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View Diary: ¡Viva WikiLeaks! SiCKO Was Not Banned in Cuba (295 comments)

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  •  I would not jump to conclusions... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GrumpyOldGeek

    ...about the Honduras coup or these other matters based on what is in a particular cable.  Historical analysis of past events that are published once records become unclassfied almost always show that government decision making processes are less unambiguous than assumed.  

    For example, during the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962, it was assumed at the time that Kennedy had forced Kruschev to back down.  It wasn't until much later that the quid pro quo on US missiles in Turkey was revealed and it was not something that either side admitted up front was linked.  Also, sometimes for political reasons the cable traffic reflects what the bosses back home want to hear, not what that diplomat thinks or the facts show.  Ultimately, the decision making back home is what counts in terms of results.

    In the case of Honduras, the outcome was the US - in a remarkable shift from past practices - joining the OAS in supporting the return of the elected President.  Getting him back into office was another matter and the subject of hard negotiations involving any number of governments, including leftist governments like the Brazilians under Lula.  Since no one wanted a military intervention in Honduras, the end game was messy.

    So, no, I don't regard the Honduras cables as showing there was no change in US behavior - they show these diplomats saying and reporting X, Y or Z.  But they were not the ultimate decision makers and the outcomes were decided elsewhere.  Obama did behave differently.

    I also don't think Obama is pursuing the same policies in Latin America as Bush.  But that is another discussion.  Evo is not an uncontroversial character - just ask the people who live in Santa Cruz.

    •  But ultimately your argument is cynical. (0+ / 0-)

      We don't know everything, nothing is unambiguous, many factors are involved. Ergo, what, don't do anything? Don't discuss it? Don't criticize our government? No doubt you were not against the war in Iraq because you didn't have access to all the pertinant information, so making an opinion would be rash. Is that what you are saying?

      Also, your argument has no end. For even after many years have passed and many history books have been written, we still can never fully understand a human event. I have a friend in Mexico who says the Aztec custom of ritual sacrifice is an invention of the West. I don't see how you could argue with him with your way of thinking.  

      For the US State Department and its allies, it is all a ruthless chess game, and every pawn matters. - Mark Weisbrot

      by Anak on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 05:38:14 PM PST

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      •  I don't say that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GrumpyOldGeek

        Make judgements.  The point was that if you make them, try and get the broadest number of sources and then always remember to keep an open mind.

        With Wikileaks, it is becoming clear that the cables, contrary to hype, don't establish anything earth-shaking.  This is true whether someone stands on the right or the left.  They have some interesting information, but nothing so far that challenges what experts both in and out of government already knew or suspected.

        What is happening with some people is that they take the cables, sometimes even a single sentence in a single cable, and wave it to say "ah-ha! This proves X!"  The cables need to be read, as with anything, in a larger context.

        As for your friend and the Aztecs, feel free to argue.  There are lots of issues that historians contest centuries after they took place.  With the Aztecs, unfortunately, we are burdened by the fact that the Spaniards: a) destroyed many records and artifacts kept by the Aztecs; b) had a political agenda to make the Aztecs look savage and, hence, inferior.  We may never know the truth.  But it is plausible for someone to question the Spanish account, certainly.

        •  From the way you write (0+ / 0-)

          you sound like you live comfortably within the bubble that is the most powerful nation in history. It reminds me of the various "white privilege" diaries. You have no critical spark, urging caution, but you can talk like that only because of the privileged space you are articulating from.

          Tell those who voted for Zelaya in Honduras only to see him toppled in a coup not to worry. Very easy for you to say.

          For the US State Department and its allies, it is all a ruthless chess game, and every pawn matters. - Mark Weisbrot

          by Anak on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 07:25:26 PM PST

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          •  Not that this is a biased opinion, eh? n/t (0+ / 0-)

            "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

            by GrumpyOldGeek on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 10:02:00 PM PST

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            •  Estás borracho o ¿qué? n/t (0+ / 1-)
              Recommended by:
              Hidden by:
              GrumpyOldGeek

              For the US State Department and its allies, it is all a ruthless chess game, and every pawn matters. - Mark Weisbrot

              by Anak on Sat Dec 18, 2010 at 11:16:09 PM PST

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              •  Haven't had a drink in 33 years. HR'ed. N/T (0+ / 0-)

                "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

                by GrumpyOldGeek on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 12:44:23 AM PST

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                •  Aja, así que eres un borracho (0+ / 0-)

                  y por eso sabes exactamente por cuantos años no has tomado una cervecita.

                  I figured that was basically the case. Otherwise hard to account for your drunken-like "logic."

                  Oh, and you're not supposed to HR someone you are in a discussion with. I was gonna forgive you for being drunk, but, now that you insist that you are not drunk, expect to hear from Meteor Blades, señorcito.

                  For the US State Department and its allies, it is all a ruthless chess game, and every pawn matters. - Mark Weisbrot

                  by Anak on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 12:57:05 AM PST

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                •  The poster insulted you. And you can challenge... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GrumpyOldGeek

                  ...that. But you can't HR it.

                  Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

                  by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 12:34:29 PM PST

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                  •  How is this not an ad-hominem attack? (0+ / 0-)

                    It helps to look through the whole pie fight to understand the context of this comment.

                    Later, the commenter is somehow compelled to repeat the personal ad-hominem argument in a followup response, regardless. Paraphrased, it "you're a liar and drunk no matter what you say.".

                    Classy.

                    This is a personal ad-hominem attack. It is much more than an insult, especially when I've made it evident that I have 33 years of sobriety under my belt. It is deeply personal and hurtful to me.

                    I asked perfectly reasonable questions. I challenged the logic. I went back and re-read the comments and the referenced article. I responded with reasonable challenges to the claims being made. So did another commenter.

                    I rarely toss donuts. I mostly ignore the hate and name-calling. Usually, I avoid pie fights. Assange hero-worship interests the inner gehavioral psychologist in me.

                    If your opinion of what I can or cannot HR is different than mine, so be it. To a non-alcoholic, it's a minor insult. To a recovered alcoholic, it's deeply personal. There's a subjective aspect here.

                    There's a donut that got tossed at me upthread in this diary. HR'd for right wing talking points, was the claim. This was so far off base it made me laugh, not complain. It's been a very long time since I've been the recipient of a donut. Sometimes you're just standing under a flock of birds.

                    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

                    by GrumpyOldGeek on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 02:41:15 PM PST

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                    •  The issue is not whether the comment... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      GrumpyOldGeek

                      ...is an insult or ad hominem. The issue is that, under long-standing rules here, you should not be HRing someone with whom you are in a dispute. You should leave it up to others.

                      Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

                      by Meteor Blades on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 02:46:33 PM PST

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                    •  Grumpy (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      OIL GUY

                      If you look at my comment history last night, you will see that I was out for like 3 hours. It was a Saturday night and I went out with a girl for fun and a few beers.

                      When I got back home, I wanted to see if anyone had replied to my comments on the Wikileaks Information Thread. When I saw your comment at 2 AM, I had no idea what it meant. So, in a joking manner I thought that maybe you also went out for a few drinks--it's a common thing to do late on a Saturday night--and that that was why your comment made little sense. I wrote it in Spanish because I didn't consider my comment to be serious, i.e. if you didn't understand it, whatever, it's not important.  

                      I am sorry if you thought I was insulting you.

                      For the US State Department and its allies, it is all a ruthless chess game, and every pawn matters. - Mark Weisbrot

                      by Anak on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 10:40:25 PM PST

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          •  Please - you know zero about me (0+ / 0-)

            ...so don't make judgments as if you do.

            •  This is not about you, ok? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              denise b

              Just like the "white privilege" diaries were not about every single white person reading them. One cannot fight racism or the pervasive notion of American exceptionalims if one is unaware of their manifestations.

              Are you reading the articles and diaries about Wikileaks cables btw? From what you say about Honduras, I am guessing you are not, but perhaps I am wrong. In any case, I wrote my comment last night after reading an excellent summary of what the cables say about us as Americans. Portions of the article were posted on the Wikileaks Information Thread, but I highly recommend reading the entire article:

              Most striking is the unstated but pervasive belief that the United States is wiser, more skillful and dedicated than anybody else. Therefore, it is natural that America rules the roost. Our serial failures of judgment and action, at home as well as abroad, have left not a trace of modesty on our conduct. That hubris has a number of practical meanings: One is the conviction that Washington should set the policy direction for allies and friends, jerk them back into line when they show a tendency to stray or are unresponsive to American leads, and cultivate a corps of informers and helpmates from among the native elites....

              A second manifestation is the disparagement of anyone else's opinion. In the hundred or so cables and excerpts that I've looked at, I have yet to find one instance of a visiting Assistant or Under Secretary of State or resident Ambassador seeking out interpretations or assessments of situations -- much less encouraging their interlocutors to offer policy advice. The sole aim of these meetings seemingly is to test their foreign counterparts' fidelity to the Washington line and to sniff out any dangerous deviations....

              Another cardinal feature of the prevailing American attitude, about which we exhibit no self awareness, is the reflex to divide foreigners into the two categories of "pro-American" or "anti-American."...

              A third feature of the American mindset is set in stark relief by the Wikileak cables. It is the identity in our officials' minds of the American national interest with the world's interest. In instance after instance, they declare the cavalier premise that Washington's foreign policy serves the well-being of the international community. Indeed, any other worldview that does not accept this premise is illegitimate -- selfish and dangerous, too....

              There is another singular feature of how the United States sees itself that takes shape as we read these cables. It is the extraordinary sense of entitlement. An entitlement endowed by 9/11. It hallows all those other characteristic American traits with a robe of righteousness. Our unique virtue, our superior wisdom, our mission to save the world, our right to judge and to proclaim, our authority to set new rules or to break old ones -- all is rendered true and just by the calamity that we have endured. America feels that it has found in 9/11 a diplomatic ace that wittingly or not matches the Israelis' use of the Holocaust. It is not at all clear, though, that it serves us well.

              http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

              For the US State Department and its allies, it is all a ruthless chess game, and every pawn matters. - Mark Weisbrot

              by Anak on Sun Dec 19, 2010 at 10:33:54 AM PST

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