10 lies from the US government about Irak.

One may be a mistake. Two may be incompetence. But ten?

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?S...

I don't know if they're all real, but that's just obscene.

Youre right, having it listed out like that really makes me nauseous. No way to dodge it when it''s quoted like that.

Here''s some simple application of logic:

Saddam Hussein had WMDs. He used them against the Iranians when they were trying to invade. He used them against the Kurds without hesitation. Administration officials have characterized him as ""evil"" and ""crazy,"" which, given the aforementioned cases, doesn''t seem like that big of a stretch. So, with his army being less than third rate and the most advanced military in the world poised to strike, why wouldn''t he have used his WMDs? He used them against Iran. He used them against the Kurds. If he''s ""evil"" and ""crazy,"" wouldn''t he have used the WMDs to wipe out the invaders? I have yet to here a satisfactory rationalization as to why he wouldn''t use his WMDs if he had them.

Choice quotes:

This was reference to the discovery of two modified truck trailers that the CIA claimed were potential mobile biological weapons lab. But British and American experts – including the State Department''s intelligence wing in a report released this week – have since declared this to be untrue. According to the British, and much to Prime Minister Tony Blair''s embarrassment, the trailers are actually exactly what Iraq said they were; facilities to fill weather balloons, sold to them by the British themselves.

Well, so much for your smoking gun.

On the terrible day of the 9/11 attacks, five hours after a hijacked plane slammed into the Pentagon, retired Gen. Wesley Clark received a strange call from someone (he didn''t name names) representing the White House position: ""I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, ''You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein,''"" Clark told Meet the Press anchor Tim Russert. ""I said, ''But – I''m willing to say it, but what''s your evidence?'' And I never got any evidence.''""

Perhaps someone from the Pentagon? Somebody close to Don Rumsfeld or Paul Wolfowitz? Sad. If we could throw out any two cabinet members right now, I''d throw them out.

Oh, and screw you, Pyro.

Not to pick on you Rat Boy, but do you notice how the Politics forum has died down since implementing the ""last edited by"" labels?

I am glad someone has finally compiled a list.

I''m having a hard time reconciling our lack of evidence with Hussein''s unwillingness to show U.N. inspectors that there was truly a lack of evidence. Why stall? Why bluster? Why act like they had something to hide? The treaty after the first Gulf War was contingent upon Iraq showing proof that they had gotten rid of arms and chemical weapons, not on U.S. proof that Iraq is or is not hiding them.

I find it weird for me (liberal type guy) to place the burden of proof on Iraq, but I certainly did before the war. To me what you have now is two groups of stupid s**t, rather than blaming the Bush admin, which I would love to do. Why did we lie if we lied, since really what we had to prove was that Hussein wasn''t living up to the gulf war treaty, and why didn''t hussein show he''d lived up to it if that was the case?

My guess is that Hussein didn''t want to appear weak to the surrounding Middle East (like say Iran, who might happily invade), and we wanted to appease the U.N., even though I don''t think the U.S. gives a fig about the U.N. I guess our lies worked out better for us in the short term. Here''s hoping things work out long term.

A long quote, because I think it sums up my thoughts nicely:

""Remember: The United States did not have the burden of proving Saddam Hussein was still manufacturing and stockpiling weapons of mass destruction to justify attacking Iraq. There is no reason the ground rules should suddenly change now that the war is over.

We don''t have the burden of finding WMDs now -- not because hindsight vindicates our action as a humane liberation of the Iraqi people, which it was -- but because we never had the burden in the first place.

Don''t you recall U.N. Resolution 1441? It was not a unilateral edict of the United States but a unanimous corporate statement of the 15-member Security Council. It was passed Nov. 8, 2002, not at some distant point in the past. What did that multilateral resolution provide?

It affirmed the world''s absolute certainty that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. It declared that Iraq had repeatedly breached its obligations under U.N. Resolution 687 of 1991 by failing to disclose fully and accurately its WMD and long-range missile programs. It stated that Iraq had repeatedly obstructed U.N. inspections and finally terminated them altogether.

It gave Iraq a final chance to comply with its treaty obligation to disarm, but warned that Iraq would be considered in further material breach and face serious consequences if it made false statements or omissions in its required declaration as to disarmament.

What did all that mean in English? Simply that Iraq would either show the good guys where they were hiding the weapons or produce a comprehensive and credible paper trail proving it had disposed of them.

But on Dec. 8, Saddam produced a bogus 12,000-page document full of lies and disinformation. Right then and there Saddam sealed his own fate. For though some on the Security Council had lost their resolve -- or were never sincere in the first place -- George Bush was dead serious that he wasn''t going to permit any further criminality from this terrorist-enabling tyrant.

While we permitted the post-Clinton era doves to characterize our military enforcement of Resolution 1441 as an act of preemption, technically, it was not -- not if we care anything about the words we put on paper following a war.

The gist of it is that Saddam Hussein was on probation following Gulf War I. For 12 years he repeatedly violated his conditions of probation with virtual impunity. Sure, he absorbed a few cruise missile volleys, but their limited scope did more to strengthen his defiance than deter it. He knew Clinton wasn''t serious. He surely thought after 12 years of this fecklessness that George W. Bush wasn''t going to be either.

Though the U.N. ultimately abdicated its duties as Saddam''s probation officer, the United States and the coalition did not. We took it upon ourselves to revoke his probation. Not because we had definitive proof that he still had WMDs -- though we sincerely believed and still believe he did (we''ve already found the two mobile weapons labs) -- but because he failed to satisfy his conditions of probation showing us the banned goods or proof he had disposed of them.

He had more than a dozen chances. And sane people are supposed to believe he didn''t have the weapons when all he would have had to do to remain in power and riches was to walk us through the process whereby he destroyed them?

The only way Saddam didn''t still have the weapons, which we know he earlier had and used to slaughter his own people, is if he destroyed them. So what Bush''s perennial war detractors are necessarily saying is that he made the great sacrifice (in his mind) and went to all the trouble of disposing of the WMDs, yet refused to benefit from it? That would be like a convicted bank robber, after being promised no jail time if he returned the stolen money, burning the cash and losing both the loot and his liberty. Right -- it''s unthinkable.

I don''t expect Bush''s detractors -- whose goal is to discredit him -- to be logical or intellectually honest. But I do expect others to analyze this clearly. We are not required to find these weapons. We know Saddam had them, or he wouldn''t have repeatedly obstructed the inspectors, filed a flagrantly false declaration or permitted himself to be ousted from power.""

Sorry about that. All of the quotes that are attributed to Bush having ''lied'' about WMD are hogwash created with the benefit of hindsight. Bush was making statements about intelligence that was provided to him. If, after 6 weeks we haven''t found WMD, I am not upset. Hell, the UN was convinced Saddam had them and couldn''t find them for 12 years.

I think the world is a better place and the US is safer as a result of our actions in Iraq. I think that saying that the war was unjust or a failure is merely one more way for critics of the administration to voice displeasure. Amazing how many of those same critics don''t express their opinions on the failures of the liberal social policies of the last 40 years (ask if you really want to know).

Six weeks and no WMD = Bush is a liar, and the war in Iraq is a blatant failure.

40 years of social reform failing to deliver any of the expected improvements = ''What? You''re obviously oversimplifying the matter'' type responses.

Another point:

Iraq is what, the size of California?

We control the borders of California (in theory), the population is friendly to the US (again, in theory), and yet we still have a million illegal immigrants and tons of drugs being transported through the state.

If we can''t immediately find a kidnapped child in CA, or find every illegal shipment or activity on our home field, why do you assume that inability to find something that is presumably well hidden in a similar size geographic area, in hostile territory should be accomplished in 6 weeks or less?

They called the trailers ""some success;"" and those turned out to be weather balloon stations. I don''t trust it; this is from the same Senator who nixed any notion of a Congressional inquiry outright.

Excellent read. Thanks for the link, Mex!

More conterarguments against Ulairi:

From here:

Two Republicans said there was definitive evidence and details probably would be made public soon. But Democrats weren''t so sure, saying the Republicans were trying to shift the focus from proving that deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein had weapons to proving he was developing them.

They have a point. Why are the Republicans trying to shift the focus? A WMD development program is different than having stockpiled, read-to-use (not expired) WMDs. If developing, researching, and designing weapons were enough to start a war, then Dubya should launch an invasion of Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, and Skywalker Ranch.

"JohnnyMoJo" wrote:
If we can''t immediately find a kidnapped child in CA, or find every illegal shipment or activity on our home field, why do you assume that inability to find something that is presumably well hidden in a similar size geographic area, in hostile territory should be accomplished in 6 weeks or less?

The Administration claimed it had credible intelligence on these weapons, which should include the locations of the stockpiles, research areas, and and manufacturing facilities. They even publicly displayed aerial photographs of such facilities and showed video footage of a Mirage fighter specially equipped to spray chemical weapons on a target. Where are these facilities that they clearly had photographic evidence that existed? Where is this Mirage fighter equipped to spray our troops? So far, they have found nothing.

The Administration now has many key members of Iraq''s old WMD program (no one should doubt that they had WMDs at one point) in their custody, such as Dr. Germ, Mrs. Anthrax, and Tariq Aziz. Given our ability to get prisoners to reveal important information (such as Kalid Sheikh Mohammed), these people should be revealing the very information the Administration is seeking. So far, they have found nothing.

The Administration claimed that these weapons were a direct and immediate threat to the United States and could be quickly deployed against invading ground forces. Lately, the Administration claims that these weapons are very well hidden. Would weapons hidden this effectively be a threat to anyone? If these weapons could be dispersed to frontline troops in 45 minutes, as Mr. Blair claimed, why weren''t they forward deployed to ground forces near the Kuwaiti border, specifically the military units manning SCUD and al-Samoud missle launchers? After all, Saddam Hussein showed no hesitation in using WMDs against Iranian forces and Kurdish civilians in the past? Why would he hold back when the world''s most powerful military was bearing down on him? So far, they have found nothing.

Maybe, just maybe, conservatives should stop blindly backing the Administration on this and start worrying that these weapons are now in the hands of terrorists and on their way to the US. If I believed they existed, I''d be worried about that very unsettling possibility.

Something to bear in mind: in 1998, Operation Desert Fox was launched on the order of the Clinton Administration to destroy the WMD facilities and storage sites of Iraq. Back then, they had access to first-hand intelligence gathered by UN Weapons Inspectors, satellite reconaissance, spy plane and spy drone photography, and intelligence assets on the ground. They seemed to have no problem in drawing up a target list. They seemed to have no problem in determing where these weapons were and sending aircraft to destroy them. Perhaps, just perhaps, Desert Fox was a lot more successful than critics of the Clinton Adminstration are willing to admit.


Maybe, just maybe, conservatives should stop blindly backing the Administration on this and start worrying that these weapons are now in the hands of terrorists and on their way to the US. If I believed they existed, I''d be worried about that very unsettling possibility.

Actually, this is a major topic of discussion amongst serious individuals (Conservatives, that is...). Everyone with a lick of sense knows the WMD existed. Clinton, the UN, Hans Blix, German and Russian Intelligence all have at one time presented evidence of WMD programs in Iraq over the last 5 years. In 1998, IRAQ DOCUMENTED FOR US most of the listed WMD''s used by Bush as evidence. Saddam was the one who told us he had them, we just wanted to know what he had done with them. At any time, he could have showed us either the weapons or the evidence of their destruction. If they didn''t exist, he truly was insane and the world should be thanking us for putting down this rabid animal.

But the reality is that they did exist. Saddam likely moved many to Syria (or N. Iraq, a it is more commonly known), and hid others in the crazy belief that he would survive this period without us actually ever coming in. Saddam is well known for these types of poor judgement calls - see Gulf War I.

As to why he didn''t use them in battle: Firstly, he wasn''t around to give the orders. He may not be dead, but the US military completely disabled Iraq''s communication network within the first few hours of the war. Even assuming that the crazy meglomaniac let low level officers have access to these weapons (which he didn''t), they had been leafleted like my car after a Saturday night on the town with promises of death, annihilation, and a side of oblivion, hold the 72 virgins.

But, I for one would indeed like to know what Saddam did with his WMD. Unlike many of the current members of the debate, who seem to be french-speaking vaginas with rose-colored blinders on, I know that unless we clean house in the Middle East and quickly set up casinos and McDonalds, not to mention force Christianity or at least reform Islam with a gun, we will be seeing those WMD''s all too soon.


But, I for one would indeed like to know what Saddam did with his WMD. Unlike many of the current members of the debate, who seem to be french-speaking vaginas with rose-colored blinders on, I know that unless we clean house in the Middle East and quickly set up casinos and McDonalds, not to mention force Christianity or at least reform Islam with a gun, we will be seeing those WMD''s all too soon.

I seriously hope you forgot your <i>sarcasm</i> tag or you really need to expand your world views man!

I also would like to know where the WMDs are (if they exist) but why do we need to ""reform Islam""? Why do people feel they are qualified to do this? I would say with certainty over the course of history there have been a lot more Christian terrorists or acts of war than Islamic, which I assume is where your statement came from, because you believe somehow Christianity is inately ""better"" than Islam. I don''t want to get into a flame war with anyone, I am new to this board but I couldn''t let this paragraph go uncontested.

Just because a very very small group of certain religious practioners have radical views, do not fault the whole religion. After all, don''t the KKK preach the Bible?

I didn''t forget my sarcasm tag. No Christian church has sanctioned violence for hundreds of years, since the times of the Inquisition and the Crusades. Two things happened within Christianity since those times: the Reformation and the supremecy of the State over the Church in secular matters. Contrast that with modern Islam, whose modern leaders routinely issue fatwas calling for violence, assassination, and war. Osama bin laden is a hero to a majority of the Muslim Middle East, Isreal is a blight to be annihilated, and America is a Great Satan full of infidels to be killed. This is not rhetoric, this is reality - and the sooner we realize it the better.

It is always funny to me when people say that I shouldn''t have an opinion about which religion is better - the Muslims certainly do... I do wish more people would choose Christianity, should they choose between the two. The Koran tells people how they must order all aspects of their lives, from hygine to a system of government. It requires religious dictatorship, the subservience of women to men, and allows for the killing of non-believers (infidels).

The New Testament, which is the basis for Christianity, tells us that all people are God''s children capable of reaching salvation, and that we should love our neighbors and turn the other cheek. Now, the Muslims may turn out to be right - but in the meantime, I can state fairly certainly that Christianity is indeed a ""better"" way to live with one another.

Now you may say that the problem is limited to ""a very very small group of certain religious practioners"" with ""radical views"", but I will tell you to look at the Taliban, who harbored Al Queda, the Iranian Mullahs who crack down on protesters and issue fatwas against the United States, and the Palestinians who danced in the street on 9/11. It is impossible to find a member of the Christian clergy who condones violence, much less against women and children, but when Osama bin Laden calls upon all Muslims to kill any American, man woman or child, he is supported by the religious leaders and the populace of the Middle East. Schools in Palestine and Saudi Arabia teach hatred of America and Isreal. The hatred coming from the Muslim world is mainstream.

In contrast to this, the KKK is a fringe group who just happen to claim to be Christian. They are shunned by the law and society. Their agenda has been ruthlessly attacked by the media, the schools, politicians, and religious leaders for most of a century.

The problem is that to strictly follow the Koran means democracy and equal rights for women and non-Muslims are impossible. But do you really think a reformed Islam wouldn''t be better? We have had it so ingrained into us by the simpering multi-culturalists that other cultures are just ""different"" not that ours is better. But ours IS better. We have rule of law with equal protections - they don''t. We have equality for women - they don''t. We have freedom of religion, speech, and the press - they don''t. We have democratically determined laws and leaders - they don''t.

When 23 year old girls fresh out of collge teaching kindergarten talk about the beauties of multi-culturalism, they mean food, dance, and fanciful headdresses. They don''t mean fatwas, purdah, and women murdered for the crime of being a rape victim. Our ways are better. It is time that we realize that many of the customs and beliefs of the rest of the world are wrong, barbaric, and deserve to be left on the ash heap of history - just as the West did with imperialism, slavery, and genocide

Islam will have to undergo a reformation, just like Christianity did. In fact it already is doing so. However, we no longer have the luxury of waiting for the Muslims to get around to it themselves. All revolutions come at the barrel of a gun - it will either be their own or ours, and I''m betting a little of both. Hopefully the start we have taken in Iraq and with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process will move along change in the region peacefully. If not, the Middle East will remain a powderkeg - a cancerous cyst waiting to rupture and take the host with it.

On 9/11, nineteen men with box cutters brought America to her knees. Nineteen men with nuclear weapons could have ended our civilization as we know it. There is no doubt in my mind that within a hundred years, destructive technology of this sort, whether biological or nuclear, will be portable and available to countries with adequate resources. We have to spend the coming years ensuring that when those countries get them they are not run by despots and religious fanatics.

Here''s a little conspiracy theory for you guys: What if Bush knows exactly where all of the big bad WMD are hidden, and is just saving it so he can ''discover'' them around this time next year and own the election?

Here''s another: What if he''s just waiting for next year to plant the weapons himself?

Conspiracy theories, fun for the whole family! But useless.

"Minase" wrote:
Here''s a little conspiracy theory for you guys: What if Bush knows exactly where all of the big bad WMD are hidden, and is just saving it so he can ''discover'' them around this time next year and own the election?

Let''s call it the King Tut^H^H^H Bush theory!

"ralcydan" wrote:
The Koran tells people how they must order all aspects of their lives, from hygine to a system of government. It requires religious dictatorship, the subservience of women to men, and allows for the killing of non-believers (infidels).

"The Bible" wrote:
Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to authority over men; she is to be kept silent. For Adam was formed first; then Eve; and Adam was not decieved and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with modesty

The bible is also chock-full with things that have no place in modern society. I''d be much happier if you''d keep down the religious antagonism, please.

[size=9]And I''m really curious about the authenticity of the killing of infidels thingie. Got some kind of quote for that?[/size]

Religious texts often get misinterpreted left and right. I''m still trying to figure out how people thought the citizens are Sodom were into...you know. I''m pretty sure the Bible said the town got leveled because they weren''t reverent to God or somesuch.

As kids, we were told our beliefs were that Sodom was pretty much described like Las Vegas. Debauchery was implied but I dont remember how our teachers actually put it into words that kids (10-12) understood. Sodom was also vain and didn''t need God.

It would be interesting to find out when the term sodomy came about and when it became synonymous with anal sex.


The bible is also chock-full with things that have no place in modern society.

Regardless of what the Bible says, Western society has a separation of Church and state and complete freedom of religion. Women have equal protection under the law and may vote, hold jobs, and lead us in public office. This is not true in most of the Middle East. The point is that all modern religions have oudated rules of behavior that have no place in the modern world. We don''t live by those of Christianity any longer. If we did, things like premarital sex, homosexulaity, abortion, and eating shellfish would all be illegal. Christians in the West lead secular lives, while still living by the tenets of their gospel. Modern Muslims in most of the Middle East have not separated the two.

The Bible wrote:
Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to authority over men; she is to be kept silent. For Adam was formed first; then Eve; and Adam was not decieved and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness with modesty

All that matters is the result. That''s a lovely quote you throw up there from the Bible, but you seem to equate Christian attitudes trowards women with Muslim ones. Let''s look at the results. Women in the West aren''t denied voting rights. They aren''t stoned to death for having sex outside of marriage. They don''t have to cover their entire bodies and faces in public. They get to go to school. The great irony about the Veiled Victim in FL trying to cover her face on her drivers license because her religion demanded it, is that according to the leaders of her religion, she shouldn''t be allowed to drive!

Anyway, you missed the point. If you would like to quote silly nonsense from the Bible about where we should bury our feces and what we should eat, I''ll agree with you that it has no place in modern society - but we here in the West resolved those issues hundreds of years ago. The Arab world hasn''t. Your quote has no bearing on our life, when corporations, schools, and government is made up of women in well-paid, well-respected leadership roles. Check out the ""modern"" Middle East and tell me it doesn''t need the same reform we went through.


And I''m really curious about the authenticity of the killing of infidels thingie. Got some kind of quote for that?

You quote the Bible but have obviously never opened the Koran. This is fairly typical of liberal Westerners, who despise one religion simply because they are rebelling against their parents or the establishment, but think other religions are wonderful discourses in philosophy.

Much of the Koran is stories of battles and dealings with unbelievers. There are hundreds of verses proclaiming their wickedness and eventual destruction:

""Allah''s curse is on the unbelievers""

""Allah is the enemy of the unbelievers""

""if you fear that those who disbelieve will cause you distress, surely the unbelievers are your open enemy""

Some commandments to Muslims, as regards unbelievers:

""then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.""

""O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil).""

""Those who believe fight in the way of Allah, and those who disbelieve fight in the way of the Shaitan. Fight therefore against the friends of the Shaitan; surely the strategy of the Shaitan is weak""

""So do not follow the unbelievers, and strive against them a mighty striving with it.""

""And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers.""

""fight with them until there is no persecution, and religion should be only for Allah""

Even the prohibitions against killing in the Koran are limited only to not killing fellow Muslims (usually):

""do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [fellow Muslims] except for the requirements of justice""

""And do not kill any one whom Allah has forbidden [fellow Muslims], except for a just cause""

Now, do most Muslims follow violence? No. But there are state-sponsored organizations who directly use the Koran to justify murder and terrorism, and they have the backing of religious leaders and support in the general populace. My pointing that out isn''t ""religious antagonism"", it''s casual observation.

""Religious antagonism"" is when people kill women and children with suicide bombs and planes. I''d be much happier if you''d recognize that, instead of pretending there wasn''t a problem deeply rooted in the societies that foster these evil acts.

--------------------------------
""And remember Mr. Gore, you don''t ask for a recount unless you lose first...""

I think though, like you said, Islam is undergoing a reformation. I''m going to share what happened on a school project in a small private school here in the Bay Area. I was supposed to record the ramblings of a mad preacher as background for a sound design class. I flipped through our painfully small library and found a copy of the Koran a teacher had donated.

I grabbed it and after flipping through some pages I was astonished when I found a section that was rather antisemitic. Now I know that Jews and Muslims have been warring for eons, but I never read anything anti-arab directly in the Torah. Unless of course you want to count Philistines but that''s more of retelling a tale and not like what I read in the Koran. The blip in the Koran basically was saying that the Jews were not the chosen ones, and belittle the roles Jews played in the religion of the one God.

Of course, I immediately photocopied this portion and gave it too a Pakistani friend. He couldnt believe it as that was not the Koran he knew and his priest was baffled too.

The moral of the story is that yes their are hateful versions out there. As I''m sure the KKK has there own brand of Bible filled with racism. Yet anyone with half a brain knows to believe in the spirit of the document since how many versions in how many languages exist?

Go and try to look up John 3:16 on the web. At one site, they allowed me to search for the passage in about 15 versions of the Bible.

I''m partial to the Torah since you can readily find one in its native tongue and I am a Jew. However, I''m not sure several revisions haven''t been made over the years and there are no vowels written.

Anyone remember the little controversy a little bit ago when some scholars speculated on some findings in regards to the hebrew word for ""virgin""?

I''m sorry, but that''s incredibly naive. The quotes above can be found in any copy of the Koran I''ve ever seen. I took those from online searchs at USC and the University of Virginia. My own copy, published by Random House has the same passages.

Maybe your Pakistani friend was unfamiliar with the passages because he''s Catholic (Muslims don''t have priests).

I looked up John 3:16. Here''s what I got:

""For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life""

""For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life""

""For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life""

""For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life""

Hmmm. Seems pretty consistent to me. I''ll keep looking for the KKK version though...

I agree that there''s a problem with the religious fanatics holding power in the middle east, and a separation between church there would be higly desirable.

What I have a problem with is that you couldn''t leave it at that, but had to state that Christianity is somehow better Islam because we don''t have the same problems here. To reiterate: you look at two different states, one with a separation of church and state, one without. Based on the social conditions in the states you draw conclusions on (or seem to, anyway) the relative merits of the religions of the respective churches, when one of the churches has lost its political power.
This, I find, is highly dubious reasoning. I tried to illustrate this by pointing out that the Bible contains just as much bollocks as the Koran, if you follow it literally. I''m sure you could come up with a couple of christian nutjobs you''d want nowhere near a position of power, if you tried.

You quote the Bible but have obviously never opened the Koran. This is fairly typical of liberal Westerners, who despise one religion simply because they are rebelling against their parents or the establishment, but think other religions are wonderful discourses in philosophy.
Ohh, my secret is out! Exposed as a petulant teen rebelling against his bourgeois, christian parents! *runs away in shame*

Seriously though, I''m an atheist, and have little respect for any religion. But no, I have not opened the Koran (yet). (And if I do, it won''t be for a discourse on philosophy. From what I know of Islam, I''d be surprised to find any big differences from Christianity regardig metaphysics or basic ethics.) I''ll probably get around to it someday though, but there''s so much to read, and so little time...

I''ll try not to be offended in regards to your comment about my Pakistani friend being Catholic because its fair game and a lack of knowing a the proper better word on my part.

I''ll give you this you are definitely spirited in your arguments. And, if its true that my friend isnt as informed as he should be regarding the Koran, those anti-semitic remarks are unacceptable. Albeit just as unacceptable as sexist or racist passages in th founding scriptures of any religion.

The point about John 3:16 wasnt the fact that the translations were similar (though subtle changes add up) but the fact that there were around 15 current versions. Who would want to play multilingual ""operator"" with the word of God over millenia?

Especially since Mel Brooks brought down 15 commandments. [/joke]


Based on the social conditions in the states you draw conclusions on (or seem to, anyway) the relative merits of the religions of the respective churches, when one of the churches has lost its political power.

Almost. What I am stating is that fundamentalist Islam, forming the core of a theocratic culture, is the primary cause of the horrible social conditions in the Middle East, and a serious threat to the rest of the world. Not poverty, not a lack of resources, not hunger - but rather un-Reformed Islam has given rise to tyranny, oppression, violence, and terrorism in the region.

Islam is to much of the Middle East what racism was to the South following the Civil War: a purpose, a rallying cause, a reason to feel better than others. And it is this view of Islam which has to be Reformed and modernized.

As to whether I think Christianity is ""better"" than Islam, there are two sides to this. The first is the theological, that is to say, the idea that one religion may be correct. In one, God spoke to Muhammad, in the other, He sent Jesus to earth. Both might be wrong, or perhaps only the believers in one of these religions are going to Heaven. I think I''m fairly safe in saying that the one which turns out to be true is better. I''ll let you know, if I am still able to post when I find out.

The second way a religion may be better is in it''s teachings for mankind. Metaphysics aside, the two religions offer very different teachings. I won''t post additional quotes from the Koran advocating violence or stating that unbelievers are the enemy of God, but they are there, and are used to justify murder against innocents with regularity. Feel free to post any quotes from Jesus which would lead to suicide bombings against pregnant mothers. (Jesus only folks - I am not interested in Old Testament scripture, much of the purpose of the New Testament is to change the things that were allowed or required in the Old).

Now I know, lots of ""Christians"" have done evil things in the name of the Church: the Inquisition and the Crusades come to mind. Now keep in mind, they did so indirect opposition to scripture and the teachings of Jesus. But because they did these things in the name of religion, people like to draw the conclusion that Christianity is somehow tainted. But - and here''s the important part - Christianity is better today than it was then, because we don''t still do these things. And again setting aside the question of which religion might actually be the path to Heaven, I can state with certainty that our Reformed Christianity offers a better way to live and interact with one another than fundamentalist Islam.

Alien Love Gardener, I realize that you are a believer in a Faith which is antithetical to Christianity (and don''t try to convince me that Atheism isn''t a faith - certainty in the absence of God lacks just as much evidence and requires just as closed a mind as centainty in His existence), but you have admitted to never having opened the Koran. Don''t bother. All you need to do is open the newspaper and see that women are oppressed, missionaries are imprisoned, and Christians and Jews are routinely murdered, all by the LAWS of ""modern"" Muslim countries. If Western Christian society isn''t better, maybe I''m not sure what the word means.

And the tenets of Western society are indeed Christian. Tolerance, equality, and liberty are direct outgrowths of the Christian ideal that each of us is a equally capable of achieving salvation through Jesus. These elements have existed in a number of societies in history, but it has only been when Christian values are applied that they have become universal. Early Republics and democracies have always had inferior citizens and slaves. Equality, coming from all of us being God''s children, has been the driving philosphy behind modern representative government, abolition, women''s equality, and civil rights. We have forgotten this recently, but almost every Western cause, from environmentalism to the peace movement, finds its roots in uniquely Christian values.

In contrast to this, it is Islam which CAUSES the social conditions in the Middle East, by not allowing freedom of expression, representative goverment, personal liberty, and modernity. Today''s Radical (radical only in stance - it is widespread through the populace of the regions where it exists) Islam is no different than the Catholic Church in the Dark Ages of Europe, and will have to face the same revolution. The only difference is that it has an example to follow - us. Hopefully the Muslim world will reform themselves before it is done for them.

I disagree, somewhat. Radical Islamist leaders wish to maintain current social conditions, so as not to erode their own power base, that much I agree with. But the reason people rallied around these leaders is mostly due to western imperialism/meddling. Iran being a prime example. When people suffer, they tend to look to religion for answers. You forget that today''s view of islam *is* rather modern. The current cultural backwardness of Islam is something that has only existed for a hundred years, at most.

Alien Love Gardener, I realize that you are a believer in a Faith which is antithetical to Christianity (and don''t try to convince me that Atheism isn''t a faith - certainty in the absence of God lacks just as much evidence and requires just as closed a mind as centainty in His existence), but you have admitted to never having opened the Koran. Don''t bother. All you need to do is open the newspaper and see that women are oppressed, missionaries are imprisoned, and Christians and Jews are routinely murdered, all by the LAWS of ""modern"" Muslim countries. If Western Christian society isn''t better, maybe I''m not sure what the word means.

Atheism is not some kind of dogma for me. I''m willing to admit I''m wrong, if someone can show me credible proof. Nobody has.

As for the Koran, I''d rather not judge the message by the messengers. People are capable of twisting anything to suit their agenda, and judging a book by the most twisted of its followers is hardly reasonable, no?


But the reason people rallied around these leaders is mostly due to western imperialism/meddling

Unfortunately, that isn''t true either. Yes, the Middle East was shamefully treated by the British Empire until after WWI, but the common people rally to Islam for the same reason that poor people throughout history have flocked to religions: their current life sucks and they can only endure it through the promise of a future paradise.

The West has much less to do with it than the dictatorships that rule over them. If liberals think there is a disparity between the rich and the poor in America, they must scream bloody murder over the disparities in the Middle East.


You forget that today''s view of islam *is* rather modern. The current cultural backwardness of Islam is something that has only existed for a hundred years, at most.

I am not sure I understand the definition of ''modern'' as you use it. If you mean it is ''modern'' in the context that Islam as a religion has existed for over a thousand years, then I think there might be a better word.

The current cultural backwardness of Islam, as you put it, is the same as it has always been. The reason it is backwards is because it hasn''t changed over time at all. The attitudes of Islam are the same now as they have been since the Ottoman Empire. I think that is pretty much the point that Ral was making. Islam needs to go through a Reformation, and soon. And if they don''t want to do it willingly, it will be done for them. And the first step of that is providing them with a system of Government that allows them more hope than the current dictatorships they live under.


As for the Koran, I''d rather not judge the message by the messengers. People are capable of twisting anything to suit their agenda, and judging a book by the most twisted of its followers is hardly reasonable, no?

I don''t think that even Mother Theresa could read the passages quoted from the Koran above and find good in them. That is not judging a book by its ''most twisted followers''. That is judging the book by its contents. It''s time that someone added a New Testament to the Koran. Replace all those ''kill the heathens'' with ''love your fellow man''.

I was about to post a huge rant on this topic but I think it is better to refrain instead of getting into a religous argument on the internet. For me, calling the Islam a backwarded religion is beyond the pale.