Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Nude Detainee Cheerleading Interrogation

Why stop with the pyramids?
  (+18, -14)
(+18, -14)
  [vote for,
against]

Tiny cramped cells which force prisoners to stand. Loud noise 24 hours a day. Total darkness. No food. Fierce dogs. It embarrasses me that our government uses these tired, lame old gulag-style Ivan Denisovich tactics. Can't the only superpower come up with something novel?

The nude human pyramids are something different. I think it shows remarkable creativity to take a page from the book of cheerleading and apply those tactics to interrogation. I propose that additional cheerleading maneuvers might be even more effective at whatever the pyramid was effective for. There are illustrated texts and website which could be used as models.

bungston, Jun 22 2006

Cheerleading Maneuvers http://cheerleading...l/blstunt_index.htm
Something like this? [bungston, Jun 22 2006]

Baked, and not funny. http://news.bbc.co....pow_abuse117_ap.jpg
[ldischler, Jun 23 2006]

Overbaked. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/overbaked/
All-purpose bakery overflow site, for painful discussions that bend site rules, files, whatever. [reensure, Jun 28 2006]

Supreme Court Decision on Trials & Tribulations http://www.cnn.com/...ribunals/index.html
[theircompetitor, Jun 29 2006]

Wikipedia article on Yalta. http://en.wikipedia...ki/Western_betrayal
As endorsed by George W. Bush. [DrBob, Jun 30 2006]

[link]






       I can't bring myself to vote for this idea, but I think it makes a very interesting point. We can find something to be proud of even when we are breaking international law, tossing our morality in the bin, and trampling any honor we had left as leaders of the "free" world. It's what makes America great! :(   

       (actually, what makes America great is that we have people like those who put Randy "Duke" Cunningham in jail and who blew the whistle on the atrocities committed at Abu Gharib.)
James Newton, Jun 22 2006
  

       Amen, James.   

       I love my country.   

       I distrust my government.   

       I dispise my administration.
Galbinus_Caeli, Jun 22 2006
  

       Well, this strikes to the heart of the question - is creativity still a wonderful thing even when applied to something as nasty as interrogation techniques?   

       Tricky one - I'm abstaining.
moomintroll, Jun 22 2006
  

       I'm not abstaining - it's inventive and funny, and it's not meant to be nasty at all. (manoeuvres sp) [+]   

       "Talk now - you insolent curr, otherwise it's the Wolf Wall for you".   

       "Oh no! anything but the Wolf Wall - I'll talk!!, I'll talk!!"
xenzag, Jun 22 2006
  

       I'm bunning because it IS funny.....without laughter and being able to laugh at ourselves, the world really sucks. +
xandram, Jun 22 2006
  

       George W. Bush was, in fact, a cheerleader in college.   

       Just more suspicion that those torture techniques were coming from the top.   

       Shame shame shame...
sophocles, Jun 23 2006
  

       Hmm... detainees as slaves building real pyramids, perhaps?
RayfordSteele, Jun 23 2006
  

       Um... phlish... that is what bungston was working from.   

       Incidentally, I once saw a documentary where they went to see a songwriter for sesami street. Apparently the torturers had been playing his songs. Of course he was bemused and didn't know how to react, then started to wonder about royalties.
Anything particularly twee can make your head explode so probably should be declared as a WMD.
Loris, Jun 23 2006
  

       Again, the use of gulag. Do you not understand, bungston, that what distinguished the Gulag, or the Nazi camps, was NOT the barbed wire and NOT the interrogation techniques, but th fact that it housed MILLIONS of people, who were primarily not guilty of anything? Do you understand that the Soviet Regime caused more than 60 Million people to perish?   

       Do you not understand that while free speech is sacred, making such comparison debases language and tramples on the memory of those who suffered and died there?   

       I would postulate that there is no prison system in the world that manages to preserve human dignity. No POW camp that's a trip to the Carribean. Even a routine interaction with the law can make you feel poweless -- think about the last time you were stopped for speeding. So clearly incarceration of any kind is problematic for a just or humane society, and we all know the means/ends question does not have a good answer.   

       And there may not be a good answer for a long time to come.   

       But don't sit there and preen like you know better, or like you occupy some higher moral ground -- think of the parents of the boys whose throats were just slit and were dragged by trucks before being slaughtered -- by a guy who was arrested and released in Iraq in 2004
theircompetitor, Jun 23 2006
  

       Greater London houses millions of people who are not guilty of anything in particular. Is it a gulag?
Loris, Jun 23 2006
  

       Well, obviously. Duh.
moomintroll, Jun 23 2006
  

       [TC] if you'll forgive the simplification, when you say "think of the boys..." you're on dodgy ground. It's but a step away from saying, "our atrocities are justified by theirs, for they struck first (for example, on Sept 11th)". Whether you agree with that position or not, I have no doubt you will tell me.   

       Aside from Biblical morals on that point, which I recognise are not persuasive here as they are not held by all parties in this discussion, the "they struck first" argument is only valid if it can be proved that they did, in fact, strike first. That's a remarkably subjective call - was it the US/Brit invasion that started all this, or the 11th Sept attacks, or the US/British imposition of Israel on Palestine, or the British occupation of Palestine, or the Moors of the medieval times, or the Crusaders, or indeed Abraham sleeping with Hagar to father Ishmael (Arab nations; I think the Qu'ran agrees on this point) and later with Sarah to father Isaac and the Israelites?   

       What is my point? I suppose I'm just illustrating the complexity of the situation. The other side have played dirty, but this gives us no mandate for anything, because we too have failed to abide by the rules.
david_scothern, Jun 23 2006
  

       I agree David. In fact, even the use of the term "the other side" suggests some conflict or oposition which may or may not in itself be justified depending on your point of view. In the end we are all one people. We are all human. Who is to say that one side is wrong and one is right, across history many people have committed many atrosities against many other people. We cannot lash out in vengance forever. In the end, we must find a way to have peace and this has to begin with our attitudes and ideals. We must find a common ground and we must find a way to move towards acceptance of other cultures and other ideals. I do not think that the way to find this is through war, pain and suffering, in my humble opinion.
webfishrune, Jun 23 2006
  

       /making such comparison debases language /   

       TC - the reason for knowing about the Gulag, or any other systematic atrocity, is so one can be aware that such things are possible. The Gulag and the system that it represents was not a fluke or an isolated idiosyncracy. It must be remembered and be discussed because it can happen again. It can then be recognized and prevented. The memory of those who suffered and died in the past can be used to prevent evil today. What greater honor could we give them?   

       This is a weighty annotation to throw onto an idea which on its face is humorous, but which I intend as an oblique acknowlegement of a matter which greatly disturbs me, and which many in America do not want to recognize for what it is. Recognize it, [theircompetitor]. You are halfway there.   

       "It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones. " Solzhenitsyn.
bungston, Jun 23 2006
  

       Oh, no, I don't justify anyone's tactics. Not at all.   

       Nor, bungston, do I think that there's a problem with getting attention to Kosovo, Rwanda, and Darfur. I think mostly the world is shameless in ignoring these.   

       But things are what they are. Gitmo is not a gulag. Disagreeing with the tactics employed within is of course our right. And one can argue that as the civil liberties pendulum swings, citizen pressure is essential in keeping the government honest. But one has to be intellectually honest. Calling it a gulag may make a nice rhetorical point, just like calling Saddam a Hitler might, but it's an absurdity. Nothing compares.
theircompetitor, Jun 23 2006
  

       I don't think thats true. The morality of these things doesn't vary with scale. However few people you torture (or whatever), it isn't less reprehensible.   

       Incidentally, dictionary.com says this about gulag:   

       Pronunciation Key (gläg) n.   

       1. A network of forced labor camps in the former Soviet Union.
2. A forced labor camp or prison, especially for political dissidents.
3. A place or situation of great suffering and hardship, likened to the atmosphere in a prison system or a forced labor camp.
  

       Sense 3 looks right on the money to me, and no mention of a requirement to house millions.
Loris, Jun 23 2006
  

       Loris, obviously you can believe what you like. While I can accept that the people at Gitmo are not in a Martha Stewart type prison, I do not accept that they are in anything like the Gulag was, nor do I accept the premise that the US Government is pursuing such a policy.   

       Further, while I accept that certain prisoners there or elsewhere may have been abused, you would have to truly be born yesterday not to understand that people get abused in every prison on the planet, and that such incidence is likely lower in any US run facility than elsewhere on the planet, and certainly lower than in any non-Western facility.
theircompetitor, Jun 23 2006
  

       /they are criminal/   

       They are us. The US flag flies over exactly the actions that we as a nation have stood against for the past 100 years. The scariest thing about Gitmo and the darker and more secret torture camps is that that stuff seems to be OK with 51% of the populace, and the other 49% is not represented by people capable of making it stop.
bungston, Jun 25 2006
  

       self flagellate all you want, in the end, I remain convinced that we try to do the best we can. I'm sure that you're right in that most people can't give a fuck, but again, it's not like you discovered some new human condition
theircompetitor, Jun 25 2006
  

       "If not us, who? If not now, when?" Having said that, I have no hope of finding anyone who will lead an investigation and bring our current administration to justice now or anytime in the future. As long as my neighbors can drive thier H2's and buy cheap GM foods at the market... as [bungston] says, the majority of Americans seem happy with it.
James Newton, Jun 26 2006
  

       Well at least you have 51% support for this sort of behaviour. Here in the UK the vast majority of us are outraged at what has been going on, yet somehow as a nation we still support your wars, process your flights full of untried, unnamed people heading for unnamed prisons and collude in the whole dirty mess. I'm still unsure why. </rant>
wagster, Jun 26 2006
  

       Straight economics [wags]. The special relationship is with Mammon, not the US.

As for the larger debate, [tc] is correct to identify the issue of scale. There may be moral equivalence in the use of torture whatever the numbers, but there's a big difference in real terms between what went on in Russia and Germany and what's happening now - nobody's going to argue that the crash on the local road that kills two people is equivalent to the Titanic now are they?

That acknowledgement made, Gitmo is unacceptable and it is only because the US is the biggest kid in the playground that it's allowed to continue to exist. Patriotic Americans who recall that the Stars & Stripes do not actually stand for unchecked military aggression, torture and humiliation of captives, extraordinary rendition and an ever-encroaching culture of fear and restriction of civil liberties owe it to themselves to make their voices heard on this issue.
DocBrown, Jun 26 2006
  

       wagster, for answers, go to a WWII museum.   

       Thank you, Doc, rhat is largely my point.   

       UB, I am dissapointed to be sure when we don't rise to te occasion, but I was more dissapointed throughout the 90s when we let AlQueda fester, abandoned Afghanistan, ignored Africa, waited to do anything in Yugoslavia, etc.   

       The one thing I have not heard here is: what to do?   

       Are you saying hold them in regular prisons? Are you saying let them go? Try them? What's the alternative?
theircompetitor, Jun 26 2006
  

       /We try to do the best we can/ by locking up people you don't like, just because you don't like them? Come on. If you think that that is "the best we can do" then you've lost the justice that the US, as a nation, claims to stand for. Who are you to go prosecuting wars "for freedom" in other countries, while locking people up without trial back home?   

       And you mention "try them" as an unsuitable alternative? Of course you should be trying them. Find out whether you should, in fact, be taking large chunks of their lives away.   

       But no. Think of the scandal if you accidentally found one innocent. The press would love it.
david_scothern, Jun 26 2006
  

       //holding people because you don't like them//   

       david, if you truly believe this is the right way to characterize those held in Gitmo there is no point in our conversation.   

       As to trials, they are problematic at least in the case of POWs. But there are still hostilities in Afghanistan, and there are some cases od recaptures. As you know, many have been released.   

       Sadly, I see no alternative to incarceration for those that would surely take up arms again.
theircompetitor, Jun 26 2006
  

       [tc] you may be (and very probably are) correct in that last remark in the majority of cases, but we will never know for certain until the US authorities progress the judicial process. Furthermore, the fact that the majority of the denizens may be dangerous criminal types does not justify the unconditional and interminable detention of the tragic "wrong place, wrong time" exceptions that may be in there too.

The only way Gitmo could ever be vindicated is with public trial of all detainees, which they would never risk, as [ds] points out.
DocBrown, Jun 26 2006
  

       theircompetitor:
//Loris, obviously you can believe what you like.//
I can and shall. However, I always strive to believe the truth.
  

       //While I can accept that the people at Gitmo are not in a Martha Stewart type prison//   

       I didn't mention Guantanamo*, I was under the impression we were talking about your issue with the use of the word 'gulag'.** I think as the dictionary entry shows, this usage was acceptable.   

       *You meant that with 'gitmo', right?
**(but if I'm not mistaken, the nude cheerleading interrogation occured in Iraq.)
Loris, Jun 26 2006
  

       I suggest that a trial would reveal almost exclusively that they were dangerous characters. I'm not implying that the US intelligence outfits are imbeciles. However, if the evidence has not been deliberated over by a recognised and just court, then they are being incarcerated simply because it's convenient to the US to do so. To my mind, that puts them on the list of people that the US doesn't like.   

       Prove them guilty, and they'll be on the list of international terrorists, and nobody's gonna argue the wisdom of imprisoning them then.
david_scothern, Jun 26 2006
  

       // .. It embarrasses me that our government uses these tired, lame old gulag-style Ivan Denisovich tactics.   

       Better to think top-down? Like, "kill and _______ their leaders and convert them to _______."?   

       Go visit "prophet of doom" .net. Review the history of fascism and see upon what you've modeled your techniques, and report back with a rewrite of the silliness that started the whole thread.
reensure, Jun 26 2006
  

       I love the mentality - "we're worse, because it's us - we should be better". The enemy is doing horrendous things, but we are just as bad because we are doing horrendous things to them. Oh we are so bad, we should just let all those bad lawless people free because we are detaining them lawlessly and we don't even give them the courtesy of railroad trials. They deserve the right to come and kill us because we are so bad - Boo hoo.   

       We imprison people for no reason - I mean if they haven't had a "real" trial with real honest lawyers, there couldn't possibly be a reason to house, feed, guard, clothe, and provide for them instead of dumping them in the middle of the Atlantic. We should just assume they are victims - victims of bad, bad Americans.   

       But it feels so good to be bad sometimes - count me in the 51% - just make sure I have beer and Tivo.
trekbody, Jun 26 2006
  

       Loris, I assumed Gitmo was being referred to given the "cramped" cells thing, bungston did not disabuse me of that notion, or perhaps he was referring to both.   

       I certainly could not possibly condone the events at Abu Graib, nor can anyone, I would think.
theircompetitor, Jun 26 2006
  

       I think everyone has missed the important point in this idea: nude cheerleaders.   

       Three words: Bring it on!
xaviergisz, Jun 27 2006
  

       /house, feed, guard, clothe, and provide for them/ how kind. You'd best hope that your government never mistakes you for one of those nasty bad people, or you might be housed, fed, guarded, clothed and abused too. Indefinitely. Which is rather the point - locking up killers is one thing, but locking up innocent men is unjust and unjustifiable.   

       But they won't take you. No. You're innocent. Hang on a minute...
david_scothern, Jun 27 2006
  

       again, david, you're being absurd. First, you're quite liberal with the use of the word government.   

       Our government includes both branches of Congress, and the Court, which has numerous times placed curbs on executive power. Certainly without the status of enemy combatant you go on a trial queue, and the few people where the executive tried to circumvent that, like Padilla and Hamdi, the executive was turned back by the Court. The give & take of prerogatives by the various branches is something that is built into our system of government -- it is not meant to be static, purposefully so.   

       And, UB, history will tell, won't it, as Putin's next election comes up. We'll soon see if keeping those troops in Germany for 50 years made sense or not :)
theircompetitor, Jun 27 2006
  

       Although I do not participate in these type of discussions, I must withdraw my bun, as it is not funny any longer.   

       Sorry [bungston], it is funny unto itself, but not after all these annos.
xandram, Jun 27 2006
  

       //Straight economics [wags]. The special relationship is with Mammon, not the US.//   

       //wagster, for answers, go to a WWII museum//   

       I suspect that if the US was a third world country that had been a war ally, we wouldn't be quite so close as we are now. On the other hand, if the US had stayed out of the war altogether but was still an economic superpower we would still be best buddies. Money talks.
wagster, Jun 27 2006
  

       And [theircompetitor], who is it that decides if someone is an "enemy combatant" and therefor not subject to a fair trial? Can you say "loophole"?   

       [trekbody] phrases like "not skinking to thier level" and "we hold ourselves to a higher standard" come to mind. Or did...   

       It just seems to me like we SHOULD be more upset about us mistreating them than we are about them mistreating us. We are carying the big stick, shouldn't we walk softly?
James Newton, Jun 27 2006
  

       [xandram], can't you just read the funny bits? Sorry to be a wet blanket.
bungston, Jun 27 2006
  

       I've been thinking about this a lot. I think I will put my vote back, because it is funny, but like I said in my first anno, the world sucks esp. when reality sets in.
xandram, Jun 28 2006
  

       Unabubba wrote "Enshrined in the US constitution are two fundamentals: 1. The right to a speedy trial 2. That all men are equal in the eyes of the law."   

       I agree completely with the sentiment - but these are not US citizens - the constitution does not apply. You can argue our actions should fall under the ideals of the constitution, but it only works where there is established rule of law. It's wonderful that we have such protections in the U.S. - I just wouldn't want to give those protections to those who want to destroy those freedoms.   

       The bigger picture for me (admittedly) is that until this last hundred years or so, nations have previously gone to war with the intent to destroy or subjugate the entirety of the other - (the campaigns Julius Caeser being a possible exception). The civilians of Japan suffered for the actions of their government in WW2. That used to be understandable. I think the people of the nations we have gone to war with are blessed that we do not just flatten them from the air - and if some fall through the cracks in the pursuit of the "real" bad-guys - so be it. It is still a kinder and gentler method of warfare rather than wholesale destruction. I'm comfortable applying the let 100 guilty go free to save 1 innocent man to citizens of my own country, but to apply that measure to citizens of countries involved with my potential destruction is suicide.
trekbody, Jun 28 2006
  

       A better place to discuss this is at overbaked <link>.
reensure, Jun 28 2006
  

       <pops head in - gulps - leaves suddenly>
Jinbish, Jun 28 2006
  

       James Newton wrote "It just seems to me like we SHOULD be more upset about us mistreating them than we are about them mistreating us. We are carying the big stick, shouldn't we walk softly?"   

       That only works if the other person believes you would actually use the big stick. I wish we lived in a world where we can afford to be upset about mistreating those who would do us great harm. I don't think we can, but I appreciate the sentiments of your and Unabubba's and many of the other's here.   

       I think that is the divide though - not whether we would like to protect everyone on the planet with the rights our founding fathers brilliantly defined, but whether we can afford to and survive.
trekbody, Jun 28 2006
  

       Interesting point. I think that what I'm afraid of is, in fact, the viewpoint you put forward. In its mild form it makes a certain amount of practical sense. However, to set a precedent of ignoring justice because it is useful to do so looks like a dangerous slippery slope. I know that suggesting they'd come for you or for me looks ridiculous, because that's not the environment we live in. Yet. I think it imperative to stay away from the edge - to win the war on terror at the expense of losing the principles the US stands for would be no victory.
david_scothern, Jun 28 2006
  

       //So, all men are equal, but some are more equal than others? And you wonder why the rest of the world thinks you're a xenophobic arsehole?//   

       Nice one Una!   

       I posted a long anno which (whilst having a tad more argument) I deleted, not wanting to bother discussing this. However, you have captured the very essence of my sentiments.   

       reminds me of a quote (I forget who from sorry) it goes something like:   

       "the whole world hates America and the reason WHY they hate America is because they do not know that the whole world hates them".   

       It seems to me that this attitude is the epitome of red-neck American xenophobia disguised as patriotism and is the core reason that both terrorists and more peaceful groups feel upset by America and feel a need to attack the country, because the administration and some of the population have absolutely no respect for different cultures, beliefs or ways of life.   

       Thankfully, not all Americans are like this. Unfortunately, their president seems to be and since he has the power to speak for the whole country every American is tarred with the same brush. This results in a perception that the USA cannot even stand up for it's own values and afford the same rights to others as they lay claim to themselves.
webfishrune, Jun 29 2006
  

       //this attitude is the epitome of red-neck American xenophobia//

More xenophobe bashing. Why can't people just leave us alone?
ldischler, Jun 29 2006
  

       //More xenophobe bashing//   

       if you lined up a group of xenophobes and ran up and down bashing them on their heads with a small hammer, would you have just invented a new musical instrument? - and would it be called a Stylophobe or a Xenophone?
xenzag, Jun 29 2006
  

       sorry for adding to this, but see link. As I mentioned, those who say "government" fundamentally misunderstand the structure of our government.   

       ROFL, ldischler.
theircompetitor, Jun 29 2006
  

       right, [theircompetitor]. Labelling as "the government" some idealistic little s**t. Obviously nothing better to talk about.
reensure, Jun 29 2006
  

       Unabubba - I seem to have gotten under your skin. //So, all men are equal, but some are more equal than others? And you wonder why the rest of the world thinks you're a xenophobic arsehole?//   

       Unabubba, I can proudly stand and say yes, I think all men are created equal, but the ones who are not trying to destroy the blessings of liberty are more deserving than those who are. I am concerned as a practical matter with giving right to those who do not respect those rights. If you could see past the red in your eyes you could read that ideally I would apply those Constitutional ideals to EVERYONE. I just don't think it is practical without leaving ourselves open to destruction.   

       As for Xenophobic - how could you possibly presume to know enough about my race, nationality, friends, coworkers or associates to make blanket statements like that. You do a disservice to yourself sir - I find most often that those in life who label others - Xenophobic, Racist, Bigot, Homophobe are the ones who are repressing hate. You cast out hate in utter ignorance.   

       As for Arsehole - I'll let that stand, it takes one to know one.
trekbody, Jun 29 2006
  

       //I am concerned as a practical matter with giving right to those who do not respect those rights// - Damn straight. But who exactly are 'those' people? Are they terrorists who have been trying to deprive the innocent of their lives and liberty, or are they middle-eastern men with beards who were in the wrong place at the wrong time? I don't know - I can't look at the trial records. In my country I can now be held for 28 days without trial on the basis of an anonymous tip-off from anyone with a grudge against me. In yours I could be held forever. These are Dark Days for freedom in the west, which is what the Muslim Brotherhood was hoping for.
wagster, Jun 29 2006
  

       at a point where a blogger can bring down an institution, you think these are dark days? Darkness is when you're afraid to tell a joke for fear of being executed. And spare the slippery slope arguments.   

       But this has gotten waaaaay to old for the HB. I'm surprised we have not incurred jutta's wrath yet. Enough already.
theircompetitor, Jun 29 2006
  

       Indeed. One freedom we do still have is that of holding differing opinions. I'm happy to let this one lie.
david_scothern, Jun 29 2006
  

       I would think political correctness is a much bigger threat to "speaking your mind" then Big Brother. And Big Brother not only means that what you say is monitored. It also means the cop beating the suspect winds up on CNN.
theircompetitor, Jun 29 2006
  

       //We'll soon see if keeping those troops in Germany for 50 years made sense or not :)//

Much as I hate to intrude on a private argument, given the recent actions by the USA, I reckon the Russians could probably make the same comment.
DrBob, Jun 29 2006
  

       equating the occupation of Eastern Europe with American presence in Western Europe is simply another example of the absurd rhetoric that you and others use, DrBob, in the absense of any sense of history. Far from generating a "touche", such a comment simply horrifies those of us on my side of the argument.
theircompetitor, Jun 29 2006
  

       the difference in our stated arguments, UB, seems to be not only their tonality, but their relationship with reality. Given that your homeland participated, on the same side, of every major war effort the US has in the last hundred years, it would have been only a slightly stranger statistic had I quoted it to you.   

       And you well know that no one is being dragged anywhere for their opinion. The guy critical to the Supreme Court decision linked, which came out against the President, was Bin Laden's driver, after all, perhaps not a mastermind but a somewhat unlikely symbol of Ghandian or MLKian opposition.   

       Other than irritating me (to be sure a worthy goal :)) and the moderators, I'm not sure what is to be gained by reaching so far in the arguments.   

       I wonder if someone has done a search on the HB, and counted, the amount of ideas that list outrage at 9/11, say, or suicide bombings, or Iran's behavior, etc, versus the list of ideas listing outrage or somehow attacking the status of the United States. It does get tiresome, after a while. Doesn't anyone here have new ideas?
theircompetitor, Jun 30 2006
  

       //Doesn't anyone here have new ideas?//   

       I must have anal glaucoma .. I can't see an ass pileup as anything useful.
reensure, Jun 30 2006
  

       //equating the occupation of Eastern Europe with American presence in Western Europe is simply another example of the absurd rhetoric that you and others use, DrBob, in the absense of any sense of history. //

I'm sorry but didn't the Americans connive at the divvying up of Europe at the Yalta Conference in 1945? It's you, I think, who has no sense of history.
DrBob, Jun 30 2006
  

       / I can't see an ass pileup as anything useful./   

       Exactly why new forms must be developed.
bungston, Jun 30 2006
  

       DrBob, it was a betrayal, absolutely. And the correct view in the end of Churchill's not Roosevelt's. But you miss the point. The US failed, as it were, to save millions from tyranny, in Germany, Chechoslovakia, Hungary, Baltics, etc. It was a horrible compromise, made at the end of a horrible war.   

       But that's not the same as saying, as you did or implied, that the Russians would somehow be justified in keeping troops in Eastern Europe because they are worried about US aggression. That is a statement that is absurd on its face.   

       I'll try UB. I'm going to go and recharge at Niagara for the Fourth, watch the fireworks, patriotic moment, that kind of thing, and be back with fresh ideas soonest.
theircompetitor, Jun 30 2006
  

       Sounds like fun. Enjoy it.
david_scothern, Jun 30 2006
  

       tc, I think you misunderstood my intent. I was in no way trying to justify the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. Merely trying to point out that, from their point of view, keeping troops there was entirely justified given what they saw as the expansionist ambitions of western capitalist states.

I'm sure that that is not how the American public (or even most of the European public) saw it at the time but, from a European point of view now, the US domination of NATO has marked similarities, particularly in regard to foreign policy, with the Soviet domination of the former Warsaw pact countries.
DrBob, Jun 30 2006
  

       Sounds good to me. People will say anything to get torture to stop, so the questions asked must be very carefully worded to be of any use at all. Even then, the results are suspect. People will do a little bit less for naked cheerleaders, so maybe useful responses will be easier to get by less trained individuals.
ye_river_xiv, May 13 2009
  
      
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