

23

Joel Betow 10.15.09 at 11:39 pm

Dh,

Maybe if we just change, with some adaptation, the U.S.A.’s National Anthem to “Oh Lord, It’s Hard To Be Humble” —
we’d be cutting to the chase.

24

dh 10.16.09 at 1:52 pm

I am being humble by caring for the people of South America that have to dealt with terrible leader. At the same time I don’t want to be ignorant and deny the facts of Chavez’s clear intentions, actions and statements of Chavez.

With Chavez and humility? pot call the kettle black

25

Bob Gilston 10.16.09 at 2:04 pm

To revisit Joel’s comment of Oct 9th

“Regardless of whether you think the Oslo committee made the correct decision regarding the Nobel, I hope it will cause each of you to think and re-think how human beings can share this tiny planet without constantly slaughtering each other at the worst, and assaulting each other’s humanity dignity at the least.”

It seems to me that this discussion reflects the problems we have in the world. We can’t agree on many things and ultimately we degenerate into violence (even verbal violence). Just please re-read some of your comments and have the grace to agree to disagree.

26

dh 10.16.09 at 2:30 pm

Have I done verbal violence to Joel? I never attacked him as a person. Could you state a reference of my verbal violence? If I have donethat then I will be glad to apologize. I’m honestly open to correction but I need specifics.

27

Bob Gilston 10.16.09 at 4:56 pm

“You need to have a deeper understanding …..” and “You need to have a better grasp …..” seem to me that you are demeaning the other person’s argument by suggesting they don’t know what they’re talking about. I have no problem with differences of opinion as long as there is respect. By the way dh, I was quoting Joel’s original comment, not suggesting you had done verbal violence to him. It was the general tone in some of the subsequent posts that concerned me.

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dh 10.16.09 at 5:16 pm

Bob, Tony was the one who started it with his quote of me needing to have a “deeper understanding”. It seemed to me that some of the statements made to me were ones that could be said by those saying the statements toward me.

Bob, how should I respond to someone who starts by saying “You need to have a deeper understanding.” or “You need to have a better grasp.” when I do? I gave factual information that was not addressed by the other commentors.

It seems to me to the others your comment ” have the grace to agree to disagree.” I find it interesting that this comment came up AFTER I made the last statement thereby giving the impression that I’m the one solely to blame when I didn’t start the intial attack.

Well I guess I did say this “Only an ignorant person would focus vitriol on the US and not focus at all on the vitriol of Hitler, Saddam, Bin Laden, Jong-il, Hirohito, etc. and it is ignorant to think that one could or could have negotiated with these terrible dictators.”

Ignorance is a little harsh. I should have said “short-sighted”. I just get really upset when people never go after the cause of problems but the reaction to problems. To me people need to look more harsh at the initiators as opposed to the reactors. If the initiators wouldn’t have initiated things then there would be no need to react. So therefore the initiators should be looked at more harshly.

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Bob Gilston 10.16.09 at 7:23 pm

dh I remember many occasions when I got into the “you started it” argument. My comment was not aimed at you alone but more to the point that at some stage we all need to accept that we don’t always see eye to eye and the discussion is no longer achieving any purpose. I just thought that this discussion had reached that point. I personally was fascinated by this blog and have learnt a lot from points that have been made. I see positives and negatives on both sides of the argument. Joel’s blog has certainly made us think which was what he intended. As long was continue to the point where we re-think which was also what he intended.

My apologies for taking you away from the original theme.

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dh 10.16.09 at 8:07 pm

Bob, thanks for your care. I do agree that the discussion had reached that point. I agree he made us think but he and others didn’t seem to take into consideration all of the many facts behind Chavez and the other ruthless leaders mentioned.

There was a multi-faceted meaning behind the “initiators” statement I made that can be applied to US/Chavez, US/Saddam, etc., etc. It seems that some focus more blamce on the reactors to the initiators as opposed to the intiators themselves. My thought is that if the initiators wouldn’t have initiated then there would be no need to react in the first place. Thereby more blame should be on the cause of the reaction as opposed to the reaction itself.

You didn’t take away from the original theme. I apprecaite your response. I hope you apprecaited the discussion and I hope you were able to learn from us. Maybe even you learned from me. What I learned from you is to be “even-keel” and more the “attitude”. I totally appreciate your heart and appreciate the care and grace in promoting a better “attitude” on the subject discussed. I probably should have been the one to show Grace in the first place as opposed to reacting. What I intended to do was give all of the facts that were being neglected by the other commentators before saying “we need to agree to disagree”. Just a little background. I try to do what you said I should have done once all of the facts have been presented. I notice that others can do the same as well. Sometimes that cause myself problems and at other times it causes other commentators problems. Sometimes too much can be said but it is hard to let it go if it apprears that not all of the facts have been accounted for.

Thanks for the care, grace and kindness in helping to promote a better attitude on the thread. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on other threads. I’ll try not to fall into the trap of “you started it. No you started. No you started.” banter. :)

31

Joel Betow 10.16.09 at 8:22 pm

Dh,

Our president Andrew Jackson defied the U.S. Supreme Court in its ruling on Worcester vs. The State of Georgia. The high court ruled that the Cherokee Nation was a separate political entity and could not be regulated by the State of Georgia. JACKSON REFUSED TO ABIDE BY THE DECISION!!! That was grounds for impeachment, which of course didn’t happen. (The court has since ruled that various tribal nations, while sovereign, are not totally free of regulation.)

If Preident Jackson had enforced the law, there is a possibility the Cherokees would not later have been forcibly removed to “Indian Territory,” which later became part of the State of Oklahoma. And the U.S. didn’t even keep the treaty it made regarding the Cherokees.

That this was an awful mess is an understatement. However, citizens/voters and the democratic process later worked to settle this matter. It is ongoing, though, as the U.S. has still failed to account for billions of dollars it owes various tribes for oil royalties the U.S. government basically embezzled.

So, should the United States be invaded, or left to clean up its own messes?

32

dh 10.16.09 at 9:31 pm

Joel, did you read Bob and I’s comments? I think by my and Bob’s response that we ALL need to be Gracious in our responses. The only thin I will say (period) is that I was never a big fan of Pres. Jackson. He was great in the War of 1812 and that was it. I think all of your comments are “red-herrings” in the discussion. Chavez is way more worse than Jackson. Jackson never got weapons from known terrorist leaders like from Iran or North Korea which you have never denounced. However, I will just leave it like to what Bob said and agree to disagree.

33

Tony Buglass 10.16.09 at 10:54 pm

So, it’s one law for them, and a different one for you?

Where did Jackson get his weaponry? A lot of American imports came from Revolutionary France, didn’t they? Of course, it would be argued that it was justifiable in a conflict with Imperial Britain. Well, Venezuela could argue with equal justification that they need to buy weapons from wherever they can get them because of the threat from Big Neighbour USA to the North. Just like Nicaragua had to buy MiG-19s from Cuba, because they were really threatened by Reagan’s Government - and Reagan threatened to bomb any airfields on which they appeared. Completely illegal, completely inflammatory.

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dh 10.19.09 at 6:53 pm

Tony, I never said it was one law for them and another for me. I stated Jackson, other than the War of 1812, was a president I wouldn’t have supported. When it came to weapons the weapons came from roaylty of France. In fact the US under President Adams had a choice in the possibility of going to war with France after the Revolution. So I don’t believe after 1802 much of the weapons came from France. Between 1802 and 1812 the situation went from one of against France to neutral with France and from somewhat neutral with England to hostile with England. One could say that the Louisiana Purchase was “threatening” to the UK but that is an extreme streatch when at the time we were a thirld world power. With regard to Venezuela we have many more nations that are free that are at risk then at the time of the early 1800’s.

With regard for the War of 1812 it was the British who attacked the innocent US at the time first. America never threatened the UK prior to the War of 1812. It seems to me that this was the main thing that got America involved. What is the British doing arming the America Indians? “One reason was the alleged British military support for American Indians who were offering armed resistance to the United States. An unstated but powerful motivation for the Americans was the need to uphold national honor in the face of British insults (such as the Chesapeake affair.”

As you can see the situation then is way, way different and no comparison can be made. The fact remains the Santanistas didn’t deserve to be in power, Castro didn’t deserve to be in power and Chavez as well. These are all terrible dictators. America had no “dictators” during the War of 1812 or even remotely like a “dictator”. I will and have said I wouldn’t have supported Jackson.

What is inflammatory is having Santanista, Castro and Chavez hurting the countries they are leading and there attempted threatening of the countries around them.

Again the Andrew Jackson administration never got weapons from known terrorist leaders. In the end this discussion is a “red-herring” and really no comparisons can be made from that time to now.

35

dh 10.19.09 at 6:58 pm

Nicaragua didn’t need to buy weapons from terrorist Castro and Chavez didn’t need to buy weapons from Iran and North Korea. Prior to those terrible regimes America was a great ally of those nations and went to being hostile first. We just didn’t or don’t need known Communist nations on this side of the hemisphere (period). It hurts the people within those nations and the actions of those regimes is clear in their threat toward Brazil, current administration in Colombia, etc.

36

Tony Buglass 10.19.09 at 9:02 pm

“With regard for the War of 1812 it was the British who attacked the innocent US at the time first.”

Nope. It was the US that declared war on the British. On June 18th, 1812. The British had done no more than try to blockade Revolutionary France, with whom we were at war.

“When it came to weapons the weapons came from roaylty of France. ”

In 1812? The Revolution was 1789. Napoleon had been Emperor since 1804, but I suggest that is playing with words - he as ruler of Revolutionary France, a belligerent power with whom Britain was at war. He was known throughout Europe as “the Monster” - and the US were seeking to trade with him and buy arms from him.

By comparison, the Sandinistas were eventually democratically elected, by the people of Nicaragua, in preference to Somoza who was a tyrant and (to use your phrase) a ‘terrible dictator’ - the Sandinistas were supported by President Carter, but vilified and opposed by Reagan. So to say “prior to those terrible regimes America was a great ally of those nations ” is utter rubbish.

The problem is simply that you, DH, have a thoroughly right-wing agenda, and you will interpret international relations in the past and present through the filter of that agenda. Most of the claims you have made are historically falsifiable, and ideologically based.

I do hear what you say about “a better attitude” in the discussion. I have nothing against you personally, and I don’t want to attack you personally. But I cannot stand by and watch the truth twisted in the way your claims have done so. I rather hope that in our discussion you gain a wider understanding of the truth.

37

dh 10.20.09 at 4:10 pm

When I said weapons came from royalty France, America was using weapons from previous periods for its defense as well as developing their own state of the art weapons aka the USS Constitution class of naval ship developed and made of American ingenuity. Also, you forgot that the Brits were sending weapons to the American Indians thereby making the “threat” first be from the Brit’s. While America declared war first the UK made it where America had no choice. The Brits were supporting what was the equivilent to Santanista’s of the day by having weapons sent to them by the British. This sort of thing happened first. The British should not have sent weapons to the Indians to go against America.

With regard to Santanista. You didn’t even reference Chavez and Castro where the statements I made do work. I would suggest that Carter supporting Communist Santanista’s proves my point with regard to the support for Reagan taking on the Santanista’s. If Carter wouldn’t have supported them then the situation would be quite different and better. What was Carter doing supporting crazy Communists at a time during the Cold War?

With regard to Chavez and Venezuela, Venezuela was a great ally and it had a great non-terrorist type of a administration prior to the Sananista’s existance. With regard to before one has to look beyond Carter. So saying prior to those evil regimes IS correct because even though it is before Carter it is still can be said before those regimes for that is what it is. In fact Nicaragua was created by the great support of Teddy Roosevelt. Many of these nations had no chance of being independent and able to take care of themselves in the future if it wasn’t for him. It was only when you had “Red Revolutions” and Communism with Soviet influence that the situations got worse. Was there terrible dictators that were not Communist? yes but that doesn’t mean the people themselves need to turn to Communism when there can be other candidates who could support the people outside of the dichotomy that they were presented with.

But Tony, the British didn’t allow the US to trade non-military goods with the US being a neutral nation. In fact Jefferson imposed tarrifs and prevented trade with both the British and the French. Also at this time America was developing their own weapons that was the great thing about the War of 1812 is that America was looked at as a nation who could to some extent take care of itself. It was the War of 1812 that made the rest of the world see that Aemrica was here for an extended period of time. THe Civil War was another test but that would be over 40 years later.

If one looks at the Navy of the US at this time and the “Iron Side” class of naval ships, those were entirely America made and American design and they were effective even after the War of 1812.

Carter, was terrible to support the Santanista’s. He was the one that created the situation worse than it should have been. With the success at the time by the Santanista’s it created an atmosphere where future Chavez’s and other terrible regimes could be attracted to assume power. I would hope you would gain a wider understanding of truth and see the Santanista’s, Chavez, Castro for what they are terrible tyrannts even if they might be “democractically elected”. We do know that Castro threatens force if people don’t vote for him. Chavez had the desire to be dictator. Thank God that the people of Venezuela stood up to him, albeit by a slim margin, to stop him in his goal. I just can’t sit by and say I approve of Venezuela, Cuba and others to get arms from Iran or North Korea.

Without that sentence you brought up I still stand by this: “Nicaragua didn’t need to buy weapons from terrorist Castro and Chavez didn’t need to buy weapons from Iran and North Korea. We just didn’t or don’t need known Communist nations on this side of the hemisphere (period). It hurts the people within those nations and the actions of those regimes is clear in their threat toward Brazil, current administration in Colombia, etc.”

38

Richard 10.20.09 at 7:14 pm

>> “We just didn’t or don’t need known Communist nations on this side of the hemisphere”

Fascists, on the other hand, are fine.

39

dh 10.20.09 at 8:03 pm

Richard, I addressed that in the post and said that they are wrong:
” Was there terrible dictators that were not Communist? yes but that doesn’t mean the people themselves need to turn to Communism when there can be other candidates who could support the people outside of the dichotomy that they were presented with.”

They are both wrong and it makes Carter wrong for supporting Santanista’s. The alternative to the santanista’s was not fascism. The alternative at the time to Chavez was not fascism. Was there at different times fascism? yes but many times people labeled the alternative as fascist when one needs to do further analysis to determine if that is an appropriate characterization and one must consider the source because even the UN can be wrong at times.

40

dh 10.20.09 at 8:13 pm

Thank God for the people of Colombia under the current administration under Álvaro Uribe. That is a nation that the Central and South America and even the rest of the world can learn from. Also is taking a stand to the atrocities of Hugo Chavez and his horrendous support of the FARC.

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