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Author Topic: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN  (Read 7986 times)

FossilJ

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Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
« Reply #110 on: October 18, 2006, 09:22:14 PM »
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I will gladly do so.  I must admit, though, that I don't expect any more out of that conversation than I got from this one.  That's because you've now had more than an hour to explain to me that you understand my argument and provide valid and relevant counterarguments, and you've refused to do so, instead continuing the (admittedly fun) snide pot-shots.  

It's your call.

Before I log off for the evening, let's get something straight.  Honestly, I don't really care much about the original part of this discussion.  What is much more interesting to me is understanding why you would just throw two groups - both of which have some significance for me (especially Lega Nord which we support as a political party and which you completely misrepresented) - into a discussion to illustrate a point when you comprehend little or nothing about these groups.

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Jesus, you are a wall.  The organization wrote a statement characterizing itself on the website which it paid to register, build, and maintain.  What, do you want God himself to send Gabriel in a dream?  "Oh, President Baccalagalaga, here are the ten commandments of Due Sicilie!"

Thank you for proving for the ennesima time that you have no hope of understanding.  

Brilliant post, President Bacharach.  

So clearly, you had your panties in a bunch over an irrelevant tangent.  You blew up about something which mattered very little to me -- I claimed as much earlier.  Those two groups were quick examples of the possibility that this hegemonous Italian culture-state that you postulated may not be as solid as you think.  

That Lega Nord has changed in the last five years doesn't matter -- the fact is, at one point, it looked to secede.  I explained to you why that matters in the context of my argument in a previous post -- as usual, you conveniently ignored the post.  Now you want to pee in your knickers again.  Convenient?  Maybe.  Annoying?  Yes.

As for Due Sicilie, it IS a secessionist movement at heart.  It doesn't matter what I "understand" or don't "understand".  This further corroborates my argument that Italy, just like any other country, does not necessitate a hegemonous culture to constitute a state.  No matter HOW much you love the folks in Sardinia.

You see how I managed to stay focused on the actual argument?  You see how my points are all relevant?  These are things that were missing from your own posts.  Basically, all you wanted to do was show everyone that you're totally down with the Italians.  Well, for @#!*'s sakes, Burt, we already knew that!  

Therefore, I am going to assume that my point stands: that countries do not have cultures.  Too bad it took almost four pages of posts for you to finally admit you don't have a f-ing clue what's going on.
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

President_Baccaga

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Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
« Reply #111 on: October 18, 2006, 09:26:30 PM »
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Brilliant post, President Bacharach. 

So clearly, you had your panties in a bunch over an irrelevant tangent.  You blew up about something which mattered very little to me -- I claimed as much earlier.  Those two groups were quick examples of the possibility that this hegemonous Italian culture-state that you postulated may not be as solid as you think. 

That Lega Nord has changed in the last five years doesn't matter -- the fact is, at one point, it looked to secede.  I explained to you why that matters in the context of my argument in a previous post -- as usual, you conveniently ignored the post.  Now you want to pee in your knickers again.  Convenient?  Maybe.  Annoying?  Yes.

As for Due Sicilie, it IS a secessionist movement at heart.  It doesn't matter what I "understand" or don't "understand".  This further corroborates my argument that Italy, just like any other country, does not necessitate a hegemonous culture to constitute a state.  No matter HOW much you love the folks in Sardinia.

You see how I managed to stay focused on the actual argument?  You see how my points are all relevant?  These are things that were missing from your own posts.  Basically, all you wanted to do was show everyone that you're totally down with the Italians.  Well, for @#!*'s sakes, Burt, we already knew that! 

Therefore, I am going to assume that my point stands: that countries do not have cultures.  Too bad it took almost four pages of posts for you to finally admit you don't have a f-ing clue what's going on.

Nice try, MaraudingJackass.  The fact that Lega Nord once threatened to begin a secessionist movement purely due to financial motives proves nothing whatsoever about culture.  The fact that you can Google in "Due Sicilie" and not understand a thing hardly gives you the authority to claim that "at heart" it is a secessionist movement.  "Peeing in my knickers" is something that I will save for a rainy day; thanks though.

Did I ever claim that a hegemonous culture was necessary in order to constitute a state?  Hardly.  I simply pointed out that national cultures can and do exist.  Do subcultures exist within Italy?  Undoubtedly.  However slight differences aside, you're left with an overwhelming Italian culture; a "the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices", or a "set of values, conventions, or social practices" (as culture is defined).

By the way, I appreciate the continual references to Burt Bacharach.

For starters:

http://www.italica.rai.it/

Ciao Marauducciu...

parsley

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Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
« Reply #112 on: October 19, 2006, 11:17:06 AM »
Way off-topic but I thought I'd share... 

NY TIMES
October 17, 2006
Op-Ed Contributor
Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite?
By JEFF STEIN

Washington

FOR the past several months, I’ve been wrapping up lengthy interviews with Washington counterterrorism officials with a fundamental question: “Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?”

A “gotcha” question? Perhaps. But if knowing your enemy is the most basic rule of war, I don’t think it’s out of bounds. And as I quickly explain to my subjects, I’m not looking for theological explanations, just the basics: Who’s on what side today, and what does each want?

After all, wouldn’t British counterterrorism officials responsible for Northern Ireland know the difference between Catholics and Protestants? In a remotely similar but far more lethal vein, the 1,400-year Sunni-Shiite rivalry is playing out in the streets of Baghdad, raising the specter of a breakup of Iraq into antagonistic states, one backed by Shiite Iran and the other by Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states.

A complete collapse in Iraq could provide a haven for Al Qaeda operatives within striking distance of Israel, even Europe. And the nature of the threat from Iran, a potential nuclear power with protégés in the Gulf states, northern Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories, is entirely different from that of Al Qaeda. It seems silly to have to argue that officials responsible for counterterrorism should be able to recognize opportunities for pitting these rivals against each other.

But so far, most American officials I’ve interviewed don’t have a clue. That includes not just intelligence and law enforcement officials, but also members of Congress who have important roles overseeing our spy agencies. How can they do their jobs without knowing the basics?

My curiosity about our policymakers’ grasp of Islam’s two major branches was piqued in 2005, when Jon Stewart and other TV comedians made hash out of depositions, taken in a whistleblower case, in which top F.B.I. officials drew blanks when asked basic questions about Islam. One of the bemused officials was Gary Bald, then the bureau’s counterterrorism chief. Such expertise, Mr. Bald maintained, wasn’t as important as being a good manager.

A few months later, I asked the F.B.I.’s spokesman, John Miller, about Mr. Bald’s comments. “A leader needs to drive the organization forward,” Mr. Miller told me. “If he is the executive in a counterterrorism operation in the post-9/11 world, he does not need to memorize the collected statements of Osama bin Laden, or be able to read Urdu to be effective. ... Playing ‘Islamic Trivial Pursuit’ was a cheap shot for the lawyers and a cheaper shot for the journalist. It’s just a gimmick.”

Of course, I hadn’t asked about reading Urdu or Mr. bin Laden’s writings.

A few weeks ago, I took the F.B.I.’s temperature again. At the end of a long interview, I asked Willie Hulon, chief of the bureau’s new national security branch, whether he thought that it was important for a man in his position to know the difference between Sunnis and Shiites. “Yes, sure, it’s right to know the difference,” he said. “It’s important to know who your targets are.”

That was a big advance over 2005. So next I asked him if he could tell me the difference. He was flummoxed. “The basics goes back to their beliefs and who they were following,” he said. “And the conflicts between the Sunnis and the Shia and the difference between who they were following.”

O.K., I asked, trying to help, what about today? Which one is Iran — Sunni or Shiite? He thought for a second. “Iran and Hezbollah,” I prompted. “Which are they?”

He took a stab: “Sunni.”

Wrong.

Al Qaeda? “Sunni.”

Right.

AND to his credit, Mr. Hulon, a distinguished agent who is up nights worrying about Al Qaeda while we safely sleep, did at least know that the vicious struggle between Islam’s Abel and Cain was driving Iraq into civil war. But then we pay him to know things like that, the same as some members of Congress.

Take Representative Terry Everett, a seven-term Alabama Republican who is vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence.

“Do you know the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite?” I asked him a few weeks ago.

Mr. Everett responded with a low chuckle. He thought for a moment: “One’s in one location, another’s in another location. No, to be honest with you, I don’t know. I thought it was differences in their religion, different families or something.”

To his credit, he asked me to explain the differences. I told him briefly about the schism that developed after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, and how Iraq and Iran are majority Shiite nations while the rest of the Muslim world is mostly Sunni. “Now that you’ve explained it to me,” he replied, “what occurs to me is that it makes what we’re doing over there extremely difficult, not only in Iraq but that whole area.”

Representative Jo Ann Davis, a Virginia Republican who heads a House intelligence subcommittee charged with overseeing the C.I.A.’s performance in recruiting Islamic spies and analyzing information, was similarly dumbfounded when I asked her if she knew the difference between Sunnis and Shiites.

“Do I?” she asked me. A look of concentration came over her face. “You know, I should.” She took a stab at it: “It’s a difference in their fundamental religious beliefs. The Sunni are more radical than the Shia. Or vice versa. But I think it’s the Sunnis who’re more radical than the Shia.”

Did she know which branch Al Qaeda’s leaders follow?

“Al Qaeda is the one that’s most radical, so I think they’re Sunni,” she replied. “I may be wrong, but I think that’s right.”

Did she think that it was important, I asked, for members of Congress charged with oversight of the intelligence agencies, to know the answer to such questions, so they can cut through officials’ puffery when they came up to the Hill?

“Oh, I think it’s very important,” said Ms. Davis, “because Al Qaeda’s whole reason for being is based on their beliefs. And you’ve got to understand, and to know your enemy.”

It’s not all so grimly humorous. Some agency officials and members of Congress have easily handled my “gotcha” question. But as I keep asking it around Capitol Hill and the agencies, I get more and more blank stares. Too many officials in charge of the war on terrorism just don’t care to learn much, if anything, about the enemy we’re fighting. And that’s enough to keep anybody up at night.

Jeff Stein is the national security editor at Congressional Quarterly.

_BP_

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Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
« Reply #113 on: October 19, 2006, 12:18:01 PM »
Thanks parsley.  Sadly, I'm not too surprised by this.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
1776 TO 2006

ms

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Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
« Reply #114 on: October 19, 2006, 12:45:25 PM »
To be fair that is like asking what the difference between Catholics and Protestants is. There is something that appears to be a surface answer, and then gets incredibly complex. They interpret some of the Hadith in a completely different way. Obviously the author of the article is smart enough try to give his own definition, because he would end up having an incomplete definition and make himself look as bad as the intelligence officials.

parsley

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Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
« Reply #115 on: October 19, 2006, 12:49:38 PM »
The problem isn't with the complexity of their definition... they can't even give a SURFACE definition!

They can't even identify which sect Hezbollah and Iran belong to!

ms

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Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
« Reply #116 on: October 19, 2006, 12:53:20 PM »
I agree that it is pathetic that they don't even know to which group these people belong. Especially since it determines exactly how you should deal with them.

FossilJ

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Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
« Reply #117 on: October 19, 2006, 12:54:28 PM »
Did I ever claim that a hegemonous culture was necessary in order to constitute a state?  Hardly.  I simply pointed out that national cultures can and do exist.  Do subcultures exist within Italy?  Undoubtedly.  However slight differences aside, you're left with an overwhelming Italian culture; a "the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices", or a "set of values, conventions, or social practices" (as culture is defined).


Again, beautifully illustrating your incomprehension of the argument being made.  In fact, you didn't even properly understand my last post, given you're still not paraphrasing me correctly.

I'm starting to think those that were chirping about your reading comprehension skills were right.  And I hate that damn accusation, but hey, if the shoe fits...


EDIT: And way to come back the next day to edit your post.  Trying to sneak in the shot to the back, are you?  Next thing you know, I'll be headbutting you...
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

President_Baccaga

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Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
« Reply #118 on: October 19, 2006, 01:23:39 PM »
Quote from: MaraudingJ
Again, beautifully illustrating your incomprehension of the argument being made.  In fact, you didn't even properly understand my last post, given you're still not paraphrasing me correctly.

Throw some other various groups into the discourse of which you know nothing about and it might assist me.

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I'm starting to think those that were chirping about your reading comprehension skills were right.  And I hate that damn accusation, but hey, if the shoe fits...

That's a person with a lot of time on his/her hands to worry about someone else's RC skills on an Internet discussion board.

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EDIT: And way to come back the next day to edit your post.  Trying to sneak in the shot to the back, are you?  Next thing you know, I'll be headbutting you...

Not really.  I felt like adding something to my post that I didn't include last night, and given that no one else had posted afterwards, I don't really see the problem. 

First Burt Bacharach and now headbutting?  Cool; I'll knock your front teeth out.

FossilJ

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Re: Tony Blair's Comment - CNN
« Reply #119 on: October 19, 2006, 04:36:10 PM »
Quote from: MaraudingJ
Again, beautifully illustrating your incomprehension of the argument being made.  In fact, you didn't even properly understand my last post, given you're still not paraphrasing me correctly.

Throw some other various groups into the discourse of which you know nothing about and it might assist me.

This has been your clever defense all along.  Nice.

Quote
I'm starting to think those that were chirping about your reading comprehension skills were right.  And I hate that damn accusation, but hey, if the shoe fits...

That's a person with a lot of time on his/her hands to worry about someone else's RC skills on an Internet discussion board.

OH NOES!!!1!11!1!one1one

I HAVE TIMES ON MY HANDS

I IS TEH B4D P3RS0n!!!11!1!111

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EDIT: And way to come back the next day to edit your post.  Trying to sneak in the shot to the back, are you?  Next thing you know, I'll be headbutting you...

Not really.  I felt like adding something to my post that I didn't include last night, and given that no one else had posted afterwards, I don't really see the problem. 

First Burt Bacharach and now headbutting?  Cool; I'll knock your front teeth out.

You didn't get it.  Not any of it.  Nevermind, you humorless clod.

Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.