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      08-01-2008, 02:56 PM   #67
ganeil
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Originally Posted by ATG View Post
How can one be responsible for the quality of his own healthcare? A person with perfect genes and perfect health can, but what is left to others? Government is a compromise, but civilized society is based on a notion that the strong help the weak even if they don't really want to.
I disagree with this popular American despise for the goverment. If there is no government, the law becomes simple: the strong kills the weak. period. That applies to both humans and businesses. That, of course, results in "healthy natural selection," but for civilized educated people living in a jungle is not pleasant.
I think you are confusing healthcare with health. Healthcare is a service provided by trained medical personnel who I can choose based on the health issues I am experiencing, the cost, the quality of service provided, my overall comfort with the provider, etc... The question is what is the proper role for government, if any, in the providing of this service.

It is not a question of government or no government. Conservatives and libertarians are not anarchists. They recognize that there is a real and necessary role for government in society but they simply want that role to be limited. Government is different than any other entity in society in that it has a monopoly on the lawful use of force to get what it wants. Imposing that force should not be done lightly.
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      08-01-2008, 11:34 PM   #68
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i can't read long paragraphs. so i skipped the past 2 pages. can someone give me the cliff notes of what i missed in 2 sentences or less?

thanks.
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      08-02-2008, 04:01 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by NoKids View Post
i can't read long paragraphs. so i skipped the past 2 pages. can someone give me the cliff notes of what i missed in 2 sentences or less?

thanks.

not much

blah, blah, blah...neo con, fuk the liberals

blah, blah, blah...liberal , fuk the neocons
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      08-05-2008, 02:24 PM   #70
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Interesting article from Foreign Affairs.

Quote:
Standing Down as Iraq Stands Up
Building on Progress

By Stephen Biddle, Michael E. O'Hanlon, and Kenneth M. Pollack

From Foreign Affairs , September/October 2008
Summary: The situation in Iraq is improving. With the right strategy, the United States will eventually be able to draw down troops without sacrificing stability.

Stephen Biddle is a Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Michael E. O'Hanlon and Kenneth M. Pollack are Senior Fellows at the Brookings Institution. This article is based in part on a research trip made to Iraq in May-June 2008 and written as part of the joint Saban Center at Brookings-Council on Foreign Relations project on U.S. policy toward the Middle East.

The Iraq war has become one of the most polarizing issues in American politics. Most Democrats, including Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.), want large, early troop cuts; most Republicans, including Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), want U.S. troops to stay until Iraq's stability is guaranteed. Years of bad news from the front have hardened these divisions along partisan lines and embittered many on both sides. Today, however, there is reason to believe that the debate over Iraq can change. A series of positive developments in the past year and a half offers hope that the desire of so many Americans to bring the troops home can be fulfilled without leaving Iraq in chaos. The right approach, in other words, can partly square Obama's goal of redeploying large numbers of U.S. forces sooner rather than later with McCain's goal of ensuring stability in Iraq.

If the prognosis in Iraq were hopelessly grim, it might make sense for the United States to threaten withdrawal, hold its breath, and hope for the best. But the prognosis is now much more promising than it has been in years, making a threat of withdrawal far from necessary. With a degree of patience, the United State can build on a pattern of positive change in Iraq that offers it a chance to draw down troops soon without giving up hope for sustained stability.

The last 18 months have brought major changes in the underlying strategic calculus facing Iraq's main combatants -- undermining the Sunni insurgency, weakening the Shiite militias, severely degrading al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), strengthening the Iraqi security forces (ISF), and creating new, more positive political dynamics and incentives. But these developments have also brought new, if less acute, challenges to the fore -- demanding corresponding changes in U.S. and Iraqi strategy. Simply staying the course will not work under the new conditions in Iraq.

Both to deal with the new problems and to guard against any revival of the old ones, any further troop drawdowns, now that the "surge" is over, should be modest until after Iraq gets through two big rounds of elections -- in late 2008 at the provincial level and in late 2009 at the national level -- which have the potential either to reinforce important gains or to reopen old wounds. But starting in 2010, if current trends continue, the United States may be able to start cutting back its troop presence substantially, possibly even halving the total U.S. commitment by sometime in 2011, without running excessive risks with the stability of Iraq and the wider Persian Gulf region.

....
Read the rest.
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      08-11-2008, 10:54 AM   #71
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I don't always agree with him but Christopher Hitchens is always a great read.

From Iraq's Budget Surplus Scandal on Slate.com
...

I think we should be glad that the luridly sadistic and aggressive Saddam Hussein regime is no longer in power to be the beneficiary of the rise in oil prices and thus able to share its wealth with the terrorists, crooks, and demagogues on its secret payroll. I think we should also be glad that its private ownership of Iraq's armed forces, and its control over a party monopoly called the Baath, has been irrecoverably smashed. Iraq's resources are no longer at the disposal of an aggressive, parasitic oligarchy. Its retrained and re-equipped army is being deployed, not in wars of invasion against its neighbors and genocide against its inhabitants, but in cleanup campaigns against al-Qaida and the Mahdi Army. An improvement. A distinct improvement.

It is in no spirit of revenge that I remind you that, as little as a year ago, the whole of smart liberal opinion believed that the dissolution of Baathism and militarism had been a mistake, that Iraq itself was a bottomless pit of wasted dollars and pointless casualties, and that the only option was to withdraw as fast as possible and let the inevitable civil war burn itself out. To the left of that liberal consensus, people of the caliber and quality of Michael Moore were describing the nihilist "insurgents" as the moral equivalent of the Minutemen, and to the right of the same consensus, people like Pat Buchanan were hinting that we had been cheated into the whole enterprise by a certain minority whose collective name began with the letter J.

Had any of this sinister nonsense been heeded, it wouldn't even be Saddam's goons who were getting their hands on that fantastic wealth in such a strategic country. It would have been the gruesome militias who answer either to fanatical Wahhabism on one wing or to fanatical Shiism on another, and who are the instruments of tyrannical forces in neighboring countries. Hardly a prospect to be viewed with indifference. I still reel when I remember how many supposedly responsible people advocated surrendering Iraq without a fight.

...

So, yes, major combat operations appear to be over, and to that extent one can belatedly say, "Mission accomplished." If there is any Iraqi nostalgia for the old party and the old army, it is remarkably well-concealed. Iraq no longer plays deceptive games with weapons of mass destruction or plays host to international terrorist groups. It is no longer subject to sanctions that punish its people and enrich its rulers. Its religious and ethnic minorities—together a majority—are no longer treated like disposable trash. Its most bitter internal argument is about the timing of the next provincial and national elections. Surely it is those who opposed every step of this emancipation, rather than those who advocated it, who should be asked to explain and justify themselves.
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