–Does the world need dictators?

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●The more federal budgets are cut and taxes increased, the weaker an economy becomes.

●Austerity is the government’s method for widening the gap between rich and poor, which ultimately leads to civil disorder.

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●The penalty for ignorance is slavery.

●Everything in economics devolves to motive, and the motive is the gap.

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War is hell. But civil war is worse. Both sides defending their home turf are especially brutal. And civil wars seem never to end, completely.

Roughly 1,264,000 American soldiers have died in the nation’s wars — 620,000 in the Civil War and 644,000 in all other conflicts.

It was only as recently as the Vietnam War that the amount of American deaths in foreign wars eclipsed the number who died in the Civil War.

Combine that amazing statistic with the reality that the American civil war never has ended. The feelings of the Southern states, about blacks and northerners, may be camouflaged, but smolder. You still can see Confederate flags printed on decals and flying high from poles.

But, the worst wars are the religious wars. Based on mindless hatred, they are the most brutal, and they too never completely end. Religious hatred lingers, passed from parent to child. And no act is too horrific, as everything is “approved by God.”

I was reminded of this, when I read these articles:

ISIS, beheadings and the success of horrifying violence

. . . . . monetary sovereignty

A child is photographed, waiting to be killed by militants. ISIS uses these images to terrorize others and to glorify their spree of terror.

“There is a park in Mosul,” Mark Arabo, a Chaldean-American leader, told CNN, “where they actually beheaded children and put their heads on a stick and have them in the park.”

Leader: ISIS is ‘Systematically Beheading Children’ in ‘Christian Genocide’

“Christianity in Mosul is dead, and a Christian holocaust is in our midst,”(It is a) ‘Christian genocide.’ Children are being beheaded, mothers are being raped and killed, and fathers are being hung.”

I can’t verify the truth of these stories, but beheading seems to have been a favorite Middle Eastern terror tactic in the past.

Explain Failures or Abandon Training Missions

The evaporation of the Iraqi army in Mosul earlier this summer, followed more recently by the failure of the Kurdistan Democratic Party’s peshmerga in northern Iraq, and the “green-on-blue” violence in Afghanistan as well as the Afghan army’s uncertain cohesion against the backdrop of the U.S. retreat from that country should raise serious questions about the efficacy of missions to train foreign militaries.

Despite all the money, training and American lives lost, somehow the results are negligible. I suspect the reason has nothing to do with the quality of the training, but rather with the morés of the nations we try to train.

They are not like Americans. They are a different people, with a different history and a different set of life expectations.

While we have tried to train them militarily, we also have tried to impose our seemingly alien concepts on them: Freedom, democracy and tolerance. And they have not responded well.

Action Against ISIS Still Needs a Strategy

By: Max Boot, military historian and foreign-policy analyst.

President Obama is sending U.S. aircraft back into action in Iraq. His actions provide much-needed relief for the besieged Yazidis who were in danger of dying under siege from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as well as for the Kurdish peshmerga which were reeling under ISIS assaults.

Why is the humanitarian imperative in Iraq compelling enough to justify American military action but not in Syria, where at least 170,000 people have been killed since 2011 and where ISIS is just as oppressive and threatening as it is in Iraq?

What is the logic of telling ISIS to stay out of Erbil and Baghdad but implicitly allowing it to consolidate its hold on western and northern Iraq and eastern and northern Syria?

What is needed now is more than a few symbolic air strikes or food drops. What is needed is a strategy to roll back ISIS.

We need to send many more advisers and Special Operations Forces to Iraq, backed up by airpower, to aid not only the Iraqi security forces but also the Kurdish peshmerga and the Sunni tribes to fight back against ISIS–and that we should also step up our aid to the Free Syrian Army to put pressure on ISIS on the other side of the border.

We could send thousands of our young people into the meat grinder, to be maimed and killed, and to maim and kill thousands of “the enemy,” whoever they might be on any given day.

Or, we could do nothing.

Both approaches, fighting or doing nothing, will accomplish the same nothing, but one way will cost American lives, and the other will not.

Wikipedia

ISIS is known for its harsh interpretation of the Islamic faith and sharia law, and has a record of brutal violence, which is directed at Shia Muslims and Christians in particular.

It has at least 4,000 fighters in its ranks in Iraq who, in addition to attacks on government and military targets, have claimed responsibility for attacks that have killed thousands of civilians.

ISIS was composed of a variety of Sunni insurgent groups. It had close links with al-Qaeda until 2014, but in February of that year, after an eight-month power struggle, al-Qaeda cut all ties with the group, reportedly for its brutality and “notorious intractability.”

Too brutal for al-Qaeda?

Hatred is the power emotion of the Middle East. And hatred does not subscribe to current Western logic. ISIS, for instance, believes that the Shia Muslims are apostates and must die in order to forge a pure form of Islam.

[President Bush II was amazed that Iraqis did not welcome our brand of freedom, democracy and tolerance, vs the dictatorial theocracy they had suffered. He didn’t understand the historical morés.

Only the iron fist of Saddam Hussein kept Iraq together. With Saddam’s disappearance, the nation predictably fell into civil/religious war.]

It was the dictatorship of Iraq that controlled the dictatorship of Iran. Now that Iraq has lost its dictator, Iran’s dictator can act against America, unimpeded.

Freedom and democracy require tolerance — “all men are created equal,” “one for all and all for one,” “everyone’s vote counts,” etc. But given the many lines of hatred within Islam and the Arab nations, plus Islamic hatred for Christians and other non-Muslims, what hope is there for this mutuality?

Not to say that Islamic and/or Arab nations cannot form some type of free democracy. Some do — Malaysia, Indonesia, Bangladesh — though most don’t.

But, democracy by its very nature, is fragile, especially when it has little history in a nation. Only the greatest of leaders can, with much effort, install democracy. But a little, tin pot colonel can overthrow it at a moment’s notice.

And the tipping point can come when, for some reason, a power vacuum occurs, and a charismatic Hitler steps in. And if that leader happens to speak for God, his power is multiplied.

The leaders of ISIS speak for God. To consolidate power, they have provided objects of hatred: Shia, other Muslim groups, Christians, Americans. Hitler did the same with Jews, Gypsies and non-Aryans.

Iraq crisis: Islamic militants ‘buried alive Yazidi women and children in attack that killed 500

Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said his government had evidence that 500 Yazidi civilians had been killed so far, and that some of the victims had been buried alive. A further 300 Yazidi women have been kidnapped as slaves, he added.

Short of totally exterminating ISIS, a practical impossibility and moral offense, there is no way to end the hatred. It will seethe and boil forever. A thousand years from now, the Sunni and Shia will enjoy mutual hatred.

But, can we stand by and allow the slaughter to continue?

Our hearts tell us “no.” Yet, what is the alternative? Return our troops to Iraq so they can participate in the slaughter?

How do we prevent people, who want to kill each other, from doing just that — without helping them kill each other? (See: Arabs killing Arabs)

The Middle East is in the midst of a religious civil war, and the end will come only when one side loses so many people, the remaining souls surrender, and a religious dictator assumes power.

We cannot force-feed freedom into the Middle East. We cannot force-feed them democracy. We cannot force-feed them tolerance. These are historically alien concepts. Israel is the anomaly, a western nation thrust into the midst of an eastern culture.

As cruel as it may seem (and cruel it is), the kindest thing we can do is to allow the Arabs to commit so much barbarity upon each other that their passion exhausts them, a ruler assumes power, and peace descends upon that blood-soaked land.

Our past efforts have been counter-productive. We have done nothing but scratch at wounds, and delayed the healing. It will be heartbreaking to stand back and watch the killing, when we could intervene — and increase the killing.

At most, we can try to protect democracy where it exists and where it is understood — France, Israel, Turkey et al — but beyond that, the mission is impossible.

So yes, the world does need dictators, and will have dictators, because the people demand dictators, whether we like it or not.

And we must find a way to live with that.

Unfortunately.

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty

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1. Eliminate FICA (Click here)

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D plus long term nursing care — for everyone (Click here)

3. Provide an Economic Bonus to every man, woman and child in America, and/or every state a per capita Economic Bonus. (Click here) Or institute a reverse income tax.

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone. Click here

5. Salary for attending school (Click here)

6. Eliminate corporate taxes (Click here)

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction annually

8. Tax the very rich (.1%) more, with higher, progressive tax rates on all forms of income. (Click here)

9. Federal ownership of all banks (Click here)

 

10. Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99% (Click here)

—–

10 Steps to Economic Misery: (Click here:)

1. Maintain or increase the FICA tax..

2. Spread the myth Social Security, Medicare and the U.S. government are insolvent.

3. Cut federal employment in the military, post office, other federal agencies.

4. Broaden the income tax base so more lower income people will pay.

5. Cut financial assistance to the states.

6. Spread the myth federal taxes pay for federal spending.

7. Allow banks to trade for their own accounts; save them when their investments go sour.

8. Never prosecute any banker for criminal activity.

9. Nominate arch conservatives to the Supreme Court.

10. Reduce the federal deficit and debt

 

No nation can tax itself into prosperity, nor grow without money growth. Monetary Sovereignty: Cutting federal deficits to grow the economy is like applying leeches to cure anemia.

Two key equations in economics:

1. Federal Deficits – Net Imports = Net Private Savings

2. Gross Domestic Product = Federal Spending + Private Investment and Consumption – Net Imports

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Vertical gray bars mark recessions.

As the federal deficit growth lines drop, we approach recession, which will be cured only when the growth lines rise. Increasing federal deficit growth (aka “stimulus”) is necessary for long-term economic growth.

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24 thoughts on “–Does the world need dictators?

  1. Someone, an American general I think, says we must live by a sort of gift shop rule: If you break it, you own it. We have some responsibility for Iraq, having deposed Saddam. Likewise Libya, Afghanistan, and other places. It’s true, some things are just none of our business, and we ought to stay away unless both sides want our help to negotiate peace, as happened in Ireland. But once we’re in, how can we leave it a worse mess than before?

    Even if we don’t participate in the fighting, we do need to keep an eye on groups such as ISIL, who have vowed to destroy us. They would not hesitate, given the chance. They can also attack us outside our borders, as they have done for many decades.

    Joe Biden might have the right idea for Iraq: a Sunni state, a Shiite state, and a Kurdish state. Christians seem to be OK with Kurds, maybe the Sunnis (ISIL) can have Syria, or part of it, along with Western Iraq. A good part of the problem is that whatever sect rules Iraq is unable to stop persecuting the other two. Separate them, give them their own countries, and then at least they would have the option to live apart in peace.

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  2. Restore the Hashemite monarchy of 1958; at least the Sunnis would be in charge and religion would be downplayed as the Hashemites have done in Jordan. Good solution? No, but what is? Iraq is not a nation but several Ottoman Empire provinces cobbled together by the Brits. Bush, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz and Middle East expert Jerry Paul Lewis Bremer flubbed their useless war completely. I’d rather have a monarch than a dictator; compare Nicholas II with Stalin…

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  3. From my understanding, Iraq along with many other countries (many former Ottoman empire provinces) in the middle east, were cobbled and stitched together Frankenstein-like after WWI with no regards for the actual residents, but for the convenience of the distant European powers who had no real understanding of local politics, cultures, history, religion and tribal politics, etc., and their implications apparently. The world is paying for their stupidity today.

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  4. [1] If the USA doesn’t like ISIS types in Iraq, then perhaps the USA should stop arming and funding ISIS people in neighboring Syria. Corporate media outlets call ISIS people “moderates” when they commit atrocities in Syria, and “terrorists” when they commit atrocities in Iraq. Corporate media outlets call Shia and Alawite people “part of a brutal dictatorship” in Syria, but “part of the lawful government” in Iraq.

    [2] The Internet has videos of ISIS Islamists beheading people, usually by sawing off their live victims’ heads. There are videos of Chechens doing the same thing to Russian soldiers. But beheading children? I need to see proof of this (e.g. a video) before I believe it. It sounds like standard propaganda that is used in all imperialistic wars. (“They kill and eat babies!”) Corporate media outlets decry ISIS atrocities in Iraq, but usually ignore ISIS atrocities in Syria. They condemn ISIS persecution of Christians in Iraq, but usually ignore ISIS persecution of Christians in Syria. It’s all part of the propaganda campaign. The USA defends the majority Shiite government in Iraq, but seeks to destroy the Shiite (Alawite) government in Syria.

    [3] The ISIS people in Iraq are minority Sunnis. They feel they have been abused by the majority Shiites and their government in Baghdad. Sunnis marched, held peaceful demonstrations, sent petitions to the parliament, and so on – all to no avail. Finally some of them took up arms, which they got from the USA and Saudi Arabia for their fight against the government in Syria. Corporate media outlets ignore these facts in order to make Iraqi Sunnis seem like religious fanatics whose only motivation is to impose Sharia law. In many cases their motivation is simply to grab whatever spoils they can. It’s the same in Libya and Syria. (See next point below.)

    [4] The Washington Post says, “ISIS adherents kill with such abandon that even the leader of al-Qaeda has disavowed them.”

    The USA and the Shiite government in Baghdad portray ISIS as a vast, organized and highly disciplined army of terror. This is propaganda. In reality most Sunnis that the West calls “ISIS” are gangs of roving pirates who loot and steal whatever they can, while killing anyone who gets in their way. It’s like the dystopian “Mad Max” movies. These gangs make all Sunnis seem bad. Hence many Sunnis repudiate the ISIS murderers. The roving brigands have their own propaganda, consisting of religious-oriented videos. The West is happy to broadcast their propaganda, so that the thieves and killers seem like religious fanatics instead of pirates. The West calls these disparate gangs of murderous pirates “militias.” Or, in the case of Iraq, the “ISIS army.”

    [5] All struggles are about power. Therefore all struggles are political, including the struggle in Iraq. Religion is simply a veneer that is used to rally the masses and justify atrocities. Such veneers can be other-worldly, or they can involve vague concepts like “patriotism,” but they are all faith-based. Any claim that “we” are righteous because we fight for political reasons, and “they” are evil because they fight for religious reasons, is self-serving religious-style propaganda. Sometimes this propaganda is reversed. “We” are righteous because we fight for God, while “they” are evil because they fight for material gain.

    The truth is that all aggressors are both political and religious. That is, all aggressors seek power, while using faith-based garbage to justify their crimes. Meanwhile all defenders are political, and some are religious as well. Palestinians, for example, are more political than religious. They have never sought to impose Sharia law on the occupied territories.

    [6] Rodger writes, “While we have tried to train them militarily, we also have tried to impose our seemingly alien concepts on them: Freedom, democracy and tolerance. And they have not responded well.”

    The claim that the USA seeks to bring “freedom, democracy and tolerance” is imperialistic propaganda, akin to “they hate us for our freedoms.” The USA itself has little freedom, and no democracy at the state or federal level. By contrast, Syria was a model of religious tolerance and cosmopolitan culture before the USA began its proxy war to destroy Syria.

    Iran sometimes persecutes Zoroastrians, but the Iranian government gives special protection to all Jews in Iran. Iraq had traditionally been tolerant of religious beliefs, but the government persecuted separatists like the Kurds. Iraq also had far more freedom and democracy before the US invasion and destruction of Iraq. Libya too.

    The point is that the USA never intended to bring “freedom, democracy and tolerance” to its targets. On the contrary, the USA took away these things, in order to destroy the targeted nations.

    [7] Rodger writes, “Hatred is the power emotion of the Middle East. And hatred does not subscribe to current Western logic.”

    “Western logic” is equally filled with hate. Hatred of the poor, of migrants, of Muslims, of socialists, of “liberals,” and anyone else who serves as convenient bogeymen, or stands in the way of rich peoples’ conquests. Evangelical Christians are livid with hate. So is a certain other group of people. All organized religions are filled with hate.

    [8] Rodger writes: “Now that Iraq has lost its dictator, Iran’s dictator can act against America, unimpeded.”

    This is the kind of propaganda that was used as pretexts to destroy Libya, and to invade and destroy Iraq and Afghanistan. “They are brutal dictators bent on world conquest.” For the USA, a “brutal dictator” is any foreign politician the USA doesn’t like. No matter how kind and benevolent he actually is, he is “Hitler.” Likewise an “enlightened leader” is any foreign politician the USA favors. He is a “great leader” no matter how bloodthirsty he is, and no matter how much he grinds his people into poverty. Saddam Hussein was installed by the CIA, but became a “dictator” when he defied his masters. Stalin was a “brutal dictator” before WW II, then a “great leader” when he allied with the USA against Germany, and then a “brutal dictator” again when he opposed US imperialism. This is standard “Hooray for our side” thinking.

    [9] Rodger writes, “Short of totally exterminating ISIS, a practical impossibility and moral offense, there is no way to end the hatred. It will seethe and boil forever. A thousand years from now, the Sunni and Shia will enjoy mutual hatred.”

    Hatred is everywhere. To act as though Sunnis and Shias have a monopoly on hatred is to indulge in hatred. Many Hindus in India are vegetarian, and practice “ahimsa” (“no-harm”) to man or animals, yet many Hindus despise Muslims. In the parliament, the Hindu BJP Party is ultra-militant. Africa has frequent genocides (e.g. Rwanda). The Paraguayan War (1864-1870) wiped out half a million people; the US Civil War even more. The USA and its proxies slaughtered countless people in El Salvador and Nicaragua. The Japanese committed atrocities in China, and in turn got nuked, and torched with incendiary bombs. China has been brutal toward Tibetans, who are brutal toward Nepalese. India is extremely brutal toward separatists in Kashmir. There have been genocides in Southeast Asia too. And let’s not forget the world wars. Hatred is everywhere.

    In terms of deaths, the current conflict in Iraq is comparatively minor, although it doesn’t seem minor to people in the middle of it. The corporate media outlets focus on Iraq because the US government considers Iraq to be strategically important, and because the media outlets want to shift the world’s attention away from Gaza. That’s why there has been a sudden decrease in articles about Gaza.

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    1. Incidentally that photo of a child (above) seems to me like pro-war propaganda. It appeared on the Internet yesterday, and has been used by several blogs to justify a new US war on Iraq.

      I’m curious…why is a child dressed in cold weather clothing in the middle of summer in the blazing Iraqi desert?

      That dubious picture is used here, again to justify a new US war on Iraq. http://drrichswier.com/2014/08/09/isis-beheading-children-obama-drops-two-bombs/

      Catholic Online also used it.
      http://www.catholic.org/news/international/middle_east/story.php?id=56481

      Catholic Online decries the persecution of Christians in Syria. Where is that blog’s condemnation of the US government’s sponsoring of the people in Syria that persecute Christians? Or the Israeli government’s persecution of Palestinian Christians? Or the Egyptian government’s persecution of Coptic Christians? It seems to me that Catholic Online is rather selective.

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        1. What’s the difference, you ask? As I clearly explained above, the difference lies in the corporate media.

          In Iraq (whose government the US wants to protect) ISIS members who commit atrocities are called “terrorists.”

          In Syria (whose government the US wants to destroy) ISIS members who commit atrocities are called “moderates” and “freedom fighters.” They are armed and funded by the USA and Saudi Arabia.

          My point was that the corporate media is indulging in its usual hypocrisy and double standards.

          Regarding beheadings, what’s your point? I already noted above that the Internet has many videos of people beheading their captives in Iraq, Syria, Chechnya, and Western Pakistan.

          Where is the outrage over the exact same thing happening in Syria?

          Once again we see the corporate media’s hypocrisy and double standards.

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    2. An amazing number of false equivalences in what you’ve written, but thanks for the 9 reasons agreeing that we should not send in American troops.

      All that accomplishes is:

      1. Maiming and death of Americans
      2. Maiming and death of our current enemies
      3. Maiming and death of our current allies

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      1. [1] Perhaps you could name one (just one) of these “amazing number” of so-called “false equivalences.”

        [2] I did not argue for or against sending in US troops. Instead, I discussed the mechanisms of war and propaganda. Also I discussed statements of yours that I consider to be incorrect. An example is your agreement with right-wing warmongers that the USA makes war on Middle Eastern nations in order to bring them “freedom, democracy and tolerance.” The way I see it, imperial powers make war to enslave people, steal their resources, and destroy their governments if they question the greedy will of the imperialist One Percent.

        [3] Personally I think the USA should send troops back to Iraq, if the troops were to genuinely help the locals, and authentically seek to foster “freedom, democracy and tolerance.”

        But since US troops never do that in reality, I do NOT favor sending troops back to Iraq.

        On the contrary, I favor a total withdraw of all US government and military personnel, and the closing of that US embassy, which is the largest and more heavily fortified in the world.

        Either genuinely help the locals, or genuinely leave them to sort out their own situation without foreign meddling. Better yet, don’t bomb them or invade them in the first place.

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        1. Just one false equivalence? How about: “The claim that the USA seeks to bring “freedom, democracy and tolerance” is imperialistic propaganda, akin to “they hate us for our freedoms.” The USA itself has little freedom, and no democracy at the state or federal level. By contrast, Syria was a model of religious tolerance and cosmopolitan culture”

          So Syria’s so-called “religious tolerance and cosmopolitan culture” (Hahaha) somehow offsets: “the USA has little freedom, and no democracy”??

          But maybe you’re right. Maybe the Democrats really are more oppressive than the Ba’aths and maybe Obama is more of a dictator than al-Assad.

          After all, who could argue with Syria’s method for crushing dissent? How many thousand civilians killed?

          You said, “In terms of deaths, the current conflict in Gaza is comparatively minor“? You did say “Gaza,” didn’t you?

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        2. Okay. I wasn’t sure if you believed all the lies about Syria that come from politicians and the corporate media, but now I see that you do. Thanks for clarifying that. Doubtless you also believe the lies that were used to justify invading Iraq and Afghanistan, and destroying Libya. (I liked the lie about Gaddafy handing out mass quantities of Viagra to his troops so they could rape every woman they saw. That was comically absurd.)

          Politicians and the corporate media lie about everything. But when they call a duly elected president a “dictator,” then he is a dictator. Right? When they arbitrarily call someone a “terrorist,” then he is a terrorist. When they call migrants a “threat to our national security,” then migrants are indeed a threat.

          Yesterday on Fox News, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said that if Obama does not immediately send troops back to Iraq, and also send troops to Syria (or at least maintain a “sustained air campaign” against both nations) then ISIS members will immediately and directly attack the US mainland. Lindsey Graham warned of a US “city in flames.”

          No doubt you agree with him. After all, Graham is a politician, and he spoke through the corporate media. If he calls someone like Assad a “dictator,” then Assad is a dictator. Period.

          Anyway thanks for reading and commenting.

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        3. Rodger writes, “You said, ‘In terms of deaths, the current conflict in Gaza is comparatively minor.’ You did say “Gaza,” didn’t you?

          No. Nice try, but no trick will seduce me into discussing that topic with you.

          On certain subjects we are 100% aligned. (Or so it seems to me.) On other subjects we inhabit two utterly different universes. Communication between the universes is quite impossible.

          I have no problem with that. For me the ideas we share on subject ‘A’ are too important to let them be drowned out by disagreements on subject ‘B.’

          But that’s just me. Perhaps you disagree.

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        4. No, there will never be any cartoons on the subjects we disagree about.

          However, we do agree on some topics.

          And since that is the case, here is a satirical cartoon to lighten the mood…

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        5. Good one. Very professional. How do you do it?

          Are you sure I can’t convince you to do this one:

          Women and children group outside a hospital. Hamas fires rockets from their midst. Hamas tells the women and children, “Wait here for the Israeli response. We’re going to hide in a tunnel and complain about your deaths.”

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      1. I question Rodger’s use of the pronouns “we” and “our,” or the word “America.”

        These wars do not reflect the will of average Americans. They are for the benefit of the rich, the bankers, the politicians, and the weapons makers. They are the “we” and the “our.” They are “America” as the corporate media sees America.

        When average people speak of “our” foreign enemies and allies, it is a case of slaves referring to their masters’ enemies and allies as their own. They cheer for their masters’ will.

        If someone like Dick Cheney, for example, refers to “our” enemies, and we agree that they are “our” enemies, then we agree with Dick Cheney, who despises us.

        Meanwhile we remain slaves, with no stake in the game.

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