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"There Is Nothing So Powerful As Truth"

That's the slogan of New Hampshire's only statewide newspaper, the Union Leader. It's a truncated quote from one of our proudest native sons, Daniel Webster; the full quote is "there is nothing so powerful as truth, and often nothing so strange" -- an early version of "truth is stranger than fiction."

It's a great quote, and reminds me of a few others: "...and the truth shall set you free." "Truth will out."

The sad thing is, there are a lot of people today who are afraid of the truth. Who are afraid of people who speak simple truths, who dare to recite indisputable facts, and condemn them for speaking them. Who say that to acknowledge certain things is "aggressive" or "hostile" or, even in some cases, "warmongering."

Here are a few examples:

  • The Republic of China (alias "Taiwan") is a free democracy, a thriving nation with one of the most dynamic economies in the world, that is routinely threatened with obliteration (both political and actual) by the Communist dictators of mainland China. They have been far, far better friends to the United States (and the rest of the Western world) than we have been to them, and deserve not only our recognition as a free and independent nation, but the United Nations as well -- we have kowtowed to the tyrants of Beijing for over 30 years over this.
  • The government of Iran has been waging war against the United States for almost 30 years, to various degrees. Currently, in Iraq, their agents and members of their armed forces are not only aiding and abetting the insurgents who are killing our soldiers and Iraqi civilians every day.
  • The two factions of the duly-elected government of the Palestinian Authority have been, both actively and passively, attacking the state of Israel on an almost-daily basis. Rockets fired across the border and suicide bombers (attempted and successful) are an almost daily occurrence.
  • The nation of Lebanon is almost utterly subjugated by Iran and Syria. Iran works through its proxies, Hezbollah (who have been waging war against Israel), and occupies a large portion of Lebanon. Syria, more directly, controls another large portion, and maintains its control through assassinations and other terrorist attacks against any Lebanese they perceive as a threat to their control.
  • The vast majority of current wars and other conflicts in the world involve Muslims on at least one side -- and almost always as the aggressor.
  • When one hears about a terrorist attack and/or atrocity going on in the world, the odds are considerably greater than even that the perpetrator will call themselves Muslims.

I don't think there is anything overtly political or partisan about any one of those statements. They're uncomfortable truths (some might even call them "inconvenient truths"), but they are true nonetheless.

And for some reason, those who state these simple truths are often labeled as "warmongers" by those who demand we abide by polite fictions and not acknowledge reality.


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Comments (38)

Most of those justify the B... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Most of those justify the Bush Administration activities. That makes acknowledging them evil.

Evil! I tell ya!

Corallary: "Ignore the trru... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Corallary: "Ignore the trruth at your own peril."

Its to early ...Co... (Below threshold)
Gmac:

Its to early ...

Corallary: "Ignore the truth at your own peril."

Hmmm...not very adaptive, t... (Below threshold)

Hmmm...not very adaptive, this list.

For instance, it doesn't give any thought to transforming China through trade (exporting American money and values (as well as much of our pollution) while importing cheap goods.

Despite occasional saber rattling, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong have worked out their own arrangements. The mainland Chinese economy has been growing at 8% this last decade.

OTOH, lets look at the situation where we've applied maximum diplomatic pressure for reform, Cuba.

Since we've caged and isolated the bearded one for political reasons, what has been accomplished? The Cubans are poor but health, we've divided families (to various degrees) who may have had a transformative effect, and we see the Canadians, the Dutch and several other foreign companies in Cuba laying the ground work to exclude the US in the coming Cuban economic boom. In fact, there are Chinese flagged oil platforms in Cuban territorial waters within sight of US oil platforms.

http://tinyurl.com/3c5cna

Why? Because we let a few thousand Miami expat hotheads run our entire Cuban foreign policy on the basis of political philosophy.

Obviously, as relations with China indicate, economic opportunity is a better tranformative agent than political philosophy.

"Miami ex-pat hotheads".</p... (Below threshold)
kim:

"Miami ex-pat hotheads".

Rick, you're sorry.
===================

Actually, one could make th... (Below threshold)

Actually, one could make the case that we've abandoned our political philosophy all together in our thirst for oil and that our diplomatic attitudes to Cuba are the exception instead of the rule in America's conduct of foreign policy.

  • take the crushing of democracy in Burma. The President imposed sanctions, but not ones that hurt the ruling regime in any meaningful way. if we had wanted to really hurt the regime we would have stopped Chevon's oil production program in Burma and starved the junta out.

  • Look at Libya and Colonel Moammar al-Ghadafi. Despite all our chest thumping about bringing about reform, all we really did was allow him to pay a fine for murdering the passengers of Pan Am flight 103 in exchange for American oil companies accessing his oil.
  • we virtually ignore repressive regimes in Western Africa to keep their oil supplies flowing.
  • And let's not forget that we've invaded Iraq to capture their oil supplies. Sure, the President's bungled that part of the job quite badly, but when contracts were eventually let earlier this month, it was US oil companies that walked away with the lion's share of the rights.
  • Of course, let's not forget the looming war with Iran, who are also sitting on some of the world's largest oil reserves. Even if we don't battle Iran, we are sending a quite clear message, which is less about their politics and a lot about their playing nice with their oil.
  • And let's not forget Syria. We'll ignore any amount of genocide as long as the oil flows.

I think we've actually reached the post political philosohy stage of government. We rant and rave, but we cannot afford to transform our principles into real action.

Energy Independence IS Homeland Security.

Jay Tea:I take exc... (Below threshold)
89:

Jay Tea:

I take exception to the point about muslims. Even the US armed forces have Muslims in them. That's not what you meant by "involvement" of course, but it's a bit of a reduction to absurdity. If you had said that politicized Islam was a problem in many conflicts, that's a statement I would agree more with. Muslims in the north of Sri Lanka, for example, suffer intimidation from the LTTE - but not becuase of their religion.

Rick K:
- Agree on Burma, but we need international sanctions - not just replacing US oil companies with Chinese (Cuba) and French (They are already in Burma, and were in Saddam's Iraq).

On Libya, remember that at least some of the perpetrators were punished, and also that Libya revealed and stopped their secret nuclear program (no word on bio and chem AFIK).

Western Africa? Are you thinking of Marocco's occupation of Western Sahara?

We invaded Iraq to change the regime into one that wouldn't threaten its neighbours, not because of an oil grab. If "we" REALLY wanted to steal oil, we'd rather take most of Saudi. Norway or Venezuela would also be easier to take over. Of course, threatening supplies from other nations and Iraq is one of the strategies used to threaten other countries, so oil IS an important consideration. But saying the invasion of Iraq was about oil is like saying the American Civil War was about cotton tarrifs - it wasn't the primary reason that people started shooting at each other.

Iran? Oil? Again, they can threaten oil transport in the Gulf, but this is about nuclear power. Iran doesn't have refinery capacity to refine their own oil even.

Syria is hardly ignored - did you notice sundry conflicts in Lebanon lately and an Israeli air raid? Syria is playing things smarter than Saddam did in that they are not so overt in their support of terrorism - it's more like they fail to stop people who come from their borders and blow stuff up in Iraq and Lebanon.

PS about Taiwan: They certa... (Below threshold)
89:

PS about Taiwan: They certainly would deserve a seat in the UN, but they first have to decide whether they want to formalize the split between the ROC and the PRC. The PRC is also blocking the ROC from becomming members in international organizations.

The USA in the present situation supports the ROC as long as they won't do anything more to offent the PRC.

And let's not forget Syr... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

And let's not forget Syria. We'll ignore any amount of genocide as long as the oil flows.

Ok, let's put down the pipe and step away from the bowl.

You miight want to do a little research before you start spouting off nonsense like you did. A simple check of the numbers will tell you that Syria is such a minor player in the world oil market that losing all of their oil probably would not even cause your local gas station to raise prices. Syria exported 175,000 bbl a day in 2006. Iraq exported 1,500,000 bbl a day that same year. That's almost 10 times the amount. Saudi Arabia? 8,554,000 bbl (in 2004). That works out to 57 times the oil produced by Syria.

You are entitled to your own opinions, just not your own facts.

Source: CIA Factbook
Syria
Iraq
Saudi Arabia

How about the fact that AL ... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

How about the fact that AL GORE lied in his fruadulent A INCONVENT TRUTH or about the sinster NORTH AMERICAN UNION and the CFR we need the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth

I think the problem is that... (Below threshold)
epador:

I think the problem is that every time a truth falls out, the truth fairy clobbers the truth speaker with a two by four.

And let's not forg... (Below threshold)
And let's not forget Syria. We'll ignore any amount of genocide as long as the oil flows.

Actually, I was thinking more about Syria as a transhipment point for getting oil out of oil rich but landlocked Kurdish region, since it's not very likely to be flowing out through Turkey (who oppose a kurdish state on their border) or southern Iraq (at least for some time to come).

http://tinyurl.com/2pe5qp

89,I don't think h... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

89,

I don't think he was saying most Muslims are terrorists, BUT most terrorists are...

Actually, I was thinking... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Actually, I was thinking more about Syria as a transhipment point for getting oil out of oil rich but landlocked Kurdish region, since it's not very likely to be flowing out through Turkey (who oppose a kurdish state on their border) or southern Iraq (at least for some time to come).
I'm gonna have to disagree with you on that one.

What that statement says is that we overthrew one Baathist (fascist) dictator in order to enrich another.

We could have gotten much better deals from Saddam if we had left him in power than we can get now.

Before making too many assu... (Below threshold)
civildisobedience Author Profile Page:

Before making too many assumptions about places like China, Cuba and the middle east, one should probably visit them and interact with the people, business and government first. Having done that, I am comfortable with making some comments.

The truth about China, it is a hybrid system and closer to a fascist state than a communist one. It chose a path that allowed somewhat private enterprise to provide a very needed increase in internal productivity and wealth funded by external investment. Business controls their important decisions (monies, goods, services). But its government is still a monster of inefficiency, corruption and abuse. Someday there may be more individual freedom, but then again technology may make it easier for government control. It is a race with unpredictable ends.

Cuba is old school communism that has allowed foreigners with hard currency to enjoy the local resources, but does not allow private enterprise. The USA embargo has little impact on Cuba, other than limiting US citizens from enjoying their local resources legally. Lifting the embargo now, or even 20 years ago would not bring down Castro or improve the life of their citizens. He controls all flow and decisions regarding monies, goods and services. It stays bad because of his decisions, not the embargo.

Those reasons may be why the USA is more comfortable with China than Cuba, to the misfortune of Taiwan.

The truth about Gaza, it has had only one purpose, to be a platform for attacking Israel. They have never, and will never, settle their issues diplomatically, unless it is to receive Israel's surrender. Should another full scale middle east war break out, it will be bombed into oblivion.

Iran is the most dangerous country in the world at the moment, even though many of its private citizens are really great individuals. They are just unfortunately enslaved by an Islamic fascist state hellbent on their version of Armageddon. Short of conflict or a lot of time, there is very little we can do to change this.

I have never been to Syria, but I have meant and worked with Syrians elsewhere. They were not easy to figure out as individuals. Always felt I was dealing with the shell of the man and not the man.

Western Africa? Ar... (Below threshold)
Western Africa? Are you thinking of Marocco's occupation of Western Sahara?

Actually, I was thinking of the of the Gulf of Guinea. Here's a very detailed map oil reserves:

http://downloads.pennnet.com/os/posters/2007_os_wamap.pdf

"West Africa is where more deep-water oil has been found in the last five years than any place else in the world -- and that makes it a very attractive place for investment," says Scott Griffiths, senior vice president for exploration at Houston-based Ocean Energy."

http://www.gasandoil.com/goc/company/cna25023.htm

We could have gott... (Below threshold)
We could have gotten much better deals from Saddam if we had left him in power than we can get now.

True, we know that now. But when we started on this "slam dunk" operation where we would be "greeted as liberators" where this war would "pay for itself" we thought we were going to get a better deal. After all, we let the streets of Baghdad riot but closely guarded the Oil Ministry buildings.

PS about Taiwan: T... (Below threshold)
PS about Taiwan: They certainly would deserve a seat in the UN, but they first have to decide whether they want to formalize the split between the ROC and the PRC.

I think that's the first time on this list I've seen UN membership mentioned in a positive light. Why, exactly, would they want to be UN members?

In a post-political world, why would Taiwan want to be part of a toothless political organization?

True, we know that now. ... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

True, we know that now. But when we started on this "slam dunk" operation where we would be "greeted as liberators" where this war would "pay for itself" we thought we were going to get a better deal. After all, we let the streets of Baghdad riot but closely guarded the Oil Ministry buildings.
Did you read none of my links? Countries around the world were lining up to take that sweet, sweet oil money from Saddam and we could have been first in line.

Or are you one of the ones who thinks Bush also started the war to enrich the Military-Industrial-Complex?

It stays bad becau... (Below threshold)
It stays bad because of his decisions, not the embargo.

I disagree. We could have more easily pumped up his economy until his politics became irrelevant. Seems to be working in China.

There will be spats of political revival or political reassertion of power in China, their politics are quickly become irrelevant.

The truth about Gaza, it has had only one purpose, to be a platform for attacking Israel.
Ah, but if Israel had encouraged economic development, education and jobs in Palistine, instead of dooming generations to idleness, frustration and boredom, it probably would have had less fighting to do.

Turkey is an excellent example of this principle in action. A

ll during the 90's and early this century (doesn't it still sound odd to say that?) Turkey suffered a lot of social disruption and suicide bombings from their occupied and supressed Kurdish minority.

To counter that, until the Iraq war when the possibility of a Kurdish state emerged, Turkey had tamped down the Kurdish opposition by funneling massive funds for housing, education, job training and economic development into their minority Kurdish communities (often to the rather loud complaints of the other sects).

Economic development, until the war gave rise to statehood issues, trumped both politics and religion in Turkish/Kurdish relations.

Generally, people who have jobs, home and future have little reason to blow themselves up because they're too busy living life (which brings up the paradox of the 19 9/11 hijackers being well educated and fairly well off economically. Maybe there's an upper limit where one becomes too comfortable and has too much time to brood instead of work, dunno.)

There is a very good, but longish, assessment and history in Time:

http://tinyurl.com/393pfa

Generally my points, which ... (Below threshold)

Generally my points, which have been shrouded here a bit in the fray, are these:

1. while the US may occasionally suffer spasms of action based on American political philosophy and the fiction of our "love of democracy", the truth is that with the energy outlook being what it is for the nation, we can hardly afford to base our national actions on our philosophies.

2. political philosophies and political ideologies are passe in a post political world driven by the tenets of economics (we do, of course, still have the decency to shroud our economic lust in the language of political ideology, but our actions speak louder than our words, as they say).

Did you read none of my links?... (Below threshold)
Did you read none of my links? Countries around the world were lining up to take that sweet, sweet oil money from Saddam and we could have been first in line.

I did glance at your links and found them unconvincing.

Or are you one of the ones who thinks Bush also started the war to enrich the Military-Industrial-Complex?

I think an All-Oil White House, frustrated by Middle East politics, afraid of another OPEC embargo, deluded itself into thinking it could grab all the Iraqi oil without "lining up to take that sweet, sweet oil" from Saddam at any price. Why compete when you can have it all?

afraid of another OPEC e... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

afraid of another OPEC embargo

Huh? I have never heard anything like that. Do you have any proof for that assertion or is it that you just don't trust Bush or any Republican and are making stuff up to fit your perceptions?

Huh? I have never heard any... (Below threshold)

Huh? I have never heard anything like that. Do you have any proof for that assertion or is it that you just don't trust Bush or any Republican and are making stuff up to fit your perceptions?

Good catch. I should have said an OPEC-like interruption. We're only a major disruption away from some pretty serious energy problems--a shut-off from Venezuela, a civil war or interruption from western Africa, another Katrina in the Gulf of Mexico, or even severe delivery problems from the Middle east.

In short, he administration was looking for disaster insurance as well as economic advantage for their American masters.

Ah, but if Israel ... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:
Ah, but if Israel had encouraged economic development, education and jobs in Palistine, instead of dooming generations to idleness, frustration and boredom, it probably would have had less fighting to do.

This is utter horseshit. The reason the Palis are stuck in poverty is because for the last half century, they have made it their highest priority to perpetuate their murderous hatred of Jews, and, when they can, to kill them. Jobs? Economic development? Bah. The Palis have never shown very much interest in anything remotely resembling those things.

Wnen the Israelis withdrew from Gaza, they left a bunch of functioning greenhouses. The first thing the Palis did was to destroy them. This should give you some idea of the Palis' level of interest in actually building a successful, prosperous state.

In short, all the Palis' problems are self-inflicted.

'Muse, indeed. It's much ea... (Below threshold)
ODA315:

'Muse, indeed. It's much easier and profitable (ask Yassir Arafat) to find a target for hate to blame your problems on than actually do something about it.

This is utter hors... (Below threshold)
This is utter horseshit. The reason the Palis are stuck in poverty is because for the last half century, they have made it their highest priority to perpetuate their murderous hatred of Jews, and, when they can, to kill them.

Well, that's easy to say because Israelis only went one direction. There is no way to prove that it wouldn't have worked.

The first thing the Palis did was to destroy them. This should give you some idea of the Palis' level of interest in actually building a successful, prosperous state.

Anecdotal. Can't imagine any other reason for their rage? It takes decades to build a prosperous society as it takes decades to cool tensions after a major blow up.

What is not horseshit, as you say, is that this approach as worked well for the Turkish/Kurdish issues before the war.

What is not horses... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:
What is not horseshit, as you say, is that this approach as worked well for the Turkish/Kurdish issues before the war.

I'm not saying that encouraging economic development is horseshit. What's horseshit is your belief that the Israelis never encouraged ecoonomic development in Palestine. Israel has provided all kinds of jobs and financial aid to the Palestinians over the years, and they only thing they've ever gotten in return is grief.

Can't imagine any other reason for their rage?

Not when the obvious one is staring us both in the face. There's no use just pretending it's not there.

Trackbacked by The Thunder ... (Below threshold)

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 10/10/2007
A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Perhaps we could agree on t... (Below threshold)

Perhaps we could agree on this

"There Is Nothing So Powerful As Truth"

Nor as slippery.

Nor as slippery. <br... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Nor as slippery.
Which shouldn't be true and is one of the problems with political discourse today, the truth isn't slippery, but some slimy people surely do distort it.

What's horseshit i... (Below threshold)
What's horseshit is your belief that the Israelis never encouraged ecoonomic development in Palestine.

Ah,good ol' Israeli masters, is this the part where we put on the Palistine-brown face and sing the watermelon song about how good masser's been?

Which shouldn't be... (Below threshold)
Which shouldn't be true and is one of the problems with political discourse today, the truth isn't slippery, but some slimy people surely do distort it.

I'd take a more charitable view. Reminds me of the story of the Indian Chief who was sworn into a court to give testimony.

When asked if he'd tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, he answered;

"I cannot tell you the truth. I can only tell you what I know."

Ah,good ol' Israel... (Below threshold)
Ah,good ol' Israeli masters, is this the part where we put on the Palistine-brown face and sing the watermelon song about how good masser's been?

Your juvenile ad hominem response indicates you really don't know what you're talking about. Which is what I suspected.

Hey kennerly, try looking a... (Below threshold)

Hey kennerly, try looking at this site.

Rick expostulates, and then... (Below threshold)
kim:

Rick expostulates, and then out of the blue, 'The Watermelon Song'.

Dam joos.
===========================

I can see that you all are ... (Below threshold)

I can see that you all are very articulate and informed researchers here, and passionate about your topics and viewpoints.

However, you could all stand a laugh or two. Come visit us at loliticz.com and see if lolcat speek and politicians combined can't ease a little of your angst about things that will transpire until the next set of political masters are elected.

As for truth, many people can't see any for the amount of truth in their own eyes. OMG, christian crap out of my own mouth. Guess the Jesuits were right, "give unto us a child until he is 5 and he shall never stray from the path."

ISIAIh 41 BRING forth your ... (Below threshold)
jeff:

ISIAIh 41 BRING forth your IDOLS did they PREACH to you see they can’t speak they can’t DO ANYTHING all they do is cause confusion. spalms 115 and spalms 135 thier IDOLS are FALSE cant speak can't hear cant smell and those that make them shall become like them. Jeremiah 10 they nail their IDOL down like a scarecrow it can’t move can'...t speak can’t move must be carried these are nothing but the WORK of CON men.john 10 jesus christ sais his sheep hear his voice and another voice thy will not follow and if another person tries to preach to them they WILL FLEE from him. jeremiah 5 the priests bear rule on their own authority what will you do when your judged my word is not inside them. Now here is the kicker john 5 son of man voice goes back in time mathew 16 jesus christ claims to be the son of man.‎1 cor2 mind of CHRIST preached internally and john 16 sais the spirit of truth comes in the future. Ezekiel 13 lying prophets of ISRAEL my word is not inside them saying god sais god sais god sais wrote hoping mankind would CONFIRM their WORDS. all of this is EASILY verifiable.




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