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Which country is the greatest threat

Politics-world Greatest threat 2003

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Poll: Which country is the greatest threat to world peace? (74 member(s) have cast votes)

Which country is the greatest threat to world peace?

  1. North Korea (20 votes [29.41%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.41%

  2. Iran (4 votes [5.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.88%

  3. Iraq (1 votes [1.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.47%

  4. US (32 votes [47.06%])

    Percentage of vote: 47.06%

  5. Israel (5 votes [7.35%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.35%

  6. Afghanistan (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  7. Pakistan (1 votes [1.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.47%

  8. Syria (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  9. Saudi Arabia (1 votes [1.47%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.47%

  10. China (4 votes [5.88%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.88%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#61 Han

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 06:27 PM

the'Hawk, on Nov 9 2003, 11:15 PM, said:

Delvo, on Nov 8 2003, 12:19 AM, said:

OK, but where does Europe fit into this bar?
It's hard to say, because I don't know how effective Europe's so-called 'unity' really is. Part of me thinks it's just a front.

So they'd be the snivelling gang of high schoolers with fake IDs in the corner who only talks tough until the big guy comes down on the heads of one of 'em. And at least one of their number (Great Britain) is trying to talk them down from saying anything stupid.

Sure, Europe might have heritage and prestige and tradition, but so what. Rich punks take beatings just the same as poor ones.
Interesting (and fun) analogies, 'Hawk. Care to extend it to the rest of the world?  :cool:
Han

#62 the 'Hawk

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 06:42 PM

^ Australia is the drunk in the corner, Canada's the skank showing off her "natural resources" at the bar, Russia's willing to do *anything* for a shot or two ---*ANYthing*--- and most of Africa can't afford the cover charge. ;)

:cool:
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#63 Nick

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Posted 09 November 2003 - 07:09 PM

This is a really interesting discussion--but on the topic of the poll, I think the ExIsle poll is getting down to more of a definition of semantics.  I interpreted the word "peace" as "the absense of armed combat."

And I picked the U.S. as the one--not suggesting any wrongdoing, simply that the United States is the most likely to initiate armed combat with another nation . . . heck, we're doing it right now

A lot of people took that rationale.  If the question were more of a "which is the most dangerous nation" then I'd definately go with NK . . . moreso than Saudi Arabia (do't get me wrong THAT'S a powder keg just waiting to blow up in our faces) . . . but Saudi Arabia is something of a sleeping dragon . . . It's in a forced and flimsily held together status-quo with the royal family receiving loads of U.S. support for their continued importance as a staging ground and the only "swing state" in the oil producing market.  Both of which are reasons to hope all goes well in Iraq, and we can get that nation stable and prosperous (and preferably friendly) . . . because when Saudi Arabia erupts into revolution, they could destabalize the whole region, and we're going to end up with another Iran.

But my money's on North Korea doing something stupid first and requiring the use of force to deal with.

I don't really understand why Israel is thought of in the other poll as a threat to peace . . . other than they're surrounded on all sides by countries that want to annihlate them and must constantly fight for their continued existance.  So yeah, it's a safe bet that Israel is going to engage in some kind of hostilities again pretty soon too, albeit self-defense.

*shrugs*

just my $0.02

-Nick

Edited by Nick, 09 November 2003 - 07:10 PM.


#64 Godeskian

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 09:40 AM

CJ AEGIS, on Nov 9 2003, 08:24 PM, said:

Does this exactly surprise me in the least bit?  Nah it just comes off as another aspect of European hypocrites being hard at work. 
Do you reallyu believe that? that every single vote for the US was made by 'european hypocrites'?

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#65 Consubstantial

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 12:44 PM

Lover of Purple, on Nov 7 2003, 11:56 PM, said:

OUCH!!
[Tease mode]
Now I'm not a true patriot. I'm a blind patriot? ;) [/Tease mode]

Actually, I know the US has problems. ALL countries have problems. We are working on our problems, but everyone wants to make the world problems our fault. I think the reason so many people here want to list the US as the biggest threat is a distinct hatred of our current president. What most are failing to realize is that the world's view of this country is what makes us what we are. If the US closed up and stayed out of the world, they would hate us.

It's a fact I've seen in my nearly fifty years and it will never change.

Connie, I know you didn't mean it but it does sound like you think that ONLY the people who doubt the US are true patriots. Sorry to tease you about it. I couldn't resist. I do know what you are saying.
{{{{{{{{LOP}}}}}}}}

Nope, definitely not blind.  Sorry to make it sound that way.  Teasing accepted graciously.   :)

I just didn't want to hear how I wasn't a patriot because I felt the US is the greatest threat to world peace; so I attempted to head that accusation off at the pass.  (I've heard it too many times before in too many other conversations.)  I'd say that probably everyone who has responded to this thread be described as a patriot, if for no other reason than their willingness to discuss the issue.  We are all prey to misconceptions on occasion.  

A comment made by Uncle Sid earlier in this thread, something to the effect that that North Koreans must want their children to starve because of the levels of famine in the country, strikes me as a prime example of the danger of misconceptions.  

I'm sorry that LOP felt so saddened by the discussion that he felt he needed to leave it; but I understand the feeling.  I've shared it on occasion.  

To me, "threat" indicates potential.  No other country on the planet has the potential for harm the US does.  We have the most resources, the highest levels of technology and have demonstrated the willingness to use them in the past.  In fact we are the only nation that has ever actually used weapons of mass destruction on a civilian populace.  These facts make us the greatest threat even before the current administration becomes a part of the conversation.  

Being the greatest threat, doesn't mean that I feel the US will take such monstrous and precipitous action.  (At least I hope they won't.)  It does mean that we have the most capability to do so.  

More later.
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#66 Godeskian

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 01:09 PM

Statistically, the likelyhood of the US eventually electing someone willing to use it's full military potential and with the skill at political maneuvring to do so, is almost 100%

but then, lies, damn lies and statistics and all that :shrug: make of it what you will, intent and potential are very different issues

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#67 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 04:41 PM

Godeskian, on Nov 10 2003, 09:40 AM, said:

Do you reallyu believe that? that every single vote for the US was made by 'european hypocrites'?
Enough of them existed out there to eventually get Gerhard Schroder and Jacque Chirac elected into power.  That is enough proof for me that European hypocrites exist in large numbers.

Quote

Gode: Statistically, the likely hood of the US eventually electing someone willing to use it's full military potential and with the skill at political maneuvering to do so, is almost 100%

Of course if that wasn't approved of by a majority of the population and/or the Congress they'd run afoul of the American Constitutional Federal System very quickly.  

Quote

Consubstantial: A comment made by Uncle Sid earlier in this thread, something to the effect that that  North Koreans must want their children to starve because of the levels of famine in the country, strikes me as a prime example of the danger of misconceptions.

Oh then what is the truth about the North Korean Government and that famine?  The North Korean government doesn't care one whit about the fact that thousands of people in that country are starving including children.  What Uncle Kim cares about his remaining in power to feed his appetite, threatening his neighbors, and building WMDs.  Everything having to do with the welfare of his population is irrelevant.  I think Sid hit it right on the nose about North Korea.  

Quote

  To me, "threat" indicates potential. No other country on the planet has the potential for harm the US does. We have the most resources, the highest levels of technology and have demonstrated the willingness to use them in the past.

It also says we have the most potential and probably are doing the most good of any nation on this planet.  Of course the amount of resources the US expends on humanitarian efforts compared to other nations seems to be disregarded by many.

Quote

In fact we are the only nation that has ever actually used weapons of mass destruction on a civilian populace.

In a war triggered by a blatant sneak attack on US territory against an enemy who carried out atrocities like the Rape of Nanking.  The atomic bombs were utilized a invasion that would have resulted in an estimated 200,000 US dead and millions of Japanese death.  Time we managed to take all of the Home Islands by a series of invasions the nation of Japan would have ceased to exist along with a huge portion of the culture and history of that nation.  The Atomic Bombs were the quickest, least painful, and least bloody of the available list of options.  

The use of the Atomic Bombs is something that still weights heavy on the minds of many Americans.  So the US is the one nation other than Japan that understands exactly what it is like to unleash that destructive power against human beings and the consequences of it unlike any other nation on this world.  Don't think for two seconds that North Korea, Iran, or China would show such a level of restraint out of humanitarian concerns.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
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#68 Consubstantial

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 05:43 PM

CJ AEGIS, on Nov 10 2003, 09:41 PM, said:

Quote

Consubstantial: A comment made by Uncle Sid earlier in this thread, something to the effect that that  North Koreans must want their children to starve because of the levels of famine in the country, strikes me as a prime example of the danger of misconceptions.

Oh then what is the truth about the North Korean Government and that famine?  The North Korean government doesn't care one whit about the fact that thousands of people in that country are starving including children.  What Uncle Kim cares about his remaining in power to feed his appetite, threatening his neighbors, and building WMDs.  Everything having to do with the welfare of his population is irrelevant.  I think Sid hit it right on the nose about North Korea.  

Quote

  To me, "threat" indicates potential. No other country on the planet has the potential for harm the US does. We have the most resources, the highest levels of technology and have demonstrated the willingness to use them in the past.

It also says we have the most potential and probably are doing the most good of any nation on this planet.  Of course the amount of resources the US expends on humanitarian efforts compared to other nations seems to be disregarded by many.

Quote

In fact we are the only nation that has ever actually used weapons of mass destruction on a civilian populace.

In a war triggered by a blatant sneak attack on US territory against an enemy who carried out atrocities like the Rape of Nanking.  The atomic bombs were utilized a invasion that would have resulted in an estimated 200,000 US dead and millions of Japanese death.  Time we managed to take all of the Home Islands by a series of invasions the nation of Japan would have ceased to exist along with a huge portion of the culture and history of that nation.  The Atomic Bombs were the quickest, least painful, and least bloody of the available list of options.  

The use of the Atomic Bombs is something that still weights heavy on the minds of many Americans.  So the US is the one nation other than Japan that understands exactly what it is like to unleash that destructive power against human beings and the consequences of it unlike any other nation on this world.  Don't think for two seconds that North Korea, Iran, or China would show such a level of restraint out of humanitarian concerns.
Well, since CJ has taken exception to my point about the danger of misconceptions, I'll quote both the passage by Uncle Sid here as well as CJ.

Quote

You ask if the North Korean's love their children, like the Russians, and I say that I hope not, because otherwise they believe that starving them is a good idea. The levels of famine in NK are revolting. Or perhaps I should say that the North Koreans love their children, but their government does not.

The misconception is that the government is the only cause of famine in the country.  The actions of the government may hamper any efforts to engage in humanitarian aid.  But the famine has had natural causes as well.  Those natural causes are hardly the fault of the North Koreans or their government.  I make no claim to understand that country's leader or his choices.  I don't even make the claim that I understand this country's (USA) leader or his choices.  Some days I think the two men are equally insane. Other days I think differently.  But I don't claim any certainty to anything I think about other people because I'm not them.  No matter how much I might like to think I "know," I recognize that I can never be sure of what is in another person's heart and mind.  With that fact in mind, I find it fascinatingly fallacious that some folks can feel so certain that their characterizations of other people and the motivations of those other people are absolutely correct.

On to the second criticism of my response that CJ had.  The poll that started this thread was about threats to world peace, not humanitarian efforts.  You want to start that poll and have that conversation, please do.  I suspect you will find that many here do recognize that the USA contributes overwhelmingly to world aid.  Thus, CJ illustrates my first point about misconceptions with her misconception that many here disregard US humanitarian efforts.  Certainly, I never disregarded them.  They just didn't seem to pertain to a discussion of which country poses the greatest threat to world peace.  Although, now that CJ has brought them up, I can see where some countries might feel that US humanitarian efforts come with conditions that threaten their country's sovereignty.

Thank you CJ for providing the US rationalizations for the use of WMDs on a civilian population.  I am well aware of those arguments; but some folks here might not be.  But if we could set those arguments and any enduring angst aside for a moment, in the past two years I've heard Americans say that we should "drop a couple of nukes on the turban wearers and create lake Afganistan."  The use of WMDs may weigh heavily on the minds of many Americans; but other Americans are equally willing to do it again for far less reason.  Frankly, I'm not fully convinced that they needed to be used the first time.  We are talking about the same country that used biological warfare on the Native Americans when it stole their territory.  And that involved the humanitarian tactic of providing blankets, infected blankets.  We also sent an entire shipment of poisoned cough medicine to China during the 1990's, aid for their sick children.  We said it was an accident; and it probably was.  At least, I'd like to hope it was.  But the USA record of humanitarian efforts and behavior during war and peace is not unblemished.  Any good historian will tell you that the victors write the history; and they rarely write it to make themselves look bad.  It often takes the speech of the marginalized and the silenced to bring forward the truth.
From the start, our terms jump to conclusions--Kenneth Burke

#69 tennyson

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 06:04 PM

I had thought about having a conversation but I see from the last post that would be futile. To equate the current leader of the US with someone with the recorded record of the younger Kim means that we aren't even in anything resembling the same planet. You can see the millions of acres devoted to prison camps in North Korea through commercially available satellite imagery, survivors have been telling thier stories for decades, the actions of North Korean negotiators define "bad faith", and every year another firefight happens between North Korean commandos inflitrating the South and the South's security forces. I agree we can't fully know another's heart without being them but the actions and thier context can be seen and experienced and the North Korean government and its elite are by no means "the marginalized and the silenced".
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#70 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 06:29 PM

Quote

Consubstantial:  The misconception is that the government is the only cause of famine in the country. The actions of the government may hamper any efforts to engage in humanitarian aid.

I’d say hampering humanitarian action pretty much qualifies as showing how much the government doesn’t care about their people. Then add in the prison camps mentioned by Tennyson and other atrocious actions by the N Korean government.  

Quote

Consubstantial:  Some days I think the two men are equally insane.

:blink:   I’m agreed with Tennyson.  This statement is about as out there as comparing Bush to Hitler.

Quote

Consubstantial:  I am well aware of those arguments; but some folks here might not be. But if we could set those arguments and any enduring angst aside for a moment, in the past two years I've heard Americans say that we should "drop a couple of nukes on the turban wearers and create lake Afganistan."

So?  You know as well as I do these people are far from being a majority in the United States.  You might as well say that for any nuclear country in the world because those people will exist.  

Quote

Frankly, I'm not fully convinced that they needed to be used the first time.

Back that one up.  Try to explain how 200,000+ Dead US soldiers and millions of dead Japanese soldiers and civilians from a series of invasions of the Home Islands would be better than atomic bombs.
"History has proven too often and too recently that the nation which relaxes its defenses invites attack."
        -Fleet Admiral Nimitz
"Their sailors say they should have flight pay and sub pay both -- they're in the air half the time, under the water the other half""
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#71 Consubstantial

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Posted 10 November 2003 - 07:37 PM

Okay, a megalomaniac, a paranoid schizophrenic and a moron walk into a bar where they find a loaded gun on the counter. . . .

Yeah, I think I can safely say that I don't really want to see any of them playing with it.  

Saying that some days I find both men equally insane and some days I don't is a bit different from saying that they share the exact same delusions.  But feel free to deliberately misunderstand me, tennyson.  I'm inclined to agree that we definitely don't view the world the same way.  I'd be astonished if we did.  Of course, now that you've given up on conversation, you've guaranteed that our perceptions will never grow closer.

And CJ, I said I wasn't convinced.  I don't have to back that up.  I'm not convinced.  If you want to convince me, you'll have to provide convincing evidence.  

As for your comment regarding what I "know" about the majority, I know that the majority of the citizens of this country who voted in the last presidential election didn't vote for George W. Bush.  Yet, he is the current president.  In fact, I've seen the minority outweigh the majority on several occasions; so none of your recent claims or arguments sways my thought that the US is the greatest threat to world peace.
From the start, our terms jump to conclusions--Kenneth Burke



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