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Rumsfeld Requests 24-hour Propaganda Machine 1327

jasonditz writes "The BBC is reporting that US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is unhappy with the existing propaganda systems in place and insists that the US must create a 'more effective, 24-hour propaganda machine' or risk losing the battle for the minds of Muslims. In an era where we've already got government-created and funded media outlets and the Pentagon bribing Iraqi journalists to run favorable war stories, not to mention other departments paying journalists to endorse their positions, it begs the question, how much more can they possibly do?"
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Rumsfeld Requests 24-hour Propaganda Machine

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  • Slashdot? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Seoulstriker ( 748895 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:20PM (#14757019)
    Why exactly is this on Slashdot? Doesn't necessarily fit the "news for nerds" mantra...
  • by tempestdata ( 457317 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:21PM (#14757027)
    I think that it is double plus good!
  • by JonBuck ( 112195 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:22PM (#14757036)
    Story submitter is complaining about US propaganda and then links to an article on Al Jazeera?

    Yeah, that's an unbiased source.
  • by November 1, 2005 ( 927710 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:22PM (#14757038) Journal
    Do you think Hezbollah or Hammas gives 100% accurate information and that the U.S. is just a lie machine seeking to destroy everyone's freedom?

    Tell me - would you rather have the Bush administration in power or the Ayatollah?

  • Misguided (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:22PM (#14757040)
    Surely we can come up with something better than this. Will extra servings of horseshit make up for our tragedy of a foreign policy?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:23PM (#14757045)
    "Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm awfully glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta."

    ~ Brave New World

    It is not as bad as it could be...

  • by jgannon ( 687662 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:24PM (#14757053) Homepage
    For the last time, that's NOT what "begging the question" means. http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/begging-t he-question.html [nizkor.org]
  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:24PM (#14757054)
    Propaganda comes in 3 flavours:
    White - factual.
    Grey - some facts, some half-truths and a little bit of lying.
    Black - all lies.

    Just for the benefit of a doubt, I'm going to guess that he wants to focus on distributing more white propaganda.

    That means that he seriously believes that the people opposing us would stop if they just heard how nice we are.

    That boggles the mind.
  • by drivekiller ( 926247 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:25PM (#14757057)
    If Rumsfield wants to improve the image of the United States, he and the rest of the Bush administration should simply resign.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:25PM (#14757064)
    "Tell me - would you rather have the Bush administration in power or the Ayatollah?"

    How does this hypothetical choice you pulled out of your ass have anything to do with anything?
  • by ndansmith ( 582590 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:26PM (#14757073)
    I would hazard to guess that your negative view of Al Jazeera comes from American media bias.
  • by flyingsquid ( 813711 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:28PM (#14757083)
    By focusing on what the United States does, not what it says. When the United States occupies an Islamic nation on pretenses of WMD and Iraq/al-Qaeda connections that were (at best) wildly inaccurate, then allows that country to descend into anarchy and insurgency, kills tens of thousands of civilians in the processes, goes around roughing up people more or less at random and engaging in the same kinds of torture that the former dictator did... well, no shit you're gonna be unpopular. All the slick TV spots in the world ain't gonna change that.

    On the other hand, when you're a force that's saving lives and making things better- as the U.S. military was in Indonesia- our popularity goes up. The problem isn't the perception of our foreign policy, the problem IS our foreign policy. The neocons need to get out of their little alternate universe of spin and start dealing in the real world, like the old-school Republicans of Bush H. W. Bush's administration.

  • by Mutatis Mutandis ( 921530 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:28PM (#14757085)

    The history of government propaganda is long and diverse, and includes successes as well as failures. Effective propaganda does not need to be evil. During WWII, Allied propagandists printed newspapers for Axis soldiers, and they were much appreciated by their recipients for being rather more reliable than the official German news sources.

    Rule 1 of effective propaganda is telling the truth. At least most of the time. There is nothing that really beats that, when it comes to convincing people.

  • by JayBlalock ( 635935 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:28PM (#14757091)
    ...that maybe - just MAYBE - if, rather than spending billions of dollars on propaganda to convince the Muslims that we're nice to them, we instead took those billions of dollars to ACTUALLY be nice to them, something might be accomplished?

    You want to know why people listen to Bin Ladan and his ilk? Because there are a lot of poor, miserable, hungry people over there whose lives suck, and he (and Zarquai and all the rest) are managing to successfully convince them to blame an innocent third party. Ok, not ENTIRELY innocent *cough*assassinations*cough* but still, the theocrats and fascists sitting in power are FAR more to blame than the US.

    And when people are hungry enough, and desperate enough, and you tell them, "THAT guy! HE'S to blame!" They'll believe you.

    Especially if That Guy has never done a damn thing they've ever seen to help them.

  • by deragon ( 112986 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:34PM (#14757130) Homepage Journal
    It begs the question, how much more SHOULD they do? Should we, western society, have to do propaganda to win the hearts of Muslims? Or should we simply rely on saying the truth, including the ugly side?

    I would like to see a 24/7 channel established which would be objective. Propaganda channels can only go so far, because people eventually realise that the picture shown by them is too rosy, and when this happens, the channels loose all credibility. I do understand the need to have a western channel in Iraq, because I suspect that Iraqi channels might not be objective either. I know that in Canada our national television channels are not always objectives. So if I cannot trust my own country channels, I guess I cannot trust those of Iraq.

    But for a 24/7 channel to be objective, it should be established by an international organisation and have muslisms on its board and production staff. Editorials from both camps should be allowed. Of course, who is to say that it will be totally objective? But it would be a start.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:34PM (#14757136)
    As it stands, I have to post this as anonymous because I am realizing that the current witch hunt against Muslims is such that anything we say can be turned against us so hopefully the mods will forgive me.

    As a Muslim and as an American I totally agree with you. Most people living in those countries just have to step outside to see the ravages of the United States foreign policy. If going outside isn't cutting it, they can always call a friend or relative in another country. Foreign policy must change to win the minds of Muslims not putting out more propaganda. Once the Bush Administration learns this, we'll be up for the next presidential election. At that time, I hope my fellow Americans see the last 8 years for what it was: a dismal failure. It's time to vote in new leadership or, at the very least, split the legislative and executive branches such that no one party controls both.
  • by hungrygrue ( 872970 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:35PM (#14757139) Homepage
    If the story is accurate, and if it is not being reported by US news outlets, then yes. If you have been conditioned to think that Al Jazeera is to be automatically dismissed as a propaganda outlet, then the bias in our media outlets has done its job very well. Seek information, seek differeing views, read and listen to views from as wide of a variety of sources as possible - even if they are views that you do not agree with. Getting your news or information from a handful of sources, or worse yet choosing to get your news only from sources that hold a bias with which you personally agree will leave you ill-informed and in a poor position to make informed decisions and to form informed opinions. Personally, I fall far to the left, yet I realize that if I were to only listen to, say Air America, I would be no better informed than those who only watch Fox News.
  • Re:Slashdot? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TrappedByMyself ( 861094 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:35PM (#14757140)
    Doesn't necessarily fit the "news for nerds" mantra...

    Because "news for nerds" is really "advertising dollars for Slashdot's parent company", and this article is a clickfest goldmine.
    The article is really about Rumsfeld being, gasp, honest about one of the fronts of the war. About how al-Qaeda is very media savy. Kneejerks will misinterpret this as Donald "Big Brother" Rumsfeld trying to control their minds.

    Maybe Mr Rumsfeld should talk to the editors at Slashdot. The seem to have a good grip on this community already.
  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) <qg@biodome.org> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:35PM (#14757145) Homepage Journal
    Hehehe.. You don't actually know how right you are do you? Islamic extremists and the neo-conservatives have more in common than they have in contrast. Both are for the supression of personal liberty for greater social cohesion. The only real difference between the two is their choice of religion and their choice of methods. The measurement of how effective a government is has changed in recent years from how well their protect our freedoms and how little they burden us with taxes to how well they maintain social order. High taxes and restrictive police action is ok if it reduces the number of riots in a term. Outright supression of speech is tolerated because it stops people, who may start a riot, from gathering.
  • by Wyatt Earp ( 1029 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:36PM (#14757146)
    You mean like all the credit the United States got for aiding Muslims in Afghanistan in the 1980s, Bosnia from 1994-now, Kosovo from 1999-now, the defense of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, the liberation of Kuwait...

    Yea, the United States has spent tens of billions to help and be nice to Muslims and it got the US nothing.
  • by miffo.swe ( 547642 ) <daniel.hedblom@NOSpaM.gmail.com> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:36PM (#14757147) Homepage Journal
    What the US needs is to act with caution and responsability and be a good world citizen. Stop using torture and avoid collateral damage in foreign countries. Demand the same things from both friends and foes (like, why let Israel have illegal nuclear weapons but bash Iran wich has none nor the ability to develop them).

    et rid of the need to alter the reality and the problem is solved.
  • Re:Three words: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tempestdata ( 457317 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:36PM (#14757151)
    Well .. I dont think muslims have a problem with all cartoons. Just cartoons that make fun of religious figures they respect.

    This is off topic.. but... I'm hoping some people will read this and help them 'understand' the behavious of those rioters.

    I know you were just joking around, (or maybe the right word is 'think') but to me (a muslim) the cartoons of prophet mohammad were mildly amusing. Especially the one that said "STOP! we have run out of virgins!". But I see the reaction by other muslims to be more cultural than religious.

    Its hard for a westerner to understand. But think of a religious figure such as a prophet as a father figure.
    In the west, its okay to say things like "I hate my father." or "My father is a S#%^@#" ... In the east, this is just not culturally acceptable.
    In the west, its okay to make fun of Jesus. Here is one I heard while living here in the west - "Q: Never ask yourself What would jesus do? Answer: Coz He'd Get crucified and DIE!" I am willing to bet that any practicing christian who reads this might be amused, but would more likely find it unfunny. Some would find it offensive. This is in a culture that is quite tolerant about making fun of people who are in a position of respect.

    Now, if me.. a brown muslim guy, were to go the the American heartland and crack similar jokes at peter's expense. I would eventually run into a christian red neck would think I deserve a punch.

    Think of those rioting muslims, as the lowest level of muslims. They are the brown trash. They are the economically poor, religiously fanatic, aggressive, cocky mob. They are being constantly told that the west is targetting muslims, and then they are seeing jokes made about a person they respect. What do they do? They riot. Bloody idiots.

    The majority of muslims over the world, simply frowned at the prophet being made fun off. Very much as they would frown if you insulted or made fun of their parents. It is a cultural thing.

    Some like me, realized that the west didn't mean to offend me, and we take it in our stride, giggle, smile and point out 'hey buddy.. that was a bit insensitive"

    Another thing I want to point out.. that the word "Muslim" is about as descriptive as "Christian". There are as many kinds of muslim as there are kinds of christian. Baptist, Born Again, protestant, presbeterian, orthodox, catholic, etc. There are many differences between each of them.. Most of the terrorism, and a lot of the rioting is being caused by a particularly extremist sect that is deeply entrenched in Saudia Arabia, and was the backbone of the Taliban. Wahabism. It was founded by an Islamic scholar Abdul Wahab. I am not a wahabi. :)

  • Rumsfeld's words (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rustbear ( 852420 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:38PM (#14757160)
    It must modernise its methods to win the minds of Muslims in the "war on terror", as "enemies had skilfully adapted" to the media age, [Rumsfeld] said.

    Is this the same Rumsfeld that doesn't use email [msn.com]?
  • Afghanistan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tony ( 765 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:40PM (#14757174) Journal
    When we helped arm and train the Afghan Muslims (including Saudi Muslims like bin Ladin) to fight the Soviet Union, we promised to help them rebuild their country after. Instead, we left Afghanistan to their warlords, and eventually the Taliban.

    We did not aid them in rebuilding their country. Once they accomplished our common aim (displacing the soviets), we left them to their own poorly-funded devices.

    Yeah. Not keeping promises is part of what got us into this mess.
  • by TimHunter ( 174406 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:40PM (#14757178)
    I propose that hereafter any story submitter that misuses the phrase "begging the question" never, ever be allowed to submit a story again. Ever.
  • Fire Rumsfeld (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:42PM (#14757195) Homepage Journal
    Rumsfeld should try the new strategy of doing something right, then telling the truth to independent reporters. Then "the good news" will "be believed".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:47PM (#14757225)
    Anti-Americanism != reporting the revolting things perpetrated by the US military and/or government in the name of the US.
  • by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:47PM (#14757226) Homepage
    It might surprise you, but Al Jazeera *is* an unbiased news source. If you'll think back a few years, you might remember that it was generally lauded in the Western world prior to 2001 as an example of professional, unbiased journalism in the Arabic world; it was only when the propaganda machines were turned on that they suddenly became a "problem". Al Jazeera hasn't changed, though - it's just spin, and you seem to have fallen for it head over heels.

    BTW, you also may (or may not) know that Al Jazeera is generally regarded as pretty pro-Western in the Arabic world. And while it's not a guarantee for unbiasedness, I'd much rather trust a news source that's hated by the propaganda machines and fascists on *both* sides, not one that's only hated by one side but loved by the other, because the former news source actually has a realistic chance of being reasonably unbiased.
  • Re:Slashdot? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:49PM (#14757247) Homepage
    Why not? Who says nerds aren't interested in politics?
  • Re:Three words: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MaelstromX ( 739241 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:53PM (#14757277)
    Think of those rioting muslims, as the lowest level of muslims. They are the brown trash. They are the economically poor, religiously fanatic, aggressive, cocky mob. They are being constantly told that the west is targetting muslims, and then they are seeing jokes made about a person they respect. What do they do? They riot. Bloody idiots.

    So ... are y'all ever going to step in and get these people to fucking cut it out? Or are you waiting for "us" to?
  • Re:Three words: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jez9999 ( 618189 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:55PM (#14757283) Homepage Journal
    Yeah, we've heard that comment a lot in the UK. I'd still say there's a difference of degree; if you published that WWJD joke in a big newspaper or national TV station in the US, there might be some people writing in with criticism, or whatever, but would there be violent riots? Many thousands of people marching around with placards such as 'behead the infedels', 'I love the prophet/lord/saviour more than my life', etc? I seriously doubt it. The degree to which Muslims want to impose their culture and morality on the rest of society seems to be significantly stronger than other cultures.

    Disclaimer: There are exceptions, not all Muslims can be classified as one group, yes I'm generalizing, you may be an exception, etc.
  • by fineous fingers ( 927189 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:58PM (#14757305)
    Although I'm not crazy about Israel, I trust them with their "Illegal" Nukes. Would you trust the crazy. I'm mean really "CRAZY" Irainian Government with nukes? I sure wouldn't. Your name is Neville Chamberlain if you don't think they're working on them right this second.

  • by khasim ( 1285 ) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:00PM (#14757316)
    Because while all that is said can be considered "factual" (to certain people), not all that occured was said.

    So, a different source could publish more factual information on the event and your propaganda drive would fail.

    And THAT is the core problem when dealing with propaganda. It only really works when YOU are the one seen as providing the most accurate information.

    Even if you're lying, the lies have to be perceived as factual.

    Right now, Al Jazeera is perceived as providing more facts and fewer distortions ("lies") by the Iraqi people (and others).
  • Re:Three words: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:02PM (#14757332) Homepage Journal
    That's perhaps the most frustrating thing that non-Muslims see in this whole situation. We hear constantly that "it's a small minority", etc., but we don't see moderate leadership taking that visible stand and trying stand up for civilization.
  • Re:Three words: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:04PM (#14757340)
    I think the majority of Westerners are confused by how there aren't riots when someone blows themselves up in the name of a prophet, but when when they make cartoons about a prophet then all hell breaks loose.

    Does killing children getting candy from soldiers not profane this prophet?
  • by presarioD ( 771260 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:04PM (#14757345)
    if something is wrong, build a bubble of illusion around it, repackage it and sell it for profit, by no means address the problem or gasp fix it! Can it become more naive and simplistic than that? Wasting time and resources, treating the international community with a recipe that can work only on the domestic one which is tightly controled and shielded from reality.

    Unless they buy all international news outlets and impose strict control on them, find a way to ban reporting of their attrocities altogether (persecute underground/independent reporting), filter out or censor internet communications, and crash dissent on an international scale, they might as well try to empty the sea with a tea spoon.

    American hubris at a grandiose scale. The informed citizen will read a report about another massacre perpetrated by the american arrogance and then a report of how an american hero saved a dairy cow from certain death in the killing fields of iraq and somehow the latter will weigh over the former? Sure if your name is Joe Sixpack and you live around 38 00 N, 97 00 W...

  • Re:Three words: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:05PM (#14757353)
    I don't see why the cartoons are offensive, but a religion like christianity that says 'Muslims are all wrong, deluded and going to hell' is not.

    And don't any christian try to deny this. The bible is quite clear about it.
  • by Aqua04 ( 859925 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:06PM (#14757361) Journal
    The problem is the policies not the propaganda. But, of course, Rumsfeld wouldn't want to consider that his policies actually might be, gasp, a big part of the perceived image problem. Nahh, thats just liberal hogwash, what we need is more propaganda !! That makes *so* much sense. Man, these people are either retarded or live in the most bizarre world of their own making.

    The final irony is, of course, that the real place where government funding WOULD be appropriate when it comes to media, namely the Public Broadcasting System is being cut in the current budget, by the tune of 64 million [freepress.net]. Public media systems like that (think BBC, CBC, etc.) actually might benefit the citizenry by giving an alternative and less sensationalist based viewpoint. But no, we don't want to fund those, let's get it on with the propaganda instead ! Man, America, your priorities are so messed up.

    To compare what other nations spend on their public media systems compared to Americans check this out. [freepress.net]

  • by east coast ( 590680 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:06PM (#14757362)
    I am sick of everyone sucking up to the "nation" of Islam and defending their "rights" when Islam has absolutely no tolerance for any other religion or way of life.

    Most people aren't going to see Islam for what it is until they're put in front of a firing squad for not bowing to Allah. It's sad that on Slashdot we have people bashing Christians at the drop of a hat but defending the Islamic military front. When's the last time Christians stoned a woman for infidelity? The Muslims probably did it today... and that's not considered an extreme to these people, it's the norm.

    You're free to feel that "that's their way" but this radical Islamic movement is spreading like wild fire and when push comes to shove there will be no debate, no vote and no tolerence for the non-Islamic.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:10PM (#14757379)
    A Russian and an American meet over a round of drinks, and start talking about freedoms in their countries. The American begins by saying: We have the absolute freedom of speech. I can stand in front of the White House, and say "Bush Sucks", and nobody can touch me! They will even show me on the TV!

    Well, says the Russian, we got that too! I can stand in the Red Square and say "Bush Sucks", and nobody will touch me either.

    What is the bottom line of this joke? Well, saying that Fox News is fair and balanced because they bash Arabs is like saying Russians are free because they bash Americans.

    Use your brain, its a bit hard to grasp right away.
  • Re:Three words: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tempestdata ( 457317 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:11PM (#14757388)
    Because it is the same bunch of people rioting who are supporting that massive stupidity of suicide bombings.

    Those that dont riot over the cartoons, are the same ones who dont riot over anything. They are the people just trying to get a job, buy a car, a home, go for a vacation, get a bigger tv. etc.
  • by Jeremi ( 14640 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:11PM (#14757389) Homepage
    how much more can they possibly do?

    The only thing that would make a difference would be to actually change their foreign policy to be less aggressive and unilateral, and to treat the rest of the world as partners to be co-operated with in good faith, rather than as marks to be subjugated/exploited/suppressed. Trying to solve the problems by propaganda alone is merely putting lipstick on a pig, and won't fool anyone.

    Of course, the above won't happen any time soon, because it would involve sacrificing much of the profit that our current policies squeeze out of the third world.

    (disclaimer: this isn't meant to be flamebait or a troll, it is merely my honest appraisal of the situation)

  • Re:Three words: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LukeWink ( 898707 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:11PM (#14757392)
    I honestly think I learned more about muslim culture in 2 posts by temestdata than I have in the last 10 years of reading the NY Times and watchin CNN. Sad.
  • by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) * on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:12PM (#14757395) Homepage Journal
    "engaging in the same kinds of torture that the former dictator did"

    That's not propaganda?

    No, that is an accurate description of what's going on. Certainly we're not doing as much of it as Saddam did -- not quite -- but we are, in fact, using his old torture facilities for exactly the same purposes as he used them. You think Iraqis don't notice this?

    Get this through your head: just because we do something, that does not make it okay. "Trust us, we're the good guys" only works as long as we are the good guys.
  • by frank_adrian314159 ( 469671 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:16PM (#14757428) Homepage
    Just broadcast Fox News over there.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:16PM (#14757430)
    Well, that and they'd like to categorize the people who criticize them as "terrorists."

    Once the public accepts that "propaganda is necessary" and "this is a war of ideas," they'll see that as a mandate to crack down on the "enemy ideas."

    Under this government's preferred reading of current law, you are technically providing support to terrorists by criticizing American leaders. All they need is a slightly more scared public; then they can get down to the important business of arresting political prisoners. (Not that they aren't doing this already to a degree; they've just so far limited it to Arabs because it's more acceptable to the xenophobic masses.)
  • Re:Slashdot? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Forrest Kyle ( 955623 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:16PM (#14757434) Homepage
    In that case, why don't we have a pr0n section? I KNOW nerds are interested in that.
  • Re:Three words: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:16PM (#14757435)
    Well, as someone who is personally about as religious as a fuel injector I have to ask: is the Bible actually clear on anything? Anything? Is the Koran? Like all such texts, such Great Books, they are often interpreted to suit the needs of the interpreter. Would that they were as pellucid as you say: it might have rendered our history a bit less bloody.
  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:17PM (#14757438)
    Let's face it. The value of propaganda lies in its credibility. Or rather, the readiness of people to believe it.

    To convince your own population is easy. That's how the nazi propaganda managed to keep the Germans in line even when it should've been obvious that the war is lost. They've been brainwashed for so long, and it WAS actually more or less true what they heard until about 1941, so they believed it.

    When you try to convince your opponent, or at least an "undecided" person, you can't start with lies. You have to use truth, in other words, you have to first of all put some action before your words. Promises won't work. They've heard promises before, from Al Quaida and their former government. They have heard lies before. And people who have been subject to heavy propaganda only to have it revealed as lies are very resilent against this kind of tactic.

    Ask anyone in eastern Europe.

    So first of all, you have to put some "good" actions into place, then you can use your media to stress their existance and use this in the war for the minds. And I hope Rummy has this in mind, not some half-assed promises and long-term goals that nobody cares about.
  • by _Sprocket_ ( 42527 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:26PM (#14757492)
    Stop using torture and avoid collateral damage in foreign countries. Demand the same things from both friends and foes (like, why let Israel have illegal nuclear weapons but bash Iran wich has none nor the ability to develop them).

    I can agree on the issue of torture. There's a fundamental human rights issue here that we (the US) are wont to trot out when convenient. We need to be sure it can't be used against us. But even more... its the right thing to do and, for the most part, reflective of our society.

    The collateral damage issue is interesting. It seems to me that US forces already tries to avoid collateral damage. It sounds more like you're calling for elimination of collateral damage - and that's a fantasy. You might also note that US forces tends to avoid friendly fire too. Even so, it still happens. Collateral damage is, indeed, tragic. It provides no real military advantage. And it's a gold mine for anti-US propaganda. I'm curious as to why you seem to think US forces do not attempt avoiding the situation.

    And, finally, Iran. Sure - they don't have weapons nor at this point the ability to produce them. But you're being willfully ignorant if you believe that they do not have the desire to build them. And that's the point - limiting that ability. Does Isreal have nukes? Yes. So does India. So does Pakistan. But when countries like Iran talk about Isreal being wiped off the face of the earth, and with a decided lack of simular dogma from Isreal... you'll have to forgive the US for not being so concerned with Isreal's nukes. Pakistan and India are more dangerous simply due to their history of rattling sabres at each other - though that seems to have settled down. The issue is not who HAS nukes, but who is most likely to use them.
  • by blofeld42 ( 854237 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:28PM (#14757504)
    You mean like by liberating tens of millions of muslims from despotic governments, as we did in Afghanistan and Iraq? Or stopping genocide in the Balkans, as we did in the 90's?

    The idea that "poverty" is to blame is a non-starter. The profile for al Qaeda terrorists is quite often a muslim one or two generations removed from a rural background, with technical training, and upwardly mobile in the context of Arab society. Zarahiwi is a doctor, the ringleader of 9/11 was an urban planner with a Masters, and there are a high proprotion of engineers. Cultural anomie is a better proximate cause, particularly in the West, where 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants are often much more radical than their parents and grandparents.

    Believe it or not, ideology and religious belief matters. The terrorists have a vision of the good, and they deeply and devoutly believe in it. In the West we've become so removed from religious sentiment that we find fanatical religious belief literally incomprehensible. So, as in your description above, we try to explain the world in terms of economics or social programs, which we _do_ understand. It's looking for the quarter under the streetlamp, where the light is better.
  • Re:Three words: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by east coast ( 590680 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:30PM (#14757524)
    Now, if me.. a brown muslim guy, were to go the the American heartland and crack similar jokes at peter's expense. I would eventually run into a christian red neck would think I deserve a punch.

    From a westerners prospective if a guy punched you over this he'd be considered a random kook. He'd probably be arrested as well. What we see as westerners is a large group of organized people protesting in a fairly radical fashion that is not only leading to deaths but also seem to be almost winked at. This is a much different scenario than the random redneck. Not only that but the fact that the violence isn't well focused is what also bothers me... A guy in Denmark makes an off-color cartoon so people in Pakistan burn down a KFC? WTF? That's pure non-sense. Now, if you were telling your joke and a redneck guy would go out and burn down a mosque you may have a point.
  • Re:Slashdot? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DesScorp ( 410532 ) <DesScorpNO@SPAMGmail.com> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:30PM (#14757527) Homepage Journal
    Who says nerds aren't interested in politics?

    Most are. But there are different views among nerds like anyone else. Who's politics do you cater to? Or do you make the blanket statement that nerds=*insert political position*? That's why you should keep the two seperate here, unless you want to drive away the other side (and their advertising dollars).

    That's why this perplexes me so much; why on Earth would you want to offend one half of the spectrum and jeapordize a chunk of your readership?
  • Re:Three words: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by tempestdata ( 457317 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:33PM (#14757540)
    Poverty is the trigger. Not the cause.

    You will NEVER see a person come out of his 4 bedroom house, walk past his 2 Mercedes and BMW cars, out of his gated community to go riot, throw stones and chant 'death to the evil infidels' in any language. culture. country or society. It does not happen.
  • by blofeld42 ( 854237 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:34PM (#14757543)
    Um, no, Al Jazeera is not unbiased. It generally takes the Sunni piont of view, for example, while most of the Iraqi civilians are Shiite. That led al Jazeera to play footsie with the Sunnie insurgents, romaticizing their exploits and downplaying the effect of the terrorist attacks on the Iraqi civilians. Furthermore, shortly after the 2003 war several al Jazeera news officials were revealed to have been on Saddam's payroll.
  • by dbrutus ( 71639 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:34PM (#14757546) Homepage
    Under the ayatollahs, you're muslim, christian, jewish, or dead. They fudged and let the hindus in the "protected" status (called dhimmi) because of practical military difficulties but islamic nukes take care of those just fine.

    If you think that freedom is a possibility under the ayatollahs, you have no sense of history or a very strange definition of freedom.
  • by nagora ( 177841 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:38PM (#14757575)
    Rumsfeld is right.

    WARNING: This never happens.

    we in the west are losing the war of ideas with facist islam.

    No. What is happening is that when you reduce yourself to the level of your opponent, as the US and increasingly the UK have done, it becomes impossible to take the moral high ground for the simple reason that you are no longer on the moral high ground.

    such as Al Qeada and similar groups in Iraq

    And there entirely because of American actions. Iraq was not an islamist state; Saddam and OBL hated each other with some passion. Even the term "Al Qeada" was in fact invented by the US and was not used outside until after 9/11.

    So how do we convince others that our way is better? We're going to have to talk to them.

    WRONG! Show them. Stop bombing and invading countries for their oil and stop locking people up for years without carge, never mind trial, on the say-so of a bunch of bounty hunters with no interest in justice, just in a nice pay-cheque. Not too hard, is it?

    I'm surprised that people on slashdot would bash Rumsfeld for saying these things since ensuring a free expression of all ideas is supported by almost all slashdotters!

    If he meant a word of that then perhaps. But he doesn't.

    (hint to all americans: western-style logic does not apply to the Middle East

    Hint to American government: locking people up with evidence is not going to win you friends. Just as installing a power-mad dictator into a country and supporting him with guns, planes, and bioweapons while he slaughters his own people will not make those people grateful when you come twenty-five years later to remove that dictator in order to secure the country's oil supply for your own use.

    I do understand the Middle East,

    You hide it well.

    Maybe we can influence the cooler Islamic heads

    Perhaps we should stop the billion-dollar recruitment drive for the other side then.

    That is what Rumsfeld is talking about.

    No, what Rumsfeld is talking about is what Rumsfeld always talks about: keeping Donald Rumsfeld in a position of power. He was doing it in the eighties when he made up the crap about invisible Russian submarines, he was doing it when he sold WMD to Saddam (receipts are all on file in the Senate Banking Commitee records, in public), and he was doing it when he acted to prevent the UN completing its search for those same WMD because he knew that, against all expectation, Saddam had in fact disposed of them all (partly by dropping them on the Iranians with help from "calibration teams" from the CIA under Bush Sr.)

    Rumsfeld is an old liar who's been caught out again and again. But he's one of America's aristocracy and just can't be got rid of. He knows he, and Rice, can talk about democracy until the day they die but they'll never have to face an election if they don't want to. Hardy a glowing example of the superiority of the Western system of government.


  • Re:Three words: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Achromatic1978 ( 916097 ) <robert@c[ ]mablue.net ['hro' in gap]> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:43PM (#14757599)
    When we see 'minorities' in western society rioting, etc, we see leadership taking a /visible stand/, but they never actually /do/ all that much, either. As soon as the microphones and cameras are shut off, or the press conference is over, it's "back to normal".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:45PM (#14757620)
    That's why they show videos of innocent americans having their heads cut off?

    Americans getting their heads cut off is news. It seems that you're suggesting that in order to be considered to have pro-Western bias that they ignore this story.
  • by dbrutus ( 71639 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:47PM (#14757627) Homepage
    Running a propaganda operation during war time is neither revolting, nor even objectionable. Convincing people not to fight us by shooting people is not superior to convincing them not to fight us through a propaganda compaign.
  • by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:50PM (#14757647) Homepage
    what happens if all muslims are like the Wahabi?

    What happens if all Christians are like Pat Robertson?

  • by HornWumpus ( 783565 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:51PM (#14757660)
    This is about the arab world remember.

    MTV europe is available to anyone with an 18 inch dish.

    We will own the arabs children.

    They will sell themselves for a look a Tiffany Spear's boobs.

    Once the brain rot sets in to their younger generation it's over, we win.

    Nobody will blow themselves up when the new Backdoor boys CD is shipping NEXT WEEK!

  • by FreakWent ( 627155 ) <tf@ft.net.au> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:52PM (#14757664)
    "The only thing the Danes ever killed anyone with was delicious confectionaries."

    They were Vikings you goose!

    http://www.friesian.com/germania.htm [friesian.com]

    Actually, Wessex was not able to absorb all of England, for as it began to do this, the Vikings arrived. This started with the sacking of the Monastery at Lindisfarne, in Bernicia, in 793. Eventually, Northumbria, East Anglia, Essex, and about the north-eastern half of Mercia were overrun and became part of the Danelaw. At first the Vikings raided, sacked, and carried off slaves, or were bought off with "protection" money -- "Danegelt" -- but then Danes and Norwegians began to establish their own Kingdoms. They also passed around to Ireland and the Isle of Man and began encroaching from the west on Wales and England. This finally led to the outright annexation of England to Denmark by King Canute in 1016, though the Danish Kings only lasted until 1042. A fair number of Danish words ended up in English, like "skiff," which is simply the Danish cognate of the English word "ship."

  • by cpuenvy ( 544708 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:56PM (#14757688) Homepage
    "Stop bombing and invading countries for their oil"

    Come on, this argument is getting really old. There is no solid evidence that the United States is in Iraq because of oil. There is more proof out there that states Saddam moved his weapons to Syria.

    The Government is pretty much at a stand still these days, and nothing is getting done. It seems to me that there would be more productivity if everyone engaged in intelligent debate, instead of throwing useless and faceless accusations such as the US is invading countries for oil. Next thing you know, the people who claim that the Government is placing nanobots in the flu shots will gain credibility.

    Oh wait, I have one. We are going to invade Iran for oil next. It would have nothing to do with their nuclear ambitions.
  • Re:Slashdot? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tsm_sf ( 545316 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:04PM (#14757745) Journal
    And when I say "anti-american" articles, yea saying that 24 propaganda is /. worthy, then articles about the Al Jazeera working with Terror Groups should be up on the home page too, or hell start covering some of the things the Arab media says about us, if all that which you comment on are "News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters", then it all is

    We expect that sort of behavior from totalitarian regimes. When they do it it isn't news. When we start acting like the Ministry of Disinformation, it's not what you'd expect from a country with such explicit values. So it's newsworthy.
  • Come on now. There's plenty of reason to jump on the present administration but this isn't one of them. Every company, every public figure, every organization with an ounce of good sense takes a bit of care with public relations. They have to do so, otherwise folks, organizations and other countries who mean them harm and no good will own the field. If you are the United States military and you only let the liberal pressdanistas define what is reported and said and discussed about you then you're going to have major public relations problems. In other words, if that next door neighbor of yours who doesn't like you is the only one who speaks about you to anyone and everyone guess what everyone is going to think about you? It would be a good idea for you to be able to speak for yourself about who you are and the military in the United States, run by elected civilians, should be able to do the same thing. The very fact that so many of you automatically run to the 'propaganda' tag instead of the 'public relations' tag goes to show that the effort at public relations is needed.
  • by knorthern knight ( 513660 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:07PM (#14757759)
    http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D8FIG FB00.htm?campaign_id=apn_home_down&chan=db [businessweek.com] has a story about Overstock.com.
    ==Begin quote==
      In its most recent quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said its net loss for the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2005, widened to $18.41 million, up from a loss of $10.63 million during the same period the previous year. Net cash provided by operations was negative $28.15 million for the recent period, a sharp turn from $9.53 million cash generated the previous year.

    An upgrade of the company's information technology system that Byrne said was "the equivalent of a heart, lung and kidney transplant" didn't go smoothly. In September, the company said it hadn't loaded new products onto its Web site in five weeks.
    ==End quote==

        So rather than admitting that they screwed up...

    ==Begin quote==
    Patrick Byrne, the Internet retailer's chief executive officer, has called short selling of his company's shares -- essentially a bet their price will fall -- a conspiracy orchestrated by a "Sith Lord." He later likened the conspiracy to an organization structured like al-Qaida and said his stock has been targeted by "naked short-sellers," a practice he said has ties to Italian, Russian and Israeli mafia.
    ==End quote==

        If Overstock ran their operation properly and showed a profit next quarter, the naked short-sellers would be in for a world of hurt, financially. Instead, Mr. Byrne is whining about web boards just like Darl McBride whines about Groklaw and Rumsfeld whines about Al Jazeera.

        The USA seems to have the same mentality. The Bush administration doesn't admit that they earned their bad reputation by invading a country that they knew didn't have WMD, and holding prisoners incommunicado and torturing them. Rather than actually acting kinder-and-gentler, the US wants propaganda to show that it's kinder and gentler.

        That mentailty seems to be pervasive in the USA. Overstock and SCOX have had bad financial results. But they blame their falling stock prices on web boards and short sellers. If a company is found to be distributing spyware, they'll SLAPP the anti-spyware companies that fingered them. And let's not forget how spam^H^H^H^H ethikul email marketeers SLAPPed the MAPS RBL into uselessness.

        Corporate USA, and its puppet administration, seem to believe that rather than acting nicer, they merely have to spend money on propaganda, and lawyers for injunctions to shut down websites that expose their misdeeds. They're acting uncannily like Soviet Russia, which spent 10 times as much money trying to jam BBC broadcasts as the BBC spent on broadcasting to the Soviets. Remember what happened to the USSR.
  • by ecorona ( 953223 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:16PM (#14757809) Homepage
    1: Put properly trained people in charge of prisoners (no more pictures of naked prisoners and killings/beatings) 2: Stop encarcerating people without a proper trial and without being judged by a jury of their peers 3: Follow the Geneva Convetions completely and unequivocally instead of "for the most part" as Rumsfeld famously stated
  • If only (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:16PM (#14757816)
    If only we'd had an effective propaganda machine in the 1960s-70s, we'd have won the hearts and minds of the Vietnamese. Who knew?
  • Re:Three words: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tempestdata ( 457317 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:17PM (#14757821)
    Unless you are implying that Black people are trash and would be expected to behave like trash I dont see your point. They were offended and reacted in a non trashy way. Good for them.

    This brown trash is numerous not just in the middle east. Read up on the Gujarat riots. Over 2000 muslims were killed by rioting hindus in india, after the government told them that a train car full of hindu pilgrims was set alight by muslims. It was later found that the fire had started from inside the train car not outside and was probabyl caused by an electrical fault. The government in charge was condemned by dozens of countries all over the world, condemmed it because there was evidence that lists containing the addresses of muslims were handed out to the mobs. The chief minister stated "I dont blame the hindu mobs for acting the way they did. And I dont blame the police for not intervening." .. By the way, no politician was punished for it. Mr Narendra Modi who is still a politician in India was recently denied entry into the US because the US government because he had help commit crimes against humanity.

    Bet you had not heard about it.

    This isn't an attack on the Indian government or on Hindus. I'm just pointing out that trash is trash, you just have a very large and very vocal group of morons who live in the middle east.

    The reasons for this are debatable.. there are several and I wont claim to know all of them. Poverty, brainwashing, and poor education all play a part.
  • by Squalish ( 542159 ) <Squalish AT hotmail DOT com> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:18PM (#14757829) Journal
    The difference is that unlike the carefully cultured image of Bush for the hypnotized masses, Cheney could actually be realistically impeached.
  • by bstarrfield ( 761726 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:19PM (#14757835)

    Responding to the parent, trying to stop some of the B-S.

    Explain how Israel's nuclear weapons are illegal. When did Israel agree not to have nuclear weapons? Should Israel, which faces countries which demand daily that it be wiped off the map, give up its only real strategic weapons system?

    Sorry, I'm one of the bad guys - Israeli. The Iranians have made it perfectly clear that as soon as they complete the development of nuclear weapons, they will use them. Against my family, against civilians. Israel has (in theory) had nuclear weapons for nearly fifty years and we have never threatened any nation with annihilation.

    As for the US propaganda campaign, they should've learned from our mistakes - and we have made terrible mistakes. Seperate from the occupation, secure territory, and let the Muslim world be what it is.

  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:22PM (#14757863) Homepage
    I thought you went to war with the propaganda machine you have, not the propaganda machine you'd like to have. . .
  • by Reaperducer ( 871695 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:28PM (#14757895)
    Stories like this are the reason I check Slashdot less and less each day. Slashdot jumped the shark when it decided to plant all of these political stories in order to generate page views. Fortunately, there are a bunch of new sites starting to fill the void for actual tech news and discussion that Slashdot created.

    It's too bad Slashdot doesn't just open up Politicaldot.org and get this junk out of our way. Blocking the Politics category doesn't even always work because the stories are everywhere.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:29PM (#14757899)
    If you go back and read Islamic history, the rights many women enjoy in the west were already being utilized by Muslim women we'll over a thousand years before Europe even caught on. Google will show you the various councils taking place in Europe deciding whether women were actually incarnations of the devil right around the time Islam came out. Christianity and the Bible specifically blame Eve for tempting Adam and then the punishment has been women going through childbirth. Islam disagrees with all of this and you must be blind not to see these things.

    Case in point, my family is Muslim and the women in my family have been successful business women for hundreds of years. A more modern example is my aunt who is the chairman on one of the largest banks in one particular Muslim country. Never forget that it is the West that is catching up to Islam, not the other way around.

    I know people like you tend to make large blanket statements focusing on tiny examples to give the impression that your arguments have any worthwhile meaning. As a Muslim, your speech sounds ignorant to me because you don't live in a Muslim country nor do you have family there. All you do is buy into the propoganda. Is there a problem with women's rights all over the world even today? Yes and that includes the US.

    As far as the tourist example, I'd like to ask you a quick question. Some African tribes have women who don't cover their chests. When traveling to the United States, what do you think would happen if they walked on the street like that? They would be arrested. I know that is an extreme example, but it illustrates a point. The point being that in Islamic nations conservatism is the rule. Isn't it our own cliche that says "when in rome, do as the romans do"? I know that my fellow westerns always focus on women having to cover themselves in public because it goes against our American cultural norms. However, I challenge you to go to a Muslim woman in the United States or abroad and ask her if you can liberate her by removing her headscarf. Almost 99.9% of women will scream, call the police, etc. to show you that they CHOOSE to wear it.

    You bring up the entire thing about working. Well, under Saddam women worked but he is a bad dictator that Reagan and company supported. Pakistan, India, and Iran have women that work too. Iran has women in parliment. Pakistan has already had a female head of state which America can't claim yet. So tell me, are you going to focus on minor examples and blow them up to represent 1 billion Muslims? I hope not because I'm sure we wouldn't like it done to us.

    Lastly, the Prophet Muhammad's own wife Khadija was one of the most successful and powerful business women in Arabia. Are you going to tell me the Prophet's wife got it wrong?
  • by mclaincausey ( 777353 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:50PM (#14758000) Homepage
    Let's examine your enlightened negative view of alJazeera.

    You claim they are the "propaganda arm of Al Queda (sic)" because al-Qaeda sends them tapes, which they air. Where do you expect al-Qaeda to go with these tapes? Doesn't it makes sense for them to go to a global news network serving the Arab world? If so, then alJazeera is the only choice that will get them maximal distribution in the Arab world. That just means al-Qaeda is smart, not that alJazeera is complicit. If you have some evidence that al-Qaeda is in any way in thrall of Osama bin Laden, then please provide it--all the coverage I've seen is very negative to bin Laden. In fact, when alJazeera airs these tapes, it is always done with pundits hostile to al Qaeda's cause analyzing the tapes and the situation live--they do not allow al-Qaeda to use them as a mouthpiece, but as a journalistic body, they are obligated to report on al-Qaeda.

    So it looks like your enlightened, negative view is actually an ignorant negative view. You wouldn't be one of those people who talks about things without actually investigating them for himself, would you?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:54PM (#14758015)
    No matter of propaganda is going to whitewash crap. Crap is crap. Attack a country for false or stupid reasons, be so blatant about caring only about oil, and be so inept at maintaining social services, there is nothing short of outright brainwashing that is going to work.

    Al Qaeda doesnt have to propagandize about how good they are, they just have to make the case the US is bad. And so far we have only ourselves to blame, we have been feeding them more ammunition than they could ever hope to generate by themselves.

  • Re:Three words: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by _Bucktooth_ ( 255094 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:54PM (#14758024)

    Your mean like this [thestar.com.my] or this? [thestar.com.my]

    This is just 10 minutes of searching in one news site in one muslim country. Leaders are taking a visible stand, but you got to know where to look. Also, never assume a particular definition of civilization as the best or only solution. Look closely, read between the lines.

  • Re:Three words: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by khayman80 ( 824400 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:03PM (#14758076) Homepage Journal
    Well .. I dont think muslims have a problem with all cartoons. Just cartoons that make fun of religious figures they respect.

    In the west, its okay to make fun of Jesus. Here is one I heard while living here in the west - "Q: Never ask yourself What would jesus do? Answer: Coz He'd Get crucified and DIE!" I am willing to bet that any practicing christian who reads this might be amused, but would more likely find it unfunny. Some would find it offensive. This is in a culture that is quite tolerant about making fun of people who are in a position of respect.

    This is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, but I disagree with you. I don't think that the cartoons made fun of religious figures, and I don't think that your analogy with a crude joke about Jesus is accurate.

    Full disclosure: I'm an atheist. I live in and grew up in America, which is largely Christian, but I think that I'm far enough removed from theism in general that the differences between all the various monotheistic religions seem very petty to me. I don't really identify with Christians, so I think I can play the part of an unbiased observer. Of course, it's difficult for one to identify one's own biases, so take that with a grain of salt.

    Here's my take on the situation. A newspaper in Denmark believed (correctly, I think) that the media was engaging in self-censorship on the topic of Islam, probably out of fear of violent extremists. They commissioned cartoons of Mohammad to explore this self-censorship. I believe they were interested in the public's reaction to the cartoons, but they were just as interested to see what cartoons would be drawn in the first place. The idea here is that the newspaper saw a story that seemed to be "covered up", namely that people are reticent to discuss topics that deal with Islam, and they tried to find a way to display that story in a sensational way (as newspapers tend to do).

    I think the cartoons they received proved their point. Look at all the timid cartoons in that bunch. One of them has the cartoonist with a turban with the words "PR Stunt" holding a picture of a stick figure that presumably represents Mohammad. One of the other cartoons has "Jyllands-Posten's journalists are a bunch of reactionary provocateurs" written on the chalkboard. Another cartoon has a cartoonist sweating nervously while drawing Mohammad. Yet another cartoon shows Mohammad saying "Relax, folks, it's just a sketch made by a Dane from the south-west Denmark".

    I don't know exactly what to make of some of the cartoons (perhaps I'm not sophisticated enough), but I do think the cartoons I just mentioned are essentially preemptive apologies. And, in truth, the cartoon with the "we've run out of virgins" quote is kind of similar to your joke about Jesus- it's got very little context and meaning aside from the intention of producing a guffaw. But no one really cares about them, do they? All they care about is the cartoon with the bomb.

    I *REALLY* like the cartoon with the bomb. I don't think it's intended as a mere insult or a trivial joke like your Jesus example. I think the cartoonist responsible for that cartoon has a set of really enormous balls (or really enormous ovaries if she's a woman), and a keen insight into the problems facing Islam today, albeit he/she clearly isn't burdened by an over-abundance of tact.

    No, really.

    Think about it. The bomb is on Mohammad's HEAD. When the bomb goes off, it's going to hurt Mohammad more than anyone else. Thus: the cartoonist isn't trying to say that Mohammad is a terrorist! He's trying to say "Mohammad (or, rather, Mohammad's religion) is in danger. The bomb (terrorism) is going to seriously wound or kill Islam."

    IMHO, This cartoon is an extraordinarily heroic attempt to try to warn people in the Middle East that their religion has a serious PR problem in the rest of the world. I don't think that any serious Westerner believes that all Muslims are terrorists,

  • Re:Three words: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by dfgchgfxrjtdhgh.jjhv ( 951946 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:04PM (#14758084) Homepage
    the moderates dont get airtime. we're back to the propaganda thing here. if they only show extreme muslims in the media, many people start to think all muslims are extremists. Most muslims I know / have known are reasonable people, but they'd never get in the media saying how they dont want any trouble & wish we could all live in peace. there is a problem with a minority of muslim extremists though & i agree that moderate muslims should be stronger in standing up to them,.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:06PM (#14758093)
    You're right. But it's slightly unnerving when your country isn't in a real war against real armies ... and when the target of the propaganda is turning out, more and more, to be friendly citizenry, in addition to a very vaguely-defined enemy.
  • yo, idiot (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:07PM (#14758104) Homepage Journal
    Did it ever occur to you that if your troops, not mine even though I live here, I disown them, they can be all yours, WEREN'T over there they wouldn't be getting shot at? Huh? Huh? Ever think of that? Have you noticed THEY invaded Iraq, and Iraq had NOTHING to do with any attacks on the US? Saddam was a medium level bad guy as middle eastern leaders go, why not invade all of the above? How about in Africa, south america, asia? You planning on invading everywhere there's a bad guy? That's THE BULK OF THE PLANET.

        So far, US forces have killed more innocent civilians than saddam did, by the year. You got any excuses for that besides just mumbling "unfortunate collateral damage"? What would YOU do if some nation decided they were going to "regime change" and invaded the US, even if the current president du juor wasn't to your liking? Would you cooperate with them and be a quisling traitor, or fight them? And since when is it a legit war when there are no PRISONERS OF WAR? Just "detainees" with hoods over their heads, including women and children. How would YOU like your neighborhood invaded by people from another nation, using high tech killing methods including air strikes? And just kidnapping people and disappearing them? Would you think that was so cool you would go join up with them?

    You can't have it both ways. You can't contend some other people are badguys when you are doing exactly the same thing. Give it up, the US government and military and it's leadership are AT BEST moronic, and worst, outright murdering thieving invaders who are ONCE AGAIN installing some puppet government, same thing they have been doing for over 100 years all over. Do you need a list? The difference is now we have the internet, so it's harder to lie to people. Before, they only had to control a few domestic media outlets to brainwash the population, now they have to contend with people having access to many and diverse news sources, and it gets so embarrassing for them to keep this up they need even more "official propoganda" outlets. If all those Iraqis really wanted us there, the so called "resistance" would be a pitiful few, as it is, the BULK of the Iraqi people want us out, and the resistance has been gaining strength in numbers, DESPITE all the murdering going down by US troops, who have shown they are perfectly willing to engage in murder, theft, and mass genocide like in Fallulah. You want to know WHY they got some many to join up the puppet iraqi police force? it's because WE DESTROYED THEIR ECONOMY and there's pitiful few jobs. And coincidently that's the ONLY way they are maintaining a pitiful recruitment goal in the US, where MOST of the "volunteers" are coming from destroyed manufacturing areas where entry level jobs that pay anything or have any benefits are few and far between because the same billionaire globalist idiots in charge decided it was a good idea to kill off the manufacturing base.

    WAKE UP, you really DON'T have to be a tool of those idiots. They are playing both sides against the middle with this scam, to keep the civilian populations in iraq and the US dumbed down and defensive and under one or the other kind of terror in order to maintain their fatcat leadership poisitions. And they off people to do this! That makes them murdering thugs, so please don't support them. Egads man, read between the lines a little! This is not that hard to see!
  • by bergeron76 ( 176351 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:08PM (#14758111)
    That's odd, it seems that the Fox News Propaganda machine is working great. Many Americans actually still believe that the Bush Crime Family are innocent victims.

  • by Foerstner ( 931398 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:11PM (#14758128)
    Of course its news. Stories of Western hostages being beheaded are big news in the US media as well, but videos of the act are never broadcast.

    That's the distinction between reporting on violence, and glorifying it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:21PM (#14758190)
    He lamented that the Pentagon was losing the Information War; abroad in getting it's point of view across (Al Qaeda and bin Laden are losers, don't join Jihad essentially) and at home (the US is beating Al Qaeda).

    In that he's right because the media by and large has actively taken sides with Al Qaeda. Regardless of how you feel about the decision to invade Iraq, we are fighting Al Qaeda there (and in Yemen and the Horn of Africa and Pakistan and Afghanistan and many other places). Without exception the Media in the US and the WEst has not been much distinguished from propaganda places like Al Jazeera.

    During WWII Edward R. Murrow openly took sides with the British People; and helped American officials rewrite press releases for better efficiency. THAT sort of pro-US and pro-Allied attitude would get him drummed out of journalism today. Mike Wallace in a symposium decades ago browbeat the late Peter Jennings into admitting he'd not warn US forces of an ambush so he could get the story and that journalists were not supposed to take the side of the US.

    When Muslim fanatics of Al Qaeda behead hostages, the media will not show it. When the Muslim fanatics bring down the towers and people jump from them holding hands, the Media won't show it. When Muslim fanatics hold up signs saying "Freedom go to hell" or "God Bless Hitler" the media won't show it (only the Web will).

    Part of it is abject fear and submission by the media, acting essentially as Al Qaeda's press agent because they fear being murdered (as Tom Friedman and Jordan Eason of CNN admitted). Relaying blatant propaganda against the US brings zero retaliation from the US.

    Rumsfeld was merely being honest in saying that the Pentagon can't get it's message out that it does have successes in killing or degrading the Al Qaeda leadership and command. Instead the media runs phony stories of Korans flushed down toilets or various propaganda allegations of "Torture" at Guantanamo.

    Rumsfeld advocates using the Web and the internet to get the Pentagon message out since the Media is either abjectly afraid or on the other side in the fantasy of "journalism as citizen of the world." In this I think he's right, communication wise.

    It's a lot better to make Al Qaeda seem the loser than encourage more terrorism when Iran likely already has nukes, and the danger is losing a couple of our cities and ALL of theirs. Getting the message out that we won, so stop fighting can save a lot of lives.
  • Re:Three words: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by east coast ( 590680 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:33PM (#14758243)
    You missed the point didn't you? Where was your outrage and the outrage of the christian world when entire cities were being destroyed by the US forces?

    Once again, I'm not a christian. Until you accept that it's going to be hard for us to come to any terms.

    Where were the forces of moderate christians when the mass graves were being dug outside of fallujia to bury all the dead women and children?

    Not to say that the innocent should suffer but I didn't see the Islamic community doing anything to stop Saddam's genocide.

    Why are you outraged by protests and burning of a half a dozen buildings but completely silent when tens of thousands of muslims die when you firebomb cities?

    Well, I guess if I'm going to be accused of firebombing I guess I really can accuse the entire Muslim community of 9/11. What's the old saying? What's good for the goose is good for the gander?

    If you think violence is justified because of the invasion of Iraq I guess I can see the invasion of Iraq as justified by 9/11.
  • Re:Three words: (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:34PM (#14758250)
    Where were the forces of moderate christians

    Nowhere, and they certainly weren't burning down buildings and lynching people either, which is why the masses of Muslims who have spent the past couple of weeks doing so is such a stark contrast to the rest of the world.

    Why don't you ask why nobody burns down Iranian embassies every time their leader insults the Jews? Why don't you ask why nobody burns down Museums every time one of them showcases Piss Christ? In these modern times, Muslims are apparently the only people who go on a rampage when someone insults their religion, and then they sob and cry because their average member (or are you going to tell me the Muslim religion has thousands and thousands of extremists rioting across most of the continent, but somewhere there's billions of moderate muslims hiding in a cellar?) got caught out murdering and destroying in the name of their "peace-loving" religion. This isn't even a "the West versus everyone else" thing either. Some company in Britain was using Hindu gods on toilet seats, and the result was a peaceful protest with no burning, looting, or killing, and the company quit. You certainly can't be expecting everyone to quit making fun of the so-called peaceful Muslims when they riot like this?
  • by WilliamSChips ( 793741 ) <full DOT infinity AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:35PM (#14758253) Journal
    They give very centrist "liberals" a bit of airtime, but most of it is just Limbaugh and co.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:36PM (#14758259)
    Using terms like 'comrade' in 2006 certainly qualifies you as a Fox watcher. No 'hippy'? Fox's owner is a vociferous far-rightwinger, Fox's talking heads are universally far right wing, the stable of liberals screened to defend the opposing view are universally weak, concilliatory and mild mannered. I know Fox fetishists believe that of all the left, even those who served your country proudly in combat while their right-wing counterparts were defering back home (Google 'chickenhawk'), but such a world exists only in that little fantasy bubble Fox creates to leverage your naive version of patriotism into patronizing their advertisers. Won't you be bitter and dissillusioned when it all finally comes crashing down....
  • Re:Three words: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tempestdata ( 457317 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:42PM (#14758294)
    A lot of these riots are sparked not just because of the cartoons themselves. There is a deep and brewing hatred between the west and the muslims. I see it and quite frankly it scares the hell out me. You see, just as you often see posts out here on slashdot, kuro5hin or other internet message boards by western internet users showing their rage and frustration with Islam. There are a bunch of people (thousands!) in that part of the world who want to show their frustration and rage at the west. Just as bad behaviour breeds bad behaviour, they are caught in a cycle. If your best friend crashes your car, you'll cuss at him and forget about it. If your grumpy neighbor you already hate crashes your car.. you'll sue his pants off. He'll hate you more for suing him, and might cause you trouble in some other way. You'll hate him even more for being such a dick after crashing your car.. and so on. Hate breeds hate. Western media is caught in this trap too.. they will focus more on the crimes and flaws commited by people who claim to be muslims, they have no reason to cover well behaved muslims. After all.. aren't they expected to behave themselves?

    Another problem is political. The clerics and the tyrants in the region support this kind of behaviour. This outcry builds unity against a common enemy and makes people less likely to question their leaders, and their societies. They are less likely to cry out against the conditions in which they live. Maybe even blame the bad bad west for all of their troubles. This effect is not confined to the middle east.. look at President Bush's ratings right after 9/11. Soon as there was a common enemy, the americans united together to support their president. Even before he had reacted in anyway, or done anything. This is especially significant when we consider that the majority of the people didn't even VOTE for him.

    this brings me to the third point. "He may be a thug. But he is OUR thug". This is why so many muslims were against the US attacking Saddam Husseins regime. Saddam hussein's government was hated by religious clerics the world over. Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein weren't best buddies like the white house wants you to believe. The neighboring countries hated Iraq and were suspicious of Iraq as well. Hell, Iraq and Iran were locked in a costly war lasting 8 years. yet when America decided to attack and take out saddam hussein, apart from 2 or 3 arab countries.. pretty much all of them were unanimous in their objection. Why? He maybe a vicious dictator.. but he is OUR vicious dictator.

    I do believe there has to be a dialogue... and I personally try my best. I do not have the time or the energy to even reply to all the posts I've had to this single post. I've pretty much used my entire sunday on this thread... Unless I abandon my career, I cannot do much more. It isn't a notion that hasn't crossed my mind btw.

  • by cfulmer ( 3166 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:55PM (#14758341) Homepage Journal

    #1: I thought that's what, say, the Olso peace treaty or Nye river was about.

    a. We're only in Saudi Arabia at the pleasure of the Saudi government. If you have any issue, it's with them.
    b. We're only in Afghanistan because they were harboring people who decided to fly planes into 3 of our buildings
    c. Iraq wouldn't have been an issue if (2b) hadn't happened.

    a. If you have evidence of prosecution or torture on account of their religion, I'm interested. As far as I can tell, they're being held because of their association (or suspected association) with the folks who did (2b) or with people who want to do similar things. Even if there is torture going on, which is highly questionable, it's not targetted based on religion.

    Nearly all of what you're complaining about happened AFTER 9/11. The fight is not against Islam in general, but against specific Muslims who have decided to pursue evil, claiming to be doing so in the name of their religion. Frankly, if the Muslim world had been policing itself before 9/11, none of this would be necessary.

    Getting back to the main point, it isn't a question of "telling them the right stuff." There is propaganda on both sides -- based on your post, somebody is saying that the U.S. is rounding up Muslims and torturing them because of their religion. If we can say "No we're not, here's why not and here's why you can believe us," then at least it gives people the chance to make up their own minds.

    Here's my answer to that, incidently: We're not picking on Muslims because of their religion -- that not only goes against our core beliefs, but it serves no useful purpose. Keeping & interrogating these prisoners is expensive, both in money and in public opinion. If we really wanted to oppress Muslims, why have we been helping so much after the earthquake in Pakistan? Why have we been giving aid to Palestine? Why have we been involved in the peace process? Why are we rebuilding Iraq? (And, why is the opposition indiscriminately killing Iraqi civilians?)
  • Re:Three words: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:56PM (#14758346)
    "Once again, I'm not a christian. Until you accept that it's going to be hard for us to come to any terms."

    Ok, so why pick on the muslims? Why are you outraged when they burn a handful of buildings but not outraged when entire cities are destroyed by bombs?

    "Not to say that the innocent should suffer but I didn't see the Islamic community doing anything to stop Saddam's genocide."

    What an odd statement to make. The innocent did and do suffer. Where is your outrage? you seem to be making excuses for the suffering of innocents by saying that the islamic community didn't do anything to stop saddams genocide. Well for your information the US didn't do anything to stop his genocide either. In fact we were funding him at the time.

    "Well, I guess if I'm going to be accused of firebombing I guess I really can accuse the entire Muslim community of 9/11. What's the old saying? What's good for the goose is good for the gander?"

    I have no idea what you are trying to say here. I read it three times and it still doesn't make sense. Perhaps you could rephrase it.

    It seems like you are saying that you reall have no problems with killing any and all muslims because of 9/11. If so your attitude is not that different then most americans. You all freak out about the burning of a couple of buildings but tens of thousands of dead iraqis don't even register in your conscience because some saudis killed 3000 americans. They all look alike to you after all right?

  • by Asic Eng ( 193332 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:59PM (#14758355)
    Sure it has, and your criticism is correct. However consider all the uproar over some simple cartoons, and the deafening silence when it comes to islamist violence. Muslims shouldn't stand by when extremists claim to represent their religion. Quite a few have started to speak out, but the attitude that extremism is merely being very religious, is widespread and not just shared by a few people. Not that the American attitude of "foreign lives don't matter" is any better. (Why would you not even attempt to count Iraqi deaths?) Then again, the reputation of the US is doing similarly bad as that of Islam.
  • by Darby ( 84953 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @11:04PM (#14758376)
    . The effects of the moderation system mean that the majority has sucessfully silenced the minority and opposing opinions are no longer seriously considered. This comment will probably be modded into oblivion.

    You, sir have proven yourself to be an idiotic moron.
    You either don't actually read the site at all or you're a lying sack of shit. In the first place, all points of view are modded up and all points of view are modded down.

    Asshats like yourself who whine like little bitches about how you'll get moderated down often get moderated up. It's a typical karma whore tactic.

    The reason that you see more people getting pissed off about this administration is the undeniable fact that they are cowards and they are traitors.
    Only fools or sociopaths could possibly support them at this point due to that simple fact that has been proven over and over again.

    So, in conclusion, keep your moronic 24 hour propaganda lies to yourself.

  • by argStyopa ( 232550 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @11:07PM (#14758393) Journal
    In an era where we've already got government-created and funded media outlets and the Pentagon bribing Iraqi journalists to run favorable war stories, not to mention other departments paying journalists to endorse their positions, it begs the question, how much more can they possibly do?"

    I think this is simply disingenuous. The United States certainly has propoganda organs, but I think it's indisputable that it also has the most free and open media community (circus) in the world.

    I think Rumsfeld's point is more that, Fox news aside, every other media outlet in this country seems dedicated to 'taking down' the president in any way that they possibly can. In an era where a higher percentage of Washington reporters voted Democrat than REGISTERED Democrats, and where media networks formerly of some standing don't hesitate to run stories without research, plaigarize from web blogs, and outright fabricate evidence (Courier Font for the win, Dan) out of their irrational hatred of George Bush, I don't think it's suprising for a senior member of the administration to say that it would behoove the government to act more aggressively to get GOOD news about US efforts out and AROUND the anti-US media conglomerates.
  • by yndrd1984 ( 730475 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @11:13PM (#14758416)
    No one is saying that conservatives can't be on TV, or that they can't say what they want. Most people don't think it's right for a PR firm working for the Republican Party to advertise themselves as politically neutral. If their tagline was "News for Conservatives" or if they got a sense of humor and called themselves "The 24-hour Right-Wing "Daily Show"", people wouldn't be so upset. But when they call themselves "Fair and Balanced", they need to make an honest effort, which they haven't done.

    I mean, your post sounds like you're parroting one of their ads. Have you ever gotten your news from another source?

  • by aquatone282 ( 905179 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @11:20PM (#14758437)

    After all, the Islamofascists have ABC, NBC, CBS, the BBC, CBC, Der Speigiel, Le Monde, etc etc etc working for them.

    Why can't those of us who would rather not submit and become dhimmis use the media to get our message out?

    You know, it's all fun and self-pleasing to pose as "enlightened progressives" but at the end of the day do we really want to return to the 14th Century?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @11:28PM (#14758473)
    That's why shock and awe was carried live right? Ah my bad, it's only one side you don't want heard and glorified.
  • Re:Three words: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by typidemon ( 729497 ) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @11:31PM (#14758483)

    Now, if me.. a brown muslim guy, were to go the the American heartland and crack similar jokes at peter's expense. I would eventually run into a christian red neck would think I deserve a punch.

    Punch you, or start a riot of epic proportions? Big difference.

  • Re:Three words: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by curious.corn ( 167387 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:05AM (#14758624)
    Wrong counter argument. Remember those people protesting are economically poor, uneducated outcasts. Think west 100 years ago; remember, you as a country, wiped out native americans and used to hang niggers just for the sake of it, only recently getting part of the habit off. We (EU) had a couple of incidents like nazi, fascists and the jewish holocaust so let's be realistic about middle eastern cleptocracies. Give 'em time, 50 years, to mature a middle class and it'll all be fine.
  • by jmv ( 93421 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:31AM (#14758727) Homepage
    Although it's never good when islamic dictatorships get nuclear weapons, I can easily understand *why* they're racing to get the bomb. Face it, the main reason the US attacked Iraq and not North Korea is nukes. If I were on the Iranian government, I'd definitely want to have nukes too. Of course, having Israel (with nukes and fighters within reach) in the area is also a very good reason (at least for them) to want nukes. That being said, I doubt even the current Iranian govt would ever dare use nukes (at least for fear of consequences).
  • by roman_mir ( 125474 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:41AM (#14758757) Homepage Journal
    The dhimmi status has, by some, been extended to basically include all theists. - since I am an atheist, I must fight against any religious propaganda, or I may end up dead if some people like these islamist dictators come to power, isn't that so?
  • Re:Three words: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:44AM (#14758768)
    "Absolutly not. You're making the assumption that I want to see muslims suffer. "

    Your words made it sound like you didn't mind at all. You are completely indifferent to their suffering.

    "To be honest I felt that the displacement of Saddam was going to be viewed in a good light byt the Iraqis. Honestly, how many Iraqis wanted to be under Saddam?"

    Surely there was a more sane way to remove saddam. Besides saddam has been removed for a long time now and yet the occupation is still going on and so is the murder and mayhem.

    "I don't understand why the Muslim community winks at the efforts of the militant islamic movements that seem to be helping Americans justify their efforts."

    For the exact same reason that you and the rest of the world winks at the israeli occupation. In other words the muslim world cares about you exactly as much as you care about the suffering and death of palestenians. Not much.

    "Are you a Muslim? What do you think needs to be done in order to set things straight?"


    1) Admit that Israel has won territory in a war.
    2) Redraw Israeli borders to include all of the west bank and gaza.
    3) Force israel to give full citizenship to all occupants of israel regardless of their religion or nationality (all civilized nations have done this with the people it has conquered).

    This gets rid of the palestine problem once and for all. Once palestenians have voting rights they can then fully participate in the israeli democratic process and will not resort to violence. Being full israeli citizens they will also have rights to benefits like all other israeli citizens and their standard of living will increase.

    If the above is not possible then pull the israeli borders back to where they were before the war and give the land back to the palestenians. Move the wall back to 1964 border, prevent all arabs from entering israel and all israelis from entering palestine for at least a decade. Station Turkish troops alongside the border for peacekeeping. Turkey is an ally of israel but a muslim country they troops would be respected by both sides. As a reward fastrack the joining of turkey to EU (which they want).

    Either one of the above is possible if the US threatens to pull all aid from both countries and enforces a worldwide trade sanctions and a blockade.

    At the same time pull out of Iraq, give full control of the iraqi oil wells back to iraq, let them join OPEC again.

    Pull all troops out of the middle east, stop meddling with their countries.

    So there you go, solutions that will work if anybody in the US has the guts to implement them.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:04AM (#14758848)
    "Islamic radicalism is an absolute non-event put under a huge magnifying lens because Bush keeps throwing hundreds of billions of $ at it."

    What..the...hell. It's an event when they're chopping off heads and putting it on the Internet for all to see; only takes about US$500 for all the equipment.

    Iran's PRESIDENT, not some average citizen, recently stated that Israel should be wiped from the map. That's an ELECTED PRESIDENT by the people of Iran, not the religious leaders. Oh, just in case you are confused, he's not a Bush administration figurehead.

    (Those US citizens held hostage in Iran were just in our imagination too, right? Maybe justified to some because of the US's backing of the Shah, but those images are immediately recognized by most people over 30.)

    Oh, wait, the same country is now trying to build a nuclear reactor. (btw, the problem isn't that Iran gets a reactor or a bomb, but that "those" countries will transfer their knowledge to neighboring Islamic countries and groups. Knowledge transfers--see the US in the Manhatten project and transfer of info to the Soviets.)

    Palestine just elected Hamas to power. The Palestinians were given a choice, and they CHOSE a historically violent faction by the consolidated MAJORITY of their voting population.

    Yeah, *absolute* non-events as you say. What the hell then is your definition of absolute? What WOULD make an event for you? You waved off 9/11.

    I'll tell you what IS an absolute non-event--the number of active protests by Islamists against Islamic radicalism.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:07AM (#14758858)

    ... was moderated insightful proves you wrong.

    Your post shows no evidence that the parent post was right or wrong. It shows NO evidence whatsoever of what you assert is true or not. However, it threw a ton of insults at the parent, and coincidentally, aligned with the groupthink that the rest of the flaming liberals on this site agree with. Therefore, it was modded up, despite having no redeeming value, but did agree with the anti-Bush sentiment. Therefore, your post proved the very thing that you were saying wasn't true is ACTUALLY TRUE!

  • by Darby ( 84953 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:09AM (#14758870)
    really? mostly what he expressed is opinion.. you may very well disagree.. but that certainly doens't make him a moron

    Nope, factually wrong.
    He stated that "the minority" i.e. right wing extremists have been silenced. That is entirely false. It was a lie.

    umm bullshit

    Ummm Trueshit.
    Show me one single point of view no matter how whacked out and extreme that has never been modded up.

    let's see how many pro-bush comments are modded up vs how many anti-bush comments are modded up.

    Different question.
    It's also a different question as to how many Bush policies show utter contempt for what this country stands for and how many are even in the same ballpark. How much do you want to bet that the figures come out similar?

    most of it was baseless bush bashing,

    At this point in time you are actually trying to call it baseless?!?
    What color is the air on your planet. If anything it's been proven by Bush and Co that everybody underestimated their hated of freedom and integrity.

    good lord did he rape your mother or something? calm down.

    No, but he has:

    Raped the FOIA.
    Blatantly lied in an effort to push an Iraq war agenda.
    Consistently promoted the most incompetent (or evil if you believe in that) people.
    Done everything in his power to destroy the idea that America actually stands for something decent which I held as a very high personal value.
    Actively promoted torture.
    Pissed all over the constitution.

    So, no , he didn't rape my mother. He just raped pretty much everything *else* I stand for.

    I mean guess what, tons of people said very simliar things about clinton when he was in office! i know you may not have seen it, but it was there in plenty of right leaning places, as opposed to /. which is a left leaning place.

    Yes, they did. It was the same people orchestrating that fiasco (not that Clinton was great or anything). In fact they actually impeached him over a blowjob when they spent millions of our dollars on a fucking witch hunt and could not find another fucking thing to get him on.

    Bush could be impeached on several charges that actually matter.

    WTF is your point with this one?!?
    The media attacked Clinton like a pack of wolves and so when they don't do it to Bush and it takes actual citizens to step up and say holy fucking shit torture camps over a made up war against {Eur|East}Asia?!?!

    Dude, seriously, orders of magnitude, night and day. Any Dem, any Rep who makes it to Washington is an asshat working against the American People. That's obvious. The fact that the treason of this administration goes above and beyond is equally as obvious.

    lol ok where did he say anything about 24 hour propaganda? i dunno maybe i missed it

    He didn't say it. Look at your title bar. It's the topic. Apparently he took it as an invitation to spread more.

  • by lheal ( 86013 ) <(lheal1999) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:15AM (#14758891) Journal
    I support the Administration. I think Mr. Bush is doing a fine job. No, I'm not joking. I don't think he's Mt. Rushmore material, but I do think the majority opinion of him here is paranoid idiocy tempered only by urban liberal orthodoxy.

    As for Slashdot, all opinions are tolerated except those that are conservative, americentric or at odds with the popularly accepted view in a given scientific field.

    In other words, if you believe as you suggest that Slashdot is tolerant of all well-expressed views, you may be suffering from craniorectal inversion.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:17AM (#14758905) Homepage
    al-Jazeera [aljazeera.net] is slowly pushing the Islamic world in a more liberal direction. al-Jazeera is the first news source from the Middle East which is anywhere close to neutral and factual. They're quite a good news service. They try to be objective. The Bush administration hates this, because they treat Bush and bin Laden as equally valid news sources. But because of that, most of the Arab world watches al-Jazeera.

    Check out government newscasts from the Middle East [archive.org] (translated to English). It's like watching the other side's version of Fox News. al-Jazeera is way ahead.

    The US should be encouraging al-Jazeera, not complaining about it. The US has little to fear from an honest press. (Bush may, but that's a personal problem.)

  • by geminidomino ( 614729 ) * on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:33AM (#14758965) Journal
    Out of the billions of alternatives, why chose those two?

    Because the only way to make a corrupt, treasonous, oathbreaking assbag look good is to hold him up against Hitler/Stalin/etc...

    It's the same way the government deludes the simple-minded masses that they're really good guys who just want to protect us, blah blah freedom blah liberty.

  • by mranchovy ( 595176 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:44AM (#14759019)
    proven yourself to be an idiotic moron.....

    This is known as "insightful" on Slashdot....

    Correction: This is known as "insightful" on any political discussion these days. Political parties manage to do the same thing, but without using phrases like "lying sack of shit," "asshat," or "idotic moron"

  • by Darby ( 84953 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:54AM (#14759065)
    This is known as "insightful" on Slashdot. Nothing to say or can't be troubled with facts? Insult, attack, defame.

    Well, I learned one thing from the right wing hate machine. That's what works.

    Let's take these point by point:

    proven yourself to be an idiotic moron.

    He made a statement that was blatantly false and used typical kharma whore tactics. That meets my definition.

    you're a lying sack of shit.
    He is certainly a liar. The rest is certainly up for debate.

    Asshats like yourself

    Are you saying that that is not a typical tactic of asshats like him?

    whine like little bitchestypical karma whore tactic.
    Ummm.... My only defense is that...why, yes, in fact, it is. Are you denying this?

    only fools or sociopaths could possibly support them

    You are not seriously going to try and deny this are you?!?

    Name another way somebody could support them and I will demonstrate how they fit in to one of the above categories.

    keep your moronic 24 hour propaganda lies to yourself.

    It was a lie. The topic is 24 hour propaganda.
    Where's the problem with this one?

  • Orwell Knew (Score:3, Insightful)

    by edward.virtually@pob ( 6854 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @02:02AM (#14759094)
    Shrug. Read 1984. It's all there, with slight changes in terminology and technology. But not much. What comes pretty soon is imprisonment for those who dispute the propaganda.
  • by arose ( 644256 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @02:09AM (#14759127)
    Do you really think it is about the cartoons?
  • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @02:23AM (#14759181)
    What kind of propaganda system do they want? Are they talking about a news service like Voice of America used to be for Eastern Europe during the Cold War? Basically an unbiased news service that brought the same news found in USA newspapers to people who had no access to non-Communist news sources? That service is already provided by CNN and, to a certain extent, the newer-more open Arab news services like al-Jazira.

        Or do they want a focused pro-American pro-West service to counter the incessant anti-American message coming from Iran?

        Perhaps they are talking about a 'black' propaganda service, where stories that may or may not be true are introduced into the 'Arab street' for the sole purpose of provoking an extreme reaction. The Arabs and the Pakistanis will go into violent riot mode on just rumors now. For example, I doubt that anyone rioting in Libya, Syria, or Pakistan has actually seen any of these editorial cartoons that have whipped them into a frenzy. It is also doubtful that anyone in the west would have started massive street riots without actually seeing the provocative images themselves. It's unlikely that provocative images or unproven news rumors would cause riots in the west anyway.

        Having a 'black' propaganda service that could introduce false rumors would allow the controllers of this service to have a 'light switch' to start violent street riots in the Islamic world at any time that is convenient for them.
  • Re:Three words: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tempestdata ( 457317 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @02:24AM (#14759187)
    You dont have to cater to anything. Why on earth do I have to deal with psycho's just because the claim to belong to my religion? I have nothing to do with them. I dont even like them.. Kill them all if you wish.. I dont wish to kill,hurt or stop anyone.. I dont see why I and others like me are being responsible for their bad behaviour. We haven't adopted them you know.
  • Re:Three words: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @02:36AM (#14759220)
    Hamas has won the election because fatah was not able to throw off the occupation and deliver freedom to the palestenians. They had nothing to lose so why not give hamas a shot and see if they could do something.

    They are desparate people and really at this point have nothing to lose. I read someplace that the average palestenians makes something like 25 cents a day or something. No money, no freedom, no life, no hope.

    Now that hamas has won the west will pull away all aid and palestine will be another north korea with massive starvation and staggering poverty.

    Too bad, so sad.
  • by Stalyn ( 662 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @02:37AM (#14759226) Homepage Journal
    Then why aren't any Muslims in the United States rioting? The truth is the whole cartoon thing is about politics. Muslims in the USA have a voice and avenues to express themselves. In these other countries Muslims are pretty much oppressed by authoritarian regimes. The cartoons just ignited all their frustrations about their lives and gave it focus. These people are angry but it's not about cartoons.
  • by Darby ( 84953 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @03:16AM (#14759346)
    lol ok you know you saying that is like fox saying they're fair and balanced. it's absolutly wrong.

    Nope, it's not. There is a fundamental moral difference between those who promote freedom and those who try to stamp it out. I'm a promoter of freedom, but I will stamp on asshats who actively try to destroy it.

    /. IS UNQUESTIONABLY biased to the left part of that is because it hides stuff that would be considered right wing.

    First, it is not biased to the left. That is idiocy of the highest caliber. A bias against Bush isn't a fucking bias. It's basic common sense and human decency.
    To be biased to the left as an American site, America would actually have to have a left. Nice try, try actually learning *something* about politics rather thanspouting the idiotic Fox news bullshit you originally brought up.

    God damn it. I'm a fucking Liberal in the classical sense. That means I have recognized the Left and the Right are both sicko fuckwads.

    Here's a lesson:

    Liberalism is the founding principle of this country. It's so simple it can be summed up in one sentence:
    "We hold these truths to be self evident: That all men are created equal."

    The left believes in this principle. They also believe that the force of the state should be used against people to enforce this ideal. See USSR, Cambodia, etc. etc. etc. for examples of how fucking retarded this idea is.

    The right *disagrees* with this principle.
    Further, they believe that the power of the state should be used against people to prevent this. See The Axis, Franco, Bush, etc. etc. etc. to see how fucking retarded this idea is.

    So, please could everybody STFU about leftists in America. They don't exist in *any* meaningful context. They were stamped out by the same asshats who were gung ho Hitler supporters before WW2. Not for any decent reasons. JFCOAPS (on a pogo stick) the primary hatreds of the Neo cons are the only fucking things the left got right while it existed here.

    no this is the exact same question. you may not LIKE bush, but a lot of people do, or aggree with enough of what he's said/done to have voted him into office twice now.

    I meant traditional American values rather than the destruction of them which is what is being sold to idiots who think the "moral destruction" of the country is being driven primarily by people who *merely don't fucking hate gay people*, rather than pulling their heads out of their asses long enough to see the simple fact that gung ho all out capitalism (which they keep supporting) is inherently socialy liberalising. After all, them faggots got money too.
    He was voted into office the second time by exactly those people. Read the exit interviews.
    The first time he was appointed by an act of treason by the SC. That's after fucking the election. Pay attention.

    sorry try and convince me that bush hasn't made the right choices, some of them i'd agree some of them i wouldn't. on /. EVERYTHING he does is wrong pretty much.

    Has he done anything right? It's theoretically possible. The inescapable fact is that pretty much everything he has done *is* wrong by any sort of widely held moral standard.

    i was talking about the original poster you responded too..

    I responded to your statement.

    umm NO. he was NOT impeached about a fucking blowjob, he was impeached about LYING and trying to get others to LIE about said blowjob. huge difference. whether or not you aggree with impeaching him over that is another story.

    Ummm, yes.
    They stole millions from this country for a witch hunt. They tried to get him on.. what, like 5 different things?!?
    Nothing stuck until they found a fat bitch who liked giving her soiled dresses to her mom?!?
    Yeah. So he lied about it. That sucks, it's dishonest and asshattery of the highest degree.

    He didn't make up a bunch of fucking lies in order to pursue some ivory tower intellectual strategy to blow up a bu
  • Re:Three words: (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jeti ( 105266 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @03:28AM (#14759381) Homepage
    I think the majority of Westerners are confused by how there aren't riots when someone blows themselves up in the name of a prophet, but when when they make cartoons about a prophet then all hell breaks loose.

    I vividly remember how riots swept all over the US and the rest of the western world when the torture pictures of Abu Ghraib were published.
  • by Rinkhals ( 930763 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @03:45AM (#14759438)
    It's this dichotomy in Islam which seems so, well, contradictory.

    There are calls within the Koran for the killing of infidels and calls for the faithfull to live in peace with them depending in which phase of the prophet's life they were written. But isn't the Koran the direct word of God? Surely, then, it's immutable? Presumably God does not keep changing his mind?

    The Prophet is portrayed as an ordinary man, not the son of God. Yet cartoons portraying the Prophet lead to riots and killings and assasinations. On the one hand, he is a man, on the other it is not permitted to depict him?

    On the one hand an Ayatollah can command the death of Salman Rushie and state that it's every Muslim's duty to carry this out, on the other hand every Muslim has the choice to ingore any fatwa he likes.

    As for the treatment of women, well that's the most confusing of all.

    As for Rumsveld's propoganda requirements, it's like pro-holocaust writings in Isreal.

    .....Hell, did I just invoke Godwin [wired.com]?
  • by umbra_dweller ( 797279 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @04:08AM (#14759538)
    Adaptation is not a one way street with the only options being more or less adapted, it has branches.

    Our army is well adapted to overrun nations and crush capitals - I would dare say they probably still are if the need were to arise. But the people we are supposed to be fighting do not have one country, and their leadership shifts more than sand in the desert. Our troops were prepared to crush, but we never prepared them for how to rebuild.
  • by Darby ( 84953 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @04:23AM (#14759575)
    It's not common to see a topic modded up that has already been modded down or vice-versa based on ideology.

    I'm not sure how you would judge the ideology of a given moderation, but mod wars happen all the time.

    He's mad at you for what you said, which to me suggests there must be some truth to it.

    That's possible in this context, but be wary of taking that on as a general rule.
    For example, if you were called a bug fucker or somesuch and got mad, that would not mean you actually fucked bugs ;-)

    How do you define this administration as cowardly?

    It is composed primarily of people who dodged the draft. Not by standing up for a principle, but by using their influence to send others in their place so they weren't at risk. Risk either through actually going to war and risk through hurting their later ambitions through standing up for an unpopular viewpoint.

    They have flown in the face of everything they have been attacked with and kept on stepping.

    Given that they choose how to interact with the media, they have their own propaganda wing of the mainstream media who regularly contradict themselves in order to *always* support the administration, and that they control all three branches of the government, I'm wondering how much courage it takes the administration of TPOTUSA to deal with mr ranting on /.
    Now, if they actually had the courage to stand up for their beliefs, then you would have a point. They don't though. That's why they had to hide behind a constant stream of lies to promote their aganda.
    Is a rabidly anti-gay administration using gay prostitutes to lob softballs in the press really your idea of courage?!?

    They have repeatedly stood up for American interests, defiant of international or foreign interests.

    That is a pretty far out statement.
    They have consistently stood up for the agenda they wanted to push going as far as to manufacture evidence and rape the constitution.

    Explain to me exactly how pushing an agenda dedicated to the destruction of the founding principles of this nation (read up on what the neo cons stand for) which a huge percentage of the population (huge as in a lot as opposed to most) not only disagrees with but despises is promoting American interests.
    Hell, most of the ones who support him do so because they believe the lies.

    I'm an American, and he sure as hell isn't standing up for my interests. He's viciously attacking them at every opportunity.

    You say they have been proven wrong over and over again, but you fail to come to grip with any view of opposition labeling them as liars, traitors, and wholly unbelievable...

    Dude, I've been on to these sick fuckers since Reagan. You know...torture schools in Central America, overthrows of democratically elected leaders to install right wing terrorists who murdered masses of their own people. CIA involvement in the cocaine trade to support terrorists.

    JFC! 9/11 was Reagan's legacy coming home to roost. The solution?!? Let the same fuckers keep going.

    Sorry, but the "opposition" has no bearing on the facts. Do you seriously think I'm a fucking Democrat? do you seriously think the Democrats are the "opposition". Hell, that's more deluded than thinking the Democrats are "good guys".

    so how can they be proven right, from your pov?

    They can't, because they have demonstrated beyond the shadow of any reasonable doubt that integrity is anethema to them. Name one goddamned thing they have done that has increased the ability of the public to make a reasonable assessment of what they are doing. They have at *every* opportunity worked to further their ability to hide their agenda from the populace.
    That alone is treason of the worst kind.

    To your credit, due to your group think and once again, the exact reasons mentioned by the author, you've proven that Iraq WMDs don't exist, in spite of all the evidence to the contrary.
  • by Darby ( 84953 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @04:30AM (#14759599)
    I hope you get your tinfoil hats at a discount. Tell me, was the Mossad and the CIA behind 9/11?

    Ahhh yes, one of the earliest strategies of the right wing hate machine. When the complete idiocy of your point is demonstrated, *pretend* that they actually said something completely different.
    w00t! You win the daily Rush Limbaugh's ball licking award. Good show old chum!

    Guys like this are living proof that Slashdot has become nothing but a DailyKos.com with a tech focus...

    Guys like you are proof that you can convince idiots to actively campaign against their own interests.

  • by TomRitchford ( 177931 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @05:09AM (#14759714) Homepage
    I think Mr Bush is doing a fine job.

    Let's see, we have two major terrorist attacks on the United States, where neither Bin Laden nor the anonymous anthrax mailer were ever caught. We have the completely failure of our intelligence and defense forces on 9/11 with no explanation and no plan to fix. We have a trillion -- a *trillion* dollars, do you have the slightest idea how much that is? -- pissed away in a war in a country most Americans couldn't identify on a map, for *nothing*.

    We have double-digit increases in the military's main budget every year *on top of* this crazy war; and as a result we have cutbacks in all the services that might make life worthwhile if you weren't crazy rich.

    We all watched over *days* while the government sat there and did nothing and we lost New Orleans. George Bush lost New Orleans. He didn't even *pretend to try* to save it. He didn't act concerned, he didn't do anything, and the city was destroyed.

    But the worst part is all the dead. There are the thousands of American dead in the ruins of the World Trade Center, the thousands dead in the rubble of New Orleans, the thousands of young American men and women finding miserable and painful deaths in Iraq for nothing (not to mention the tens of thousands of young people returning multilated and crippled) -- and there are the tens of thousands of Iraqis and Afghanis killed by Americans, very many of whom were women, children, or simply people who were trying to mind their own business when an American bomb went off in their vicinity.

    You think Mr. Bush is doing a fine job, do you?

    On the contrary, even if Bush were impeached this very moment, based on the results of the first five years he'd still be by far the worst President the United States ever had.
  • by Halo1 ( 136547 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @05:53AM (#14759797)
    here are calls within the Koran for the killing of infidels and calls for the faithfull to live in peace with them depending in which phase of the prophet's life they were written. But isn't the Koran the direct word of God? Surely, then, it's immutable? Presumably God does not keep changing his mind?
    There are words in the Bible that call for stoning your own children if they disobey you (Deuteronomy 21:18). If you look for an excuse, you will always find one, regardless of whether you are Christian, Muslim or atheist (Hitler, anyone?). Religion is just a (ab)used tool in cases like this, it's not some faith which in itself turns peaceful people into mindless killing machines.
  • by jnelson4765 ( 845296 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @06:09AM (#14759833) Journal
    Fairly organized groups of people who support violent acts - check.

    Leading to death - check.

    Almost winked at - check.

    Look, I've spent time with people who did abortion clinic defense. Let me tell you, our own radical religious minority is just as dangerous, and they operate with a lot of people saying "well, I don't agree with their tactics, but they're defending children, so I won't stand in their way".

    How come we don't see news coverage of the preachers that condemn abortion clinic bombings? Because that's not news. Nutjobs on a high-caliber Mission from God - now that's great television.
  • I don't even need the "hardly" I said nothing of the sort, nor do I believe anything like that.

    Yes you did. You called the guy a moron because he thought there was one sided moderation on politics. I call one sided moderation unfair. It makes no difference if it's one sided with respect to politics, science, computers, etc. An example of one sided moderation is if you happened to say anything good about Microsoft, you might be modded down unfairly. It's possible that you had done some research and found something that Microsoft did well and you commented on it. Your comment might actually be insightful or informative, but some stupid people would just mod you down because they don't like Microsoft. The same could be true for Republicans, Democrats, or any other groups or even people who support a particular issue. I think this is unfair moderation.

    Your statement is inherently contradictory. If "most" people have experienced it then it isn't one sided. Do you get it now?!?

    No, my statement was not contradictory. I said that most people who comment regularly experience unfair moderation. For instance, I made the following post:

    "I like the idea of Skype charging for voice mail. Everyone uses voice mail and if people seriously start using Skype, they will pay for voice mail. Also, calling out to cell and land lines is charged for. I think these are very good starting points actually and I think this alone could be a profitable business model. Not to mention advertising that they could do as well as various other services they could provide to their HUGE customer base."

    This was unfairly moderated to flamebait. I really don't get it actually. The only reason that I can think that someone would mod this to flamebait is that they just don't like Skype and anyone that thinks Skype has a good business model should be unfairly moded down. When I said "most" I wasn't talking exclusively about politics, I believe most people are in the minority on SOME issue. Right? Most people aren't total lemmings are they?

    He said that right wing whackos were *silenced*. That is a lie, it is idiotic, and the fact that you come to back it up makes you look like an idiot. Nice job.

    Come on man, just read the politics section and count how many pro-republican posts get modded up. It's pretty rare. pro-democratic posts tend to be upgraded more often. Just like Microsoft posts generally get downgraded and Linux posts get upgraded. Like it or not, there's bias here and everywhere else in the world, it's just human nature. I would just hope that the average Slashdot moderator is a little smarter than the average bear. They should be willing to upgrade posts they don't agree with because their interesting or insightful. For instance, if someone analyzed Skype and said that they had a bad business model, if their reasoning was good, I might upgrade them even though I happen to disagree with them on that point.
  • by CmdrGravy ( 645153 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @11:04AM (#14760922) Homepage
    Please list the goals that you have made ( citing original sources ) and explain how you believe they have been achieved. I'll start you off

    1) Find Saddams huge arsenal of Weapons Of Mass destruction.
  • by smchris ( 464899 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @11:27AM (#14761068)
    I think Rumsfeld's point is more that, Fox news aside, every other media outlet in this country seems dedicated to 'taking down' the president in any way that they possibly can.

    Preposterous. I quit listening to public radio in 2003 during the march to war when my local station ran an interview with a Naval Academy professor on the topic of "Socrates, the Soldiering Years". Monty Python couldn't have come up with a better skit on domestic propaganda.

    Are you actually _listening_ to "every other media outlet" or have you heard FOX News _tell_you_ "every other media outlet in this country seems dedicated to 'taking down' the president"? There's a big difference.

  • by monoqlith ( 610041 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @12:23PM (#14761443)
    Conservatives think that a major liberal failing is that we fail to tolerate their opinion.

    If your opinion is responsible for contributing to the deaths and wounding of American soldiers, our sons and our daughters who are fighting this war for us, as well as innocent Iraqi civilians, if your opinion caused you to vote for George W. Bush, then we do not have to tolerate it because your opinion is, quite simply, wrong, both morally and according to most reasonable standards. In the same way we do not have to tolerate the opinions of slave-owners, fascists, racists, etc etc. Note that this is not a logical fallacy. I am not calling you racists or Nazis. I'm simply pointing to the fact that not being part of the solution is actually being part of the problem(especially if you support the people who are actually causing the problem). Because you hold the opinion you do, you are complicit in the war, in the increasingly dire domestic fiscal situation, in the dire health care situation, and the dire education situation, as well as the dire prospect of having to fix all of Bush's "advances", "reforms, and the results of his "moral clarity," when he's out of office. You are taking a tremendous moral risk holding your opinion.

      Again, 30,000 Iraqis and 2,300 American soldiers have died in part because you hold the opinion that you do. Please re-examine it.

    In response to your assertion that George W. Bush is doing a heck of a job, here is a story from Senator Joe Biden about visiting the white house:

    ' ''I was in the Oval Office a few months after we swept into Baghdad,'' he began, ''and I was telling the president of my many concerns'' -- concerns about growing problems winning the peace, the explosive mix of Shiite and Sunni, the disbanding of the Iraqi Army and problems securing the oil fields. Bush, Biden recalled, just looked at him, unflappably sure that the United States was on the right course and that all was well. '''Mr. President,' I finally said, 'How can you be so sure when you know you don't know the facts?'''

    Biden said that Bush stood up and put his hand on the senator's shoulder. ''My instincts,'' he said. ''My instincts.'' '

    Even if Bush was not a terrible, ignorant, intellectually uncurious and spiritually lazy man, he still does not belong in office with such a contempt for factual reality. A person in the highest position of the executive NEEDS to consider the facts before he makes decisions. "Gut instinct" is not a valid way to make a decision.

    From his career out of the federal executive branch, Bush has proved that he is simply not competent enough to handle the responsibilities of leadership, especially those of the president. We have seen this over and over again, from Katrina, to the bungling of the invasion AS WELL AS the absolutely senseless decisions made by his appointees(L. Paul Bremer especially) post-invasion. Even Christie Whitman, a GOP ex-EPA head who resigned during Bush's first term, has pointed to some systemic competency issues within Bush's administration. She has outright said that officials within the Bush adminisration have an intolerance for facts that run counter to their opinion. Richard Clarke has said the same thing. He has even said that Condi Rice specifically asked the staff to keep briefings short, conversations brief, and reports simple. Bush has a contempt for complexity. I have news for you. The world really is complex. It is not simple.

  • by StillNeedMoreCoffee ( 123989 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:01PM (#14761765)
    "Do you think Hezbollah or Hammas gives 100% accurate information and that the U.S. is just a lie machine seeking to destroy everyone's freedom?"

    Considering that the Rebulican talking points that they paid commentators to push on the American public as independent views of the administration policies, coupled with lies to the american people about why we are in Iraq and why we needed to go into Iraq, the scandles that have come out about torture, detentions, kidnapping, eavsdropping, lobbiest influence, illegal use of campaingn moneys (which re-districted Texas to a Republican state 8 years early), sweethart no bid contracts, and recently the vice president's attempt to avoid investigation in his shooting of a citizen (like not allowing a drug or alcohol screen after the shooting (like any other citizen would be subjected to)), and this latest allowing the sail of our ports to a Arab country. I don't think you can say that the information we are getting from OUR administration is 100% accurate.

    So your argument that the U.S. is not just another lie machine is a weak one. I sure as hell don't think our choice is the Bush administration or the Ayatollah. I would hope it is the enlightend choice of our people which has been more and more elightened as the indictiments and lies exposed have been hitting the public knowledge on a weekly if not daily basis.

    I am just happy we don't have to wait more than about 9 more months to vote for a less Bush like set of peoples representatives in Washington.
  • I tell you what... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by YesIAmAScript ( 886271 ) on Monday February 20, 2006 @01:04PM (#14761789)
    Why don't you go do that?

    You think there's stories to be told out there besides what we hear (mostly from inside the green zone), why don't you go over there and report them?

    Part of the problem is it is unsafe for our reporters to leave this area (as ABC's Bob Woodruff so well illustrated) and Americans don't seem to want to listen to any reporters from other countries. It's kind of ironic on that 2nd part, because back before the election the Bush administration was saying everything was hunky-dory, that the insurgence was just a bunch of "dead-enders", most reporters couldn't safely leave the Green Zone to report the real story without being embedded, in which case the military could not only lead them where they wanted, but also censored their reports. One major new reporting agency was sending reporters outside the Green Zone and they were saying that the citizens were not greeting us as heroes and the insurgents were making major inroads. That agency was Al-Jazeera. In response, the Bush administration demonized them, closed down their offices until after the (US) Presidential election and eventually ended up bombing their location in Baghdad (and claiming it was a mistake).

    Meanwhile, all the American news sources were just reporting wine and roses. But now that the American news sources finally did their jobs and actually report what is going on instead of what the Bush administration told them is going on, you say the "real" story would get out better if we had other news sources that could get out into the countryside.

    I'd love to think that manipulating the media came back to hurt the Bush administration. I'd love to think that the media kowtowing to the Bush administration and showing an inaccurate picture of the situation came back to hurt the media too. But honestly, I just don't see it. The Bush administration is merely reaping what they sowed, and yes, things are very bad over there. Yes, things are least bad in places that we meddled the least in.

God helps them that themselves. -- Benjamin Franklin, "Poor Richard's Almanac"