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#1 Betsy Speicher

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 06:10 PM

From Little Green Footballs:

While the Washington Post sanctions the propaganda of radical Islamists, our friends the Saudis are continuing their infiltration of American society, openly telling anyone who cares to listen that their goal is domination of the US, via the Islamic television channel Bridges TV: An Islamic TV Channel Expands Its US Audience.

Bridges TV, an American-Islamic TV channel “seeking to improve the image of Muslims in the United States” and to “offer a unique perspective on the Middle East and the war on terrorism,” has extended its availability into six states, creating a potential audience of nearly 2 million.

What is the “unique perspective” that Bridges TV hopes will “improve the image of Muslims in the US?”

One religious figure who appeared October 3 said Muslims have a duty to change America and to increase their numbers to 50% of the population from 2%. He recommended that Shariah, or Islamic law, be implemented in American courts.

During a roundtable discussion on the Arab-Israeli conflict on October 5, one participant offered a solution: “For the Jews to leave and return to Europe.”

Bridges TV aired a speech by the influential Muslim scholar Jamal Badawi on October 4. Mr. Badawi, who teaches Islam throughout North America, gave an interview to the Saudi Gazette on June 24, 2005, in which he raised questions about who was behind the September 11 attacks and suggested that Americans could be behind the car bombings of Iraqi markets.

Every night, Bridges TV shows a news program, “Talking Points.” Its guest on October 4 was Imam Mohammad Alo Elahi, whom it described as a leading “interfaith figure.” According to his Web site, Imam Elahi was a spiritual leader in Ayatollah Khomeini’s Iranian navy and also is the leader of “one of the largest mosques in the U.S.,” in Dearborn, Mich.

The Web site describes his meetings with world leaders and shows photographs of him with the spiritual adviser of Hezbollah, Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah; Ayatollah Khomeini; Presidents Khatemi and Rafsanjani of Iran; Secretary-General Annan of the United Nations; and Minister Louis Farrakhan.

Throughout the day, Bridges TV airs segments of Koranic verses, quite a few of which denounce “unbelievers.” One notable verse that aired October 9 praised martyrdom.

Since the Islamic holy month of Ramadan began, the channel has been showing official, Saudi government-controlled Wahhabi sermons from Mecca’s holiest mosque, Al-Haram. The sermons stream live via Saudi TV Channel one every day at 4 p.m., and Bridges TV adds its own English subtitles.

An anti-Jewish, anti-Christian sermon from October 5 included the call, “May God destroy them!”

UPDATE at 10/22/06 10:14:54 am:

And note: this anti-Jewish, anti-American Islamic supremacist propaganda channel enthusiastically endorses the Democratic Party.

One of the stars of Bridges TV is a cofounder and vice chairman of the international health care company CBay Inc., Donald “Skip” Conover, who hosts and produces a show called “Words Matter.” He was the subject of a gushing article in the Saudi daily Arab News on September 27. In the article, Mr. Conover expressed “his disgust” at what he called inflammatory statements about Arabs and Muslims in the press.

He also discussed the power of the “Jewish lobby” and called on all Muslims to vote for the Democratic Party. “Every American politician is in lockstep with Israel. ... If they vote against, then the Jewish lobby will put a lot of money behind the candidate against them in their districts in the future. I have news for the Muslim community. All American politicians are in the pocket of the Jewish lobby today because they control a lot of money, and they spend a lot of money in politics.”

“If the Muslims of America believe that they don’t want Bush to have a free hand for the next two years, then the Muslims of America need to get organized and make sure they get out to vote for Democrats for both the House and the Senate,” Mr. Conover added. “Every Muslim in the Middle East who has a relative in the U.S. should get the message across to their relatives. They need to make sure that all their friends vote against Bush.”


Betsy Speicher


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Betsy's Law #2 - In the long run you get the kind of friends -- and the kind of enemies -- you deserve.

#2 Paul's Here

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 06:28 PM

It's a pleasure to see that Muslims have finally embraced democracy. This should undoubtedly encourage Bush to stay the course in Iraq.
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#3 PhilO

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 08:03 PM

In America, my biggest concern number-wise is the number of Muslim blacks. It seems to be the dominant religion now in that group. I would like to know the degree to which foreign based terrorist groups are co-opting home-grown Muslims for their purposes - again showing the complete futility of relying on border controls to solve a problem requiring military action against terrorist states.
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#4 Oakes

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Posted 22 October 2006 - 11:29 PM

It's stories like this that make me wonder why Objectivists focus on Iran so much. Iran is not linked to Al Qaeda, it is linked to Hezbollah, a regional terrorist group only directly threatening Israel. Al Qaeda, on the other hand, has killed 3,000 Americans, and their greatest allies can be found in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the two theocratic regimes we are most in bed with. If any nation deserves the title "Nazi Germany of Islam," it's the Saudis.

#5 Betsy Speicher

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 12:07 AM

It's stories like this that make me wonder why Objectivists focus on Iran so much. Iran is not linked to Al Qaeda, it is linked to Hezbollah, a regional terrorist group only directly threatening Israel. Al Qaeda, on the other hand, has killed 3,000 Americans, and their greatest allies can be found in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the two theocratic regimes we are most in bed with. If any nation deserves the title "Nazi Germany of Islam," it's the Saudis.

The Saudis are not a military threat. They have no territorial or nuclear ambitions. Iran does.

Saudi royalty is just a tribe of whim-worshipping, jet-setting looters content to spend their oil wealth all over the world. They don't want to antagonize the Western countries that are their customers or destroy their Western playgrounds.

Yes, they do finance terrorists, but they are not the Nazi Germany of Islam. They are more like the Swiss Bankers of Islam.
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#6 Carlos

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 02:07 AM

It's stories like this that make me wonder why Objectivists focus on Iran so much. Iran is not linked to Al Qaeda, it is linked to Hezbollah, a regional terrorist group only directly threatening Israel. Al Qaeda, on the other hand, has killed 3,000 Americans, and their greatest allies can be found in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, the two theocratic regimes we are most in bed with. If any nation deserves the title "Nazi Germany of Islam," it's the Saudis.


I thought the focus on Iran was much more than simply terror links and finances: they are the epicenter of Islamic-Fascism and the cultural-stronghold of violent Islamic-Fundamentalism.

If we want to fight Islamic-Terrorists we can piddle around in countries like Afghanistan: if we want to go to the root and permanently destroy Islamic-Jihad, we have to go to war with Iran.

#7 Oakes

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 05:25 AM

The Saudis are not a military threat. They have no territorial or nuclear ambitions. Iran does.

It appears from your article that they do want to take over the US, albeit through the cultural and financial promotion of Islam rather than conventional military force. To me, those are far more dangerous, as they are our weak spot. We can easily deal with conventional threats like Iranian nukes and Chinese frigates, but we're still learning how to deal with suitcase bombs and CAIR.

I thought the focus on Iran was much more than simply terror links and finances: they are the epicenter of Islamic-Fascism and the cultural-stronghold of violent Islamic-Fundamentalism.

The Saudis run schools that teach Wahhabism, a reformist movement that rose in order to bring back a more strict and literal interpretation of the Qur'an. In other words, they aren't just a financial driver of Jihadists, they are a cultural driver as well. To me, Ahmedinejad appears to be another all-bark-and-no-bite Chavez who says naughty things to rile the troops. The Saudi royals and Musharraf, on the other hand, are smart enough to play nice guy while they wage war against us.

#8 Free Capitalist

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 06:22 AM

And note: this anti-Jewish, anti-American Islamic supremacist propaganda channel enthusiastically endorses the Democratic Party.

[...]

Betsy -- wow. If what you posted there doesn't say anything, then nothing will.
"I will tell you of the most native and greatest adornment of Athens, that which comprises and contains all the rest. Some lands are adorned as the birthplace of elephant and lion species, others as the birthplace of horses and dogs, and yet others of creatures the tales of which frighten children. But its land is adorned by the fairest thing on earth, not to be mentioned like some winged ants of India. For it was the first to bear Man."
-Aelius Aristides, 2nd c. AD

#9 Carlos

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 07:40 AM

The Saudis run schools that teach Wahhabism, a reformist movement that rose in order to bring back a more strict and literal interpretation of the Qur'an. In other words, they aren't just a financial driver of Jihadists, they are a cultural driver as well. To me, Ahmedinejad appears to be another all-bark-and-no-bite Chavez who says naughty things to rile the troops. The Saudi royals and Musharraf, on the other hand, are smart enough to play nice guy while they wage war against us.


Ok, those are interesting points. But still, didn't the serious Islamic-Fascist movement as we know it today begin with the 1979 revolution and overthrowing of the Shah in Iran?

#10 Oakes

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 03:36 PM

Ok, those are interesting points. But still, didn't the serious Islamic-Fascist movement as we know it today begin with the 1979 revolution and overthrowing of the Shah in Iran?

I think it serves as a useful tick-mark on a timeline, but I doubt Peikoff or anyone else would imply that this single event sparked the Islamofascist movement - that, after all, would mean that America sparked it. If you ask me, I'd mark the date at 571, when their murderous, pedophilic prophet was first born. :)

#11 Thales

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 05:01 PM

It appears from your article that they do want to take over the US, albeit through the cultural and financial promotion of Islam rather than conventional military force. To me, those are far more dangerous, as they are our weak spot. We can easily deal with conventional threats like Iranian nukes and Chinese frigates, but we're still learning how to deal with suitcase bombs and CAIR.

The Saudis run schools that teach Wahhabism, a reformist movement that rose in order to bring back a more strict and literal interpretation of the Qur'an. In other words, they aren't just a financial driver of Jihadists, they are a cultural driver as well. To me, Ahmedinejad appears to be another all-bark-and-no-bite Chavez who says naughty things to rile the troops. The Saudi royals and Musharraf, on the other hand, are smart enough to play nice guy while they wage war against us.


It's also interesting to note that Syyid Qutb, author of "Under The Shade of the Qur'an" was an Egyptian, and he apparently had the biggest influence on Al Qaeda.

We should be concerned with the Saudis, and we shouldn't tolerate their teaching of Wahhabism. But, here are some facts about Iran:

1> It's a totalitarian theocracy. I don't think any other country is as extreme, with the exception of Afghanistan under the Taliban. They are serious about the Qur'an.
2> They took American hostages in 1979.
3> They murdered over 200 American marines.
4> They harbor terrorists, I think including Al Qaeda members, IIRC.
5> They finance the Hezbollah to the tune of something like 100 million per year.
6> They finance and harbor other terrorists, such as the "insurgents" in Iraq.
7> They are building a nuclear bomb, and have expressed the intention to use it.
8> They have been pegged as the biggest sponsor of terrorism by the state department.

The Iranians have a bite, and they are on the march to take bigger chunks out of us.

#12 Free Capitalist

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 05:05 PM

Betsy -- wow. If what you posted there doesn't say anything, then nothing will.

Sorry, that sounded a lot better in my head when I originally wrote it :) It basically means, "Great post Betsy!"
"I will tell you of the most native and greatest adornment of Athens, that which comprises and contains all the rest. Some lands are adorned as the birthplace of elephant and lion species, others as the birthplace of horses and dogs, and yet others of creatures the tales of which frighten children. But its land is adorned by the fairest thing on earth, not to be mentioned like some winged ants of India. For it was the first to bear Man."
-Aelius Aristides, 2nd c. AD

#13 Betsy Speicher

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 11:09 PM

I think it serves as a useful tick-mark on a timeline, but I doubt Peikoff or anyone else would imply that this single event sparked the Islamofascist movement - that, after all, would mean that America sparked it. If you ask me, I'd mark the date at 571, when their murderous, pedophilic prophet was first born. :)

Yaron Brook dates the current rise of modern militant Islam to the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928. I took Brook's OCON course this summer (click here) and he explained the origin, growth, and current status of the movement. I expect the couse will be available from the Ayn Rand Bookstore soon and you might find it of value.
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Betsy's Law #2 - In the long run you get the kind of friends -- and the kind of enemies -- you deserve.

#14 Oakes

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 12:26 PM

1> It's a totalitarian theocracy. I don't think any other country is as extreme, with the exception of Afghanistan under the Taliban. They are serious about the Qur'an.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most intolerant Islamic regime in the world. The practice of any religion besides Islam is as strictly prohibited now as it was in Muhammad’s lifetime. Even the Taliban allowed more latitude to religious minorities. While the Saudis continue to build mosques all over the world, thousands of Christians among the hundreds of thousands of foreign workers from India, Europe, America, and the Philippines must worship in secret and in fear. They are arrested, lashed or deported for public display of their beliefs.

-Srdja Trifkovic, author of The Sword of the Prophet: History, Theology, Impact on the World (My bold)

2> They took American hostages in 1979.
3> They murdered over 200 American marines.

The Saudis are responsible for killing 3,000 Americans, both financially, spiritually, and (considering the national origin of most of the hijackers) literally. Not only was this greater in scope and more recent, but it was also an attack on our soil against unarmed civilians. We can certainly invade Iran over something they did 20 years ago - I wouldn't complain - but for them to be the primary target, I think, is wrong-headed.

4> They harbor terrorists, I think including Al Qaeda members, IIRC.

I highly doubt this; Iran's state religion is Shi'a, while al Qaeda is Sunni.

5> They finance the Hezbollah to the tune of something like 100 million per year.

Hezbollah attacks Israelis; al Qaeda attacks Americans.

6> They finance and harbor other terrorists, such as the "insurgents" in Iraq.

Indeed, but I believe that Saudi Arabia's global acts of war are far more urgent than Iran's regional acts of war.

7> They are building a nuclear bomb, and have expressed the intention to use it.

I'm not worried about getting hit by a nuke; this is the game our Pentagon is good at. After all, they had 4 decades of practice. It also helps that we have thousands of nukes of our own, which, unlike Iran's, actually work, and can hit any target on the planet.

8> They have been pegged as the biggest sponsor of terrorism by the state department.

Unfortunately, Bush has been hand-holding both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan (the former quite literally). I wouldn't expect his administration to upset them.

Yaron Brook dates the current rise of modern militant Islam to the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 1928. I took Brook's OCON course this summer (click here) and he explained the origin, growth, and current status of the movement. I expect the couse will be available from the Ayn Rand Bookstore soon and you might find it of value.

Thanks, I'm actually planning on getting the two current talks he gave on the subject, but I'm waiting until they put them on CD so I can listen to them on my iPod :-\

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 02:12 PM

Hezbollah attacks Israelis; al Qaeda attacks Americans.

Oakes, Iran has a line item in their budget for terror, did you know that? And, to say that their support of Hezbollah does not constitute an attack on Americans misses their point that Israel is the little devil, the USA is the big one. They shout death to America daily. The -government- of Saudi Arabia does not do that - yet.

#16 Oakes

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 03:09 PM

Oakes, Iran has a line item in their budget for terror, did you know that? And, to say that their support of Hezbollah does not constitute an attack on Americans misses their point that Israel is the little devil, the USA is the big one. They shout death to America daily. The -government- of Saudi Arabia does not do that - yet.

Surely the fact that the Royal Family is smart enough to fight the West in a cloaked, unprovoking manner does not mean they are objectively less of a threat. I have no doubt that Iran hates us, and that Iran has killed Americans, but to elevate them over the much greater threat of Saudi Arabia for no other reason than that they chant "Death to America" shows, I think, a serious lack of nuance.

#17 Rose Lake

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 05:18 PM

Surely the fact that the Royal Family is smart enough to fight the West in a cloaked, unprovoking manner does not mean they are objectively less of a threat. I have no doubt that Iran hates us, and that Iran has killed Americans, but to elevate them over the much greater threat of Saudi Arabia for no other reason than that they chant "Death to America" shows, I think, a serious lack of nuance.


And yet, I think that completely open statements of aggression, accompanied by terrorism, should be taken at face value and very seriously, because I think that open official statements show a significantly higher level of commitment to the destruction of the U.S. than the slightly-less-explicit official agenda of the Saudis. The fact that the Saudis still cloak their real agenda, to any degree at all with a slightly less-threatening official stance, is a form of hedging on their part, in case the U.S. ever acts militarily in our own self-defense against foreign Muslim enemies.

At that point, they could decide, without a 180 degree change in their official position, to retreat from what is currently their actual aggressive position. But once a state has officially proclaimed a war, there is no turning back -- without a dramatic change of government. And even that government would (or should) have a hard time convincing us that they do not mean war. At this point with Iran it is all out war, win or lose. The Iranians have drawn the line. And any Americans, in the face of such explicit aggression and hatred, who fail to do anything to defend themselves from this threat, to the degree that they can, deserve to die.

But the U.S. needs to inflict serious, extensive damage, preferably beginning with Iran -- in order to demonstrate a serious commitment to the destruction of the most fanatical foreign Muslim enemy states, and to our own survival. We desperately need to show the kind of commitment to our own survival which cannot possibly be mistaken by any foreign enemy state.

If flattening Iran is not enough to do the trick (though I think that it would be, at least in regard to foreign Islamic enemy states), then perhaps the Saudis or Pakistanis should be next on the list. But there is no reason to start with any nation other than Iran, our most explicit ideological enemy. And there are reasons, like oil supply, not to do more damage militarily in the Middle East than is necessary to stop the threat of Muslim states that sponsor terrorism.

But what is necessary, is becoming greater the longer we wait. It is MUCH greater now than it would have been if we had acted in our own defense in 1979. And what is necessary now is about a million times more damage than any that might have ever been gingerly tried during this weaseling war-mixed-with-aid-program that the current administration is executing.

The damage that needs to be done now, by the U.S. to Muslim enemies is so much greater in degree than anything that has been done so far, that it constitutes a difference in kind. [Thanks to Allan Gotthelf and Harry Binswanger, by way of HBL, for the idea of the degree/kind continuum.]
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#18 Thales

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 06:17 PM

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the most intolerant Islamic regime in the world.


I seriously question this. Iran is where they stone women to death, and murder young girls for standing up to Mullahs. They have even outlawed Western art. Mullahs have run the country, which I don't think is true of Saudi Arabia.


The Saudis are responsible for killing 3,000 Americans, both financially, spiritually, and (considering the national origin of most of the hijackers) literally.


Afghanistan harbored al Qaeda, not Saudi Arabia. Was the attack on America financed by Saudi Arabia? Is that true?


We can certainly invade Iran over something they did 20 years ago - I wouldn't complain - but for them to be the primary target, I think, is wrong-headed.


The problem is that they've been at war with us for over twenty years, and we haven't properly acknowledged it. These are the things that emboldened terrorists like bin Laden.


I highly doubt this; Iran's state religion is Shi'a, while al Qaeda is Sunni.


I understand that they are at odds, but when fighting against us, they would have a common enemy, and thus reason to support each other. I vaguely recall roomers of Al Qaeda and Taliban members slipping across the border into Iran. It could have all been speculation at the time.


Hezbollah attacks Israelis; al Qaeda attacks Americans.


They murdered over 200 Americans in the 1980s. I don't think we're off limits.


Indeed, but I believe that Saudi Arabia's global acts of war are far more urgent than Iran's regional acts of war.


I'd like to see more evidence of Saudi Arabia's culpability. Does anyone have more information on this? If they are as guilty as you say, then it would be truly foolish to not have gone after them. Is this common knowledge?


I'm not worried about getting hit by a nuke; this is the game our Pentagon is good at. After all, they had 4 decades of practice. It also helps that we have thousands of nukes of our own, which, unlike Iran's, actually work, and can hit any target on the planet.


I don't understand your lack of concern. If we're hit by a nuke, that could mean the death of thousands or even millions. As to our own nukes, keep in mind we're not allowed to test them, so they may well not work.

Furthermore, they could well give a nuke to a terrorist organization that could detonate it in a major American city.

#19 PhilO

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 06:42 PM

I would point out that there's a false dichotomy expressed in this thread. America should not pick between Iran and Saudi Arabia for action; it should annihilate both governments and use whatever level of force is required to ensure, with the highest certainty possible, that there are no elements remaining in the country that could so much as cause a scratch to an American. Saudi Arabia is run by disgusting, worthless despots who've raked in billions of oil dollars that belong the West, and who tolerate the actual religious terrorists, the Wahabis.
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#20 Rose Lake

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 07:44 PM

I would point out that there's a false dichotomy expressed in this thread. America should not pick between Iran and Saudi Arabia for action; it should annihilate both governments and use whatever level of force is required to ensure, with the highest certainty possible, that there are no elements remaining in the country that could so much as cause a scratch to an American. Saudi Arabia is run by disgusting, worthless despots who've raked in billions of oil dollars that belong the West, and who tolerate the actual religious terrorists, the Wahabis.

But if the U.S. didn't have to annihilate both in order to protect ourselves, why would we waste the weapons? I think it's worth a try to begin with one.
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