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Old 05-15-2012, 08:29 PM  
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US to Arab Spring: **** You



http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/38eb21ee-9...#axzz1uzn9UKsN

US arms sales to Bahrain to resume
By Geoff Dyer in Washington
May 12, 2012 12:09 am

The US is to resume selling arms to Bahrain a little more than a year after a harsh crackdown on anti-government protesters and despite continued claims of human rights abuses in the Gulf kingdom, which is a key US ally.

The Obama administration said that the arms sales, which Congress has been notified about, would include upgrades for Bahrain’s defence force, but would not involve weapons that could be used against demonstrators.

The decision to restart arms sales was the result of “national security interests”, said Victoria Nuland, state department spokeswoman. It follows a visit to Washington this week by Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s crown prince, who met with Hillary Clinton, secretary of state, and Leon Panetta, defence secretary.

Home to the US 5th fleet, Bahrain has been a key partner of the US in the Gulf for more than 60 years and the military facilities in the country are a central plank in the Pentagon’s efforts to deter Iran.

Other US allies in the region, notably Saudi Arabia, have also put pressure on Washington to maintain its support for Bahrain’s ruling Sunni Muslim royal family, which has faced widespread unrest among the majority Shia Muslim population.

However, the administration came under heavy pressure to scale back its ties last March after Manama declared a state of emergency in response to protests following the entry of Saudi and Emirati troops. In October, $53m in planned arms sales were put on hold pending an investigation of alleged human rights abuses.

A senior state department official said that the new arms sales would help boost the country’s external defences and would include air-to-air missiles, components for F-16 fighter jets and potentially a naval frigate. However, they would not include Humvees, stun grenades or tear gas.

“We are mindful of the continued human rights issues,” said a senior official. “Right now they are at an impasse and the violence is a result of that.”

In a speech last November, Hillary Clinton reflected on the conflicts of interest thrown up by the Arab Spring, particularly in Bahrain. It was fair for people to ask “why does America promote democracy one way in some countries and another way in others?” But she said that each country in the region was different and the administration needed to weigh the risk to US forces, the potential threat from al-Qaeda and the need to keep oil supplies flowing. “It would be foolish to take a one-size-fits-all approach and barrel forward regardless of circumstances on the ground,” she said.

As tensions with Iran have escalated in recent years, the US has been keen to use arms sales to boost the military capabilities of its allies in the region, most notably the $60bn deal with Saudi Arabia which was announced in 2010.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:31 AM   #166
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
If I can't trust him not to supply Planned Parenthood with spine rippers, I can't trust him with anything.
I'm not a one-issue voter like you are, though. My calculations run through a few more hoops.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:33 AM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tredadda View Post
One thing to realize from your post is that our population was far more conditioned for the constitutional republic than those in the Middle East. We were founded and settled primarily by those from England who has had a representative government as per the Magna Carta signed in 1215. This restricted the power of the monarch. Granted there were times when English monarchs had more power than at other times, but he never had absolute power like the Shahs and Caliphs of the Middle East. These situations are totally different.
Interesting observations -- thanks.

I'll say that even for a people who were more conditioned towards democracy such as ourselves, the transition to a functional, acceptable democracy has taken decades, and in some ways centuries.

My point stands, pretty much. A transition to democracy is ugly, but in the long run, everybody wins.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:34 AM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
You mean he would lose the opportunity to do the bidding of the military industrial complex for four more years?
Something like that.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:39 AM   #169
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I'm not a one-issue voter like you are, though. My calculations run through a few more hoops.
And all those hoops lead to Obama...even if some of those hoops innvolve selling arms to mow down innocent protesters.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:48 AM   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
You mean he would lose the opportunity to do the bidding of the military industrial complex for four more years?
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:55 AM   #171
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Originally Posted by Literature View Post
Because democracy, including American politics, is pragmatic, not an enthroning of absolutes and idealism.
Unless a Republican is in office, of course.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:01 PM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
And all those hoops lead to Obama...even if some of those hoops innvolve selling arms to mow down innocent protesters.
Well, yeah. I'm not convinced Romney would be any better on that score, hell not even his own advisors do. I disagree with Romney on fundamental issues across the ideological sphere.

It all goes on a scale.

That doesn't preclude me from criticizing the guy I vote for, and the idea that it should is a too simplistic way of thinking for me. But simplicity is the watchword of one-issue voters like yourself. I personally consider it a vice.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:10 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Well, yeah. I'm not convinced Romney would be any better on that score, hell not even his own advisors do. I disagree with Romney on fundamental issues across the ideological sphere.

It all goes on a scale.

That doesn't preclude me from criticizing the guy I vote for, and the idea that it should is a too simplistic way of thinking for me. But simplicity is the watchword of one-issue voters like yourself. I personally consider it a vice.
I find it amusing that someone who fancies himself as being as nuanced as you do can't distinguish between being a single issue voter and having deal killers.

If selling weapons to those who will use them to kill innocent protesters isn't a deal killer for you, then bang bang.
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Last edited by Saul Good; 05-16-2012 at 12:16 PM..
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:32 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I should also mention that going from autocracy to democracy is insanely difficult to do, even if you've managed to overthrow your rulers.

The United States sucked at it, initially. We earned our democracy and then suppressed the majority of the population from voting because they either had vaginas
Man, you got the U.S. there...Oh, wait, not a single nation had established women's suffrage when this nation was born, though New Zealand did so about 100 years later...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
or dark skin. We continued enslaving an entire race.
Considering it was mostly Europeans and African tribal chieftains that got slavery well entrenched in the Colonies, it was absolutely unthinkable that the new nation of America did not end the practice overnight. Of course it was still being practiced in much of the world, and slavery was abolished in several individual states in the late 1700s and Jefferson signed an act prohibiting the importation of any more slaves into the country in 1808.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
And I'm not even including the Articles of Confederation disaster that almost tore the country apart from the inside.

It's very, very possible that, if any of these populations were hypothetically able to overthrow their rulers, the result would be messy, disasterous, and with an oppressive new ruling class. We shouldn't snuff out democracies or in this case, aid the suppression of democratic protesters, simply because we think we know best. What's best is going to unfold over decades, and it will be messy for a while. But the first step must be the homegrown overthrow of the current regimes.

We have a homegrown overthrow, a patriotic part of our history we regard as near-sacred. A couple centuries later, we're working against other people doing the same.

**** that.

You liberals simply must look at everything about America in the worst possible light. I guess it always helps to tear down someone or something great so your own disgusting lives don't pale quite as badly in comparison. It also seems to give you a sense of sophistication to be contemptuous of your own country since you are so certain that to be patriotic is to be a simpleton.

When you and the Knights of the White Guilt Monkeys unite, you are indeed a force to be reckoned with.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:34 PM   #175
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The other day I overheard my teenage granddaughter in a conversation with her friends get frustrated cause they were getting the better of her in their "discussion".

She said "Swing and a miss".

I thought it was just something she says but now I'm thinking all teenage girls say the same thing.

Kids....they really do say the darndest things.
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Old 05-16-2012, 01:19 PM   #176
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Considering it was mostly Europeans and African tribal chieftains that got slavery well entrenched in the Colonies, it was absolutely unthinkable that the new nation of America did not end the practice overnight. Of course it was still being practiced in much of the world, and slavery was abolished in several individual states in the late 1700s and Jefferson signed an act prohibiting the importation of any more slaves into the country in 1808.




You liberals simply must look at everything about America in the worst possible light. I guess it always helps to tear down someone or something great so your own disgusting lives don't pale quite as badly in comparison. It also seems to give you a sense of sophistication to be contemptuous of your own country since you are so certain that to be patriotic is to be a simpleton.
Slavery, throughout human history, is relatively commonplace. It's not a unique failing of "religious white males who are more successful than me", which is of course the group liberals in the end will blame for all the things in their life they aren't happy about.
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Old 05-16-2012, 05:01 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by Saul Good View Post
I find it amusing that someone who fancies himself as being as nuanced as you do can't distinguish between being a single issue voter and having deal killers.
Feel free to highlight the difference between one-issue voting and "deal killers."

Two reasonably sane candidates are running. One is pro-life, one is pro-choice.

Without hearing any other ounce of information, your vote has already been determined.

That's one issue voting. Exercise any Orwellian word substitution you wish, but that's what it is.

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If selling weapons to those who will use them to kill innocent protesters isn't a deal killer for you, then bang bang.
Yes, I think you've mentioned that point a hundred times already. Well done.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:13 PM   #178
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
I have a wealth of core values, and how I respond to them and how I manage them politically doesn't have to mirror yours.

Interesting that you target abortion, though. It just so happens that Mitt Romney was pro choice not that long ago, but I'm willing to bet you'll happily cast a vote for him in November.

Why? Because Obama's worse, you'll no doubt rationalize.
Mitt Romney has an unblemished pro-life record across his entire career in public office. From a pro-life perspective, he made some troubling statements during his early campaigns (in MA), but from his first chance to make a decision involving these issues, he's come down on the pro-life side pretty consistently.
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:20 PM   #179
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post
Feel free to highlight the difference between one-issue voting and "deal killers."

Two reasonably sane candidates are running. One is pro-life, one is pro-choice.

Without hearing any other ounce of information, your vote has already been determined.

That's one issue voting. Exercise any Orwellian word substitution you wish, but that's what it is.
Murdering babies is a big deal to me. I don't consider it sane. Substitute slavery for abortion and make the same statement.

I may not vote for the other guy, but I'm not voting for a pro slavery candidate, either.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:06 PM   #180
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Murdering babies is a big deal to me. I don't consider it sane. Substitute slavery for abortion and make the same statement.

I may not vote for the other guy, but I'm not voting for a pro slavery candidate, either.
Heh.

One-issue voters wrap their vote around one issue -- as you do.

The only plausible way you can deny you're a one-issue voter is to claim there is virtually no such thing as a one-issue voter, as you did right there, by incorporating either unrealistic or grossly outdated issues as an additional issue. Because I'm willing to bet 99.99% of one-issue voters would probably agree with you on that score.

Unlike yourself, I base my decisions on a multitude of issues. Not just one.

So I can understand how you can look at my condemning of the Obama administration's actions in Bahrain as puzzling, considering I'm virtually guaranteed to vote for his reelection. But to people who aren't one-issue voters, that's just the world we live in. It's a lot more difficult to sort issues out.
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