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  1. #151
    Senior Member Members Only's Avatar
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    The Sandinistas were responsible for TONS of atrocities. It is not "reasonably hard" to judge them for political murders, torture, shutting down opposition media outlets, et al. In the aggregate, they were bad people. Very bad.
    The Sandinistas committed their share of atrocities, mainly the Miskito Indians, in which I belive around seventy were killed. Like I've stated, I'm not one for debating "Moral Equivalency", but their figures are not comparable to the thousands killed by the Contras/Somazas. I do not see either side as "good" at the end of the day.

    The Sandinistas were not the 'perfect' democrats, nor were the Somozas/Contras. In defense of the Sandinistas policies however, figures released by OXFAM, and The World Bank did show an increase in health standards, literacy, consumption of food and diversity of wealth. This is one of the reasons why the US were so intent on removing the Sandinistas from power: diversity of wealth, and nationalisation of services, does not sit well with US corporate interests.

    I disagree here, too. Both sides certainly did awful things to client states during the Cold War, but you are implicitly equating the morality of liberal democracy and capitalism with authoritarian communism. They are not morally equivalent. Communism, fascism, National Socialism, Juche, whatever are both inefficient AND wrong. If we learned nothing else from the 20th-Century, we know that much. It's awful that so many lives were lost on both side trying to prove it, but we can't pretend as if everything was just one maniac bloodletting with no ideas and principles involved.
    As I said earlier, Democracy is just a word if the people are starving. The West does not have a very good record of promoting "true" democracy abroad. I have all ready said I would have preferred to live in the US/UK rather than the Soviet Union, but this does not make me blind to their transgressions.

    Yes there are ideas and principles involved; the ideas and principles involved though are more often than not, not the ones you may be thinking of. On the surface, we fight for freedom and democracy; we fight for humanity and justice; we fight for truth and equality. In reality, we fight for economic and geopolitical reasons under the guise of freedom and democracy.
    It's just a ride

  2. #152
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Sure, no problem. I really am NOT taking a neocon (or even RAH RAH ! AMERICA!) position. I just honestly think that communism is/was SO bad that it really cannot compared to free market capitalism (contrasted, yes; compared, no). I wouldn't even argue that the U.S. is a truly capitalist country in this day and age, either. That is partly due to what our leaders consider is necessary to maintain hegemony, which I find appalling.
    I'm not really a fan of either system, Capitalism, or Communism.

    I think it would be wise if the human race put its heads together, and broke free with staid, old ideologies, and evolved a new system gradually. I can't see it happening at the moment though. We could but we won't: too many powerful people have too many vested interests in the current system's' for that to happen at this moment in time.

    If you were ask me to choose I would choose Liberal Democracy/Capitalism, but at the same time I would also wish to disown all the murder and bloodshed that has took place in it's name, but I can't.

    Quote Originally Posted by ivy View Post
    Hey, where are the personal attacks? Don't make my popcorn popping have been in vain, people!

    (Srsly that's my way of saying thanks for showing that a political debate CAN be both passionate and civil.)

    (I'll feel really bad if I've missed a personal attack in this thread.)
    Awhhhh, thanks.
    It's just a ride

  3. #153
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carebear View Post
    They still look very similar from the outside. I agree the USSR was worse than the US, but both sides did anything to protect AND export their ideologies and more importantly; their influence.

    Ok, this debate is basically hopeless. We see totally different motives. One side sees two imperialist powers (one authoritarian, one less so, but still moving in that direction) fighting for the greatest influence, the other seems to be seeing "good" vs. "bad" where the good side sometimes have to make compromises to achieve the greater good.
    The United States did "anything" to export their ideology and influence in order to counter the spread of communism. Before WWII, we were isolationists (irresponsibly so); the realization of the Axis threat changed this. The subsequent rise of the Soviet Union as a superpower capable of exporting its (despicable) political system constituted what was viewed (correctly, in my opinion) as an existential threat-not only to our country, but to the political ideals that serve as the founding principles and very purpose of our state-nation. During the Cold War, as during WWII, we allied with virtually anybody we could to prevent that from happening. Its worth noting that our closest authoritarian allies (such as in Chile, South Korea, and Taiwan) eventually gave way to prosperous democratic systems, and this occurred largely through American pressure once the necessary compromises of the Cold War ended. Other authoritarian allies who refused to reform were abandoned when the threat was over. If we were hellbent on prioritizing self-interested influence over long-term strategic objective, why did we abandon objectionable allies we could have milked?

  4. #154
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Members Only View Post
    NATO is trying to institute "Democratic Institutions"? Such as the South American examples I provided? You can vote as long as you vote for "OUR" candidate, does that sound like democracy to you? You then include the use of "Puppet Authoritarian Governments"? Do I even need to list the amount of times the west has supported, and instituted Puppet Authoritarian Governments? The West is no stranger to this at all.

    In fact, Relative to this thread: Georgias goverment was a puppet goverment, a US puppet goverment. The Wall Street Journal in 2003 explicitly credited the toppling of Shevardnadze's regime to the operations of "a raft of 'non-governmental' organizations . . . supported by American and other Western foundations." Saakashvili's goverment was very much the classic puppet goverment, just for the "good" guys.
    A "puppet" government that replaced a genuinely authoritarian regime and instituted an imperfect but much better democratic regime. Many of those Western foundations recieved government money, many did not. Frankly, I have no problem with giving American money to civil society groups when the end result simultaniously promotes democracy as well as our national interests.

  5. #155
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Members Only View Post
    The Sandinistas committed their share of atrocities, mainly the Miskito Indians, in which I belive around seventy were killed. Like I've stated, I'm not one for debating "Moral Equivalency", but their figures are not comparable to the thousands killed by the Contras/Somazas. I do not see either side as "good" at the end of the day.
    Uhhhh, no. The Sandinistas conducted a brutal guerrilla war for over 15 years before they took power. They killed a lot of people (including women and children of Somoza regime sympathizers and Contras). I would link to wikipedia, but I have just taken a look at it, and their wiki for Nicaraguan history is HORRENDOUSLY biased in a pro-Sandinista way. It's astounding, actually. I've noticed this more and more recently; almost every political history wiki I've seen regarding the Cold War or capitalism has been pro-guerrilla or pro-labor/vehemently anti-management. I should get in touch with someone about that. Here is a link to an old NYT article about the slaughter of the natives:

    Sandinista Atrocities Charged by a Defector - New York Times

    They did other awful things, like banning other parties from participation in the government, shutting down newspapers, and all the generally shitty things authoritarians do.


    The Sandinistas were not the 'perfect' democrats, nor were the Somozas/Contras. In defense of the Sandinistas policies however, figures released by OXFAM, and The World Bank did show an increase in health standards, literacy, consumption of food and diversity of wealth. This is one of the reasons why the US were so intent on removing the Sandinistas from power: diversity of wealth, and nationalisation of services, does not sit well with US corporate interests.

    Diversity of wealth actually HELPS U.S. corporate interests, because it makes markets more lucrative. Forcible confiscation of wealth and nationalization of industries, obviously, do not. However, I would argue that it is within a individual's or corporation's rights to fight expropriation of their legal property. Property and wealth are not gifts bestowed by the government to be taken at its leisure. I would lead a counterrevolution here if our government ever got to that point of tyranny.


    As I said earlier, Democracy is just a word if the people are starving. The West does not have a very good record of promoting "true" democracy abroad. I have all ready said I would have preferred to live in the US/UK rather than the Soviet Union, but this does not make me blind to their transgressions.

    Yes there are ideas and principles involved; the ideas and principles involved though are more often than not, not the ones you may be thinking of. On the surface, we fight for freedom and democracy; we fight for humanity and justice; we fight for truth and equality. In reality, we fight for economic and geopolitical reasons under the guise of freedom and democracy.

    Well, I always say that "democracy has been fetishized" in modern society. Certainly, civil rights, property rights, due process, etc. are more important than voting all the time. Voting for Communists IS voting, but it's voting that doesn't help anyone. "True" democracy can be a net negative for the people. You will never catch me arguing that the United States is some shining example of benevolence lighting up the world and making everyone free. I don't think we should even BE that, if we could. We're supposed to be the example country, not the boss country. Still, there were good and bad sides in the Cold War. Most of the struggle was about who would be the hegemonic power, but our system was the right one (or, more accurately, the closer-to-right one).
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  6. #156
    Senior Member Maabus1999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    Is anyone else worried about this? The American government better not do anything stupid - like use this as a precursor to an invasion of Iran.
    Unfortunately for my NF friend, this is the real world. We won't do anything military though, it would do 100x more harm to us DIRECTLY then we could help Georgia.

    All I will say is Russia is going to become the big winner out of this, showing they can still do what they want when pushed and hold the Europe by the gonads since they supply Europe with 25%+ of their oil plus a ton of other resources.

    You want a really scary scenario? Have Russia, China, and India make a tri-alliance similar to NATO.

    Oh and the Georgian president is a bafoon, he is as much at fault for the pain in his country as Russia is.

  7. #157
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maabus1999 View Post
    Unfortunately for my NF friend, this is the real world. We won't do anything military though, it would do 100x more harm to us DIRECTLY then we could help Georgia.

    All I will say is Russia is going to become the big winner out of this, showing they can still do what they want when pushed and hold the Europe by the gonads since they supply Europe with 25%+ of their oil plus a ton of other resources.

    You want a really scary scenario? Have Russia, China, and India make a tri-alliance similar to NATO.

    I doubt it. Trying to get China and India to agree on anything is near-impossible. China has been somewhat on their behavior recently. We shall see if it will last. Pakistan concerns me right now.


    Oh and the Georgian president is a bafoon, he is as much at fault for the pain in his country as Russia is.
    Misha is pretty dumb, but he is no Putin or Medvedev.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  8. #158
    will make your day Carebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I doubt it. Trying to get China and India to agree on anything is near-impossible.
    I agree. I think they will object and probably interfere if one of the others is attacked and faces a chance of defeat (on a balance of power principle), but nothing more.

    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    China has been somewhat on their behavior recently. We shall see if it will last. Pakistan concerns me right now.
    I agree. I think Musharraf might serve as an example of authoritarianism not always being all bad. (But then again he failed, so perhaps not and we might never know.)
    I have arms for a fucking reaosn, so come hold me. Then we'll fuvk! Whoooooh! - GZA

  9. #159
    Senior Member Maabus1999's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    I doubt it. Trying to get China and India to agree on anything is near-impossible. China has been somewhat on their behavior recently. We shall see if it will last. Pakistan concerns me right now.




    Misha is pretty dumb, but he is no Putin or Medvedev.
    Just a scenario, not probable. Difference in words. Bet we have that scenario planned and filed somewhere though

    Pakistan was in rough shape when Masharraf was in charge...not just now.

    You do know he supported the Taliban heavily until 9/11 and switched sides (smartly).

    The world is a very dangerous place. Never forget that.

  10. #160
    will make your day Carebear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maabus1999 View Post
    Pakistan was in rough shape when Masharraf was in charge...not just now.
    True. It's had trouble for quite some time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maabus1999 View Post
    You do know he supported the Taliban heavily until 9/11 and switched sides (smartly).

    The world is a very dangerous place. Never forget that.
    Of course he did. (At least if you stretch the word "support" a bit.) Until 9/11 the Taliban kept the Pakistani neighbour "stable", weak and predictable. Besides, what were his options? Either alienate the fundamentalist islamic leaders of the neighbouring country without any means of getting rid of them or "support" them. He wasn't as tolerant of those kinds of movement in his own country however.

    After 9/11 he got an ultimatum from the US: Either side with them or face an US-Indian alliance. Musharraf knew Pakistan wouldn't be able to withstand American attacks and (smartly) switched sides.

    They're not really on any of the sides though. Like most countries they're on their own side and choose allies based on self interest.
    I have arms for a fucking reaosn, so come hold me. Then we'll fuvk! Whoooooh! - GZA

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